Session

At all

More on Khashoggi, Der Spiegel:

"If the U.S. president is forced to back away from Saudi Arabia, it would essentially mark the failure of his entire Middle East policy thus far. He needs the king and he needs the crown prince even more. On Tuesday, he stressed the legal standard of innocent until proven guilty -- likely an attempt to buy time in the hopes that the current storm will soon die down. Secretary of State Pompeo has advised Trump to give the House of Saud a few more days to present results from its investigation. For Trump, it is helpful that, with the mid-term elections just around the corner, Congress is not currently in session. That means that even if sanctions are being considered, they won't come quickly."

Read the article here.

They won't come quickly? They won't come at all.

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Episodes

Tonight

My godson finished his internship at an Italian restaurant in Lower Manhattan today. We went out for dinner in the restaurant tonight, together with a friend and his son.
Afterwards my godson said: "Working in a restaurant is better than school."
I had to defend school of course but I couldn't find the right words, so we watched a few episodes of Mr. Bean together.

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Lowest point

Ingredient

Dexter Filkins in The New Yorker on moral imperatives, the US and killing journalists:

'Indeed, if there is any lesson to be learned from this terrible affair, it’s how blind so much of official Washington and the American press were to M.B.S.’s true nature. When the crown prince visited the United States earlier this year, he was fêted in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, on Wall Street, and, of course, by the Trump White House, as a messiah—in the mold of Gorbachev or Gandhi.'

(...)

'Yet the crisis caused by the murder of Jamal Khashoggi has brought Saudi-American relations to their lowest point in more than forty years. No cover story—about “rogues,” or an interrogation gone awry—is going to paper over the terrible fact that Khashoggi disappeared into the hands of a team of Saudi officials armed with a bone saw, and that he has not been seen, living or dead, since he walked through the door of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. No American who values a free press should forget Khashoggi’s murder—or let Prince Mohammed bin Salman forget it, either.'

Read the article here.

Very much so.

But two small remarks: we, the press, the people, we have been blind to the "true nature" of quite a few leaders, and there is no reason to believe that many things have changed.

I'm afraid that one of the main ingredients of realpolitik is forgetfulness.

The distinction between realpolitik and the politics of cynicism is not always clear, but forgetfulness it will be. It's rare that a prince pays for his crimes, and it's even more exceptional that a prince from Saudi-Arabia pays for his crimes.

But thanks to Turkey - speaking of freedom of press - neither Trump nor MBS have been able to bury Khashoggi completely.

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Balance

Control

Robert Costa, Josh Dawsey and Philip Rucker in The Washington Post about damage control:

'Gingrich said Trump is trying to find a balance.

“Trump is good enough reading this to know you can’t have people going around the planet cutting people up,” he said. “But the U.S. almost certainly won’t go through self-flagellation like some in Congress want us to because it’s not in our self-interest.”'

Read the article here,

No self-flagellation, a beautiful euphemism for: no interest in human rights.

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