(WCMH) – Ohio Governor John Kasich said Tuesday that we’re in danger of seeing our moral standing in the world eroded, thanks in part to the news that the U.S. would move forward with an arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
President Donald Trump declared Tuesday he would not further punish Saudi Arabia for the murder of U.S.-based columnist Jamal Khashoggi — making clear in an exclamation-filled statement that the benefits of good relations with the kingdom outweigh the possibility its crown prince ordered the killing.
The president condemned the brutal slaying of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as a “horrible crime … that our country does not condone.” But he rejected calls by many in Congress, including members of his own party, for a tougher response, and also dismissed reports from U.S. intelligence agencies that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must have at least known about such an audacious and intricate plot.
“It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event,” the president said. “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”
Trump said “foolishly canceling these contracts” worth billions of dollars would only benefit Russia and China, which would be next in line to supply the weapons. Critics denounced Trump’s statement saying he ignored human rights and granted Saudi Arabia a pass for economic reasons.
Asked by a reporter if he was saying that human rights are too expensive to fight for, he responded, “No, I’m not saying that at all.” But then he switched the subject to the “terrorist nation” of Iran rather than any actions by Saudi Arabia.
“I just want to tell you that we’re in danger of seeing our moral standing in the world eroded,” said Kasich during an interview Tuesday.
“I happened to meet a tremendous prisoner of conscience a man by the name of Anatoly Sharansky who sat in the Soviet gulag for many years and was defiant about his seeking freedom and not caving to the Soviets. The one thing that kept him alive in that prison and gave him hope was the United States of America. The torch that Lady Liberty holds. And we read about these prisoners of conscience in places like China. People have been put in these solitary prisons and they lose their lives in the hope that they have the hope for humanity. Is the United States of America and we say it’s all about some economic transaction. I tell you Aaron the world scratches his head and wonders what is becoming of America. And this is this is really really serious stuff. The hopes and dreams of people who’ve had the guts and the courage to stand up against tyranny.”