MSNBC Blames Trump For Current Middle East Chaos

News & Politics

When it comes to the current chaos in the Middle East, MSNBC’s Ali Velshi developed a novel theory on who is to blame as he guest hosted Friday’s The Last Word. For Velshi, it is Donald Trump.

Velshi never mentioned Trump’s name, but it is clear who he was talking about when, against the backdrop of U.S. airstrikes against Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and proxy targets in retaliation for the attack in Jordan that killed three American soldiers, he told analyst and Iran nuclear deal architect Ben Rhodes:

I have been thinking all day, that back when we had that– what was called the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal, and people, a lot of people had beef about it. They thought it was not the best deal around. I always thought that the one thing it does do is that it gets America and Iran around the same table, something that hasn’t happened, something that we haven’t had in place when October 7th happened, and we needed to use influence over Hamas is something we don’t have tonight. 

What? Is Velshi seriously arguing that Hamas launching its genocidal attack on October 7 on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War was in anyway related to the lack of a nuclear deal with Iran? As Iran deal proponents said at the time, the nuclear issue was separate from other issues as evident by the fact that the Houthis were shooting missiles at U.S. ships during the time when the deal was in place.

Of course, Rhodes was happy to promote what he considers his biggest accomplishment, “Yeah, no that is right. During that nuclear deal, it obviously put a lid on the Iranian nuclear program, it also created a diplomatic framework for the U.S. and Iran to have direct discussions and try to resolve disputes and de-escalate tensions.”

Rhodes would go on to worry that nobody knows what the anybody else is trying to accomplish, “There is the Iranian intentions, there’s the intentions of the Houthis, there’s the intentions of these proxy groups in Syria and Iraq, there are the intentions of Hezbollah in Lebanon, there are the intentions of Hamas. All these groups have different motivations here, even if they are networked and connected together through the support that they received from Iran.”

If that is true, how would the nuclear deal fix that? 

Here is a transcript for the February 2 show:

MSNBC The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell

2/2/2024

10:10 PM ET

ALI: Ben, I have been thinking all day, that back when we had that– what was called the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal, and people, a lot of people had beef about it. They thought it was not the best deal around. I always thought that the one thing it does do is that it gets America and Iran around the same table, something that hasn’t happened, something that we haven’t had in place when October 7th happened, and we needed to use influence over Hamas is something we don’t have tonight. 

BEN RHODES: Yeah, no that is right. During that nuclear deal, it obviously put a lid on the Iranian nuclear program, it also created a diplomatic framework for the U.S. and Iran to have direct discussions and try to resolve disputes and de-escalate tensions. It didn’t solve every problem. I think the challenge that we’re seeing here now, in addition to the fact that we haven’t even mentioned the fact, Ali, that, that nuclear program has advanced to, kind of, the doorstep of nuclear weapons capability. 

So, that is in the backdrop here too, but the other problem is nobody’s, just listen to the conversation that we have been having, nobody is quite sure of everybody’s intentions here. 

VELSHI: Right.

RHODES: There is the Iranian intentions, there’s the intentions of the Houthis, there’s the intentions of these proxy groups in Syria and Iraq, there are the intentions of Hezbollah in Lebanon, there are the intentions of Hamas. All these groups have different motivations here, even if they are networked and connected together through the support that they received from Iran. 

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