Jamal Khashoggi’s hideous murder has done something quite remarkable in the United States of America.
It has produced bipartisan condemnation of the brutality of the act and demands that the Donald Trump administration do something significant to respond to Saudi Arabia’s governmental sanctioning of the Khashoggi’s murder.
U.S. Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, told ABC News today that the U.S. government cannot stand by and accept the “savagery” that occurred inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where Khashoggi reportedly was cut to pieces — while he was still alive! — before he died.
The Saudis have offered lame excuses, backed away from one so-called “explanation” and have settled on saying that Khashoggi died in a fistfight at the consulate.
Khashoggi was a U.S. resident; he was a columnist for the Washington Post. Indeed, his final column discussed the need for free expression in his home country, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Middle East.
What might be a “significant” gesture in response to the Saudis’ savagery? Here’s a thought: Send the Saudi Arabia ambassador to the United States home until his government provides a full, comprehensive and transparent finding on what happened to Khashoggi. What’s more, the Saudis need to provide proof that they are taking serious punitive measures against those who have been accused of this heinous deed.
Democrats and Republicans now are speaking with a single voice on this. The issue now is for Donald Trump, the nation’s top Republican politician, to heed their calls for a tough response and a full-throated condemnation against this kind of attack on a U.S. resident.
Whether the president delivers on all of that remains to be seen. I am one American who remains skeptical that Donald Trump is capable of offering this level of outrage.