WASHINGTON – After oil installations were blown up in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, President Trump said the United States was "closed and loaded" a sentence that seemed to indicate that he was ready to strike back. But then he promised to wait for Saudi Arabia to tell him "under what conditions we would proceed."
His message on Twitter provided a remarkable glimpse into the reverence Mr. Trump has shown to the Saudi royal family, and sparked a stream of criticism from those who have long accused him of doing Riyadh's bidding while facing Saudi violations against human rights and international norms.
Whether and how to use armed forces is one of the most critical decisions that an American president can make, but Mr. Trump's comment gave the impression that he was outsourcing the decision.
The fact that the other country was Saudi Arabia – a difficult ally that was heavily criticized because Jamal Khashoggi had been killed and dismembered by Washington Post's dissident and columnist – reiterated the long-standing criticism that the high-energy Kingdom receives American support.
"What impressed me about this tweet was not only that it is obviously wrong to allow Saudi Arabia to dictate our foreign policy, but that the president does not seem to know how submissively it makes him do that to say, "said deputy Tom Malinowski, Democrat of New Jersey and former deputy foreign minister. 19659002] "It's a big deal to attack oil fields," Malinowski added. "It not only affects the interests of Saudi Arabia, but whatever we do, we must do the best we can and recognize that the Saudis have a deep bias."
Mr Trump told reporters on Monday that he did not promise to protect the Saudis and that he would sit down with the Saudis and work out something, but he expressed caution and suggested that in all his martial language he should not be rushed towards a military conflict.
When asked if Iran was behind the attack, Trump said, "It looks like this." "That's under consideration," he added.
Mr. Trump warned that the United States had terrible military capabilities
"But in spite of all that we certainly want to avoid this," he added, "I know they would like to make a deal," says He talks about the Iranians he tried to enter into talks about their nuclear program. "At some point it will work."
There is no evidence that it will work soon. The Iranian Foreign Ministry rejected the idea on Monday that President Hassan Rouhani would meet with Mr. Trump in New York next week if they were to attend the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. While Mr. Trump said in June that a preconcern could take place and his own advisers, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, repeated this last week, Mr. Trump named this "false news" over the weekend and falsely accused the news media of inventing it.
The idea that the United States offers Saudis has a long, vivid history. Critics complained that Saudi Arabia had effectively engaged the American military to protect itself from Saddam Hussein's Iraq and reverse its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, following the war that ensued in 1991 – along with Kuwait, the largest part of a country ,
The resentment that American officials have felt over the years crossed the ideological spectrum that Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates summed up in a leaked cable in 2010 serving under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
The Saudis, Gates said to the then French Foreign Minister, always wanted to "fight the Iranians to the last American."
Among those who In the past, a New York businessman and television entertainer named Donald J. Trump seemed to share the mood.
"Saudi Arabia should lead its own wars that do not lead them or pay us an absolute fortune. We want to protect them and their big assets – trillions of dollars! " he tweeted 2014 .
Since taking office, Mr. Trump has made Saudi Arabia his closest ally in the Middle East, with the exception of Israel, and has strongly supported his multi-frontal battle with Iran for supremacy in the region. He also left little doubt as to the primacy of the money in the relationship and frankly cited the value of arms deals to explain why he would not criticize the Saudi government for the killing of Khashoggi. During an air raid on the weekend, Mr. Trump spoke up quickly, as did every president 's impact on the oil supply of the United States. Englisch: www.socialistgroup.eu/gpes/sessiond…01&place=STR Could judge the world. Trump tweeted . "There is reason to believe that we know the perpetrator, depending on the review are blocked and loaded, but we are waiting to hear from the kingdom, who they think was the cause of this attack and under what conditions we would proceed " 19659010] The statement was strange for many reasons. Mr. Pompeo had already called the Iranians guilty; Mr. Trump did not do it. But the apparent renunciation of fact-finding and decision making towards the Saudis gave the Democrats a moment to argue that the president was ready to make the Saudi monarchy decisions for the United States.
"If the president wants to use military force, he needs Congress, not the Saudi royal family, to authorize him," wrote David Cicilline of Rhode Island, chairman of the Democratic Politics and Communications Committee on Twitter .
Heather Hurlburt, a National Security official under President Bill Clinton, who now works for New America, a Washington-based research organization, said it was perfectly normal for a president to consult an ally before he would be under such circumstances Take action.
"It is not in the faintest normal that a president speaks publicly, using a language that sounds like we are not deciding ourselves to use force or trust our own intelligence," she said. "And it's totally unprecedented in a country that is not an ally of a treaty."
The White House refused to comment on Mr. Trump's comments on Monday, but some national security conservatives agreed to give the president the benefit of the doubt.
"Obviously, it's difficult to know exactly what is going through the president's mind," said John P. Hannah, senior adviser to the Washington Defense Development Foundation and former National Security Advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney.
But he said his suspicion was that Mr. Trump "would reinforce in public the country most affected and threatened by the attack, shift responsibility directly to Iran and formally blame the US and US wants to bring some real skin into play. " The international community is campaigning for the defense of Saudi Arabia and the world economy.
This could help mobilize international opinion and possibly forge a coalition against Iran An excuse to do nothing. Hannah added.
In his comments to the reporters on Monday, Trump seemed intent on avoiding the perception that he was receiving instructions from the Saudis. If there were a reaction to the oil factories strikes, the Saudis themselves would play a role – and not least, by financing them.
Which, of course, gave the impression that the United States would be willing to end up being a mercenary force for the Saudis.
"The fact is, the Saudis will have a lot of influence if we decide to do something," he said. "They will be very involved, and that includes payment, and they fully understand that."