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The Trouble With Don the Con’s Embrace of Saudi Arabia


Don the Con has a few weak points, among them an understanding of global politics.  Thus it is not surprising that he would try to get closer to Sunni Arab countries and give Iran the cold shoulder– while at the same time claiming to want to have better relations with Russia, which heavily supports Iran and the current government of Syria:

Tamara Cofman Wittes, a former State Department official who worked on the Middle East under Mr. Obama, said Mr. Trump’s goal of aligning with the Sunni states fundamentally conflicted with his desire for closer relations with Russia, which has sided with Iran in bolstering the government in Syria’s civil war. Allowing President Bashar al-Assad to remain in power in Syria under Iran’s thumb is precisely the outcome the Sunni states and Israel oppose, noted Ms. Wittes, who is now at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

But no matter: our collaboration with Saudi Arabia will produce “jobs, jobs, jobs” for the defense industry.  First on the list is a $110 billion package of weapons for the Saudis, including advanced weapons the Obama administration with-held because they could be used to target civilians in Yemen.  Nor does it matter to Don that Saudi Arabia is a highly repressive monarchy, while Iran is a slightly less repressive democratic republic.  These fine points of global governance are beyond Don the Con, who favors autocrats like Vladimir Putin (who has hollowed out his country’s putative democracy and kills his opponents with impunity) and Rodrigo Duterte (who has made his country a killing field for anyone suspected of involvement in “drugs” and who has recently banned public cigarette smoking.)

In fact, Don seems to have trouble with basic consistency (he’s a hypocrite, along with everything else):

Mrs. Trump stood near her husband with her hair uncovered, as is common for visiting American first ladies. The country’s tradition is for Saudi women to cover their heads in public. (In 2015, Mr. Trump criticized Michelle Obama on Twitter for not wearing a head scarf during an official visit here. Hillary Clinton and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany also did not cover their hair during trips to the country.)

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