Connect with us

Foreign Affairs

The Saudi predicament requires radical changes in our foreign affairs positions

Published

on

Saudi predicament requires radical changes in our foreign affairs positions

The United States is at a foreign affairs crossroads. One of our most important allies in the most important region in the world is being led by a man that U.S. intelligence (and pretty much everybody else) believes ordered the murder of a journalist living in our nation and writing for one of its biggest news outlets. How can we reconcile between what’s right and what’s smart?

Further evidence was leaked today that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month. The CIA concluded this based on multiple pieces of circumstantial evidence, including phone calls intercepted between Khashoggi and Mohammed’s brother assuring Khashoggi’s safety if he went to the Saudi consulate where was murdered.

CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-concludes-saudi-crown-prince-ordered-jamal-khashoggis-assassination/2018/11/16/98c89fe6-e9b2-11e8-a939-9469f1166f9d_story.html?utm_term=.718b2d26599cThe CIA’s conclusion about Mohammed’s role was also based on the agency’s assessment of the prince as the country’s de facto ruler who oversees even minor affairs in the kingdom. “The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved,” said a U.S. official familiar with the CIA’s conclusions.

Among the intelligence assembled by the CIA is an audio recording from a listening device that the Turks placed inside the Saudi consulate, according to the people familiar with the matter. The Turks gave the CIA a copy of that audio, and the agency’s director, Gina Haspel, has listened to it.

This is much more complicated than deciding whether or not to punish Mohammed. The stakes are unfathomably high, including balance of power in the Middle East, a potential oil crisis that could cripple the world economy, and the future of a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, what’s right and what’s smart are diametrically opposed in this situation.

What’s right?

Every ounce of evidence points to the near-certainty that Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. He was a permanent residence of the United States who lived in Virginia and worked at the Washington Post. While not a citizen, he lawfully earned the right to fall under our nation’s protections.

The right thing to do is to condemn the Crown Prince, even if that will irreversibly damage our relationship with Saudi Arabia.

What’s smart?

Based on the current geopolitical status quo, Saudi Arabia is our best proxy to keep Iran in check in the Middle East. They are also the reason the dollar is still the world’s reserve currency despite efforts by Russia, China, and other nations to change that. This status allows the dollar to maintain artificial stability. There are many factors in play that could cripple the dollar if Saudi Arabia and OPEC started dealing in other currencies, bur national debt alone would be enough to catastrophically collapse our entire economy if the world had the means to turn its collective back on us.

Saudi Arabia and the so-called “petrodollar” is the force that maintains the illusion of stability.

The arms we sell Saudi Arabia account for a substantial chunk of revenue and jobs in the United States, but more importantly it gives them the technological edge they need over Iran. If the Saudis turn to Russia or China, our influence over the region would diminish greatly.

The smart thing to do is to sweep this under the rug. Throw symbolic punishment at some sacrificial Saudi lambs and move on.

Time for change

There is no way to do what’s right and still do what’s smart, so it would seem the White House has to pick between the two.

Perhaps they don’t. Perhaps there’s a third option.

Even if we do the “right” thing by condemning Saudi Arabia Mohammed, ties will not deteriorate immediately. There will be a wind down during which time the Saudis will be looking for other partners and the Americans will be trying to salvage the relationship.

What if we didn’t? What if we acknowledged for the first time that Saudi Arabia is more than just the country that murdered Khashoggi. Their human rights record is atrocious. They have directly or indirectly harmed the United States for years, including a significant role in terrorist attacks. They spread Wahhabism across the world. If you haven’t heard much about Wahhabism, it’s because the radical Islamic sect that drives the House of Saud is protected from media scrutiny. See Network, which only partially satirizes the influence the Saudis have on U.S. media.

Saudi Arabia is a horrible ally. They’re necessary because we’ve made them necessary, but if we drastically cut budgets and spending, the economic ramifications of a break with them would be mitigated. It’s time to make deals with nations that do not smile at us in public and subvert us in private. Nations that do not like us, including Brazil and Venezuela, could be brought under our wing to replace Saudi Arabia on the oil front. It’s unimaginable now, but we live in fast-moving times.

Also, build the Keystone XL pipeline.

As for stability in the Middle East, it’s time we go all-in with Israel. They are the only true democracy and the one nation in the Middle East we can count on to not stab us in the back. They are capable of being the check against Iran. Abandon all talks of a two-state solution, work with Israel as our primary proxy in the Middle East, and make Saudi Arabia turn to others for support.

All of this sounds dangerous because, well, it is. The dominoes that will fall when we take drastic measures against Saudi Arabia will be painful. But there’s one thing to consider before balking at this. We may be heading in this direction already. The difference is it wouldn’t be us initiating (and therefore prepared for) these changes. Saudi Arabia has been quietly seeking a better deal for decades. They haven’t found it yet, but someday they will. When that happens, they’ll pull the rug out from under us.

