In a Thursday evening stunner, the Grand Ayatollah of Iran revealed the contents of a letter that President Trump purportedly sent to the leaders of Middle Eastern nations a few weeks ago.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei took to the president’s favorite platform – Twitter – to call him out for his controversial demands. He announced that Trump had insisted that the Gulf nations have to “do something in return” for the “$7 trillion” the United States has spent waging war in the Middle East for over the past fifteen years.
A few days ago Trump wrote a letter to leaders of #PersianGulf states, which was revealed to us. He wrote: "I spent $7 trillion and you must do something in return." The U.S. wants to own humiliated slaves.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) May 9, 2018
Speaking at an event at Tehran’s Farhangian University, Khamenei elaborated on the letter’s contents, as reported by the Washington Post.
“A couple of days ago, Trump wrote a letter to the leaders of the Arab world. We have that letter,” the ayatollah said. “In the letter, he says I have spent $7 trillion on you, you have to do [what I say]. You spent this money to rule over Iraq and Syria. You couldn’t. To hell with it. He says you should do it and says Iran ‘should’ do it, too.”
An anonymous White House official confirmed that indeed, President Trump did send a letter to our Persian Gulf allies about two weeks ago.
Whether or not the contents of the letter are accurate is unclear, but the Supreme Leader’s account has Trump written all over it. Trump has brought up the “$7 trillion” figure several times in the past, and has often groused about how other countries need to be “doing more” to repay us for all the blood and treasure we’ve squandered in our fruitless wars in the Middle East.
While he has a point, the correct course of action would be to not demand that our allies “do more for us” – though while we’re on the subject, asking the Turks and the Saudis to stop funding jihadist militias around the world and to stop committing genocide in Diyabakir and Yemen would be a nice start – but to stop spending money on pursuing fruitless wars and to bring our soldiers home to their families.
The idea that the Gulf nations “owe us” something for invading Iraq and setting off a shockwave that would plunge the entire region into a hellish vortex of endless violence and killed over a million people is appalling, not to mention preposterous.
For the record, $7 trillion is not a real figure; it is believed to be from a Brown University study that incorporates the projected costs of 40 years of veterans healthcare on top of the $3.6 trillion we’ve wasted since 2001 on wars overseas.
The casual rudeness and the selfish undertones of the demands are similarly classic Trump, common traits visible in literally anything he says or does.
Considering the way he’s insulted and demeaned close allies like the time he accused Britain of helping President Obama wiretap his office, or the time he refused to shake the hand of Germany’s Angela Merkel, or the time he yelled at Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull for making him follow through on a deal to resettle refugees made by the Obama administration, it’s well-documented that Trump has no filter when it comes to “diplomacy.”
The revelation of this letter is a huge embarrassment for Trump and a clear sign that one of our Gulf allies is disgruntled enough with him to pass on this information to the Iranians. Slowly but surely, all of our credibility and goodwill across the world is being trampled under the foot of this spoiled and unhinged old man.