Donald Trump’s entry into the 2016 Republican gaggle has captured the imagination of the majority of the Republican party’s cave dweller wing. Political pundits feign surprise.
Come on. The man owns black and white, the colors his Republican base loves to buy. He attacks intelligent thought, a position that is obviously quite popular. Complexity? No, everything is simple. SIMPLE!
Gun rights: Don’t apologize. Stop giving in. Just say no. America will be great again if I’m in charge. Immigration: Don’t apologize. Stop giving in. Just say no. America will be great again if I’m in charge. Trade deficits: Don’t apologize. Stop giving in. Just say no. America will be great again if I’m in charge.
In the interest of adding clarity to Trump’s stands on important issues, I asked him for an exclusive interview. He agreed, but only if I let him first discuss his licensing deals, the source of so much of his wealth.
Mr. Trump, before we get to political issues, can you tell us what your next licensing deals are?
Big stuff. Bigger than big. I mean huge. We’re going to have a new line of Trump War Hero medals honoring my Vietnam deferrals. I mean, come on. That idiot McCain couldn’t even figure out how not to get captured? Ever watch my numero uno t.v. show? As I often said to all my Hispanic fans who’d call me after the show: It’s just like when you’re sneaking into America. You have to have the right tactics, the right strategy, the right effort and the right goals.
So look at McCain. What does he do when his draft number comes up? Does he strategize how to avoid going? Does he use the right tactics to get his family to pull the right levers? Does he decide his number one goal is to defend himself? No, he chose his country. What a loser.
Admit it. He blew it. He didn’t realize the McCain name value. So he went thousands of miles to some backwater full of strange looking short people who eat filet of dog and couldn’t even flush a toilet if you showed them the handle — heck, it’s a country where Caitlyn Jenner would be their best looking Miss Universe candidate — and he somehow manages to get captured and tortured while his family suffers back in the U.S.? Just so damn selfish. And he didn’t even have the decency to get even one deferment or medical exemption. You know, I got four — FOUR! — deferments and then I went to two — TWO! —doctors so I could get the right medical exemption. All he had to do was try. Put in a little effort…
Heroic? No, what’s heroic is having the right tactics and strategy and doctors. I know there’s a lot of pent up demand for Trump Draft Deferral Medals and I’m sure going to do my best to get my public what it wants.
Your views on the Middle East?
They’re all idiots. No one’s qualified to lead. Do you know that the Palestinian government pays tax money to their losers in Israeli jails? They even name streets and squares after the best of their worst? That’s really crazy. A street? A square? These guys in jail deserve to think bigger. I don’t care if they’re guilty or innocent — they’re all capitalism’s sons and daughters.
Their time in jail or in the ground is worth something to them and all of their families scattered in time shares all over the world. Look, just because someone moved you from your house to their jail doesn’t mean you can’t profit. Each day away is cash in the bank.
Get the Palestinian government out of the street and square naming business. Prisoners and their families should realize the value of licensing their names. Think of all the businesses who’d gladly pay to use the right prisoner or martyr names to better market themselves and stand out. I see lots of naming possibilities: Start with all of their high rise hotels, beach resorts and gelato stands. Those quaint vendors in their street festivals could even sell prisoner snow globes. They can wrap their foot long hot dogs with different prisoner name wrappers. Look, I saw on t.v. that they’ve got hidden smuggling tunnels all over the place. How stupid is it to hide your products? Why not sell naming rights to those and build big signs so everyone knows where they are? They’re just endless possibilities…
And how dumb can the Israelis be to take a half century to negotiate a deal with those idiot Palestinians? If I want something that bad, I can make a deal in an hour. But look on the bright side. Israel is like me. We’ve both got our secret weapons. I’ve got hair. They’ve got nukes. Who cares if some pissant countries get mad? Too bad.
The Israelis don’t need to worry about threats or a few little business deals getting cancelled. What they need to worry about is how they’re going to build bigger concrete walls to keep the losers out. If those morons will just add concession stands and name the whole thing the Trump Line instead of the Green Line — what a loser name; a color? — people all over the world will flock to see it and pay a lot of money to buy Trump Line barbed wire.
I know what it’s like to avoid a war zone, and I can show everyone there how much easier it is to say stupid stuff than to blow it up. We can all make more money together — Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, all working together to sell Trump swag.
What about your views on Iran?
