"Absolutely, his royal highness the crown prince has nothing to do with this issue."
-Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Foreign Minister
Protester dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in Washington D.C. (Getty Images)
The Trump Administration has placed sanctions on 17 Saudi officials following revelations of the Middle-Eastern kingdom's direct involvement in the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
All 17 are high-ranking individuals, and before you come asking me for the list of names, I'll just tell you right up front that no, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is NOT one of them.
And glaringly so.
We know that Congress (and pretty much the rest of the world) was (and is) pushing for the severest retributions for the murder. But the buck stops at the White House. This was more or less proven yesterday when Kirsten Fontenrose, a top White House official responsible for American policy toward Saudi Arabia resigned.
What's the connection?
Fontenrose was a key player when it came to orchestrating the sanctions, and was even able to convince the administration to place them against Saud al-Qahtani, one of Bin Salman's top advisers.
But why is Donald Trump "bowing down" to the Saudis? The first word the probably comes to people's minds is oil. And why shouldn't it?
We know how the Gulf states of the Middle East are literally sitting on oil. Countries like Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are practically synonymous with "Texas tea." You know...the ol' black gold? Mama Earth's Molasses???
Well dig this, yo. Even though Saudi Arabia is the #2 supplier of US oil, America only gets some 8-11% of its oil from the kingdom. The majority of it is, as a matter of fact, homegrown.
Why then the tolerance toward Saudi's unacceptable behavior?
Saudi Arabia is arguably the most powerful nation in the Middle-East. The "U.S." of the region, if you will. Is Trump in the wrong for wanting to remain staunch allies with such a country? This is, after all, a place that could serve well-represent our interests abroad!
Could the US really remain partners with a place that would brutally execute and dismember a renowned journalist, then blatantly lie about it on the international stage?
What if the renowned journalist happened to be a permanent resident of the United States?
I think we all know the answer. We've heard this song before.
Read more over at Al-Monitor.