Saudi Dissident Khashoggi: Medienschau Teil 2

Khashoggi Press review 2: Khashoggi bleibt verschwunden. Die Türken behaupten, sichere Beweise für den Mord zu haben, die Saudis streiten ab. Die Beziehungen der USA zu den Saudis sind im Fokus
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Jamal Khashoggi bleibt verschwunden. Die Türkei behauptet, Film- und Tonaufnahmen seiner Ermordung im saudischen Generalkonsulat in Istanbul zu haben; dabei bleibt unklar, wie sie an diese Aufnahmen gekommen sein kann. Die Saudis streiten nach wie vor alles ab. Mittlerweile wächst in den USA der Druck auf die Regierung, und Trump äussert sich widersprüchlich. Die Saudis drohen mittlerweile schon den USA für den Fall, dass diese Sanktionen verhängen.

Jamal Khashoggi still did not show up again. Turkey claims to have video and sound recordings of Khashoggi’s murder in the Istanbul Saudi consulate; but it’s uncertain how these recordings were obtained. The Saudis still deny everything. Meanwhile in the US the pressure on the administration is growing, Trump remains inconsistent. Meanwhile, the Saudis already are threatening the US in case it would impose sanctions.

Frühere Berichte / Earlier reporting:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik / Yemen War Mosaic 465, cp8: https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-465-yemen-war-mosaic-465 (Oct. 4)

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik / Yemen War Mosaic 466, cp8: https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-466-yemen-war-mosaic-466 (Oct.7)

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/saudi-dissident-khashoggi-entfuehrt-ermordet (Oct. 11)

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

Klassifizierung / Classification

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*

(Kein Stern / No star)

? = Keine Einschatzung / No rating

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

P = Politik / Politics

cp01 Alle Berichte auf Deutsch

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Fall Chaschukdschi: Saudi-Konsulat soll durchsucht werden

Im Fall des verschwundenen Journalisten Dschamal Chaschukdschi wollen die türkischen Behörden noch am Montag das saudische Konsulat durchsuchen.

Die Polizei habe dazu die Erlaubnis erhalten, schrieb der Washington-Korrespondent der regierungsnahen türkischen Zeitung «Sabah», Ragip Soylu, auf Twitter unter Berufung auf Diplomatenkreise. Die Durchsuchung solle am Nachmittag stattfinden.

Das Versprechen zur Durchsuchung des Konsulats hatte die saudi-arabische Regierung nach türkischen Angaben schon vergangene Woche gegeben, bisher aber nicht erfüllt. Staatspräsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan hatte am Sonntagabend erstmals mit dem saudischen König Salman über das Verschwinden Chaschukdschis gesprochen.

https://www.radio-bamberg.de/erdogan-und-saudischer-koenig-sprechen-ueber-chaschukdschi-6944143/

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Gastkommentar: Macht der Fall Khashoggi Saudi-Arabien zum Schurkenstaat?

Sollte der Mord an Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul tatsächlich zur Gewissheit werden, dann hat das weitreichende Folgen für den ganzen Nahen Osten, meint Rainer Hermann von der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung".

Das Verschwinden und der mit Sicherheit anzunehmende Tod des prominenten saudischen Dissidenten Jamal Khashoggi hat das Potenzial, die Spannungen in einer Region zu verschärfen, die ohnehin die instabilste weltweit ist und die mit den meisten Konflikten.

Allein das Verschwinden Khashoggis schadet bereits dem Image Saudi-Arabiens, das unter Führung des 33 Jahre alten Kronprinzen am Beginn eines tiefgreifenden gesellschaftlichen Wandels steht. Die neuen Freiheiten sollen die Menschen zufriedenstellen, damit sie nicht auch politisches Mitspracherecht einfordern. Dissens ist nicht erwünscht, der Herrscher allein gewährt und nimmt Freiheiten.

Nun steht Saudi-Arabien jedoch Pranger und könnte in den Kreis jener Schurkenstaaten aufgenommen werden, die Kritiker ins Gefängnis werfen und sogar im Ausland töten. Das will auch Präsident Trump nicht hinnehmen. Die Stärke Saudi-Arabiens als Führungsmacht der arabischen und der islamischen Welt hängt aber stark an der Unterstützung durch die USA. Ohne sie kann Saudi-Arabien seinen harten Kurs gegen Iran nicht durchhalten. Ein geschwächtes Saudi-Arabien könnte auch nicht länger in der Palästinafrage eine Lösung unterstützen, wie sie sich die israelische Regierung und das Weiße Haus ausgedacht haben.

Ein Beben über Saudi-Arabien hinaus

Und für alle westliche Staaten stellt sich wieder die Frage, wie sie mit autoritären Staaten umgehen sollen. Wenn in einem osteuropäischen Land Dissidenten ermordet werden, wird ja gleich der Ruf nach Sanktionen laut. Saudi-Arabien ist beileibe nicht das einzige arabische Land, dessen Dissidenten gefährlich leben. Der Fall Khashoggi löst daher ein Beben aus, das über das Königreich hinaus zu spüren sein wird – von Rainer Hermann

https://www.dw.com/de/gastkommentar-macht-der-fall-khashoggi-saudi-arabien-zum-schurkenstaat/a-45860316

Mein Kommentar: Saudi Arabien ist längst ein „Schurkenstaat“, das wird es nicht erst mit dem Fall Khashoggi.

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Mehrere Medienpartner der Future Investment Initiative sagten ihre Teilnahme an deren Konferenz in der saudiarabischen Hauptstadt Riad ab, die am 23. Oktober beginnen soll.

In den USA haben mehrere Kongressmitglieder eine Aufklärung des Schicksals Chaschoggis gefordert. Die Regierung solle zudem Sanktionen gegen Saudi-Arabien in Erwägung ziehen, erklärten sie. „Wenn sich herausstellt, dass sie einen Journalisten ermordet haben, dann wird das unser Verhältnis mächtig ändern“, sagte der Vorsitzende des Auswärtigen Senats-Ausschusses, Bob Corker. Für Trump dürfte es angesichts des Falls Chaschoggi schwerer werden, die Zustimmung des Kongresses zu dem Waffenverkauf an Saudi-Arabien zu gewinnen. Das US-Parlament könnte das Geschäft blockieren.

https://www.wiwo.de/politik/ausland/verschwundener-journalist-chaschoggi-unternehmen-distanzieren-sich-von-saudi-arabien/23179698.html

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Der Fall Dschemal Kaschoggi oder die Horrorgeschichte von Istanbul

Es gibt immer mehr Details über die angebliche Ermordung des saudischen Regimekritikers Dschemal Kaschoggi – mit dem Fall wachsen auch die Zweifel am Kronprinzen.

Diese Geschichte könnte über das Schicksal der saudischen Reformpolitik entscheiden.

Die türkische Polizei ist sicher, dass Kaschoggi von einem Killerkommando aus Saudi-Arabien getötet worden ist – was die saudische Regierung bestreitet. Fest steht, dass ein 15 Mann starkes Team aus Riad am Tag von Kaschoggis Verschwinden in Istanbul eintraf und das Land noch am Abend wieder verließ.

Unter den Männern waren türkischen Presseberichten zufolge zwei Leibwächter des saudischen Thronfolgers Mohammed bin Salman sowie ein führender Forensiker aus Saudi-Arabien: Möglicherweise sei Kaschoggis Leiche mit einer eigens aus Riad mitgebrachten Knochensäge zerteilt und im diplomatischen Gepäck nach Saudi-Arabien gebracht worden, spekulieren die Zeitungen.

Tröpfchenweise dringen die Ermittlungsergebnisse der türkischen Polizei an die Öffentlichkeit. Bilder des angeblichen Killerteams gehören ebenso dazu wie die Fahrtrouten der Männer in Istanbul. Sie waren unter anderem mit dem schwarzen Kleinbus unterwegs. Selbst das Abwasser aus dem Konsulat werde auf Blutspuren hin untersucht. Brutal wie im Thriller „Pulp Fiction“ sei es beim Mord an Kaschoggi zugegangen, lässt sich ein Ermittler zitieren.

Einem Medienbericht zufolge soll die Türkei über Filmaufnahmen vom Mord an Kaschoggi verfügen. Die türkische Regierung habe US-Vertretern über solche Aufnahmen berichtet, schrieb die US-Zeitung "Washington Post" am Donnerstag. Die Ton- und Videoaufnahmen würden zeigen, dass der Journalist in dem Konsulat verhört, gefoltert und ermordet worden sei. Sein Körper sei anschließend zerlegt worden.

Nach Informationen der Zeitung scheut die türkische Seite eine Veröffentlichung der Aufnahmen, um nicht zu offenbaren, wie Einrichtungen ausländischer Staaten in der Türkei ausspioniert werden.

Das Konsulat in Istanbul soll bald von türkischen Spezialisten durchsucht werden. Schon vergangene Woche hatte Kronprinz Mohammed dieses Angebot angekündigt, um zu beweisen, dass seine Regierung nichts mit Kaschoggis Verschwinden zu tun hat. Doch bisher lässt die saudische Erlaubnis für die Durchsuchung auf sich warten.

Türkische Regierung verschärft Ton gegen Riad

Kaschoggis Apple-Armbanduhr, die er beim Besuch im Konsulat trug, könnte wichtige Hinweise geben. Ermittler wollen Medienberichten zufolge herausfinden, wie lange und von welchem genauen Ort die Uhr ihre Signale an Kaschoggis Handy gefunkt hat, das er seiner vor der Tür wartenden türkischen Verlobten Hatice Cengiz gegeben hatte. Die Uhr kann auch die Herzfrequenz des Nutzers aufzeichnen.

Die türkische Staatsspitze verschärfte in dem Fall zunächst langsam ihren Ton.

Am Donnerstagabend kamen dann versöhnlichere Töne. Die Türkei und Saudi-Arabien wollten in dem Fall gemeinsam ermitteln. Man werde den Fall „in all seinen Facetten“ in einer gemeinsamen Arbeitsgruppe beleuchten und aufklären, sagte der türkische Präsidentensprecher Ibrahim Kalin der staatlichen Nachrichtenagentur Anadolu am Donnerstagabend.

Für die Türkei geht es bei der Aufklärung des mutmaßlichen Verbrechens auch um das eigene Ansehen. Kaschoggi soll von der saudischen Botschaft in Washington nach Istanbul geschickt worden sein, um Dokumente für seine geplante Hochzeit mit Cengiz abzuholen: Die Saudis hätten es nicht gewagt, Kaschoggi in den USA zu töten, in der Türkei aber offenbar kein Problem darin gesehen, lautet der türkische Verdacht.

Fall Kaschoggi lässt Kronprinzen als orientalischen Despoten erscheinen

Erdogan will nicht nur den Druck auf die Saudis erhöhen, sondern auch erreichen, dass westliche Staaten, und allen vor die USA, eindeutig Stellung gegen Riad beziehen. Damit wird das Istanbuler „Horror-Haus“ zu einem ernsten Problem für Kronprinz bin Salman, der Saudi-Arabien mit einem ehrgeizigen Umbauprogramm in die Moderne führen will – von Juliane Schäuble

https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/verschwundener-saudi-kritiker-der-fall-dschemal-kaschoggi-oder-die-horrorgeschichte-von-istanbul/23175486.html

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Saudi-Arabien drohen wegen Khashoggi wirtschaftliche Konsequenzen

Nach dem Verschwinden des Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi warnt Saudi-Arabien andere Länder vor Wirtschaftssanktionen. Einige Unternehmen stellen ihre Teilnahme beim bevorstehenden Wirtschaftsgipfel in Riad schon in Frage.

Saudi-Arabien ist im Streit um die mutmaßliche Ermordung eines Journalisten auf offene Konfrontation zu den Vereinigten Staaten gegangen. Hintergrund sind Äußerungen von Präsident Donald Trump, dass Saudi-Arabien mit einer „schweren Bestrafung“ rechnen müsse, wenn der prominente saudische Regierungskritiker und Journalist Jamal Khashoggi von einem saudischen Kommando in Istanbul getötet worden sein sollte.

Die staatliche saudische Nachrichtenagentur Spa berichtete am Sonntag unter Berufung auf nicht näher genannte offizielle Quellen, dass jede Handlung gegen das Land „mit einer größeren Handlung“ beantwortet werde. Das Königreich weise jeden Versuch zurück, ihm schaden zu wollen, sei es durch Drohungen, dem Erlassen von Wirtschaftssanktionen, politischem Druck oder der Wiederholung falscher Anschuldigungen.

An der Aktien-Börse in Riad sorgten die Spannungen für große Unruhe. Der Tadawul-All-Share-Index sackte um bis zu 7 Prozent ab. Zu Handelsschluss hatte sich das Minus halbiert.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/mehr-wirtschaft/boerse-riad-bricht-ein-saudi-arabien-drohen-konsequenzen-15837422.html

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Saudi-Arabien warnt vor Sanktionen

Deutschland, Frankreich und Großbritannien fordern von Saudi-Arabien "glaubhafte Ermittlungen" im Fall des verschwundenen Journalisten Khashoggi. Saudi-Arabien geht wiederum auf Konfrontationskurs.

Die Außenminister Deutschlands, Frankreichs und Großbritanniens haben Saudi-Arabien eindringlich aufgefordert, das Verschwinden des saudi-arabischen Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi aufzuklären. "Wir nehmen diesen Vorfall überaus ernst", hieß es in einer gemeinsamen Erklärung. Erwartet werde "eine detaillierte und umfassende Antwort" der saudi-arabischen Regierung.

Es bedürfe "glaubhafter Ermittlungen, um die Wahrheit ans Licht zu bringen und gegebenenfalls jene zu identifizieren, die für das Verschwinden von Jamal Kashoggi verantwortlich sind", erklärten die Außenminister. Zudem müssten die Verantwortlichen zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden.

Riad bestreitet den Mordvorwurf - und verbittet sich Sanktionen. So drohte Saudi-Arabien mit Vergeltungsmaßnahmen, sollten wegen des Falles Wirtschaftssanktionen gegen das Königreich verhängt werden. Jede Maßnahme werde mit einer härteren Gegenmaßnahme beantwortet - so zitiert die staatliche Nachrichtenagentur SPA das Außenministerium.

Angesichts des Verdachts, dass Kronprinz Mohammed bin Salman den Journalisten Khashoggi im saudi-arabischen Konsulat in Istanbul ermorden ließ, sind zahlreiche westliche Unternehmen auf Distanz gegangen. Auch Firmen, die den Reformkurs des Kronprinzen bisher unterstützten, stellten ihre Gespräche über Investitionen vorläufig ein; andere sagten ihre Teilnahme an einem Wirtschaftsgipfel in Saudi-Arabien Ende Oktober ab.

US-Präsident Donald Trump drohte dem Königshaus mit einer "schweren Strafe", sollte sich der Verdacht bestätigen, dass Khashoggi ermordet wurde.

https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/khashoggi-141.html

und auch http://www.fr.de/politik/fall-khashoggi-saudi-arabien-drohen-sanktionen-a-1601434

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Trump droht Saudi-Arabien mit ernsten Konsequenzen

US-Präsident Trump hat Saudi-Arabien ernste Konsequenzen angedroht, sollte es etwas mit der Ermordung des Journalisten Khashoggi zu tun haben. Riad wehrt sich gegen die Vorwürfe, bleibt aber Beweise schuldig. Laut einem türkischen Zeitungsbericht soll Khashoggis Smartwatch Aufnahmen von seiner Ermordung an eine Cloud versendet haben.

Im Fall des vermissten Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi wächst der Druck auf Saudi-Arabien. US-Präsident Donald Trump drohte dem Königreich mit ernsten Konsequenzen, falls Khashoggi tatsächlich in seinem Istanbuler Konsulat ermordet wurde. In dem Fall stehe viel auf dem Spiel, sagte er dem Fernsehsender CBS. "Könnten sie es sein? Ja. Wir werden der Sache auf den Grund gehen und es wird eine schwere Strafe geben." Einen Stopp der US-Waffenlieferungen an Saudi-Arabien lehnte Trump unter Verweis auf die Arbeitsplätze in der US-Rüstungsindustrie dennoch erneut ab.

Vor Journalisten äußerte sich Trump später dahingehend, dass er es für möglich halte, dass Khashoggi, allen bisherigen Hoffnungen zum trotz, bereits tot ist: "Unsere erste Hoffnung war es, dass er nicht getötet wurde, aber vielleicht sieht es nicht allzu gut aus."

Der türkische Außenminister Mevlüt Cavusoglu warf Saudi-Arabien mangelnde Unterstützung bei der Aufklärung des Falles vor. Cavusoglu forderte Riad auf, türkischen Ermittlern endlich Zugang zu seinem Konsulat in Istanbul zu verschaffen, das Khashoggi vor seinem Verschwinden aufgesucht hatte. Nach Angaben der türkischen Regierung hatten sich beide Seiten eigentlich längst auf eine Durchsuchung des Komplexes geeinigt. Berichten zufolge wurde aber noch keine Einigung über die Modalitäten erzielt.

Die Regierung in Riad verwahrte sich unterdessen gegen die Mordvorwürfe. Innenminister Prinz Abdel Asis bin Saud bin Najef sprach laut der staatlichen Nachrichtenagentur SPA von "unbegründete Anschuldigungen und Lügen".

Die regierungsnahe türkische Zeitung "Sabah" berichtete am Samstag, Khashoggi habe im Konsulat eine Apple Watch getragen, die mit einem iPhone synchronisiert gewesen sei, das er bei seiner Verlobten Hatice Cengiz gelassen habe. Die Smartwatch habe die Ereignisse im Konsulat aufgenommen. Die Aufnahme sei in der Cloud gespeichert worden, allerdings sei von Saudi-Arabien versucht worden, sie teilweise zu löschen.

https://www.mdr.de/nachrichten/politik/ausland/khashoggi-trump-maas-konsequenzen-saudi-arabien-tuerkei-100.html

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Fall Chaschukdschi: USA und Saudi-Arabien auf Konfrontation

Im Streit um die mutmaßliche Ermordung des saudischen Journalisten Dschamal Chaschukdschi in Istanbul gehen die USA und Saudi-Arabien auf Konfrontationskurs.

Die staatliche saudische Nachrichtenagentur Spa berichtete am Sonntag unter Berufung auf nicht näher genannte offizielle Quellen, dass jede Handlung gegen das Land «mit einer größeren Handlung» beantwortet werde. Das Königreich weise jeden Versuch zurück, ihm schaden zu wollen, sei es durch Drohungen, dem Erlassen von Wirtschaftssanktionen, politischem Druck oder der Wiederholung falscher Anschuldigungen.

Hintergrund sind Äußerungen von US-Präsident Donald Trump, dass Saudi-Arabien mit einer «schweren Bestrafung» rechnen müsse, wenn Chaschukdschi - der im Exil in den USA lebte - von einem saudischen Kommando in Istanbul getötet worden sein sollte.

Auf Trumps Drohung reagierte die saudische Börse nervös. Der Index Tasi verlor am Sonntag zwischenzeitlich etwa sieben Prozent oder mehr als 500 Punkte.

Es soll demnach Video- und Tonaufnahmen vom Mord geben. Woher diese stammen sollen, ist unklar.

Immer öfter taucht die Vermutung auf, dass die Türkei das Konsulat mit Abhörgeräten ausspioniert hatte. Die regierungsnahe Zeitung «Sabah» lieferte am Samstag unter Berufung auf «vertrauenswürdige Quellen» noch eine andere Erklärung: Demnach soll Chaschukdschi seine eigene Exekution mit einer Computer-Uhr des Herstellers Apple aufgezeichnet haben. Sein Handy, das er seiner vor dem Konsulat wartenden Verlobten gegeben habe, sei mit der Uhr an seinem Handgelenk synchronisiert gewesen.

Allerdings zweifeln Experten wegen technischer Ungereimtheiten an dieser Version. «Ich denke, was ist passiert ist, ganz klar, ist, dass die Türken das saudische Konsulat verwanzt haben. Sie haben Übertragungsgeräte», sagte US-Sicherheitsexperte Robert Baer dem Sender CNN. So wüssten sie vermutlich, was geschehen sei. Und deshalb zögerten sie, es zuzugeben.

Die Türkei kritisiert unterdessen mangelnde Zusammenarbeit der saudischen Führung bei der Aufklärung. Nach Angaben der staatlichen Nachrichtenagentur Anadolu sagte Außenminister Mevlüt Cavusoglu am Samstag: «Wir haben noch keine Kooperation zum Wohl der Ermittlungen und zur Aufklärung der Sache gesehen. Die wollen wir sehen.» Saudi-Arabien müsse dem türkischen Staatsanwalt und den Ermittlern endlich Zugang zum Konsulat verschaffen. Das Versprechen hatte die saudi-arabische Führung schon vor Tagen gegeben, bisher aber nicht erfüllt.

https://www.moz.de/wirtschaft/regionale-wirtschaft/artikel-ansicht/dg/0/1/1686237/

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Der republikanische Senator Bob Corker, der den Vorsitz über den Auswärtigen Ausschuss führt, sagt zwar ebenfalls, noch sei nichts erwiesen. Alles deute aber darauf hin, dass Chaschukdschi ermordet worden sei. «Und alles zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt deutet auf Saudi-Arabien», sagte Corker dem Sender MSNBC.

