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George Washington Warned Us about Saudi Arabia

September 26, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

President Donald Trump wants to outsource U.S. policy to Riyadh. After the recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, he tweeted that his administration was “locked and loaded,” but was “waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” He later ordered American forces to Saudi Arabia to garrison the Middle East’s most brutally repressive and dangerously aggressive state.

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Since he himself ventured to Riyadh in 2017—his first foreign trip—Trump has consistently sacrificed America’s national interests in catering to the preferences of the Saudi royal family. His administration backed the regime’s brutal attack on Yemen, ignored Riyadh’s continuing support for Islamic radicalism, and said little about their mounting human rights violations. Now he is acting as if American armed forces constitute the royals’ personal bodyguards, at the crown prince’s beck and call.

It was fear of precisely this kind of obsequious subservience to foreign nations and interests that prompted President George Washington to issue his famous 1796 Farewell Address. Obviously America’s position in the world was very different then. The former colonies were still forging their disparate communities into a nation. The United States was a weak, marginal player in a world dominated by empires. Great Britain and Spain retained interests in and forces on the North American continent, while France maintained Caribbean colonies.

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Centuries later, however, Washington’s words still resonate. His message was clear: “nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.”

Tragically the Trump administration’s Middle East policy illustrates both sides of the equation. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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