Trump To Islamic Nations: Drive Out Extremists

President Trump yesterday painted a stark new portrait of U.S. goals in the Middle East in a speech that exhorted Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries to vanquish extremists and signaled the U.S. is abandoning long-standing ambitions to spread freedom and transform the region, analysts said.

Trump, speaking yesterday to the Arab Islamic American Summit, the centerpiece address of his two-day visit to the Saudi capital Riyadh, said America was “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.”

The speech was notably bereft of entreaties about human rights, democracy and being on the right side of history — staples of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s speeches on fighting terror in the Islamic world, GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said.

“He’s saying, ‘Forget all of that, I’m telling you right now, our No. 1 concern is putting these guys down, and however we can work together to make that happen, that’s great,’ ” O’Connell said.

A key part of that strategy, O’Connell said, will be arms deals such as the one Trump announced with the Saudis this weekend, to provide the country with $110 billion in tanks, fighter jets, combat ships and the THAAD missile defense system.

Read more from Jack Encarnacao at the Boston Herald

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Analysis & Political Strategy