Corker sagte, unmittelbar nach dem Verschwinden habe er den saudischen Botschafter angerufen. «Und er teilte mir mit, dass die Videoanlagen im Konsulat nur live übertragen, dass sie nichts aufnehmen, was eine lächerliche, lächerliche Aussage ist.»

Corker und mehrere andere Senatoren auch der Opposition forderten Trump auf zu prüfen, ob in dem Fall eine schwere Menschenrechtsverletzung vorliege und Sanktionen verhängt werden sollten. In 120 Tagen wollen sie einen Bericht des Präsidenten. In Frage gestellt werden könnten dann auch Waffenlieferungen - und niemand kauft mehr Waffen bei den USA als Saudi-Arabien.

Saudi-Arabien ist aber noch mehr als ein wichtiger Abnehmer von US-Rüstungsgütern: Es ist auch der wichtigste Gegenspieler zum Iran, gegen den Trump mit zunehmender Vehemenz vorgeht. Die «Washington Post» schreibt: «Die Trump-Regierung hat ihre gesamte Strategie für die Region - inklusive Bemühungen für Frieden zwischen Israel und den Palästinensern - auf die Pflege enger Beziehungen zum Kronprinz Saudi-Arabiens, Mohammed bin Salman, aufgebaut.»

Auch Trump fordert mit zunehmender Vehemenz Aufklärung in dem Fall. Er wandte sich am Donnerstag aber schon einmal vorsorglich gegen ein Ende von Rüstungslieferungen an Saudi-Arabien. «Wissen Sie, was sie dann tun werden? Sie werden dieses Geld nehmen und es in Russland oder China ausgeben, oder anderswo.» Er fügte hinzu: «Wenn es sich herausstellt, dass es so schlimm ist, wie es sein könnte, gibt es sicherlich andere Wege, um mit der Situation umzugehen.»

https://www.radio912.de/infos/aus-aller-welt/topthemen/art5402,1635779

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Trump und der Fall Khashoggi: Panzer vor Pressefreiheit
Ein Journalist verschwindet spurlos, die saudische Staatsführung gerät in Erklärungsnot. Amerikas Präsident erklärt daraufhin Rüstungsgeschäfte mit Riad für sakrosankt. Warum eigentlich? Eine Analyse.
110 Milliarden Dollar. Das war das Mantra Donald Trumps am Donnerstag im Oval Office. Immer wieder betete er es den anwesenden Journalisten vor, um seine Haltung im Fall des vermissten Jamal Khashoggi zu begründen. Da war das Königshaus in Riad bereits unter erheblichen Druck geraten, hinter dem Verschwinden des im amerikanischen Exil lebenden saudi-arabischen Journalisten zu stecken. Vielleicht sogar seine Ermordung in Auftrag gegeben zu haben. „Das mögen wir nicht, nicht mal ein bisschen“, so Trump. Aber die Waffenlieferungen an Saudi-Arabien stoppen? „Das wäre für mich nicht akzeptabel.“ Riad stünden mehrere Alternativen zur Verfügung, davon zwei sehr gute, so der Präsident weiter. Das klang mehr nach dem langjährigen Unternehmer als nach dem Führer der freien Welt. Panzer statt Pressefreiheit?
Trump hatte auf seiner ersten Auslandsreise als Präsident 2017 Saudi-Arabien besucht und den Abschluss eines gewaltigen Rüstungsabkommens bekanntgegeben.

Doch selbst wenn das Rüstungsabkommen deutlich kleiner ausgefallen sein sollte als von Trump angekündigt – verlässliche Zahlen zeigen, wie wichtig die Vereinigten Staaten und Saudi-Arabien füreinander sind, wenn es um Rüstungsgeschäfte geht. Ökonomisch lässt sich von einer regelrechten Waffenbrüderschaft sprechen.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/trumps-praesidentschaft/trump-und-khashoggi-panzer-vor-pressefreiheit-15834430.html

Anmerkung André Tautenhahn: In einem anderen Fall bei deutlich dünnerer Beweislage sind reihenweise Diplomaten ausgewiesen und Sanktionen weiter verschärft worden. Saudi-Arabien braucht solch eine Reaktion des Westens offenbar nicht zu fürchten. Warum auch? Die Bundesregierung hatte am Freitag sogar verlauten lassen, dass der Fall Khashoggi und Rüstungsexporte beispielsweise zwei Dinge wären, die nicht miteinander verbunden seien.

https://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=46525#h03

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Fall Khashoggi bringt Konzerne in Erklärungsnot
Eine Werbeveranstaltung für die Wirtschaft Saudi-Arabiens gerät wegen des Falls Khashoggi unter Druck. Mehrere Unternehmen sagen ihre Teilnahme ab oder kündigen an, dies zu prüfen. Die Financial Times und New York Times erklärten, sich als Medienpartner zurückzuziehen. Der US-Unternehmer Richard Branson kündigte zudem an, sein Konzern Virgin Group werde Verhandlungen mit dem saudi-arabischen Staatsfonds über eine Milliarden-Beteiligung stoppen.
Auch deutsche Konzerne sind Partner der Investoren-Konferenz “Future Investment Initiative”, die am 23. Oktober in Riad beginnt. Die Konferenz wird als “Davos in der Wüste” vermarketet, soll ausländische Geldgeber und Konzerne ins Land holen und als Diskussionsplattform dienen. Einer der deutschen Partner der Konferenz in Riad ist Siemens. Ein Sprecher des Unternehmens sagte: “Wir beobachten die Situation und verfolgen den Fall sehr genau. Nach derzeitigem Stand plant Joe Kaeser die Teilnahme an der Konferenz.”
https://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/verschwundener-journalist-konzerne-meiden-wegen-fall-khashoggi-wirtschaftskonferenz-in-riad-1.4167905

und

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Mysteriöser Fall Chaschukdschi-Saudi-Arabien drohen wirtschaftliche Einbußen

Nach dem Verschwinden des Journalisten Chaschukdschi drohen Riad wirtschaftliche Einbußen - einige westliche Firmen gehen auf Distanz. Kritik gibt es indes an der Haltung Berlins.

Angesichts des Verdachts, dass der mächtige Kronprinz Mohammed bin Salman den prominenten Regierungskritiker ermorden ließ, sind zahlreiche westliche Unternehmen auf Distanz gegangen. Selbst Firmen, die den Reformkurs des Kronprinzen bisher unterstützten, sagten ihre Teilnahme an einem Wirtschaftsgipfel Ende Oktober ab.

Eigentlich wollte der Kronprinz nun bei einem "Wüsten-Davos" genannten Wirtschaftsgipfel vom 23. bis 25. Oktober sein ambitioniertes Reformprogramm präsentieren und bei ausländischen Wirtschaftsvertretern um Investitionen werben. Doch der Verdacht, dass der Thronfolger einen prominenten Journalisten im eigenen Konsulat per Mordkommando beseitigen ließ, hat viele Unternehmen aufgeschreckt.

Nachdem Riad nach dem Verschwinden Chaschukdschis in Istanbul bislang den Beweis für seine Behauptung schuldig geblieben ist, dass der Regierungskritiker das Konsulat lebend wieder verließ, gehen besonders Medienunternehmen auf Distanz. So erklärte die "New York Times" ("NYT"), nicht mehr als Sponsor für die "Future Investment"-Initiative zur Verfügung zu stehen.

Prominente Journalisten sagten ihre Teilnahme an dem Gipfel ab.

Andere Wirtschaftsvertreter wollen trotz der Chaschukdschi -Affäre weiter an dem Treffen in Riad teilnehmen. IWF-Chefin Christine Lagarde zeigte sich zwar entsetzt über die Berichte: "Menschenrechte und Informationsfreiheit sind grundlegende Rechte und entsetzliche Dinge wurden berichtet", sagte sie. Sie halte aber vorerst an ihrer Teilnahme an dem Wirtschaftstreffen fest.

Der deutsche Siemens-Konzern, dessen Chef Joe Kaeser eingeladen ist, teilte mit, der Konzern verfolge die Situation genau, halte aber an seiner Teilnahme fest. Auch US-Finanzminister Steven Mnuchin sagte, er habe seine Pläne "bisher" nicht geändert.

https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/heute/saudi-arabie.n-droht-wirtschaftlicher-druck-100.html

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/mehr-wirtschaft/boerse-riad-bricht-ein-saudi-arabien-drohen-konsequenzen-15837422.html

Bemerkung: Dinon hat mittlerweile abgesagt.

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Kritischer Saudi-Journalist in der Türkei ermordet?

Über eine Woche nach dem Verschwinden des saudischen Regierungskritikers Dschamal Chaschukdschi ist eine Delegation aus Saudi-Arabien in der Türkei eingetroffen. Kommt nun Bewegung in den Fall?

Sie habe mit den Ermittlungen in dem Fall zu tun, berichtete die staatliche Nachrichtenagentur Anadolu. Über das Wochenende soll die Gruppe in Ankara türkische Behördenvertreter treffen. CNN Türk berichtete, auf der Agenda stünden Gespräche darüber, wann und wie türkische Ermittler das saudische Konsulat inspizieren könnten.

Am Donnerstagabend hatte Präsidentensprecher Ibrahim Kalin angekündigt, dass die Türkei und Saudi-Arabien im Fall des in Istanbul verschwundenen Journalisten Dschamal Chaschukdschi auf Bitten Saudi-Arabiens gemeinsam ermitteln würden. Man werde den Fall „in all seinen Facetten“ in einer Arbeitsgruppe beleuchten.

https://www.bz-berlin.de/welt/kritischer-saudi-journalist-in-der-tuerkei-ermordet

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Ermittler aus Saudi-Arabien in Istanbul eingetroffen

Eine Delegation aus Saudi-Arabien ist im Rahmen der Ermittlungen im Fall-Khashoggi in die Türkei gekommen.

Eine Delegation aus Saudi-Arabien ist im Rahmen der Ermittlungen im Fall-Khashoggi in die Türkei gekommen.

Am Wochenende sollen in Ankara, Gespräche zwischen türkischen Zuständigen und der saudi-arabischen Delegation, stattfinden.

http://www.trt.net.tr/deutsch/turkei/2018/10/12/ermittler-aus-saudi-arabien-in-istanbul-eingetroffen-1067520

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Vermisster Journalist Khashoggi: Grausamer Mord im Konsulat?

Der Verdacht, dass der verschwundene Journalist Khashoggi getötet wurde, erhärtet sich weiter. Zwar hält sich die türkische Regierung mit direkten Vorwürfen zurück, doch Medien veröffentlichen immer neue Ermittlungsdetails.

Im Fall des verschwundenen Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi scheinen Medienberichte den Verdacht gegen die Staatsführung von Saudi-Arabien zu erhärten. Nach Informationen der "Washington Post" belegen angeblich Ton- und Videoaufnahmen, dass Khashoggi vor eineinhalb Wochen im saudischen Konsulat in Istanbul ermordet wurde.

Die Zeitung beruft sich auf eine anonyme Quelle. Demnach belegen die Aufnahmen, dass der Journalist erst verhört, dann gefoltert und schließlich getötet worden sei. Laut türkischen und US-amerikanischen Offiziellen sei die Leiche zerstückelt worden.

Ähnliches berichtet die "New York Times". Unter Berufung auf türkische Sicherheitskreise heißt es dort, dass ein Team saudischer Agenten Khashoggi im Konsulat getötet habe. Leichenteile seien dann mutmaßlich in Koffern aus dem Gebäude geschafft worden.

Der Bericht bringt auch die Türkei in Erklärungsnot. Sollten die Berichte stimmen, würden sie zeigen, wie Einrichtungen ausländischer Staaten in der Türkei ausspioniert werden. Laut "Washington Post" scheut die türkische Seite deshalb eine Veröffentlichung der Aufnahmen.

Sollte die Türkei tatsächlich Aufnahmen aus dem Inneren des saudischen Konsulats haben - ob zugespielt oder selbst aufgenommen -, könnte das die ohnehin angespannten Beziehungen zwischen beiden Ländern weiter belasten. Die türkischen Zeitungen "Milliyet" und "Sözcü" berichteten, Khashoggis Smartwatch habe eine Auseinandersetzung im Konsulat aufgezeichnet, die an sein Telefon gesendet worden sei, das er draußen bei seiner Verlobten gelassen hatte.

Die geplante Durchsuchung verzögert sich einem Medienbericht zufolge allerdings wegen eines Streits um die Befugnisse. Die türkische Zeitung "Sabah" berichtete, Saudi-Arabien haben nur einer "visuellen" Durchsuchung des Konsulatsgebäudes zugestimmt. Die Türkei wolle aber auch nach Blutspuren suchen.

Nun gebe es intensive Verhandlungen zwischen dem türkischen Außenministerium und Vertretern Saudi-Arabiens. Der türkische Präsidentensprecher Ibrahim Kalin kündigte eine gemeinsame Untersuchung mit Saudi-Arabien an. Laut der amtlichen Nachrichtenagentur Anadolu traf am Freitag dazu eine Delegation aus Riad ein.

Mehrere republikanische und demokratische US-Senatoren forderten US-Präsident Donald Trump auf zu prüfen, ob in dem Fall eine schwere Menschenrechtsverletzung vorliegt und Sanktionen verhängt werden sollten.

Der US-Präsident will vorerst nicht auf Waffengeschäfte mit Saudi-Arabien verzichten. "Ich möchte nicht die großen Mengen Geld stoppen, die in unser Land strömen", sagte Trump. "Die bezahlen 110 Milliarden Dollar für Militärausrüstung. Saudi-Arabien könnte seine Waffen sonst in China oder Russland kaufen."

https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/khashoggi-127.html

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Erdogan und Saudi-Arabien: Neue Videos erhärten schlimmen Verdacht

Gab es ein “15-Mann-Killer-Kommando”?

Berichten zufolge soll der Druck auf den Autor, der unter anderem für die “Washington Post” schrieb, in den vergangenen Jahren so groß geworden sein, dass er den Kontakt zu vielen Bekannten in der Heimat abbrach und das Land verließ.

Mehrfach sollen Vertraute der saudischen Königsfamilie Khashoggi danach Jobangebote unterbreitet haben, um ihn zurück zu locken. Dann hätte dem Journalisten wohl die Festnahme gedroht.

Khashoggi ließ sich nicht auf die Angebote ein. Nun spekulieren viele: Daraufhin könnte das Saudi-Regime ein Killer-Kommando nach Istanbul geschickt haben.

Flugdaten hatten gezeigt, dass am Tag des Verschwindens zwei private Jets von Saudi-Arabien nach Istanbul flogen – und das Land am selben Tag wieder verließen. Die erste Maschine landete gegen 15 Uhr in Istanbul.

Türkische Medien hatten später Videoaufnahmen veröffentlicht, wie Männer am Flughafen in Istanbul ankommen und in einem Hotel in der Nähe des Konsulats einchecken. Von einem “15-Mann-Killer-Kommando” war später in verschiedenen Medien-Berichten die Rede.

Einer der Männer in den Videos soll Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy sein, ein renommierter Forensiker in Diensten der Saudi-Regierung.

Auch Meshal Saad al-Bostani, ein hochrangiger Militär, könnte der Delegation angehört haben, berichtet die “New York Times”.

Außerdem zeigt die Aufnahme eine Kamera vor dem Konsulat, wie sechs schwarze Wagen rund zwei Stunden nach der Ankunft des Journalisten vor dem Gebäude abfahren und offenbar zum Haus des Generalkonsuls in derselben Nachbarschaft fahren. Auch dort hat eine Kamera Aufnahmen gemacht.

Der zweite verdächtige Flug landete um 17:15 Uhr. Nur rund eine Stunde später fliegt er wieder ab – Richtung Dubai.

https://www.huffingtonpost.de/entry/erdogan-und-saudi-arabien-neue-videos-erharten-schlimmen-verdacht_de_5bc056efe4b0bd9ed558be89

weitere Berichte, u.a.

https://www.rtl.de/cms/fall-khashoggi-nahm-er-seine-ermordung-mit-der-apple-watch-auf-4235729.html

https://diepresse.com/home/ausland/aussenpolitik/5512392/USASaudiarabien_Es-war-wie-in-Pulp-Fiction

https://derstandard.at/2000089187198/Tuerkei-soll-Aufnahmen-von-Journalistenmord-in-Konsulat-haben

https://www.merkur.de/politik/saudi-arabien-beteuert-unschuld-fall-khashoggi-zr-10324927.html

https://www.srf.ch/news/international/mysterioeser-fall-in-istanbul-immer-noch-keine-spur-von-khashoggi

cp02 The Khashoggi criminal case: Reports in English

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The Latest on the disappearance of a Saudi writer who Turkish officials fear was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul (all times local):

https://apnews.com/a956d9e593ec44f68e40ae4f2b5d5717

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Saudi king says no one can undermine strong relationship with Turkey

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud stressed the strength of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey in a telephone call with President Tayyip Erdogan, the Saudi press agency said late on Sunday.

The king thanked the Erdogan for welcoming the Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to discuss the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and said no one could undermine their relationship.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-king-salman/saudi-king-says-no-one-can-undermine-strong-relationship-with-turkey-idUSKCN1MO0TU

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Turkey says Saudi Arabia must cooperate on Khashoggi, allow access to consulate

Saudi Arabia must cooperate with the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and let Turkish officials enter its Istanbul consulate, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday.

Cavusoglu spoke to reporters during a visit to London, after a delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey for a joint investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance on Oct. 2.

“We have not yet seen cooperation on this subject and we want to see it,” Cavusoglu said in the comments, which were broadcast on Turkish television.

Turkish newspaper Sabah reported on Saturday that Turkey’s investigation into Khashoggi’s fate after he entered the Saudi consulate revealed recordings made on his Apple Watch purportedly indicating he was tortured and killed. Khashoggi has been a prominent critic of Riyadh and a U.S. resident who has written columns for the Washington Post.

However, it was not clear whether data from Khashoggi’s watch could have been transmitted to his phone outside, or how investigators could have retrieved it without obtaining the watch themselves.

Technology experts say it is highly unlikely the watch could have recorded actions inside the embassy and uploaded them to an iCloud account. Most models of the watch require that it be within 30 to 50 feet (9-15 m) of the iPhone it is paired with to upload data to Apple’s iCloud, they said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-turkey/turkey-says-saudi-arabia-must-cooperate-on-khashoggi-allow-access-to-consulate-idUSKCN1MN0L8

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On Saturday, the Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah daily reported that Turkey’s investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance revealed recordings made on his Apple Watch purportedly indicating he was tortured and killed. The report was published after a delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey for a joint investigation into his disappearance.

“The moments when Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and murdered were recorded in the Apple Watch’s memory,” the paper said, adding that the watch had synched with his iPhone, which his fiancée was carrying outside the consulate. The Turkish newspaper said Saudi intelligence agents had realized after he died that the watch was recording and they used his finger print to unlock it, deleting some files, but not all of them. The recordings were subsequently found on his phone, it said.

That said, considering that Turkey has all too often stretched reality to suit its various political goals and ambitions - the "failed" 2016 coup coming to mind - any official Turkish version of events, especially one based on "sources" and without factual backing should be taken with a grain of salt.

Perhaps that explains why despite the escalation in rhetoric, Trump was still hesitant.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-13/trump-vows-severe-punishment-if-saudis-killed-khashoggi

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Saudi Arabia denies allegations regarding murder of Khashoggi: interior minister

Saudi Arabia denied allegations regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Interior Minister said late on Friday.

He said that allegations about orders to murder Khashoggi were “lies” targeting the government, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-trump/trump-says-u-s-would-be-punishing-itself-if-it-halts-saudi-arms-sales-idUSKCN1MN0HJ

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Saudi team arrives in Turkey for Khashoggi investigation: sources

A delegation from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Turkey as part of a joint investigation into the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, three Turkish sources said on Friday.

A Saudi source also said a senior royal, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, visited Turkey on Thursday for talks. Later the same day Turkey said the two countries had agreed to form a joint working group - at Riyadh’s initiative - to investigate the case.

Saudi state news agency SPA later quoted a Saudi official as welcoming Turkey’s approval of its request to form the team.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-turkey/saudi-team-arrives-in-turkey-for-khashoggi-investigation-sources-idUSKCN1MM12A

and

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I cannot confirm this but i am told that #Saudi clansman Khalid AlFaisal, governor of Makkah region is in #Turkey to make a face-saving deal with @RT_Erdogan on #JamalKhashoogi .Reporters in #Turkey please get to the bottom of this. Alfaisal was a patron of Khashoggi

Now it is confirmed. The question now is how much is #MBS welling to pay & how much & if Turkey will ask or accept to make the #ISIS style murder of #JamalKhasoggi go away

https://twitter.com/AliAlAhmed_en/status/1050933913235968006

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Khashoggi murdered, dismembered, taken out of Turkey: Askari

Professor Hossein Askari, an expert on Saudi Arabia who also teaches international business at the George Washington University, believes that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, dismembered and taken out of Turkey.

