Trump surprised extremists
By : Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
:: US President Donald Trump surprised and angered extremists with his policies and swift action in the Middle East. Since his first day in the White House, he appointed government officials who agree with his announcement to target extremists, including governments such as Iran’s. Trump immediately started implementing his policies on Iraq, Syria and Yemen; it was not just election propaganda.
Some thought he would be a hostage to the nuclear deal with Iran, or that he would show enmity to all Islamic countries without distinction. But the Trump administration has respected the deal while refusing to stay silent, as his predecessor Barack Obama was, against dangerous Iranian violations. They include military intervention in Iraq and Syria, being a naval bully, and smuggling arms by sea to rebels in Yemen and Bahrain. The Trump administration considers these actions unacceptable, so Tehran cannot use the nuclear deal as leverage to impose its interests and agendas at the expense of others.
Since his first day in the White House, the US president appointed government officials who agree with his announcement to target extremism, including governments like Iran.
Trump has not only dealt with terrorism as a security issue but as a political one. He started by meeting with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House, where they drafted a program that defines allies to cooperate with. Then Trump sent an important message by announcing he would visit Riyadh, so the Kingdom is gathering leaders of the Islamic world so he and they can listen to one another and start joint work against extremism and terrorism. The summit will be attended by 50 Islamic countries.
This serious move cannot be compared to what Obama did, which was to simply make two statements urging cooperation with the Islamic world.
Those statements were beautiful, but his mistake was not following up. He thought neutrality was the best policy for the US, but meanwhile Daesh grew even larger and more dangerous than Al-Qaeda. As a result, violence has spread worldwide, threatening everyone. Trump is taking the right steps.
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is a veteran columnist. He is the former general manager of Al Arabiya News Channel, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, where this article was originally published.
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