I have written many articles about President Donald Trump and how the media has been biased against him since he ran for presidency. I later compared between what’s currently happening in the US and what happened in the beginning of the 1970s during the era of President Richard Nixon when there were popular protests and intensified media attacks against the president’s administration.
I wrote that Trump, like Nixon, did not know how to properly deal with a critical situation. Considering that it’s a stance against him, Trump insisted, and continues to insist, to engage in a struggle with the media refusing to get enlightened by famous British politician Winston Churchill’s quote: “I learned long ago not to engage in a rivalry with the media. It's like wrestling with a pig as the wrestler gets dirty in all cases.”
It is well known that the American media is fierce against its rivals and often seeks to topple whoever tries to dominate it. Trump did not only settle at being rivals with the media but antagonized everyone except his own group, which got him elected.
For example, President Trump could have avoided engaging in a rivalry with a great republican symbol that belongs to the same political party he’s affiliated with and a former patriotic hero like Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain but to everyone’s surprise, he did. After assuming his post as president, he communicated with a number of leaders but the contacts were not at a diplomatic level as, according to reports, he stirred controversy over the president of an ally and neighbor, i.e. Mexico.
Don’t pay a lot of attention to passing statements which Trump makes and which the US media exaggerates for ideological and partisan aims that have nothing to do with us even though we want Trump to be a balanced Republican presidentDr Ahmad al-Farraj
The debate led the Mexican president to cancel his scheduled trip to the US. Mexico is an important political and commercial partner of the US. After that, Trump clashed with the prime minister of Australia, which is also an important ally for the US. The Australian prime minister had agreed with former US President Barack Obama to host a number of refugees present in Australia and Trump strongly refused that and almost caused a crisis between the two countries.
Prior to that, during Trump’s visit to the Central Intelligence Agency, he spoke about Iraq’s invasion and mentioned that the administration of George W. Bush made a huge mistake by not seizing Iraq’s oil. Then there were his statements about the role of Gulf countries in Syria and which had absolutely nothing to do with diplomacy. These are mistakes and it’s inappropriate for the president of a superpower to commit such mistakes.
Lack of experience
We must note that those who know Trump well are aware that his sharp remarks against everyone, including against his allies, are part of his stubborn character and a result of lack of political experience as he has never been elected or assigned to handle any sort of governmental work. I am not saying this to defend him but this is a fact that everyone who knows Trump is aware of ever since he became a successful businessman.
President Trump does not hesitate to say what crosses his mind without any reservations. Perhaps the Australian prime minister knew that so he trivialized what happened between him and Trump. He did not comply with the American media, which desired to escalate the situation, therefore, we, in the kingdom, must not overanalyze Trump’s recent statement about the Gulf. He made this statement before his loyal supporters during a popular gathering and it was not a considerable official diplomatic stance.
We must keep in mind that Trump’s administration includes prominent figures like Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, CIA director Mike Pompeo and others whom Trump does not make any decisive decisions without resorting to first.
So don’t pay a lot of attention to passing statements which Trump makes and which the American media exaggerates for ideological and partisan aims that have nothing to do with us even though we want Trump to be a balanced republican president like Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Dr Ahmad al-Farraj is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah daily. He holds a Masters degree in literature from the University of Indiana and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Michigan. He was the Dean of the Arabic Language Institute in King Saud University and a member of the university’s council.