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Questionable Saudi Explanation of Khashoggi's Death Bolsters Rand Paul's Case for Ending Arms Sales

The new official story is "not even close to credible," says Paul, who is calling for an end to arms sales and military cooperation with the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia reversed days of denials on Friday evening and admitted that journalist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents inside the country's Istanbul consulate.

But the new official story is "not even close to credible," says Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), who today reiterated his call for a reevaluation of the U.S.–Saudi relationship, including putting an end to military cooperation with and arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Indeed, the new Saudi explanation of how Khashoggi was killed strains credulity.

Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry now says the journalist was killed after being placed in a choke-hold during a fist fight that broke out inside the consulate on October 2. Khashoggi, who was living in Turkey, visited the Saudi consulate to obtain some paperwork necessary to marry a Turkish woman. Once there, he was confronted by a team of 15 men, most of whom were part of the Saudi security services, who had flown to Istanbul from Saudi Arabia earlier that day, according to The Washington Post. Saudi Arabia says it has detained 18 individuals involved in the incident and is continuing to investigate.

Earlier in the week, The New York Times reported that Khashoggi was beheaded and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate, citing audio recordings provided by an unnamed senior Turkish official.

For the official story to hold up, you'd have to believe that a 59-year-old journalist tried to Jean-Claude Van Damme his way out of a confrontation with more than a dozen highly trained operatives. And you'd have to come up with an explanation for what happened to Khashoggi's body.

Paul is hardly the only one to question the legitimacy of this story. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) has tweeted that it would be "an understatement" to say he's skeptical of the latest Saudi explanation for Khashoggi's death, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) says the story of a "fist fight gone bad is bizarre." (Consider how rare it is for Graham and Rubio to land on the same side as Paul on a foreign policy issue.) Rep. Adam Schiff (D–Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, tells the Post that "if Khashoggi was fighting inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, he was fighting for his life with people sent to capture or kill him."

President Donald Trump, on the other hand, seems accepting of the shifting explanations. On Friday he called the newest version of the Saudi's story "a good first step," and the White House says it will continue seeking further investigation.

Khashoggi's death has generated so much international attention because it represents a brazen attack on a critic of the Saudi government who was living outside Saudi Arabia and who had close ties to American media outlets. (Khashoggi was a contributor to The Washington Post and other publications.) But the difference between this latest atrocity and Saudi Arabia's long history of brutally repressing criticism and violating human rights is one of degree, not kind.

The kingdom's ongoing proxy war with Iran has caused horrific bloodshed in Yemen, including the killing of 40 children in August when a school bus was struck by an American-made missile. The conflict has also caused a widespread famine that threatens to kill millions more.

In an op-ed for Fox News published earlier this week, Paul says Khashoggi's killing should be "a turning point in our relationship, where we as Americans stop and ask ourselves what we have been propping up."

Saudi Arabia is the largest buyer of American weaponry in the world, and it inked a $110 billion weapons deal with the Trump administration in 2017. Trump has pointed to that large purchase agreement as a reason to hold off on punishing Saudi Arabia for killing Khashoggi.

Paul says that is a poor reason to continue supporting "outright evil," and that Saudi Arabia's need for American firepower gives America leverage over the kingdom. The fact that Saudi officials have been pressured into changing their story to admit fault in Khashoggi's killing seems to prove the senator's point, as least in some small way.

"The Saudis need our help and weapons," Paul writes in his Fox article. "And we should make sure that this need causes a change in their behavior."

Photo Credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

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  • Eddy||

    Let me guess - hunger strike? shot trying to escape?

  • Eddy||

    Close.

  • Agammamon||

    Accidentally very brutally stabbed himself in the stomach while shaving.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I heard he accidentally brutally cut his own head off while combing his hair.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Is there actual verifiable proof this guy is really dead?

  • Rich||

    What? Credible assertions don't hack do it for you?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Indeed, the new Saudi explanation of how Khashoggi was killed strains credulity.

    If Pres. Trump endorses it, however, the Republican base -- birthers, people who believe fairy tales are true, people who were convinced that a Pres. Trump would reconfigure economic fundamentals so that half-educated, unskilled, rural white men would prosper (not only that, but that the yahoos would prosper at the expense of accomplished residents of successful, modern community) -- will swallow it and ask for more.

    In many cases, you can't fix gullible, ignorant, and stupid.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • BillyG||

    This is just one more example of Islamaphobia on the part of RALK. If it weren't for his Islamaphobia, he would have no qualms about continuing arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

  • Bender B. Rodriguez||

    Of all the many socks on this comments section, you are consistently the most boring.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Arty, it's funny that a total faggot like you that dropped out of high school is claiming superior knowledge of economics over someone like me who has an actual degree on that subject, plus multiple business degrees.

    Now why don't you STFU amd get back to cleaning your co servative boss' office like a good boy?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Open wider, wingnuts.

    Your betters have more progress to shove down your whimpering, bigoted, poorly educated, stale-thinking, backwater throats.

    And be nice, or the liberal-libertarian alliance might decide to start positioning all of this damned education, reason, tolerance, science, and modernity sideways.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefties cannot help themselves.

    They are freaking out about election 2018 being another bloodbath election.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Why would our liberal-libertarian mainstream be freaking out about elections?

    Democrats seem likely to regain control of the House in a few months and withstand a brutal Senate election, then experience much more favorite Senate positions in the next couple of elections.

    Trump's popularity seems limited by a low ceiling, indicating he would need another improbable four-cushion electoral bank shot to win again. America's electorate becomes less white, less religious, less backward, less rural, and less intolerant as each day's obituaries are published.

    America has overcome successive waves of intolerance and ignorance -- targeting Asians, gays, Italians, Jews, eastern Europeans, women, Catholics, Hispanics, agnostics, the Irish, atheists, and others -- and this latest batch of bigots seems nothing particularly special.

    America's liberal-libertarian alliance has been shaping our nation's progress throughout my lifetime, to the dismay of the conservative losers of the culture war, and this course of American greatness seems destined to continue.

    The principal things right-wingers have going for them are (1) our system's structural amplification of rural voices, (2) gerrymandering, (3) voter suppression, and (4) vestigial bigotry. Good luck with building a successful electoral coalition on those pillars, clingers.

  • JSinAZ||

    Get the cat piss stink out of your cardigan before the lecture, leftsock.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor Lefties are really desperate. They sent in kirkland the troll.

  • Rob Misek||

    Yes he's was seen entering my house a week ago and hasn't been seen since.

    Sure I've denied everything but now I'd like to say I killed him in self defence.

    His body? I don't know where it is.

  • Teddy Pump||

    Sounds like one of Jackie Mason's political jokes!

  • JFree||

    And you'd have to come up with an explanation for what happened to Khashoggi's body.

    He cut himself into small pieces in order to get out of the chokehold. Then threw himself into acid in order to make himself more gooey and slippery and slimy and impossible to contain. Then flushed himself down the toilet to escape.

    He's pretty obviously sitting on a beach somewhere laughing about the hubbub

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Who cares. None of America's business.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Bingo.

  • Presskh||

    Exactly.

  • Ordinary Person||

    The scumbags have spoken.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Ordinary Person, You Lefty scumbags speak every day.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The liberal-libertarian mainstream has been speaking the language of American progress throughout our lifetimes.

    Conservatives mutter bitterly and inconsequentially about it.

    This has become the natural order.

    I am content.

  • Presskh||

    Screw you, ordinary. Why is it the US' responsibility to punish Saudi Arabia for killing a non-US citizen not on American soil? I frankly don't give a shit - if you repeatedly speak out against the leadership in some countries, you may be exterminated by them. That's just a fact. A lot of American jobs depend on those arms sales - maybe not yours (if you even have a job). Why are France, England, or Germany not responsible for "punishing" them by canceling contracts? Why is this not a matter for the UN? The whole thing seems like a blown-out-of-proportion tirade by the left, probably because he had ties to the leftist rag New York Times.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If your income depends on selling arms to be used by depraved murderers, and you know it, you should get another job -- try to find a decent livelihood -- lest decent people conclude that you are a reprehensible piece of shit.

  • Presskh||

    These are the same arms manufacturers who build weapons for the US military. Individuals who work for these companies do not have much of a say where the arms actually go. Sorry, but the life of one Muslim Brotherhood, rabble rousing, non-US citizen does not stir up a whole lot of angry emotion in me - certainly not to the extent that I think we should greatly modify our long-standing relationship with a key strategic economic partner. His death is just not that important.

  • commentguy||

    I think it's disingenuous for you to pretend that you have any respect for the UN policy on anything.

  • commentguy||

    I think it's disingenuous for you to pretend that you have any respect for the UN policy on anything.

  • Tankboy||

    Exactly. So did the Saudis threaten to stop buying our weapons after the suspicious Philando Castile murder? Shitty things happen in our country too. The most you can do is expose them and move on. It's not like we can extradite MBS and try him for war crimes.

  • Teddy Pump||

    A mere flesh wound!

  • damikesc||

    The Chinese likely killed the head of Interpol.

    Tariffs on them are hella bad, though.

    I don't get why a journalist is so important but the death of another public figure by another, equally odious regime is a non-issue. Is it because the media is obsessed with itself?

  • Fancylad||

    And the West just shrugged. This is far more mind blowing than the Saudis offing a Muslim Brotherhood writer, and yet the press is as quiet as a lamb about it.

    Even Interpol's website has almost nothing on the fact that their Chief has been disappeared and probably executed by the Chinese while on vacation.

  • KevinP||

    Yes, and then too, only when it furthers the narrative.

    In this case, Jamal Khashoggi's death can be used to embarrass Trump. So it is useful to the narrative.

    Journalists routinely disappear in China. Not useful!

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    --- Tariffs on them are hella bad, though. ---

    The tariffs are not on them. They're on us, the consumers. And yes, they're hella bad.

  • JesseAz||

    Pssstt. China has tarriffs on us goods as well. Shhhh. It's a well known secret.

  • Agammamon||

    Those tariffs are paid by the Chinese.

  • Conchfritters||

    Just ask any farmer anywhere in the US.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    My ranch/farm makes money hands over fists.

