Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau 6b

Khashoggi Press review 6b Erdogan greift Saudis an: „Geplanter Mord; Türkei fordert Auslieferung der 18 Verdächtigen, Saudis lehnen ab; Mehr Details, Ergebnisse der türkischen Ermittler ...
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

... Khashoggis Sohn zum König gebracht; Der Westen laviert, Deutschland, Österreich und EU-Parlament fordern Ende der Waffenlieferungen, Frankreich, Spanien und Trump-Regierung wollen weiter liefern

Erdogan attacks Saudi Arabia: „Planned murder“; Turkey seeks extradiction of 18 suspects, Saudis refuse; More details, findings by Turkish investigators; Khashoggi’s son pulled to the royal court to be given “condolences”, The West is maneuvering, Germany, Austria, the EU parliament demand stop of arms sales, France, Spain, Trump government want to continue

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

Erster Teil / First part:

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

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MSNBC Film: Take a listen, #KingSalman - will you endanger your country to protect your son from accountability?

This is by MSNBC, which recorded on Yemen 0 times, on Stormy Daniels 450 times in the same period. Double standard hypocrites. and

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The honeymoon with Saudi Arabia is officially over. Right?

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This Donald Trump answer on Saudi Arabia and Jamal Khashoggi is a wow

Mr. Trump: I want to believe him. I really want to believe him. They've been a very good ally. They've been a tremendous investor in our military equipment and other things. They buy tremendous amounts of things from our country. It probably amounts to millions of jobs, you know, a million jobs. That's a lot of jobs. So I certainly want to believe him.

That's amazing stuff. And not in a good way.

Trump is making clear that he is going out of his way to believe MBS' claim that he had no idea about the attempt to lure Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi government, to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where he was killed. Why? Because "they buy tremendous amounts of things from our country," according to Trump.

So, to simplify: The President of the United States is saying that he "really want(s) to believe" the Saudi government's story that Khashoggi died accidentally after a fistfight within the consulate because he doesn't want our lucrative business relationship with the Arab country to change.

Got that?

The problem with all of that is simple: There are any number of elements of the story the Saudis are telling that have either changed or don't jibe with known fact

and remember that Trump has from the start bent over backwards in hopes that the Saudi government can find an explanation that allows the US to maintain their mutually beneficial relationship.

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Trump's disinterest in Jamal Khashoggi's murder is a betrayal of the promises of the First Amendment

World leaders heard Trump put an arms deal with Saudi Arabia over justice for Khashoggi — a fundamental reorganization of American ideals.

With truth and facts under assault more than at any time in American history, the nation is in desperate need of a new generation of fearless journalists to shed light on the atrocities and wrongdoings committed at home and abroad. But our president’s ongoing contempt for the press has heartened the world’s dictators and is dangerous to the profession. Unless he changes his tune, his disdain for journalism will be felt for generations as it’s mimicked in yet more places while sending shudders through newsrooms on every continent.

Part of what has long protected American journalists abroad — or foreign reporters filing for U.S. publications — is that, even in war zones, corrupt nations and under dictatorial regimes, having an American press pass signaled to the world that the full weight of the United States of America was behind that reporter.

Those press passes came to be seen as beacons of an American ideal — the First Amendment, which many of us take for granted while tweeting or even protesting in the streets — is more American than apple pie. It’s an ideal in which our founding fathers trusted and placed immense hope, believing it is the perpetual war of ideas that makes our country stand out.

President Donald Trump, however, has tarnished the image of journalism here and abroad.

My comment: This article is too simple in its bashing Trump. The American crisis is going much, much deeper. For a very long time, the First Amendment had been devalued by money, elite power, elite interests.

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Film: Watch President Trump's evolving stance on the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Here's how the president's public statements have evolved as more and more details emerge about Khashoggi's death.

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Khashoggi killing: Donald Trump says Saudi crown prince could have been involved

President says if anybody was linked to operation ‘it would be him’ as US curbs 21 Saudi officials’ visas and mulls more sanctions

Donald Trump has said for the first time that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman could have been involved in the operation to kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, noting that “the prince is running things over there” in Riyadh.

The comments, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, appeared to mark a shift in the president’s view of Khashoggi’s murder on 2 October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He has hitherto appeared to take Saudi royal denials of involvement at face value. But on a day the state department announced it would sanction Saudi officials implicated in the writer’s death, the president appeared to give the benefit of the doubt to King Salman but not necessarily to his powerful son.

Asked about the crown prince’s possible involvement, Trump said: “Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage. He’s running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him.”

Trump told the Wall Street Journal he had closely questioned Prince Mohammed about Khashoggi’s murder, posing questions repeatedly and “in a couple of different ways”.

“My first question to him was, ‘Did you know anything about it in terms of the initial planning’,” Trump said. Prince Mohammed replied that he didn’t, Trump said.

“I said, ‘Where did it start?’ And he said it started at lower levels.”

Asked if he believed the denials, the president paused for several seconds. “I want to believe them. I really want to believe them,” he said.

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Trump calls Saudi handling of Khashoggi's killing a total fiasco

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the subsequent cover-up by Saudi Arabia was “a total fiasco.”

“There should have never been an execution or a cover-up, because it should have never happened,” Trump told reporters.

“I would say it was a total fiasco from day one,” he added.



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Trump says Erdogan 'pretty rough' on Saudis over Khashoggi

President Donald Trump said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was “pretty rough” on Saudi Arabia in remarks on Tuesday about the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and said Riyadh’s handling of the matter was “the worst cover-up ever.”

My comment: He is right. But there is no difference at all to all Saudi statements and cover-up of Saudi war and war crimes in Yemen. Why Trump (and the whole Western politics and mainstream media) permanently looked away???

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Khashoggi’s death feels like a watershed moment in the U.S.-Saudi relationship. Suddenly, many in Washington are finally willing to admit that Saudi Arabia — a country they have long treated as a friend and partner — is little more than another murderous Middle East dictatorship. The White House may still be supportive, but newspapers are printing criticism, think tanks are returning Saudi money, and Congress is actively considering sanctions.

This moment has been a long time coming. Khashoggi’s murder caps years of growing dissatisfaction about the Saudi alliance. Like a failing marriage, the United States and Saudi Arabia have long been drifting apart. Diverging U.S.-Saudi interests, and an increasingly reckless Saudi foreign policy have taken their toll on the relationship, even as domestic repression has grown inside Saudi Arabia.

Indeed, while some argue that the problem with the U.S.-Saudi relationship is a conflict between American interests and values, it’s no longer clear that American interests are well-served by a close relationship with the Saudis. If policymakers follow through, the dissident’s death could provide the opportunity to — finally — distance the United States from its toxic Saudi ally.

It hardly matters whether Khashoggi’s death was accidental — part of a botched interrogation or planned abduction, or even a fight as the Saudi government now claims — or intentional. The brutal murder of the U.S. permanent resident in Turkey marks a new low in U.S.-Saudi relations.

This may seem curiously at odds with the image of MBS found in the Western press: a young, far-sighted reformer, dragging his country kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The cultivation of this image — and the adulation which greeted MBS’ arrival in Washington and London — is undoubtedly one of the recent successes of Saudi foreign policy.

With pundits lauding his moves to loosen the kingdom’s draconian restrictions on women, and his moonshot plan to wean his country off of oil through an IPO of Saudi oil company Aramco, it seemed the young prince could do no wrong

Drifting Apart

Washington’s willingness to criticize the Khashoggi murder owes as much to the changing nature of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as to growing repression. Though the few defenders of the Saudi government have trotted out the standard arguments in favor of the U.S.-Saudi partnership — oil, regional politics, arms sales — these arguments are far less persuasive today than they were 35 years ago. The United States simply no longer needs a close relationship with Saudi Arabia to achieve its foreign policy goals and meet its energy needs.

Take oil.

A Failing Marriage of Convenience

These gradual changes in the U.S.-Saudi relationship have been slowly felt in recent years. Even before Khashoggi’s death, the Kingdom’s bloody war in Yemen generated pushback from human rights groups. Meanwhile, Trump’s close relationship with the government of Saudi Arabia has driven journalists to explore the free flow of Saudi money into institutions and lobbying firms here in Washington.

Once, the U.S.-Saudi marriage of convenience served both sides well. But it was just that — a marriage of convenience. With changes in the oil market and regional security, the rationale for the relationship has been diminishing for years. It has undoubtedly taken time for opinion in Congress and elsewhere to catch up to this reality. It may take longer still — into the next administration — for the White House to finally acknowledge that the Saudi alliance no longer serves U.S. needs. But the shock of Khashoggi’s death has created an opening to reassess this alliance, highlighting that Americans have no shared values with Saudi Arabia, and perhaps, fewer shared interests than they thought – by Emma Ashford

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Khashoggi murder exposes Trump administration's dependency on Saudis

It’s not just arms sales and business contacts, Trump needs Saudi Arabia to boost oil production when Iran sanctions kick in and to fund US plans for Syria

The murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi has come at time when the Trump administration is at its most dependent on Riyadh for the success of both its foreign and domestic policies.

Donald Trump has spoken repeatedly about US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, hugely overstating the actual figures. The president also benefits personally by Saudi royals and officials spending freely at his luxury hotel.

But he is reliant on Riyadh for more urgent and consequential reasons.

In three weeks’ time, sweeping US sanctions go into effect on Iran, as the administration seeks to cut off the country’s oil exports. Since walking out of an international nuclear deal with Iran in May, Trump has made crippling the Iranian economy a foreign policy priority, though his officials deny the aim is regime change.

Without a compensating increase in oil supply from other oil suppliers, Saudi Arabia foremost, the sanctions that go into effect on 4 November will produce a spike in oil prices just ahead of the finely balanced midterm elections.

“If they are going to squeeze Iran with new sanctions next month they need the Saudis to fill the gap on world markets,” said Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA official who is now director of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “If the Saudis are slow or hesitant about filling the gap, oil prices will go up and the the president will be in trouble economically. Nothing makes Americans more riled than going to the pump with prices going up especially as we approach the holiday season.”

