President Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman for the brutal murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi left Americans shocked. Though the Saudi government has denied it, the Central Intelligence Agency concluded that Khashoggi’s murderers were acting on direct orders from the Crown Prince himself, against whom Khashoggi was a fierce dissident.
In Trump’s statement on the atrocity, he first demonizes Iran then hails Saudi Arabia then brags about the money he’s gotten for the United States through Saudi Arabia. He doesn’t mention Jamal Khashoggi until the fourth paragraph.
And while that was disgraceful enough to many, the Wall Street Journal is pointing out a topic he omitted outright.
In the statement, the President, whose infamous campaign slogan was Make America Great Again, gave no attention to the qualities that make America great (spoiler alert: America didn’t get great by killing journalists).
The Wall Street Journal said in the piece:
we are aware of no President, not even such ruthless pragmatists as Richard Nixon or Lyndon Johnson, who would have written a public statement like this without so much as a grace note about America’s abiding values and principles. Ronald Reagan especially pursued a hard-line, often controversial, foreign policy against Soviet Communism, but he did so with a balance of unblinkered realism and American idealism. Mr. Trump seems incapable of such balance.
The Wall Street Journal is typically regarded as a more conservative outlet, so the editorial board’s bristling of the President left some surprised.
Even the WSJ editors were a little unsettled by Trump's Saudi propaganda today https://t.co/mp5Ls36TTE
— Daniel Larison (@DanielLarison) November 21, 2018
The WSJ editorial board has kissed Trump's ass mostly. Now their scared as he further comes unglued. Trump will take down many who have looked the other way.
— red8scorp (@red8scorp) November 21, 2018
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) November 21, 2018
Americans are taking the paper’s side, pointing out how starkly Saudi leaders contrast American values and often humanity itself.
The current regime in Saudia Arabia:
Trump's reply: "They're a great economic partner"
— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) November 21, 2018
Saudi Arabia must be held accountable. There must be consequences. There must be justice.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 21, 2018
A journalist killed on foreign soil. Nearly 100,000 Yemeni kids under the age of 5 dead from starvation. For this Administration, profits and praise from Saudi Arabia matter more than their murders and horrifying human rights abuses. https://t.co/UaKwzN0QHb
— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) November 21, 2018
Unfortunately, the cruelty in Trump’s statement doesn’t come as a surprise.