Saudi Arabia may not deserve ‘steadfast partner’ status

President Trump has pledged to remain a “steadfast partner” with Saudi Arabia, according to The Wall Street Journal, despite the fact U.S. intelligence has opined that such things as the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi would not likely have happened without the knowledge and consent of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. That’s just how things work there, they say.

That’s not evidence or proof. It is, shall we say, circumstantial.

But at some point that and other reports out of Saudi Arabia should call for a downgrading of the status from steadfast to something less.

Take for instance another report from WSJ today that alleges least at eight of the 18 women’s-rights activists jailed by the Saudis have been tortured, some subjected to electric shocks and lashings.

Don’t forget what’s happening in Yemen’s civil war and the role of Saudis there.

Trump’s statement said intelligence agencies “continue to assess all information,” but said: “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

That is hardly grounds for steadfast.

The U.S. does need to maintain strong defense and economic partners in that turbulent part of the world, but at what cost to our standing as a principled defender of human rights and civil and moral behavior?

The circumstantial evidence is mounting that the de facto Saudi leader is not to be trusted nor embraced.

Trump and Saudi prince. (Getty Images via WSJ)

 

 

17 comments on “Saudi Arabia may not deserve ‘steadfast partner’ status

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    It’s all about Mr. Green! $$$$$$$$$$

  2. Anonymous says:

    So disappointing.

    Proving once again that all that talk of “principles” (leastways while democrats were at the highest positions in government) were just so much tripe.

    So disappointing.

  3. Rincon says:

    Thank you for calling attention to at least half of the equation. When asked who our foes are, Trump placed the European Union first on the list. but he embraces Saudi Arabia as a steadfast partner. He also shows support for Putin, Duerte, and Erdogan, among others. Speaking as only one voter, I prefer Europe

  4. ronknecht says:

    Well said, Tom. Are you getting my column each week? This week’s is embedded below, If you’re not getting it and want to, let me know and I’ll add you to the list Happy Thanksgiving.

    RK

    Thankfulto Be Controller and for Many Other Things By Ron Knecht – 20November2018 It’s time again for my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a purely American celebration, notobserved elsewhere. A few othersocieties hold similar observances other times, but we alone will stop thisThursday, gather with our families and friends; savor the beauty, bounty andfreedom; the hope, growth and opportunity we enjoy; and simply give thanks forit. It’s rightly somewhat religious, butalso an important expression simply of our joy in life and of our humility. One thing I recommend to everyone is the Wall StreetJournal’s annual pair of pre-Thanksgiving editorials, “The Desolate Wilderness”plus “And the Fair Land.” The desolate wildernessquotes from the 1620 account of the Pilgrimsleaving the old world and coming to the new one, “as recorded by NathanielMorton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account ofWilliam Bradford, sometime governor thereof.” ‘Twas a sad and mournful parting, and a grim and bleak prospect theyfound here. The fair land is a magnificent poetic counterpoint penned by former WSJ editorialpage editor Vermont Royster in 1961. Hebegins, “Any one whoselabors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours lately have done,is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful. “This is indeed abig country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so ina way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey throughits Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plainsand to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.” He ends, “We canremind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longestenduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings ordictators. Being so, we are the marveland the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing thanthe abundance of the earth.” “And we mightremind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had beendaunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn bethankful for a fair land.” For four years, these two pieces, framed, have adornedthe entrance to my office. The office Ileave January 7, 2019. I hope they havecommunicated to all who enter a profound sense of wonder, purpose and greatjoy. For that is what I have felt aboutthe opportunity to serve the people of Nevada as state controller. On election night, I called my re-election opponentCatherine Byrne to congratulate her on running a clean campaign and on hervictory, and to convey my best wishes to her. I said we’d effect a smooth transition. If she wants them, I will bequeath the framed pieces to Catherine. The controller’s staff has done a great job these fouryears, and I salute and thank them for it. A curmudgeonly reporter often told me the only way we’d ever make newsis if we messed up something. We haven’tmade any such news. The team has done afine job, and so we are leaving the office better than we found it, as is ourduty. It has been an honor to lead andwork with them. I particularly thank deputy controller James Smack andformer assistant controller Geoffrey Lawrence for their great work andleadership. In 13 political races, I’m proud that I’ve always runclean and substantive campaigns. Also ofthe job we’ve done taking care of the daily ministerial duties of the officeand running it efficiently, cutting the budget, etc. And especially for pioneering new frontiersin openness, transparency and accountability, all as promised. Serving as controller has been a great honor and joyfor which I will be eternally thankful to the people of Nevada and which ourfamily will celebrate this Thanksgiving. Finally, I’ll celebrate, as always, the two greatestjoys in my life, my wife Kathy and our daughter Karyn. I am thankful too for Kathy’s mom, whorecently departed for Heaven, and for all among our families and friends. And thankful for you, my readers. Happy Thanksgiving. RonKnecht is Nevada Controller.

    Ron Knecht Economist & Nevada Controller 775-882-2935 775-684-5777 http://www.RonKnecht.net

  5. I generally read it at the eEdition of the Elko paper, but I might miss one on occasion. So, please add me to your mailing list if it not too much trouble.

  6. Nice column, Ron. You might like this Stossel piece:Grateful for Not Starving

    | | | | Grateful for Not Starving

    Rasmussen Reports

    When we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I will give thanks for property rights. |

    |

    |

    I have someone of a similar nature running in the papers this week.

