NEW DELHI: When former US President Barack Obama made his first foreign trip to Egypt and delivered his famous speech upholding the values of freedom, democracy and human rights, the people in the Arab World were hoping a new era would be born in the US and the West Asians suffering would end. There was a glimpse of hope for a new beginning.

Instead the disastrous Arab Spring emerged and was hijacked by fundamentalists which led to total anarchy and destruction that demolished all hope. The saga ended with total disaster, inter fighting among Arab countries and the birth of the terrorist organization Daesh/Islamic State.

US President Donald Trump preferred the Arab Peninsula as his first rendezvous trip outside the United States at a time when he is under increased domestic pressure for his style of running the White House. He needed to fill his bag with petro-dollars to convince the US establishment that he is the right man for the job!

The Saudi monarch spread the red carpet for the US president and spent almost 100 million dollars on his reception and hospitality. The traders of religion consider celebrating Prophet Mohammad (PUH) un- Islamic , although clearly spending lavishly on Trump is Halal.

On the other side of the Arab Peninsula, 42 million Iranians queued up to choose a new president and 57% voted president Hassan Rouhani in for a second term. This is a clear indication of Tehran’s adherence to the reforms agenda and honoring the nuclear deal signed with the P5 plus 1 for civil use.

President Trump like a monarch, presided over the Arab Peninsula, under the motto of fighting terrorism, and lectured many leaders of the Islamic countries minus Iranabout the new US foreign policy and the need to fight the war, and defend themselves on their own with US aid and arms .

The new enemy of course, was Iran which echoed ecstatically in the mind of the Saudi king and his dignitaries. Iran was present in abstention. According to Rasd network, Iran was mentioned negatively 3750 times in the summit and bilateral meeting, Daesh 134 times , Al Qaeda only 13 times, Taliban 8 times and Israel occupation (enemy) 3 times only!

The entire meeting ended with a fat cheque for chief guest Trump of 460 billion US dollars! Never in history did any US president visiting the region get such a handsome amount with just 100 days in office. Trump did not even bother to delete a tweet earlier about his opinion of the righ Gulf states where he said: “Saudi Arabia are nothing but mouth pieces, bullies, cowards. They have the money but no guts”. And earlier he spoke referred to them with,“they are cows either US needs to cut their necks or milk them”. I think President Trump opted for the latter.

Trump and his charming daughter Ivanka left the kingdom with gifts and donation of 500 million US dollars. So the total contribution of Saudi Arabia to the US exceeded 1 Trillion dollars, including the arm deals of 460$ billion of crown prince Mohd Bin Salman to buy his crown, to destabilize Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen and pay loyalty to the US to continue honoring the agreement signed with late US president Eisenhower, after the visit of the then King Saud to the US in 1957 where it was agreed that Washington would protect the monarch and his descendants to stay in power in Saudi Arabia, and not the people of the peninsula!

Saudi Arabia does not need this much of ammunition to destroy Yemen or the next war.

The dangerous trends in US policy towards West Asia is taking a new turn where it is supporting a sectarian war, siding with majority Sunni nations against Shia Iran and its allies in the region. The sectarian led President Trump took his second stop over to Tel Aviv to share his joys and achievements with Prime Minister Netanyahu with whom he shares a rabid anti-Iran position, in a bid to get the support of AIPAC and Tel Aviv for his presidency and accommodate Israel in the new anti-Iran front.

President Trump was full of praise of what he heard from the rulers of the Gulf countries about Israel, and their willingness to normalize relation with Israel even without giving the Palestinians the right to establish their own state in their own country.Palestine side by side with Israel which was known as the King Abdullah Initiative during the Arab Summit in Lebanon 2002, was rejected by Israel. Dropping of this condition will pave the way for normalization of relations with Israel and forge a bloc to fight Iran , allowing Israeli jets to use their airspace in case Israel chose to attack Iran.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, President Trump was received at the airport on a red carpet with six chairs under the sun to listen to Netanyahu welcoming him.

