Actually a pretty good movie. Not for a first date, maybe.

Donald Trump had a few choice words for The Troops Tuesday, seeming to accuse them of embezzling millions of dollars in funds intended for the reconstruction of Iraq. But don't worry! Even though what he said sounded a lot like he was talking about American soldiers, his campaign later issued a correction saying he meant Iraqi soldiers, who are bad, not American soldiers, who are good.

At a rally in North Carolina (on the 241st birthday of the U.S. Army, incidentally), Trump said,

Iraq, crooked as hell. How about bringing baskets of money -- millions and millions of dollars -- and handing it out? I want to know who were the soldiers that had that job, because I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they may be.

Trump also repeated his assertion that when we left Iraq, "we should have taken the oil," although he's never really explained how we should have done that. We think maybe he has no idea where oil actually is, and assumed we should have simply drained the entire country's oil reserves, possibly sneaking it out in our carry-on luggage.

As to the comments about soldiers walking off with the money, it sure sounded a hell of a lot like he was talking about the soldiers who were "bringing" the money and "handing it out," who would have been Americans, seeing as how Iraq was already there and not bringing dollars from anywhere. Plus, that stuff did happen:

Trump appeared to be referring to the many known instances in which members of the American military members skimmed U.S. government cash intended for reconstruction projects or otherwise engaged in theft or bribery. According to a 2015 report by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, "at least 115 enlisted personnel and military officers [were] convicted since 2005 of committing theft, bribery, and contract-rigging crimes valued at $52 million during their deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq."

But this is Donald Trump after all, and confusing word salad is his first language. In an explanatory email, campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks clarified, “Mr. Trump was referring to Iraqi soldiers,” so you just stop it with your insinuations that Trump said Americans would ever stoop to ripping off millions of dollars in ill-gotten funds and then living the high life with such fraudulent takings. Besides, the judge is Mexican, and very biased.

Politico notes that this isn't the first time Trump has seemed to accuse Our Boys of behaving like rapacious real estate con men:

At a Sept. 30 really in Keene, [New Hampshire] during remarks on Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq and Iraqi government corruption, Trump segued abruptly into discussion of the cash spent by American authorities occupying Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They didn’t really want to fight for Iraq because Iraq is a corrupt government, you know. Remember when they were handing 50 million dollars of cash? Cash! They were going through Afghanistan paying off, I want to know who were the soldiers that are carrying cash of 50 million dollars? Cash! How stupid are we?,” Trump said. “I wouldn’t be surprised those soldiers, I wouldn’t be surprised if the cash didn’t get there, I have to be honest.”

Ms. Hicks didn't reply to Politico's request for a follow-up on that one, but since it's Trumpspeak, it could mean almost anything -- were "they" the Iraqi or Afghan troops who abandoned their posts, or the American troops who didn't believe in the corrupt governments we were propping up? Maybe both? The part about soldiers "going through Afghanistan paying off" some unknown entity sure sounds like Trump was referring to Americans, because why on earth would Afghan soldiers be going through their own country distributing American cash? But a pronoun like "they" could mean anyone, so Trump has plausible deniability. They say the great thing about never saying anything clearly is that you can never be pinned down. Many, many people say this.

Should Mr. Trump win in November, it is believed there will be ample job prospects for semioticians capable of unraveling the new chief executive's ambiguous discourse, at least for the first week or so of his administration before he orders nuclear strikes on all universities not named "Trump."

[Politico / New Republic]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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