May 21, 2017

Trump in Arabia — the raw footage.

Scene 1:  

The 81-year-old King walks — with a cane — to greet President Trump:



It was 100+ degrees in Riyadh yesterday. The old king may be used to it, and he's got loose, mostly white clothing, but what keeps Trump and Melania — in their cinched black outfits — from keeling over? (Hillary keeled over on 9/11 when it was only 79°.)

Scene 2: 

Trump bobs to the rhythm alongside the Saudis doing the old "sword dance" (not real swords though, right? (because how could the Secret Service permit that?)):



Trump's moving without really doing the dance is reminiscent of his (sometimes mocked) swaying at the African American church:



And how did Tillerson and Wilbur Ross look doing the sword dance, with Priebus and Bannon wistfully wallflowering:



Scene 3:  

Trump gets a medal (does he bow or does he figure out some other body-lowering move so people wouldn't say he bowed (except all the haters (of course, they said he bowed)?):



Here's the famous Obama bow to the king (done in greeting, not by necessity if you want to receive a medal (not that Trump's people couldn't have nixed the medal-giving)):

59 comments:

chickelit said...

This must chafe the Bush family...

Michael K said...

The Saudis are no longer in charge with their oil. Obama did what he could to keep them there but fracking, which Obama tried to stop, has put us in the powerful position. They need us.

Lem said...

I don't think Reagan can be in any way compared to Trump (other than the fact that they both became POTUS) and how Reagan ended up forcing the end of the Cold War and Trump may end up achieving another heretofore seemingly impossible task. Peace between... Trump and the media 😉

Achilles said...

""The Saudis treated [Trump] like royalty, with red carpets, lavish meals and American flags flying everywhere.""

Put another way, Trump is rebuilding the respect and position of the US that Obama wrecked by being one of the most feckless and dishonest jerks we have ever had as a leader.

The Saudi's are afraid of Iran getting the bomb. They understand Israel will probably not discriminate when retaliating. They are also in a proxy war all over the middle east with Iran right now. A proxy war that Obama armed and funded.

eddie willers said...

All nice and well, but I bet you won't see Trump French kissing like Dubya did.

BobJustBob said...

Or bowing like Obama did...

jrapdx said...

I don't think the "red carpet treatment" is too hard to understand. The Saudis, an other governments in the region trust President Trump will do what he says he plans to do, and won't go back on commitments because of political pressure back home.

In contrast to Obama, Bush, and Clinton, Trump isn't a politician in the usual sense. Negotiating with foreign leaders, the interests of the American people are first priority, and up front that's clear to all involved. At the same time Trump isn't going to coerce regimes to go against their own interests, but rather he looks to have the countries work together to achieve ends both want.

Transactional "transparency" is a foundation of trust, a necessity for long-term stability and progress. Compared to past examples of American diplomacy, Trump is a breath of fresh air in part of the world that badly needs it.

Roy Lofquist said...

The senior ranks of government are replete with people who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo in re foreign policy - it's what got them there. These in include the foreign policy establishment, the intelligence community, the military and the defense industry.

As noted above, the world has changed dramatically. The oil glut is a ticking time bomb for OPEC and Russia. The Arabs are totally dependent on imported food and may not be able to feed themselves. The probability of Iran developing nuclear weapons is an existential threat.

The time is ripe for a "Nixon goes to China" moment. The Establishment is going to fight it tooth and nail.


Lauderdale Vet said...

The Saudis are moving away from an oil economy. They'll be just fine.

Right now they are a pillar in the GCC, who we have been working closely with to shut down ISIS. The level of cooperation with the GCC lately has been unprecedented, to great effect.

This welcome is probably influenced more by that than anything else.

Gospace said...

The Saudis are now fully aware there's a ceiling on oil prices, a far lower ceiling then anyone suspected possible a mere 8 years ago. And there's lot's of existing oil fields already in use that could be fracked, including some Saudi fields. They're dealing with reality now. And they know a Trump administration won't be shutting down U.S. production, so they're playing nice.

That and Iran- the Sunni-Shia thing. That's only going to get worse. And Jimmy Carter and the Democrats are responsible for that. The Shah of Iran kept a lid on the religious crazies. Good ol' boy Jimmah thought the ayatollahs would be reasonable people.

He was wrong.

FleetUSA said...

Sanity reigns. Amen

readering said...

