President Trump talking of shared values between the US and Saudi Arabia during his speech in the Gulf Kingdom is an affront to American ideals, writes Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post. She suggests that Trump validating the Saudi regime while completely failing to address its abysmal human rights record delegitimizes its victims and ignores their suffering. Trump prioritizing business shows his poor understanding of what American values really are: to stand up for freedom and human rights everywhere. Rubin stresses that regimes like the one in Saudi Arabia need to be stood up to, not cozied up to.
In his recent Saudi Arabia speech, Trump addressed the region’s most pressing issue, terrorism and the cooperation that will be needed to succeed against it, reports Anthony H. Cordesman of The Hill. He praises Trump’s presidential levelheadedness by building bridges after apparent tensions with Islam. The president has recognized that the full cooperation of Middle Eastern governments is needed to tackle terrorism and his speech was a smart first step in achieving that. Cordesman believes that Trump’s speech shows his strategic growth, having understood how to successfully fight terrorism.