What do Donald Trump, a man who promised his cheering supporters that he will ban the entry of Muslims into the USA, and Saudi Arabia, the most powerful Muslim country in the world, have in common?
You guessed it right: A tendency to sacrifice poor Muslims on the altar of commercial gain.
It is thus obvious that Saudi Arabia and Trump immediately hit it off. Trump landed in Saudi Arabia yesterday and received the royal welcome.
Before Trump came, workers were instructed to take off their shoes and clean the airport floor lest the POTUS be troubled by a speck of dust lounging lazily on his shoes. Thirty star-spangled banners adorned the airport, while thousand others lined the roads from the airport to the Ritz-Carlton.
At night, Trump awkwardly shimmied with members of Saudi royalty with a sword in his hand while Melania laughed in the distance. He then headed out to state dinner, which had American "delicacies" such as steak and ketchup, along with traditional Saudi dishes.
The red carpet was rolled out for President Trump, FLOTUS Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. In Saudi Arabia, Trump was also given the highest civilian honor, the gold King Abdul Aziz medal. What had the president done to warrant this honor, given his young and tumultuous reign? Trump has agreed to a defense cooperation deal with the Saudis, pledging $110 billion effective immediately and up to $350 billion over 10 years. There have been agreements over private sector matters, too.
It is not too far-fetched to assume that the money will be used to bomb the neighboring Yemen, where the U.N. reports that 4773 civilians have been killed, a majority of them by airstrikes, since the conflict began in 2015.
It also is not far-fetched to believe that the military aid will be used to further the Saudi fundamentalists influence on other countries. The aid will also be pivotal in Saudi Arabia's ideological battle against Iran.
There is another aspect where Saudi and Trump's interests align. Trump boasted of the numerous deals the American government will enter into with the private sector in KSA, which will lead to "jobs, jobs and jobs."
During his time in KSA, Trump will soften his rhetoric on Islam to look like a more suitable ally to Saudi Arabia. But the rhetoric and the omission of words "radical Islamic terrorists" will do precious little to help refugees in desperate need of shelter and the many Muslims being targeted by hate crimes in the USA.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters