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Trump's Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
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President Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia tomorrow, mere hours after US bombers attacked pro-Assad militiamen whom the US military say were threatening a base in southern Syria where US and British Special Forces are training rebel fighters.

It would be naïve to imagine that the timing of the US attack, the first intentionally made against Syrian government ground forces in six years of war, was not geared to Trump’s Saudi visit. It has the additional great advantage, from the point of view of the White House, of distracting attention from Trump’s disasters in Washington since he sacked James Comey as head of the FBI and saw a Special Counsel appointed to investigate links between his associates and Russia.

A cynical Pentagon saying holds that “defence policy ends at the water’s edge” or, in other words, military decisions are determine by US domestic politics and not developments abroad. Trump is aware that the only time he received plaudits from the US media and his establishment enemies was when he ordered the firing of missiles at a Syrian airbase on 7 April.

“I am getting very good marks on foreign policy,” he said, in tones of surprise, in a Time magazine interview earlier in the month. “I am getting As and A+s on foreign policy.”

As his troubles deepen, military action against foreign foes is one of the few aces he still holds in his hand.

Even if Trump was not grappling with a crisis in the US that could destroy him, there was always a probability that he would shift to a more interventionist policy abroad than he had advocated during his presidential campaign. His stated aims were contradictory: making America great and respected once again in the world, but at the same opposing foreign wars in Iraq and Libya.

The generals he appointed to top security positions, such as James Mattis as defence secretary and HR McMaster as national security adviser, are certainly not isolationists. Furthermore, a change in America’s international status over the last decade is fuelling enhanced interventionism: the US is no longer politically and economically the super power it was between the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the financial crisis of 2007-08, but it retains its military primacy and there is a greater temptation to use it.

Trump badly needs a success. His three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, before going on to Israel, gives him just such an opportunity.

He will probably be able to announce a $110bn weapons sale to the Saudis and emphasise that this means more jobs back in the US. He will be given a welcome of imperial splendour in Riyadh, where there is to be an “Arab Islamic American Summit” and two other summits attended by dozens of Muslim leaders. The message is that the US and Saudi Arabia are at one in confronting the evil Iranians.

Events planned for the multiple summits in Riyadh are pretentious and reek of hypocrisy. One of the most distasteful, called “Tweeps 2017” and to be held in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, is designed to appeal to Trump’s addiction to Twitter. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and King Abdullah of Jordan will be there, and there is to be a series of panels on the social media.

This is happening in a country notorious for jailing anybody tweeting the mildest criticism of the government. Amnesty International reports that “the Specialised Criminal Court (SCC) in the capital, Riyadh, sentenced journalist Alaa Brinji to five years in prison and a fine, followed by an eight-year travel ban, for comments he posted on Twitter”. In Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, critical tweets lead to draconian sentences, ensuring that Twitter is no longer the public forum it once was in 2011.

Trump will have a series of bilateral meetings with King Salman, though discussions may be insubstantial since the 81-year-old monarch is incapacitated by old age and the Kingdom is run by his son, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Like Trump, he will want to present the occasion as a big success, after the failure of his own interventionist foreign policy in Syria and Yemen to win victories and the U-turn on his economic reform programme under which he had reduced the perks and bonuses of the two-thirds of Saudis who work for the government. Many became sceptical about the personal commitment of bin Salman to austerity after reports that he purchased a yacht for half a billion dollars in 2015.

The phoneyness and extravagance of the events in Riyadh are strongly reminiscent of the infamous celebration of 2,500 years of the Iranian monarchy held by the Shah in Persepolis in 1971. The aim was to put on display the achievements and power of Iran under the Shah, whose officials assembled even more royals, presidents and prime ministers in Persepolis than the 55 leaders and representatives gathered in Riyadh this weekend. It did not do him a lot of good when seven years later, after his overthrow, almost all his ungrateful guests rejected his pleas for a place of refuge.

The cost of this extravagance is not known precisely, though an initial bill for $68m has been leaked, making it possible that the real expenses will be higher and comparable to the estimated $200m spent by the Shah on the Persepolis junket. Then, trees and bushes were planted in the Iranian desert and 50,000 songbirds imported from Europe. Catering was provided by Maxim’s de Paris and the menu included 50 peacocks stuffed with foie gras with their tail feathers reinserted, along with quails eggs stuffed with caviar (though the Shah was allergic to caviar so he had to eat artichokes).


