Trump is on his first foreign trip and it’s a big one. Conceived by his supposed wunderkind son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump is visiting the homes of the three greatest religions on Earth: Saudi Arabia home to Islam, then on to Israel, home to Judaism and Christianity, and then to the Vatican City to meet the Pope and then to Brussels to a meeting of NATO.
At some point in his campaign or even during the early days of his Presidency, Trump has offended every single religion that he is now purportedly visiting and giving a speech to, including a visit to the Head of Catholicism, the Pope, and the greatest Western Alliance since the Second World War, NATO, who Trump called ‘obsolete’ during much of his campaign. Obviously, Jared thought that it was important for his father-in-law, President Trump, to start rebuilding bridges so recklessly burned, so early on.
This is a nine day trip, and considering Trump’s inability to focus for longer than 12 seconds before saying or doing something off-script, this trip is fraught with risks in some of the most sensitive areas of the World.
But the first stop was picked well, Saudi Arabia, as upon arrival Trump has been treated as visiting Royalty by the Saudi King, and conferred the highest civilian honour (a gold collar). Plus, American business traveling with Trump is getting signed orders of hundreds of billions of dollars in arms and other sales. This ultra welcoming treatment was exactly the soothing balm that the ‘Donald’ needed after a particularly bruising week.
It is fair to ask why Saudi Arabia is lavishing such affection and favors on Trump right at the outset. And the answer would be Iran for one, and its growing influence in the World, and particularly in the region, in tandem with Russia. Saudi Arabia is the leader of the majority of Muslims in the World, and the majority is made up of the Sunni sect. Iran is the leader of the minority Shia sect. These two Islamic sects have been fighting each other since almost the beginning of Islam, and that conflict is very much alive and well today. Saudi Arabia is very concerned about the rise of its arch rival Iran in the region, and Iran’s re-engagement with the West, even in a limited way.
Additionally there is ISIS, which although entirely Sunni and Saudi originated, poses a threat to the reign of the Royal Family in its most puritanical way.
The U.S. has over the decades taken open and aggressive stand against the minority Shia Muslims (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen) and fully backed the majority Sunnis, through the ‘special relationship’ with Saudi Arabia and its Royal Family, especially under the two Bush Presidents. So much so, that the U.S. has repeatedly ignored the fact that the terrorism that inflicted the most damage to the Americans, over the decades, has been primarily Saudi (9/11), or Saudi sponsored (Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaida, or the current and mainly Sunni ISIS). In fact extreme Wahhabi Islam, and its physical manifestation, modern Islamic terrorism, particularly ISIS, came out of Saudi Wahhabism. But now that extreme version of fanatical Islam endangers the Royal Family’s hold on power and it wants the power of the U.S. to help it push back both Iran and ISIS. To ensure Trump’s wholehearted support it flattered and stroked him (they did their homework) and to further get the nation’s approval, the Saudis bribed the U.S. by placing orders for large arms sales and business deals. There is a lot riding on the Saudis getting unqualified support from the Trump administration, and hence the grand welcome to Trump and through him to the U.S.
Trump is supposed to give a speech to the Muslim World. Let’s hope he sticks to the scripted form strictly.
Then he is going to Israel to bring peace to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. He really thinks he can do it quickly and efficiently while promoting peace and harmony between Christians, Jews and Muslims. If he does do it, when he gets to the Vatican and meets with the Pope, he will be canonized and made a Saint.
After that, all concerns of the Europeans regarding him and his views on NATO will disappear, and they will forget that he encouraged Brexit, and preferred Marine Le Pen over Emmanuel Macron.