Saudi Arabia, Senator Graham, Saudi Crown discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
It may look good, you know, in copy in the press and so on. But in in actual fact, I mean, that's not what's going to affect change in the in in places like Saudi Arabia or other Middle Eastern countries where you have an authoritarian system. The US has many other tools at its disposal, and it should think of those rather than you know, symbolic gestures. Well, speaking of those tools, I'm seeing here now that US Senator Lindsey, Graham is saying that he believes Saudi Crown prince Mohammad bin Salman had US based journalist, Jamal Khashoggi murdered in the Saudi consulate, and that that soman has quote tainted his country. As a result. This is from the Associated Press Lindsey. Graham is saying that the crown prince has got to go and that he will not return to Saudi Arabia. While the prince is in power, Graham. Has also saying that he's been the biggest defender of the kingdom. But now he plans to quote sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia that's from the Associated Press Steven, cook. What do you think. We'll Senator Graham is has been a interesting commentator on the Middle East over many years because he has been forthright in speaking out on human rights and democracy and democracy promotion, especially in places like Egypt, though he's been relatively more quiet when it comes to Saudi Arabia. Again, the kind of very difficult issue in position that American policymakers are in when it comes to the importance of Saudi Arabia and having a foreign policy that is more consistent with American values. It's clear that the apparent killing of Jamal shocked. She has moved him to be more critical and to include Saudi Arabia more forthrightly in his demonstrations of authoritarianism and human rights violations in in the region. The the real question is though whether the kind of things that Senator Graham is talking about a really going to have an impact. On the behavior of Saudi Arabia. Certainly, congress has a variety of tools. As you heard, Jeff flake talking about suspending arm sales to Saudi Arabia. There's the global Magnitsky act, which would make certain Saudis if they're sanctioned with it, unable to conduct business in the international financial system. But as we've seen from other cases of from Russia, in particular, this has not altered the behavior of of other countries. Well, we have a minute to go before the break and Bernard Haykal. I want to get your thought on this because as Stephen cook was saying, would Saudi Arabia's behavior change specifically the behavior from the crown prince or or or the king for as long as the president of the United States has shown that he does not necessarily have a bad word to say for authority and leaders in other countries, Russia, North Korea, Turkey. Well, look, I mean, the Saudis have in the past extradited or kidnapped if you like dissidents and brought them back to Saudi Arabia where they put them in prison, they, they're not in the habit of killing dissidents overseas. They've never done it as far as I know. And so this is completely out of character. And I think that certainly this will never happen again and and they should account for for it and they should. They should punish whoever's responsible for. But I don't think that the the congress has that kind of influence on in an ability to change Saudi behavior. Certainly not domestic politics and changing who's the leader in the kingdom? Well, we're speaking with Bernard Haykal. He's professor of near eastern studies at Princeton.