I’ve seen a few headlines and analyses this morning asserting that Trump has “gambled” in his decision to assassinate Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
This is almost certainly incorrect, for this reason: “Gambling,” while inherently reckless, still involves some sort of understanding of the rules of the game, the stakes, and the likely outcomes. A blackjack player who understands the rules of blackjack “gambles.” Trump is more like a poker player who bellies up to the table and almost immediately starts swallowing poker chips … before quickly moving onto lead paint chips.
He’s not “gambling”; he’s just being an idiot. Again.
Why does the press continue to ascribe rationality to Donald Trump, who at his heart is just a wobbly Jell-O mold full of mealy citrus peels and squishy id? Giving him the benefit of the doubt — i.e., assuming he’s a rational actor instead of the dangerously impulsive moron he clearly is — is what got us into this mess in the first place. And yet it continues.
Of course, we knew all this. Five fucking years ago we knew all this, and yet here we are.
Recall Trump’s (very friendly) September 2015 interview with right-wing something-or-other Hugh Hewitt, in which Hewitt asked Trump about the dangers posed by Soleimani. This interview alone should have been enough to scuttle any notion of Trump as a serious presidential candidate.
HEWITT: Are you familiar with Gen. Soleimani?
TRUMP: Yes, but go ahead, give me a little, go ahead, tell me.
HEWITT: He runs the Quds Forces.
TRUMP: Yes, okay, right.HEWITT: Do you expect his behavior …
TRUMP: The Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by us.
HEWITT: No, not the Kurds, the Quds Forces, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Forces.
TRUMP: Yes, yes.
HEWITT: The bad guys.
HEWITT: Do you expect his behavior to change as a result …
TRUMP: Oh, I thought you said Kurds, Kurds.
HEWITT: No, Quds.
TRUMP: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you said Kurds, because I think the Kurds have been poorly treated by us, Hugh. Go ahead.
HEWITT: Agreed. So Soleimani runs the Quds Forces. Do you expect his behavior is going to change as a result of this deal with Iran?
“Who’s on first?”
“I don’t know.”
And here’s the video in case you still have one or two brain lobes that haven’t shut down in self-defense:
So that’s classic Trump, right? Pretend you know something you clearly don’t know and then proceed to speak with an air of expertise about the country you just babbled some gelastic gibberish about.
And, oh, the irony of this bit: “The Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by us.”
So this is just a big blunder; it’s not a “gamble.” It’s the geopolitical equivalent of Trump firing James Comey or insisting that windmills cause cancer.
To call this a gamble is an insult to broke-ass degenerate gamblers, who at least know what game they’re playing and understand why they’ve lost.
Trump will never understand what he’s doing or what game he’s playing, and that’s as horrifying as it gets.
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