Donald Trump has destroyed ISIS and completely changed Iran. Completely changed! But somehow the news of those accomplishments has not made it through to the national intelligence community, with a report it released on Tuesday showing that ISIS continues to be a threat, Trump’s outreach to North Korea has generated nothing, and Iran is continuing to extend its power throughout the Middle East.
In fact, that report indicates that the biggest effect of Trump’s “America First” policies has been degrading America’s alliances, weakening U.S. influence abroad, and encouraging both friend and foe alike to find new partners—ones that wouldn’t turn their backs on signed treaties because of conspiracy theories from the “alt-right.” Trump’s decisions to withdraw from Syria, leaving allies in the lurch (and Vladimir Putin suffering due to being handed everything he wanted), and to pull out of the Iran treaty, despite no evidence that Iran breached that agreement, showed that it was the United States that couldn’t be counted on to abide by negotiated multi-party treaties.
What the intelligence report shows is that Trump threw a lifeline to both ISIS and Iran, strengthening their relative positions and damaging the U.S. both diplomatically and militarily. But on Wednesday morning, Trump struck back—but not against the Islamic State. Against his own intelligence officials.
The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! … Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!
In a series of morning tweets, Trump first disputed everything that was in the report, claiming that when he took over, ISIS was “out of control” and “running rampant.” It wasn’t. That “very bad things were about to happen” in North Korea under the Obama administration. They weren’t. And that breaking the treaty with Iran had made them “much different.” It hasn’t.
Trump’s own assessment of the Middle East actually noted Iranian actions such as testing new missiles and “making trouble,” mostly in terms of the proxy war being conducted in Yemen between forces supported by Iran and forces of Saudi Arabian prince Mohammed bin Salman, using weapons supplied by Trump. Both those things were in the intelligence assessment Trump was deriding, but Trump’s tweets suggested that intelligence officials had overlooked these details and underestimated the Iranian threat.
In fact, the whole series of tweets sent the contradictory message that by pulling out of the Iran treaty, Trump had somehow delivered a deadly blow … to an Iran that was a rampaging danger that intelligence was underestimating. Which certainly does seem to suggest that someone needs to go to school, if only to study the term “contradiction.”
But if ISIS is going to soon die from being left alone, and Iran is trembling at Trump going out of his way to elevate its status, there was another dire threat that Trump thought more important than those two combined.
“Three separate caravans marching to our Border. The numbers are tremendous.” @foxandfriends
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2019
Where did Trump get that intelligence? The same place he got the info that the intelligence community is all wrong about the Middle East: Both stories have been in heavy rotation on Sean Hannity’s broadcasts.
Caravan. It’s the new ISIS. Especially for Donald Trump, who wants everyone to forget that the old ISIS is still there.