By Dave Lindorff
The brutal murder of sometime Washington Post visiting columnist Jamal Khashoogi, apparently on orders from Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has many American journalists and columnists in high dudgeon. How, they ask, can the US be allied to a country run by such a blood-thirsty leader? How can the US ally itself to, and sell $100 billion worth of arms to, a country so medieval in its behavior?
Perhaps a classic example of this professed outrage is Los Angeles Times columnist Jonah Goldberg, who wrote a column headlined “The Khashoggi case is far more complicated than the news media are making it out to be.”
Goldberg is no journalist. He is a neoconservative political analyst and columnist on the staff of the conservative magazine National Review, and rather than condemn Salman as many do, he makes the argument that bin Salman is just one in a line of autocratic leaders who while “reformers” of their countries are also brutal, and that in terms of US foreign policy, “when dealing with murderous regimes, the choice is often between the more tolerable of murderers.”
Okay, fair enough. That’s realpolitik he’s advocating, much like former Sec. of State Madeline Albright’s excusing the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children because of the US ban on chlorine exports to Iraq as “worth it.” But what’s not real is ignoring the reality of which regimes Americans are we labeling “murderous.”
There’s an incredible blindness and intellectual dishonesty in the US media when it comes to such matters.
In truth, for at least the last three US presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, our leaders have been arguably the number one murderers in the world, cooly ordering the offing of people from the comfort of the Oval Office on a weekly basis with the dismissive signing of a “kill” order…
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