But let’s be clear about what the speech really was: A sop, soaked in platitudes, to the Saudi agenda in the Middle East.–Ishaan Tharoor
Trump’s performance in Saudi Arabia reflects a U-turn in U.S. Foreign policy. Does this reflect State Department views or Trump’s naivety and ignorance?
Saudi Arabia is governed by an oligarchy, a small group of people, the Saud family. It is a repressive government, conservative even for a Middle Eastern State. Yet Trump:
- Focused on the rulers rather than the people of Saudi Arabia.
- Chose to ignore Saudi domestic repression.
- Chose to ignore Saudi military intervention in Yemen.
- Chose to ignore widely reported Saudi financial support for ISIS and other Sunni extremists.
- Embraced the idea that a country that buys our arms is our friend.
- Agreed to add even more munitions to a region already devastated by war.
Where did these policy ideas originate? I wonder if Trump’s meeting with Henry Kissinger might explain them.
Did the Saud family take advantage of Trump’s naivety? Is there a conflict of interest in the offer to invest in U.S. infrastructure? Will the Israeli’s insist on an equivalent arms deal or other concessions? How will the Russians and the Iranians react? What mischief will Trump’s words and actions cause?
Suppose North Korea offered to buy a large order American weapons. Would they become good guys then? If American foreign policy is now up for sale, many shady governments may be eager to buy.