The following is not a joke. This is the beginning of an actual statement from Donald J. Trump released by the White House.
The world is a very dangerous place!
The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraq’s fragile attempt at democracy, supporting the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who has killed millions of his own citizens), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East. Iran states openly, and with great force, “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” Iran is considered “the world’s leading sponsor of terror.”
And then it goes on for several more paragraphs, basically saying that it was just awful what was done to that poor Mr. Khashoggi. Mr. Khashoggi was probably a dangerous anti-American terrorist, because that’s what the Saudis say, but it was an awful thing nonetheless. But we need Saudi Arbia because because because and, anyway, nobody really knows what happened no matter what U.S. intelligence agencies say. The last paragraph:
I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction — and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America. After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels — so important for the world. As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!
Very simply it is called Trump is a sniveling, un-American coward! If you ask me. Oil is more important than rights or values or anything else, it says. We must prostitute ourselves as a nation for oil and because the Saudis gave The Creature a gold medal.
Do see the Washington Post‘s annotated version of this atrocious statement.
In a juvenile, clumsy White House statement on Tuesday full of falsehoods, Trump repeated the Saudi lie that Jamal was an “enemy of a state” and that the “United States would stand steadfastly by Saudi Arabia,” even though its regime lured, killed and dismembered a peaceful Post op-ed writer who lived in Virginia.
In effect, Trump is doing his best to help the Saudi regime get away with the murder of a U.S. resident and one of the Arab world’s most prominent writers. If the administration continues down this path, it will further destroy whatever is left of America’s moral credibility on global human rights and freedom of expression. It puts truth-seekers and journalists who dare challenge the Saudi regime and other intolerant governments in grave danger, no matter where they live. Trump’s refusal to act gives a symbolic green light to the young, power-drunk Mohammed bin Salman so he can continue his reckless exploits in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, for possibly the next 40 to 50 years, and face zero consequences.
“If we allow a murderer to get away because we think we can make some deals with him, we are just reinforcing the idea that money can silence everybody,” says Abdullah Alaoudh, a senior scholar at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. “And this is the dangerous message that created Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gaddafi. We can better protect the good relationship with Saudi Arabia in the long run through building a relationship with the Saudi people, institutions and even the majority of the royal family. Or we can risk losing all that by protecting one powerful individual who has been implicated in a horrible crime.”
President Donald Trump’s public comments regularly reveal him to be unsuited to hold the most powerful office in the world, both temperamentally and intellectually. But nothing of late has made that quite as clear as the new White House statement on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination.
The statement, a defense of maintaining close ties with Saudi Arabia’s government published on Tuesday afternoon, reads like it was written by the president personally. It begins with a strange declarative statement –“The world is a very dangerous place!” — that seems tonally out of place on official White House letterhead. It then goes on to make a series of egregious factual, analytic, and moral errors, excusing Saudi Arabia’s murder of a US resident in a way that gives a green light to dictators around the world to kill their own citizens.
In a responsible White House, this statement would never have been drafted, let alone sent out to the entire world to read. But this is not a responsible White House, and will not be until we have a responsible commander-in-chief.
After dismantling the statement line by line, Beauchamp concludes,
This conclusion captures the enormity of the statement. Everything from siding with a dictator over US intelligence to the moral repulsiveness of the geopolitical logic to even the juvenile writing style screams an obvious fact: A man who released this under his name is not fit to run the world’s oldest democracy and most powerful country.
The first two sentences — “America First! The world is a dangerous place!” — set the basic predicate for his argument. People get murdered, dismembered, dissolved in acid, all the time, and we need to look out for our interests. …
…Nowhere in his statement does Trump reiterate the point he made in 2015 — he personallyÂhas business with the Kingdom, including $270,000 in spending in Trump’s Washington hotel alone, just last year.
Trump seems to think that the Saudis are doing us a big favor by selling us oil and buying our military ordnance, so we must be deferential and kiss their butts. I don’t think so. This is one of the most shameful official statements ever issued by a U.S. president. I can’t think of a worse one, actually.