  • Echospinner||

    Media attention has a lot to do with it. The way this occurred in a consulate of a foreign country and the gruesome details are pure clickbait.

    The consulate? Like they don't know that everyone spies on everyone else's consulates and embassies?

    Then the target had US connections and was a resident here writing for a major news outlet. He had friends. Bad choice because it puts political pressure on the US to do something.

    There are ways governments make people disappear but there are unwritten rules for that.

    The Chinese did it right. He was in China and a Chinese citizen. All they needed to do was arrest him on trumped up charges and then they could do what they wished. Happens all the time everywhere.

  • Ron||

    Residing in the U.S. from time to time does not make one a resident of the U.S. This is a tired play on words to make the person more important than he was.

  • JFree||

    That this occurred in a consulate - with remains transferred back to Saudi in diplomatically-protected baggage - is what is legally gobsmacking here. The Interpol guy is just a Chinese guy who had a foreign job. The Khashoggi case is legally more akin to the murder of Yvonne Fletcher or the Dikko Affair.

    The sort of act that usually leads to ending diplomatic relations because it becomes obvious that one party ain't doing diplomacy anymore and no reason for the other country (or any other country) to grant them territorial sovereignty or diplomatic immunity inside their own country. The Saudi explanation is intended to 'reduce' the infraction to something more akin to a hit-n-run by a diplomatic vehicle - but that explanation is obviously a lie.

    Obviously the media cares mostly cuz he's a journalist.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I feel like one must be willfully obtuse not to understand this.

  • Cyto||

    Which part?

    That China killing a Chinese guy who had a foreign job is not nearly as bad as the Saudi's killing a Saudi guy who had a foreign job?

    Or that Journalist is much more important than "head of Interpol"?

    Or that a Saudi consulate in Turkey getting all murdery on a Saudi citizen using diplomatic immunity as cover from Turkish law is of grave concern to the United States, who has strained relations with Turkey and doesn't seem to have a dog in that fight?

  • Nardz||

    The... unanimous... reaction from our press and neoconlibs indicates, to me, an inescapable conclusion: for some reason, MBS is the wrong Saudi (crown) prince to a certain set of people.

    I think it's more than the fact that he was a "journalist" - and member of Obama's favorite freedom fighters, the Muslim Brotherhood - or that it's a cudgel with which to bludgeon Trump, though those factors make enthusiasm that much easier.

    WaPo is the CIA's main rag, and Khashoggi was almost certainly an active agent for somebody/ies. Is that strong enough for an "emboldened" MBS to order a very obvious hit, with no regard for the trail of evidence leading back?
    Like the Skripal poisoning, it's so blatantly obvious as to be implausible.

    Does this all come back to Syria? The war there is almost over, without achieving its objective. MBS has shown quite a bit of ambition in reform efforts, consolidation, and future plans. Obviously, there is a faction that opposes him within SA - is there one abroad as well?

    It strains credulity to see what MBS had to gain from taking this guy out (based on a available information), while the downside was both glaring and drastically imbalanced. Was the guy really that important?

    The narrative has logical flaws. I think there is much, much more going on than an authoritarian regime snuffing a dissenter.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I think there is much, much more going on than an authoritarian regime snuffing a dissenter.

    Let's test your reasoning and credibility.

    When did you renounce birtherism?

    When did you overcome any childhood religious indoctrination?

    Thank you.

  • Cyto||

    No, it is a decent line of questioning.

    Why did the Saudi government try to disappear the guy this way? In a consulate? I mean, there's no way to avoid accountability. They have to know it is under surveillance.

    So is this standard operating procedure? Is this the first time they've ever tried this? It is so bold that I would assume that this isn't their first time around the block on this one. Maybe you can get invited down to a Saudi embassy and get killed Tarantino-movie style all the time?

    You'd think that if a super-rich and powerful dictatorship wanted a guy like him dead, they'd find a quiter way to do it.

    Or maybe they are just so used to being in absolute power that they didn't think anyone would say anything. I mean, they do run a society where you can be beaten or even killed for the crime of being raped. I mean, if you'll horsewhip a woman for being violently gang-raped, is it really a stretch to think that you'd cut up someone in your own embassy and think you could just shrug your shoulders when asked where he went?

    People blamed Bush for the invasion of Kuwait because our embassador sent "mixed signals". Did we send the Saudi's signals that made this seem like a reasonable course of action? Somehow I doubt it, but it does seem like an exceedingly stupid way to disappear someone.

  • commentguy||

    I suspect MBS is aware that to someone like Trump, money is literally everything. So what's the downside to committing a brutal murder, especially when the plus side is reminding your citizens that they had better not step put of line and could be murdered anywhere in the world?

  • JesseAz||

    Do you expect consistency from anyone in the media? This is the same media that cheered on the opening if Cuba despite their well documented history of murder and torture of political opponents and media. The media I refer to includes reason.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Most of,our media is treasonous. They love anything that hates America, and despise anything that is good.

    And fuck them anyway. They never made a peep about bringing Ambassador Stevens murderers to justice. Yet Trump is supposed to create a major international incident over the death of a foreign journalist that is tied to Islamic extremists? No.

    Most of our press belongs in prison or at the end of a rope.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Losing the culture war seems to have embittered you (and malcontents like you).

    Watching your liberal-libertarian betters make American great for a half-century -- against your racist, misogynistic, superstitious, gay-bashing, xenophobic, white nationalist, right-wing preferences and efforts -- has left you an inconsequential, muttering, sputtering, disaffected, all-talk loser.

    Carry on, clinger. So far as your betters permit, anyway.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Luckily, many Americans have woken up and are rejecting Democrats and lefties.

    I just hope it is enough in time.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Luckily, many Americans have woken up and are rejecting Democrats and lefties.

    That certain explains Trump's 10-point deficit in approval rating during a strong economy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Maga....again.

  • Ron||

    Excelent point about Ambassador Stevens Shitlords

  • Benitacanova||

    And we didn't hear talk of ending arms sales to the saudis when they brought down the WTC. Just saying.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Is it because the media is obsessed with itself?

    Big time.

    And the fact that this JournoList hated the west and sympathized with Muslim terrorists certainly doesn't hurt a bit either, because about 90% of the media feels the exact same way.

  • Fancylad||

    Sanctions against Saudi Arabia? How very libertarian.

  • Conchfritters||

    We need unfettered trade with the Saudis, and to jack the consulting rate for the military advisors who show them how to turn the fucking key to turn on the F-15s we sold them to X4 Times their rate (we know they'll pay).

    As a bonus, ask them to buy the entire F-35 weapons program for $1 trillion (tell them they get a McCain discount now that he's in heaven) since the plane can't even fly, and because those Houthi rebels, like the Taliban, have advanced radar, and we need stealth in the modern combat theatre.

  • Homple||

    Our Betters paid little discernable attention to the Saudis carpet bombing civilians in Yemen, hanging or beheading their own citizens for obscure religious reasons, but they got all wound up about the whacking of a Muslim Brotherhood agitator who happened to hang out in Washington DC with pals at WAPO.

    I guess Khashoggi picked up at WAPO the idea that plotting the overthrow of your government has no consequences except winning Pulitzer Prizes. Sadly for him, that rule doesn't extend to Arab-run medieval theocracies.

  • Hank Phillips||

    That rule never flew in the medieval theocracies of Alabama, Mississippi or Tennesse either. You should look up the vote totals gotten by George Wallace and his ku-klux Dixiecrats someday. We have met the superstitious hillbillies, and they are among us!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Go,fuck yourself.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Standing up for superstitious, bigoted, no-count hillbillies is the signature move of an effective, relevant American.

  • Fancylad||

    medieval theocracies of Alabama, Mississippi or Tennesse
    You obviously wouldn't recognize a theocracy if it pissed on your head.
    The Dutch Republic, the Holy See, Byzantium, the Commonwealth of England and Mount Athos were the only actual Christian theocracies so far.
    The South has no ruling priesthood, no prophet/dictator directly ruling by divine revelation and not even a state religion as the area is full of all sorts of Catholics, Pentacostals, Baptists and Calvinists, etc.
    It doesn't even count as a ecclesiocracy, like Denmark, Iceland, England, Greece, Norway or Monaco.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    At least Hank is finally admitting Democrats are the party of the KKK.

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    What's amazing is not just the willingness to kill and disappear a guy who was known to be visiting your embassy but the blinkered perception that no one would notice or care and that you could get away with it.

    That's some seriously bad short-term thinking. And it came from the top, which means that's the best they can do. What other strategies of theirs are going to fail miserably?

    If the US stopped having any relationship with Saudi Arabia would there be any downside at all?

  • damikesc||

    Iran is far, far worse.

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    And so we stay friendly with the Saudis so that they can contain Iran?

    What happens if the US stops involving itself?

  • damikesc||

    Id argue making it a purely business deal is ideal for us.

  • Echospinner||

    You know those spare parts you need for your helicopters and tanks? We just crunched the numbers again and costs have gone up so we are going to need to charge a lot more than we thought.

    Like that? This would be the time to negotiate that's for sure.

  • Echospinner||

    Money. It is always about the money. Oil from the gulf, yes we have enough but the shocks to the global economy would affect us in other ways. We have lucrative contracts there and the Saudis have money and investments everywhere.

    We could hardly avoid getting drawn into a war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. We have the only navy capable of keeping the gulf open. I don't think we need one this large but there it is.

  • mtrueman||

    "We have the only navy capable of keeping the gulf open."

    A few stray rockets is all that it would take to close the gulf to commercial traffic. Insurance rates would rise.

  • Echospinner||

    We got involved there during the Iran Iraq war. All those things did happen and would again.

    The goal would be to end the war which could go on a lot longer without the USN. Air Force would get involved as well. Iran has some air defenses. When those are taken out the aging Iranian Air Force would be no match against the US. Once we own the air it would be game over.

    The Iranians and Saudis prefer to fight to the last man, woman and child in Yemen.

  • mtrueman||

    If the Iranians are thinking ahead they might go for some weapons that can destroy aircraft carriers and other warships.

  • The Last American Hero||

    And if they did, the US would have troops in the streets of Tehran within a month.

