Trump’s Middle East: Saudi Arabia will be prominent military force, not Israel

The US-Saudi Arms Deal is nearly 9 Times Greater Than Any U.S. Arms Agreement With Israel.

Over a decade, Israel to receive in military aid from the United States: $38 billion

Over a decade, Saudi Arabia to receive in military aid from the United States: $350 billion

US President Donald Trump (C-L) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C-R) arrive for the Arabic Islamic American Summit at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017 (AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN)
US President Donald Trump (C-L) and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C-R) arrive for the Arabic Islamic American Summit at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017 (AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN)

Last week, President Trump began his 9-day diplomacy tour with his first stop to Saudi Arabia.  It was lauded by Press Secretary Sean Spicer as “unprecedented” at the Tuesday, May 30 press briefing — the first press briefing upon the President returning from overseas.

At the onset of the briefing, the following statement was read:

The visit included historic economic development “deals” for the United States totaling well over half a trillion dollars in the creation of tens of thousands of American jobs.  These “deals” include an immediate $110 billion investment which will grow to $350 billion in defense cooperation from Saudi Arabia hat will further enable Muslim troops to take a greater role in fighting terrorism.”

Here’s The Catch: 

President Trump’s Middle East strategy entails building a coalition against Iran, and its Shi’ite proxies with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States.  It also includes fighting Sunni Islam radicalization/terrorism.  To that end, the Trump administration signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” on an arms deal with “frenemy” Saudi Arabia.

Congress with a complicated set of rules and procedures regarding sales of arms to foreign governments, has not been sent a copy of the MOU (as of this writing).

This Saudi Arabia “deal” is nearly 9 times greater than any U.S. arms agreement with Israel. 

Back in September 2016, the United States, under President Obama, agreed to provide Israel with $38 billion in new military aid over the course of the next decade.  The “agreement” of $3.8 billion a year WAS the largest bilateral military aid package ever.  It includes $5 billion for missile defense and F-35 joint strike fighters.

The new U.S.-Saudi Arms deal is NOW the largest aid package in history to any foreign entity by the United States.

The aid to Saudi Arabia includes tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar and communications and cybersecurity technology.

President Trump’s Flawed Islamic Perceptions:

In Riyadh, President Trump gave a speech to more than 50 Arab nations attending the Arab Islamic-American Summit last week, the focus was creating a collaboration to put an end to terrorism globally.

The speech no doubt was written by speech writers with no understanding of Saudi Islamic doctrine known as WAHHABISM. The speech was peppered with nuances of creating a “moderate” Saudi Islamic movement to stop Jihad.

Wahhabism is the Orthodox form of Islam that has been Saudi Arabia’s dominant faith for more than two centuries.  It is an orthodox, rigid Islam that insists in the literal interpretation of the Quran, including Shariah law. Strict Wahhabis believe that those who don’t practice Wahhabi Islam are enemies.

To think that Wahhabi Islam can be convinced to be a “moderate” arm of  Islam and fight the very terrorism that they have been funding is absurd – pie-in-the-sky. Saudi Arabia is the head of the Sunni jihad snake, so to speak.

Trump Once Denounced Saudi Arabia As Extremist: 

The Washington Post reported, “The Saudi kingdom does not have a reputation as a land of religious moderation.  Instead, Saudi and the al-Saud family have been accused of aiding and abetting religious extremism that can feed terrorism.”

The article goes on to say, “It’s fair to say the Saudi government has spent billions of dollars over the last several decades to promote its ultraconservative version of Islam, which calls for hating infidels, and sometimes, jihad against them.”

Al Nusra in Syria, AQAP in North Africa and al Qaeda throughout the world plus many rebel groups and cells heavily rely on Saudi for funding.

Since 9-11, the number of mosques in America have grown by 75%. Recent studies show that nearly 80% of mosques preach jihad (through sermons and printed materials) and more than 95% of Muslims attend such mosques.  Further, millions of dollars flow from Saudi Arabia to support mosques in the West — providing the gateway of political Islam, radicalization and jihad as noted by The American Thinker. 

Confused Yet?  Here is More On Trump’s Business “Dealings” In Saudia Arabia: 

Even as Trump was running for president, his company was continuing to operate and open new properties. While the most memorable may have been that of his hotel in Washington, DC, and his golf course in Turnery, Scotland, the Trump Organization was continuing to work on projects in other countries, including (according to a report in The Washington Post) registering eight new companies in Saudi Arabia during the 16-month campaign.” Per The Atlantic.

It goes on to say, “The organization’s endeavors in Saudi Arabia are notable not only because they may further complicate the shaky relationship between the U.S. and an oil-rich gulf state notorious for human-rights abuses, but also because of how they relate to Trump’s campaign rhetoric.  One of his criticisms of Hillary Clinton was that her charitable foundation has accepted donations from governments with questionable records of human rights, most notably Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Ali H. Alyami, Director, Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia and I spoke this week to reflect on the U.S.- Saudi Arabia Arms Deal.  Dr. Alyami has been a guest on my radio show offering this commentary:

“Given the ominous clouds hanging over the President, and his inner circle, longevity of this administration is in question.  It is possible that they may have concluded that they have 4 years (or less) to secure a long-term business and other lucrative relationship with the Saudis, the Russians and others while they can.  The Russians, the Saudis and other political tyrants and players are not stupid and know they have limited time to maximize their gains with this administration while they are in the White House.”

Saudi Arabia has pressure on its finances due to output production of oil and lower oil prices. Saudi Arabia is eager to infuse their economy with cash.

Dr. Alyami went on to say:

“The Saudi economy is fragile and they are looking to diversify their income stream beyond oil. With investments throughout the world, U.S. and Asian markets, expanding business ventures with President Trump seems very plausible and likely.” 

