Do you doubt for a moment that he’d do it?

Do you doubt for a moment that he’d go to that level?

Would you trust him not to do it?

We bore witness to “Operation Urgent Fury” in 1983, “Operation Just Cause” in 1989, “Operation Desert Storm” in 1991 and “Operation Iraqi Freedom” in 2003. An US strike on North Korea would, unquestionably, be “Operation Change The Subject”–a desperate attempt to kill off the Russiagate ruckus once and for all. A war would be a very good way to effectively put Robert Mueller out of business.

Donald Trump knows that jingoism can save his young and troubled presidency. He remembers where this country was psychologically on September 12, 2001, and for years afterward. The American people always rally around a President–even one who became the Commander-in-Chief on a fluke–when they feel threatened. All he has to do is claim that he has to strike North Korea as a defensive, protective measure and a critical mass of Americans will believe him–and lash out against those who embrace anything that smacks of pacifism.

Trump knows that if he strikes North Korea, both right-wing and mainstream media entities will rhetorically ratify his every decision. The flag-waving that precipitated our invasion of Iraq will be mild compared to what will happen if (when?) he strikes. His approval ratings will go up while his critics are shouted down.

Trump knows American psychology. He knows that when he invokes the specter of “fire and fury,” millions of Americans who grew up on Rambo and Missing in Action will respond, “Hell yeah!” He knows that by deploying enough force, his base will grow more fervent in its love.

Restraint? Ridiculous. Trump wants to do this. In his mind, he needs to do this. Remember the speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention? Remember these words?

Now let us consider the state of affairs abroad.

Not only have our citizens endured domestic disaster, but they have lived through one international humiliation after another. We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint.

This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal, which gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us nothing – it will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever made. Another humiliation came when president Obama drew a red line in Syria – and the whole world knew it meant nothing.

In Libya, our consulate – the symbol of American prestige around the globe – was brought down in flames. America is far less safe – and the world is far less stable – than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy.

Striking North Korea would be one more way for Trump to demonstrate that he “deserved” to win the election. Once his missiles pound Pyongyang, he will take to Twitter to boast that Clinton never would have taken such “decisive” action, never would have stood up to Kim Jong-un, never would have “led.” I wouldn’t put it past Trump to literally tweet that Clinton wouldn’t have the balls to take such a drastic step.

He will never express remorse or empathy for those, American and North Korean, who will perish as a result of his actions. Did George W. Bush ever apologize for causing thousands of American troops and countless innocent Iraqis to lose their lives? Did Richard Nixon ever apologize for prolonging the Vietnam War? Of course not. Such men never do.

The 62 million Americans who, in perhaps the greatest act of collective spite in United States history, put this creep into the White House, will never publicly apologize either. However, if they have anything resembling a conscience, then the day will come, long after the missiles have struck and the funerals have ended, when these voters will fall on their knees, and petition the God they claim to believe in for forgiveness and mercy.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.