In Khashoggi Affair, U.S. Should Not Repeat Mistake

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One cannot help but notice the same pitfalls today vis-à-vis the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with American interference 40 years ago in Iran that proved disastrous and negatively shaped the destiny of the Middle East (“Congress Needs to Step in with the Saudis,” Nov. 30). As Albert Einstein is often credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

Forty years ago, the Shah of Iran embarked on a path to lead his country into the modern era, intent on bringing democratic reform to that Islamic nation. He implemented broad economic and social reforms, including enhanced rights for women, religious and ethnic minorities. Misjudging the situation, President Jimmy Carter made excessive human rights demands of the shah, threatening to withhold military and social aid. This weakened the shah, leading to his overthrow and the return of the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini to power.


Today, Sunni Saudi Arabia has softened its harsh position against Israel and introduced reforms to Saudi society as did the shah in Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an historic visit to Sunni Oman. Israeli athletes sang “Hatikvah” in the Sunni United Arab Emirates. Like Israel, Saudi Arabia recognizes the immense danger of a Shiite Iran pursuing nuclear weaponry.

Have we not learned anything from the disaster of 40 years ago? Yes, there was an ugly murder of a human being and there should be some accountability, but shouldn’t we place things in perspective? Should we fundamentally repeat the same mistake by interfering too much in the inner workings of a nation allied with us to combat a huge threat that unless stopped, might result in millions of people killed?


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