Obama, who got the same medal from the Saudis as Trump, never tried to stop cracking. So that's what fake news is, huh?

Qwinn said...

Obama never tried to stop fracking? Really?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/obamas-backdoor-attack-on-fracking/article/2504809

Mark said...

The Saudis are close to convincing the administration that it's the Shia that are the global problem, despite the history of Saudi Wahabism in 9/11, Afghanistan, and overall radical Islamic terrorism.

In fact, it looks like Trump is going to avoid saying radicall Islamic terrorism in his speech there. Toadys gotta toad ....

rhhardin said...

In Saudi Arabia everybody is royalty.

gspencer said...

"Toadys gotta toad"

Not liking what I'm sensing that Trump is becoming = part of the E-swamp.

clint said...

Was this actually different from President Obama's visit (or President Bush's)?

Or is it only the media coverage that's different?

Kevin said...

Was this actually different from President Obama's visit (or President Bush's)?

Because the difference in how Trump was treated in Saudi Arabia and how he's been treated at home is so stark.

The media have convinced themselves Trump is a total buffoon who cannot command anyone's respect, and yet here are the Saudis treating him like he's the actual President of the United States.

traditionalguy said...

The Saudis understand the value of good leadership. They lead a church-state that uses religion with a weaponized law to stay in power. And Trump feels at ease with them. He will build them Temples just like he built the temples for the Manhattan's Wall Street Religion.



Rusty said...


"The Saudis are now fully aware there's a ceiling on oil prices, a far lower ceiling then anyone suspected possible a mere 8 years ago."

What they are realizing is that there is no floor. fracking has mde oil profitable at $40 a barrel. Market efficientcies can lower that even further. OPEC for all intents is irrelevant. Europe and asia can buy oil from the United States.

Humperdink said...

readering said: "Obama, who got the same medal from the Saudis as Trump, never tried to stop cracking. So that's what fake news is, huh?"

Surely you can't be serious regarding fracking. Unless of course you really meant cracking instead of fracking, in which case you are correct. Obama never really tried to stop the use of crack.

AReasonableMan said...

FleetUSA said...
Sanity reigns. Amen


The 'Amen' gets you a hundred lashes in Saudi Arabia.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

"what kept " Trump and Melania — in their cinched black outfits — from keeling over?"

Melania is wearing an air conditioner. Not so sure about The Donald.

David said...

Do the Saudis "trust" Trump? I seriously doubt it. Why would they trust anyone, especially a President with a short and erratic track record? But they see potential in Trump, and they value an alliance with America. This reception was a message to the United States of America and to others in the region. To the Saudis, the best thing about Trump is Not Obama.

Leslie Graves said...

Why are Priebus and Bannon on this trip? Is that standard?

William said...

That's some outfit that Melania is wearing. It looks regal and vaguely Islamic. She has a striking, dramatic presence. The semiotics are definitely not pro hijab.

William said...

Tillerson has the kind of gravitas and composure that the people next to him will look in his direction to copy his moves because his moves are the correct moves.

Tank said...

This President and First Lady make me proud to be an American.

mockturtle said...

Do the Saudis "trust" Trump? I seriously doubt it.

No leader ever fully trusts another leader. Nor should one.

mockturtle said...

Saudi Night Fever. I like it.

buwaya said...

Even a non-sharp sword can be deadly, if used correctly, in a thrust. I recall a case of deadly stabbing with a piece of rebar. Those things look rigid enough and metallic enough to do the business, should there be a determined wielder behind it.

I suspect Trump overrode the Secret Service.

As for the heat, that suit would kill me in that weather, certainly. Saudi Arabia in summer, and he's a fat old man.
Trump is superhuman, as he proved in the campaign of course.

mockturtle said...

Obama never tried to stop fracking? Really?

No, Qwinn. I think she said he never tried to stop cracking. ;-)

buwaya said...

The Saudi business is interesting.
That whole thing, and especially the money, seems like they are coming to the US hat in hand.

$100B in military contracts is a rather astounding sort of payoff. That would be a huge pile of money for even the US in the military contract world. Thats just under the whole annual Chinese military budget, to put it in context.

Why so, why now, needs a bit of explanation.
I'm not sure the Iranian, Yemeni or Syrian situations quite explain it, nor the oil price crunch. One would think the Saudis would be economizing.

Curious George said...

Those goatherds know who to coddle. More winning for Trump.

Michael K said...

