Tag Archives: President Trump

Should US-Saudi Alliance Be Saved? by Patrick J. Buchanan

If you climb into bed with the morally reprehensible, sooner or later the moral reprehensibility rubs off. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Over the weekend Donald Trump warned of “severe punishment” if an investigation concludes that a Saudi hit team murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Riyadh then counter-threatened, reminding us that, as the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia “plays an impactful and active role in the global economy.”

Message: Sanction us, and we may just sanction you.

Some of us yet recall how President Nixon’s rescue of Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War triggered a Saudi oil embargo that led to months of long gas lines in the United States, and contributed to Nixon’s fall.

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Chill! by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Trump will have to make some big decisions about Saudi Arabia. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

They can’t help themselves even as they hurt themselves. Look guys, chill! I saw someone imply on Twitter that Donald Trump is an accomplice in a murder cover-up. This person knows as well as all the ones who liked the tweet that they all just don’t know. They don’t know exactly what Trump knows about the chilling Khashoggi execution.

Just like they don’t know exactly what happened in the consulate. Information from anonymous Turkish sources is dripping through drop by drop, and it looks terrible -and terribly graphic-, but the conclusion that Trump wants to cover up a murder is multiple tokes over the line.

The Saudi attempt at labeling the execution a kidnapping gone wrong is out the window if only a tenth of the Turkish sources’ claims is true. What emerges is a picture of premeditated torture and murder. And one that was ordered by someone in the royal family. Which can really only be one of two people: the King or his son, MbS, and the latter seems more suspect. But what any of it has to do with Trump remains to be seen,

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The Saudi Collapse, by Justin Raimondo

It is long past time for the US to change, and perhaps end, its “special” relationship with the corrupt, repressive, and criminal Saudi Arabian government. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

The Saudis are doubling down on their denial that they had anything to do with the disappearance of Washington Post journalist and sometime Saudi insider Jamal Khashoggi: “enemies of the Kingdom,” they say are responsible. Nowadays that includes an awful lot of people, as the Washington cognoscenti rush to distance themselves from a regime once hailed as an exemplar of “reform.” It’s a stampede for the door, and soon there will be no on left standing: one rarely sees a collapse like this, at least when it comes to entire countries. One minute they’re on top of the world with Donald Trump, playing with swords and getting away with murder: the next minute they’re international pariahs.

Threatening “major consequences” if it turns out the Turks are right and the Saudis interrogated, tortured, and murdered Khashoggi, Trump may do far more than merely cut off Riyadh’s arms supply. He may decide to stop backing the Saudis entirely, abandoning their role as the anchor of US policy in the region, and subsequently downplaying and eventually abandoning the anti-Iranian obsession that has so far overshadowed our regional policy.

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Saudi Arabia Considers Itself Untouchable Due to Oil and Money, by Michael Krieger

Saudi Arabia’s oil and money may not have run out, but its luck and political influence might have. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

The roots of that lobby’s rise to prominence in Washington lie in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As you may remember, with 15 of those 19 suicidal hijackers being citizens of Saudi Arabia, it was hardly surprising that American public opinion had soured on the Kingdom. In response, the worried Saudi royals spent around $100 million over the next decade to improve such public perceptions and retain their influence in the U.S. capital. That lobbying facelift proved a success until, in 2015, relations soured with the Obama administration over the Iran nuclear deal. Once Donald Trump won the presidency, however, the Saudis saw an unparalleled opportunity and launched the equivalent of a full-court press, an aggressive campaign to woo the newly elected president and the Republican-led Congress, which, of course, cost real money.

As a result, the growth of Saudi lobbying operations would prove extraordinary. In 2016, according to FARA records, they reported spending just under $10 million on lobbying firms; in 2017, that number had nearly tripled to $27.3 million. And that’s just a baseline figure for a far larger operation to buy influence in Washington, since it doesn’t include considerable sums given to elite universities or think tanks like the Arab Gulf States Institute, the Middle East Institute, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (to mention just a few of them).

– From the must read piece: The Saudi Lobby Juggernaut

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What if the President and the Senate Just Pulled a Fast One? by Andrew P. Napolitano

The repetitive questions style is annoying, but Andrew P. Napolitano makes some salient points about Kavanaugh’s confirmation. From Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

What if the whole purpose of an independent judiciary is to be anti-democratic? What if its job is to disregard politics? What if its duty is to preserve the liberties of the minority — even a minority of one — from the tyranny of the majority? What if that tyranny can come from unjust laws or a just law’s unjust enforcement?

What if we have a right to insist that judges be neutral and open-minded rather than partisan and predisposed to a particular ideology? What if presidential candidates promise to nominate judges and justices who they believe will embrace certain ideologies?

What if history shows that Supreme Court justices appointed by Democratic presidents typically stay faithful to their pre-judicial ideologies? What if history shows that justices appointed by Republican presidents tend to migrate leftward, toward the middle of the ideological spectrum? What if some Republican-appointed justices — such as Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy and David Souter — migrated across the ideological spectrum so far that they became pillars of the high court’s abortion jurisprudence even though the presidents who appointed them publicly expected the opposite?

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Ex-FBI Top Lawyer: Rosenstein Wasn’t Joking About Recording, Removing Trump, by Tyler Durden

If Rosenstein wasn’t joking about recording and removing Trump, he should be fired immediately and a criminal investigation launched. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wasn’t joking when he told former FBI officials Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page that he wanted to secretly record President Trump and use the tapes to remove him from office, according to the FBI’s former top lawyer.

Fox News reports that James Baker, who served as the FBI’s General Counsel before he was reassigned and then quit, told congressional investigators during a closed-door deposition last week that Page and McCabe relayed the same account of Rosenstein’s remarks – and that he was absolutely serious at the time.

“As far as Baker was concerned, this was a real plan being discussed,” reports The Hill‘s John Solomon, citing a confidential source.

“It was no laughing matter for the FBI,” the source added.

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Journalist’s Disappearance Forces Trump’s Hand on Saudi Arabia, by Jason Ditz

The line out of the Trump administration, the mainstream media, and the well-funded Saudi Arabian public relations machine is that Saudi Arabia is becoming less repressive and is changing in other positive ways. It and Israel are the US’s strongest allies in the Middle East. From Jason Ditz at theantimedia.org:

he disappearance of high-profile Saudi journalist, and regular writer for the Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi has put the Trump Administration into an uncomfortable position, obliging them to raise the questions about the disappearance and presumptive murder of the man by Saudi officials.

Khashoggi’s connections with the Washington Post made this a much bigger story than the disappearances of most dissident journalists in the Middle East. That he was in exile for writings critical to the Saudi Crown Prince, and entered a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, but never came out, making it very likely he came to a bad end.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for a “thorough” investigation by the Saudis into Khashoggi’s disappearance as well, which also virtually obliges the US to follow through when such an investigation doesn’t happen.

The Saudis, after all, insist that nothing happened to Khashoggi, and barring the Turkish government coming across his corpse at some point in the near future, that’s a position they’re likely to stick to.