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Only in Trump’s time

US President Donald Trump speaks during an official welcoming ceremony on his arrival in Tel Aviv, Israel on 22 May 2017 [Daniel Bar On/Anadolu Agency]
US President Donald Trump speaks during an official welcoming ceremony on his arrival in Tel Aviv, Israel on 22 May 2017 [Daniel Bar On/Anadolu Agency]

The crisis broke out amongst the brothers in the Gulf while Trump tweeted accusations about Qatar supporting terrorism. Only hours later, the US secretary of defence made a statement about the partnership with Qatar to combat terrorism, without criticising the president’s words. Trump then changed his position and called the Emir of Qatar to invite him to visit Washington and a huge aircraft deal with the small Gulf State was announced.

Two days later, the same president again accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, while the secretary of defence again sang a different tune, calling for the siege imposed on Qatar to be lifted. The major US newspapers and satellite television stations have mocked these contradictions and many have been creative in their daily satire about Trump, not only related to this crisis but also his whole behaviour as a politician.

In a press conference with his Romanian counterpart, Trump was asked about the visa waiver programme, to which he responded: “We didn’t discuss it. We didn’t discuss it, but there would be certainly — it would be something we will discuss.” His guest, meanwhile, said, “Yes, I mentioned this issue, and I also mentioned it during other meetings I had.” This, remember, was in front of the world’s media.

Read: Qatar says no expulsions of nationals from countries that cut ties

A few months ago, Trump described Saudi Arabia as a funder of terrorism, but after his visit to Riyadh in May he changed his mind. There have been other occasions, too numerous to mention, when he has made peculiar announcements, often contradicting himself or his team. On the Palestinian issue, for example, his contradictions require an article of their own, although the general tone is always in Israel’s favour, of course.

The point is that we are not talking about personal contradictions in his positions and the interesting tweets that Donald Trump — who has two Twitter accounts, one personal and one official — comes up with. This may have happened with other presidents, but we are talking about contradictions within his own administration, made up of people appointed by himself. In the meantime, I am certain that the deep state is still pursuing the story of his relations with the Russians and is not pleased with his political behaviour, which reflects his ignorance of the basic policies of the United States of America.

QatarGate

It is noteworthy that since moving into the White House Trump has been most interested in the Middle East, even though his election platform tended to focus on domestic issues. Naturally, this reflects his belief in serving Israel, not only out of love for the state, but also because he is aware that if the pro-Israel Lobby turns against him, his fate would be even more unpredictable.

Do you remember his promise to face Iran during the Riyadh Summit? Which other promises has he actually kept? Basically none, although this was part of his programme to serve Israel and practically has nothing to do with the Arabs. However, we are talking about a man who operates with confused policies on every level, and this includes confronting the growing Russian and Chinese influence, which should be the core of his strategy.

In short, we are dealing with a president who doesn’t know what he needs to do; he is confused and afraid about his fate. He does not have a clear strategy on any issue and this means that if he remains in power he is bound to create a crisis for his country; getting rid of him would also be bad for the US, as it would have a price to pay in the form of the country’s status and interests. Either way, we are happy, as we have a countless number of vendettas against America, which has targeted us for many decades, and this does not seem to be changing.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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