Saudis Embrace Embattled Trump

Escaping the tribulations of Washington, President Trump basked in the Saudi monarchy’s gilded welcome and promised a flood of U.S. weapons to tilt the region’s military balance against Iran, a bad bet on the past, says JP Sottile.

By JP Sottile

While President Trump was ensconced in a tortuous, monarchical and wholly anachronistic ceremony celebrating a $100 billion arms deal with the royal retinue of Saudi Arabia … the Iranian people were celebrating the victory of a man targeted for defeat by the hardline, anachronistic forces within Iran.

President Trump takes part in ceremony for signing agreement on weapons sales in Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. (Screen shot from

This juxtaposition says everything you need to know about the fork in the road Uncle Sam now faces at the trail-head of the next decade.

On one path is Iran. It is trending away from its recent past, which it should be noted was a reaction against American control and interference … and its brutal lackey … the Shah.

Iran is young, populous, largely educated, tech-savvy and not beholden to the most retrograde interpretation of Islam. And Iran is the most strategically positioned nation in the region.

Although still repressive in ways we find unacceptable, its repressive policies pale in comparison to the type of extremism the Saudi rulers not only impose on their own people, but have actively exported around the world … particularly regarding the treatment and the social and professional mobility of women.

Iranian women are not “liberated” by our standards, but they are able to work as doctors, serve as parliamentarians, drive and shop and be out in public. They actually have a place in Iranian society.

On the other path is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. When it comes to what the West identifies as Islamic-inspired terrorism, they are “the arsonist and the fire brigade” (to quote CNN’s Clarissa Ward). They are the primary author of the most repressive treatment of women around the Islamic world. They are also the most hypocritical regarding the teachings of the Quran insofar as they horde wealth, ignore their duty to the poorest Muslims and are among the least observant Muslims as they jet-set around the world.

And that’s to say nothing of the countless Muslims who’ve died from the wars and terrorism they’ve either overtly or covertly participated in (with the U.S.) or inspired.

It’s About the Oil

As we all know this is because the U.S. has tossed aside all other considerations to sate its maniacal thirst for oil. There is a reason why the Middle East is called “CENTCOM” … because it is “central” to all Pentagon planning. At least, it has been so thus far because the military has largely functioned as a mercenary army at the disposal of the oil industry. And America has gotten very wealthy from this … and it also relies on the jobs generated by both oil (hello, Detroit) and by weapons (Military Keynesianism).

President Trump shakes the hand of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman on May 20, 2017. (Screenshot from

Now solar and wind are not just coming … but they are here and beating hydrocarbons. Hydrogen power is also coming. And a revolution in battery storage is coming.

But Trump is doubling-down on oil, gas and coal. His Secretary of State is Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon who is sometimes called T. Rexxon, (endorsed by the petro-troika of Condi Rice, James Baker and Dick Cheney). And he is doubling-down on Saudi Arabia … a nation struggling with the emerging problem of a post-peak demand world that will not pay through the nose for their oil. Nor do they have a functional democracy that could elect someone like Rouhani.

The Saudis don’t have the economic fundamentals or the human capital of Iran … because they’ve feared those investments as a challenge to their grip on their people. They only have the United States as the guarantor of their regime. That’s why they despised President Obama and the Iran Nuclear Deal. It was a signal that the U.S. was at least looking down a different path.

However, today we see in stark comparison that America’s own pseudo-monarch and his princeling have decided to run headlong down the Saudi path. It’s a path that offers little hope for the future.

JP Sottile is a freelance journalist, radio co-host, documentary filmmaker and former broadcast news producer in Washington, D.C. He blogs at or you can follow him on Twitter, http://twitter/newsvandal.


15 comments for “Saudis Embrace Embattled Trump

  1. mike k
    May 22, 2017 at 09:50

    In other words, the US military is a scam, and the US economy is a Ponzi scheme with a limited life span. A society based on lies has collapse written into it’s basic programs. Our treating the Earth as an infinitely plentiful storehouse to be raided is an error of the same type. Once you are into lying, it tends to spread into everything you do.

  2. mike k
    May 22, 2017 at 09:44

    When shooting yourself in the foot is repeatedly rewarded, you will continue shooting yourself in the foot. The military industrial complex is repeatedly rewarded for supplying our failed military campaigns. The more you fail the more money you make, or how Donald Trump succeeded in making money, one bankruptsy at a time.

    It’s like the US economy: the more you borrow and fail to pay it back the more you borrow some more to pay the interest on the loans you didn’t repay -and so you an just keep spending money you didn’t earn on stuff you don’t need forever. Not!

  3. May 22, 2017 at 07:43

    More BS from US prez selling arms to biggest supporter of terrorism and claiming Iran is the problem. M. Meslin, a complete embargo of the US would be economically difficult for many countries but one thing is evident, more and more people worldwide have waked up to the evil done by the US, so the empire is going down first in reputation. The vote for Trump was really anti-Clinton, and the folks who actually supported Trump were those with little knowledge of domestic and foreign policy, as is the case with Trump. So the same old same old continues as it always has, selling arms to Saudi Arabia as has been done for years.

  4. rm
    May 22, 2017 at 01:34

    ‘The Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology’ is going to be in Saudi Arabia.