“Mohammad bin Salman has promised Kushner his financial support for the Trump-Kushner business empire now and especially in the future. In return MBS wants US support for his domestic policies and for all his foreign adventures and conflicts—Yemen War, operations in Syria, preoccupation and hatred for Iran, blockade of Qatar, hatred for the Muslim Brotherhood and now assassination in a foreign country,” Hossein Askari, who served as special advisor to Saudi finance minister, tells the Tehran Times.

Following is the text of the interview:

Do you now believe that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, dismembered and taken out of Turkey?

Yes, absolutely.

Why do you think Mohammad bin Salman took such an outrageous approach to counter a critique?

MBS is a young man with little experience. He is on a high. He thinks he can do anything he wants. Sky is the limit. Overnight, he has risen from nowhere to rule Saudi Arabia. And he appears to have the unquestioned backing of the United States. The Trump administration, with Jared Kushner as the point man, has embraced MBS. As I have said for over a year, I believe that MBS has promised Kushner his financial support for the Trump-Kushner business empire now and especially in the future. In return MBS wants US support for his domestic policies and for all his foreign adventures and conflicts—Yemen War, operations in Syria, preoccupation and hatred for Iran, blockade of Qatar, hatred for the Muslim Brotherhood and now assassination in a foreign country. I think he ordered this assassination because he thought Trump would talk but do nothing. After all, Trump hates reporters! And Kushner is behind him. In the end, he did so because he could. I think all of this was cooking in his head.”

Why hasn’t the Trump Administration acknowledged this and taken some appropriate action?

Business interests. Trump and Kushner are first and foremost concerned about the health of their own business empires. Saudi Arabia could be their guardian angel. America’s standing in the world is their major concern.

https://en.mehrnews.com/news/138690/Khashoggi-murdered-dismembered-taken-out-of-Turkey-Askari

Remark: From Iran.

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Khashoggi friend says journalist angered Saudi government with column during its 'charm campaign'

In October 2017, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi crossed a line that made him a marked man and led, most likely, to his brutal death, according to one of his close friends.

His offense: He dared to criticize the country’s volatile Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a Washington Post column that accused the supposedly reformist strongman — and a strategic partner of White House adviser Jared Kushner — of imprisoning intellectuals, journalists and other political dissidents.

“That article came in the middle of this charm campaign that the Saudis and Prince Mohammed bin Salman were having,” said Khaled Saffuri, a political analyst who met with Khashoggi regularly in recent months, even smoking cigars with him a few weeks ago, shortly before the journalist left the U.S. for Istanbul.

In an interview for the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery,” Saffuri explained that Khashoggi evolved from a onetime defender of the royal family to an outspoken critic who became increasingly distrustful — and fearful — of his country’s powerful new de facto ruler.

The Saudis were spending “hundreds of millions of dollars in the U.S. and the West selling the idea that [Crown Prince Mohammed] is a reformer, that he is going to change Saudi Arabia into the 21st century,” Saffuri said. “So for someone to come and write something like this — that’s saying the guy’s not really what he’s telling the world he is — probably angered Mohammad bin Salman a lot.”

Saffuri recalled that last May, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed called Khashoggi and tried to lure him back to Saudi Arabia, offering him a top job if he returned to the kingdom from the U.S.

“He told him the crown prince would love him back, and he would like to give him a position as an adviser — close adviser,” said Saffuri, who spoke to Khashoggi the day he got the phone call. “He said, “We know you’re a loyal Saudi, you love your country, and we love you.’”

But Khashoggi spurned the offer, Saffuri said.

“So I said, ‘What do you think, would you go?’” Saffuri said he asked Khashoggi about the job offer from the crown prince. And he said Khashoggi told him: “No way, are you kidding me? I don’t trust him one bit.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/khashoggi-friend-says-journalist-angered-saudi-government-column-charm-campaign-130024214.html

and interview in film: https://www.acast.com/skullduggery/whathappenedtojamalkhashoggi-

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BREAKING - Turkey has given a weekend deadline to Saudi Arabia to assist in the investigation into the disappearance of #JamalKhashoggi - or face the possibility of Turkish prosecutors questions consular staff under Vienna convention on diplomatic relations 1961

https://twitter.com/Ali_Mustafa/status/1050660801680265217

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Film: Jamal Khashoggi: The world demands answers - UpFront

On this week’s UpFront, we discuss the disappearance and possible mur der of Saudi journalist and critic, Jamal Khashoggi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXZMlkyIGzQ

and excerpt: Turkey claims they have "shocking" audio evidence of the killing of Jamal #Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate. In a preview of our discussion with @rulajebreal and @sarahleah1, @mehdirhasan asks if #MBS has little tolerance for criticism.

https://twitter.com/AJUpFront/status/1050793539460849664

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Khashoggi compared Mohammed bin Salman to Syrian President Bashar Assad as a war criminal. His death only further darkens Mohammed bin Salman’s standing. Much of the world is likely to treat him and his henchmen as pariahs.

The prince’s goal in Istanbul was to intimidate any opposition or criticism no matter how peaceful. The more blatant and gruesome the intimidation, the more likely it will chill dissent. But it will also polarize the country and encourage the deep conspiracies that could violently and suddenly change the kingdom in very unexpected ways. These are very dangerous waters for the House of Saud – by Bruce Riedel

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/10/10/after-khashoggi-us-arms-sales-to-the-saudis-are-essential-leverage/

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Trump Takes Center Stage in Dispute Over Jamal Khashoggi

Now Turkish officials say they are counting on Washington to force Saudi Arabia to provide a more detailed accounting of what actually happened to Mr. Khashoggi.

“At the end of the day, the U.S. has to take action,” said one senior Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss internal deliberations. “The ball is in Trump’s court.”

President Trump said Friday that he planned to speak with King Salman, the prince’s father, about the disappearance, but that he had not done so yet.

“I will be calling, I will be calling at some point King Salman,” Mr. Trump told reporters traveling with him in Ohio. “A lot of people are looking to find out because it is potentially a really, really terrible situation.”

But Mr. Trump also deflected questions about the kingdom’s human rights record. Asked if it had been overlooked for too long, the president directed attention to other countries.

“I think a lot of records are overlooked,” he said. “If you look at Iran, if you look at some of the other countries, if you take a look at Syria, if you take a look at a lot of countries, a lot of countries’ records have been overlooked. But this is a very serious thing and we’re looking at it in a very serious manner.”

In statements, however, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stopped short of directly accusing the Saudis. Turkish officials have said their president has held his fire in part because he hopes that Washington will help push Saudi Arabia to acknowledge what happened to Mr. Khashoggi.

But such faith in Washington is hard for almost any Turkish politician to espouse publicly these days because of a tide of anti-Americanism that has swept the country since Mr. Trump raised tariffs on several categories of Turkish imports, punishing the country’s struggling economy.

“Intervention by Trump is the highest form of mockery,” Resul Tosun, a columnist for the pro-government Star newspaper wrote on Friday, arguing that any American help with the investigation would “portray Turkey as a banana republic.”

But even some critics of Mr. Erdogan say his government’s leak strategy may swing Washington its way.

“The public attention is enough now, the story cannot be buried anymore,” said Asli Aydintasbas, a Turkish commentator critical of the president, recounting the extensive coverage in American newspapers and the statements of American politicians criticizing Saudi Arabia.

“The Saudis are being held responsible,” she added.

Some of Saudi Arabia’s allies in Washington acknowledge that pressure from the United States could force the kingdom to offer some account of Mr. Khashoggi’s fate — even if it is a modified version that shields the kingdom’s day-to-day ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed, from any responsibility.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/12/world/europe/trump-khashoggi-saudi-turkey.html

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Turks tell U.S. officials they have audio and video recordings that support conclusion Khashoggi was killed

The Turkish government has told U.S. officials that it has audio and video recordings that prove Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul this month, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.

The recordings show that a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi in the consulate after he walked in Oct. 2 to obtain an official document before his upcoming wedding, then killed him and dismembered his body, the officials said.

The audio recording in particular provides some of the most persuasive and gruesome evidence that the Saudi team is responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the officials said.

“The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” said one person with knowledge of the recording who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive intelligence.

“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” this person said. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”

A second person briefed on the recording said men could be heard beating Khashoggi.

The existence of such evidence would explain why Turkish officials were quick to accuse Saudi Arabia of killing Khashoggi. But Turkish officials are wary of releasing the recordings, fearing they could divulge how the Turks spy on foreign entities in their country, the officials said.

It’s not clear that U.S. officials have seen the footage or listened to the audio, but Turkish officials have described their contents to their American counterparts.

The person who was briefed on the audio recording said it shows that after killing Khashoggi, the security team went to the home of the Saudi consul general, where staff were told to go home early. There is evidence of at least one phone call, as well, from inside the consulate, this person said.

Despite a growing demand for information about Khashoggi’s whereabouts, U.S. officials had few public answers Thursday, more than a week after he disappeared.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/turks-tell-us-officials-they-have-audio-and-video-recordings-that-support-conclusion-khashoggi-was-killed/2018/10/11/119a119e-cd88-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html

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Report: Turkish Authorities Have Recordings of the Consulate Murder

Turkish authorities claim to have audio and video recordings that prove Saudi agents tortured and then murdered Jamal Khashoggi

The existence of these recordings would explain how Turkish authorities knew what the Saudi agents had done to Khashoggi and how they had done it. Such recordings would provide definitive proof to support the charges made against the Saudi government. Our government should press Turkish officials to share this proof with the U.S. and their other allies. The fact that Turkey is willing to disclose that it has this evidence suggests that they are prepared to go to great lengths to keep the Saudi government from getting away with this. No one honestly doubts at this point that the Saudi government had the prominent critic murdered in their consulate, but evidence of the crime will lend support to efforts to hold the Saudis accountable.

Fortunately, the Saudi government is already paying a price in the court of public opinion. Some media companies and businesses that had been willing to participate in Saudi-hosted events and work on joint projects with the government have startedabandoning the kingdom. Even one of the lobbying groups that had been working on public relations for Saudi Arabia has decided to quit.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/report-turkish-authorities-have-recordings-of-the-consulate-murder/

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Saudi forensic expert is among 15 named by Turkey in disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

One of the 15 Saudis named by Turkish officials as being involved in the disappearance of a journalist last seen entering a diplomatic consulate in Istanbul is a forensic expert known for pioneering rapid and mobile autopsies, according to Arab media reports and his own academic writings. Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy flew into Istanbul shortly after Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate and flew out nine hours later, Turkish officials say.

The alleged presence of Tubaigy, who has taught and published papers on gathering DNA evidence and dissecting human bodies, amplifies a macabre narrative put forth by Turkish investigators that a team of Saudis killed Khashoggi and then dismembered his body to conceal the murder.

A Post review of academic writings, social media accounts, telephone logs and other documents related to Tubaigy suggests he may have been something of an outsider among two groups of Saudis that Turkish officials say arrived and departed, mostly on private jets, around the time of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Seven of the 15 self-identify in social media profiles or published accounts as members of Saudi military. Four of those, plus two others, also identify themselves in a subscription phone app as members of the Royal Guard, according to screen shots from the app, MenoM3ay, reviewed by The Post. Their claims on social media could not be independently confirmed.

Tubaigy did not respond to an email or phone messages left at three numbers associated with the profile he had set up on Arabic subscription phone app.

A person who identified himself on Twitter as Tubaigy’s uncle, however, tweeted on Wednesday that his nephew would not conduct such a gruesome act.

Tubaigy’s prominent role in Saudi’s scientific community and state security apparatus dates back over two decades

Tubaigy’s name, along with those of 14 others, and a picture purporting to show him arriving in Istanbul the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance was first published late Tuesday by Sabah, a newspaper closely aligned with the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Three Turkish officials confirmed to The Post on Wednesday that the list was an accurate dossier of Saudi suspects

The Sabah report suggested that Tubaigy departed for Istanbul from Riyadh on a Gulfstream jet that, according to flight records reviewed by The Post, left just nine minutes after Khashoggi entered the country’s diplomatic compound in Turkey.

The forensic chief then stayed later than several others in the group, leaving Istanbul near 11 p.m. on a different Saudi jet, according to the Sabah report.

“It sticks out,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and Brookings fellow who has written a book about Saudi-U.S. relations. “I can’t think of an alternative of why you would need a forensics expert unless you were covering up evidence of a crime.” – By Aaron C. Davis and

Erin Cunningham

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/saudi-forensic-expert-is-among-15-named-by-turkey-in-disappearance-of-journalist-jamal-khashoggi/2018/10/11/e62d6dd4-cd6a-11e8-ad0a-0e01efba3cc1_story.html

and

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Extremely important: The veiled women here seen with one of the #Saudi hit team in Istanbul airport has not been mentioned or her name published (photo)

https://twitter.com/AliAlAhmed_en/status/1050777828550172673

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Report: Turkish Authorities Have Recordings of the Consulate Murder

Turkish authorities claim to have audio and video recordings that prove Saudi agents tortured and then murdered Jamal Khashoggi

The existence of these recordings would explain how Turkish authorities knew what the Saudi agents had done to Khashoggi and how they had done it. Such recordings would provide definitive proof to support the charges made against the Saudi government. Our government should press Turkish officials to share this proof with the U.S. and their other allies. The fact that Turkey is willing to disclose that it has this evidence suggests that they are prepared to go to great lengths to keep the Saudi government from getting away with this. No one honestly doubts at this point that the Saudi government had the prominent critic murdered in their consulate, but evidence of the crime will lend support to efforts to hold the Saudis accountable.

Fortunately, the Saudi government is already paying a price in the court of public opinion. Some media companies and businesses that had been willing to participate in Saudi-hosted events and work on joint projects with the government have startedabandoning the kingdom. Even one of the lobbying groups that had been working on public relations for Saudi Arabia has decided to quit.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/report-turkish-authorities-have-recordings-of-the-consulate-murder/

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Film: #Saudi #Warcriminals #Murderers #JamalKashoggi

[Short overview]

https://www.facebook.com/groups/tribunalgroup4Yemen/permalink/1885190624851066/

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Film: "Jamal's death is not really about Jamal. It doesn't give us any more details about who he was. It does however tell us a lot about the mentality of the people who ordered his death." MEE's David Hearst speaks about Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

https://twitter.com/MiddleEastEye/status/1050466433052884993

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In a sign Turkey and Saudi Arabia might be looking for a way forward, Turkey accepted a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to investigate the case, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency quoted presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin as saying.

The Washington Post, citing unidentified U.S. and Turkish officials, reported that Turkey had told U.S. officials it has audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. It was not clear that U.S. officials had seen the footage or heard the audio, the Post reported, but Turkish officials have described the recordings to them.

Turkish investigators were prepared to enter the consulate, a Turkish security official told Reuters, but were awaiting final authorization from the Saudis.

In an interview with Fox News, Trump said the United States was working with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, adding, “We have investigators over there.”

However, three U.S. law enforcement sources said that because Khashoggi is not an American citizen and disappeared outside the country, the FBI has no automatic jurisdiction to get involved in the case and could only become involved if requested by a foreign government such as Turkey.

Global pressure mounted on Saudi Arabia.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident/trump-wary-of-halting-saudi-weapons-sales-over-missing-journalist-idUSKCN1ML0Q3

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Film: Here are the details regarding some of the 15 men who are allegedly responsible for the disappearance and death of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey

https://twitter.com/trtworld/status/1050417771601899521

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Erdogan spox: "At the request of Saudi Arabia, a joint working group will be established to uncover the events surrounding Jamal Khashoggi."

https://twitter.com/MarquardtA/status/1050426836835012610

A joint investigation. This is how Saudi Arabia has avoided accountability for war crimes in Yemen. Don't let them get away with it again. @UN_SPExperts called for an INDEPENDENT intl investigation. Nothing less.

https://twitter.com/WritesRights/status/1050430211999846401

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

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Trump: Pompeo to meet with Saudi king amid Khashoggi probes

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he was sending U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman over the unexplained disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-trump/trump-pompeo-to-meet-with-saudi-king-amid-khashoggi-probes-idUSKCN1MP1IT

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Saudi Arabia Wants Trump And Congress To Forget Jamal Khashoggi. Here’s Its Likely Playbook.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, implicated in the journalist’s potential murder, could blunt criticism using the most sprawling foreign influence campaign in the U.S. today.

Saudi Arabia is facing an unprecedented backlash from the U.S. elite over the presumed murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi ― and it’s threatening an unprecedented offensive of its own to try to turn things around.

By directing billions of dollars of Saudi money into the U.S. for decades, Riyadh’s ruling family has won the support of small but powerful circles of influential Americans and courted wider public acceptance through corporate ties and philanthropy. It’s been a solid investment for a regime that relies heavily on Washington for its security but can’t make the same claims to shared values or history as other American allies like Britain. For years, spending in ways beneficial to the U.S. ― both stateside and abroad, such as its funding Islamist fighters in Afghanistan to combat the Soviet Union ― has effectively been an insurance policy for Saudi Arabia.

At times of crisis, like after 15 of the 19 9/11 attackers turned out to be Saudis or when President Barack Obama signed a landmark arms control deal with Saudi rival Iran, the Saudis have used their clout to shield themselves from tough questions or to propagate the idea that the U.S. needs the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia’s response to the Khashoggi episode could involve every part of what’s arguably the most complex and sprawling campaign of foreign influence in the U.S. today.

That doesn’t mean it’ll ultimately succeed. Some critics of the relationship say a Saudi escalation could provoke Washington to question not just the prince’s treatment of Khashoggi, but also whether it’s wise for the U.S. to allow the Saudis to have such reach.

One senior Senate aide put it bluntly when asked about the prospect of the Saudis responding to the U.S. the way they did to critical remarks from Canada and Germany, by dramatically limiting trade and diplomatic contacts.

“I would love if they pulled that shit,” the aide said. “I beg them to do that. It’s not remotely comparable, and it would be ugly.”

Here’s how Saudi leaders, credibly accused of killing a U.S. resident, could use public brinkmanship and private persuasion to get what they want from elite Americans in politics, business and what Trump likes to call the “deep state.”

Play The Jobs Card

One of the few traditions in American diplomacy that Trump has embraced wholeheartedly is describing weapons sales as jobs programs.

Win The Influence Game

The Saudis spend millions annually on employing high-profile Americans ― from former senators to onetime diplomats, from Republicans to Democrats ― to finesse their image. While a handful of lobbying and public relations firms have ended their relationships over Khashoggi, others are seeing a fresh opportunity. The kingdom has scores of paid friends it can marshal to talk to their own friends in government and the private sector.

It’s hard to excuse using a bone saw on a journalist or bombing a bus full of schoolchildren. But what’s becoming more clear is that good-faith persuasion doesn’t have to be the goal. Ben Freeman, a researcher at the Center for International Policy, found that in 2017, lobbyists representing the kingdom donated nearly $400,000 to lawmakers they had contacted on behalf of Riyadh. In 11 instances, the donations came the same day they had meetings with congressional offices.

“The Saudis realize it’s illegal for foreign nationals to make contributions in the U.S., but lobbying and PR firms are filled with American citizens for whom it’s perfectly legal to take their salaries and use them to give to members of Congress,” Freeman told HuffPost, describing the system as legalized bribery.

Courting Capital

Saudi oil money has attracted Western companies for decades, but the young prince has made it a particular focus to draw more foreign capital to the kingdom as part of his vision of making its economy less reliant on a single industry – By Akbar Shahid Ahmed

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jamal-khashoggi-trump-congress-saudi-arabia-lobbying-arms-deals_us_5bc20a93e4b040bb4e82b65a

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General / Official Source: KSA confirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it

An official source stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and from its leading position in the Arab and Islamic worlds has played a prominent role throughout history in achieving security, stability and prosperity of the region and the world, leading efforts in combating extremism and terrorism, enhancing economic cooperation and consolidating peace and stability in the region and the world and it is still working with brotherly and friendly countries to promote these goals, basing all of this on its own status as a platform of revelation, and the Qiblah of Muslims.

The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations that will not undermine the Kingdom and its staunch positions and Arab, Islamic and international status, the outcome of these weak endeavors, like their predecessors, is a demise. The Kingdom as the government and people are steadfast, glorious as ever, no matter whatever the pressures and circumstances might be.

The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy and that the Kingdom's economy is affected only by the impact of the global economy.

The Kingdom appreciates the brothers' stand in the face of the campaign of false allegations and falsehoods, as well as it appreciates the voices of the wise people around the world, who have overcome wisdom, deliberation and the search for truth instead of rushing and seeking to exploit rumors and accu

https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1827989

and

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Saudi Embassy to the US: To help clarify recently issued Saudi statement, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends it appreciation to all, including the US administration, for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation.

https://twitter.com/SaudiEmbassyUSA/status/1051508753357516807

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Saudis reject threats as stocks plunge after Trump comments

Saudi Arabia warned on Sunday that it will respond to threats and political pressure with tough measures of its own after President Donald Trump said the oil-rich kingdom deserves “severe punishment” if responsible for the disappearance and suspected murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

The apparent threat of economic retaliation from the world’s top oil exporter came after a turbulent day on the Saudi stock exchange, which plunged as much as 7 percent at one point.

The statement was issued as international concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago. American lawmakers have threated sanctions against the Saudis, and Germany, France and Britain jointly called on Sunday for a “credible investigation” into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/newspaper-says-turkey-has-audio-of-saudi-writers-slaying/2018/10/14/c195369e-cf6f-11e8-ad0a-0e01efba3cc1_story.html?utm_term=.89921ee698f9

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Saudis Threaten to Retaliate Against Punitive Action Over Critic

Saudi Arabia signaled on Sunday it may use its clout in the world economy to retaliate against any punitive measures, in an apparent reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to punish the world’s largest oil-exporter over the disappearance of a government critic.

The threats mark a surprising turn in the otherwise warm relationship between Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Since Trump’s election in 2016, the two countries signed agreements worth hundreds of billions of dollars in investments and weapons deals.

Saudi stocks dropped as much as 7 percent, the most since 2014, on concerns that relations with the U.S. may sour, before trimming losses to close 3.5 percent down. The Saudi statement may also trigger concerns in the energy market. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, earlier this month hit a 4-year high above $85 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia used its petroleum resources as a political weapon when it led an Arab oil embargo during the 1973 war between Israel and a coalition of Arab states. Since then, Riyadh has always put oil above politics, promising stable supply under any scenario.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-14/saudi-arabia-says-it-will-retaliate-against-punitive-measures

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US sanctions on Riyadh would mean Washington is stabbing itself

I read the Saudi statement in response to the American proposals regarding sanctions on Saudi Arabia. The information circulating within decision-making circles within the kingdom have gone beyond the rosy language used in the statement and discuss more than 30 potential measures to be taken against the imposition of sanctions on Riyadh. They present catastrophic scenarios that would hit the US economy much harder than Saudi Arabia’s economic climate.

If US sanctions are imposed on Saudi Arabia, we will be facing an economic disaster that would rock the entire world. Riyadh is the capital of its oil, and touching this would affect oil production before any other vital commodity. It would lead to Saudi Arabia's failure to commit to producing 7.5 million barrels. If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure.

An oil barrel may be priced in a different currency, Chinese yuan, perhaps, instead of the dollar. And oil is the most important commodity traded by the dollar today.

All of this will throw the Middle East, the entire Muslim world, into the arms of Iran, which will become closer to Riyadh than Washington.

This is all when it comes to oil, but Saudi Arabia is not just about oil, it is a leader in the Muslim world with its standing and geographical importance. And perhaps trusted exchange of information between Riyadh and America and Western countries will be a thing of the past after it had contributed to the protection of millions of Westerners, as testified by senior Western officials themselves.

Imposing any type of sanctions on Saudi Arabia by the West will cause the kingdom to resort to other options, US President Donald Trump had said a few days ago, and that Russia and China are ready to fulfill Riyadh’s military needs among others. No one can deny that repercussions of these sanctions will include a Russian military base in Tabuk, northwest of Saudi Arabia, in the heated four corners of Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq.

It will not be strange that Riyadh would stop buying weapons from the US. Riyadh is the most important customer of US companies, as Saudi Arabia buys 10 percent of the total weapons that these US companies produce, and buys 85 percent from the US army which means what’s left for the rest of the world is only five percent; in addition to the end of Riyadh’s investments in the US government which reaches $800 billion.

The US will also be deprived of the Saudi market which is considered one of the top 20 economies in the world – by TurkiAldakhil.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2018/10/14/OPINION-US-sanctions-on-Riyadh-means-Washington-is-stabbing-itself.html

My comment: This is an article by Saudi Al Arabiya. All these articles certainly had been approved by the authorities, otherwise the author would risk jail or worse. The Saudis try to threaten and to bully the USA – the same way they do it to all others from Qatar to Oman to Canada…

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Film by Press TV Iran: This edition of Press TV Debate discusses Saudi-US arms deal.

https://www.facebook.com/PRESSTV/videos/327706744654315/

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One aspect of whether U.S. pressure on Saudi Arabia increases further is if there is any suggestion that the Saudi Embassy in D.C. was involved in any way in redirecting Jamal Khashoggi to the consulate in Istanbul, e.g. by telling him he had to complete his paperwork in Turkey.

https://twitter.com/Dr_Ulrichsen/status/1050879942047780864

from what I've heard, #JamalKhashoggi went to DC #KSA Emb to get divorce paper copies & met Khalid Bin Salman. Jamal directed to Turkey as his fiancée citizen of Turkey & wedding to happen there. He went to IST via LON.

https://twitter.com/suhaibnasir/status/1050908447582109696

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THE SAUDI LOBBY AND THE DISAPPEARANCE OF JAMAL KHASHOGGI

There is at least one possible reason Trump and many others in Washington have been reluctant to call out the Saudis — cash.

The DC establishment has received billions in Saudi money through arms sales, lobbying, and even traceable campaign contributions. Saudi money has made its way into the hands of many of the Washington elite. And in an effort to buy their influence, it is possible the Saudis have also bought their complacency.

Over the past several years, the Saudi government has employed a small army of US lobbyists and influence brokers to shape positive perceptions of Saudi Arabia. There are currently thirty-five active Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) registrants lobbying for Saudi Arabia in the United States. According to FARA records, Saudi Arabia poured nearly $10 million into these lobbying firms in 2016, and almost tripled that number to a whopping $27.3 million in 2017.

This high-priced campaign to influence US policy has undeniably become a reliable source of wealth for lobbyists and policymakers alike. An analysis by the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative (FITI) at the Center for International Policy, where we both work, found that in 2017 foreign agents at firms lobbying for the Saudis reported contacting over 200 members of Congress, including every US Senator, and made $390,496 in campaign contributions to those very same members.

While politicians have been lining their pockets, arms manufacturers have been padding their bottom lines.

https://inkstickmedia.com/the-saudi-lobby-and-the-disappearance-of-jamal-khashoggi/

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After the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia's multimillion-dollar public relations effort in the US is called into question

As Washington wrestled with the disappearance and possible murder of the Saudi journalist-in-exile Jamal Khashoggi this week, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said enough is enough.

Graham's dramatic plea points to a potentially devastating problem for Saudi Arabia, a country whose young crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, has been heralded as a visionary reformist leader, and who has spent heavily to promote that image.

After the disappearance of Khashoggi, the question has become: Can any amount of money burnish Saudi Arabia's image?

Under Crown Prince Mohammed, the country has spent heavily to promote that image, which dovetails with a decadeslong effort. The country has quietly built an army of consultants in Washington to ensure that the kingdom's goals are not blocked in America's corridors of power.

Indeed, the Republican senator, who sits on the Senate's influential Armed Services and Appropriations Committees, has been at the very center of Saudi Arabia's sprawling, multi-million dollar influence campaign in Washington.

Last year, as Saudi Arabia's lobbying arm made more than 2,500 individual contacts with American lawmakers, Graham was the single-most contacted, according to forthcoming research from Ben Freeman, the director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center for International Policy.

The country doled out more than $100 million to consultants and public relations firms in the decade after the Sept. 11, 2001

That effort that has ramped up since Trump's election in 2016.

This story has broken through'

Now, after the disappearance of Khashoggi, the question has become: Can any amount of money protect Saudi Arabia's careful image building?

While the war in Yemen, or the specter of businessmen locked away in a Riyadh Ritz Carlton, have sparked public outcry, no issue has been as relatable as the case of Khashoggi, the Center for International Policy's Freeman said.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/12/disappearance-of-jamal-khashoggi-undermines-saudi-arabias-pr-effort.html

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Trump vows “severe punishment” if Saudi Arabia is behind missing journalist

President Trump tells 60 Minutes Saudi Arabia has denied playing a part in the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, but says the case is being investigated

President Donald Trump said in an interview with 60 Minutes the Saudis could be behind the disappearance of missing journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, and if so, the U.S. would inflict "severe punishment." In a clip broadcast on CBS This Morning earlier, Mr. Trump said there is a lot at stake "and maybe especially so because this man was a reporter."

The interview is his first with 60 Minutes since his post-election conversation with Lesley Stahl in November 2016.

Mr. Trump said the Saudis denied "in every way you can imagine" having anything to do with Khashoggi's disappearance when his son-in-law Jared Kushner spoke with Saudi Arabia's crown prince. But Mr. Trump said the country may still be responsible and an investigation is ongoing. "Could it be them? Yes," the president said.

When asked what kind of punishments he may pursue if Saudi Arabia is found to be behind the disappearance, Mr. Trump wouldn't commit to sanctions or cutting sales of military equipment to Saudi from American companies.

"I'll tell you what I don't want to do," Mr. Trump said, "I don't want to hurt jobs. I don't want to lose an order like that. And you know what, there are other ways of punishing."

"There's a lot at stake," Mr. Trump continued. "And, maybe especially so because this man was a reporter. There's something, you'll be surprised to hear me say that, there's something really terrible and disgusting about that if that were the case. We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment." (with film)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-donald-trump-vows-severe-punishment-if-saudi-arabia-is-behind-saudi-missing-journalist/

and full interview https://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-interview-60-minutes-full-transcript-lesley-stahl-jamal-khashoggi-james-mattis-brett-kavanaugh-vladimir-putin-2018-10-14/

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President Trump calls for 'severe punishment' if Saudi Arabia killed Jamal Khashoggi

President Trump says the United States is going to get to the bottom of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi and said there will be "severe punishment" if Saudi Arabia is found responsible.

"There's a lot at stake, a lot at stake. And maybe especially so, because this man was a reporter," Trump said. "There's something -- you may be surprised to hear me say that, but there's something really terrible and disgusting about that if that were the case. So we're going to have to see. We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment."

In a clip released from his "60 Minutes" interview, which will air Sunday night on CBS News, Trump says he still does not know if the journalist was killed by the Saudis.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-calls-severe-punishment-saudi-arabia-killed/story?id=58459463

and clip from 60 minutes: https://twitter.com/60Minutes/status/1051066759229427712

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Trump Vows "Severe Punishment" If Saudis Killed Khashoggi

Facing pressure from Congress to act, President Donald Trump vowed "severe punishment" on Saudi Arabia if it turns out that missing WaPo reporter Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, as Trump turned up the pressure on the kingdom in an interview to be broadcast Sunday night.

"Nobody knows" whether Saudi officials are involved although they "deny it vehemently," Trump said in an excerpt of a CBS News “60 Minutes” interview."It’s being looked at very, very strongly. We would be very upset and angry if that was the case."

"We’re going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment,” the president said, noting that the Saudis denied "in every way you can imagine" having anything to do with Khashoggi's disappearance when his son-in-law Jared Kushner spoke with Saudi Arabia's crown prince. But Trump said the country may still be responsible and an investigation is ongoing. "Could it be them? Yes,"the president said.

considering that Turkey has all too often stretched reality to suit its various political goals and ambitions - the "failed" 2016 coup coming to mind - any official Turkish version of events, especially one based on "sources" and without factual backing should be taken with a grain of salt.

Perhaps that explains why despite the escalation in rhetoric, Trump was still hesitant. In Trump's interview, the president said new actions should not jeopardize the Saudi military equipment contracts held by companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon which he said would put jobs at risk.

Using the economy as a straw man to avoid cracking down on Riyadh, Trump siad that "I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that,” he said. "There are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true."

"There's a lot at stake," Mr. Trump continued, "And, maybe especially so because this man was a reporter. There's something, you'll be surprised to hear me say that, there's something really terrible and disgusting about that if that was the case."

As Bloomberg notes, Trump’s hesitation to strike back at the kingdom reflects close ties the White House has nurtured with the nation’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and his administration’s acquiescence to other Saudi actions that have drawn international condemnation.

What is perhaps more bizarre is that the true Saudi transgression, its ongoing war against political and religious opponents in Yemen has failed to lead to any condemnation, by either the president or the suddenly all too vocal Congress. 8with film, 60 minutes interview)

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-13/trump-vows-severe-punishment-if-saudis-killed-khashoggi

(B P)

Reminder: The Saudi government *to this day* owns the entire 45th floor of Trump World Tower.

https://twitter.com/ScottMStedman/status/1050859579808968704

and articles on this sale: https://twitter.com/emills28/status/1050880498803924992

https://twitter.com/Kat4Obama/status/1050932921287286784

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Trump says U.S. would be 'punishing' itself if it halts Saudi arms sales

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday the United States would be “punishing” itself by halting military sales to Saudi Arabia even if it is proven that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul.

“There are other things we can do that are very, very powerful, very strong and we’ll do them,” he added, without saying what those measures might be.

Under U.S. law, major foreign military sales can be blocked by Congress

Trump said on Saturday his administration won a $110 billion military order from Saudi Arabia and that the deal, combined with Saudi commitments to invest heavily in the United States, was worth hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

“If they don’t buy it from us, they’re going to buy it from Russia or they’re going to buy it from China,” he said. “Think of that, $110 billion. All they’re going to do is give it to other countries, and I think that would be very foolish.”

It was unclear what specific measures, if any, Trump is considering against Saudi Arabia.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-trump/trump-says-u-s-would-be-punishing-itself-if-it-halts-saudi-arms-sales-idUSKCN1MN0HJ

(A P)

Trump says he will call Saudi King Salman about journalist Khashoggi

President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that he has not talked to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman but will call the royal leader soon, as questions mount about the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-trump/trump-says-he-will-call-saudi-king-salman-about-journalist-khashoggi-idUSKCN1MM2K3

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U.S. weapons makers rattled over Saudi Arabia deals

Major U.S. defense contractors have expressed concern to the Trump administration that lawmakers angered by the disappearance of a Saudi journalist in Turkey will block further arms deals with Saudi Arabia, a senior U.S. official told Reuters on Friday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was wary of halting arms sales to Riyadh because of Khashoggi as it would just shift its weapons purchases to Russia and China

Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Raytheon Co (RTN.N) have been the most active U.S. defense companies with potential sales to Saudi Arabia since Trump announced the package as part of his “Buy American” agenda to create jobs at home.

One lobbyist for a defense company who spoke on condition of anonymity said worries about a potential across-the-board blockage of Saudi sales by Congress had surfaced in recent days, a development that would hurt a range of contractors.

A second U.S. official said there were also current holds in place on training sales for the Saudi government.

Under U.S. law, major foreign military sales can be blocked by Congress.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-arms/u-s-weapons-makers-rattled-over-saudi-arabia-deals-idUSKCN1MM1VF

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The Khashoggi Affair: Column: A journalist's disappearance endangers the anti-Iran alliance

This is more than an episode from a Robert Ludlum thriller. One missing man has the potential to affect the U.S.-Saudi alliance and Turkish-Saudi alliance, as well as the overall configuration of power in the Middle East, global energy prices, and Israeli security. For if the Turks are right, the Saudis would have committed a brazen, reckless, terrible act. They ought to pay a price.

How high? A bipartisan group of senators wants the president to sanction Saudis complicit in the disappearance and possible murder of Khashoggi.

The passions inflamed by the potential state-sanctioned murder of a famous journalist who was a friend to many in the worlds of diplomacy and media do not subside easily. Before taking action, congressmen and administration officials ought to think seriously and dispassionately about the potential fallout of the course advocated by Senator Paul. It would not benefit anyone, least of all the United States, if Iran ends up gaining most from the Khashoggi affair.

Because Iran, while not mentioned in relation to Khashoggi, is nonetheless a factor in this story. It is pressing against the Saudis on multiple fronts.

Saudi Arabia has been the linchpin of America's Middle East strategy for close to a century. That relationship has not been without costs. What would the cost be if the alliance fractured? The Saudis would be imperiled in Yemen, potentially endangering the free flow of traffic in the Gulf of Aden. Iranian victory there would extend a Shia crescent in the south to accompany the one running through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Governments without democratic legitimacy are brittle and unpredictable—a fact highlighted not only by Khashoggi but also by recent Saudi actions against Canada and the crown prince's delayed IPO of oil giant Aramco. America has sustained and protected the Saudis for decades. Withdrawing such protection would open the regime to both domestic and international challenges. As President Trump put it recently, Saudi Arabia wouldn't last two weeks without American support. The Middle East and Levant already are filled with examples of state failure. Is America prepared to risk another?

A Saudi meltdown would deprive the United States of a counterterrorist ally, roil energy markets, create pockets of instability in which jihadists and Iranian-backed militias thrive, and cause headaches for Israel. To forestall such a disaster, the Saudis, like others before them, might turn to either Russia or China for support. That would accelerate the waning of American influence in the Middle East. It would boost the very autocracies we condemn.

Punish the Saudis if it turns out they acted no better than Russia, China, North Korea, Syria, and Iran. And as you weigh the evidence and consider the form of reprimand, keep in mind the following: the penalty must fit the crime; neither democracy nor peace is likely to follow the end of the House of Saud; and the morality of cable news and the op-ed page counts for little in the ruthless, brutal, conspiratorial, and bloody Middle East – by Matthew Continetti

https://freebeacon.com/columns/the-khashoggi-affair/

My comment: It’s quite absurd even to mention Iran in dealing with the Khashoggi case. But the author does – showing another nice example of either US anti-Iranian paranoia or propaganda quoting the Iranian “devil” for almost everything. – Also apart from this, this article is a typical US neocon propaganda piece. There are US “interests” all around the globe, and US politics must be geared to this interests. The US must be in control of everything on this globe, and therefore we must stay allied to the Saudis. – The US role in making the Middle East “ruthless, brutal, conspiratorial, and bloody” of course is totally neglected, as ever.

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Saudi Arabia Is Still a Lousy Friend

The desert kingdom keeps turning the United States government into liars.

Whatever barbarity is at work, it is now becoming another special moment in the very special relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. We can add it to the other special moments, where the president jiggled an orb, where America’s credulous columnists praised Muhammad Bin Salman as a great reformer, and when the U.S. assisted the Saudis in creating the worst cholera outbreak of modern times.

One can understand that the practice of geopolitics means that you don’t always get to choose your allies. And a superpower cannot conduct its business by dealing only with nations like Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Saudi Arabia does share intelligence with us. And it has helped to keep oil prices low when America wanted to put a crimp on the Kremlin. But America really must come to grips with the costs of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is partly a country, partly an organized-crime family, and partly an institution of radical religious entrepreneurism. The way it is able to throw a fit in front of a U.S. president and get him to bully Qatar, a country that has hosted the U.S. military throughout the war on terror, sets the entire gulf on edge. The way it is able to convince the U.S. to support its increasingly dirty war in Yemen appalls all people of conscience. The killing of Jamal Khashoggi will bring Saudi relations with our NATO ally, Turkey, to a new low.

On a dark day when American needs its traditional European allies, European people may cite our relationship with Saudi Arabia as one of their primary reasons for standing aside.

And so far America’s leadership class has proven helpless in dealing with this problem. Barack Obama’s attempt at lowering Saudi leverage over the U.S. by cutting a deal with Iran never had the buy-in to work; in fact, it possibly made him more willing to assist Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Trump has gone the other way and tried to kill Saudi Arabia with kindness. The response, so far, has been an increase of bad behavior. A license to kill, even in an embassy – By MICHAEL BRENDAN DOUGHERTY

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/saudi-arabia-criminal-regime-us-ally/

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Jamal Khashoggi's suspicious disappearance is testing the U.S.-Saudi alliance

Lawmakers from both parties call for sanctions against anyone found responsible for Khashoggi's death

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have already called for sanctions against anyone found responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.

Under enormous strain to respond strongly to reports of Khashoggi being executed by a 15-member "assassination squad," Trump could also order sanctions, stop lucrative U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, end joint military exercises or demand a halt to the Saudis' blockade on Qatar.

Except he likely won't, even if the Saudi government's role in a possible assassination is confirmed, say some former diplomats and Middle East experts.

Senators from both parties have called for Trump to invoke sanctions against Saudi officials under the Magnitsky Act, legislation initially designed to punish Russia for killing a lawyer who exposed corruption, if their involvement in the alleged murder of Khashoggi is confirmed.

But a tangled web of U.S. geopolitical interests and a personal bond between Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could disrupt action against the House of Saud, some experts said.

Others argue the Trump administration will have to do something significant.

"The Saudis have now, I think, placed their relationship in the greatest jeopardy it's been in the last 25 years, or more," said Robert Jordan, a former U.S. ambassador in Riyadh during the George W. Bush administration.

Asked whether the U.S.-Saudi bilateral relationship might be irreparably broken, Tom Lippman, the author of Saudi Arabia on the Edge: The Uncertain Future of an American Ally, demurred.

This won't have been the first time the Saudis have crossed the U.S. during their 75-year alliance, he said.

"It's always been this way. Even under [former U.S. President] Jimmy Carter, who made human rights the cornerstone of his foreign policy, even he was obsequious to the Saudis because he wanted something from them."

"What I'm expecting here is no long-term or even medium-term damage," Lippman said.

Trump will still be walking a diplomatic tightrope, said Gerald Feierstein, a former U.S. ambassador to Yemen under President Barack Obama.

Much may be riding on the preservation of the delicate relationship, but "business as usual won't work," he said.

"This is a tricky challenge for any administration, not just the Trump people. They have to signal very clearly to the Saudis, and also a U.S. domestic audience, that they understand the seriousness of this and won't just allow the Saudis to sweep this under the rug." – by Matt Kwong

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-us-trump-murder-1.4859763

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The End of American Lip Service to Human Rights

The administration’s reticence about the disappearance of a Saudi journalist is offensive, but it’s also clarifying.

