Isn’t it just the best thing that we’ve finally got a President of the USA who calls a shithole a shithole?
In fact of all Donald Trump’s many qualities, I think this may be his greatest and his most underrated strength.
But you’re not supposed to say this. At least not in respectable company. Even now – after all his incredible achievements – you’re still only allowed to praise Donald Trump if first you’ve preceded it with lots of disclaimers about how much you deplore his sexism, his brashness, his incoherence and general uncouthness…
I’m not buying that virtue-signalling crap, though. Check out this short film I made on Trump for the BBC this week:
I think Donald Trump is amazing. And I think what makes him so amazing – or rather, so effective as politician and a world leader – is that vulgarity which we’re all supposed to pretend is his fatal flaw.
No it’s not. It’s his secret weapon.
Take Iran, possibly the single most important geopolitical story in the world right now.
Why? Because after nearly 40 years of being the world’s prime exporter and fomenter of terrorism, as well as being probably the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East, Iran is in the midst of a revolution which could change everything.
For some background read this brilliant Spectator article by Douglas Murray.
Short version: Iran is a shithole of the first order.
Since the overthrow of the Shah by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 it has been an Islamic republic, run by brutal, intransigent mullahs and policed by the vicious paramilitary thugs of the Revolutionary Guard. These Islamic fanatics have been responsible for numerous American and allied deaths, everywhere from Afghanistan (where they helped manufacture many of the deadliest IEDs) to Lebanon where they have worked closely with their ideological allies Hezbollah, likely responsible for the massacre of 241 US Marines during the notorious 1983 Beirut barrack bombing. More recently, they managed to humiliate both the US and the Royal Navy by capturing their personnel in the Persian Gulf – making them cry and grovel, reducing the world’s two proudest naval forces into an international laughing stock.
But it’s even worse for the people who have to live in this shithole. That’s why, after nearly four decades of living under this Islamic tyranny, being dragged into expensive foreign military engagements which have cost millions of Iranian lives and bled the economy dry, the people are once more in revolt.
What’s so exciting is that, unlike the 2009 Green Revolution, which mainly involved Iran’s (surprisingly large) bourgeois student population, this is a much more widespread revolt – as Douglas Murray describes.
Iran is experiencing low growth, high unemployment and inflation (10 per cent) and the increasing unaffordability of necessities such as eggs and milk. But the most striking factor is how swiftly the protests became not just critical of the government, but openly anti-regime. Outside the gates of Tehran University a crowd chanted slogans against the nation’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, including ‘Death to the dictator’. The nationwide demonstrations, which have not been led by any single demographic, class, or group, have included cries of ‘Leave Gaza, leave Lebanon, my life (only) for Iran’. Chants of ‘Death to Hezbollah’ (Iran’s terrorist proxy currently fighting in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria) have also been heard from Mashhad to Kermanshah. After several days, Ayatollah Khamenei tried to dampen this motif by appealing (unsuitably for a cleric who claims to be devoted solely to Allah and the Imam) to the patriotism of all Iranians. The regime may be worrying. Whereas 2009’s protests centred on Tehran, these are rural as well as urban, and remarkably widespread.
If this revolt succeeds, it could be a game-changer not just for the Middle East but the whole world. At a stroke it would take out one of the world’s most dangerous, soon-to-be-nuclear-armed terror states and – with a bit of luck and encouragement – replace it with a democracy which acted in the interests of its people and which no longer committed its resources and energy to trying to destroy places like Israel and the Great Satan (ie the U.S.). The Iranians would be a lot happier and more prosperous; we’d all be a lot safer.
Now see if you can guess the name of the only world leader who gets this. Here’s a clue:
Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2017
And here’s another:
The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
And here’s another:
Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Now, by contrast, here is a typical example of where all the other countries of the free world currently stand on this issue:
The Iran nuclear deal makes the world safer. European partners were unanimous today in our determination to preserve the deal and tackle Iran’s disruptive behaviour. pic.twitter.com/dw8zwUXwS5
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 11, 2018
It would be unfair to blame UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson specifically for the spinelessness of this response: he is only repeating what has, for some time, been official policy throughout the European Union’s member states. The same policy formulated by Obama: appeasement.
