Monday, May 22, 2017

I Didn't Think He'd Do It So Soon

Apparently he ad-libbed in his very first speech.
Judging by Trump’s own ad-libbed departure from the speech he delivered yesterday in Saudi Arabia, the president is thinking about Islam with his typical combination of deep cynicism and utter cluelessness. In Riyadh, the Saudi capital, Trump stood before leaders from 55 countries and three continents. He called on them to join the United States in “honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism, and the Islamists, and Islamic terror of all kinds.”

  The Intercept

Honestly, there may be a technical difference, but as far as the listening audiences in America at least, I doubt they make the distinction.
As delivered, Trump’s speech differed from the script circulated by the White House. That version of the speech was going to condemn “Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires.” Not “Islamic terror of all kinds.” The difference between “Islamist terror” and “Islamic terror” might sound small, but its significance is hard to overstate. “Islamism” is a term used by Western moderates to denote political groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that combine religion and politics. “Islamic terror” is a term used by the American far-right to imply that Islam itself is inherently violent.


Each one of those terms — Islamic extremism, Islamists, and Islamic terror — has a precise meaning. By lumping them together, Trump put America’s fears and inconsistent rhetoric on display at a moment when much of the Muslim world was seeking clarity and parsing his every word.
Trump, for one, doesn't give a rat's ass about the Muslim world.  They gave him a gold medal and a bling-bling welcome, didn't they?  They made an arms deal, didn't they?
“The Muslim world, when they heard this speech, was likely hypersensitive to these nuanced differences in terminology,” [...] “They were looking for signals as to whether the administration really believed what they were saying during the campaign.”
He has to know what he's saying to believe it or not.
“The president will call it whatever he wants to call it,” [HR] McMaster [National Security Adviser] told ABC News in a broadcast interview the day before the Riyadh speech, which was reportedly written, at least in part, by Stephen Miller, the White House aide who put together Trump’s ban on immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries.

A senior White House official told CNN that the change in wording was due to Trump being “just an exhausted guy.”
That's a typo, isn't it? He meant "just an exhausting guy."

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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