Trump's outbursts are full of enough half-truths, banalities and nuttiness to make the late Libyan dictator high-five the devil
presidential primaries are a circus, and this year Donald Trump is
its clown. You know this and I know this. This is why I apologise for
wasting my column on Donald Trump. But here’s the thing - Trump,
according to the latest polls, now has a double-digit lead over
his Republican rivals, which means the clown has been promoted to
question then becomes what lions is Trump taming, is it other
Republican nominees for the presidency or the toothless largely
geriatric remnants of the Tea Party. If it is the former then Trump
hasn't the intellect to go up against any of the serious contenders
with a chance of claiming the nomination and if it is the feral
remnants of the Tea Party they are already his support base.
Collectively they have in the past had the ability to influence the
policy positions of the Republican candidates, to their detriment and
have ensured President Obama both his first and second terms as
can all go on continuing to pretend Trump 2016 isn’t a thing, but
it is a thing. It’s a thing that is happening. It’s a thing that
but what sort of thing ? The Tea Party was a thing... in the end the
Tea Party thing was actually a costly distraction thing for the
Republicans. The Tea Party would have us believe it was a grass roots
thing without leadership. An idiotic fiction to be sure, Trump is
merely attempting to capitalise on that and establish himself as the
leader of the Tea Party element of the Republican Party.
number of media outlets, including the Huffington Post, have
made the decision to starve the Trump campaign of the oxygen it needs
to continue to grow. When CNN, MSNBC or Fox News gives coverage to
Trump, they predictably include at least one overpaid political
commentator forecasting: “This is the beginning of the end.”
to borrow a Winston Churchill-ism: “This isn’t the beginning of
the end but the end of the beginning” for Trump.
am quite prepared to accept that “ Churchill-ism “ mainly because
I can see no end. I would love to see Trump win the Grand Old Party's
nomination but that isn't going to happen, however stupid I think the
Republican's are, they are not that stupid. That begs the question,
what is Trump's end game ? In a Westminster Parliamentary democracy
one could suppose a desire to become the “ kingmaker “ but the US
primaries don't really work that way. Winning your party's nomination
is a long way from winning the Presidency and the goldenshower
box of gold at the end of that rainbow. Or more plainly there is no
end of beginning or beginning of end, this is all about Trump and his
2012, the Republican primary was replete with clowns that included
Michele Bachmann (“HPV vaccine causes retardation”), Herman Cain
(“I don’t know the President of Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan”), and
Rick Perry (“Oops”), but the more Republican voters got to know
the pretenders, the worse they did in the polls. This is not what is
happening to Trump in 2016. The more Trump goes on to say outlandish
things, the more conservative voters are drawn to him.
could of course go back to Sarah Palin, the Republicans have backed
clowns before to the extent even of including them on the Oval Office
ticket. That particular clown didn't work out so well for them.
it’s about time we consider what a Trump presidency, as unlikely
that reality remains, actually means for the Middle East.
Trump presidency would be America’s Muammar Gaddafi moment. Yes, a
President Donald Trump would rule like an American-accented Muammar
Gaddafi. The similarities in temperament are too hard (and fun) to
that Gaddafi actually occasionally and I suspect quite
unintentionally did some good.
Trump is yet to parade around in a comic-opera uniform, both have/had
comically styled hair; both believe/believed their entire respective
nations were drawn to their irresistible charms; both flaunt/flaunted
their wealth; both are/were as narcissistic as a bodybuilder who
could outstare a mirror; and both are/were attracted to buxom
beauties half their age.
“ attracted to buxom beauties half their age.” isn't so
unusual in the global political culture.
is always telling audiences that everyone loves him. In the past two
weeks alone, he has proclaimed: “Mexicans love me,” “America
loves me,” “China loves me,” and even “my ex-wife loves me”.
was as equally disconnected from reality. In the midst of the civil
war that would eventually kill him, the Libyan dictator told
television reporters: “Everyone in Libya loves me, except the
ones on drugs.”
Trump was to win I would hope the Democrats had the brains to ditch
Hilary Clinton in favour of Michele Obama and while she is a “
buxom Beauty “ she is not half my age. If the Republicans were
serious and I suspect they aren't this time round they might consider
was Gaddafi’s eccentricity and charisma that initially won him
overwhelming Libyan support, which are the same two qualities that
are winning over Republican primary voters. Gaddafi’s readiness to
take on the West earned him a measurable level of support among
ordinary Libyans, even while he ruined the country. Trump’s
readiness to take (
on )illegal immigrants, China, the Islamic State (IS)
group and Iran is earning him a measurable level of support among
mostly white southern voters, even while he ruined his father’s
fortune and Atlantic City.
