November 21, 2018

"America First!/The world is a very dangerous place!" — so begins Trump's "Statement... on Standing with Saudi Arabia."

At the White House website.
The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraq’s fragile attempt at democracy, supporting the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who has killed millions of his own citizens), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East. Iran states openly, and with great force, “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” Iran is considered “the world’s leading sponsor of terror.”

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave. They would immediately provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend billions of dollars in leading the fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism.

After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth for the United States. Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defense contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries – and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!

The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone. Indeed, we have taken strong action against those already known to have participated in the murder. After great independent research, we now know many details of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body.

Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that – this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!

That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!

I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction – and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America. After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels – so important for the world. As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!
Here's "Trump’s Statement on Saudi Arabia, Explained!/The president makes the case for the crown prince: Iran, arms sales and oil" by Julian Barnes in the NYT:
President Trump released an exclamation-point-filled statement on Tuesday about the assassination of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.... The statement is a fascinating journey into the mind of the president. Mr. Trump, when he is not obfuscating, is sometimes startlingly transparent about why he makes decisions....
Actually, the NYT analysis is not as enlightening as I had hoped. I don't understand how Barnes thinks he's seeing a "startlingly transparent" view of Trump's decisionmaking process. I don't see Trump's statement as a revelation of what he's really thinking about. I would guess it's much more devious — an attempt to control and manipulate Saudi Arabia.

I think Scott Adams has a much better grip on what's really going on, but maybe Adams is more startlingly transparent than Barnes:

151 comments:

Danno said...

I had the obligatory sip of coffee at the appropriate part of the video.

Lyle said...

Good morning world! Trump is not undermining our democracy, but actually making the world safe for democracy.

johnhenry100 said...

If not America (USA) first, then who?

John Henry

johnhenry100 said...

Would there be all this hoorah if the guy were not considered a journalist?

I question whether he was really a journalist in any realistic sense of the word.

Columnist, opinion writer sure. Like MoDo, David brooks and thousands of others. Does that make him a "journalist"?

John Henry

David Begley said...

1. If President Hillary Clinton had made the same decision (and she may well could have), the NYT would praise her to the skies.

2. This man died for love and the rule of law. He went to his death trying to acquire a marriage license.

Mark said...

Saudi is spending all that money fighting terrorism, meanwhile they keep producing new recruits for the terrorists.

Maybe Trump forgot where most of the 9/11 guys came from, but I haven't.

The Saudis are Saudi-first, not Anerica first. Believing their lies never turns out to be a good idea.

Fritz said...

The list of Russian journalists killed under the Putin (and Medvedv/Putin) regime from 2002 to the present is simply staggering. In 2012 Barack Obama told Medvedev he'd have more flexibility to negotiate after the election.

All journalists lives matter, but apparently some matter more than others.



Temujin said...

The Saudis have a serious pull on the US foreign policy and US Presidents. Every one of them down the line has cuddled up to the Saudis, even in the face of their black ops, their horrible treatment of many others, and their grooming of those who literally attack the US.

That said, in one of the most obvious hotspots of the world, they are allies. They work with us behind the scenes, and in front of the curtain, to do things no other country other than Israel, would do to help US interests. Therefore, US Presidents- one and all- have had to swallow hard to keep them viewed as allies. Even the Beloved One, Obama.

They've done worse than Khashoggi. I don't recall the screams and howls from the worldwide media machines over their other atrocities. I just think they (the media) are so caught up in their 'get Trump' sickness, they saw/see this as a possible path to hang this shit act on Trump.

roadgeek said...

President Trump has an excellent grasp of realpolitik.

tim in vermont said...

The Prince should have ordered a drone strike, that’s the way our prince did it, and he came out spotless with his trouser crease still as crisp as when they came out of the plastic!

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

Always appreciate your comments on Scott Adams. Sometimes I wonder if he's hypnotized me, but trust your cruel neutrality to break the spell if need be.

tim in vermont said...

In 2012 Barack Obama told Medvedev he'd have more flexibility to negotiate after the election.

“You don’t cause me any problems this election cycle and I will repay you once I have won.”

Can anybody here think of a more textbook example of collusion between a POTUS and a hostile foreign ruler?

Darrell said...

God Bless President Trump and God Bless the U.S.A.

tim in vermont said...

When ISIS put that pilot in a cage an lowered him into a fire, sure it was a horrific act, but they did have a certain point about the hidden cruelty of bombing.

J. Farmer said...

Trump's statement is little more than a rehash of the administration's talking points on Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-Iran rivalry is not a case of good guys versus bad guys, but two autocratic regimes attempting to carve spheres of influence for themselves. Blaming the Yemen War on Iran is particularly rich. That has become the new talking point because the original aim of the war has been abandoned. It was launched on the pretext of returning Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to power, but Hadi has no legitimacy inside of Yemen and currently sits in Riyadh on house arrest. There are many ways to describe US foreign policy towards Saudi Arabia, but it has nothing to do with America First. If anything, it is Saudi First and prioritizes Saudi self-interest in the region. Saudi actions in Yemen actually work against US security interests, as a key component of the Saudi's strategy has been to recruit and empower Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which was responsible for the USS Cole bombing.

tim in vermont said...

My mother lived through bombing by the Nazis and still has nightmares about it in her 90s. So I just don’t get why Obama gets a free pass. (Hah! Not true, I know exactly why Obama got a free pass!)

Oh, and the “exclamation points”? That’s writing for social media. Try to keep up New York Times.

David Begley said...

The new AG should get Hillary’s deleted emails from intelligence sources. Our new friends in China and North Korea have them. Our FBI and CIA probably do too. Then subpoena them from David Kendall and his law firm. He certainly kept an insurance copy to make sure he got paid. No attorney-client privilege for covering up a crime. All of the bribery stuff is in the emails. We know MBS is an idiot. He probably wrote things like, “Where do I wire your $20 million?”

Then squeeze Kendall. Will he go to jail for Hillary? I think not.

tim in vermont said...

There are many ways to describe US foreign policy towards Saudi Arabia, but it has nothing to do with America First.

