Just a short while ago, President Trump issued an official response to the, in my view, over-hyped murder of Saudi Arabia “journalist” and Muslim Brotherhood advocate Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi intelligence officers on Saudi territory.
The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone. Indeed, we have taken strong action against those already known to have participated in the murder. After great independent research, we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body.
Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that – this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!
That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!
I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction – and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America. After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels – so important for the world. As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!
Shorter Trump: What happened to Khashoggi is awful, but Saudi Arabia is an ally which shares our interests and Iran is an enemy, and we're not going to suddenly do Iran's bidding and ditch the Saudis just b/c the Iran Deal Echo Chamber says so. https://t.co/axhbPyiKl0
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 20, 2018
The Washington Post, which, in this case has been acting as an agent of Iran and Turkey in attempting to destabilize Saudi Arabia and defeat President Trump’s effort to create a mutual defense pact in the Middle East that a) includes Israel and b) stands firm against Iranian aggression is not happy:
Trump's statement smearing Jamal Khashoggi and giving Saudi Arabia a pass, annotated https://t.co/LVe8vWmPTu
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 20, 2018
Trump's verdict on Mohammed bin Salman: "maybe he did and maybe he didn't" have knowledge of the Khashoggi murder. Just like Putin's interference in the US election: a way to ignore the intel community's findings. https://t.co/qE5Mp5YamG via @whitehouse
— Jackson Diehl (@JacksonDiehl) November 20, 2018
A signal to dictators everywhere that they will face no consequences for brutally murdering journalists or critics because it’s simply “a mean, nasty world” https://t.co/u4DoYMXens
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) November 20, 2018
But hardest hit were the members of the Obama clique that pushed to treat Iran as a partner in the region.
An abomination that will define the ignorance, corruption, cruelty and recklessness of this presidency for generations to come:
Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia | The White House https://t.co/jxrX1LA0tP
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) November 20, 2018
It IS a mean & nasty world, but Trump’s siding with the meanest and nastiest out there (whether Duterte, Sisi, Putin, or assassin MBS) will leave the world even nastier. This statement is a green light for would-be murderers in countries that have things Trump thinks we need. https://t.co/YIN6uXUGpj
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) November 20, 2018
The crew that financed the IRGC slaughter in Syria and cut a deal with Putin to let a war criminal off the hook after he gassed children, has things to say about stuff. Obscene. https://t.co/23UGDmSUu7
— Tony Badran (@AcrossTheBay) November 20, 2018
Absolutely bananas coming from someone whose admin sided with Iran, Assad, Putin, Morsi, and Palestinian Authority. I genuinely don't know whether Obama crew is trolling us or just epically lacking self-awareness. I suspect the latter. https://t.co/kTL1uE758H
— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) November 20, 2018
This is not the last word on the subject, but it will be close to the last word. The outrage of Khashoggi never extended beyond a handful of newsrooms and anti-Trump groups. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Arab journalists getting offed by Arab governments isn’t particularly newsy and the fact that this was a Saudi killed by Saudis outside of the US makes it not an issue that most Americans are interested in getting upset about. Particularly when the guy lionized Osama bin Laden, was cheered by 9/11, and only looked to the US as refuge when his brand of Islamism fell out of favor in Saudi Arabia and most of the Middle East. Don’t be deceived, Khashoggi was not a free speech advocate, he was not in favor of liberalizing the Arab world, he was “not our friend.” His death, while a tragedy for his family and loved ones, really has no greater meaning than one variety of Islamist ran afoul of an authoritarian regime and he got killed. Ugly and unfortunate but probably preordained for some time.
Unless Congress can be persuaded to act, and that is highly doubtful, screeds about Khashoggi will make regular appearances on the WaPo’s op-ed page along with diatribes against GMO’s, fossil fuels, and white men. And they will have just as much effect.
You don’t have to be glad he’s dead to think that his death is not worth making the centerpiece of US national and regional policy. I’m glad the administration stuck to its guns and saw to the interests of America rather than satisfying the sensibilities of the media elite.
Of course it's not good.
I did not say, and do not think, it's good.
I said, and think, that bad people do bad things and that we should not base our foreign policy on their intramural power struggles at the expense of our national interests. https://t.co/Nsu6s0Rkpd
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) November 20, 2018
Use the awesome Trump KSA statement as a heat source. https://t.co/ZCKVlxrrb9
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) November 20, 2018
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