  • mtrueman||

    They gonna swim? If the troops are that tough, a week at the most.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    More likely there would be no more Tehran.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    That's tough talk about a military that hasn't won a war in 70 years.

  • mtrueman||

    "More likely there would be no more Tehran."

    Then there would be no hurry to get there.

  • Echospinner||

    They got 'em. Check out the Hoot supercavitating torpedo which can be launched from one of those many small torpedo boats they have.

    And the original Russian design they copied can be fitted with a nuke warhead.

    Also mines would be a problem. They have subs, not the latest tech but subs can be very sneaky.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    If Iran used a nuke they would rapidly cease to exist.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    That's just the kind of tough talk we have heard from right-wingers the entire time they have been getting their asses beaten to an inconsequential pulp in America's culture war.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If Iran used a nuke or did more than threaten with river boats, the Iranians that survived would live in a literal glass house.

  • DesigNate||

    Pointing out that If the Iranians used a nuke on anybody, they'd get nuked, isn't tough talk you fucking ignoramous. It's the most likely scenario.

    And it'll probably be another Femocrat president who does it.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Keep pushing Arty. You and your friends may rapidly cease to exist too. Americans have had just about enough of progressives.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    And conservatives wonder why they have lost the culture war to better Americans . . .

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Good thing Lefties have lost the culture war.

  • Lee Moore||

    And so we stay friendly with the Saudis so that they can contain Iran?

    Trump should remember the noble example of FDR, eschewing alliance with the mass murdering communist dictatorship in Russia, led by the unspeakable tyrant Stalin, at huge miltary cost to the Unted States in its wars with Germany and Japan, in order to stay true to the principles of American justice.

    What happens if the US stops involving itself?

    Much the same as in 1914-17 and 1939-41. The bad guys win and the good guys hang on with their fingernails, while America basks in the delusion that it's got nothing to do with them.

  • ||

    Why is Iran the Hitler and Saudi Arabia the Stalin, because people who have business with the Saudi say so? I'd say stay out of it altogether and be friends with neither. They are no ally to anyone.

  • Moo Cow||

    Uh, no.

  • ||

    How so? Iran is awful, but the Saudi are objectively worse on human rights. Unless you don't count women,non-believers or Yemeni civilians as humans.

  • Fancylad||

    Here's the reason why the West props up the House of Saud and tries to undermine the Iranian theocracy.

    With Iran the people are reasonable and moderate, but their rulers are insane thugs.
    With Saudi Arabia the rulers are (relatively) reasonable and moderate, but the people are insane thugs.

    If the Iranian government was overthrown by the people, a much more liberal regime would replace it.
    If the Saudi government was overthrown by the people, a much more psychotic regime would replace it.

    Not saying it's right, just how it is.

  • ||

    I doubt that very much. It is hard to imagine a more nutjob conservative islamist government than the Saudi one. Their restrictions of individual liberties and human rights abuses are almost on the level of ISIS or Taliban. Other countries in the region have more moderate regimes that are very far from actually being moderate or liberal, but they are still much better compared to the Saudi. So I don´t believe it is the people of Saudi Arabia who are particularly crazy, it is their government who is particularly cruel.

  • Fancylad||

    No, the average Saudi is far more radicalized than the Royal Family who are positive libertines by comparison. The restrictions of individual (female) liberties and human rights abuses come directly from the general Salafist grassroots culture, not from the aristocracy. The princes know if they don't observe brutal Salafist shariah practices, they'll lose their legitimacy with the clerics and the people. So they keep their whiskey and whores for their London townhouses, and their rosewater and niqabs for Riyadh.

    In Iran on the other hand, you have an apocalyptic ruling death cult preparing for the Mahdi; but a pretty diverse religious population with a lot of different doctrines. Twelver Shiah is a majority belief in Iran, but not an absolute majority like Salafism is in Saudi Arabia, so the Iranian population has been ecumenical for centuries.

  • JFree||

    This is very accurate. Except that the Saudis are far too fatalist and enshallah-oriented to ever really implement a psychotic regime. Basically that would require too much work and focus.

  • Ordinary Person||

    I can only think it's because the Iranians are more capable in every regard than the Saudis and the way that capability threatens Zionists.

  • Conchfritters||

    ...but the blinkered perception that no one would notice or care and that you could get away with it.

    To be fair, the Saudis are pretty fucking stupid. When the war kicked off two years ago in Yemen they gave all their pilots who lead the initial bombing campaign Maseratis. Good job boys. Not to forget a high ranking Saudi government official was the bag man for the 9/11 hijackers.

  • Echospinner||

    I always knew the Saudis were ruthless SOBs but never thought they were this stupid.

    There are lots of ways to kill someone without getting caught. Kidnapping is trickier but can be done.

    Then the explanation is laughable proving that they are just as incompetent in political lying as they are in black operations.

    No wonder they outsource all of the important jobs in Saudi Arabia.

    The Turks are holding what evidence they have pretty close. Just releasing through press leaks. Erdogon is going to play this for all it is worth.

  • Trainer||

    I think they got off on beheadings and even more so when the world knows about them. I'm sure there's a lovely video somewhere so that they can enjoy the moment over and over again.

  • Ordinary Person||

    Exactly.

  • mtrueman||

    "There are lots of ways to kill someone without getting caught. "

    Fewer when the purpose is to send a message to others.

  • Nardz||

    Who?
    Who are they sending a message to?
    MBS had members of the royal family "imprisoned" and popular clerics arrested.
    Khashoggi was a gnat.
    If he'd really wanted to send a message, there's plenty better and easier targets.
    So who's he sending a message to - all those other Saudi expats writing for international media?
    So who's he sending a message to, and what's the message?

  • mtrueman||

    "So who's he sending a message to, and what's the message?"

    Isn't it obvious? The message is directed to opponents to HRH, and the message is 'beware.'

  • Kivlor||

    Trade Wars never work! We should totally have a Trade War with Saudi Arabia because some random dude from a different country died in his own nation's embassy in another nation.

  • mtrueman||

    The Saudi King needs to be taught his place. It's up to Trump to keep such minions in line. If he decides to let this ride, it sends a message of weakness around the world.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No it doesn't.

  • ||

    No, it does send a message of disgusting spinelessness.A message that principles and common decency don't mean shit to the US and that sanctions against any country can't be argued for from a position of morality. It's all just empty words, no moral principles, when the US criticizes or sanctions Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, North Korea or Iran. Not that we don't know that yet, but that doesn't stop the politicians from pretending.

  • DesigNate||

    But sanctions are always bad. That's what people like you bleat our whenever someone on the right proposes them for a country you like.

    *sld: sanctions are stupid and hurt the least politically connected and economically worse off the most. But you fucking hypocrites should be called out when you say we should implement them on some bad regimes but not others.

  • ||

    But that is what the Trump fans are saying. That some regimes - like Iran - are so evil that the US not only have to impose sanctions on them, but that it is necessary to maintain an alliance with whoever their enemy is, even if it is Saudi Arabia. And that yes, Saudi Arabia is evil, but their evil deeds are not worthy of sanctions, because Iran, weapons, money, oil, bullshit. Or that sanctions against Cuba are a good thing, sanctions against Russia are not. Or they are, according to what has Trump recently decided.
    What I am saying is get out of all stupid proxy wars, let crazies fight for regional dominance with no interference from the US except for protecting true allies (who are never radical islamist regimes), try to maintain normal working relationships with as many countries as possible, but don´t kiss anyone´s ass, and impose some sort of sanctions on any country whenever this sort of blatant shameless abuses of common decency occur. It won´t stop many actual human rights abuses, I´m not that naive, but at least the US shouldn´t be mocked in the face in front of the entire world.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "No, it does send a message of disgusting spinelessness.A message that principles and common decency don't mean shit to the US and that sanctions against any country can't be argued for from a position of morality. It's all just empty words, no moral principles, when the US criticizes or sanctions Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, North Korea or Iran. Not that we don't know that yet, but that doesn't stop the politicians from pretending."

    Well maybe we can consider possibly looking into it after we bring Amb. Stevens murderers to justice.

    This Khashoggi Guy was a bad egg who had ties to some shitty extremists. So don't start your moralizing over this. Not going to destroy our relationship with the Saudis over it.

  • ||

    The point is US shouldn´t have any special relationship with the Saudis, not any more than with any other crazy evil dictatorship. It serves no good purpose, it only fuels extremism, as that is what the Saudis practice on American money. The Saudis are no allies to anyone, let alone the US.

  • Nardz||

    Except MBS - you know, the guy you think its morally wrong to have a relationship with because he allegedly ordered a hit on the journalist - is cracking down on extremism.
    So, care to try again why it's in American interests to massively f--- with our own, a d the world's, economy?

  • mtrueman||

    "No it doesn't."

    I'm afraid it does. A gratuitous stunt like this at election time is the last thing Trump needs. At the very least Trump needs to let the King know who is boss.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Why? Khashoggi isn't even American. Just some foreigner tool of the Muskim Brotherhood. The only reason you're even hearing about it is because he's hooked up with WaPo.

  • mtrueman||

    You think this guy should inconvenience and embarrass Trump at an election time with impunity? Is that your idea of MAGA? Aren't you even the slightest bit concerned that they and the other despots that are watching this display of spinelessness will continue playing Trump for a stooge?

  • Nardz||

    You apparently think the MSM version is the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    Why is that?

  • mtrueman||

    I believe that Khashoggi was killed in the embassy in Turkey, as reported in the media. Do you have other beliefs?

  • Bubba Jones||

    Ding. Raytheon employees must be punished.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Questionable Saudi Explanation of Khashoggi's Death Bolsters Rand Paul's Case for Ending Arms Sales"

    I don't see what they have to do with each other. It's in the best interests of the United States to sell arms to the Saudis or not--regardless of whether the Saudis murdered someone.

    Incidentally, if it was in the best interests of the United States to become allies with Stalin, it was in our best interests regardless of how many people Stalin murdered, too.

    People who don't under that are stupid. It's the same kind of stupidity that fell for the argument that if Saddam Hussein had WMD, then it must be in the best interests of the United States to bomb, invade, and occupy Iraq. In reality, bombing, invading, and occupying Iraq was either in our best interests or not--regardless of whether Saddam Hussein had WMD.

