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Wogs Up, Doc?

November 5, 2017

Yesterday, world news services were agog with news that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman has arrested Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, other Prince’s of the royal family and current and former government ministers of Saudi Arabia.

The Muslim world is important to the West because of its energy resources, a rising extremist Islamic ideology, large scale emigration of Muslim refugees and bias against Christians in Muslim countries.

Like 1960’s era Conservative member of the British Parliament, Enoch Powell, who criticized non-white immigration into racially homogeneous England,  Donald Trump has made Muslim emigration to the United States a prime issue of his campaign and  Presidency vowing that the United States will not make the same mistake of the European Union.

What’s happening in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries is challenging authoritarian tribal rulers. Unfortunately, their political problems are affecting the United States and in the case of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Saudi Arabia’s political problems are affecting major American and European corporations.

Political problems of Yemen, Quatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, not to mention Syria, Iran and Turkey, will spill over into American politics.

Unfortunately we don’t “do” Muslim politics well. Here are six reasons why.

1.  Israel is an ally of the United States and most Muslim states consider Israel their enemy.

2. Then there are the Christian millenarians who have an apocalyptic vision of the Second Coming that, in the case of the Presidential Administration of George W. Bush, saw military action by the United States playing a role in hastening the Second Coming of Christ.

3. In the case of Turkey, secularization instituted by Kemal Atatürk is still official policy, but Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees himself not as a leader of a democratic regime, but leader of a Muslim caliphate.

4. The U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service is firmly on the side of unstable Muslim regimes because there are so many Muslim countries with Ambassadorship positions to fill. Every junior FSO sees himself as a future Ambassador to one of these countries.

5. Add to that terrorist attacks on streets and public gatherings in the United States and Europe by ISIL and Al-Qaeda and you have the potential for indiscriminate retaliation by countries that are attacked. In response to the murder of eight bikers in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, November 31, President Trump repeated a phrase he used in 2005 that he will “hit back 10 times harder.” This is from a President who ran on a campaign pledge of withdrawal from foreign military ventures.

6. Add to President Trump’s penchant for talking off the top of his head, the President has demonstrated that he has no understanding of the region and was easily schmoozed by leaders he met on his first international trip to the Middle East. His wealthy pals have financial interests in the region–and elsewhere–and President Trump listens to them more than some American leaders who have taken up the cause of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

All in all, the Muslim problem will dominate the Trump Administration and American politics into the next century.

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