Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau 5b

Khashoggi Press review 5b Neue Details und Videos/Fotos: Doppelgänger täuschte vor, dass K. das Konsulat verließ - Film von Abtransport der Leichenteile - Salman-Vertrauter telefonierte via Skype.
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

... mit Khashoggi im Konsulat - PKW des Konsulates gefunden - Erdogans Pressekonferenz bringt nichts Neues - US-saudische Beziehungen weiter in der Kritik, Trump-Regierung laviert - Wie Saudis Dissidenten bespitzeln und einschüchtern

New details and videos/Photos: Double pretended that Khashoggi left consulate - Film: Bringing away his body parts - Salman intimate phoned to Khashoggi directly before he was killed - Car of consulate found - Erdogan's press conference shows nothing new - US-Saudi relations under fire, Trump government is maneuvering - How the Saudis are spying and intimidating dissidents

Diese Medienschau besteht aus zwei Teilen / This press review is divided in two parts

Erster Teil / First part

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp01 Alle Berichte auf Deutsch

cp02 The Khashoggi criminal case: Reports in English

cp03 Reaktionen in den USA; Beziehungen USA-Saudi Arabien / Reactions in the US; US-Saudi relations

cp04 Internationale Reaktionen / International reactions

cp05 Lange Geschichte von saudischen Entführungen / Long history of Saudi abducations

cp06 Propaganda

cp07 Weitere Folgen / Further implications

cp08 Erinnerung an Khashoggi / Remembering Khashoggi

cp09 Satire

Klassifizierung / Classification




(Kein Stern / No star)

? = Keine Einschatzung / No rating

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

P = Politik / Politics

Frühere Berichte / Earlier reporting:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik / Yemen War Mosaic 465, cp8 4)

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik / Yemen War Mosaic 466, cp8

Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau Teil 1 / Press review 1 11)

Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau Teil 2 / Press review 2 15)

Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau Teil 3a, b / Press review 3a, b 18)

Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau Teil 4 / Press review 4

cp03 Reaktionen in den USA; Beziehungen USA-Saudi Arabien / Reactions in the US; US-Saudi relations

Siehe / Look at cp02

(A P)

Khashoggi death: US meets Saudi crown prince despite criticism

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met Mohammed bin Salman on Monday.

The meeting in the Saudi capital was held behind closed doors.

A Treasury Department spokesman said Mr Mnuchin and the crown prince had discussed economic and counter-terrorism issues, and Mr Khashoggis' death.

Saudi state media reported that they had stressed "the importance of the Saudi-US strategic partnership".

The talks were held despite the fact that Mr Mnuchin - like a number of other Western politicians and businessmen - had pulled out of a major investment forum being held in the Saudi capital this week.

(A B P)

Film: Jamal Khashoggi killing: "It was an intolerable violation of human rights"

Anthony Cordesman interview

(A P)

Film: "The essence of a friendship is a willingness to tell others what they don't want to hear," says Fmr Defense Sec and CIA Dir Bob Gates. "I think there are consequences to [the US-Saudi] relationship that have already happened. And there may be more to follow."

My comment: Friends? Show me your friends and I tell you who you are.

(A P)

On @JKhashoggi: "We're getting as many facts as we can," Kushner said, "then we'll determine which facts are credible. Someone teach this git that all facts are by definition credible, no matter how incredible the facts may be.

(* A P)

Trump says he remains unsatisfied with Saudi accounts on Khashoggi

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he was still not satisfied with what he has heard from Saudi Arabia about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, but did not want to lose investment from Riyadh.

Trump spoke with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the world’s top oil exporter, on Sunday. He told reporters on Monday that he has teams in Saudi Arabia and Turkey working on the case and would know more about it after they returned to Washington on Monday night or Tuesday.

CIA Director Gina Haspel was traveling to Turkey on Monday to work on the Khashoggi investigation, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

“I am not satisfied with what I’ve heard,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I don’t want to lose all that investment that’s been made in our country. But we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

He later told USA Today that he believed the death was a “plot gone awry.”

Trump has expressed reluctance to punish the Saudis economically, citing the kingdom’s multibillion-dollar purchases of U.S. military equipment and investments in U.S. companies.

Prince Mohammed met in Riyadh with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and discussed “the importance of the Saudi-U.S. strategic partnership,” Saudi state media said. Mnuchin’s spokesman said on Twitter the two discussed the Khashoggi investigation as well as Iran sanctions and Saudi economic issues.


(** A B P)

Khashoggi's killing is a crisis for the American soul

US President Donald Trump lamented that the Saudis were being unfairly judged as 'guilty until proven innocent'. Well, President Trump, the truth is now out - and the Saudi leadership is guilty unless proven otherwise. Your move.

It’s the first time in a long time that a single news story unfolding in that part of the world has attracted such breathless American attention, and cut through the clatter and chatter of everything else going on, no easy task. On Friday, Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi had died at the consulate after some kind of “fight” with officials there that ended in his death.

The explanation the Saudis gave for how Khashoggi died is patently absurd.

There’s good reason to be extremely pessimistic about any consequences being taken by the US government to restrain the crown prince’s pursuit of power, as Trump has shown himself to be fine with murderous dictators as long as they praise him, and the US Congress barely functions enough to keep the government funded.

The responsibility for saying enough is enough falls to the American people, to carry out sanctions themselves against not only politicians but also pundits who would excuse Saudi Arabia’s horrendous disregard for human life in the name of abstract American foreign policy goals interests.

Even the earnest and professorial Obama, the bin Laden slayer, was not keen to jeopardize a longstanding “strategic partnership” over the Saudi family’s policy of public beheadings. Indeed, he opened the door for Saudi Arabia to “contain Iran” at the cost of thousands of Yemeni lives.

Trump, however, showed an instant, adolescent infatuation with the Kingdom, months after he took office.

For a man who reveres money, violence and power, Saudi Arabia must be like Disneyland. The country’s abhorrent human rights record seemed to be the farthest thing from Trump’s mind when he danced in the capital Riyadh or laid his hands on the glowing anti-terrorism globe with Egypt’s Abdel Fateh el Sisi and King Salman, the aging father of the crown prince.

The spectacle at the time seemed beyond comprehension, but its consequences have become apparent in the last two weeks as the Khashoggi case unfolded.

Everything bad about the US relationship with Saudi Arabia just got worse.

Is there any silver lining to all this? Well, yes, but it’s slim.

Khashoggi’s still missing corpse, although heaped on top of thousand and thousands of human skulls surrounding the Saudi throne, is a watershed moment for Americans entering the field of foreign policy, as professionals, journalists or academics. It forces them to ask how much their soul is worth to them.

Khashoggi’s murder, like a lot things nowadays, forces Americans to answer the question: Which side are you on? – by Wilson Dizard

(A E P)

SoftBank COO pulls out of Saudi Arabia conference: Bloomberg

SoftBank Group Corp’s (9984.T) Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure will not be attending the Saudi Arabia investment conference this week, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

(A P)

Petition: Rename address of Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington into Jamal Khashoggi Way

We suggest renaming the street address of the Saudi Embassy (currently 601 New Hampshire Avenue in Washington DC) into Jamal Khashoggi Way to be a daily reminder to Saudi officials that such behavior is totally unacceptable and as an expression of Washington's unstinting support for freedom of the press.

(* A P)

In Post interview, Trump calls Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed a ‘strong person’ who ‘truly loves his country’

President Trump retreated late Saturday from his stance that Saudi Arabia’s story about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside their Turkish consulate was credible but still gave a strong vote of confidence to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, arguing the United States’ relationship with the kingdom is key to his administration’s policy objectives in the Middle East.

“Obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies,” Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post when pressed on the many discrepancies in the changing accounts from the Saudis. “Their stories are all over the place.”

He did not call for the ouster of Mohammed and instead praised his leadership, calling the prince “a strong person, he has very good control.”

During the 20-minute interview, Trump repeatedly talked about the importance of the economic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia and Mohammed’s role in that relationship.

“He’s seen as a person who can keep things under check,” he said. “I mean that in a positive way.”

The president said he does not prefer that another leader replace the 33-year old prince because he said he has read about others and Mohammed, known as MBS, is “considered by far the strongest person” and “he truly loves his country.”

Trump declined to say how, or if, he wanted to sanction the country, saying it was too soon to know.

The president, though, said repeatedly during the interview that “no one” in his government had told him the crown prince was to blame.

The president said that he had not heard or seen a tape of the attack inside the embassy in Turkey — and that neither had Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “I’ve heard all about the videos or the tapes. Nobody would get it faster than me. Nobody has been able to show it,” Trump said.

In the interview, Trump made clear he has yet to be provided with any evidence that would make him believe MBS had direct knowledge that Khashoggi was going to be killed or order that it be done.

“Nobody has told me he’s responsible. Nobody has told me he’s not responsible. We haven’t reached that point. I haven’t heard either way,” he said. He added, echoing the Saudi version of events: “There is a possibility he found out about it afterward. It could be something in the building went badly awry. It could be that’s when he found about it. He could have known they were bringing him back to Saudi Arabia.”

He repeatedly displayed a realpolitik way of viewing the Middle East, praising Saudi Arabia for buying arms from the United States, reiterating the importance of oil prices and trashing Iran, saying: “We’ve got nobody else over there” to help protect Israel.

