Radio host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Donald Trump Thursday and asked the Republican frontrunner some details on foreign policy. After Trump confused some terminology, he accused Hewitt of asking "gotcha questions."
Hewitt, who will also be moderating CNN's September 16 presidential debate, first asked Trump if he was familiar with General Qasem Soleimani. When Trump asked for a little more information about Soleimani, Hewitt said, "He runs the Quds Forces," the Iranian military unit that engages in terrorism and guerilla tactics outside of Iran. But Trump seemed to have confused that term with the Kurds, an ethnic group being targeted by ISIS in northern Iraq.
"The Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated," Trump began.
"No, not the Kurds," Hewitt cut in. "The Quds Forces, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Forces."
In the interview, Trump also expressed his belief that it isn't important at the moment that he know the difference between Hamas (the Palestinian political and paramilitary group) and Hezbollah (the Iran-backed political party in Lebanon). He also said asking about who the various leaders and players in the Middle East was asking about "history" because those leaders would likely not be in power by the time Trump became president.
Trump called Hewitt's inquiries "gotcha questions," although the level of detail Hewitt asked about was not different from that he's asked of other Republican candidates. Listen to excerpts from the interview below:
Update: Hewitt later recorded an interview with Trump rival Carly Fiorina. The radio host claimed Fiorina was not aware of Trump's interview and asked her the same questions he asked Trump. Fiorina, the former CEO of HP, responded somewhat better than Trump to the same questions.
Listen to the audio of Hewitt and Fiorina's conversation below:
The State Department's practice of downplaying Palestinian incitement has reached a new low, with its latest report whitewashing not only the Palestinians' behavior but also Secretary of State John Kerry's own words on the subject.
Elections have grown increasingly contentious in countries across the globe. This makes sense; governments have become immensely powerful in the face of growing challenges, governments control a much greater share of the economy, and the benefits of dispensing government largesse are increasing exponentially. More recently, thanks to the “innovations” of James Carville and his ilk, campaigns have become ever more bitter and negative.
For the moment, the Gaza war of 2014 is over. Anyone trying now to figure out who won and who lost should recall the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. Then, Israelis had a great sense of letdown because they had not “won.” They had not destroyed Hezbollah, and the organization loudly claimed a triumph: “Lebanon has been victorious, Palestine has been victorious, Arab nations have been victorious,” said Sheikh Nasrallah. An estimated 800,000 Hezbollah supporters gathered in Beirut for a rally celebrating the “divine victory.”
What, you sometimes think, is it with these people? Why are they so infatuated with death? First, the execution of James Foley by ISIS, carried off like a punk schoolyard stunt. And now, as the Chicago Tribune reports:
During the six weeks of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has used human shields—women and children—to protect its infrastructure in Gaza. This tactic is meant either to deter Israel from striking at the rockets, attack tunnels, and terrorists that threaten it, or—and for Hamas this is much preferable—to force the Israeli military to fire on Palestinian civilians.
While a ceasefire between Hamas and Israeli military forces continues, a Thursday rally in Gaza City organized by the terrorist group featured plenty of young children, some of whom were carrying toy guns. Associated Press photographer Lefteris Pitarakis captured the scene:
Now into its second day, the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions continues to hold. With Hamas’ missile arsenal depleted by roughly 50 percent and, according to Israeli assessments, 32 attack tunnels destroyed, Israeli officials are claiming a clear victory. “The IDF won big time in Gaza,” says one commander of an elite unit. “Stop staying we lost. We won.”
Abulghasem Salavati, who heads Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, is known as one of Iran’s “hanging judges.” As the London Guardian reported recently, Salavati and his colleague, Mohammad Moghiseh, are most prominent judges in a drive to suppress independent journalists and political dissenters. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), a professional organization based in Brussels, denounced Iran on July 29 for keeping 27 journalists locked up.
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, frequent WEEKLY STANDARD contributor Elliott Abrams debated Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal over the issue of how the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has been covered by the media. Watch the clip below:
Ninety minutes into the 72-hour unconditional ceasefire announced this morning, Hamas launched a suicide attack in which two IDF soldiers were killed and another was kidnapped. Word on the ground in Israel is that Palestinian Islamic Jihad, rather than Hamas, may be responsible for the operation. If those rumors prove accurate, some analysts speculate, it would mean that Iran, PIJ’s longtime patron, is behind the operation and is responsible for scuttling the ceasefire.