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Trump’s Bone Saw Problem

| October 24, 2018

trump saudi arabia

The company he keeps. (White House)

Still buttered up from his last tango in Riyadh, President Trump now says the official Saudi story of the murder of Washington Post columnist and Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi is “one of the worst” cover-ups he’s heard, presumably from outside his organization.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive That’s after he sent two cabinet members to bow and kiss the ring of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who ordered the hit. It’s after Trump cheered as a role model the criminal Montana congressman who pleaded guilty to assaulting a reporter. It’s before, during and after Trump has incited and continues to incite violence against reporters covering his rallies and declaring “enemy of the people”  any reporter who suggests Trump may not be the greatest, the grandest, the most fabulous dear leader in the history of dear leaders.

And in fairness, it was all before pipe bombs were sent to enemies of the people in various liberal guises. But forgive me if, as with Trump’s 5,001 other documented lies (so far) in his first 641 days in office, I don’t buy his latest fabrication: “Acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.” How rich: The mobster sadist whose daily apologies for thuggish leaders gave Saudi Arabia the greenish light to murder a journalist and resurrected the lynch-mob mentality between tweets about Democrats’ “mobs” is now pretending to channel Marcus Aurelius.

Trump is certainly not alone as the House of Saud’s favorite princess: American presidents have been whoring themselves out to the kingdom since FDR’s faustian submission before King Ibn Saud aboard the USS Quincy in 1945. Trump is merely aligning his “nationalist” anatomy accordingly, adding assassination to the list of barbaric behavior he is willing to condone. Who needs NATO when you can have Saudi Arabia?

The Middle East is an orgy of hostile and dangerous nations, deadly ideologies, bigoted regimes: Iran, Syria, Egypt, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Bahrain. But none of these combine Saudi Arabia’s capacities to be all evil to all people. The Saudi Arabia we call a friend and ally launched and financed Osama bin Laden, made 9/11 possible, has been funding the Taliban and Islamic extremism throughout the Middle East since 1979, and through its nihilistic Wahhabist ideology made ISIS possible when al-Qaeda started collecting social security.

Saudi Arabia is the most regressive, repressive and brutal regime in the Middle East. It may not be exterminating its own citizens like Syria, but it’s been exterminating Yemen’s for years, it invaded Bahrain to stamp out a democratic uprising, it kidnapped the Lebanese prime minister, it’s been gunning for a nuclear program, and it’s been desperately trying to drag the United States into a war against Iran.

Saudi Arabia is not our friend. But president after president has been as addicted to Saudi pretenses of friendship as American gas guzzlers have been addicted to Saudi oil and Saudi cash buying back American weapons.

Now we have the murder of a world-renown journalist ordered by Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince people like New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman had been fawning over as the great reformer, romanticizing him as “M.B.S.” and excusing his excesses until Kashoggi, a friend of Friedman’s, was killed. But  just because he finally let women drive in Saudi Arabia, in 2018, and said a few things about Islam not being as backward as his own country makes it out to be, doesn’t make bin Salman less criminal. Kashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul some weeks ago only to be set upon by the prince’s goons, have his fingers severed, his head cut off, and his body dismembered with a bone saw.

Kashoggi’s crime? He’d been critical of the Saudi regime. He was an enemy of the people.

If that gruesome execution on foreign soil wasn’t disgusting enough, Trump initially tried to cover up the murder, playing Saudi Arabia’s game, until the evidence became too overwhelming. But just blaming Saudi Arabia in the abstract for the murder isn’t enough from a president who partly enabled the murder through his daily and still-unrelenting vilification of journalists.

He can’t be lavishing praise and smiles on tyrants, as he and his son in law Jared Kushner did with the Saudi Prince, and think it’s not another way of saying, as he did of white supremacists last year, that “some of them are fine people.” He can’t be equating journalists with scum and not have blood on his hands. And not just journalists, of course, as today’s pipe bombs suggest.

You’d think the torture and murder of Jamal Kashoggi would be a turning point against the most dangerous nation in the Middle East, and the last country the United States should be calling an ally. But it won’t be. Mohammad bin Salman is just the sort of man Trump admires and likes to deal with. Kashoggi, in other words, is not the only truth-teller being dismembered, and Saudi Arabia is not the only one wielding the bone saw.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.

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22 Responses for “Trump’s Bone Saw Problem”

  1. Veteran says:

    But….unemployment is the lowest for Hispanics, blacks, women, and whites. GDP is the highest in 10 years, and the economy is booming. Too bad you and the media never report on that.

  2. Rob Rob says:


    It is entirely appropriate to call Trump out on his dealing with Saudi Arabia and too his childlike conduct in general. Forgetting his inappropriate behavior because he does some good things is like a battered wife and children living with an abusive father because he is a good provider.

  3. TPG - Voice of Truth says:

    Trump is a tyrant. He relates only to tyrants. At heart, he is weak, fearful and pathologically needy. What’s left for him is to bully his way through life to hide his maladies. This is a very dangerous man.

  4. Dismayed! says:

    trump not only has blood on his hands over the horrific death of this journalist, but can claim cause of the recent pipe bomb mailings to prominent Democrats. His constant encouragement of the right to incite violence is not missed….by anyone. If you support trump, then you support his policies. ALL of them. Dismayed and disgusted.

  5. Richard says:

    What Trump has said and done with Saudi Arabia PALES in comparison to what Obama & Kerry did for IRAN. Have you conveniently forgotten about your left wing buddy you constantly admire? Get a grip!