“I would love if he wasn’t responsible,” he said of MBS. “I think it’s a very important ally for us. Especially when you have Iran doing so many bad things in the world, it’s a good counterbalance to the world. Iran, they’re as evil as it gets. They’re probably laughing at this situation as they see it. Iran is as evil as it gets.”

If the United States stops selling arms to Saudi Arabia, Trump said China and Russia would benefit.

(* A P)

Khashoggi death account not ‘credible,’ lawmakers across aisle say

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were fired up by Friday’s report that Jamal Khashoggi, the activist and writer who disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Turkey earlier this month, had been killed in a fight, as reported by Saudi state media.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., both cast doubt on the findings, with Warren urging President Trump to react accordingly and not push "their propaganda."

“Saudi Arabia has had 2 weeks to get its story straight about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and ‘a fistfight that led to his death’ was the best they could do?” Warren tweeted. “@realDonaldTrump should be holding the Saudis accountable – not pushing their propaganda.”

Schiff also took to social media, tweeting that “the claim” was “not at all credible.” He added that if Khashoggi “was fighting with those sent to capture or kill him, it was for his life.

“The Kingdom must be held to account. If Administration doesn’t lead, Congress must,” he continued.

(* A P)

Saudi crown prince is 'gonna have to be replaced' amid 'insulting' explanation for Khashoggi's death, Rand Paul says

The Saudi government's overnight announcement that Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi died in a fistfight at its consulate in Turkey was "insulting," and provided another reason Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is "gonna have to be replaced," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told "Fox News Sunday."

"I think it’s insulting to anyone who’s analyzing this with any kind of intelligent background to think that, oh, a fistfight led to a dismemberment with a bone saw," Paul said, referring to unconfirmed reports that the Saudi squad at the embassy included a man toting a bone saw. (Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse similarly told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that "you don't bring a bone saw to an accidental fist fight. ... The Saudis have said a whole bunch of crap that's not right, accurate, or true.")

Paul added: "I think we should put this brazen attack, this brazen murder in context with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has basically over the decades been the largest state sponsor of radical Islam and violent jihad. They sponsor thousands of madrassas that teach hatred of Christians and Jews and Hindus around the world. So this isn’t the first instance, this is just another in the line of long instances of Saudi insults to the civilized world."

(* A P)

Congressional Leaders Reject Saudi's Story on Writer's Death

Congressional leaders said they don’t believe the explanation from Saudi Arabia that a fistfight led to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and that if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the killing, the U.S. must impose sanctions.

The comments set up a possible clash between Congress and President Donald Trump, who’s also cast doubt about the Saudi version of events but so far is standing behind the crown prince and emphasizing the economic ties between the two countries.

“If he directed it, we need to put the same types of sanctions in place that we’ve done with other people who’ve done the same thing,” Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “Collectively, we’ve got to deal with this in an appropriate way.’’

(A P)

Film: Corker: Saudi has 'lost all credibility' on Khashoggi story

Tennessee Senator and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker discusses Saudi Arabia's explanation for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and reacts to President Trump's response. =

(A P)

Rep. Ted Lieu: Dear @SaudiEmbassyUSA: As a Member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, I watched you lie to us for 17 days. If you're going to change your story, you shouldn't lie again. You disrespect Congress & the American people by treating us as if we are stupid. Where's the body?

(A P)

MBS is learning the high cost of silencing Kashoggi: US journalists now inclined to dig into all of Saudi's dirty laundry. Everything above the fold in the NYT today is bad press for regime—and surely lots more to come (image)

(A P)

Mnuchin says premature to comment on sanctions against Saudi Arabia

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible U.S. sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation into what happened had been completed.

Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was “a good first step but not enough” as Riyadh faced international pressure to disclose what happened to Khashoggi

(* B P)

U.S. Must Shed Its Illusions About Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince

The most important question now facing the US and other governments is how to respond. So far President Donald Trump appears determined to let the Saudis and the crown prince off the hook. This is entirely consistent with his foreign policy of standing by strongmen and accepting their word.

The president claims the US must stand by MbS because his country is an important and valuable ally that buys significant amounts of arms, is helpful in Syria and in the fight against terrorism, and is a partner versus Iran. Saudi Arabia still produces about one out of every 10 barrels of oil in the world. Its investments are large and important to a number of businesses and projects.

This is all true, but it overlooks the fact that the impulsive and reckless crown prince often does things that harm or fail to help US interests.

Moreover, the fate of Mr Khashoggi will make it much more difficult to line up international support to pressure Iran. Riyadh will appear to many to be at least as much of a problem as Tehran. MbS may be something of a reformer, but he is also an autocrat. The only reform acceptable to him is that which he controls and directs. Sadly, recent events could make it more difficult for him to carry out the reform his country so clearly needs.

The choices facing the US and other governments are not easy. They are the latest example of the foreign policy predicament of having to deal with flawed leaders of important countries.

There are, however, some lessons from these experiences that suggest what could and should be done. First, it would be wise to distinguish between Saudi Arabia and MbS. This would argue for holding off anything that smacks of an unconditional embrace of MbS.

Fourth, governments should publicly press for an independent and unconstrained investigation of what happened in Istanbul. We should not be distracted by any Saudi attempt to scapegoat the “rogue elements” the government may well claim to be responsible.

Last, it could prove counter-productive and risky to call for the departure of the crown prince, who enjoys broad popularity at home. The alternative to him is not clear. Broad instability would serve the interests of no one.

But MbS has placed his own future in jeopardy, and other members of the royal family will come to understand that US and western support for him cannot be taken for granted. It is up to the Saudis to sort out their succession. It would be ironic if an action apparently carried out to strengthen his control over his country had just the opposite effect. But it is possible all the same – by Richard Haass

My comment: Is this the new line US will follow? Dropping prince Salman and thus keeping alive the US-Saudi alliance, US geopolitical dominance in the Middle East, US anti-Iranian stance and paranoia?

On the author: , a strange propagandist of US exceptionalism and superiority.

And blowing the same horn:

(* B P)

Film: Fmr CIA Dir. Brennan: Khashoggi scandal will be the downfall of Mohammad Bin Salman


(* B P)

The CIA is greenlighting a coup against Mohammed bin Salman — but not because of his slaughter in Yemen, oppression of Shia or imprisonment of activists, but rather because he strayed too far off the imperial leash and acted impetuously without US approval

Prediction: The US will welcome a coup against MBS; replace him another, more compliant prince, who is less independent; and pretend Saudi Arabia somehow transformed overnight

After 2 years of whitewashing Mohammed bin Salman as the supposed savior of the Middle East, the US came to see he is too impetuous and is not exactly the loyal puppet it wanted. MBS' brashness and flaunting of violence is bad PR. So the US will oversee a superficial PR makeover.

Saudi Arabia's beheadings of peaceful Shia pro-democracy activists, brutal oppression of women, support for Salafi-jihadist contras, and genocidal violence against Yemen will continue — but the Saudi regime's systemic crimes will be blamed solely on MBS, and he will be replaced.

There is a long historical precedent for the US staunchly supporting reactionary dictators, before later discarding them when they outlive their usefulness. See: Trujillo and Noriega

By personifying the Saudi regime's systemic crimes in MBS and blaming him and him alone, the US can also try to absolve itself of responsibility for turning Yemen into a hellscape. The US can claim the Yemen war was all MBS' idea, erasing its own key role

(* A P)

New low for Donald Trump? Now he’s helping Saudi regime cover up Jamal Khashoggi’s murder

Trump and Jared Kushner now want to help the Saudis find someone to blame. They think the world will just forget

Read the first paragraph of this report from Shane Harris in the Washington Post and think about it for a moment:

The Trump administration and the Saudi royal family are searching for a mutually agreeable explanation for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi — one that will avoid implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is among the president’s closest foreign allies, according to analysts and officials in multiple countries.

I assume that is based on information from reliable sources. And what it says is truly shocking: The White House is conspiring with the Saudi government to cover up a murder.

Here's another passage from the New York Times in an article about how Saudi Arabia is considering pinning the blame on a top general, presumably with the relieved permission of President Trump and Jared Kushner, who, according to the Intercept, regularly texts his good buddy Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on WhatsApp:

Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser, has been urging the president to stand by Prince Mohammed, according to a person close to the White House and a former official with knowledge of the discussions.

Mr. Kushner has argued that the outrage over Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible killing will pass, just as it did after other Saudi errors like the kidnapping of the prime minister of Lebanon and the killing of a busload of children in Yemen by a Saudi airstrike.

The Times edited that paragraph later to eliminate the damning detail. But the point still stands.

(* A B P)

“Trump Never Handles Anything Right”: The President Is Acting Like Saudi Arabia’s Lawyer in the Khashoggi Affair

Until Thursday, well into the third week since Khashoggi’s disappearance, Trump never even admitted the obvious fact of Khashoggi’s likely death, and he continues to act more like the Saudis’ lawyer in the court of world opinion than the aggrieved defender of human rights and free speech that an American President is supposed to be at such a moment. The belated announcement, late Friday evening, by the Saudis that Khashoggi was dead, and their new claim that he died in a scuffle with Saudi agents, will hardly quell the controversy. Nor will Trump’s near-instant pronouncement that the Saudi excuse was credible. Instead, thanks to Trump and his ardent embrace of Saudi Arabia’s brutal young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, it’s about much more than the murder of a single man.