If we are putting our self interests above the nattering nabobs of the partisan press and their allies in the overseas press, in supporting Saudi Arabia, then that’s “America First.” Though it is a new situation in the world when the world’s largest producer of oil (Thanks Dick Cheney!) has a stronger interest in keeping the prices moderated.

Let’s count Dick Cheney’s accomplishments. Seal Team Six, once derisively called “Cheney’s assassination squad” Those oil industry meetings in the White House that has the panties of the left in a knot. Good times, good times...

tim in vermont said...

“America First” does not mean that America gets to dictate events all over the globe, it means that we put our interests first in making decisions, even if those decisions benefit other nations more in some way.

Phil 3:14 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil 3:14 said...

In defense of the exclamation point. (I couldn’t get the link to work)

https://medium.com/@shounakbagchi/in-defense-of-the-exclamation-mark-43b7e3ef7b86

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

https://medium.com/@shounakbagchi/in-defense-of-the-exclamation-mark-43b7e3ef7b86

< a href=https://medium.com/@shounakbagchi/in-defense-of-the-exclamation-mark-43b7e3ef7b86>https://medium.com/@shounakbagchi/in-defense-of-the-exclamation-mark-43b7e3ef7b86</a>

Remember to leave off the quotes in your link on the 'href='

EDH said...

"Well, maybe I don't use my exclamation points as haphazardly as you do?"

Mattman26 said...

Funny how the Times feels the need to explain(!) what is probably the clearest, most commonsensical analysis of a thorny foreign policy issue ever from a President.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

If we are putting our self interests above the nattering nabobs of the partisan press and their allies in the overseas press, in supporting Saudi Arabia, then that’s “America First.

I don't agree with that metric. The fact that the "nattering nabobs of the partisan press and the their allies in the overseas press," is not a reason for supporting or opposing a policy. The question is what is in the best interest of the United States. And given that the Saudi policy in Yemen has empowered AQAP, and to a lesser extent ISIS, why is that in the American interest? How is supporting such a policy an example of putting our needs and interests first. The strategy of arms sales and supporting the war in Yemen are both Obama-era policies. The latter was pursued as a way of placating the Saudis after the Iran deal. All Trump has done has doubled down on those policies and simply declared that by doing so he is putting "America First."

narciso said...

As I pointed out before, Yemen is an old story, southwest Arabia was annexed from it in 1934, the grandfather of khashoggis partner directed the operation

J. Farmer said...

@narciso:

As I pointed out before, Yemen is an old story, southwest Arabia was annexed from it in 1934, the grandfather of khashoggis partner directed the operation

Again...so what?

Robert Cook said...

"If not America (USA) first, then who?"


No one.

mockturtle said...

Cook the idealist repeats his mantra.

Sebastian said...

"the NYT analysis is not as enlightening as I had hoped"

Very subtle sarcasm. ICWYDT.

Anyway, no one needs "analysis" of Trump's admirably clear statement, and no one familiar with the NYT "hopes" for enlightenment on anything from them.

mandrewa said...

China, as a matter of government policy, is murdering X number of people a day. There are reasons for the government of China to murder these people, but many of their reasons are even further from justice than the Saudi justification for murdering Khashoggi.

Many of the people who are so opposed to what Trump has just done would, hypocritically, be opposed if we applied the same standard to China.

One of the justifications for invading Iraq was that Saddam Hussein's government was murdering something like 50,000 Iraqis per year. This wasn't the only reason of course for that invasion. But it was a real factor.

I was opposed to the invasion of Iraq, although I barely voiced my objection. If I hadn't believed that the government of Iraq was evil, a government based on 10% of the population terrorizing the rest, I would have been more strongly opposed.

Trump is making the right decision.

tim in vermont said...

It's not my judgment to make. I don't have the facts, but because you disagree with the judgements made doesn't mean that the deciders weren't putting American interests foremost in their minds.

Robert Cook said...

"That said, in one of the most obvious hotspots of the world, they are allies. They work with us behind the scenes, and in front of the curtain, to do things no other country other than Israel, would do to help US interests. Therefore, US Presidents- one and all- have had to swallow hard to keep them viewed as allies. Even the Beloved One, Obama."

Two crime families working to enrich themselves.

narciso said...

The point is whether to salmanfor Ahmed who is a real blood thirsty bastard, from the people who toppled kadafi and Mubarak that worked out for someone.

J. Farmer said...

@mandrewa:

The problem with the China comparison is that China is a competitor and rival of the United States. We are not refueling their jets, putting special operations forces on their territory, and providing them with intelligence and logistical support to carry out a war on a neighbor. Saudi Arabia is a US client-state, and we are partially implicated by things they do, especially when they are given a blank check by the administration.

The two most common security arguments for the closeness of the US-Saudi relationship is the containment of Iran and containing radical jihadist forces. But Saudi Arabia has its own self-interested reasons to want to contain Iran, and they would pursue these interests regardless of US support. On the terrorism front, Saudi Arabia's actions have compounded the problem rather than alleviated them. First with their action in Syria, attempting to support radical Sunni fighters battling against the Assad regime and now in Yemen, where they are recruiting and promoting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Robert Cook said...

"God Bless President Trump and God Bless the U.S.A."

You've been fooled by an anti-Christ. Only those eager to be fooled could fall for an anti-Christ as crude and unconvincing as Trump. Obama was a much more subtle anti-Christ. But...why be subtle when people are willing to believe, to embrace, crude nonsense and obvious lies?

tim in vermont said...

Cook gets to decide what is and isn't a crime. It's worse for a righty selling the bullets and lime to get rich than for a lefty to machine gun reactionaries into the ditch.

EDH said...

The least the Saudis could do in return is invite Jim Acosta to the embassy to talk it over.

Hagar said...

All information about Khashoggi's death come from the Turkey government and is given out and played for political purposes - not any moral revulsion, or whatever, on their part.
That does not mean it is not true, but certainly should be a warning to proceed with caution before jumping on Mr. Erdogan's bandwagon. One may also question just how this information was obtained from inside the Saudi Arabian embassy. It kind of smells like a set-up.

I think the U.S. Government's major reason for staying with the Saudis is that Saudi Arabia is an essential part of the Saudi-Israel-Egypt coalition against Iran and its allies.

