The Washington Post Publishes the Last Column Of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Before His Brutal Murder By The Saudi Government

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Journalist Jamal Khashoggi apparently wrote one last column before he was savagely murdered by agents of the the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within its consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.  There is mounting evidence that Khashoggi was killed by a team sent from Saudi Arabia including a forensic expert and a close security aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  Turkish sources released the contents of a tape indicating that  Khashoggi was literally cut up while alive by the Saudis and may have taken seven minutes to die.  There are strong indications that the United States is desperately seeking any way not to sanction Saudi Arabia or lessen such sanctions, including the suggestion by President Donald Trump that “rogue” elements might be responsible.  While Trump initially promised severe punishment if Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate, the fear of many is that the Administration will find a way to protect Saudi Arabia in the face of the torture and dismemberment of a respected intellectual.  For some,  Khashoggi is merely a name while Saudi Arabia represents billions in contracts and thousands of jobs.  However, he was a person living in the United States and a journalist who fought for freedoms in the Middle East.  While he also praised the Saudi Crown prince for some reforms (particularly in giving women more rights), he was a danger precisely because he bravely spoke of freedoms of speech and the press in a region where such expression often results in arrest or execution.  The Crown Prince has insisted that Khashoggi was a “friend” and that he exited the building, but the Saudis can offer no proof of the exiting.

Now the Washington Post has published his last column.  As fate would have it,  Khashoggi wrote about press freedom and his dream that Middle Eastern nations could some day join the West and free and open nations.  Khashoggi moved to the United States in June 2017 and wrote for The Washington Post.  

He was a permanent U.S. resident working as a journalist in this country when he was brutally dismembered.

He often criticized the Saudi government for its repression of critics, journalists, and women. He was an advocate for democratic reforms and freedom of speech and the press.

The evidence is now overwhelming that he was murdered by Saudi agents at the consulate in Istanbul.

What is most painful to read in this column is Khashoggi’s discussion of how atrocities by Arab authoritarian nations are no longer treated as newsworthy or at least worthy of condemnation:

“My dear friend, the prominent Saudi writer Saleh al-Shehi, wrote one of the most famous columns ever published in the Saudi press. He unfortunately is now serving an unwarranted five-year prison sentencefor supposed comments contrary to the Saudi establishment. The Egyptian government’s seizure of the entire print run of a newspaper, al-Masry al Youm, did not enrage or provoke a reaction from colleagues. These actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community. Instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence.”

The question is whether the United States will use some facially implausible excuse to ignore a murder of a journalist committed by the close aides of the Crown Prince.  The question is whether we have reached a point where we are simply unwilling to risk the loss of military contracts or economic benefits in responding to such an atrocity.  Evangelist Pat Robinson has said that responding to the brutal murder of a Washington Post journalist is not worth endangering $100 billion in arms sales.  The question is whether our policies will now be entirely decoupled from any moral or ethical standards.

282 thoughts on “The Washington Post Publishes the Last Column Of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Before His Brutal Murder By The Saudi Government”

  1. Investigation: As U.S.-Backed War in Yemen Raged, UAE Hired U.S. Mercenaries to Kill Yemeni Leaders

    STORYOCTOBER 17, 2018

    https://www.democracynow.org/2018/10/17/investigation_as_us_backed_war_in

    “A shocking new investigation has revealed that the United Arab Emirates hired U.S. mercenaries to carry out assassinations of political and clerical leaders in Yemen. The former elite U.S. special operations fighters were paid to take part in missions to kill those deemed to be “terrorists” by the UAE. The UAE worked with the U.S. company Spear Operations Group, founded by an Israeli-American man named Abraham Golan, who told BuzzFeed, “There was a targeted assassination program in Yemen. I was running it.” The group’s first target in Yemen was a local leader of al-Islah, a political party whose members include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkul Karman. We speak with journalist Aram Roston of BuzzFeed News, who broke the story. His new piece is titled “A Middle East Monarchy Hired American Ex-Soldiers to Kill Its Political Enemies. This Could Be the Future of War.””

        1. was that one dude with the beard a Mel Gibson lookalike or what? wow

          in the story they didn’t say what the wages were for these, um, security contracts

  2. TRUMP EAGER TO COVER FOR SAUDIS

    There was something bizarre about Trump’s ready excuse that ‘rogue elements’ of the Saudi regime were responsible for Kashoggi’s disappearance. Why would a U.S. president venture such an assumption? Common sense suggests that ‘rogue elements’ would have no access to the consulate. In any event, members of the murder squad have already been identified. The U.S. must demand that they be arrested and tried.

    1. It’s the middle east. Nothing is what it appears to be to us callow westerners who don’t operate at such primitive levels as they do. Being a member of the Saudi Royal Family is a blood sport. I ain’t gonna lose a minute of sleep over the US keeping the eye on the strategic ball and not getting hysterical over the death of one Muslim Brotherhood operative.

    2. “TRUMP EAGER TO COVER FOR SAUDIS”

      Peter Shill, What a stupid remark followed by statements that aren’t true. The President has stated he needs more facts and I am surprised he doesn’t seem yet have the audios and videos the Turks have talked about. Trump made clear something your type doesn’t care about. His basic aim is to protect America and its people.

        1. There goes Peter Shill again.

          Do we have the tapes? Not to my knowledge.
          Did Trump say he wished to protect America and American jobs? Yes.
          Did the President say he needed more facts and was awaiting Pompeo’s return? Yes.

          You think these comments are nonsensical, but anyone with half a brain can see they are legitimate and important. You seem to be doubling down on being stupid.

      1. Ah, just so. I guess hannity made the call, so now the gullible rubes, dupes, klan wanabees, pocket-traitors and grifters on the make now luvs them some government-sanctioned, extra-judicial murder along with comrade Putin. Thanks for the update. Write back when you’ve found the bottom of your morality.

        this is to “ya know, as long as we have martial music and a military parade, who needs elections?” allan / allen

        1. Marky Mark Mark – NPC do not give orders, they just take orders from their programming. Don’t stretch yourself past your programming limits.

        2. Mark, it appears you agree with Peter Shill and don’t recognize agreed upon facts. That makes you as stupid as Peter Shill. Maybe the two of you should go out on a date.

  3. Saudi Arabia and the Crown Prince are GUILTY!!! Until they prove themselves innocent. (Isn’t that your standard, now, Prof Turley.)

    1. I believe you will find our good professor is more like an international arms dealer, but his inventory is the law. He certainly doesn’t want to be perceived to be in the lawfare business. No, he’s above that. He’s in the weapons business.

  4. Did someone say “Adnan”?

    The story of Donald Trump’s superyacht: The Trump Princess

    Donald Trump loves a good deal

    https://boats.drivemag.com/features/the-story-of-donald-trump-s-superyacht-the-trump-princess

    Back in 1987, in Newsweek:

    Trump purchased “…a yacht owned by Saudi arms broker Adnan Khashoggi that’s about six times the size of the average Manhattan apartment. (“Not many people live a life like Khashoggi,” he says, and then adds with a grin, “but I’m coming damn close.”)”