Yet the U.S. government remains markedly reticent. First, President Donald Trump pleaded ignorance. “I know nothing right now,” he said Tuesday. “I know what everybody else knows—nothing.” He added, “I don’t like hearing about it, and hopefully that will sort itself out,” as though as president of the United States, a key Saudi ally, he had no way to push for new information and no role in the matter sorting itself out.

Paradoxically, this equivocation does make one thing clear: For now, at least, we’re seeing the end of American lip service to human rights. Past U.S. administrations were willing to overlook abuses by allies—including, notably, Saudi Arabia—but continued to rhetorically support human rights and frown at abuses. The Trump administration is either unwilling or uninterested in going even that far.

“Other administrations, some have been more aggressive, some have been less aggressive,” in calling out human-rights abuses, Gerald Feierstein, a former U.S. ambassador to Yemen who also served in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, told The Atlantic. He is now at the Middle East Institute. “Frankly speaking, I think that really, over these past years, for the most part, administrations have been less focused on human rights and civil liberties. But I would also say that I’m not aware of any administration, certainly not in the last 40 years, which has been so vocal in saying that they don’t care about human-rights issues.”

The U.S. has tended to spin a narrative of itself as the noble defender of freedom and human rights around the globe, whether against abusive superpowers (the Soviet Union, China) or smaller-scale killers (Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein), but it is easy to construct an alternative history of the U.S. turning a blind eye to abuses. To pick a few lowlights, that history runs from the U.S. assent to genocide in Bangladesh in 1971

The Obama administration illustrates the contradictions that characterized American stances. There is no such contradiction on display in the Trump administration. The president has resolved it by essentially deciding not to talk about human rights at all.

Among some of those who have spoken out against Saudi Arabia and pulled out of prior commitments since Khashoggi’s disappearance, there seems to be a feeling of betrayal, a sense that Mohammed bin Salman had broken an implicit deal to keep his repression quiet and internal while he touted his modernization drive. But the alleged abduction murder of a journalist, living in the United States and working for an American newspaper, while in Turkey went too far and embarrassed many of bin Salman’s defenders.

Not so for Trump, who is exceedingly difficult to embarrass. Beyond that, and beyond Trump’s lack of interest in human rights, he places little importance on civil liberties in general and detests the free press in particular, making Khashoggi an unlikely cause for him – by David A. Graham

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/10/trump-saudi-arabia-khashoggi-mnuchin/572827/

My comment: The US “narrative of itself as the noble defender of freedom and human rights around the globe” has been a propaganda scam from its very beginning – just to gloss over US geopolitics and imperialism. What Trump actually is doing: He is pursuing the very same politics – just doing it without this gloss.

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Senator Rubio says U.S. must take action over Saudi journalist

Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said the United States must confront Saudi Arabia or risk losing credibility on human rights, if allegations are proven true that the Saudi government orchestrated the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“If we do not take action, including potentially arms sales, as a result of this, if it turns out to be what they say it is, then we are not going to be able to with a straight face or any credibility confront Putin or Assad or Maduro in Venezuela or frankly confront the Chinese and their human rights violations,” Rubio said on Sunday in an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-rubio/senator-rubio-says-u-s-must-take-action-over-saudi-journalist-idUSKCN1MO0JY

My comment: The US credibility to confront any human rights violations anywhere in the world had been lost since a very long time ago. The US is one of world’s most horrible violators of human rights by itself.

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The U.S.-Saudi Relationship Is Out of Control

But even Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance may not force the Trump administration to recognize that fact.

Possible Saudi involvement in the disappearance—and alleged murder—of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi presents the U.S.-Saudi relationship with its greatest crisis since 9/11. If the Saudis are proven guilty of this heinous crime, it should change everything about the United States’ long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia. Regrettably, it probably won’t.

The administration’s identification with the 33-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as a modernizer determined to open up the kingdom and tame its religious extremism has now been undermined by a crueler reality—that of a ruthless, reckless, and impulsive leader willing to repress and silence his critics at home and abroad.

Whatever happened to Khashoggi is first and foremost on the Saudis. But in kowtowing to Riyadh in a fanciful effort to make it the centerpiece of U.S. strategy in the Middle East, the Trump administration has emboldened MbS, as the crown prince is known; given him a sense of invincibility; and encouraged him to believe there are no consequences for his reckless actions. And it is likely, unless confronted with incontrovertible evidence of Saudi responsibility for Khashoggi’s death or serious pressure from Congress, the president would be reluctant to impose those consequences even now.

Previous administrations—both Republican and Democratic—also pandered to the Saudis, but rarely on such a galactic, unrestrained, and unreciprocated scale. Through its silence or approval, Washington gave MbS—the new architect of the risk-ready, aggressive, and repressive Saudi policies at home and in the region—wide latitude to pursue a disastrous course toward Yemen and Qatar.

Over the past two years, the policies pursued by the crown prince have undermined important American interests. For all the investment the administration has made in the U.S.-Saudi relationship, we are getting precious little in return.

In May 2017, the Saudis promised to buy $110 billion worth of additional U.S.military weapons and equipment. Trump has cited those arms sales as a reason not to pressure the Saudis over Khashoggi’s disappearance. But there’s a lot less here than meets the eye.

All of this helps explain why the Saudi role in the disappearance of Khashoggi is such a critical inflection point in U.S.-Saudi relations. Unlike 9/11, where there was no compelling evidence that the senior Saudi leadership had foreknowledge of or played a role in the attacks, the killing of Khashoggi could not have taken place without the express approval of the crown prince.

The question that remains to be answered, though, given the executive branch’s control of foreign policy, is how the Trump administration will respond over time. Will it recognize that the U.S.-Saudi relationship is out of control? That the Saudis are pursuing interests that do not coincide with ours

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/trump-fault-jamal-khashoggis-disappearance/572797/

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Trump’s Inaction Risks Emboldening Saudis After Writer Vanishes

President Donald Trump’s reluctance to impose consequences against Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi has fed criticism that his administration could be letting the kingdom get away with murder.

Trump said Thursday he’s disinclined to block arm sales to the Saudi government, as senators in his own party have suggested. He said there are “other things we could do” if the gruesome allegations prove true, without elaborating.

His hesitation to punish the kingdom reflects the close ties Trump’s White House has nurtured with the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and his administration’s acquiescence to other Saudi actions that have drawn international condemnation. Under Trump, the U.S. has continued to back a Saudi bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen that’s killed thousands of civilians, providing American logistical support and weapons.

Even as senators push for sanctions against Saudi Arabia if the murder allegations prove true, Trump has said only that he’d take unspecified action.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-12/trump-caution-on-missing-writer-risks-giving-saudis-green-light

And another article on the Trump administration and the Khashoggi case: https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/trump-vs-saudi-arabia-will-a-murdered-journalist-finally-strain-the-alliance-1.6550166

and

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Body Parts on the Bosporus

Donald Trump’s Saudi infatuation and the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

For six days, the Trump Administration was virtually silent. M.B.S., as the prince is known, has been embraced by Trump as his lost Middle Eastern son, an infatuation cemented by a $110 billion arms deal on the president’s first trip abroad. Trump has relegated human rights to a non-issue in his foreign policy. He has embraced autocrats. He has insulted journalists like Khashoggi who speak truth to power. Beyond himself and money, Trump has no serious interests.

Put these and other elements together — an erratic Saudi prince given carte blanche by Trump, wielding cash and fear to secure fealty, brooking no opposition to the House of Saud, blind to devastation from the Saudi-led war in Yemen, allowing women to drive but arresting the women activists behind this concession, detaining critics en masse, throwing a fit at Canada (yes, Canada!) over justified human-rights criticism — and the folly of killing Khashoggi in Turkey becomes incremental rather than inconceivable. For now, I find the case for Saudi perpetration of this hideous crime persuasive.

Khashoggi’s disappearance is now Exhibit A in the price of Trump’s values-free foreign policy, his cavalier contempt for the core American values at the heart of America’s alliances. That price was already evident from Yemen to the Philippines to Russia.

After more than a week, Trump did muster a mild dissent — “I don’t like it” — but called relations with Saudi Arabia “excellent.”

This is Trump World. Money talks. Brutes do what they want. Human rights are scoffed at. Morality (ha-ha) is what you can get away with. Truth is no match for manipulation (don’t hold your breath for clarity on this foul deed). Decency dies. Culture collapses. M.B.S. dangles billions for his Vision 2030 Saudi makeover, and fawning businesses scurry to his “Davos in the Desert” extravaganza this month. A stubborn journalist, a human being with a conscience, gets dismembered in a Saudi consulate.

One life! Mnuchin and Dimon might argue. What’s a single life beside vast economic interests? But sometimes a single life is all of civilization.

As to those strategic interests, prominent among them for the Trump administration is using Saudi Arabia in its obsessive campaign against Iran. When I was in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, every senior Saudi official I met compared Iran to Hitler’s Nazi regime. This is pure Iran derangement syndrome. Iran is a repressive and expansionist regime with a hideous human rights record. So is Saudi Arabia.

Looking at the history of the past two decades, and Saudi Arabia’s consistent underwriting of the Wahhabi orthodoxy behind murderous Islamist hatred of the apostate West, it is impossible to argue that Iran has inflicted more harm on American interests than Saudi Arabia has. The Saudis take that dubious accolade.

After 9/11, 15-man Saudi hit squads are very familiar to Americans.

It’s time to call in every Saudi chip. The United States has plenty, including arms sales. They should be stopped until we know how Khashoggi disappeared in his own consulate – by Roger Cohen

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/12/opinion/jamal-khashoggi-donald-trump.html

My comment: The author is right, but he is a hypocrite. “But sometimes a single life is all of civilization”: You were silent on many thousands murdered in Yemen. – the NYT always was writing in favor of and in accordance with US “strategic interests”, you might not especially blame Trump for following these interests. You and your paper must be blamed too.

And also look here, it’s exactly the same:

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Will you work for a murderer? That’s the question a host of ex-generals, diplomats and spies may soon face.

“Why do you work for a murderer?”

Increasingly, it seems that is a question many Americans should be preparing themselves to answer.

Each year, Saudi Arabia employs, through consultants or otherwise, a host of retired American generals, diplomats, intelligence experts and others. Until now, they could assure themselves this was a win-win: lucrative for them, to be sure, but also enhancing mutual understanding with an important U.S. ally.

Now, as more and more evidence implicates Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the reported murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Saudi diplomatic property in Istanbul, the equation has changed.

So how might, say, a retired Air Force colonel explain his work when his daughter asks, “Daddy, why do you work for a murderer?”

“Why do you work for a murderer?”

Increasingly, it seems that is a question many Americans should be preparing themselves to answer.

Each year, Saudi Arabia employs, through consultants or otherwise, a host of retired American generals, diplomats, intelligence experts and others. Until now, they could assure themselves this was a win-win: lucrative for them, to be sure, but also enhancing mutual understanding with an important U.S. ally.

Now, as more and more evidence implicates Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the reported murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Saudi diplomatic property in Istanbul, the equation has changed.

So how might, say, a retired Air Force colonel explain his work when his daughter asks, “Daddy, why do you work for a murderer?”

“Well, it helps to pay your future college tuition,” he might answer. “And besides, I finally get to fly business class. Riyadh is no picnic, but they always spring for a couple of nights in a five-star hotel in London or Abu Dhabi on the way over and the way back. . . . And if I don’t do it, someone else will.”

This, essentially, is President Trump’s answer, at least so far. Yes, the Saudis may have committed a monstrous crime. But, the president said, “They’re spending $110 billion purchasing military equipment and other things. If we don’t sell it to them, they’ll say, ‘Well, thank you very much. We’ll buy it from Russia.’

To an ethically challenged businessman, that may be nothing but common sense. To a patriot, the argument is self-evidently misbegotten. If the United States is willing to sacrifice its moral standing for $110 billion (most of which will never materialize, but never mind that), why should any nation ever look to it for leadership?

Watching his daughter try to process his justification, the retired colonel understands what Trump does not: No salary, no military contract, could compensate for the loss of the world’s respect. So he tries again.

“You see,” he says, “we need Saudi Arabia’s help to stand up to the really bad actor in the region — Iran.”

“Oh,” she says, hoping this answer will be more satisfying. “What makes Iran so bad?”

“Well, they don’t let their people express themselves freely, or practice the religion of their choice, or even dress the way they want,” the colonel replies.

“And Saudi Arabia does?”

“Well . . . ,” he answers. “No. Not exactly. But Iran also does terrible things in its neighborhood — fighting in Syria, interfering in Lebanon.”

By now, she is almost afraid to ask. “And Saudi Arabia . . . ?”

The colonel, thinking about Saudi war crimes in Yemen — the busloads of children blown up, the 400,000 children suffering from malnutrition, the worst cholera epidemic in modern history — falls silent.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/are-we-willing-to-sacrifice-our-moral-standing-for-this/2018/10/12/baf7bff6-ce42-11e8-a3e6-44daa3d35ede_story.html

My comment: Exactly this is it. But the Washington Post itself had worked for a murderer at least since the beginning of the Yemen War 3 ½ years ago. Greetings to David Ignatius.

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The Tragedy of Jamal Khashoggi

The sad irony of the Saudi journalist’s disappearance: His fate may seal that of the reckless leader he criticized.

It’s not just Jamal Khashoggi.

The disappearance and reported killing of the reform-minded Saudi journalist at a consulate in Istanbul is only the latest in a succession of developments that have cast serious doubt upon the trajectory of Saudi Arabia under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Since the 33-year-old son of King Salman leapfrogged dozens of older and more experienced cousins to become Saudi Arabia’s next-generation leader in 2015, he has lurched from one mistake to another.

This pattern of behavior has earned “MBS,” as he is commonly known, a reputation as an impulsive, even reckless decision-maker, but until recently he has faced little domestic or international pushback or crossed a bridge too far. Indeed, it seems like only yesterday that the young Saudi leader was being feted in America’s op-ed pages and foreign-policy salons as a visionary reformer who just wanted to drag his hidebound country into the 21st century.

All that now may change if it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that Khashoggi was killed

If the Saudis indeed killed Khashoggi and thought they could get away with it, they have made a grave miscalculation. Not only was he a contributing writer for the influential Washington Post op-ed page — which has been thundering in its demands for accountability — but Khashoggi was well-known on Capitol Hill as a leading Saudi reformer.

MBS’ crackdown goes well beyond Khashoggi, however. Over the past year, the authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested dozens, if not hundreds, of writers, journalists, clerics and, most recently, women’s rights advocates

The furious Saudi response to comments by the Canadian foreign minister served notice that Saudi Arabia under MBS is not prepared to tolerate external criticism of its domestic affairs, and the descriptions of many of the political detainees as “agents of embassies” and “traitors” in Saudi state-linked media left foreign diplomats shaken by the vehemence of the authorities’ reaction.

None of that had any lasting effect, it seemed. This time, though, MBS and his entourage appear to have gravely underestimated the scale of the U.S. political reaction to Khashoggi’s disappearance and presumed death, in part because for much of the foreign policy community in Washington, Khashoggi was a colleague, a friend and, as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recklessly revealed, a source. Khashoggi’s fate is personal in a way that the plight of many of the other political detainees is not.

If the worst that happens to Saudi Arabia is a rap on the knuckles from the State Department and reputational damage inside the Beltway, that would likely be a price MBS deems worth paying for silencing the kingdom’s highest-profile and best-connected critic. The outpouring of political fury from Congress, though not from the president himself, has taken the Saudis by surprise, and the more the circumstantial evidence accumulates the more the firestorm may intensify.

But if congressional anger persists, it may translate into renewed actions to rein in U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and support for Saudi initiatives such as the war in Yemen.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/10/12/the-tragedy-of-jamal-khashoggi-221306

My comment: As evidently is admitted here, for the US establishment, there are valuable, less valuable and invaluable victims. We always knew this.

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HRW urges Saudi allies to review ties over missing journalist

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged allies of Saudi Arabia to review their ties with its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"If Saudi Arabia is responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance and possible murder, the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and other Saudi allies need to fundamentally reconsider their relationship with a leadership whose behaviour resembles that of a rogue regime," the New York-based rights group said.

"There is a mountain of evidence implicating Saudi Arabia in the enforced disappearance and potential murder of Jamal Khashoggi," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the group's Middle East director.

"As the days go by, Saudi Arabia's fact-free denials are becoming indictments in and of themselves."

https://www.france24.com/en/20181011-hrw-urges-saudi-allies-review-ties-over-missing-journalist

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Khashoggi’s alleged killing puts pressure on Saudi Arabia’s lobbying corps in Washington

The alleged killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi is putting pressure on Saudi Arabia’s formidable lobbying corps in Washington, with at least one firm dropping its representation of the country and others warily monitoring the crisis.

The Harbour Group — which had received $80,000 a month to advise Saudi Arabia on communications, foreign policy and government relations — said it had severed its ties with the kingdom.

“We are terminating our relationship,” Richard Mintz, managing director of the Harbour Group, said in an interview Friday.

The Saudis plowed $27 million into lobbying in Washington last year, making them one of the highest-spending countries seeking to influence U.S. policy, according to public records.

Ben Freeman, director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center for International Policy, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington, called the nearly three dozen Washington lobbying and law firms retained by the kingdom a “Saudi machine.”

So far, many of the firms on the country’s payroll — including the BGR Group, the Glover Park Group, Hogan Lovells and Hill & Knowlton — have remained silent amid growing public outrage over reports that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/politics/khashoggis-alleged-killing-puts-pressure-on-saudi-arabias-lobbying-corps-in-washington/2018/10/12/e10ecfa0-ce6e-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html

My comment: The Washington Post itself is part of this “Saudi Arabia’s lobbying corps”. Greetings to David Ignatius.

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Museums Forced to Reassess Saudi Ties Amid Uproar Over Journalist’s Fate

For years, nonprofits from museums to major universities have been strengthening ties with the oil kingdoms of the Middle East as a way to broaden their offerings, foster cross-cultural dialogue and obtain access to those countries’ considerable riches.

Now they are having to answer the same question as the one confronting the American government: whether the possible murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a reason to shun Saudi Arabia, or if the country is simply too wealthy and important to walk away from.

On Friday, one organization involved in coordinating the New York exhibits, the Middle East Institute, a Washington-based think tank, said it no longer wanted to be party to them.

Most of the organizations said that they intended to proceed with their plans, or that they were still evaluating their relationships. And since Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights has never been a secret, it would most likely surprise no one if the museums ultimately decided not to back away.

“If you’re doing business with the Saudis — whether it be a museum or extracting oil — you’re accepting that this is who your partner is,” said Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, a conservative think tank based in Philadelphia. He said an episode like the Khashoggi disappearance should give pause: “A regime like this is one that should be held at arm’s length.”

But the ties between nonprofit institutions and the oil kingdoms are extensive and growing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/12/arts/design/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-museums.html

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After Khashoggi, US arms sales to the Saudis are essential leverage

The U.S. arms relationship with the kingdom is the most important leverage Washington has as it contemplates reacting to the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

In June 2017, after the president’s visit to Riyadh—his first official foreign travel—we published a Brookings blog post detailing that his claims to have sold $110 billion in weapons were spurious. Other media outlets subsequently came to the same conclusion.

AVENGING KHASHOGGI

Congress now has the power to make a serious decision, halting arms sales and the logistics train for the kingdom in the wake of the reported murder of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Turkey last week. The outrageous attack on Jamal deserves serious reaction, and given Trump’s dereliction of duty on the matter, it is up to Congress to act – by Bruce Riedel

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/10/10/after-khashoggi-us-arms-sales-to-the-saudis-are-essential-leverage/

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The @nytimes has pulled its sponsorship of the FII investment conference in Riyadh, which is hosted by the Saudi crown price (and other withdrawals in thread)

https://twitter.com/grynbaum/status/1050157874662531072

(A P)

BlackRock and Blackstone CEOs withdraw from Saudi conference: source

BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink and Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman will no will no longer attend a high profile conference in Saudi Arabia, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday, becoming the latest senior executives to withdraw amid concerns about a missing journalist.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-blackrock/blackrock-and-blackstone-ceos-withdraw-from-saudi-conference-source-idUSKCN1MP16C

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JP Morgan and Ford cancel plans for Saudi investor event

JP Morgan & Chase Co (JPM.N) Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and Ford Motor Co (F.N) Chairman Bill Ford canceled plans to attend a Saudi investor conference, the companies said on Sunday, the latest such high-profile announcements after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The cancellations could add pressure on other U.S. firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Mastercard Inc (MA.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) to reconsider their plans to attend the investor event.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-ford/jp-morgan-and-ford-cancel-plans-for-saudi-investor-event-idUSKCN1MO0VU

and

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JP Morgan CEO Dimon cancels plans to attend Saudi investor event

JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) Chief Executive Jamie Dimon has canceled plans to attend a Saudi Arabian investor conference later this month, the company said on Sunday, the latest high-profile cancellation after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-jpmorgan/jp-morgan-ceo-dimon-cancels-plans-to-attend-saudi-investor-event-idUSKCN1MO0YV

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Mnuchin still plans to attend Saudi investment conference as others pull out in response to missing journalist

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that he still plans to attend a major investment conference in Saudi Arabia this month despite mounting evidence that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“We are concerned about what is the status of Mr. Khashoggi,” Mnuchin said during an interview on CNBC. “Although I haven’t had direct conversation with the Saudis, I know other people within the executive branch have, and those discussions are underway. I am planning on going at this point. If more information comes out and changes, we could look at that, but I am planning on going.”

