A brutal reminder of what Saudi Arabia's rulers truly are

Most of us like to think that civilized governments don’t murder people.

They might go to war, or sanction assassinations. Former U.S. president Barack Obama gloried in the successful killing of Osama bin Laden, and developed a notable enthusiasm for drone strikes against perceived enemies, even at the cost of civilian deaths. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, he ordered his first strike just three days after taking office, causing as many as 20 civilian casualties. Nonetheless, he added another 540 strikes over the next eight years.

Murder is different, however. Murder is what Saudi Arabia evidently committed on Jamal Khashoggi. The man had done nothing any reasonable person would consider a crime. A little public criticism of the Saudi Crown Prince was his only offence. All the evidence to date suggests he was killed — perhaps also tortured and dismembered — either because he upset Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or, according to the latest Saudi explanation, because he resisted being drugged and kidnapped and died inadvertently from a chokehold. On Fox News, President Trump’s news source of choice, the claim was dismissed as “

People are outraged at Khashoggi’s death, as well they should be. Yet the world has been treated fairly regularly to the use of murder as a political tool. People who annoy Russian President Vladimir Putin are bumped off all the time. They get shot in the street, poisoned in restaurants, are found hanging from bridges or strangled in their homes. Nikolai Glushkov, one of the more recent victims, was discovered dead in his home the day he was due in court in a case involving the Russian airline Aeroflot that was deemed potentially embarrassing to Moscow’s security services.

They are a wealthy country in a part of the world that doesn’t share any of the notions of tolerance, equality, rights or fairness that we do

 

North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong-un treats murder as a handy means of eliminating competition as well. He is believed to have had his uncle and mentor executed, supposedly for plotting with the Chinese to depose him. His half-brother — who was allegedly set to take his place — was killed in a Malaysian airport when two women smeared poison on his face. People disappear into Iranian jails, and only their corpses leave. Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian ruler, drops barrel bombs and chemical weapons on opponents and innocents alike.

What’s different about the Saudis appears to lie in public perception. We see Kim Jong-un as a barbarous dictator, whose family has turned their country into the equivalent of a slave state. So, a couple of blatant murders is entirely in character. When Putin seizes foreign territory, supports proxy wars or props up men like Assad, he claims to do so in the name of history, state security or Russian international influence. He denies knowledge of the most flagrant killings, though with little credibility. In practice he’s seen in the West as a rival and threat, not a friend and ally along the lines of the Saudis. He’s a former KGB agent, a Soviet loyalist, and we don’t expect much of him. Occasionally, as in the murder of Sergei Magnitsky, we punish him with sanctions and harsh words, the main effect of which is to salve our own feelings.

Saudi Arabia is no freer or democratic than Russia. If anything it’s more of a dictatorship: The House of Saud is the absolute ruler, free of any serious threat of overthrow. Putin will eventually leave the scene, the Saudi Royal family will simply appoint another of their members to the crown. The King and his heirs oversee a fiercely repressive regime of vast inequality. The Saudi idea of groundbreaking reform is to let women get drivers’ licences. Yet it receives favoured treatment in the West, because of its oil wealth and strategic importance. It is a rare Middle Eastern power that purports to be a friend and ally of more democratic powers. Even Canada sells it military equipment.

Friends are valuable in that part of the world, given its volatility and potential for serious and painful disruption. When they aren’t at home pretending to be devout disciples of Allah, wealthy Saudis eagerly embrace all the West’s extravagance and vices. Since they’re happy to act like us when in our midst, maybe we expect them to share our values, like not killing journalists over a little mild criticism.

The problem with the Khashoggi murder is that it shatters that pleasant illusion. It demonstrates that the Saudis aren’t really like us at all. They are a wealthy country in a part of the world that doesn’t share any of the notions of tolerance, equality, rights or fairness that we do. Many in their population might — which is a big reason many of them will use desperate means to escape their world and come to ours — but the institutions of government, state and authority exist to protect themselves and their privileges above all else, at the expense of human life if necessary.

It’s that brutishness that feeds the alarmism in Europe and North America over immigration, despite the fact most migrants are merely people who want to escape that world and live in a better one. Our horror at Khashoggi’s murder shouldn’t halt us from welcoming them, but it should rid us of any delusions about the nature of the regimes they’re fleeing. There’s no difference between a Saudi murder, a Russian murder or a North Korean murder; no ruling power that kills over criticism deserves either our friendship or respect.

National Post

https://youtu.be/k-QLWYjPFPY

Twitter.com/KellyMcParland

Original Post

I will add additional info below, don’t see the need to start a new thread.