  6. Willy Boy says:

    Slant drill, extract all oil from beneath the sands, and leave the tribes to their own devices.

  7. Paul Pasternak says:

    And President Obama had all of those numbers heading in that direction way before Trump. If McConnell and Ryan hadn’t been trying to ruin the recovery, we would’ve had better numbers sooner. We also wouldn’t have had to become the laughingstock of the world, and morally and monetarily bankrupt. Check your facts – there were higher GDP numbers under Bush, Clinton, and Obama.

  8. robert says:

    Veteran…..Are you actually using a good economy to excuse Trump’s behavior? The economy and bad behavior are mutually exclusive.

  9. mausborn says:

    “When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” And the updated version needs to include: AND wearing an Italian suit and a tie made in China. Trump and his enablers in Congress and on Fox won’t be happy until they see armed conflict and bloodshed in the streets between the polar opposites they have created over the past 2 years. That day is coming ever closer.

  10. Agkistrodon says:

    Not unlike when Obama Leaned over and whispered, “Tell Vladimir after the Election I’ll have greater Flexibility”. You see Pierre When you are the leader you have to work with people you may not like. NOT unlike nearly EVERY former President Do you recall Stalin?

  11. jake says:

    ” But just blaming Saudi Arabia in the abstract for the murder isn’t enough from a president who partly enabled the murder through his daily and still-unrelenting vilification of journalists. ”

    And here it is, blah, blah, blah, and Trump hates journalists.

    A journalists produces “writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation”.

    MSM is a failure at journalism.

  12. Sherry says:

    Not to confuse anyone with actual FACTS. . . but the GDP was higher in 2012 and 2014 during twice (popular vote) elected President Obama’s tenure:

    The Dow Jones has “continued” the climb from President Obama’s administration:

    The unemployment rate “continued” to fall, as it did during the last years of President Obama’s administration.

  13. Sherry says:

    Meanwhile trump is a laughing stock on the international stage:

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s appearance at the U.N. General Assembly (all times local):

    8:50 p.m.

    President Donald Trump scorned the “ideology of globalism” and heaped praise on his own administration’s achievements in a speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly.

    “The U.S. will not tell you how to live and work or worship,” Trump said as he promoted his “America First” agenda. “We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

    Trump crowed that in “less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

    Some of his fellow leaders broke into outright laughter. Trump appeared briefly flustered, then smiled and said it was not the reaction he expected “but that’s all right.”

  14. Sherry says:

    Meanwhile. . . trump is blaming the FACTS reported by the media for the “pipe bombs” delivered to his critics. . . his tweet this morning

    :A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!

    While “he” encourages violence against reporters at his divisive rallies:

    Trump referenced Rep. Greg Gianforte’s 2017 attack on a reporter by saying that “any guy who can do a body slam, he is my type!”

  15. Edith_Campins says:

    As always, good article from Mr. Tristam.

    @Richard, what exactly did Kerry and President. Obama do with Iran? Craft a nuclear treaty, which trump has exited, without negotiating anything in its place? Return their money, as ordered by the World Court? Did they negotiate a $10 billion dollar sale of weapons to Iran? Did they put in place a travel ban with countries that have never sent us terrorists while leaving out Saudi, which sent us 11 of the 9/11 terrorists?
    Please elucidate.

  16. gmath55 says:

    Sorry but Trump will be around for another 6 years. Should I stock up on tissue paper for all the Trump haters. I will even toss the boxes out to you like Trump did in Puerto Rico after the hurricane. What a bunch whining crybabies. LOL

    Now, the Democrats are blaming Trump for the pipe bomb packages. LOL What happen to investigate and get the facts? When Congressman Steve Scalise was shot on a baseball field how many Republicans blamed the Democrats? I’m waiting……..

  17. Bill says:

    @ Sherry
    president Trump said.”On a yearly basis, as you know, the last administration, during an eight year period, never hit 3%. So we’re really on our way. If we achieve sustained 3% growth, that means 12 million new jobs and $10 trillion of new economic activity over the next decade. But annual GDP growth never hit 3% under Obama, prompting economists to dub the era a “low-growth” environment. Prior to the 2000s, the U.S. was no stranger to annual GDP growth upward of 3%.

  18. capt says:

    So much BS in politics, on forums, blogs, newspapers its sickening these days. As a democrat I’m pretty embarrassed by both parties. So much hate on both sides and its impacting or country. ,.

  19. BMW says:

    Pierre, you are so predictable. Obama ran the IRS and the Department of Justice like the mob and was the biggest race baiter ever. How many innocent police officers died due to his inflammatory comments made prior to thorough investigations in Sanford and Furgeson? Is it so wrong Trump wanted to know more about the murder in Turkey before passing judgment? Is it so wrong that he wants to protect the arms deal and stimulate a million jobs for American companies – because you know the Russians would be more than happy to pick up that deal. Living in a dream world and denying the Obama Administration trounced around the world throwing money at and trying to sway the outcome of elections and making deals with terrorists and oppressors makes your bias against Trump that much more laughable. Is it to much to ask for objectivity these days?

  20. Veteran says:

    Sherry – you must have looked long and hard to find a web site whose GDP numbers were to your liking.
    Paul Pasternak – listening to Obama’s rhetoric again?

  21. Sherry says:

    Not at all. . . actual FACTS are easy to find! LOL!

  22. Sherry says:

    BMW. . . please cite “credible” sources for your completely ridiculous claims. Thank You!

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