For Iran's shield and general Brooks's killing, 2020

World Health:JUDY WOODRUFF: Between the escalating conflictwith Iran and the race for the Democraticpresidential nomination, 2020 has alreadybeen a busy year for American politics.Here to help us make sense of it all, Shieldsand Brooks.That s syndicated columnist Mark Shields andNew York Times columnist David Brooks.Hello to both o...

May 29,2020 | Christine

ForIran'sshieldandgeneralBrooks'skilling,2020

JUDY WOODRUFF: Between the escalating conflictwith Iran and the race for the Democraticpresidential nomination, 2020 has alreadybeen a busy year for American politics.Here to help us make sense of it all, Shieldsand Brooks.That's syndicated columnist Mark Shields andNew York Times columnist David Brooks.Hello to both of you, and happy new year.MARK SHIELDS: Happy new year.JUDY WOODRUFF: Although, as we have been reporting,the new year has gotten off to a soberingstart.Mark, what do you make of the Trump administrationdecision to target and kill this senior Iraniangeneral?MARK SHIELDS: I don't know.Every act like this has risk and reward, andI don't know anybody who can predict whatwill happen, Judy.

I mean, it violates all of the rules thatwe have about going into armed conflict withdisproportionate force and with fully understoodobjectives and with an exit strategy and withbacking of our allies and so forth.None of those was met.And the president doesn't have the benefitof the doubt.He treats truth like a second home.He only lives there occasionally, and, therefore,he doesn't have the natural credibility thatAmerican presidents -- and it has been hurt.The Afghan papers, most recently The WashingtonPost, revealed 18 years of deception and deceitand self-delusion about the United Statesin Afghanistan, the lying that we have hadand the evasion.So, you know, I don't see it -- I see it moreimpulsive than strategic, just like the entireTrump administration.It doesn't appear to be thought out.

JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you respond to that?DAVID BROOKS: Yes.Well, first, like the other 7.5 billion inhabitantsof this Earth, I don't know either.But I do see it sort of on three levels, first,in the near term, the immediate term, whichis, I think it's a reasonably good thing thatsomebody who was responsible for the deathsof 600 Americans and hundreds of thousandsof people in the Middle East meet some justice.I do think that's a good thing.The fact that there were rallies around theMiddle East celebrating his death is a signof the destruction he has wrought.Then there is the middle term, and that'ssomewhere between anxiety-inducing and terrifying,because we just -- I don't think either Iraqor Iran or the U.S. want to have a war, butthey have got to show they do something, andthen we do something.And it could escalate into something.I think it's extremely unlikely.But they play this game.I have been covering the Middle East for 30years.And they play this game.And, sometimes, it goes fine and somebodyjust finally quiet -- walks away, but, sometimes,it doesn't.And so, in the middle term, I think we'reoverall right to be worried about that.And then, in the long term, I think talentdoesn't grow on trees, and this guy was theirbest guy.And so getting rid of your enemy's best guyprobably in the long term yields some benefit.And, second, his strategic -- his basic signaturemove was to create militias around the MiddleEast, extragovernmental militias, in a sometimeshostile country.And to the extent that we can weaken thatthere should be militias all around the MiddleEast, then we have stabilized the Middle Eastlong-term.The middle term is what you have to worryabout.JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Mark, do you get the ideathe administration is prepared for what maycome from this, as a result of this?

MARK SHIELDS: No.No.And I guess where take some -- depart fromDavid is, we have been down this road before.We had a major Republican leader address theVeterans of Foreign Wars Convention and assureus that the foreign leader has weapons ofmass destruction, there's no doubt he's amassingthem to use against us, against our allies,I'm confident that he's on the verge of havingnuclear weapons.That was Dick Cheney.That was 18 years ago.And that was hundreds of thousand of deathsago.As a consequence of this act, the Iraqi Parliamentmay very well do what it hasn't done.And that is act in concert and ask us to leave.If they ask us to leave, now, what does thatmean for our troops in Syria?What does that mean for any of our influencein the area?Now, I just -- I do not see any coherent,thoughtful policy emanating from this.It's almost like the administration has beenscrambling to come up with a rationalization.They did it, and now, well, we're going tobrief you on Tuesday.We're going to brief you 120 hours after theevent as to what happened.We're going to do it from a resort in Florida,I mean, suggesting the gravity of the moment-- all of that.I mean, for a man who's sensitive to theatricsand optics, like Donald Trump is, none ofthis makes any sense.DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I guess the only -- thefirst thing I would say was, what Mark raised,all those are real possibilities.

And, frankly, it's above my pay grade to knowall the different details of this.But a lot of people I admire, like Mike Mullen,who we just had on the show, or General StanMcChrystal, who was head of special ops, beforerunning the Afghan war, they say, on balance,they see the risks and it's worth the risks.And so these are really professional operators,and so you have to have some respect for that.As for the Trump administration, I sort ofagree.I often ask the administration officials frompast administration, what did you learn insidethat you didn't learn outside?And how is it going to affect your careeras a pundit afterwards?And they always say, you never know the actualinformation that is going on inside.In most administrations, there's all thesebackroom signals they're all sending evento their adversaries.And so you have some confidence, well, thesepeople know what they're doing.I don't have that confidence right now.And so I do agree with Mark that I don't thinkthere is a policy process in anything realmof the Trump administration.And so, therefore, the thought they have sketchedout scenarios B, C, D, and Q, that's probablynot happened.And so that's where the anxiety comes from.JUDY WOODRUFF: 

