Jan 02, 2020
Video footage of then-private citizen Donald Trump warning in 2011 that "our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate" resurfaced Thursday night after the U.S. assassinated Iran's top military leader and six others in a drone strike in Baghdad, sparking fears of a catastrophic regional and possibly global conflict.
Trump, of course, was referring to former President Barack Obama, who he called "weak and ineffective" and accused of attempting to start a war with Iran to boost his reelection chances.
"So the only way he figures that he's going to get reelected--and as sure as you're sitting there--is to start a war with Iran," Trump said at the time.
Obama went on to win reelection in 2012 without launching a war with Iran. In 2015, the U.S., Iran, and other major nations adopted the Iran nuclear agreement, which Trump effectively shredded last year.
Watch the clip, which Washington Post video editor J.M. Rieger tweeted Thursday night:
\u201cTrump on Nov. 16, 2011:\n\n\u201cOur president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and he's ineffective. So the only way he figures that he's going to get reelected \u2014 and as sure as you're sitting there \u2014 is to start a war with Iran.\u201d\u201d— JM Rieger (@JM Rieger) 1578019692
In his second tweet since the U.S. assassination of Qassem Soleimani--the first was an image of the American flag--Trump wrote that "Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!"
Critics voiced a mixture of alarm and confusion in response to the president's brief statement. "Trump is just dropping vague, wrong, unhelpful comments into a tense and volatile situation," said the Post's Josh Rogin.
Robert Maguire, research director with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, added, "The guy who sold himself as the greatest negotiator in history is tweeting about how hard it is to negotiate with the country he might have started a war with instead."
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.