    1. net says adnan was his uncle.
      and doo doo al fayed, diana’s boyfriend, his second cousin
      they intermarry a lot over there

  5. “As fate would have it, Khashoggi wrote about press freedom and his dream that Middle Eastern nations could some day join the West and free and open nations. ”

    I hope they don’t join the West and free and open nations. I think the free and open nations are in the process of going down the tubes of history. Because free and open means that nuts with agendas take over. See the St. Lawrence story above, for example.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  6. ” However, he was a person living in the United States and a journalist who fought for freedoms in the Middle East. ”

    Was Khashoggi fighting for freedom? That all depends on what one considers freedom. From what I have been reading Khashoggi was a friend of Osama bin Laden, an Islamist and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood that calls for the destruction of the west. All one has to do is look at the Muslim Brotherhood papers provided at the Holy Land Trial.

    Should the casual conclusion be that he “fought for freedoms”? Is treating women as chattel part of such freedoms?

    1. He fought with Osama Bin Laden in 1980s Afghanistan. I think if you do about 4 seconds of research you’re going to be shocked about who OBLs biggest ally was against the Soviets during that time….

      Wanna take a guess????

  7. He often criticized the Saudi government for its repression of critics, journalists, and women. He was an advocate for democratic reforms and freedom of speech and the press.

    The abiding examples of workable electoral institutions and public deliberation in the Arab world are places where you have had careful incremental devolution by resident monarchs (Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait). You might add Tunisia to the list some day. Lebanon has had a long history of parliamentary institutions. Lebanon has been quite culturally fragmented and parliamentary institutions have been a venue for competing political bosses to haggle with each other. (Punctuated by lengthy internecine warfare). Pakistan has had considerable experience with parliamentary institutions in the last 30 years. It’s still a troubled place.

    See what happened to Iran after 1978. It’s prudent to assume the journalist selling you this fare is lying or will in the future be a figure of no influence.

  8. “There are strong indications that the United States is desperately seeking any way not to sanction Saudi Arabia or lessen such sanctions, including the suggestion by President Donald Trump that “rogue” elements might be responsible.”

    “The question is whether we have reached a point where we are simply unwilling to risk the loss of military contracts or economic benefits in responding to such an atrocity.”

    If the involvement of Saudis (who I seriously doubt were “rogue” elements) in 9/11 wasn’t gonna do it, this probably won’t either. I hope I am pleasantly surprised to find that our leadership actually has some integrity.

    1. If the involvement of Saudis (who I seriously doubt were “rogue” elements) in 9/11 wasn’t gonna do it,

      Your ‘doubts’ (which normal people call fantasies) are worthless.

      1. Presumably, Osama bin Laden ordered the September Eleventh attacks to punish The U. S. for having “set foot” upon Saudi Arabian territory to stage airstrikes against Iraqi forces during The Gulf War. Since The House of Saud allowed U. S. military personnel on Saudi Arabian territory, September Eleventh is the echt example of the externalization of internal strife in the Muslim world. Somebody in the Muslim world may someday externalize the current strife that MBS has stirred up in the Muslim world. Kushner’s coziness with MBS will be a handy excuse for whichever aggrieved party in the Muslim world seeks to externalize their conflict with MBS, The House of Saud and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

        Meanwhile, Trump’s still waging war against The FBI. Brilliant!

  9. Internal strife in the Muslim world is routinely externalized. The opponents of Muhammad bin Salman are not going to attack MBS nor The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If they attack, then they will attack an external foe such as The United States or The United Kingdom or France etc.. Thus, even if you can’t be bothered to express your moral outrage against a barbaric murder, you really ought to consider the unintended consequences of Trump and Kushner establishing a very close and cozy relationship with MBS.

    Seventeen out of the nineteen hijackers who perpetrated the September Eleventh terrorist attacks were Yemenis from the Al Ghamdi tribe whose ancestors The Saudis brutally evicted from Asir in The1930s and drove them over the mountains into Yemen. Osama bin Laden’s father was a Yemeni who maintained good relations with both The House of Saud and The Al Ghamdi of Yemen–many of whom were skilled tradesmen employed by the elder bin Laden’s construction company. The Saudis under MBS are currently waging war against Yemen with the assistance of intelligence and weapons from The US.

    Do the math on this one, blawg hounds. Trump is now in a category known as rank amateur or worse. And it is we the people who may soon pay the terrible price for Trump and Kushner’s incomparable blundering.

      1. No, you’re correct. Fifteen of the hijackers were Saudi citizens. However, Saudi Arabia has citizens who immigrated from Yemen seeking work especially in the construction trades. The hijackers who bore the names Al Ghamdi and Al Hamzi are likely to have been Yemeni immigrant construction workers. But you’re still correct anyway.

    1. L4Yoga enables David Benson, R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – so, we won’t be paying for the blundering of Obama and Clinton 2.0?

      1. Trump and Kushner are all bollixed up with MBS in ways that no previous administration was–that we know of.

        Al Qaeda may have launched the September Eleventh terrorist attacks because Bill Clinton prevailed upon Saudi Arabia to banish Osama bin Laden at first to The Sudan and later to Afghanistan. Otherwise, the motivation for those attacks would not have had its exegesis in the policies of any particular U. S. administration other than, say, Bush The Elder’s Gulf War.

        1. “Trump and Kushner are all bollixed up with MBS in ways that no previous administration was–that we know of.”

          Pure rubbish unless you are limiting this to MBS whose power didn’t exist under other administrations. Those other administrations FAILED.

          1. I know you find it impossible to believe that when someone writes that “Trump and Kushner are all bollixed up with MBS” the meaning of that statement might be “limited to MBS whose power didn’t exist under other administrations.” Nevertheless, Allan, that is precisely and exactly just what that statement meant. At least you’re making progress with your use of the term “unless” followed by the obvious interpretation of the statement. Good show, Allan.

            1. Since MBS has just started wielding power he couldn’t have easily “bollixed up” other administrations which make your comments pretty dumb no matter how you look at it.

              1. L4D said, “Trump and Kushner are all bollixed up with MBS in ways that no previous administration was–that we know of.”

                Allanucklehead replied, “Since MBS has just started wielding power he couldn’t have easily “bollixed up” other administrations . . .”

                Once again Allanucklehead practices refutation by agreement with the argument that Allanucklehead pretends to refute. The real questions is whether or not Allanucklehead is aware of his own penchant for practicing refutation by agreement. Honestly, I have no idea whether Allanucklehead is self-aware.

                  1. You bounce nicely off of Diane. You can call me what you want but neither one of you seem to have much on the ball. Thank goodness you have each other.

      2. Whataboutism. When that’s all you got, you gots nuttin. Try again, and so sorry for your loss.

        this is to “hannity said sumtin about other presidents so I just latched on too” paulie – georgie

        1. Marky Mark Mark – you really need to ask your programmer to check your code, you are confusing people again. I am sure you not be out of action long since NPCs usually have small strings of code.

          1. Have you figured out who lost China yet? I ask because that was the original whataboutism. Unless the original whataboutism was the old saw about Democrat wars starting with Wilson getting us into World War I. Who knows? Maybe William Jennings Bryan was the Democrat got us into the Spanish/American War. Or not. Did the Republican Party even exist at the time of The Mexican/American War? They say the Democratic Party was around at that time. Go figure.

