Trump's Chance for Greatness

When Abraham Lincoln came to town as the first Republican president, the Democrats hated him on sight. They were the party of African-American slavery, after all, and while Lincoln phrased his beliefs carefully to give minimal offense, he was clear that "no nation can survive half slave and half free." The mildest curse they flung at him was to call him a hairy ape. 

Until the Civil War broke out, nobody thought that this uneducated hick from the backwoods of Illinois would be anything but a disaster. The DC establishment hated him as an outsider. Even his own cabinet members plotted against him. His early generals were half-hearted and incompetent. 

Lincoln saved the nation because he was focused on reality, not on some barmy fantasy, like Democratic presidents from Jimmy Carter to Obama. They all refused to face the reality of reactionary jihad in the Muslim world, starting with Khomeini in Iran, and the massacre of 9/11 (sponsored and carried out by Saudi Wahhabis), and now the Neo-Ottoman barbarian Erdogan in Turkey, intent to Jihad as well. Jihad prescribes endless crimes against humanity -- which is what terrorism really is. Jihadist fanatics believe they will be celebrated by Allah in Paradise, and any horrors against children and other innocents will be forgiven, because "Allah will know his own." The West has totally forgotten that belief system.

Trump is a realist, because you can't have two major careers in two tough businesses if you live in fantasy. Plus winning the presidency as one of the biggest outsiders in history. Trump *uses* PR images, but he doesn't fall for them. 

Unlike other presidents since Bill Clinton, Trump is not in gross denial about jihad. Trump and Mattis understand the enemy's pre-medieval doctrine using fanatics who are will to die as long as they can kill infidels at the same time. 

This is not a new thing in history. Japan was run by a murder-suicide cult in World War II. India had its Thuggees. Jim Jones had a suicide-murder cult. 

James Mattis, who is a deep scholar of war, has said that this enemy is no different than the ones faced by Alexander the Great. 

Realism is the rarest quality in Washington DC. 

It was Lincoln's ability to face painful facts that ended up abolishing slavery and preserving the Union. It also led to his assassination. Lincoln took minimal precautions. He was ready to die in the worst war in U.S. history, but not because he believed he would be rewarded in heaven. Lincoln had a deep sense of guilt about all the bloodshed, but he was also a realist, and he saw no other way. Lincoln was a tragic figure, not an evil one. 

Mattis has seen this war at first hand as U.S. Marine, so he has no illusions. Between actions ordered by Trump and Mattis the Jihad War is already turning around (see Mattis in yesterday's DOD press conference on YouTube). 

1. Establishing the moral high ground, something Bush, Obama and Clinton refused to do, because they had secret doubts about America's morality in this war of foreign aggression. Just one quote, Trump addressing jihadis yesterday:

"This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations... this is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between good and evil."

You have to remember who was in attendance at that speech. First of all the Saudis, who are the protectors of the Two Holy Places (Mecca and Medina) and therefore have major religious standing. A range of Muslim nations was represented, listening to Trump's speech, and giving tacit consent. (These speeches are all shared before they are given). Most importantly, President el-Sisi of Egypt was there, today the most prominent peacemaker in the Arab Middle East. 

2. What's the deal? (Because you can be there was a lot of deal-making before this meeting.)

First, OPEC is falling apart due to competition from shale hydrocarbons. Trump has already opened up U.S. oil and gas production, knocking down OPEC price control. But Trump just pulled that trigger; it was going to get pulled anyway, because every nation in the world with shale deposits is exploring and exploiting that resource. OPEC was doomed to die, and the Saudis knew it. 

Second, using Jared Kushner as his personal negotiator, Trump and Mattis offered the Saudis what they could not get anywhere else: Protection in the coming struggle between Sunnis and Shi'ites in the Middle East. The Saudis and Gulf sheikhdoms are Sunnis, the Iranians and the Hizb’allah are Shi'ites. The civil war in Syria has always been a religious proxy war. 

Now that OPEC is crashing, the Saudis are openly predicting disaster for their nation, because the Iranians want the Two Holy Cities of Arabia. Ayatollah Khomeini actually stirred up a rebellion during the Hajj, the Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca, and was barely beaten back. 

Saudi Arabia is big, with a small population. Their real protector is Egypt, which needs Saudi oil to survive. In return, Sisi has the military manpower to protect Saudi Arabia -- with the support of the United States, and the secret help of Israel. (The Saudis are de facto recognizing Israel in return). 

What we are seeing is the beginning of a workable settlement in the Middle East, with only Iran and Turkey on the outs. 

3. Ultimately this settlement has to include Russia, Turkey and Iran. 

Trump has signaled his interest in a shared U.S.-Russian great power guarantee for a Middle East settlement; so has Putin. The only thing standing in the way is... the Democrats, who are deliberately sabotaging Trump's attempts to bring Putin to the bargaining table. 

The Democrats have been bought up, lock, stock and barrel by the Muslim Brotherhood, who are never-say-die fanatics with a big money investment in the Clintons. Huma Abedin is only their public face, but the Democrats are deeply penetrated by the MB's and probably by radical Iran. 

The whole meeting (it's on YouTube) with the Saudi mean-looking younger generation, not looking happy to abandon Jihad like this. But the two successors to the current king are in powerful positions as Minister of Defense and Minister of the Interior. Both have participated in the deal-making because they had no choice. Saudi Arabia is facing death and defeat because the oil weapon is gone and the Iranians are at the door. 

This multidimensional chess game took a lot of planning and preliminary contacts. Israel and Russia were part of the conversation, because they had to be. The Iranians were left out, but this is a huge setback for Iran's martyrdom cult. The U.S. sold another huge armament shipment to the Saudis, but the military manpower will have to come from Egypt, maybe Jordan. 

I think it's brilliant, and let's all pray it works. 

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