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Why the media got Iran wrong

Iran's attack last night on 2 American bases in Iraq proved once again Iran has the military capabilities and acumen of Paraguay. The retaliation showed the genius of President Donald John Trump's killing General قاسم سلیمانی  (no one can spell his name in English).

It also showed the American media is a joke that should not cover anything more important than a PTA meeting. They were wrong in their predictions of World War 3 because they based that on a misguided belief that the president is evil, insane and unintelligent.

This began with an Iranian gang attacking our embassy in Iraq. Democrats gleefully labeled it President Trump's Benghazi.

Peter Beinart, a journalism professor at the City University of New York, set the template for media coverage. In Atlantic monthly, he wrote, "Over the past 18 months, Donald Trump has picked a fight with Iran that he won’t end and can’t win. That fight has had horrifying consequences for the Iranian people, led Tehran to restart its nuclear program, and now left parts of the American embassy compound in Baghdad in flames. In the days and weeks to come, Trump’s policy will likely lead either to war or to additional American humiliation, or both."

Totally wrong. Completely. But why would anyone expect instant in-depth analysis on Iran from a J-school teacher?

I am no expert on anything. My assumption was President Trump knew what he was doing because of his track record. This proved prescient.

For years, General قاسم سلیمانی  operated openly, believing America would not attack him for fear of starting World War 3. President Trump called his bluff. And here we are. Last night, Iran threw some missiles at us and immediately announced it will stop as long as we do not retaliate their retaliation for our retaliation.

This was face-saving. Sun Tzu said, "When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard."

He also said, "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting."

How worried was the president before the attack? He sent the Pentagon home early due to snow.
The media misread that as a sign of weakness. It was business as usual. Besides, even if a war broke out, we are not going to send in the 101st Chairborne, are we?

President Trump knew Iran could not retaliate. The media portrayed him as a madman starting World War 3. After Iran embarrassed itself, the media embarrassed itself.

They dug a hole and keep digging. That so many used the off ramp analogy informs me Ben Rhodes likely decided on that spin. He's the brother of the head of CBS News and the Obama flunky who sold the Iranian deal to reporters.

Tom Rogan of the Washington Examiner asked 5 days ago, "Why does anyone listen to Ben Rhodes on foreign policy?"

My short answer is because reporters are stupid. This is not an ad hominem but a fact based on their track record. At every step of the way, the nation's media has been wrong about Donald Trump. They said he was not a serious candidate, that he would not win the nomination, that he would not be elected, that he would quit before taking office, that he would resign, that the economy would crash,  that Comey would bring him down, that Mueller would bring him down, that bombing Syria would start World War 3, that tweeting Kim Jong Un would start World War 3, that his tax cuts would not work....

Readers get the picture. Reporters do not. They never learn which shows a tenacious stupidity.

President Trump does not want war. He has said that all along. He also said he was preventing a war by killing General قاسم سلیمانی. It certainly seems like he has prevented one.

Now negotiations can begin between the USA and Iran, a land of 81 million people that was once Westernized.

That was long ago when I was in my 20s. I am 66 now. I do not expect them to shed their burkas and Sharia law.

But surely they no longer want to be a pariah nation.

President Trump holds the Iranian economy in his hands, and therefore the continuation of this regime. I suspect there have been negotiations already. If not, how difficult is it to get a Farsi interpreter, to pick up the phone, and to start talking. You may have noticed that Donald Trump likes to talk. You may also have noticed that he is quite good at it.

You may also have noticed that President Trump figures out how to win before engaging battle. He knew the outcome before approving the shot.

In June, Iran knocked down a drone. President Trump refrained from a military confrontation. 7 months later, he shot one missile, killed General قاسم سلیمانی  , and set in motion the end of 40-plus years of antagonism.

Once upon a time, war was good for business. No longer because it disrupts foreign trade and makes the livestock nervous.

President Trump is pretty easy to understand. He just wants to learn the game and win. And he does. Real estate. Books. TV show. Presidency.

The people in the press are largely too stupid to see this. Again, nothing personal, just fact. They have an excuse. They were taught by people like Professor Beinart.

He ended his gloom and doom piece in Atlantic, "When it comes to Iran, Trump has shifted Republican foreign policy away from war without shifting it toward diplomacy — the only stable alternative to war. So he’s caught in a kind of purgatory. The American embassy compound in Baghdad, now covered in pro-Iranian graffiti and strewn with broken glass, is the latest symbol of that purgatory. It probably won’t be the last."

Exactly a week later, Beinart's reputation is in the Dumpster along with four years of all the other media predictions.

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