Op-Ed: For a man who claims he has the world’s greatest memory of any presidential candidate, Donald Trump apparently has forgotten that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi killed 189 American passengers on a Pan Am jet. Passengers from other countries and people on the ground in Scotland also died.
Trump defended Gaddafi in Thursday night’s Republican debate. He didn’t mention Gaddafi’s terrorist acts against many countries.
Gaddafi’s agents also blew up a DC-10 operated by the former French airliner UTA over the Sahara Desert. The 170 killed included seven Americans.
His agents also killed three people, including two American soldiers, and injured many more people, in a West Berlin discotheque.
President Ronald Reagan tried unsuccessfully to kill Gaddafi.
Trump also apparently forgot during the debate that Gaddafi had pitched a tent on land owned by Trump in New York, though public pressure prevented him from ever staying in it.
Trump and other defenders of Gaddafi say he kept order in the region, and had stopped terrorist acts, and paid money to some victims.
Trump denied during the debate that he had supported the overthrow of Gaddafi, though fact checkers confirmed he had publicly claimed a role in the regime change.
BuzzFeed reported: “I can’t believe what our country is doing,” said Trump on his video blog. “Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all have the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage and that’s what it is: It’s a carnage.
“Trump said Libya could end up one of the worst massacres in history, and it would be very easy to topple Qaddafi. “You talk about things that have happened in history; this could be one of the worst,” he said. “Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it, and save these lives. This is absolutely nuts.”
One implication of Trump’s remarks was that because Gaddafi had used his oil revenue to pay more than $2 billion to some of his victims he could be forgiven.
This is consistent with Trump’s attitude that deals can always be cut.
It should come as no surprise. Last November Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah had predicted Trump could become America’s Gaddafi, the nation’s “first African president…”
The writer of this blog covered the Sahara Desert crash of the UTA plane blow up by agents of Gaddafi. He was then a reporter for Associated Press based in West Africa.
IN THE TENERE REGION OF THE SAHARA (AP) First it appeared like confetti in the endless sand. Then big chunks of fuselage shattered in the crash that killed all 171 aboard, came into view.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - Donald Trump: America's African President
Donald Trump's Pants on Fire claim he never discussed Libya intervention
As he appeared to be heading towards nomination as the Republican presidential nominee, is it possible Donald Trump will be the one in jail?
With all the talk about Hillary’s secret emails it is Trump who may be going to court.
He may be answering questions in as many as three lawsuits about a university critics say he created to make more money.
This isn’t something he can shout down with the backing of crowds and network television.
Here is what Wikipedia, ever mindful of Trump’s threats of law suits, said: “On August 24, 2013, the State of New York filed a $40 million civil suit against the institution (which had largely ceased operations in May 2011), alleging illegal business practices and claiming numerous "false promises" made by The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative and its representatives.Donald Trump denied the allegations, claiming the school has a 98% approval rating and said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is "a political hack looking to get publicity."The New York Times editorial board stated that "Mr. Schneiderman’s suit offers compelling evidence of a bait-and-switch scheme."
“Schneiderman accused Trump of misleading more than 5,000 people to pay up to $35,000 to learn his real estate investment techniques.
“Trump has given conflicting stories. In his infomercial he said: “And honestly, if you don’t learn from them, if you don’t learn from me, if you don’t learn from the people that we’re going to be putting forward, and these are all people handpicked by me, then you’re just not going to make it in terms of world-class success.” He testified in a 2012 deposition that, contrary to the Trump University sales materials and statements he made in the infomercial to the media, he neither selected the instructors nor oversaw the curriculum.
“In October 2014 a New York judge found Trump personally liable for the institution's violation of state education laws."
Media reports this week said Trump would be compelled to testify in the case. Politico said no trial date has been set but Trump could be forced to appear on a primary day.
He already has had to defend himself against charges that he profited from bankruptcy.
Politico said even without a trial ”… After winning three of the first four nominating contests, Donald Trump hasn’t just hijacked the Republican Party but fractured it newly into three.”
Might there be a brokered convention. Would Trump break his pledge not to run as an independent.
Would Michael Bloomberg throw his hat in the ring?
