Tags: saudi arabia | trump | islamic terror | islamist | extremism | lawrence haas | richard allen

Trump's "Islamic Extremism" Speech Hailed by Ex-Aides to Nixon, Reagan, and Gore

Image: Trump's "Islamic Extremism" Speech Hailed by Ex-Aides to Nixon, Reagan, and Gore
US President Donald Trump speaks during bilateral meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince at a hotel in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017 10:42 PM

President Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia Sunday calling on leaders of Muslim countries to defeat "Islamic extremism and the Islamist and Islamic terror of all kinds" received high marks from foreign policy experts who served in Republican and Democratic White Houses.

To a person, aides to Republican former Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and to Democratic former Vice President Al Gore told Newsmax Monday that Trump's address to the Arab Islamic American Summit was both moving and significant in terms of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

"My impression us that the speech is that it was measured and substantive," said Richard V. Allen, former national security adviser to President Reagan, "[Trump's remarks]should go a long way to assuaging our allies and others in the region. And by that I mean the Arab Allies."

Regarding Trump's comment that the war against Islamic terror "is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations" but a "battle between good and evil," Allen told us that "the last person to define Islam and its tenets should be the The President of the United States." But the importance of what he said--however theologically substantive--may bring relief to those who thought he had a shallower understanding.

"There is room in every religious doctrine to fight evil, and that is what he emphasized."

Lawrence Haas, former director of communications for Al Gore when he was vice president, was critical of Trump's address as "probably too long to be memorable" and not providing "a singularly memorable line of great rhetoric akin to JFK’s 'Ich bin ein Berliner' or Reagan’s 'tear down this wall.'"

But Haas, author of the much-praised book "Harry and Arthur" on the bipartisan foreign policy crafted by Democratic President Harry Truman and Sen. Arthur Vandenburg (R.-Mich.) after World War II, took a different tone in addressing the substance of Trump's remarks.

“President Trump walked a fine line, and did so effectively, between building bridges to Muslim countries and pressuring them to step up their fight against Islamic terrorism," he told us.

Former Nixon White House aide Bruce Herschensohn, while not a supporter of fellow Republican Trump in 2106, called the Saudi Arabia address "magnificent" and said it had "policy to the letter spelled out in it. I always dreamed I would see this kind of policy spelled out by an elected President."

"The most significant part of his speech was he spoke clearly of winning the war against jihadist terrorists," said Herschensohn, now a professor of foreign policy at Pepperdine University (Cal.).

"And, after 90 terrorists were killed in Afghanistan and after the missile strike in Syria, he has made it clear that, like FDR and Churchill, 'winning the war' isn't just a slogan for him."

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John-Gizzi
President Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia Sunday calling on leaders of Muslim countries to defeat "Islamic extremism and the Islamist and Islamic terror of all kinds" received high marks from foreign policy experts who served in Republican and Democratic White Houses.
saudi arabia, trump, islamic terror, islamist, extremism, lawrence haas, richard allen, raegan, churchill, al gore, middle east
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2017-42-23
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 10:42 PM
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