Reason Roundup

War With Iran May Have Been Avoided Due to Trump's Fondness for Fox News

Plus: Senate votes against Saudi arms deals, SCOTUS rules on public crosses, and more...

|

President Donald Trump "will bomb the hell out of" Iran, Fox News host Sean Hannity promised at the opening of his show last night. This statement came right after Tucker Carlson closed his Fox show praising Trump's restraint on the Iran front. Which is it? And does U.S. foreign policy really hang on the whims and bloviating of two TV entertainers?

Perhaps.

Carlson certainly has Trump's ear on this topic, according to The Daily Beast. And for that, foes of Forever War should be grateful:

In the upper echelons of the Trump administration, hawkish voices on Iran predominate—most notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. But as tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated over the last few weeks, there's been another, far different voice in the president's ear: that of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

A source familiar with the conversations told The Daily Beast that, in recent weeks, the Fox News host has privately advised Trump against taking military action against Iran. And a senior administration official said that during the president's recent conversations with the Fox primetime host, Carlson has bashed the more "hawkish members" of his administration.

It's not clear what made Trump change his mind Thursday, after initially ordering a strike on Iran in retaliation for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone. ("Iran insisted the drone had crossed into its airspace near the Strait of Hormuz, but the U.S. Central Command called it an 'unprovoked attack,'" notes The Washington Post.)

The president then called off the bombing a few hours before it was supposed to take place.

Update: On Friday morning, Trump tweeted this explanation:

While disappointed warmongers worried about whether we were all being fair enough to John Bolton, many folks breathed a sigh of relief—for now. Where this all goes is still anyone's guess (and I would prefer if Trump watched more Carlson and less Hannity in the interim).

War with Iran "is HIGHLY likely unless Trump swallows his pride & returns to the Iran nuclear agreement he tore up," tweeted 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, a refrain currently coming from a lot of Democrats.

In other Middle East policy news: the Senate voted yesterday to block an arms deals with Saudi Arabia. "Seven Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, joined all Democrats in voting for the measures," reports NPR. But "while sending a strong signal to the administration, all three Senate votes failed to get enough votes to override a pledged veto by the president."


QUICK HITS

Advertisement

NEXT: HBO's Chernobyl Highlighted Government Malfeasance and Administrative Evil

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I love how even tulsi believes caving in to iran with appeasement is what the correct solution is to their aggression. The iran deal was a joke. Iran openly flaunted its restriction while reaping in its economic benefits. Tulsi and other Democrats are literally advertising they do in fact negotiate with terrorists.

    1. Hello.

      Carlson v. Hannity stalemate?

      Have French break the tie!

    2. Saudi Arabia is pushing a ton of this anti-Iranian propaganda I think they are all assholes but we are definitely probably on the wrong side on this one. Saudi figures it’s cheaper to purchase our politicians than it is to fight the war themselves, fuck them. I find Irans klepto-theocracy offensive but house of Saud is definitely the worse of the two imho.

      1. I doubt it’s really the Saudis pulling the strings here. We’ve essentially been in a Cold War with Iran going back to the hostage crisis; the fact that the Saudis emerged as their main rival is really more incidental to that broader conflict.

      2. I think the bombed tankers are pushing quite a bit of the anti Iran sentiment

      3. Yeah… its Saudis propaganda and not Iran’s open support of terrorist activities and increasing risk of trade transport in the gulf. You keep believing it is just propaganda.

        1. We’ve squeezed and squeezed and squeezed those assholes. Look I’m no fan of Iran the region is just chalk full of douchebags. Just maybe we should finish the wars we are already in before pushing this one.

          1. The comments from the democrats isnt “no war”, but “capitulatuon.” There is enough trade through that gulf that you really dont want to cede control to Iran. It doesnt take war to keep neutrality. But appeasement isnt neutrality. Equivalent responses are enough to remind them they can rattle their saber, but they shouldn’t use it.

      4. One good thing about a post-petroleum energy economy is that we can return to ignoring the middle east. Let them fight each other without picking sides.

    3. What are the U.S.’s interests in Persian Gulf that justify JesseAz and thousands of other patriotic youth gearing up to go fight in Iran?
      Maybe, if that oil is going to China and Japan, those countries would rather sacrifice their youth?

