Trump Lets Saudis Off His ‘Muslim Ban’

Exclusive: By leaving Saudi Arabia and other key terrorism sponsors off his “Muslim ban,” President Trump shows the same cowardice and dishonesty that infected the Bush and Obama administrations, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

President Trump’s ban against letting people from seven mostly Muslim countries enter the United States looks to many like a thinly concealed bias against a religion, but it also is a troubling sign that Trump doesn’t have the nerve to challenge the false terrorism narrative demanded by Israel and Saudi Arabia.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Israeli-Saudi narrative, which is repeated endlessly inside Official Washington, is that Iran is the principal sponsor of terrorism when that dubious honor clearly falls to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Sunni-led Muslim states, including Pakistan, nations that did not make Trump’s list.

The evidence of who is funding and supporting most of the world’s terrorism is overwhelming. All major terrorist groups that have bedeviled the United States and the West over the past couple of decades – from Al Qaeda to the Taliban to Islamic State – can trace their roots back to Sunni-led countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Qatar.

Privately, this reality has been recognized by senior U.S. officials, including former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. But that knowledge has failed to change U.S. policy, which caters to the oil-rich Saudis and the politically powerful Israelis.

For instance, in August 2012, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency – then headed by General Flynn – warned that Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al Qaeda were “the major forces driving the insurgency” against the largely secular government in Syria.

Flynn’s DIA advised President Obama that rebels were trying to establish a “Salafist principality in eastern Syria,” and that “western countries, the gulf states, and Turkey are supporting these efforts” to counter the supposed Shiite threat to the region.

Hillary Clinton also was aware of this reality, as the threat from the head-chopping Islamic State – also known as ISIL or ISIS – grew worse in summer 2014. In September 2014, the former Secretary of State wrote in an email that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were “providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups.”

Later in 2014, Vice President Joe Biden made the same point in a talk at Harvard’s Kennedy School: “Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria … the Saudis, the emirates, etc. what were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of military weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.” [Quote starts at 53:25.]

Known But Unknown

So the truth was known at senior levels of the Obama administration – and now via National Security Advisor Flynn at the top of the Trump administration – but the Israelis and the Saudis don’t want that reality to shape U.S. foreign policy. In other words, this truth about the real source of terrorism was known but unknown.

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn at a campaign rally for Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Oct. 29, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

Instead, Israel demands that Washington share its hatred of the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah, a Shiite force that organized in the 1980s to drive the invading Israeli army out of southern Lebanon. Because Hezbollah dealt a rare defeat to the Israeli Defense Force, Israel puts it at the top of “terrorist” organizations. And, Hezbollah is supported by Iran.

Saudi Arabia, too, hates Iran because the Sunni-fundamentalist Saudi monarchy considers Shia Islam heretical, a sectarian conflict that dates back to the Seventh Century. So, the Saudi government has viewed Sunni jihadists as the tip of the spear against these Shiite rivals.

Israeli and Saudi officials have even made clear that they would prefer Al Qaeda or Islamic State to prevail in the Syrian war rather than have the largely secular government of President Bashar al-Assad survive because they see his regime as part of a “Shiite crescent” reaching from Tehran through Damascus to the Hezbollah neighborhoods of Beirut.

In September 2013, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren said in the interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with Al Qaeda.

And, in June 2014, speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

[For more on this topic, see’s “Israel, Saudi Arabia and Terrorism.”]

The West’s Worries

However, when Americans and Europeans worry about terrorism, they are talking about Al Qaeda and Islamic State, terror groups led by Sunni extremists. Those are the groups that have been responsible for bloody attacks on the United States and Western Europe.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2002. (White House photo)

The absurdity of Trump’s immigration ban is underscored by the fact that it would not have kept out the 15 Saudi hijackers dispatched by Al Qaeda to carry out the 9/11 attacks. They came from the home country of Al Qaeda’s Saudi founder Osama bin Laden.

Neither would Trump’s ban have stopped Muhamed Atta, one of the 9/11 ringleaders who was from Egypt, another country ignored by Trump, which also happens to be the original home of Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s current leader.

So, what Trump’s initial foray into the complex issue of terrorism has revealed is that he is unwilling to take on the real nexus of terrorism, just as Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama shied away from a clash with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikdoms.

In the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency, the regional interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia have continued to dictate how Official Washington addresses terrorism.

Trump’s seven-nation list includes Iran, Syria and Sudan as state sponsors of terrorism and Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Libya as countries where there has been terrorist activity. But the governments of Iran and Syria arguably have become two of the leading fighters against the terrorist groups of most concern to the U.S. and European populations.

Iran is aiding both Syria and Iraq in their conflicts with Al Qaeda and Islamic State. Inside Syria, the Syrian army has borne the brunt of that fighting against terror groups funded and armed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and – yes – at least indirectly, the United States. Yet while none of the Al Qaeda/Islamic State benefactors made Trump’s list, Iran and Syria did.

In other words, not only is Trump’s ban a blunderbuss blast at thousands of innocent Muslims who have no intention of hurting the United States but it doesn’t even take aim at the most dangerous targets which represent a genuine terrorist threat.

Trump’s ban is really a twisted case of “political correctness” purporting to reject “political correctness.” While Trump claims to recognize that it is dangerously naïve to let in Muslims when Islamic terrorism has remained a threat to Americans, Trump has left off his list the most likely sources of terrorists because – to do otherwise – would have negative political consequences in Official Washington.

By going after Iran and Syria, in particular, Trump appears to be currying favor with neoconservatives and liberal hawks in Congress and across Official Washington. Perhaps, he is simply hesitating while the Senate considers confirmation of his choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The Senate also could reject other of his foreign policy nominees.

But that is exactly the kind of compromising that undermined any attempts by President Obama to engineer a real change from the “war of terror” strategy of George W. Bush. Obama was so afraid of going against the Israelis and the Saudis that he only altered U.S. policy on the margins and let himself get dragged into Israeli-Saudi-favored “regime change” adventures in Syria and Yemen.

Dashed or Delayed Hopes

When Trump initially rebuffed the neocons and liberal hawks who dominate Official Washington’s foreign establishment, there was hope that he might at least try to hold Saudi Arabia accountable as the chief sponsor of terrorism, rather than to continue the Israeli-Saudi-imposed narrative.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own “red line” on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

But to do so carried political risks beyond offending the politically potent Israelis who have forged a quiet alliance with the wealthy Saudis. Trump would also have to recognize the important role of Republican icon Ronald Reagan in creating the terrorist threat.

