Trump’s Saudi speech

David Shariatmadari in the Guardian, ‘. . . What was the real meaning of his speech, then? There were threads of sincerity. Trump certainly does believe Islamic State needs to be destroyed. But the more emollient language, and the venue, suggest other forces at work. . . . While Trump was courting the leaders of a country in which women are not permitted to drive, let alone vote, liberal Iranians were celebrating Hassan Rouhani’s win in the presidential elections. Tehran is not truly democratic, as politicians are vetted by senior clergy, but it comes closer than any Middle Eastern nation, bar Israel and Turkey. And yet Iran was the country singled out for trenchant criticism, while Gulf regimes were told: “We’re not going to lecture anyone.”

This is not only hard to defend morally. Siding with Saudi Arabia and antagonising Iran in order to weaken jihadism won’t work, to put it mildly. Though the Saudi kingdom has taken part in military action against Isis, its state textbooks are deemed acceptable in Isis-run schools. It has backed militant Islamist rebels in Syria, and continues to export an extremely intolerant version of Islam.’ click here