Khashoggi case: Trump stands by Saudi Arabia

Despite the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi US President Donald Trump has expressed his unstinting support for the Saudi royal family. The US remains a "steadfast partner" to Saudi Arabia, he declared on Tuesday. According to media reports the CIA has concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the crime. Commentators explain why Trump won't break the ties with Riyadh.

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Die Tageszeitung taz (DE) /

Let's see the proof!

The taz reminds readers that Mohammed bin Salman's guilt still hasn't been proven beyond any doubt:

“There are indications that MbS was behind the murder, but we don't know for sure. What can be said with certainty however is that MbS and the country's true king, his father Salman, bear the political responsibility for this cruel deed - regardless of what actually happened. ... Instead of rehashing suspicion after suspicion about bin Salman's having pulled the strings until it's been repeated so often that it's accepted as the truth, we should concentrate on the evidence at hand. The Turkish government and the CIA must reveal what forms the basis of their suspicion that MbS is behind the killing ... So let's have the recordings!”

Večernji list (HR) /

Trump denying the obvious

In continuing to support Saudi Arabia Trump is making a laughing stock of himself and his country, columnist Roberto Bubalo writes in Večernji list:

“With yesterday's statement in which he said he doesn't know whether or not the Saudi prince ordered the journalist's murder, Trump spat on the entire world. Although he says 'America first', it's above all America that he spat on - the country that stands for freedom, dignity and prosperity. He spat on the CIA, which has confirmed that the prince ordered the killing, but also on the victims of 9/11, because the US intelligence agencies have stated clearly that the attack was organised by the Saudis. But would Obama have reacted any differently? If you asked me I would say: no. And Hillary Clinton wouldn't have punished the Saudis either.”

Sabah (TR) /

Symbiosis between Pentagon and arms industry

Trump is the natural protector of the weapons lobby, Sabah explains:

“Trump is just doing what's expected of him in the Khashoggi case. ... If you look at the structure of the US defence industry it's easy to see that he has no choice. ... Imposing sanctions on the Saudis would mean giving up both financially and ideologically the most useful apparatus in the war against terror: the last market for the weapons lobby. ... The symbiotic relationship between the Pentagon and the weapons industry governs every area of society, and above all politics and the economy. Consequently Trump, who is perfectly aware of this, is starting to vehemently insist 'Saudi Arabia first' instead of 'America first', these days.”