Now that the report from the Director of National Intelligence confirms Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in the murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, you’d think President Biden would come down hard on the crown prince himself. No such luck.
Biden took the path of realpolitik and is punishing MBS’s underlings with sanctions and travel bans but nothing that directly targets Prince Bonesaw. The argument is that we generally don’t target heads of state, particularly of nations we consider allies. This argument is false.
Of course, Biden is definitely doing more than Donald Trump did to punish Saudi Arabia, but he is letting the the main culprit off the hook. Do we really think that rewarding MBS for his crimes will have a moderating influence on him? This is the guy responsible for horrific devastation in Yemen, kidnapping Lebanon’s prime minister and too many human rights abuses to count. Throw the book at him, Joe.
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