In an era when Trump’s tweets and constant commentary produce news cycles of shorter and shorter duration, the Khashoggi affair may turn out to be the longest-running Washington plotline of this midterm-election season.

Yet here we are, a full seventeen days and counting as I write this, with no end in sight as the Trump Administration blusters and blunders about in a search, so far unsuccessful, for a way to end the saga that does not involve a serious rupture with an ally central to its entire Mideast strategy.

I’m not surprised by Washington’s obsession with the story: it’s the Trump Presidency distilled to its morally compromising, press-bashing, truth-denying essence. At a time when many question American leadership in the world, Trump’s combination of credulity and cynicism in response to the brutal murder of a dissident who sought refuge here gives the world’s bad guys yet another reason to cheer.

(* B P)

Why the Surprise? Saudi Arabia Has Always Engaged in Murder

Trump wants to sell billions of dollars of armaments to the Saudis and these will be used to kill more people in Yemen. The president says cranking out bombs, missiles, tanks, fighter jets, etc. will create jobs for Americans.

In other words, if you want to support your family and stay off the public dole, you have to participate in mass murder.

The average American, however, is at best vaguely aware of the role the US plays in Yemen. When was the last time you read a report about these war crimes in The New York Times or saw a report on CNN? It’s the job of the corporate media to keep these grisly realities safely hidden or at best seriously underreported.

Hypocrisy reeks from the White House, Congress, and the suites of the corporate media. Saudi Arabia has persecuted and executed critics for decades, yet the murder of one journalist—who wasn’t even a serious critic of the medieval regime—outrages the public.

If most Americans knew the truth about the Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam, they would want nothing to do with the Saudis despite their bounty of oil. Instead, the attention of the American people is steered toward Iran, described as the top sponsor of terrorism, when in fact the top sponsors of terror are the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

Dozens of unarmed people are killed by Israeli snipers—including medics and children—for the crime of protesting ill-treatment at the hands of what can only be described as an apartheid and racist government.

Trump has ignored—or is quite possibly ignorant—the crimes committed by these two rogue regimes. His main news source is reportedly Fox News, so it makes sense he knows nothing about this. Everything he needs to know is provided by his son-in-law and his neocon national security adviser, the psychopath John Bolton.

No, the US government will not punish Saudi Arabia for its behavior.

The Khashoggi affair will eventually fall out of the news cycle and it will soon be business as usual between Trump and MbS or whomever his replacement may or may not be.

(B P)

Film: Why do Trump's Saudi job numbers keep growing?

It started as 40,000 jobs and ended up as a million. When President Trump talks about the contracts to provide military equipment to Saudi Arabia, the number keeps rising.

We've asked the White House for clarification, but a statement released after the 2017 arms deal was signed talked of "potentially supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in the United States."

And a reminder from 1976 (!)

(* B P)



cp04 Internationale Reaktionen / International reactions

(* B P)

Film, interview: Germany urges EU states to also stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Germany wants other European Union member states to follow its example in stopping arms exports to Saudi Arabia as long as uncertainty remains over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi =

(A E P)

Arm CEO pulls out of Saudi conference: source

British chip designer Arm Holdings Chief Executive Officer Simon Segars has pulled out of the Saudi Arabia investment conference this week, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

(A E P)

Siemens CEO Kaeser says he will not attend Saudi investment conference

Siemens’s chief executive said on Monday he would not attend a three-day Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia after the country admitted that journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been killed in its consulate in Istanbul.

(A K P)

France avoids question on Saudi Arabia weapons sales

France declined to say on Monday if it might suspend weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, after Germany called on others to follow its example until the truth about Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder is established.

(A P)

'Khashoggi’s death cannot go unpunished': Yemeni Nobel laureate

Peace prize winner Tawakkol Karman, a friend of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, says his death will bring change in the region as long as the crown prince is held to account

The death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi must now galvanise greater scrutiny of Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen, where a coalition led by the kingdom is fighting Houthi rebels, said Yemeni Nobel laureate and human rights advocate Tawakkol Karman.

“Jamal Khashoggi’s death cannot go unpunished. His blood should lead to the prosecution of the perpetrators of this crime, who are the same perpetrators of the crime against millions of people in Yemen – that is the Saudi kingdom,” said Karman, journalist and a leader of the Arab Spring in Yemen in 2011.

Comment by Judith Brown: Tawokkol has been rather two faced in this war, initially a cheer leader for the Saudi campaign in Yemen, who became disillusioned when her popularity in Yemen fell dramatically and coalition forces occupied South Yemen and attacked and assassinated members of Islah, her political party. (The story of Islah in Yemen is another complicated one, but the Islah political party and militias are broadly linked to Muslim Brotherhood). I guess those selected for a Nobel Peace Prize are generally those whose elevation suits Western interests, and certainly she has served the West better than she had served the majority of the population in Yemen - despite her peace laureate credentials she has made no big moves to work for peace, and in 2015 she actively supported the destruction of Yemen by foreign forces.

(* A P)

Justin Trudeau Signals Canada Could Freeze Saudi Arms Export Contract

Justin Trudeau said he’s willing to freeze export permits with Saudi Arabia that allow armored car sales in the kingdom, as opposition lawmakers raised questions about human rights abuses.

The New Democratic Party asked the prime minister Monday why Canada would arm “one of the world’s worst human rights offenders,” with the Middle Eastern nation under intense scrutiny over the death of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Canada exports armored vehicles, manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada, to the Kingdom.


(* A P)

Trudeau Canada Could Cancel Multi-Billion Dollar Contract with Saudi Arabia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada could cancel a multi-billion dollar defense contract with Saudi Arabia following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in an interview broadcast Sunday.

France Press Agency reports Trudeau saying in an interview on Thursday, before Riyadh confirmed Khashoggi's death at its Istanbul consulate insisted Canada would "always defend human rights, including with Saudi Arabia."

Asked about a key deal with Riyadh for the sale of light armored vehicles worth 9.9 billion euro, Trudeau said "in this contract, there are clauses that must be followed in relation to the use of what is sold to them."

"If they do not follow these clauses, we will definitely cancel the contract."

My comment: And he had defended this contract against very heavy protests and critics, the Yemen war did not matter that much for him…

(A P)

Indonesia calls for 'transparent and thorough' probe of Khashoggi killing

Indonesian President Joko Widodo called for a “transparent and thorough” investigation of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a meeting on Monday with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, the foreign minister of the Asian nation said.

(A P)

Imran Khan leaves for Saudi conference saying Pakistan 'desperate' for loans

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan left for Saudi Arabia to attend an investment conference boycotted by other leaders over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Khan told an interviewer before leaving he was concerned at Khashoggi’s death but could not skip the conference because “we’re desperate” for possible Saudi loans to shore up Pakistan’s economy.


(A P)

Imran Khan: Pakistan cannot afford to snub Saudis over Khashoggi killing

Pakistani PM tells MEE he will attend Riyadh investment summit because country desperately needs Saudi loans to stave off economic collapse

Newly installed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has told Middle East Eye that his country must continue to prioritise good relations with Saudi Arabia despite the killing of Jamal Khashoggi because of its dire economic crisis.

Khan is due to travel to Riyadh on Tuesday to attend an investment summit that has been boycotted by many western officials and companies following the death of the journalist inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

And in his first interview with foreign journalists since taking office in August, Khan admitted that he could not afford not to attend.

Though shocked by Khashoggi’s killing, he said the Pakistani government needed urgent access to Saudi loans to avoid defaulting on record levels of debt within months.

“We’re desperate at the moment,” Khan said.

My comment: Saudi money is it. At least, Khan is honest.

(A P)

Globe editorial: Don’t forget about Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s other atrocity

With Saudi Arabia in the spotlight, now is a good time to re-examine its other grievous atrocity: the war in Yemen

My comment: Mainstream media had looked away from Saudi crimes in Yemen since 3 ½ years now, in this way had backed them.

(A P)

Germany to invite Saudi ambassador to meeting in foreign ministry

Germany’s foreign ministry will ask Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to join a meeting at the ministry to discuss fallout from the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a ministry spokeswoman said.

(* A P)

Germany urges other EU states to also stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Germany wants other European Union member states to follow its example in stopping arms exports to Saudi Arabia as long as uncertainty remains over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday.

Altmaier, a close ally of Merkel, said Riyadh’s explanations on the case so far had not been satisfactory.

“The government is in agreement that we will not approve further arms exports for the moment because we want to know what happened,” Altmaier told ZDF broadcaster.

Asked whether Germany would roll back previously agreed arms deals with Saudi, he said a decision would be made “very soon”.

(A P)

No arms for Riyadh while Khashoggi questions remain: Germany's Merkel

Germany will not export arms to Saudi Arabia while the current uncertainty over the fate of journalist Jamal Khashoggi persists, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday.

