Oct. 16, 2018
- Don’t Ditch Riyadh in a Fit of Righteousness – Walter Russell Mead
The murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, was a horror. But the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey’s President Erdogan, and the ayatollahs of Iran are huddled over the corpse, hoping to turn a political profit from the death of an innocent man. After Mr. Khashoggi’s death, even the most naive observer can see that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is at best a modernizing autocrat, using dictatorial power to drag his country into the future.
Saudi Arabia is not an authoritarian caterpillar metamorphosing into a liberal butterfly. But neither are Turkey and Iran. And on crucial issues, U.S. and Saudi interests are aligned. To do what the Iran-deal chorus and the Erdogan and Muslim Brotherhood apologists want – to dissolve the U.S.-Saudi alliance in a frenzy of righteousness – would be an absurd overreaction that plays into the hands of America’s enemies. The writer is professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College. (Wall Street Journal)