After all, the origins of the modern jihadist movement trace back to the $1 billion-a-year collaboration between the Reagan administration and the Saudi monarchy to support the Afghan mujahedeen in their war against a secular government in Kabul backed by the Soviet Union.

The extravagant arming of these Afghan fundamentalists, who were bolstered by international jihadists led by Osama bin Laden, dealt a harsh blow to the Soviet forces and ultimately led to the collapse of the secular regime in Kabul, but the victory also paved the way for the rise of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, blowback that hit the United States on 9/11.

The U.S. reaction to that shock never directly addressed how the problem had originated and who the underlying culprits were. Though George W. Bush’s administration did begin by invading Afghanistan, the neoconservatives around him quickly turned the U.S. retaliation against longstanding Israeli targets, such as Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Syria’s Assad dynasty though they had nothing to do with 9/11.

The fiction that these largely secular governments were responsible for Islamic terrorism — and the mislabeling of Shia-ruled Iran as the chief sponsor of such terrorism — have remained the myths confusing the American people and thus justifying continued U.S. support for the Israeli-Saudi war against the “Shiite crescent.”

Trump, who is heavily criticized for his inability to distinguish fact from fantasy, could have displayed a brave commitment to truth-telling if he had fashioned his counter-terrorism policy to actually address the real sponsors of terrorism. Instead, he chose to continue the lies that the Israelis and Saudis insist that Official Washington tell.

In doing so, Trump is not only offending much of the world and alienating countries that are at the forefront of the fight against the worst terrorist threats, but he is continuing to shield the key regimes that have perpetuated the scourge of terrorism.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

85 comments for “Trump Lets Saudis Off His ‘Muslim Ban’

  1. February 2, 2017 at 22:55

    Trump also made a campaign promise to expose the 9/11 attacks, “You may find it’s the Saudis, okay?” Not hearing anything about that.

    The Saudis are the key to exposing 9/11 high Treason, and so here we are.

    9/11 & 28 Pages of Treason

  2. Sven
    January 31, 2017 at 18:48

    Re:”The absurdity of Trump’s immigration ban is underscored by the fact that it would not have kept out the 15 Saudi hijackers dispatched by Al Qaeda to carry out the 9/11 attacks. ”

    Is it possible that Parry accepts the official view concerning 911? He cannot be that stupid. Has he been threatened by the gov’t?

  3. January 31, 2017 at 14:15

    Citizen One…..Great analysis. Last post but not the least.

  4. CitizenOne
    January 30, 2017 at 22:30

    Thanks to a corrupt three branches of government we now get this. Thanks to voters who are too lazy to get off the sofa, put down the game controller and vote we get this.

    We get the government we deserve. After all we voted for it. We were told to vote for it.

    82% of Fox News watchers believed Saddam was responsible for 9/11. That should have been our first clue we had no clue. Someone really needs to take away the voter button. We have no idea what we are doing.

    Trump was allowed to lie for years about Obama’s citizenship and was let off the hook with a ho hum apology.

    Millions of people would gladly see Hillary Clinton burned alive at the stake like some witch.

    Mass delusions and the madness of crowds has been a known factor for ages yet we flirt with it like it is a flame like a candle we can control. It is not. It is fueled by huge resources, infinite wealth, sociopaths for leaders, a giant military industrial complex, the most advanced technology on the planet and it can all be used against us.

    The wall to keep others out can easily become a wall to keep us in.

    American’s have instantly become pariahs on the World Stage and if I was an international traveler I would cancel my plans. Other countries are already proposing reciprocal bans on Americans.

    I get that vetting is needed or at least some tiny little bit of vetting. But let’s examine the huge intelligence failures and shake up that. The Boston bombers were known terrorists yet we let them in. The guy in Miami turned himself into the FBI, told them he was being brainwashed to become an ISIS fighter and we said “get outta here crazy kook!”. The list goes on and on about gross negligent failure after gross negligent failure of the intelligence and law enforcement communities to do their job to at least some marginal standard so that when there are times concerned parents call US consulates informing them their son is receiving a bomb and boarding a plane we can come up with a plan to stop that.

    Or do we really want to stop it? Based on our behavior, I would say we most definitely do not want to stop it.

    Donald Trump should go after the intelligence community which tried to link him to some Russian plot to steal the election and replace all the failed managers whose actions appear to be designed to allow terrorist acts to happen rather than stopping them.

    I guess what I’m pointing out is how nobody is taking these federal intelligence failures seriously and admitting that there have been a bunch of gross negligent failures which may even be deliberate willful acts of feigned ignorance in order to allow these acts to happen.

    So if nobody is looking at the broken system then how will a simple travel ban address that? I don’t get it.

  5. ignasi orobitg gene
    January 30, 2017 at 19:23

    The fear of terrorism is the lie of 9/11.
    We will only have peace when the culprits are executed

  6. rosemerry
    January 30, 2017 at 17:58

    1. Israel is in NO danger, so all the words and actions to “protect our dear ally” are NOT justified.
    2. As Phyllis Bennis points out, NONE of the 7 countries targeted has produced even one terrorist damaging the USA, AND none of them has Trump buildings either. Saudi Arabia and Egypt, both with lots of Trump activities, happen also to be terrorist nests. Coincidence?
    3. Even if such a ridiculous ban were needed (the USA has plenty of homegrown criminals, not to mention vastly more important dangers to life in the Homeland) why would it need to be enacted NOW, this minute, to keep out sudden terror???

    Naomi Klein is probably correct in predicting that the aim is,as described in her 2006 book “The Shock Doctrine”, to upset everyone then profit from their disillusion and impotence to bring in more draconian changes for the 99%.

  7. Roberta Stewart
    January 30, 2017 at 17:54

    I’m wondering if Trump has any hotels in Saudi Arabia?

  8. Guy
    January 30, 2017 at 16:18

    The list comes from Obama’s visa waiver bill you clueless moron.

    • John P
      January 30, 2017 at 20:25

      Guy, I think you could leave out the clueless moron bit and try to be civil and mature.
      I looked into Seth J Frantzman, he lives in Jerusalem, which part I don’t know, but he is very oppose do the work of Israel’s new historians. They were certainly more honest than the first lot.
      One thing puzzles me about Frantzman’s piece brought up by Linda Gentsch. If Syria was added to and restrictions were already in place on the other 6, then how come it caused so much turmoil at airports around the world. On the news there was an Iranian in Egypt with his family going to the US. Having a visa was not on my mind at the time but I’m sure he must have had one. He had worked with the US military in Iraq, he had sold his home and quit his job and it all blew up in his face the day they were to fly.
      Can anybody explain why just the addition of Syria would have caused so much havoc ??

      • John P
        January 30, 2017 at 21:31

        I made an error in the above, The person was an Iraqi not an Iranian. Guy’s retort was upsetting.

  9. John P
    January 30, 2017 at 14:29

    Last week Trump allowed Navy’s SEAL Team 6, to launch a commando raid in Yemen using armed Reaper drones as cover to attack a suspected Al Qaeda outpost. Of the 30 people killed 10 were women and children from age 3 up. The story is on ‘The Intercept’. President Trump and the forces denied civilian casualties, but spoke of the sad loss of an American soldier there.
    Were they Al Qaeda or were they Yemeni Shia wanting equality with the Sunnis supported by Saudi Arabia? The Shia there have been very badly treated in the past. The population ratio there is 50-55% Sunni and 42%-47% Shia.
    More enemies and hate created against the US. Trump marches on to the old tune.

  10. John P
    January 30, 2017 at 14:04

    Just found these stories on “The Independent”, a well respected UK paper.

    Why Trump selected only a few Islamic countries:
    Show a map and guess where his businesses are –
    Egypt – 2 companies
    Saudi Arabia – 4 companies
    UAE – Golf Villa

    More importantly what psychiatrists think, but remember they haven’t met the patient Trump in person. It also gives 9 recognized indicators of malignant narcissism – and the diagnosis only needs 5 positives.

    1.Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements).

    2.Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

    3.Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).

    4.Requires excessive admiration.

    5.Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.

    6.Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.

    7.Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognise or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

    8.Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.

    9.Shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes.

    “In December, three leading professors of psychiatry wrote to Barack Obama expressing their grave concerns over Trump’s mental stability:”

    “professors from Harvard Medical School and the University of California wrote to the then President, urging him to order a “full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation” of the then President-elect.”

    “However some mental health experts believe we should be wary of psychologists diagnosing someone they’ve never met:
    The University of Glasgow’s Professor of Psychiatry Daniel Smith told The Independent: “It’s considered not very ethical or good practice to comment on things like this if you’ve never assessed the individual. It’s also important to remember that there’s a difference between personality disorder and mental illness.””

    What number would you assess his score?

  11. Lee
    January 30, 2017 at 13:43

    What Robert has shown, although he doesnt acknowledge it, is that Trump is continuing the policy of Obama who continued the policy of Obama. That doesnt make Trump acceptable, but neither are Obama and Bush acceptable. That is the FULL truth. Restricting the attack to Trump is not the full truth.

  12. Vera
    January 30, 2017 at 13:18

    As I see it, the principal sponsor of terrorism is the US of A!

  13. January 30, 2017 at 12:21

    «After all, the origins of the modern jihadist movement trace back to the $1 billion-a-year collaboration between the Reagan administration and the Saudi monarchy to support the Afghan mujahedeen in their war against a secular government in Kabul backed by the Soviet Union.» Indeed, Robert, but let us not forget that official US support for those Afghan fundamentalists began under James Earl Carter, i e, prior to Mr Reagan coming to power, when he was bamboozled by his National Security Advisor, one Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezi?ski, to signing an order on 3 July 1979 (nota bene : nearly six months prior to the Soviet intervention at the request of the Afghan government) for aid to the insurgents (….

    I can’t but be reminded of the unfortunate influence exerted by Chief of Staff William Daniel Leahy over Harry S Truman after FDR’s death….


  14. Hank
    January 30, 2017 at 11:34

    If Trump is sincere about “Making America Great Again”, he should pull all US forces out of the Middle East and concentrate on what he should be concentrating on- the American people and the American Homeland. The “terrorism” would quickly dissipate without the USA there to make sure it continues(to “justify” American presence there). A big portion of the American people and their “leaders” just accept as a fact that the USA is the world’s policeman, but the reality is that the USA makes sure there are things TO POLICE in the world by use of covert forces. It is the military/industrial complex and its addiction to lucrative wars that are the anchor strung around this nations’ collective neck, not “terrorism”!

  15. Pirouz
    January 30, 2017 at 08:06

    While I agree with te main thesis of the piece and in fact applaud Mr. Parry for pointing out a vital fact deliberately ignored by the main stream media, I disagree with the implied thesis that it is “politically powerful Israelies” and “wealthy Saudies” who shape the US foreign policy and that US presidents are powerless in the face of such formidable powers. It is quite the opposite, it is the US which has the ultimate say on how Saudies, Qataries, Turks and, yes, Israelies should behave. All the mentioned countries are dependent on the US hegemony in the region for their security and/or highly dependent on the “West” economically.
    So in my opinion Mr.Parry puts way too much emphasis on Shia-Sunni “animosity”, Iran did not become Shia in 1979, whereas Saudi relations with Iran became sour only after 1979, prior to that Saudis did not have much of a problem with Shah.
    Also Israelies (and also Saudies) did not like the JCPOA to be signed where was the all powerful Israeli lobby when The powerless US president went ahead and got that agreement signed?

    • backwardsevolution
      January 30, 2017 at 08:16

      Pirouz – yes, I go back and forth between whether it’s the Israelis/Saudis controlling the U.S. – or the U.S. controlling the Israelis/Saudis. Which is it? You make a really good point. It just doesn’t make sense that the strongest country in the world, with the largest military, would be dictated to by these countries. I think these countries probably get used as a front for what the U.S. wants done, just as the ISIS soldiers are being used as a front for what the U.S. wants. Good points.

      • Greg Herr
        January 30, 2017 at 18:36

        I guess it’s a symbiotic kind of thing. The influence of Saudi oil will wane, but it’s still considerable. The Israelis have a nuclear card up their sleeve (potential blackmail?). And what they both have is a lot of information, a lot of commingled dirt that has accrued over the years.

  16. Peter Loeb
    January 30, 2017 at 07:49


    One of the few —very few—weaknesses in Robert Parry’s many
    articles is that mysteriously Trump would take on the well-entrenched
    neocon establishment. Many analysts have shared this dream.

    On the face of it, these ideas of what Trump coulda, shoulda do
    are illusions.

    Otherwise, this R. Parry article is excellent.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  17. Stefan
    January 30, 2017 at 07:06

    Saudi Arabia is Israel’s ally in its mission to wage war on Iran.

    Israel would be very angry if Trump would anger Saudi Arabia.

    So in order not to anger Israel, Saudi Arabia is let off the hook.

    Israel and Saudi Arabia (along with USA) are the biggest supporters of terrorism.
    It would be paradoxical to assume that the logical step for USA would be to anger its buddies in crime.

    I thought Trump may change that, but as Parry writes, he may soon conform and deform into another Obama (and presidents before Obama), only the shell is different.