“First, we condemn this act in the strongest terms,” she said. “Second, there is an urgent need to clarify what happened - we are far from this having been cleared up and those responsible held to account ... As far as arms exports are concerned, those can’t take place in the current circumstances.”


My comment: For her, the Yemen war obviously is no reason to stop arms sales.

(A P)

Great Britain: MPs press Hunt to take action against Saudis over Khashoggi affair

Exclusive: Representatives of all opposition parties say ministers must change stance

The government is facing renewed pressure over its continued ties to Saudi Arabia following the death of Jamal Khashoggi and the humanitarian disaster in Yemen, after all five main Westminster opposition parties signed an unprecedented joint letter calling for a change of stance.

The foreign affairs representatives for Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and the Greens wrote to Jeremy Hunt saying it was “hard to imagine what crime the Saudi government would need to commit” for the UK government to condemn it.

The letter to the foreign secretary, shown to the Guardian, says that reports the dissident journalist Khashoggi was tortured and murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul constituted “the latest in a litany of charges that have been laid before the Saudi regime by the international community”.

(A P)

UK says urgent clarification on needed on Khashoggi killing

Britain on Monday called for urgent clarification of the circumstances of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Saudi Arabia said it did not know details of how the dissident journalist was killed.

(A P)

Oman welcomes Saudi decisions on 'regrettable' Khashoggi case: ONA agency

(A P)

Kuwait welcomes decisions by Saudi king on 'regretful' Khashoggi case

Kuwait has welcomed the decisions taken by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman with regards to the death of critic Jamal Khashoggi, a foreign ministry source told Kuna on Sunday.

The source said the king’s handling of the case “depicts the Kingdom’s keenness and commitment to establish the truth and its respect for legal principles to bring to account those behind this regretful event.”

(A P)

Canada condemns killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“Canada condemns the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has confirmed took place in its consulate in Istanbul.

“The explanations offered to date lack consistency and credibility.

“We reiterate our call for a thorough investigation, in full collaboration with the Turkish authorities, and a full and rigorous accounting of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Khashoggi’s death.

“Those responsible for the killing must be held to account and must face justice.”

(A P)

New Zealand will not attend Saudi investment summit over Khashoggi death

New Zealand condemns the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives and will not be attending an investment summit in Saudi Arabia, the government said in a statement on Sunday.

(* A P)

Germany questions arms sales to Saudi over Khashoggi killing

Germany should not approve arms sales to Saudi Arabia until investigations into the circumstances of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death have been completed, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Saturday.

Maas’s statement, which appeared to reverse a decision to sell artillery systems to Riyadh, came after he and Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected as unsatisfactory Saudi Arabia’s explanation for the death of the dissident journalist in its Istanbul consulate.

In an interview for public television’s Tagesthemen program, Maas said he believed no weapons should be sold to the kingdom until the circumstances of Khashoggi’s death had been cleared up.

(A P)

France's Le Drian condemns Khashoggi's killing, calls for in-depth investigation

France condemns the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul and wants an in-depth investigation of the case, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday.

“France condemns this murder in the strongest terms,” Le Drian said in a statement.

“The confirmation of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi’s death is a first step toward the establishment of the truth. However, many questions remain unanswered,” Le Drian added.

(A P)

MUFG says bank's CEO will not attend Saudi conference

The CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s banking arm will not attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia, the group said on Sunday

(A P)

Top German politicians press Siemens boss to skip Saudi conference

Siemens boss Joe Kaeser came under pressure from senior German politicians on Sunday to pull out of an investment conference in Saudi Arabia next week following Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death.

(A P)

France wants whole truth on Khashoggi killing: finance minister

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Saudi Arabia’s admission that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at its Istanbul consulate was welcome “progress”, but urged the kingdom to follow through with a full and transparent investigation.

(A P)

Saudi explanation of Khashoggi death not credible: British minister

Saudi Arabia’s explanation of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul is not credible, Britain’s Brexit minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday.

cp05 Lange Geschichte von saudischen Entführungen / Long history of Saudi abducations

(** B P)

REVEALED: The Saudi death squad MBS uses to silence dissent

MEE exclusively reveals details about the Tiger Squad, a team of assassins targeting Saudi critics at home and abroad

Jamal Khashoggi fell victim to its assassins. He wasn't the first.

In new revelations, a Saudi source with intimate knowledge of his country's intelligence services told Middle East Eye about a death squad that operates under the guidance and supervision of Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince.

The Firqat el-Nemr, or Tiger Squad, is well-known to the US intelligence services. It was formed more than a year ago and is comprised of 50 of the best-skilled intelligence and military operatives in the kingdom.

The group was recruited from different branches of the Saudi security services, channelling several areas of expertise. Its members are unflinchingly loyal to Riyadh's young crown prince, commonly known as MBS.

MEE can exclusively reveal details about the Tiger Squad, after speaking to a very well-placed source. The source detailed to MEE the squad's makeup, targets, actions and personnel.

Although MEE was not able to confirm the information disclosed, the source was independently verified.

The Tiger Squad's mission is to covertly assassinate Saudi dissidents, inside the kingdom and on foreign soil, in a way that goes unnoticed by the media, the international community and politicians, the source said.

"They [the Saudi leadership] have the belief that arresting critics will mount pressure on them, so that's why they started assassinating them quietly," the source said.

The Tiger Squad's assassination methods vary.

Sometimes it gets its hands dirty, such as with Khashoggi, who was tortured, murdered and dismembered by the Tiger Squad in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

But the unit also plans assassinations that keep the victim at arm's length, and are intended to appear as accidents, such as a car crash or housefire. The Tiger Squad has even had a dissident injected with deadly viruses as he visited hospital for a routine checkup, the source said.

The squad was named after Major General Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy chief of Saudi intelligence, who was sacked by Riyadh last week after heavy international pressure on Saudi Arabia to take action over Khashoggi's killing.

"Assiri is well-known among his colleagues as 'the Tiger of the South'. Since the coalition's war [on Yemen] the Saudi media also started calling Assiri 'the Beast', and he liked this nickname," the source said.

Ties to the crown prince

The source denied knowledge of who issues commands to the Tiger Squad, but said that Assiri and Saoud al-Qahtani, one of MBS's closest aides who was also dismissed last week, is part of the command structure.

The young crown prince selected five of his most loyal and trustworthy members of his personal security detail to serve in the Tiger Squad, the source said.

All of them are among the 15 men sent to kill Khashoggi, including Maher Abdulaziz Mutrib, Mohammed al-Zahrani and Dhaar al-Harbi, the source said.

As proof of the Khashoggi mission's success, the source said, members of the Tiger Squad brought the Washington Post columnist's fingers back to Riyadh. They were presented to the young heir to the Saudi throne.

"MBS always said that he will cut off the fingers of every writer who criticises him," the source said.

(* A B P)

Saudi dissidents fear 'long arm' of state after Khashoggi murder

The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has sent a chill through exiled dissidents, with many revealing discreet government attempts to lure them to their embassies as an apparent "trap" to return them to the kingdom.

Saudi exiles in three different countries have recounted what appeared to be official attempts to bait them into the kingdom's diplomatic missions, exposing them to potentially the same fate as Khashoggi.

Omar Abdulaziz, a 27-year-old Saudi activist exiled in Canada, said he was approached earlier this year by Saudi officials who urged him to visit their embassy with them to collect a new passport.

"They were saying 'it will only take one hour, just come with us to the embassy'," Abdulaziz, who rankled authorities with a YouTube show that satirized the Saudi leadership, said in a video posted on Twitter.

He refused to go, fearing a trap, and two of his brothers and a handful of his friends were arrested in the kingdom, he said, thus validating his suspicions.

"The strongest and most chilling message here was that no one is safe from Saudi Arabia's brutal reach," Sherif Mansour, from the Committee to Protect Journalists, wrote for the Carnegie Middle East Center.

Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi woman activist exiled in Australia, said she narrowly escaped the kingdom's dragnet in September last year when Saud al-Qahtani sought to lure her to a Saudi embassy.

"If it weren't for the kindness of God I would have been (another) victim," Sharif tweeted, posting a screenshot of private messages with Qahtani, a media advisor in the royal court who was sacked in the fallout over Khashoggi's killing.

The number of asylum seekers from Saudi Arabia globally has more than doubled since Prince Mohammed's ascendance to power -- from 575 cases in 2015 to 1,256 in 2017 -- according to the United Nations' refugee agency.

Khashoggi's death has caused such a wave of fear among exiles that some are now cautious of even visiting their country's overseas missions.

"The horrid story of Jamal Khashoggi has sent many activists into a state of shock," said Amani al-Ahmadi, a 27-year-old Saudi exile in Seattle.

But many exiles point out the irony that in silencing Khashoggi, the kingdom has spread his message wider than ever before.

"The perpetrators of the horrific act against Khashoggi were sending a message that anyone who expresses the slightest disagreement with the rulers will be targeted," said Alaoudh.

"Did this reckless action work in silencing dissenting voices? Jamal's voice is louder than ever before."

(* B P)

Jamal Khashoggi Had Skin in the Game. The Crown Prince’s Cheerleaders Didn’t.

Too often, Westerners treat courageous local experts like pawns in a political game. The journalist’s murder should serve as a reminder that, for some, writing an op-ed is a deadly risk.