A growing number of media companies, including CNN, have announced that they will no longer participate in the event scheduled to start Oct. 23 in Riyadh. Several business leaders, including Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who announced his withdrawal on Friday, are also backing out.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mnuchin-still-plans-to-attend-saudi-investment-conference-as-others-pull-out-in-response-to-missing-journalist/2018/10/12/d2f43d0a-ce1a-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html?utm_term=.d371241fcdf1

and also https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-mnuchin/u-s-treasury-secretary-mnuchin-still-plans-to-attend-upcoming-saudi-summit-idUSKCN1MO0K0

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Media sponsors drop out of Saudi conference after journalist goes missing

Media companies are pulling out of a high-profile business conference in Saudi Arabia as questions mount about the kingdom's role in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Future Investment Initiative, also known as "Davos in the desert," is hosted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and is part of his Vision 2030 plan to break the country's dependence on oil.

The conference is scheduled to take place between October 23 and October 25 in Riyadh. Major political and business figures have been invited to speak and several big companies, including Siemens (SIEGY), MasterCard (MA) and Deloitte are listed as "strategic partners" for the event on its website.

But media partners for the conference have come under particular scrutiny, since Khashoggi is a prominent Saudi journalist, contributor to the Washington Post and critic of the Saudi regime.

The New York Times has pulled its partnership, telling CNN Business in a statement that the newspaper is "no longer a media sponsor."

"In light of the current situation related to the disappearance of the Washington Post's Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey, we are no longer comfortable being associated with the event," a Times spokesperson said.

On Friday, CNN also canceled its partnership, and said its anchors and reporters would no longer moderate panels.

"CNN has withdrawn its participation in the Saudi Future Investment Initiative Conference," a spokesperson said in a statement.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/11/media/saudi-conference-media-sponsors-khashoggi/index.html

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The murder of Jamal Khashoggi shows the danger of Trump’s anti-press rhetoric

The president has consistently referred to press as “the enemy of the people”. With horrifying inevitability, people are taking him at his word.

This cosy relationship with Trump has allowed bin Salman to operate largely with impunity, and he has not been reluctant to throw his weight around on the international stage. Alongside the war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has been increasingly putting pressure on its neighbour Qatar in a trade boycott.

The murder of Khashoggi, if the reports turn out to be true, represents a new high-water mark of the impunity with which bin Salman believes he can operate. And so far, there is no sign from the US government that they will do anything about the fact that an American resident appears to have been lured into a consulate and murdered by a supposed ally.

This may be no coincidence. Trump, remember, is a leader who consistently refers to the press as the “enemy of the people”

https://www.newstatesman.com/world/middle-east/2018/10/murder-jamal-khashoggi-shows-danger-trump-s-anti-press-rhetoric

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Trump’s nasty apathy about Jamal Khashoggi

President Trump is many awful things — a braggart, a liar, an ignoramus, a bully and a foul-mouthed narcissist. Now we see him apathetic about what appears to be a brutal crime — the disappearance of a journalist, Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi

The nastiness of the prince is now beyond dispute and so, really, is the nastiness of his judgment. Nonetheless, Trump continues to embrace the regime and, in fact, supports the war in Yemen. And when the regime in Riyadh arrests and jails dissidents, such as the women who led the effort to lift the ban on female driving, Washington says nothing.

The silence of the Trump administration is bad enough.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/10/10/trumps-nasty-apathy-about-jamal-khashoggi/

My comment: This is from Oct. 10. – Trump’s reaction still now (Oct. 14) is soft. – But comments like this one here really are hard to stand looking at the Yemen war. The Wa Po’s “nasty apathy” about the Yemen war is a fact for years now. – The “nastiness” of the Saudi crown prince had been “beyond dispute” since the beginning of this war 2 ½ years ago. The Wa Po looked away.

(* A B P)

Mainstream Journos Pissed As Saudi Clown Prince Nabs One Of Their Own

The Moustache of Understanding, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, is pissed that the Saudi clown prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the kidnapping of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, who comes from a very rich family, has long served the Saudi regime in editorial positions and was the media adviser to Prince Turki al-Faisal during his tenure as ambassador in London and Washington. He left Saudi Arabia last year out of fear of being targeted in the ongoing crackdown by clown prince Mohammad bin Salman. He ended up writing mildly critical columns for the Washington Post.

The bootlicking 'premier' western publications, especially the Washington Post, lauded Mohammad bin Salman as a reformer. He never was one. He said so himself in a recent Bloomberg interview. Nor did any of his predecessor, who were all lauded as reformers by the mainstream media, ever really change the archaic Saudi system. But when MbS visited the United States this spring every Silicon Valley billionaire, including Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, was happy to have his picture taken with him.

But no one kissed bin Salman's ass as affectionate as Tom Friedman.

The main stream journos who are now up in arms over Khashoggi are mostly embarrassed about their earlier adoration of Mohammad bin Salman. But even more important to them is that Khashoggi is one of their class. They think of themselves as entitled aristocrats who do not deserve such a fate. That is reserved for the deplorable plebs below them.

Just consider this amoral passage in Friedman's whining column about the Khashoggi case:

If Jamal has been abducted or murdered by agents of the Saudi government, it will be a disaster for M.B.S. and a tragedy for Saudi Arabia and all the Arab Gulf countries. It would be an unfathomable violation of norms of human decency, worse not in numbers but in principle than even the Yemen war.

Saudi Arabia under Mohammad bin Salman is weak and vulnerable. The kidnapping of Khashoggi is a sign of its insecurity. It can not even afford to have one mild critic outside of its control. The U.S. is quite happy with this situation. It makes it easier for the Trump administration to squeeze more money out of the lunatic kingdom. The administration will not blame the Salman regime over Khashoggi. Neither will Congress. Last year the Saudis spent $27.3 million to lobby Washington. They bribe every senator who will take their money.

The only thing the Trump administration might do about the Khashoggi case is to accuse Qasem Soleimani and the GRU of interference in it. MI6 may soon find that an Iranian agent novichoked Khashoggi.

When the State Department will - in the harshest terms - condemn Iran for abducting Khashoggi, when the Treasury again sanctions Russia and when the Pentagon increases its support for the bombing of Yemen, Friedman and the other sycophants will again rise up and applause.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/10/mainstream-journos-are-pissed-that-their-beloved-saudi-clown-prince-nabs-one-of-their-class.html

Like a comment: Imagine you’ve made a ton of tiny, easily justified compromises as your career as a Middle East expert blossomed. Sure, it’s a UAE/Saudi funded position, but you still have your independence. Then all of a sudden Saudi agents take a bone saw to your friend. What to do?

https://twitter.com/ryangrim/status/1050799638142431232

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Trump cites Saudi Arabia’s arms deal with U.S. to downplay apparent murder of journalist

"Again, this took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen, is that right, or?"

During a press availability on Thursday, the supposed leader of the free world downplayed the apparent death of Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi regime as a cost of doing business, and pointed out that the Virginia-based dissident journalist was merely a permanent resident of the United States.

“Again, this took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen, is that right, or?… he’s a permanent resident, okay,” President Trump said. “We don’t like it even a little bit. But as to whether or not we should stop $110 billion from being spent in this country, knowing that they have four or five alternatives — two very good alternatives — that would not be acceptable to me.”

Trump’s “$110 billion” comment refers to an arms deal his administration struck with Saudi Arabia in May.

Earlier during the press availability, Trump was unable to describe what exactly the U.S. is doing to investigate the apparent death of Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, beyond saying, “we are looking at it, we are looking at it very strongly.” He characterized Khashoggi’s potential murder as “a terrible thing, assuming it happened.”

Asked about the possibility of punishing Saudi Arabia, Trump made clear that he prioritizes doing business with the country more than he does basic human rights.

“I don’t like stopping massive amounts of money that’s being poured into our country,” Trump said. “They are spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs for this country.”

Trump’s financial relationship with Saudi Arabia goes beyond arms sales. As the Washington Post reported in August, the Saudi regime has been pumping money directly into Trump’s pockets through his hotels.

https://thinkprogress.org/khashoggi-trump-turkey-saudi-arabia-arms-sales-d842b8148188/

https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1050425941460172801

and comment by Glen Greenwald: Trump here is expressing the views & conduct of US officials & DC foreign policy elites for decades. He's just doing it with a bluntness that illuminates rather than obfuscates. So often, DC mavens hate Trump mostly because of his inability and/or refusal to mask what the US is

https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1050357315067699201

For those upset at Trump admitting that he doesn't want to sanction Saudi Arabia because it would hurt the US economically, please confront 1) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-saudi-security/obama-administration-arms-sales-offers-to-saudi-top-115-billion-report-idUSKCN11D2JQ … & 2) @wolfblitzer's comments to @RandPaul about ceasing support for the Saudi regime

https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1050358044826226688

(* A P)

Trump Calls Relations With Saudi Arabia ‘Excellent,’ While Congress Is Incensed

The suspected murder of a prominent Saudi journalist exposed a growing rift on Thursday between the White House and Congress over American policy on Saudi Arabia, as Republican lawmakers demanded an investigation of Jamal Khashoggi’s whereabouts even as President Trump declared his relations with Riyadh “excellent.”

“The Saudis will keep killing civilians and journalists as long as we keep arming and assisting them,” Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, said on Twitter on Thursday. “The President should immediately halt arms sales and military support to Saudi Arabia.”

But Mr. Trump quickly made clear he would not.

“What good does that do us?” Mr. Trump asked, speaking to reporters midday in the Oval Office.

“I would not be in favor of stopping a country from spending $110 billion — which is an all-time record — and letting Russia have that money and letting China have that money,” Mr. Trump said, referring to an arms deal with the Saudis, brokered last year, that the president has said will lead to new American jobs.

The Trump administration was widely criticized for its relative silence on Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance until Monday, six days after he entered the Saudi Consulate. Critics said the slow reaction could embolden leaders of Saudi Arabia and other authoritarian nations to carry out human rights abuses.

The intense scrutiny of Saudi Arabia and its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, may strain his close relationship with Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and top Middle East adviser.

Some analysts have also questioned whether financial ties between Mr. Trump and Saudi businessmen compromise his policies.

“The unanswered questions about the extent to which Trump’s personal interests — as well as those of his family and associates, including Jared Kushner — have had an effect on the U.S. approach to Saudi Arabia makes the close Saudi ties all the more troubling,” said Jeffrey Prescott, a senior White House director on the Middle East during the Obama administration.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/11/us/politics/trump-jamal-khashoggi-turkey-saudi.html

(* A P)

Senators warn Trump that Saudi relationship is on the line

Senators are making clear that key aspects of the U.S.-Saudi relationship are on the line as they ramp up pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family and President Trump over the disappearance of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Top Republican senators are hopeful the Trump administration will heed their warning and act on the Senate’s request for the White House to conduct a statutorily required investigation into whether Saudi sanctions are needed.

But some lawmakers are going a step further by talking about a possible clampdown on the military-to-military relationship that would include nixing arms sales and withdrawing support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen’s civil war.

“I think the burden of proof is now on the Saudis to demonstrate that they were not participants in any way in harming, killing or kidnapping Mr. Khashoggi,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The burden of proof is on them. They got to show it, and if they don’t show it, I think it will fundamentally change the nature of the relationship.”

https://thehill.com/policy/international/411071-senators-warn-trump-that-saudi-relationship-is-on-line

(A P)

U.S. expects information from Saudi ambassador on missing journalist: State Dept.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to United States is headed back to Riyadh and the U.S. government expects him to provide information on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi when he returns to Washington, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said on Thursday.

“I’m told that he’s headed back to his home country, and we expect some information when he gets back,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a media briefing.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-envoy/u-s-expects-information-from-saudi-ambassador-on-missing-journalist-state-dept-idUSKCN1ML2RZ

My comment: And she really thinks they will get “information”???

(* A P)

Intel: How Saudi journalist’s disappearance is becoming US election issue
Democrats looking to build a case against President Donald Trump ahead of next month’s elections have begun using dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s mysterious disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as ammunition.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., attacked Trump today over his cozy relationship with Riyadh, which he argues enabled Khashoggi’s alleged murder along with other exactions by Saudi Arabia. A favorite among left-wing voters and a possible 2020 presidential contender, Sanders is on a nine-state campaign tour this month to fire up the base for Democratic mid-term candidates.

“If the Saudi regime murdered a journalist critic in their own consulate, there must be accountability and there must be an unequivocal condemnation by the United States,” Sanders said in a foreign policy address at Johns Hopkins University in Washington. “But it seems clear that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman feels emboldened by the Trump administration’s unquestioning support.”

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/10/intel-saudi-journalist-disappearance-us-election-issue.html

(* A P)

‘Sweep it under the rug’: Fears grow Trump won't confront Saudis over journalist's disappearance

'If the Saudis don’t come up with a credible answer to this, they’re done in this town,' one D.C.-based analyst said.

President Donald Trump’s desire to maintain strong ties to Saudi Arabia is facing its biggest test yet: allegations that Riyadh ordered the killing of a dissident Saudi journalist who had been living in the United States.

Calls are mounting for the Trump administration to find out what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.

The White House insists it’s taking the case seriously, with Trump vowing Wednesday to “get to the bottom of it.” But former officials and analysts, including some friendly with Khashoggi, are dismayed by what they say is a milquetoast response so far by the Trump team.

On Tuesday evening, a group of foreign policy figures attended a dinner with a senior White House official with responsibility for the Middle East. The official kept stressing that the U.S. had significant long-term interests in Saudi Arabia and repeatedly noted that Iran is a top threat, several attendees told POLITICO on condition that some of the details about the event be kept private.

When asked about Khashoggi, the official said the U.S. is still trying to get information about what happened, a statement many in the audience found absurd given that Khashoggi disappeared a week earlier and detailed reports had emerged in the media. The official said nothing about the administration being prepared to hold the Saudis accountable for what happened.

Several foreign policy specialists say the anecdote shows that the Trump administration hopes this crisis will blow over the same way other thorny dilemmas involving Saudi Arabia have in recent years.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/10/trump-saudis-journalist-disappearance-890411

(*A P)

What is the Magnitsky Act? How does it apply to Khashoggi's case?

Senators trigger act requiring Trump to determine if foreign person violated the human rights of the Saudi writer.

After the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US Senators triggered the terms of the Global Magnitsky Act, which requires the president to investigate and determine if a foreign person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing, torture or other gross violation of internationally recognised human rights.

In a letter, signed by a bipartisan group of 22 Senators on Wednesday, Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, demanded President Donald Trump probe any violations committed against Khashoggi.

Here's a look at the Magnitsky Act and how it applies to Khashoggi's case:

In 2016, it was expanded to give the executive branch power to impose targeted sanctions or visa bans on individuals who have committed human rights violations anywhere in the world.

Holding a threat of significant sanctions, the law is also meant to deter human rights violators from partaking in future violations, according to Mai El-Sadany, the legal and judicial director at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington.

"The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act is an unprecedented human rights tool ... [it] enables the president of the United States to apply targeted sanctions against individuals involved in human rights violations," El-Sadany told Al Jazeera.

How does it apply in Khashoggi's case? What happens next?

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/magnitsky-act-apply-khashoggi-case-181011184312416.html

(* A P)

It’s time for Saudi Arabia to tell the truth on Jamal Khashoggi

The publicly available evidence is not entirely conclusive. But it clearly shows that Saudi officials, including the ambassador in Washington, were not telling the truth when they denied the existence of the Saudi team. The Saudis have been saying that Mr. Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after arriving, and that they have no knowledge of what happened to him; the ambassador to the United States, Khalid bin Salman, even professes to share the concerns about Mr. Khashoggi’s welfare. That cynical stance has been shredded.

In the absence of an adequate response, the regime must be held responsible. As Mr. Kaine rightly put it, “We will have to analyze everything about the U.S.-Saudi relationship,” including military sales and cooperation.

Mr. Trump ought to consult his own intelligence officials and diplomats, who are well informed about the evidence. He should accept that a regime that is vicious and reckless enough to oversee the killing of a journalist in a diplomatic facility, then blatantly lie about it, cannot be a trustworthy partner of the United States. If the crown prince’s government does not immediately explain what happened to Mr. Khashoggi, and punish those responsible, it must be punished with sanctions — by Congress, if Mr. Trump cannot bring himself to act – by Editorial Board, Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/its-time-for-saudi-arabia-to-tell-the-truth-on-jamal-khashoggi/2018/10/10/fadc952e-ccb7-11e8-a3e6-44daa3d35ede_story.html

(* A P)

International reactions to Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

Read some of the international reactions to the disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi who has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. CPJ calls on Saudi Arabia to account for his whereabouts.

https://twitter.com/i/moments/1048757920350064641

cp04 Internationale Reaktionen / International reactions

(A P)

Very pleased this motion on #JamalKhashoggi’s disappearance & suspected murder is being introduced into the #Australian Senate tomorrow. Hoping it receives bi-partisan support (text in image)

https://twitter.com/Sophiemcneill/status/1051710624827244544

(* A P)

Britain, France and Germany told Saudi Arabia they were treating the case with "the utmost seriousness".

"There needs to be a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and - if relevant - to identify those bearing responsibility for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and ensure that they are held to account," the foreign ministers from the three countries said in a joint statement.

"We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi government to provide a complete and detailed response. We have conveyed this message directly to the Saudi authorities."

The statement, by British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, France's Jean-Yves Le Drian and Germany's Heiko Maas, made no mention of potential actions the countries might take.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/saudis-vow-to-retaliate-against-credible-khashoggi-probe

and

(A P)

Britain would consider action if Saudi role in journalist case proven: Hunt

Britain would have to think about the appropriate way to react if it was proven that Saudi Arabia was behind the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Sunday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-hunt/britain-would-consider-action-if-saudi-role-in-journalist-case-proven-hunt-idUSKCN1MO0P3

and

(A P)

Film: Labour: Evidence in Khashoggi case points to Saudis

Shadow Foreign Secretary @EmilyThornberry condemns Saudi government after the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi

https://twitter.com/BBCPolitics/status/1051405711656140801

(A P)

UK's Labour says would stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia

Britain’s main opposition Labour Party would stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia if it was in government, its foreign policy spokeswoman said on Sunday after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-labour/uks-labour-says-would-stop-selling-arms-to-saudi-arabia-idUSKCN1MO0DH

(A P)

France to decide 'soon' on Saudi conference participation: minister

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday no decision had yet been taken on whether to attend a high profile investment conference in Saudi Arabia, which executives have pulled out of amid concerns over a missing journalist.

“For now, no decision has been taken. The decision will obviously be up to the president to take and this decision will be announced in the coming days,” Le Maire said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-france/france-to-decide-soon-on-saudi-conference-participation-minister-idUSKCN1MP1MJ

(A P)

Egypt calls for transparent investigation of Khashoggi case

Egypt on Sunday called for a transparent investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and warned against the case being used to politically exploit Saudi Arabia.

The country said it was monitoring developments “with concern” and supported Saudi Arabia’s efforts to deal with the situation, the statement said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-egypt/egypt-calls-for-transparent-investigation-of-khashoggi-case-idUSKCN1MO0U1

(* A P)

ABBAS ON KHASHOGGI: THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE STAND WITH SAUDI ARABIA

The Palestinian Authority President delivered his statement on Sunday as pressures mount on Saudi Arabia following the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday issued a statement in which he voiced "full confidence" in Saudi Arabia and praised its leaders for their support for the Palestinians.
The statement, which was published by the PA president's office, quoted Abbas as saying he has "absolute confidence" in Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

"Palestine was - and shall remain - on the side of Saudi Arabia," Abbas said. He also voiced appreciation for the positions of Saudi Arabia, "which has always supported -and still does - our just cause and the rights of our people."
The Palestinian news agency Wafa, which published Abbas's statement on Sunday afternoon, did not give any reason as to why the PA president had decided to publicly come out in support of Saudi Arabia and its leaders, especially Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
However, Palestinian sources in Ramallah said they believed the statement was issued at the request of the Saudi leadership in wake of charges the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was least seen entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey earlier this month.
The Saudis, the sources said, are seeking to rally Arab support in face of the growing criticism over their suspected role in the disappearance of Khashoggi.

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Abbas-on-Khashoggi-The-Palestinian-people-stand-by-Saudi-Arabia-569364

My comment: Really strange and disgusting. Now the Saudi vassals and mouthpieces bought with Saudi money will show up. Yemen’s Hadi government might be the next one. – Oh, as expected:

And

(* A P)

String of statements in the past few hours in support of the Saudi government from Egyptian government, Lebanese PM, UAE, Oman, Jordan, GCC SEC GEN, Yemen’s Hadi government, Palestinian Authority, Djibouti, Arab League

https://twitter.com/yeh1a/status/1051574256138682372

My comment: All those Saudi vassals, those receiving Saudi money, all those who fear they could be bullied by the Saudis in case they just keep silent, now mouthpiecing in favor of Saudi Arabia.

