Appearing as a guest on MSNBC Live on Saturday morning, MSNBC contributor and Daily Beast world news editor Christopher Dickey blamed the recent exchange of fire between Israel and Iran on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believing that he has been given a "license to kill" by Trump pulling out of the Iran deal. Not mentioned was that it was the Iranian military that fired first from Syria and provoked the Israeli counterattack.
At 7:14 a.m. Eastern, correspondent Matt Bradley filed a report on the Palestinian Arabs protesting on the border with Israel and planning to escalate in response to the U.S. embassy being relocated to Jerusalem. He then then noted the military exchange between Israel and Iranian troops without mentioning who fired first.
Host Dara Brown brought aboard Dickey and began by posing: "Is this escalation a direct result of President Trump killing the Iran deal?"
Dickey began by noting the embassy move: "Well, I think it's all kind of related. I mean, the things that Matt was talking about -- the moving the embassy, all of that -- was -- is certainly a huge element as far as the Palestinians are concerned. That's created an uptick in tension in the region."
He then complained about Trump -- unlike President Barack Obama -- not doing more to "reign in" Netanyahu, and suggesting that Trump and Netanyahu were to blame for Israelis defending themselves against Iranian attack:
But, in terms of Iran and attacking Iran or Iranian troops and units in Syria -- I think, yes, absolutely. I think that Netanyahu feels that he's gotten the green light -- almost a license to kill -- from Trump because before under Obama there was a lot of tension -- a lot of effort to reign in Netanyahu. Now, there's no effort to reign in Netanyahu, and he's basically being told, "If you want to go after Iran, especially Iran in Syria, feel free to do it.
A bit later, Brown brought up a photograph of the Iranian supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, holding and reading the anti-Trump book Fire and Fury, and asked her guest what message the Iranian government was trying to send.
Dickey argued that the Ayatollah was trying to send a message to Europeans that Trump is a "lunatic" and an "irrational player" -- which, although Dickey attributed the thinking to the Iranians, sounds very much in line with what Dickey himself would likely give as his own opinion considering his history of lambasting President Trump. Here's Dickey:
That Trump is a lunatic and that if you want to have rational policy -- the message is essentially to Europe -- if you want to have rational policy, you need to work with us, not against us. Trump has taken a deal that was a solid deal and thrown it out the window with the apparent fantasy that he can make a bigger deal -- a better deal -- a surer deal -- a safer deal because, after all, he's all about The Art of the Deal.
Essentially, by holding up Fire and Fury, the Iranians are making the point that he is an irrational player, not a rational one, and, as a result, no one should trust him.