    There's one thing worse than libertarians abandoning reason because they consciously want to influence people with irrational arguments, and that's libertarians abandoning reason--falling for the asinine framing of an argument--because they're incapable of reason. I.e., Assuming that you're simply being dishonest is giving you the benefit of the doubt.

  • mtrueman||

    " It's in the best interests of the United States to sell arms to the Saudis or not--regardless of whether the Saudis murdered someone."

    You think it's in America's best interests to have rogue elements murdering people willy nilly? I don't think so. It's Trump's job to have such people kept in line, if he wants to leaders to fear him. Saudi Arabia is the client, and they need to be made to understand that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "You think it's in America's best interests to have rogue elements murdering people willy nilly?"

    Yes, that's exactly what I wrote.

    I think it's in America's best interest to have rogue elements murdering people willy nilly.

    You dolt. How could it be more simple?

    Am I to understand you wanted the Nazis to win Wolrd War II? Isn't that what you're saying?

    Of course not. And I wouldn't say something that stupid--because I'm not stupid.

    You, on the other hand, can't tell the difference between saying that our security interests in the region might be more important than whether someone was murdered? I thought more of you than that. I shouldn't have.

    My bad.

  • Bubba Jones||

    If we don't care about foreign genocide (Stalin) then why would we care if Hitler won?

    Aside from our war with Japan.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Alliances are among the most effective means of self-defense. That's one reason why the framers gave the senate the power to ratify such treaties. There are things that should be done in the defense of a treaty that wouldn't make sense from a self-defense standpoint otherwise. I would argue that making good on our understanding to come to the defense of our allies in World War II paid big dividends when it came to the brinkmanship that was necessary to win the Cold War in the way we did.

    Deploying Pershing missiles in western Europe, for instance, wasn't something our allies there needed to do. They might have refused to make themselves the logical target of a first strike by the Soviets in a nuclear war. Mitterrand, Kohl, Thatcher, they all campaigned on those issues and won reelection despite massive protests. Had they not accepted those Pershing missile deployments, again, the Cold War might not have ended the way it did--without a nuclear missile exchange.

    "Pershing II Missile: Why It Alarms Soviets"

    ----Washington Post, March 1982

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ac0617f08f

    "More Than a Million Protest Missiles in Western Europe"

    ----Washington Post, October 1983

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....a8aea17953

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1

    PEACE through superior firepower.

  • mtrueman||

    "You, on the other hand, can't tell the difference between saying that our security interests in the region might be more important than whether someone was murdered?"

    It's not the "someone was murdered" that's the problem here. Rather, it's "Saudi Monarch murders someone. That's the problem, that Trump can't keep his minions under control. This is a sign of disrespect towards Trump and it's a test of his leadership how he resolves it. My guess, his railing against the press isn't going to help him.

    Was it it about national interests that makes it necessary to appease this murdering aristocrat? Is it about maintaining stability in the region? Political cowardice, I call it. Chamberlain, the sudetenland, all over again.

  • Sevo||

    "It's not the "someone was murdered" that's the problem here. Rather, it's "Saudi Monarch murders someone. That's the problem, that Trump can't keep his minions under control. This is a sign of disrespect towards Trump and it's a test of his leadership how he resolves it. My guess, his railing against the press isn't going to help him."
    Bullshit assertions from a known bullshiter really aren't going to get a second look, bullshiter.

    "Was it it about national interests that makes it necessary to appease this murdering aristocrat? Is it about maintaining stability in the region? Political cowardice, I call it. Chamberlain, the sudetenland, all over again."
    Yeah, 'cause if we don't 'do something' Saudi Arabia is going to declare ware on France and England!
    One of your most idiotic statements, and that's a low bar to begin with.

  • mtrueman||

    Saudi Arabia is a client of America. Not the other way round. Saudi Arabia is not going to declare war on France and England. Rather, Saudi Arabia is going to continue to spit in Trump's face as long as he lets them. Do you actually buy this malarkey that the thuggish prince is our last hope against the persian juggernaut? Are you so in thrall to this tired story?

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|10.20.18 @ 10:14PM|#
    "Saudi Arabia is a client of America. Not the other way round."
    Bullshit claim by bullshiter.

    "Saudi Arabia is not going to declare war on France and England. Rather, Saudi Arabia is going to continue to spit in Trump's face as long as he lets them."
    Bullshit claim by bullshiter, and irrelevant claim by TDS victim even if it was true, bullshiter.

    "Do you actually buy this malarkey that the thuggish prince is our last hope against the persian juggernaut? Are you so in thrall to this tired story?"
    Bullshit strawman claim by bullshiter; you are obviously too stupid to have read what I posted.
    Are we clear, bullshiter?

  • mtrueman||

    So, you do buy this malarkey.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    FFS you're a stupid person.

  • mtrueman||

    You just keep reading what I write. I've never asked for anything more.

  • Nardz||

    "You think it's in America's best interests to have rogue elements murdering people willy nilly?"

    Seth Rich says hi.
    Or he would, if he hadn't been shot multiple times in a robbery where nothing of monetary value was stolen.

  • mtrueman||

    They may well have not been as rogue as they should have been, ie they could have been mainstream elements who done him in.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Inside just about every right-winger is a birther trying to get back out.

    Carry on, you bigoted, superstitious, poorly educated rubes.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    MAGA?

    My Attorney Giving Allocutions?

    My Aides Getting Arrested?

    My Accountants Getting "A"mmunity?

    My Associates Going Away?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Making america great again.

    Thanks Trump and Trump voters.

  • DRM||

    Okay, there are a few possibilities regarding our "client" here.

    1) We withdraw our support, and the House of Saud switches to, say, Russia (because Putin thinks offing dissident exiles is just fine, and doesn't really mind who does it). Russia gains influence at our expense.

    2) We withdraw our support, and the House of Saud turns out to not need a patron. They do just fine without us.

    3) We withdraw our support, the House of Saud needs one and can't get a replacement, so the kingdom collapses into civil war. Iran, whose leaders still whip up crowds to chant "Death to America!", backs an indigenous Shiite regime in the oilfields.

    Tell me which of those scenarios causes anything but scorn for America? So, what, Trump can fulfill your fiction-formed vision of of how a Mafia boss acts?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You're talking sense. That has no place here.

  • mtrueman||

    "Tell me which of those scenarios causes anything but scorn for America? So, what, Trump can fulfill your fiction-formed vision of of how a Mafia boss acts?"

    Whether or not your minions scorn you is irrelevant. They must fear you. And if Trump doesn't know this he should stick to reality TV, beauty pageants, and the like.

    "(because Putin thinks offing dissident exiles is just fine, and doesn't really mind who does it)"

    Of course it's fine when he does it. What's not fine is when his minions do it. That's a sign of insubordination and disrespect, and the uppity minion is in need of correction.

  • DesigNate||

    I know you're an idiot, but goddamn if that isn't the stupidest take of what Ken wrote.

    Just to dumb it down for you: He didn't make a value judgement on if it was in our best interest. He said if it's in our best interest, it won't matter what they did. Just like it didn't matter to us that Stalin was a murderous son of a bitch and all around evil motherfucker since we had some Nazi's to punch.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's like saying that if you don't want to make an alliance with Stalin, that means you want Hitler to complete the Holocaust.

    That would be a stupid thing to say for someone who favored making an alliance with Stalin to defeat the Nazis and push the Japanese out of China. No, you can oppose that because you think the alliance isn't in our best interests--and not want Hitler and the Holocaust. Maybe you even think there's a better way to defeat Hitler without making an alliance with Stalin.

    Yeah, pointing out that our alliance with Saudi Arabia is either in our interests or not regardless of whether they're murderers is not to want murder. This is the kind of thing Remy made fun of with his video about how "You just want people to die!". I know we're living in a world where people suggest that anyone who thinks frat boys should get a fair trial is objectively pro-rape, but that's horseshit.

    Everyone who gets caught thinking in those terms, on whatever subject, should be pointed out and ridiculed.

  • DesigNate||

    Exactly.

    It's 1230 in the morning here and I've been up for almost 24 hours and I understood what you were saying.

  • Sevo||

    "I don't see what they have to do with each other. It's in the best interests of the United States to sell arms to the Saudis or not--regardless of whether the Saudis murdered someone."

    Furthermore, cutting sales to SA will harm them not one bit; those arms (or roughly similar) are available from several sources who would be more than happy to send over the order forms right now. And since the actions causes them no harm, it is not likely to affect their future actions.
    So we can make a grand gesture, cutting off a part of our nose, and accomplish absolutely nothing besides. All in the hopes that those suffering from TDS will be somewhat calmed. For a day or two.
    You wan't a realistic gesture? Tell 'em that civilized people don't do such things (while hoping they don't remember Obo blasting a US citizen to dust), and tighten up the pay schedule on the arms.
    Excepting Israel, the entire near east is a hell-hole of feudalism, with the major push by the local bleevers trying to sweep the tide of history back off the shore with their straw brooms. THEY have to solve those problems; we can't possibly do it for them. And while the record is somewhat confusing, it seems Kashoggi wasn't pimping The Enlightenment over there.

  • mtrueman||

    "Furthermore, cutting sales to SA will harm them not one bit;"

    Effective argument. You can trot it out again next time the Saudis murder someone. Even if it takes place on US soil, no difference.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|10.20.18 @ 10:26PM|#
    "Furthermore, cutting sales to SA will harm them not one bit;"
    "Effective argument. You can trot it out again next time the Saudis murder someone. Even if it takes place on US soil, no difference."

    Bullshit hypothetical post by bullshiter.
    You are incapable of posting other than bullshit. Give is a cite one day, bullshiter.

  • mtrueman||

    Thanks for your attention. Keep reading. More interesting bullshit will soon be on the way.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yes Trueman, you are full of rotting bullshit.

  • mtrueman||

    You just keep believing that we can't win WWIII without this terribly misunderstood king on our side.

  • ||

    Why would arming islamist fundamentalists be in the US best interests? Don't mistake US interests with corrupt politicians and businessmen business interests

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its called fighting a proxy war so Americans dont die.

