Trump Stands with Saudi Torturer Assassin-in Chief
There’s no way to put lipstick on a ruthless regime, disdainful of fundamental rule of law principles and common decency – under crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) or anyone else throughout Saudi history.
Following Trump’s disgraceful Tuesday support for MBS, ignoring his indisputable responsibility for ordering Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder, congressional members accused DLT of putting “Saudi Arabia first,” failing to publicly state what virtually everyone in Washington knows.
The GOP controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee called on Trump by letter to investigate MBS’ role in Khashoggi’s murder.
Committee chairman Bob Corker tweeted: “ ‘Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t’ won’t cut it. So tonight, @SenatorMenendez and I sent a second Global Magnitsky letter to the president requiring that he specifically determine whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed (sic) bin Salman is responsible for the murder of Jamal #Khashoggi.”
The 2012 Magnitsky Act punishes Russian officials for the death of Sergey Magnitsky they likely had nothing to do with.
The Kremlin accused fraudster/Russophobe Bill Browder of poisoning him and three others connected to his financial management firm, using a rare water-soluble toxic aluminum compound, eliminating accomplices able to give incriminating evidence against him.
Invoking the Magnitsky Act requires the president to investigate the matter in question, reporting to Congress on the results within 120 days.
GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, likely to succeed Corker as Foreign Relations Committee chairman next year, believes there’s strong bipartisan support for tougher sanctions on Saudi officials, including royal family members, calling MBS “beyond toxic.”
Media criticism of Trump is nothing new, most often for the wrong reasons, now for the right one over his failure to hold MBS accountable for the Khashoggi murder he alone clearly ordered.
The NYT accused Trump of “stand(ing) up for Saudi Arabian values…swallowing (its repeatedly changed) version of” Khashoggi’s murder – disregarding the CIA’s assessment, putting blame where it squarely belongs.
The neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post blasted Trump for “slander(ing) Khashoggi and betray(ing) American values.”
There’s nothing redeeming about US values involved in smashing one nation after another, supporting the scourge of terrorism it pretends to oppose, serving privileged interests exclusively, and cracking down hard on activist nonbelievers – operating like the kingdom WaPo savaged in many columns after the murder of its columnist Khashoggi.
The Wall Street Journal said “Trump stands with Saudi Arabia, plays down (MBS’) role in (Khashoggi’s) killing…suggest(ing) no further punishment toward the kingdom.”
Undemocratic House and Senate Dems blasted Trump for letting MBS off the hook, along with vowing continued dirty business as usual with the kingdom.
What Dems in charge of the House next year intend doing legislatively, through hearings, and investigations into the Khashoggi killing remains to be seen.
Since the FDR era, Dems and Republicans fully supported the kingdom, ignoring its horrendous human rights abuses, concerned only about its oil, super-wealth, and alliance with Washington’s imperial agenda.
On these issues, nothing fundamentally changed in the bilateral relationship. Khashoggi’s murder surprisingly remains a headlined international issue, perhaps for some time into the new year – but not forever.
In time the issue will fade. They all do. Meanwhile, Dems may intend getting as much political mileage out of it, hoping to weaken Trump enough to defeat him in 2020, along with any other issues they can use to their advantage.
Dem (and GOP) rhetoric critical of Trump siding with a murderous foreign dictator flies in the face of longstanding bipartisan support for numerous tinpot despots – in Saudi Arabia for generations, other Gulf states, Egypt, and numerous other regimes worldwide.
Notably, Republicans and Dems refuse to hold Israel accountable for decades of high crimes against Palestinians and ruthless apartheid rule, supporting the Jewish state no matter how egregiously it acts.
Dirty business as usual is longstanding Republican and Dem policy – putting monied and imperial interests above all else, responsible for horrendous high crimes and countless human rights abuses, contemptuous of rule of law principles and democratic values they abhor.
America first always tops their agenda, its privileged class alone, the way it’s always been, no matter the harm to ordinary people they’re uncaring about, falsely pretending otherwise.
A Final Comment
On November 21, Human Rights Watch said detained activist Saudi women were electroshocked and whipped by masked interrogators – leaving them unidentified to avoid further reprisals against them.
HRW deputy Middle East director Michael Page issued a statement, saying the following:
“Any brutal torture of Saudi women activists would show no limit to the Saudi authorities’ campaign of wanton cruelty against critics and human rights activists,” adding:
“Any government that tortures women for demanding basic rights should face withering international criticism, not unblinking US and UK support.”
Saudi brutality against detainees is well known and documented. Other than the Khashoggi incident, Western countries routinely turn a blind eye to the kingdom’s worst internal and cross-border abuses.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."