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:
Just after midnight on August 2, 1990, an invasion force of approximately 100,000 Iraqi troops crossed into Kuwait. As mechanized and armored Republican Guard divisions breached the border and sped southward across the desert, Iraqi Special Forces commandos launched airborne and amphibious assaults into Kuwait City. The Kuwaiti military, outnumbered and taken by surprise by the well-coordinated offensive, was swiftly routed.
Can the United States maintain a "limited" military force in Iraq to stop the Islamist militants targeting ethnic minorities in that country? At Politico, Philip Ewing notes how difficult that strategy may be for President Barack Obama:
On Friday, July 11, as reported at the Kurdish English-language news portal Rudaw [Events], combat fighters representing the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq, known as Peshmerga, occupied oil fields in Hassan and Makhmour, near the ethnically-mixed city of Kirkuk that the KRG occupied in mid-June. Rudaw asserted the KRG’s claim to the oil fields based on investment in and construction of the facilities by the regional authority. But the Kurdish source also argued it was necessary to protect the assets from the Baghdad government of prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, which has challenged the right of the Kurds to extract and sell their oil for their own benefit.
They came from the west through the Syrian Desert, across the Euphrates River, and down off the Nineveh Plain. Mosul, Baiji, Tikrit, Samarra—cities held by the U.S. military just two and a half years before—fell almost without a fight, absorbed into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a prospective terrorist caliphate based on sharia law and governed by Salafist militants who make even al Qaeda shudder.
Kobani, Syrian Kurdish Region With Syrian presidential elections scheduled for June, the incumbent and shoo-in for reelection, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, is campaigning on the promise that 2014 will be the year in which military operations in Syria end. However, the situation in northern Syria, exemplified by the conflict in the canton of Kobani, an area stretching from the Turkish border to south of Kobani city, and from Tell Abyad in the east to Jarabulus in the west, casts doubt on Assad’s optimism.