Saudi Arabia Shuts Up Trump

Julia Landman, Staff Writer

Our President, Donald Trump, loves to seem huge. He loves to look important, strong, and essentially impenetrable. So why is he going so easy on Saudi Arabia after they brutally murdered an innocent person who was American employed, when he must know that this reveals some kind of weakness? Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered journalist,was a critic of the Saudis. He was murdered in what the Saudis claim was a rogue operation that they had no knowledge of, but evidence can be found to prove this untrue, such as them claiming that he had been seen leaving, when this is known to be untrue, seeing as he is dead. His body is yet to be found.

In interviews he compliments the Saudis, admires their ruling style, and seems to marvel, almost to the point of idolization at Prince Mohammad bin Salman. His poorly timed compliments include a statement of him praising the Prince’s ability to “keep things under check”, even though his lack of just that has resulted in what has almost become a global incident.

However, this is far from Trump’s first time praising a foreign authority figure at the wrong time. A notable time includes when he complimented the president of the Philippines’ drug war, saying that he has made great progress. The reality of this situation is that many people died as part of President Duarte’s initiative which attempted to solve the drug addiction problem in the Philippines by murdering drug dealers and users, according to the International Criminal Court. President Trump also showed admiration for Kim Jong Un of North Korea, marveling at his ability to take power for himself at such a young age. Both of these statements could be considered on brand for Trump, because both of these instances are about him praising people who wielded their power and took what they wanted, no matter who they hurt. It would make sense for Trump to admire these authoritarian figures.

But Trump praising the Saudi Arabian Prince is just ironic for this reason as well. The Saudis killed someone who was employed by an American newspaper. In all of Trump’s campaigns, and in all of his speeches he praised America. He talked about how he loved our country and her citizens. So why now is he not defending those same citizens when they have been wronged and murdered? The Saudi Arabians have disrespected his country, the thing he claims to pride the most, and instead of doing what was expected of him, which would be lashing out or at least making a statement saying how upset he was, he praises the government that disrespected his country.

Trump has made it clear that he will not be retaliating, which reveals an inexplicable weakness. He in not retaliating the President may be acknowledging that they have too much leverage over him that he therefore can’t take forceful action against them. In other words, his lack of action seems to be an admittance of weakness.

Trump sees this, and is trying to show that he is not weak by repeating over and over on how the murdered man was not a U.S. Citizen, and therefore not worth saving. Do not mistake what the Saudis did as benign. This was clearly a provocation on the United States, and most other countries would have treated it as such, but due to the pressure on Trump, he is not comfortable retaliating, which is essentially him admitting weakness for the first time on record.