Dr. Alyami, an expert in Saudi Arabia human rights abuses received communication from a source within Saudi Arabia regarding a private exclusive dinner meeting between the Trump family and the Saudi royals during the visit to Riyadh. No minutes were taken; no outsiders attended.

“It is not unreasonable to think that the Trump Organization and business ventures between the two countries were central to the dinner discussion.  The Trumps and the Saudis have a long history of business dealings,” said Alyami.

As a matter of fact, Donald Trump is quoted as saying:

“The Saudis buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million.  Am I supposed to dislike them?  I like them very very much!”

This writer asserts, “The arms “deal” (a Donald word for sure) and a Saudi Arabia partnership in business benefits both Trump and Saudi royals.  Greasing the wheel for current and post presidency business dealings — not unlike Bush or Clinton.

What Does Israel Have To Say About The U.S.-Saudi Arms Deal?

Here is one Minister’s Comment.

Israel expressed muted” concern last Sunday to the major arms deal between U.S. and Saudi.  According to Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz,

“We have to make sure that these hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia will not, by any means, erode Israel’s qualitative edge, because Saudi Arabia is still a hostile country without any diplomatic relations and nobody knows what the future will be.

Reported by The Times of Israel, Yesh Atid, Chairman Yair Lapid said last  Monday, “Entire Israel security establishment is worried by Trump’s Saudi arms deal.  Kowtowing to the U.S. president, Netanyahu, left Israel vulnerable by failing to prevent or even criticize massive, dangerous DC-Riyadh accord.” 

In Summary: 

The U.S – Saudi Arabia Arms Deal is a thorny “deal” concocted, as it seems, to benefit the Trump family, the Trump brand, as well as the Trump franchise, and sweetens the GOP’s base of support in advance of the 2018 and 2020 elections.

The “deal” calls for Saudi Arabia to purchase a percentage of the arms from U.S. defense industry contractors. This in turn creates what Sean Spicer suggested at the press conference as, “tens of thousands of jobs.”  Debatable by various analysts.

Don’t expect Congress to question any of this; as of this writing, it has not reviewed the “deal.”  The GOP House of Representatives will NOT balk for a moment on this deal — even if they can read between the lines that Israel has been thrown under the bus.

Congressional careers depend on votes and votes come when America has jobs that their party has created — and the GOP voters love defense work.

Not even Prime Minister Netanyahu is uttering displeasure; he has been without a U.S. partner for eight years.

Netanyahu is still gushing from the Trump’s visit and he is not uttering a word of displeasure on this “deal.”

The civilized world has no guarantees that this “deal” will not be used to kill innocent civilians, promote radical Islam or used to kill Israelis.  This “deal” is fundamentally flawed, balanced to favor the Saudis, and strengthens the Trump-Saudi relationship.

This deal is as bad as the Iran Nuclear Deal; however the Trump base of support still has not caught on.

President Trump said upon his return home this past weekend, “The Trip Was A Home Run.”

To that I say, “Not exactly, Mr. President. This “deal” will make Saudi Arabia a prominent military force in the Middle East. You may have some of the people fooled some of the time, but not all of the people fooled all of the time, Mr. President.” 

Lisa E. Benson

LBenson@NationalSecuritySpeaker.org

www.TheQueenEstherProject.org

About the Author
Lisa Benson is at the helm of The Queen Esther Project (www.TheQueenEstherProject.org) a charitable humanitarian endeavor. Lisa Benson is a 25-year veteran of humanitarian, foreign policy, national security and nonprofit sectors. Lisa has been the voice of accurate, measured foreign policy information on Salem Radio KKNT, Phoenix, and the architect of Lisa Benson TV (streaming) and countless video and published reporting on geo-political issues. She is a compelling public speaker, broadcaster, non-profit development consultant, writer, humanitarian, and national security analyst. Lisa Benson is the author of a soon to be published book, “A Daughter’s Journey Into Ohrdruf Concentration Camp.” As a child, Lisa was introduced to the horrors of genocide by her father, Vincent, a concentration camp liberator. She remembers being only ten-years old when her dad sat her down at the kitchen table and tossed 12 packs of photos to her. His words resonate, “I want you to know where I was and what I saw.” Lisa recalls this story with tears in eyes as she will never forget that moment. The photos of piled up dead bodies were taken by Vincent when he marched into Ohrdruf concentration camp liberating it on April 4, 1945. The Ohrdruf camp was a sub camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and the first Nazi camp liberated by U.S. troops. From a 10-year old little girl with indelible memories, to a grown woman traveling the world speaking out on atrocities of unfathomable proportion, Lisa Benson holds nothing back as a speaker, broadcaster, activist or human rights educator. She is a riveting, compelling and transformational public speaker. The Queen Esther Project imbues the spirit of its namesake: Queen Esther. Knowing that “We Are All Born For Such A Time As This,” The Queen Esther Project has an ambitious agenda to educate, and eradicate, tyranny and genocide. Using the tools of broadcasting, publishing, online education, public speaking and fostering communication to world leaders, donors can be assured that with Lisa’s guidance projects will provide impact — the men, women and children in harm’s way will now have more Queen Esther’s to walk with them to safety. Lisa Benson invites you to join in the campaign to rid the world of genocide by 2022. The #EndGenocide2022 campaign seeks to obliterate the forces of genocide by the year 2020. We won’t stop until all ethnic and religious minorities are out of harm’s way. Lisa Benson has a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany and attended graduate studies at the Rockefeller College of Public Policy at the State University of New York at Albany. Lisa is also an avid hiker and artist.
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