Time to reconsider Saudi 'friendship'
Sunday, October 21, 2018
On Oct. 2, Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S.-based journalist and democracy advocate, entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. He has not been seen since. It is not surprising that Saudi Arabia appears to be responsible for Khashoggi’s suspected murder. The kingdom 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. The report implicated the Saudi royal family in financially supporting the 9/11 hijackers. For instance, Prince Bandar, the longtime Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States, and his wife, personally funded Osama Bassnan, who then paid and assisted multiple 9/11 hijackers.
Additionally, the FBI continues to hold countless files detailing Saudi backing of the hijackers. To this day, 9/11 families remain in litigation against the Saudis over their involvement in the attacks.
Despite this, the United States continues to treat Saudi Arabia as if it were one of our greatest allies. That is as stupid as it is sickening. For too long the American government has forced taxpayers to subsidize protection of the Saudi regime and enlisted U.S. service members to do so. Among many examples, we are supporting the Saudi Arabian military’s involvement in the Yemeni Civil War, which has led to one of the world’s foremost humanitarian crises, and countless civilian deaths. This must stop. With the federal deficit rapidly approaching $1 trillion a year, and federal debt at over $21 trillion, we simply can’t afford it.
The greatness of America stems from the goodness of our people and the values we uphold. Kidnapping and murdering journalists and political opponents runs counter to everything we stand for. We must not tolerate such actions, especially by so-called “friends.”
U.S. Rep. Walter Jones