The World Is A Dangerous Place, Especially With Venal, Amoral, Blood-Money Profiteers As "Leaders"

Kowtowing to money and brutality

Apparently it wasn't bad enough the Racketeer-In-Chief just abandoned any meager pretense of moral principle by choosing to accept Saudi Arabia's barbarous murder of a journalist, their slandering him as "an enemy of the people," and their complicity in war crimes in Yemen, all in favor of "a record amount of money" that will create "much additional wealth" that doesn't actually exist: According to experts, Trump's "$110 billion" in arm sales is in fact $14.5 billion, and his "450,000 to 600,000" jobs is in fact 17,500 jobs, a nigh-on invisible fraction of America's work force of 160 million. Thus did Trump proclaim once and for all America only cares about money - even when it's a chimera - and won't even pretend to stand for lofty nonsense like justice.

The crimes of his "statement" didn't stop there. There was his "most uninformed, toady, poorly-written" 4th-grade rhetoric ever (sorry 4th-graders) - "It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!"; the rejection of US intelligence findings over the dubious word of another authoritarian regime; the misjudgment and ignorance - experts dismiss the notion of a "gift" to Russia and China from a US withdrawal. Above all was the yuge lie that Trump has "no financial interests," prompting a flood of reports - because thank God fake news never sleeps - about the prince who twice rescued him from bankruptcy, his hotel deals, and his multiple investments with Saudis, culminating in his famously icky, "I like them very much."

The venality proved too much for many. Twitter Tennesee's Bob Corker: "I never thought I'd see the day when a White House was moonlighting as a P.R. firm for Saudi Arabia." awaii's Tulsi Gabbard: "Being Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not 'America First.'” Minnesota's Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar: “Once again, our President proves that you can’t buy a moral compass. Saudi Arabia proves that you can, on the other hand, buy a President.” The next day, it got worse when Trump doubled down, stooping to thanking the Saudis because, duh, money. "Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy!" he jabbered, ignoring the inconvenient truth the shift was an expected short-term dip, we only get 9% of our oil from them anyway, and normal people would be repulsed by the idea of saving blood money at the pumps. Trump ended with, "Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!" - which, some noted, could well be the mantra for this whole loathsome regime.


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A final note: Too often lost in the clamorous debate is Jamal Khashoggi - journalist, activist, human being, loved one - and the imperative to give him "Khashoggi spoke truth to power. He defended human rights, and because of this he was murdered. He no longer has a voice,  so we must be his voice," argues Armen Manoogian, thus echoing Khashoggi himself: "I am raising my voice. To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison. I can speak when so many others cannot." Among thosemost devastated by his loss is his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who says she has "found myself in a darkness I cannot express." Cengiz, who waited outside the embassy until 1 a.m. the day of Khashoggi's murder, recently turned down an invitation to the White House from Trump, citing the grotesque hypocrisy of the offer. In a heartbreaking tribute to him, she posted a brief, gentle video of Khashoggi telling a story about his fatherand delightedly encountering a surprise visitor. "They took your bodily presence from my world," she wrote. "But your beautiful laugh will remain in my soul forever."

Empty chair at a recent press freedom conference.

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