On any given day Donald Trump says more objectively goofy things than the typical human does in a several months of devoted effort. Objectively stupid or not, the age of Obama has raised the bar of objective stupidity so high that Trump deserves the benefit of a doubt at times. Take, for instance, this breathless tweet by CBS’s Sopan Deb:
Trump, in essence, says to CNBC that North Korea should be handled by China and Iran. pic.twitter.com/rfHpVikoaE
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) September 12, 2016
Sure there is a lot to criticize there. At first blush, counting on our sworn enemies, like Iran and China, to rein in North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. But let’s be serious. How is this anymore knuckleheaded than the way in which Obama approached our negotiations with Iran over their nuclear weapons program. Would you have believed that Obama would deputize Vladimir Putin’s Russia to be our intermediary in negotiating with Iran? Would you have believed that he would sign an agreement that forbids the IAEA from verifying Iranian compliance? Would you have believed that he would deliberately mislead the US Senate, including members of his own party, about the terms of the agreement? Would you have believed that he would send well over $1 Billion to Iran in cash to be used by a US State Department designated terrorist organization?
What Trump is doing is nothing more than enlisting a couple of our enemies to represent our interests to a rogue nuclear state. In fact, if you assume that China and Iran have a vague interest in keeping North Korea under control, and at least the Chinese part of this assumption is a bedrock principle of our negotiations with the North Koreans, then the idea is only bad from a national prestige standpoint. And under Barack Obama our national prestige is so tattered that I’d be surprised if anyone cares about yet another affront. I’d even go one step further. What do you think the odds are that Trump tossed Iran out as a possible intermediary only because he’s heard that in the intelligence briefings he’s been receiving and that it reflects Obama’s stategy?