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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Trump Speaks to Islamic World

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

The event was crowned the Arab Islamic American Summit.  On his second day in the Middle East, Trump portrayed himself as a world leader, and the loss of faith in the United States under Obama has been washed away, it seems.  World diplomacy is an important part of the job of being President of the United States, and Trump's handling of that duty has been exemplary.

The speech delivered to a roomful of Muslim leaders from 50 Muslim majority countries, largely of the Sunni sect of Islam, was carefully crafted and delivered impeccably.  Trump is hoping to use the divide between Sunni and Shiites to enable a move away from terrorism, and Islamic violence.  After today's speech, President Trump's schedule has him immediately going to Israel, next, and then Iran, to speak - an extraordinary schedule, to say the least.

At its core, Islam is violent.  The Koran teaches world domination, and that the means to reach that goal is violent jihad.  That does not mean we should avoid the situation, or avoid negotiations with Muslim countries, completely.  We cannot afford to refuse to have anything to do with the individuals in the Muslim World who proclaim that they are not in full favor of the terroristic nature of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, or ISIS.  The situation is complex, and with such a complicated problem we need out of the ordinary strategies to deal with the Middle East, and the reality of Islamic terrorism.  If anyone is mentally capable of handling such a complex situation, it is President Donald J. Trump.

Trump's speech called for cooperation.  Terrorism threatens the peace of the world, and Trump sought to appeal to the more reasonable persons in the Middle East, to convince them that the safety of their people, and their fortunes, weigh heavily on finding peace (albeit temporary peace when dealing with Islam).

While Islam will never be willing to completely disarm, when they face a strong individual like Donald J. Trump that does not appease, it is apparent to them (from their point of view) that it is not in the will of Allah to stand against a brick wall. Trump's position of peace through strength was apparent to all who heard his speech.

The war against terror is ultimately a struggle between good and evil.  Terrorism, to the Western World, regardless of who you are, is obviously evil.  So, it is essential that we appeal to those who are willing to currently help, and right now, Saudi Arabia is among those actors.  Therefore, we must work with them, at least in a limited manner.  A foot in the door is better than a closed door that refuses any access.

The reality is, when dealing with Islam, you have temporary allies, and the enemy of your enemy is your friend.  So, despite the danger of dealing with countries like Saudi Arabia, the reality is, it is necessary.

The President, with much of his staff with him (including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson) began after the king of Saudi Arabia introduced him (and, unfortunately, championed "sustainable development" which is a catch phrase for "globalism" and "environmental Marxism"), and called the negotiations with Trump "an historic agreement".

Trump thanked King Salman for his words, and hosting the summit.

He called the relationship between Saudi Arabia, and the United States, going back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz, a "long and endearing partnership."

Trump immediately appealed to the souls of the Muslim people.  He pulled no punches. The job before us is "Stamping out terrorism", because, among the results of doing so, we will give "a future to our children" and it is a move "of honoring God."

The need for cooperation to defeat this enemy was established in the speech.  President Trump urged that we must have a "Shared resolve to protect the safety of our people, and enhance the security of our wonderful friends and allies."

He turned to the United States, letting the Muslim leaders understand that the new leadership in the White House is making an impact.  "For Americans this is a very exciting time.  A new spirit of optimism is sweeping across our country."

The prosperity has led to an "increase of military spending", but not for selfish reasons, but because an stronger American military presence on the world stage "will enhance the security of our friends and allies."

Trump then turned to the historic agreements surrounding his speech to the Muslim World, stating that with the agreements we "will help our Saudi Friends with defense", and that the United States "will help the Saudi military to take a far greater role" in security of the region, but also that security and stability in the Middle East was not completely the responsibility of the United States.  The agreements must be "a clear declaration" that Muslim majority countries "must take the lead in eradicating extremism."

While laying the responsibility on the laps of Muslim countries to essentially clean their own house, he assured them that they are not alone.  Trump said, "I look forward to working with all of you."  But, that said, he reminded them of his Make America Great Again message. "America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens.  We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values — to pursue a better future for us all."