Look, everyone everywhere else is smarter than we are. I don’t mean test scores. I mean buildings. Did you know other countries beat our pants off in building height? How can America let itself be a third world building country? The Middle East is so far ahead of us it’s crazy. When I’m President I’m going to focus on what’s above ground not below ground. That’s the problem with our leaders. Why are they so worried about nuclear stuff they can’t find or see? Tall buildings. That’s what will make America great again.
My question was about Iran.
Heck, forget buildings. And make no mistake. I’m the one deciding to forget buildings. Not you. Ever see who drives New York taxis? It’s all the Iranians who’ve come here because we don’t have the guts to put up a border fence in the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve looked into this. Trust me. It can be done. Now as far as dealing with Iranian double-dealing….Look…everyone, everywhere has the same basic needs. Think about it. We just need to get tougher. First, we license the nuclear sites. The Trump name will instantly make those sites way more popular. And when people start going to the nuclear facilities, the Iranians will have a whole lot harder time doing something sneaky. And we’ll get 24/7 access with my new Trump Nuclear Inspection card. How? Easy. I’ll deal with them just like I beat back NBC and Univision. Break your agreement with me? Don’t let our Trump inspectors in? Then you won’t get to stay at any of my golf resorts. They’ll crumble. I guarantee it.
An Epilogue (Stop Here If You Want To Avoid A Serious Message)
(My view of) Trump’s view of the Iran negotiations is similar in one sense to Israel’s and many other critics': They see the negotiations as only (or primarily) a U.S.-Iran negotiation. They minimize or dismiss the involvement of the other P5+1 countries — Russia, China, France, Germany, and the U.K.
While the U.S. has been leading the negotiations, the P5+1 nations are key agreement signatories. Just as the effectiveness of the current economic sanctions has always depended on more than just the U.S. enforcing them, the success of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement will depend on all signatories reacting in lockstep throughout the deal’s long implementation period, and especially if there is a suspected Iranian violation.
There is no “better deal.” The deal negotiated is the one most pundits believe will ultimately get approved (likely via presidential veto of a congressional “no” vote). For Israel to make the mistake of trying to push for the deal to fail is to position itself in a weaker position post-deal implementation. Now is the time of Israel’s maximum bargaining leverage with the U.S. Now is the time for Israel to seek greater security commitments, not to support lobbying a small number of Democrats who Israel or AIPAC feel could tip the veto override balance in their favor.
Let’s say that happens. Can critics explain how Israel’s security position will be improved if the deal fails to get through Congress? Countries like Russia and China, among others, are already primed to begin trade with Iran. Not only that, isn’t it likely that Iran will be seen by the world as having fewer reasons to abide by nuclear restrictions after spending two years negotiating and agreeing on a deal that the U.S. (behind Israel’s prodding) could not fulfill?
While a large number of nuclear experts, and former security officials within Israel support the nuclear agreement, many Israeli politicians (including one from the left who recently e-mailed me) remain opposed to any deal with Iran. They argue that the U.S. doesn’t really understand the Middle East region and its history.
To which I answer: Who really does?
It’s a region with artificially created states with fungible histories. It’s a region governed by family dynasties (although with no one named Bush), kleptocracies, dictatorships, monarchies, ethnocracies, theocracies, anarchists, terrorists and other “ies” and “ists,” with one lone Green Line (or Trump Line) democracy whose current leaders, because of their own pre- and post- Holocaust history lessons, focus much more easily on threats than perceived opportunities.
What leader anywhere could persuasively argue that he or she has a complete grasp of the different state and non-state actors and their motivations?
But the Israeli “inside the Green Line know-it-all” view is dangerously myopic. It fails to consider Israel’s own lack of understanding of the U.S., and the U.S.’s view of its own strategic security interests. It’s not that Barack Obama and his team don’t understand. They understand all too well from the U.S.’s own on-the-ground involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and our more detached involvement in Libya, that direct and indirect military conflict always follows the law of unintended consequences.
The U.S. and the other P5+1 countries never expected to get everything they wanted. If that would have been the goal, then the end result would have been no deal, with an Iran moving closer to a nuclear weapon and the world moving closer to war.
Economic pressure has a shelf life. As time goes on, it’s harder to maintain. As time goes on, the one under economic pressure can start to see seemingly irrational actions as ultimately rationale. And since the increase in nuclear know-how and technology only improves over time, an agreement like the one negotiated offers the best hope of slowing, if not stopping, the clock.
If Israel doesn’t act now to work with the U.S. to make the best of the Iran agreement, then all it risks being left with is a bad result: Picking up the pieces of a fractured U.S. relationship and an unnecessarily weakened and isolated strategic position.