  7. Steve says:

    Property rights….in a country where it is admirable to own property, RENTERS and Section8 residents are afforded nearly unbreakable privacy. Meanwhile all us home/landowners are subject to “public information” splashed out all over county websites and every new “people search” website that comes along like whack a mole, those are. However, if we want equal privacy we are forced to PAY for it, we can have that “public information” masked from easy view with LLC’s and trusts all for the low low price of whatever the lawyers want to take. And take, they do. These methods are cost prohibitive for many who have achieved the right to pay a mortgage. There simply is no privacy for those who have property and the rights that go along with owning that property.

    So yes, celebrate property rights but bemoan the total lack of privacy rights we really have.

  8. Rincon says:

    I think what you’re saying is that the rich have privacy available to them on reasonable terms, but the same doesn’t apply to the middle class. No surprise there…

  9. Steve says:

    Rincon, no. I said RENTERS and SECTION-8 residents have privacy owners do not.
    Both have access to standalone houses, but the owners in the same neighborhoods are publicly identified.

    I added those owners (whose properties are negatively impacted by those SECTION-8 and RENTERS, a situation well known to owners.) owners would have to PAY for a level of privacy STILL NOT AS GOOD as that afforded the RENTERS and SECTION-8 residents. It is an aside, those costs are rather exorbitant…lawyers fees and all, don’t ya know. Filing the paperwork isn’t all that costly, filling it out takes a lawyer.

    So, NO, Rincon. As usual you read only what you want to see.

  10. Everything is about “class” or “identity” to some people.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Just imagine the crazed attacks on President Obama if the far right wing got hold of this information (in the event it had happened during his terms in office) and the wild eyed reaction around these parts?

    Things, and even “principles” have sure changed almost overnight haven’t they?

    Where’s Trey Gowdy, or Ken Starr at a time when our “beloved constitutional republic” is in such CLEAR danger I wonder?

    “The CIA has a recording of a phonecall in which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave instructions to “silence Jamal Khashoggi as soon as possible”, a Turkish news website has reported.

    Gina Haspel, CIA director, is said to have revealed the existence of a wiretapped call between Prince Mohammed and his brother Khaled bin Salman, who is Saudi’s ambassador to the US, to Turkish officials during a visit to Ankara last month, according to Hurriyet.”

    Don’t worry none though cause,m’round these parts, we got “well, while they may have been considered, Fundamentalist, Islmic,mExtremists and terrorists, during he last administration when they beheaded American journalists, now they’re spectacular allies so…”

    Hypocrites.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/11/22/cia-has-recording-bin-salman-giving-instructions-silence-jamal/amp/

  12. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry folks cause apparently, in a completely unrelated way, Saudi has “decided” to pump more oil today, and coincidentally since they slaughtered the American Journalist, than they’ve ever pumped in HISTORY. Course, the electoral victor somehow must have known that this was coming because even after the CIA report came out admitting that the agency had evidence that the prince was behind the killing, Trump lavishly praised the Saudis in releases to his propaganda network.

    As I understand it, Trump is now in a new business of selling American journalists to the Saudis, to be beheaded, and they are negotiating the amount they will increase their oil production for each life.

    Now that’s capitalism my friends. The art of the deal.

    https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Saudis-Boosted-Oil-Exports-Pumped-At-Record-Level-In-Early-November.html

  13. Anonymous says:

    Now this is surely cause all the principled conservatives around here to condemn him; right? I mean, blaming “society” for the heinous minder slaughter and beheading of a freedom and liberty loving individual with natural rights and whatnot?

    Remember when these folks use to tell everyone about “personal responsibility”? I wonder what happened to that?

    “Asked who should be held accountable for Khashoggi’s killing, Trump responded, “Maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a vicious place.”

    https://thehill.com/policy/international/417976-trump-on-khashoggis-murder-saudi-crown-prince-hates-it-more-than-i-do

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thank God someone still cares bout honesty and decency and human rights.

    All it took was an election to bring it out of the closet where it was shut for the last 2 years.

    I’m assuming the administration will lend it’s full cooperation since, of course, it wants the truth to come out about why those Islamofascists beheaded that American journalist. And mybe we can get Trump to utter that word lest we be forced to question his nationality or religion.

    “The Democrat set to chair the House Intelligence Committee in the next Congress says lawmakers will investigate the intelligence community’s assessment of the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist who was killed after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

    In an interview with The Washington Post published Friday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), said that probing the CIA’s assessment of whether the killing was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would be a top priority for Democrats.”

    https://thehill.com/homenews/house/418016-schiff-plans-to-probe-intel-assessment-of-khashoggi-killing

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mike Lee (R) Utah, hardly a bleeding heart (I’d double check any physicians report that identified one in this guy at all)

    Agrees that Trump lied and that the Saudis lied.

    Strangely enough though, he never mentioned anything about Islamofascists, or Muslim extremists, or Islams, or not even the Koran and it’s notoriousness.

    Is he “one of them”?

    “Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said Sunday that the intelligence reports he has seen suggest that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

    https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/418132-gop-senator-intelligence-ive-seen-suggests-saudi-crown-prince

  16. Deleted says:

    Now the president is preventing the head of the agency who says the prince ordered the killing of the American journalist from telling the senate what her agency found.

    WTF?

    https://thehill.com/policy/defense/418716-durbin-pompeo-mattis-said-white-house-prevented-haspel-from-briefing-on-saudi

  17. Rincon says:

    No matter what he does, his base will support him. Such is the nature of partisan paranoia.

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