There are other common features between Iran under the Shah and Saudi Arabia under bin Salman than the holding of such self-aggrandising jamborees. In both countries, rulers let their oil wealth go to their heads and convinced themselves that they could easily turn it into political influence. In both cases, the US and other western powers credulously failed to take on board the limitations of their oil state allies.

Saudi Arabia may purchase $110bn in sophisticated US armaments, but in two years its air force has failed to subdue irregular Houthi forces in Yemen, though its merciless bombardment has brought 17 million Yemenis to the brink of famine and an incipient cholera epidemic.

President Obama came to suspect that the US alliance with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states might be more trouble than it was worth. Trump believes the opposite. He should keep in mind, however, that in supporting Saudi Arabia and its allies against Iran he is plugging into a ferocious religious war between Sunni and Shia.

He should also understand that Saudi Arabia and Israel may be keen to lure the US into war with Iran – but they have no intention of doing much fighting themselves.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Middle East, Saudi Arabia 
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  1. Wally says:

    IOW, Cockburn voted for Hillary.

    The “crisis at home” is really a crisis for the limousine left / Democrats.

    Having painted themselves into a corner with their lies about Trump, they must now face the fact that its’ all coming apart.

    Comey Caught Committing Perjury to Congress

    Guests Remind NBC, CNN: Obama Gave Classified Intel to Russia

    Feinstein: I Haven’t Seen Any Evidence of Collusion Between Trump Campaign and Russians

    Obama’s lies & scandals

    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
  2. How can anybody, who inherits the mess of USA politics since Roosevelt, messed up by eight years Obama, under fire by those wo lost political control, and their mouth pieces CNN, Washpost and NYT, do a good job at short notice ?

    • Replies: @Z-man
  3. Willem says:

    ‘President Obama came to suspect that the US alliance with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states might be more trouble than it was worth’

    What is ‘missing’ there is a reference.

    How it should read

    ‘I, Patrick Cockburn, think that president Obama, etc.’

    I think opposite. I also think that Patrick Cockburn is a lousy propagandist. No reference needed

  4. Che Guava says:

    Great article, as usual, Mr. Cockburn.

    I only have four points.

    Have read that the Saudis rely almost exclusively on mercenaries for operating the weapons bought from the US MIRC, for example, the fighter pilots are just about all from Pakistan.

    The Trump admin. is clearly operating from the Israeli playbook in all of this, as demonstrated by yesterday’s attack in Syria.

    Iran is far less regressive on social terms than the KSA, and has great potential for further reform, since many support it.

    The Izzies want the USA to destroy both Syria and Iran for various reasons, which I could list but don’t have time now, just as they had the USA destroy Iraq for a variety of the same reasons, and none of those are to do with ‘existential threats’ or ‘WMDs’.

    A sick joke that the USA pretends not to know, after all of these years, that the Izzies have about as many nuclear weapons as China, and official statements imply that they include planet-killing enhanced fallout weapons, which no other nation holds. Whether those statements are true or not, the technical principles are old, and it is just an obscenity that the USA polity is forced to lie about the very well-known existence of Israel’s giant nuclear arsenal.

    Trump is a gigantic disappointment.

    I would not be surprised if he announces the embassy move to Jerusalem while in Israel. After all, Ivanka and Jared want it, and that seems to be all that matters to him.

    • Agree: Druid
    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  5. Brabantian says: • Website

    Donald Trump & US Justice chief Jeff Sessions just learned – as a by-product of Comey events – that Julian Assange & Edward Snowden are frauds created by the CIA in Obama years

    So CIA Director Mike Pompeo & Western intel agencies have quickly moved to end the Assange farce … Sweden charges ‘dropped’ suddenly, Rothschild-lawyered Assange ‘free to leave’ London Ecuador Embassy (where he likely wasn’t really ‘living’ except for photos etc)

    A few days ago a remarkable memo appeared on PasteBin, by a former US Dept of Justice employee, discussing the dark side of scandal of fired FBI Director James Comey:
    ‘DOJ Dossier Memo – James Comey hid crimes of paedophile law firms defrauding client millions’

    This memo apparently wound up being closely read by Trump’s personal lawyers & White House team & the office of US Attorney General … One section of that memo, discussed the ironic situation that Edward Snowden & Julian Assange are now publicly bashing Trump, when both Snowden & Assange are known by every major gov’t to be complete hoaxes & in fact current CIA assets. The memo by the ex-DOJ-guy, linked to one of the major reports on these frauds, excerpted on Veterans Today:
    ‘Intel Agency Report: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald are CIA frauds’

