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If the Exodus took place today...

Your humble blogger is busy going into carbohydrate withdrawal celebrating Passover this week.  I blogged about the international relations implications of this holiday a few years ago -- but that was pre-Arab Spring.  This (and a few glasses of kosher wine) got me to thinking:  what would happen if the event that inspires the Passover holiday -- the Exodus -- were to happen today? 

With apologies to Colum Lynch, I suspect the reportage would be something like this: 

U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON JEWISH EXODUS ENDS IN CHAOS:  Permanent Five split on who to sanction for loss of life

Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy

NEW YORK:  Attempts by the U.N. Security Council to reach consensus on an approach to the situation in Egypt came to naught earlier today, as different members of the Security Council blamed different actors in the region for the growing human rights and humanitarian disaster. 

U.S. Ambassdor to the United Natuons Susan Rice, addressing the Council, blasted China and Russia for their "addiction to obduracy."  She concluded, "Over the past decade we have continually raised the repeated human rights abuses and acts of genocide committed by the Phaaroh's regime against the Jewish population in Egypt.  Each time, China and Russia have vetoed even the mildest of condemnations, arguing that it was a matter of Egyptian sovereignty.  Only now, with the desperate escape of that minority from the Phaaroh's clutches, do the governments of Russia and China take such an acute interest in the welfare of the Egyptian people. "

The United States, France, and United Kingdom have indeed introduced thirteen separate resolutions on human rights abuses in Egypt since the advent of the Phaaroh who knew not Joseph. 

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin delivered a blistering response, arguing that it was the radical Jewsish leaders who had escalated the situation by resorting to weapons of mass destruction and demanding that Moses be indicted by the International Criminal Court as a war criminal:  "It was not the Phaaroh who imposed unspeakable sanctions against the Egyptian people.  It was not the Phaaroh who slaughtered every first-born male child in Egypt -- except the Jews -- in a flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions.  Surely, not a house in Egypt was spared from this , this plague.  It was not the Phaaroh who resorted to trickery in the Red Sea, luring innocent Egyptian troops into the kill zone before massacring them.  Both sides are equally guilty in the bloodshed, and until both sides renounce violence, a peaceful solution will be nothing but a mirage of the desert." 

No agreement on any resolutions were reached.  British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant flatly rejected many of the Russian assertions, arguing that only soldiers were afffected by the Red Sea disaster, and that it was not immediately obvious whether the Jews were actually responsible for the harsh sanctions that befell Egypt prior to the Jewish Exodus.

Doctors Without Borders upped the number of Egyptian dead into the five figures, but those figures could not be independently confirmed.  The Phaaroh's government again rejected the entry of the U.N. Secretary-General's fact-finding mission on the grounds that it represented an intrusion of sovereignty.  Russian and Chinese officials blamed this inflexible position on the civil society campaign to label the Egyptian Pyramids the "Slavery Pyramids." 

Humanitarian officials are not sure about the current status of the Jewish refugees.  According to unconfirmed reports from Egypt, the Jews left in such a hurry that they lacked basic provisions like bread or yeast, carrying only crude rations into the desert.  The disputed status of the Sinai makes drone overflights impossible in that area.  The "final status" of the Jews is also unclear, as the Assyrians, Moabites, and Philistines all declared the refugees to be persona non grata in their jurisdictions. 

Outside the UN building, the NGO Inside Children annnounced that they planned to release a video entitled "LetMyPeopleGo2012," demanding that the Phaaroh release all Egyptian Jews immediately.  The group rebuffed criticisms that this problem had been overtaken by events, saying that calling attention to the cruel despotism in Egypt was still "a worthwhile and noble cause."    

Daniel W. Drezner

Take the Donald Trump Foreign Policy Challenge!!

It's the last day of the International Studies Association annual meetings.  I'm sleep-deprived, hung over, moderately sunburned, and pretty sick of international relations theory.  While this throwback to my college days is moderately nostalgic, it is usually not a good state for blogging.  Trying to tackle or critique the finer points of a nuanced argument takes energy and analytic skills, and after losing Twitter Fight Club 2012, I'm feeling wanting in both.

But, just when it seems like there's nothing I'm capable of blogging about in such a state, along comes Donald Trump. 

When we last left The Donald in the world of foreign policy, he was uttering such inane, ignorant statements that I even invented an award in his honor.  Today, Politico reports that Trump offered the following opinion on Laura Ingraham's radio show: 

I happen to think that the President is going to start a war with Iran. I think it will be a short-term popular thing to do, and I think he’s going to do that for political reasons, if you want to know the truth. I don’t know if anyone says this as openly, but I think he’s going to start a war with Iran. And, that will be short-term popular. If you remember Bush, Bush was unbeatable for about two months, and then all of the sudden the world set in when he attacked Iraq. And he went from very popular to not popular at all. But I think that Obama will start in some form a war with Iran, and I think that will make him very popular for a short period of time. That will make him hard to beat also.

Now I could go on a long-winded rant about Trump's stupidity, but I think it's more fun to treat this as a challenge to my readers.  See, it's not just that Trump makes a few errors in that paragraph, it's that with one partial exception, every single statement he just said was factually wrong

So, rather than ask my readers to point out the myriad ways in which Donald Trump is in error, here's my challenge -- what sentence in the above paragraph contains the most truth value? 

Get to it, dear readers -- while I go search for Advil.

UPDATE: So I see that Trump has said other controversial things today. I will leave it to readers to judge whether the veracity of his later comments are greater than his foreign-policy musings.