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Russia / Strategy Media Update – 21 May 2017 – Riyadh Summit

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Overall, excellent comments, worldwide, about Trump’s speech.

There was one glaring misstep.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and President Trump inaugurate the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology at the 

The Twitterverse blew up with pages and pages of negative comments about the “laying of hands on ‘the orb'”.  A bunch of namby articles from alternative sources were also published this afternoon about the orb. Expect there to be no end to the childish comments.

Neither the White House nor the Department of State had anything positive to say about the glowing orb. Oops.

Surprisingly, the Russian press didn’t pile onto the mess.  Sputnik was fairly neutral but totally missed the orb meme and RT only remarked about an awkward sword dance. Everybody else in Russia seems to have missed it or they’re waiting for Kremlin guidance.  Oops for Russia. Too late, you missed it.  Russia still seems to be obsessing about Lavrov in the US.

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The speech by POTUS was excellent by any measure. It follows the strategy articulated by Malcolm Nance (bottom of page), declaring the terrorist movement to be a heresy in every which way other than using the word heretic.

This is the single most significant change in strategy for dealing with the terrorist movement since the initial moves after 911. If the Islamic nations properly pursue this strategy, the movement will be declared apostates and heretics, and as POTUS implored Muslim leaders, cast out. At that point they are doomed. The key indicator to watch for in coming months is what the Islamic clergy in Saudi Arabia say.

Also notable is King Salman’s speech – it puts the crosshairs firmly on Tehran. And so it should be, as Tehran exploited the chaos and instability across the Sunni world produced by Al Qaeda / ISIS / Jihadists to pursue their own geopolitical agendas across the region, destabilizing Southern Iraq and propping up Assad in Syria, thus diverting regional attention and effort away from dealing with the Islamist heresy. Cynically exploiting the misery and pain of others to gain an advantage.

The Riyadh summit is an important milestone and a fundamental change in strategy for the West and its Allies. What is sad is that it has taken 16 years to reach this point, and countless lives and treasure lost, pursuing ideologically centered approaches rather than to strike at the center of gravity of this truly medieval enemy.

Nota Bene Lake’s essay on Iran is very good.

Saudi Arabia / Iran Reports

Trump addresses Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia RIYADH: US President Donald Trump has implored Muslim leaders to take the lead in fighting extremism, speaking at a high-level summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.    The president, who is on his first foreign visit since taking office, spoke at the Arab Islamic US Summit in Riyadh.  

Full text of President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia I want to thank King Salman for his extraordinary words, and the magnificent Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting today’s summit. I am honored to be received by such gracious hosts. I have always heard about the splendor of your country and the kindness of your citizens, but words do not do justice to the grandeur of this remarkable place and the incredible hospitality you have shown us from the moment we arrived.

Full speech of King Salman at the end of President Trump’s visit “In the name of Allah, the most Merciful, the most gracious.
All praise is due to Allah, and Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His messenger. 
Mr. President Donald Trump of the United States of America; Your Majesty, Excellencies and Highnesses: 
I welcome you in your second country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. May the leaders of the Arab and Muslim worlds allow me to welcome His Excellency President Donald Trump of the United States of America to an unprecedented historic summit that is being held at a very important and extremely serious time.

Live: Over 95% victims of terror are Muslims, says Trump – Khaleej Times Trump, who has been accused of anti-Islamic rhetoric in the past, will also extend a hand by insisting that this is not a battle between different fait…

Trump’s Islam speech aims to unite against terrorism – Donald Trump will look to set the US and himself on a new footing with the Muslim world Sunday in a much-anticipated speech in Saudi Arabia.

President Trump’s full speech from Saudi Arabia on global terrorism – The Washington Post Trump summoned the Muslim world to take a stand against global terrorism and share the burden of eradicating extremism.

The Latest: Trump says terrorists ‘worship death’ – The Washington Post The Latest on President Donald Trump’s first trip abroad (all times local):Trump:

Fight against terror a ‘battle between good and evil’ – The Washington Post President Donald Trump called on Middle Eastern leaders to combat a “crisis of Islamic extremism” emanating from the region, casting the fight against terrorism as a “battle between good and evil,” not a clash between the West and Islam.

