With Friends Like These

With Friends Like These
With Friends Like These

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Was Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and then his body cut up with a bone saw and flown to Riyadh in Gulfstream jets owned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

So contend the Turks, who have video from the consulate, photos of 15 Saudi agents who flew into Istanbul that day, Oct. 2, and the identity numbers of the planes.

Supporting the thesis of either a murder in the consulate or a “rendition,” a kidnaping gone horribly bad, is a Post story that U.S. intel intercepted Saudi planning, ordered by the prince, to lure Khashoggi from his suburban D.C. home back to Saudi Arabia. And for what beneficent purpose?

If these charges are not refuted by Riyadh, there will likely be, and should be, as John Bolton said in another context, “hell to pay.”

And the collateral diplomatic damage looks to be massive.

Any U.S.-backed “Arab NATO” to face down Iran, with Riyadh as central pillar, would appear dead. Continued U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen would now be in question.

The special relationship the crown prince and President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have established could be history.

Congress could cancel U.S. arms sales to the kingdom that keep thousands of U.S. defense workers employed, and impose sanctions on the prince who is heir apparent to the throne of his 82-year-old father, King Salman.

Today, the Saudi prince has become toxic, and his ascension to the Saudi throne seems less inevitable than two weeks ago. Yet, well before Khashoggi's disappearance in the consulate, Crown Prince Mohammed's behavior had seemed wildly erratic.

Along with the UAE, he charged Qatar with supporting terrorism, severed relations, and threatened to build a ditch to sever Qatar from the Arabian Peninsula. To protest criticism of his country's human rights record by Canada's foreign minister, he cut all ties to Ottawa.

Last year, he summoned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Riyadh, held him for a week, and forced him to resign his office and blame it on Iranian interference in Lebanon. Released, Hariri returned home to reclaim his office.

A professed reformer, Crown Prince Mohammed opened movie theaters to women and allowed them to drive, and then jailed the social activists who had called for these reforms.

Three years ago, he initiated the war on the Houthis, after the rebels ousted a pro-Saudi president and took over most of the country.

And, since 2015, the crown prince has conducted a savage air war that has brought Houthi missiles down on his own country and capital.

Yemen has become Saudi Arabia's Vietnam.

That our principal Arab ally in our confrontation with Iran, which could lead to yet another U.S. war, is a regime headed by so unstable a character should raise serious concerns about where it is we are going in the Middle East.

Have we not wars already?

Do we not have enough enemies in the region — Taliban, al-Qaida, ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Iran — to be starting another war?

As for our regional allies, consider.

NATO ally Turkey, which is pressing the case against our Saudi allies, leads the world in the number of journalists jailed. Our Egyptian ally, Gen. al-Sissi, came to power in a military coup, and has imprisoned thousands of dissidents of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While we have proclaimed Iran the “world's greatest state sponsor of terror,” it is Yemen, where Saudi Arabia intervened in 2015, that is regarded as the world's great human rights catastrophe.

Moreover, Iran is itself suffering from terrorism.

Last month, a military parade in the city of Ahvaz in the southwest was attacked by gunmen who massacred 25 soldiers and civilians in the deadliest terror attack in Iran in a decade.

And like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, Iran suffers, too, from tribalism, with Arab secessionists in its southwest, Baloch secessionists in its southeast, and Kurd secessionists in its northwest.

The U.S. cannot look aside at a royal Saudi hand in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist in its consulate in Istanbul. But before we separate ourselves from the Riyadh regime, we should ask what is the alternative if the House of Saud should be destabilized or fall?

When Egypt's King Farouk was overthrown in 1952, we got Nasser.

When young King Faisal was overthrown in Baghdad in 1958, we eventually got Saddam Hussein. When King Idris in Libya was ousted in 1969, we got Qaddafi. When Haile Selassie was overthrown and murdered in Ethiopia in 1974, we got Col. Mengistu and mass murder. When the Shah was overthrown in Iran in 1979, we got the Ayatollah.

As World War I, when four empires fell, testifies, wars are hell on monarchies. And if a new and larger Middle East war, with Iran, should break out in the Gulf, some of the Arab kings, emirs and sultans will likely fall.

And when they do, history shows, it is not usually democrats who rise to replace them.

About Patrick J. BuchananPat Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 11 thoughts on “With Friends Like These

    1. One might possibly conclude that The Middle East could be defined as follows. An parea best stayed the hell away from, which might be a poor take on things. It does however, appear to have certain virtues.

    2. Who cares what two goat rapist do to each other? Particularly if it involves either party getting killed.
      I think there is an old Irish saying that goes something like ‘When your enemies are at each other throats, antagonize the situation until one or both of them is dead.”

      Here is a good supplemental read on the situation.

    3. We should hold our friends to higher standards than our enemies and help kill our friends … insanity …

      The Middle East is full of evil people. We should try to make our friends better people … but not by killing them and abandoning them to the tender mercies of even more evil people … our enemies …

    4. The journalist was not an American citizen. It is none of our business. Get out of the middle east and let various sects and tribes kill each other off. They have proven the most efficient killer of Muslims are Muslims. Eventually whoever comes out on top-

      1. @Joe, I can not disagree, but we need to keep in “real world” practice, test new systems, and develop new tactics. Those people volunteer to be live targets and work for free.

    5. Expecting any form of democracy to last in an area that has been at war with itself since the beginning of human occupation, and is still tribal rather than national, is the epitome of stupidity. It might be ignorance for the first couple of times that is tried, but endlessly repetition without learning is stupidity.
      Forcing disparate peoples to live together in hatred does not make them nations, it makes for endless civil war.
      There is one democracy in the area, and it is of the people all the others hate. They found a common goal. That will only last until they have destroyed their common enemy though, and then they will go back to fighting each other. The proof is that they can’t, or won’t, stop fighting each other long enough to achieve their common goal.
      If the oil is so important, then either accept the risks of a world war and secure it at the cost of most of the region being killed and intervention by others who want the oil, or find an alternative, if there is one, to the oil. Then pull our people out, let them drink oil and eat sand until they die on their own under quarantine. Anything else is a costly waiting game.

    6. Gee a US Journalist possibly murdered and the Us cant possibly turn a “blind eye” ?
      I don’t know why not for didn’t the US under Obama do the same thing when a US Ambassador
      was murdered in Bengazi with three other US Citizens?

      1. And nobody said zilch when Rachel Corrie was run over, twice, by an Israeli bulldozer so many years ago. Nobody except some zio-nazi dual citizen dirtbag shills who gleefully remarked how stupid she was to get in front of an IDF bulldozer operator intent on destroying private property. Oh, excuse me ! GAWD gave them that land.

    7. Waiting in the wings, amidst all this turmoil, is Russia. Hoping America overreacts, so it can sweep in, as it did in Syria (when Obama plunked out of the “line in the sand) and replace US influence in the Mid-East.

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