    The above memo by the DOJ veteran, recommended that Trump & US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, be personally informed that Snowden & Assange were hoaxes … and that these embarrassing frauds be wound down

    Immediately after this memo detailing a history of major scandal involving James Comey – and touching on the Assange-Snowden frauds – we saw

    (1) James Comey backed off & reversed his story, testifying that there was ‘no obstruction of justice’ by Trump

    (2) US Senator John McCain, the deepest of deep staters, announced that it was absurd to talk of ‘impeachment’ of Trump

    (3) Suddenly, the Swedish government – long said to be under US intel control – has ‘dropped’ the ‘rape investigation’ of Julian Assange, they are cancelling everything, no extradition request, Assange is ‘free to leave the London Ecuador Embassy’ where Assange has claimed to be ‘living’ … tho that is apparently another hoax, the Rothschild-lawyered Assange said to be only ‘at the Embassy’ for photos, moved in & out by UK intel when the ‘police watch’ by London plod advise it is a good time

    There is apparently still some minor fracas between Assange & UK authorities trying to save face … Snowden no doubt to ‘go home’ soon too … HA! Time to wind down these ‘huuge’ frauds

  6. Renoman says:

    It’s mind boggling that a Man as stupid as Trump can get that rich. What a disappointment.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    , @Alden
  7. @Renoman

    Is not the right conclusion that a man as Trump, quite rich, cannot be stupid ?
    So is he perhaps performing a great show, to confuse his enemies ?

  8. Is this author serious? Among the numerous goofy statements he made, this stands out,

    His stated aims were contradictory: making America great and respected once again in the world, but at the same opposing foreign wars in Iraq and Libya.

    How are the aims contradictory? In fact, the single best thing Humpty Trump can do to make Amerika “great ” would be to slow or end the vast bulk of US military meddling all over the planet.

    In fact, all the kings horses and all the kings men (in the minds of the thinking) never have, nor will they ever, make ‘Merka great again, but minding their own business might.

    • Agree: Talha
  9. Sean says:

    President Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia tomorrow, mere hours after US bombers attacked pro-Assad militiamen whom the US military say were threatening a base in southern Syria where US and British Special Forces are training rebel fighters.

    It would be naïve to imagine that the timing of the US attack, the first intentionally made against Syrian government ground forces in six years of war, was not geared to Trump’s Saudi visit. It has the additional great advantage, from the point of view of the White House, of distracting attention from Trump’s disasters in Washington since he sacked James Comey as head of the FBI and saw a Special Counsel appointed to investigate links between his associates and Russia.

    More than merely distracting attention from collusion with Russia, the strike on Russian backed forces conclusively disproves any kind of untoward connection, because Trump has attacked the Russians allies so Russia can have nothing meaningful on Trump.

    A cynical Pentagon saying holds that “defence policy ends at the water’s edge” or, in other words, military decisions are determine by US domestic politics and not developments abroad. Trump is aware that the only time he received plaudits from the US media and his establishment enemies was when he ordered the firing of missiles at a Syrian airbase on 7 April.

    “I am getting very good marks on foreign policy,” he said, in tones of surprise, in a Time magazine interview earlier in the month. “I am getting As and A+s on foreign policy.”

    As his troubles deepen, military action against foreign foes is one of the few aces he still holds in his hand.

    I disagree with that. History shows many example of domestic policy changes, sometimes revolutionary ones, being in response to foreign policy challenges. For example the end of Southern segregation, and then bussing iect throughout the US was largely in response to a need to counter Soviet propaganda over the treatment of blacks in America.

  10. Sean says:

    He should also understand that Saudi Arabia and Israel may be keen to lure the US into war with Iran – but they have no intention of doing much fighting themselves.

    Assad’s supporters are apparently not interested in fighting for him because he is leaning on Iranian troops.

    Arabs and Jews are more important than Persians. Iran should understand that it signed its own death warrant by unwisely provoked America by supplying weapons that killed hundreds of US soldiers in Iraq. Even less than Syria, Iran isn’t an essential interest of Russia. Iran has done a first class job of wrecking its international standing and isolating itself.

    • Disagree: German_reader
    • Troll: L.K, bluedog
    • Replies: @nsa
    , @Art
    , @Get it right
    , @Abdī
  11. @Brabantian

    This mostly sounds mad to me but the great thing about it; unlike most of the bizarre stuff on UR, is that the truth of its main assertions may be tested in the next month or so. And of course we will get Brabantian’s summary update and any consequential apology.

  12. Z-man says:
    @jilles dykstra

    American foreign policy is paralyzed and ruined by our subservience to that dirty little country occupying Palestine.

  13. Agent76 says:

    17.05.2017 Alleged Trump’s Russia Leak: Concocted Story as Part of Anti-President Plot

    Here we have a scoop hitting the mainstream media headlines to eclipse China’s One Belt, One Road summit, the Macron’s inauguration, Syria, never ending North Korea’s missile launches and the Turkish President Erdogan’s visit to Washington.

    March 31, 2017 The Surveillance State Behind Russia-Gate

    Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump.

  14. Z-man says:

    He should also understand that Saudi Arabia and Israel may be keen to lure the US into war with Iran – but they have no intention of doing much fighting themselves.

    That is true.

    Sad that King Abdullah of Jordan is taking part in that ‘tweeps shit’.

    Peace with Iran, friendly relations with Russia!! One State Solution in Palestine!

  15. This article is sort of all over the place. Our founding fathers, too, were “isolationists”, and warned against going abroad in search of foreign and imaginary monsters to destroy. At taxpayer expense. The author never mentions our $20T debt. That is merely inconvenient trivia for our neocons here in the US.
    I think we should be on as good of terms as possible with all nations, including the Saudis. We get into trouble when we import these people and their dysfuncational, useless, backward, and hateful cultures and cult beliefs, like islam. We need to deport all muzzies out of the US. Maybe we can send them all to Saudi Arabia and then they can all live happily ever after in their islamic paradise (and leave us alone).

    • Replies: @Druid
  16. naro says:

    Mr. Cockk Trump outflanked the leftist propaganda media in the states. He has no problem at home. Right on schedule.

  17. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The Zionist illiterate stooge has just bowed in front of a criminal Saudi like his Zionist corrupt regime to steal billions of dollars from Muslims run by Zionist servants in Mecca, complicit with US/Israel in killing millions of Muslims for the interest of Zionist jews.

    The pimp mission is to expand the family empire and serve the Zionist interest all over the Muslim world and beyond. The Zionist project “world government” is run by illiterate trump family and his extension, all are Zionists.

    The ‘speech’ on Islam is written by another criminal Zionist- Stephen Miller – senior advisor of the Trump regime with having only a BA degree – read by the illiterate Zionist stooge.

    Majority of the top positions are occupied by the remembers of Zionist tribe, majority of ambassadors are picked among the Zionist tribe by the ‘president’ run by the zionist tribe and its media, and the American dummies are watching and some are smiling.

    You deserve to be bombed now. The economic system run by Zionist Jews managed by their pimps in the position of power in America, France, Britain, Austria, Canada and elsewhere under the control of the zionist Rothschild family. Shame on you. The criminal Zionist tribe control the dummies by phony antiemetic where themselves are the BIGGEST ANTISEMITE.

    The criminal tribe face no protest from the member of the WH, senate, congress, pentagon, homeland security when Natanyhu, a criminal baby killer sitting on STOLEN LAND OF PALESTINIANS calls for the assassination of a elected president in the bright daylight – Assad, but all went after Dr. Ahmadinejad who asked a question about holocaust to kill him and staged an international campaign asking ICC to act. ICC is nothing but a brothel house to serve the west/zionists interest against the rest of US.

    {The bill was introduced in April 2004. That June, a Congressional hearing was conducted about how to combat antisemitism. A major witness was Israeli minister Sharansky. In his testimony Sharansky proposed his “3-D” Israel-connected definition for anti-Semitism.6

    State Department officials objected to the proposed legislation, saying the new office was unnecessary and would be a “bureaucratic nuisance” that would actually hinder the Department’s ongoing work. A State Department press release opposing the new office described the many actions that State was already taking against antisemitism.

    Despite this opposition, the Senate bill acquired 24 cosponsors representing both parties, including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Diane Feinstein, Russ Feingold, Sam Brownback, Saxby Chambliss and Ted Stevens. Similar bills (here and here) were introduced in the House of Representatives, acquiring 35 cosponsors, again including both Republican and Democratic leaders. The legislation passed easily and quickly became law.}

  18. @Che Guava

    Great article, as usual, Mr. Cockburn.

    You smoking that guava, Che?

