Unpredictable Trump is just what the Arab World needs
My column at the Arab News this weeks discusses the reality of President Donald Trump and how his unpredictability is exactly what the Arab World needs today to undermine the fanatics, destroy the terrorist regime of Bashar al-Assad and achieve peace between Palestine and Israel
By Ray Hanania
My column this week in the Arab News, the largest English language newspaper in the Middle East based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, analyzes President Trump’s recent decision to bomb a major air force base in Syria.
The U.S. strike against the air base was driven by the fact that the chemical weapons used to kill anti-Assad rebels in the city of Khan Sheikhoun in the Idlib Province in Syria, north of Lebanon. Dozens of civilians including women and children were murdered in the chemical attack that was traced to Syrian terrorist leader Bashar al-Assad. Assad and his family have used chemical weapons over the past 40 years to oppress its population and discourage civilians from protesting against Assad’s violent brutality.
In less than 72 hours, US battleships fired 59 Tomahawk Missiles destroying the aircraft that were used to drop the chemical weapons which killed dozens of civilians including children. The attack was on the Syrian air force base at Al Shayrat air base south of Homs.
The fascinating aspect of this act in defense of innocent civilians being massacred by an international terrorist leader, Bashar al-Assad, is that it also raises questions about the lies and fake news being spread by anti-Trump “journalists” who have abandoned journalism principles to become political activists against the President’s administration.
The mainstream news media, which has been the primary conveyor of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab racism, discrimination and hatred over the past 20 years and more, has pushed the lie that Trump is subservient to the Russians and to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who acts more like an organized crime mafiosa than a government leader. Putin has ordered the murder of many of his political rivals to remain in power in a false facade of “Democracy.”
Trump, who has maintained some business dealings in Russia, has tried to be civil and respectful, and that has been used by the lying mainstream news media to convey a false impression that Trump is under Putin’s thumb. The news media has asserted that Trump was working with Russian hackers who exposed the lies and criminal behavior of Hillary Clinton and her campaign allies.
But now we see how independent Trump is of Russia and it has confused the lying news media.
Additionally, despite the lies and false perception promoted by the biased mainstream news media that Trump is anti-peace and is a shill for Israeli extremism, Trump has both embraced Israel and declared he will defend its right to exist, but also has countered that by forcefully denouncing the building of illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied territories.
Trump, who campaigned on a promise (that every president has made) to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, quickly put that promise on hold after winning the election, which is what every one of his predecessors have done in the past including President Barack Obama.
Trump clearly is willing to build an agenda that not only embraces his political loyalties, but also his own loyalties to principles of justice and fairness when it comes to the Middle East.
Despite lies that he is “anti-Muslim,” Trump may turn out to be the most pro-Arab and pro-Muslim president the United States has ever had, based on the actions he is taking. Trump has certainly done more to stand up for Palestinian, Muslim and Arab rights than his predecessor, President Obama, whose powerful speeches were devoid of followup and action.
Syria is a good example where Obama spoke loudly of principle but did nothing to protect the Syrian civilians being massacred by Assad’s army.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian American columnist and author, and former Chicago City Hall reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)