problem Trump faces is that “ a measurable level of support among
mostly white southern voters,...” is probably not much more than
measurable. Confederate flags
rags are being hauled down. Yet another problem for Trump is whilst
it takes considerable genius to make a fortune it requires monumental
stupidity to lose that fortune something Trump is well on the road to
the lives of Gaddafi and Trump crossed paths. During Trump’s 2012
presidential campaign that never happened, the real-estate mogul
boasted that among Republican candidates, he had the strongest track
record of dealing with foreign leaders. “I sell them real
estate for tremendous amounts of money. I mean, I’ve dealt
with everybody,” Trump told Fox News in 2011.
said he was particularly proud of the fact he “screwed” Gaddafi
on a real estate deal. "I rented him a piece of land. He paid me
more for one night than the land was worth for two years, and then I
didn't let him use the land," Trump boasted. "That's what
we should be doing. I don't want to use the word 'screwed,' but I
ironic. President Obama is trying to make friends as I type in Africa
and Trump advocates a continuation of the neo-colonial stupidity that
has characterised western policy with regard to the developing world
too date. Trump isn't yesterdays man, he isn't even last centuries
man, his time has gone I just wish he would bugger off after it.
US President Trump would also aim to screw the Middle East, much in
the same way tin pot despots Saddam and Gaddafi screwed their
respective states in the Middle East. In a 2011 interview with
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump said he would recoup America’s
costs for the war on terror by effectively taking Iraqi oil. “So,
we steal an oil field?” Stephanopoulus asked incredulously. Trump
replied, “Excuse me. You're not stealing anything. You're taking -
we're reimbursing ourselves."
other problem being that as far as I can recollect the reason for
taking out Saddam had nothing to do with the war on terror but rather
the last Republican President's fantasy that they were developing
nuclear weapons. This is of course a man who would describe taxation
as theft yet views theft as reimbursement. Go figure.
the same interview, Trump said he would strong-arm OPEC and Saudi
Arabia into lowering oil prices for the United States. “I’m going
to look ’em in the eye and say, 'Fellas, you’ve had your fun. The
fun is over,'” Trump promised.
bugger the free market. Trump might want to think about communism
because essentially that is what he is advocating.
recently, and during his 90-minute-long 2016 campaign launch,
Trump gave a rambling speech, which not only included an outline of
his Middle East policy, but contained enough non-sequiturs,
half-truths, banalities and nuttiness to make the late Libyan
dictator high-five the devil.
a look at the deal he’s [Obama] making with Iran. He makes that
deal; Israel maybe won’t exist very long. It’s a disaster and we
have to protect Israel,” thundered Trump.
didn’t say how a 10-year freeze on Iran’s nuclear ambitions would
ensure Israel wouldn’t exist very long, but none of his Republican
colleagues have explained that either. Trump also claims no US
President has been a greater enemy of Israel than Obama. In
a recent piece, I argued that no US president has been a greater
friend to Israel than Obama. You can make up your own mind on Obama
and Israel. But while you’re doing that, know Trump hopes to
build a golf resort adjacent to the Nitzanim Nature Reserve
along the Mediterranean coast in Israel.
guess Trump would prefer to invade Iran. Clearly a man who learned
nothing from Iraq.
in all, when it comes to Israel and Iran, Trump’s views are very
much in line with GOP orthodoxy.
orthodoxy that will prevent the GOP ( Republicans ) regaining the
Oval Office unless the Democrats do something very stupid.
Trump diverges from the conservative mainstream is on Saudi Arabia.
“They make a billion dollars a day, a billion dollars a day. I love
the Saudis, many are in this building. They make a billion dollars a
day. Whenever they have problems, we send over the ships. We send,
we’re going to protect - what are we doing? They got nothing but
money. If the right person asked them, they’d pay a fortune. They
wouldn’t be there except for us,” Trump rambled.
simpler terms, what Trump is saying is that he’d charge Saudi
Arabia for hosting US military bases in the kingdom, clearly
overlooking the fact that Saudi Arabia guarantees the jobs of
thousands of American workers via procuring billions of
dollars’ worth of weapons every year.
the idea of billions of dollars of weapons every year offends me.
keeping with the Gaddafi-Trump analogy, Gaddafi also once gave an
equally incoherent diatribe against Saudi Arabia, by reminding the
monarchy that they existed only as a result of US patronage. “You
were created by Britain and are protected by America,” teased
Trump said he would pursue the terrorist group more aggressively than
President Obama. Why? Trump explained that IS had built a hotel in
Mosul, Iraq, and he wouldn’t stand for any competitors moving into
his hotel-building business. It’s easy to imagine Gaddafi going
after IS because he believed al-Baghdadi’s gown to be too drab.
I argue above this is ego, ego that is so self centered it is
like Gaddafi, Trump is both a comedy and a tragedy.
Trump become the 45th president of the United States? Not
likely. Will Trump win the GOP nomination? Not likely. So, thankfully
for the Middle East, Trump is a comedy minus the tragedy. Enjoy the