Over the past few weeks, Jamal Khashoggi has been valorized and cherished. In the aftermath of the dissident Saudi journalist’s murder, pundits writing on the Arab world and the wider region have remembered others who were even more outspoken and critical than he was. And they have been regarded as heroes, particularly those who have pushed for fundamental freedoms and rights, irrespective of whether such freedoms are ridden roughshod over by Saudis or Iranians, Emiratis or Qataris, Egyptians or Turks.

Yet, while those activists and intellectuals might be cherished and celebrated from afar, they enter U.S. and European policy discussions on Western terms; they are seldom engaged as genuine partners. All too often, such heroes are reduced to mere tools to deploy in other political positionings, rather than treated as actors with full agency in their own right

And that has two devastating consequences: infringements of their own security and a total lack of understanding in Western policy establishments.

The risk that any explicitly off-the-record comments might later be revealed by a journalist without permission from the source is reckless in the extreme. That makes it less likely that activists and experts on the ground or in exile will say anything off the record. Ever. And that, in turn, will harm Western understanding of the Arab world. There are also many other dangers that activists in or from the region face when engaging with outsiders who may not fully appreciate the challenges and risks people there face.

(* B P)

Saudis Used Israeli Spyware to Track Khashoggi Associate, Leading Dissident

It’s well known the the leading spyware package bought by repressive regimes, intelligence agencies, and corporate malefactors is Pegasus, which was created by the Israeli hacking company, NSO Group. Its development has allowed NSO to thrive financially and become an attractive target for major corporate interests. Apparently, companies like Blackstone Group and Verint are drawn to the revenue potential of the product, but willing to ignore the major moral conflicts that it engenders; at least until NGOs like Access Now intervene to warm them of the moral hazard.

Now, we must factor in a new and alarming element to this moral calculus.

With Pegasus, the Saudis were able to know virtually everything Abdelaziz did: where he traveled, what he wrote, who he spoke to and e-mailed. They monitored every keystroke, saw much of what he saw, and heard everything he said. They knew where he was at every moment of the day and night. If he had agreed to go to the embassy they would have known where he was, when he would arrive: everything necessary to kidnap him or worse.

Though it’s not known whether Saudi intelligence used Pegasus to target the murdered dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, Access Now’s Peter Micek wrote this to me:

I am not aware of any attempts regarding Khashoggi himself. However, I think there is evidence it was used to track his circles, and likely scooped info on him. It’s chilling and reason for the companies to be questioned.

Nor is Abdelaziz a lone target. Citizen Lab’s research has pinpointed numerous countries which the Saudis have targeted. There may be dissidents and governments it is tracking not just for intelligence or information, but to do potential physical harm.

cp06 Propaganda

(** B P)

How Saudi money skews the news

Since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2nd in the Saudi consulate in Turkey, pundits have been weighing in on the incident, blanketing cable news and op-ed pages.

What isn't apparent to readers and viewers is how Saudi money influences this commentary.

Several prominent analysts commenting on Khashoggi's death have a significant financial interest in maintaining a positive relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. These financial conflicts have not been disclosed by the pundits themselves or the news outlets where they appear.

The true extent of these conflicts is unknown. Many financial dealings of the Saudi regime are opaque. But, by piecing together information that is publicly available, it's clear that Saudi money has compromised media coverage of Khashoggi's murder.

General Jack Keane

Fran Townsend

Dennis Ross

The tip of the iceberg

How do we know so much about IP3's plans? The company briefly employed Michael Flynn while he served as a top adviser to Trump's presidential campaign. After Flynn was forced to resign after lying about his contacts with Russia, he became the subject of Congressional investigation. That investigation uncovered his relationship with IP3 and the August 2016 presentation.

IP3's entanglement in a Congressional investigation is unusual. In most circumstances, economic relationships between Saudi Arabia and former government officials could stay private. The scope of the problem is unknown. Absent standards by media organizations requiring the disclosure of these conflicts, it will remain that way.

(* A P)

Why Are Some pro-Israel Voices Speaking Out Against Jamal Khashoggi?

Notably, the mainstream pro-Israel groups, like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, were not joining in the attacks, and Israeli officials were silent as well

Two weeks after he disappeared, Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Washington Post columnist, is getting his reputation run through a wringer, and some pro-Israel voices are joining the pile-on.

Even as gruesome allegations emerge that he was tortured, murdered and dismembered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, some Israel supporters have joined other figures on the right in describing Khashoggi as a terrorist sympathizer and fierce opponent of Israel. Their goal appears to be to counter a portrait of Khashoggi as a Saudi reformer and free speech activist, and perhaps derail pressure building on the White House to punish Saudi Arabia for his disappearance and presumed murder.

Notably, the mainstream pro-Israel groups, like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, were not joining in the attacks, and Israeli officials were silent as well.

Purveyors of the attacks on Khashoggi said they wanted to set the record straight. Other observers suggested that the public fight over Khashoggi’s reputation has to do with a number of issues central to the latest crisis in U.S.-Saudi relations: cultivating Saudi cooperation in the diplomatic fight against Iran, keeping the Saudis on board the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and maintaining the kingdom as a bulwark against violent forms of radical Islam.

(A P)

Ali Shihabi, founder of „Arabia Foundation“

For all those who have poured scorn on me for “defending the indefensible,” let me say the following:

Many of you don’t give a damn what happens to Saudi Arabia, my country, either out of ignorance or malice toward the country or out of hatred for Trump, and you see this tragic event as a convenient weapon to use against the president.

Jamal was murdered in a horrific fashion by people who should be and will be treated as criminals, having carried out a stupid, botched operation that should have never been attempted in the first place.

The cover-up was ill-advised and incompetent, but more-sophisticated leaders in the West have also made such mistakes.

To expect Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), a young leader with only a few years of experience, to have handled such a political calamity with the virtuoso performance of a seasoned, wise, experienced Western politician is unfair and malicious.

For him to have the courage to come out now and admit to what has happened, to make a 180-degree turn in the narrative, frankly shows more courage than most politicians who have initially fallen into the cover-up trap.

MBS probably authorized a rendition, which, if so, was ill-advised, but leaders and governments make mistakes, sometimes horrible ones (e.g., the US invasion of Iraq, which killed, maimed, and orphaned tens of thousands).

Tweet übersetzen

Many today on their high horses of self-righteousness supported that war and never were held accountable, either legally or professionally, or had their “credibility” questioned in the aftermath.

hard lesson, but if anybody thinks that the whole line of succession should be altered because of one horrible crime carried out by Saudi intelligence, they are crazy.

Stability and continuity are absolutely paramount. And MBS is going nowhere. A change in leadership would put the country, already surrounded by peril, into inconceivable turmoil, giving rise to political jockeying and possible risk of collapse.

At present, the Saudi government has been humbled and chastened and has learned some lessons the hard way. Going forward, it will be a better government for it. But one horrible murder cannot and will not be allowed to put the country further at risk.

My comment: The Arabia Foundation is a Saudi-funded Think tank in the US. – Whenever we again see another propaganda article by this Think propaganda tank, we should remember this propaganda statement. For Arabia Foundation, read:

Comments: The “Please forgive my all-powerful, repressive leader, he’s just a kid”— defense. Wow.

At least now we don’t have to wonder what twitter would have been like in the 11th century.

"Ah! If only he had more years of experience, he'd have weathered the assassination masterfully!" Quite a horrific take.

What? He is not a kid to though bombs on daily bases In Yemen He is a criminal and need to be brought to the International tribunal in The Hague for the crimes he is doing!

cp07 Weitere Folgen / Further implications

(A P)

Saudi summit begins amid boycott

Saudi Arabia's investment conference has gone ahead, with many boycotting the event.

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) was due to feature 150 high-profile speakers from 140 firms.

But some 40 participants are understood to have pulled out amid allegations the country was behind Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing.

(** B P)

The Saudi Playbook: Self-Investigations of Civilian Deaths in Yemen and Khashoggi

We’ve been here before. Saudi Arabia has a sordid track record of announcing formal mechanisms to look into deaths of civilians at the hands of its own officers which have then utterly failed to credibly investigate those deaths. Observers of the Jamal Khashoggi investigation can draw important lessons from that history. And those concerned about war crimes in Yemen can draw insight from the Khashoggi affair.

Each victim of an unlawful Saudi coalition strike in Yemen is as worthy of concern as a Washington Post columnist. A groom and his wedding party. A child locked in jail. Villagers digging a well. Crowds shopping at a market. All killed or wounded in bombings by the Saudi-led coalition.

None of these apparent war crimes in Yemen were able to provoke the type of international outrage that the murder of Khashoggi has these past few weeks. Under an intense spotlight and external pressures, on October 20, Saudi officials finally admitted that Khashoggi died in its Istanbul consulate after weeks of repeatedly lying and obfuscating about his fate.

The astonishing response to his murder might make one think that Saudi officials involved in egregious rights abuses could finally pay some price for the crimes they’ve committed at home and abroad. And that the outrage over Khashoggi will galvanize the kingdom’s Western allies to demand accountability in some fashion that four years of atrocities in Yemen have not.

