Don and Kim need to think about their actions

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Prince William speaks passionately about the devastating impact the Battle of Passchendaele had on New Zealand.

EDITORIAL: If you're reading these words then that means we've made it through another weekend without World War III breaking out. Hurrah! It's genuinely nice to see you again. You're looking well.

It's been looking fairly dicey of late, hasn't it, what with a ridiculous-looking, mentally-unstable, vain megalomaniac squaring off against the leader of North Korea in a chest-beating competition, like two drunken King Kongs trying to impress Fay Wray on a Friday night out at the jungle pub, but we're still here.

Well, for the moment.

What would the dead heroes of Passchendaele make of it all?

What would the dead heroes of Passchendaele make of it all?

For there are real fears that President Trump is unravelling.

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According to two reports, he told his security chief:  "I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them."

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

It's even claimed there have been discussions at senior level over what would happen if he ordered a nuclear strike against his enemies (which include, by the look of things, just about everyone. If you've ever posted anything negative about him on the internet, now's probably a good time to start building that nuclear shelter in your back garden). 

Meanwhile, over in North Korea, that living embodiment of grace, dignity and benign leadership, Kim Jong Un, has apparently been stepping up his nuclear testing program after his foreign minister accused Trump of having "lit the wick of war" between the two countries and threatened a "hail of fire".

Grim times, to say the least.

How all this affects New Zealand will, with a bit of luck, remain nothing more than a subject for 'what if..?' discussions over a couple of beers while sat around a (non-nuclear) fire. You know the sort of thing: "What if Kennedy hadn't been assassinated?", "What if Pete Best hadn't been kicked out of The Beatles?".

For when far-away nations get involved in this type of thing the resulting holocaust often exacts a painful toll on our country.

This week we've been remembering the terrible price we paid in the World War I. Exactly 100 years ago the first of 2700 telegrams naming the dead and wounded of Passchendaele started arriving at homes throughout New Zealand. Virtually no community was spared.

In three battles that raged between October and December, 1350 soldiers of the New Zealand Division were killed in action or died of wounds. They included Sergeant Dave Gallagher, captain of the All Black Originals, who was one of 320 New Zealanders killed on October 4, while just a few days later, on October 12, some 845 Kiwis died in an attack at Passchendaele - the single worst day in New Zealand's military history.

What if one of those fallen soldiers could come back from the mud of the Western Front and see how the idea of war is being treated by two overgrown boys who don't appear to have the faintest idea of what it involves? 

I wonder what Sergeant Dave Gallagher would say to them? 

 - Taranaki Daily News

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