Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hats off to Trump

I was knocked out by Trump's speech to Middle Eastern dignitaries in Saudi Arabia this morning.  I was surprised to hear a reasoned, forceful entreaty for all nations to unite against the evil of terrorists.  

I was a little concerned that he called out Iran as the locus of evil in the region, especially after Iran just elected the reformist Rouhani to be their president, but I hope that Rouhani and the Iranian people can take that as an impetus to back off the Iranian Shiite extremist wars against the Sunni extremists in the region and around the world.

Of course, unmentioned by Trump was the fact that Saudi Arabia is the other center of extremist dogma.  Iran fuels the Shia and Saudi Arabia fuel the Sunni extremists.  But I was very encouraged that Saudi Arabia hosted our president whose biggest statement of his speech was that all nations should drive out fundamentalist extremists and stop funding and supporting them.

Obama made special efforts to reach out to Iran, leading to a nuclear agreement and eventually to the election of Rouhani.  Trump has declared Iran the source of Middle Eastern butchery, and although that is true, it is only half of the truth.  Saudi Arabia feeds the Sunni butchers on the other side of this terrible religious and civil war in the Middle East which has spread throughout the region and into the West as well.

I was happy to hear the president say that America will stand with them in the fight against terrorists, but we can't make their decisions for them:

"America is prepared to stand with you in pursuit of shared interests and common security, but the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their country, and frankly for their families, for their children. It's a choice between two futures, and it is a choice America cannot make for you. A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists.
Drive them out. Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land. And drive them out of this earth."
I have been appalled by most of what President Trump has said and done, but I have to give him credit when I think he has  done something well, and I was impressed by this speech.