Even with networks and reporters trying to keep the U.S. presidential vote alive as long as possible it is starting to calm down.
First, Hillary Clinton has regained her edge. This was no surprise. The pundits had sought to portray Bernie Sanders as capable of beating Clinton.
They knew the chronological would make it an easy sell because the first two states for Democrats were Iowa and New Hampshire, more than 95 percent white.
Plus Sen. Sanders is from Vermont, a neighbor of New Hampshire.
But these early races meant nothing.
According to Wikipedia, Hillary had led polls in 46 of 50 states in the past 18 months.
In Nevada, networks trying to get people to watch media sought to make it appear Sanders might upset Clinton. This despite a total lack of reliable polls because the major companies said it was too risky in such a caucus situation.
Within minutes of declaring Hillary the winner some pundits had been saying they believed Sanders could pull an upset.
Guess what. Hillary did carry the Latino vote.
The New York Times’ reported: “After Mrs. Clinton’s defeat in the New Hampshire primary, she sharpened her political message to focus on breaking “barriers” that keep black and Hispanic Americans from rising in society and earning a high-quality education, good jobs and fair treatment from police officers and the criminal justice system.
“Mrs. Clinton, her campaign surrogates and her television commercials repeated these themes throughout Nevada, and her campaign aides portrayed Mr. Sanders as preoccupied with attacking the political system and Wall Street rather than helping real people.
“According to entrance polls, Mrs. Clinton won among women and low-income voters — two groups she lost to Mr. Sanders in New Hampshire. Moreover, she seemed to hit on a message that showcased her caring side, a quality that some voters have wanted to see.”
The mainstream is still treating Donald Trump like Alexander the Great. But did Alexander ever settle for a third of the vote?
That seems to be Trump’s ceiling.
In South Carolina, two Republican U.S. senators, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio, about 22 percent of the vote each. They got 100,00 votes more than Trump. Three other candidates still another 100,000. So Trump, together, got 200,000 fewer than the other candidates out of a total.
One of those candidates, Jeb Bush, withdrew from the campaign last night.
Trump is going to find things much tougher when more candidates withdraw. How would he do against just or two opponents?
No one knows where the votes would go.
It seems unlikely that he would attract more votes. He has probably already threw just about every insult in the sink against the Pope, John McCain, Apple, female journalists and editors and others. Those who support him are probably already on board.
The television interview given by the mother of Columbine killer Dylan Klebold leaves out important information, actually reducing the amount known about WHAT led to the 13 killings.
No one is suggesting Sue Klebold knew the young men were preparing a massacre.
But the carefully choreographed televised interview leaves out important things that were known.
Several so-called experts appeared but did not talk about bullying. Many believe that bullying of the killers by athletes was a major factor.
Columbine had very successful athletic teams.
“It was clear in the first hours after the shootings that vengeance against athletes was a preoccupation of the two killers. Harris and Klebold began firing with the words “anybody with a white hat" stand up, the Washington Post reported.
The Post, in a review of the Klebold’s book, mentions that bullying was endured by the killers. It was reported by the Denver Post that Wayne Harris, father of Eric Harris, had found at least one pipe bomb in his son’s belongings before the shootings.
The idea that Klebold would make no money from a book being promoted by the ABC interview with former Nixon speech writer Diane Sawyer is disingenuous. The settlement of lawsuit filed by victims and their families prohibits making any money from any media accounts of what happened at Columbine or the events that preceded the killings.
But how will we know if the publisher sent funds her way.
That settlement included depositions in which both families answered questions with the condition that what was said would not be released for 20 years years. This information will only be available in 2027.
The interview also made no apparent attempt to look at why Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies did not pay attention to warnings that the teens were threatening to kill people.
Colorado’s state government dropped its own investigation.
Whack a presidential candidate Donald Trump is running out of one-liners.
At one time there were 20 or so Republican presidential candidates. That meant Donald Trump could get away with one-liners instead of talking policy.
Assuming he does have some ideas, he soon will have to talk about them.
What was once 20 Republican candidates is now down to four or five.
Nobody has heard from Ben Carson.
Chris Christie and Carley Fiorina are the latest to withdraw.
