Friday, September 4, 2015

A toe stub

By Michael Barbaro

Donald Trump Stumbles and Bristles During Foreign Policy Interview

Donald J. Trump revealed gaps in his mastery of international affairs during a radio interview on Thursday, appearing to mistake the Quds Force, an Iranian military group, for the Kurds, a Middle Eastern people, and growing testy over questions about foreign leaders.
“You’re asking me names that — I think it’s somewhat ridiculous,” Mr. Trump told Hugh Hewitt, a popular conservative radio show host. “As far as the individual players, of course I don’t know them. I’ve never met them. I haven’t been, you know, in a position to meet them.”
At one point, according to the interview’s transcript, Mr. Hewitt asked Mr. Trump if he was familiar with Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the shadowy commander of Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force.
“Yes, but go ahead, give me a little, go ahead, tell me,” Mr. Trump replied.
“He runs the Quds Forces,” Mr. Hewitt said.
“Yes, O.K., right,” Mr. Trump said.
But Mr. Trump seemed to think Mr. Hewitt was referring to the Kurds, a group with its own language and culture.
Mr. Trump asserted that “the Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated.”
Mr. Hewitt interrupted. “No, not the Kurds, the Quds Forces, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Forces.”
Mr. Trump tried to recover from the live, on-air tutorial. “Yes, yes,” he said.
He added, “Oh, I thought you said Kurds, Kurds.”
Mr. Trump, a real estate developer and brand manager who has never worked in government, has relatively little experience dealing with foreign governments. But he has boasted of his global reach and international experience as a businessman.
Mr. Hewitt said he was not interested in “gotcha” questions but wanted to be sure Mr. Trump had a baseline of knowledge about foreign leaders.
“On the front of Islamist terrorism, I’m looking for the next commander in chief to know who Hassan Nasrallah is, and Zawahri, and al-Julani, and al-Baghdadi. Do you know the players without a scorecard, yet, Donald Trump?” Mr. Hewitt asked.
Mr. Trump’s answer was strikingly dismissive. “No, you know, I’ll tell you honestly, I think by the time we get to office, they’ll all be changed. They’ll be all gone.”
Making matters worse, Mr. Hewitt asked similar questions on Thursday to Carly Fiorina, a fellow Republican presidential candidate who, like Mr. Trump, has never served in elected office.
But Mrs. Fiorina sounded confident, patient and informed as she discussed the Quds Force, among other subjects.
Asked if she knew the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah, she explained that “Hamas is focused in Palestinian territories. Hezbollah focuses in Beirut and other places, but the truth is, both of them are proxies of Iran. Both of them threaten Israel.”
Asked if she knew the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah, she explained that “Hamas is focused in Palestinian territories. Hezbollah focuses in Beirut and other places, but the truth is, both of them are proxies of Iran. Both of them threaten Israel.”
Mr. Hewitt signaled his approval. “That’s exactly right,” he said.
On the topic of international leaders, Mr. Trump concluded his interview with a touch of his trademark bravado, promising to become an authority on their names as president.
“If they’re still there, which is unlikely in many cases, but if they’re still there, I will know them better than I know you.”
He added, “I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.”


  1. Your fixation on the Donald is unhealthy ric. Get some air.

    1. Says the man who believes Benghazi is important.

    2. At the end of the day Benghazi is no more important than the many other lives her lies and deciet no doubt caused....

    3. My apologies for the spelling error....

    4. Benghazi isn't important unless it was a close relative then it becomes very personal. Not to mention it wasn't the actual act at Benghazi that was important but the events that followed that were important. The it was a video released over the internet that caused the attack.

  2. A good percentage of the people who voted for Obama can’t name the sitting Vice President. None of us know who the real significant players are and neither will Trump until his would actually sit in his first security briefing. These are irrelevant questions if you understand the Kurds, regardless of their leader occupy a certain political realm and ISIS, regardless of its leader occupies another... Rightfully stated, by the time the next president takes the oath and sits in his/her first security briefing, they won’t really know the actual players and what they think... or at least what our intelligence service thinks they think....