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So It Turns Out That Saudi Arabia Isn’t Exactly An American Puppet After All

The US’ decision to revoke the visas of 21 Saudis who it claims are responsible for dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing and possibly impose Magnitsky Act sanctions against them proves that Saudi Arabia isn’t exactly the “American puppet” that many people had previously thought that it was if Washington is willing to punish its so-called “ally” in such a humiliating way, but this realization also risks shattering the worldview that many in the Alt-Media Community worked for years to reinforce.

My comment: A different view.

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Film: Panetta on Khashoggi: Trump needs to show there is a price to be paid

While there's mounting evidence that implicates the Saudi Government in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the President has been hesitant to risk the US-Saudi arms deal.

My comment: And again these Obama guys now opening their mouths while they had supported the Saudis and cuddled with them while Obama was president. Hypocrite.

A reminder from 2016:

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U.S. Must Normalize Its Relationship With Saudi Arabia, Expert says

cp04 Internationale Reaktionen / International reactions

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Tony Blair resists calls to axe multimillion dollar Saudi deal following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Exclusive: Tony Blair urged to scrap his multimillion-dollar deal with Saudi Arabia following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

The former UK prime minister's Global Change organisation has signed a deal with the desert kingdom to help modernise and "support the change programme" in the country.

The former Labour leader is refusing to suspend the deal despite Saudi Arabia's role in the death of Khashoggi and continued war in Yemen.

Blair said earlier this month that the Saudis had "issued a very strong denial" of their responsibility.

Labour MP Lloyd Russell Moyle said Blair would be "complicit in war crimes and murder" of Saudi Arabia if he didn't terminate the deal.

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Australia won’t rule out ending arms deal with Saudis over Khashoggi killing

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has not committed to following Germany's lead in suspending the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia in the wake of the Khashoggi killing.

The Australian government is still considering its full response to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, foreign minister Marise Payne has confirmed and has not ruled out stopping the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.

“All options are on the table,” Ms Payne told a Senate Estimates committee on Wednesday, as she faced questions over the ongoing weapons exports.

Australia does sell arms to the Saudi Kingdom, but details about the volume and the nature of the arms are secret because of commercial-in-confidence rules.

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Ottawa uses massive arms deal to ‘leverage’ answers from Saudi Arabia in journalist’s death

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that a massive deal to sell armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia can be used as a “lever” to force leaders of the Middle East country to cough up answers about the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trudeau on Thursday again repeated his veiled threat to Saudi Arabia that Ottawa is “actively reviewing” the export permits required to allow the $15-billion sale to go ahead.

But he said the deal gives Ottawa “leverage” as it joins the international community in pressing Riyadh for details about the fate of Khashoggi, who went missing after a visit to the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2.

Until there are answers, Trudeau said that Canada will continue to look for ways to put pressure on Saudi Arabia to “ensure they understand the importance of respecting human rights and freedom of the press.”

My comment: This is hypocritical crying for not being obliged to really act.

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Putin won't criticize Saudis on Khashoggi killing. Why not?

Halting weapons sales, downgrading diplomatic and commercial ties, withdrawing visas, freezing business deals -- just some of the measures being considered by Saudi Arabia's Western allies, including the United States, amid the outrage over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But one country notably absent from the Kingdom's lengthening list of critics is Russia.

Even as more grisly allegations are made about how the Washington Post columnist died, criticism from the Kremlin has been nonexistent.

Critics of the Kremlin have suggested Russia's reluctance to pass judgment is hardly surprising, given its own appalling record on silencing dissent.

My comment: Putin’s reaction might be strange, but nevertheless this case hardly could be used for anti-Putin propaganda. Keep in mind the reactions of the US and the UK governments to the Saudi slaughter and starving in Yemen – which are even much worse than the Khashoggi murder.

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Calls for Saudi arms embargo pit EU values against interests

Pressure is growing for the European Union to consider an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia after Germany, Austria and the European Parliament called for an end to weapons sales over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In the space of a few hours that highlighted tensions over the matter, Germany’s Angela Merkel on Friday reaffirmed that her country would not deliver any arms to Saudi Arabia until Khashoggi’s death was explained, while French President Emmanuel Macron said such moves smacked of populist “demagoguery”.

EU ambassadors may formally discuss the issue after a rare request to do so by governments, two diplomats said on Friday, and the Netherlands is lobbying for a new EU regime to sanction human rights abuses, regardless of where they happen.

But the debate in Brussels and in EU capitals is also reviving familiar splits in the bloc’s foreign policy, with Europe’s main powers following their own economic and political interests that tend to undermine any forceful EU foreign policy that aims to be guided by democracy and human rights.

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Germany's Merkel: no arms to Saudi Arabia until Khashoggi killing explained

German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed again on Friday to halt all German arms exports to Saudi Arabia until the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was explained.

“It is necessary to clarify the background of this horrible incident,” she said in Prague during a news conference with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis. “And if that does not happen, we will not deliver any arms to Saudia Arabia.”

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UK PM May says Saudi account of Khashoggi death lacks credibility

British Prime Minister Theresa May told Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday that his country’s explanation for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey lacked credibility, her office said.

My comment: What an hypocrisy and double standard, compared to the Skripal affair.

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Macron slams calls to halt arms sales to Saudi as populist

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday dismissed as “demagoguery” the calls by several European countries including Germany to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“What’s the link between arms sales and Mr Khashoggi’s murder? I understand the connection with what’s happening in Yemen, but there is no link with Mister Khashoggi,” Macron told a news conference in Slovakia.

“That’s pure demagoguery to say ‘we must stop arms sales’. It’s got nothing to do with Mr Khashoggi,” he added.

My comment: And what do you think in the case of Yemen? Your hands are bloody from Yemeni blood, my friend. Calling these demands “demagoguery” and “populist” is mocking Yemeni war victims.


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Beyond the Khashoggi case, the war in Yemen

One can question the relevance of this assumed choice of realpolitik to the risk of being out of touch with the public opinion and especially with our main European partner. The Khashoggi affair is instead an opportunity to put pressure on Saudi Arabia in Yemen. An embargo on arms sales would be a posthumous victory for this journalist, who for a long time was close to the Saudi royal family, before becoming the fierce defender of the geopolitical adventurism of the strongman of Riyadh.

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France weighs interests in Khashoggi crisis, Saudi sanctions an option

France said on Wednesday it could impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia if its intelligence services find the kingdom was behind the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, even as Paris worked to maintain important business and strategic ties with Riyadh.

French reaction has been relatively guarded to date, as Paris tried to retain its influence with Riyadh and protect commercial relations spanning energy, finance and arms.

But President Emmanuel Macron told King Salman that France, in coordination with partners, could take action against those held responsible for the murder, the presidency said in a statement.

Macron expressed profound outrage during a phone conversation with Salman, it said, adding that the president had asked the king that the circumstances around Khashoggi’s death be fully disclosed.

My comment: What an hypocrisy and double standard, compared to the Skripal affair.

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Austria calls for EU-wide halt in arms sales to Saudi Arabia

The European Union should halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl told a German newspaper, saying such action could also help end “the terrible war in Yemen”.

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France says will take no 'hasty decision' on links with Saudi Arabia

France will not take any decisions on its relationship with Saudi Arabia until the facts surrounding the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are clear, a source in President Emmanuel Macron’s Elysee office said on Wednesday.

“If decisions are to be taken in the future, they will be taken but based on facts that have been clarified and responsibilities that have been clearly established,” the source said.

“We won’t take any hasty decision on the future of our strategic relationship,” the source added.

My comment: Double standards – think of the Skripal case!

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Iran: Riyadh would not have murdered Khashoggi without U.S. protection

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia would not have murdered prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi without American protection, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

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How Saudi-Friendly Middle East Dictators Are Handling The Jamal Khashoggi Scandal

The United Arab Emirates, the Saudis’ closest partner, and its Washington agents are offering authoritarians a road map to preserving impunity and ties to the West.

Some of the most prominent U.S. foreign policy figures urging a tough response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are earning thousands of dollars each month from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia’s closest partner and a vocal defender of the Saudi narrative about how he died.

It’s a stunning situation that underscores how Middle East powers aligned with the Saudis and the U.S. are doing damage control amid the scandal — sustaining their relationship with the biggest player in the Arab world while trying to keep Western partners happy so their own human rights records and behavior don’t come under similar worldwide scrutiny.

Publicly, countries like the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan have come out in support of the Saudis in multiple statements. Privately, government leaders in those countries are having discussions similar to those of officials in Western capitals about whether the killing and aftermath show that de facto Saudi leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman isn’t up to the job, experts said.

And all the while, such countries’ paid friends abroad are helping them hedge their bets. Rich Mintz, the UAE’s powerful longtime lobbyist in Washington and an adviser to the wealthy monarchy’s leadership, made his firm, the Harbour Group, the first to drop a contract with the Saudis.

Middle Eastern governments are hewing to the Saudi line in public because of the massive financial help some of them receive from the kingdom and because of their officials’ worries, amplified after Khashoggi’s killing, that the Saudis will respond with unprecedented anger to any expression of dissent, said Lina Khatib of the Chatham House think tank in London.

Regional officials are now weighing how to handle Riyadh and how they will shift their approach if the kingdom ― the dominant force in the Arab world ― becomes increasingly preoccupied with domestic struggles and grows isolated internationally. Egyptian officials are quietly questioning the prince’s handling of the crisis, Khatib said – By Akbar Shahid Ahmed

(A E P)

Saudi Arabia trade plan dropped by Scottish Government after killing of journalist

The Scottish Government has scrapped plans to recruit a Saudi trade specialist after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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British Foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, a close Saudi backer: Deeply concerned to hear President Erdogan describe Jamal #Khashoggi’s murder as pre-meditated. The world is still waiting for answers

Emily Thornberry, Labour Shadow Foreign minister: No Jeremy, the world is still waiting for action.

