The Donald’s Risible Rendezvous in Riyadh, by David Stockman

David Stockman takes well-deserved shots at President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia. From Stockman at

If the Donald had thrown a dart at the world map blindfolded, he could not have picked a worse stop than Riyadh for his maiden foreign journey. That’s because there isn’t one anywhere on the planet.

The Saudi capital is the very heart of darkness – the seat of an absolutist tyranny that has nothing to do with America’s interests or ideals and has everything to do with fomenting the violent conflicts and economic deformations that plague the region.

The House of Saud fosters Wahhabi fanaticism, exports jihadi violence and completely disenfranchises its 32 million inhabitants. So doing, it squanders its magnificent geologic patrimony on the unspeakable opulence of the royal family and an insane level of arms purchases and military capability that inherently and unnecessarily destabilizes the region.

As Justin Raimondo so cogently summarized,

Has there been a more disgusting spectacle during the four months of this presidency than the sight of Donald Trump slobbering all over the barbarous Saudi monarch and his murderous family of petty princelings? It’s enough to make any normal American retch, especially when one remembers what Trump said about them during the election……

The old Trump told us that the Saudis were “mouth pieces, bullies, cowards,” who were “paying ISIS” but now they’re our partners in the “war on terrorism.”

So the rambling platitudes of Trump’s speech did not essay a way forward to eliminate ISIS or stanch the fires of war, ruin, death and dispossession that are consuming Muslim lands from Tripoli to Kabul. To the contrary, they amounted to strategic mush and hypocritical pandering that could have been written by Saudi Arabia’s PR agency or maybe its hired Washington flaks. Tony Podesta and his $200k per month retainer anyone?

Worse still, the speech’s final peroration vilifying Iran came straight from the Bibi Netanyahu branch of the War Party. It was not only a gratuitous rebuke to the 40 million Iranians who Friday overwhelmingly voted to continue the enlightened, outward looking policies of President Rouhani, but also was effectively a clarion call to more sectarian warfare and terrorism in the region, not its diminution.

The reason is elemental. The American people have no dog in the hunt when it comes to the clash between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the ancient Sunni/Shiite divide which animates it.

To continue reading: The Donald’s Risible Rendezvous in Riyadh

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