      1. It’s not an all or nothing situation. Where did I advocate troops on the grounds? This was about tulsi comment to go back to the iran deal which was nothing but economic help for iran.

        A retaliation can be as simple as taking out Sam’s near the gulf air space. Doesnt require troops. Why cant some of you argue honestly?

        1. Where did I advocate troops on the grounds?

          You chickenhawks are dumb as dirt. It is precisely our failure to put troops in harm’s way while we bomb civilians that leads to them retaliating by bombing civilians via non uniformed military action (which we call terrorism).

          And as predictable as sunrise, the dumb as dirt chickenhawk crowd can’t draw the connection.

        2. I suppose the military could take out those SAMs, but those are replaceable. I suspect the Iranian government is like every other government in the world: they are always ready to buy more military hardware (or get it from a patron) and they don’t give a fuck about their people getting killed.

          Besides that, how do we know that this will end the matter? Seems to me Iran would retaliate. Then what?

          1. You escalate to a larger show of force that hits closer to the capital. A few precision strikes on multiple airfields and a bunch of their oil refineries would do it. And you say “hey, next one is aimed at your palace”.

            And really that’s what we should do. Either destroy physically or electronically a large portion of their oil refining capacity and we could literally choke and starve the entire country into submission.

            1. Taking out refinery capacity can have unintended consequences, as the customers of those refineries buy from others, and the cost of oil rises.
              I’m not into destroying a country because of a few inconsequential actions. If anything, remove their leaders, repeatedly, and leave everything else alone.

      2. Saudi support of the petrodollar.

  2. https://www.newsweek.com/hope-hicks-testimony-transcript-nadler-lewandowski-1445141

    Hope Hicks faced questions about Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, with who she was rumored to have had an affair. Nadler, a New York Democrat, referred to Hicks three times as Ms. Lewandowski before she corrected him with: “My name is Ms. Hicks”

    can you even imagine the squawking if a rethuglican did something like this? I mean I’m fine with it hardball is hardball and I don’t really have high expectations for are betters but I honestly can’t even the kakafane if for example Valerie Jarret was called Mrs. Obama 3 times as a joke in congressional hearing by some asshat from Missouri.

    1. To be fair, Nadler’s having to be propped up by handlers these days or he’ll fall over in a dementia-addled fit. I don’t think he knows how to troll.

  3. “Turns out—alas—the youths are not growing horns.”

    I hate myself for clicking that.

    Plus not what I expected.

    1. Actually, some young (and not so young) people are.

      Just search “horn implants”.

  4. “SCOTUS also ruled that the city of Bladensburg, Maryland, could leave up a World War II memorial in the shape of a cross.”

    Obviously, the memorial violates the Constitutional WALL OF SEPARATION between church and state. We need the next Democratic President to expand SCOTUS to at least 11 justices so we can get better rulings on these issues. Otherwise we’ll continue living in a literal theocracy just like The Handmaid’s Tale.

    1. Perhaps a reasonable compromise would be to sell the public land where the cross stands to the American Legion? I’m sure no one would be upset if some private group were given permission to erect a huge Muslim crescent on public land?

      1. Perhaps a reasonable compromise would be to sell the public land where the cross stands to the American Legion?

        The land was owned by the Legion and the memorial was commissioned and put up by them. The State/County ran a road around it and the Legion couldn’t maintain the grounds safely.

        1. So who maintains it now? If organizations can safely pick up trash along the highways, then the Legion should be allowed to safely maintain its monument.

          1. Government does.

            The entire mess is a self-inflicted wound by the government.

          2. If organizations can safely pick up trash along the highways, then the Legion should be allowed to safely maintain its monument.

            Picking up trash isn’t mowing and clearing brush and whatever maintenance may need to be done to the memorial itself. In case I wasn’t clear, the monument isn’t off to the side in a ditch, it’s in a parkway or cloverleaf.

            1. It was land near streets which later became major thorofares and hence had land taken to make it a fancy boulevard-fork-junction with parkway-style islands, stranding the monument in the middle. That is, new roadways were cut thru the memorial grounds. Maintaining that island is part of street maintenance.