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Putin compares Khashoggi case to Skripal poisoning, asks why Russia condemned despite lack of proof

Russian President Vladimir Putin has contrasted the world’s response to the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with its response to the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, citing lack of proof in both cases.

Speaking at the annual Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Putin said that despite a lack of evidence proving Russian involvement in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March, punitive actions were immediately taken against Moscow. In contrast, he said, that did not happen with Riyadh following Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“There’s no proof in regards to Russia, but steps are taken. Here, people say that a murder happened in Istanbul, but no steps are taken. People need to figure out a single approach to these kinds of problems,” Putin said.

Asked whether Moscow would respond to the Khashoggi disappearance, Putin said Russia still did not have enough details to take any action. “Why do we need to take some steps towards the deterioration of our relations if we don’t understand what is happening? But if someone understands and someone believes that the murder occurred, then I hope that some evidence will be provided,” he said.

Trump has been accused by numerous analysts, journalists and politicians of advocating for Riyadh in order to protect the US’ financially beneficial relationship with the Gulf nation. Many have cited Trump’s business ties with Saudis dating back decades.

and film:

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

(B P)

Film: How Saudi critics keep going missing

In the wake of Jamal Khashoggi's death, BBC Arabic looks at how Saudi Arabia has dealt with its citizens who criticise it from abroad.

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Murderous regime: Saudi Arabia’s missing dissident princes

THE murder of a Saudi journo isn’t the first time a person critical of the kingdom has disappeared — with three dissident princes also missing.

But the key western ally in the Arab Middle East has a long history of killing, kidnapping and jailing its dissidents. Even royalty is among those to have been targeted and silenced.

There is evidence that Prince Sultan bin Turki bin Abdulaziz, Prince Turki bin Bandar of Paris and Prince Saud bin Saif al-Nasr, were each abducted from their homes in Europe and flown back to Saudi Arabia between 2015-2016. But the fate of all three princes remains unknown.




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Istanbul has felt like home for Arab exiles. Khashoggi’s killing has them scared.

As the brief promise of the Arab Spring uprisings faded, Istanbul became a haven for dissidents and exiles from around the region and of all ideological stripes.

This Turkish city felt more familiar than Europe to the Arabs, who recognized its food, pace and people as being similar to their own, and Turkey’s government could provide these exiles with a measure of protection from the repression they fled at home.

But in recent weeks, a pall has been cast over the vibrant Arab diaspora that has called Istanbul home for years. The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul has not only deprived the community of one of its celebrated members. It has also prompted fear among the exiles that if a regime is determined enough, it can get to them anywhere.

“We could not imagine the level of brutality,” said a Saudi writer. “We do not know anyone now who wants to be politically active after this, who wants to go from staying silent to speaking out.”

Many exiles from several Arab nations said their safety rests on whether Saudi Arabia is held to account for the targeting of Khashoggi, a contributing columnist for The Washington Post who lived in the United States but was planning to marry a Turkish woman and settle in Istanbul.

Arab dissidents in Turkey have been mourning Khashoggi’s death while closely watching the global fallout.

“If Salman gets away with this, Sissi will do the same. Bashar will do the same,” said another dissident Saudi writer, referencing Egypt’s and Syria’s presidents, Abdel Fatah al-Sissi and Bashar al-Assad.

cp06 Propaganda

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The terrorist truth behind the media lies.

In high school, Jamal Khashoggi had a good friend. His name was Osama bin Laden.

“We were hoping to establish an Islamic state anywhere,” Khashoggi reminisced about their time together in the Muslim Brotherhood. “We believed that the first one would lead to another, and that would have a domino effect which could reverse the history of mankind.”

The friendship endured with Jamal Khashoggi following Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan. Khashoggi creditedAdel Batterjee, listed at one time as one of “the world’s foremost terrorist financiers” by the Treasury Department, with bringing him to Afghanistan to report on the fighting.

The media calls Khashoggi a journalist, but his writings from 80s Afghanistan read as Jihadist propaganda with titles like, "Arab Mujahadeen in Afghanistan II: Exemplifies the Unity of Islamic Ummah".

And when Osama bin Laden set up Al Qaeda, he called Khashoggi with the details.

My comment: This is part of an ugly propanda campaign. Read and

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The Khashoggi Reset

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi—a resident of the United States and a citizen of a Kingdom that owed him protection—highlights the purely transactional nature of the relationship between Riyadh and Washington. Although the transactions themselves are important—ensuring the secure transit of petroleum supplies to the world market, sustaining intelligence exchanges on terrorist threats, countering Iranian destabilization, and a security assistance relationship that projects protective American power while boosting the American defense industry—Saudi actions undermining the transactions themselves mandate for Washington a time-out and reset.
Ironically, it is the murder of one good man rather than sustained Saudi actions in Yemen and Syria, persistent Saudi sectarianism, and negative Saudi attitudes toward consent of the governed in the Arab world that mandates a long-overdue American policy review. But the loss of this man may be what it takes for Washington to do its duty. Ideally, this review will result in the mutually agreed reset of a vital relationship, one allowed to fray dangerously during the Obama administration.
The murder of Mr. Khashoggi gives considerable (if unintended) aid and comfort to the violent kleptocracy running Iran and its apologists in the West. Those who conceived of entrapping Khashoggi in the Istanbul consulate and ending his life may as well have been on the Iranian payroll. After all, Tehran and its supporters have, for years, relentlessly propagated the theme that Saudi Arabia is the heart of darkness.

The Saudi Crown Prince had demonstrated genuine interest in ending Iran’s free, unjustified, and often racist ride to information dominance over his Kingdom. The Khashoggi murder undoes it all.

This relationship is worth saving. Indeed, it must be saved. But the foundation itself must be inspected, repaired, and strengthened. Jamal Khashoggi died in the hands of those obligated to protect him. Justice must be served. Ideally his unjustified death will, in time, lead to comprehensive reform in the Kingdom, a Kingdom supportive of consent of the governed both internally and throughout the Arab world, and a relationship of real trust and confidence between Riyadh and Washington. Such an outcome would be a vital component of justice being done, one that Jamal Khashoggi would surely appreciate – by Ambassador Frederic C. Hof, Bard College’s Diplomat in Residence

My comment: ????????? Now the Khashoggi murder is Iran’s fault, and Iran is the greatest issue in this context?????

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The Saudi royal family circles its wagons in the Khashoggi crisis

Of all the people who have anguished responses to the death of Jamal Khashoggi, Prince Turki al-Faisal is a special case: This pillar of the Saudi establishment says in an interview that he is “shocked” by the loss of his longtime protégé but is standing behind King Salman and the crown prince during this period of crisis.

“People who think there’s going to be any change in the succession are wrong,” Turki said, rebutting speculation that Mohammed bin Salman might be replaced as crown prince because of allegations that he authorized the events leading to the death of Khashoggi, a Post contributing columnist. Instead, he said, Saudis are more supportive of MBS, as the crown prince is known, because he’s under attack.

“The more criticism there is of the crown prince, the more popular he is in the kingdom,” Turki said. “If you took a poll among Saudis today, you would find that he is more popular than he was two weeks ago. That’s because Saudis feel that their leader is being unfairly attacked in the foreign media. That’s true of the royal family, as well. They feel that this is an attack on Saudi Arabia and the royal family, not just Mohammed bin Salman.”

The Saudi royal family circles its wagons in times of crisis, and the conversation with Turki suggested that this moment is no different. “Vilification of Saudi Arabia is unjust and unfair,” Turki insisted. He parried questions about whether MBS should broaden his base now to stabilize the kingdom and reboot his reform program known as Vision 2030.

“The people of Saudi Arabia are happy with the leadership because the leadership has produced a vision of the future and is working to implement that vision,” Turki argued. “If they have to revise or tweak or add to that vision, all the better. Vision 2030 is not divine revelation.”

Turki said when he heard confirmation of Khashoggi’s death last weekend, “it was shocking. Until the very last minute, I was hoping he didn’t die.”

Sometimes in death, people achieve goals that seemed impossible, naive even, in life. Whatever happens with MBS, Saudi Arabia will be different because of Khashoggi’s murder – by David Ignatius

My comment: Nothing really changes; the WaPo still giving Saudi sycophants a voice. What does he really want to tell us here? “Just engage with MBS”, that’s it.

(A P)

Film: #CrownPrinceInFII2018: #Saudi Crown Prince #MohammedbinSalman says #Lebanon's #Hariri will be in the Kingdom for the coming two days. “I hope there are no rumors of his abduction,” he joked with the audience

(A P)

An ‘artificial’ storm and the reality of Saudi Arabia

Yesterday in Riyadh, the scene was different despite the “crisis” the country is going through due to the unfortunate death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi whose political stances are well-known.
The Khashoggi incident has angered the Saudi leadership which has launched an investigation into the case and revealed the details.
The scene in Riyadh yesterday could have been even more astonishing. However, it still expressed Saudi economic power as is evident in the announcement of deals worth $50 billion with major global companies.

There is another power exclusive to Saudi Arabia that no one can compete with – the pride of the two holiest Muslim mosques, Makkah and Medina. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and the cradle of Arab spirit.

All this, combined with the honesty, transparency and accountability in the Khashoggi case, makes us say that what we are seeing is an “artificial” storm that will die its natural death.

My comment: No, “Saudi Arabia” is NOT “is the birthplace of Islam and the cradle of Arab spirit”, Arabia is. – “the honesty, transparency and accountability in the Khashoggi case”???? LOL. Even Donald Trump has called the response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi ”the worst cover-up” in history.

