Trumping Bush: The 8 dumbest things Donald has said about the Middle East

Published September 13th, 2015 - 10:39 GMT

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He claims he can defeat radical Islam, but he doesn’t know the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas. He claims he can take over ISIS’s oil supplies, but doesn’t know what country they’re in. Could Donald Trump give George W. Bush a run for his money on foreign policy gaffes? He just might.

But as comical as Trump’s gaffes are, his cluelessness is no laughing matter. The billionaire real-estate tycoon cum reality TV star is leading the polls among U.S. Republican presidential candidates, meaning he’s got a legitimate chance of becoming the next leader of the most influential country in the Western world. Continue reading below »

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In a September interview with U.S. radio announcer Hugh Hewitt, Trump confused the Kurds with the Quds Forces of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, saying he believed General Qassem Soleimani was a Kurdish leader. After he realized his mistake, Trump lashed out at Hewitt for trying to embarrass him, and called him a “third-rate radio announcer.”
Reduce

Image 1 of 8:  1 / 8In a September interview with U.S. radio announcer Hugh Hewitt, Trump confused the Kurds with the Quds Forces of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, saying he believed General Qassem Soleimani was a Kurdish leader. After he realized his mistake, Trump lashed out at Hewitt for trying to embarrass him, and called him a “third-rate radio announcer.”

Enlarge
In that same radio interview from early September, host Hugh Hewitt asked Trump if he knew the leaders of the big Islamist militant groups of the Middle East. Trump admitted that he did not, and furthermore that he did not know the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas, but said he would figure it out “when it’s appropriate.”
Reduce

Image 2 of 8:  2 / 8In that same radio interview from early September, host Hugh Hewitt asked Trump if he knew the leaders of the big Islamist militant groups of the Middle East. Trump admitted that he did not, and furthermore that he did not know the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas, but said he would figure it out “when it’s appropriate.”

Enlarge
When asked recently by CNN reporter Anderson Cooper how he’d defeat ISIS, Trump said 'I’d bomb the hell out of the oil fields' in Iraq. But according to a CNN Fact Check, the majority of ISIS’s oil fields are in Syria. While there are oil fields in Iraq, they’re not controlled by ISIS.
Reduce

Image 3 of 8:  3 / 8When asked recently by CNN reporter Anderson Cooper how he’d defeat ISIS, Trump said "I’d bomb the hell out of the oil fields" in Iraq. But according to a CNN Fact Check, the majority of ISIS’s oil fields are in Syria. While there are oil fields in Iraq, they’re not controlled by ISIS.

Enlarge
In September, Trump claimed that the nuclear deal with Iran holds that U.S. would be bound to defend Iran against a potential attack by Israel. The U.S. State Department disputed this characterization, calling it “absurd,” and clarifying that the U.S. would not be forced to fight Israel even if Israel were to attack Iran.
Reduce

Image 4 of 8:  4 / 8In September, Trump claimed that the nuclear deal with Iran holds that U.S. would be bound to defend Iran against a potential attack by Israel. The U.S. State Department disputed this characterization, calling it “absurd,” and clarifying that the U.S. would not be forced to fight Israel even if Israel were to attack Iran.

Enlarge
At a campaign rally in July, Trump claimed that the five Taliban prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl are already “back on the battlefield.” But according to PolitiFact, those five Taliban militants are in Qatar -- a neutral state -- and are under a travel ban that forbids them from leaving.
Reduce

Image 5 of 8:  5 / 8At a campaign rally in July, Trump claimed that the five Taliban prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl are already “back on the battlefield.” But according to PolitiFact, those five Taliban militants are in Qatar -- a neutral state -- and are under a travel ban that forbids them from leaving.

Enlarge
In the run-up to the last U.S. presidential election, Trump claimed that 99% of Egyptians wanted to dissolve Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. U.S. news site Politico noted that a few days before this bombastic statement, a newly-released Pew research poll found the figure to be closer to 50%.
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Image 6 of 8:  6 / 8In the run-up to the last U.S. presidential election, Trump claimed that 99% of Egyptians wanted to dissolve Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. U.S. news site Politico noted that a few days before this bombastic statement, a newly-released Pew research poll found the figure to be closer to 50%.

Enlarge
During the run-up to the last US election, Trump said (multiple times) that the US should “take” Iraq’s oil to “reimburse” itself for the cost of invading the country. The progressive US news site Think Progress noted that as a signatory to the Hague Conventions, the US cannot simply confiscate the property of countries it occupies.
Reduce

Image 7 of 8:  7 / 8During the run-up to the last US election, Trump said (multiple times) that the US should “take” Iraq’s oil to “reimburse” itself for the cost of invading the country. The progressive US news site Think Progress noted that as a signatory to the Hague Conventions, the US cannot simply confiscate the property of countries it occupies.

