It is no surprise to most Americans that we help arm, train, equip and otherwise prop up the government of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have long bought and paid for many politicians and for an image of moderate pro-Americanism as part of the face they show the world.
But the face presented simply is not reality. It is time to use our leverage to force change in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We can start by cutting off our military aid and weapons sales to the kingdom.
The killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is many things, including brutal and terrifying to those who report on the Saudis. What it also should be, in light of what it exposes about the Saudi regime, is a turning point in our relationship, where we as Americans stop and ask ourselves what we have been propping up and supporting.
The fate of Khashoggi might come as a shock to many Americans, but it's nothing new. A U.N. report reveals that over "3,000 allegations of torture were formally recorded" against Saudi Arabia between 2009 to 2015, according to The Guardian, with the report also noting a lack of a single prosecution of an official for the conduct.