As we’ve since learned, Obama pushed this suck-up-to-the-mullahs appeasement policy so far that he not only stopped the DEA busting a massive international drug-dealing operation by Iran-backed Hezbollah, but he also allegedly tipped off Iran about an Israeli plot to assassinate arguably the world’s most dangerous terrorist – Qassem Soleimani, leader of Al Quds, the foreign operations branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
This, of course, was only an extension of the approach to Middle East terror that Obama first announced during his infamous Cairo speech – in which he renounced the U.S.’s right to shape the world according to its own interests, rejected American greatness and abjectly surrendered to Islam.
You may have noticed: President Trump just isn’t like that.
No doubt if he’d consulted a bunch of expert foreign affairs advisers he would have found plenty to argue the case for continuing Obama’s appeasement policy. They would have justified it – as the various EU leaders are justifying it now – on the grounds of mature, cautious pragmatism: that it’s a way of working with the more moderate members of the Iranian theocracy and keeping the more extreme elements in check.
But that’s not how Trump rolls.
He just got on Twitter, cut through all the havering diplomacy crap and spoke his mind: instantly lending the support of the most powerful nation in the world to all those brave men and women risking their lives and liberty to try to overthrow this tyrannical regime which has been holding the world to ransom for four decades.
In case you’re still wondering who is on the right side of this issue – President Trump or all the other Western nations currently still busy pushing appeasement and the mullahs’ nuclear program – here, courtesy of Douglas Murray’s Spectator article, is how the Iranian regime is likely to deal with the protestors.
Shortly after the latest protests began, the country’s security forces, including the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, were seen photographing the events. In Iran, a regime camera is as deadly as a sniper’s sights. Only more delayed. As in 2009, the photographs will be used by the police to arrest demonstrators and also family members unconnected with the protests. This will be followed by the torture and rape of men and women in prison by the theocratic regime’s frontmen. As after the Green Revolution, there will in due course be show trials, forced recantations and executions. This is how a police state with four decades of experience goes about its business. In 1979, the behaviour of the Shah’s dreaded Savak secret police was one of the spurs for revolution. The Ayatollahs have superseded the Savak, fine-tuned their brutality and learned from their mistakes.
All those armchair foreign policy experts who think Trump’s approach to diplomacy is brash and vulgar, that it doesn’t involve enough finesse and realpolitik, that he’s meddling in areas that he doesn’t understand, that he’s likely to drag us into unnecessary wars need to think about this and think about it hard.
Here’s a thought experiment to help them along.
You’re a young Iranian woman who has just been serially raped by the guards in the shithole cell of your shithole prison as part of your shithole-state-sanctioned punishment for appearing in public without your hijab, as part of a demonstration demanding women’s rights in this hellish, misogynistic theocracy. In the shithole cell next door you can hear the screams of one of your fellow campaigners being tortured. Chances are, this misery is only going to end when some kangaroo court sentences you to death by firing squad or hanging from a crane.
Who would you prefer to be in charge of U.S. foreign policy?
a) Barack Obama, the guy with the Harvard Law School dignity and the Davos-style diplomatist’s smoothy chops patter who’d almost never use words like “shithole” in polite company, not least because ideologically he can’t see how the oppressive white male hegemony of the U.S. is really any superior to differently special nations like Haiti or Somalia – or Iran;
b) Donald Trump, the guy who knows a shithole when he sees one, tells it like it is, and actually does something about it.
As Andrew Klavan says:
Let’s state the obvious. Some countries are shitholes. To claim that this is racist is racist. They are not shitholes because of the color of the populace but because of bad ideas, corrupt governance, false religion, and broken culture.
Obama preferred to let them stay that way because cultural sensitivity, or some such weasel excuse.
Trump, on the other hand, wouldn’t know what ‘cultural sensitivity’ even means. And one day the world will thank him for it.