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Killers From The Kingdom

Some folks in the US intelligence community must be extremely angry with the Saudis. Look what they’ve leaked to the Washington Post: [1]

The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and then detain him, according to U.S. intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the plan.

The intelligence, described by U.S. officials familiar with it, is another piece of evidence implicating the Saudi regime in Khashoggi’s disappearance last week after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say that a Saudi security team lay in wait for the journalist and killed him.

Khashoggi was a prominent critic of the Saudi government and Mohammed in particular. Several of Khashoggi’s friends said that over the past four months, senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince had called Khashoggi to offer him protection, and even a high-level job working for the government, if he returned to his home country.

Khashoggi, however, was skeptical of the offers. He told one friend that the Saudi government would never make good on its promises not to harm him.

Read the whole thing.  [1]

Sen. Rand Paul is also (rightly) outraged, writing in The Atlantic: [2]

For years, I have decried our country’s involvement in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are a state sponsor of radical Islam, and their war on Yemen, a poor Arab country, has led to many thousands of civilian deaths.The Saudis have provided [3] at least 2,500 fighters to the Islamic State in Syria, making them the second-largest source of foreign fighters for the group on a per capita basis, after Tunisia.

News reports [4] from 2013 stated that the Saudis offered more than 1,200 death-row inmates a pardon and a monthly stipend for their families to go fight the Syrian government.In 2009, U.S. officials said [5] Saudi Arabia was the “most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” And in 2014, those same officials wrote [6] that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were “providing clandestine financial and logistic support to [the Islamic State] and other radical Sunni groups.”

So why is America selling arms to a country that has supported terror, has a poor human-rights record, and has waged a reckless war in Yemen?

Paul goes on to say:

This week, I intend to introduce another measure to cut all funding, training, advising, and any other coordination to and with the military of Saudi Arabia until the journalist Jamal Khashoggi is returned alive.

I doubt that will happen, but I hope Congress bloodies Saudi Arabia’s nose. Hard to think of a more deserving government. President Trump has made a big deal of his friendship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. MBS is making a fool of Trump now.

62 Comments (Open | Close)

62 Comments To "Killers From The Kingdom"

#1 Comment By Sid Finster On October 11, 2018 @ 5:48 pm

@ Elijah: If Jimmy Carter is so easily moved by flattery, he sure has a funny way of showing it.

That cretinous individuals like B. Clinton and B. Obama are shallow and succeptible to flattery I do not doubt, but even they each seem to be slightly less narcissistic than Trump.

#2 Comment By Sid Finster On October 11, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

@l’autre J: the problem is not that the United States has abdicated its role as The World’s Policeman.

The problem is that the United States is actively aiding the robbers and running a protection racket, regardless of any violation of law.

#3 Comment By Polichinello On October 11, 2018 @ 6:01 pm

Who’d a thunk that the only thing worse than America being the world’s policeman is there being none at all.

Idiots, that’s who.

I mean, blow off the mllions killed in our neverending quagmires like Iraq, or helpful interventions, like Libya, and everything’s just peachy, right?

While I don’t like Trump’s dealings with Saudi Barbaria, he hasn’t started pointless quagmires like Bush did, nor has he blown up entire countries, as Obama did with Libya and Syria. The worst we can say of Trump is that he is going along with the existing bad policies he inherited from his predecessors.

#4 Comment By James Gillen On October 11, 2018 @ 7:14 pm

It’s quite true that Democrats like Obama and “moderate” Republicans were just as beholden to Saudi Arabia as the Trump Administration. But they weren’t nearly as proud of it.

#5 Comment By Delano On October 11, 2018 @ 7:23 pm

@Elijah, surely you jest. I’m not old enough to have experienced Nixon and Carter in real time but there is no comparison between Obama and Trump. Again, Trump openly says he says nice nice things about people because they say nice things about him. Would any of the people you named have said they’re in love with a dictator because they wrote him a lovely letter? Or said he only picked his AG because he was loyal to him?

#6 Comment By VikingLS On October 11, 2018 @ 7:52 pm

“The problems unique to the Trump Administration are 1) that Trump looks the other way when strongmen commit human rights abuses without even keeping appearances by token condemning it”

If you believe this is unique to Trump you are too ignorant to be posting about geopolitics and need to do some serious remedial reading.

#7 Comment By REJ On October 11, 2018 @ 7:58 pm

“What changed Trump’s tune? The “great”, “beautiful” letters that Un wrote him. He went from threatening North Korea with total annihilation to keeping Kim’s love notes under his pillow in one year.”

While true, do you feel more or less worried about war with N.Korea right now? The narcissist in Trump saw the narcissist in Kim and knew exactly how to manipulate him, ultimately for the world’s benefit.

#8 Comment By VikingLS On October 11, 2018 @ 8:03 pm

“It’s quite true that Democrats like Obama and “moderate” Republicans were just as beholden to Saudi Arabia as the Trump Administration. But they weren’t nearly as proud of it.”

Again, this is just not true. The Bushes and the House of Saud are WAY more entangled than Trump is with the Saudis.

Stop reaching for the superlatives. Trump doesn’t have the be the most wrong in in history on a particular topic to be wrong about it.

#9 Comment By John On October 11, 2018 @ 10:18 pm


Give him some time to screw up. Apparently he was thinking of having Assad killed and was talked out of that proposition from one of the sane members in the administration. When he or she goes who will talk him down then?

#10 Comment By The Ancient Charnel House On October 12, 2018 @ 12:35 pm

@l’autre J … “Who’d a thunk that the only thing worse than America being the world’s policeman is there being none at all.”

But this happened while we’ve been policing the world. In case you didn’t notice, Trump still has us in every country that Clinton, Bush II, and Obama got us entangled with. Including Afghanistan, for God’s sake. He’s ratcheted up the heat in Syria, Yemen, Africa, even threatening IRAN now. Instead of coming to our senses and getting our people out of the Middle East and back on the Mexican border, Trump gave us more world cop than any president in our history. Didn’t close a single base anywhere. Didn’t stop a single dime of foreign aid from going to the biggest foreign aid parasites.

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

Elevation of kings coincided with a cycle of horrific wars and internecine strife even worse than what happened under the judges. Bloody chaos, genocide, civil wars, under Saul and David in particular. And despite having a king, or world cop, in your analogy, every man still did that which was right in his own eyes. I.e. killing, ripping off, enslaving, and raping each other, worshiping gods that eat children, and the like. It continued that way under dozens of subsequent kings, most of whom are dismissed with disgust as having done “evil in the sight of the Lord”.

So. No kings thanks. And no world cops either.

#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 12, 2018 @ 12:41 pm

Stop reaching for the superlatives. Trump doesn’t have the be the most wrong in in history on a particular topic to be wrong about it.

Excellent advice. The bare facts make quite a solid case without superlatives. One problem with Trump is that he tweets a new party line every day, or several times a day. It doesn’t matter to him what he is for or against, only how it makes him feel good about himself.

#12 Comment By TR On October 12, 2018 @ 6:42 pm

I’m not reading any more of the Catholic Church blog for now. The church has always been a mess and will remain so–and will still be around after we are all gone.

But I did enjoy reading these comments–almost every single one of them.