It’s The Balkans All Over Again

Republican Fox Business Primary Debate Lineup

The breaking news banner on the bottom of the cable network news show screen screamed:


What a surprise!

A thing of beauty, the kind of oratory worthy of the president, which sought to bring comfort to the nation, I found myself uncomfortable with his assurance about steps we are taking to win the war in the Middle East without getting really involved.

I kept thinking it’s the Balkans all over again. 1914! The glorious war to end all wars we got dragged into by an idealistic president elected in 1916 on the promise of keeping us out of it. World War One was totally stupid, without purpose, except European powers destroying themselves.

I may be paranoid, but I fear we may be dragged into the New Balkans in a World War Three that may start without us, like the last time.

With crack fly boy pilots from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the Emirates learning their craft in the tiny air space over Syria, brushing wings with the British, French, Russian and our own planes, there’s an Archduke Josef in there somewhere.

What really concerns me, though, is that the remaining contestants in the Republican Debating Society—the reality TV series returning for a sixth episode tonight at 9 on the Fox Business Network—do not seem to have an adequate grasp on foreign policy issues, commensurate with the dangers. What will the candidates currently auditioning for the Big Job be thinking about preventing us from being dragged into this one lollapalooza of a war that will really end all wars—and civilization?

With all due respect, Donald Trump, the presumptive president self-elect (just look at the polls, he has been telling us since June) doesn’t seem to know a damn thing about foreign policy.

The knowledge guru, Trump has revolutionized campaigning forever by never seeming to have a second paragraph for any of his controversial proposals. His first paragraph always begins with a declarative sentence, and then wanders off to say such and such opponent is a nice guy. He loves him and it pains him to personally abuse him, concluding with assuring us the target du jour is nevertheless a nice guy.

Come to think of it, the third or fourth paragraphs are also short of substance.

The latest innovation Trump has added, enriching the modern rules of campaigning, is assuring voters he doesn’t need to give details. “The people like to be surprised.”

Well, that is reassuring.

Not only is he keeping us in the dark about his chops for dealing with the explosive Middle East—besides bombing the Carlin out of them—he has already become the greatest asset to ISIS by championing the banning of 1.4 billion Muslims, adding them to a data base to be watched and distrusted if they ever should be so lucky as to darken our shores. The Trumpian making America unsafe for Muslims is sure to win the confidence of our Muslim allies who are needed to supply the boots and sandals on the ground to form a coalition of the unwilling to fight ISIS.

Currently, Trump seems preoccupied with a greater threat, Rafael (Ted) Cruz. The only Canadian in the race—who Trump once spoke fondly of, ignoring his being unqualified to serve if elected because of Constitutional issues—is now leading in some polls. As Cruz numbers continue to grow in Iowa, Trump may advocate building a wall across the northern border to keep out lawless people like Cruz.

Sen. Cruz is an angry man, a carpet bomb thrower. He will deal with any problem by carpet-bombing, even though it didn’t work in Vietnam and World War Two. The Cruz Doctrine, as he explained, includes a willingness to bomb Agrabah. A recent PPP poll found that 37% of Men supported the policy, even though nobody quite knows where Agrabah is. 41% of Donald Trump supporters also favor bombing Agrabah. The mythical Disney nation’s days are numbered.

Rubio is a boy. It’s hard to take seriously a candidate who doesn’t even show up to vote at his day job in Congress.

Jeb Bush is the One Hundred Million Bionic Man in the race (the size of his super PAC kitty before he ran out of energy). He knows all about getting involved in a Sunni-Shia war that has been going on since 607 AD, having studied at the feet of his brother, George the Mad.

Chris Christie is the scariest of them all. He is already on record as not caring about starting World war Three by shooting down a Russian plane invading his no fly zone. It wont be necessary to shoot down the plane, he argues, because Putin knows he means what he says. Ask the people of New Jersey how much they rely on a Gov. Tell it Like It Is promise.

None of these idiots who will be continuing the food fight that passes for debates in the previous three meeting of the minds will be addressing the problem in any way, I predict, except blaming Obama. They are still concerned about how to protect the second amendment and passing the 65th bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The only hope for having peace in our time might be the prospect of a Trump nomination and presidency. His making faces and swinging his arms around like Charlie Chaplin’s great dictator of the past may be enough to frighten all the powers to sit down around the negotiating table, and be nice.

But there I go being over-optimistic again.



Marvin Kitman
Jan. 14, 2016

Marvin Kitman is the author of “The Making of the Preƒident 1789”, HarperCollins, and in paperback, Grove Press, available at Amazon and quality book-sellers.