Probably more than any other country, Saudi Arabia has “hacked our democracy”. I keep meaning to write a post on their ownership share of U.S. media, and why they would be on board with a “Trump is a Russian agent!” narrative.
What a difference a year makes. First, the new US-Saudi arms deal:
According to a statement just issued by the White House, Trump “has just completed largest single arms deal in US history, negotiating a package totaling more than $109.7 billion” which will boost Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities, bolstering equipment and services in the face of extreme terrorist groups and Iran. The White House added that the deal will create defense jobs while also reaffirming America’s commitment to Saudi Arabia…
According to estimates cited by The Independent, including restocking and future commitments over the next ten years, the deal could balloon to $350 billion worth of arms…
I’m not at all sure this is good news.
- How is it different from what any pet of the Deep State would have done? (Obama, Hillary, Jeb Bush, Lindsay McCain?) I don’t know.
- Does it boost U.S. jobs as much as Trump says? I don’t know.
- I know it will help Saudi Arabia to conquer its neighbor Yemen and gain control of its oil reserves. (Not necessarily good.)
- Does it put U.S. defense technology in the hands of people who hate us? Probably.
- Does it mean that Saudi-controlled elements of U.S. media will ease their war on Trump? I don’t know.
I do know that Trump’s speech in Riyadh was epic. As Bruce Bawer puts it:
It was gag-inducing to hear him praise the “magnificent kingdom” of Saudi Arabia, “the splendor of your country,” “the grandeur of this remarkable place,” and so on…But then something happened…
…he began mixing the ethereal praise with realistic businessman-type talk about the value of international partnership…[and] underscored the fact that in order for such a partnership to work, something would have to change. And it would have to change a lot. The Islamic world, he insisted, had to turn into a place where young Muslims could grow up “innocent of hatred.”
And then he spelled out the results of that hatred, presenting first a roll call of some of the “barbaric attacks” on America – 9/11, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando – and then a list of other places (“Europe, Africa, South America, India, Russia, China, and Australia”) where that hatred has manifested itself.
However delicately he worked his way around to it, it was nothing less than an accusation.
No, he didn’t explicitly charge Muslim leaders with funding terrorism – but he told them, in no uncertain terms, that they needed to cut off funds to terrorists…And, yes, he spoke of “Islamic” (not “Islamist” or “radical Islamic”) terror. And he made it clear he wasn’t just talking about terrorism – he was talking about Islam itself. He condemned “the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.”
Kudos, Mr. President!
Full video here (scroll down). Short excerpts here and here. Full text here. Addressing Saudi princes, telling them to their faces, “Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death…Drive them out of this Earth!”