              My superficial reading of the reports on the judgment is that it’s correct and part of a general tendency. Religious symbols, if they’re part of the culture’s great-majority religion and not too explicit or fancy, become secular.

              It’s just historic accident that government treatment of religion is taken differently from government treatment of any other propaganda. I’m often more offended by government’s favoring pieces of secular propaganda than religious propaganda. It would be nice if we could have separation of ideas and state, but see http://users.bestweb.net/~robgood/politic/religious.html

              1. In terms of categories at http://users.bestweb.net/~robgood/politic/religious.html , this is an attempt to order A3, B1, and C2 together. Where’s Buddy Hackett when you need him to explain this?

  5. What? No “Russia influenced the decision”?

    1. Aryan influenced.

  6. Did everyone observe World Refugee Day?

    Human. Beings. Can. Never. Be. Illegal.

    #OpenBorders
    #LibertariansForTheUN

    1. “#LibertariansfortheUN”

      Delightful

    2. #globalistlibertarians

    3. If only the people coming to the US were refugees.

    4. #DisbandAllPolice
      #CloseAllJails

    5. OBL, you don’t have to live like a refugee.

  7. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes could write for Reason. He knows Drumpf’s draconian anti-immigration policies are directly responsible for the conduct of Mexican police.

    This is the shooting of migrants that Trump has fantasized about and that his supporters have cheered, just outsourced to Mexico.

    #LibertariansForMSNBC

    1. OBL isn’t always wrong. A conservative friend said this to me at lunch this week. “Start shooting migrants crossing the border and they will turn around and go back where they came from.”

      1. I believe that crossing the border is a misdemeanor. Does your friend advocated shooting his shoplifting daughter?

    2. I think his policy is anti criminal which is what anyone entering the country illegally is.

      1. Yeah the drug war is anti-criminal too. That’s why all of us here love it so much.

  8. I’m not saying Trump is a super genius, but is there any point at which ENB & Co might accept that he actually makes good decisions, and it’s not a magically consistent wall of Lord Varys’ surrounding him and filtering everything?

    1. my gawd? you mean treat orangeman as every other president ever? how could you even, we are dealing with literally worse than hitler here. You don’t negotiate with terrorists and you most certainly don’t negotiate with Cheeto boy.

    2. I’ve learned from this site that if he ever does anything right, it’s for the wrong reasons and therefore is as bad as doing something wrong.

    3. That is a good question. Trump is the first president since Reagan to overrule his foreign policy and military advisors and call off a military action. That seems to be something that reason, being anti interventionists, would praise.

      1. His instincts are very anti armed conflict. It almost makes you wonder if the foreign policy advisers are part and parcel of some compromise he made in some other area.

        1. His instincts are very anti armed conflict as opposed to our last President who bragged to people about how good he was at having people killed. Trump calling this off out of concern for killing innocent people over a drone and Obama bragging about killing people is a pretty stark contrast don’t you think? But asshats like Sudderman and David French inform me that Trump is the worst person ever.

          1. Well, Obama did have to compensate for his mom jeans.

          2. I am impressed that Trump called off this strike. Good for him. We should of course praise that. Let’s hope he sticks to his decision. He should do one better and fire Bolton and Pompeo. Those two are insane.

            1. I don’t always agree with you, but you got me with you on this one.

              1. Difficult to disagree. When you’re right you’re right

    4. Clearly not. He’s an idiot, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Obama was smart, and look what he did to the people of Syria, Libya, and Yemen.

      1. How sad it is that you progressives think Obama was smart, when in reality his was an incredibly mediocre intelligence

        1. No progressives here. And I mean he has a law degree and was an incredibly successful politician. I think that serves as good evidence in favor of his intelligence. He just had the wrong allegiances which is why he was a politician in the first place.

    5. I thought ENB played the reporting of this story pretty straight.
      +1

  9. Latest from Trump’s twitter:

    “On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not….

    “…proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!

    Clearly, Trump is the worst war monger EVAH!

    1. What a monster

    2. Stands in contrast to Obama who said of himself: ““Turns out I’m really good at killing people.”

      1. “But enough about my health care plan.”