            1. L4Yoga enables David Benson, R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – The Democrats are certainly the party of slavery, Jim Crow codes and keeping black on the plantation.

    2. Cowboy up, L4D! There are always lunatics using their twisted ideologies to “explain” their barbarity. I am not going to allow them to determine the course of action my sovereign government should take. You’re a 🐱

      1. And yet, that’s exactly what the Jihadists do to us American Cowboys: Determine the course of action that the U. S. government takes by provoking us and our government into indiscriminate overreactions in which the people whom the Jihadist’s most seek to control–namely, their own people–are made to suffer far worse than the guilty terrorists are made to suffer; such that, the beloved cycle of violence is renewed for yet another generation. Yippy Kayo Kai Yay!

    3. Al Qaeda and others have launched attacks in Saudi Arabia.
      One reason, among many, that the Saudis turned down bin-Laden’s offer to defend Saudi Arabia from the Iraqis is that their leadership did not wish to invite or allow an insurgent force in their country whose goals might well include toppling the Saudi regime.
      It’s mistake and an oversimplification to pretend that “internal strife is in the Muslim world is externalized” without mentioning the internal attacks on those countries, or that “the opponents of MBS are not going to attack MBS or the kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.
      The current head of Al Qaeda and bin Laden’s successor, Zawhari, is an Egyptian who was involved in the assasination of Anwar Sadat.
      That is an example of “internal strife”. Bin Laden’s call to overthrow the Saudi regime, and terrorist attacks within Saudi Arabia, are examples of “internal strife”.
      It is a half-truth at best to exaggerate the “externalization” of MidEast strife and ignore the internal threats to regimes by claiming that “they’re not going to attack the kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.
      I think that the example of the protracted civil war in Syria is another example of “internal strife” that should be recognized, as well as the uprisings in Egypt and Libya.
      Despite some evidence of “liberalization” by the current Saudi leadership, that country ( and others in the Middle East) are far from being “open societies” with the Western-style human rights for their citizens.
      As far more open societies,
      democracies are in many respects more vulnerable to terrorist attacks in that the counter-measures against terrorist attacks are far less limited in a Saudi Arabia or an Egypt, compared to the measures that can be employed by the U.S. and others.
      For example, the Saudis would have been unlikely to debate the legal technicalities of examining the computer of the so-called “20th hijacker”.
      There are unlikely to be non-Muslim churches with firebrand clerics defending and/ or encouraging terrorist attacks.
      Without understating that there are terrorist threats to the U.S. and many of its allies, the “analysis” that MidEast strife will mostly be “externalized” is crap.

      1. Excerpted from the Wikipedia article on the Khobar Towers bombing:

        “The official June 25, 1996, statement by the United States named members of Hezbollah Al-Hejaz (English: “Party of God in the Hijaz”) as responsible. In 2006, a U.S. court found Iran and Hezbollah guilty of orchestrating the attack.”

        Ptom Gnash nattered, “Without understating [understanding “?”] that there are terrorist threats to the U.S. and many of its allies, the ‘analysis’ that MidEast strife will mostly be ‘externalized’ is crap.”

        L4D will gladly concede that Iran is a mortal enemy of Saudi Arabia. L4D will also gladly concede that when Iran attacked the Khobar Towers a significant number of Saudis were killed along with the nineteen U. S. Airmen who were killed. Here’s what L4D will not concede: That a terrorist attack on U. S. Airmen stationed in Saudi Arabia for the sake of supporting the No-Fly Zone policy in Iraq was an instance of “internalized conflict” in the Muslim world that was not “externalized”. The same thing goes for the attack on The USS Cole or the Nairobi Embassy bombing, for that matter. And don’t forget the first attack on the World Trade Center. Thus, the notion that internal strife in the Muslim world is not externalized whenever Muslim terrorists attack U. S. military personnel serving in the Mideast is . . . (what’s the word?) . . . apcray.

        1. I did not say that “internal strife in the Muslim world is not externalized”, but I appreciate L4B respinning and revising what I did say.
          What I wrote earlier, and what she wrote earlier, is clear enough.
          Quoting Wikipedia, or changing the subject, or misquoting me, does not change that.
          Any protracted exchange with the twit Lies4Breakfast is likely to develop into a series of restatements and distortions by her, and a muddled mess in reviewing what was previously said.
          A 5 minute exchange with her can end up taking hours to untangle if one is willing to play her games.
          Given the amount of spare time she has writing her columns, and her fondness for gamesmanship, I decided long ago to simply refer to what was actually written earlier, rather than untangle her distortions.
          I don’t have that amount of spare time, and even if I did, I’m not interested in playing games with verbose, duplicitous clowns like her.

          1. Tom Nash said, “It’s mistake and an oversimplification to pretend that ‘internal strife is in the Muslim world is externalized’ without mentioning the internal attacks on those countries, or that ‘the opponents of MBS are not going to attack MBS or the kingdom of Saudi Arabia’.”

            Tom Nash also said, “I did not say that ‘internal strife in the Muslim world is not externalized’, but I appreciate L4B respinning and revising what I did say. What I wrote earlier, and what she wrote earlier, is clear enough.”

            By the same token, L4D did not say that Muslims never attack Muslims, nor that Arabs never attack Arabs. What L4D said is that when Muslims attack Muslims and Arabs attack Arabs, the ones who do not benefit from US support will eventually, inevitably externalize their strife against the ones who do benefit from US support by attacking The US. L4D could give plenty more examples of such externalization of internal strife in the Muslim and Arab world. The Khobar Towers bombing is one of the more fascinating examples. It closely resembles the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut airport during the Reagan administration.

  10. Anyone remember actor Robert Redford in 1975 movie “3 days of Condor”?

    Be careful when the postman rings the doorbell

  11. Donald’s latest tweet:

    This all nothing but ‘fake news’ and the persecution of my business partners, some of whom have purchased and will hopefully continue to purchase many of my multimillion dollar condos, in New York and Miami. I opened over twenty new businesses in Saudi Arabia during my two years campaigning for the US Presidency, not to mention what my boys and Jared are doing, as I tweet.

    Worse than the ‘fake news’, that it is, it is also, just like the scum bag Democrats tried to do to Brett, calling the Saudis guilty before we prove them innocent, with limited investigations, weeks after the alleged event, and after a cleaning crew went in to ‘renovate’ the place.

    If we don’t sell arms to the Saudis and protect them from left wing extremist media ‘fake news’, then the Chinese and the Russians will.

    Donald Trump

    Grand Pooba, Grand Wizard, and the most successful tycoon ever. Oh yeah and the President of the United States.

      1. Kurtz

        If you do your homework and pay attention, you will understand that I did not make that up. It is all true.

        As far as the Saudis going to China and/or Russia, that would be a long shot. The Saudis are extremely embedded in the US arms technology and manufacturing. US arms manufacturers are joint venturing with the Saudis to manufacture some components in SA. The Saudi Air Force is almost half Euro fighters and helicopters. However, they do have the money to take the long shot and add a third source, Russia and/or China. This would diversify their options from two to three.