Man seen wearing slain writer Jamal Khashoggi's clothes outside Saudi consulate in Turkey

ISTANBUL — Newly leaked surveillance footage shows a man appearing to wear writer Jamal Khashoggi’s clothes leaving the consulate after his killing there.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote critically of the kingdom’s policies and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. Turkish officials say a 15-men team tortured, killed and dismembered the writer, while Saudi Arabia says he died in a “fistfight.”

The footage Monday was likely to further challenge the Saudi government’s explanations of what transpired in the consulate and in the hours after Khashoggi’s murder.

In a series of clips from closed-circuit television cameras both outside the consulate, in Istanbul’s Levent district, and in the tourist-heavy Sultan Ahmet area, one of the Saudi suspects is seen wearing the gray pants and black jacket worn by Khashoggi when he entered the mission.

The suspect, Mustafa al-Madani, arrives at the consulate around 11 a.m. on Oct. 2, wearing a blue plaid shirt. He later leaves the consulate wearing Khashoggi’s clothes and is accompanied by another man carrying a white plastic bag.

The video then shows the two suspects taking a taxi cab to the Sultan Ahmet district, where they enter a bathroom. Madani then emerges wearing the same plaid shirt. The two men dispose of the plastic bag, which Turkish officials believe contained Khashoggi’s clothes, CNN reported. Later, the two are seen laughing as they approach an entrance to the Movenpick hotel.

The state-run broadcaster TRT later also reported that a man who entered the consulate building was seen leaving the building in Khashoggi’s clothes.

In the days after Khashoggi vanished, Saudi officials initially said that he had left the consulate, implying premeditation on the part of the Saudi team.

In this Jan. 29, 2011, file photo, Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Virginia Mayo/AP Photo

A separate report by newspaper Yeni Safak said Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage on trips to the United States, France and Spain this year, made four calls from the consulate. The newspaper said the calls went to Bader al-Asaker, the head of Prince Mohammed’s office. It said another call went to the United States.

Yeni Safak cited no source for the information. However, pro-government newspapers have been leaking information about Khashoggi’s killing, apparently with the help of Turkish security forces. Yeni Safak reported last week that Saudi officials cut off Khashoggi’s fingers and then decapitated him at the consulate as his fiancee waited outside.

The kingdom announced early Monday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Khashoggi,  to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal’s entourage.

King Salman similarly made a condolence call as international pressure on the kingdom continues to rise, even after it acknowledged on Saturday that the Washington Post journalist was killed Oct. 2 at the consulate under still-disputed circumstances.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that details of Khashoggi’s killing “will be revealed in all its nakedness” in a speech in parliament on Tuesday, the same day a glitzy investment forum in Riyadh spearheaded by Prince Mohammed is to take place.

Saudi Arabia’s explanation that Khashoggi was killed in a “fistfight” and 18 Saudis have been detained has been met with international skepticism and allegations of a coverup designed to absolve Prince Mohammed of direct responsibility. Turkish media reports and officials say a 15-member Saudi team flew to Istanbul, laid in wait for Khashoggi at the consulate and then cut off his fingers, killed and dismembered the 59-year-old writer.

“Why did these 15 people come here? Why were 18 people arrested? All of this needs to be explained in all its details,” Erdogan said.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency announced the calls to Khashoggi’s son, Salah, early Monday morning. Statements from the agency said both King Salman and Prince Mohammed express their condolences for his father’s death.

A Saudi friend of Khashoggi who was in frequent touch with him before his death told The Associated Press that Khashoggi’s son, Salah, has been under a travel ban and barred from leaving the kingdom since last year as a result of his father’s criticism of the government. The friend spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussion. The Saudi statements did not acknowledge the ban.

The calls comes after a leaked photograph apparently taken from surveillance footage shows Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage on trips to the United States, France and Spain this year, at the consulate, just ahead of Khashoggi’s arrival. Mutreb’s name also matches that of a first secretary who once served as a diplomat at the Saudi Embassy in London, according to a 2007 list compiled by the British Foreign Office.

Saudi Arabia so far has not acknowledged or explained Mutreb’s presence in Istanbul — nor that of a forensics and autopsy expert, also on hand for Khashoggi’s arrival at the consulate.

Istanbul’s chief prosecutor summoned 28 more staff members of the Saudi Consulate, including Turkish citizens and foreign nationals, to give testimony on Monday, Turkish state broadcaster TRT reported. Prosecutors have previously questioned consulate staff; some Turkish employees reportedly said they were instructed not to go to work around the time that Khashoggi disappeared.

A security guard of Saudi Arabia’s consulate hands out a radio set to a colleague, in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Photo

Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency reported Sunday that Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, has been given 24-hour police protection.

Also Sunday, images that were obtained by TRT World, a Turkish news channel that broadcasts in English, showed Khashoggi as he arrived at a police barrier before entering the consulate on Oct. 2. The images, taken from security camera video, show the writer being searched before continuing toward the building.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Fox News that Khashoggi’s killing was “a rogue operation” and that “we don’t know where the body is.”‘

“The individuals who did this did this outside the scope of their authority,” he said. “There obviously was a tremendous mistake made and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up. That is unacceptable to the government.”

