“Who’s being naïve, Kay?” says Michael Corleone to his fiancée in "The Godfather."
Pundits and major news outlets are now openly blaming President Donald Trump for the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. Some are suggesting that America itself should be punished, that Jared Kushner’s brilliantly crafted work be dismantled. That the American economic deal with Saudi Arabia — and all the jobs it portends — be shelfed.
It seems that the national media, still smarting from Trump’s political triumph in 2016, and now unable to stop his booming American economy, have found a novel approach to pulling the plug. Never mind that it hurts the American people themselves. They are just so much collateral damage if the big corporate media can take out Trump.
To be sure, the horrible murder of Khashoggi inside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, presents the world with a troubling dilemma. But it is not an isolated event in history.
Murders have been ordered by presidents, kings, and dictators throughout history. The United States has its own sordid record with a long list of likely assassinations, all allegedly designed to advance American foreign policy. By the 1970’s the practice was so widespread that President Gerald Ford signed into law a prohibition of murder on the part of any U.S. government official.
When President Donald Trump recently declassified many of the Warren Commission documents, President Lyndon Johnson was found speculating on the reasons behind the JFK’s assassination. It was Karma, Johnson reasoned. It was because of the Kennedy administration’s murder of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.
Now think about that for a minute. Diem was a Catholic, with a wife and children. And John F. Kennedy was a fellow Catholic. And Diem was our ally, even if he was defying our suggestions about implementing freedom of religion in South Vietnam and how to handle the Buddhists in his country. And we facilitated his murder?
It is interesting to hear spokesmen in the national media, claiming that Kennedy could not have known or approved of the assassination of Diem but that King Salman of Saudi Arabia most surely knew and approved of the murder of Khashoggi.
Having served two different presidents I can promise you that it is very unlikely that any major decision would be made without a wink or a nod from the top man. And that would most certainly apply to murder.
“My father is no different than any powerful man,” Michael Corleone said to his fiancée Kay Adams in Mario Puzo’s classic novel, "The Godfather."
“Do you know how naïve you sound, Michael?” Kay answered. “Presidents and senators don’t have men killed!”
“Oh,” says Michael, “Who’s being naïve, Kay?”
When it comes to international morality, neither Russia, nor Iran, nor Saudi Arabia, nor the United States has a monopoly. We launched a pre-emptive war against Iraq, claiming that it had weapons of mass destruction. More than 500,000 people died. We still have not found those weapons.
Now think about that for a minute. One of the most important legal rationales for the Nuremberg Trials was the belief that Nazi Germany had initiated what they claimed was a pre-emptive war. Crimes against the peace.
This sad Khashoggi incident is not the first time that the United States has faced such a moral dilemma. We did not go after Idi Amin in Africa or Pol Pot in Asia, two of the most prolific murderers of our age. As reprehensible and tragic as their decisions were, it was not America’s responsibility to police the world.
And yet, the national media is pushing America to take action against Saudi Arabia. Just as they have been calling for confrontation with Russia. The media, once the promoter of peace have become America’s vicious attack dog on the world stage. But is it because they fear or hate Russia? Or Saudi Arabia?
No. It’s not that complicated. They hate Trump and anything that will slow down his rebuilding of America must be promoted, no matter how farfetched the rationale. And anything he does to advance world peace, such as repairing our relationship with Israel or Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un, must be opposed.
During the Trump presidency, seventeen hostages have been released from around the world. The news media is unfazed.
The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is wrong and chilling. But America is not to blame? And breaking off relations with the Saudi’s to damage our own economy is not the answer.
Keep wining Mr. President. Don’t get discouraged. Keep winning.
Doug Wead is a presidential historian who served as a senior adviser to the Ron Paul presidential campaign. He is a New York Times best-selling author, philanthropist, and adviser to two presidents, including President George H.W. Bush. He is the author of "Game of Thorns: Inside the Clinton-Trump Campaign of 2016." Read more reports from Doug Wead — Click Here Now.
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