        It seems unlikely that it will come to this. Given Trump and his hypocrisy and the argument for jobs and all that, stuff that is sucked up by his believers, behind the scenes the US will work with the Saudi prince to come up with a half confession, something along the ling of the rogue agents. Perhaps some agents will get demoted. In the end it will be good old chaos, confusion, and time that puts it behind thoughts of cheap gas and gadgets.

        Trump has been bailed out to the tune of hundreds of millions, does sell beaucoup condos to the Arabs, and has opened over twenty ventures/businesses since 2016. What do you think Jared does when he is there?

  12. A good time to reflect on Trumps antagonistic attitude toward the press with his Enemy of the People epithet,

    1. Martha Nelson – Trump is a champion of the people. He an enemy of the Lame Stream Media. The Lame Stream Media is the Enemy of the People.

        1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me sixteen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – Read Weart. It is all there.

      1. Of which people is Trump the champion? Billionaires, yes. Corporate CEOs, yes. Authoritarian dictators, yes. Big polluters, yes. He has no love for the average man, women or child. We know who the enemy of the People is and the media doesn’t come close to the GOP or Trump himself.

        His blind support of Saudi Arabia because they buy hs Condos is appalling. Yes, he said that.

  13. Since the British probably meddled in the 2016 US Election and continue by hiding Mifsud, a dead journalist is small potatoes. And with the way journalists have been going at Trump you don’t think he is making a list of who he can send to that embassy? I am sure the House of Saud owes him a few favors. 😉

    1. As a matter of fact I do. Trump is deeply envious of authoritarian leaders who just kill those who disagree with them but that’s not how it is supposed to be in the USA.

      1. Trump is deeply envious of authoritarian leaders who just kill those who disagree with them but that’s not how it is supposed to be in the USA.

        No, his opponents are self-dramatizing nitwits.

  14. Khashoggi Was a CAIR apologist and nephew of sleazy, extravagant arms merchant, Adnan Khashoggi. (Think Iran Contra meets Robin Leach). There are no good guys in the Middle East; just bad, really bad and evil. Jamal, with his penchant for radicalism and coziness with al quaeda, probably fits in the middle of the continuum and occupies my sympathies not at all.

        1. The complaints against Jamal Khashoggi are exceedingly complex. He joined the political wing of The Muslim Brotherhood in The 1970s. The political wing of The Muslim Brotherhood believes that democracy is compatible with The Salafi traditions of Islam practiced by the first generation of Muslims (The Salaf, proper). As you might well intuit, democracy is not especially compatible with Monarchy nor with the Emirate system. It was Khashoggi’s advocacy for Islamic democracy more than anything else that brought him into conflict with MBS who had also forced Khashoggi into exile. The Wahhabi tradition deplores democracy as a Western contrivance. Despite the supposed reform agenda espoused by MBS, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still essentially in the grip of The Wahhabi tradition.

          And that’s where this whole episode is likely to take a turn for the worse. IIRC [“?”], the current war that MBS is waging in Yemen, with U. S. assistance on intelligence and weapons is, amongst other things, a war against a particularly militant faction of Yemeni Wahhabists who have broken their ties with The Saudi Wahhabists. Thus, as strange as it may seem, MBS and Jamal Khashoggi may have had at least one common enemy in The Wahhabi Movement. We ought not to be so eager as Trump and Kushner are to meddle in the internal strife of the Muslim world without also grappling with the extreme complexity of dynastic strife and tribal politics in that same corner of the world. Our ignorance may very well come back to haunt us once again.

          1. Correction: The Houthi revolution in Yemen was a Shia movement. As far s I know, Shia have nothing to do with Wahhabis.

            1. a lot ot it is just ideological window dressing. all the rights talk is superficial to them. there are factions and they want power. why should we pick one faction or another; and why should we assume that a prevailing faction today will still be in charge a year from now. a more standoffish arms length policy in the ME would perhaps have been wiser at many junctures.

              but we are not the deciders, as Bush called himself.

              the salient about the Houthis and Shia is that they are close to Russia. Around the heavy gravity of Iran, A shiitte crescent of opposition to the US-Turkey- Israel-Saudi western flank of the ME, from the Hizb’allah in Lebanon, to the Alawites in Syria, to the majority democractic Shite Govt of IRaq, to Iran, and thence to the eastward parts of Saudi and the Houthis in yemen. The US has had ok relations with different Shiites factions besides Iran, and personally I thought the Iran deal was a reasonable attempt to de-escalate with Iran and defuse this potentially dangerous alignment of Sunni versus Shiite. but, Trump has thrown that out, and maybe it wasnt much worth anyways

              Back to Kashoggi. The problem is not the big strategic one. The problems are two things the way I see it.

              1– Kashoggi was living in the US and writing for US paper. Ergo, the Saudis should have hesitated for those reasons alone. This is a loss of face for the US and the Saudis apparently are unconcerned. Thats very troubling.

              2– The Saudis did this in their consultate located in our NATO ally Turkey. I don’t like the Turks but you can’t dismiss their legitimate concerns over this murder. Oh, Russia likes this problem that the Saudis have ginned up for US. Putin, very happy!

              Mike Pompeo has got a big problem. It would be nice if the US press would not foam at the mouth over what is a really delicate problem. The world is a risk powderkeg right now but all they care about is trying for another slight advantage heading into elections.

              1. ” It would be nice if the US press would not foam at the mouth over what is a really delicate problem. The world is a risk powderkeg right now but all they care about is trying for another slight advantage heading into elections.”

                The press and especially the left don’t care a about American security, lives, well being or freedoms. They focus on destruction. The death of Khashoggi is near nothing compared to deaths all over the world including the deaths of journalists and very little is said as I believe you mention.

                We don’t even know what happened yet but the left sees a possibility of embarrassing the President so they draw conclusions without the facts. The President unlike the previous President stated what the problem was right away. It was measured, Presidential and looked out for America and Americans.

                1. “The press and especially the left don’t care a about American security, lives, well being or freedoms. They focus on destruction.” -Allanspeak

                  Worse than “Allanonsense.” An outright lie.

                  1. I expect a reply like that from someone like you. That is who you are. A self-serving ignorant poster who can’t even carry an alias. That might be the only thing to differentiate you from another on this blog.

                    1. The problem Anonymous, who won’t hold ownership to an icon, is that what I say about you is the truth. Nothing more need be said.

                2. Revealing the transgression of the day glo bozo is the height of caring about American security, lives, well being and freedom.So sorry for your continued role as patsy.

                  this is to ‘what is that ticking sound?” allan / allen

                  1. Marky Mark Mark – that ticking you keep hearing is your end as an NPC, You have a sell-by-date and it is fast coming up.