  18. Jos
    January 30, 2017 at 06:04


  19. exiled off mainstreet
    January 30, 2017 at 02:49

    This is a great article. What it shows, as other commenters have suggested is that the Saudis have the “juice”, the influence on yankee politics, even under Trump, to gain exemption from this policy even though they should top the list if one agrees that the policy is reasonable. Iran should probably not be on the list, since the terrorists appear to be almost exclusively wahabist sunni types, so this shows Likudnik influence on Trump. Going after green card holders, meanwhile, is legally questionable and provides fuel to the negative prowar element in the deep state he is up against. As for visas for Muslims, he should go after all of them, but limited particularly to sects actually associated with terrorism, or none of them.

  20. Wm. Boyce
    January 30, 2017 at 02:15

    Ah, but they’re great to do business with, especially “branding” deals. Sounds like livestock.

  21. Herman
    January 30, 2017 at 02:05

    When I heard this in Trumps own words I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Keeping a campaign promise in so devious and cynical a manner is hard to forgive.

    With each move he strengthens the hand of those committed to the Cold War and to punishing Iran who will use anything they can find to keep us on the present course. Throwing his integrity out the window makes their job much easier. Perhaps there was no integrity in the first place.

    Recently, I was heartened when I read the recent interview of a CNN inquisitor and Tulsi Gabbard. How convincing could the brave lady from Hawaii be?!

    Then I went on the internet and typed in the name Tulsi Gabbard and find she has be shouting to the rooftops the same message although without the added credibility of her visit. No one listened to her then when she explained that one of the reasons for supporting Sanders and abandoning Clinton was our regime change wars including Syria. She was dismissed then and it appears she is dismissed again after her first hand view of what was happening in Syria.

    Which all goes back to the way our politicians are elected and how they stay in office. Unless that changes nothing will happen. It is hard to visualize what reforms should be and how they would be accomplished but until they happen the Israels, the Saudis, Wall Street and the arms producers and anyone else with bags of money will have their way.

    Tulsi Gabbard and Robert Parry make eloquent cases and hopefully we will continue to have outlets for them. But there has to be more.


  22. John P
    January 29, 2017 at 23:45

    Something overlooked in this good article is that the Iraq war had a part to do with the Sunni Shia divide. It wasn’t just Wahhabi religious zealotry that has permeated the area. The government that took over Iraq after the war was Shia, and it did little to accommodate the Sunnis who then rebelled against the Iraqi government. That group coalesced in time with Al Qaeda into what we have today. That element was a product of George W. Bush’s war and also Obama who didn’t seem interested in pushing hard enough for fairness from the Iraqi government.

  23. Sangy
    January 29, 2017 at 23:15

    Robert Parry:
    If we’re talking about the real nexxus of terrorism, let’s go back in time to its real roots for a moment.
    It was the British who urged with promises to finance Wahabi mullahs to engage in a jihad against the Ottoman Empire during WWI as a means of destabilizing that multicultural society. TE Lawrence, a British intelligence officer effectively installed the dubious house of Saud after much intrigue and double dealing. They exported the same ideology eastward in the form of the Khilafat movement to derail the self rule movement in India as they struggled to keep their grasp on the ‘Jewel in the Crown’. 20 years later, they courted Jinnah with the same intolerant ideology to effectuate the Partition of India, one of the bloodiest holicausts in world history. From the start, Pakistan was conceived as a client state for the West, in the crucible of religious intolerance. In many ways, the West is the author of ‘fundamentalist Islam’ and the progenitor of ‘radical Islamic’ terrorism. The ties that have continued to bind should be seen in the context of history.
    It would seem there is such a thing as karma.

  24. January 29, 2017 at 22:53


    Was just wondering if you felt the US had taken sides in the Sunni/ Shiite split, on the Sunni side, while Russia seems to be aligning with the Shiite countries. If true the situation is even more ominous and looks like the roll up to WWI all over again. What to do?

    • MEexpert
      January 30, 2017 at 18:43

      I am not sure if Russia is aligning with the Shia side. Russia is in Syria to protect its own interest. US along with Israel, on the other hand, is definitely allied on the Sunni side through Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, and Turkey. Hezbollah is only one that has defeated Israel twice in its wars in Lebanon. Russia provides air support while the boots on the ground belong to Syria, Hezbollah, and to some extent Iran. Israel wants Hezbollah weakened. Period. Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria have never attacked the United States. None of the terrorists belongs to any of these groups.

  25. January 29, 2017 at 22:22

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    Why does this reload every time I try and post?

  26. Jimbobogie
    January 29, 2017 at 22:21

    Take a look at Trump Tower in New York…around thec45th floor…now you know.
    You’re welcome.

  27. January 29, 2017 at 22:17

    Does Money Make Questionable “Allies” Respectable?

    “Lest we forget, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, have been financing and training the ISIL terrorists on behalf of the United States. Israel is harbouring the Islamic State in the Golan Heights, NATO in liaison with the Turkish high command has since March 2011 been involved in coordinating the recruitment of the jihadist fighters dispatched to Syria. Moreover, the ISIL brigades are integrated by Western special forces and military advisers….” [2] Prof Michael Chossudovsky
    Global Research, September 25, 2014….
    [read more at link below]

    • backwardsevolution
      January 29, 2017 at 22:57

      Stephen – good links. Thanks.

  28. Eldiem
    January 29, 2017 at 21:49

    It will be interesting to see if the 7 countries on Trump’s s**t list will be willing to “watch our back” at the UN

  29. January 29, 2017 at 21:48

    What is going on? One has to ask, “Has America Been Saudi-mized”?
    More info at link below:

  30. FobosDeimos
    January 29, 2017 at 21:46

    Great essay! Fortunately more and more people in the world are becoming aware of the terrible role played by the Saudis, and the disgusting complicity of US administrations. Looks like Trump will be no exception. He instead has already been told to recite the totally empty anti-Iran mantras. It is also good to confirm that Parry keeps his sanity concerning 9/11, by reminding his readers that it was a Wahhabi military-religious cult who was responsible for that atrocity, thus dismissing the “inside job” untenable theory.

    • January 30, 2017 at 16:26

      Fobos…You start out well by pointing out the anti-Iran mantras that the neocons and MSM push on us every day but then you wax hypocritical when you chide us with the “it was crazed Wahhabists” mantra that the very same neocons and MSM have been spoon feeding us for well over a decade. Mr. Parry realizes this site is not a classroom for that issue so it’s something he obfuscates on rather than dwelling on. One of our posters, Mr Tedesky had a much more rational take on it than yours. One thing’s for certain; no matter what sky-god they worshipped or which country they were from……19 knuckleheads who couldn’t navigate a Cessna 172 from Fort Lauderdale to Pompano Beach certainly didn’t fly Boeing jumbo jets with uncanny precision into 75% of their targets.

