By Yuram Abdullah Weiler

Theater of the absurd: Trump’s speech before the Riyadh Summit

May 28, 2017 - 14:34

“Iran—fresh from real elections—attacked by @POTUS in that bastion of democracy & moderation. Foreign Policy or simply milking KSA of $480B?” —Iran’s Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif

Expecting tolerance and moderation from Riyadh falls in the same category as expecting peace and disarmament from the Pentagon.  Nevertheless, the Riyadh Forum, under the auspices of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), “will explore the nature of terrorism and the future of extremism.”  And judging by the $110 billion weapons deal struck between the U.S. and the Saudis, the future of extremism looks bright, or dim depending on one’s perspective.

For a taste of the theater of the absurd, we need only look at Trump’s speech (in italics below) before the assemblage of 50+ leaders in Riyadh, many of whom could best be characterized as tin pot dictators enjoying U.S. and Saudi backing.  Iran, of course, was not invited to the so-called Arab Islamic American Summit, whose goal was “to address ways of building more robust and effective security partnerships to counter and prevent the growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism around the globe through promoting tolerance and moderation.”

As keynote speaker, Trump, with the gushing approval of the Saudi potentates, seized the opportunity to vilify the Islamic Republic and spread Iranophobia before a captive audience:

But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three—safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.

It should be unnecessary to point out the absurdity of the above statement, coming from the leader of a country that has launched repeated destabilizing incursions into the Middle East--1953 CIA coup in Iran, 1958 in Iraq, 1948 in Syria, 1987 Tanker war, 2003 invasion of Iraq, 1991 Persian Gulf war, 2001 invasion of Afghanistan -- just to name a few.

From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.

From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen and beyond, the U.S. is involved continuously in destabilizing operations, which include targeted assassinations by unmanned aircraft and regime change by hired terrorists, in order to advance its geopolitical goals.  By backing the sanguinary Saudi regime in its unabashed efforts to subjugate its own and other Shi’a minority populations, the U.S. has intentionally provoked sectarian conflict in the oil-rich Middle East for its own benefit.

It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.

Trump is defaming a nation that has not committed aggression against its neighbors since 1738, long before the United States existed.  Furthermore, the U.S. has committed mass murder itself by firebombing numerous cities in Germany and Japan on its sanguinary quest for “unconditional surrender.” In one bombing raid on Tokyo in March 1945, 100,000 civilians were brutally slaughtered.

Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime—launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.

Deploying the THAAD missile defense systems in South Korea against a background of extensive war games and provocative posturing can certainly be called destabilizing interventions by the U.S.  And make no mistake about it: the 59 cruise missiles may have exploded in Syria, but the true targets of the murderous missiles were Trump’s political critics in Washington.

Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS, and restore stability to the region. The Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.

“Responsible nations” would not invade other sovereign nations or coerce them into accepting an international order dictated by Washington.  The Iranian people are indeed long-suffering, but as a result of the sanctions placed upon the Islamic Republic by the rogue superpower.

Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.  

The Iranian people have voted overwhelmingly for the government that they desire, unlike Americans, the majority of whom did not vote for Trump.  That an American president and his myopic advisers would dare to suggest they know what is best for Iranians illustrates the fatal flaw of the imperial mindset. 

“First concrete result of POTUS cozying up to despots in Riyadh: Deadly attack on peaceful protesters by emboldened Bahrain regime,” Dr. Zarif remarked on his Twitter page. Compared to the war-worshiping hypocrites in Washington, the Iranian people indeed have a just and righteous government.