I hope this works out better than when the U.S. armed the Khmer Rouge as an ally against the Viet Cong.

narciso said...

Probably, the Shah screwed us at least once in 1973, palmerston knew about such things,

Robert Cook said...

"When ISIS put that pilot in a cage an lowered him into a fire, sure it was a horrific act, but they did have a certain point about the hidden cruelty of bombing."

Sure...bombing is like pouring fire onto a cage filled with men, women, children, the elderly and infirm.

mockturtle said...

'America First' simply implies that America's policies should be geared toward our own interests rather than toward global ones.

narciso said...

No, the Chinese did, that was the butchers bill that Nixon's handshake wrought, some survivors from long nols regime then set up a holding action against hun Sen from thailand.

tim in vermont said...

One thing Cook is right about is that we can't believe a word that the CIA utters. They have stepped into partisan politics openly now.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

It's not my judgment to make. I don't have the facts, but because you disagree with the judgements made doesn't mean that the deciders weren't putting American interests foremost in their minds.

Not just the judgments; I suspect I probably disagree with great deal of the premises as well. But your position is, I think, a dangerous deference to power. It amounts to the administration simply saying, "trust us," and everyone else saying, "okay." Also, as I pointed out, both of the administration's policies (arms sales, supporting the war on Yemen) were instituted under Obama. And to quote your own words back to you about Obama, "but because you disagree with the judgements made doesn't mean that the deciders weren't putting American interests foremost in their minds."

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

'America First' simply implies that America's policies should be geared toward our own interests rather than toward global ones.

I agree that that is what the phrase should mean. I advocated an "America First" foreign policy my whole adult life. I just fail to see how our current Saudi policy is emblematic of putting "America First." For one thing, it is not a significant departure from previous presidents' policy towards Saudi Arabia.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narciso said...

I trust Graham and Corker less, the former helpee topple the two regimes mentioned above, the later organized the 500 million dollar boondoggle against Assad, someone made out like a bandit.

Robert Cook said...

"I hope this works out better than when the U.S. armed the Khmer Rouge as an ally against the Viet Cong."

Ha!

Your remark succinctly reveals the pernicious nature of all U.S. foreign policy in the post-WWII world, and the predictable consequences thereof.

narciso said...

Cooper( a good Republican, hah) and church pulled us forces out of indochina, the boat people the reeducation camps and year zero were the result, Anthony lake is still smug nearly 50 years later,

J. Farmer said...

@narciso:

Cooper( a good Republican, hah) and church pulled us forces out of indochina, the boat people the reeducation camps and year zero were the result, Anthony lake is still smug nearly 50 years later,

Is it your contention that had American forces not been pulled out of Indochina, they would have been involved in a direct war in Cambodia aimed at stopping the Khmer Rouge?

JAORE said...

the NYT analysis is not as enlightening as I had hoped....

And are you shocked, shocked, that there is gambling at Ricks?

narciso said...

No I'm pointing out the consequences of Ill thought out virtue signaling, now take Mugabe who we had little to do with his toppling in the 90s, but still what a fustercluck it has turned into.

J. Farmer said...

@narciso:

No I'm pointing out the consequences of Ill thought out virtue signaling, now take Mugabe who we had little to do with his toppling in the 90s, but still what a fustercluck it has turned into.

Completely agree about "ill thought out virtue signaling," but I disagree that the Khmer Rouge's victory in the Cambodian Civil War and the subsequent actions taken by the regime were a "consequence" of our departure from Indochina. And I certainly agree that toppling unlikable regimes can often be a very foolish and destructive thing to do.

mandrewa said...

Hagar said, "I hope this works out better than when the U.S. armed the Khmer Rouge as an ally against the Viet Cong."

That didn't happen. The Khmer Rouge started off as 50,000 Cambodian children who were taken from their parents by the government of Vietnam and were trained to be like the Viet Cong, but for Cambodia. In addition that there were radical left-wing students who had became communist in Paris. (The connection with France is that Cambodia was a French colony for a number of years.)

The Khmer Rouge eventually overthrew the government of Cambodia, which had been an American ally in Vietnam, but this was after the war in Vietnam was over. A year or two after the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia, their war with Vietnam started, and I don't know the details, except that Vietnam won. But didn't they leave the Khmer Rouge in power? It was essentially the same people, I think.

narciso said...

Of course it was, now sihanouk first giving sanctuary to the vietcong then providing an umbrella for the Khmer, yet that bastard never had to suffer.

On a smaller scale, one had the consequences of Carter and Cavanaughs empowering of Mugabe (I meant to say mobuto earlier) zanu visited on the missionaries as the axe and the tree relates.

Chuck said...

Well since Scott Adams “no longer cares about the fucking law,” what difference would a murder make, when the real question is, “How is the Master Persuader doing?”

narciso said...

No they didn't that was the point, those former Cambodian officials by necessity had to team up with the Khmer rouge, from their bases in thailand.

Bruce Hayden said...

.Ok, let's start with the claim that Khashoggi was a journalist. Only if you considered Pravda "journalists" as such during the Soviet era. He was, essentialntially, a propagandist for one Saudi faction. Which meant that he represented the Saudi crown when that faction was in power. They aren't any more. The Crown Prince has, or at least had, Khashoggi's benefactors in the Hyatt Regency where he housed the princes and billionaires who opposed him. This all revolves around that internal Saudi fight for the future direction of the Kingdom. The old faction in power had been very 7th Century looking, using Saudi billions to propagandize the rest of the Islamic world towards their stark Wahabbi faith, and that included working with, and helping fund, the Muslim Brotherhood, and its offshoots, including the Taliban, al Quada, ISIS, etc. The Crown Prince stands for modernization, and in religious terms, a bit more moderation. From our point of view that means working for peace, and not Jihad. We are talking joint military maneuvers with the Egyptions, Jordan, and maybe even Lebannon, and sharing intelligence with Israel. They all see a common enemy, Iran, which is running proxy wars all over the Middle East, including right next to Saudi Arabia in Yeman. And the Egyptians don't like what the Iranians are doing in Gaza right now much more than the Israelis do.