Taking a page from Golda Meir (Israel's Prime Minister from 1969 to 1974) who said, "Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us," Trump turned to the younger generations of the Islamic World.

He said, "We must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration - to vanquish terrorism. Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence and innocent from hatred. They should have the chance to build new Arab prosperity for themselves. It has to be done and we have to let them do it.  This future can only be achieved by defeating terrorism, and the ideology that defines it."

Hope for the future.  A topic nobody can deny as reasonable.

"With God’s help, this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed. At the same time, we pray this special gathering may someday be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East – and maybe, even all over the world."

Trump then stated there is a shared need to defeat terrorism because "few nations have been spared its violent reach."

He didn't mince words.  "violent reach...barbaric attacks...unspeakable horror...fanatical violence."

Trump labeled terrorism as being a "humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading across the planet.  A tragedy of epic proportions."

The true toll...must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams."

Trump then turned to his vision for the Middle East, and specifically Saudi Arabia.  That the region should "increasingly become one of the great global centers of commerce and opportunity.  This region should not be a place from which refugees flee, but to which newcomers flock."

Flattery, mixed with "quit sending the refugees to us, bring them back home".

While flattering them with the past "ancient heritage" of the region, and reminding them that it is the Middle East that was the "cradle of civilization", he also called them to look to the future, because "the potential of this region has never, ever been greater".

However, such a promising future is at risk.

Again, Trump said it like it is, without Obama-esque political correctness, or apologies.

"...this untapped potential, this tremendous cause for optimism, is held at bay by bloodshed and terror. There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it.  Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.  If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism’s devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing—then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.  This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.  This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.  This is a battle between Good and Evil."

Strength and acting united had been the message, but now in the speech it was Trump's aim to drive that message home.

"We can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong – and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden.  Terrorism has spread across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land.  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 countries, and for their children."

In other words, we are willing to help, but you have to take some of the responsibility, too.

"It is 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 extremists. Drive. Them. Out."

Now for the part that drove home the message.

"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."

The problem is, you never know who your allies are, or the enemy, since deception is such a strong part of Islam.  Nonetheless, Trump offered that "America is committed to adjusting our strategies to meet evolving threats and new facts. We will discard those strategies that have not worked—and will apply new approaches informed by experience and judgment. We are adopting a Principled Realism, rooted in common values and shared interests."

Trump admitted this is an enemy that is like a chameleon, changing its form and tactics constantly.  Question is, were the 50 Muslim leaders in the room our allies, or enemy, or just a temporary necessity?  Regardless of the answer, Trump wanted them to understand that working with the United States on the war against terrorism is in their best interest.

"Our friends will never question our support, and our enemies will never doubt our determination. Our partnerships will advance security through stability, not through radical disruption. We will make decisions based on real-world outcomes – not inflexible ideology. We will be guided by the lessons of experience, not the confines of rigid thinking. And, wherever possible, we will seek gradual reforms – not sudden intervention."

That last part was a promise not to perform an invasion like Bush's against Iraq.

Missiles hitting an airfield, yes.  Invasion to spread democracy, no.

"We must seek partners, not perfection—and to make allies of all who share our goals.  Above all, America seeks peace – not war."

Fair enough.  Unfortunately, Islam's nature is not peace, though the claim it is.

"Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden, if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion."

Burden.  Islam needs to clean its own house, once again.

"The first task in this joint effort is for your nations to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil. Every country in the region has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil."

Trump drew attention to Jordan's contributions to fighting terrorism, to Saudi Arabia's part in taking action in Yemen, to Lebanon's battle with ISIS, Emirati troops supporting Afghan partners.  He talked about America's role in the fight, how in Mosul, American troops are supporting Kurds, Sunnis and Shias "fighting together for their homeland."

Then, he turned to the monetary part of the war.  "We must cut off the financial channels that let ISIS sell oil, let extremists pay their fighters, and help terrorists smuggle their reinforcements."

Which brought him to the agreement he was in Riyadh for.

"I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism, called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center – co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and joined by every member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is another historic step in a day that will be long remembered."

Cooperation, on a monumental scale (though, likely, temporary).

"That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.  Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED."

