Monday, December 11, 2017
Imagine if Russia -- instead of doing what it has been accused of doing last year -- had funded and facilitated an attack on US soil that killed thousands of Americans. Then imagine that US policymakers, rather than punish the Kremlin by cutting diplomatic ties, imposing sanctions, seeking legal recourse, or all of the above, covered up its involvement in the attack and continued to treat it as a loyal ally. Imagine if the president who presided over that attack had decades of intimate personal and financial ties to members of the Russian elite and subsequently spirited dozens of Russian nationals out of the country before law enforcement could interrogate them.
Imagine if, despite full knowledge of the Kremlin's once and ongoing anti-American activities, successive presidents heaped praise on Russia's authoritarian government, sold it weapons, and made regular pilgrimages to wine and dine with its leaders.
Imagine if an army of Russian lobbyists operated on Capitol Hill to ensure Washington's pro-Kremlin line, eventually pressuring American leadership into actively assisting it in carrying out one of this decade's worst war crimes. ...
Thankfully, in the real world, none of this applies to Russia. It does, however, perfectly describe Saudi Arabia. ...
Over three decades, Saudi Arabia has successfully ingratiated itself at the highest levels of power in the United States. The Saudi ruling class has provided favor after favor to American officials, insinuated itself into the good graces of both high-ranking officials and reporters, and donated a steady stream of many millions of dollars to a bipartisan group of policymakers, including two of the country's foremost political dynasties, receiving the backing of the United States in return.
It's done all this while openly spreading fundamentalist ideology and assisting extremists in carrying out attacks on Americans, and in spite of the voting public's distaste for the regime.
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