    Generic policy questions would be far superior to a pop quiz that looks like a game of 20 questions conducted by a superior and oh so informed questioner that not only made up the questions but look up the answers...

  3. A majority of the people who voted for Obama are not aspiring to be the leader of the free world. More hypocrisy. The first thing that Obama didn't know the right was all over him but now it's one of ours and it's ok huh? Just like the experience factor all the sudden it doesn't matter.... you people

    1. “A majority of the people who voted for Obama are not aspiring to be the leader of the free world.”

      True enough but they ought to at least know who they voted for in case something happens to the President. Make no mistake, they voted for the presidential ticket, not just the president.

      Name the thing Obama didn't know and I will tell you if I think it was relevant. Often times in my work I wasn't paid for what I knew, I was paid because I was very good for knowing exactly where the information was.

      As far as experience goes... Just what do you mean? Political experience? Being raised from birth to be a politician? Or perhaps being an organizer... like a block party organizer or a concert coordinator? or experience as a parent or a business person. Just what are your criteria for experience with respect to a US President.

      The way I see it there are a lot of people who are backing Hillary because of her experience... but the experience that I see she has most of is lying, cheating, stealing and deceiving... is that the experience we should judge a potential president on? I think we should and if they conduct themselves as she has, they should be soundly rejected by everyone.

  4. I'm pulling for Sanders, Webb, or even Biden on the Dem side. Kasich, Christie, Rubio, or maybe even Fiorina on the Pub side.

    Please, ANYTHING but a Clinton v Bush general ...

    1. I wanna like Fiorina but some of her business decisions really bother me. While it is true that both Lucent and HP suffered from the largest tech contraction ever and telecoms along lost more than a trillion dollars, becoming the lender of choice for Lucent products and merging a dying commodity line into HP with Compaq just appears on the edge of reckless.
      She seems to accept crony capitalism as something to be tolerated rather than dismantled however she makes big statements about contracting governments involvement, taxes and regulation...

      “Synthesis of public school system and competitive vouchers”... what does this mean?

      Dropped out of law school

      Her ex is pretty scathing about her as a person, her ambitions and her impulsivity...but then again he is an ex...

      Biden??? really????

      We are in definate agreement about the Clinton v Bush thing.. Obama is pulling for Biden to give him a third term... hand puppet.

    2. And, I forgot Chaffee and Paul, though Paul just can't seem to deliver the line.

      Honestly TS, I really don't want it to be Clinton v Bush (v Trump).

      I'd really like to see it be Sanders or Webb vs Kasich or Christie.


    3. Rand Paul is a disappointment to me... I want him to get up on the stump and say the things his father said but I am afraid he has been co-opted by the Republicanised T‘s. Beyond that I think Trump has eviscerated his vocal cords... A shame because he could have been my man... I’m confused. Usually I have someone that I can get behind even if they have a snowballs chance in hell of being elected... so far I am a blank.

    4. I'd love Rand to step forward also but the whining Trump reportedly earns 500M per year and reportedly has committed 1B to his campaign. So get used to Mr. Trump.

      I would pay real money though to watch a Trump - Clinton series of debates. Now that would be an all American classic.

    5. Hey pfunky.

      Webb is an interesting person and one many centrists could easily live with.

    6. From what I have seen, I would tend to agree. But it's kind of a moot point Lou. The Tea Party rebellion in the congressional house has prevented Boehner from passing anything of substance unless he has help of the Democrats and he will do so only in extreme cases. What matter is a centrist POTUS when you have a leader in congress who will not let bills pass with centrist support of both parties rather than a pure majority of the majority only vote? yes, this is a perfect time to ignore the question and go off on Harry Reid, but it doesn't change the nature of the question.

    7. Hey, we had the same grid lock with the Dem's in majority, nothing has changed in the Senate only the chair the leaders sit in.

      Government of the people, for the people. It's what Americans want.

      Term limits are long overdue.

      Headed back to Utah to investigate a little cell fraud.