October 18, 2018

Death of Saudi Journalist Khashoggi

The U.S. has asked Turkey for a recording that could reveal gruesome details of what happened to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump said Wednesday... [Trump] has repeatedly noted Saudi leaders’ denials since [Khashoggi’s disappearance] and insisted the U.S. must know the facts before taking action."

AP News

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From the Left

The left is condemning Trump’s tepid response.

“For decades, successive US administrations pursued a similar path in the Middle East: security, military and diplomatic cooperation with repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, at the expense of promoting human rights and democracy. But several former presidents, including George W Bush and Barack Obama, obscured that reality with lofty rhetoric about respecting human rights. Trump dropped that pretense...

“By abandoning the veneer of US concern about political reforms and protecting dissidents, Trump... emboldened the region’s autocrats to become even more reckless and brutal.”

The Guardian

“This is the president who said it’s ‘great’ that Xi is declaring himself ruler for life, praised Duterte for the ‘unbelievable job’ he was doing ‘on the drug problem,’ congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdogan for winning a rigged referendum that spelled the death of Turkish democracy and declared his ‘love’ for Kim Jong Un of North Korea... This is a good time to be a dictator — and a dangerous time to be a dissident. Trump has given every despot on the planet a license to kill without worrying about the U.S. reaction. Because, in all likelihood, there will be none."

Washington Post

“If the Trump administration is eager to give the Saudis the benefit of the doubt, there is some reassurance to be had from the continuing pressure being applied from other quarters – an unlikely, but welcome, assortment of politicians, diplomats, human-rights organizations, free-speech activists, journalists, and bloggers... If more details emerge, Trump and the Saudis may find that controversies can no longer be so easily parked in the age of social media."

Bloomberg

From the Right

The right condemns Khashoggi’s alleged murder, but worries about the geopolitical consequences of punishing Saudi Arabia.

From the Right

The right condemns Khashoggi’s alleged murder, but worries about the geopolitical consequences of punishing Saudi Arabia.

“Punishing [Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman] and his underlings is absolutely necessary. America must deter such behavior and show its revulsion. But Saudi Arabia hasn’t been a paragon of human rights at any time during our century-old alliance. Meanwhile, the Iranian regime chants ‘death to America’ and behaves as badly as the Saudis, or worse. Tehran mustn’t emerge as a winner from our justified outrage against Riyadh."

New York Post

“President Trump must exact a meaningful and public price for the Khashoggi affair but tread a fine line that maintains a commitment to the bilateral relationship [with Saudi Arabia]... the Saudis will squawk publicly over this, but privately will understand — and so will the rest of the Arab/Muslim world, which will be watching closely."

Daily Caller

Some argue that “militarily the Saudis have been a major customer for U.S. arms and aircraft but have done little with them to support allied interests... A realistic policy needs to be based on honest intelligence estimates, telling the truth to the American people about the Saudi role in funding terrorism and a serious assessment about what role the Saudis can play in the Middle East."

Washington Times

Finally, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) states, “We should not send one more dime, one more soldier, one more adviser, or one more arms deal to the kingdom... It isn’t enough to talk tough and then give the Saudis what they want. We have to force their hand into real reforms, internally and abroad. With the outrage caused by their recent actions, now is the time for bipartisan corrective action.”

Fox News

On the bright side...

New Zealand votes tipsy pigeon bird of the year.

BBC

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