Monday, 22 May 2017

Trump visits the world's biggest supporter of terrorism - Saudi Arabia

Donald Trump uses anti-terrorism speech to condemn countries fighting terrorism
In a speech directed at the wider Muslim world, Donald Trump criticised two Muslim majority nations that are on the front line against the war on terrorism.

21 May, 2017

Donald Trump spoke at the Saudi organised Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh. He spoke in front of leaders of most Muslim majority countries in the world with two notable exceptions: Syria and Iran.

His speech focused on the typical Trump themes of self-reliance in respect of an Arab and wider Muslim world that Trump called on to rely less on America to fight its battles.

However, all of Trump’s broad condemnations of terrorism fell short of approaching realism when he condemned Iran as a country which foments, enables and finances of terrorism.

At one point in the speech, Donald Trump issued what could only be described as a clarion call against Iran. Trump was careful to stop short of seeking or even implying military action against Iran, but instead spoke of the need to “isolate” Iran.

In his speech, the American President only mentioned Syria in the context of Iran’s support of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

In a speech whose general content was aimed at ISIS and by extrapolation the wider Wahhabi terrorism that Saudi Arabia funds and arms, it is literally illogical and downright dishonest to condemn Iran or Syria. It is equally nonsensical to condemn the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah which is fighting on the same side as Syria, Russia and Iran against Whhabist terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, both of which receive the majority of their funds from Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and US ally Qatar.

The absence of two of the only Muslim majority states that are both serious about and capable of fighting terrorism made the entire conference somewhat farcical.

Holding a conference which is in part aimed at destroying terrorism, without Syria and Iran is like holding a conference on fire safety without inviting a single current of retired fire fighter.

Donald Trump spoke a great deal about the commercial opportunities that increased cooperation with the Arab and wider Muslim world could afford. This was essentially the real gist of the speech, showing the American people that the Saudi Dollars which flowed into America in the aftermath of a titanic arms deal will be good for the US economy.

Selling weapons to Syria and Iran would also be good for the US economy and it would also not morally compromise America in the wider fight against terrorism, but after years of aggressive US policies including war, the threat of war and sanctions, countries like Iran and Syria are buying their weapons from Russia and also from China.

Iran’s Shi’a democratic theocracy does not threaten world peace, but Saudi Arabia’s extremist Wahhabi kleptocracy does. Syria’s secular, tolerate republic likewise is a bulwark against terrorism and a modern society that most Americans would feel far more at home in than the regressive obscurantist monarchies of the Gulf.

The shame of today’s speech is not Donald Trump’s alone but should be shared by secular Arab states like Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Algeria who once stood proudly against imperialism and Gulfi barbarity. Libya which is now, hardly a state at all, also could once hold its head proudly in a broad Nasserist tradition.

Donald Trump spoke of America not wanting to lecture the Muslim world nor impose its views upon it. This particular remark should be applauded. But Trump stopped short of following his own advice. He proceeded to lecture the Muslim leaders about the dangers of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, three organisations which unlike America and Saudi Arabia, are on the correct side of the war against Wahhabi terrorism.

If only the American people realised that Iran, while a theocracy is a place of learning, peace and cultural sophistication and if they also knew that Ba’athist Syria is a modern, free, secular, tolerant and wholesome place, they would have a very different idea about what is what in the Arab world.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif'Repeating the Likes of 9/11': Tehran Slams Trump on Shocking Saudi Shift


21 May, 2017

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, advised US President Donald Trump that, rather than confronting Tehran, he should be discussing how to avoid another 9/11 attacks with his Saudi Arabian partners during an official visit to Riyadh.

As he delivered a speech at the so-called "Arab Islamic American Summit" in Riyadh, on his first tour overseas since taking office, Trump hit out at Iran saying it was fuelling "the fires of sectarian conflict and terror." The accusations echoed those by King Salman of Saudi Arabia, who earlier dubbed the country "the spearhead of terrorism."

Foreign Minister Zarif responded to the remarks by reminding Trump that questions continue to swirl about the role that members of the Saudi monarchy played in the 2001 attacks.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers affiliated with al-Qaeda who murdered nearly 3,000 people in New York in 2001 were citizens of Saudi Arabia.
In March, families of 850 victims who died on 9/11 and 1,500 people injured that day filed a lawsuit against the Saudi government, alleging that it provided material and financial support to the terrorist organization for years leading up to the tragedy.
"[Trump] must enter into dialogue with them about ways to prevent terrorists and takfiris from continuing to fuel the fire in the region and repeating the likes of the September 11 incident by their sponsors in Western countries," Zarif wrote in an opinion piece published by the London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed media outlet.
Zarif pointed out that while campaigning ahead of the US election, Trump himself suggested that the kingdom could be behind the attack.
"Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn't the Iraqis" Trump told Fox & Friends last February, "It was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents."
But after the election, Trump stopped making sharp comments about Saudi Arabia and vowed to improve ties with the kingdom.
On Saturday, Washington and Riyadh signed a massive arms deal that could total up to $350 billion, one of the biggest single arms deals in US history.
In his article, Zarif also reacted to Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman saying that the kingdom "will work to have the battle in Iran rather than in Saudi Arabia" by offering peace to Saudi Arabia as a gift.
"The realization of this issue, however, depends on the Saudi government ending its futile war and deadly attacks against the Yemeni people and abandoning its crackdown on the pro-democracy majority in neighboring countries," he wrote.
Yemen's civil war between the internationally recognized Aden-based government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in March 2015. According to the UN reports, over 50,000 civilians have been killed or injured since the beginning of the conflict, including thousands of children.

Zarif pledged that Iran is committed to combating terrorism and restoring stability in the region.
"Today, the stable Iran is seeking stability in the entire region because it knows that achieving security at home at the expense of insecurity among neighbors is basically impossible," he said.    

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