The Washington Times‘ editorial on Trump’s Saudi visit is an exercise in self-parody:
Now a new president is making the rounds in the troubled region, this one with head held high. Mr. Obama bowed deeply to everyone with sword or title. President Trump, understanding that Americans bow only to God, met King Salman of Saudi Arabia with an open hand of friendship and a firm look straight in the eye.
Partisans will inevitably praise presidents from their own side for things they would have condemned if a president from the other party did them, but this is even more ridiculous than that. Trump’s visit to Riyadh was an embarrassing spectacle of groveling and sucking up to some truly wretched leaders, and in policy terms it amounted to bowing very low before the Saudi king. John Glaser and Benjamin Friedman explain:
Whether Trump bent, bowed or curtsied before King Salman in receiving a gold medal, in policy terms, the trip was an emphatic U.S. bow to the Saudis. Trump praised Saudi counterterrorism efforts without a word of criticism for their funding of Wahhabi extremists around the world. He offered the Saudis a massive $110 billion arms deal despite the fact that their brutal bombing of Yemeni civilians makes it potentially illegal. Trump even adopted the Saudi pretense that their Yemen campaign serves counterterrorism.
When the president curries favor with a regime guilty of numerous war crimes and lavishes praise on their leaders, that is bad enough, but doing so while aiding and abetting those crimes with more weapons sales is truly disgraceful. On top of that, despite his posturing as a great negotiator he gave the Saudis everything they wanted while subordinating our policies in the region to theirs.