    Cockburn turned it precisely upside down: the “Russia stole my cookies” — a non-event (‘manufactured crisis’ h/t Gareth Porter ) ginned up by Chuck Shumer and the Jews, is the distraction — from the fact that Trump has declared war on Syria and Iran, and is arming Saudi Arabia.

    Trump is taking FDR to the next level.

    PS If “Jews” object to being lumped in with the miscreant gang that is running this criminal activity against American interests, they damn well better put their voices and $$ to the task of derailing it.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  19. Agent76 says:
    @jacques sheete

    Ron Paul has been correct for many decades as this old Texan knows!

    Ron Paul’s 2002 Predictions All Come True – Incredible Video!

    This video is a famous Ron Paul speech from April 24, 2002 where he makes a series of predictions, and it is juxtaposed with actual news headlines from years later that confirm his predictions all came true.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  20. Alden says:

    Stupid people don’t graduate from rigorous private high schools and top
    MBA school Wharton. You must read and even worse believe newspapers.

    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
  21. virgile says:

    In this new “love story” between the US and Saudi Arabia, it is expected that the USA will welcome with open arms more 9/11 like Saudi terrorists. Trump may learn the hard way that he has opened the door to Islamist extremists directed by the Saudis to propagate their hardline Islam worldwide.
    Another 9/11 should come as a no surprise.

  22. nsa says:

    Surprise, surprise…..((((sean)))) has it in for the persians.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @L.K
  23. Sean says:

    They brought it on themselves.

    • Replies: @neutral
  24. Agent76 says:

    May 18, 2017 LEAKED: Text of Trump’s Peaceful Islam Speech Translated into English by David Swanson

    I am very honored to have been invited here to tell you about Islam. King Salman invited me, and I said you know I really need to go to Israel first because I have a connection to any chosen people. I was chosen by the majority of Americans last November, of electoral Americans. They love me. But King Salman — great guy, really great guy, and such beautiful houses — King Salman told me what he wanted me to talk about, and then I had to say yes. I had to. There was no question.’s-peaceful-islam-speech

  25. Trump and Saudis. Terrible crap.

    But I don’t think Saudis will amount to much. If not for lots of oil, Saudis would be NOTHING.

    India, in contrast, does have real business talent. But Hindus are so freaking corrupt.
    Unlike Chinese think in terms of binaries — right or wrong, boss or servant –, Hindus think along a spectrum of power and privilege.

    This is a classic story of Hinduishness in business and culture.

    I think we should look closer at the business culture in India because that, and not the class-Anglo-model, will be the template for globalized economy.

  26. @Agent76

    It amazes me that he’s not been silenced. He certainly tells it like it is.

    I like the guy, but I wonder about his expressions of Constitutionalism. He seems too savvy to have as much faith in the thing as he seems to have.

  27. Che Guava says:

    Alright, I skimmed the brief part of the article where Cockburn runs the party line.

    It is just background noise to any reader, and more so to me, not being a USA person.

    The only thing I was smoking was a cigarette or two, we don’t have the other stuff, but it was the kind of early summer weather that was almost hallucinatorially beautiful, alhough it is only late spring, so I was in a day-dreamw.

    I am taking your point, I will read articles more closely before making an early comment.

    I don’t see much wrong with my post.

    … and Mr. Cockburn is easily the best western reporter on the middle-east, and on Syria.

    • Replies: @L.K
  28. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    I think all the Western Pop Culture and propaganda have spread the notion among Africans and Muslims that modern white women just want to have loose sex.

    Millions of African go to EU For welfare and sex.

    And this is how Iranian men act with white women. Their attitude is, “our women have to be good and proper, but western women are bunch of loose whores.” But then, Hollywood and Western Pop Music say and show as much.

  29. @Wally

    IOW, Cockburn voted for Hillary.

    Is this an extreme version of the illegal voters theory? (You do know that Cockburn isn’t a U.S. citizen, don’t you?)

    [You seem to have a penchant for stupid posts.]

    • Replies: @Wally
  30. L.K says:
    @Che Guava

    He is a gatekeeper.

    Some truth mixed with half truths and lies.

    He may be one of the “best” msm journalists on the ME, but that is about it.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  31. L.K says:

    Sean is another zio shill, so no surprises indeed…
    What is more, everything this clown writes is opposite to the facts & truth.
    A real fiction writer.

    • Agree: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  32. Wally says: • Website
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    IOW, posting information that blows away your false reality, information that you obviously cannot refute.
    Hence, you dodge.

    I see now that it’s you who voted for Hillary. Hurts don’t it?

