News Release

Roots of Terror: Is Trump Enabling ISIS?


beau grosscup strategic terorr

The top trending tweet regarding the Manchester bombing is from Trita Parsi‏: “Make no mistake: By turning blind eye to Saudi role in aiding terror and instead blaming Iran, Trump is ENABLING ISIS.”

BEAU GROSSCUP, bgrosscup at

Grosscup is author of several books, including: The Newest Explosions of Terrorism and, most recently, Strategic Terror: The Politics and Ethics of Aerial Bombardment. He is professor emeritus at California State University-Chico.

He said today: “Two days after urging Muslim leaders to ‘take a stand against Islamist extremist terrorism,’ before an audience of Wahabi Saudi leaders, Saudi-backed Sunni ISIS took credit for the horrific bombing in Manchester England. Once again another U.S. president and the U.S.-led ‘West’ in general are faced with the bankruptcy of the founding principle of U.S. post-911 ‘War on Terror’ policy encapsulated in George W. Bush’s ‘you are either with us or the terrorists’ and echoed by President Trump in Riyadh.

“In doing so, like Presidents Bush and Obama before him, Trump drew the world of terrorism in easy to understand, bi-polar, and as he said, ‘battle between good and evil,’ imagery. The problem is, as poignantly demonstrated in Manchester, this imagery, while politically useful, has no relationship to reality. Approaching the Muslim world as a monolithic entity to fight ‘extremism within their ranks’ ignores the fact that as Wahabi Sunnis, Trump’s hosts are the Muslim extremists that he urges unity against. In Iraq, Saudi support for anti-U.S. Sunni ISIS trying to overthrow the U.S.-Iranian backed Shiite government is a case in point. Further, Trump’s own ‘deep state’ that he is doing battle with at home, in it’s effort to oust Sunni ISIS from Iraq, depends heavily on Iraq Shiite militia, long labeled terrorists by the Bush/Obama administrations, to put their ‘boots-on-the-ground.’

“In Syria, Trump finds himself in bed with Saudi-backed ‘extremists’: Syrian ISIS and Al Qaeda stepchild Al Nusra. In fact, his CIA and Pentagon, in their search for ‘moderate rebels’ — but more important a U.S.-dominated post-Assad ‘winner’ — are competing to influence Saudi supported ‘extremist’ terrorists to the point where at times their ‘clients’ do battle against each other.

“In Yemen, it is the Saudis, who in their anti-Shiite terrorist bombing campaign (U.S.-supported) are ‘extremists’ personified, terror bombing Yemen’s civilians into starvation. In his visit to Israel, none of this was mentioned from the podium, nor was Israeli government support for ‘settler terrorism,’ daily Israeli army terrorism against occupied Palestinians (including ‘shock and awe bombing’). …

“As always, the message will be trumpeted, it’s ‘us versus them’ even though in multiple cases the ‘us’ is very much ‘them’.”