Trump Knows Nothing about Mideast; His Quds Decision to Backfire: US Analyst
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political commentator and social justice activist said US President Donald Trump has “no understanding of Middle East politics”, adding that his recent decision about Jerusalem (al-Quds) is expected to backfire.
“President Trump has no understanding of Middle East politics or the cultures involved with all. Siding with Saudi Arabia is actually not an unusual move, as Presidents Obama and Bush have long supported their policies towards Iran and the Palestinians. That his plan is backfiring is to be expected, but who knows how this administration reacts to it. All has been quiet from the White House regarding world and Palestinian reaction as other issues, such as the past election in Alabama or the continuing Mueller probe, seem to take most of the limelight,” Myles Hoenig, who ran for the US Congress in 2016 as a Green Party candidate, told the Tasnim news agency.
Following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: Recently, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem (al-Quds) as the Israeli capital despite global warnings. Defying warnings from around the world, Trump announced his decision. Why?
Hoenig: President Trump doesn't seem to take advice from senior advisors who have expertise in particular areas. During the campaign for the presidency he boasted of how he alone could fix all the problems because he had the answers. His narcissistic ego plays a huge part in his decision making. As to Jerusalem in particular, the 'Deep State' has long prevented previous presidents from making the move but this time Trump seems to be answering only to his son-in-law Kushner and others who are Zionist fanatics, even more than past presidents.
Tansim: Media reports suggest that the US administration had coordinated the move with Arab leaders prior to the decision, to ensure they would help contain Palestinian and Arab reactions. Do you believe so?
Hoenig: President Trump has no understanding of Middle East politics or the cultures involved with all. Siding with Saudi Arabia is actually not an unusual move, as Presidents Obama and Bush have long supported their policies towards Iran and the Palestinians. That his plan is backfiring is to be expected, but who knows how this administration reacts to it. All has been quiet from the White House regarding world and Palestinian reaction as other issues, such as the past election in Alabama or the continuing Mueller probe, seem to take most of the limelight.
Tasnim: Saudi Arabia has blasted Donald Trump's shift on Jerusalem as “irresponsible”. How much do you think the Saudi regime is sincere in its stance? How do see the kingdom’s role in the Trump’s decision?
Hoenig: Saudi Arabia, like most nations, know what kind of fool Trump is. They played to his ego by having him involved in their sword dance and the globe exhibition. Trump and his immediate team was likely told in advance to expect some public opposition from the Saudi kingdom but with the understanding that it would (be) just that, a public show.
As the regional leader of one group of Arab countries, and of more minimal influence among all Muslim countries, they are the ones that the Trump administration listens to the most, as was the case with President Obama. The US foreign policy for so long has been focused on single issue 'boogey men'. Since WW2 it was the Soviet Union and now, needing an enemy in order to prop up the US military even more, the target is Iran. With Saudi Arabia leading the fight in this, it is easy to see why Trump and the foreign policy establishment is so intent on supporting all it wants.
Tasnim: It seems that the man behind all Trump’s Middle East decisions is Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser. What do you think about him?
Hoenig: Jared Kushner's choice for US envoy to the Middle East is not taken seriously by the foreign affairs community. They know he has virtually no understanding or knowledge of the history, culture, or dynamics of the region. Yet he was chosen to be Trump's point person for the area, which underscores Trump's hand in such matters. Others in the White House, with strong leanings towards Israel, are most likely calling the shots. Kushner was sent to the area as an envoy from the White House, and it was clear from the beginning that the only voice he and the administration would hear would be that of Israel and its allies (notably Saudi Arabia). Publicly, at least, the administration foreign policy leaders are backing Trump in the move of the embassy. But then again, the US Senate back in July voted 90-0 for this move, making it bi-partisan.