Pres. Trump today continued his reign of error in hectoring Iran about its malign influence in the Middle East. Virtually every claim, every statement he made about Iran was false. Not to mention that he directly contradicted reports from his own Pentagon that it was considering sending up to 10,000 more troops to the region to buttress the U.S. presence and its defense in the event of an Iranian attack.
This embedded Reuters video features a portion of his speech. It has to be heard to be believed. I’ve included a transcript below of all his comments related to Iran. In responding to a question about the report of new troop assignments to the region, he replies:
“I don’t think we’re going to need them, I really don’t…I would certainly send troops if we need them. Iran has been a very dangerous player, very bad player. They are a nation of terror and we won’t put up with it. The deal that was signed by President Obama was a horror show. It’s a terrible deal. The minute I collapsed that deal and terminated it, Iran went in a very bad direction. They’re now suffering massive problems financially, they have inflation that’s about the highest in the world. Their people and they have great people, I know many Iranians are great people. But the country is in very bad shape. When I first came here that was a country of terror. They were all over. I remember, and I’ve told this story, but I’ve been at many different meetings where every single problem caused in the Middle East , and maybe beyond, but in the Middle East was caused by Iran. They were behind every single, we had 14 different attacks at one point, they were behind every attack. So we’ll see what happens with Iran. No I don’t think we’ll need it but if we need it we’ll have we’ll be there in whatever number we need.”
Needless to say, whatever meetings he’s attending either aren’t presenting an accurate picture of all the regional players employing terror and military force to advance their interests; or Trump is asleep during the meetings and only wakes up when he hears the word “Iran.”
Iran, a ‘nation of terror?’ Compared to our killing a million Iraqis over more than a decade of war? Compared to our overthrowing governments we disliked, including Iran’s in 1953? Compared to our downing an Iranian airliner and killing nearly 300 civilians? Whatever military operations Iran’s engaged in–it’s a piker compared to those of the U.S. Not to mention Israel, whose history of engaging in acts of terror in pursuit of its interests are well known and documented, here and elsewhere.
One can only hope that Trump’s natural nativist perspective, which recoils from military intervention overseas, will overcome the worst instincts of his warrior class including Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. The news coming out of the administration not only changes from one day to the next; each day brings statements from Trump which directly contradict those of the day before. But the president’s natural instincts seem to be to avoid major conflict abroad.
If Trump thinks this policy disarray is good because it keeps Iran guessing, he’s wrong. Iran is sitting back and watching an administration slowly disintegrate before its eyes. All it has to do is wait till Trump is either impeached or thrown out of office. The only question is will there be a war before either of those things happen.
In response to another question asking whether Trump believes the U.S. should have intervened in regional conflicts, he says:
“No I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I don’t think. I don’t think we ever should have been there. OK, I inherited this mess. Should we have been there? No. We shouldn’t have been. Should we have gone to Iraq? Should we have attacked Iraq which did not knock down the World Trade Center? We had a place that was not conducive to terrorists. Ok. The terrorists were killed instantly in Iraq, and now it’s a sad, you know tough situation. So I think we should not have been in the Middle East, with that being said, we’ve done a great job. I took over the ISIS fight. We knocked out 100 percent of the caliphate. That doesn’t mean that they’re not going to blow up a store. They’re totally crazy. But we knocked out 100 percent of the caliphate. And I did it quickly when I came in. President Obama totally lost control. He’d lost control of the military. He had lost control of the fighting and our military was totally depleted and in very bad shape. These folks know that better than anybody. They were in very bad shape. We will soon have the strongest military that we’ve ever had by far, and nobody is going to mess with us.”
Trump reminds me of a programmed robot. He has four or five different pre-recorded statements he’s capable of uttering. Once he’s done with those, he can’t muster an articulate word on any other subject.