Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi was mur­dered for telling the truth

Tehran Times - - ANALYSIS & INTERVIEW -

TEHRAN (FNA) — U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump shot him­self in the foot when he said on Mon­day he was “con­cerned” about re­ports of Saudi Ara­bian jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi, who has been miss­ing since last week.

This is while Turk­ish po­lice and govern­ment sources have said that they be­lieve he was killed in­side the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul.

“I am con­cerned about it. I don’t like hear­ing about it,” Trump told re­porters at the White House. “Hope­fully that will sort it­self out. Right now no­body knows any­thing about it.”

What Trump is try­ing to do here, as al­ways, is shrug off his re­spon­si­bil­ity to act un­der in­ter­na­tional law, be­sides the fact that he just doesn’t care if the Saudi regime con­tin­ues its crack­downs on all dis­sent. Which means, the regime will never find it­self re­buffed by the Western au­di­ences and Amer­i­can al­lies for vi­o­lat­ing hu­man rights and the right to free­dom of ex­pres­sion and democ­racy, or for go­ing af­ter civil so­ci­ety in such an ag­gres­sive and crim­i­nal way.

This kind of dou­ble stan­dard in U.S. for­eign pol­icy is the rea­son why when the Saudi regime ar­rests, im­pris­ons and mur­ders its crit­ics the Western world doesn’t care. But ar­rest­ing women, el­derly peo­ple, re­spected aca­demics, all of them vi­o­lent, this is a di­rect con­tra­dic­tion of the au­to­cratic regime’s rhetoric of mod­ern­iza­tion and open­ness.

For those who have a short term mem­ory, Ja­mal Khashoggi is not the first Saudi ex­ile to be killed. No one to­day re­mem­bers Nas­sir al-Sa’id, who dis­ap­peared in Beirut in 1979 and has not been seen since. Prince Sul­tan bin Turki was kid­napped in Geneva in 2003. Prince Turki bin Ban­dar al-Saud, who ap­plied for asy­lum in France, dis­ap­peared in 2015. Maj Gen Ali al-Qah­tani, an of­fi­cer in the Saudi Na­tional Guard who died while in cus­tody, showed signs of abuse: his neck ap­peared twisted and his body was badly swollen. There are many, many oth­ers - even Le­banon’s prime min­is­ter.

Thou­sands of Saudi ac­tivists still lan­guish in jail. Hu­man rights ac­tivists branded as ter­ror­ists are on death row on charges that Hu­man Rights Watch says “do not re­sem­ble recog­nis­able crimes”. In Saudi Ara­bia, even or­di­nary cit­i­zens are one crit­i­cism, one so­cial me­dia post away from death.

Mind you, these hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions are not lim­ited to Saudi Ara­bia and its cit­i­zens. Saudi Ara­bia con­tin­ues to bomb and kill peo­ple in Ye­men and the West con­tin­ues to prac­tice the same kind of dou­ble stan­dard in its for­eign pol­icy. It just doesn’t care.

When a Saudi plane dropped a U.S.-made bomb on a school bus in Ye­men killing 40 boys and 11 adults on a school trip, no Western coun­try or arms sup­plier de­manded an ex­pla­na­tion last month. No arms con­tracts were lost. No sanc­tions were im­posed at the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. No mil­i­tary al­liance was shelved. Ob­vi­ously, Khashoggi’s mur­der, just one mur­der, won’s make any dif­fer­ence ei­ther.

Into the ar­gu­ment, Saudi Ara­bia, which claims is to­day fight­ing ISIL and Al-Qaeda is the fa­ther and mother of these Salafi-Wah­habi ter­ror­ist groups. Even the CIA and many U.S. of­fi­cials agree. The au­to­cratic regime was founded on the idea of Wah­habism and Tak­firism, that’s what for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hi­lary Clin­ton has said many times - or Joe Bi­den.

It is in­deed be­cause of Saudi Ara­bia’s Wah­habism and Tak­firism that the world is in dan­ger now. Trump’s hol­low “con­cerns” won’t make the world any safer even for the U.S. He needs to talk to the world about the dan­ger of Saudi Ara­bia and what needs to be done in or­der to stop it.

The U.S. pres­i­dent needs to tell the world that the mil­lions of dol­lars the Saudi regime has paid to PR com­pa­nies to bur­nish its im­age in the West as “a re­formed coun­try ” have just been trashed by a killing that comes straight out of fan­tasy land.

Amer­i­cans and Euro­peans who cared noth­ing for Saudi Ara­bia now know who Ja­mal Khashoggi is and why he was mur­dered by the Saudis in Is­tan­bul. Un­like a Saudi prince, he had no money to pay in re­turn for his life. He paid with his life to tell the West that Saudi Ara­bia will stop at noth­ing to pro­mote its mur­der­ous ide­ol­ogy of Wah­habism and its bar­baric model of tribal rule across the globe. He was mur­dered in the Saudi con­sulate for telling this truth and noth­ing but this truth.

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