(A P)

The Riyadh investment conference and the boycott

The irony is that the boycott protesting against Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi crisis targeted programs that are concerned with development, youths, women, social development and the future.
The collective American withdrawals were not against political or military activities but against the investment conference which kicked off on Tuesday in Riyadh. Most of the program of the conference which was boycotted by a number of western companies and banks is directed towards reform in Saudi Arabia to empower youths, give women equal job opportunities, diminish the government’s role by increasing privatization, push towards a modern educational system, invest in entertainment and build museums and artistic centers and others.
The boycott by countries and companies, which until few years ago were the ones criticizing Riyadh for its social isolation, religious bigotry and prevention of artistic and social activities and which were calling for a bigger role for women and the private sector, seems strange.
The calls to boycott the investment conference came from different parties including extremist Islamic organizations that are exploiting the Khashoggi case for their own political purposes. According to the Wall Street Journal, the website which led a campaign that exerts pressure and intimidates companies and individuals participating in the conference was not innocent but belongs to a sympathizer with the Muslim Brotherhood and that appears as a respectable independent website to its visitors!

My comment: Again, “reform”, and the Muslim Brotherhood (Qatar) behind criticism… Odd.

(A P)

A look at Iran’s history of assassinating dissidents

The Jamal Khashoggi case has taken the world by storm, all in favor of the Iranian regime to take attention from its domestic and international crises, and place the spotlights elsewhere.

What should not go overlooked is the fact that Iran has a long history of brutal methods to eliminate dissidents inside the country and abroad, especially Europe.

This goes alongside the Iranian regime’s atrocious report card of massive terrorist attacks, killing scores of innocent people. Unfortunately, through the past 39 years, the West’s appeasement approach has saved Tehran from any meaningful accountability in this regard. This must change.

My comment: This, by a Saudi newsite on Oct. 22…. It’s really laughable.

(A P)

The Khashoggi case demands context.
Before the media and the politicians who listen to it drag the United States into a conflict with Saudi Arabia over a Muslim Brotherhood activist based on the word of an enemy country still holding Americans hostage, we deserve the context.
And we deserve the truth.
The media wants the Saudis to answer questions about Jamal Khashoggi. But maybe the media should be forced to answer why the Washington Post was working with a Muslim Brotherhood propagandist?
The real mystery isn’t Khashoggi’s disappearance. It’s why Republicans aren’t asking those questions.
The media’s relationship with Khashoggi is far more damning than anything the Saudis might have done to him. And the media should be held accountable for its relationship with Osama bin Laden’s old friend.

My comment: This is part of an ugly propaganda campaign. Read: and

cp07 Weitere Folgen / Further implications

(* B P)

Will we see a Harvey Weinstein moment of accountability in the Khashoggi case?

As the case of Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance enters its fifth week, the question is not whether the Saudi regime was involved, but rather, will it get away with murder? While realpolitik might have carried the day in the past, there is evidence that this might no longer pertain. Call it a Harvey Weinstein moment in international diplomacy, in which a uniquely powerful figure (Weinstein, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) who controls access to a significant market (Hollywood, oil) and for years appeared untouchable, touches a nerve that inspires demands for accountability.

Accountability begins with public attention, and the audacious savagery of Khashoggi’s killing guaranteed that. The combination of arrogance and stupidity that led Khashoggi’s killers to believe they could carry out their plan in a foreign country — either unnoticed, unchallenged, or both — boggles the mind. This is a regime that literally believed it could get away with murder (just as Weinstein believed he could allegedly get away with assaulting women).

(* B P)

With Khashoggi, tech confronts its blood money

We did not, could not foresee their trajectory drawing a direct line between hired gun hacker organizations, like Hacking Team, and a man being cut apart while he was still alive. With a side view through a window into just how blood-soaked that Saudi tech-investment money really is.

It wasn't just that the Saudi government used Hacking Team's tools on Jamal Khashoggi and anyone who came near him. They did.

To "code jocks" like Hacking Team, providing tech support for Khashoggi's murderers must just be "business as usual." I mean, they wouldn't even be around if they didn't get that rescue investment cash from the Saudi government.

Neither would Uber, Snap, Tesla, Lucid, Opendoor, Slack, WeWork, and many more. These companies are funded by large investments from SoftBank's Vision Fund, which distributes billions directly from the Public Investment Fund (PIF), chaired and funded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Vision Fund's minimum check size is $100 million.)

When Politico on Tuesday asked about their Saudi funding in light of Khashoggi's murder, Uber, Lyft, Tesla, and Twitter remained silent, either declining to comment or outright ignoring the press inquiry.

Clever readers may notice that some big tech companies are not funded by PIF/SoftBank. Like Twitter, which was instead brought back from the brink of financial implosion in 2015 by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his combined investment-purchase of 30,100,000 shares (5% of the company).

After over a decade of covering hackers and hacking around the world, I get the sense that a lot of people in the business who see themselves as "gangsters" and "hustlers" on the hacking scene rarely get the chance to see the real-life results of their work for people they know do horrible things. That's why I wanted to trace Hacking Team's role here. But it's been the same in Silicon Valley. Although at this point I suppose we expect to see smiling, friendsy photos like these of Mark Zuckerberg cavorting with Crown Prince bin Salman – by Violet Blue

(** B P)

Saudi Arabia’s Shifting Narrative on Jamal Khashoggi’s Killing

What is strange about Riyadh’s version of events is how poorly it concealed what happened to the journalist.

First they said he left unharmed. Then that he had disappeared. Then that he died accidentally in a fistfight. Now, Saudi authorities say that Jamal Khashoggi was killed—and that his death was premeditated.

The changing narratives, complemented by the steady drip of leaks about the killing from Turkish officials, have succeeded in keeping the Khashoggi story in the news weeks after the journalist’s disappearance. The sharply differing stories suggest two alternatives: that officials in Riyadh do not have control over what happens at their consulate in Istanbul, or that they wantonly put out misinformation.

Saudi Arabia is hardly alone in the way it wields misinformation (nor is dissembling by governments a new phenomenon

What is strange about the Saudi version of events is how poorly it concealed what happened to Khashoggi. Why did Riyadh even bother? Simple: to control the domestic discourse, muddy the waters of international opinion, and protect the carefully cultivated image of the country and its ruler.

This is not to say Saudi propaganda efforts are of poor quality. Far from it. In recent years, not just Saudi Arabia, but its allies and its adversaries have undertaken sophisticated campaigns to bolster their own reputations and tarnish those of their rivals. Even during the Khashoggi case, as the kingdom’s public response looked hapless, it was carrying out a high-tech campaign online to stifle domestic and regional dissent about the killing.

Marc Owen Jones, an assistant professor at Exeter University in the U.K. who researches Arab propaganda and Twitter bots, told me that after analyzing a month’s worth of tweets in Arabic that used the “Jamal Khashoggi” hashtag, he found most of those tweets were pro-Saudi. This narrative was boosted by certain specific accounts, as well as bots.

“I don’t think many people believe what the Saudi narrative says,” he said. “Yet on Twitter, it certainly seems the dominant message.”

Jones said the point wasn’t necessarily to persuade people about the Saudi narrative. “The point is to drown out other negative information on alternate narratives to muddy the discourse,” he said. “Because even muddying waters, adding that slight bit of ambiguity, even if it's such a preposterous story, is sometimes enough to say, ‘there’s two sides to the story.’ ”

Saudi Arabia’s image abroad had seen a marked improvement since the ascent of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in June 2017. The kingdom’s public relations machine has presented a picture of a modernizing country. The campaign was so effective that coverage of the kingdom focused on reforms promoted by the prince, who is known as MbS.

Having said that, any firm that represented Saudi Arabia, as it was ascendant under MbS, could hardly have foreseen the international fallout from Khashoggi’s killing. Now, they face an entirely different problem: How do they repair Saudi Arabia’s reputation?

“There’s now such deep skepticism about the Saudi PR machine, that whatever they come up with, whatever they position, I think it’s going to be continuously challenged,” Neil Quilliam, who is an expert on the region at Chatham House, a U.K. think tank, told me. “It’s almost like game over. It’s incredible. It’s such a massive shot in the foot. It’s staggering.”- by Krishnadev Calamur

(** B P)

How the Khashoggi Affair is Straining Turkish-Saudi Relations

With Erdogan trying to exploit the Khashoggi affair and Riyadh in damage-control mode, the controversy is inflaming the Saudi-Turkish geopolitical and ideological rivalry.

Through a series of questions about the incident directed toward the Saudi government in general, Erdogan adopted the role of a prosecutor laying out an indictment. From the outset of this affair, Erdogan and the Turkish government have presented themselves as neutral arbiters simply trying to determine the truth. But, of course, they have actually been pursuing a complex set of political and national objectives and taking advantage of an unanticipated opportunity to make significant headway on a number of crucial fronts.

Most important, perhaps, is the effort to utilize this crisis to aid the international rehabilitation of Erdogan himself.

Second, Erdogan and Turkey are using the crisis to advance broader claims of global religious and cultural Islamic leadership, particularly in the Sunni Muslim world. In that regard, Saudi Arabia is one of Turkey’s most formidable competitors.

But this rivalry isn’t merely religious and national. It also has a powerful ideological dimension. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and others argue that the Middle East isn’t just divided between those aligned with and against Iran, an avowedly theocratic Shia power. They hold that there is a third ideological camp of Sunni Islamists, led by Turkey and Qatar, which includes Muslim Brotherhood movements. In effect, there are now two key strategic and political fault lines in the Middle East: support or opposition to growing Iranian power and a struggle for predominance in the Sunni Muslim world between pro- and anti-Islamist forces.

Erdogan’s reaction to the Khashoggi affair has been significantly shaped by this rivalry.

The leaks were also designed to bring the United States into the mix. Turkey did not want to face Saudi Arabia entirely on its own and wanted and needed U.S. help. Moreover, by forcing Washington to make this a three-way conversation, Turkey was also able to gain leverage over the United States as well as Saudi Arabia.

Erdogan doesn’t want a total rupture of relations with Saudi Arabia, and particularly not another crisis with Washington. But he does see Saudi Arabia as a key rival that he would like to weaken as much as possible without instigating uncontrolled instability.