"To the Saudis, the best thing about Trump is Not Obama."

Yes, and not Hillary, hijab or no.

Readering shows the revision is already under way that Obama encouraged fracking and made America Great !

There is a good reason why all fracking was done on private land. You might look it up, readering.

Rusty said...



"$100B in military contracts is a rather astounding sort of payoff. That would be a huge pile of money for even the US in the military contract world. Thats just under the whole annual Chinese military budget, to put it in context. "

Gosh. I wonder what has gone on in the last few years in the middle east that would cause them to spend that much money on defense.
Any guesses?

Michael K said...

" I wonder what has gone on in the last few years in the middle east that would cause them to spend that much money on defense."

$400 billion to Iran would be a start in understanding why.

Trump is the non-Obama and Juan Williams was just muttering about "Human Rights" on Fox. Jimmy Carter and "Human Rights" gave us Khomeini.

AReasonableMan said...

Trump curtsies for the King: Donald is mocked on Twitter for crouching 'like a sparkly princess' in front of Saudi royal

buwaya said...

$100B in high tech US armaments is not really the sort of thing the Saudis would be spending on if their main fear is the sort of trouble the locals are likely to get up to.
These things are no substitute for a whole lot of reliable light infantry and paramilitaries to keep down sedition and urban guerillas, which would be the real threats to the regime.
The details of the purchases are rather vague. I gather the bulk of it is for buying naval vessels and air defense systems and the like, which are not really germane to local threats, even from the Iranians.

Inga said...

Man, that Trump sure has the dance moves.

Inga said...

"Why are Priebus and Bannon on this trip? Is that standard?"

To keep his Tweeter away from him.

AReasonableMan said...

Trump said...
“We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship.”


Everything's cool.

John said...

Perhaps they deal with the heat by not being pussies.

100 degrees? Plenty of people see that temp in the us routinely

John Henry

Bob Boyd said...

Trump said...
“We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship.”

Too bad the Progs don't feel that way about their own country.

AReasonableMan said...

'This makes me want to puke': Trump loyalist Roger Stone slams President for accepting highest civilian honor from 'enemy' Saudi after they 'financed' 9/11

Bad Lieutenant said...

Mark said...
The Iranians are close to convincing the administration that it's the Shia that are the global problem,

Fify

Rusty said...


"Everything's cool."

Then why are you so obsessed?

Original Mike said...

"Even a non-sharp sword can be deadly, if used correctly, in a thrust."

Hasn't the Secret Service seen the Sadat assassination?

Michael said...

ARM and Inga

To reduce your cut and paste efforts you only have to choose, not read, an article in the NYT or WaPo with Trump or an associate in the headline. 93% chance the article will reflect the view you will after you read it.

Michael K said...

"100 degrees? Plenty of people see that temp in the us routinely

John Henry"

103 tomorrow in Phoenix where I am working. 97 today in Tucson.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...

"I wonder ... would cause them to spend that much money on defense. Any guesses?"

Yemen, Iraq, Syria.

The Saudi's do everything "top of the line." They don't skimp on weapons and supplies.

They also arm many of the worlds Moslems, so what Saudi buys, doesn't all stay in Saudi.

Rusty said...

Blogger Etienne said...
"I wonder ... would cause them to spend that much money on defense. Any guesses?"

"Yemen, Iraq, Syria."

Here's a hint.
Who else is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on their military?

Mountain Maven said...

Dems hysterical while Trump does foreign policy. Good for him

wildswan said...

For whatever reason Trump is going to the country where Mecca is, the country where Jerusalem is and the country where the Vatican is. It's like a COEXIST bumper sticker. So far this is the theme when discussing oil, arms, US jobs, and terrorism. And also at parties - there aren't many sword dances in the US but coexist, right? In my view, Trump and the Saudis both understand that the word "exist" is part of the word "coexist" which is why they can reach a deal. But the liberal fascists would assault anyone who held up a "COEXIST" sign featuring a donkey and an elephant at one of their fundraising marches.

vanderleun said...

About that weapons deal we must look backwards to "Network:"

"The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. "

The Godfather said...

Tomorrow morning I will watch the only MSM news I watch -- Good Morning America with George Steph[etc.]. 5 will get you 10 they highlight Trump's "bow".

The Godfather said...

I was wrong. Good Morning America did not "highlight the bow" this morning. I'm glad no one took me up on my bet.