(* A P)

Saudi summit in crisis as Khashoggi case prompts mass withdrawals

World Bank joins CNN and Financial Times in pulling out of kingdom’s showpiece investment event

A high-profile investment summit in Riyadh later this month is rapidly becoming a fiasco as prominent businesses and media groups have pulled out over Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement in the disappearance and possible murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, said he would not be attending, and the Financial Times, Bloomberg, CNN and CNBC have withdrawn as media sponsors.

The world’s business elite were due to attend the Future Investment Initiative (FII), which begins in the Saudi capital on 23 October. However, some of the companies involved say they are withdrawing pending the outcome of investigations into Khashoggi’s disappearance, while others have pulled out unconditionally.

The New York Times withdrew its sponsorship of the event on Wednesday

Media figures to pull out of the conference include Arianna Huffington, who runs the health firm Thrive Global, Patrick Soon-Shiong, the owner of the LA Times, and the CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin. The Viacom chief executive, Bob Bakish, and Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, have also confirmed they will not attend.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/12/saudi-arabia-fii-conference-withdrawal-jamal-khashoggi

and

(A P)

Japanese newspaper Nikkei is also no longer a media partner for the Saudi investment conference #FII2018

https://twitter.com/DanielFastbend/status/1051135391716335616

and

(A P)

World Bank chief exits planned Saudi investment conference

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim will not attend a Saudi Arabian investment conference later this month, a World Bank official told Reuters on Friday citing a scheduling conflict.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-conference-w/world-bank-chief-exits-planned-saudi-investment-conference-idUSKCN1MM1M6

(A P)

Film: Foreign companies are pulling out of a Saudi investment conference over reports of the assassination of the prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey

https://twitter.com/trtworld/status/1050872489335762944

(A P)

Bloomberg will no longer serve as a media partner for the Future Investment Initiative and I will no longer be attending as a Speaker. As we do with every major event in the region, we plan to cover any news from our regional news bureau.

https://twitter.com/Justin_B_Smith/status/1050767342731448322

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Andrew Ross Sorkin: I’m terribly distressed by the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and reports of his murder. I will no longer be participating in the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh.

https://twitter.com/andrewrsorkin/status/1050431793680265222

Glen Greenwald: I'm glad to see this but I'm really left wondering why - of all the heinous, murderous, oppressive, evil, despotic acts the Saudi regime has been engaging in for decades - this was what finally made people decide they can't be engaged. Better late than never, I guess.

https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1050451517596164096

Evan Hill: A lot of people are understandably uncomfortable with the way the Khashoggi story has broken through and not, say, the horrifically disastrous war in Yemen. I agree, but it's also a perfectly understandable human reaction and it should be embraced if it can be a lever of change.

https://twitter.com/evanchill/status/1050452334122274818

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Virgin's Branson halts talks on $1 billion Saudi investment in space ventures

British billionaire Richard Branson said on Thursday that his Virgin Group would suspend its discussions with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund over a planned $1 billion investment in the group’s space ventures, in light of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Branson also said he would suspend his directorship in two Saudi tourism projects around the Red Sea, citing Khashoggi’s disappearance.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-branson/virgins-branson-halts-talks-on-1-billion-saudi-investment-in-space-ventures-idUSKCN1ML32F

and

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My statement on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

I had high hopes for the current government in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and it is why I was delighted to accept two directorships in the tourism projects around the Red Sea. I felt that I could give practical development advice and also help protect the precious environment around the coastline and islands.

What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi Government. We have asked for more information from the authorities in Saudi and to clarify their position in relation to Mr Khashoggi.

While those investigations are ongoing and Mr Khashoggi’s whereabouts are not known, I will suspend my directorships of the two tourism projects. Virgin will also suspend its discussions with the Public Investment Fund over the proposed investment in our space companies Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit.

https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/my-statement-kingdom-saudi-arabia

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

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OPINION: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF JAMAL KHASHOGGI AND THE PLIGHT OF SAUDI DISSIDENTS COME TO LIGHT

The disappearance of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi from Istanbul after visiting the Saudi consulate there on Oct. 2 is disturbing but not surprising to me and other dissident writersand activists who provide a critical view of the kingdom and have paid for it, usually with exile or prosecution of our family members.

As a Saudi citizen exiled in Washington, D.C., since 2000, I have seen and experienced first-hand what the government is willing to do to silence its critics inside and outside the country. These actions date back to as early as 1979

Opposing the Saudi royal family — especially if you advocate a progressive alternative to the current regime — is a dangerous undertaking, a fact that has never been far from my mind since moving to Washington, D.C., in 2000 after my graduate studies in Minneapolis.

Once I became a recognized voice for reform and democracy, the Saudi government used carrots and sticks to silence me. In March 2004, the Saudi Embassy seized my passport when I attempted to renew it and offered me a one-way ticket home. The government has since quietly made me a stateless person by rescinding my nationality, which I discovered only when my family tried to process a legal document back home.

The monarchy has also been trying to convince me to return home since 2002. I

Prince Muqrin asked me to return home with a promise of wealth and safety. I responded by asking for a public apology to my parents, and my mother in particular, for putting her in prison. He replied, “The state doesn’t apologize.”

The government also used Arab nationals to lure me to Malaysia and Lebanon, countries known for handing dissidents over to the Saudi government. I had the good sense to decline these invitations and made the U.S. government aware of them.

A WikiLeaks document sent in 2013 from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs to its embassy in Washington (at the time led by the current Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubair) ordered the surveillance of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, an independent think tank that I founded in 2001.

In recent months, I have received many phishing emails designed to hack into my account.

This past June, the head of The Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee, Salman Al Ansari, called me a terrorist after I reported on his links to antisemitism. I responded with a lawsuit, currently being tried in D.C. Superior Court.

I’ve received dozens of death threats, some of them serious.

My story is not unique; the Saudi government routinely persecutes other dissidents. Last month, prominent social media star and satirist Ghanem Al Dosary (our own Jon Stewart) was assaulted by several Saudi nationals in front of Harrods, a famed London department store. This attack in broad daylight was captured on video, yet none of the assailants have been arrested and the British government has yet to provide an explanation for its inaction.

The forced disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi by the government of Saudi Arabia is an attempt to intimidate other dissidents into silence and/or surrender. Unfortunately for the Saudi regime, history teaches us that despots can never succeed in completely suppressing the voices of freedom – by Ali Al Ahmed

https://dailycaller.com/2018/10/12/disappearance-khashoggi-dissidents-come-to-light/

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Dissident Saudi royal claims he was targeted with plan to 'disappear him' just days before journalist vanished

Luring dissidents to meetings to “disappear” them is a common ruse used by authorities in Saudi Arabia, a prince from the Middle Eastern kingdom said, before revealing that at least five royals have vanished in the last week alone for speaking out against the disappearance of journalist Jamal al-Khashoggi.

Khaled bin Farhan al-Saud, a Saudi prince living in exile in Germany, told The Independent that Saudi authorities planned a similar kidnapping ploy against him just 10 days before Mr Khashoggi went missing.

He believes it is part of an escalating crackdown orchestrated by Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, to silence his critics.

The 41-year-old prince said the authorities had promised his family a “large cheque” and millions of dollars if he agreed to fly to Egypt to meet regime officials at the Saudi consulate in Cairo.

He was told that the Saudi authorities had heard he was in financial trouble and “wanted to help”. They promised he would be safe.

He said at least five royals – grandsons of King Abdul-Aziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia – had last week attempted to voice their dissatisfaction with Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance and the crackdown, in a meeting with the authorities in Saudi Arabia. Those royals were promptly detained and their exact whereabouts are unknown, he alleged.

“Over 30 times the Saudi authorities have told me to meet them in the Saudi embassy but I have refused every time,” he said. “I know what can happen if I go into the embassy.”

He added: “Around 10 days before Jamal went missing they asked my family to bring me to Cairo to give me a cheque. I refused.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/jamal-khashoggi-missing-khaled-farahan-saudi-arabia-crown-prince-mbs-mohammad-bin-salman-a8579746.html

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City of exiles: Khashoggi case leaves Istanbul's dissidents fearing for their safety

Threatened and under pressure at home, hundreds of dissidents have set up new lives in Istanbul. Now they suspect nowhere is safe

For years a haven for exiles from across the Middle East and North Africa, the suspected murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country's consulate has left many in Istanbul's dissident communities wondering about their own safety in the city.

Turkey's long border touching several countries makes it an inviting location for many fleeing from neighbouring countries, including millions of refugees from Syria's war. But Turkey is a favoured destination for those at risk in countries further afield, too.

Hundreds of Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, Yemeni, Egyptian and Libyan dissidents now call Turkey their home and many choose to live in Istanbul, the country's largest and most international city.

Many of those were drawn this week to protests outside the consulate in a neighbourhood in the east of the European part of the city, holding up photos of the man who has not been seen since entering the building last Tuesday.

One prominent Yemeni dissident and Istanbul resident, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman, warns that the political pressure from Gulf Arab countries now extends to the Bosphorus.

"I am worried about the dissidents against the counter-revolutions and their politics, expecially those of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi," she told MEE.

"Those who left their home in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Syria and Yemen, and now live in Istanbul, are feeling worried now, after the crime of kidnapping Jamal Khashoggi. I think they are feeling that there is no safe place for them and this feeling will be enhanced if the criminals are not punished."

"It is a true catastrophe and I never expected such a crime could really happen. It is a crime that has no precedent in history. To lure a journalist to his country's consulate and trick him, kill him and dismember his body, as Turkish security forces said. The criminals should not escape from punishment," she said.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exiles-istanbul-are-worried-after-khashoggi-have-nowhere-go-1302454390

cp06 Propaganda

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How Saudi media has reported Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

Saudi media goes after 'blatantly biased' reporting from Western outlets described as defamation campaigns targeting the kingdom

Media outlets inside Saudi Arabia have been largely silent since the disappearance of veteran Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey last week.

However, Saudi-owned newspapers and TV stations outside the kingdom covered the case with interest. Here's what they have reported:

'Ordinary Saudi tourists'

Al-Arabiya reported that photos and videos of the 15 Saudis who arrived in Istanbul the day Khashoggi disappeared which have circulated in Qatari and Turkish media outlets are, in fact, footage of "ordinary Saudi tourists".

"Accordingly, pictures of innocent civilians are used to involve them and to fabricate a fictional story about the disappearance of Khashoggi."

Khashoggi reports are defamation campaigns which 'lack basic standards'

In an editorial on Friday, the newspaper Al-Riyadh Daily characterised many of the reports about Khashoggi this week as defamation campaigns targeting the kingdom which "lack basic standards of logic" - and from which Saudi Arabia would eventually emerge unscathed, even with gains.

"TV channels, news agencies and newspapers have focused their newscasts and programmes around the Saudi issue and tried to incite international public opinion against the kingdom," the editoral says.

"These channels would select an event that has already happened or come up with another one, which did not take place. Then, they would start spinning stories, reiterating lies and hosting figures, which are well-known for being anti-Saudi."

The newspaper also specifically went after the New York Times which it suggested had a well-known "an anti-Saudi policy".

"But what everyone did not expect was the fact that this newspaper would adopt its position based on unnamed source or sources whose credibility cannot be ascertained.

"More than 160 years of hard journalism work has not allowed The New York Times editors to avoid what the accounts affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood have been circulating about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey," Al-Riyadh wrote.

Reuters, The Washington Post and BBC: 'Unprofessional, weak and blatantly biased'

In Saudi newspaper al-Hayat, Walid al-Ahmad writes that the wave of rumours and fake news triggered by Al-Jazeera and its TV presenters about Khashoggi's disappearance was not surprising.

But what did surprise al-Ahmad are the reactions of The Washington Post, Reuters and the BBC toward the reports which he described as "unprofessional, weak and blatantly biased".

In particular, he said the prominent media outlets had adopted the story of Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi's fiancee, whom he said was "a suspicious source".

"Reuters, the international news agency, reported news about Khashoggi's death in the consulate citing anonymous sources, while The Washington Post adopted the alleged fiancee’s story, who insisted that Khashoggi had disappeared since entering the consulate building," writes al-Ahmad.

The Washington Post, he added, futher promoted Cengiz's narrative that Khashoggi had disappeared in the consulate when it published a blank space for Khashoggi.

"The newspaper has published several reports, which lacked professionalism and depended on rumours broadcast by the Twitter account of al-Jazeera, and some other confused and conflicting news also published by the Turkish news agency Anadolu," said the writer.

"These biased reports published about this incident by world-famous media outlets are still ambiguous, prove that journalistic professionalism could be just slogans in an attempt to incite international public opinion against Saudi Arabia, in order to disable its progress, prosperity and stability."

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/how-saudi-media-has-reported-jamal-khashoggis-disappearance-842279446

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US media expert warns of American source behind Khashoggi rumors

The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has sparked controversy and the spread of media rumors across the world, including the doubtful information from Turkish sources and wrongful accusations against the Saudi General Consul’s son in Istanbul.

According to US media expert Patrick Poole, American media has been just as involved in reporting leaks from multiple unreliable sources.

Poole noted that Yahoo News published an article Friday quoting Khaled Saffuri, one of Khashoggi’s associates, that said President Trump's criticism of journalists may have inspired the Crown Prince to have Khashoggi "murdered."

The Daily Beast also quoted Saffuri discussing Khashoggi’s efforts to gain freedom of expression, a plan Saffuri said the journalist knew “was going to put him in danger.”

Saffuri was the deputy and chief lobbyist of Abdulrahman Alamoudi in the American Muslim Council, who is currently serving a 17-year sentence for ties to the Libyan and al-Qaeda plot.

Saffuri’s ties to terror financing, which were reported on after the 9/11 attacks, have not been mentioned in any of the articles where he spoke about Khashoggi.

Some media’s incessant reporting of Saudi Arabia’s presumed involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, based on speculations and questionable information gathered from sources with ties to terror groups, will undoubtedly hinder the investigation rather than resolve the mystery of the Saudi journalist’s disappearance.

Saudi officials have adamantly stated that the kingdom is not involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance and that there is no evidence to support reports of his death.

Saudi officials have also repeatedly called on the media to await the results of the probe and to refrain from rumor-fueled reporting.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/media/digital/2018/10/13/US-media-experts-warns-over-an-american-source-behind-Khashoggis-case-.html

My comment: This article shows how Saudi propaganda in the Kashoggi case works. Read article above.

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The view from Saudi Arabia as world holds its breath

With Saudi Arabia one of Britain's closest allies, diplomats are treating the alleged death of Jamal Khashoggi very carefully.

Saudi Arabia is strenuously defending itself on two fronts - over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and over the conduct of its war in Yemen.

Ordinary Saudis are not discussing the case openly. On social media there is a sense of disbelief that the Saudi government could have been involved, and angry accusations that their country is being unfairly blamed for political reasons.

There is also a frustration at what many see as the one-sided coverage of the war in Yemen following renewed criticism in the wake of the Khashoggi affair.

https://news.sky.com/story/the-view-from-saudi-arabia-as-world-holds-its-breath-11526060

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A Fatal Abandonment of American Leadership

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi drives home the consequences of the Trump administration’s refusal to champion democratic values around the globe.

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi has shocked many in the United States, but it should not come as a surprise. Indeed, it is a logical outgrowth of the policies that the Saudi leadership has been pursuing for the past two years, and the support that it has found for its approach in the Trump White House and parts of the American establishment.

MbZ and MbS were the ascendant voices in the Gulf, and they didn’t care for Obama or his policies. He was someone to be tolerated and waited out. You could also see this in the collection of people they were cultivating in the United States.

Then Donald Trump took office, any effort to restrain the Saudi regime disappeared. Instead, Trump and his team fell comfortably into the full embrace of MbS and MbZ.

Over the past few days, we have perhaps witnessed where this journey is leading.

Looking back, I wonder what we might have done differently, particularly if we’d somehow known that Obama was going to be succeeded by a President Trump. In hindsight, we were wrong to think that cautious and at times conditional support for the war in Yemen would influence Saudi and Emirati policy, or help shape the actions of MbS, particularly given the turn American politics took with the 2016 election. This speaks to a broader point that is relevant today: It’s wrong to start from a presumption that our need for support or investment from the Gulf states is greater than the benefit they receive from their relationship with the United States.

It’s not too late to heed Khashoggi’s warnings—to understand that while Saudi Arabia is a historic partner of the United States, our interests are not totally aligned with the Saudi leadership’s, and our values are most definitely not. We should cease all support for the war in Yemen, and lead an effort to address its humanitarian crisis.

We should cease military sales until the truth about Khashoggi’s disappearance comes out, and make clear that our support going forward is not without conditions. And we could once more stand up for universal rights, even if it means inviting the opposition of those who have a very different view of justice – by Ben Rhodes, Former deputy national-security adviser to Barack Obama

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/jamal-khashoggi-and-us-saudi-relationship/572905/

My comment: This is US “liberal” elite hypocrisy at its best. The US never was to to champion democratic values around the globe”, this has been a propaganda scam from its very beginning – just to gloss over US geopolitics and imperialism. What Trump actually is doing: He is pursuing the very same politics – just doing it without this gloss.

(* A P)

Observation: #Saudi Twittersphere engaging more closely w evidence presented by #Turkey sources. More AlArabiya articles, non-stop conspiracy theories (often conflicting) from pro-gov users (often anonymous). Most impt: & long threads by well-known active users (not anonymous).

They are going beyond questioning #JamalKhashoggi fiancé. Common critiques: wrong camera timestamp, false distance consulate & residence, fiancé/Khashoggi pic altered, 15-men pics not in private flight terminal, cut out women from 15-men pics proving “tourists” in main terminal.

They also really like this NYT retraction, call it proof that #JamalKhashoggi is “fake news”, often saying media only retracted when “caught”,otherwise wld blame #Saudi w fake facts. I know in US, NYT seen as pro-Saudi. But its disliked in pro-gov circles.

Overall, I sense shift in tone. Like, all hands on deck. Either due to desperation (its getting worse in congress/media) or relief (its about to get better via trump/Kushner). Unclear yet. But coincides w news of US-Turkey deal & joint Saudi-Turkish investigation.

#Saudi Twitter is very intense place. I’ve studied it for years. I know it well. I love it, hate it, & fear it – all at once. It’s best/worst thing that happened to us. But I cannot fully express how unnerving it has been to watch/analyze how it operates in #JamalKhashoggi case.

https://twitter.com/Ana3rabeya/status/1050459807914909698

(A P)

The series of Turkish leaks are designed to mislead. The changing narrative from the Turkish media should be a cause of great concern to all, as they continue changing the story every day since the disappearance of Jamal. No evidence, no proof, just leaks. By unnamed “officials”.

One must deal with cation when it comes to anonymous Turkish sources, as they are compromised, unreliable and more importantly, politically motivated. All allegations are lacking in concrete evidence. The Turkish press is not free and totally under gov control. Remember that.

The 15 men squad - Fake The apple watch - Fake The private jets - Fake The doctor- Fake The “dexter” episode- Fake The conflicting narratives are duping the world into a larger and more extensive attack against KSA. Beware Turkey & Qatar’s information warfare.

After Americans have experienced - first hand - the lies and the brutality of the thuggish Erdogan regime against American citizens, why would their liberal media establishment take his word (and leaks) as the holy gospel? The truth will come out.

These tapes that the Erdogan regime claims to have sound very exciting. They also sound like lies that could easily be eaten up by emotional colleagues of Jamal in the media establishment. Despite the hysteria, this episode has united the Saudi people more than ever.

One must also take a minute to denounce the Qatari media’s reckless reporting on this case. Responsible journalists must see through the Qatari information operation conducted to undermine the truth about what happened.

The Qatari media through its arms Al Jazeera and Middle East Eye and affiliated NGO’s have been severely irresponsible and deliberate in their misinformation campaign, which is not only been detrimental to the cause of truth, but also hurtful to Khashoggi’s family.

In meantime, KSA has been transparent; opening up consulate to media and to relevant authorities. CP said Jamal was “A Saudi citizen and we are very keen to know what happened to him. And we will continue our dialogue with the Turkish gov to see what happened to Jamal there.”

https://twitter.com/YousefAlNaimi/status/1051190605831970822

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Gargash on Khashoggi says repercussions of targeting Saudi Arabia will be dire

In his first comment on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Thursday that the fierce campaign against Riyadh is expected, as well as the coordination between its inciting parties.

In a tweet, Gargash said: “There is a need to show the reality of the human dimension of the situation as the repercussions of the political targeting of Saudi Arabia will be dire for those who fuel it.”

Garghash also added in his tweet that: “It remains that the success of Saudi Arabia is the first choice for the region and its people.”

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/10/11/Gargash-on-Khashoggi-says-repercussions-of-targeting-Saudi-Arabia-will-be-dire-.html

Comment: Is a UAE minister threatening a quarter of the US Senate?

https://twitter.com/BazziNYU/status/1050434356924301314

(A P)

Turkish media bid to incriminate Saudi tourist with wife in Khashoggi case

Among the photos published by Turkish and Qatari media as a “team of 15 Saudis” who arrived in Istanbul to execute “Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance act”, an old picture of a Saudi tourist who visited Istanbul accompanied by his wife emerged, Al Arabiya English reported.