    I stand corrected on Cockburn. It’s just that his obsession for Trump and the US is misleading. It makes one wonder why he overlooks the huge problems of his homeland. Goodbye EU.

    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
  33. Art says:

    Here is an excellent column from Peggy Noonun – totally on point.


    (Everyone) Stop leaking, tweeting, cheering. Democracy is not your plaything.


    It would be good if top Hill Republicans went en masse to the president and said: “Stop it. Clean up your act. Shut your mouth. Do your job. Stop tweeting. Stop seething. Stop wasting time. You lost the thread and don’t even know what you were elected to do anymore. Get a grip. Grow up and look at the terrain, see it for what it is. We have limited time. Every day you undercut yourself, you undercut us. More important, you keep from happening the good policy things we could have done together. If you don’t grow up fast, you’ll wind up abandoned and alone. Act like a president or leave the presidency

    I agree 100%

    Peace — Art

  34. @Wally

    No, actually I meant the refrain that anyone you disagree with voted for Hillary. I voted for the Socialist Equality Party candidate. Trump is incompotent; Hillary is evil. I prefer the former in my enemies, but I don’t vote lesser evil.

    [Do you still not see how idiotic your accusations of Hillaryism make you look?]

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Authenticjazzman
  35. @Brabantian

    Snowden and Assange were both CIA assets? What? Snowden releasing the info about the NSA’s mass surveillance doesn’t seem like a well used asset on the CIAs part. That info that was gathered would no doubt help their agency.

    As for Assange, why would the CIA create wikileaks then go thru all the trouble to discredit it? Seems like a whole lot of wasted effort……

  36. Well, if Trump is in bed with the Saudis, it looks like we may have a war against Iran or Syria…or both…

  37. @L.K

    Its true, i feel i should donate to his pantheon or something.

  38. neutral says:

    I agree, (((they))) did bring it on themselves.

    • Replies: @Sean
  39. Art says:

    Trump is building a Saudi led Sunni Calafate.

    Trump is creating an axis of evil – Israel – Saudi – and the US Deep State.

    Trump is marrying Zionism and Wahhabism with the undemocratic Jew led US Deep State – what good can come from that? Two old world backwards tribal evils are being tied by Trump to the most formidable unelected government known to mankind. Does he have a clue as to what he is doing?

    ISIS is getting financial, material, and military help from Zionism and Wahhabism.

    Mad Dog Mattis is lying when he says it is total war against ISIS — the truth is that he is building the reason for a war on Iran. Mattis is pushing us to war. Why did he attack Assad troops? It is obvious.

    It is no wonder that Mattis had almost 100% approval in the senate – he is doing Jew business.

    Mattis is another war hungry killer general. The Jew Deep State and the Military Deep State are in unison. This is major bad news for America and the world.

    Campaign Trump has no mandate for war – a strong defense YES – but not a war on Iran.

    President Trump must start acting like Campaign Trump or he should step aside.

    Peace — Art

  40. Wally says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    So you voted for “the Socialist Equality Party candidate” which you are too embarrassed to even name.

    Do you not see how idiotic your communist ideology makes you look?

    Trump successes:

    In First 2 Months in Office – Trump Reduces Debt by $100 Billion – Obama Increased Debt by $400 Billion – Half a Trillion Dollar Difference!
    Obama left the federal government approximately $9,400,000,000,000 deeper in debt than it was when he took office eight years ago, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury.
    The increased debt incurred under Obama equals approximately $76,000 for every person in the United States who had a full-time job in December, 2016. That debt is far more debt than was accumulated by any previous president. It equals nearly twice as much as the $4,889,100,310,609.44 in additional debt that piled up during the eight years George W. Bush served as president.

    Trump’s 100 Days a Success

    Illegal Immigration Down by Unprecedented 73%

    Just getting started.
    President Donald Trump to fill 117 vacancies on various federal courts.

    U.S. Illegal Immigration Plunges on Trump Crackdown

    20 Ways Trump Unraveled the Administrative State

    Bit by bit, Trump methodically undoing Obama policies–Trump-Undoing%20Obama/id-c4fa9fa659394514aa645a7cfd3c31ed

    Illegal Entrance into U.S. Lowest in 17 Years, Mexicans Too Afraid of Trump


  41. @Alden

    Can you imagine Trump writing a master’s thesis?