  31. John
    January 29, 2017 at 21:09

    smoking gun…..Israel and their new allies/ Saudi alliance…..hello America ! really nothing new…been going on for years….calling all americans who have balls……I know not many…..

  32. backwardsevolution
    January 29, 2017 at 20:57

    If Trump was going to ban dangerous Muslims, of course he should have had an across-the-board ban, including Saudi Arabia.

    But who has the U.S. government been aiding and abetting for the last long while? Saudi Arabia and the gulf states. The U.S. has been helping to arm, fund and train ISIS on their behalf. The U.S. has NOT been going after ISIS; they have only pretended to. And look at the cries whenever Trump mentioned going after ISIS, ending the cold war against Russia! They were non-stop by the neocons. No, these neocons/Zionists want Israel and Saudi Arabia to be successful. So if Trump goes after them too, his nominees could be in real trouble. Again, money talks.

    Up until very recently, Saudi Arabia had Assad on the ropes because of their support for ISIS and the other terrorist groups. Saudi Arabia (and the other gulf states) were winning. How many Saudi Arabians were unhappy about that win and would want to commit terrorism against the United States? They were happy. They might not be now (because now they’re losing), but I doubt they’ll direct their anger at the U.S. for this loss; they’ll direct it at Russia. So I don’t see a direct threat coming from Saudi Arabians here. Same with the other gulf states. In their minds, the U.S. was their ally, so why would they attack it?

    On the other hand, who has the U.S. seriously harmed because of their support for ISIS, Saudi Arabia, the gulf states, and Israel? Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen. These are the citizens who have a very good reason to be furious at the U.S. and perhaps commit terrorism. Perhaps a cooling off period is appropriate for these countries.

    I hope Trump has a serious discussion with Saudi Arabia and Israel, but that might have to wait. I think Trump is biding his time.

  33. John P
    January 29, 2017 at 20:51

    It’s a policy lie. Israel, Saudi Arabia, the US and some others are trying to supress Shia influence in the area (Iran, Hizballah (Hizbollah) in Lebanon and helping support Assad).

    So now Trump faces lies for the ego, and a lie for policy.

  34. backwardsevolution
    January 29, 2017 at 20:31

    Robert Parry – good article. “By going after Iran and Syria, in particular, Trump appears to be currying favor with neoconservatives and liberal hawks in Congress and across Official Washington. Perhaps, he is simply hesitating while the Senate considers confirmation of his choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The Senate also could reject other of his foreign policy nominees.”

    I would put my money here.

    I have always read that the initial agreement between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. was that the U.S. would protect Saudi Arabia so long as Saudi Arabia bought U.S. debt (Treasuries). Both sides have been abiding by this agreement. Money for protection.

    It’s probably the same way with Israel. They own the media, which controls the narrative, and they control U.S. foreign policy through money given to U.S. politicians. Money for protection again.

    Now both Saudi Arabia and Israel, while still wanting protection, are trying to arrange the chessboard so that they have the ultimate protection – by getting rid of Syria’s Assad, destroying Iraq, posturing against Iran. They’re laying for Iran to do anything – anything – so they can blow them off the face of the map.

    Israel would rather have Sunnis across the board, and Saudi Arabia is all too happy to comply with Israel’s wish. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are jockeying to control the whole area before it’s too late. Saudi Arabia’s oil will not last forever (so they won’t be able to buy the U.S. government through purchase of U.S. Treasuries for too much longer), and Israel may be worried that U.S. world influence is on the decline, so they’d better get in while the going is good.

    Money talks, unfortunately. I am hoping that Trump can somehow get the money out of politics, end campaign contributions.

    • John Hemington
      January 29, 2017 at 22:16

      backwardsevolution almost gets it right here, but not quite. The U.S. could care less whether the Saudis buy U.S. Treasuries. What we do care about is the agreement which Kissinger negotiated with the Saudis during the Nixon administration in which the U.S. would guarantee the continuation of the Saudi royal family control of the country in exchange for the Saudis agreement to coerce OPEC into selling oil only for dollars. It was this deal which allowed the U.S. Dollar to remain the world’s reserve currency once Nixon took the U.S. off the faux Bretton Woods Dollar/gold standard in 1971-1973. The deal is still on and any country which has threatened to undermine it by selling their oil in Euros or other currencies (think Iraq, Libya, Iran) has either been destroyed or threatened with destruction (Iran later recanted the threat).

      • backwardsevolution
        January 30, 2017 at 14:47

        John Hemington – thank you for correcting the record: selling oil only for U.S. dollars.

      • January 31, 2017 at 01:25

        Right-e-o. It’s the oil bourse that controls everything else. The US military is the largest consumer of fossil fuels on the planet, btw.

  35. HpO
    January 29, 2017 at 19:52

    It’s so good to see agreement with this article expressed in their own way by both Mintpress News, January 27, 2017 and The Intercept, January 28 2017.

    • HpO
      February 2, 2017 at 20:40

      2 more in agreement; consensus is good.

      (3) Institute for Political Economy, January 30, 2017

      (4) New Eastern Outlook, 02.02.2017

  36. Bill Bodden
    January 29, 2017 at 19:52

    In doing so, Trump is not only offending much of the world and alienating countries that are at the forefront of the fight against the worst terrorist threats, but he is continuing to shield the key regimes that have perpetuated the scourge of terrorism.

    and demonstrating he prefers using a hatchet when a scalpel is called for.

  37. Joe B
    January 29, 2017 at 19:49

    It would appear more sensible to temporarily increase pipelines and fracking and/or ally with Russia, Venezuela, and other non-Sunni oil suppliers, to break OPEC and keep prices low to weaken KSA, and refuse them arms or suppllies. The tolerance of Israel/KSA would still be necessary for months until the competing sources were ready. But KSA must sell oil to someone anyway and did not refuse when the US invaded Iraq and replaced a pro-Sunni regime with a Shiite govt.

    It appears that any fear of Israel is illusory, as Israel has no power whatsoever but by corruption, so a purge of its sympathizers in the executive, dismissing all bribed congress members and objecting judges, and monitoring of election funding by executive overreach would dump the ziocons altogether. New elections and new judges would pass amendments to keep economic concentrations out of mass media and elections. Failure to do that would be a sure sign of cowardice, stupidity, or corruption, and will drive Trumpers leftward.