Prime Minister of Israel was overwhelmed hearing about the outcome of the Trump visit to Riyadh and the coalition he has selected to lead the next war on Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza strip .He couldn’t ask for a better result to start a new war which will ensure Israel dominance in the region after the destruction of the Iraqi and Syrian armies, while keeping the Egyptian army busy with its own internal affairs.

Al Saud is thinking of leading the Arab and Islamic world by using religion and money as tools, but leadership of any kind cannot be bought with this mixture ,nor will it sustain for a long time.For Saudi it was Egypt ‘s Jamal Abdul Nasr who theatened its dominance in the sixties. According to classified documents ,King Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia before the 1967 4th of June war , wrote to then American president Johnson, in 1966 suggesting that US support Israel to attack Egypt, occupy more vital territories toand thus, force Cairo to not only pullout its troops from Yemen but to keep Egypt busy with Israel for years; and subsequently occupy Syrian territories,destroy Iraq and take over East Jerusalem and West bank from the Hashemite kingdom .Finally he suggested strengthening the hand of Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa Al Barazani in northern Iraq with the main objective to keep the Baghdad government busy.

The final leg of the Trump visit was to Ramallah to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas .Surprisingly, according to reliable sources, President Abbas during his visit to India later was full of praise for President Trump and his vision for solving the Palestinian cause and reach a peace deal with Israel. This, if true, will mark a decided shift in the Palestinian Authority position towards the next step for a comprehensive peaceful solution to Palestine.

President Trump in Ramallah was dictating to Abbas and his cabinet about Israel’s vision for peace and how to fight terrorism. The irony is that Trump may not know or may be totally ignorant of who is occupying whom. Who is the aggressor and who is the victim in the conflict!

No word was mentioned about the suffering of Palestinians under Israel occupation, expansion of settlements in occupied Palestinian territories or even sympathy with those Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails who are on hunger fast for the second month running against Israel atrocities and illegal detention.

The outcome of President Trump’s visit to West Asia is:

  • Endorsement of suppression policy by unpopular regimes, selling more arms and creating war zones for that, creating jobs for Americans and total support to Israel dominance in the region politically and militarily .The new position of the US is not new but it is President Trump who fell in line and reiterated the old American policy towards the region since the 1990s with the war of liberation of Kuwait ,occupying Iraq and disintegration of the whole Arab world by redrawing new Sykes- Picot maps of the 21st century .

The US and Israel has been working hand in hands for decades to achieve this and create what is known as the New Middle East & North Africa Order. This can only be achieved by destroying the resistance block extended from Iran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

  • Forging a Jihadist -coalition of Sunni Muslim nations to fight this bloc
  • Forcing normalization of Arab gulf countries with Israel under Israel term: peace for peace according to Tel Aviv understanding of peace i.e. total surrender.
  • Supporting authoritarian regimes to keep looting the Arab Wealth.

The Saudi government hired a public relation company in the US to improve its image and ensure that the investigation to find out who is behind the September 11 attack on the WTC does not indict Riyadh or allow it to be sued by family of the victims under JASTA (Justice Against Sponsor Terrorism Act), in spite of the fact that the majority of those who carried out the attack were Saudi nationals.

The Jihadist- Sunni -Saudi led coalition that Trump is advocating will be doomed just like the MENA Order that former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice predicted after the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 was a still birth after the Israel war failed to achieved its objectives.

For now Emperor Trump has walked away with 500 Billion US dollars in one day and an equal amount earmarked to destroy Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. A Trillion Dollars would be enough to rebuild those devastated nations because of the wars instigated by Saudi and Qatar and supported by US and the West. In addition, it could also end famine in Somalia, Sudan and Yemen and improve the socioeconomic conditions of the majority poor Arab Nations for a century.

After seeing the misery and suffering of Arab masses while their leaders are gifting away the wealth of the people, today I am not a proud Arab but Syrian.

(Dr Waiel Awwad is a senior Syrian journalist based in India. He has covered wars across the globe, and is a recognised expert on West Asia)