We should be the ones pulling the rug. If we’re not, the permanent repercussions will be devastating.

Radical change in our foreign affairs stance is long overdue. Saudi Arabia is the worst kind of ally to rely upon, not just because of Khashoggi but because of everything else they’ve done. None of this seems feasible now, but it may be the only path forward.

Advertisement

0

Culture and Religion

No, Rashida Tlaib, boycotting Israel is not the same as boycotting Nazis

Published

on

No Rashida Tlaib boycotting Israel is not the same as boycotting Nazis

There are many things the nation of Israel, as well as every other nation in the world, does that deserves to be called out by the international community. But Israel gets the lion’s share of criticism despite being the freest nation in the Middle East and one of the freest in the world. Israel has nothing in common with Nazi Germany, but that’s the comparison Representative Rashida Tlaib made in her attempts to justify support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) Movement.

On one hand, she has a point. Singling out the BDS Movement, as vile and misguided as their precepts are, is not necessarily the proper way to handle them. On the other hand, one has to wonder if she’d be making the same argument if a pro-Israel group was the target instead.

The BDS Movement was powerful enough before picking up friends in Congress. Now, they’re systematically infesting the Democratic Party with supporters through Justice Democrats and others.

But even if one were to agree with Tlaib’s desire to protect BDS, making the comparison between their activities and the activities of those who boycotted the Nazis before World War II is over the top. She strategically included them among other boycotts to appeal to those in the American Jewish community who are Democrats and who are not friendly to Israel. She’s giving them talking points as well as support in an effort to get more people to compare Israel to Nazi Germany.

It seems a day doesn’t go by that a member of “The Squad” doesn’t make headlines by saying something stupid. Today was no different. This time, it was Tlaib and her love for BDS that got the better of her and the worst for us.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

American Conservative Movement

Continue Reading

Democrats

Even Tulsi Gabbard thinks Kamala Harris is unqualified to be president

Published

on

Even Tulsi Gabbard thinks Kamala Harris is unqualified to be president

Representative Tulsi Gabbard has a lot of poor policies in her playbook that she would unleash if elected president. Moreover, she is missing important experiences both in life and politics that one might expect from a Commander-in-Chief. But one thing she has experience in that she can hang her hat on is foreign relations. A few of her ideas on the subject are quite Libertarian, if not somewhat conservative.

One candidate who has no foreign policy experience is Senator Kamala Harris, and Gabbard let everyone know just how little the top tier candidate actually knows about the geopolitical atmosphere today. It’s one of the few attacks being leveled on or by someone other that Vice President Joe Biden.

“I think one of the things I’m most concerned with is Kamala Harris is not qualified to serve as commander in chief, and I can say this from a personal perspective as a soldier,” Gabbard said. “She’s got no background or experience in foreign policy and she lacks the temperament that is necessary for a commander in chief.”

Gabbard: ‘Kamala Harris is Not Qualified to Serve as Commander in Chief’

Gabbard frequently criticizes America’s foreign policy.

In a May fundraising email, Gabbard blasted a Daily Beast article for stirring “up hysteria that makes it easier to push our country into war.” A February email warned that “our freedoms and democracy are being threatened by media giants ruled by corporate interests who are in the pocket of the establishment war machine.”

Left-wing publications such as the Nation and Jacobin have criticized Gabbard. The Daily Kos hit Gabbard for meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and developing ties with Hindu nationalists in a piece which endorsed her Democratic primary opponent in her congressional race.

Having a strong foreign policy has been a hallmark of President Trump’s. He reversed many of the poor decisions made by his predecessor. Now, he’s fighting for another term to keep proper foreign policy in the Oval Office.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

American Conservative Movement

Continue Reading

Culture and Religion

Two weeks after Benghazi attack, Ilhan Omar Tweeted ‘Allahu Akbar’

Published

on

Two weeks after Benghazi attack Ilhan Omar Tweeted Allahu Akbar

This is old news, of course, but bears repeating at this time. Representative Ilhan Omar has been doing everything she can over the last couple of weeks to paint herself as the victim of bigotry and someone who loves our country. And while there’s definitely some substance to the notion that crowds of Republicans shouldn’t be chanting “send her back,” it’s also understandable why so many Americans are opposed to her presence on Capitol Hill.

Even if we dismiss reports that she married her brother, called for CBP to be eliminated, said this is “not going to be the country of white people,” referred to 9/11 as “some people did something,” and is regularly praised by former KKK leader David Duke, it’s difficult to dismiss her reaction to the Benghazi attacks that took the lives of four American heroes in 2012.

I’m not going to dignify her Tweet with an opinion. She’s the one who needs to explain it. But despite her celebration, life isn’t good for the four men who lost there’s in Benghazi. Remember this, folks, as Democrats embrace her wholeheartedly.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

American Conservative Movement

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending