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America and the Saudi Dilemma – a quick note from Asia


Many words flying around: “Why doesn’t Trump do something!?” (Always the interrobang on this one.)

Firstly, let’s talk about precedence and reality. The world is filled with savagery. Pick any compass heading and there will be savagery. Often under our own feet.

Why doesn’t Trump turn the seas into fresh water to solve the water crisis!? Why doesn’t Merkel do this? Putin? That guy Xi?

Well, back to precedence.

What has your leader done since 1932?

Which leaders have stood up to Saudi Arabia and taken that moral stand no matter how it affects their own national interests?
Please name your:
Prime Minister
Supreme Leader
War Lord
Scout Leader…

…since 1932, who has taken a ‘come hell or high water’ stand against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?


Has your country’s leader come out and said, “We are cutting all ties with the savage Kingdom. Our country will no longer use oil or do any business with Saudi Arabia. Or any other savages.”

In the interest of consistency, cut ties with every nation who is deemed savage or who does business with savages. The first country that tries this will become an economic, political, and military island. And will be gobbled up.

Messages from EU countries are flooding my Facebook inbox:

EU countries should stop taking oil from KSA. Kick out all Saudi students. Watch Iran take over the region while Iranians stone women.

Fact is, KSA is a backwards, savage, sovereign nation with much clout. Like China but smaller. Speaking of China, Saudi Arabia does not exist in a vacuum. We have a major fight unfolding with China. So far, we are winning.


An emotional stab at Saudi Arabia that will create serious crisis in the Middle East will be more distraction from the biggest fight on the field: World vs. China. (Mostly US vs. China – say “thanks” later.)

This is not the time.

Why this, now?

Russia, China, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, many others…spend much effort stifling and killing journalists. Not that Khashoggi was a journalist.

Taking inventory: Khashoggi was a Saudi murdered in Turkey. Not an American. His only connection with USA was a residence in America and publishing occasionally in Washington Post. Should the USA attack Russia when a Russian is killed by Russians in Europe? This is a job for the international community.

Germany is screaming about Khashoggi: Frau Merkel, what specifically are you going to do? Take point.

Merkel is too busy chopping at civilized countries like Poland to do anything serious with KSA.

Russia does savage things every day. Germany should stop taking energy from Russia. Start by reducing car sizes and putting a speed limit on the autobahns. Stop doing business Russians. Makes sense, right? After all, Merkel wants us to do something about KSA. Make that move, Merkel. Cut off the savages from your markets. Cut ties with China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia. Cut ties with USA for selling weapons to KSA. But first cut your own massive weapons sales to KSA.

Many are demanding that USA stop selling weapons to KSA so that KSA buys them from Sweden, Russia, and China. Clever move. (Germany: you can stop your weapons sales to KSA any time no. Americans will be happy to pick up the slack. As will Russian, Chinese, Brits, many other.)

We lose influence with KSA so that they buy atomic weapons from North Korea. And then UAE, Kuwait, and others all go nuclear. Very clever.

Invade Saudi Arabia? Lead the way, Germans! Pull your boys and girls out of those nice schools and put boots on their feet.

They’ll need boots because the German Air Force cannot fly. German submarines cannot hold their breath.

What will France do? Specifically.


What? Cut off their wine and maple syrup? Demand America do something? Blame Trump for Saudi savages murdering a Saudi in Turkey?

Why not also do something against Chinese for the Uyghur and Tibet issues, among many others. Germany? Where are you? What will you do about Tibet? Fly prayer flags and invite the Dalai Llama to speak and entertain with peaceful thoughts while Tibet is squeezed? For that matter, what has Dalai Llama done besides pray for Tibet? Prayers do not kill Chinese soldiers. Virtue cannot march far without an Army.

The Pope. What is he doing? Going to North Korea?

Bunch of big mouths. Virtue without action is not virtue.

How about crimes being committed now by Chinese death squads in Pakistan? How about the same sort of people within European borders who are plotting to rent a truck right now? Elephant in the room!

What exactly is the US to do about Chinese death squads in Pakistan, or a Saudi death squad in Turkey? Much of the world invests great energy denigrating USA for playing world police, but when they dial 911, they expect Fort Bragg to answer.

What will all the virtue signalers do? They will do nothing. Nothing but demand the US lead the way and do something.

And, specifically, what should we do?

Let’s think this through 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 — what will our actions create in 10, 20, 50 years?

Saudi Arabia is slowly but surely becoming more civilized. A long, painful process. Now is not the time to throw a tantrum and sink the boat. Firm but reasonable pressure is enough to cause incremental changes.

Stop panicking. Take a deep breath. Move slowly in the right direction.

Nobody has to like reality. But they have to live with it or drink poison or join a cult and pretend.

And now it is time to get back to my book research.

My latest book will be published in Japanese language on 02 November 2018, and is available for sale now:

Michael Yon

Michael Yon is America's most experienced combat correspondent. He has traveled or worked in 82 countries, including various wars and conflicts.

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