Reaction to Saudi Arabia Journalist Murder

“Trump signals US won’t punish Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi killing” was the headline of a CNN article on Nov 21st, 2018. This article was in reference to the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing and later discovered to be dead after visiting the consulate office of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, Turkey. He was a journalist who disagreed with much of the Saudi Regime and was therefore murdered by them for expressing his opinion. In this article, it stated how President Trump is “not going to destroy the economy of our country” over Khashoggi. It also stated how the the Trump administration was not ready to cut ties with Saudi Arabia, or even place sanctions on them. Mr. Trump has not pointed a finger at Prince Mohammed and has even defended the 33-year-old leader Mohammed bin Salman, which the White House has viewed as a important partner economically. This article stood out at me because it shows how economic benefits can be more important to a country than basic humanitarian rights. 

The United States has many deals with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia which includes oil trade and military base privileges. I find it extremely frustrating that we as a nation hold the freedom of press as one of its amendments, however, in this situation we take the backseat to other governments calling for the murder of a journalist. In later articles the news broke that the CIA confirmed Saudi’s king Salman orchestrated the murder of this journalist. The current US administration, because of their deals with that kingdom, cannot even stand up for justice and basic human rights. Additionally, there was a meeting between the Secretary of Treasury and the Prince. The meeting between Mr. Mnuchin and Prince Mohammed was unplanned and came at the request of the Saudis, according to a person familiar with the situation. But it clearly adds to the image of a White House that is  eager to move on from the killing of Mr. Khashoggi and turn a blind eye.

Throughout our history classes, we learn the many rights Americans enjoy including freedom of the press. The press reports information to the public without any suppression.. During the constitutional convention they added the amendment of freedom of press, and ensured that if anyone were to break those rules they would be arrested. Khashoggi examined issues, and reported on the problems they had, despite the opposition that the Saudi regime posed. The fact that our country is not willing to take action based on deals that may be at a loss, is astounding to me.

The United States has always been dedicated to spreading democratic ideologies and defending human rights. In this situation, we should continue to do that, and not turn a blind eye. A United States Senator, Dianne Feinstein stated that the U.S. should be “standing up and condemning a brazen murder by a foreign government” and that all individuals involved should be held accountable. Even though economic trade is important, ignoring a violation of human rights can cause a breakdown of morale within the U.S itself. How can we as a country claim to defend these rights when at this very moment deals are being made and hands are being shaked? I am deeply disappointed in the position that was taken by those in charge and I still hold onto the hope that my generation will be strong in its conviction of basic human rights.


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