However, a leading U.S. Senate Republican said the Saudi explanation, which followed initial denials from the kingdom that it knew anything about Khashoggi’s fate, wasn’t credible.

Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Saturday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he believed Prince Mohammed, the heir-apparent of the world’s largest oil exporter, was behind the killing.

The crown prince has “now crossed a line and there has to be a punishment and a price paid for that,” Corker said. He also urged Turkey to turn over purported audio recordings of Khashoggi’s killing inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The existence of such evidence has been reported in Turkish media in a series of leaks, though Turkish officials have yet to confirm they have recordings.

“The Turks have been talking more to the media than they have (to) us,” Corker said of the NATO ally.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said on ABC’s “This Week” that the killing should be a “relationship-altering” event for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, which has said it will retaliate against any economic sanctions or other moves against it.

“We ought to suspend military sales, we ought to suspend certain security assistance and we ought to impose sanctions on any of those that were directly involved in this murder,” Schiff said.

U.S. President Donald Trump had also talked about possible punishment but said he didn’t want to halt a proposed $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia because, he maintained, it would harm U.S. manufacturers. He initially said he believed the Saudi account. Speaking late Saturday after a campaign rally in Nevada, Trump said he needs to learn more about the killing and will be working with Congress on the U.S. response. He also said he will talk soon to Prince Mohammed.

Britain, Germany and France issued a joint statement condemning the killing of Khashoggi, saying there is an “urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened.”

In a statement Sunday, the governments said attacks on journalists are unacceptable and “of utmost concern to our three nations.” They said the “hypotheses” proposed so far in the Saudi investigation need to be backed by facts to be considered credible.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Sunday that she supports a freeze on arms exports to Saudi Arabia. German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier underlined that point Monday, calling for a joint European position as Germany “won’t at this point approve any further arms exports because we want to know what happened.”

VishMahabir posted:
Baseman posted:

These people are the intellectual authors of ISIS head-chopper doctrine.  The wahabs are medievalists!

I heard there is a place in SA call the “slaughter house” where they behead criminals every Fridays....

Vish, I believe that place was dismantled a while back by Bharat  Fedayeen!

VishMahabir posted:
Baseman posted:

These people are the intellectual authors of ISIS head-chopper doctrine.  The wahabs are medievalists!

I heard there is a place in SA call the “slaughter house” where they behead criminals every Fridays....

I suggest you ask the GNI 'in-house expert' Prashad. He knows everything about everything, with highly specialised knowledge about latrines !

Chief posted:

Is Prashad  a Latrine Engineer?

Chief, I was worried about you. Didn't see you post for a while. Regardless whether he is a Latrine Engineer or a Custodial Engineer or a dog walker, he makes an honest living. Let me ask you this. If, by some chance, your company was given a contract to find a janitor(latrine cleaner etc.), would you take the contract and try to find someone? be serious and honest about this.

Chief posted:

Is Prashad  a Latrine Engineer?

The word 'engineer' can be used, but only for 'cosmetic purposes' to add a modicum of credibility to someone who otherwise has got to be classified as a full-fledged dingbat (in Guyanese terms; a real jackass !).

Keffer posted:
Chief posted:

Is Prashad  a Latrine Engineer?

The word 'engineer' can be used, but only for 'cosmetic purposes' to add a modicum of credibility to someone who otherwise has got to be classified as a full-fledged dingbat (in Guyanese terms; a real jackass !).

Someone needs to do it or, when a tite sh1t hold you, the smell from an uncleaned latrine will give you constipation!  And then you will run 🏃‍♀️ hither and thither seeking one as your belly growls with hardened sh1t!

And BTW, I made this post from my company’s “latrine” which smells fresh and clean thanks to an illegal Mexican!

Prashad gets paid for his services. If he doesn't get paid then he doesn't work. This is unlike the Chief and keffer who will clean sh-t and wipe baby behinds for free for white Arabs because they are ashamed of being brown. That is the curse of the same of unforgivable brownness.

Prashad posted:

Prashad gets paid for his services. If he doesn't get paid then he doesn't work. This is unlike the Chief and keffer who will clean sh-t and wipe baby behinds for free for white Arabs because they are ashamed of being brown. That is the curse of the same of unforgivable brownness.

You get paid for what ? With such putrid spelling and the ridiculously poor work that you do cleaning latrine pits, they ought to cut your balls off, you ignorant dingbat !!  For the nth time, you dumb-ass ignoramus, stop writing nonsense about white Arabs, yellow Arabs, Green Arabs; do you want the entire world to know what a jackass you are ?  

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