The Turkish president’s primary goals are to render the Saudi crown prince personally and politically toxic, while promoting his own image and international rehabilitation – by Hussein Ibish

(** B P)

The Khashoggi Affair and the Future of Saudi Arabia

If the Saudi power structure were to crumble in the wake of the Khashoggi scandal there would be chaos at home and a shift in power around the Gulf

If Donald Trump seems at a loss about how to respond to the Jamal Khashoggi murder, it may not be because he’s worried about his Saudi business investments or any of the other things that Democrats like to bring up to avoid talking about more serious topics. Rather, it’s likely because Trump may be facing one of the biggest U.S. foreign-policy crises since the overthrow of the shah in 1979.

At that time the U.S. counted on support from Arab Gulf states no less frightened by the Iranian revolution. That included Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, oil emirates Kuwait and Qatar, plus the Saudis themselves.

But if the Saudi power structure were ever to crumble in the wake of the Khashoggi scandal, there would likely be chaos because there is no alternative to replace it. The impact on the region would be significant. With its 55-percent Shi‘ite majority, Iraq is already in the Iranian orbit after the U.S. overthrow of Saddam; Qatar and Oman are on businesslike terms with Tehran, while Kuwait and the UAE could possibly reach an accommodation with Teheran as well. The upshot would be an immense power shift in which the Persian Gulf could revert to being an Iranian lake. That’s probably why the United States and Israel will do everything in its power to prevent the House of Saud from falling.

The consequences in terms of U.S. imperial interests would be nearly incalculable. For decades, America has used the Gulf to shape and direct its interests in the larger Eurasian economy. Thanks to trillions of dollars in military investment, the Saudis control the spigot through which roughly 24 percent of the world’s daily oil supply flows, much of it bound for such economic powerhouses as India, China, South Korea, and Japan. Should control pass to someone else, America would find its monopoly severely impaired. The effects would also be felt in Syria, where Israel is incensed by the Iranian presence. It would be even more so should the Saudi counterweight be removed.

Expert consensus is that the regime is conservative, consensus-oriented, and stable, and that all the king might have to do ensure the regime’s survival is to remove his son, Muhammad bin Salman (MbS), as crown prince.

However, the kingdom may be less stable than it appears. It was already in trouble when MbS began his rise in early 2015. The second generation of Al-Saud rulers appeared played out along with their economic model.

Disaffected royals thus demand political change along with angry mullahs, obsessed jihadis, and millions of jobless young people. By flooding Saudi Arabia with oil revenue and high-tech armaments and allowing it to attack whomever it pleases, the U.S. has contributed to an increasingly dangerous build-up of highly combustible forces. Liberals may hope that a constitutional monarchy emerges out of the current mess, but it’s unlikely in the extreme. The Saudi crisis is likely instead to intensify – By Daniel Lazare

(* B P)

Just imagine... The response if Jamal Khashoggi had been Russian

All we have to do to highlight the enormous hypocrisy and double standards which are the hallmark of domestic and international politics is to switch the names around.

Here are just a few examples:

Horror Consulate – but damn, it’s our ally’s!

Just imagine…If a Russian journalist, a vocal critic of President Putin and the Russian government, had walked into a Russian consulate in a NATO member state to obtain papers for his forthcoming marriage and never came out again alive. After Kremlin denials, and several changes of story, it transpired that he had indeed been killed while in the Consulate, with claims made that he had been cut up while a ‘look-a-like’ left the building.

Well, that what’s happened to the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi. And guess what, there have been no diplomatic expulsions of Saudi diplomats from the UK and US - as happened quite swiftly in the Skripal Case, despite Russian government involvement not being proved.

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has not said that Saudi Arabia ‘should go away, should shut up’ as he said about Russia (see below). Or if he did, I’ve missed it.

And that great human rights respecting liberal, Justin Trudeau, says he is unlikely to cancel Canada’s $12bn sale of armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia because it’s a “difficult contract”. Canada expelled four Russian diplomats over the Skripal case, when no one had died, but none yet over Khashoggi.

(* B P)

It’s time to end America’s double standard on Iran and Saudi Arabia

U.S. sanctions on Iran are scheduled to go back into effect on Nov. 4. On that day, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) will breathe a massive sigh of relief.

After weeks of international backlash over the murder of my colleague Jamal Khashoggi, MBS will read Trump’s punitive measures against Iran as a green light for him to once again do as he pleases.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

For years, Saudi Arabia has gotten away with funding terrorism and extremism, suppressing the rights of its people and silencing its critics, often by killing them. These are all activities for which the United States rightfully punishes Iran. But it allows the Saudis to do the same things without reproach.

It is time for that double standard to end.

The butchering of Khashoggi and Riyadh’s attempts to cover it up offer a necessary moment of clarity. They remind us that our relationship with Saudi Arabia is purely transactional, not one based on common values.

Our relationship with Israel is strong and deep because of our shared Judeo-Christian values — and the many citizens of both countries who embody them. Our alliance with Saudi Arabia is based solely on oil, weapons and money.

This is precisely why Saudi Arabia has spent decades and many millions of dollars cultivating its foothold in Washington.

Unfortunately, as a result, the Washington consensus on security in the Middle East has been hijacked by Saudi Arabia and its backers, whose primary argument is that the kingdom is needed to counter the threat of Iran.

The rise of MBS coincided with President Barack Obama’s engagement with Iran. The kingdom’s aged rulers, realizing that the Iran deal had weakened their regional position, saw the need to strengthen their waning influence by appointing a young and forceful leader. Saudi and Israeli paranoia deepened in proportion to Obama’s engagement with Tehran.

The possibility of detente with Iran now seems nearly impossible. The Israelis get that, Riyadh not so much. It was that shared need to suppress a possible Iranian rise that drove Saudi Arabia and Israel closer together, the strangest of bedfellows. Now the two are solidly aligned.

The existential threat that Benjamin Netanyahu and Mohammed bin Salman saw in Iran had little to do with the threat of nuclear war. Both, instead, feared that an Iran engaged in dialogue with the West would undermine their status as essential Middle Eastern partners.

We desperately need to put an end to the era of unchecked extremism in the Middle East, which has its roots in Tehran and Riyadh. We should adopt a realistic and rational approach, free of double standards, that holds both capitals accountable for the chaos they sow, while incentivizing them to act like responsible global powers – by Ben Hubbard and David M. Halbfinger

My comment: Yes, the US should end its double standards. Yes, the US must change its relationship to Saudi Arabia. – But, well, the US-saudi relationship perfectly fits to what really the “American values” are: Making money, money, money; controlling and exploiting other countries round the whole world. – “Our relationship with Israel is strong and deep because of our shared Judeo-Christian values”: What does this mean. What should these values be?? Making money, money, money? Exploiting other countries? Land grabbing in the West Bank? Apartheid?

(* B P)

Khashoggi Case Erodes Saudi Reputation, and Allies Worry

Now, as Saudi Arabia struggles to rebut accusations that Crown Prince Mohammed was complicit in the grisly killing of a Saudi dissident, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the prince’s other allies across the region are starting to worry that damage to him could upend their own plans and priorities.

For Israel, accusations that the crown prince ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi have already had an effect, analysts said, effectively freezing the push to build an international coalition against Iran’s regional influence, the top priority for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“You need Saudi Arabia to be at the center of this coalition,” said Daniel B. Shapiro, a former United States ambassador to Israel. “Right now, it’s unlikely you would find any member of Congress or western European leader willing to sit with the crown prince for consultation.”

Saudi Arabia’s shifting responses to the accusations have hindered its efforts to contain the story. And as each new Turkish revelation has undercut the latest Saudi explanation, the cumulative effect has been a severe blow to the reputation of the kingdom and of Prince Mohammed, known by his initials as M.B.S.

Lasting damage to Saudi Arabia’s standing could ripple across the region, affecting conflicts from Libya to Yemen while making it harder for the Trump administration to press for a peace deal in the Holy Land and build a multilateral alliance against Iran, two of its key goals for the Middle East.

“What we are seeing in the region are expressions of loyalty to Saudi Arabia, but they mask real concerns among Saudi Arabia’s close allies about the viability of the current regime and about how its behavior is going to affect the region,” said Lina Khatib, the head of the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House.

No Arab country has linked its regional ambitions so closely to those of Saudi Arabia’s as the United Arab Emirates. Its leaders hoped that by aligning their plans with their larger and wealthier neighbor, they could leverage the kingdom’s heft for their own benefit.

While damage to Saudi Arabia’s reputation makes it a less attractive partner, the U.A.E. has too much riding on the relationship to abandon it.

“For the U.A.E., the partnership with Saudi Arabia is of a strategic nature, and the investment is specifically in M.B.S., whose domestic and regional visions align with theirs more than any other Saudi royal,” said Emile Hokayem, a Middle East analyst.

“I think M.B.S. is indispensable and hopefully he will come out of this more mature,” said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political scientist from the U.A.E. “And therefore you have to deal with him. He will be around, the king trusts him and we have to accept that Mohammed bin Salman is here to stay.”

Comment: The idea that MBS will come out of this more mature is quite literally based on nothing but wishful thinking. If the US fails to take stronger action MBS is likely to become more reckless. See for example his joking about kidnapping someone days after Khashoggi was confirmed dead

But this is also a sad reality of quoting scholars (such as @Abdulkhaleq_UAE) who are based in the UAE or Saudi Arabia. They have no choice but to endorse the state's line, particularly in as prominent an outlet as the NYT... unless they want spend a few days (or years) in prison

That sinister joke alone, with said kidbapee sat beside him, confirms beyond doubt the irredeemable absurdity of the wishful thinking around MBS.

and look at this:

(* B P)

Can Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Survive the Jamal Khashoggi Murder?

The crown prince appears to be aware of the dangers ahead. He also already appears to be gaming his political rehabilitation, both at home and in the eyes of the outside world.

