Jacksonian Trump whacks Saudi with lettuce leaf

Via Bloomie:

President Donald Trump said he’s immediately sending Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman bin Abdulaziz and suggested that “rogue killers” might be behind the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

Trump commented on Monday after he said the king, in a 20-minute phone call, offered him a “flat denial” that the Saudi government was behind Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible murder. A Saudi official said the kingdom has begun an investigation ordered by the king and could hold people accountable if evidence warrants it. The probe is separate from a joint investigation being undertaken with Turkish officials.

And Nine:

Saudi Arabia are preparing a report that will acknowledge that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, CNN reports, citing two sources.

According to two sources, the interrogation was one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey.

One source says the report will likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and transparency and that those involved will be held responsible.

As Trump said yesterday, weapons sales come first:

This is entirely consistent with the Jacksonian doctrine, as I’ve written before:

Through his work at The National Interest, it was Australia’s Owen Harries who did much to define the dominant and competing traditions of American foreign policy that offer better insights into the Trump phenomenon. Harries and his contributors identified two predominant schools of thought. The first was Wilsonianism, an idealistic ideology derived from President Woodrow Wilson that saw American ideals of democracy and capitalism as the best hope and future for the world. It is internationalist, interventionist and alliance-driven. The second school was Jacksonianism. Derived from President Andrew Jackson, it is a “realist” ideology that saw merit in domestic focus and the celebration of the common man. It is martial, honor-bound and rights-driven but is only dragged kicking and screaming into foreign wars (for more read Walter Russell Mead).

For the past century, Wilsonianism has dominated American foreign policy with only fits and starts of Jacksonian rebellion. Through two world wars and many regional skirmishes, America has remained largely committed to the creation of a global liberal order, (some might say empire), oscillating between bouts of fantastic idealism and realpolitik but by and large shaping the world in its image.

However, today that continuum has been disrupted. America has elected a thoroughly Jacksonian President in Donald Trump with his “America First” doctrine, and the cracks that that creates for the global order are widening fast.

…This is the key to the period ahead. Trump’s Jacksonian impulse is a paradox. It is not going to result in a smooth world of American first prosperity and power. On the contrary, it is going to egg-on every tin pot dictator and rising power to ever greater transgressions against the Wilsonian liberal order when in their interests to do so.

America First has no military way to counter this on a day-to-day basis. By definition, it aims to retreat from global responsibility even as its unintended consequences grow. This is a stunning and ongoing humiliation for the withdrawing Superpower. In effect, America now leads with its chin wherever it goes.

We can thus expect its rhetoric to mount ever higher to conceal crumbling imperial foundations. This will be amplified by the megaphone diplomacy of a clearly narcissistic president.

I might have added that liberal normatives such as ‘don’t assassinate your enemies in public’ are ancient history. Whether Trump can snow the issue time will tell. Congress will still make big deal of it. It’s clear he is going to try.


  1. But isn’t Trump’s motivation probably to keep Saudi Arabia as an ally in his campaign against the Iranians rather than ignore what other countries are doing?

    • he keeps them as friends. weapons sales will continue regardless of how many civilians are killed by the Saudi regime. Saudis are killing thousands of Yemeni civilians and there is almost no mentioning in MSM.

      • They hit another bus two days ago, killing 17 civilians including a family of 8. Injured another 20.


        The “official” death toll for the war in Yemen is regularly reported by the MSM at around 14,000. Totally absurd as that number is based on a UN OHCHR estimate from the first 6 months of the war (which started in 2015) and hasn’t been updated since. A more accurate estimate from people on the ground is at least 70,000 and likely higher due to unreported deaths from disease and starvation.

        2.5 million people don’t have access to clean drinking water since the Saudis bombed water infrastructure, leading to a cholera epidemic. Saudis are also blockading food supplies leading to the worst famine conditions on the planet. These acts are officially categorised as war crimes, yet the West turns a blind eye and does not impose sanctions against KSA (instead arming and supporting KSA in the war).

        Protocol 1, Article 54 of the Geneva Convention: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=C5F28CACC22458EAC12563CD0051DD00

        [Edit: it’s also worth adding as a footnote, that the sources I use for accurate reporting on the real situation in Yemen, are routinely being censored and shadow-banned in social media. TPTB don’t want you to know about Yemen and they certainly don’t want you to be supporting the Iranian-backed Houthis. Nope, pay no attention here folks, you’re supposed to support the illegitimate and unpopular puppet government of Yemen, currently cowering in Saudi Arabia].

      • “As Trump said yesterday, weapons sales come first:”

        If anyone out there thinks this public statement in support of Saudi Monsters is OK then you’re NOT human !

    • Netan-Yahoo is very keen for the US to get involved in Iran making Saudi a natural ally for Israel (unlikely as it sounds). I suspect the Israeli PM has been on the blower to the White House counselling the lettuce-leaf approach to his new best mates.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        I’ve always thought the Saudis were cheering on the Israelis because the Saudis profit from a destabilised middle east.

