Trump, Saudis creating problematic anomalies

Published 16.11.2018 00:42

President Trump's misguided choices in the Middle East and the Gulf, including his choice of allies, damage his country's influence and reputation across the region

In the past few days the world has witnessed two sad stories. A mass fire broke out in California in the U.S. on Nov. 8, killing at least 56 people with some 130 more missing, while the Gaza Strip in the Middle East was bombed by brutal airstrikes by Israeli state forces, killing some 15 innocent Palestinian civilians so far. The world has been desperately watching the two developments.

U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, criticized the fire authorities, instead of finding a solution for the disaster and funding transfers to the region. For the Gazan crisis, the United Nations convened a meeting, yet it couldn't do anything to prevent the attacks, only later condemning Israel for its actions.

We have become accustomed to hearing such news of calamities, injustices and inhumane acts around the world, while in the world of politics there hasn't been a single normal day either. The chaotic situation has been escalated by President Trump, as he, since the beginning of his term, keeps pursuing "out of the box" discourses and policies. Just recently, it was Trump who insulted the French people on Twitter right after the Paris gathering for the commemoration of the Armistice of World War I last week. "They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!" tweeted Trump.

It is known that Trump wants to adopt an offensive policy in U.S. foreign relations, dragging the U.S. into an isolated position by attacking its traditional allies and partners.

This has already prompted discrepancies in the international community. His new foreign policy choices, which have been criticized not only by allies but the U.S. public itself, since they are unprecedented in U.S. political tradition, have caused confusion through encouraging irrational actors such as Saudi Arabia's crown prince to dare and take strange attempts around different corners of the world. The United States is experiencing a complicated era in its foreign policy where presently its reputation and influence are at the highest risk.

Since the Khashoggi case erupted last month, Trump's foreign policy attempts and new partnerships have proven how bad and dangerous they are. For years it was well-known that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was just a burden for the region and responsible for many brutal stories. The ill-fated Saudi people have reportedly been stuck in the internal wars of Saudi princes and domestic anomalies, becoming victims of ignorance and inhumane actions by the Saudi royal family.

However, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), a young family member, somehow began being portrayed as a savior and reformer by Western media and politicians. News reports that "Salman allowed Saudi women to drive freely in the country," were released as the best development in recent times in the region. This was because of Trump picking him as his best friend in the region.

As pro-MBS stories continued in the West for months, the world woke up on Oct. 2 with a shocking story from Istanbul. It was reported that Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and dissident of MBS, was missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. It didn't take too long to learn that Khashoggi, who was living in self-exile in the U.S. and also a Washington Post columnist, was massacred in the consulate.

Trump's best friend in the kingdom, MBS, was later condemned for his possible involvement in the killing. In such conjecture, even though all the details of the Khashoggi case pointed to the kingdom, MBS, a raving Saudi prince, can still remain the most powerful man in the kingdom.

What's worse, the reason why MBS can still secure his image is directly linked to his partnership with Donald Trump. As long as Trump doesn't change his criteria in choosing new U.S. allies, the region and accordingly the whole world, we will be more than accustomed to hearing sad stories like the Khashoggi murder.

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