In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s threat to North Korea of “fire and fury,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued a written statement that read, in part:

“The D.P.R.K. regime’s actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates.”

Here’s the thing.

Wars don’t have “winners” and “losers”.  They merely involve different degrees of losing.

Nuclear wars are worse; everybody loses.  On a grand scale.

We all get that stalemates between nuclear armed nations are fraught with risk at the best of times. Nobody should be so naive as to believe that, behind closed doors, the American defense apparatus isn’t—along with its allies—planning a serious and drastic strike against North Korea.

However, I think we are all—Democrats, Republicans, Greens, independents—entitled to expect that our government will refrain from ratcheting up international tensions, and individual anxieties, over an ad-libbed and ill-conceived sound byte.

Today is August 10th, 2017; not a normal day.

You can find me on Twitter at @DecisionLab.