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Sunday, December 31, 2017

What if regimes change in Iran and North Korea?

"Why Is Donald Trump Still So Horribly Witless About the World?" -- Robin Wright, August 4, 2017.

And so a man who cut deals to build resorts in Dubai, the Philippines, Russia, and elsewhere was clueless in the eyes of the New Yorker while eight years earlier a man was expert on world affairs simply because he visited his family in Kenya once.

Wrote Wright:
“Trump has an appalling ignorance of the current world, of history, of previous American engagement, of what former Presidents thought and did,” Geoffrey Kemp, who worked at the Pentagon during the Ford Administration and at the National Security Council during the Reagan Administration, reflected. “He has an almost studious rejection of the type of in-depth knowledge that virtually all of his predecessors eventually gained or had views on.”
Criticism of Donald Trump among Democrats who served in senior national-security positions is predictable and rife. But Republicans — who are historically ambitious on foreign policy — are particularly pained by the President’s missteps and misstatements. So are former senior intelligence officials who have avoided publicly criticizing Presidents until now.
“The President has little understanding of the context” — of what’s happening in the world — “and even less interest in hearing the people who want to deliver it,” Michael Hayden, a retired four-star general and former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency, told me. “He’s impatient, decision-oriented, and prone to action. It’s all about the present tense. When he asks, ‘What the hell’s going on in Iraq?’ people around him have learned not to say, ‘Well, in 632 . . . ’ ” (That was the year when the Prophet Muhammad died, prompting the beginning of the Sunni-Shiite split.)
“He just doesn’t have an interest in the world,” Hayden said.
If anyone was unaware, it was Wright. She should look up the Wollman Ice Rink.

I'll explain later.

Post-Reagan, American foreign policy had degenerated into a cowboy mentality of no fly zones and invasions, followed by bewildering attempts to rebuild these nations into our own vision.

Bush 43 required one third of the Iraqi parliament to be female. Just what every aspiring nation needs, a caucus of Lurleen Wallaces.

It's as if we learned nothing from Vietnam, and we hadn't.

Nixon won the war by Vietnamization, and had Congress spent $100 million to back the Republic of Vietnam, then 58,000 American soldiers would not have died in vain.

Finally, 44 years later, we are trying that again. The America First policy means other nations will have to settle matters among themselves.

The oddball coalition of the Saudis, Israelis, Syrians, Iraqis, Russians, and Americans routed the Islamic State. Sometimes America is just the supporting cast.

Trump's sin is not that he is deficient in intellect, but that he is intellectually superior to his predecessor. Trump was smart enough to figure out our experts are useless.

The three previous presidents -- Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama -- knew little and cared less about foreign policy. They left it to the Mike Haydens of the world.

Thus we had the crazy bombing of Tripoli, which destabilized a government, which led to a civil war, which led to thousands of refugees invading Italy, which along with the Syrian refugee invasion has turned Europe into Hulda Avenue in Cleveland in the 1960s where no one dared go out at night.

Obama's colossal failure on the world stage had one success.

It helped elect Trump president.

Trump has been the bull in the china shop, and frankly the china shop needed to be destroyed.

But results are all that matters.

The fall of socialism in Venezuela could in 2018 be followed by the fall of communism in North Korea and the fall of Islamic craziness in Iran.

And then what?

Will anyone credit Donald Trump?

Of course not. Mike Hayden will spin some yarn about how Obama used mental telepathy or something to get these regimes to see the error of their ways, and repent.

Just like after eight years of impotence, Obamanomics suddenly took hold the day Obama left office and made the economy stronger and better under Trump.

Even the Obamanauts saying this do not believe it.

Experience told Trump not to listen to the experts, because he looked at their results and saw catastrophe.

Which is where the Wollman Ice Rink comes in.

Back in 1986, Trump was angry because the city of New York had still not completed the Wollman Ice Rink renovation in Central Park after years and millions of dollars were wasted.

He took over the project. The plan for cooling the ice had been designed by an expert in refrigerated expert in Florida who came up with a complicated and expensive method involving copper and Freon.