    USAMO, behind the murderous 7 nation rampage of regime change in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan IRAN etc – All over the world in-fact but, in this case, backing/facilitating the creatures that behead children and false flag attack Ghouta and Khan Shiekhoun and the slaughter at Rashidin; is to ally with Saudi /arabia, financier and supplier of patsy 911 hi-jackers, exporter of Wahhabi mercenary terror the world over ; Israel, conspirators with deepstate USA 911 false flag and UN designated apartheid regime to whom ISIS apologize for mistakenly striking when they aren’t being treated in special hospitals after slaughtering the citizens of Iraq and Syria ; and Turkey, recipient of ISIS oil and receivers in theft of all industrial tools from the thousands of factories of Aleppo., charge hands to replacement mercenary terrorists in the supply line of the Syrian Proxy war….are to join force to ‘combat Extremist Ideology !

    Big Brother came in orange

  5. May 21, 2017 at 20:14

    Donal You Fooled Us

    Donald, you were elected into a big White House
    Now you are acting like a warmongering louse
    Bombing other countries as you think and see fit
    Yemen and Syria you have already hit
    Donald You Fooled Us

    People believed you, when you promoted peace
    Now that you are elected the bombings don’t cease
    The war criminals are now applauding your dangerous sorties
    You sent “59” missiles into Syria: is this your forte?
    Donald You Fooled Us

    Will nuclear war be your gift to mankind?
    Unfortunately if this happens, nobody will be left behind
    The destroyed planet will be all aflame
    A hellish end to your mad reign
    Donald You Fooled Us

    You are now in the company of those that support terrorists
    Is this what you want? Or do you need a Therapist?
    Your credibility is shot, and there is no pun intended
    Many of your supporters are now bloody offended
    Donald You Fooled Us…

    [more info at link below]

  6. Drew Hunkins
    May 21, 2017 at 16:03

    The sale of any Washington military hardware and weaponry to the Saudi monarchy is an indirect and not so circuitous path to simply handing over weaponry to al-Qeada, Daesh, al-Nusra, ISIS or whatever else the violent Sunni extremists are being referred to at the moment by the Zio-Washington dominated militarist Western mass media.

    If any power faction in the world desires that the Syrian civil war rage for another decade or perhaps also desires an all out war on Iran, Washington providing guns and ammo to the silver-spoon scion Bin Salman is the surest way to keep a constant flow of pools of blood marinating the ground in the Middle East.

  7. mike k
    May 21, 2017 at 14:47

    People don’t want the truth. They can’t handle it. And yet it is the way to the only real and lasting solutions that we so desperately need. The truth of our situation is all around us, but we refuse to see it.

    A hundred billion dollars worth of lethal weapons sold to these evil murdering bastards? Tells you where US morality is at when it comes to the MIC showing a nice profit. The USA is morally bankrupt. This is his idea of making America great? This tells you why in some parts, the USA is known as the Great Satan. Kinda fits doesn’t it?

  8. mike k
    May 21, 2017 at 12:02

    Those who (foolishly) still expect something new and progressive from this know nothing president, can only bite their tongues at this totally retrograde groveling before the King of possibly the most evil nation on Earth. Next to America and Israel, can anyone think of a nation that has caused more suffering in the world than Saudi Arabia?

    • Bill Bodden
      May 21, 2017 at 12:56

      Next to America and Israel, can anyone think of a nation that has caused more suffering in the world than Saudi Arabia?

      That depends on how far back in history you want to go. The European colonists – Britain, France, Spain, the Dutch, etc. – have lots of skeletons in their closets.

      • mike k
        May 21, 2017 at 13:05

        And we are carrying on the glorious genocidal traditions of the “white” people of Europe. Some legacy, eh?

        • Brad Owen
          May 21, 2017 at 14:23

          We got “press-ganged” back into Imperial service, in the post-war forties. It first struck in the Intel community, purging all “unreconstructed”, pro-FDR Intel agents, to be replaced by the Anglophile “white shoes” loyal to Her Majesty’s loyal City-of-London courtiers and their Wall Street loyalists (FDR called them economic Royalists and he welcomed their hatred of him). And, as if on a dime, foreign policy turned from anti-colonialism to anti-communism (who were actually helping to liberate the colonies from their Imperial Masters, in their own ideological way), which is actually in service to The Synarchist Internationale, their 25 Dynastic Families and their plans for a new Holy Roman Empire, with the rest of the World as their colony (us included, with especially brutal treatment plans for us,as we started the “rash” of successful peasant revolts in 1776, which lead to 1789 France,1917 Russia,1949 China, 2017 BRICS, New Silk Road/World Land Bridge.)

  9. Joe_the_Socialist
    May 21, 2017 at 11:57


    Representatives of one of the few remaining countries on earth that still has slavery endorse Donald J. Trump.





    • Bill Bodden
      May 21, 2017 at 12:50

      Representatives of one of the few remaining countries on earth that still has slavery…

      Unfortunately, there are many other nations that practice slavery if only by another name. “Slavery Now: Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia” by Christiane Saliba –

      For-profit prisons here in the United States have been accused of practicing a form of slavery. Something similar can be said for any nation where workers are paid less than a living wage.

  10. May 21, 2017 at 11:03

    It is imperative that the BRICS union and other decent countries initiate a total EMBARGO of America. This until the people of that state has put back some order in it…Wake-up Americans; you do not deserve such an idiotic system !

    • Bill Bodden
      May 21, 2017 at 12:42

      Wake-up Americans; you do not deserve such an idiotic system !

      If the dictum about a nation getting the kind of government it deserves is true then we have no right to complain but an obligation to change our behaviors. We have been raised to be a nation of consumers instead of citizens demanding the best people in leadership instead of the lesser evil that has become progressively more evil with each generation. There are many Americans that deserve better, but they are in a distinct minority.

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