Media outrage directed against Saudi Arabia is boiling following the apparent murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are demanding that President Trump hold Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) responsible for the Washington Post “journalist’s” death. (I place quotes around “journalist” because Khashoggi was no reporter, but rather an opinion columnist who reliably carried water for the Islamist movement for his entire adult life.)
Meanwhile, the president of Turkey saw a perfect opportunity in this crime to overshadow his public embarrassment, having unceremoniously caved to pressure from President Trump to release American pastor Andrew Brunson.
As usual, when dealing with the Saudi government in particular and the Middle East generally, there is more here than meets the eye. It is wise to support Trump’s wishes to ensure that all facts are on the table before accusing an ally of a political murder, and certainly before any consideration be given to an American response.
Contrary to the suggestion from the left that Trump has a personal affection for the sharia-abiding dictator, MBS, or that an agenda is in play to protect his personal financial holdings in the kingdom, the stark reality remains that these flimsy attempts at narrative-building don’t jibe with facts.
The president’s former life as a businessman, complete with his lavish hotels and flashy business model, are far too provocative for Saudi sixth-century cultural sensitivities. His holdings in the kingdom are miniscule compared to not only his total wealth, but also the money Trump loses every year by making America great again rather than tending to his business empire. During Trump’s last four rallies, he even went so far as to publicly humiliate the Saudi royal family. Hardly the behavior of a Saudi vassal.
There is a far stronger case to be made that our president is fighting for America’s interests, not his own, and that is no less true in his dealings with Mohammed bin Salman. He recognizes that MBS is a useful ruler and has deftly leveraged the Saudi crown prince’s hunger for power, wealth, and Western approval to the benefit of the United States and Israel – and, by extension, the entire Mideast.
Here are the reasons to believe this.
[Read It All]