                  2. Mark M. nice to know that you are emptyheaded like Anonymous. I think, however, you will do better with Peter Hill.

                3. MBS reportedly bragged that Kushner had told MBS about Saudis who were disloyal to The Kingdom and that Kushner had gotten his information about disloyal Saudis from the President’s daily briefing for which Kushner had no security clearance at the time. Of course, Kushner denied all that through a spokesperson for his lawyer. But Allanucklehead had better hope and pray that MBS did not gain kompromat on Kushner and that Khashoggi was not one of the disloyal Saudis whose name Kushner got from the President’s daily briefing that Kushner was not allowed to read then passed along to MBS.

                  https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/22/politics/jared-kushner-mohammed-bin-salman/index.html

                  1. Diane, you write so much nonsense your particular twist that it doesn’t pay to sift through it. It is enough to know that one can flip a coin and have better odds for a correct result than to follow anything that you say.

                    1. Add Anonymous to Diane, what do you get? Two old hags in a cold sweat.

                      Keep thinking you make sense.

                    2. Poor old Allan…hangin’ out in one of the only places where anyone will have him. And showing his true colors as he does — day after day and hour after hour. Sad.

                    3. Anonymous, I am so flattered that you have such feelings towards me. Unfortunately you will have to find someone else as my life is quite full. Why not start another alias that you can speak to?

                    4. Allan is “flattered.” He’s also delusional.

                      And his misogyny is showing.

                      (You’re certainly leading a full life today, Allan. JT’s blog is your life.)

                    5. I leave being delusional to your empty head Anonymous, but I do note a lot of unwanted attention from you. Yes, I am flattered. You might be mysogynistic even though you are female, but no I am very tender to the fairer sex if they aren’t trashy.

                    6. Sometimes the cat like to play with the rat, Allan. Is the rat “flattered”?? I don’t think so.

                    7. Anonymous, you fancy yourself a cat. I think by saying that you are insulting cats but I’ll let that alone. At least we now know you are toilet trained.

          2. L4D,
            You seem very knowledgeable on the history and politics of the ME.

            “We ought not to be so eager as Trump and Kushner are to meddle in the internal strife of the Muslim world without also grappling with the extreme complexity of dynastic strife and tribal politics in that same corner of the world. Our ignorance may very well come back to haunt us once again.”

            As far as I can tell, this meddling is not just restricted to Trump. The good ole USA has been meddling in the ME for, what, the last 5 or so administrations?

            I am not defending Trump on this. It seems to be a more systemic issue with our government, something not really tied to whomever is “in charge”.

            1. Don’t be so generous, Prairie Rose. I’ve made two factual errors already today. You caught one of them. I caught the other one on my own. I’m currently reviewing my comments to see how many other errors might be squirreled away inside them. So far the only thing I’ve gotten right is that Muslim politics is exceedingly complex. So my comment about ignorance coming back to haunt us might as well have been a self-parody. Enjoy.

              1. Just so we everyone is on the same page in understanding who the Muslim Brotherhood is in the US while recognizing it is considered a terrorist organization in other countries. There has been a bill in front of the House to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

                From the Muslim Brotherhood Memorandum. Full memorandum at:
                http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/20.pdf

                4- Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America:
                The process of settlement is a “Civilization-JihadistProcess” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal.

                13- Understanding the U.S. society from its different aspects an understanding that “qualifies” us to perform the mission of settling our Dawa’ in its country “and growing it” on its land.

                17- Understanding the role and the nature of work of “The Islamic Center” in every city with what achieves the goal of the process of settlement:
                The center we seek is the one which constitutes the “axis” of our Movement, the “perimeter” of the circle of our work, our “balance center”, the “base” for our rise and our “Dar al-Arqam” to educate us, prepare us and supply our battalions in addition to being the “niche” of our prayers.

              2. Diane, not only do you have factual errors but your wording twists what you say in such a way that the wording creates factual errors as well. Even the way you weight the significance of two related happenings creates a falsehood in whatever you are writing about.

                In summation, one can’t learn much of anything from what Diane says because of factual error, error in conclusions, errors due to twisting and errors due to misassignment of importance; a total waste of time.

          3. “As you might well intuit, democracy is not especially compatible with Monarchy nor with the Emirate system. “
            *************
            Neither is the Islam espoused by Hamas supporting, Jamal Khashoggi. JK was no liberal Arab icon. He was a virulent anti-Semite and supporter of terror. Here his take on the Jewish State: “[Israel’s] existence is outside the context of history and logic […] it came into being by force, it will live by force and it will die by force.”And here he is on Hamas: “After implicitly rejecting negotiations with Israel by asserting that it was divinely ordained that the “price” for freedom was “blood and death,” Khashoggi praised the Islamist terror organization for accomplishing the “miracle” of procuring rockets and explosives.” The same rockets and explosives directed at Israeli school children. This is the guy we’re suppose to change policy for, right? Like I said, “bad, really bad and evil,” are your choices in the Middle East Arab world.

            https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-khashoggi-was-a-victim-of-saudi-terror-and-a-supporter-of-palestinian-terrorism-1.6571267

            1. I agree that Khashoggi was not a liberal reformer. And neither is MBS. Both Muslim politics and Arab politics are highly fractious and tumultuous like a constant game of musical chairs. As for the choices you mentioned, those don’t stay put either. What was merely bad yesterday, may be really bad tomorrow and flat-out evil the day after that. MBS could come back to haunt us. The Houthi in Yemen could become the next September Eleventh terrorists. Or not.

              1. “What was merely bad yesterday, may be really bad tomorrow and flat-out evil the day after that. MBS could come back to haunt us.”
                **********************
                You’re right about that.

              2. it’s not too useful to guess at who will become terrorists.
                terrorism is a tool of geopolitical conflict. there is little doubt that major powers on all sides use proxies who target noncombattants.
                it’s been ever thus, really. yesterday somebody attacked a college in Crimea. Who did that? 20 people killed 50 wounded and barely showed up in US news

                https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/17/europe/crimea-kerch-explosion-intl/index.html

                who’s letting off bombs and shooting up college students in this russian enclave? ten bucks says it’s some faction that serves the Russian adversary one way or another. Ukraine that is, which is now backed by…… “the west.” I don’t know of course, just guessing.

                how may civlians have been murdered in the past few years of civil war by the anti-Assad factions including Salafist militias like al Nusra which received tacit assistance from “the west?” I dont know just asking.

                one rich Saudi is not going to make a huge difference that is unless it throws the alliance with Turkey deeper into trouble. that would be the main concern right now I think.

                http://takimag.com/article/should-us-saudi-alliance-be-saved/#axzz5UJ8sB61h

                I like what Pat Buchanan said:

                “How did Franklin Roosevelt handle such associations? “He may be an SOB,” FDR said of one Caribbean dictator, “but he’s our SOB.”

                During World War II, when the Germans uncovered in the Katyn Forest a vast gravesite containing the remains of thousands from Poland’s officer corps, dating to Stalin’s occupation, Poles in Britain came to Prime Minister Churchill to ask for an investigation.

                Churchill, for whom Stalin was by now an indispensable ally, replied dismissively: “There is no use prowling round the three-year-old graves of Smolensk.”

                Nor is it only during wartime that the U.S. has associated with authoritarians with repellent human rights records.

                The U.S. maintains a treaty alliance with the Philippines of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has approved the extrajudicial killing of drug dealers, thousands of whom have been murdered.

