Questions raised over US senator Lindsey Graham’s obsession with Saudi Arabia

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size

A coalition of Republican and Democratic senators have introduced a resolution seeking to directly interfere in the internal affairs of a close American ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia. This is raising questions about at least some of these senators’ obsession with Saudi Arabia and how that can prove to be counterproductive, according to US expaerts.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, is leading a campaign to discredit Saudi Arabia and its high ranked officials with regards to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

He joined calls by the Iran- and Qatar-friendly Republican Senator Bob Corker — in pressuring Riyadh’s internal hierarchy. However, those watching the proceedings closely say Graham and his cohorts appear once again to have failed to learn the lessons from past mistakes, according to many US commentators.

Jordan Schachtel, the national security correspondent of Conservative Review, editor of The Dossier for CRTV, and Correspondent for Breitbart News, has been raising these issues, which have echoed in corridors of power in the United States.

According to Schachtel, we have already witnessed the consequences the US lawmakers’ ill-advised moves in Libya wherein Graham, Rubio, and others joined the Obama administration in rallying support for the toppling of the Qaddafi government.
He believes this resulted in the empowerment of al-Qaeda and ISIS-linked groups and the environment that produced the attack in Benghazi, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

In Egypt, a similar regime change coalition celebrated when the Muslim Brotherhood took over Cairo and proceeded to inflict chaos and violence upon non-Islamists, women, and the Coptic Christian community inside the country, says Schachtel.
Analysts believe that the Graham resolution continues to prop up Saudi Arabia’s terrorist and terrorist-supporting foes, while making demands upon Riyadh.

For instance, the Senate measure calls on Saudi Arabia “to negotiate directly with representatives of the Houthi movement” on the war in Yemen not realizing that Houthis are an Iran-backed terrorist group.

The resolution also calls on Saudi Arabia to “negotiate a political solution to its dispute with Qatar expeditiously and in a way that restores diplomatic relations with Qatar.”

Given Qatar’s major support for terrorist groups around the world, it’s quite odd that the bipartisan group of senators is pressuring Saudi Arabia, and not Qatar, to restore proper diplomatic ties, analysts maintain.

However, it is obvious, Qatar-backed business enterprises are seeking to invest billions of dollars in Sen. Graham’s South Carolina. In February, Sen. Graham held face-to-face meetings with top-ranking Qatari officials at Boeing’s offices in South Carolina.

Seeking clarity on these issues, Al Arabiya English reached out to Jordan Schachtel for his comments on some of these pressing issues. Here’s what he had to say:

Lindsey Graham’s obsession with Saudi Arabia

Lindsey Graham’s crusade against Saudi Arabia follows his long record of making bad decisions when it comes to Middle East policy. I cannot speculate about what is motivating him to go on the offensive against the Saudis, but his obsession with the Crown Prince in particular is very alarming.

MBS has made unprecedented strides in reforming Saudi Arabia both internally and through its foreign policy, and he is a reliable partner who I believe truly admires the United States and values our alliance greatly. Graham’s campaign against MBS is horribly misguided and it hurts America’s standing in the region.

Lindsey Graham’s relations with Qatar

It is strange that he keeps bringing up Qatar in his critiques of Saudi Arabia. It is also worth discussing the public evidence. Earlier this year, Qatari officials made several visits to South Carolina, in which they pledged billions of dollars in investment in the state. And according to reports, Sen. Graham met multiple times with top Qatari officials. I would like to know if any deals were made that were not publicly disclosed.

Khashoggi affair

The public reporting released concerning the intelligence assessment seemed to imply that there was no direct evidence obtained to confirm that Saudi Crown Prince was involved.

For me, it comes back to a question of American priorities. Because this incident happened in a sovereign Saudi diplomatic compound in Turkey, this is a feud exclusively between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. As we now know, Jamal Khashoggi was not a permanent resident of the United States and only held a temporary visa. The United States is not responsible for taking up Khashoggi’s case.

We can even set aside the fact that Jamal Khashoggi was a man who had well-documented ties to radicals, and who actively encouraged violent Islamist revolts against our allies. US policy should not change because of his unfortunate death.

Qatari investment in his state

We certainly have to factor in the possibility that billions of dollars in Qatari riyals could sway Sen. Graham to make decisions that could benefit Doha in exchange for all of the potential benefits and political power that could come his way.

Top Content Trending