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Trump is right: Bin Laden pal Khashoggi is no reason to wreck the US-Saudi alliance

Trump is right: Bin Laden pal Khashoggi is no reason to wreck the US-Saudi alliance

The death of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi is not nearly enough of a reason to upend the United States-Saudi Arabia relationship, as President Trump made clear in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

In a three-page statement titled “Standing with Saudi Arabia,” the president articulated why it is important to continue moving past this in our relationship with the Middle Eastern nation. He began by reminding the country that “America First” is always the priority, and the reality is that the “world is a dangerous place.”

"We may never know all of the facts surrounding" Khashoggi's death, but "our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the president said in the lengthy statement, which also noted that the Saudis denied that the crown prince and king of Saudi Arabia were involved in the plot. 

Jamal Khashoggi disappeared in Istanbul on October 2, following his entrance into the Saudi consulate in Turkey. It was later revealed that he was murdered. 

Saudi Arabia’s enemies, Turkey, Qatar, and Iran, through their state media outlets, and some leftist and Islamist Western thinkers and influencers have waged an all-out propaganda campaign to use Khashoggi’s death to undermine the Saudi monarchy and the U.S.-Saudi alliance. 

Countless outlets, including the Washington Post, where Khashoggi was an op-ed contributor, not a journalist, have sought to position Khashoggi as a freedom fighter and a voice for individual rights and democracy. The legacy media has also sought to attach the misleading “journalist” label to Khashoggi, perhaps to tie him to the president’s supposed battle against the press. While Khashoggi was once a journalist for state-run Gulf publications, he has not been anything remotely resembling a journalist for decades.

The truth about Khashoggi is found in his own writing. He was a dedicated Islamic fundamentalist and an apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda terrorists. In his native Saudi Arabia, the government in Riyadh wanted to distance itself from his favorite Islamists in the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Khashoggi had a decades-long relationship with Osama bin Laden, well into the 1990s, when the al Qaeda chieftain was in the midst of carrying out several terrorist attacks against the U.S. and its allies. The Saudi exile remained a terrorist supporter until his last days.

In his Arabic writings and commentary, he articulated a regressive Islamist worldview that followed the Muslim Brotherhood playbook, calling for imposing Islamic law, overthrowing American allies, and waging endless political and kinetic warfare against Israel. 

He consistently and openly wished death upon Israel and other countries and leaders he perceived as his enemies. His tweets are rife with anti-Semitism. He has excused Palestinian terrorism as a reaction to “Jewish usurpers.” He hoped Israel would “die by force.” 

Khashoggi also downplayed the importance of the Holocaust, comparing it to the Palestinian “Nakba.” As a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, he wanted to fan the flames for violent revolutions across the Middle East. Outside publications such as Conservative Review, The Federalist, and Frontpage Mag, there has been a total media blackout on Khashoggi’s fundamentalist worldview.

No one deserves to be murdered for what he believes, but the Trump administration is right that Jamal Khashoggi is no reason to fundamentally alter the U.S.-Saudi relationship, which has encouraged unprecedented reforms within Saudi Arabia and has benefited both countries under President Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

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