        1. Lol

    3. Maybe I’m too old school but you would think a journalist at a magazine would dig into a story a little more before saying something as stupid as “due to Trump’s fondness for Fox News”

      1. Well, ENB’s no journalist. Plus, this “evidence-free” approach tracks with some of her other hot takes.

  10. Trump called off the raid because he was worried about Iranian casualties. That is astounding in a US President.

    Ever since Vietnam we have had this idea that a war is okay as long as the US doesn’t take enough casualties to piss off the public. The problem with that is that seeing it that way prevents you from examining the value and need to go to war at all. If a cause isn’t worth dying for, then why is it worth killing for? Trump seems to be the only guy in Washington asking that question.

    As to this; no a shot down robot is not worth dying for. And it therefore is not worth killing for. If Iran really attacks shipping or our forces in a way that is worth dying to prevent, then I am fine with bombing them until they decide that isn’t worth doing anymore. But a shot down drone that may have been in their airspace anyway? No way.

    1. kind of fascinating that even though he hates muslims and gays and brown people he decided innocent peoples life in Iran was worth more than a million dollar drone. Strange that.

      1. It’s just because they’re aryans

        1. true.

    2. You are correct.

    3. And if Iran does something even worse after Trump tries to deescalate, who is going to come to their defense then? OK, there will still be the hysterical TDS/Anti-Israel crowd. But I think if Trump does have to attack, it will be for a more compelling reason and there will be much more support in this country and around the world, whereas Iran will look like even bigger assholes.

    4. Trump called off the raid because he was worried about Iranian casualties. That is astounding in a US President.

      I’m honestly having trouble thinking of a more directly principled and libertarian stance any President since Washington has taken. Certainly not in the modern era. I’m sure there are some comparable but the only ones that spring to mind, Nixon’s resigning and Reagan’s call to tear down the wall, weren’t as direct or principled.

      1. Reagan walking away from the deaths of more than 200 Marines in Lebanon?

        1. That, the Cole, and a couple others occurred to me. While I don’t disagree they may’ve been greater acts, and this opinion is probably highly personal or POV-dependent, they aren’t as clear/direct. We couldn’t say that Lebanon killed the troops in Beruit or that we should go to war with them.

          Again, I don’t mean to portray Reagan’s decision as a lesser one, just less directly principled “We won’t go to war with that country over this.”

      2. I should add that this nudges me, pretty decidedly, towards the idea that the drone was *not* in international airspace and that the question is, instead, who all knew it wasn’t.

        Still, even if he’s only virtue signalling, it’s better than the thin red lines and ego wars of the last 25-50 yrs. of American Presidents.

        1. If you look at the GPS coordinates of where Iran says they shot the drone down, it is just offshore of the Iran coast where the coast zags out a bit. It wouldn’t at all surprise me if either a)the drone flight programmers just ‘eliminate’ that bit of Iranian territory or b)the commanders deliberately cross over Iranian territory at that point to ‘test response times’.

    5. If a cause isn’t worth dying for, then why is it worth killing for? Trump seems to be the only guy in Washington asking that question.

      That is a very good way of phrasing that issue john. And even if Trump seems to you to be the only one in DC asking that question (I’d say it goes further than that – most Americans now want free war as the TV entertainment for free lunch), that question still very common in every other country on Earth. It is a major reason why other countries don’t seem to ‘pull their weight’ re defense – cuz we ask them to risk humans while we risk missiles. It is a reason behind suicide bombing as a tactic – a form of ‘honor’ that proves that they will sacrifice a life in order to take lives.

    6. Trump called off the raid because he was worried about Iranian casualties. That is astounding in a US President.

      I would have used “unbelievable”. As in I literally don’t believe it.

      I don’t pretend to know why Trump ordered the strike then called it off, but the stated reason doesn’t pass the smell test.

      Which is to say, if your characterization is correct, it really is astounding. But we have years of reasons to not take his words at face value, so I think it’s prudent to withhold judgement.

      1. It’s a distraction from the fact that the US was knowingly operating a drone over sovereign foreign/enemy territory. There’s no question that the DOD knows where that drone was down to a few inches when it was hit and there’s no question that they could prove it or leak the information proving it. The shift to “Drones aren’t worth human lives.”, even if only a diversion, is still pretty virtuous (unless you want to tumble further down the rabbit hole).

  11. Hello.

    Carlson v. Hannity stalemate?

    Have French break the tie!

    1. ?

      /looks around in Hall of Mirrors.

  12. Hunter Biden’s alleged love child debacle just the latest in string of suspicious incidents

    President wannabe Joe Biden’s son — who recently married a South African beauty just 10 days after they first met — has been hit with a paternity suit by a woman in Arkansas.

    Lunden Alexis Roberts, 28, filed a petition for child support against Hunter Biden, claiming that she gave birth to “Baby Doe” last August, according to court papers filed last month.

    1. He also got kicked out of the Deleware National Guard for testing positive for cocaine.

      1. He also ditched a rental car in phx leaving behind a crack pipe.

        1. He’s no Marion Barry.

    2. Baby Doe should be referred to as Baby D’oh!
      * drops mic and sandwich *

      1. Lol.

    3. that guy just can’t go anywhere without falling into some pussy. Wasn’t he the guy boning his dieing brothers wife? Scumbag.

      1. >>>without falling into some pussy

        i mean … gotta cheer a guy for *some* things

    4. If I am not mistaken, this guy dumped his long term wife to take up with the widow of his dead brother only to dump her for a woman who left her husband for him and now has knocked up some woman in Arkansas. Even Bill Clinton is thinking he needs to keep it in his pants.

      1. Only because he invaded Billy’s turf.

    5. Damn, Hunter’s seriously gunning for JFK and Bill Clinton’s throne as the Democrats’ most prolific cocksman. I don’t think even those guys managed to become a baby daddy.

      1. In fairness, Hunter can’t just have the mothers whacked the way Bill Clinton could.

        1. I’m scared to ask….but there are stories alleging that?

          1. Of course not. Too well covered up.

          2. Suzanne Colman. Not that the story is really true.

    6. Baby Doe? These names are getting stranger and weirder in the Age of Trump.

      1. Baby Doe? Oh, deer!

        1. We are going to buck that trend.

          1. Let time tick away at that.

          2. Take another shot at it.

            1. No. It’s gotta stop somewhere.

              1. Gotta rein it in

                1. put it up on the rack.

  13. The ditzy broad knows it’s true because it was published in The Daily Beast

    1. You make yourself look incredibly stupid

  14. Well if the Daily Beast reports that Trump’s foreign policy is all about listening to Tucker fuckin’ Carlson, then it must be true!

    Here’s what Trump says (if anybody’s interested):

    “President Trump on Friday said he had called off a retaliatory military strike on Iran just 10 minutes before its planned start after learning 150 people would be killed, saying such an action would have been disproportionate to Iran’s downing of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-says-he-s-in-no-hurry-to-confront-iran-11561122762?

    Incidentally, this isn’t the first time Trump has shown himself reluctant to involve the United States in direct warfare. Going back to before he became president, the reason John McCain hated Trump was because of his willingness to work with Putin to defeat ISIS in Syria–instead of the U.S. invading Syria. In case you haven’t been paying attention, Trump’s whole spiel about pushing through arm sales to the Saudis has also been about letting the Saudis fight Iran’s proxies in Yemen and elsewhere–so we don’t have to.

    Anyone who finds this behavior unusual from Trump is either ignorant, willfully obtuse, or suffering from that sweet combination of the two known as TDS. No, when Trump decides not to kill a bunch of innocent people unnecessarily, it can’t be because of a good reason. It certainly can’t be because of the ol’ Weinberger doctrine or just plain good sense. No, It has to be because of fucking Tucker Carlson?!

    We used to hear this stupid shit about Ronald Reagan, too. Everything he did that wasn’t stupid was either because of Alzheimer’s or because of one of Nancy Reagan’s psychics, you know. Why Ronald Reagan stupidly walked away from Gorbachev at Reykjavik and then oafishly turned around and embraced Gorbachev as a legitimate reformer. He stupidly persuaded our European allies to deploy Pershing missiles in Europe, and pushed back against communist expansion in the third world–all out of stupidity! Winning the Cold War was just dumb luck!

    Jeane Kirkpatrick and Weinberger and all those other greats, don’t spend to much time thinking about them or you’ll get distracted by all those facts and that logic stuff.

