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What is Trump Getting for Sucking Up to Saudi Arabia?

 

Ever since Franklin Roosevelt’s historic rendezvous in 1945 with Abd Aziz Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, American presidents have been enamored with Saudi kings.

But nothing in the 70 plus-year history of U.S.-Saudi ties comes close to the cosmic groveling that now defines President Donald Trump’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and his slavish obeisance to its dangerous and irresponsible policies.

Since Trump became president, the U.S. has enabled and supported a disastrous Saudi war in Yemen; watched as Riyadh launched a political and economic war against Qatar that’s split the Gulf Cooperation Council and enhanced Iran’s influence; virtually kidnapped the pro-American Lebanese Prime Minister in a bungled attempt to weaken Hezbollah; remained silent while the Saudis under the guise of reform cracked down on journalists, bloggers, businessmen and anyone else who dared criticize the 30-something crown prince; and said nothing as Riyadh battered Canada—a close U.S. ally that dared challenge Saudi human rights abuses.

In our 65-plus years of combined experience working inside and outside the State Department on U.S. Middle East policy, we have never seen anything like the Trump administration’s willingness to prostitute U.S. interests to Saudi Arabia—a country that increasingly pursues policies at home and abroad that undermine American values and interests.  Read More

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