Prince Mohammed’s first comment—and the recent arrest of eighteen Saudis—will clearly not be enough, especially for the international community. On Thursday, the European Union’s parliament voted, 325–1, to ban all arms exports “of surveillance systems and other dual-use items that may be used in Saudi Arabia for the purposes of repression.”

One scenario is that the international furor eventually settles down and M.B.S. remains the crown prince and retains his hold on the country’s future. “People who think there’s going to be any change in the succession are wrong,” Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former chief of Saudi intelligence and a former ambassador to the United States, told David Ignatius of the Washington Post this week. “The more [foreign] criticism there is of the crown prince, the more popular he is in the kingdom.”

“A lot of senior princes are whispering in the king’s ear that it’s time for M.B.S. to be moved aside and another son of the king or another member of the family to be put in his place,” Bruce Riedel, a former senior U.S. intelligence official, said at a Wilson Center event on Wednesday. “They have to be aware that M.B.S. is the greater danger to the kingdom today.”

The crown prince’s ouster is perhaps possible, but it’s not yet probable. It would take a decision by the king to turn against his favorite son.

More basically, there is no sign yet of a coalition within the royal family to block M.B.S.’s ascension to the throne.

The third scenario is that M.B.S.’s hold on power is weakened, possibly by having other princes appointed to take over some of his current positions.

The crown prince may also not be able to ascend to the throne as fast as he hoped.

The fourth scenario is what happened to Faisal—someone targets him physically. It seems, by far, the least likely – by Robin Wright

(* B P)

Khashoggi, Erdogan and the Truth

There are many things to learn from the gruesome murder other than the justified outrage at the event itself. It opens a window on the truly horrible world of the extremely powerful and wealthy.

The first thing to say is that the current Saudi explanation, that this was an intended interrogation and abduction gone wrong, though untrue, does have one thing going for it. It is their regular practice. The Saudis have for years been abducting dissidents abroad and returning them to the Kingdom to be secretly killed.

The key point is that European authorities turned a completely blind eye to the abductions in that BBC report, even when performed on European soil and involving physical force. The Saudi regime was really doing very little different in the Khashoggi case.

Khashoggi should not himself be whitewashed. He had a long term professional association with the Saudi security services which put him on the side of prolific torturers and killers for decades.

Haspel’s brief was very simple. She took with her intercept intelligence that purportedly shows massive senior level corruption in the Istanbul Kanal project, and suggested that Erdogan may not find it a good idea if intelligence agencies started to make public all the information they hold.

Whether Erdogan held back in his speech yesterday as a result of Haspel’s intervention I do not know. Erdogan may be keeping cards up his sleeve for his own purpose, particularly relating to intercepts of phone and Skype calls from the killers direct to MBS’ office. I have an account of Haspel’s brief from a reliable source, but have not been updated on who she then met, or what the Turks said to her. It does seem very probable, from Trump’s shift in position this morning to indicate MBS may be involved, that Haspel was convinced the Turks have further strong evidence and may well use it.

Meantime, the British government maintains throughout that, whatever else happens, British factories will continue to supply bombs to Saudi Arabia to massacre children on school buses and untold numbers of other civilians. Many Tory politicians remain personally in Saudi pockets, with former Defence Minister Michael Fallon revealed today as being amongst them.

It is of course extraordinary that Saudi war crimes in Yemen, its military suppression of democracy in Bahrain, its frequent executions of dissidents, human rights defenders, and Shia religious figures, even its arrests of feminists, have had little impact in the West. But the horrible murder of Khashoggi has caught the public imagination and forced western politicians to at least pretend to want to do something about the Saudis whose wealth they crave. I expect any sanctions will be smoke and mirrors.

Mohammed Bin Salman is no fool, and he realises that to punish members of his personal security detail who were just following his orders, would put him in the position of Caligula and the Praetorian Guard, and not tend to his long term safety. Possibly people will be reassigned, or there will be brief imprisonments till nobody is looking – by Craig Murray

(* B P)

Turkey’s anger at Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi is about much more than a murder

Turkey’s unrelenting pressure on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi, explained.

Why has Turkey gone to such great lengths to put — and keep — pressure on Saudi Arabia? One reason is that the murder happened in Turkey, and that’s embarrassing for Erdoğan’s government.

“The Turks are upset that the Saudis killed a person in Istanbul,” Aaron Stein, a Turkey expert at the Atlantic Council in Washington, told me. “It is a grotesque violation of protocol.”

But more importantly, Ankara and Riyadh are locked in a years-long battle for the future of the region, particularly over the importance of religion and Western influence in its politics.

Bashing Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi affair — specifically Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, the country’s de facto leader — works well for Turkey. It gives Ankara a momentary, but no less critical, advantage in the struggle.

“It’s a situation where what is right and beneficial seem to coincide,” says Howard Eissenstat, a Turkey expert at St. Lawrence University.

The break in the Ankara-Riyadh relationship dates back to when democratic hopes sparked by the Arab Spring fizzled out in Egypt.

Ankara backed Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group, after he won the country’s June 2012 election to replace strongman Hosni Mubarak. Riyadh didn’t like the vote’s outcome, mostly because it believes the Muslim Brotherhood proved an existential threat to Riyadh’s monarchical, authoritarian rule.

So when Egypt’s military ousted Morsi in July 2013, just over a year after the election, Saudi Arabia supported the overthrow.

The two countries also disagree about how much influence America should have in the Middle East. Riyadh has courted its US alliance since 1945, and since then has viewed Washington as a staunch economic and military supporter. Without the US, experts say, Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be the regional power it is today.

Erdoğan’s Ankara, however, wants Washington to have less sway in the Middle East.

Finally, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are on opposite sides of the Qatar blockade.

So as it stands, Turkey and Saudi Arabia remain in bitter opposition. That’s why Ankara took advantage of the Khashoggi situation to “try and shape Saudi foreign policy in line with Turkish interests,” Stein told me. “Those interests would be enhanced if MBS is reined in.”

If the pressure of international censure is great enough to lead the Saudi king to curb the prince’s power, it will be a show of diplomatic strength for Turkey in what has become a regional standoff,” Jenny White, a Turkey expert at Stockholm University, told me.

It’s clear that Erdoğan is personally targeting MBS with leaks and even public statements.

Still, the slow doling of leaks has put pressure on the US, Saudi Arabia’s staunch ally, to start to break with the kingdom. Republican lawmakers and even Trump have started to castigate Riyadh over Khashoggi’s death. If Ankara wanted to drive a wedge — however small — between the US and Saudi Arabia, it’s succeeding.

It’s therefore likely that Erdoğan’s pressure campaign will continue until he gets what he wants: a weakened Saudi Arabia, and especially a damaged MBS.

“I don’t think Turkey is going to drop this,” says Eissenstat.

(* B P)

Here’s how the Saudi crown prince could face international justice

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his henchmen might believe they are outside the reach of international justice following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But they shouldn’t be so sure. There are a range of ways the Saudi leader and the other perpetrators could be punished for their alleged crimes, in both civil and criminal courts all over the world.

“If the reports are accurate, the acts against Mr. Khashoggi are serious violations of international human rights law, including the law to protect the individual from torture and forced disappearance,” said Stephen Rapp, the former U.S. State Department ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues.

Seeking justice and accountability for Khashoggi’s killing will not be easy, but several mechanisms do exist to go after MBS, as the crown prince is known, and the Saudis who reportedly carried out the murder, Rapp said. Khashoggi’s family has the right to pursue justice in civil courts, and prosecutors in several countries could also bring criminal charges, based on international law and precedent.

“These kinds of acts give rights to the victims and others to raise this issue in international bodies and may open possibilities of private litigation,” Rapp said. “Stronger than that are the possibilities that the torture and forced disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, and the murder being the worst of it, would open the way for prosecution in third countries of those involved in these acts.”

Criminal prosecutions of MBS and other Saudi officials could be brought under the U.N. Convention against Torture, to which Saudi Arabia is a signatory. The convention prohibits acts that inflict “severe pain or suffering … inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”

Through the principle of universal jurisdiction, any country that is a party to the convention, including the United States, could refer a case to the International Court of Justice and seek an order for Saudi Arabia to prosecute or extradite MBS and the other suspects.

The United States and the Trump administration have resisted the principle of universal jurisdiction, for fear American officials could face charges. But other countries, such as Germany, have been more aggressive in prosecuting crimes such as torture and forced disappearance no matter where they occurred.

All of these paths toward justice and accountability for Khashoggi’s killing require those who care about rule of law, international justice and human rights to fight to enforce them. MBS may believe he has enough power, influence and invincibility to escape real justice — and he may be proven right.

But he can never be sure. And for the rest of his life, MBS will enjoy the pariah status afforded to other international human rights violators. Whenever he or his accomplices travel to a country where human rights are enforced, they will have to worry if they would be held accountable for Khashoggi’s killing and various other crimes.

My comment: OK, dear WaPo, but why did you not porpose the same in the case of Yemeni victims of the Saudi aerial war? In the case of Syrian and Iraqi and Afghan victims of US air raids? Does WaPo value one life more than others? Obviously.

(* B P)

Turkish Outrage Over Khashoggi Hints at Changing World Order

Any cover-up of the true authors of such a savage attack “would be an affront to humanity’s conscience,” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his parliamentary party on Tuesday. He demanded justice for Khashoggi’s family and a full investigation.

The contrast with U.S. President Donald Trump’s more tepid response -- Trump said Erdogan had been “pretty rough on Saudi Arabia” -- underscores changes in the post-Cold War order, as Washington’s global dominance declines alongside its promotion of so-called values-based foreign policies. It’s also illustrated by the brazen nature of the killing, carried out by officials of one U.S. ally in the territory of another.

“That the U.S. has less of a role in defining outcomes all over the world than in the 1990s is certainly true,” said Ambassador Charles Ries, a career U.S. state department official who served in Iraq and Europe. “You can see that in the rise of China and Russian aggression in Ukraine and its interference in European politics.”

