I joined a 25-minute panel discussion on TRT World this week to dig into the media flutter that Donald Trump might be worthy of consideration for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The discussion with the other panellists — London-based Iranian journalist Nazanin Ansari and John Gizzi, a writer for the right-wing, pro-Trump site Newsmax — gets into substance rather than spin by looking at the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and at the maneuvers over the future of the Korean Peninsula and East Asia.
Along the way, there were a series of interesting points and clashes:
*Gizzi, promoting regime change in Iran, did not even realize that the “Iranian freedom movement” of the National Council of Resistance of Iran is the political branch of the Mojahedin-e Khalq, which has pursued the violent overthrow of the Iranian regime
(This passage was cut from the final broadcast)
*Ansari and I, while both sceptical of the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the deal, differ over “regime change” when viewed from inside Iran: she believes it is possible, while I am cautious about this rather than reform and “the Iranian people don’t want reform at the point of an American gun”
*Trump’s self-declared role in leading the way to peace in Korea is taken apart with a look at the regional dynamics
*At the end, I get to the point about the Nobel and Trump:
Let’s cut to the chase here. Donald Trump is a misogynist. Donald Trump has very suspect view on race and on ethnic minorities. Donald Trump is accused of being ethically compromised. Donald Trump may be at risk of impeachment.
At the end of the day, peace relies on people in their communities. It doesn’t rely on some people coming down from the mountain with tablets.
*Throughout the program, Gizzi is called a “journalist” and a “White House correspondent” but his affiliation with Newsmax — an attack site rather than a location for reporting and analysis — is never declared.
That’s leads to a sharp moment after I am asked if I would put money on Donald Trump winning the Nobel — “I’d put money on Donald being impeached in 2019. I’ll put a bit of money on him facing criminal charges in 2019.”
Gizzi interjects, “I’ll take you on that.”
My response: “Of course John would do that because his boss Chris Ruddy is a good friend of Donald Trump’s.”