  38. John
    January 29, 2017 at 19:37

    Now we are getting to the bottom of the rotten apples……A very good job by Mr. Parry for exposing the hidden agenda…..What the Donald has done amounts to …..nothing… in ridding the world of terrorism ….The number one totally rotten apple is the asshole of the world Israel…..It goes down hill from there….Donald Trump sees himself as the lone savior of Israel….He is above Yahweh and the christain savior jesus…….Donald is God…

    • backwardsevolution
      January 29, 2017 at 22:09

      John – I’m hoping before this is all over that Trump puts Israel in her place. I’ll bet he does.

  39. Linda Gentsch
    January 29, 2017 at 19:27

    Before making these claims about Trump, you should check this out Trump’s order only mentions Syria. The others are from Obama’s DHS Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention program. They named these 7 countries as countries of concern. BTW, I’m no Trump fan and applaud the airport demonstrations and civil rights lawsuits as the type of thing we need to be doing. Just saying that we have left the Dem’s off scott free when they were doing this shit.

    • J. D.
      January 29, 2017 at 20:39

      You are correct. The disgusting sight of President Obama prostrating himself before the Saudi Monarchs was matched only by Hillary Clinton’s fawning, money grabbing relationship with those same rulers. Trump is not simply starting from scratch,however the combination of Gen.Flynn inside the administration, combined with a working relationship against ISIS with President Putin, may cause a shift to reality.

    • backwardsevolution
      January 29, 2017 at 21:49

      Linda – thank goodness for people like you. Thank you for posting that link, and good on Jimmy Dore for tackling this and providing some truth. The guy did a great job. Yeah, no protesting while the affected countries are being bombed, only when they’re barred from entering the U.S. Unbelievable really!

      Jimmy Dore pointed out what Seth Frantzman said: “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” Thank you for providing the other side, Linda.

    • ADL
      January 30, 2017 at 19:00

      HR 158 was NOT Obama’s bill. Please do not reference some talk show host as ‘proof’.
      HR 158 was sponsored by Tea Party Rep Miller from MI. it came shortly after the San Bernard shootings, and with all of the Islamophobia in high gear. It passed almost unanimously ( shame on Dems cowering to the phobia). It was snuck – as many pork bills, etc. often are – into the 2016 Omnibus Budget Bill for 2016. Obama part was to either sign as is, or veto whole Budget bill.
      And no, according to the DHS it did not ban Muslims. It did increase restrictions making it harder – more hoops to jump through.

    • Greg Herr
      January 30, 2017 at 22:21

      “Many of the people coming out now against Trump would likely have jubilated had Hilliary Clinton won the election and introduced the exactly same policies. Protest against the system that is incorporated in Trump, just as it is incorporated in Clinton, does not come to their mind”

    • John P
      January 30, 2017 at 22:38

      I looked into Seth J Frantzman, he lives in Jerusalem, which part I don’t know, but he is very opposed to the work of Israel’s new historians. They were certainly more honest than the first lot.
      One thing puzzles me about Frantzman’s piece you brought up Linda. If Syria was added to the list, and restrictions were already in place on the other 6, then how come it caused so much turmoil at airports around the world.
      On the news there was an Iraqi in Egypt along with his family going to the US. Having a visa was not on my mind at the time but I’m sure he must have had one. He had worked with the US military in Iraq, had sold his home and quit his job and it all blew up in his face the very day they were to fly out.
      If Frantzman is right, can anybody explain why just the addition of Syria, to an active list on the other 6 states would have caused so much havoc ?? To me the restrictions were all brought on a once.

  40. January 29, 2017 at 19:11

    Robert’s report here is straight-forward and important. And the Netanyahu and Biden quotes are keepers. Well done, Robert!

  41. Realist
    January 29, 2017 at 18:59

    This situation is a hopeless morass which most parties, except probably Trump, WANT it to be for quite political reasons. I agree with most of Mr. Parry’s assessments. Saudi Arabia IS the terrorist wellspring of the world and they are once again given a pass. Pardon me for thinking that Dubya is still the president in that respect.

    Trump’s policy is enthusiastically portrayed as exhibit one in the case being made that he is a racist and a fascist. Expect it to be used as evidence in his impeachment trial. However, if that were the case, all those countries that Mr. Parry notes as missing from the lineup–Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, all the Gulf Arab states, Egypt, Turkey, and so on–would be on his list amongst the seven that he did include. Why did he specifically include those seven? He included Iran because they are the focus of enmity of all our ill-considered Sunni “allies,” like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc. Wouldn’t want to piss off the emirs who sell their oil to the West. For totally practical reasons, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen are on the list because that is where the fighting involving American assets is taking place (God knows why Sudan is on the list, since we haven’t started bombing it yet). That is where the mercenary jihadists whom we have employed to overthrow regimes, and who have infiltrated and terrorized Europe originate from. The “plan” is obviously to keep elements of Al Nusra, Al Qaeda, Daesh, ISIS, and whatever other noms de guerre our mercenary jihadists go by from sneaking into America and committing acts of terror as they have done in Europe. So, except for the fact that Islamic extremists are spread pretty far afield in this world (just ask Russia) and the ban might well include a dozen additional countries to be effective (I know, some will argue from first principles that we can never have complete effectiveness, so why violate anyone’s “human rights” to come and go as they please across America’s borders) for practical matters the obstacles thrown up by Trump’s policy are kept to a minimum–for now. But, no matter how judicious or practical they ever might be, for political reasons they will be resisted tooth and nail by the wounded Democrats who will choose this conflict as their hill to die upon.

    Trump feels he has an obligation to keep the promises he made during the campaign. So, this policy is a much watered-down version of what he said he was going to do–literally keep out ALL Muslims from entering the United States. His base would turn on him if he blew it all off. That said, he probably did not titer the severity of his edict quite right. If he is willing to adjust it, he may arrive at a consensus that most people–except the Democrats–could accept. It is a clear overreaction to keep out all vetted green card holders who made trips home and now want to return to their homes and jobs in the U.S. That decision seems capricious and cruel. It needs to be adjusted by Trump ASAP. Idem, with respect to the students, scholars, physicians and scientists who come and go to do critical work and who have been vetted over the long term. Trump should also NOT preclude the entry of others who want to enter to visit family, to begin their education here, to take a job offer, etc once they have been thoroughly vetted. Demand more from them to prove they are innocuous, but never say “never” to them, Mr. Trump, for that is not being reasonable or compassionate. Your political enemies will use the iron fist as evidence to make you look like Hitler–which is, after all, their major goal.

