Iran has supplied weapons and money across the Middle East and around the world for decades. Iran recently attacked oil tankers and shot down an American unmanned drone. President Donald Trump signaled the U.S. would strike back and media and politicians went nuts speculating about Trump leading us into another war. 

American military planned a response to Iran’s aggressions but Trump called off the strike after learning 150 people could die. In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Trump said, “I thought about it for a second and I said, ‘You know what? They shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it. And here we are, sitting with 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead. And I didn’t like it.”

Then media and politicians went nuts speculating about Trump projecting weakness to our enemies. 

In the meantime, 20 Democrats made the cut for this week’s debates in Miami on June 26-27. Media have been speculating whether candidates will face inward or outward after forming their firing squads on stage. Few believe these debates will rival 2016 Republican debates in ratings or entertainment value. 

Maybe NBC should invite Trump to participate. Now that would be must-see TV. NBC did the next best thing to attract more viewers in choosing the five moderators: Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Todd, Rachel Maddow and Jose Diaz-Balart. Each candidate will likely have no more than 12 minutes to make his or her case to voters. 

Oddly enough, many of these candidates have taken advantage of FOX News’ superior cable ratings by participating in town halls on that network. FOX News has given each of these candidates an hour to answer voters’ questions during the prime-time news hour. Nevertheless, the Democratic National Committee has rejected FOX News’ bids to host debates. 

What issues might Americans expect candidates to debate? Do candidates have any substantively different stances from their Democratic opponents? How many times will Trump’s name be invoked? Will moderators ask why Democrats in Congress have done nothing to stem the crisis along our southern border?

Speaking of the border crisis, media have reported House Speaker Pelosi called Trump last Friday night asking him to delay his plans to deport large numbers of illegal aliens who have already had court hearings and have been scheduled for deportation. Reportedly, Trump agreed to delay the deportations and asked Pelosi to approve changes in the asylum law that would ease some of the pressure on the border. Will Democrats do anything regarding asylum or immigration before leaving Washington in August? 

Trade representatives from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. have hammered out the USMCA trade deal and leaders of all three nations approved. Mexico’s Senate ratified the agreement with a 114-4 vote last week. Prime Minister Trudeau has already introduced a bill in parliament to ratify USMCA and Trump has asked Congress to ratify the agreement. Essentially, USMCA streamlines the flow of goods and commerce among the three nations. What will Democrats in Congress do?

What did Rahm Emanuel say while he was still in Obama’s White House? “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.” One might add, “Even if you have to make one up.”

Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Mississippi. You may contact him at