You’d think, given the harsh anti-Muslim Trump administration in Washington, that the Arab kings and dictators would be lining up to condemn the ruthless sectarian laws being drawn up by an American President who approves of torture. All that claptrap about “bad dudes” and “Islamic terror”. Pretty sinister stuff. Not a bit of it. The potentates have been overwhelming the White House switchboard with calls, both Egypt’s Sissi and the Gulf Arabs. The Emirates actually expressed approval of Trump’s policies. The Jordanian monarch, who of course got to Washington first, is being followed in quick succession to the Trump throne room by Benjamin Netanyahu.
It’s quite a palaver. The Europeans squirm and tut-tut and even meekly condemn the new US government, while the principal victims of the new Trump regime – will we not, after all, soon be calling it a “regime”? – stay either fawningly silent or nod approval at his anti-Muslim shenanigans. Maybe it was just as well that poor old Mahmoud Abbas of “Palestine” didn’t get his three phone calls returned.
As we all predicted – and it performed on cue – Isis reacted by condemning Trump. So did al-Qaeda, whose reference to the “fool” in the White House might be the first time in modern history when the reaction of those who committed the 9/11 crimes against humanity was precisely the same as about half the people of the United States of America. The Algerians also congratulated Trump, by the way – not long after congratulating Bashar al-Assad for his tremendous (their words) “victory against terrorism” in eastern Aleppo. But there’s more than meets the eye in all this.
Sure, Isis can gloat that Trump really is anti-Muslim and that the corrupt Arab dictators are just as heedless of their people. But the response of the Arab regimes to the new American regime – yes, let’s refer to it as that – is also indicative of how close they all are. Most Arab potentates have been feeding their populations for years on “fake news” and “alternative facts”. They were always promising final victory against the “Zionist entity” while scattering their fury against their allies. The Saudis have repeatedly attacked Iraq and Syria, the Emirates and Egypt have bombed Libya, the Saudis and Emirates have assaulted Yemen.
It’s a weird and odd fact that both Arabs and Trump use clichés. If it’s not the “bad dude”/“Islamic fascism” mantra of the Trump regime, it’s the “only-we-stand-against-Islamic-terror” nonsense of the Arab regimes. Dictators and violent governments in the Middle East have been trading this garbage for years. We’ve had the Sadats and Moubaraks and Sissis and the Assads and the Saddams and the Gulf Kings all bellowing fantasies at their own people and threatening anyone who disagrees with them.
Indeed, the cowardly, pro-government press of much of the Middle East looks very much like the kind of compliant journalism Trump believes in. For Egyptian State television or Syrian TV, watch Fox News. Arab security cops have the kind of powers that the US government envies and would like its own police to possess. In the Middle East, minorities are repressed, judges are brow-beaten, politicians threatened – and its rulers believe in torture. Remind you of anyone? Welcome to TrumpWorld!
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
1/9 Trump and the media
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions during the daily press briefing
2/9 Trump and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Union leaders applaud US President Donald Trump for signing an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington DC. Mr Trump issued a presidential memorandum in January announcing that the US would withdraw from the trade deal
3/9 Trump and the Mexico wall
A US Border Patrol vehicle sits waiting for illegal immigrants at a fence opening near the US-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas. The number of incoming immigrants has surged ahead of the upcoming Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. A signature campaign promise, Mr Trump outlined his intention to build a border wall on the US-Mexico border days after taking office
4/9 Trump and abortion
US President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on in the Oval Office of the White House. Mr Trump reinstated a ban on American financial aide being granted to non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counseling, provide abortion referrals, or advocate for abortion access outside of the United States
5/9 Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline
Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York. US President Donald Trump signed executive orders reviving the construction of two controversial oil pipelines, but said the projects would be subject to renegotiation
6/9 Trump and 'Obamacare'
Nancy Pelosi who is the minority leader of the House of Representatives speaks beside House Democrats at an event to protect the Affordable Care Act in Los Angeles, California. US President Donald Trump's effort to make good on his campaign promise to repeal and replace the healthcare law failed when Republicans failed to get enough votes. Mr Trump has promised to revisit the matter
7/9 Donald Trump and 'sanctuary cities'
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January threatening to pull funding for so-called "sanctuary cities" if they do not comply with federal immigration law
8/9 Trump and the travel ban
US President Donald Trump has attempted twice to restrict travel into the United States from several predominantly Muslim countries. The first attempt, in February, was met with swift opposition from protesters who flocked to airports around the country. That travel ban was later blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The second ban was blocked by a federal judge a day before it was scheduled to be implemented in mid-March
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images
9/9 Trump and climate change
US President Donald Trump sought to dismantle several of his predecessor's actions on climate change in March. His order instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate the Clean Power Plan, which would cap power plant emissions
I remember how old Mubarak of Egypt would provide constantly fake elections for his people – a subject dear to Trump himself – and then receive presidential congratulations, from Republican and Democrat alike, after winning the poll by well over 90 per cent. Sean Spicer, Trump’s extremely odd amanuensis, and his luckless aides have their counterparts in every Arab ministry of information, temples of truth whose “Spicers” are forced to repeat the fantasies and petty anger of their masters. The parallel is complete, since Arab ministries of information contain absolutely no information at all.
I’d have to say that since Trump and TrumpWorld are almost interchangeable, there is one way in which they do clearly deviate. The Arabs are often accused of being anti-Semitic because they are anti-Israeli. But Arabs are also a Semitic people. Given Trump’s refusal to mention Jews on Holocaust Memorial Day and his evident distaste for six Arab Muslim nations, the US regime might be accused of being anti-Semitic about both Jews and Arabs.
But let’s be fair. If Trump toured those Arab dictatorships not currently at war, he’d feel very much at home. Great security, fantastic police, lots of torture, extremely dodgy elections and massive economic projects which damage the environment but prove absolutely useless. And if he joins his sons Eric and Donald Junior in opening the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai, why – then Trump will actually be in TrumpWorld.
The Arab potentates and kings and vicious autocrats really should gather in Washington for their next summit. They’d find the atmosphere quite familiar. Not to mention the President.Reuse content