Trump was like, why are we letting someone in Florida tell us how to build an outdoor skating rink?

The Globe and Mail in Toronto reported on Christmas Day 2016:
"Since I myself knew absolutely nothing about building rinks, I set out to find the best skating-rink builder I could," Trump wrote in The Art of the Deal. "Logic suggested the best place to look was Canada."
Advisers pointed him toward CIMCO, a 75-year-old Toronto-based company that was, at the time, responsible for the ice in both Maple Leaf Gardens and the Montreal Forum. Any company entrusted with those hallowed hockey shrines was good enough for The Donald.
Just like so many prospective cabinet members in recent weeks, three CIMCO employees were summoned to Trump Tower. They quickly diagnosed Wollman's problem. Most artificial ice sheets use ammonium as a primary refrigerant. In New York, however, ammonium was banned. The city had opted to use liquid Freon instead, a more energy-efficient but less reliable system using fragile copper piping.
"The city was pumping in millions of dollars just trying to keep the Freon in it," said CIMCO's Mr. Sinclair, who wasn't involved in the deal but heard the story recounted by his late father-in-law Roy Gardner, a participant at the initial Trump Tower meeting. "The rink was down more than it was up."
The Canadians proposed an easy fix: Swap the Freon for a brine solution – essentially salt water – and pump it through plastic piping, a pricier but far more dependable way of creating ice.
"It was a dull, Canadian response," said then-CIMCO president Steve McLeod in a 1987 Globe and Mail article.

Boy, I am laughing out loud.

Trump knew nothing about ice rinks, so he asked an expert.

You think he didn't ask Asians about approaching North Korea -- or Arabs and Muslims about how to overcome the Islamic State?

The Donald is not hard to figure out. He has written out who he is and how he operates.

Read his books.

Then read mine.


Please enjoy my two books about the press and how it missed the rise of Donald Trump.

The first was "Trump the Press," which covered his nomination.

The second was "Trump the Establishment," which covered his election.

To order autographed copies, write

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As always, Make America Great Again.


  1. Well, Jimmah Carter bragged that one of his first accomplishments was memorizing the names and locations of every country in the world, plus their capitals! Great job, Jimmah. A gold star for you and a nomination for Best 5th Grader Of The Day.

    1. Jinnah could win Jeopardy while actually placing us in jeopardy.

  2. In a box somewhere I have the clipping of Jules Pfeiffer's cartoon for this. He was a lib, but honest enough to print this wake up call.
    "When that fool Reagan said that the Soviet Union was a failed
    experiment headed for the ash heap of history, I knew he was a

    When that fool Reagan said that the Soviet Union was an evil
    empire, I knew he was a dangerous kook.

    When that fool Reagan said that we could end the Cold War by
    escalating the arms race, I knew the odds favored nuclear

    When the Soviet Union went broke, dissolved, and repudiated
    its past, I knew it was all Gorbachev's genius, and that fool Reagan
    had nothing to do with it.

    Because if that fool Reagan was right all along...

    ...what kind of fool am I?"

  3. I read a lot of history and have several books on diplomacy a few of which I've read. It seems to me that no one can tell going in what kind of statesman someone will be at a particular situation, despite the manner and extent of their supposed preparation. Well-trained, experienced diplomats familiar with all the nuances of the people they are working with can make huge mistakes, while a newbie can get amazing results. In fact, it seems to me some of the biggest screw ups how have been made by the smartest people making a tiny miscalculation. In other words, you see more overconfidence and hubris amongst the diplomatic specialists than in those with less training and experience precisely because of their training and experience.

    Another thing is how do you define success? What looks like a diplomatic coup can get slapped in the face by a turn of the wheel of fate.

    We've seen all these so called career diplomats quit under Trump and Tillerman. All of them making political complaints on the way out. There are hundreds that are silent. I'm wondering what a lot of these people would have to say about their time under the last president. But we may never know. People with genuine class never spout off.

    1. This is well said. The winner always claims his plan went without a hitch. For the loser, exiled in the Land of Only If,it was betrayal that did him in.

