Pres. Trump's first significant act abroad was a massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia, already the biggest arms importer - and user - in the Middle East. Next day, speaking to the heads of Saudi, the GCC and other Arab States, he made it pretty clear that he sees Iran as the greatest pariah state in the region. Iran, of course, is backed by Russia.
At head of government level, there is little to choose between Saudi and Iran. But at a cultural and social level there is all the difference in the world. The Iranian people (men and women) are educated, sophisticated and cultured. The young especially are quite pro-West. In 2009, they came close to reclaiming their country back from the Islamic Revolutionary regime. Saudi society, on the other hand is extremely conservative, with low literacy, oppression of women, strict sharia law, terrible punishments and so forth.
Was it wise of the President to further strengthen the hand of Saudi while vilifying Iran? Does he understand the Sunni/Shia and Arab/Persian dynamics well enough to jump in as he has? Or is he perhaps setting up the mother of all conflicts so he can sell a few MOABs? Any thoughts?
The 9/11 attackers included 15 Saudis, two men from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one Egyptian, and one Lebanese.
The kingdom is in a tacit alliance with al-Qaeda in Yemen. USA troops work with al-Qaeda to fight others in Yemen. It's a total Cluster-F**k. The Sunni Saudis want to destroy Shia Iran, Syria, the Hezbollah and the Houthis.
Want a formula for forever war? When did our forever war begin? War is making us poor. Forever war will make us forever poor.
I'd like to be able to put a dome over violent countries until they could prove they'd learned to play nicely with others.
Any country which has publicly stated an objective of the annihilation of another would be where I'd start.
It's a reasonable proposition, though there are also countries that don't make such dramatic threats yet somehow still manage to drop lots more bombs than their 'violent' neighbours.
Hm. Well, it's a pickle. But, you don't see bombs being dropped on, say, the UK or France. Or, most democratic nations for that matter. Probably because they aren't beheading their citizens, conducting chemical weapons attacks on their civilians.
Yes, but it also makes some people extremely rich.
Arms sales are short-term profitable, but if you want long term profits you have to ensure that the arms you sell are used and destroyed to fuel the demand for more. I'm pretty sure Trump understands that.
The largest simmering feud in the world is the Middle East Sunni-Shiite divide. President Trump has now taken clear sides in the conflict. This is a recipe for disaster especially if he decides to weaken or renege on our Iran nuclear agreement. These 2 sides fought the Iraq v Iran war which was a disaster and a new war would be much worse. Of course, President Trump does not care about any of these nuances because business arms deals are involved. That's the only language he believes in. Make some money and the world be damned.
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