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Quote of the Day: Donald Trump’s War with Iran

trump nuke or tweet

IN SEPTEMBER 2015, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump appeared on the syndicated radio show of conservative media star, Hugh Hewitt, to talk foreign policy.

“Are you familiar with General Suleimani?” Hewitt asked the real estate mogul from Queens.

“Yes,” said Trump, before hesitating. “Go ahead, give me a little … tell me.”

When Hewitt told Trump that Suleimani “runs the Quds Forces,” Trump responded: “I think the Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by us.”

“No, not the Kurds, the Quds Forces,” Hewitt interjected. “The Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Quds Forces. The bad guys.”

“I thought you said Kurds,” a sheepish Trump replied.


It’s also a column that allows me to revisit what I have long considered to be the most unforgivable take of the 2016 presidential race: “Donald The Dove, Hillary the Hawk.” That was the ridiculous headline to the New York Times column from Maureen Dowd in April 2016, in which she falsely claimed that Trump had opposed the Iraq War “like Obama,” and then credulously suggested that, in contrast to Clinton, “he would rather do the art of the deal than shock and awe.

A reminder: Trump pulled out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal less than 18 months after assuming office. He replaced his predecessor’s nuclear diplomacy with a “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran, which had pushed the United States and the Islamic Republic to the brink of war even before this latest dangerous escalation.

Dowd was wholly, utterly, and embarrassingly wrong — as some of us tried to explain at the time. But it wasn’t just her. Plenty of other people across the political spectrum foolishly bought into the ludicrous premise that Trump would be some sort of dove, a noninterventionist, an old-fashioned isolationist.

And plenty of my colleagues in the media continue to push this deluded view. Remember: Trump has twice bombed the Assad regime in Syria; reduced Mosul and Raqqa to rubble; vetoed a congressional attempt to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi bombardment of Yemen; and overseen a fivefold increase in drone strikes throughout the region and beyond. Yet on New Year’s Eve, the New York Times still insisted on bizarrely referring to “the president’s reluctance to use force in the Middle East.”

That line, of course, hasn’t aged so well. Less than 72 hours later, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force and the deputy head of the Iran-backed militias in Iraq, are dead. Killed via drone.

THE UNITED STATES has now effectively declared war on Iran. This is no longer a “cold” war or a “shadow” war. It’s a war-war. And here’s what so terrifying about it: The current commander-in-chief of the U.S. military as it readies for open conflict with Tehran is the guy who last week accused Canada’s prime minister of cutting him out of a Canadian TV version of “Home Alone 2″; who regularly retweets QAnon, Pizzagate, and white nationalist accounts on Twitter; who believes that Ukraine is in possession of a nonexistent Democratic National Committee server; who thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax; who wants to use nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes; and who is willing to take a Sharpie to an official government map in order to prove he was right about the weather (when he was, in fact, 100 percent wrong).

— Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept, Four Years Ago, Trump Had No Clue Who Iran’s Suleimani Was. Now He May Have Kicked Off WWIII, January 3, 2020


  1. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    This [insert string of unprintable adjectives] delinquent-in-chief is going to get a whole lot of innocent people killed.


  2. Avatar
    Brunetto Latini

    It is disturbing, but I’m so tired of being disturbed by our never-ending wars that I’m just going to try tuning it out. It’s totally beyond my control. I will vote for a Democrat, regardless.

    It really seems stupid to me that in the 21st century, a single individual can direct the military to do whatever he wants done.

    • Avatar

      The cult and the republicans in Congress allow it to happen and the far right religious nuts think it will mean the rapture for them…lunacy abounds

  3. Avatar

    All the fundies from my past are posting on Facebook to pray for our troops and how they pray God will protect this son or cousin or former student. Meanwhile I want to scream at them, “Y’all voted for Trump’s sorry ass, you don’t get to escape the consequences!”

  4. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Trump takes the microphone after his drone assassination thousands of miles from USA and says that this action was not to start a war but to stop one. This slurring liar likes to take the truth and reverse it like this and the evangelical Right is used to that: God wreaks havoc because He loves us. We do not know the mind of the loving God.
    Rest assured that Trump has continued, not stopped a war. He needed to do this now because he is personally in dire straits with impeachment and loss of support. The narcissist ramps up the harm he does in direct proportion to the pressure he feels is unjustly dumped on God-Trump. Blind by stupid nationalism, America will support the president in war. America’s endless war just continues and USA becomes more and more feared and hated around the world.
    Who would you rate as the most dangerous nation on earth?
    Imagine our response if Iran or any country was vile enough to send in drones and take out a hawk General in Washington. Imagine it. We feel free to murder everybody anywhere confirmed as an enemy. We are the law and international law be damned. Wars are not stopped this way. They are seeded this way. Poor USA is so dumbed down, they can no longer feel a common humanity. Us and Them conquers again!
    A drone strike demolishes your neighbor’s house and 7 or 8 people nearby. Khomeini take the mic and says he is stopping a war by using a drone to take-out somebody who should have been taken out long ago. How peaceful do you feel USA, now that Khomeini has helped you out? Blind nationalism is a loaded weapon held by a child. Flags might do more harm than they do good.

  5. Avatar
    Brunetto Latini

    I just read in The Washington Post that Trump tweeted a threat against Iranian cultural sites if they retaliate. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given his character or lack thereof. But I am truly shocked that an American president would make such a threat.

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