Richard Milhous Trump

Donald Trump says he has a plan to defeat ISIS, but he is keeping it secret to be unpredictable and avoid tipping off the enemy.

If that sounds familiar, it may be because it sounds a lot like Richard Nixon's secret plan to end the war in Vietnam.

Trump repeated it again following this weekend's terrorist incidents in New York and New Jersey.  When asked by a sycophantic Fox News interviewer what he would do, he said, "We're going to have to do something extremely tough over there."

Like what? Steve Doocy asked.

"Like knock the hell out of them."

Actually the great strategic thinker, failed casino operator and xenophobic draft evader who claims to know more about fighting ISIS "than the generals," may or may not actually have a plan.  He's apparently flexible.

He's been saying he has a secret plan for more than a year, but lately he's been doing some equivocating on that topic, reports Huffington Post.  He may even consult some "generals" to see if they can "come up with a plan that I like and that perhaps agrees with mine."

Here's the secret:  There is no plan.  Never was.

It's a bluff.  A lie.   Just like Nixon's.

Nixon's defense advisor in the 1968 campaign who became his defense secretary, Melvin Laird, later admitted, "He had no such plan."

Nixon didn't end the war, he enlarged it.  And at enormous cost to the American taxpayer to say nothing of the tens of thousands of Americans, Vietnamese and others were killed and wounded thanks to his hubris.

The war finally ended when we fled and our South Vietnamese ally collapsed. 

Trump is all bluster and no substance.

His reaction to the New York City explosion this weekend was typical.  He admitted he didn't know "exactly what's going on" but "We better get very, very tough."

He also wants unrestrained racial profiling, citing Israel as an example.

Hillary Clinton's response was more thoughtful.  She called for "courage and vigilance" in the face of terrorism.  “We’re going after the bad guys, and we’re going to get them, but we’re not going after an entire religion,” she said.  Meanwhile, said it is "wiser to wait until you have information before making conclusions." she said.

That's Trump's advantage.  He operates in a fact-free zone and doesn't need to know such trivia. He has said repeatedly that he relies on his gut instincts. 

The prime suspect in the incident, Ahmad Kahn Rahami, an Afghanistan-born Muslim and American citizen, was captured in a shoot-out with policy.  A stabbing attack in Minneapolis over the weekend was claimed as an ISIS achievement.  It has already sparked another orgy of xenophobia and Muslim bashing by Trump.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.