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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Whether you like it or not, Trump actually has a strategy for dealing with Islamic terrorism and Obama didn't.


Niall Ferguson in The Boston Globe:


...Unlike his predecessor, Trump is not afraid to call this problem by its real name. Departing from his script, he called for “honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds.” Tut-tut, grumbled The New York Times, he wasn’t supposed to say “Islamic” but “Islamist.” Oh yes he was.

“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists,” Trump told his audience of leaders from Muslim-majority countries. “Drive. Them. Out.” For all his flaws, he has this right. For decades, Saudi Arabia has been the principal source of funding for the export of Sunni fundamentalism. Leaning on the Saudis is therefore an essential first step. Obviously, there has to be some quid pro quo if the House of Saud really is going to turn off the cash. But that, as Trump’s speech made clear, is going to be US-led action to check Iran’s regional and nuclear ambitions. For hostility to Iran is the one thing that unites the Sunni states represented in Riyadh with Trump’s Jewish hosts in Jerusalem.

This strategy will not be easy to execute. It will not bring back the 22 people Salman Abedi killed last Monday. But at least it is a strategy. And the fact that the president of the United States no longer spouts politically correct newspeak about “countering violent extremism” gives me a glimmer of hope...

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