When Obama was president, hawkish foreign policy pundits and analysts promoted the fiction that he “abandoned” allies and “rewarded” adversaries. This was one of Romney’s main campaign themes in 2012. Their answer to this imaginary problem was that the U.S. should seek to have “no daylight” with its “allies” (by which they almost always meant just Israel and Saudi Arabia). Romney once went so far as to say that there should not be “an inch of difference” between the US and Israel, and applied this standard to all US relationships with its “friends and allies”:
You don’t allow an inch of space to exist between you and your friends and allies.
Romney’s dumb position in 2012 had become the more or less default hawkish view in the next presidential campaign. The hawks held that public criticism of these governments was a mistake that harmed US interests, and they argued that the US should be supporting these states far more than Obama had done. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that they thought the appropriate US response to any controversy involving a US“ally” was to offer knee-jerk support.
Last week Anju Dhillon told the House of Commons "I saw firsthand the sacrifices that our men and women in the navy have made to protect our country." The Liberal MP recently participated in the Canadian Leaders at Sea Program, which takes influential individuals on "action-packed" multi-day navy operations. Conducted on both coasts numerous times annually, nine Parliamentarians from all parties participated in a Spring 2017 excursion and a number more joined at the end of last year. The Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, Commodore Craig Baines, describes the initiative’s political objective: "By exposing them to the work of our men and women at sea, they gain a newfound appreciation for how the RCN protects and defends Canada at home and abroad. They can then help us spread that message to Canadians when they return home."
And vote for more military spending.
MPs are also drawn into the military’s orbit in a variety of other ways. Set up by DND’s Director of External Communications and Public Relations in 2000, the Canadian Forces Parliamentary Program was labeled a "valuable public-relations tool" by the Globe and Mail. Different programs embed MPs in the army, navy and air force. According to the Canadian Parliamentary Review, the MPs "learn how the equipment works, they train with the troops, and they deploy with their units on operations. Parliamentarians are integrated into the unit by wearing the same uniform, living on bases, eating in messes, using CF facilities and equipment." As part of the program, the military even flew MPs to the Persian Gulf to join a naval vessel on patrol.
In response to the disappearance and suspected murder of U.S.-based journalist and democracy advocate Jamal Khashoggi, Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) is calling on President Donald Trump to investigate Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the disappearance, and to reconsider the United States’ involvement with the kingdom. In a letter sent today, Jones reminded President Trump of Saudi Arabia’s long history of disregarding American values and principles of freedom.
“It is not surprising that intelligence agencies around the world strongly believe the Saudi Arabian government is complicit in Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance and suspected murder,” wrote Congressman Jones. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a long history of disregarding America’s values and acting against the best interests of our country. We were reminded of that in 2016 when the House Intelligence Committee released the 28 pages of the Congressional Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks upon the United States, which were classified by the Bush Administration. As you recall, the 28 pages implicated the Saudi royal family in financially supporting the 9/11 hijackers.”
“Despite this, the United States continues to treat Saudi Arabia as if it were one of our greatest allies,” Jones continued. “That is as stupid as it is sickening. Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the 9/11 attacks and many are still suffering and dying from mental and physical wounds. I urge you to demand answers from the Saudi Arabian government regarding the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, to end American support of Saudi Arabian involvement in the Yemeni Civil War, and to reevaluate our unholy alliance with the kingdom immediately.”
Turkish authorities claim to have audio and video recordings that prove Saudi agents tortured and then murdered Jamal Khashoggi:
The recordings show that a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi in the consulate after he walked in on Oct. 2 to obtain an official document before his upcoming wedding, then killed him and dismembered his body, the officials said.
The audio recording in particular provides some of the most persuasive and gruesome evidence that the Saudi team is responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the officials said.
“The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” said one person with knowledge of the recording who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive intelligence.
“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” this person said. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”
The existence of these recordings would explain how Turkish authorities knew what the Saudi agents had done to Khashoggi and how they had done it. Such recordings would provide definitive proof to support the charges made against the Saudi government. Our government should press Turkish officials to share this proof with the U.S. and their other allies. The fact that Turkey is willing to disclose that it has this evidence suggests that they are prepared to go to great lengths to keep the Saudi government from getting away with this. No one honestly doubts at this point that the Saudi government had the prominent critic murdered in their consulate, but evidence of the crime will lend support to efforts to hold the Saudis accountable.
Sudden concern in Washington over Saudi behavior is puzzling. But the disappearance of a Washington Post writer and the suspicion that the Saudi government is involved has led Washington and particularly the Senate and House to demand some answers. They didn’t care much about Saudi involvement with terrorists in Syria or the evil Saudi war on Yemen. Should we break with the Saudis? Yes. Why? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
“Clear Sky 2018” was launched yesterday in Ukraine, bringing in hundreds of NATO troops along with US fighter and transport planes. The large show of NATO military force on Russia’s border is meant to send a message to “aggressive” Russia. But the ongoing conflict over eastern Ukraine is a leftover from Obama’s disastrous 2014 coup that overthrew the elected government. President Trump appears to be continuing Obama’s foolish policy. More in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report: