Another Fake ‘Emergency’ | Mel Gurtov

Just a few months ago Saudi Arabia’s leader, Mohammed bin-Salman (MBS), was on the defensive. He had authorized the murder of an independent journalist, his domestic “reforms” had turned out to be fanciful, and the U.S. Congress had moved to deprive him of the military support he had counted on continue his war crimes in Yemen.

But MBS had crucial support from the Trump administration. Trump was unwilling to accept the CIA’s finding that MBS probably ordered the assassination of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, and Jared Kushner evidently persuaded Trump that continued support of his friend, the crown prince, was essential to U.S. ideas about a Middle East peace.

As a result, U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia did not change one iota. And now, we see that far from distancing the U.S. from Saudi Arabia, Trump has found a false reason to tighten it.

Based on accusations of a new security threat from Iran, Trump has authorized the dispatch of 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East and the sale of several billion dollars in “precision-guided” weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The arms sale is being made without Congressional authorization or consultation, on the argument (made by Pompeo) that an “extreme emergency” eliminates the legal requirement to make the case to Congress.

There is no emergency. No evidence has been presented to show that Iran is taking any action that threatens U.S. or any other country’s interests.

On the other hand, evidence is abundant that U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran, the sanctions imposed on Iran, and threats of regime change do present a security threat — to Iran.

As for Saudi Arabia, selling arms to a murderous regime that consistently violates human rights and is committing war crimes in Yemen is simply unconscionable.

Trump’s latest moves are perfectly in line with the insidious

way he conducts his office. He declares an emergency when none exists, as with the use of the U.S. military for border security, now in litigation. And he ignores Congress when it suits his political purposes, as with his refusal to honor House of Representative committee subpoenas and requests for documents.

Trump thus further cements his authoritarianism, and Congress members are left to ponder at what point they will draw the line and defend our form of government from an imperial president.

Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University.

More in Opinion

A Play on Trump and Leaked Cables, In One Act | John L. Micek

(Ext. 10 Downing Street, nighttime. The lights of London shine in the… Continue reading

The Immoral Silence to the Destructive Xenophobia of ‘Just Leave’ | Wim Laven

Donald Trump tweets “Why don’t they go back and help fix the… Continue reading

Billionaires and American Politics | Lawrence Wittner

Is the United States becoming a plutocracy? With the manifestly unqualified but… Continue reading

Today’s cartoon for Wednesday, July 17

Today’s cartoon is by Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune.… Continue reading

How Well Do You Know the Democratic Candidates? | Peter Funt

How well do you know the Democratic candidates for president? They are… Continue reading

Today’s cartoon for Tuesday, July 16

Today’s cartoon is by Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald.… Continue reading

Trump’s 127th week in office | In cartoons

Our cartoon chronicle of the 45th president continues with a look back… Continue reading

The Mop Closet of American History | Robert C. Koehler

“They were quiet, and just staring, blankly,” she said. “There were just… Continue reading

Democrats You’d Have a Blank With | Raging Moderate

Back in 2000, the Presidential Election was tight and much attention was… Continue reading

Most Read