In return for Trump signing a $350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, king Salman awarded Trump its highest civilian honor: the King Abdulaziz al Saud Collar and medal.

The medal was in return for the largest arms deal in history.

The $109.7billion deal is for this year only. It’s $350 billion over a decade. Lockheed Martin praised the deal.

Lockheed Martin President Marillyn Hewson praised the deal as one that will bolster the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and “strengthen the cause of peace in the region.”

“At Lockheed Martin, we are proud to be part of this historic announcement that will strengthen the relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Hewson said in a statement.

The arms deal includes military sales to Saudi Arabia of $110 billion immediately and $350 billion total over the next decade, according to the White House official. The two countries also agreed to a joint vision statement, private-sector agreements and defense cooperation agreements.

Saudi War Crimes Rewarded

Some people are asking Why is the Trump administration rewarding Saudi war crimes with more weapons?

Last October the Saudi Arabia-led coalition bombed a funeral hall in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, killing and wounding hundreds of people.

“The scene was catastrophic,” one survivor told me. “Beyond what I can explain to you or describe … There were burned bodies and dead bodies all over the hall.”

Soon after that unlawful bombing, the Obama administration suspended the sale of nearly $400 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia.

It was a recognition, a long time in coming, that the coalition’s military campaign in Yemen had devastated the country, killed thousands of civilians, and brought it to the brink of famine.

The scars of unlawful airstrikes can be found across Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition has carried out scores of attacks that hit homes, schools, markets, and hospitals since March 2015, when it began its military campaign against the Houthi armed group and forces loyal to the former longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Human Rights Watch has documented 81 apparently unlawful coalition attacks over the last two years, many possible war crimes. In almost two dozen of these cases, including the attack on the funeral hall, we were able to identify the US weapons that were used.

According to the United Nations, at least 4,773 civilians have been killed and 8,272 wounded since this conflict began, the majority by coalition airstrikes. The war has driven Yemen, already the poorest nation in the Middle East, toward humanitarian catastrophe.

Donald Trump Said Saudi Arabia Was Behind 911.

Two days ago, the Intercept reported Donald Trump Said Saudi Arabia Was Behind 9/11. Now He’s Going There on His First Foreign Trip.

As a presidential candidate, Trump spent much of the election campaign needling, critiquing, denouncing, and even threatening the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Yet as president, he is making his first foreign visit this weekend to … the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Even by Trumpian standards, the volte-face is brazen. In his first few months in power, we have witnessed the trademark Trump Turnabout on issues ranging from NATO to China to the Export-Import Bank. We have listened to him go from praising Bashar al-Assad and rebuking Janet Yellen on the campaign trail, to praising Yellen and rebuking Assad in office. Last October, he said that then-FBI Director James Comey had “guts” for doing “the right thing”; last week, he sacked Comey and called him a “showboat” and a “grandstander.”

Trump, to put it mildly, is no stranger to the shameless U-turn. Still, the Trump Turnabout on Saudi Arabia — one of America’s closest allies since President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud aboard the USS Murphy in 1945 — is a true sight to behold.

Perhaps above all else, we will be expected to brush under the carpet the fact that, twice in a single day, Trump accused Saudi Arabia of being behind the 9/11 attacks. “Who blew up the World Trade Center?” Trump asked his pals at Fox and Friends on the morning of February 17, 2016. “It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.”

At a campaign event in South Carolina later that day, he again cited “secret papers” that could prove it was “the Saudis” who were in fact responsible for the attacks on 9/11. “It wasn’t the Iraqis that knocked down the World Trade Center … because they have papers in there that are very secret, you may find it’s the Saudis, OK?”

(To be fair to Trump, far more credible and better-informed figures have come to a similar conclusion: “I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” wrote former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired the Senate intelligence committee’s inquiry into 9/11, in an affidavit in 2012.)

Inquiring minds may also wish to consider What the Saudi leaks tell us: An interview with Julian Assange.

Apparently, if it’s good for war-mongering, it’s good for America. Or was the opportunity to win a medal too great to pass up?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock