LP.org: ‘Trump’s hypocritical reversal on Saudi Arabia’

LP.org:

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Saudia Arabian King Salman, Melania Trump, and President Donald Trump.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Saudia Arabian King Salman, Melania Trump, and President Donald Trump.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump posted on Facebook: “Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!”

Once elected, Trump visited Saudia Arabia in his first presidential trip abroad. He received the red-carpet treatment and bowed while having an honorary collar placed around his neck by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a gesture for which he had ridiculed President Barack Obama only a few years earlier.

While hobnobbing with Saudi royalty, Trump signed off on a record sale of U.S. arms to Saudi Arabia of nearly $110 billion. Those U.S.-made tanks, artillery, radar systems, armored personnel carriers, Black Hawk helicopters, ships, patrol boats, Patriot missiles, and THAAD missile defense systems are playing a big part in the Saudi war with neighboring Yemen. This means that U.S. military hardware is being used in a war that has reportedly killed 10,000 Yemenis and pushed 17 million to the edge of starvation.

Meanwhile, a palace coup has taken place within Saudia Arabia’s ruling family. The king replaced Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef with his own son, Mohammad bin Salman. This new crown prince has arrested billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and dozens of other princes, ministers, and former ministers. Many of their bank accounts have been frozen and many are being held prisoner in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton.

“The United States has no business and no self-interest in selling lethal modern arms to an unstable medieval monarchy in the Middle East.” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “It’s folly for us to get involved in a civil war in Yemen. It’s even greater folly when that civil war appears to be a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia for regional hegemony. U.S. military intervention has already contributed to massive human tragedy in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East. We don’t need to add to that more suffering in Yemen.”

Waging war for political, ideological, or cultural reasons is horrifying enough, but government leaders also justify their mass killing as an opportunistic pretext for interfering in world markets.

“Maintaining the petrodollar and our access to Middle East oil is not worth the cost in blood and starvation visited upon the people of the region,” Sarwark continued. “And we can be pretty sure that whoever wins in the palace coups, civil wars and wars between countries will still sell us all the oil we need. It’s time to heed the words of our founders: ‘peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.’”

10 thoughts on “LP.org: ‘Trump’s hypocritical reversal on Saudi Arabia’

  1. Pingback: LP.org: ‘Trump’s hypocritical reversal on Saudi Arabia’ – A.T.P.R.

  2. ATBAFT

    “The United States has no business and no self-interest in selling lethal modern arms” vs.
    ” time to heed the words of our founders: ‘peace, commerce,”
    So, in other words, the U.S.Government wouldn’t be selling the arms, the private enterprise arms dealers would? Is Mr. Sarwark just decrying subsidy of arms by the U.S. taxpayers or does he really think
    Saudi petrodollars should not be used on the open market to buy sophisticated arms from U.S, companies?

  3. DJ

    He’s doing exactly what he’s told to do, just like Hillary would have and his predecessors did.
    No surprise.

  4. dL

    So, in other words, the U.S.Government wouldn’t be selling the arms, the private enterprise arms dealers would? Is Mr. Sarwark just decrying subsidy of arms by the U.S. taxpayers or does he really think
    Saudi petrodollars should not be used on the open market to buy sophisticated arms from U.S, companies?

    The statement speaks for itself. The only quibble I might have is the use of the term folly instead of immoral.

  5. Luke

    ” Is Mr. Sarwark just decrying subsidy of arms by the U.S. taxpayers ”

    That’s not enough for you? Is there any action of the government, using taxpayer money, that you can’t come up with some version of “private companies/organizations/churches/whoever would just do the same thing” ?

    In reality it is being done with tax money and in our name, thus is entirely appropriate for a political party to comment on.

  6. ATBAFT

    It isn’t clear to me that the U.S. taxpayer is subsidizing the arms sale to the Saudis. Probably are in some fashion; if so, the release should mention how. As Libertarians, we need to cite proof of stuff, not make assertions and hope the uninformed public knows the details.

  7. dL

    It isn’t clear to me that the U.S. taxpayer is subsidizing the arms sale to the Saudis.

    is there some confusion on your part whether Lockheed Martin operates from government contracts?

    As Libertarians, we need to cite proof

    No, as libertarians we probably should abandon any “private sector” test when it comes to judging mass murder. Even if this transaction was facilitated by an ostensibly private firm w/ no ties to government welfare(btw, a highly unlikely condition), it would still be immoral. And Lockheed Martin absolutely should be sued by restitution by the victims of the Yemen genocide.

  8. ATBAFT

    No, DL, it isn’t clear to me if Lockheed Martin is being compensated by the Saudis or the U.S. government/taxpayers. Nor would it be clear to most non-libertarians who read Nick Sarwark’s message. We need to stop arm-waving to the choir and start providing convincing arguments. You might want to stand up at the next Lockheed Martin shareholders’ meeting and warn them of imminent wrongful death suits from Yemeni citizens. I’m sure Lockheed’s defense would be that they intended the weapons to be sold for defense and not to kill innocents, much like Glock or S&W would argue if a shooting victim tried to claim the gun manufacturers were culpable merchants of death.

  9. paulie Post author

    No, DL, it isn’t clear to me if Lockheed Martin is being compensated by the Saudis or the U.S. government/taxpayers.

    When you have US politicians on the taxvictims’ dime acting as your salespeople to client regimes abroad that’s a tangible benefit to your corporate shareholders. And of course all the money US military contractors get from US tax coffers to develop weapons systems is a big part of their bottom line and a tangible benefit to their other clients, especially those which are beneficiaries of US regime foreign aid. It’s nothing like a true free market, more like a global cesspool of corporate-regime collusion including the ruling factions of corrupt foreign autocracies and US politicians and corporate leaders all benefiting.

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