What's going on with the CIA here? They are pushing this Khashoggi thing as hard (and as illegally) as they can. Part of the answer is that he was their guy. He appears to have been a major conduit between the losing Saudi faction, when they were in power, and the CIA. He was John Brennan's guy. The former CIA Director who most likely illegally provided the legal predicates for the FBI investigation of Trump and his campaign, transistion, and early Administraion (using CIA assets Misfyp, Downer, and Halper). Leaks classified information like crazy, and seems to have a personal vendetta against Trump that causes him to almost froth uncontrollably. That CIA. They lost their conduit to the Saudi King, first with the other faction taking control, throwing the CIA's contacts effectively in prison, and then, maybe, having their conduit, Khashoggi, killed. So, of course, they are major butt hurt. But these aren't their decisions to make. They are Trump's.

narciso said...

Yes prince talal is the figurehead for the resistance, which comprises many players of the golden chain that clique of merchants and princes that were bin laden's venture capitalists they gave liberally to the Atlantic council, and Hillary's campaign.

narciso said...

Downer as much as admits the former view in the aussie version of the financial times. Mifsud collaborated with khashoggi on various enterprises

J. Farmer said...

@Bruce Hayden:

The Crown Prince stands for modernization, and in religious terms, a bit more moderation. From our point of view that means working for peace, and not Jihad.

What is the evidence for this, other than MBS' own PR campaign? And how is carrying out a destructive war against Yemen, specifically designed to starve its population into submission, "working for peace." How is empowering Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula "not Jihad?"

This analysis of the Yemen War is like saying the problem with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was that Americans were funding Afghan resistance to it.

narciso said...

Prince Salman stands behind asisi who is fighting the brotherhood as is the king abdallah, Qatar and Turkey are against both.

narciso said...

Brennan was probably recruited by the old guard on his first tour in the kingdom (the now king was thr governor of Riyadh)

Hagar said...

The "House of Saud" needs to go, but now may be a bad time.
However, if not now, when?
There may never be a "good" time.

J. Farmer said...

@narciso:

Prince Salman stands behind asisi who is fighting the brotherhood as is the king abdallah, Qatar and Turkey are against both.

What significant doctrinal differences exist between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafism from which the House of Saud derives legitimacy?

J. Farmer said...

@Hagar:

The "House of Saud" needs to go, but now may be a bad time.
However, if not now, when?
There may never be a "good" time.


I would put that in the "be careful what you wish for" category.

TreeJoe said...

The is a trip down fucking memory lane for the NYT. Let's review some background here:

Saudi Arabia, in accordance with their own kingdom laws, conducted a targeted assassination of a Saudi Citizen in an Saudi Embassy. For this, the argument goes, we should distance ourselves from Saudi Arabia.

The hypocrisy on this matter is breathtaking. Obama ordered the foreign killing of an american citizen who was viewed as in opposition/threat to the U.S.

Anwar Al-Awlaki

The U.S. "accidentally" killed two Americans via drone strike - Adam Gadahn and Ahmed Farouq. At Obama's orders.

Obama ordered a drone strike on a cafe where Al-Awlaki's 16 year old American/Yemeni son was sitting - killing another American among others. It was an outdoor cafe for crying out loud.

.....

If you look at the poorly targeted execution of American citizens on foreign soil, outside of our embassies, as well as foreign nationals and you condemn Saudi Arabia for Jamal Kashoggi, you are a hypocrite.

By the very same reasoning, every single country in the world should shun us for our conduct on the GWOT going back to 2001 and continuing today.

For reference, here's the NYT on drone strikes of american citizens: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/world/asia/killing-of-americans-deepens-debate-over-proper-use-of-drone-strikes.html

Roger Sweeny said...

Scott leaves out a third path from the Middle East Progress balloon, what I call Same Old Sh*t. The Saudi government helps some or seems to help some but not much is accomplished.

narciso said...

About 50/50 it's like the nastier days of the cold war, now I understand why they did it, but they screwed up bigger than the mossad did in Dubai,

narciso said...

Yes the gadahn bit was accidentally on purpose, farouq was probably, the Awlaki kid was hanging with the wrong crowd

William said...

It is axiomatic to say that you make peace with your enemies, not your friends. Therefore, the way forward to peace is to make enemies of our friends.......I'm not knowledgeable about the politics and dynamics of the Middle East. It does appear that every change is for the worse, and that this has more to do with the people, religion, and leaders of the Middle East than with the policies of our leaders in America......Are the current rulers in Saudi Arabia worse than the Shah and are their prospective replacements better than the Mullahs?

Hagar said...

Russia, Iran, and Turkey is a very unnatural combination.
Perhaps the right time for the Saudi to go will be when the opposition fall to fighting each other, which they surely will before too long - just in the natural order of things.

narciso said...

Short answer no, same for the second,

Roger Sweeny said...

"I hope this works out better than when the U.S. armed the Khmer Rouge as an ally against the Viet Cong."

Ha!

Your remark succinctly reveals the pernicious nature of all U.S. foreign policy in the post-WWII world, and the predictable consequences thereof.



No, it reveals that the world is a complicated and often unsafe place. And that the Law of Unintended Consequences has not been repealed.

Saying that U.S. foreign policy has all been pernicious is as stupid as saying it has all been beneficial.

J. Farmer said...

@William:

Are the current rulers in Saudi Arabia worse than the Shah and are their prospective replacements better than the Mullahs?

I share your skepticism about regime change, but I think this is the wrong question to ask. The choice is not between the current US-Saudi relationship and some kind of policy of regime change for Saudi Arabia. We can still maintain diplomatic and financial engagement with Saudi Arabia without giving the regime a blank check to act in a menacing and destructive way in the region.

narciso said...

So there's this:

https://mobile.twitter.com/davereaboi/status/1065277492376858624

Bruce Hayden said...

“What is the evidence for this, other than MBS' own PR campaign? And how is carrying out a destructive war against Yemen, specifically designed to starve its population into submission, "working for peace." How is empowering Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula "not Jihad?"”

Another view of the tiff in Yemen is that it is an Iranian funded proxy war against, in particular, Saudi Arabia. Supporting that view was the shooting of Iranian missiles from Yemen into Saudi Arabia, and, I believe, Riyadh. Maybe you are correct that it isn’t a proxy war but then, who is funding the other side?