It’s visible to an extent in the Middle East, too, where the political jostling over the Khashoggi affair raises the question of whether Saudi Arabia could become the next geopolitical chip in the Middle East to slip from America’s grasp.

(* B P)

Is the House of Saud losing its Islamic legitimacy?

From Yemen to Palestine, and now Khashoggi, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has shown that ruling within Islamic ethical mores is not his style.

The killing and alleged dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi violates Islamic law and norms, an Islamic scholar tells TRT World, adding it could turn global Muslim sentiment against the kingdom.

As the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the royal family and the king of Saudi Arabia are, in principle, expected to comply with Islamic law. The alleged desecration of Khashoggi's body is forbidden in Islamic jurisprudence.

"The Shariah aims to protect and safeguard the dignity and sanctity of human beings, even after their death. Therefore, the desecration of any corpse by mutilation, dismembering, or any other wrongful interference is categorically forbidden in the Shariah," says Tariq al Tamimi, an Islamic scholar and doctoral student at SOAS, University of London.

The post-mortem mutilation of Khashoggi's body is Islamically and unequivocally prohibited, Tamimi goes on to say.

The body of Khashoggi has yet to be found, which further compounds the potential violations of Islamic norms.

Typically, the deceased, in the Islamic tradition, would receive their funeral rights on the same day allowing family, friends and other Muslim worshipers to pray over the body.

Does Saudi care what the Muslim world thinks?

Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), next in line to the Saudi throne, hopes to one day become the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques – Mecca and Medina – the holiest Islamic sites.

The title, bestowed on the ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, gives a veil of religious authority that few Muslim countries possess. It also means that Saudi Arabia – right or wrong – is perceived to have religious authority over a large portion of the global Muslim community.

As Saudi Arabia solidifies closer relationships with Israel and the "anti-Muslim" US President Donald Trump – two issues Muslims hold close to their hearts – the kingdom risks moving global Muslim sentiment against itself.

Muslim sentiment towards Saudi Arabia was already fraught and variable.

Will the killing of Khashoggi be the last straw, affecting how Muslims view the kingdom? The gruesome details of how Khashoggi may have been killed shocked the world, particularly Muslims.

(* B P)

What Is Turkey’s Game?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees the Jamal Khashoggi case as a chance to hobble Saudi Arabia, a regional and religious rival.

Turkey has furthered the cause of justice by refusing to let Saudi Arabiaevade responsibility for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist.

The steady drip of reports from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’sgovernment-controlled news media over the past three weeks, exposing grisly details of the killing, has drawn the world’s attention to the ruthlessness of the kingdom’s young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, even as the Trump administration gave every sign of longing to look away.

On Tuesday, Mr. Erdogan again drew the world’s eyes to this atrocity by addressing the issue at length for the first time, in a speech to members of his party.

Such an open challenge to Saudi Arabia, a regional power that has cultivated a close relationship with President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is an audacious move. What does Mr. Erdogan hope to achieve?

It’s unlikely that he is much moved by the killing of a journalist, given Mr. Erdogan’s record for abusing journalists and restricting press freedoms. Last year, media freedom groups once again judged Turkey to be the world’s worst offender for jailing reporters for their work.

If not press freedom, then what principles is Mr. Erdogan defending?

For all of Turkey’s continuing troubles, Mr. Erdogan has now created an opening for improving relations with Mr. Trump and beginning to reverse its economic decline.

And by spotlighting Saudi Arabia as a murderous neighborhood bully, Mr. Erdogan is now in position to rally the Turkish people around a common enemy, the time-tested tool of the autocrat. He is very likely to emerge from this confrontation even stronger.

(A E P)

Saudi Arabia will not penalize banks that boycotted conference: central bank chief

Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor said the kingdom will not penalize foreign banks that boycotted an investment conference in Riyadh because of the fallout from the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) Governor Ahmed al-Kholifey, speaking in an interview with Al Arabiya TV on Wednesday, said that institutions that pulled out of the Saudi conference will still be able to apply for and obtain banking licenses to operate in the kingdom.

(* B P)

Jamal Khashoggi killing leaves Trump and Crown Prince stumbling as Erdogan can't put a foot wrong

The murder of one man has diminished two world leaders and revived the standing of a third.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reputation has been trashed by the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It is unlikely his father King Salman will strip him of his powers, but his image as a dynamic young reformer is gone forever.

It will be years before any image-wary world leader would even consider standing with the toxic Prince at a photo call.

Donald Trump might even think twice about inviting him back to the White House — his closeness to Mohammed bin Salman has damaged the US President's reputation, too.

He was hesitant to criticise Saudi Arabia over the case and even gave weight to Saudi claims that "rogue agents" were responsible for the murder of Khashoggi.

His declaration that he wasn't about to suspend or spike US-Saudi arms deals wasn't just a weak moral position — it weakened his ability to force something useful out of the Kingdom, like a credible admission of guilt, or a revelation about the location of Khashoggi's body.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, hasn't put a foot wrong.

The President has been careful to keep himself at arm's length from the leaks. After promising to reveal the "naked truth" about the killing in a speech on Tuesday, Mr Erdogan kept it simple: the person who ordered the death needed to be held to account.

That person is not likely to be Mohammed bin Salman.

(* B P)

Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi arms deals worth billions likely to stay in place despite journalist's killing, experts say

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has refocused attention on controversial arms sales to the kingdom.

Germany has led the way by deciding to halt arms sales to the regime with Chancellor Angela Merkel urging allies to do likewise in condemnation of the brutal killing, which she described as "monstrous".

But will other Western nations oblige the German leader?

So far only Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has threatened to cancel a multi-million-dollar defence contract in response to Khashoggi's death, while nations such as Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Finland have already backed away from arms trade with the Saudis.

But it is widely thought for any sanctions to bite, the biggest traders would have to move in unison. They are the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

Although that deal is only in a memorandum of understanding phase and only a fraction of purchases have already been made, Mr Trump has made it clear the US will not be backing the German stance.

(B E P)

‘Everybody Is Talking About’ Khashoggi at Saudi Conference

The furor over Jamal Khashoggi’s death has changed the tone of the kingdom’s premier business gathering

Saudi Arabia’s premier business conference opened as scheduled Tuesday, missing the star power of Western executives who canceled over a Saudi journalist’s death but packing a surprise: an unexpected visit from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The event, the Future Investment Initiative, once again served as a forum for promoting Saudi investment and Prince Mohammed’s modernization plans. But the gathering was stripped down from last year’s inaugural session as the kingdom wrestled with corporate and...(subscribers only)

(** B P)

Saudi prince: ‘The King ordered Khashoggi’s death and Mohammed bin Salman carried it out’

Dissident Saudi Prince Khalid bin Farhan Al-Saud has demanded King Salman bin Abdulaziz to abdicate the throne in favour of his brother Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz after the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi; an incident that has provoked international outrage.

Prince Khalid bin Farhan, who lives currently in Germany, said: “King Salman’s royal line should not be imposed as a fourth kingship. Your brothers were kings, and you also became one. It is not Saudi Arabia’s absolute fate that one of your grandchildren becomes the ruler, and then the rest of your offspring monopolises the thrown afterwards. Among the Saudi Royalty, there are highly cultivated, and humane princes with a good educational level and they are popular outside and even inside the ruling family.”

During an interview with the German DW TV, The Saudi prince also stated: “Your brother Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is highly ethical, and you are aware of this, not only you but the whole royal family and the Saudi people realise it. So, the wise thing to do, if you have any wisdom left, is to abdicate the throne in his favour and save what remained of your dignity.”

Prince bin Farhan described King Salman as a “rather tyrant ruler who uses violence because he lacks political experience. But, unfortunately, he is the ruler. When he became king, he applied a similar method to the one he used to follow when he was the governor of Riyadh Province.”

The scapegoat

Concerning Khashoggi’s case, Prince Khalid bin Farhan stated that “well-known oppositionists are punished by the king’s direct orders. Had Khashoggi been killed, the killers would have received a direct authorisation from the head of state.” However, bin Farhan added that “King Salman of Saudi Arabia is only a facade now. The order must have been executed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

Prince bin Farhan considered US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‘s visit to Riyadh and his meeting with bin Salman to be “an attempt to keep the Crown Prince in his position, as the latter is of paramount importance to Donald Trump’s administration for several reasons, including financial and military matters. The main point is the Deal of the Century.” The dissident prince described Mohammed bin Salman as “an opportunity for the current US administration because he can be easily controlled and manipulated.”

Prince Ben Farhan predicted that public opinion would be misled towards a scapegoat regarding Khashoggi’s case, explaining that “it will be promoted that someone within the Saudi intelligence took the decision to assassinate the Saudi journalist, and they will potentially blame the Saudi consul and the 15 Saudis who arrived in Istanbul and carried out the assassination. In this way, they will divert the direct accusations away from Mohammed bin Salman and the king.”

This work by Middle East Monitor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

(** B P)

Is Saudi Arabia safe in Mohammed bin Salman's hands?

A small army of advocates has argued that, without the crown prince, the kingdom - and the region - risks major instability. Surely, it's the other way round

There is only one way the crisis created by the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul will be solved and that is for King Salman to find another heir to his throne.

Try as he may to wash his hands of Khashoggi’s blood, there is no way for Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, to escape responsibility for this heinous and barbaric crime.

The first intelligence agency to highlight bin Salman's potentially unstable nature was Germany's Federal Intelligence Service - the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).

Only when the three regional hegemons - Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia - reach some sort of accommodation with each other, will the proxy wars raging throughout the region calm down. Only then will national foes reach some accommodation, and governments of national unity can start to rebuild nations shattered by a decade of more or less constant conflict.

Is this likely to happen under a future King Mohammed?

The accidental heir

That future king, the current crown prince, is an accidental heir to the throne. He is only in pole position by dint of his father

Shihabi argues that to change a crown prince with proven problems is to risk the stability of the kingdom.

“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.”

It is surely the other way round: to keep bin Salman in the leadership is to risk throwing a country surrounded by peril into inconceivable turmoil.

