The final of our three national emergencies that alarm me is our reaction to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Our intelligence community, which I was a proud member of during my thirty-five years of federal service, is firm in its finding that Khashoggi was murdered on the orders of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. But President Trump refuses to hold him accountable. Trump denies the evidence from his own intelligence experts that Salman commanded the murder. Trump argues that the monetary value of our relationship with Saudi Arabia is more important than holding the prince responsible for murder. In other words, profit is more important than human life.
Long before the Khashoggi murder occurred, the Saudis had already created enormous suffering with their attacks in Yemen. According to the International Rescue Committee, “Yemen is facing the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. Over 22 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, the country is on the brink of famine, and a million people have suffered from the worst cholera outbreak in modern history.”
But our Congress and president do nothing. They say nothing. With their inactivity and silence, they encourage autocrats through the world to do their worst, confident that the U.S., once the beacon of world peace and brotherhood, will look the other way.
We as a nation must decry murder and the infliction of death and suffering. Not to do so is inviting our own end. Our survival, in the long term, depends on it.
As I have noted here before, in the little over two years I’ve posted to this blog six times a week, I’ve gone out of my way to avoid political controversy. But these three emergencies go beyond politics. They pose threats to our very existence as a democracy. We must speak out and act.