Enlarge
In 2011, Trump claimed that after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, the US “handed Kuwait back” to Kuwaitis, but Kuwait “never paid us” back for American largesse. PolitiFact examined the official accounting for the cost of the war and found the US only paid about $7 billion out of pocket - less than half of the $16 billion it cost the Kuwaitis.
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Image 8 of 8:  8 / 8In 2011, Trump claimed that after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, the US “handed Kuwait back” to Kuwaitis, but Kuwait “never paid us” back for American largesse. PolitiFact examined the official accounting for the cost of the war and found the US only paid about $7 billion out of pocket - less than half of the $16 billion it cost the Kuwaitis.

Enlarge

1

In a September interview with U.S. radio announcer Hugh Hewitt, Trump confused the Kurds with the Quds Forces of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, saying he believed General Qassem Soleimani was a Kurdish leader. After he realized his mistake, Trump lashed out at Hewitt for trying to embarrass him, and called him a “third-rate radio announcer.”

Image 1 of 8In a September interview with U.S. radio announcer Hugh Hewitt, Trump confused the Kurds with the Quds Forces of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, saying he believed General Qassem Soleimani was a Kurdish leader. After he realized his mistake, Trump lashed out at Hewitt for trying to embarrass him, and called him a “third-rate radio announcer.”

2

In that same radio interview from early September, host Hugh Hewitt asked Trump if he knew the leaders of the big Islamist militant groups of the Middle East. Trump admitted that he did not, and furthermore that he did not know the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas, but said he would figure it out “when it’s appropriate.”

Image 2 of 8In that same radio interview from early September, host Hugh Hewitt asked Trump if he knew the leaders of the big Islamist militant groups of the Middle East. Trump admitted that he did not, and furthermore that he did not know the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas, but said he would figure it out “when it’s appropriate.”

3

When asked recently by CNN reporter Anderson Cooper how he’d defeat ISIS, Trump said 'I’d bomb the hell out of the oil fields' in Iraq. But according to a CNN Fact Check, the majority of ISIS’s oil fields are in Syria. While there are oil fields in Iraq, they’re not controlled by ISIS.

Image 3 of 8When asked recently by CNN reporter Anderson Cooper how he’d defeat ISIS, Trump said "I’d bomb the hell out of the oil fields" in Iraq. But according to a CNN Fact Check, the majority of ISIS’s oil fields are in Syria. While there are oil fields in Iraq, they’re not controlled by ISIS.

4

In September, Trump claimed that the nuclear deal with Iran holds that U.S. would be bound to defend Iran against a potential attack by Israel. The U.S. State Department disputed this characterization, calling it “absurd,” and clarifying that the U.S. would not be forced to fight Israel even if Israel were to attack Iran.

Image 4 of 8In September, Trump claimed that the nuclear deal with Iran holds that U.S. would be bound to defend Iran against a potential attack by Israel. The U.S. State Department disputed this characterization, calling it “absurd,” and clarifying that the U.S. would not be forced to fight Israel even if Israel were to attack Iran.

5

At a campaign rally in July, Trump claimed that the five Taliban prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl are already “back on the battlefield.” But according to PolitiFact, those five Taliban militants are in Qatar -- a neutral state -- and are under a travel ban that forbids them from leaving.

Image 5 of 8At a campaign rally in July, Trump claimed that the five Taliban prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl are already “back on the battlefield.” But according to PolitiFact, those five Taliban militants are in Qatar -- a neutral state -- and are under a travel ban that forbids them from leaving.

6

In the run-up to the last U.S. presidential election, Trump claimed that 99% of Egyptians wanted to dissolve Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. U.S. news site Politico noted that a few days before this bombastic statement, a newly-released Pew research poll found the figure to be closer to 50%.

Image 6 of 8In the run-up to the last U.S. presidential election, Trump claimed that 99% of Egyptians wanted to dissolve Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. U.S. news site Politico noted that a few days before this bombastic statement, a newly-released Pew research poll found the figure to be closer to 50%.

7

During the run-up to the last US election, Trump said (multiple times) that the US should “take” Iraq’s oil to “reimburse” itself for the cost of invading the country. The progressive US news site Think Progress noted that as a signatory to the Hague Conventions, the US cannot simply confiscate the property of countries it occupies.

Image 7 of 8During the run-up to the last US election, Trump said (multiple times) that the US should “take” Iraq’s oil to “reimburse” itself for the cost of invading the country. The progressive US news site Think Progress noted that as a signatory to the Hague Conventions, the US cannot simply confiscate the property of countries it occupies.

8

In 2011, Trump claimed that after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, the US “handed Kuwait back” to Kuwaitis, but Kuwait “never paid us” back for American largesse. PolitiFact examined the official accounting for the cost of the war and found the US only paid about $7 billion out of pocket - less than half of the $16 billion it cost the Kuwaitis.

Image 8 of 8In 2011, Trump claimed that after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, the US “handed Kuwait back” to Kuwaitis, but Kuwait “never paid us” back for American largesse. PolitiFact examined the official accounting for the cost of the war and found the US only paid about $7 billion out of pocket - less than half of the $16 billion it cost the Kuwaitis.

Reduce

If that happens, we’ll all have to brace ourselves against the effects of a president who confuses the words “Kurds” and “Quds,” and who thinks the Iran deal means the U.S. could be bound to attack Israel. God help us all.  

 

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