    So, don’t shoot yourself in the foot, Donald. Make the entry requirements more rigorous, extend it to many more countries than you have, but make the process rational and humane. It wasn’t that long ago when it was much harder to emigrate to this country than it is now. I well remember how immigrants from Europe, for goodness sake, had to what decades to enter this country in the aftermath of World War II. I was similarly difficult in the years between the World wars. There was much anti-immigration sentiment, which was not considered unconstitutional or unfair, though the latter it may well have been, with quotas applied to discriminate against various “undesirable” nationalities. It will probably never be possible to guarantee that terrorists cannot enter this country no matter how well-sealed the borders, there will always remain the danger of home-grown terrorists, but if the TSA is presently given free reign to harass routine airline passengers, both international and domestic, on the pretext of preventing terrorism, why not more rigorous standards and protocols for foreigners entering this country? And why not added focus on the countries of the world where Islamic jihadism seems to have originated and is in full rage against Western interests and values? Yes, it’s called profiling. So what? Profiling works in law enforcement. If a rapist is on the loose in your community, you don’t stop and interrogate all the women and little children as potential suspects, do you? And, of course, that does not give you license to pre-emptively lock up every man without a shred of evidence against him. Just be practical and empirical and use common sense instead of rigidly basing all policies on some social manifesto that is based more in someone’s imagination than reality.

  42. tc
    January 29, 2017 at 18:58

    Clear, they are the nicest beheaders and should not be handled like ordinary (US-ISIS-)terrorists.

  43. Joe J Tedesky
    January 29, 2017 at 18:17

    I agree with Robert Parry, why not confront the real sponsors of the worldwide terror organizations? Obscured from most news, but more and more I read by recent released documents of how the Saudi government was funding and aiding Osama bin Laden, and yet no one is talking about this. What Trump did with this ban was to ignore the real evil doers, and offend the very people who are suffering from this Sunnit Shiite rivalry. The sad irony is, is that while Americans make knee jerk assumptions regarding the Muslim, more Muslims have suffered and died at the hand of the Saudi mercenary than any other segment of people on earth than anyone else.

    Here is a tip to our government; the next time we encounter a terrorist attack on our American soil, don’t raise any security agencies budget, and tell our lawmakers to quit with their passing anymore police state laws to keep us safe.

    I also suspect, that with the exception craved out for persecuted Christians, that now we should consider there will be a sudden rise in Middle East Christians like the likes the Pope could only wish for. Why not just tighten up all immigration applications (why couldn’t a terrorist come from Europe?) and make the exception for all politically persecuted people’s of any foreign land?

    • Soral
      January 30, 2017 at 06:41

      Im a saudi citizen and dude you guys are full of shit. Why not go there before you judge you white prick. We saudis have helped so much countries specially our other arab brothers how about you pricks? You guys keep causing all the shit all pver the world.

      • ctail
        January 30, 2017 at 08:56

        OK Soral—You have a point in that the West, riding its “high horse” is probably responsible for a vast
        fraction of the pointless killing. Are you saying that SA is morally better than the West? Is it morally better than the countries
        that “made the banned list”? If the answer is yes, please justify. ‘ Glad that SA has helped its Arab brothers, but
        can USA similarly absolve itself by saying that it has been trying to help its own particular selected ethnic strains?

      • David Hart
        January 30, 2017 at 09:28

        Here is evidence in this declassified document that the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia colluded to facilitate the rise of ISIS in the Middle East in order to “weaken” the Syrian government, hoping it would fracture and Assad would be deposed. This action–instead of fighting and defeating ISIS head on–extended the war for 5 extra years, with no end in sight. That’s thousands more killed, millions more displaced as refugees. Now Saudi Arabia is killing its “brothers” in Yemen–over 10,000 civilians have been murdered by bombs and weapons that the US sold to the Saudi regime. So save your tears for Saudi Arabia–a country with a worse human rights record than North Korea–the Saudis are as complicit as are we Americans in the horrors of the Middle East, all to make the royal family of the house of Saud rich beyond their wildest imaginations.

        • Greg Herr
          January 30, 2017 at 17:51

          Nothing like government documentation. Yep, the Pentagon, the C.I.A., the State Dept., and the White House knew the score and ran with it. So useful those mercenary terrorists.

      • Joe J Tedesky
        January 30, 2017 at 10:19

        Soral, I don’t think my wife and five daughters nor by six granddaughters have Saudi Arabia on our vacation short list this year. So sorry I don’t think you will see us lounging around in Riyadh anytime too soon.

        This much I will give you, and that is I hate when people single you Saudi’s out for the blame of 911, because I don’t think your mercenaries did it all alone. No, I think that between a few billionaire Zionist, and adding in a certain amount of Deep State selfish Americans, that along with your guys they came up with ‘Strike Team 911’.

        I am appreciative of all the good works you Saudi’s have done in the world, but I fail to recall what all generosity you oil barons have bestowed upon the likes of mankind. Calling me a ‘white prick’ is racist and not politically correct…but ignoring political correctness befits a value found in some Trump supporters, not all Trump supporters because many Trump supporters are not racist, but I digress.

        I’ll be thinking of you when I buy my next tank of gas, until then don’t play with to many American women asses because our girls do bite back…our woman were kind of raised independent that way, and I’m not sorry for that either, in fact I’m kind of proud of our independent girls just for that reason alone. Nice exchange of words…you take care hombre. Joe

        • Matt Lazarus
          February 2, 2017 at 10:58

          You can’t make travel plans. Saudi Arabia has a ban on all Americans (i.e. all Westerners) traveling to Saudi Arabia, except the handful hired as teachers and oil engineers. They don’t want people to see what the Dark Ages were really all about.

      • MEexpert
        January 30, 2017 at 16:50

        Soral, get your head out of the “Rub ul Khali’s” sand. Name one Arab country that Saudi Arabia has helped. Yes, they have helped Bahrain kill lot of peaceful Arab protesters. The Al-Saud family has been using people’s money from oil to get rich and hire mercenaries to protect their wealth. They would even get friendly with their supposed arch enemy Israel to kill other Arab brothers. Tell me Soral, how many refugees have Saudi Arabia taken in? Over the past 60 years, how many Palestinians have Saudi Arabia taken in? Or do you mean helping kill Arab brothers in Yemen or Iraq or Syria or Muslim brothers in Pakistan? I have lived in Saudi Arabia and I know first hand what goes on there. You have no clue what you are talking about. You have learned couple of four-letter words and you think you know everything.

        P.S. “Rub ul Khali ” or empty quarters is the vast desert in Saudi Arabia where our Arab brother has his head buried.

