The entrenched political regime is undergoing massive upheaval in Saudi Arabia. The Islamic dictatorship, one of the world’s worst human rights violators, has been shaken as at least 10 princes and other royals were arrested recently. This prompted President Donald Trump to voice his wholehearted support for the familiar ally of the U.S.
“I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing,” Trump said in a series of Tweets as he traveled throughout Asia. “Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years!”
Previously, Trump helped broker a historic deal with the Saudis that will ultimately funnel $350 billion worth of weapons into the coffers of a radical Islamic dictatorship that eschews democracy and operates entirely under Sharia law. This was the largest weapons deal brokered in American history, shattering the record set by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, by a wide margin.
“We continue to maintain strong defense ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and work together on common security priorities to include combat operations against violent extremist organizations, and neutralizing Iran’s destabilizing influence in the Middle East region,” said Marine Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, who serves as spokesman for the Pentagon.
Trump is particularly concerned about Iran, a country that has been fighting ISIS forces throughout the Middle East for many years. Echoing common neoconservative tropes, Trump has saber-rattled against Iran belligerently. Even as the Saudis wage a bloody war in Yemen causing an immeasurable amount of blowback, Trump still believes that this radical Islamic dictatorship is a key strategic ally in the Middle East moving forward.
“It’s unsurprising that the Trump Administration is fine wit the Saudi crackdown, as anything that ensures the survival of the current government, with its bellicose position toward Iran, is doubtless to be fine with them,” foreign policy analyst Jason Ditz said at Antiwar.com.
While Trump has strayed from the neocon orthodoxy regarding Syria, he has not differed from the foreign policy status quo pertaining to the Saudis. Whether he is touching their orbs or giving them premium weapons deals, it is clear that the Trump administration is in bed with the Saudis as much as the administrations of Obama or Bush were.