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  42. Che Guava says:

    I can see that you are correct to an extent, but he has been quite good on events *in that part of the world.*

    In Syria, he presents reality, actually goes there, points out that no reporters can go to the ‘rebel’ areas (with the sole exception of that German who had special permission from IS, and painted a pretty grim picture), that the ‘White Helmets’ are just a fake, etc.

    … and his commentary on the earlier messes created by AIPAC, PNAC, and some morons in France
    (France in the case of Libya), all to the point.

    I agree that he becomes a gatekeeper once writing about wider connections and so on, but on the purely local to there, he provides much interesting info.

    Fisk, too, although I am very suspicious of Fisk’s lines. At least with Cockburn, we know where he comes from and is:old left background, compromised by new left immersion (vis. the eight or nine tenths of Counterpunch that are pure drivel).

    Margolis has the occasional interesting factoid, but none of the real connection of the other two.

    As far as English-language MSM, they are the only ones who stray from the dominant narrative, at least on Arab countries and Iran, and at times, on Israel (at least in the cases of Cockburn and Fisk).

    Can you offer a specific example where Cockburn has acted as a gatekeeper for the AIPAC etc. narrative purely regarding events in the region?

  43. Che Guava says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    I think he did. It was called The Art of the Deal.

  44. Z-man says:

    Just heard the speech Trump has given in Saudi Arabia, a predictable and then disappointing one where in the end Iran was again made the big bad boogie man even though it is more democratic than the host government. The influence of that craven Jew, Steven Miller, as his main speech writer makes me almost wish Trump all the unwarranted heat he has been getting from the other end of the Cabal the controlled MSM.
    Heaven help us.

    • Replies: @Z-man
    , @Abdī
  45. Z-man says:

    PS. I want to recognize the sweet Robin Wright, the foreign policy expert not the actress, for her pointing out the irony and even hypocricy of Trump attacking Iran who just had the freest elections in the Midle East.
    Ah Robin, I remember you from my youth when you used to be on foreign policy shows on PBS, how time flies.

    PSII. She was on CNN, commenting on the speech.

  46. “Freest elections of the middle east”

    congratulations, you have won the award for the most naive commentary of the month.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, airborne qualified US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.

    • Replies: @Z-man
  47. @Stephen R. Diamond

    ” I voted for the Socialist Equality Party candidate!

    So you voted for the party of nut-cases who want to create a gigantic version of the new modern
    “Progressive” Venezuela in the US.
    Congratulations for your ignorance and stupidity.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, airborne qualified US Army vet and pro jazz musician.

  48. Z-man says:

    A Mensa braggart doesn’t equate to real intuitive intelligence, humility and common sense.
    If you’re so smart why do you swallow the Neocon party line ‘hook, line and ‘stinker”? lol

    • Replies: @Dwright
  49. L.K says:

    P. Cockburn: “It would be naïve to imagine that the timing of the US attack, the first intentionally made against Syrian government ground forces in six years of war…”

    This is completely FALSE.

    ZUSA has attacked targets in Syria, very intentionally, several times already. Has Cockburn not figured out yet that the missile strikes against a Syrian air base were intentional and that the BS excuses were just that, mere BS?

    At any rate, the most murderous US/NATO airstrikes ever carried out during this imposed/regime change war on Syria, were the 37 U.S.-led Coalition airstrikes near the Deir Ezzor Airport, in Sept.2016, that wiped out the Syrian army positions on Tharda hill.
    Deir Ezzor city, capital of same name province in East Syria, has been under siege by ISIS since September 2015. There are NO US proxies in the area, just ISIS and the Syrian army and militias defending the city. The US has NEVER helped the Syrian army, not even against ISIS, but it has , more than once, helped ISIS(not to mention Nusra) against the Syrian army.
    MoA, a retired West German army officer, did a good report on this sordid, cowardly US attack:

    The U.S. has condoned and/or even actively supported the imminent ISIS taking of Deir Ezzor by (at least) three measures:

    * a massive U.S. air attack on SAA forces in September 2016 enabled ISIS to take a controlling position and to cut off SAA resupplies
    *a U.S. attack against a power station in January disabled the last electricity supplies to the city
    * U.S. non-intervention enabled ISIS reinforcements from Mosul and west Iraq to Deir Ezzor in east-Syria

    On September 16 2016 an hour long U.S. led air attack on SAA positions on the Tharda hills to the south of the airport killed over 100 SAA soldiers[WIA included, over 200 casualties], destroyed a big SAA supply dump and several SAA tanks and artillery pieces. Immediately after the U.S. attack ISIS took the hills and has since held them. The positions allow for fire control over the airport of Deir Ezzor.