                Gen. el-Sissi came to power in Cairo in a military coup that ousted an elected government headed by a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who is, along with thousands of Brotherhood members, now in prison.

                Since the coup attempt in NATO ally Turkey in 2017, President Recep Erdogan has imprisoned thousands, including more journalists than any country on earth.

                Last week came reports that China has arrested the head of Interpol, and has indeed been operating an archipelago of re-education camps in its west to purge the ethnic and religious beliefs of the Uighur people.

                As for Saudi Arabia, members of Congress are said to be readying sanctions to impose on the Saudi regime if it is proven Khashoggi was killed on royal orders.

                However, which would be a greater violation of human rights: the sanctioned killing of a political enemy of the regime or 10,000 dead Yemenis, including women and children, and millions facing malnutrition and starvation in a Saudi war of aggression being fought with the complicity and cooperation of the United States?

                Rather than resist Congress’ proposed sanctions, President Trump might take this opportunity to begin a long withdrawal from decades of entanglement in Mideast wars that have availed us nothing and cost us greatly.”

              3. WE really don’t know the full intent of MBS but he wished to bring western development into into Saudi Arabia and stated he wished to reduce Wahabbi influence

            2. i am sure Khashoggi was a dog eaten alive by dogs,. But I find no fault in this remark:

              Here his take on the Jewish State: “[Israel’s] existence is outside the context of history and logic […] it came into being by force, it will live by force and it will die by force.”

              I think that’s about right. Of course, it’s also about right of nearly every sovereign nation on Earth.

              The organized use of force supreme within a territory is what makes the sovereign in the first place. Israelis know this full well. And if their nerve fails then they will get wiped out. Definitely. I don’t fault them for their forcefulness, but they ham it up for western newspapers and like to pretend they are all warm and fuzzy.

              Americans are the only people who seem to have little understanding that the continued existence of a sovereign entity, and largely, any sovereign entity, is first and foremost exactly what Khashoggi said: a matter of force.

              For places with miniscule armed forces, like Costa Rica, or various microstates here and there, there is usually an outside security guarantor. Like the USA. The genuineness of their sovereignty is also usually pretty thin.

      1. “Like I said, “bad, really bad and evil,” are your choices in the Middle East 𝐀𝐫𝐚𝐛 world.”

        *****************
        Disappointed you typed before you read.

        1. “Khashoggi Was a CAIR apologist and nephew of sleazy, extravagant arms merchant, Adnan Khashoggi. (Think Iran Contra meets Robin Leach). There are no good guys in the Middle East; just bad, really bad and evil. Jamal, with his penchant for radicalism and coziness with al quaeda, probably fits in the middle of the continuum and occupies my sympathies not at all.”

          An anti-Semite and a liar.

          1. Wow:

            “An anti-Semite and a liar.”
            *********************
            If you mean me, I love a cherry picking troll who ignores that I pointed out Khashoggi was anti-Israel when no one else here did. It’s so transparently stupid.

            If you mean Khashoggi, it’s the first thing you got right today. Bravo/a

            What’s the Soros piece rate these days?

            1. 1) Post with “Obviously I’m not an anti-Semite!” message.

              2) Closes with most lazy anti-Semitic talking point around today.

              An anti-Semite, a liar, and a clown.

              1. Wow:
                Give me a real name and an address and we’ll find out who will be jumping out of the clown car! Soros is the biggest anti-Semite I can think of besides you, of course.

                1. Mespo, technically speaking Arabs are a Semitic people–meaning the descendents of Shem. Ordinarily the term anti-Semitic is not used to describe statements that are anti-Arab. But it is a technically correct use of the term anti-Semitic, anyway. Meanwhile, you use the term anti-Israel to describe Khashoggi, but then deployed the term anti-Semitic to describe Soros. So there’s some inconsistency on your side of this argument over the words as well.

      1. That Khashoggi was not especially critical of the Saudi regime before MBS came to power and launched a crack-down on “corruption” amongst his political opponents–shortly after which Khashoggi fled The Kingdom seeking exile in The U.S.–does not even rebut, let alone refute, that Khashoggi became a critic of MBS, especially, after MBS came to power, launched his crack-down and drove Khashoggi into exile. All the same, it is by no means necessary to regard Khashoggi as some sort of “liberal reformer,” either.

        Besides, the linked article is from Consortium News–the reigning poster child for Fake News in The U. S..

        1. Wrong, you mean news not blessed by the Deep State. Consortium News is excellent. It gives what the mass media does not: useful information, insightful counterpoint, illuminating difference of opinion

          Late, now I really know you’re full of garbage, if it wasnt clear before.

          Do you work for the US leviathan bureaucracy in some basement cubicle somewhere? Most people have never heard of Consortium News and if they have it’s because they don’t like it and those who dont like it usually don’t like it because it offends their patrons.

          1. The late Robert Parry was one of prize stallions in the stable of Consortium News. Robert Parry went around the bend and over the high side into the culvert of disinformation and propaganda roughly twenty years ago or so. If Robert Parry is HoD’s idea of useful information, then HoD is the one who’s full of garbage.

            1. by that you mean, he was not reflexively Russophobic, therefore, the Deep State and MIC discredited him with their patsies in the mass media

  15. Saudi Arabian embassies: Where torture and murder can be carried out with impunity.

    Why should any nation allow a sanctuary for state sponsored murder to occur on their soil?

    The U.S. should declare all Saudi diplomats and employees personae non gratae and close the embassy and consulates.

    1. Darren:
      “The U.S. should declare all Saudi diplomats and employees personae non gratae and close the embassy and consulates.”
      ***************
      You wanna hold our allies to some moral litmus test and then jettison them accordingly, then prepare for lots of real estate signs on embassy row. We have military allies for one reason and one reason only: to insulate and protect us from our enemies.

      Every country engages in covert killings — all of them. Here’s a story about how our ally, the Brits do it:
      https://www.shortlist.com/news/we-spoke-to-a-former-mi6-spy-about-the-murky-world-of-state-sponsored-killings/56131
      Plenty of stuff out there about our CIA assasinations on foreign soil.

      The world is a scary place and the West wages unseen wars all the time. It’s what stops all-out warfare in a nuclear age. Once we realize that, we’ll understand what all world leaders already know — there is both a sublime and sleazy side to statecraft.

      1. At some point we need to start behaving like a civilized society, miscreant nations or allies be damned.

          1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me sixteen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – Sir Francis Walsingham

          2. William and then Robert Cecil. Without them Britain may have fallen and they used horrible techniques, but at the same time preserved the nation.

        1. Daren:
          Civilized societies are premised on two elements: self-defense and respect for law. Sometimes these values are at odds in addressing foreign policy matters. We’ve allied ourselves with murderous dictators (Stalin), former mortal enemies who violated international law (Germany, Japan), narco-States (Mexico, Columbia) and population exploiting regimes (practically every Central American nation). And we’ve done so when it matched our interests. Morality in addressing affairs of state is a luxury. It can prevent a clear-eyed assessment of what’s in your interests. Golda Meir once said that she’d “deal with the devil himself,” to preserve the state of Israel, and she was spot on. Morality, which you advocate as a world controlling system, is an internal virtue premised on shared values. To that extent it’s like the Rule of Law. It has limited use in dealing with external affairs lest it be weaponized against its practitioner. Truman understood that in dropping two bombs in 1945, so did Lincoln in quelling riots and declaring martial law in 1863 and Roosevelt made exactly the same calculus in 1942 with Japanese internment camps. The first rule of self-defense is the willingness to do absolutely anything to defend oneself from existential threats; all other options are, by definition, suicide. The Saudis, for all their flaws and moral lapses are our second strongest ally in the Mideast. If you want to banish their help on controlling terrorism, blocking Russian hegemony, checking Iran and keeping the oil taps flowing under the banner of opposing “miscreant” nations, prepare for the realpolitik of exponentially greater and deadlier terrorist threats, greater Russian influence near the oil fields and the rise of nuclear Iran as a world rather than a regional power as the Persians rush to fill the power void. If you want all of that with its implications for world war over the outrage over the risly death of some radical leaning journalist, make your Faustian choice, but do so from an honest assessment of the fallout and not naïveté or a lust for morality which does not encumber your adversaries for even a fleeting moment.

            1. No worries on the spelling.

              My point is that there has to come a point where we stop accepting murderous / evil behavior on the part of especially the Saudis. In this case the Saudis committed, or at least the publicly released evidence shows, that they used embassy grounds to hack to death a dissident reporter. The proportionate diplomatic response to this is to send the diplomats packing.

              For the record I am not equating in the definition of a civilized society the expectation of one abandoning defense or self-preservation. But there are basic standards that have to be maintained. Allowing another state to murder people within its embassies, especially one where in our case the victim was a U.S. Permanent Resident, should never be excused or condoned.

              1. but it was on Turkey’s territory so that’s Turkey’s call. The US can’t dictate to Turkey what to do, it’s a complicated balance;

                and Turkey is just being cooperative in letting the US take point on this.

                Surely, Erdogan is enjoying the hassle they are heaping on DC and Riyadh with this. I seriously doubt the Turks will punish the Saudis much for this at the end of the day. Nor the US.

                The press will act outraged, make an insufficient and superficial analysis for the soundbyte readership; blame it on Trump, and move on to the next hassle

                I also observe that someone blew up a bomb and machine gun attacked and killed 20 students yesterday in Russia controlled Crimea and nobody cares much in the US press. CNN had an infobit on it, not much attention at all

                https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/17/europe/crimea-kerch-explosion-intl/index.html

                But pick on a journalist and they have a conniption.

                1. Kurtz, I will echo your point.

                  ” Turkey has 245 journalists locked up behind bars as of January 24, 2018. An additional 140 journalists face outstanding arrest warrants. [2] Number of journalists behind bars is 191 as of Jan. 28, 2017. 231 journalists have been arrested after July 15, 2016 alone. [3]” __Wikipedia

                  50-87 journalists have been killed worldwide every year in the last decade. Does anyone know who they are?

                  1. good point

                    oh and here’s another thing about Kashoggi. Sometimes journalists are outright cover for espionage agents.

                    Sometimes journalists who are bona fide also get themselves too deeply associated with politics and end up breaking laws as partisans themselves…..When they cross the line, they sometimes get burned.

                    here is an excerpt i found discussing use of journalism as cover.

                    “Journalists As Spies p. 16
                    August 10, 1996
                    By: DEBRA GERSH HERNANDEZ

                    THE PUBLIC DISCUSSION of the CIA’s policy waivers that allow the limited use of journalists in covert operations may be doing more harm than good, as it confirms assumptions overseas, however unwarranted, that American journalists are spies, according to witnesses at a recent government hearing.
                    At the start of the hearing, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, noted that he was uncomfortable discussing the issue publicly, but added that he believes anyone who would retaliate against a journalist because of the waiver policy already is aware of it.
                    “To whatever degree any [foreign] governments may have questions about whether we do this or not, those questions may be better left without articulations of policy,” commented Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.). “But here, it seems to me, if they weren’t tainted before, they sure as hell will be tainted afterwards.”
                    Terry Anderson, who was working for the Associated Press in the Middle East when he was taken as a hostage, commented that, “The damage has already been done, I believe, most prominently by Director [of Central Intelligence John M.] Deutch’s acknowledgement . . . that there were exceptions to the general rule and that such things have happened in the past.
                    “So, the best thing that we can do is try to repair the damage by a greater prohibition, without exceptions. We are talking about a real danger; this is not imaginary,” said Anderson, who has had militiamen hold loaded weapons to his head and yell, “Spy, spy.”
                    “I am not the only journalist working in the field who has had his life threatened or been put in danger by the suspicion that he or she was a spy,” he commented.
                    Although there is no way to tell how many journalists around the world died because of the assumption that they were spies, but “most of us assume at least some did,” Anderson added.
                    The existing CIA policy disallows use of journalists, clergy or Peace Corps workers in covert operations or as cover for CIA agents, unless the director of Central Intelligence determines that the situation is serious enough to grant a waiver.”

                    CATCH THAT LAST ONE? EXCEPT IF THE BOSS SAYS SO
                    IN OTHER WORDS, POLICY IGNORED AS NEEDED

                2. but it was on Turkey’s territory

                  If I’m not mistaken, the host country is not sovereign on the property of an embassy, legation, or consulate.

                  1. that’s correct for sure.

                    but, the host country has an interest in the embassies conducting business properly and not going too far. i mean of course they are all bases for espionage but sawing this well known Saudi guy in the embassy is certainly a legit beef for Turkey to flog. we will see if they expel some people or what.

              2. But there are basic standards that have to be maintained.

                Have you taken a look at the countries currently on the UN Council for Human Rights? Turkey’s not on it. The United States is not on it. However Saudi Arabia is. The obvious response is to condemn the act. That’s the easy part. What to do next is the hard part. And I’m not confident basic standards exist when having to factor in the complexities of foreign affairs.

          1. It’s tough to be civilized in a dog eat dog world. That is a luuxury for Monday morning quaterbacks. I think the President’s response to the situation was measured and on target. It was a bad idea for the Saudi’s to kill Jamal Khashoggi, a worse idea to do it in their embassy in Turkey and worst of all to get caught. I don’t like this game but I think the world might be a better place without Jamal Khashoggi except for the fallout we are presently seeing. The chances are whatever MBS attempts are (if any) to modernize Saudi Arabia and make it less Islamist Khashoggi was against it. That would indicate a serious battle between the two.

          2. Mespo,
            “blocking Russian hegemony”

            The Saudis have their own, albeit discreet, desire for hegemony going on, I’d argue. Whose poison is worse–theirs or Russia’s?

                1. Grapes he neither cultivated nor pressed. He did exactly what he should do and engage them. Running.
                  away and calling them evil thus crushing any chance for diplomacy is the way of the fool.

        2. At some point we need to start behaving like a civilized society, miscreant nations or allies be damned.

          Let’s start small, say with you. Get rid of any weapons you have. Disable any security you use for anything. Remove all locks and throw away all keys. Prominently advertise you are living in a civilized home and invite everyone to join you in this movement; miscreant and friendly neighbors be damned. You will soon learn miscreants live among you; always have and always will.

