Donald Trump has been telling us since the first day of his presidency that the American president should no longer be the leader of the free world and that he personally has no interest in the job. This month, he made good on his words by unleashing chaos in northern Syria.
Trump’s actions empowered American adversaries ranging from the Islamic State militant group to Iran, Russia, Turkey and the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and abandoned the local Syrian forces, especially Kurdish ones, who fought side by side with U.S. troops against ISIS. In defending his decision, Trump insisted America has nothing at stake in Syria and can let others handle an Islamic State insurgency.
This ingratitude not only will do lasting damage to America’s reputation as a trustworthy ally, it also rejects the importance of American foreign goals more than seven decades in the making: containing an expansionist Russia; supporting allies, particularly those most likely to embrace democracy and human rights; and orienting U.S. policy away from the pre-WWII fiction that Americans at home will be safe from threats abroad — whether China, Iran or ISIS — if the U.S. would only retreat from the world.
Source: The day Donald Trump stopped being the leader of the free world ǀ View | Euronews
The last few months have seen US aggression toward Iran creep dangerously close to war. Washington’s propaganda line is generally that Iran is the major aggressor in the Middle East. But amid this saber-rattling, Donald Trump has just given the latest in a long line of free passes to what is perhaps the region’s biggest villain.
Free pass to Saudi Arabia, yet again
On 24 July, Trump announced a veto over resolutions passed in the Senate to block weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He said:
This resolution would weaken America’s global competitiveness and damage the important relationships we share with our allies and partners
Source: Trump enables arms sales to Saudi dictatorship while saber-rattling against Iran | The Canary
The Senate repudiating a president of the majority party on a matter of national security would be unusual under any circumstances. That it comes at a time when tensions with a major international foe are boiling over is nothing short of astonishing, a sign of how far President Trump has fallen as commander in chief even among Republicans.
The Post reports on the Senate’s vote to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia:
Trump has cited rising tensions with Iran as justification for using his emergency powers to complete the deals.
A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), had initially filed 22 resolutions of disapproval against the sales — one for every contract the administration had expedited by emergency order, effectively sidestepping congressional opposition. But after weeks of negotiations, Senate leaders agreed to hold just three votes, which will encompass the substance of all the blocking resolutions, congressional aides said.
In other words, senators don’t believe the president is playing it straight on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which set off a firestorm regarding the Saudis on Capitol Hill. They do not believe in Trump’s policy of making Saudi Arabia a proxy in a battle with Iran over regional dominance. And, moreover, the Senate is willing to undercut Trump at the precise moment his credibility and judgment are under fire in a standoff with Iran.
Source: Senate’s Saudi Arabia vote is what happens when you have an unfit commander in chief – The Washington Post
Relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran have rarely been worse, regarding the attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman – for which both sides blame each other. Nevertheless, in the history of relations between the two countries, there have been regular shifts between tension and rapprochement – and things can change for the better once again.
As an Iranian and a Saudi, working as research fellows for peace studies, we believe it is time that our two countries seek to manage the conflict, improve their dialogue and begin the peace building process. And we are hopeful that this could happen.
But how? Peace cannot be achieved overnight; it requires a range of factors to strengthen diplomatic ties and decrease the level of enmity between the two states. First, we suggest both states’ politicians soften the language in their speeches, altering the hostile rhetoric to a more moderate one. This would open new paths towards a direct and constructive dialogue, reducing the tensions that are affecting the two countries, the region and, potentially, the world.
Direct dialogue between the two regional actors could launch negotiations that may lead to more stability in the region. The existing regional turmoil has had a detrimental impact on relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran over Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen. The [Yemen war], which has caused a [dramatic humanitarian crisis], remains one of the main areas of conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but it also offers ground for talks between the two states.
Source: Saudi and Iran: how our two countries could make peace and bring stability to the Middle East : The Conversation
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, says Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land.
He made his comments in a wide-ranging interview with the U.S. magazine The Atlantic.
Previously Saudi Arabia has refused to acknowledge any ancestral Jewish rights.
He qualified his comments by stating that a peace agreement would have to be in place with Palestinians.
“I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations.”
His views are being seen as another public sign of closer ties with Israel, but some also see it as a swipe at Iran, a country with which Saudi Arabia is in dispute on several fronts including war-torn Yemen.
In the same interview, he compared Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khameini, with Hitler.
“I believe the Iranian supreme leader makes Hitler look good. Hitler didn’t do what the supreme leader is trying to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe. … The supreme leader is trying to conquer the world.”
Source: Saudi crown prince: Israel has ‘right to have their own land’ : euronews
Rouhani said Tuesday that America’s credibility will suffer if President Donald Trump withdraws from a multilateral nuclear agreement.
Source: ‘No One Will Trust’ U.S. if Trump Ends Nuclear Deal, Iran’s President Says – NBC News
General Abdolrahim Mousavi says warning that the ‘Zionist regime’ will not survive next 25 years does not mean it will actually last that long
Source: Iran army chief vows to raze Israeli cities if it makes ‘wrong move’ | The Times of Israel
Related: IRANIAN ARMY CHIEF: WE WILL TURN TEL AVIV AND HAIFA INTO DUST | The Jerusalem Post
Where is the teaching regarding Samaritans? especially Luke 10:30-37