Reason Podcast

Should We Sell Weapons to Saudi Arabia?: Podcast

It's bad when U.S. presidents think of weapons sales to dictatorships as jobs programs, but should we remove political constraints on arms dealing altogether?

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||| REUTERS TV/REUTERS/Newscom
REUTERS TV/REUTERS/Newscom

When Lesley Stahl asked President Donald Trump how he would punish Saudi Arabia if the oil-rich dictatorship was found to have murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the president quickly turned the conversation toward the importance of arms sales to American jobs. Was that the right answer?

No it wasn't, argue editors Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Nick Gillespie, and Matt Welch on the Monday editor-roundtable version of the Reason Podcast. But maybe, they add, that's an argument for re-examining whether government should have any role in limiting commerce between U.S. companies and far-flung baddies. The discussion then ranges from the ethics of dictatorship junkets to seasonal Saudi-bashing syndrome to Trump's ongoing presidency-demystification project, before moving on to the politics of anti–political correctness and the trauma-absorbing qualities of Mr. Rogers.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'18—Ghosts II' by Nine Inch Nails is licensed under CC BY NC SA 3.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Did Saudi Arabia Murder This Expat Journalist for Criticizing the Government?," by Joe Setyon

"Jamal Khashoggi Disappearance Doesn't Seem to Faze White House," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"With the Saudis, Trump Shows Timidity," by Steve Chapman

"Rand Paul Says He'll Try to Block Saudi Arms Sales Over Khashoggi Disappearance," by Brian Doherty

"The President Shouldn't Act as an Arms Dealer to the Saudis," by Veronique de Rugy

"American-Backed Saudi Coalition Kills 40 Children in Airstrike, Injures Dozens More," by Nikhil Sridhar

"Trump's 60 Minutes Interview Further Demystifies the Presidency," by Nick Gillespie

"Study: 80% of Americans Believe Political Correctness Is a Problem," by Robby Soave

"Don't Take Too Much Comfort From Surveys Showing Widespread Opposition to 'Political Correctness'," by Ilya Somin

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