        It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the prince chap and the yahoo chap are besties.

  2. It’s one thing to murder a guy at the embassy then claim it was an accidental death during interrogation. It’s quite another to chop him up into pieces. I suppose that was an accident too.

    It’s the macabre nature of the event that’s keeping it active on social media. The neocons want this to go away so that your attention can be returned to the Iranian boogeyman. I expect to see the MSM forget about the whole thing as soon as another scandal pops up (or is created) to focus on.

    • Med
      These religious wars have been ongoing for more than 1400 years, Shia V Sunny. War between Iran and Iraq. Saudi V Yemen and so on.
      Try getting these “peace loving” religious nutters to progress from the barbaric dark ages and move into the 21st century.
      The hatred between Shia and Sunny runs very deep and no “outside” help/support/assistance in any form will alter that fact.
      The reason that UNHCR are scarce at the ground level is that they too will be targets from both sides; no winner here.

  3. Saudi Arabia under Mohammad Bin Salman is becoming more and more ruthless. As we learn from Syria, While the West only pays attention to journalist being tortured and killed, the real crime against humanity is happening in Yemen.

    • “——the real crime against humanity is happening in Yemen.” yes it is !

      – –and Australia’s National broadcasters ABC & SBS keep it very much under wraps.
      What a Country we have.

  4. Makes a lot of sense giving a civilized society $10 billion worth of weapons? Who needs hospitals, infrastructure schools etc

  5. Jackson is widely viewed as the first modern elected President.
    Long before Wilson & globalisation (or American imperialism as some would say) – to force spread western democracy & act in what it thought was global or non US interests etc.

    It doesn’t mean the US can’t be interventionist or a global player.
    It doesn’t mean the ‘US withdraws’ & isn’t a global force & player. Far from it.

    Look at the actuality.

    Trump has shut down Obama’s illegal & covert support for Islamic terrorism ($3.2 billion of US weapons supplies alone) minimising US participation of those wars.
    He also shut down the US support for the Islamic v African sub Saharan conflicts.
    He has neutered China’s mad little dog North Korea, taken China on in their corrupted dumping, IP theft & trade manipulation/
    He strengthened the position of the Taiwan (never will be One China), Japan, South Korea.
    He has reinforced the position on the South China Sea being international waters, formed new alliances with India & South East Asia, reformed NAFTA to the US advantage.

    He has put Europe on notice re their hypocrisy of US defence but trade with Russia rather than with the US.

    ( Same applies to Australia now also being on notice to stop the hypocrisy of expecting a US defensive shield but trading / supporting China & in allowing blatant Chinese economic & peopling colonisation of Australia)

    He put a stake thru the heart of the Climate fanaticsm, a highly globalist intervention that the US would not participate in wealth transfer on sham science & cultist climate alarmism.
    Later in his speech to the UN, he made it clear -no US support to a UN infected by globalists – who have failed every aspect of the UN charter the last two decades.

    Point is:

    Trump & the neo Jacksonian libertarian ideology is not the US is not ‘withdrawing from the world’.

    As we see the US is extremely engaged globally, far more engaged & effective than previous administrations, but acting to US interests first.

    A neo Jacksonian libertarian ideology means the
    President & the administration serves the people to clearly defined policies and goals and with a mandate.

    Trump has clearly communicated all his intentions & goals (including the China corruption & manipulation of trade for decades now, long before he was the Republican nominee).

    Despite the left wing effete liberal (democrat) bias that infects the Australian media – Trump has a 134% majority of the ECV (304 to 228) and most likely the ‘legal’ national vote also.

    He is likely to advance rather than lose seats in the mid terms.
    The Democrats are leaderless, riven with factors & infighting, tainted by their media liberal smear alliance and offer no credible alternative.

    Obama, Clinton & John Brennan are all exposed in the spygate scandal (along with the fool Alexander Downer as a pasty for Brennan in the frameup of Papadopoulos) and the threads are unravelling with McCabe now exposed today.

    It’s a grand jury for John Brennan as the ringmaster and choreographer of the fake Brennan Steele Dossier with all 6 allegations & the entire ‘Russian Trump narrative’ now exposed as complete lies.

    Expect a solid win or at least more of the same with Trump after the mid terms.

    And for Australia ? – a decision.

    Does it want to be continue to be a Chinese resources & housing colony for their misfits & social burden also dumped here as an ‘Chinese export’ – or part of the US alliance?

    • Australia already chose mate – ScoMo bent a knee – hence embassy moves to Jerusalem.Upcoming FISA release means the UK will take the brunt of the political fallout, Oz will get a pass. Its a solid move by ScoMo.

      Edit: I hear where you are at – take heart, we are winning.