    1. Trump’s foreign policy reminds me a lot of Reagan’s. Reagan talked tough and rebuilt the military but he wasn’t very interested in fighting wars. He invaded Grenada, but that was like holding up a taco stand with an aircraft carrier and done at the invitation of the lawful government there who had been deposed by a bunch of Cuban thugs.

      When Gadafi blew up the nightclub in Berlin killing US soldiers, Reagan didn’t invade Libya to “drain the swamp of tyranny”. He ordered an air stike aimed at Gadafi personally. It was a proportional response and Gadafi got the message.

      The only mistake Reagan ever made was getting sucked into peace keeping in Lebanon. That cost over 300 Marines their lives for nothing. But, Reagan was smart enough not to spend good money after bad and got out Lebenon rather than getting into a quagmire looking for revenge.

      Trump seems to have a similar outlook, enable other people to defend themselves and engage in proportionate responses to direct attacks on US interests.

      1. Yeah, Trump is a throwback to Reagan and the Bush Sr. administration on foreign policy. Total pragmatism!

        Of all the untrue things I’ve seen Trump mischaracterized as, a warmongering neocon is the most off base.

        Many of the Never-Trumpers hated him because of his pragmatism on foreign policy. Trump’s actions with the Saudis (and Putin) have been a lot like Reagan with people like Pinochet. We didn’t go to war in Chile–in part because we didn’t have to.

        When you look at the logic of George H. W. Bush in not deposing Saddam Hussein, it was using similar logic. Looks like a big quagmire to me! And I think he may serve as a check against Iran. Let’s arm the Kurds.

        You may disagree with Trump’s policies. But he is not a warmonger. He’s Jeane Kirpatrick + the Weinberger doctrine–and that is not a bad combination at all.

        Even Trump insistence that Iran abide by the NPT is the exact opposite of warmongering. The clear goal from what I can tell is to get Iran to comply with the NPT–using diplomatic pressure and sanctions rather than war. The pain stops as soon as Iran returns to the NPT–like they did for decades before 2003. It’s not that hard. If they choose to suffer the consequences of violating the NPT rather than comply, then that’s on them. If we do nothing while Iran flagrantly violates the NPT, then that’s on us!

      2. The only mistake Reagan ever made was getting sucked into peace keeping in Lebanon.

        Well, that and the whole Iran-Contra thing

        1. Still waiting on your link bruh.

          Let the excuses flow.

    2. “Trump’s whole spiel about pushing through arm sales to the Saudis has also been about letting the Saudis fight Iran’s proxies in Yemen and elsewhere–so we don’t have to.”

      Come, come, since when have Americans needed to be pushed into selling Saudi Arabia arms? And why would we have to fight Iran proxies in Yemen? We don’t fight Iranians in Iran, even we they destroy US drones. What’s this urgent need to kill Yemenis?

      1. Come, come, since when have Americans needed to be pushed into selling Saudi Arabia arms?

        Since this week. A bunch of Republicans joined up with the Democrats to block arms sales to the Saudis this week. Trump has vowed to veto the bill. Congress does not have the super majority to block the veto.

    3. Well said, Ken. I hope he’s smart enough to trust himself on this. I hope Bolton and Pompeo are the next on the chopping block for this Administration.

  15. The only honest assessment I’ve ever read by a Reagan hater was written by Christopher Hitchens. Well, he basically wrote the same piece twice–one a couple of days after Reagan died and the other years later. In both of them, he excoriates Reagan for his stupidity. He goes through the whole litany. Then brace yourself. In the first piece, right after Reagan’s death, he goes after his fellow journalists. “The Stupidity of Ronald Reagan” (the piece right after Reagan’s death) is about the stupidity of the journalists who covered him. In the second piece (years later) Hitchens excoriates Reagan for his stupidity again–only to finish by begrudgingly crediting Reagan for winning the Cold War like no one else could have. It’s basically an apology.

    Yes, journalism has always been rife with retards, and, historically speaking, Trump is in good company. This isn’t to say that things will end for Trump like they did with Reagan, but for anyone who was alive at the time, this wouldn’t be the first time a president has won something like the Cold War over the objections of retarded journalists everywhere.