On Saturday, in Houston, there will only be four five on the stage, depending on whether Carson shows up and is admitted.
There won’t be such great pressure to make sure Trump, Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and present and former Govs. John Kasich and Jeb Bush get their chance to speak.
Kasich has tried to show he is the only moderate. This week he is expected to sign a bill taking money away from Planned Parenthood.
There still may be too many on the stage to deal with serious issues, and Trump has shown no sign of being interested in them.
If billionaire Trump does become the GOP candidate that could bring the even richer former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg out as an independent.
Despite Bernie Sanders so far in two very small, nearly all white states, roadblocks lay ahead. Starting with Nevada and South Carolina, both with large minority populations.
Clinton may be so embedded in the Democratic party’s structure that she cannot be stopped.
Two candidates whose candidacies are based on winning the declining white vote have captured the first primary in the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
Sen. Bernie Sanders and real estate tycoon Donald Trump had lost a week before.
Now the media “narrative,” this year’s term, will declare them victims and the likely presidential nominees of the Democrat and Republican parties.
How can this be given that the share of whites, meaning Caucasians of Anglo-Saxon descent, is declining each year?
Imagine, a jeweler using an arthroscopic surgeons’ tools, removed two tiny areas from the nation and added up the votes.
Iowa and New Hampshire, combined population less than 5 million of the total of 319 million in the country.
That is not quite 2 percent.
As late night TV hosts repeatedly said, there were more blacks on the university basketball teams in the two states than in their black populations.
The two states both allow people to cross lines and vote for a candidate in either party. Most states require primary voters to be registered members of the party whose race they are voting in.
Next up are Nevada and South Carolina, both with big minority populations, and polls show Clinton with big leads. She lost to Sanders by 18 points, less than the 30 the polls predicted.
Trump may do better since there are so few blacks and so many evangelical, Confederate flag lovers.
As for New England, it used to be joked that the New England states were in their own world. “As Maine goes, so goes Vermont.”
This evening’s Huffington Post banner headline said: “NH Goes Racist Sexist Xenophobic.”
Sanders and Trump appeared to share one thing. But they were opposite sides of the coin.
Sanders wants to be a socialist. Trump want build walls around the country.
Sanders approves of same sex marriage and legal abortion and even legal weed.
Trump wants to put anyone who marries someone of the same sex in jail along with any woman who had an abortion, even if raped.
Here is where the polls seem at odds with each other.
Majorities approve of the gay marriage, legal abortion and legalizing marijuana.
With the two major parties apparently under the control of leftists and rightwing nut cases, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, also a billionaire, may enter the race as an independent.
He has been a Democrat, a Republican and now an independent.
The biggest problem with Trump and Sanders is that they are both boring. The media has supported Trump and opposed Clinton.
Bloomberg might give the nation the solid third-party choice most countries already have.
Even here in Denver most people didn’t think a lame 39-year-old quarterback, Peyton Manning, could win a Super Bowl.
He did, 24-10 over the Carolina Panthers and their 25-year-old stud quarterback.
Having lost three of five previous Super Bowls, Mile High City residents were accustomed to losing.
John Elway, who won two before retiring, was the oldest to have ever won in the past.
Elway was different. Most years he was the entire team. Elway, now the manager, took a bet, and signed Manning despite neck surgery that left him questionable.
Manning was annihilated by Seattle in his first trip for Denver two years ago. But this year Elway and defensive coach Wade Phillips, had created the best defense in the National Football Leage.
Time after time, despite a tendency for penalties due to rough play, the Broncos won the game when its offense failed to show up.
Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler won some of those games. And it would not have been a huge surprise if had replaced Manning when the going got tough.
Manning was sacked and forced to fumble but Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton missed on many throws and a few of his runs out of the pocket made no difference.
Fireworks were going off all over the Denver Metro area.
On Monday there probably be just as many people wearing orange jerseys. They used to the Orange Crush, because of their defense in the 1970s. Now they are the Orange Rush, again for their defense.
It might have been more of a surprise if the Broncos hadn’t destroyed New Englands Patriot Tom Brady.
Both Newton and Brady frequently had to throw balls away to avoid being sacked.
2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.