America’s disappointing relationship with Saudi Arabia

America’s disappointing relationship with Saudi Arabia

America’s disappointing relationship with Saudi Arabia
October 30
08:40 2018

The U.S. has had a long history of supporting bad people and corrupt governments all around the world to appeal to some sense of national interests. While these national policies were thought to be a thing of the past, our involvement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows how wrong we were — especially in the wake of the Jamal Khashoggi slaying.

The killing of Washington Post reporter Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey was a wake-up call to most around the world about what Saudi Arabia was capable of. His death was also proof that the Saudi government was not moving in as much of a progressive direction as the world was being led to believe.

Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2 to get some legal documents, only to never be heard from again. While Saudi Arabia remained silent for roughly two weeks, the government of Turkey accused the Saudi government of having Khashoggi killed.

With the Saudi government now saying that not only was Khashoggi killed in the consulate in Turkey but it was a premeditated attack, the liberal image of the Saudi government is quickly falling away. Despite not having all of the facts about what really happened inside the consulate that day, it doesn’t take too much of an imagination to look at the country’s other actions and draw a conclusion.

One would think that a premeditated murder of a permanent resident of the United States and the ever-changing cover-up story presented by the Saudi government would prompt our president to be more speculative of our relationship with the nation. This, however, is not the case — with the Saudi government being a major ally and important arms buyer, money and power trumps a single innocent life as far as this administration is concerned.

Despite the tragic nature of Khashoggi’s death, it was just the latest in a long line of horrible acts that the U.S. government has been overlooking in the interest of maintaining an ally in the Middle East. Most prominently, the U.S. has backed the Saudi government’s fight against Houthi rebels in the neighboring country Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen — which is being waged with American-made bombs — has displaced around one million people and has devastated the country. The Saudi’s reasoning for the war is to combat the Houthi rebels, who they view as a proxy force fighting for the interests of their political and spiritual rivals, Iran.

Americans like to think that we wouldn’t sell guns and bombs to bad people even if those people were aligned with us because we fight for good. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Our government and our president are willing to ignore unjust events like the killing of Khashoggi to protect our relationship with the Saudis and the thousands of jobs we secure by supplying the bombs for their wars.

We as a nation should not be taking any blood money from countries just because they buy our weapons and are willing to work with us. If we hope to continue to be role models for the rest of the world, we must be able to call out those who do wrong and disregard how these actions will affect a politician in the polls.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Shane Monaco

Shane Monaco

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