    There will never be another like Christopher Hitchens, but if anybody comes close, in terms of intellectual honesty from the left, today, it’s probably Masha Gessen. When she pulled the rug out from under the Mueller investigation–and coming from a journalist who was actually persecuted by Putin for criticizing him and being a lesbian–that’s about the only honest liberal I can find these days.

    Pretty much everything else I read from the left these days is stupid, propaganda, or stupid propaganda.

    1. I never liked the term “war monger”. I always thought it was overused and just an idiotic insult made by people who had no other argument. And it largely was. But the truth is a whole lot of people in both parties really are war monger in that they seem to see fighting wars as an end in itself and at best have utterly unrealistic expectations of their ends if they even think that far. The basic questions that should be asked before going to war (is this in the US’s interests, can it be avoided, is it a war that someone else should be fighting, is there an achievable positive end for the war) are questions that the Washington estblishment never asks. The only question that is ever asked is whether “US credibility or the world order must be defended” which does nothing except make regional conflicts global.

      1. “is it a war that someone else should be fighting?”
        In this case the answer is all the countries who tankers get bombed by Iran should be doing the fighting, we have all the fuel of all types in America let them deal with it and I wish Trump would pull back all our forces from the strait and tell them its your problem not ours

    2. “I huddled from dawn to dusk with friends, wondering if it [the end of the Cold War] could be real. Many of those friends had twice my IQ, or let’s say six times that of the then-chief executive. These friends had all deeply wanted either Jimmy Carter or Walter Mondale to be, presumably successively, the president instead of Reagan. They would go on to put Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen bumper stickers on their vehicles. No doubt they wish that Mondale had been in the White House when the U.S.S.R. threw in the towel, just as they presumably yearn to have had Dukakis on watch when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. I have been wondering ever since not just about the stupidity of American politics, but about the need of so many American intellectuals to prove themselves clever by showing that they are smarter than the latest idiot in power, or the latest Republican at any rate.”

      —-Christopher Hitchens

      “The Stupidity of Ronald Reagan”

      https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2004/06/the-stupidity-of-ronald-reagan.html

      I wish I could write like that!

      The “stupidity” of Ronald Reagan won us the Cold War. Hitchens didn’t really think his friends were twice as smart as he was, but they thought they were six times smarter than the man who won the Cold War over their objections. And he’s calling them out for treating Reagan like he was stupid. No one could accuse Hitchens of writing a puff piece about Reagan either–he spent most of the piece excoriating him. It’s an honest confession! Hitchens was an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq War–and that piece was written in 2004. Hitchens was glad when we won the Cold War.

      Trump was wise to collaborate with Putin to defeat ISIS in Syria. Trump is wise to make it painful for Iran to violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Some of the things Trump is doing seem pretty stupid to me–especially in regards to our trade relationship with China. We want America to win the Cold War without an ICBM being fired, though, right–even if it means Ronald Reagan gets the credit? Yeah, I hope I’m wrong about Trump and China. I hope he comes back from Japan next week with the best trade deal ever. If he does, I’ll give him credit for that–even more so because he did it over my objections. American journalists won’t. They never do. Even if Trump is right and wins, they’ll pretend everything he did was a stupid failure just because it wasn’t done their way–regardless of whether winning it their way was even possible.

    3. Matt Taibbi did a decent job on Russiagate.

  16. Nadler kept calling Hope Hicks Ms. Lewandowski. Imagine the outrage if he wasnt a democrat.

    1. Like I said above it’s kind of actually crazy there weren’t that many people talking about it. Hicks is a total hottie so that alone should have generated a headline do to being able to post a pic with the story.

      1. She is smoking hot. And not just for politics. Someone should have walked over and kicked Nadler in his tiny nuts. Christ what an asshole.

        1. Nadler should be censured.

    2. Programs! Get yer programs! Can’t tell the players without a program!

    3. Holy crap. How did I not know what she looks like before now.

  17. “War With Iran May Have Been Avoided Due to Trump’s Fondness for Fox News”

    ENB’s TDS may be approaching fatal levels.

    1. It’s not a stretch and also, in this case, not a bad thing.

      1. “It’s not a stretch…”
        Funny!

        1. Trump supporter makes well organized and articulated argument ^

    2. ENB’s TDS may be approaching fatal levels.

      In this case, it’s just simple professional envy. She’d be just as upset of Obama listened to Vox.

