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Trump, Saudi Arabia and the Khashoggi Murder

Photo Source The White House | CC BY 2.0

Is there no crime so obvious, so egregious and so blatant that it won’t be overlooked by United States President Donald Trump, if doing so suits his twisted needs? He looks past Israeli barbarity, despite the obvious, unspeakable human rights abuses that that rogue, racist apartheid nation commits. He ignores the abject suffering caused by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. He excuses, with barely a mention, the Saudi bombing of a school bus full of Yemeni children. And now he is overlooking the cold-blooded murder of a Saudi journalist, which that government even concedes, after several rather incredulous stories, that it is, indeed, responsible for.

Any other U.S. president, Democrat or Republican, would certainly see this as a reason to at least review the U.S.’s unqualified support for the Saudi regime. He or she would express horror not only at the murder itself, but at the targeted silencing of a member of the press, one critical of Saudi Arabia. The massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia agreed upon would at least put on hold, while the entire situation is reviewed.

But not Trump; he was first happy to say that there must be some other explanation for why Jemal Khashoggi, a journalist for the Washington Post, entered the Saudi embassy in Turkey to obtain a marriage license, and never came out. Then, after numerous denials by the Saudi government that it had no knowledge of what may have happened, they stated that Khoshoggi died in a fistfight in the embassy! While this may be a prize winner in any contest for the most outrageous and unbelievable statements any government has ever made, Trump was happy to accept it.

Then, when the Saudi regime finally said that ‘rogue’ members of the government (are there any other kind in Saudi Arabia?) were responsible, Trump seemed perfectly content with that explanation. What consequences the perpetrators will experience is not known, nor are any expected. Certainly, none of this will impact U.S. relations with the Saudi regime.

One need not wonder why this is. Trump has set the U.S.’s deadly sites on Iran, and seeks Saudi support to implement whatever destructive and illegal plans he may have for that nation. Never mind that Saudi Arabia supports such terrorist groups as Jibhat al-Nusra, an organization that is on the U.S.’s official ‘terrorist’ list. The U.S. happily supports other terrorist groups in Syria and other locations around the world, so why object to one that the U.S. itself condemns?

U.S. spokespeople have praised the Mujahedin-E Khalq organization (MEK), which is responsible for thousands of deaths in Iran since 1979, and is now active outside that country, attempting to foment the overthrow of the government. The U.S. would be only too happy to see them succeed, and turn Iran into the chaos and disaster that Iraq and Yemen are today. Fortunately for Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp prevents the MKO from having any significant power in Iran.

And so what if the brutal Saudi war on Yemen is causing millions of people to die of starvation? Why should the U.S. object to that, as long as it can enlist Saudi Arabia in its anti-Iran plans. Trump has stated more than once that the U.S. needs Saudi Arabia for that purpose, so basically whatever horrendous atrocities Saudi Arabia commits will be overlooked.

Since the U.S. is so busy condemning Iran while it ignores the unspeakable human rights abuses of some of its allies, including Saudi Arabia, let’s see what it is that Iran has done that has brought about Trump’s wrath.

+ Iran has supported and continues to support the legitimate Syrian government against U.S.-sponsored rebel groups. This has increased Iran’s power, influence and prestige in the Middle East, and since Israel wants complete hegemony in that part of the world, Iran’s growth cannot be tolerated.

+ Iran’ government supports the human rights struggles of the Palestinian people; in so doing, it also supports international law, something which the U.S. holds in contempt.

+ Iran is allied with Russia, which is the new enemy du jour of the U.S.

+ Lastly, the U.S. has not been able to ever accept that the people of Iran overthrew the brutal, oppressive, U.S-installed puppet, the Shah of Iran, in 1979. This will never do, since Iran, as of 1979, ceased bowing to the U.S. master.

It may be difficult for Trump, who’s attention span rivals that of a 2-year old, who believes that if he or she can’t see something, it no longer exists, to understand the rich history and culture of Iran. Consider the Cyrus Cylinder, dating from the sixth century, B.C., and discovered in Iraq in 1879. This artifact is sometimes seen as the first declaration of human rights known to man.

And what of the revolution, mentioned above? This was truly a people’s movement, indicating the power that people have over even the most brutal and powerfully-backed oppressor. Democracy, anyone?

Let’s compare now the number of countries that the U.S has invaded, just since World War II, with the number Iran invaded during that same time period.  The total for the U.S is 16 (18, if you count Lebanon and Iraq twice). Here is the list: Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Angola, Lebanon (twice), Grenada, Panama, Kuwat, Iraq (twice), Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Syria. This, of course, is in addition to supporting brutal rebels in many democratic nations that didn’t toe the U.S. line.

Now, for the list of countries that Iran has invaded since World War II. The total is 0. One needs to look back to 1798 for the last time Iran invaded another nation.

Let’s look now to the current year. A White House report called the ‘Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States’ Military Force and Related National Security Operations’, or, unofficially, the war report, issued in March of this year, indicates that the U.S. is currently at war in seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger. Iran, by comparison, is supporting Syria, its ally, against foreign-financed and trained terrorists.

But according to the U.S. government, it is Iran that is the world’s foremost sponsor of world terrorism. It is Iran that is the major abuser of human rights. It is Iran that is causing untold trouble around the world.

It has been said that if one tells a lie often enough, eventually it will be believed. Trump seems to rely on this, as he attempts to prepare the hapless U.S. citizens for another needless, deadly, devastating war. But those citizens should beware: Iran is not Iraq. It is a large and powerful country, with powerful allies. The U.S. will wage war on Iran to its own detriment. It is hoped that such a war will never happen.

More articles by:

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

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