Part of the problem with the Saudis since probably at least since Jihadists first tried to destroy the WTC, and definitely when they succeeded on 9/11/01, was that some factions close to the Saudi crown were funding the terrorism. On the one hand, the US went to war to protect Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi army, while on the other hand, Saudis were funding attacks on the US, and, indeed, taking part in them, as was the case on 9/11/01. What very much looks like has happened is that the faction that almost openly supported attacks, over the years, on the US has been removed from power. The side that included OBL’s and Khashoggi‘s families.

I don’t think the question should be whether MBS, etc is a good guy, or whether his people are saints, etc, but rather whether, incrementally, they serve US interests better than their predecessors. As Trump said “America First”. And I can see why Trump might see that as true:
- Working with Egypt, Jordan, and maybe even Lebanon, with joint military maneuvers.
- Sharing Intelligence with our closest ally in the region: Israel
- Reducing funding of fundamentalist Islamic schools around the world that preach Jihad
- Reducing funding by its citizens of Muslim terrorists around the world.
- Working with the US against our common enemy: Iran.

Is some, maybe much of that, propaganda? Maybe. But is any of it true? I think likely. And if it is then we probably advance US interests at least incrementally by backing MBS over his opposition.

TreeJoe said...

Narciso said, "Yes the gadahn bit was accidentally on purpose, farouq was probably, the Awlaki kid was hanging with the wrong crowd"

The 16 year old Awlaki kid, an American citizen, was sitting at an outdoor cafe. Was he even in the wrong crowd? Was he even at the same table? Who did he come with?

Did we reach that point where we will deliberately bomb open air restaurants because a bad guy is there and whoever else happens to be there was simply "hanging with the wrong crowd" and deserved death?

I'm not intending to get into the whole drone strike discussion; merely pointing out the terrible hypocrisy of calling for decreasing ties to Saudi Arabia for their killing of a single dissident in a targeted fashion.

J. Farmer said...

@Bruce Hayden:

Another view of the tiff in Yemen is that it is an Iranian funded proxy war against, in particular, Saudi Arabia. Supporting that view was the shooting of Iranian missiles from Yemen into Saudi Arabia, and, I believe, Riyadh.

Again, I think is simply standing cause and effect on their heads. It's akin to saying that the reason the Soviets invaded Afghanistan was because we were funding resistance fighters against the invasion. In Yemen, Iran has found a low-cost way to financially bleed an adversary. This was precisely the calculus the US made in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Brzezinski himself identified it as a way to give the Soviets there are own Vietnam. That is, to bog them down in a quagmire that would challenge them financially and in morale. The Iranians are pursuing a similar strategy in Yemen. But that is not what caused the war. What caused the war was the Saudis and the UAE foolishly believing that they could wage a quick, decisive air campaign against Yemen in order to return the Saudi's preferred individual to the presidency. That objective has been abandoned. And Saudi Arabia is running into many of the same problems that other countries have experienced when trying to control events on the ground through superiority in the air.

Bruce Hayden said...

“I share your skepticism about regime change, but I think this is the wrong question to ask. The choice is not between the current US-Saudi relationship and some kind of policy of regime change for Saudi Arabia. We can still maintain diplomatic and financial engagement with Saudi Arabia without giving the regime a blank check to act in a menacing and destructive way in the region.”

I will respectfully disagree. The question shouldnt be, first, whether regime change in Saudi Arabia would benefit or harm the US and our long term interests. Rather I would suggest starting with our overall lnterests in the region, and that inevitably leads to Iran. They are waging proxy wars all over the region, many of which are inimical to our interests. They can’t really decide whether we, or our closest ally, Israel, are their biggest enemy (followed closely, no doubt, by Saudi Arabia). At a minimum, in order to advance US interests, we should be ostracizing them, but probably also consider aiding regime change there. If we are going to push regime change anywhere in the world, doesn’t Iran make the most sense? They are somewhat ripe for such, with support for their leadership plummeting in the cities, along with religiosity. Thanks to their clergy led repressive government, religious observance in Iran is probably the lowest in the Muslim world. And, if you start with the reality that containing Iran and possibly pushing them towards regime change is in our best interests, then the question becomes would pushing regime change in Saudi Arabia help or hurt us there? And while we really don’t know the answer there for sure, I would expect that deposing the king there would lead to chaos, and very likely the installation of a regime more inimical to US interests - as happened in Iran.

Which, of course brings up the question of WTF was Obama doing with Iran? How could giving the regime there billions of dollars, while removing sanctions help US interests? And why didn’t he help out the freedom fighters there during their putative Green Revolution? And I think that the answer to those questions is very likely that he used some other metric than what was in the best interests of the US. Possibly that Iran was advancing post colonial geopolitical realignment, or other such inane twaddle.

Achilles said...

It is fun to watch Farmer justify wars Iran clearly started.

Bricap said...

It would be so nice if we could develop alternative forms of energy that are viable on a massive scale, so we could reduce the amount of realpolitik bullshit we have to put up with.

Achilles said...

The world would be a totally peaceful place without The United States.

The gulags Cook’s and Farmer’s allies run/ran are/were peaceful too.

J. Farmer said...

@Bruce Hayden:

If we are going to push regime change anywhere in the world, doesn’t Iran make the most sense?

We shouldn't be pushing "regime change" anywhere. Not in Saudi Arabia and not in Iran. Regime change is a more often than not a very destructive, counterproductive, and foolish strategy to pursue. It has blown up in our face everywhere it has been tried, and I see little to no reason to expect anything less.

How could giving the regime there billions of dollars, while removing sanctions help US interests?

Iran was not given others' money. That was money owed to Iran from the sell of foreign oil that was frozen in certain international banking institutions. The implementation day included some UN sanctions relief, but the US also maintained numerous other sanctions on Iran.

And why didn’t he help out the freedom fighters there during their putative Green Revolution?

The Green Revolution were not "freedom fighters." They were supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi's presidential campaign, which they believe had been stolen by the Ahmadinejad administration. Mousavi had previously served as Prime Minister of Iran in the 1980s and while he is associated with the reformist (just as the current president), he was not seeking to overturn the Islamic Republic.

