Carnes: Questioning global standards (column)
November 26, 2018
There are certain places in this valley I will never visit again for certain reasons.
Some are in the food and beverage category, a few are retail spots here and there and a couple of service-based businesses, and they will never again be graced by my presence, or more specifically my wallet.
"Pompous arrogance," you say?
No, besides the fact of "graced by my presence" being a joke, I simply have certain standards, and when a business no longer meets those standards — however steep or shallow my criteria may be — they no longer deserve my patronage, and especially not my money.
And no amount of discount or feeble attempts at kissing up will change my mind because, as I said, I have standards.
Scaled up to a national level, the United States has standards toward other nations.
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Being the wealthiest nation on the planet has leverage, and we use it to impose our standards against those who refuse to adhere to even the most basic of human rights and common decency, such as North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela.
We will not conduct any trade with these nations, and in some cases not "allow" allies from doing so either, lest they (cue up the scary music) dare to suffer American wrath as well.
Like ski town overlords, play by our rules or find another place to play.
So last week I nearly choked on my turkey and dressing when I heard the quote, "If we go by a certain standard we won't be able to have allies with almost any country, OK?"
Ignoring the questionable syntax, the man who insulted prisoners of war, the Navy Seal that took out bin Laden and our entire intelligence community is now praising the same Saudi prince the CIA concluded ordered the brutal torture and butchery of an American resident.
This may sound weird to a few of you, but I find myself questioning what level of standards our president is following.
I mean, I'm not going to stop attending parties at someone's house because they have the toilet paper hanging from the bottom, but I certainly would if they had murdered one of their previous guests.
And sure, like the Russians fighting the Germans from the east while we fought them from the west, we can sometimes pretend the "enemy of my enemy is my friend," but Iran is already everyone's enemy, not just the Saudi's.
So why the Saudi lovefest?
It's certainly not for oil, as since the price crash of 2014 America has been on a production roll and now is the world's top producer of crude, making U.S. the liquid gold standard.
It's not their standards for treating women, journalists or anyone who dares to criticize their government or because we enabled and continue to support their horrific war against Yemen or their economic war against Qatar so we could sell them arms.
In fact, every aspect of whatever relationship we seem to have with Saudi Arabia is transactional, not in any way moral, so I truly wonder what level of standards our president is using to make his decisions.
Perhaps it's the simple standard of "He said he didn't do it," and it applies to Putin and the 2016 election, Michael Cohen paying off Stormy Daniels, Roy Moore dating underage girls, Kim Jong Un ordering more nuclear tests and now the crown Prince of Saudi Arabia murdering journalists.
Well, at least the man has standards.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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