October 14, 2018
At some point, Trump is going to have to pull the arms deal before he’s forced to do it.
It’s probably better to do that sooner than later.
Because there is no way this situation is going away.
You know it was our good friend Jared Kushner who set this whole arms deal up. Just a little note about that little thing.
President Donald Trump vowed in a “60 Minutes” interview that the United States would get to the bottom of what happened to a missing Saudi journalist and that there would be “severe punishment” if he were found to have been killed.
In an excerpt from the interview, released by CBS on Saturday morning, Trump said the case of Jamal Khashoggi was “being looked at very, very strongly” and that his administration “would be very upset and angry” if it turned out that the Saudi government had ordered his killing.
“As of this moment, they deny it, and they deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes,” he said in what are his strongest comments yet on the matter.
On Friday, a source familiar with the ongoing investigation told CNN that Turkish authorities have audio and visual evidence that showed Khashoggi was killed this week inside the Saudi Consulate.
The evidence, which was described a Western intelligence agency described to the source, showed there was an assault and a struggle inside the consulate. There is also evidence of the moment that Khashoggi was killed, the source said.
I just want to take a minute to call out all the people who complain about typos and grammatical errors on this site, and note that that CNN article has been up for almost ten hours. And CNN has at least 20,000 times the funding we have (plz donate). With the new online nature of news cycles, people are just more forgiving of this sort of thing – and you should be too.
Anyway, I read some of the WaPo articles by this Khashoggi guy. Firstly, there aren’t that many of them. He was I guess much more prolific in Arabic.
But yeah, you get an idea of what he stood for. Basically, he wanted reform in Saudi Arabia, but is also a devout supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, for those who do not know, is a transnational Arab Islamic political group that runs in elections with the goal of taking over democratic states and establishing full Sharia Law.
Basically – as Khashoggi admits himself – the only way to have a secular state in an Arab country is to have a strongman like Saddam, Quadaffi or Assad. Because if you give Arabs democracy, they will overwhelmingly vote for Sharia Law.
But I guess his thing is that the best option for Arabs is to be ruled by Sharia Law, and the best way to get there is by agitating for democracy and then voting in people who remove democracy. I mean, that’s what I was able to gather from his English columns.
Although he’s criticizing Saudi for being too extreme in their Islamic rule, he’s talking more about corruption than social reform. Basically, he appears to be someone who wants full Islamic rule, but just doesn’t like the Saudis. Presumably at least part of that is that they are not viewed by most Arabs as real Islamists, and are instead considered to be using Islamism as a means to destroy anyone who questions them.
He was also friends with Osama Bin Laden, funnily enough.
As we see in this BBC article from May 17, 2011, just after Bin Laden’s death:
In early 1990 Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia and gave a lecture in which he predicted that Saddam Hussein would invade Kuwait.
Jamal Khashoggi, who had travelled extensively with Bin Laden in Afghanistan, attended the talk and afterwards asked his old friend how he could be so certain of the future.
“He recited a verse from the Koran,” recalls Jamal.
“The verse means the one who practises jihad for God, for Allah, God will show them the right path. I wasn’t comfortable about it. He had given himself the position of ‘I am seeing things because God is directing me towards it’. That was the first time I felt that Osama began to have an inflated ego.”
Jamal lost touch with Bin Laden in the mid-1990s and Khaled in the early 1990s as both completely rejected his ideology.
Although it has been many years since either of them saw Bin Laden, both admitted feeling sad at the death of their old friend in a raid by US forces in Pakistan earlier this month.
Apparently, he was against violence to get things done, but had the same goals as Osama.
So yeah, that fits in with the stuff he was posting on WaPo.
Bin Laden, also a Saudi, also took issue with corruption in Saudi Arabia and wanted pure Islam to rule the entire Islamic world.
So probably, Khashoggi’s complaints about social reform were just a ruse, and he was mainly interested in overthrowing the Saudi regime and replacing it with a Taliban type ruling body.
None of this really changes anything about the present situation, and isn’t really important. I don’t that much care about the ins and outs of the internal politics of Arabs.
But it is somewhat interesting.
It’s also interesting that the Washington Post was publishing the articles of a Bin Laden supporter who wanted to destroy the Saudi royal family in order to establish a less corrupt and more pure form of total Islamic rule. Also interesting that the US gave him permanent residency with those credentials.