President Trump Gallivants Around the World For His First Official International Trip
The world held its collective breath last week as Donald Trump embarked on his first official international trip as president. The tour was light on rhetoric, but far more notable for the policy decisions that emerged from it.
The trip saw the continuation of an unsavory alliance in the middle east, as well as old partnerships put to the test in Europe. The president managed to stay on script while the house was burning back at home, but he has done little to comfort his doubters here and abroad, and has raised new questions about his commitments to moving away from foreign misadventures.
House of Trump, House of Saud
The first stop was in Saudi Arabia, home to 15 of the 19 perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, and one of the most repressive regimes in the region. The ruling family implements a brutal form of Islamic law known as Wahhabi, and have long been known to have links to terrorism.
The president’s highly anticipated speech on Islam written by crypto-facist goon Steven Miller was surprisingly measured in tone. He made reference to “Islamists” while discussing the subject, but stopped short of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism, an omission he specifically went after his predecessor for. But Trump is, after all, a deal maker, and he came looking to deal.
His deal hinged on achieving two goals: selling weapons and raising investment capital. He walked away with a 110 billion dollar weapons deal to sell arms to the Saudis, a huge win for U.S. defense companies and the deep state, who view taking out Iran as priority number one, and are willing to get in bed with the House of Saud to do so.
Far more insidious is the Saudis 50/50 partnership with American private Equity firm Blackstone to build infrastructure projects in the United States. The company has direct ties to the president. The implications of this association are far reaching, with the Saudis potentially owning substantial portion of our countries infrastructure. From The Intercept:
Saudi Arabia put up half of Blackstone total investment in their infrastructure fund. A single investor putting that big a commitment into one private equity fund is atypical, and would essentially have a foreign government profit from fees like toll roads.
Blackstone could “establish overnight a leadership position” in infrastructure with the Saudi investment.
This should be seen as a deal with the devil that will almost certainly not end well in the long run. It is clear that is not where this administrations’ concerns lie.
On the Western Front
The next stop was Europe, where no deals were sought. Instead, Trump poured gasoline onto the fire of an already tense situation. Trump blasted NATO, and called the Germans “very bad on trade”. His interactions with world leaders were tense and awkward, and at one point they could be seen mockingly laughing at his speech. It is clear that the world order is changing.
Is Europe ready to go it alone? After the meeting, Chancellor Angela Merkel ominously said “the United States under President Donald Trump and Britain after its Brexit vote were no longer reliable partners,” paving the way for a new European order that does not include the U.S. Germany has long been a strong trade partner, but the alliance is fraying.
Americans have been dealing with Trump’s antics as president for a few months now, and already he has taken the show global. Our standing at the top of the world stage has never been more in question.