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22 May 2017

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wisedupearly

Yes, the image of the American President trumpeting trade deals in the country that nurtured most of the 9-11 attackers was rather disheartening.
More interesting to me was that the Kushners received rabbinical waiver to fly to the ME on the sabbath. Ivanka substituted for Trump (who pleaded exhaustion) at a social event in Riyadh. Any sign that the substitution was taken as a backhander by the Saudis?

Seamus Padraig

Colonel, why do you assume that Israel and Saudi Arabia are at odds? On most ME policy questions, they're on the same side. A victory for one party can hardly be considered a defeat for the other.

turcopolier

Seamus Padraig

Israel and Saudi Arabia are not allies. Thr Izzies seek to use SA for limited purposes of their own but the last thing they want to see is as close a relationship between the US and SA as Trump walked into in Riyadh. pl

DH

"The "rub" will come of course when the Saudis try to crack the whip over Trump."

Maybe the spectacle of Trump 'submitting' was all they planned on, and anything further will be gravy.

b

Trump is used to such artificial backdrops and insincere flattery. He uses those props himself to convince others to sign deals with him. I doubt that he falls for them.

turcopolier

b

To clarify, Trump believes in his own control of the situation. The Saudis think they have hired him. pl

YT

"Our responsibility before god and our people and the whole world is to stand united to fight the forces of evil and extremism wherever they are ...

The Iranian regime represents the tip of the spear of global terrorism."

"We will never be lenient in trying anyone who finances terrorism, in any way or means, to the full force of the law."

https://pando.com/2013/12/19/the-war-nerd-saudis-syria-and-blowback/

their #1 export...

LOL!

"Oho!" said the pot to the kettle;

"You are dirty and ugly and black!

Sure no one would think you were metal,

Except when you're given a crack."

"Not so! not so!" kettle said to the pot;

"'Tis your own dirty image you see;

For I am so clean - without blemish or blot -

That your blackness is mirrored in me."

Outrage Beyond

Trump has a well-deserved reputation for ripping people off. One hopes he might pull a fast one on the Saudis too.

Annem

And the spectacle includes the fact that he chose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign jaunt as president, not the usual northern and southern neighbors or closest European allies. That can't be lost on people either.

kooshy

Colonel if I may ask, what do you think the Saudis can do with 110 billion in new arms, what else they can buy that they already don't have? it was just two years ago they signed a deal with Obama for 60 billion in new arms. Beside Iranians and Shia, who are they going to use these new arms against, when Iran and here allies they don't even have the current level of Saudis and other gulf states' sophisticated modern western armaments. IMO what will happen to these arms in future is what that scares the hell out of Izzes more than Iran does. Israelis most be worried what will happen, if like in Iran of 1979, and Shah' arm purchases, the Saudi monarchy is overthrown, who will become in possession of these arms and what his policy will be toward Israel.

Lurker

The Saudis can crack the whip by whitholding payment (the old Stop Payment phone call to the bank). The most interesting obsevation is the order of the visit: Mecca, Jerusalem and finally Vatican city Rome. Netanyahu is pissed that Trump didn't move the embassy as promised. He is also unhappy that he now has to make some concessions at the Palestinians. If KSA gets Patriots and THAAD, there goes an arm race for Syria an Iran ( maybe also Turkey) will get upgraded S300s and there goes the IDF invincibility.
Forget North Korea, it is too onerous even for DJT. USA-UK-Saudi-UAE-Israel-France-Germany-Turkey to attempt instead their desired land invasion of Syria from Jordan. Damascus may be hit big time ......An impending regional war with Iran (Elam & Media) possibly hitting back at Saudi Arabia (Isa 21).....Will this end up with a global war at Har Meguido, Israel?

Sam Peralta

All

Why do you think US administrations of both political parties want to be so deeply enmeshed in the affairs of the ME?

Please don't pitch the petrodollar conspiracy theory as it has no factual validity from an economic, financial and forex perspective.

Laura

Colonel - Thank you for this perspective. It is new to me and I appreciate your knowledgeable input.
Question, if Trump doesn't "deliver" or "perform" (what is the correct word?), what would be Saudi response...what
is their leverage in this situation?

Kunuri

There is a Muhtar(Turkish spelling for Arabic "Mukhtar") in urban, westernized precinct of Istanbul where I live. As far as his influence and power is concerned, he is a joke. However, in the remote, eastern country regions, where civilization and urbanization levels are low, and where the state and the law can not exercise immediate control conveniently, the Muhtar is the top dog. The most powerful official in the region.

There is a point in this difference with distinction which I have not been able to relate to the good Colonels's analogy regarding Trump and the Saudis.
Maybe someone can help.

Randy

The Saudis think they bought and now own Trump. Trump is too stupid to realize that. When Trump realizes what happened he will use the excuse that he was jet-lagged and too tired to realize what was going on.

Trump thinks he is pretty smart but he is a one trick pony. He was born on third base which got him into NY real estate. He knows NY real estate and how to hire the right lawyers to accomplish his goals there and to fix/cover for his mistakes. That's it.

He really needs somebody like pl to advise and set him straight on some of this complicated Middle East stuff. Trump is in way, way over his head. It is amazing that his supporters are OK with him sucking up to the Saudis, simply amazing.

Liza

Former Indian diplomat MK Bhadrakumar has offered his take on Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia.

Bhadrakumar cites comments made by Secretary of State Tillerson during the visit regarding American relations with Iran. Particularly interesting is this remark:."In all likelihood, we will talk at the right time."

http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2017/05/22/trumps-saudi-visit-wasnt-about-islam-or-iran-its-about-america-first/

TonyL

Col,

Thank you for this statement. Exactly my thought.

"The Israelis ... have spent a lot of time and effort and a fairly limited amount of money constructing an apparat in AIPAC that successfully manipulates both US policy and public opinion. And now the Saudis have simply bought the same thing with all that money?"

plantman

It's pretty disheartening to see the USA aligning with vicious cutthroats like the Saudis.

I guess I'd better get used to it.

b

"bolivars" - sorry - I don't know that word and don't find it in any dictionary. Nor does it seem mistyped. Could someone care to explain it to this foreigner?

LondonBob

Saudis know how Trump feels about them and they don’t own him they way they did Clinton. They have to suck up to him to minimise the damage. I don't see Trump changing his opinions on Syria, Russia or Iran, rhetoric is just that, but Palestine could be an area he might be flexible on for the Saudis.

That said I think this under estimates the power of the Israel lobby, media, finance etc.

luxetvritas

Saudi Arabia and Israel are allies in the material and psychological war against secular, modern Arab countries. It is a war which the United States has been fighting on behalf of Riyadh and Tel Aviv for decades.

turcopolier

luxetvritas

That is much too simple a view of the situation and it misses all the nuances of the relationships. pl

turcopolier

LondonBob

You don't seem to have understood my post. The Saudis think they will either get his compliance with their wishes or they will start dragging their feet on all this money. they will do this by delaying projects, trenches of payments and all the other tricks that they and their foreign kafir advisers will come up with. None of Trump's people seem to have ever done business with Arabs. I am surprised that Tillerson does not see this. You can be sure that the Israelis see it. pl

turcopolier

b

Sorry. Damned auto-correct. The word was supposed to be "believes." Actually "bolivars" are a unit of currency in S. America. pl

Les

Trumps speaks openly about what many have observed about Israel and Saudi Arabia. They have common geopolitical aspirations.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-israel-idUSKBN18I0BB

While the Saudis aspire to dominate the region, US and Israel may prefer extended chaos as it would further arms sales and force the Arab states to produce more oil.

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