But President Donald Trump, who has warmed to many autocrats around the world, after days of calling on Saudi Arabia to investigate itself said he found Saudi Arabia’s explanation of Khashoggi’s death credible, telling reporters, “I think we’re getting close to solving a big problem.”

That’s not just the Saudi playbook. It’s also the one followed by the Americans.

For years, the Saudi-led coalition—armed and assisted by the United States—has killed and wounded thousands of civilians in Yemen, leaving a trail of death, destruction, and broken lives. When US officials are questioned about alleged coalition violations of the laws of war – from bombing a crowded funeral hall to destroying a bus, killing 26 young boys – they tend to follow a similar gameplan: Express concern. Call on the coalition to investigate. Laud the coalition when it does investigate, however weak the findings. Note any promise to investigate further or pay redress. Quietly let those promises disappear as soon as the international and any domestic political pressure recedes.

In the face of mounting global pressure on Saudi Arabia regarding the way it was waging war in Yemen, the coalition established an investigative body—the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT). Since that time, the coalition’s allies, including the United States, has repeatedly pointed to the existence of JIAT as evidence that the coalition was serious about minimizing civilian harm.

Human Rights Watch comprehensively tested those claims, analyzing the work of the body, which was tasked with assessing “claims and accidents” over the last two years. We found that it continued to exhibit the same fundamental failings in 2018 as it had in 2016. The vast majority of its public incident reports absolved the coalition of legal fault, obfuscated which countries’ forces might be responsible, refused to provide even rough estimates of civilian harm, and failed to offer a thorough laws-of-war analysis, leading to highly dubious conclusions.

It remains unclear what, if any, authority JIAT has to compel coalition members to take up its recommendations to provide or ensure accountability.

In his certification to Congress allowing the continuation of US refueling to coalition aircraft, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the coalition for announcing that it would hold those responsible for the recent bus attack to account. There’s no reason to think this will happen.

JIAT, instead of operating as a genuine investigative body, has served as a smoke-screen. The United States has used the guise of this body’s investigations as an excuse to continue selling weapons in the face of countless war crimes. Even the Saudi state news agency seems to see the body’s findings to be more about defending the coalition and refuting human rights reports than about credibly investigating.

Saudi Arabia has failed for years to credibly investigate its own alleged wrongdoings in Yemen, and seemingly set up faux investigations to cover its tracks. US officials have every reason to know that. Relying on Saudi Arabia to investigate the death of Jamal Khashoggi or any of the many atrocities in Yemen appears more an attempt to ignore terrible acts than an effort to find out what happened – von Kristine Beckerle, Human Rights Watch

(** B P)

Ken Livingstone: Stop double standards, sanction Saudis for Yemen war, kidnappings & killings

When we remember how rapidly the US imposed sanctions on Russia over Crimea and the Skripal poisonings, it's bizarre to watch US President Trump's reaction to the killing of journalist Khashoggi by the Saudis.

After more than two weeks of lies and deception, Saudi Arabia has finally admitted journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed, but it is clearly another lie when they claim that this 59-year old man died because he got involved in a fist fight with 15 Saudi security staff and officials.

The scale of media coverage of this murder has been breathtaking and has done more damage to the reputation of the Saudi royal family than anything in recent years, but this hasn't stopped the support of Britain and the US for the Saudi regime.

Britain increased its weapon sales to the Saudis from £820 million in 2016 to £1.5 billion in 2017 but what is appalling is that these UK fighter planes and bombs are being used to kill innocent civilians in Yemen.

When I was the Mayor of London, British television channel Channel 4 broadcast a documentary series based on a video footage gathered from an investigation into mosques across the UK. They covertly filmed preachers and obtained books and DVDs which were hate-filled invective against Christians and Jews. They presented women as intellectually deficient and in need of beating if they did not follow the Islamic dress code. One of the mosques where this was filmed was funded by Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi regime keeps 85 percent of the student places at the Islamic University of Medina for foreign students which has led to hundreds of British Muslims returning to the UK espousing support for the Saudis. The Saudis were also behind the funding of schools in Pakistan that gave rise to the Taliban.
Saudi Arabia is one of only a handful of absolute monarchies where the monarch controls all power, but the current monarch of Saudi Arabia has effectively devolved his powers to bin Salman.

One anonymous Saudi source said: "People who tried to say no, even gently and diplomatically, faced consequences."

The simple fact is Saudi Arabia is the principal ally of the US in the Arab world and a huge purchaser of US weapons. How we can continue to allow these double standards in our foreign policy is unimaginable, but one of the reasons why the Saudis get away with it is that they spend so much money influencing our media and our senior politicians.

The London PR film Consulum is working on communications programmes with the Saudis and a company, by staff of former PR firm Bell Pottinger, is advising the Saudis on its communication strategy.

I'm sure similar and most probably much more money is being spent influencing US media, but, if we want to live in a better and more peaceful world, we have to stand up to the Saudis and impose sanctions on them until they agree not to just to end their war in Yemen but stop their kidnappings and killings around the world – by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London between 2000 and 2008, former member of the Labour Party.

Comment by Judith Brown: This is an interesting and informative article by Ken Livingstone, in a Russian media outlet - unfortunately Ken does not appear in U.K. media frequently these days. Here he gives details of just how the Saudi PR machine works in U.K., and the extent of Wahhabi influence in U.K. mosques, some of this information gained whilst he was mayor of London. It really deserves careful reading in order to understand 'how' power works - for example, Saudi links with its critics, Vice News and the Independent will inevitably make it more difficult for them to be independent of Saudi influence.

(* A E P)

Saudi Arabia has 'no intention' of 1973 oil embargo replay: TASS

Saudi Arabia has no intention of unleashing a 1973-style oil embargo on Western consumers and will isolate oil from politics, the Saudi energy minister said on Monday amid a worsening crisis over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“There is no intention,” Khalid al-Falih told Russia’s TASS news agency when asked whether there could be a repeat of the oil embargo.

“This incident will pass. But Saudi Arabia is a very responsible country, for decades we used our oil policy as a responsible economic tool and isolated it from politics,” Falih said.

“My role as the energy minister is to implement my government’s constructive and responsible role and stabilizing the world’s energy markets accordingly, contributing to global economic development,” Falih said.

(A E P)

IEA chief Birol not worried about Saudi oil supply cuts over journalist's death

International Energy Agency (IEA) chief Fatih Birol said on Monday he is not worried Saudi Arabia will cut oil supply in response to any potential sanctions over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but urged common sense as political developments may impact energy markets.

“There are many geopolitical, non-energy related issues, which could also have further impact on the oil markets,” Birol told Reuters

(** B P)

Jamal Khashoggi: Missing journalist case proves that when Saudi Arabia’s credibility is damaged so is America’s

The essential political underpinnings of sanctions are being eroded

The Khashoggi affair has weakened President Trump’s campaign to impose stringent economic sanctions on Iran aimed at reducing its influence or forcing regime change. Saudi Arabia is America’s main ally in the Arab world so when its credibility is damaged so is that of the US.

On 5 November the US will impose tough restrictions on Iranian oil exports which have already been cut by more than half since Mr Trump announced the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement.

Other signatories, who disagree with him, are seeking to keep the nuclear deal afloat, but the threat of secondary sanctions on oil companies, banks and commercial companies for doing business with Iran is too great a risk for them to resist.

For sanctions to put irresistible pressure on Iran, they would need to be in place for years and to be enforced by many other nations. Paradoxically, the successful implementation of sanctions requires just the sort of international collaboration that Mr Trump has repeatedly denounced as being against American interests.

Mr Trump can scarcely back away from his confrontation with Iran because he has made it the principle test case for making America great again; or, in other words, the unilateral exercise of US power.

Saudi Arabia and Israel are exceptions but few other countries have a genuine interest in Mr Trump succeeding here even if they do not care much about what happens to Iran.

How has the prospect for sanctions succeeding been affected since dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi embassy in Istanbul on 2 October and failed to re-emerge?

Saudi Arabia has certainly been weakened by turning a minor critic and dissident into a martyr and cause célèbre, a mistake that is convincing many US foreign policy and intelligence experts that the operational capacity of the kingdom is even more limited than they had imagined.

The alleged murder of Mr Khashoggi is only the latest of a series of Saudi ventures since 2015 that have failed to turn out as planned.

For the first time, the US media is giving wall-to-wall coverage to negative stories about Saudi Arabia. One effect of this is to undermine Mr Trump’s effort to sell his confrontational policy towards Iran by demonising it as a uniquely criminal and terrorist regime. These denunciations are now being undercut by the drip-drip of allegations about the fate of Mr Khashoggi with even the case for the defence apparently resting on the claim that he was accidentally tortured to death by an overly enthusiastic security officer.

The importance of all this is that the essential political underpinnings of sanctions are being eroded – by Patrick Cockburn

(* B E P)

Saudi Arabia: how the Khashoggi killing threatens to upend prince’s project

The role of the Public Investment Fund was to reshape the kingdom’s economy and attract overseas money, its mission is now much harder

The meeting in March 2015 was an early indicator of the crown prince’s ambitions and the financial power the ageing monarch’s favoured son would soon come to wield. It marked the beginning of the radical transformation of the PIF from a near-dormant state holding company into arguably the world’s most active sovereign investment vehicle, likened by some to a “parallel state”. In the three years since, the PIF has invested tens of billions of dollars at home and abroad, in companies ranging from Uber to Magic Leap, and in ventures with Blackstone and SoftBank, while targeting a doubling of its assets under management to $600bn by 2020. In the process it has morphed into the most powerful force in the Arab world’s biggest economy.