      • January 30, 2017 at 19:40

        Well…..since others here have been more cordial, let me be more brutally honest Soral. You Saudis are such losers that the only way you can get women is to only give them a kindergarden education, then lock them up in your basement and dress them like mummys. You Saudis have a horrible body odor. When I’m on an international flight and one of you is onboard, I can smell you from ten rows away. Go to any Asian city based on prostitution like Bangkok or Angeles City PI and even the girls there run from you stinkin’ Saudis. I can’t wait for the day when Saudi Arabia’s oil supply runs out…..all the rotten and corrupt kings and princes will flee with all their stolen money and people like you will be laying in the gutter with the rats. Darwin’s theory will prove correct once again.

      • Halit
        January 30, 2017 at 21:56

        Spot on.
        Saudies money 600 billions of dollars deposited permanently in American Banks.
        They eat halal money so it is a good start ,maybe soon Godwilling we Turks established new version of Othoman empire and we sunnet them collectively and we all be Muslims elhamdulillah.

      • Moloch
        January 30, 2017 at 23:37

        You or your country doesn’t seem to have an issue with accepting BILLIONS of dollars in “foreign aid” in US funds from US taxpayers. What has Saudi Arabia done other than inflame conflict, nourish terrorists, and incite violence throughout the Middle East? Tell me what value your nation has brought and what exactly YOU have done for millions of Americans? That’s right, nothing.
        Now, don’t get too upset, otherwise you might want to crash a plane into one of our buildings killing thousands of innocent people just like 15 of your fellow countrymen.

      • Matt Lazarus
        February 2, 2017 at 10:56

        Americans are not allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia so no American knows what really goes on and how grim the country really is–it is a medieval, barbaric kingdom that still lives in the Dark Ages. Saudi Arabia–or wealthy individuals and families in Saudi Arabia–remain chief supporters of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra etc. It was Saudis who committed worst terrorist act of all time against the US. SAUDI ARABIA is the one country that SHOULD BE BANNED. IMMEDIATELY! Trump is just another two-bit Washington political hack until he cuts ties with the Saudis. So far, Trump’s simply following marching orders like Bush, Obama, Clinton. For all his tweets, Trumps got No B***s.

    • Peter Loeb
      January 30, 2017 at 07:37


      I have heard that Mideast nations nations with extensive Trump investments
      were exempted from the ban. Is this a fact?

      If so, perhaps this should have been included in Robert Parry’s analysis. If not,
      (and I have no way of judging myself), it does not of course belong….


      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      • David Hart
        January 30, 2017 at 09:38

        The countries that have been given a total ban–Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Somalia–are countries that we are either a) currently bombing or b) have or currently are heavily sanctioning (Iran and Sudan). The other countries–Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, UAE, have all been long-standing “allies” of the US, so why wouldn’t Trump have extensive financial ties in those countries? They have been getting a free pass for decades from the United States government. So just to claim that “nations with extensive Trump investments were exempted” is naive–they were exempted because the foreign policy of the US has exempted them from ANY penalties or criticism for many, many years. Ironically, these lands are where most of the extreme terrorism comes from–NOT from the countries that made the ban. The CATO institute study makes note that not a single person from any of the 7 “total ban” countries has ever been involved in a terrorist-related death on US soil from 1975-2015.

        • Joe J Tedesky
          January 30, 2017 at 10:24

          David I noticed something here…a trend indeed. I move to call Trump’s seven banned country list, ready for this…. “Suspected Blowback List’. Chalmers Johnson deserves credit I believe for the blowback theme, but what do you think befits a good name?

        • MEexpert
          January 30, 2017 at 11:02

          Parry also didn’t mention that Obama came up with the list of these seven countries and that the congress passed a bill to ban the refugees from these countries.

          • Joe J Tedesky
            January 30, 2017 at 14:09

            From all I have been gathering is that this list of seven countries was conceived long before Obama took office. Yes, we can blame Obama for allowing the list to survive, and stay active, but I understand that this list is the same seven countries in five years that Wesley Clark referred too. I’m still researching this, but possibly you and others here could help clarify just exactly where this list comes from, and who fathered it. Hint George W Bush is looking more to being likely the blame, but let’s do our homework before giving someone a disapproving low grade.

            If no other criticism can be made, the one thing that is bothersome is how Trump and Bannon shorted circuited the process, by rushing this ban to implementation. Also look up to how hard it has been for Middle East refugees to get into the U.S., something like two years. I’m not sure if these immigration policies are Obama’s idea or not, but it is worth refreshing ourselves to what is the process to enter into this country, and to then pass judgement to such.

      • Joe J Tedesky
        January 30, 2017 at 10:33

        Peter think for a minute, can you see a Saudi Prince someone like Bandar Bush held up at JFK or Dulles by some low level immigration personnel who tells this royal how they can’t enter into the U.S.?

      • Stiv
        January 30, 2017 at 16:13

        Once again, I will say…and back up Loeb’s request…what is needed is INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM! Although this is a ok article, it is hardly news. Those who have been paying attention know. Most readers here at Consortium know.

        What we DON”T know is whether Trumps actions are the sane policies of a person who just wants to enrich himself and his cronies, or if he’s completely batshit crazy and doesn’t have a clue. Or….and this is scary, because I suspect this is closer to the truth…perhaps both.

        Hopefully, Mr. Parry can pick up the ball and run with it.


        • Joe J Tedesky
          January 30, 2017 at 23:49

          Stiv, I will give a disclaimer to how I’m not always right, but with that said, I think that the mindset you show with your comment here will be the foundation which will be laid towards starting Trump’s impeachment process.

          At this moment Trump is being criticized for his lack of competence, and there are those questioning his respect for the people’s Constitutional rights. Example of this would be his rush to implement the immigration ban, and his making exceptions for persecuted Christians.

          I’m not even close to qualified to know all that much of how to dump a sitting president, but I think your comment here where you question Trump’s conflict of interest ties, and his sanity, will play a big picture in his impeachment proceedings which I suspect are inevitably going to follow.

          Among the many things America needs, I think for the most part our beloved country needs a leadership (and not just a president, but other politicians as well) who will unite all of us, and end this civil war of ours.

  44. Zachary Smith
    January 29, 2017 at 18:00

    “Perhaps, he is simply hesitating while the Senate considers confirmation of his choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The Senate also could reject other of his foreign policy nominees.”

    And maybe it’s simply a Chinese Fire Drill with a bunch of amateurs participating. If Tillerson was a problem they could have delayed this until he arrived, and used the time to think it over and do it right.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      January 29, 2017 at 18:25

      You say it well. Now could be a perfect time to rely on ‘less means more’, and by not having a chorus of opinion then Bannon, and Trump (and few others I’m sure) could run through the ten most wanted campaign promises without an educated group of elites to get in their way, and stop them.

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