The biggest political story of last week is the international reaction to the disappearance and presumed murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It appears to have been ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). First son-in-law Jared Kushner claims MBS as a good buddy. While we do not have a monarchy in America (which may come as a surprise to many of the current, and thankfully temporary, occupants of the West Wing) Kushner is often referred to as a prince by talking heads on the left. As this began to unfold what came to me was the song, Two Princes. Let’s explore.
Two Princes is the 1993 hit from the Spin Doctors. I’m not quite as sharp with original recording artists when you get past the ’80 and erroneously though another group of that era had recorded it. When I discovered it was the Spin Doctors I thought, “My goodness, another piece just feel into place.
The song (which I like) is fast paced to the point of being rather chaotic and I admit I really can’t understand many of the lyrics as sung. In my research for this article I stumbled upon a string quartet recording of the song. Absent the singing and with very limited instrumentation it still comes across as chaotic.
I’m certainly not qualified to be a music critic but it strikes me that Two Princes almost perfectly summarizes the activities of good friends MBS and Kushner. If you think either have gotten us closer to peace in the Middle East by creating stability you need to adjust your MAGA hat. The entire relationship is based on money. The Saudi’s have plenty of it and Kushner is in desperate need of it for his continuing failing business ventures.
MBS kidnapped, tortured and extorted other members of the extensive Saudi royal family shortly after he became Crown Prince. He was the man that gave the orders that resulted in the death of thousands of Yemenis. He has been credibly accused of wife beating. He was behind the disastrous blockade of Qatar; which if you remember the Trump regime went along with in a move that can only be explained by money. In fact one of Donald Trump’s first reactions to the Khashoggi situation was to point to (and vastly inflate the amount of) the military purchases the Saudis make of American armaments. The “Prince” thinks like the “King”.
Kushner has been a screw-up (PG version) if nothing else during his time in the West Wing. (Does anyone honestly think he would be there if not for having married Trump’s favorite daughter?) He has traveled the world on the taxpayer’s dime in search of financing for his real estate adventures. Filing out government forms appears to be well beyond his ability and/or he flat out lies on them. To date the “crown jewel” has been moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Think that might have had anything to do with obtaining financing? I do.
That brings us to the obvious question: What becomes of this. I assume that MBS will follow the Trump playbook of lie, spin, deceive and wait for something to come along and overtake the story. As for American politics there will be a series of October surprises instead of the traditional one. I think we saw the first one late last week with Turkey’s release of Pastor Andrew Brunson. Don’t forget the murder took place within at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. That plays well with the evangelical part of Trump’s base. It will be interesting to see if the Trump administration has a “player to be named later” in this deal. My guess is that they do and “later” is after Election Day. Regardless of the results of the mid-term the Lame Duck session and that entire time period is dangerous and will be interesting. The “deliverance” of Fethullah Gulen to Turkey would certainly provide a distraction in the news.
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