Saudi Arabia king: Trump's visit a 'turning point'

Terrorism has spread across the world. The speech describes this new policy as "principled realism, rooted in common values and shared interests". However, as Laura Secor relates in her magisterial book, Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran, the country's politics are rife with power struggles. "And if you both are willing, we're going to make a deal".

Mr Trump has presented the shift as a reinvestment in historical alliances with friendly nations in order to fight extremism and terrorism. "DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH".

Trump called for a US alliance with Muslim countries on Sunday aimed at fighting terrorism, singling out Iran as a major source of funding and support for militants in the Arab world.

Rouhani's efforts to open up Iran to less hostile relations with the West still have to be couched in the rhetoric of anti-Americanism that has been a pillar of Iranian rule since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Trump repeatedly emphasized that the United States isn't "here to lecture" or "tell people how to live". The United States responded by boosting Iran's fiercest regional rivals, notably with a $110 billion weapons package for Saudi Arabia and calls for Iran's worldwide isolation.

They were joined by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, as well as daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who are White House senior advisers. Although democracy might be within the grasp of some countries, and indeed beneficial to them, it can not be forced from the outside.

Mr Rouhani dismissed the criticism and said it was actually Iran and its allies that were fighting terrorists.

While numerous events were a serious affair - from a major speech Trump gave about combatting terrorism to a $110 billion defense deal - the jam-packed weekend also featured many lighthearted moments. He drew comparisons between women's rights in the Muslim world and America and compared the persecution of Jews over the millennia to the plight of the Palestinians today. "Which is one of the major talking points ... the Saudis [have] tried to push forward over the last couple of years, partly in response to the Obama administration" pursuing the Iran nuclear deal.

Although there's plenty in Trump's speech to criticize-like his Bush-esque statement that we're in a battle between "good and evil"-Trump is right that any lasting change must come from within the global Muslim community". That message must be repeated and reinforced. We can not fight ISIS or the Taliban or prevent groups like them from rising up without the full cooperation of foreign governments or a real and significant change from within Islam's various manifestations around the world.

But Trump might come to find that numerous leaders present at his speech in Saudi Arabia have more complicated relationships with terrorist groups and Islamist clerics than he realizes.

Syria is an extreme example, but other countries have been known to do the same thing. The demonstrations are meant to draw attention to a month-long hunger strike by hundreds of prisoners being held by Israel and to protest what many Palestinians say is unfair us support for Israel. Rouhani's power is subordinate to that of a council of repressive mullahs; much of the economy is controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which arms and assists radical militias throughout the region. Even the few times when its authors approached a bold theme, they veered away, lest it soften the visit's three main missions: to assure the region's Sunni leaders that they can run their countries and oppress their critics with no finger-wagging from Washington; to wrap up a massive $110 billion sale of American weapons; and to declare war on Iran, or at least unabashed hostility toward its regime.

In the end, numerous Muslim leaders Trump was exhorting in Saudi Arabia may be unwilling to take any significant action against the radicals in their countries, and even if they do, driving out terrorists and radicals could dangerously destabilize these regimes.

A day later thousands of people are expected to attend a "Trump not welcome" march, organized by dozens of activist organizations, in Brussels.

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