And I think that the answer to those questions is very likely that he used some other metric than what was in the best interests of the US. Possibly that Iran was advancing post colonial geopolitical realignment, or other such inane twaddle.

If that is the metric, then what explains the regime change operation in Libya? Or the escalation in Afghanistan? Or the expansion of the drove campaign? Remember, the two cornerstones of Trump's Saudi policy (arms sales and Yemen War support) are Obama-era policies. Trump has merely doubled down on them.

Achilles said...

Bricap said...
It would be so nice if we could develop alternative forms of energy that are viable on a massive scale, so we could reduce the amount of realpolitik bullshit we have to put up with.

The only viable alternative is nuclear.

It should be done.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

It is fun to watch Farmer justify wars Iran clearly started.

If it is so clearly, then please explain how Iran started the war in Yemen.

The world would be a totally peaceful place without The United States

I have never made anything remotely approaching that argument, but you are free to continue tilting at windmill's to your heart's content.

narciso said...

One final attempt against the Taliban. Sabotaged by Obama, Libya 2as a jail break in Ali Salem prison, that Susan rice mistook for a broad based revolution, she's pushing prince Ahmed, the obadiah stane of this scenario

J. Farmer said...

@narciso:

One final attempt against the Taliban.

If that was the "final attempt," why are we still there?

narciso said...

There have been third force scenarios but they rarely pan out, chamorro was supposed to fill the vacuum of somoza. Muzorewa re Ian smith.

rhhardin said...

A lot of Scott Adams's good analysis starts with the news being a business.

narciso said...

Big offensive, we resolved to a holding action, I haven't a clue what do there.

J. Farmer said...

@narciso:

Big offensive, we resolved to a holding action, I haven't a clue what do there.

A good first step would be removing American military personnel from that theater. That would at least solve the problem of young American men dying needlessly for a pointless political objective.

Bricap said...

Achilles, are you suggesting nuclear powered trains, planes, and automobiles (an interesting possibility if we can handle the disposal of the waste), or are you talking about fully recommitting to nuclear power plants (the obstacles being how to dispose of waste, and less stable geology in many places)?

Bruce Hayden said...

“Iran was not given others' money. That was money owed to Iran from the sell of foreign oil that was frozen in certain international banking institutions. The implementation day included some UN sanctions relief, but the US also maintained numerous other sanctions on Iran.”

Still, as far as I understand it, the US could have kept the money away from Iran longer. And, since money is fungible, that means that that money is essentially being used to fight their proxy war in Yemen, etc.

J. Farmer said...

@Bruce Hayden:

Still, as far as I understand it, the US could have kept the money away from Iran longer.

That depends. The point of the sanctions were to bring Iran to the negotiating table regarding their nuclear program. Had the US walked away without a deal, the international support for the sanctions would have collapsed, and the money would have flown to Iran anyway and with no deal in place.

And, since money is fungible, that means that that money is essentially being used to fight their proxy war in Yemen, etc.

The only reason Iran has been able to capitalize on the war in Yemen is because the GCC made the decision to go to war against Yemen in support of Hadi. To repeat a metaphor, saying Yemen is Iran's fault is like saying the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was our fault because we supported the resistance against it. Instead, the US used the Soviet's decision to invade Afghanistan to their benefit. Iran is doing something similar in Yemen.

Etienne said...

As soon as he said "nuclear war" I got an erection.

TreeJoe said...

"Iran was not given others' money. That was money owed to Iran from the sell of foreign oil that was frozen in certain international banking institutions. The implementation day included some UN sanctions relief, but the US also maintained numerous other sanctions on Iran. "

That is such a fundamentally naive worldview.

Stuff - resources, money, whatever - is the property of the holder. Possession being 9/10ths of the law and all that. Whether there is a contract somewhere stating it's someone elses relies entirely upon the ability to enforce that contract, which Iran did not have - hence it was not Iran's money. It was a resource to be exchanged for certain other things.

In particular, a prior government of Iran paid us $400 million 37 years ago and then an act of war was performed against us. We held that money for 37 years then allowed ourselves to be part of an arbitration process. When that arbitration process started moving away from us, we shifted the goalposts and moved to private settlement with Iran. We had no requirement to do that; there was no penalty to us otherwise.

We also could have pushed through congress an allowance to transfer that money to Iran through a banking transfer. Instead, we bought foreign currencies and paid to fly that money secretly into Iran in hard currency.

That speaks of an executive that was hungry for whatever Iran was offering and would cut corners to make it happen, doesn't it?

Tell me: If the Trump Admin cut a deal with Russia, or Saudi Arabia, and flew $400 million in hard currency to them right now, would you perhaps consider it fairly outrageous- even if it was legal?

Yancey Ward said...

The simple fact is that the Saudis are indispensable allies, like it or not. The death of one Saudi, or even a 1000 won't change that. Indeed, if Clinton were president today rather than Trump, the position she would have taken would be no different.

johnhenry100 said...

 Bricap said...

It would be so nice if we could develop alternative forms of energy that are viable on a massive scale, so we could reduce the amount of realpolitik bullshit we have to put up with.

--

You mean like nuclear?

Not only massively feasible but for the climastrologists, no co2 emissions.

John Henry

johnhenry100 said...

Unlike solar and wind, nuclear also has the benefit of actually working.

John Henry

J. Farmer said...

@TreeJoe:

You are confusing two separate issues. One is the money that was frozen in foreign banks from Iran's sell of oil on the world market. International sanctions had frozen this money, and an unfreezing was to be a part of any deal Iran made with the world powers over its nuclear program. The other is the settlement of claims via the US-Iran Claims Tribunal at The Hague.

J. Farmer said...

@Yancey Ward:

The simple fact is that the Saudis are indispensable allies, like it or not. The death of one Saudi, or even a 1000 won't change that. Indeed, if Clinton were president today rather than Trump, the position she would have taken would be no different.

What, in your estimation, makes them "indispensable allies?" What significant American interest do they serve?

Yancey Ward said...

The significant interest they serve is that they are not enemies.

Howard said...

Blogger Yancey Ward said...

The significant interest they serve is that they are not enemies.


Except for 911, that's true

J. Farmer said...

The significant interest they serve is that they are not enemies.

