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John Hayward @Doc_0
, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Khashoggi absolutely was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and avid supporter of its ideals. Every hackle you have should rise at the launch of a media offensive to disguise that true and relevant detail. It's a subset of the long media campaign to whitewash the Brotherhood.
Khashoggi was a prolific writer. His writings are still out there for anyone to read. His ideological proclivities are quite clear. He arguably softened a little in his later years, but not all that much:…
None of which makes his murder acceptable in the least. That's the point: it should not be necessary to distort or soft-pedal his ideology to be properly outraged at what was done to him. Those who insist on doing so are using his death to push dangerous agendas.
There is also nothing new or unusual about statecraft limiting the response to an individual murder carried out by a nation-state. Trump's controversial statement on Khashoggi yesterday was blunter and more transparent than usual, but substantively not a radical departure.
Usually there is a larger gap between what politicians SAY about such things and what the foreign policy apparatus actually DOES. Usually you get balloon juice about the moral arc of history followed by pallets of cash to the people who murdered American troops.
In this case, there is a determined effort to use the Khashoggi murder to undermine U.S. policy and bludgeon Trump into taking actions against America's interests. Demands to ignore what he actually believed and advocated are the telltale warning sign of that effort.
Feel free to denounce the unfairness of powerful governments getting away with murder, but don't pretend it's unprecedented. It happens all the time and there usually isn't much we can do about it. We're arguing about what to put in the ritual Strongly Worded Letter of outrage.
And be honest about the blunt truth that the Middle East is almost uniformly horrifying, has been for a long time, and will remain so for generations to come. Engaging with the region at all means deciding which murderers and tyrants to support. There are no clean choices.
Look back at the long quest to find clean and pure "white hat" rebels to support in Syria, and how Barack Obama's idiotic efforts ended with a tiny unit decimated and co-opted by jihadi terrorists. Look at Team Obama's ridiculous (and ongoing) effort to whitewash Iran.
It would be super awesome if Middle Easterners tired of their endless bloody trudge through tyranny, oppression, and jihad, but there isn't much evidence of that at the moment. Some of the most encouraging recent developments came from the state that just murdered Khashoggi.
We cannot disengage from the region and cede it to powers like China and Russia, the latter of which our friends on the Left are suddenly very eager to denounce rhetorically. Obama's dimwitted Iran strategy would have handed the entire region to Moscow on a platter.
We cannot leave Middle Easterners alone to slaughter each other as long as they keep the oil coming. That was supposed to be the "smart" strategy in Syria - just let 'em kill each other, hope everybody loses. The result was a migration that is changing Western civilization.
So we have to play the bloody game over there, and that means we need allies, especially if we don't want huge Western armies stationed in the region. Those alliances had better be based on coldly rational self-interest because idealism dies with a knife in its back over there.
All of which is what Trump said bluntly in a statement that would normally have contained 500% more platitudes and bromides. It sucks but it's true. Damn the Saudis for their murderous irresponsibility, but use this as leverage to get more of what we want from them. /end
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