Trump baffled them first by his very direct and blunt, yet respectful at the same time, comments on what Muslim leaders in attendance at his Riyadh speech needed to do to quell violence. He asked them all to step up to the plate and get involved, that the problem with ISIS and Islamic terror that originated in the Middle East must be solved by the Middle East. He sweetened the pot by offering military support through equipment contracts but made it clear that they must take the lead in solving the problem. Some even call it a proposal for a Middle Eastern version of NATO but whatever it is, it seems to have been received positively. And remember, Trump is deadly serious about neutering the threat from Iran, which is music to the ears of the Muslim leaders in attendance who see themselves as directly threatened by the extremist Mullahs. It's also important to remember that while Iranians are also Muslims, they are Persian, not Arab, and that makes a huge difference in the region.
Then it was on to Israel where he had meetings with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Movement Leader Mahmoud Abbas. While his visit shows signs of reopening the dialogue, it remains to be seen if the Palestinians really want to meet productively or just buy time as they still to date refuse to acknowledge Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. Trump is clearly aware of this and he knows that Netanyahu, who has a significant number of Arab citizens in his country, wants to insure the Jewish influence and control of Jerusalem, something which should be their sovereign right. It will be a touch and go effort but at least Trump has opened the subject in a balanced way and as such has undone the clear bias toward the Palestinians of the past Administration. And it is clear that he will stand by Israel in response to military action and support.
Next was NATO, where Trump made it clear that for NATO to really work each of it's member nations must commit to their fair share of operational expenses and self-defense. With twenty-three of the twenty-eight member nations currently not living up to that standard, he pushed them hard and warned that America would not continue to carry the major burden of their self-defense. Reluctantly, they now understand that he's not kidding, yet at the same time he wants to maintain the organization for it's strategic value.
Before heading to the G7 summit, the President took time to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May of Great Britain, dealing with the strong bonds between our two nations and the kerfuffle created by the continuing intelligence leaks coming from somewhere within the burgeoning Executive Branch. Much of it is beyond his control due to Deep State intransigence but he has tasked the Justice Department with finding the culprits and going after the offenders with the full force of the law. The traditional international sharing of threat warnings between the two nations had been threatened but is now back on line due to his vow.
And now he's at the G7, where he's pointing out the dangers of terror while much of the more liberal European group shuns that for Climate Change. Trump is holding his own, he's convinced that the terror situation is the most critical thing the world faces today and the unwillingness of the Europeans to face the truth which is clearly on display in their own nations is perplexing at best. But remember, Europe, through NATO and world standing has always been dependent upon American support and even they realize that a strong America, something which has been lacking, is in their own best interest. And remember this as well. Whatever, if any, impact man has on the natural cycles of climate, unless China and India get fully involved any action is useless and both countries, while giving lip service, will never lower their production output or else their tenuous economies will collapse. The whole world under such a system would likely fall as well.
So as Trump's first international trip nears a close, it is clear that he has defied the odds and has done quite well. He has shown the world that he can hold his own, that he is not weak and speaks from a position of strength, and that he will always put America first while helping those who help us. And after eight years of having a President apologize for the nation that he is supposed to represent, a leader who exudes strength and confidence in the "can do" capacity of the United States is welcome indeed.
Well done, Mr. President.