The New American Strategy: Pay Up!

The current Gulf crisis can never be understood in isolation from President Donald Trump’s statements and tweets during the presidential election campaign, before he arrived in the White House. He was candid to the point of coarseness and immaturity. America no longer sees its Arab allies as symbolic partners, but simply countries with funds which must be stripped of their wealth to the last dollar in exchange for American protection. In a tweet before his “historic” visit to Saudi Arabia, he said, “Saudi Arabia should be paying the United States many billions of dollars for our defense of them. Without us, gone!” In another tweet, Trump said, “Saudi Arabia are (sic) nothing but mouth pieces, bullies, cowards. They have the money, but no guts.”

Additionally, another Trump tweet said, “Tell Saudi Arabia and others that we want (demand!) free oil for the next ten years or we will not protect their private Boeing 747s. Pay up!” Then Trump ridiculed previous American presidents, asking: “Have you been watching how Saudi Arabia has been taunting our VERY dumb political leaders to protect them from ISIS. Why aren’t they paying?” Trump did not forget to invoke the Iranian bogeyman in order to rob Arabs even more, saying in one tweet that “We are getting ready to protect Saudi Arabia against Iran & others-sending ships. How much are they going to pay us toward this protection.” Then the American president summarized his new strategy on Twitter with a tweet that outlines his future projects after he arrives in power, saying, “If Saudi Arabia, which has been making one billion dollars a day from oil, wants our help and protection, they must pay dearly! NO FREEBIES.” Trump also does not forget to remind Arabs of their weakness and lack of skill in war and national defense, so he provokes them in a tirade, saying, “Saudi Arabia should fight their own wars, which they won’t, or pay us an absolute fortune to protect them and their great wealth-$ trillion!”] In another tweet, Trump doesn’t hesitate to address Arabs with clear contempt, saying, “I just want to know how much is Saudi Arabia and others who we are helping willing to pay for our saving from total extinction. Pay up now!”

America has bared its teeth, no longer speaking in political or diplomatic terms, but behaving now like a cowboy. We want Arab wealth in our hands, or otherwise Arabs will disappear off the face of the globe, because your survival is linked to us. You can have enough to eat and drink, but the rest of your wealth should be under our control and in our service. This reminds us of the threat posed by Henry Kissinger, the notorious American policymaker, at the 1973 Geneva Conference, in response to the Arab oil embargo against America during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war: That one day, America would be paid back every cent it lost as a result of the embargo. It seems that this day has finally come, as President Trump obtained around $500 billion, a large sum even by American standards, during his last visit to Saudi Arabia. We cannot forget the unjustified Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act aimed at seizing Saudi Arabian investments in America as compensation for the events of 9/11. Now that Trump has received his part of the tribute, he no longer directs threats toward Saudi Arabia and forgets his previous brazen tweets, instead choosing to threaten and incite other countries to do the same. Apparently, he now accuses Qatar of financing terrorism, but the truth is that all the ridiculous accusations are nothing more than blackmail to obtain the wealth of countries that don’t already pay tribute to America.

America is no longer satisfied with simply making weapons deals for billions of dollars with Arab countries; even though we thought these amounts were an American fantasy, in the Trump era they no longer indicate the depth of Uncle Sam’s greed. America no longer sees our countries, and especially the Gulf states, as anything more than oil stations, as described by the well-known American columnist Thomas Friedman. America only wants to fill up its tanks from the gas station while the area’s inhabitants go to hell. America no longer sees us as beings worthy of eating, drinking and living under American protection. We do not know if America will soon demand our sovereign funds meant for future generations, even though it is a flagrant violation of people’s rights and that of future generations.

Note how often the word “pay” was repeated in Trump’s tweets mentioned above. Note how many times the words “billions” and “trillions” were mentioned. Note how his language before the payment was full of scorn and disdain for Arabs, and how the U.S. president swallowed all of his threats and grudges against Saudi Arabia after they stuffed his craw with about half a trillion dollars. Yesterday, Trump described Saudi Arabia as the cradle of terrorism. He called the Saudis mouthpieces, but the Saudis were welcomed back after the tribute was taken, and the Saudi leaders again became his close friends. In short, the Gulf crisis involves an intense game of blackmail and financial warfare. Pound away at the “terrorist” states and the real reward is in the states’ funds. Pay up!

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