Tooleb’s true, anti-Trump liberal colors are showing. Here’s another Tweet in which Taleb sides with the left, in this case the Washington Post:
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) November 20, 2018
How many Americans know or care who Khashoggi is? Not that many. Come 2020, it will be an afterthought. Even among those who know or care, it’s a low-priority issue compared to the economy and immigration. I will wager money that this will have a zero lasting impact on America’s ‘image’. Also, Trump tentatively standing by Saudi Arabia is not the same as him condoning the murder. Despite the media narrative of Trump being unstable and impulsive, he’s actually quite methodical and meticulous about foreign policy, and is adopting a wait and see approach and getting all the facts first, than yielding to the media outrage against Saudi Arabia. The same liberal media that says Trump is impulsive wants Trump to shoot first and ask questions later.
Furthermore, a month ago, Trump threatened severe punishment against Saudi Arabia, so it’s not like he condoned the murder.
Trump condemning the act but not taking further action is good enough for conveying toughness on Saudi Arabia, and is effective at signaling to the Saudi government that their actions will be subjected to greater scurrility, with possible retaliation if necessary.
In effect, Trump is doing his best to help the Saudi regime get away with the murder of a U.S. resident and one of the Arab world’s most prominent writers. If the administration continues down this path, it will further destroy whatever is left of America’s moral credibility on global human rights and freedom of expression. It puts truth-seekers and journalists who dare challenge the Saudi regime and other intolerant governments in grave danger, no matter where they live. Trump’s refusal to act gives a symbolic green light to the young, power-drunk Mohammed bin Salman so he can continue his reckless exploits in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, for possibly the next 40 to 50 years, and face zero consequences.
A resident is not a U.S. citizen. Rather, Khashoggi was Saudi national, which makes a huge a difference in terms of possible policy response. Mohammed bin Salman is not a exemplar of human virtue, obviously, but as discussed in an earlier post and as recent Middle East history has shown, replacing autocrats with populist leaders (such as the Iranian revolution) tends to results in instability and even worse people being put in power.