One does not have to agree with President Trump accepting Saudi Arabia’s version of events leading to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But siding with a U.S. ally is plainly in his discretion. As president, Trump is tasked with the making of foreign policy and it’s no leap for him to conclude that cultivating ties with Saudi Arabia despite what happened to Khashoggi is in the U.S.’s national interest.
We only have to think back to World War II and America’s making common cause with the Soviet Union to defeat the Nazis. This despite the fact that the Soviets under Joseph Stalin were complicit in the deaths of millions of their own countrymen. And then there was our embrace of Germany immediately after the war despite the horrors that country inflicted on us and the world.
Let’s also not forget about the murders of millions upon millions of Chinese at the hands of the communists under Mao Zedong after they seized power in 1949. Despite the carnage, the U.S. recognized Zedong’s government and began diplomatic and trade relations with it.
More recently, and perhaps more pointedly, in 2015 President Obama entered into a major nuclear agreement with the government of Iran and turned over tens of billions of dollars to the Iranians who, to this day, are the chief promoters and financiers of murderous terrorism around the world. All in the name of American national interests.
Yet, amazingly, it is President Obama’s amen corner that is the most vocal in its condemnations of President Trump’s Saudi Arabian policy. Go figure.