Unfortunately, Trump has a couple of blind spots in the usual location: the Middle East. Understandably, his main concern in that region is defeating the self-styled Islamic State, which he promises to do sooner than anyone expects. But you would think that if Trump's number-one foreign policy goal -- apart from bringing jobs back to the U.S. -- is to destroy the Sunni Muslim terrorist entity that is provoking terrorist attacks in this country, that the self-styled master of the deal might hasten to make a deal with the IS's Shiite Muslim enemies. That doesn't seem to be an option, however, because if there's one nation out there that Trump sees as evil in the all-too typical American way, it's Iran. Why not? I don't think he's so dumb that he doesn't know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, and I don't think it's because he sees all Muslims as the enemy. In his speech he vows to work "very closely with our allies in the Muslim world, all of which are at risk from radical Islamic violence," though I wonder which countries he means by that. Could it be that Trump still carries a grudge over the hostage crisis of 1979? He definitely takes the recent incident involving American sailors to heart, seeing it as a huge humiliation for the U.S. But I can't help thinking that his animus against Iran -- a nation whose government admittedly gives you plenty of reasons to despise it -- is that Iran, more than the IS, remains the great existential threat to Israel's existence, the country most likely, in the Zionist imagination, to nuke the Jewish state. Trump can find a lot of reasons to legitimately criticize President Obama's foreign policy, but the fact that Obama has pissed off Israel is not really one of them. But when the subject turns to Israel Trump sounds just like a neocon.
Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity. Just a few days ago, Vice President Biden again criticized Israel, a force for justice and peace, for acting as an impatient peace area in the region.[sic?]
By his own stated principles, or in line with his disavowal of ideological principles, Trump ought not to care whether Israel is a democracy or not. Meanwhile, describing Israel as "a force for justice and peace" borders on the delusional. Why he should think this way when he is neither an End Times believer nor in need of Sheldon Adelson's money is beyond me, but what else is new when it comes to the Middle East? Yet if an aspiring American president needs to show he's open-minded about foreign policy, that part of the world is where he has to do it, and that's where Trump's mind seems to be closed by prejudice and fantasy. He boasts of being willing to walk away from the table with Iran when Obama would not, but he should be willing to walk away from the table with any nation. If Israel is to be an exception to this, he should come up with better reasons than those that make him sound like every other mainstream American politician. And if he can't think originally about the Middle East you have to wonder how different the rest of his foreign policy actually will be. I'm not suggesting that he embrace Iran and throw Israel under the bus, but I would expect Donald Trump to talk about bringing those two countries to the table and making a deal, yet I didn't today. He's clearly going to take sides in the Middle East, it seems, and the consequences of that are a lesson he has yet to learn.