Oil oligarchs are ruining the world and murdering journalists. What are you going to do about it?
I’d normally save a piece like this for the weekend, but the news this morning was disgusting. In case you missed it, one of Donald Trump’s closest friends and advisors, head of his under-investigation inauguratal committee, basically gave Saudi Arabia a pass on murdering and dismembering a Washington Post journalist, US resident Jamal Khashoggi.
Before going further, here’s a little stream of tweets and stories about this news:
Tom Barrack, on Lincoln's birthday in Dubai: "Whatever happened in Saudi Arabia, the atrocities in America are equal, or worse…”
And so Trumpism "blows out the moral lights around us" and insists "there is no right principle of action but self-interest."https://t.co/Sj14ouOihH
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 13, 2019
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 13, 2019
Trump fails to produce required report on Khashoggi murder, claims 'right to refuse' following law https://t.co/vtI8YS8ddy
— Zachary Shahan (@zshahan3) February 13, 2019
Why does @realDonaldTrump surround himself with people like Tom Barrack who put down the US?
America has not, and would not, lure a journalist into our embassy, torture & murder him, and then cut him up into pieces. We also don't torture women who fight for the right to drive. https://t.co/2DSA93CUxN
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 13, 2019
Tom Barrack recommended Paul Manafort to Trump as his campaign manager. I just want to make sure people never forget.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) February 13, 2019
Why would Tom Barrack, chair of Trump’s inaugural committee, go to great lengths to defend MbS killing Jamal Khashoggi? For this click protecting its business interests is way more important than a dead US journalist. We’re basically dealing with a bunch of Bond villains here.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 13, 2019
trump's pal Tom Barrack says that atrocities in America are worse than the bonesaw dismembering of Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudis.
If he's talking about the trump admin LOCKING BABIES IN CAGES, then he's not entirely wrong.
But he's still wrong. https://t.co/SCuitkf29u
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) February 13, 2019
Tom Barrack, who recommend Manafort to Trump, says: “Whatever happened in Saudi Arabia [referring to Khashoggi], the atrocities in America are equal or worse”
#1 F**K You
#2 The US isn't killing journalist although Trump may like that
#3 America doing something doesn't = “right”
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) February 13, 2019
News: Speaking in Abu Dhabi today, key Trump ally Tom Barrack said that "whatever happened in Saudi Arabia [with regards to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi], the atrocities in America are equal, or worse, to the atrocities in Saudi Arabia.”
— Ed Clowes ادوارد كلاوس (@EdClowes) February 12, 2019
Tom Barrack, here defending the Khashoggi killing, ran Truimp’s under investigation inaugural committee. (The second big Trump scandal). He also had a joint venture with Leave EU founder Richard Tice. https://t.co/MKN4wK2D5Z
— Peter Jukes (@peterjukes) February 13, 2019
You misspelled "Russian Agent."
— Karl W. Lewis (@TheKarlWLewis) February 13, 2019
Khashoggi and a cat.
May God rest his soul in peace… pic.twitter.com/UQU3cbYPo6
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) October 20, 2018
There is an old understanding that concentrated wealth and power has a tendency to soil one’s soul. It has a tendency to corrupt one’s morals. A quote from The Bible comes to mind: “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. “Of course, you can be rich and still have strong compassion for others and a powerful moral compass. (Here’s a nod to Elon Musk, Oprah, and Tom Steyer, for example.)
In the Twitter stream above, the last two tweets before the lovely cat video tie some things together. There’s no shortage of stories about the horrors inflicted on those with little power by oil-rich rulers in the Middle East, in Russia, and, indeed, in the USA. One thing that is despicable about Tom Barrack’s statement earlier today is that he is basically saying it’s fine if the Saudi Prince had Khashoggi murdered because other people do horrible things as well. It’s not fine to do horrible things, even if other people do.
It’s not okay to be a murderer just because there are murderers elsewhere in the world.
Once upon a time, the Republican Party was heavily controlled by US oil billionaires. It seems the party hit a jackpot with this con man “globalist” and his oily billionaire buddies, though, because now the ownership is global! In fact, Saudi and Russian oil billionaires may well have more control over the US president than US oil billionaires.
The moves Donald Trump has made as president have largely — almost entirely — benefited super rich Russians, Saudis, and Americans. The actions have been for the benefit of the billionaire class, especially the oil-soaked undemocratic foreign billionaire class that reportedly kept Trump Organization afloat when it would have otherwise added yet another (7th?) bankruptcy to Donald Trump’s record.
The actions have clearly not been for the benefit of working class voters who, somehow, for some reason, barring logic, think that a career con man from Queens has their backs.
In any case, if you are as fed up with the murder and deceit as I am, you may be wondering what you can do beyond tweet, complain on the interwebs, and share outrage with your friends and family. I’m coming back to two top options — nothing ingenious, but the kind of actions that require a firm, solid nudge from time to time:
First of all, cut your oil addiction. A drug dealer needs a drug addict to buy his products. As much as we may not like to admit it or think about it, when we personally use oil and gas, we are funding the inhumane actions of MbS, Putin, and Donald Trump (the Republican-fueled Trump Party gets almost 100% of US oil & gas political contributions, and seemingly 100% of foreign oil & gas contributions).
We have many more electric options on the table than we did one or two years ago. Aside from new models, if you are like me and have to go with a used EV, there are also more options and much lower prices for used electric cars than a year or two ago. Perhaps they aren’t your ideal choices, but a couple of years in these cars while you await your dream car is a solid option, imho. CleanTechnica writers now have 15 electric vehicles, and most of those were bought in the past year or two. You can do it too! Just be sure to give your neighbors a ton of test drives and remind them how convenient it is to charge while you sleep.
Another top thing you can do, which admittedly requires much more work, is you can get politically involved in electing pro-cleantech, pro-human life candidates. We’ve hired a top green politics leader (this week!) and are about to genuinely launch our Clean Revolution campaign. Initial emails will be going out shortly. If you would like to be involved, use our contact form and select that 4th option. (If you’ve already done that, don’t worry, we will reach out.)
Positive change and better human rights don’t come without people working hard for them. Netflix will not power the revolution, or as Gil Scott Heron emphasized, “the revolution will not be televised.”
Whether you are concerned about the murdering of journalists, babies being kidnapped from their mothers simply because their family was seeking safety and human rights in the United States, children being locked in cold cages with concrete floors for the same reason, or the health and human life costs of pollution, you can help to oppose such atrocities by getting active and helping to elect other concerned, compassionate human beings, people who are blessed with moral wealth and widespread love.
(Originally appeared at our sister-site, Cleantechnica.)