Friday, May 26, 2017
Trump Makes Great Headway In Saudi Arabia. He Spoke Clearly And They Heard Him.
Trump: “Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death”
Not once during Barack Obama’s eight years in office did he or any member of his administration once condemn, or even name radical Islamic terrorism- but last week President Donald J. Trump did- and he did it directly to the heads of state, kings, princes, and kingpins of Saudi Arabia.
There was a great deal of discomfort in the room as he made it clear that he expects their full cooperation in future efforts to combat Islamic terrorism, and while he did not directly blame the Saudi state for funding and harboring terrorist organizations, he put the case against terrorism to them in such grim and fully fleshed out intonations that it is clear that he expects them to do something about the problem.
But the president didn’t only confront the leaders of Saudi Arabia by placing his finger on their responsibility for terrorism done in the name of Islam, he also praised the magnificence of their country and the accomplishments of their culture. It’s something about Mr. Trump which we have always admired since the early days of his campaign, he gives credit where credit is due- and he gives it amply.
Trump is always eager to recognize greatness wherever he finds it. He praised their hospitality, noted their cooperation with former president Theodore Roosevelt, praised heads of state who traveled to be there and spoke glowingly of the advanced and beautiful city where the speech was delivered.
He then spoke about how America is not only going to stand for peace and prosperity- but that we would not be engaged in wars, sanctions, or other activities aimed at forcing our way of life on them. He was quite clear, we are not interested in telling them how to live. This is an important precursor to his statements on terrorism, and Mr. Trump made it clear that we are not out to dictate, but to cooperate.
But, when the niceties were finished, Trump launched straight in to making it crystal clear that he expects full cooperation in his efforts to extinguish Islamic terrorism. His statements to this effect went on for quite some time, and the stony faces of the heads of state that glared back at him would have sent a chill down the spine of a lesser man.
“[W]e must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration,” Trump said as he began his comments on radical Islamic terrorism. “That goal is to meet history’s great test—to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”
He went on to describe cowardly and horrific acts of violence done in the name of the religion of peace all over the world, acts of violence that extinguished the lives of innocents needlessly. He characterized the ugliness with which these acts have been done, clarified that there is no honor in killing unarmed, and innocent people.
Then he said one of the most extraordinary things a person could say about those who practice senseless killing and destruction.
“Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.”
It was a fine and timely assertion. In an age when the most violent people on the planet are claiming piety for the horrific things they do, Trump has laid down a challenge to their claim of spiritual rectitude. Until now, no other American president has put it into such clear and confrontational terms.
Certainly, Barack Obama never did, he never once even used the term, ‘Islamic terror.’ Not once. Even after attacks on American soil where the perpetrator screamed ‘Allhu Akbar’ at the scene and explicitly told investigators afterward that they had done it in the name of Allah and the Islamic State.
But Trump made up for this deficit of his predecessor in spades. He put the problem into very concrete terms as he went further to express his, and our attitude about the conflict with terrorists.
“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations,” he said. “This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between Allhu AkbarAllhu Akbar.”
Donald Trump has set the stage for a new way of looking at Islamic terrorists by portraying them as depraved and demonic cowards- and by doing it fine tones, and by offering a place of distinction to Saudi Arabian leaders who should turn their backs on terrorist organizations.