But the scandal triggered by the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, has put the PIF, like its patron, in jeopardy of losing its lustre. Amid macabre reports of the journalist’s killing, the fund has become a glaring example of the potential economic damage for the kingdom as Riyadh grapples with Saudi Arabia’s biggest diplomatic crisis with the west since the September 11 attacks on the US in 2001. For the past week, the PIF has been scrambling to save its flagship investment conference, due to open in Riyadh on Tuesday. Last year, the event underlined the fund’s pulling power as the world’s top financiers and executives flocked to a gathering dubbed “Davos in the desert”. This year it has been about crisis management as a string of western trade ministers and executives have pulled out over the Khashoggi case. “No one can brush this off,” says a financial executive with an operation in the kingdom. “The crown prince [will be] forever associated with this.” At risk is Riyadh’s ability to attract the foreign investment, skills and technology it needs to build the modern economy Prince Mohammed has promised and address the urgent need to provide jobs for a youthful population blighted by rising unemployment.

“It is a huge setback for the PIF strategy of partnerships with foreign investors and joint projects inside the kingdom,” says Karen Young, a Gulf expert at the American Enterprise Institute.

The Khashoggi case may not undermine the PIF’s ability to continue snapping up foreign assets, bankers say. The challenge will be inward investment. “It is way more unpredictable now,” one banker says. “You look at the people willing to take a hit now in international business [by boycotting the PIF’s conference]. No one is going to want to touch him [Prince Mohammed],” says a former diplomat who knows the country. “If you end up with Mohammed bin Salman, who is supposed to be the conservative monarchies’ answer to the Arab spring, and this is the way you get reform . . . I don’t see how you come back from that.”

(* B P)

Saudi Arabia's shifting narrative on Khashoggi reveals fragility

The pathetic Saudi explanation of the state-ordered murder of Jamal Khashoggi reflects the fragility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s position. The cover-up is trying to put the blame for Khashoggi’s brutal execution on the Saudi intelligence service, the General Intelligence Directorate. America’s oldest partner in the Middle East is increasingly a danger to regional stability and its own stability.

A detailed examination of the Saudis who traveled to Istanbul on Oct. 2 shows almost all are security figures. They are royal guards, special forces, intelligence and Royal Saudi Air Force. Usually colonel level. The royal guards are the most represented. The Royal Guard Regiment reports directly to the crown prince. It is inconceivable that Mohammed would not know about what they were doing.

Asiri, who was removed as deputy chief of the General Intelligence Directorate, was the spokesman for the Yemen war from the outset. That puts him very close to Mohammed. They meet constantly. At the beginning of the war, Mohammed was eager to be seen as the commander of what was then called Operation Decisive Storm. When it became clear it was not decisive, Asiri became the public face of the war.

Asiri was not very good at selling the war and blockade.

Making him the fall guy will send a very dangerous message to the crown prince’s inner circle: You are not safe. No one is safe. That will increase the odds of a move against the crown prince. Mohammed is already increasingly impulsive and erratic.

Mohammed may be a pariah for the rest of his life, deservedly, but one who is in power.

This leaves his opponents at home only one alternative. Senior officials have told me that they are concerned about plotting to remove the prince by force. King Faisal was assassinated in 1975 by a disaffected prince.

The crown prince is shaking up the General Intelligence Directorate now. The shake-up is more about using the organization to spy on Saudi dissidents at home and abroad than finding the killers of Khashoggi. It’s another sign of the deep anxieties in the royal palace about conspiracies.

The Trump administration is eager to move on from the Istanbul caper. Saudi Arabia is crucial to its policy to confront Iran

The Saudis' own self-interest argues for avoiding any chance of yet another blunder like the war in Yemen, the Ritz-Carlton shakedown and the Istanbul caper. As long as Mohammed bin Salman is crown prince, however, it is only a matter of time – by Bruce Riedel

(* B P)

Saudi crown prince likely to survive diplomatic crisis spawned by Khashoggi killing

Killing of journalist unlikely to halt Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's rise to power

The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul is unlikely to halt Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's rise to power, but could cause irreparable harm to relations with Western governments and businesses, potentially endangering his ambitious reform plans.

International outrage over Khashoggi's Oct. 2 slaying at the hands of Saudi officials, under still-disputed circumstances, has marked the greatest crisis in the 33-year-old's rapid rise, already tarnished by a catastrophic war in Yemen and a sweeping roundup of Saudi businessmen and activists.

The prince had hoped to galvanize world support for his efforts to revamp the country's oil-dependent economy, but now the monarchy faces possible sanctions over the killing. Saudi Arabia has threatened to retaliate against any punitive action, but analysts say that wielding its main weapon — oil production — could backfire, putting the prince's economic goals even further out of reach.

"The issue now is how Western governments coordinate a response and to what extent they wish to escalate this in a co-ordinated fashion," said Michael Stephens, a senior research fellow who focuses on the Mideast at London's Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies.

"Would financial sanctions be considered sufficient as to have sent a message to Saudi Arabia that this will never happen again?" Stephens added. "Some may feel this is inadequate, while others, like the Americans, may feel this is going too far."

The king has the authority to change the line of succession — as he did when he appointed his son crown prince in the first place, upending the previous royal consensus.

But any direct challenge to Prince Mohammed's succession "may be destabilizing for the kingdom as a whole," said Cinzia Bianco, a London-based analyst for Gulf State Analytics. "Being young and being so close to his father, there is a chance that his behaviour can be constrained with the influence of his father and other actors around the world," Bianco said.

"While it might be too early to evaluate the reaction of the international community, these moves might be read as a serious initial signal that the Saudi leadership is course correcting," wrote Ayham Kamel, the head of Mideast and North Africa research at the Eurasia Group.

"Despite speculation that the crisis spells the end of Mohammad bin Salman, the recent announcements prove that the king still believes that the current line of succession is suitable."

The Saudis' greatest concern is the United States

(* B P)

Scandal Over Dead Journalist Jolts Heir to Saudi Throne

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, secure for now, is scrambling to contain global backlash

Saudi Arabia’s elderly king sent a strong signal this weekend that his handpicked heir, 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, remains in good standing despite the gruesome killing of a prominent government critic that many at home and abroad suspect he set in motion.

Yet the events of the past few weeks have sharpened differences between the prince and royal family members who were beginning to question his judgment and temperament. And there is no sign that the global backlash over the killing will abate soon, testing... (subscribers only)

and from the article:

People who recently interacted with the crown prince say he was shocked by the backlash, couldn’t understand why Khashoggi’s disappearance was such a big deal

(* B P)

Why Jamal Khashoggi's death is as much about the message as the man

More than 40 journalists have been killed this year, but none has received as much attention as Khashoggi.

More than 40 journalists around the world have been killed this year for reasons believed to be connected to their work.

In a recent column in the Washington Post, Applebaum asserts the deaths of reporters, especially investigative journalists, will continue in large part because more people than ever can see a journalist's work, giving those they hold to account more reason than ever to want them silenced.

While Khashoggi wasn't an investigative reporter, his criticism of the Saudi government under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had intensified in recent years, clearly infuriating the regime.

"Journalists have a much wider reach, a much wider ability to penetrate into authoritarian societies than they did a couple of decades ago," she said.

As the reach of journalists' work meant to expose corruption has expanded, so too has the corruption itself, Applebaum argues.

Alongside the questions about what really happened to Khashoggi, some have wondered why the Saudi regime would be willing to court the diplomatic damage of carrying out an alleged murder on foreign soil, of a journalist who, to many, was unknown.

It may have been less about the man than the message, Applebaum suggests.

"If you kill one journalist, then you frighten a whole lot of others," she said

cp08 Erinnerung an Khashoggi / Remembering Khashoggi

(B E P)

Film: Turkey's Erdogan to speak on Khashoggi case on Tuesday

Turkey has promised to reveal "the naked truth" about the Khashoggi case. CNBC's Hadley Gamble discusses the impact of these tensions on Saudi Arabia investment opportunities.

(* A B E P)

Silicon Valley tested by Saudi crisis

Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement in the disappearance and possible murder of a dissident Washington Post columnist is putting Silicon Valley in a difficult position, with potentially billions in business deals at stake.

The diplomatic crisis is putting a new spotlight on the Saudi kingdom’s massive presence in the U.S. tech sector.

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund owns stakes in a number of startups, including a substantial share of Uber, and industry giants have been courting the royal family, hoping to get a foothold in the country.

According to a new Wall Street Journal estimate, Saudi Arabia, through its Public Investment Fund (PIF), is the single largest source of venture capital for U.S. startups, including many prominent companies.

The fund owns a $3.5 billion stake in Uber, nearly 5 percent of Tesla and has contributed $45 billion towards SoftBank’s $92 billion Vision Fund, aimed at investing in U.S. tech companies. The Saudi fund has also invested in startups like the virtual reality company Magic Leap, the dog-walking app Wag and WeWork.

When Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 33-year-old who has consolidated power within the country and directs the fund, visited the U.S. earlier this year, he was feted by celebrities, politicians and business leaders, including the CEOs of Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

But now the diplomatic crisis over journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago, threatens to strain those business ties.


(* B P)

Don’t let my friend Jamal Khashoggi’s death be for nothing

The courageous Saudi journalist believed in democracy. Let this be a tipping point in how the world deals with despots

Say your word and move on.” This is what Jamal Khashoggi used to say after he chose exile far away from his homeland and his family.

He was a profound believer in his mission as a journalist. He vehemently refused to be designated as an opponent of his country’s leaders, not because he lacked courage, but because of his respect for the ethics of the profession that taught him to be fair and balanced: he recognised the virtues of the Saudi regime when it did good but refused to remain silent when he saw what warranted criticism.

In a world that believes in freedom of speech, Khashoggi’s ethos is that of a respectable journalist. Yet, as far as Saudi Arabia’s rulers are concerned, being fair and balanced is an act of treason deserving of death. In such a country, you should be full of praise for every action undertaken, or speech uttered, by the ruler so as to be spared his wrath. This is a regime similar to ones in European medieval times: it claims to have a “divine mandate”. Failing to praise it is a sin, and talking about it in a balanced manner is treasonous.

It is regrettable that President Trump has been seeking to find a way to exonerate the crown prince of his responsibility for the alleged crime. Trump came out with the suggestion that perhaps “rogue” agents had killed Khashoggi. He went on to say, rather shamelessly, that he would not sacrifice $100bn of arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Notwithstanding the ugliness of such a stance over sales of US weapons, it is an inaccurate one even from a pragmatic point of view. In fact, the only constant in Saudi policy over many decades and throughout the reigns of several monarchs, has been full dependence upon the US – not the other way around. This will not change even if Bin Salman is removed from power. What needs to change is the slide towards chaos in the region since Bin Salman took over in the kingdom.

The responsibility is squarely on the shoulders of the US in particular – and its western allies. They should insist that Bin Salman resigns.

The US administration’s efforts to rescue Bin Salman from the repercussions of being found to have ordered the killing of Khashoggi will not succeed thanks to the noble stance adopted by global media institutions and their unwavering insistence on learning the truth and making the culprits accountable.

It is true that we in the Arab world have often been disappointed by the western official stances towards the Middle East – yet what is happening today is teaching us that the west is not one solid mass. We know today more than at any time before that the voices of conscience and free speech in the west and the rest of the world are in good health – by Wadah Khanfa

(* A P)

Hatice Cengiz: They took your bodily presence from my world. But your beautiful laugh will remain in my soul forever. My darling #jkhashoggi (with film)

and this is her Twitter account, on which she also had published several private photos of Khashoggi:

My comment: keep in mind, Saudi propaganda had smeared here a s “fake fiancée”.

(* B P)

Obituary - Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi writer, editor and commentator

Saudi writer, editor and commentator

Born: October 13, 1958;

Died: October 2, 2018

JAMAL Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist killed aged 59 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, was for three decades a writer, editor, commentator and media adviser and an influential voice on Saudi affairs. Once close to the royal family and an adviser to the country's former intelligence chief, he latterly became a sharp critic of its young and ambitious Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, for cracking down on opposition and miring the country in a conflict in neighbouring Yemen.

Born into a family of wealth and connections - he was the nephew of Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and a cousin of Princess Diana's boyfriend, Dodi Fayed - he was a voice of moderation in a kingdom at war with terrorism in the aftermath of the September 11 2001 attacks in the United States.

He spent years explaining its policies to outsiders, but made himself unpopular at home, saying the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen would validate those who compared the kingdom's actions to what Russia and Iran were doing in Syria. He also was critical of Riyadh's diplomatic break with Qatar.

After Mr Khashoggi criticised the kingdom's celebration of Donald Trump's election as US president in 2016, a royal court official who was close to him advised him to stop tweeting and publishing stories, a sign that his opinion was no longer welcome. Mr Khashoggi went into a self-imposed exile, moving to Washington in 2017, writing regular columns for the Post and pursuing pro-democracy projects.

(* B P)

The Khashoggi I knew: mentor, guide, bridge between cultures

Almost 25 years ago, Jamal Khashoggi was my friend and mentor when I was a young reporter in Yemen on a fellowship studying Islamic movements. I got to see him in action, and experience his remarkable kindness and wisdom. He changed my life, and may even have saved it.

In an age when cultural stereotyping is too frequent and when the #MeToo movement highlights how commonplace bad behavior truly is, Jamal was a gentleman and an unfailingly perceptive guide in a pivotal time and place.

Those were the years before 9/11 changed the world. In the heady and dangerous latter half of 1994, Islamists — many of them fresh from Osama bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan — won the upper hand in Yemen’s civil war. I was possibly the only Western woman covering the northern front of the war, where they led the fight.

I had the amazing good fortune to meet Jamal, who became a friend, making sure I had access to everyone across the Islamic spectrum, from hardcore jihadis (who agreed to speak with me only after Jamal bravely said he wouldn’t talk with them unless they did) to mystical-leaning Sufis.

(* B P)

In death, Saudi writer’s mild calls for reform grew into a defiant shout

When he began his self-imposed exile to Washington last year, Jamal Khashoggi described himself simply as one “independent journalist using his pen for the good of his country.” With his brutal killing in Turkey this month, the Saudi journalist became much more: the Arab world’s loudest dissenter and an international symbol for the cause of free expression.

In their effort to silence the 59-year-old writer, Saudi officials eliminated a domestic nuisance who had angered the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In the process, however, they touched off a temblor of global outrage that would shake the kingdom and strain relations with its most important allies.

Ironically, Mr. Khashoggi had never sought to be a disrupter and instead, as a lifelong member of the Saudi political establishment, had been an advocate for modest reform within the system. Refusing to be labeled a “dissident,” he argued simply that his fellow Arabs deserved the “right to speak their minds without fear of imprisonment,” as he wrote in a Washington Post column in April.

Up until his death, he firmly believed that such reforms were within reach, even in Saudi Arabia, friends and former colleagues said.

“This was Jamal: He had a never-ending hope that changes could happen, and that Arabs could lead the way,” said Maggie Mitchell Salem, a former State Department official and Middle East specialist who became a lifelong friend.

“In killing him, it’s like they killed more than a man,” she said. “They killed a vision of what Arab media and society could be like.”

Mr. Khashoggi spent his life straddling uncomfortable boundaries between occupations and interests that often seemed in conflict.

(* B P)

Jamal Khashoggi, journalist who spoke truth to power, 1958-2018

Critic of Saudi repression who paid the price for falling out of favour

For decades, Jamal Khashoggi was one of the most powerful voices in Middle East journalism. Born to a prominent Saudi family, he spent much of his career straddling a line between the media world and the kingdom’s establishment, with unrivalled access to princes and western diplomats. But increasingly he became a thorn in the side of the new ruling elite surrounding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as he wrote of his mounting concerns about the direction the world’s top oil exporter was taking under the young heir apparent. It would cost him his life.

Born on March 23,1958, Khashoggi grew up in the holy city of Medina and studied at Indiana State University before returning to the kingdom to work as a journalist until the end of the 1990s. His grandfather was doctor to ibn Saud, the founder and first king of Saudi Arabia. He gained recognition for his coverage of the Afghan War — including an interview with Osama bin Laden the al Qaeda leader — and the first Gulf war before he was named deputy editor in chief for the English-language daily Arab News. He become one of the region’s highest profile journalists, and while in exile he wrote a regular column for the Washington Post, often lamenting the direction Saudi Arabia was taking under the autocratic crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Khashoggi was seen as someone familiar with the thinking of Saudi leaders, but his ties to power in the kingdom fluctuated, and his career as one of the country’s top journalists was punctuated with a series of controversies.

as a reminder, from July, 2018:

(B P)

How free expression is suppressed in Saudi Arabia

A self-exiled journalist reflects on his country’s direction

A year ago Jamal Khashoggi (pictured), a prominent journalist and past newspaper editor, left his home in Saudi Arabia for the last time. He is now in self-exile, living in Washington, DC, fearing that he will be arrested for his political views if he returns to his country.

Unlike other figures the Saudi authorities have targeted, such as the writer Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for allegedly “insulting Islam”, Mr Khashoggi is hardly a dissident. Before he left, he was generally seen as close with the royal court, and even today describes the idea of regime change as “ridiculous”

cp09 Satire

(A P)

Travel advisory: It is highly recommended that all persons who intend to visit any of #Saudi Arabia's embassies or consulates - even for premium whisky - ensure that they have received certified training in fist fighting.

(A P)

I'm curious. All these many doyens of business, finance & politics who have declined to attend the Saudi investment conference : Is it a moral principled protest against @JKhashoggi's murder, or are they all simply terrified to go get visas at Saudi embassies?

12:49 23.10.2018
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

Vielfältig interessiert am aktuellen Geschehen, zur Zeit besonders: Ukraine, Russland, Jemen, Rolle der USA, Neoliberalismus, Ausbeutung der 3. Welt
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Dietrich Klose