Just imagine what bin Salman would do if he gets away with Khashoggi’s murder, if Trump continues to insist the Saudi cover story is credible, if King Salman manages to persuade the world that his son is on a sharp learning curve and that after a sharp wrap over the knuckles, the errant boy has given him his word he won't do such a thing ever again.

If this happens, MBS will unleash a reign of terror in the kingdom. Literally nothing will be out of bounds if he emerges from this scandal unscathed.

There are alternatives to him, many princes who are more experienced, more stable, and who have the support of the family and the nation.

No lost arms contracts, no job losses at BAE Systems. You can all keep your bloodstained and deeply comprised arms industries, which are equipping the dictators of the world. There will just be a different prince at the helm.

This is, of course, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign choice. But that choice would be easier to make if the leaders of the Western world refused as one to deal with bin Salman, if they determined to make him a pariah on the international stage – by David Hearst

(* B P)

Saudi Arabia faces fresh scrutiny after Khashoggi’s murder

The media world is increasingly, if belatedly, taking notice of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s repression at home and misadventures around the globe as the fallout from the killing of Khashoggi, an American resident and Washington Post columnist, continues.

Trump isn’t the first US president to attempt to look the other way when Saudi leadership has been involved in an atrocity. “It was accepted wisdom that it was futile to press the Saudis on the feudal, the degradation of women and human rights atrocities, because it would just make them dig in their heels,” she continues. Why it took the murder of a journalist to spark more intense scrutiny of Saudi Arabia’s role in the world is a question worth asking, but the media spotlight is now clearly focused on the kingdom’s leadership, and it does not appear to be dimming any time soon.

(B P)

The Saudi Government Needs to be Punished

The backlash over this story is important, because freedom has declined with not only misinformation but the weaponization of social media. For instance, Saudi Arabia deployed a Twitter army against critics.

If dissident journalists risk death and torture simply for doing what they believe is right, we do not live in a free world any longer.

Mohammed bin Salman, just watch business decline. The world will remember Jamal Khashoggi, as it should all fallen and tortured journalists, many that aren’t even reported to the global press.

Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of the Kingdom and the prince, and reportedly feared for his safety before his disappearance. Is this the cost of freedom even in 2018?

My comment: We did not live in a “free world” since long. For sure.

(B P)

Khashoggi Mystery: Rogue Killers Or Rogue Royals?

Trump’s claim that “rogue killers” might have been responsible for Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s possible murder is likely only half of the story in the sense that this operation probably wasn’t ordered by Riyadh but might have been undertaken at the behest of rogue royals who want to topple the Crown Prince.

My comment: This sounds like a conspiration theory.

(A E P)

#Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman says his 'war' is restoring the Middle East to its past glory. Receives standing ovation from @FIIKSA audience. I don't get it. (text in image)

cp08 Erinnerung an Khashoggi / Remembering Khashoggi

(* B P)

Jamal Khashoggi: Who is murdered Saudi Journalist?

Here, we take a look at Khashoggi, his career and the events that led up to his disappearance.

(* B P)

Obituary: Jamal Khashoggi

After all the years of hassle, Jamal Khashoggi knew when to stay silent. He was well aware, for example, that the Saudi government’s grand new sewer system in Jeddah was simply manhole covers in the pavements, with no pipes underneath. Such corruption was typical of his country. But as editor of Al-Watan, one of the kingdom’s main newspapers, he did not report on it. At times, too, friends were arrested, and he said nothing. He did not want to lose his job or his freedom. He worried about his family.

(* B P)

Jamal Khashoggi will not be forgotten

He will always be remembered as a model journalist who paid the ultimate price for exercising his freedom of expression.

I remember my first interaction with Jamal, which later grew into a sincere, professional relationship based on mutual respect and understanding.

In the summer of 2014 I received an email from him. Back then, he was the general director of the not yet launched al-Arab News Channel and the email was a job offer. A week later, I was in Bahrain, where the channel was based, to see him. Once in the building, I asked where Jamal's office was. I was directed to an office that looked more like it belonged to an editor-in-chief than a general director. His desk was overflowing with books and newspapers. His door was ajar and there was no secretary or assistant to announce in visitors.

(* B P)

Lara Marlowe: The Jamal Khashoggi I knew was a chameleon

Jamal lived astride fault lines between east and west, and between establishment and radical Islam. Any seismologist will tell you that the fault line is the most dangerous place to be. To advise Saudi princes, as Jamal did, was a plunge into shark-infested waters.

Jamal supported the Muslim Brotherhood, which was mercilessly repressed in Egypt and Syria over decades. The Saudi monarchy also supported the Brotherhood, until it backed Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s overthrow of Egypt’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013.

If Christian democracy was possible in Europe, why could Arabs not be ruled by Muslim democracy, Jamal asked. That may explain his friendship with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who on Tuesday denounced Jamal’s “savage murder” by the Saudis. Erdogan constituted the greatest hope of Muslim democracy, until he too turned into a despot.

It’s a strange feeling to learn that a colleague you knew and liked died atrociously. I have been surprised and heartened at the scale of the international reaction to Jamal’s murder. One hopes that something good may come of it. Angela Merkel’s announcement that she is halting all arms sales to Saudi Arabia is a positive sign.

The disgrace of the Saudi crown prince could foil Donald Trump’s hopes of “regime change” in Iran. And it is just conceivable that Jamal’s death may hasten the end of the disgraceful war that has claimed at least 10,000 lives in Yemen – by Lara Marlowe

(* B P)

Jamal Khashoggi: The columns he wrote anonymously for Middle East Eye

Khashoggi's death has finally been confirmed by Riyadh. In his memory - and as a tribute to his work - MEE is removing his anonymous byline

Over the past two years, Saudi journalist and intellectual Jamal Khashoggi wrote several opinion pieces for Middle East Eye that were critical of the leadership in Riyadh.

Like many critics of Saudi Arabia he feared for his life and so, in keeping with MEE policy, we used the byline "MEE correspondent" on these articles. This is something we have had to do for many other writers and it is something we will sadly be forced to do in the future.

In a memoriam to his work, we have now changed the bylines on the articles he wrote on topics ranging from Saudi's role in the war in Yemen to the Gulf rift with Qatar.

They join several earlier pieces he wrote for us in 2016 that were written in his name, before Saudi authorities banned him from writing and tweeting, an action which eventually pushed Khashoggi to live in self-imposed exile in Washington, DC.

'How Saudi Arabia trapped itself in Yemen'

Published: 16 August 2017

"Just as Riyadh changes its position now in Syria, and moves closer and closer to the Cairo and Moscow camp, which is ironically also Tehran’s camp, so Saudi Arabia’s position in Yemen can change.

"Only then might the inscrutable Saudi equation become solvable with the following modifications: allow the Houthis to win, eliminate Al-Islah and let Yemen’s stability and Saudi Arabia’s long-term security go to hell."

- Read the column in full

(* B P)

The surprisingly benign opinions that prompted the murder of Jamal Khashoggi

In his last-ever message to Saudi dissident Yahya Assiri, journalist Jamal Khashoggi told him to use more polite language in how he addresses the regime. When Assiri fired back that the regime doesn’t deserve polite language, Khashoggi replied “it doesn’t matter.”

Within weeks, Khashoggi would be dead; murdered and dismembered in an Istanbul consulate, the Turkish government said, for the apparent crime of criticizing the Saudi regime.

But Khashoggi was far from a dissident; his immense body of work reveals a Saudi patriot with only the most respectful criticisms of his home country. He never called for regime change, he never questioned the central role of Islam in Saudi Arabia and he certainly never called for violence.

Below, a look at the markedly benign opinions that caused Saudi Arabia to mark a man for death.

(* B P)

In final months, Khashoggi repeatedly hit nerves as persistent critic of Saudi Arabia

Only after journalist’s death was Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ‘cornered’ for first time

Freed of constraints on freedom of expression at home by moving to Washington last year, the former Saudi insider had hit an assertive stride as a persistent critic of Saudi Arabia.

He was also hitting a nerve, striking at the crown prince's reputation and image and pushing buttons on extremism, women's rights and freedom of expression — his commentary reaching into the Saudi kingdom where social media use is among the highest in the world. In return, he was treated to what appeared to be an organized onslaught of online abuse from trolls loyal to bin Salman.

Few others had the platform Khashoggi had to counteract the image that the crown prince, also known as MBS, tried to hone abroad.

Khashoggi's nuanced inside knowledge was key. So was his vast network of powerful contacts within the kingdom and beyond — at all levels of business, intelligence, media and political spheres.

His was a one-man broadcast that abruptly ended after his final trip to Istanbul

Given the enormous backlash around the world — the eruption of criticism of the crown prince from major allies — it seems Khashoggi's killing has managed to shine a bigger light on MBS's shortcomings than the journalist's vigorous efforts did in life.

Here is a glimpse at those final months of Khashoggi's life — and the sustained messaging he sent the crown prince.

June 25. Khashoggi's Washington Post column on women finally getting the right to drive in Saudi Arabia is published. In it, he called on the crown prince to release women who agitated for that right. "I hope he will not forget the brave actions of each and every Saudi who individually worked hard for freedom and modernization."

Oct. 23. "All his life he was a reporter. A superb observer," said Lacey. "The idea of my friend being cut up alive…" He was unable to finish the sentence through tears.

Khashoggi leaves behind four children from a previous marriage. He died 11 days before his 60th birthday.

(B P)

Film: In remembrance of Jamal Khashoggi

"Two days in fact, before his murder, we had dinner together and he was in a very good mood, he was very hopeful about the future." Former head of Al Jazeera Wadah Khanfar on the life and work of his friend Jamal Khashoggi.

cp09 Satire

(A P)

Film: Hitler Gets Angry With Trump Saudi Excuse

Down in the bunker, the word is heard. Trump and the Saudis are screwing things up with the Khashoggi murder excuses. The Leader does not like it.

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

14:58 27.10.2018
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
Geschrieben von

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