That’s true of nearly every country on the planet. Are they all indispensable allies?

Howard said...

Blogger johnhenry100 said...

Unlike solar and wind, nuclear also has the benefit of actually working.


Wrong. The problem with redreamables is scalability

Bricap said...

johnhenry100 said...


You mean like nuclear?

Not only massively feasible but for the climastrologists, no co2 emissions.

John Henry

I answered Achillss on this earlier, icymi, as he had a similar response.

Ray - SoCal said...

I have mixed feeling on the unfreezing of Iran’s money.

It’s nice it has been removed as an issue. It allowed Iran’s government to show how incompetent it is, and remove blaming the us.

Unfortunately the money was partially used in funding Iran stuff in Syria and Lebanon.

tim in vermont said...

It's ironic that the people maddest at the Saudis keep bringing up Khashoggi, bin Laden's butt buddy.

tim in vermont said...

Oh that's right, Khashoggi said that he tried to talk bin Laden out of it. So he must be innocent. In this matter, I trust that the Saudis know what happened there.

Jim at said...

The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone.

Tap. Tap.
Nope. Give-a-damn Meter still busted.

Jim at said...

Columnist, opinion writer sure. Like MoDo, David brooks and thousands of others. Does that make him a "journalist"?

No. Next question.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

It's ironic that the people maddest at the Saudis keep bringing up Khashoggi, bin Laden's butt buddy.

Oh that's right, Khashoggi said that he tried to talk bin Laden out of it. So he must be innocent. In this matter, I trust that the Saudis know what happened there.

Khashoggi and bin Laden knew each other as youths, and both were from prominent Saudi families. The cause that most united Khashoggi and bin Laden (and Saudi Arabia and the US) was the belief in the Afghans fighting against the Soviet invasion of the country. After the Soviet withdrawal, Khashoggi attempted (at the behest of the Saudis) to talk him into discontinuing his jihad and return to Saudi Arabia. This failed, and Khashoggi returned to Saudi Arabia. This is covered in Lawrence Wright's book The Looming Tower.

As for the fact that you "trust that the Saudis know what happened there," my question is what in MBS' tenor has led you to have trust in his competence?

Etienne said...

Gasoline is $1.92 a gallon this week.

Who cares if some rabble-rouser gets served as Thanksgiving dinner. Who get's the leg bone? Who get's the wishbone?

William said...

From what I've read, the ultimate if not immediate goal of the Czar over the course of centuries was to see the cross again on the dome of St. Sophia. In like way, the ultimate goal of the Sultan, expressed over centuries, was to see the faithful called to prayers at St Peter's in the Vatican. Things didn't work out for either party. Perhaps we'll have better luck with out ultimate goal of establishing democracy and peace in the Middle East, Just have to be patient and keep trying for a few more centuries.

rcocean said...

Thank God for Trump. And thank God that little Piss-ant Corker is leaving.

The Saudi's are very important ally and they've never been democrats or nice guys. We've known that for 73 years - ever since FDR met the Saudi King in 1945.

Crying about Journalists (not even American) is hypocritical given all the human abuses around the world.

You wonder who is putting $$$ in Corker's pocket to have him so upset.

cubanbob said...

To cut to the chase Muslim Brotherhood jornolist Jamal Khashoggi isn't worth $450 billion bucks. The Saudi's can easily spend the cash with the Russians, the Chinese or the Europeans or a combination. That's a lot of money and a lot jobs to be casually squandering. Trump is right, he is the president of the US not of the world. His job is promote the US national interest not the interests of other countries. $450 billion bucks is a hell of alot of US national interest.

rcocean said...

Of course, Flakey Mitt is speaking out because Romney is now Mr. Foreign Policy expert - due to his being Gov of Massachusetts for 4 years

mandrewa said...

Bricap said, "Achilles, are you suggesting...recommitting to nuclear power plants (the obstacles being how to dispose of waste, and less stable geology in many places)?"

Fast-spectrum molten salt breeder reactors can burn just about any actinide including nuclear waste and get more energy out of it than was ever extracted in the first place. This kind of molten salt reactor can take nuclear waste that would need to be stored for 15,000 years and turn into something that only needs to be stored for 150 years.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqVt8cxx-44

To me the main issues of nuclear power are accidents and terrorism.

It's not difficult to design molten salt reactors that are like a ball balanced on the tip of pin. Anything goes odd and they fall off (metaphorically) and stop fissioning (and this without any operator intervention or electrical power needed).

The terrorist problem is more difficult to defend against but molten salt reactors could be made to be quite resistant to terrorism.

With rational regulation these molten salt reactors would be cheaper than coal power plants and far cheaper than solar and wind power.

See thorconpower.com/docs/domsr.pdf

rcocean said...

Of course, Mitt doesn't care about all the American jobs we'd lose if we got all MORAL at Saudi Arabia.

Maybe if Mitt realized some immigrant or illegal alien might lose a job, he'd care.

rcocean said...

A lot of the thread comments sound like satire from the babylonBee.

"Local Man Googles 'What Is An Iran Deal' Moments Before Posting Dogmatic Opinion On Iran Deal Online"

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

A real president would have harsh words - that amount to nothing , and perhaps a strongly worded letter.

J. Farmer said...

@rcocean:

The Saudi's are very important ally and they've never been democrats or nice guys.

In what ways have the Saudis been a "very important ally?" What significant benefit have they delivered in the last two decades?

"Local Man Googles 'What Is An Iran Deal' Moments Before Posting Dogmatic Opinion On Iran Deal Online"

Can you identify any incorrect statement regarding the Iran deal in this thread?

Bricap said...

Thank you, mandrewa. Interesting stuff to consider. I wish I knew more about that stuff. I watched the first few minutes so far. As long as there is no resultant waste because waste is used in the process (not knowing what the next batch of byproducts of this process would be).

America First should mean working to get off of fossil fuel dependence so we don't have to get caught up in more "oil and realpolitik" situations. And I know this is a lifetime away, but a military that doesn't need fossil fuels would be at a huge advantage. There are reasons beyond environment and climate to get away from fossil fuels, anyway.

narciso said...