A religious message the Muslim leaders could definitely understand.  The condemnation of one's soul.

He continued, "And political leaders must speak out to affirm the same idea: heroes don’t kill innocents; they save them. Many nations here today have taken important steps to raise up that message. Saudi Arabia’s Vision for 2030 is an important and encouraging statement of tolerance, respect, empowering women, and economic development."

Oops, there's that sustainable development garbage, again.  This is where Trump has been misguided (or, he's saying what needs to be said, but understands that the United Nations 2030 plan of sustainable development is steeped in Marxism, and global totalitarianism).

While promoting side-by-side communal existence, Trump should have stuck with his America First message at this point.

Then, Trump got back on track, and turned his attention to Iran.

Starving terrorists of their territory, their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology, will be the basis for defeating them.  But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three—safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.  From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.  It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.  Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime – launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated."

A missile attack approved of my many Sunni leaders.

"Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS, and restore stability to the region. The Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.  Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.  The decisions we make will affect countless lives."

Saudi Arabia has historically been among our best allies, save for Israel and Jordan, in the region.  Trump acknowledge that by thanking the Saudi King.

"King Salman, I thank you for the creation of this great moment in history, and for your massive investment in America, its industry and its jobs."

In truth, much of Saudi Arabia's investment in America has been to undermine our system, and create a culture willing to submit to Islam, but that's beside the point for now.

"I also thank you for investing in the future of this part of the world."

The matter of motive is the real concern.

"This fertile region has all the ingredients for extraordinary success – a rich history and culture, a young and vibrant people, a thriving spirit of enterprise. But you can only unlock this future if the citizens of the Middle East are freed from extremism, terror and violence."

Goes back to the question about them loving their children more than they hate non-Muslims.  But, for Trump in this speech, it really all narrows down to one thing.  Good versus evil.

"We in this room are the leaders of our peoples. They look to us for answers, and for action. And when we look back at their faces, behind every pair of eyes is a soul that yearns for justice.  Today, billions of faces are now looking at us, waiting for us to act on the great question of our time. Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil? Will we protect our citizens from its violent ideology? Will we let its venom spread through our societies? Will we let it destroy the most holy sites on earth? If we do not confront this deadly terror, we know what the future will bring—more suffering and despair. But if we act—if we leave this magnificent room unified and determined to do what it takes to destroy the terror that threatens the world—then there is no limit to the great future our citizens will have."

Hope from the ashes of terror.

"The birthplace of civilization is waiting to begin a new renaissance. Just imagine what tomorrow could bring.
Glorious wonders of science, art, medicine and commerce to inspire humankind. Great cities built on the ruins of shattered towns. New jobs and industries that will lift up millions of people. Parents who no longer worry for their children, families who no longer mourn for their loved ones, and the faithful who finally worship without fear.  These are the blessings of prosperity and peace. These are the desires that burn with a righteous flame in every human heart. And these are the just demands of our beloved peoples."

United (if that's possible).

"I ask you to join me, to join together, to work together, and to FIGHT together— BECAUSE UNITED, WE WILL NOT FAIL."

Then. . .

"Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless Your Countries. And God Bless the United States of America."

That's right.  He told a roomful of Muslims "God Bless the United States."  And they applauded. . . for the most part.

Much applause, not complete applause.

It was a historic speech delivered in a perfectly "Trump" manner.  It was brilliantly written, aside from the idiotic references to sustainable development (UN 2030) globalist garbage (but, something the Muslims are knee-deep into), and it was not nuanced like Obama's speeches.  Trump was clear in the speech when it came to terrorism.  We are going to take on terrorism, and we are going to do it with strength and resolve.

No apologies, no political correctness - this is a war between good and evil, spoken to the heart of Islam, and the hope that they love their children more than they hate us.

Obama punted responsibility.  Obama invited Iran into Syria and Russia into the Middle East.  Trump said it is "our" fight.  Join me.  Join the United States.  Let's take on terrorism.

After Trump's final "God Bless the United States of America," I switched channels from Fox News to see what the other side had to say about it.  MSNBC was airing English Premier League Soccer.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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