Donald Trump is the President of the United States, a country considered to wield the biggest influence in today’s world affairs. So far, Trump has been greeted with a series of protests and legal actions across the nation and the world.
When Trump campaigned for the White House, he promised to keep Muslims out of the United States, a message which sparked international outrage. Labeled as a bigot, some doubted Trump could actually carry out some of his campaign promises considered to be absurd.
The world watched in surprise when Trump issued so-called executive orders to keep seven Islam-dominated countries out of the United States without any justification. In fact, none of the countries in the ban pose threats to the United States. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country notorious for harboring and sponsoring terrorists worldwide, was not included in Trump’s ban however.
According to statistics, 19 men carried out the devastating September 11 attacks in the United States. 15 out of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. Two were from the United Arab Emirates, where Trump has business links, while the other two were from Egypt and Lebanon. By common sense, if we are looking at countries that pose security threats to the United States, it should be these countries. Saudi Arabia should be the lead terrorist country in the world prompting a ban. But surprisingly, none of the countries were included in Trump’s hit list.
Although Trump has lost the ban battle in court, it has emerged that he is about to approve a massive weapons deal with two Sunni nations in the Middle East. These two nations — Saudi Arabia and Bahrain — have track records for supporting terrorist organizations, including ISIS, and violations of fundamental human rights.
Bahrain is a small, but oil-rich country. The country belongs to the Sunni faction of Islam, hence its alliance with Saudi Arabia. Bahrain is strategically located in the Persian Gulf, serving as the home to the United States 5th fleet and Central Command. In December 2015, the Free Thought Project dropped a bombshell that Bahraini security forces were cooperating with ISIS terrorists. In fact, several ISIS recruits have come directly from Bahrain’s military.
Even before this revelation by the Free Thought Project, in June 2014, Bahrain’s Information Minister Sameera Rajab tweeted that the advancing ISIS force might represent a revolution against the injustice and oppression that has reigned over Iraq for more than 10 years. This indeed confirms that senior officials in Bahrain directly support ISIS.
Bahrain has a history of brutally suppressing pro-democracy movements, using torture and other human rights violations to maintain power. In 2011, Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain to help quash the Shia Muslim revolt. Shias and Sunnis practice one Islamic faith, but are enemies to each other. Iran is leading the Shia faction, while Saudi Arabia is leading the Sunni.
Currently, both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are involved in a bloody air campaign to counter Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen. The airstrikes — supported by the United States — are killing innocent civilians. The United Nations estimates over 10,000 civilians have died from the conflict in Yemen, the majority from the airstrikes led by Saudi Arabia. Many human rights groups have denounced the airstrikes in Yemen, calling on the United States and all Western countries to halt their sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
But despite the aggression and gross human rights violations by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the new Trump administration will soon approve a precision-guided missile technology and F-16 jet fighters worth around $300 million to these two countries. Saudi Arabia will get the missiles while Bahrain gets the jet fighters.
The weapons deal was disclosed to The Washington Times by an unnamed senior official in the administration. The Washington Times is one of the few mainstream media networks with unlimited access to the Trump administration.
“These are significant sales for key allies in the Gulf who are facing the threat from Iran and who can contribute to the fight against the Islamic State. Whereas the Obama administration held back on these, they’re now in the new administration’s court for a decision — and I would anticipate the decision will be to move forward,” the anonymous official told the The Washington Times.
The anonymous official, a possible propagandist or a double-speaker, used the Saudi violations in Yemen to justify the new arms sale: “While we’re very concerned about Saudi actions in Yemen in terms of the civilian casualties, we believe a more accurate partner is a more effective partner and results in fewer casualties. If they’re going to drop stuff, it should be precision-guided rather than dumb.”
It is said there is significant bipartisan resistance in Congress to the sale of the weapons to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. However, due to the Trump administration’s hate against Iran, it is likely Trump would be allowed to give the weapons to Saudi Arabia in order to continue the hostility with Iran in Yemen.
Statistics show that the Obama administration offered more than $115 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia alone in 42 separate deals between 2009 and 2016. This is more than any United States administration in history. Obama made the Military Industrial Complex rich, and it is unlikely that Trump will change the status quo, proceeding with business as usual in Washington.