  • ||

    Maybe, just maybe, less Americans -and less people overall - would die if Americans just stopped fighting proxy wars. Especially when "fighting" means arming dangerous tyrants and islamist radicals.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I suspect that Mullahs, the Soviets, the Nazis, the Imperial Japanese, and the Khmer Rouge all would have murdered, destroyed, and expanded wherever they could get away with it--regardless of what the United States did or didn't do. You can add Hezbollah to that list--they're a terrorist organization.

    Some of the hardest ideas I've had to get over to my Muslims friends is that U.S. foreign policy hasn't been all about keeping Muslims down since the end of World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

    We were locked in a war with the Soviet Union and its proxies from approximately 1948 to 1989. Iran sided with our enemy, the Soviet Union. So did the Palestinians, the Syrians, and others. Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia sided with us. The Muslim world was one battlefield in a world war that also happened in Africa, Central America, South America, Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, Cuba, and elsewhere.

    It seems absurd to expect us to sit on our hands while the USSR's proxies continued to aid and fight for communist expansion, and it seems even more absurd to watch the the Iranians push their sphere of influence even wider, even while they engage in what amounts to an ICBM program and violate the NPT. Again, the legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights, and the Iranians present a legitimate threat to the American people.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, and what have we done to provoke the Iranians anyway? 1953 was 65 years ago. If they didn't want to make themselves a target of the CIA during the Cold War, then maybe they shouldn't have allied themselves with the Soviet Union. Regardless, that's spilt milk. What aggressive action have we taken against Iran lately--international sanctions in response to their violating the NPT? If they don't want to be subjected to sanctions for not complying with the NPT, then maybe they should comply with the NPT.

  • DesigNate||

    Mosaddegh was a duly elected president. Whether they should have elected a communist sympathizer as president who looked to nationalize the oil industry is moot, even if we were starting to fight proxy wars with the Russians around the globe.

    Imagine if Iran or Russia actually tried to do the same thing here. We would be a little fucking salty, to say the least.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Except you're wrong, just definitely.

  • Wanderer||

    The Saoudi Barbaria ambassy in Istanbul is legally Saoudi Barbarian territory.

    What happens in Saoudi Barbaria (such as the gruesome execution of political opponents) is part of Saoudi internal politics, something libertarian Americans have no fucking business meddling with.

    I could understand shooting a few mass murdering warplanes so that bombing innocent Yemeni children slows down. But there is no reason America should cut ties with a trading partner over their internal politics because one Muslim Brotherhood high level agent was neutralized.

  • ||

    Sounds like Saudi Arabia is a shoe-in for a UN Human Rights Seat.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If it's in our interests to have someone willing to fight against the Iranians in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere, we're probably not going to find a lot of nuns and Nobel peace prize winners who want to do that. We'll probably just need to let our defense contractors equip whomever already wants to.

    We started building airbases and defense infrastructure long before Gulf War I. We started putting that stuff in Saudi Arabia during the Cold War, right after the Iranian Revolution. All that oil and Mecca, too! Why wouldn't the Iranian revolutionaries want to liberate Saudi Arabia? The troops in Saudi Arabia were placed in after Kuwait, but even then, they were there to guard against Iran as much or more than they were there to guard against an incursion by Iraq.

    After 9/11, it became clear that having American troops permanently stationed in the Muslim holy land was a bad idea--for all sorts of reasons.

    Letting American defense contractors sell conventional arms to the Saudis is a substitute for that.

  • Bubba Jones||

    I would counter that we give no fucks about Yemen or Iran.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I would counter that before the fracking revolution, we cared more about oil than we do now--and if Iran had invaded Saudi Arabia instead of going to war with Iraq, world history might have unfolded very differently.

    In the meantime, Iran is a state sponsor of terror (see Hezbollah) who has violated the NPT, and they have what amounts to an active ICMB program that has already successfully launched satellites using multistage rockets.

    The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights. We have police to protect our rights from criminals, courts to protect our rights from the police, and we have a military to protect our rights from foreign threats. If our government isn't actively working to protect our rights from the threat of Iran's various weapons programs, then they're not doing their legitimate job.

  • JFree||

    If it's in our interests to have someone willing to fight against the Iranians in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere, we're probably not going to find a lot of nuns and Nobel peace prize winners who want to do that.

    There are two major practices we engage in re foreign policy that create blowback:

    Killing people from afar using our videogame tech that ensures no one can take direct revenge
    Having proxies do our dirty work - which results in us being blamed for everything that those proxies end up doing

    We are 'fighting Iran' because we used the Shah as a proxy to contain USSR. We got blamed for what he did re his domestic dissidents and 40 years after their revolution we are still their main enemy and they are apparently ours. This stuff NEVER ends in that region (a dozen more instances I could name re other countries inc Saudi - and yes 9/11 was blowback too). It only compounds and gets worse over time.

    There are only two approaches that work there:
    If you have dirty work to do, then do it yourself. And that means bear the cost in blood.
    If you don't have dirty work to do there, then stop picking sides or getting involved AT ALL. And no that does not mean 'peacefully trade with them' either cuz that usually means picking sides.

    Everything in your comment/analysis just makes things worse. Worse - the attitude is viewed as weak and chicken there and encourages the worst actors there.

  • JFree||

    Basically - if you can't sell putting OUR boots on the ground to solve the problem; then it ISN'T actually in our interest to get involved or pick sides.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Putting boots on the ground isn't the only strategic mistake we can make, but it's probably the biggest. When I think of all the excellent examples of non-self defensive wars we've fought throughout our history, Vietnam and Iraq would probably be among the worst strategic blunders. Unless Iraq attacks us, it is both unnecessary and against our best interest to put boots on the ground in Iran.

    Might want to dust off the old Weinberger/Powell Doctrine.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powell_Doctrine

    As I've stated previously, to whatever extent Al Qaeda enjoyed support among the people of Saudi Arabia and Muslims around the world, it was in part fed by the fact that we had American troops stationed in their holy land. If we can learn from our mistakes and not make the same mistakes again, that would be great. I repeat: letting our defense contractors sell hardware to Saudi Arabia is the alternative to that. Not only does it save the taxpayers a lot of money, it also saves American lives.

  • Benitacanova||

    Ironically U.S, troops were put in S.A. to protect the saudis from iran. A lot of thanks we get.

  • Ken Shultz||

    One of ObL's arguments was that U.S. troops weren't in Saudi Arabia to protect it from Iraq or Iran so much as U.S. troops were in Saudi Arabia to protect the House of Saud from the people of Saudi Arabia.

    The government of Saudi Arabia is a vicious dictatorship that murders political dissidents. I think the clique in power did appreciate having the U.S. there to protect their oil fields from the Iranians and the Iraqis.

    The clique in power wasn't necessarily indicative of all 15,000 of the people in the House of Saud, and they didn't necessarily represent public opinion about having U.S. troops on Saudi soil either.

  • JFree||

    to whatever extent Al Qaeda enjoyed support among the people of Saudi Arabia and Muslims around the world, it was in part fed by the fact that we had American troops stationed in their holy land.

    Our troops in saudi was the reason 15 Saudis joined in on 9/11. But you are completely misunderstanding the 'offense' of that. The troops went to Saudi (announced on 9/11/1990 - the date is why 9/11 happened on that date - in bush New World Order speech) to oppose Saddam - but we didn't eliminate Saddam. Instead, after restoring a friendly Kuwaiti puppet, we expanded the mission. To dual containment which means troops don't fight they occupy Saudi forever. And for the next decade we instead engaged in videogame warfare against Iraqi children.

    We didn't do what we said we would do - and then leave. Which would have been offensive to most there but they would get over it. Instead we used one thing as an excuse to do something different - while both things we say we oppose remain - and then patted ourselves on the back about it and our role as savior of the world.

  • JFree||

    Let me repeat - unless you can sell boots on the ground to overthrow Iran - directly, then it is NOT in our strategic interest to 'contain' Iran by trying to turn all its neighbors into chess pieces that serve OUR interests. They do not want to be our chessboard - which means the mere attempt to treat them like a chessboard will cause offense to them.

    And it will FAIL as well because we do not know shit about that part of the world. We don't even speak the languages and we are the laziest superpower ever in even trying to gather intel to figure out what to do next.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Let me repeat - unless you can sell boots on the ground to overthrow Iran - directly, then it is NOT in our strategic interest to 'contain' Iran by trying to turn all its neighbors into chess pieces that serve OUR interests."

    And yet the Iranian economy is in tatters.

    And yet the Saudis are actively opposing Iranian expansion in Yemen and elsewhere.

    The cost of solving a problem permanently can be cost prohibitive. The United States occupying Iran might make Iraq look like a cake walk. If we can counter their ICBM and nuclear programs with allies, diplomacy, and hardware sales, then we should do that.

    Life isn't all pass/fail. Sometimes if you don't want to pay the price of a permanent solution, you should still address the problem in a way that gives you adequate benefits for an acceptable price. The American people are unwilling to pay the price necessary to rid the world of the Mullahs. So am I.

    It's a good thing doing that isn't necessary.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Good Ana,hiss Ken, unfortunately isolationist zealots like JFree will never listen.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    'Analysis'

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "Let me repeat - unless you can sell boots on the ground to overthrow Iran - directly, then it is NOT in our strategic interest to 'contain' Iran by trying to turn all its neighbors into chess pieces that serve OUR interests. They do not want to be our chessboard - which means the mere attempt to treat them like a chessboard will cause offense to them.

    And it will FAIL as well because we do not know shit about that part of the world. We don't even speak the languages and we are the laziest superpower ever in even trying to gather intel to figure out what to do next."

    Wow, you say all that with such authority. So it must be true.

    Except It isn't. None of it. You have zero understanding of any of this. Nor do you know shit about our intelligence community. You really just spout a bunch of shit based on your emotions and not based on any real facts.

    Just blind isolationist bullshit.

  • JFree||

    Nor do you know shit about our intelligence community. You really just spout a bunch of shit based on your emotions and not based on any real facts.

    I went to school (entire pre-college) with the kids of those in-country intelligence/diplomats. Those were the conversations among the adults when expat Americans gathered for socializing. They didn't talk about mortgages or raising kids or domestic elections/politics. They talked about geopolitics and multinational business.

    I know exactly the blindspots of both our intelligence (they see EVERYTHING as just Soviet/ColdWar v1/2/3/4/5/6/7) and diplomat (they see EVERYTHING from the Eurodiplomatcocktailweenie perspective - because those posts are where they want to be stationed).

    And no I am the opposite of an isolationist. We are THE power and should acquire the required knowledge to do it well. If OTOH we are merely going to be a blind raging elephant, then yeah it is better for everyone if we NOT get very involved.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The troops went to Saudi (announced on 9/11/1990 - the date is why 9/11 happened on that date - in bush New World Order speech) to oppose Saddam - but we didn't eliminate Saddam. Instead, after restoring a friendly Kuwaiti puppet, we expanded the mission."

    Again, our security relationship with Saudi Arabia became especially important after the Iranian revolution in 1979. We build air bases in their deserts and left tons of hardware in waiting there in the anticipation that Iran would make a move for Mecca and the Saudi oil fields--the oil fields were especially attractive to Iranian revolutionary government's ally, the Soviet Union.

    Yes, we were also there to protect the Saudi oil fields from Saddam Hussein circa 2001, but avoiding that wasn't an excellent reason to invade and occupy Iraq in 1991. Bush Sr. and company declined to invade and occupy Iraq for two main reasons 1) The cost in terms of treasure and American lives and 2) They wanted Saddam Hussein to remain a check on Iran.

    The excellent reasons for Bush Sr. to avoid invading Iraq in 1991 were also excellent reasons for Bush Jr. not to invade Iraq in 2003. The first government the Iraqis elected was dominated by a party that the Iranians started and financed. Turkey is no longer a dependable ally. That leaves us with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Saudi Arabia is actively engaged in resisting Iranian expansion, and if we don't want to do that ourselves, then we should sell them the hardware.

  • JFree||

    Ken - I lived in Iran as a kid. You're not going to out-knowledge me. IRAQ - not Iran - was the Soviet ally. We sold planes (mostly) to Saudi before Gulf but that was not really actual defense (merely recycling dollars). Obviously, because the second IRAQ threatened Saudi, we sent troops to Saudi. And they then paid us recycled dollars for Gulf War.

    Iran/Saudi have always been a bit hostile (much more since 79) but that is cuz of Sunni/Shia and Persian/Arab split and oil/Gulf rivalry - NONE of which is of the slightest real strategic interest to us. The reason WE get involved in that shit is because we are stupid and lazy as fuck - which means Israel provides us with near 100% of what we 'know'. And what they provide us is what serves THEIR interests.

    to remain a check on Iran

    Again with the chessboard terms and geopolitics babble. THEY (region) DON'T CARE how we look at the world. They look at it differently and their view of each other is what matters until such time as the continents split. The second we start using lazy babble ('containment' terms being one since that is merely a lazy way of saying Iran=USSR to invoke Kennan which ain't true anyway), we just prove how fucking lazy and stupid we are. Selling arms does not then make us smarter. It's just a lazy stupid way of making things more violent - and yeah that has blowback.

    Sell direct boots-on-ground war with Iran if Iran is a threat or it ain't a threat.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "During that era the U.S. built and administrated numerous military academies, navy ports, and Air Force military airbases. Many of these military facilities were influenced by the U.S., with the needs of cold war aircraft and deployment strategies in mind. Also the Saudis purchased a great deal of weapons that varied from F-15 war planes to M1 Abrams main battle tanks that later proved useful during the Gulf War.[29] The U.S. pursued a policy of building up and training the Saudi military as a counterweight to Shiite extremism and revolution following the revolution in Iran."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Saudi_Arabia–United_States_relations #Government_purchases

    Who knows more isn't the issue. The question is what happened and why.

    The fact is that U.S. cooperation with Saudi Arabia expanded dramatically in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution. Those military airbases weren't about protecting against Saddam Hussein. They were about protecting Saudi Arabia from Iran.

    "THEY (region) DON'T CARE how we look at the world. They look at it differently and their view of each other is what matters until such time as the continents split."

    I care how we look at the world, and the fact is that Iraq was a major check on Iranian influence in the region. Furthermore, removing Saddam Hussein from power was not in the best interests of U.S. security in that regard--regardless of how they look at each other.

  • JFree||

    The fact is that U.S. cooperation with Saudi Arabia expanded dramatically in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution.

    Well DUH. That is because the SHAH was no longer the major purchaser of US weapons. But it is PAKISTAN where US arms sales increased the most after the Iranian revolution. Not because Iran was now some threat to Pakistan - but because Iran was no longer an American counter to the Soviets - and the Soviets were in Afghanistan.

    Those military airbases weren't about protecting against Saddam Hussein. They were about protecting Saudi Arabia from Iran.

    Be VERY specific here. What EXACTLY are you asserting was the threat of post-revolution Iran to Saudi Arabia? There is one - but unless you yourself can define it, I won't accept any lazy global assertion you make using loaded terminology. Because outside that, the reason we upped support to the Saudis was because we believed that Iran might no longer be able to resist the Soviets and we didn't want the Soviets with a port on the Persian Gulf.

    I care how we look at the world

    Of course. And that's kind of the problem with our foreign policy. We base our foreign policy on what matters for domestic politics/elections - NOT on any real situational knowledge. This has plagued us in Vietnam and ever since - and before too but in a different way. It does NOT lead to wise decisions. It leads us to lazy easy-way-out-with-blowback-later decisions.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't know what loaded terminology you think I'm using. I don't think I've used any at all.

    And if you need proof that the Ayatollah Khomeini considered the Saudi regime to be illegitimate and Wahabi Islam was a disgraceful caretaker of Mecca, I don't know what to say. It's pretty fundamental.

    "In a public address in 1987 Khomeini declared that "these vile and ungodly Wahhabis, are like daggers which have always pierced the heart of the Muslims from the back," and announced that Mecca was in the hands of "a band of heretics."[20]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Iran–Saudi_Arabia_relations #1979:_Iranian_Revolution

    You're asking me to prove things that are just general knowledge. Do you need proof that ISIS split from Al Qaeda over ISIS' insistence of targeting Shia Muslims?

    Asking me for proof that the Iranian revolutionaries and the Wahabis didn't like each other is like asking for proof that protestants and Catholics didn't like each other in northern Ireland.

    Suffice it to say, the Saudis were concerned about the intentions of the Iranian revolutionaries towards their oil fields and Mecca, and that is why they paid Americans to build so much infrastructure in Saudi Arabia at the time, including military airbases that were designed to facilitate American hardware. The Saudis were big supporters of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The Saudis withdrew from formal relations with Iran in order to prevent Iranian pilgrims from getting visas to go to Mecca. This was in response to the Khomeini using Iran's hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to demonstrate against Saudi Arabia on their pilgrimage. There were no pilgrims from Iran to Mecca for three years. Saddam Hussein's war against Iran was in some part a reaction to the Saudis calling for Shia in Iraq to rise up and overthrow Hussein.

    I don't think you really need any evidence for any of this that you don't already know or can't look up yourself. The fact is that Iran was a legitimate threat to Saudi Arabia--long before the U.S. was worried about Iraq invading them. Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait (and aggression toward Saudi Arabia) was ultimately about the way Kuwait and Saudi Arabia treated him after he'd spent so much money and resources fighting against Iran on their behalf.

    If you want more evidence for Saudi concerns about Iran after the revolution, go look it up yourself.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Saddam Hussein's war against Iran was in some part a reaction to the Saudis [Iranians] calling for Shia in Iraq to rise up and overthrow Hussein."

    Fixed!

  • JFree||

    if you need proof that the Ayatollah Khomeini considered the Saudi regime to be illegitimate and Wahabi Islam was a disgraceful caretaker of Mecca.

    Hostility is not the same thing as threat. Shia and Sunni have been more or less hostile for 1000+ years. Yes Khomeini coming into power created a higher risk of rebellion among Shia in Eastern Saudi (since you clearly ain't gonna identify the actual threat here) but NOT a remote risk of invading there. That is not the sort of threat one acquires fighters or tanks to counter.

    The Iranian Revolution made Iran WEAKER not stronger. Close to half its army deserted or were purged during the revolution. Their army was an instrument of the Shah. That weakness is why Saddam invaded Iran when Iran still had the embassy hostages. Yet somehow Saudi is supposed to quake in their boots - and Americans now are supposed to be sold the notion of Iran then invading Mecca??? How stupid are we supposed to be?

    The plane/tank threat that Saudis/US were trying to counter was the possibility that the Soviets would also take advantage of the Iranian revolution to take over Iran and connect Syria/Iraq (longtime clients) to Afghanistan (just invaded a few months earlier).

  • JFree||

    Saddam Hussein's war against Iran was in some part a reaction to the Saudis [Iranians] calling for Shia in Iraq to rise up and overthrow Hussein."

    No it wasn't. It was an attempt to abrogate the 1975 agreement between Saddam and the Shah that temporarily ended the border disputes/clashes between Iran/Iraq in the Kurd areas and the rivers/coast area but which Saddam 'lost'. And to claim Khuzestan (an ethnically Arab part of Iran that had just rebelled in 1979). Emboldened by a Kurdish rebellion against Iran in 1978, a Baloch rebellion in 1979, and the decline of the Iranian Army.

    Cassette tapes sent by mullahs to Iraqi Shias were completely irrelevant - and were prob actually in response to the Iraqis backing the Khuzestan and Baloch rebellions.

  • Moo Cow||

    They're on it!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Would it be a MAGA moment if Trump ended Saudi arms sales, or would he be accused of breaking an sacred international agreement?

  • Echospinner||

    It will be a MAGA moment no matter what he does.

  • Echospinner||

    I just ate a pastrami sandwich. MAGA!

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure pastrami has never tasted better since 2016.

  • Echospinner||

    You need to find the good stuff. Romanian.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I CAN'T BREATHE... were his last words? We never had any business selling those murdering fanatics so much as a slingshot. It was their own Saracen terrorist berserker who broke into Mecca with Soviet AKs on full auto. The news blackout kept Americans--everyone!--from finding out WTF, and next thing you know the US embassy in Pakistan was overrun and on fire! Iranians in rag fedoras kidnapped US diplomats, and brave Canadians helped us out of that shameful comeuppance. Since then, remember those Saudi fanatics who hijacked four planes for God in 2001? I clearly remember, but Republicans and Democrats have a terrible time recalling how they handled that whole mess. I've heard just about enough out of those force-initiating looter politicians.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You're an idiot.

  • DenverJ||

    Yes, this is the reason (drink!) to stop backing the House of Saud. The only reaaon we ever got into bed with them was for their cooperation in keeping oil prices low. We no longer need them for that. In fact, we no longer should give two shits about the entire middle east, except perhaps Israel.

  • creech||

    If we don't give two shits about Saudi Arabia, who will? Maybe the Chinese? They (and the Europeans) need the oil more than we do. I suppose Fortress America could function with China being the world's super power and super currency. Some tough foreign policy choices ahead.

  • Sevo||

    DenverJ|10.20.18 @ 9:01PM|#
    "Yes, this is the reason (drink!) to stop backing the House of Saud. The only reaaon we ever got into bed with them was for their cooperation in keeping oil prices low. We no longer need them for that. In fact, we no longer should give two shits about the entire middle east, except perhaps Israel."

    I agree, and I really don't give two shits about quite a few of my customers, which doesn't mean those orders won't be filled.
    Since I don't give two shits (knowing beforehand, in the case of most of the near-east monarchies, that they are arbitrary feudalist dictators), there is no reason for me to suffer when they prove it once again.
    Here's your product, scumbag; money on the barrel-head.

  • Bender B. Rodriguez||

    He was a Saudi citizen, killed by the Saudi government (which is what governments do), in the Saudi consulate, in a country that is not the US. This is the purest definition of "none of our business."

  • mtrueman||

    If there's ever a job opening for a mafia don, don't bother applying.

  • DenverJ||

    But but but he was a JOURNALIST! The most important people in the world! Just ask them.

  • Longtobefree||

    Really? I thought he dropped off a few articles for the Washington Post; that is not journalism.
    Being a shill for the Muslim Brotherhood is not journalism.

    About what he is/was;
    a former Saudi official with ties to intelligence services
    connected to the Muslim Brotherhood
    had a long history with a terrorist responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths on U.S. soil (OBL for those with short memories)

    Lots more going on here than "murder of a journalist".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly. None of americas business and in fact distracts america from things that actually concern the USA.

  • ||

    "which is what governments do". You don't get to complain about Hillary or Obama, EVER.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Sure we do. For example I'm perfectly justified complaining about them making no effort in bring Amb. Stevens murderers to justice. As he was our ambassador to Libya. I'm capable of understanding these things. You're making it clear now that you are not.

    If anything, you should be the one who should never say anything.

  • ||

    It´s not me who is fine with governments murdering their citzens with no consequences.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So you're willing to invade Mexico for killing their own people? Ok, real smart.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Lefties will say whatever it takes to get their agenda accepted.

    Does any media daily cover the life stories of us service persons killed in iraq and afghanistan since 2001?

    The 8 service member deaths in in combat zones during 2018?

    But daily rage about a saudi citizen possibly killed by saudi gov on saudi soil, in turkey?

    Fucking media are traitors.

  • ||

    Who said anything about an invasion? Just you, apparently. Not selling someone weapons is not an invasion.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA

  • Agammamon||

    Questionable Saudi Explanation of Khashoggi's Death Bolsters Rand Paul's Case for Ending Arms Sales

    Why?

    No, no - don't get me wrong. I'm of the opinion that we should never have been selling them arms in the first place. So I don't see how this makes the case stronger than it already was.

    And, frankly, since the US has been ceding the moral high ground to the Middle Easterners for the duration of the War on Terror - an amazing feat considering we've basically said we'll sink to the same level as people who bomb nightclubs - does one journalist really tip the scales?

  • MSimon||

    Selling/giving arms and transport to the Soviets was a very bad mistake.

    Being allied with them was worse.

  • illi||

    Ooooh snap! Logic wins the day! Hell yeah!

  • Ordinary Person||

    We're just as awful so why turn back now.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefties are pretty awful.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Only lefties are awful. Americams are good.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    All the media people who want his job at WaPo are concern trolling hard.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    We cannot control what others do.
    We can only control what we do.

  • Tony||

    I feel like there was no good reason for Trumpies to reflexively try to defend Saudi except that they're just used to being asshole trolls.

  • DesigNate||

    Who here defended the Saudis Tony?

  • Tony||

    The Trumpies. So, most of you?

  • sarcasmic||

    I haven't been following the news, so I don't know what Trump is saying about this. But whatever it is, he's right because true libertarians agree with Trump on everything. At least that's what most of the people here say. If you don't agree with Trump then you're an anarchist who wants a leftist government. MAGA!

  • Ordinary Person||

    Trump: This is just like the Kavanaugh experience, i.e. the Poor Crown prince was being falsely accused but was vindicated by (wink wink) an 'investigation'.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic must disagree with Trump no matter what. Its TDS after all.

  • DesigNate||

    Besides lovecon, who else in this thread is defending them? Nobody, that's who.

    And before you bleed more of your retard all over the place, asking why this particular incident should bear more weight then all the other heinous shit the Saudis have done isn't defending them.

    *just because I know you're slow and still think we're all Republicans: fuck the saudis, fuck the last five presidents support of them and fuck Trump if he continues to support them.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No one is defending the Saudi government, those of us with brains do understand that this incident, where details are sketchy. is no reason to freak out.

  • TangoDelta||

    Here I figured the "investigation" would turn up the killer who "was promptly tried, found guilty, and executed". All this proves that the Saudi gov't is made of a bunch of amateurs professional investigators who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth and are above pinning it on some patsy.

  • illi||

    Didn't this journalist have close ties to the Muslim Bortherhood and Osama Bin Laden? I feel like there is a large part of this story that isn't being told.

  • mtrueman||

    "Didn't this journalist have close ties to the Muslim Bortherhood and Osama Bin Laden? "

    It's much worse. I heard he said something mean about Trump.

  • Longtobefree||

    http://thefederalist.com/ 2018/10/15/10-key-questions-khashoggi -affair-answer-buying-press-narrative/

  • Peacedog||

    Khashoggi was an Islamist, personal friend of Osama Bin Laden, Muslim Brotherhood member/supporter and a close associate of many "conservative" (i.e. Wahhabist) clerics bin Salman had recently jailed.

    His death was a net benefit for humanity.

    As others have stated, this non-US citizen was killed in a Saudi embassy in Turkey.

    Why should we care?

    My only question is why this jerk had a visa to come to the US in the first place.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Obama's relaxed standards on who gets visas to enter the USA.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And Obama does love the Muskim Bros.. Don't forget that.

  • Kenneth Kelly||

    He relocated to the US in June 2017. Obama wasn't President.

  • Longtobefree||

    So how did a former Saudi official with ties to intelligence services, connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, and a long history with a terrorist responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths on U.S. soil obtain permanent resident status?

    Khashoggi must have important American patrons, because even though he reportedly moved to the United States in 2017, he already had a green card. According to the Washington Post's David Ignatius: "Friends helped Khashoggi obtain a visa that allowed him to stay in the United States as a permanent resident."

  • Peacedog||

    And cases like this make me want to completely close the borders and throw away the key. No way this clown should have been let into the US, let alone given a green card.

  • Kenneth Kelly||

    According to the article you quoted, his friends helped him get that visa in 2017. He did not have a green card before he moved to the US.

  • Wanderer||

    Absolutely excellent post

    Those who want to discuss the murder of politically exposed persons would better discuss Seth Rich.

  • BigT||

    It's not like the govt drone- killed one of its citizens who spoke out against it. THAT would require cutting off all relations with such an evil, corrupt regime!!

  • sarcasmic||

    True libertarians agree with Trump on everything. So the only thing that matters is what Trump wants. At least that's what the majority of posters here say. MAGA!

  • ||

    "True libertarians" agree with Trump and Saudi leadres over Rand Paul. Just wow. If it was Cuban journalist at Cuban embassy while Obama was president.. I guess there is no point to reason with them anymore.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah. This place has turned into a Republican dick waving contest since all the cool kids went to the glibertarian echo chamber.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic would rather have Anarchists dick waving. We would need magnifying glasses to see if that was what they are doing though.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's not what Stormy Daniels said.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic got sloppy seconds from stormey daniels.

    Did you see the Trumps been here tattoo?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No Sarc, you're just foaming at the mouth to attack Trump no matter what. You're the problem, not us.

    But then, you have a lot of bad ideas.

    But that's ok. That's what correcting is for.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    According to YOU, true Libertarians disagree with Trump on everything.

    Sarcasmic, the Anarchist, keeps the gems coming.

  • sarcasmic||

    Oh look, the very retard I was speaking about just crawled out of bed. The retard who knows I support Trump's efforts to cut taxes and regulations says I disagree with him on everything. The retard who doesn't know what words mean says I'm an anarchist. The retard who doesn't know the difference between libertarian and Libertarian claims to know what both support.

    Jesus, dude. You just can't stop making a fool of yourself.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No Sarc, we're just sick of the shit you spout. And yes, you are an anarchist. And you're wrong.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sarcasmic is a funny guy. A funny anarchist.

  • ||

    One does not have to be an anarchist (not that there is anythong wrong with being an anarchist) in order not to support stupid "proxy wars" that the US should never participate in in the first place, let alone if it means supporting horrific human rights abuses and arming islamist fundamentalists. And if someone claim that killing people is just "what governments do", as someone did above, they forever lose their right to complain about any domestic authoritarian politician. Deciding every aspect of their s citizens´ lives, including their deaths, is afer all, just normal government´s job.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Grow the fuck up. The Rest of the world isn't like the US. Not even close. When you leave really bad people in power unchecked, you end up with things like an ascendant Nazi Germany. And then there are always naive people, like you that think blind isolationist, will solve all our problems.

    It doesn't. Case closed.

  • ||

    I am no blind isolationist. A blind isolationist would have said - who cares, sell anything to anyone willing to pay and don´t care what happens with it as long as it isn´t used against the US. I am saying, don´t stick the dick between crazies fighting for regional dominance, not by supplying one of the sides -or both - weapons, not in any way. Take a principled position - no support for islamist fundamentalists. Support true allies, like Israel. They can choose any allies the want, but the US doesn´t have to suppport these allies if they are islamist crazies. Try to maintain normal working realtionships with as many countries as possible, but no special favors for any radical islamist regime. Support moderate, even if not perfect regimes, but don´t ally with people that fund terrorism everywhere and /or don´t even have the common sense to not murder people at their embassies, making the US looking like unprincipled assholes to the world and laughing at right in the President´s face. They need the US and should behave their part, not the other way around.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You keep talking like this event is somehow in any way about Trump. It's not. Khashoggi is not American. In fact, he is a person that should be dead anyway.

  • mtrueman||

    The Saudi king pulls a stunt like this weeks before the mid terms, embarrassing Trump for no good reason, you'd think Trump supporters would be angry with his majesty, crying out for a swift and just punishment. Instead we are too busy trying to excuse the creep. We have to learn that it is Saudi Arabia that is the client, and not the other way around. You'd think Trump would be keenly aware of this.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    This has no effect on Trump. Only you and progtards think otherwise.

  • mtrueman||

    "This has no effect on Trump."

    It effects him enough to take his attention away from issues that are more important to him and his minions. An image of limp wristedness will only encourage others to take advantage of his perceived weakness. A firm wristed leader is necessary to MAGA.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thanks to Lefties, Trump will get another popularity bump for shutting down more Lefty nonsense.

    Winning never gets old.

  • mtrueman||

    "Trump will get another popularity bump "

    We'll see. Americans seem surprising keen on the Saudi King and are falling over themselves to defend his actions.

  • vek||

    This is a friggin' joke.

    If it wasn't worth cutting the Saudis loose over their countless other murders, atrocities, wars, oppression, etc... Not to mention AT LEAST covering for some of the 9/11 guys... Why should we do it over this?

    They're assholes. I get it. So what? The whole world is filled with assholes. China is basically the worst country on earth by most metrics, and everybody in the MSM and Reason suggest we not only suck their dick, but finger their asshole while we're doing it too!

    So we're either in it for the Real Politik, or we're not. Personally, strategically, I think we should just pull out of all the mess in the middle east 100%... And sell weapons to anybody that wants to buy them! Entangling alliances with none, and commerce with all, and all that jazz. Take their money, and let them deal with their own messes.

    But if we're going to stay the current course for the most part, dumping the Saudis over this is a horrible idea. This guy was just some scumbag journalist. We should probably all be glad he's dead. The Jews and the Saudis are basically our only solid allies in that whole region, so it just doesn't make sense to cut them loose.

    If we were doing it as part of a broader strategy of going non internationalist, that'd be different, but I don't see that happening...

  • mtrueman||

    "They're assholes. I get it."

    But you don't get it.One man is responsible for this, and should be held accountable. not an entire nation.

    "The Jews and the Saudis are basically our only solid allies in that whole region"

    Allies are countries like Canada, Britain and Turkey. Neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia are allies, but strategic partners, like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    What an idiotic, nonsensical response.

  • mtrueman||

    Learn the difference between an ally and a strategic partner. I promise you it's not all that difficult a concept.

  • vek||

    I wasn't trying to get all technical with my verbiage. The Saudis and Israel are our "home boys" in that hood. Get my meaning? They're also both shit bag countries IMO, and we shouldn't be helping either of them out... But as I said, if we're going to more or less maintain the status quo over there, dumping the Saudis is a bad idea.

    As far as it being "one guy." Uhhh, kinda. One guy who happens to basically be the next in line to run the entire fucking country! So to punish that one guy somehow would basically require punishing the whole country, or getting old dying king to shit on his likely successor.

  • ||

    No one is suggesting the US should suck China´s dick. China should be punished for their human rights abuses. The thing is, that is not what Trump is punishing them for, he couldn´t care less. He just has his ideas about how international trade should look like - and while the idea that every country should drop trade restrictions, as well as subsidies, is awesome, the idea that American citizens should be punished for making their free choices on the market until China is is persuaded into true free trade, is not so great. If Trup said, let´s apply sanctions on China because of their awful human rights abuses, it would be unlibertarian pragmatists ike you criticizing it as "bad for business".

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "that is not what Trump is punishing them for, he couldn´t care less"

    Do you have a statement you can link to? If not, then your state,ent is worthless.

    "the idea that American citizens should be punished for making their free choices on the market until China is is persuaded into true free trade, is not so great"

    No trade choics with China are really free. Hence Trump's policy. Stop acting like the status quo is so fucking great, it's not.

    Basically, you're another 'anything Trump does is automatically horrible' commenter.

  • ||

    No, there are good things Trump does. Deregulation, SC Justices, not starting a new war yet, these are just the first things that come to mind. Sucking up to islamist tyrants and embarassing the US on the world stage, is, however, wrong for Obama and his predecessors, wrong for Trump and wrong for his successors. Hillary would probably be even worse ass-kisser. But Trump´s disadvantage is that his personal style makes him less respected among foreign partners. I wish he could prove this disrespect is undeserved - by sensible and principled actions in foreign policy, not by embarassing the US even more.

  • vek||

    So, a couple things.

    I don't necessarily subscribe to the idea we shouldn't trade with or deal with tyrants. Maybe in a few extreme cases, but by and large I say take the money and run. I was simply pointing out that to make a big deal about the Saudis is ridiculous hypocrisy, because the establishment on both sides DOES in fact push the "Suck China's dick" policy in almost every way.

    We give them a tisk tisk now and again, but then in almost every major policy, if you propose anything that will rock the boat it is all of a sudden "destabilizing" and "irresponsible" and "aggressive" etc. I am in favor of twisting their arms over trade personally, because we have the upper hand. I wouldn't be 100% opposed to putting the screws too them in REASONABLE ways over being tyrants either.

    As for Trump being generally embarrassing and not respectful... Basically the deal is that the only "respectful" behavior from a western politician since probably the 60s has been to be a cuck. Any assertiveness has been scorned as being evil and disrespectful. Trump would have been an AMAZING and respected politician in the 1800s, before being a pussy was considered a sign of being "dignified" in and of itself.

  • vek||

    I think it is entirely true that outside of Europe (where they're all cucks, except a few recently elected nationalists) most leaders of nations FEAR Trump being assertive more than they think he's a tool. But of course they don't like it, so they denounce it in any way possible, as one would expect. Nobody ever wants their competition to have a strong leader who won't back down. DUH.

    But I'd rather have foreign nations denouncing us in the press and doing what we want, than them paying us lip service as being great while fucking us. In ones personal life it is not going to be in your own best interests to ALWAYS do the nicest possible thing for others 110% of the time... So it is with nations. We can afford to be nice sometimes, when it counts... But we've been bending over backwards almost 100% of the time at our own expense for decades now. Even half the wars we've fought were for other nations interests, and not our own. It's gotta stop sooner or later.

    So, while I don't agree with plenty of the particulars of Trumps decisions, I like the idea of telling others to go fuck themselves, and we're going to do what we perceive to be in our best interests. We're the most powerful country in the world, we should not be acting like meek cucks. That's the kind of strategy for Iceland to employ or something, not the USA.

  • Jack Coe||

    The killing of a Muslim Brotherhood activist, and close friend of Osama bin Laden who occasionally wrote an op-ed piece, is a stupid reason to up end foreign policy just at the historic moment when Saudi Arabia has allied with Israel in helping us confront Iran and Russia's gambit for regional hegemony.

    I know libertarians don't like realpolitik but to paraphrase Philip K. Dick, realpolitik is that which when you stop believing in it, has you still staring down the barrel of your enemy's gun.

  • mtrueman||

    "a stupid reason to up end foreign policy just at the historic moment when Saudi Arabia has allied with Israel in helping us confront Iran and Russia's gambit for regional hegemony"

    If we kiss this king's ass, maybe he'll help us start WWIII. What Trump may not know, is the regions full of hot heads happy to have the US fight their wars for them. Still. it will be interesting to see whether Trump takes up the argument here that it's not such a bad idea killing journalists, given they are traitors and all. It seems the trouble is that nothing the man wrote at the Post is controversial.

  • Enemy of the State||

    Hey, if trade is a leverage point, then why not tariff Saudi oil sales to the US as "punishment"?

    Higher oil prices for American consumers - that'll teach those Sunni devils...

  • Bob Meyer||

    Khashoggi had warned the Saudis that he intended to go to their embassy in Turkey and commit suicide. The Saudi Prince immediately sent 15 men to prevent Khashoggi from killing himself but alas, they were too late. Khashoggi had used a bone saw to cut off all of his limbs and his head. These 15 incompetents now face execution for having failed to save Khashoggi's life.

  • Mark of the Beach||

    Turkish president only seemed concerned about the Turk hired by the Bone Saw Brigade to hide the body parts.

  • johnnymars||

    I like Rand Paul, and I love his dad, who didn't take any shit from Israel. My message to Rand: disengage with Israel. They are an atheistic Rothschild Khazarian terroristic mafia who are committing genocide in Palestine. How can they claim that god gave them Israel when they aren't even Semitic. Natanyahu himself is a Polish Khazar, NOT a true religious Semitic Jew. 9eleven had Zionist Mossad fingerprints all over it. YouTube Dr. Alan Sabrosky and Christopher Bollyn to see who really did the false flag 9eleven operation. Hint: it was not the Saudis or Iraqies or any other Muslim.

    WTFU!

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Khashoggi is just another broken egg in the Omelet House.

  • marriedtoaliberal||

    The whole world condemns Jamal Khashoggi's murder, but…
    Fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, Saudi funded Madrassas inspire hate and terrorism thru out the world, gays killed, women enslaved, non-violent Shia Cleric Nimr al-Nimr beheaded, support of Isis and Al Qaeda, fermenting civil war in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, Prince Mohammad bin Salman imprisons and extorts his own family, kidnaps the Lebanese Prime Minister, imprisons women activists, commits genocide in Yemen, and the world does nothing.
    MBS kills a Washington Post reporter and we're ready to end America's 70 year alliance with Saudi Arabia. Just saying.

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