Friday, 23 November 2018

Khagoggi Murder: Trump says a bad (again)

PALM BEACH (FLORIDA): US President Donald Trump on Thursday contradicted the CIA's assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the killing of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, insisting that the agency had "feelings" but did not firmly place blame for the death. Trump, in defiant remarks to reporters from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, defended his continued support for Mohammed in the face of a CIA assessment that the crown prince had ordered the killing.
"He denies it vehemently," Trump said of the crown prince. He reiterated that his own conclusion was that "maybe he did, maybe he didn't."
"I hate the crime, I hate the coverup. I will tell you this: The crown prince hates it more than I do, and they have vehemently denied it," Trump said. Mohammed has not shown remorse for the killing, which was carried out by some of his close advisers.
Asked who should be held accountable for the death of Khashoggi, who was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey on October 2, Trump again refused to place blame - instead espousing a grim view of the world that he often shares with advisers.

"Maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a very, very vicious place," the president said.

He also seemed to suggest that all US allies were guilty of the same behavior, declaring that if others were held to the standard to which critics have held Saudi Arabia in recent days, "we wouldn't be able to have anyone for an ally."
Trump said "not at all" when asked if he was concerned that his refusal to substantially punish Saudi Arabia would send a message to the rest of the world that people in power can do as they please.
The president has grown annoyed with the constant attention on the killing, advisers say, and sought to effectively close the matter Tuesday with an eight-paragraph, exclamation-mark-packed statement that smeared Khashoggi, questioned the CIA and praised Saudi Arabia.

Stark. Raving. Bonkers. In a nutshell...



  1. Diplomacy and moralism are opposing virtues.

  2. btw - Trump is only "ridiculous" in the 1st sense.

    Plato, "Philebus"

    Socrates: The ridiculous is, in a word, a sort of vice that gets its name from a certain disposition. Of the whole of vice, it is the condition opposite to the one described by the inscription at Delphi.

    Protarchus: You mean “know yourself,” Socrates?

    Socrates: That’s right. So the opposite of that would be not to know oneself at all.

    Protarchus: Of course.

    Socrates: Now try, Protarchus, to divide this thing into three.

    Protarchus: How? I sure can’t do it.

    Socrates: Are you saying, then, that I should make this division now?

    Protarchus: Yes. I’m even begging you to tell me.

    Socrates: Well, isn’t it necessary that, of people who do not know themselves, each suffers from this condition in one of three ways?

    Protarchus: How?

    Socrates: First, with respect to money, believing that he is wealthier than he really is.

    Protarchus: There are certainly many people who suffer from this condition.

    Socrates: And there are more who think that they are stronger, more beautiful, and more outstanding in all bodily attributes than they really are.

    Protarchus: Certainly.

    Socrates: But by far the most, I think, are mistaken in the third way, about the things in their souls, believing that they are superior in virtue, even though they aren’t.

    Protarchus: You’ve got that right.

    Socrates: And of the virtues, isn’t it wisdom that most of them make claim to in all sorts of ways, though they are filled up with strife and the false appearance of wisdom?

    Protarchus: How not?

    Socrates: So one would speak correctly if he said that this sort of condition is altogether bad?

    Protarchus: Definitely.

    Socrates: Now, this must be divided further in two, Protarchus, if we are going to get a view of childish malice and thereby behold its bizarre mixture of pleasure and pain. “So how do we divide it,” you say? All those who foolishly have this false belief about themselves must, like all human beings, fall into two groups, those who have strength and power and those who have the opposite, I think.

    Protarchus: Necessarily.

    Socrates: Divide them, then, in that way: if you claim that those who have this false belief but are weak and unable to avenge themselves when they are laughed are ridiculous, you’ll speak the truth, and you’ll give yourself the most correct account if you call those who are able to avenge themselves and are strong frightening and hateful. For the ignorance of strong people is hateful and ugly, since both the ignorance itself and its imitations are harmful to those who get close to them, while weak ignorance, as far as we’re concerned, has the rank and nature of the ridiculous.

  3. What Trump is doing of course is hardly novel: protecting the US/KSA alliance. See (for instance) also Obama's initial silence when Mubarak 'fell'. And today the US supports Egypt's el-Sisi, who is arguably worse than Mubarak.