      After all, nobody who matters ever listens to ENB and she isn’t even on TV.

  18. Mayor figures rents are too low in CA city, fixes that:

    “Income for all is on Democrats’ 2020 radar. One California city is trying it”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Income-for-all-is-on-Democrats-2020-radar-One-14025571.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    1. $1000 a month? Cheapskates.
      I can’t live on crumbs!

      1. Its not even a living wage!

  19. “Alabama will let a Birmingham megachurch run its own police force.”

    The Church Police!

    Though it’s my understanding that they are simply given powers of arrest in order to bring alleged offenders in front of the secular courts.

    And before freaking out too much, let’s note:

    -The congregation runs not only a church but a grade school and seminary.

    -Many states empower college and university police to make arrests on campus grounds, and much of the grounds of this congregation are in fact taken up by educational facilities.

    -And many of these colleges whose police are empowered to make arrests are at least nominally religious colleges.

    The NY state legislature (those crafty theocrats!) has empowered the following to act as police officers:

    “72. Persons employed by (Jesuit) Canisius college as members of the security force of such college; provided, however, that nothing in this subdivision shall be deemed to authorize such officer to carry, possess, repair or dispose of a firearm unless the appropriate license therefor has been issued pursuant to section 400.00 of the penal law.”

    http://ypdcrime.com/cpl/article2.htm

    1. Campus police. OMG!!

      1. Sends chills down the spine, doesn’t it?

        1. How does every mall, shopping center, and big box store not “run its own police force”?

          Will the Church even allow them to carry firearms as part of their employment? Because it would be a total civil libertarian SNAFU to wind up in a situation where NYPD is always armed and ready to throw down and (e.g.) NYU campus police are always armed, but the people policing church grounds are bona fide officers of the peace.

  20. […] others who are skeptical of additional foreign conflicts, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) and Fox News host Tucker Carlson, even as other Trump allies like Bolton, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) and Sen. Tom Cotton […]

  21. The headline and story convey that the editors are more respectful of, or find more worth in, Fox News, or at least someone on it, than Trump. I guess that puts Trump as low as you can go in public affairs.

    1. I guess that puts Trump as low as you can go in public affairs according to the generally irrelevant opinions of Reason staff

      There, FTFY.

  22. The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday “ruled that Congress did not overstep its authority in handing off important power to the attorney general under the federal Sex Offender Registration Act.”

    And the Supreme Court didn’t shirk its responsibility allowing it. CHECKS AND BALANCES.

  23. […] others who are skeptical of additional foreign conflicts, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) and Fox News host Tucker Carlson, even as other Trump allies like Bolton, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) and Sen. Tom Cotton […]

  24. Which is it? And does U.S. foreign policy really hang on the whims and bloviating of two TV entertainers?

    Translation: “We, the Reason staff, are pissed off that nobody listens to us, that we aren’t on TV, and that people don’t even consider us entertaining.”

  25. People don’t understand Trump’s strategies. Especially the media and the left. He uses them and they haven’t figured it out yet.

    These people are really stupid. If you look at Trump’s history he hasn’t changed much in decades, other than he has become more obnoxious. Which is also part of his strategy. He always negotiates from an extreme position. That way he gets his opponents to compromise for the real position he wants.

    He also attacks them from bizarre angles in the extreme. This strategy throws his opponents off as they anger over his simplistic and nasty bloviations. Psychologically when angered humans do not think rationally and in turn, they make irrational mistakes and or choices in reacting to him.

    Another thing he does is he speaks directly to the people in his news conferences and appearances. He doesn’t answer to the media or the politicians. He pisses them off. America likes this because the MSM has failed at reporting news and instead produces it. With the internet, the MSM’s kabuki theatre has been exposed for the fraud it is. And, Americans know it.

    Trump’s techniques are working based on how much the Democrats and media are obsessed with him They tripping over themselves at every Trump turn. By acting the fool Trump makes fools out all of them.

  26. […] “War With Iran May Have Been Avoided Due to Trump’s Fondness for Fox News,” by Elizabeth Nolan Brown […]

  27. […] “War With Iran May Have Been Avoided Due to Trump’s Fondness for Fox News,” by Elizabeth Nolan Brown […]

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.