The strange thing about the current events that consume American news, the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is that this is not the first time that people have questioned the overall morals of the Saudi Arabian government. On September 11, 2001, 15 of the hijackers were Saudi citizens, and the Mastermind, Osama Bin Laden, was a Saudi Arabian citizen. The attacks that unfolded that day led the U.S. Military into a longer than decades war against Al-Qaeda and other terrorists affiliates across regions of the middle east, with a primary focus on the country of Afghanistan. Although the attackers were primarily from Saudi Arabia and had deep Saudi ties, The U.S. government embarked on a narrative that completely avoided any confrontation with the Saudi Government.
Fast forward to today, after years of unanswered questions and unresolved court cases by American citizens against the Saudi government, and you have this remarkable case of a whodunit, where American citizens argue that The Saudi government conducted the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, The Saudi government argues that they were not involved at all, The Washington Post says that the Saudi government is lying, and the President of the United States believes the Saudi government. It is safe to argue that our financial ties with Saudi Arabia is at stake, and also self evident that U.S. leaders (namely the President) do not want to forgo any financial agreements already established. Recently, President Donald Trump stated in a press covered meeting that he refuses to forgo any deals with Saudi Arabia, as it is “the largest order ever made”.
So what is next? Will The United States place sanctions on Saudi Arabia if they find out they had government insiders complicit with the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, potentially causing great strain on our diplomatic ties in the middle east? Recently The Trump Administration has been tougher on Russia, vowing to pull out of the decades long nuclear arms deal they’ve had with the nation. Perhaps at this moment, Donald Trump could stand to gain votes for re-election by proving to be hard on those who have done wrong, or what is more likely, he may end up balancing the status quo with the middle east powerhouse and continue to portray the narrative that Saudi Arabia is a nothing less of a great government, business partner, investor in American military power, and the center of the Muslim world.