Are you discouraged?MARK SHIELDS: Judy, on the eve of going towar in Iraq, Jim Webb had been secretary ofthe Navy and later be secretary -- senatorfrom Virginia, asked a very straightforwardquestion, which the administration, Bush administration,refused to confront.Are we as a nation prepared to be an occupyingcountry and force in the Middle East for thenext 30 to 50 years?And he was -- oh, what do you mean?What do you mean?I mean, war begins with unintended consequences.Admiral Mullen referred to that.I mean, on the eve of World War I, the Germangeneral staff was absolutely convinced 42days to conquer France and France's army.I mean, and here we have 75 years after Victoryin Europe Day, and we have troops in Europe,and we have American troops in Japan, and67 years after the armistice in Korea, we'reon the front lines in Korea.I mean, so...DAVID BROOKS: I don't think anyone wants todo boots on the ground.I certainly would find that appalling.But the Middle East fights their wars differently.They -- it's like a little shot here and thena little shot there.And it's choreographed.You go up here.You go there.And so they have been doing this.And they're professionals at it, which is-- and we're not.So that should be faced.JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, a lot of conversationaround it and reaction, David, by the 2020Democratic presidential candidates.We are today exactly one month away from thefirst votes being cast, the Iowa -- the Iowacaucuses.Do you see this Iran event having a real effectin some way on the presidential contest?Does it favor one candidate?DAVID BROOKS:

 Well, you would think wouldfavor Biden, because he's been there in foreignpolicy, and a lot of the others have barelyspoken about foreign policy.I think it favors them all to some degree.I think it hurts Donald Trump.I think the idea that we may get sucked intoa war in the Middle East is something thatnobody wants.And I think a lot of people, certainly inmy texting early this morning, said, are wegoing to war, are we going to war?There's, A, a sense of great danger and, B,no faith that the U.S. can conduct this.And that's a fallout from the Iraq War.And the second -- but on the general election,I do think the Democrats have to come up withsome sort of defense policy.It's not enough to say, we're going to haveno war, because every president in all ofour lifetimes has had to get conduct militaryoperations.And so you have to give some sense of whenyou would use military force and when youwouldn't.It's not enough just to say, no endless wars,which is what they're all falling back toright now.JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you see the candidates?(CROSSTALK)JUDY WOODRUFF: ... campaign?MARK SHIELDS: I think the beneficiary, initialbeneficiary, is Joe Biden.I think the question is, is the United Statesfour years into this a more respected, a moretrusted and safer nation than it was fouryears ago?And I think Biden can make the case that itis not.The case makes itself that it is not underDonald Trump.And I think he offers stability and maturityand knowledge.I mean, for one thing, we're dealing withsomeone who his arrogance is only matchedby his lack of information.And that -- so I think, in that sense...

JUDY WOODRUFF: You're speaking about the president.MARK SHIELDS: The president.I'm speaking of the president, the commanderin chief.So, I do think that it benefits Biden morethan anybody else.Bernie Sanders has obviously trumpeted thefact that he was opposed to it initially in2002.And that's the card he will play.I don't see how the others benefit, quitefrankly, at this point.JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it's war and peace, andI hate to bring up something crass, but moneyis something that makes the wheels turn inAmerican politics.And, David, this week was the end of the -- theend of December, the end of the last cycleof counting how much money.And we have got -- we can show our audienceand you just quickly.Here is what it looked like, President Trumphauling in $46 million, but right behind him,Bernie Sanders $34.5 million, Pete Buttigiegmore than 24.5, Joe Biden 22.We learned today Elizabeth Warren coming inbehind.She didn't raise as much as she had the previousquarter.And then you see Amy Klobuchar, Cory Bookerand others.What is this telling us about the race, ifanything?DAVID BROOKS: I think they're all doing verywell, exceptionally well.There's a lot of money there, even Sanders.She went down, but she shouldn't go down hugely.And so there's just a lot of money there.JUDY WOODRUFF: You mean Warren.DAVID BROOKS: Warren, I'm sorry, yes.Sorry.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.DAVID BROOKS: Sanders is the most impressiveof the group.The one thing I'd highlight, sort of perversely,is the amount of money Yang and Klobucharraised, which is very high.For the big candidates, they're getting alot of free media.They're -- they're sort of established.But this kind of money means that Yang andKlobuchar can be in the game.MARK SHIELDS: Yes.DAVID BROOKS: And, to me, money diminishesin value the more of it you have.You need enough to be in the game, but, afterthat, it sort of doesn't matter as much.And so the fact that those two are stayingin the game, to me, is a significant partof the race.

JUDY WOODRUFF: A minute.What do you see?MARK SHIELDS: In a minute.(LAUGHTER)MARK SHIELDS: What I do think is that thetwo beneficiaries were two who had the badnews this past quarter.Bernie Sanders had a heart attack and raised$36 million.I mean, it's a great tribute to his supportand the intensity of it.And Donald Trump was impeached, and he gotsmall contributions.There is enough.What you have to have is enough to get throughIowa and New Hampshire, and to do it comfortablyand competitively.And every one of the people on that list doeshave that money.And if they finish second in New Hampshireor in the top three in Iowa, they will goon.If they don't, they can say good night andreturn to their day job.JUDY WOODRUFF: And I think they're all listeningto you right now.And they know -- they know what their futureis.All right, fourth-quarter fund-raising, andso much more.Mark Shields, David Brooks, thank you.MARK SHIELDS: Thank you.

Sources of article:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX5IDqZ7lVs

Iran

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