Trump Urges Muslim Leaders to Purge Their Societies of ‘Foot Soldiers of Evil’ – The New York Times In centerpiece speech in Saudi Arabia, President Trump called for renewed international campaign against terrorism in “battle between good and evil.”

Trump takes moderate tone on Islam – POLITICO We are not here to tell other people how to live.”

Trump In Saudi Arabia: Fight Against Terrorism A ‘Battle Between Good And Evil’ : The Two-Way : NPR In his first foreign trip as president, Trump stressed to leaders of Arab and Muslim-majority countries that “nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them.”

Bergen: The real reason Saudis rolled out the reddest of red carpets (opinion) – Trump’s visit to Riyadh comes at a critical time for the Saudi government, as it seeks to transform its economy from exclusive oil revenue dependency to one more diversified, writes Peter Bergen.

Tillerson: Focus on terrorism in Saudi Arabia will lead to improvements in human rights | TheHill Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday Saudi Arabia can ease tensions in the region by focusing on the fight against terrorism, ultimately leading to improvements in human rights issues. “I think the way you address those human rights issues and women’s rights issues is to improve conditions in the region. And today those conditions in the region are under a lot of stress because of the threat of terror,” Tillerson told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “The threat that Iran poses to the instability in the region. And these subjects are being discussed as well,” he added. ADVERTISEMENT Tillerson said that while efforts are underway to improve women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, the primary focus is terrorism. “There are efforts underway to, I think, improve the rights of women — the participation of women in society and throughout the region. But you know the primary reason we are here today is to confront this threat of terrorism,” Tillerson added. Trump harshly criticized former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for engaging with Saudi Arabia. “You talk about women and women’s rights? So these are people that push gays off business, off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly and yet you take their money,” Trump said during the third presidential debate in October 2016. “So I’d like to ask you right now why don’t you give back the money that you’ve taken from certain countries that treat certain groups of people so horribly?” Trump’s highly anticipated speech on Sunday does not address human rights issues, according to reports about drafts of his speech.

In Saudi Arabia, Tillerson argues Iran is Trump’s top Gulf region concern | Fox NewsSecretary of State Rex Tillerson said Saturday in Saudi Arabia that the focal point of President Trump’s visit to the Gulf nation is to curb the threat of neighboring Iran, while putting much of the burden on recently reelected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Photos of president Donald Trump and his advisors in Saudi Arabia — QuartzUS president Donald Trump is traveling with a full entourage on his first overseas trip, a whirlwind tour of five countries—starting in Saudi Arabia, to make “big [business] deals” with the gulf kingdom and deliver a speech about Islam. Whatever challenges Trump faces on this trip, he’s got to be glad to get away from…

Coulter: Saudi Arabia Gave Trump Warmer Reception Than ‘Beta Male’ Obama Because He’s a ‘Strong Alpha Male’ – Breitbart Coulter: Saudi Arabia Gave Trump Warmer Reception Than ‘Beta Male’ Obama Because He’s a ‘Strong Alpha Male’

Saudi Arabia and Russia Are at Odds on Almost Everything, Except Oil – Bloomberg Saudi Arabia and Russia are at odds on pretty much everything: the war in Syria, policies on Iran, ties with Washington. But when it comes to propping up global oil prices, they’ve never been more aligned.

Iran to Trump: Tell Saudi Arabia to Stop the Next 9/11 Tehran and Riyadh are regional arch-rivals which accuse each other of sponsoring fundamentalist militias aligned to their competing sects of Islam.

Eli Lake | Iranians Re-Elect a Fake Reformer in a Fake Election – Bloomberg Rouhani was the lesser of two evils, but Westerners vastly overestimate what an Iranian president can do.

Brooding Iran hardliners say they must still be heard after Rouhani win | Reuters Iranian hardliners indignant at President Hassan Rouhani’s re-election vowed on Sunday to press their conservative agenda, with some saying his caustic campaign trail attacks on their candidate would bring a backlash.

One phrase from Saudi clerics could begin the end of Islamic State – To Inform is to Influence This is possibly one of the best primers I have seen in 20 years on the deeper ideological foundations of ISIS / Al Qaeda (geneologically it is actually the same organisation), the historical roots of the “death cult” heresy that has…

One phrase from Saudi clerics could begin the end of Islamic State