PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Foreign policy analyst Ed Turzanski praised Donald Trump’s speech on terrorism in Saudi Arabia, telling Chris Stigall on Talk Radio WPHT that Trump sent a clear, firm message to a soft ally.
“Trump is threading a needle very carefully, very tactfully. Look, criticize him for his Twitter use, for any number of things, but this first leg of this trip was a very strong success. It created leverage for us in our dealings with the Saudis because of the arms deal and, also, he spoke to them just about as directly as any America President ever had about their own failings, but he did so in a way that didn’t close the door. It actually makes it clear that they need us and we recognize it.”
Turzanski, the John Templeton Fellow and co-Chair for the Study of Terrorism at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, believes the tone and tenor of the address will help in forwarding America’s national interests.
“Trump is speaking to them very clearly about what America stands for and what the common goal is, how we all have to put shoulder to the wheel wherever we have responsibility and means in order to deal with the common problems, and he gave them a name. He talked about Islamic extremism. He talked about things that previous Presidents would not have walked into their homes, looked them dead in the eye, and said to them.”
He feels the reaction of critics to this speech are hypocritical, given that narrative surrounding Trump’s persona in the White House to date.
“I would say to critics, first of all, make up your mind. Which would you prefer, do you want someone who is going to be tactful, diplomatic, trying to find common ground and advance the ball or do you want someone to come in and say screw you, go to hell, harsh memo to follow?”