    The U.S. military claimed that the attack was a mistake but a thorough reading of the investigation report of that “mistake” shows that the U.S. military attack was intentionally targeting the SAA[…]

    Since the U.S. attack in September no significant air supplies have reached Deir Ezzor. Even helicopter landing at the airport is only possible at night and by taking very high risks. The city inhabitants and their defenders are completely cut off.

    Early January U.S. airforce attacks destroyed the electricity plant at the Omar oilfield near Deir Ezzor. The plant was the last one to supply the city of Deir Ezzor. Since then only a few military generators and dwindling fuel supplies are left for medical and communication equipment.

  50. Dwright says:

    Even then it’s just an unsubstantiated claim.
    What an odd signature line, as if any were needed.

  51. @Sean

    Yeah, Iran should just sit meekly by while America Inc. and friends close in for the kill. It sounds you get your talking points from the MSM…expand your horizons.

    • Replies: @Sean
  52. It is interesting to hear Trump trying his hand at theology.

    I expect he will soon try his hand at playing in a Senior PGA Tour event, but it would be even better if he were to take on Kim Jong-il in the greatest golf singles grudge match since Auric Goldfinger, who cheated with the help of a Korean caddy called Oddjob, was outwitted in a high stakes match in 1964 by James Bond, who, as well as being licensed to kill, was also a world class golf and cards cheat.

    In the movie version of the story, Bond was later invited to the White House, along with pilot Pussy Galore, although, of course, her name was classified by the Johnson administration as a matter of national security and has only recently been released under the Freedom of Information Act.

  53. Druid says:
    @Buck Turgidson

    Your brain is zio/christevangelical/Ziofascist occupied territory!

  54. Abdī says: • Website

    There are so many dozens of sunni states, today not one supports terror. Today there is one shia state and it supports terror across the region. And yes I understand the appeal that shiaism and the plan for Khameini to become the new Khosroes holds to many on the altright. The shia have a tight political game, nice ordered structure and all their terrorists get paid checks that don’t bounce. Their political game is in order, we know it. But their religion is a mess and everyone knows it. The Iranians picked up this shia pharasaical cult out of political calculation, after shah ismail decided theyd be shia they couldnt even find shia books in Iran – they had to bring them from Lebanon. That is what set the stage for todays hezbollah iran alliance.

    And as an arab sunni I’m anti-zionist but Assad has killed and displaced more of my people than Zionists ever did in all history. And while I hate Iran regime if they return to sunni islam then they could be a legitimate power. For now, in a christian context, they are some cross between Mormon and Scientology with terror militias. They are a 2-3% cult of my religion that can not unify anyone with their bizarre beliefs. We sunnis actually have religious texts from Iranians before they left islam, amazing respected texts of hadith. They burned them when they changed religion.

    • Troll: Randal
  55. Sean says:

    My name is stuck between those brackets as firmly as you are circulating through jargon without making any contact between your words and reality. Try thinking without argot.

  56. Sean says:
    @Get it right

    A good state has to know its limitations, as Mearsheimer says.

  57. RobinG says:

    In a strong speech at the American Islamic Summit, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi exposes the supporters of terrorism in the Middle East.
    In Front of Trump, Al-Sisi Exposes Supporters of Terrorism

  58. Z-man says:

    Watching Trump at the podium with his good buddy Bibi makes nauseous. Actually watching any American official at the podium alongside any Israeli official, with that Star of David flag in the background, makes me nauseous.

  59. Abdī says: • Website

    >more democratic

    Who cares? Barack is that you?

    • Replies: @Z-man
  60. Z-man says:

    Far from it dip sh*t.

  61. ” distracts from his crisis at home”

    Bullshit, DT has no crisis whatsoever “at home”rather the Democrats nut-cases who thought that they finally had their coveted eternal one-party government in the bag, these crazy assholes, and being crazy ( and stupid) is an absolute prerequisite to voting for HRC, these underhanded scumbags have a crisis, a gigantic crisis, due to the fact that sane upstanding Americans are finally waking up to the truth, and that being : Democrats aside from a few redeemables, and I am not covering up for the traitor Republican scoundrels, Democrats are a collection of lunatics hell-bent on destrying the US, and the results of their lunacy can be viewed everywhere, starting with my home town : Detroit Michigan.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member since 1973, airborne qualified US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.

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