The exploitation of the Saudi tourist picture in the case of Khashoggi’s disappearance highlights the blatant misinformation in this issue, where photos of innocent civilians are used in a fictional story surrounding Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The picture is attributed to the Saudi citizen Salah al-Tabiki, and it was taken during a previous visit accompanied with his wife as tourists to Turkey.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/10/11/Turkish-media-bid-to-incriminate-Saudi-tourist-with-wife-in-Khashoggi-case.html

My comment: Oupss – read this please: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/saudi-forensic-expert-is-among-15-named-by-turkey-in-disappearance-of-journalist-jamal-khashoggi/2018/10/11/e62d6dd4-cd6a-11e8-ad0a-0e01efba3cc1_story.html

cp07 Weitere Folgen / Further implications

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Saudi currency at weakest in two years on Khashoggi case

Saudi Arabia’s currency fell to its lowest level in two years and its international bond prices slipped on Monday over fears that foreign investment inflows could shrink as Riyadh faces pressure over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trade in the forward currency market, used by banks to hedge investments, suggested some institutions were protecting themselves against the risk of capital outflows or U.S. sanctions on Riyadh after the disappearance of Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi authorities, in Istanbul.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-forex/saudi-currency-at-weakest-in-two-years-on-khashoggi-case-idUSKCN1MP15V

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Wall Street opens lower as Saudi tensions add to concerns

U.S. stocks dropped at open on Monday as rising tensions between Western powers and Saudi Arabia added to worries over rising borrowing costs and the impact of tariffs following the three indexes’ biggest weekly declines in over seven months.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks/wall-street-opens-lower-as-saudi-tensions-add-to-concerns-idUSKCN1MP1CK

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European stocks brush 22-month low as Saudi tensions swirl

World markets turned tail again on Monday, as a bounceback in oil prices and rising tensions between Western powers and Saudi Arabia added to a cocktail of concerns that battered global stocks last week.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets/european-stocks-brush-22-month-low-as-saudi-tensions-swirl-idUSKCN1MP00R

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi drops on fallout from journalist disappearance

Saudi Arabia’s stock market tumbled in early Sunday trade, as investors worried about deteriorating relations with the international community following the disappearance of a Saudi journalist, while markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai rose.

“Concern about the relationship between Saudi and the international community, especially with the U.S., is causing a big concern for investors,” said a Gulf finance executive, who declined to be named because of political sensitivities.

Saudi stocks fell 4 percent in the first hour of trade, with the index touching its lowest since early January, after a 5.8 percent fall last week sparked by a global sell-off in equities.

https://www.reuters.com/article/mideast-stocks-idAFL8N1WU05Q

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The kingdom's Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) lost more than 500 points in the first two hours after trading resumed after the weekend, in panic selling similar reminiscent of the days after the global financial crisis in 2008.

It clawed back some losses by mid-session but was still down by 5.0 percent, the worst single-day drop in about three years, trading at a 10-month low of 7,167 points.

The index had already dropped 3.0 percent on Thursday, following a rout on world stock markets fuelled by worries about higher interest rates and US President Donald Trump's attacks on the Federal Reserve.

Mohammed Zidan, market strategist at Thinkmarket in Dubai, said the drop in Saudi stocks was the result of panic selling because of several political and economic factors.

"There has been a kind of uncertainty surrounding the situation of the disappearance of Khashoggi which has caused the market to fall," Zidan told AFP.

"The withdrawal of top participants from the Riyadh investment conference has also negatively impacted traders' sentiment," he said.

Global multinational corporations "see potential in a developing market like Saudi Arabia, but for many the reputational risk of being associated with FII outweighs the potential gains from the Saudi economy," said Michael Stephens, a Middle East expert at the Royal United Services Institute.

The Saudi leadership faces "an acute public relations crisis" over Khashoggi's disappearance, said consultancy group Eurasia.

"The leadership will now have to manage a more serious threat to its economic liberalisation strategy," Eurasia said.

"At this point, Saudi Arabia will find it incredibly challenging to contain the emerging crisis."

https://www.france24.com/en/20181014-saudi-arabia-vows-retaliation-punished-over-missing-critic

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In a sign Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud may seek a diplomatic solution to the incident, he stressed the strength of Saudi-Turkish ties in a telephone call with President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, the Saudi press agency said late on Sunday.

The king thanked Erdogan for welcoming a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to discuss Khashoggi’s disappearance and said no one could undermine their relationship.

Investor concern is growing that Khashoggi’s disappearance could add to a sense that Saudi policy has become more unpredictable under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is pushing social and economic reforms but has also presided over a rise in tensions between with several countries.

A Gulf banker said the Khashoggi case, combined with other events, had become a significant factor for some potential investors.

“It’s cumulative – the Yemen war, the dispute with Qatar, the tensions with Canada and Germany, the arrests of women activists. They add up to an impression of impulsive policy-making, and that worries investors,” the banker said.

Foreign capital is key to Saudi plans for economic diversification and job creation.

But in response to Khashoggi’s disappearance, media organizations and a growing number of executives have pulled out of a Riyadh investment conference scheduled for next week, dubbed “Davos in the Desert.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-sanctions/saudi-arabia-says-will-retaliate-against-any-sanctions-over-khashoggi-case-idUSKCN1MO0F1

(* B P)

With Friends Like These

And the collateral diplomatic damage looks to be massive.

Any U.S.-backed "Arab NATO" to face down Iran, with Riyadh as central pillar, would appear dead. Continued US support for the Saudi war in Yemen would now be in question.

The special relationship the crown prince and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have established could be history.

Congress could cancel US arms sales to the kingdom that keep thousands of US defense workers employed, and impose sanctions on the prince who is heir apparent to the throne of his 82-year-old father, King Salman.

Today, the Saudi prince has become toxic, and his ascension to the Saudi throne seems less inevitable than two weeks ago. Yet, well before Khashoggi’s disappearance in the consulate, Crown Prince Mohammed’s behavior had seemed wildly erratic.

That our principal Arab ally in our confrontation with Iran, which could lead to yet another US war, is a regime headed by so unstable a character should raise serious concerns about where it is we are going in the Middle East.

Have we not wars already?

Do we not have enough enemies in the region — Taliban, al-Qaida, ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Iran — to be starting another war?

As for our regional allies, consider.

NATO ally Turkey, which is pressing the case against our Saudi allies, leads the world in the number of journalists jailed. Our Egyptian ally, Gen. al-Sissi, came to power in a military coup, and has imprisoned thousands of dissidents of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While we have proclaimed Iran the "world’s greatest state sponsor of terror," it is Yemen, where Saudi Arabia intervened in 2015, that is regarded as the world’s great human rights catastrophe.

Moreover, Iran is itself suffering from terrorism.

The US cannot look aside at a royal Saudi hand in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist in its consulate in Istanbul. But before we separate ourselves from the Riyadh regime, we should ask what is the alternative if the House of Saud should be destabilized or fall?

As World War I, when four empires fell, testifies, wars are hell on monarchies. And if a new and larger Middle East war, with Iran, should break out in the Gulf, some of the Arab kings, emirs and sultans will likely fall.

And when they do, history shows, it is not usually democrats who rise to replace them – by Patrick J. Buchanan

https://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2018/10/11/with-friends-like-these-3/

(B P)

Why would the Saudis miscalculate like this? 1. War in Yemen - no consequences 2. Qatar blockade - no consequences 3. Kidnap Lebanese PM - no consequences 4. Multibillion $$ shakedown at Ritz Carlton - no consequences 5. Pick a dumb fight with Canada - no consequences

https://twitter.com/ilangoldenberg/status/1051100284871532544

Comment: So maybe they haven’t miscalculated.

https://twitter.com/melissakchan/status/1051101747857514497

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If a Prince Murders a Journalist, That’s Not a Hiccup

In the end, Saudi Arabia played Kushner, Trump and his other American acolytes for suckers.

The reports about Jamal Khashoggi, the missing Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributor, whom I’ve known for more than 15 years, grow steadily more sickening.

That is monstrous, and it’s compounded by the tepid response from Washington. President Trump is already rejecting the idea of responding to such a murder by cutting off weapons sales. Trump sounds as if he believes that the consequence of such an assassination should be a hiccup and then business as usual.

Frankly, it’s a disgrace that Trump administration officials and American business tycoons enabled and applauded M.B.S. as he imprisoned business executives, kidnapped Lebanon’s prime minister, rashly created a crisis with Qatar, and went to war in Yemen to create what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis there.

The bipartisan cheers from Washington, Silicon Valley and Wall Street fed his recklessness. If he could be feted after kidnapping a Lebanese prime minister and slaughtering Yemeni children, why expect a fuss for murdering a mere journalist?

M.B.S. knows how to push Americans’ buttons, speaking about reform and playing us like a fiddle.

In the end, M.B.S. played Kushner, Trump and his other American acolytes for suckers.

We need an international investigation, perhaps overseen by the United Nations, of what happened to Jamal. In the United States, we also must investigate whether Saudis bought influence with spending that benefited the Trump family, such as $270,000 spent as of early 2017 by a lobbying firm for Saudi Arabia at the Trump hotel in Washington.

If Saudi Arabia cannot show that Jamal is safe and sound, NATO countries should jointly expel Saudi ambassadors and suspend weapons sales. The United States should start an investigation under the Magnitsky Act and stand ready to impose sanctions on officials up to M.B.S. – by Nicholas Kristof

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/13/opinion/sunday/saudi-arabia-mbs-jamal-khashoggi.html

(* B P)

Commentary: How Khashoggi’s disappearance could change Middle East politics

The disappearance and possible murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has cast a long shadow over Saudi Arabia’s global image. If the Saudi government did in fact kill or kidnap him, the crime would have significant implications for Middle East politics.

If the Turkish claims are correct, a Saudi state-sponsored murder of Khashoggi would send ripples throughout the region.

In the context of Iran-Saudi rivalry, it would provide Tehran with political ammunition and give it the moral high ground at a time when foreign leaders widely criticize the Islamic Republic and its Revolutionary Guards for being the main source of instability in the Middle East, sowing “chaos, death and destruction.” Riyadh has gone to great lengths to isolate Tehran in the region, from holding hostage Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri in November 2017, to building a tacit alliance with Iran’s archfoe Israel, to punishing Qatar for having close ties with the Islamic Republic. While these efforts have mostly failed to achieve their objective and even occasionally backfired, confirmation of any state-sponsored violence against Khashoggi would make it even harder for Saudi leadership to portray Iran as the ultimate villain of the region.

Such a crime would also increase international pressure on the Trump administration, which has thrown its weight behind the young prince to execute his so-called reforms and helped set the stage for his ascension to the throne. In exchange, the United States has benefited from lucrative arms deals and large-scale investment schemes worth billions of dollars.

The action against Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi’s handling of the Yemen war and of coalition atrocities against Yemeni civilians, would dramatically raise the political cost of backing Riyadh for Washington.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, a Saudi rival and member of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), would also be affected by any confirmation that a crime against Khashoggi was ordered by the royal court – by Maysam Behravesh

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-behravesh-khashoggi-commmentary/commentary-how-khashoggis-disappearance-could-change-middle-east-politics-idUSKCN1MK1VZ

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Pulp Fiction in Istanbul, or, the Looming Turkey-Saudi Cold War

The disappearance, and probable brutal murder, of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Turkish soil could crater an already troubled geopolitical climate.

relations between the two countries are likely to crater. This Turkey-Saudi face-off has been building throughout this decade and may be about to reach a crescendo. Given the US entanglements in the Middle East, these developments will affect Washington as well.

As for Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the diplomatic disagreements between the two regional giants have been multiplying.

Indeed, the Saudi decision to whack the globe-trotting Khashoggi, whom they may have tracked via his phone or Apple watch, in Turkey may have itself been intended as a taunt to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been a consistent thorn in their side. If so, Mohammed bin Salman might have been confident he could withstand Erdogan’s fury because of the crown prince’s friendship with Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

In contrast, Turkey’s government has feuded with Trump on several key issues.

Another issue percolates in the background. Erdogan wants Washington to extradite the elderly Fethullah Gülen, leader of the Gülenist, or Hizmet, movement, who is wanted in Turkey for alleged involvement in the 2016 failed coup attempt against the AKP government.

The Trump administration’s clear desire to sweep the Khashoggi hit under the carpet will further stoke Erdogan’s anger at the United States, supposedly his NATO ally, but from which he has increasingly distanced himself.

The Middle East is increasingly divided along these new fault lines.

Countries in the Middle East seem increasingly likely to be asked to choose up sides in this new cold war. With no ambassador in either Riyadh or Ankara, and with an erratic and deeply ignorant president at the helm, the United States will likewise have to navigate between a NATO ally and its favorite gasoline station in the region. Can the Trump administration do so in such a way that will tamp down the conflict rather than to inflame it?

https://www.thenation.com/article/pulp-fiction-in-istanbul-or-the-looming-turkey-saudi-cold-war/

(* B P)

‘Pressure will be on Turkey’ if Saudis found guilty of journalist’s murder in Istanbul – analysts

If the Saudis are found to be complicit in the disappearance of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the result could be a “huge earthquake in international relations,” experts believe.

The Turkish government reportedly has recordings that confirm the alleged kidnapping and murder of outspoken Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The scandal sounds like a ticking time bomb for international relations, which could not only affect Turkish-Saudi relations, but drag in Washington, the key Saudi ally.

Former US diplomat Jim Jatras and investigative journalist Rick Sterling tell RT what could happen if allegations that the Gulf monarchy, headed by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, is behind the plot prove to be true.

If Saudi Arabia is found to be complicit in Khashoggi’s disappearance, Sterling believes “the pressure will be on [Turkish president] Erdogan and Turkey to escalate.”

“Saudi Arabia effectively abducted Lebanese Prime Minister [Saad] Hariri and he appeared in Riyadh, resigned - supposedly - and then it turned out he was coerced in some form or manner,” Sterling added. “The Saudi government is extreme, it’s bizarre and we’ll have to see how the facts develop in this case but it points towards the instability of that government that beheads hundreds of citizens a year.”

However, he adds, the Saudi regime has been “an extremely close ally of the US and Israel. This would be a huge earthquake in international relations if the calls for a serious reduction in relations continues.”

Despite the years of brutality against their own people, Khashoggi’s disappearance seems to have ushered the Saudi regime’s reckless violence into the global spotlight, Jatras told RT.

“Saudi Arabia is usually immune from criticism from the American establishment, They can destroy Yemen, they can cut people’s heads off… and suddenly over one journalist everyone is outraged; We discover that Saudi Arabia is an oppressive regime that kills people,” Jatras said, adding that the sudden attention “seems very strange” considering the “bloody murder that the Saudis have gotten away with for decades.”

https://www.rt.com/news/441135-saudi-khashoggi-turkey-expert/

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Khashoggi made an example to scare critics of Saudi rulers

“He’d been told to be quiet,” said Hussein Ibish, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington who has known Khashoggi for years.

“He was very clear that he left the kingdom not because he was fearful for his life or his liberty, but he wanted to save his career,” Ibish told Ahval.

Ibish thinks Riyadh may have considered Khashoggi a threat because of his considerable influence in Washington.

“He was being critical, in a high profile way, in Washington D.C., and in Arabic. All of that could be highly annoying, but that’s never resulted in an assassination or even an abduction,” Ibish said, cautioning that this is just speculation since so few details are known.

Though Khashoggi told the BBC he was afraid to return to the kingdom, Lippman said, “he hadn’t developed what you might call the self-protective instincts of a guy who’s always looking over his shoulder”.

Henri Barkey, an international relations professor at Lehigh University and senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council for Foreign Relations, said Turkey, which has imprisoned more than 100 journalists and tens of thousands of other perceived enemies at home as well as rendering up to 100 from overseas, does not have much credibility in criticising Saudi Arabia.

“The Turks are kidnapping people all over the world. It’s not as if the Turks (can say) ‘oh I’m shocked, I’m shocked this is happening’.”

Barkey said relations between Ankara and Riyadh are already shaky, thanks mostly to Turkey’s support for Qatar when Saudi Arabia and its allies cut off relations and imposed a blockade last year.

He said he suspected Erdoğan would try to benefit from the Khashoggi incident by extracting concessions from Riyadh in exchange for looking the other way.

“I think the Turks are going to be very Machiavellian about this and try to get the best out of it for themselves.”

As for the important Washington-Riyadh relationship, experts expressed doubt over whether the Trump White House, which is close to bin Salman and not known for being vocal about human rights abuses, would take its ally to task.

“I think the Trump administration has no interest in taking on Riyadh over this. They don’t care about human rights, they don’t care about Khashoggi,” Hussein said.

“The amount of atrocities (the Saudis) commit is never too much, especially for this White House,” Lippman said.

https://ahvalnews.com/jamal-khashoggi/khashoggi-made-example-scare-critics-saudi-rulers

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The Saudi targeting of food supplies in Yemen is a worse story than the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

The plot to supposedly murder Jamal Khashoggi, as apparently proved by Turkish audio and video evidence shown to US officials, is a grizzly mixture of savagery and stupidity: Jack the Ripper meets Inspector Clouseau. Neither element is surprising because violent overreaction to minor threats is a traditional feature of dictatorial rule. As seems to be the case with Saudi Arabia today, Iraq under Saddam Hussein made immense efforts to eliminate exiled critics who posed no danger to the regime.

It is the purpose of such alleged assassinations and kidnappings to not only silence dissident voices however obscure, but to also intimidate all opponents at home and abroad by showing that even a hint of criticism will be suppressed with maximum force. But it is in the nature of dictators that their judgement is unbalanced because they never hear opinions contrary to their own. Iraq invaded Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990 with disastrous results. Saudi Arabia started its war in Yemen in 2015, with similarly catastrophic results, and now appears to think that it can get away with brazenly assassinating Khashoggi, as apparently proved by Turkish investigators. Saudi Arabia firmly denies any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and says he left the consulate safely that afternoon.

It is important to watch how long the torrent of criticism of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi Arabia will last. President Trump has been muted in his comments, emphasising the need to keep on terms with the Saudis because of the $110bn contract to sell them arms.

The lack of international protests over the war in Yemen, and the involvement of the US and UK as allies of Saudi Arabia and UAE, helps explain one of the mysteries of the Khashoggi disappearance. If the Saudis murdered Khashoggi, why did they expect to carry out the assassination without producing an international uproar? The explanation probably is that Saudi leaders imagined that, having got away with worse atrocities in Yemen, that any outcry over the death of a single man in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was something they could handle.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi-disappeared-journalist-washington-post-embassy-a8581341.html

(* B P)
Ahmad Alghobary:
Why is the media shocked about the reports of #JamalKhashoggi's death? #Saudi has been killing children&women in #Yemen for 3 years. It is the world's duty to talk about Khashoggi's case&journalists must be protected, but what about murdering thousands of civilians in Yemen?

https://twitter.com/AhmadAlgohbary/status/1050512062269546496

(B P)

Saudi Story Unravels as Turkey Applies Pressure over Journalist Khashoggi

Erdogan may gain from Saudi’s mistake

It may seem strange that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the leader so concerned with exposing what happened to a journalist considering he has no problem locking up his own. But even though many opposition journalists have lost their jobs in Turkey and seen their outlets seized by pro-Erdogan oligarchs, Ankara may actually be onto a real crime in their pursuit to demonize Saudi Arabia.

http://geopoliticsalert.com/saudi-turkey-jamal-khashoggi

My comment: “Mistake” is a quite strange wording.

(* B P)

Trump rejects calls for US to end arms sales to Saudi monarchy

Khashoggi’s assassination is yet another expression of the complete disregard for international law under conditions of a deepening capitalist crisis. It reflects not only the ruthless character of the Saudi regime, but also of its main backer, US imperialism, which has built up Riyadh as a key regional ally in its drive to secure unchallenged dominance over the Middle East.

Successive US governments, led by Democrats and Republicans, have funneled billions of dollars in military supplies and aid to Riyadh, which is one of Washington’s main customers for arms exports. Many of these weapons have been used to repress any sign of social opposition within Saudi Arabia to the totalitarian regime and to continue the bloodbath in Yemen.

One of the highest-paid firms representing the Saudi regime in Washington is linked to the Clintons. The Glover Park Group, which receives $150,000 a month from the royal family, was started by former Clinton administration officials.

In an effort at damage control, sections of the ruling class are now hypocritically seeking to distance themselves from Riyadh and calling for a harder line. Several business figures and media outlets, including the New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times, have declared their intention to withdraw from an investment conference due to be held by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman later this month.

The principal fear among these circles is that the brazen display of savagery in the Khashoggi case will hamper their efforts to cloak their imperialist goals in the Middle East and elsewhere behind concern for “human rights” and “democracy.” They also worry that Khashoggi’s assassination and other brutal acts could fuel popular opposition to the House of Saud and its imperialist patrons, both inside Saudi Arabia itself and internationally.

Billions of dollars in investments are at stake. According to the Saudi Arabia General Investment Agency, total American investments in the kingdom amount to some $55 billion.

While the US is Riyadh’s main patron, Washington’s ostensible allies in Europe are also deeply implicated in propping up the dictatorship.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/13/khas-o13.html

Remark: A view from a Trotskyist “International”

16:01 15.10.2018
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

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

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