Agreed! Trump’s love affair with Saudi Arabia appears to be second only to his one with Russia. What kind of message did it send to the world that he selected this brutal regime as the destination for his very first diplomatic visit?
The recent horrifying allegations against the Saudi Crown Prince brought back for me some recollections of his visit here in March. Does anyone else remember the brazen self-promotional media blitz that coincided with his arrival? One memory in particular sticks in my mind. While waiting in line at the supermarket, I recall spotting a glossy “tribute magazine” that stood out from the others. It had the look and feel of one of those souvenir publications that commemorate a special event in the lives of our beloved celebrity class: the birth of a royal baby, a Kardashian wedding, etc. But the cover of this tribute magazine featured someone I’d never heard of: Mohammed Bin Salman. I thought this was very odd indeed. Who in the Hell would give a hoot about this guy? I leafed through it to discover that its hundred pages consisted of one continuous, slickly produced, unabashed advertisement for the “Man and His Kingdom.” The cost of purchasing this advertisement was $13.99. I thought now that is truly audacious.
It turns out the magazine was produced by Trump’s good buddy, David Pecker, who owns the National Enquirer and helps Trump quash stories about his extra-marital affairs. What a con job! And now it’s especially stomach wrenching to consider that the heartthrob of a Crown Prince smiling out at us from the cover may also be the monster who ordered the torture, execution, and dismemberment of a journalist who opposed him.
Message from Mohammed Bin Salman – If you’re a journalist and you value your life, you better publish stuff like this:
Yes, that’s the actual cover – it’s so over-the-top, you might mistake it for something dreamed up by The Onion.
Footnote: The Prince’s visit generated a lucrative emolument for Trump. Legions of Saudi officials accompanied the Prince; they all stayed at Trump’s New York hotel, temporarily reversing a steady two-year decline in revenues.
BTW, I thought emoluments were supposed to be illegal, but I guess that’s another law that, for some mysterious reason, doesn’t apply to Trump. Fortunately, we can rest assured that Trump would never allow the funds he receives from the Saudis to influence his decisions.