  4. ps: I think you mean Iran. Not Iraq. :) :)

    1. Maybe Iran should go back to calling themselves Persia and help relieve the typo problem.

  5. Attacks on Trump by the self styled intellectual class are always based on the idea that an expert exists somewhere who sounds credentialed enough to say what they want said. This is of course not hard to do. Every one with an opinion that counters that of your enemy is the greatest expert. But, Secretly, they have an unequivocal belief that give them this faith: if someone didn't go to Harvard or Yale they are just not smart enough to be president. This perhaps sounds too simplistic or silly to be true but trust me, it is. It is more than everything for them, that key article of faith that gives the power to know, really know.

  6. "He’s impatient, decision-oriented, and prone to action. It’s all about the present tense."
    That's not all bad. That's the way to get things done. When I worked I learned there are two mind sets. One is administrative and the other is operational. The administrative always wants more information, more information and they don't really care if anything gets done. The operational, well, they get things done. I absolutely hated dealing with administration people. I just wanted to get it done!

  7. An excellent post, Don, and a great way to close out one heckuva year. I think of how everyone slagged Reagan for being too simplistic, etc. to think he could rejuvenate the economy and win the Cold War. The nay-sayers began with the epitome of a milquetoast GOPe-er that he had made the mistake of choosing as a running mate, and if it weren't for being able to trade on his military service the way McLame has, his reputation would be in the gutter where it deserves to be. I hope and pray as this year ends that things work out in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and yes, the US of A the way most level-headed people think, and that the naysayers end up in the ash-heap of history.

    Somebody, I forget who, said Winston Churchill was the greatest man of the first half of the 20th Century and Ronald Reagan was the greatest of the second half. DJT may end up winning that title for the first half of the 21st, but like Reagan, he won't get credit for what he's done by the elites, but methinks he will from all us adorable deplorables!

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  9. "Trump has been the bull in the china shop, and frankly the china shop needed to be destroyed."

    Mythbusters demonstrated that bulls are actually quite nimble in a china shop, if they have enough room to turn around. The whole #NeverTrump is about trying to squeeze the walls in around Trump.

    But, also, Trump isn't opposed to knocking a glass off the shelf if need be to distract those who would sabotage larger efforts.

    The "Woke" movement is amusing because it is readily apparent that one day they are going to wake up and discover a whole new world, for the better, that they wouldn't see Trump laying the foundation and swapping out the fragile, complicated machinery for simple, more reliable, long life methods.

  10. Mr. Trump seems to have that Midas Touch, while those with the silver-spoon syndrome just can't believe he's doing what he's doing. After all, he can't be that good because he didn't go to Harvard.

  11. On Iran, follow the sequence of events.
    Trump visits Saudi Arabia the Crown prince is now in charge. does clean up of the government and the Royals. ISIS is kixked out of Iraq and Syria. The Houthi(Iran) rebels are taking missile
    potshots at the Saudis and they are shooting the missles out of the sky.
    Next a Tunnel Collapse at the Nork Nuke site -possibly killing most of the Nork's Nuke people.(and, Imho) a goodly chunk of the Iranian Nuke people too.
    Now the rebellion in Iran. there is some speculation that Hezbollah is unable to
    come to the rescue as they are tied down in Syria and Lebanon due to both the Saudis and Israelis playing whack a mole
    they minute they try to move out..
    Also it is apparently the Saudis who gave the Rebels in Iran the iridium phones to work around the restrictions that he Mullahs put on the Net and cellphones.. TG

  12. Governments and media are always dominated by peacocks, where the presentation is everything.
    Trump is a man of action, unimpressed with incompetence.
    The contempt is probably mutual.

  13. Trump was smart enough to figure out our experts are useless.

    After the Bay of Pigs disaster, John and Bobby Kennedy figured out the same thing about the I.C and most of the State Department. They never again trusted them.

    The historian Larry Schweikart is finishing up a book on Ronald Reagan. A few months ago he tweeted that while doing his research, he could not believe how consistently wrong the CIA and others were during that period.