In Feb 2016, Lt Gen. Mike Flynn became an advisor to candidate Donald Trump. Trump was interested in his views of how to defeat radical Islam.
 
In the summer of that year, Flynn published his book “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win The Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.”  
 
In it he wrote, ““The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.””
 
According to Breitbart:
 
“The book identifies the main enemy to Islam’s ideological encouragement of supremacism, violence, and expansionism, describes Iran as a ‘linchpin” of a loose anti-American alliance of Russia, Islam, China, and North Korea, and calls for a diplomatic effort to flip Russia against Iran and radical Islam. When dealing with Islamic militants, he writes, ”[w]e’ve got to stop feeling the slightest bit guilty about calling them by name and identifying them as fanatical killers acting on behalf of a failed civilization.”
 
Even though Flynn was asked to resign in February, Trump is following his prescription to a “T”.
 
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, another Trump adviser, in an interview by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates, on Mar 4/17 said,
 
“The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.”
 
Once in office, Trump appointed Nikki Haley as the US Ambassador to the UN instructing her to demand the UN stop treating Israel unfairly. So far she has done a great job with her assigned task.
 
When President Assad used chemical weapons, against his own citizens, Trump bombed a Syrian airbase with 49 Tomahawk missiles, something Pres Obama never did. He also decided to arm the Kurds without regard to the protestations of Pres Erdogan. Again, something the Obama was unwilling to do.
 
President Trump seemed to change his positions on Israel-related issues. During his campaign, he promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem on day one, to allow Israel to build housing in Judea and Samaria and to search for alternate solutions to the conflict. In this regard, he has been a disappointment to the pro-Israel community. He didn’t move the embassy and he didn’t allow Israel to build in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria. And he made bold moves to achieve a peace agreement between Israel and the PA. This included inviting Pres Abbas to the White House for a couple of hours and to announcing a conference for this summer which would include the regional Arab powers.
 
From Israel’s point of view, Trump has no chance of succeeding.
 
Mind you, he has been careful not to mention the creation of the state of Palestine so one wonders what he has in mind.
 
President Trump's visit includes Saudi Arabia starting May 20, then Israel and then the Vatican.
 
At a press conference on May 16/17, the National Security Advisor, General McMaster gave details of the speeches Trump will deliver in Saudi Arabia:
 
“(Trump)  will address the leaders of 50 Muslim countries including the Gulf States ‘on the need to confront radical ideology and the president’s hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam across the globe. The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilizations and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners.  … (Trump will) participate in the inauguration of a new Center intended to fight radicalism and to promote moderation.  By establishing and operating this center our Muslim friends including Saudi Arabia are taking a firm stand against extremism and those who use a perverted interpretation of religion to advance their criminal and political agendas.”
 
Accordingly, Trump remains committed to defeating the radical Islamist  ideology and is requiring the Arab states join him and to reject the ideology.  His demands on the Arab states are reminiscent of President Bush’s speech shortly after 9/11 in which Bush said to these countries “Either you are with us or you are against us.” But unlike Bush, Trump will follow through.
 
In 2009, President Obama made his first foreign trip to Egypt to deliver a ground-breaking speech to the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular, and to the Muslim world, in general. 
 
After describing the problem thusly, “Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust.”, he thereby chose to identify the enemies as “violent extremists” whereas, Trump in his speech will unapologetically identify the enemy as” radical Islamists”.
 
He went on to make his pitch:
 
“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
 
Trump, on the other hand, will demand that the Muslim world, including the Arab states, reject the radical interpretation of Islam and those who follow it.
 
Obama’s “new beginning” involved embracing the Muslim Brotherhood, which is designated a terrorist organization by many countries, and embracing Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism.
 
Trump, on the other hand, is making the US friendship with the Muslim world contingent on it rejecting the terrorist ideology. His upcoming speech will truly herald a new beginning.
 
Already he is meeting with success. The Gulf states have compiled a proposal to take steps toward normalization with Israel if the Netanyahu government in turn makes gestures to the Palestinians, such as freezing settlement construction in parts of the West Bank and easing trade restrictions in the Gaza Strip.
 
According to an Arab intelligence officer, Trump will be demanding that the Arab leaders normalize with Israel without preconditions. If the Arabs want to be friends with the US, they must first be friends with Israel. 
Their offer will be rejected by both Trump and PM Netanyahu.
 
According to an Arab intelligence officer, Trump will be demanding that the Arab leaders normalize with Israel without preconditions. If the Arabs want to be friends with the US, they must first be friends with Israel. 
 
Secondly, he will look for an alternative solution if he can’t broker a deal.
 
Prior to Abbas being hosted in the White House in early May, Trump pushed Abbas to end the payments to convicted terrorists and their families. We don’t know how this is being resolved but we do know that Sens. Lindsey Graham, and Mark Kirk, are seeking to cut US assistance to the PA by the amount paid to prisoners in Israeli custody and their families, according to an amendment to the Senate spending bill for State and Foreign Operations.
 
US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, arrived in Israel on Monday and in an interview reiterated certain positions and attitudes that Trump embraces,
 
-    next week in Israel “with no specific plan or road map in mind” and that “there are no demands for Israel to freeze building in Judea and Samaria.”
 
-    “both sides should sit down at the same table with no preconditions, and talk.”
 
-    “The US will not dictate how you need to live together here. That’s something that only you will decide”.
 
-    “Trump didn’t say settlements are an obstacle to peace. He didn’t say he wants a freeze. He said he wants to come to an understanding with the Israeli government on how the issue will be dealt with.”
 
-    “In 2009, Hillary Clinton insisted on a complete freeze of all building in Judea and Samaria, but Abbas still refused to come to the negotiating table. Now, we don’t have any demands that Israel freeze building, and Abbas is interested in meeting Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu without any preconditions.”
 
-    “I don’t know if Israel will ever have to make concessions. It’s hard to answer that question right now.”
 
Candidate Trump said many of these things during the campaign.  Ambassador Friedman is now repeating them on his behalf.
 
One must conclude that in foreign policy itself, Trump meant what he said and said what he meant.
 
Ted Belman is a retired attorney who resides in Israel.


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