I care about him, as he cared about us on September 11th, a month later, and Israeli civilians four years ago, the yemen thing is as everpresent to the kingdom as our run in with mexico, asir province where the mastermind comes from, was annexed from yemen in the 30s,

mandrewa said...

Bricap, the actinides are never pulled out. They are all burnable and you just keep cycling them through the reactor until they fission and they become something else.

The only thing that ever needs to be extracted is fission products and only some of them and not that often. The fission products that need to come out can be chemically extracted in one step. This is the waste stream and it has a pretty short half-life. There also some gaseous radioactives that are continuously being bled off.

narciso said...

the undercard which is rarely brought up,


https://www.jpost.com//Opinion/Qatari-cash-provides-cover-for-Hamas-rockets-572304

n.n said...

dependence so we don't have to get caught up in more "oil and realpolitik" situations

The limited availability and accessibility of carbon-based products (e.g. fuel) is less of an issue for us, than it is for our dependence on global trading partners.

rcocean said...

The Saudi's have been providing us - and our allies - with Cheap Oil for 73 years. At one point, they had the greatest oil reserves in the world.

They were our allies against Sadaam in 1991 and the Iraq War and they were anti-communist and our on our side - all through the Cold war.

OTOH, what have Ireland, Jordan, Israel, Belgium or China ever done for us?

Yet, no one in the US congress ever attacks them.

But the Saudi's - that's different. Mitt and Little Bob Corker are getting paid off by someone.

J. Farmer said...

@rcocean:

The Saudi's have been providing us - and our allies - with Cheap Oil for 73 years. At one point, they had the greatest oil reserves in the world.

Well, except for that period in the 70s when they attempted to weaponize their oil and caused a global financial shock. But also, the Saudis did not do that out of kindness or because they likes us; they did it because it was in their self-interest to do so, and selling oil is how the Kingdom supports itself.

they were anti-communist and our on our side - all through the Cold war.

Precisely. The US-Saudi relationship is a product of Cold War strategy. Hence, it's sell by date has long since passed.

OTOH, what have Ireland, Jordan, Israel, Belgium or China ever done for us?

Pushing on an open door with me. I don't believe in a special relationship with any of those countries, though Ireland is at least a treaty ally via NATO. We have no such obligations to Jordan, Israel, or Saudi Arabia.

Yet, no one in the US congress ever attacks them.

Are Ireland, Jordan, Israel, Belgium, or China recruiting and empower Al Qaeda? If not, that's one good reason to attack Saudi Arabia over those countries.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“God Bless President Trump and God Bless the U.S.A."

My God! The Trump sycophancy reeks.

“You've been fooled by an anti-Christ. Only those eager to be fooled could fall for an anti-Christ as crude and unconvincing as Trump. Obama was a much more subtle anti-Christ. But...why be subtle when people are willing to believe, to embrace, crude nonsense and obvious lies?”

When I think of the outrage on the right when Obama bowed to the Saudi King. The Trumpists are crawling up the Saudis ass because their leader Trump is leading the way. What has happened to your minds? Are you truly so thourghly brain washed yon can’t see what is happening right in front of your eyes? Or have the majority of you willfully sunk to Trumps level. Disgusting comments, disgusting display of Trump Cultism.

Jim at said...

We've disappointed Inga again.
Sad.

Unknown said...

Iceland is in NATO, not Ireland..

Howard said...

Next, you cucks will claim the Hero MBS had killed Khashoggi because of his existential threat to the security of the United States.

FullMoon said...

Haven't been following.
Gist seems to be some foreigner was murdered by some other foreigners and USA is supposed to dis associate completely from Saudi Arabia?

Put SA on the enemies list ?


narciso said...

Edward luttvak as a thought exercise, planned a seizing of the oil fields around 1975, that was the mcguffin in three days of the condor.

Mac McConnell said...

The Kingdom killing Jamal Khashoggi is the same as the Mafia killing one of their own, who fucking cares.

Bruce Hayden said...

"The simple fact is that the Saudis are indispensable allies, like it or not. The death of one Saudi, or even a 1000 won't change that. Indeed, if Clinton were president today rather than Trump, the position she would have taken would be no different."

Not so sure with Huma Abedelin at her elbow, whose family has been very close to the Muslim Brotherhood for decades. Her mother and brother still run the paper that her father founded, that is essentially a mouthpiece for the MB.

But my original thought was that even if Crooked Hillary would have done what Trump did, it isn't clear that that applied to Ovama, who seemed to routinely take the Iranian/Shi'a side of any dispute.

J. Farmer said...

@Unknown:

Iceland is in NATO, not Ireland..

That is correct. Apologies for my mistake.

J. Farmer said...

@FullMoon:

Gist seems to be some foreigner was murdered by some other foreigners and USA is supposed to dis associate completely from Saudi Arabia?

Put SA on the enemies list?


There is a wide gulf between the current US-Saudi relationship and disassociating completely from them and putting them on the enemies list. These outcomes are neither likely nor desirable. But the US, for its own self-interests and for the interests of peace, should withdraw its support for the Saudi war on Yemen and withhold military sales. Both are appropriate exercises of legitimate leverage the US has over the kingdom, and both could potentially contain MBS' worst impulses.

J. Farmer said...

@Bruce Hayden:

But my original thought was that even if Crooked Hillary would have done what Trump did, it isn't clear that that applied to Ovama, who seemed to routinely take the Iranian/Shi'a side of any dispute.

Trump is merely doubling down on the Obama policy. Obama sold the Saudis huge amounts of military equipment, and he provided the initial support for the war on Yemen in early 2015.

DavidD said...

Well, Obama had Valerie Jarrett at his side.

narciso said...

Yes and soon hodeidah will be conquered as it was 84 years ago, from that news paper clipping,

narciso said...

The Yemen insurrection, which arose despite the small footprint for us forces created a vacuum which Iran filled.

narciso said...

Jarrett was first and foremost a red diaper baby a leftist whose parents serves briefly in iran

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Big Mike said...

Actually, the NYT analysis is not as enlightening as I had hoped.

@Althouse, you could write that about nearl anything the Times has published since approximately 1980, if not earlier. That you still look for in depth analysis in that scandal rag is the triumph of opinions shaped in your youth over the self-evident realities of the past forty years or so.