Saudi Arabia is doing whatever it can to — shamelessly — pander to Donald Trump ahead of his first tour as the U.S. president to the Middle East.
In honor of the U.S. leader’s visit, the Gulf kingdom is making arrangements for his entertainment, including a concert in the capital Riyadh.
And American country singer Toby Keith is expected to join Trump and perform for him there.
Yes, it’s as bizarre and ironic as it sounds.
For starters, Keith, is known for songs about alcohol and women — and sometimes both — such as "Made in America" and "Whiskey Girl.”
The concert in Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is going to be an alcohol-free and men-only affair since consuming or trading in alcohol is illegal in the ultraconservative Islamic country and mingling of men and women in public places is strictly forbidden.
Therefore, a lot of people are confused, and rightfully so, as to which songs Keith will perform in Saudi Arabia.
Also, the one song that became Keith’s main source of popularity was “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” written in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Its lyrics go “Justice will be served and the battle will rage / This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage / And you’ll be sorry that you messed with / The U.S. of A. / ‘Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass / It’s the American way.”
It’s ironic then Keith would choose to fly to Riyadh for the gig since Congress last year released 28 previously classified pages of its inquiry into the terror attacks, which suggested potential Saudi ties to the attackers. Also, in March, survivors of the attacks and the families of hundreds of those killed sued the Saudi government over their alleged involvement in the attacks that claimed the lives of 3,000 people.
HELL YES I AM GOING TO SEE TOBY KEITH WITH NO ALCOHOL AND NO WOMEN! WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) May 18, 2017
- No one...ever.
Trump is giving a speech in Saudi Arabia, written by one of the Muslim ban architects, and Toby Keith will perform. (This is not the Onion.)— Laila Lalami (@LailaLalami) May 18, 2017
Trump's bring Toby Keith will him to Saudi Arabia. Keith's going to perform at a men-only concert— Dusty (@DustinGiebel) May 18, 2017
These are Toby Keith's top songs....?? pic.twitter.com/8QdKv9Jl6i
Toby Keith playing a men-only concert in Saudi Arabia is historic. It's the 1st time being a woman in Saudi Arabia is a benefit.— Matt Fernandez (@FattMernandez) May 18, 2017
99% of Toby Keith's songs are about booze, women, and American soldiers. What the hell is he going to sing about in Saudi Arabia?— Mike Leach (@MikeLeachTV) May 18, 2017
But it’s not just Keith’s performance that’s baffling about Trump’s visit.
The POTUS, who peddled Islamophobia throughout his presidential campaign and infamously said “Islam hates us” in an interview, is about to give a speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia and it will be penned by none other than his top aide Stephen Miller, who is himself a rabid Islamophobe and one of the architects of Trump’s Muslim ban.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters