Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hey Donald! Cover me, will you?!

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Currently, there is news-column anxiety over the fate of Washington Post columnist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, a Saudi-born journalist who has been a liberal thorn in Saudi Arabia's conservative side. Khashoggi entered the Saudi embassy in Istanbul two weeks ago in pursuit of documents for his planned wedding. He never came out and in the between times, two jet planes disgorged apparent Saudis who included a forensic pathologist. The Turks allege there is a video of Kashoggi's murder and dismemberment inside the Saudi consulate.
A Turkish official told CNN on Tuesday that Khashoggi's body was cut into pieces after he was killed two weeks ago at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The claim, which was first made to the New York Times earlier in the investigation into Khashoggi's fate, comes after Turkish officials searched the consulate for nine hours on Monday night. The Turkish official would not comment on the disposal method for the body.
U.S. President Donald Trump has soft-balled the heated suspicions surrounding Kashoggi's disappearance. A tape of the murder "if it exists" would be welcome, Trump has said without much fervor.

Are there reasons to go easy on the minor matter of dismembering a single American when so much history and so much of the future hangs in the balance? A $110 billion arms deal? The purchase or propping up of Trump-linked properties at a time of financial distress?

  • President Donald Trump tweeted that he had "no financial interests in Saudi Arabia" after criticism for his response to the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • The Trump Organization does not have any buildings in Saudi Arabia, but his businesses have accepted large amounts of money from the Saudi government.
  • For instance, Trump's hotel in New York City saw a huge financial boost from the visit of Saudi crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in early 2018.
  • Additionally, Trump has had ties to Saudi investors for over two decades.

The whole things reminds me of the expression on George W. Bush's face when he was allegedly informed of the World Trade towers demolition ... he was reading a book to a grades school class when an aide bent over and whispered something. His face remained unemotional as if, perhaps, it were old news.

With Trump, everybody pays, everybody plays .... And the collateral damage? A little collateral damage is to be expected where the deals get sweeter and sweeter.

PS. The Saudi royal family wealth is guesstimated at $1.4 trillion. Donald Trump has got to be chump change in their bookkeeping annals. Still the U.S. makes most of the guns and other armaments and loves those right-wing Israelis ... best to keep them on the payroll.

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