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Elliott Abrams: More Realpolitik, Please
National Review ^ | November 21, 2018 | Elliott Abrams

Posted on 11/21/2018 2:49:57 PM PST by EveningStar

As a card-carrying neoconservative, I am usually a critic of realpolitik. But in judging the Trump administration’s current response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, I find myself thinking that more realpolitik would lead to better policy.

Here’s what I mean. The president has made two statements, both of which refuse to break with Saudi Arabia or its crown prince: his formal White House statement and his comments to reporters when about to get into Marine One and depart the White House. Both constitute a kind of realpolitik. The formal statement begins this way: “The world is a very dangerous place!” In both statements, the president notes the advantages that accrue to the United States from our relationship with the Saudis, principally the arms sales to the kingdom, its investments in the United States, its help in keeping oil prices down, and its assistance against terrorism and against Iran more generally...

Nixon did not presume that the choices were all or nothing, to embrace China or to break with it. Similarly, if the Trump administration view is that we should not break with Saudi Arabia (a view I share), then the next step is not to embrace Saudi Arabia but rather do what Nixon did: Specify to the Saudis what they need to do so that they will not be seen as “a repressive throwback to a dark age of the past.” Send the Saudi foreign minister to fix things with Canada. Figure out a way to release the blogger Raif Badawi and the female Saudi protesters who appear to have been badly abused since their arrests. Reunite the Gulf Cooperation Council...

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: badawi; elliottabrams; raifbadawi; realpolitik; saudiarabia; trump
Elliott Abrams
1 posted on 11/21/2018 2:49:57 PM PST by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar
Is this the next Middle East war the neocons are trying get us into?

One with Saudi Arabia?

2 posted on 11/21/2018 2:56:48 PM PST by yesthatjallen
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To: EveningStar

The Saudi “journalist” was an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. Probably working freelance for Turkey through back channels.

The left likes to extol journalists but never in places like Cuba, North Korea, Syria, China, Vietnam...


3 posted on 11/21/2018 2:57:47 PM PST by outofsalt (If history teaches us anything, it's that history rarely teaches us anything.)
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To: yesthatjallen

He doesn’t say that.


4 posted on 11/21/2018 2:58:53 PM PST by EveningStar (I am a Non-Cultist Trump Supporter.)
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To: yesthatjallen

I actually agree with him on this. We should fervently pursue moral and ethical behavior in and of OUR country but the rest of the world needs to be approached as what’s BEST for OUR country.

We are not now nor should ever try and be the prayer sheriff of the world.


5 posted on 11/21/2018 3:02:10 PM PST by traderrob6
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To: EveningStar

i don’t think that falling oil prices are a coincidence - i believe a price in/re Khashoggi has been extracted from SA that benefits us immensely for the near term.


6 posted on 11/21/2018 3:02:54 PM PST by avital2
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To: EveningStar

“Send the Saudi foreign minister to fix things with Canada.”

Saudi-Canada relations are none of our business.

“Figure out a way to release the blogger Raif Badawi”

I’d imagine they’d ask us about our impending indictment of Julian Assange.

“and the female Saudi protesters who appear to have been badly abused since their arrests.”

Who?

“Reunite the Gulf Cooperation Council.”

As above, Saudi-Qatari relations are none of our business.


7 posted on 11/21/2018 3:04:53 PM PST by Behind the Blue Wall
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To: EveningStar

“Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” —Lord Palmerston


8 posted on 11/21/2018 3:06:09 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Democracy dies when Democrats refuse to accept the result of a democratic election they didn't win.)
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To: EveningStar

The thing about neoconservatives that sticks out is how consistently wrong they’ve been. Their specialty appears to be turning friendly dictatorships into hostile regimes that run the gamut from dictatorships to democracies. Citing Nixon is really stupid. Nixon presided over defeat in Vietnam, thanks to his misnamed “Paris Peace Accords” (should have been “Paris Surrender Accords”), a serious deterioration in the free world’s position relative to the Soviet Union and an opening to China that strengthened the dragon to the point that we are getting squeezed out of the Western Pacific.

Abrams doesn’t understand realpolitik. Realpolitik means letting sleeping dogs lie re friendly countries that don’t mirror American values. Dictating our values at the cost of weakening these regimes was the reason Cuba, Iran and Nicaragua fell to rebels hostile to our interests. We don’t need a Saudi Arabia ruled either by its neighbors or a Muslim Brotherhood faction that finally reaches the critical mass achieved by Iran’s mullahs 30 years ago, thanks to the support of vast majority of a population still mired in 7th century sureties.

I don’t have a problem with Trump kicking Syria’s Assad in the butt because Syria has been a hostile country pretty much since the Alawite minority took power in the 1960’s under the auspices of the Baath Party. But to undermine a friendly regime like Saudi Arabia’s, given the hostility of the troglodyte population living on the largest cheap oil reserves in the world, is just insane.


9 posted on 11/21/2018 3:16:19 PM PST by Zhang Fei (They can have my pitbull when they pry his cold dead jaws off my ass.)
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To: EveningStar

Breaking with Saudi Arabia just because some goat effer “journalist”....or at least one who sympathized with the goat effers got snuffed out would be the stupidest thing we could do. Yeah the guy got snuffed. So what? I’m just fine with them taking out their enemies to stay in power. How many have we snuffed out with drone strikes and the like? Tough chit for them. Don’t be our enemy.

We are not the world’s conscience or its moral policeman. The Middle East is a very rough part of the world and that’s just the way it goes there.


10 posted on 11/21/2018 4:02:14 PM PST by FLT-bird
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To: EveningStar

Khashoggi promoted a “political” Islam that would be far more radical and, in his opinion, would unite all Muslim against against the West. The dude was the main propaganda artist for radical terrorism.

President Trump’s Republican opponents are coming out of the woodwork against him now, including Graham. Apparently, they’re willing to risk starting World War 3 to grandstand for radical globalist, anti-American sponsors of propaganda from their mainstream media. Mr. Trump’s are also hypocrites, in that they excuse many other leaders of nations for their human rights violations, even favoring them for trade.


11 posted on 11/21/2018 4:05:48 PM PST by familyop ("Welcome to Costco. I love you." - -Costco greeter in the movie, "Idiocracy")
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To: EveningStar

If Mr. NeoCon (and anti-Trumper) Cohen is happy, it means something has gone very wrong.

Bad advice & bad info result in bad decisions. Bolton’s presence confirms this.


12 posted on 11/21/2018 4:43:03 PM PST by Trumpisourlastchance
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To: FLT-bird

We should break with SA because they are Barbarians who are spreading terror & the Wahhabi death cult worldwide. Who do you think is building mosques in our country?

They did 9/11. They funded ISIS & Al Qaeda in Syria & Iraq. They are heavily involved in the genociding of Middle Eastern Christians, the oldest Christian communities in the world.


13 posted on 11/21/2018 4:45:57 PM PST by Trumpisourlastchance
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To: EveningStar
lets see... the head of Interpol gets kidnapped in China and nobody says a word, some wretched jihadi goathumper gets his ticket punched and everybody loses their sh1t!!!
14 posted on 11/21/2018 4:46:01 PM PST by Chode ( We’re America, Bitch!)
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