    2. It’s hard to fight a war and thus quiet an area if one is not speaking to a major ally. I don’t like the Saudi’s and never have but I’ll take the chance that an appropriate balance of power can be established in the Middle East with the Saudi’s help at this time. However, I would never take my eye off the ball that the Saudi’s at least in the past were our enemies. We have to always remember our enemy’s enemy can be our friend and as Mespo says later we have to always remember fighting Nazi Germany Stalin became our ally.

      1. Saudis hate Turks, for obvious historical reasons, and they are perpetual rivals. The US is between them. The Israelis, however much anyone dislikes them– don’t bother calling me the antisemite name I don’t care thank you– but whatever that nation’s faults, they have been a very useful balancing point for the US in that they, too, have some shared strategic interests with both Turkey and Saudi, but they don’t like either of them. So if you wonder why the US seems to look past Israeli excesses, it’s all the same reason. There is a bigger balancing act happening and if the US weakens too much, or its alliances are too disrupted, a bigger and far uglier war can break out with devestating consequences.

        So we look past a lot of bad behavior by Turkey, Israel, and yes the Saudis. I will leave the moralizing about those regimes to other people. The main thing is that they are all important allies in their own right, they are all very strong in different ways, and they all can cause us a lot more hell than they do right now if things get ugly.

        This Kashoggi thing happened in Turkey, but Turkey is our NATO ally; not because we like them but because if they werent our NATO ally they would be Russia’s ally. That is the backround issue that will pervade this, and the press will definitely not get that in depth. they are indeed stupid and phony, overall.

        Some of the regional context goes way back, a hundred years literally. Watch the movie Lawrence of Arabia, which helps understand the fragmentation of the ME in the wake of end of WWI

        also read Fromkin’s A Peace to End all Peace

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Peace_to_End_All_Peace

        1. World relationships change fast as we have seen and all nations at one time or another engage in bad behavior . The Turks and Saudi’s today dislike each other and might have been moving in opposite directions. Not that long ago Turkey and Israel had a reasonably good relationship with a lot of trade. Ergodan has moved Turkey into the Jihadist direction and MBS at least verbally appeared to be moving Saudi Arabia in the opposite direction. Right now there is some type of military alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel something not thought possible in the past.

          Turkey is a power and likely if Ergodan doesn’t destroy the nation could become the big regional power. It is also geographically located in a very important area.

          I’ve made a few points so you would know where I come from but honestly I couldn’t make total sense out of a lot of what you said above.

          1. You got it Allan, Turkey is important. I don’t think they “ally” with Saudi and Israel but they cooperate and to some degree coordinate. And that is not always bad or good for America or anybody in general. Like I am pretty clear that Turkey and Israel and Saudi all hate Assad and backed the antiregime forces in Syria but I am not clear on how that served American interests. IT sure in hell was bad for Europe that has got nearly a million refugees out of the mess.

            MOstly I was just alluding to historical domination of Ottoman Turks over all Arabia and Palestine in the preceeding century.

            There are even more basic things that Americans may or may not tend to realize. Really simple stuff like Arabs Turks and Persians are all different ethic groups, that’s a basic insight but one worth mentioning.

            I mention that book and Lawrence of Arabia because it shows how Britain leveraged Saudi nationalism against the Ottomans in WW1. What wasnt in the movie but is worth mentioning, is that the British support for Zionism played a similar role in subverting the Ottomans. The denouement of the war is described in that book, Sykes PIcot agreement, etc., important backround for middle east issues.

            Some people don’t like it that America is seen as taking over the old Roman style that the British perfected– Divide et Imperator. But critics rarely have a better idea. And what some people see as bad, some folks may understand is just wise. Like, should we back one side or another? The question itself may be premised on error. Why not, if feasible, back both factions which may emerge victorious? So we have people on “our side” which is to say Americans, some of whom back MBS, ok, and some who backed the antiMBS factions. Ok, well, if MBS went down, it would be GOOD to have someone alongside the next guy, not bad. So a lot of intelligence work may seem contrariwise but in fact it is just like diversification in portfolio management. So a lot of things look horrible in retrospect but maybe they were the least bad choice. Such as backing the Mujahadeed in Afganistan against Russia. Well maybe that was not ideal and often now it seems like it was stupid. But maybe it was a decent opportunity for a proxy war at the time. Who knew the same jihaadists would be stirring crap up all over decades later? The world is full of troublemakers and you have to get to know some of them if you’re going to play world power like America.

            Back to editorial….. Part of the problem with Pat Buchanan, who i like and had a good article on this, is that it’s somewhat unrealistic to just say withdraw from so and so. You just do what, give up and go home? In some places that may work but in some places not. You can’t just walk away from the biggest oil fields on Earth. You can’t just let the Turks keep drifting away from NATO and towards Russia. You have to keep the hand on the tiller..

            The question is what is possible given the particular facts and roles and resources at any given moment. History is instructive but not determinative of what anybody must necessarily do at any time

            1. You covered a lot of stuff above which can only be incomplete at best. When I observe I look for logic and consistancy in serving the American people and American ideas. There are at least two basic threats we face in the Middle East right now. The Jihadists which are all over the Middle East and would like to see America’s destruction. The second problem is Iran expansion, nuclearization and its stated desire to destroy Israel and the US. The Syrian problem of today was caused by Obama policy. Iran has moved into Syria, Iraq and supports the terroist organization Hamas and in Lebenon Hezbollah. If we color in all those different areas we see Iran’s expansion to the Mediterranean with a small area not colored known as the little Satan and we Americans of course are the great Satan.

              Is that in America interests?

              1. Iran’s been supportive of Hizb’allah for decades, cooperative with Assads. But Iraq is also much closer to Iran now than it was in the days of good old Saddam Hussein and who do we have to thank for that. LOL

                There is gossip that the saudis have numerous suitcase nukes, they either bought from russians, or bigger ones they got from Pak.

                there are thousands of jihaadists factions, who knows who they are or who controls them or what their aims. It’s a little bit like drug dealers. They aren’t going to disappear any time soon, it’s a thing that will stick around indefinitely as a problem

                I don’t worry too much about Iran. Culturally speaking I think they are more moderate by nature, more civilized and urbane and tolerant, and overall less worrisome than the Saudis, even if the Saudis are our “allies.”

                I have bad dreams where some Saudi prince is just a camel’s ride away from some tent in the desert where they all get wound up over mint tea and the hookah, and decide it’s time to pull another 9-11 on us and this time make it sting a lot harder, for whatever reason.

                1. “I don’t worry too much about Iran.”

                  OK, we disagree. Not about the people or their history, only the present leadership that is developing a nuclear weapon and the means of delivery.

                  1. several years ago the intelligence community said they’d abandoned their program. i don’t know such things but i take their word for it. I don’t know what they would have to gain too much and in all sincerity i think they could have one if they wanted one. what good are they? nobody is going to invade them anyhow

                    i take their commentary about wiping israel off the map as bluster.
                    if they are muslims they are not about to nuke “occupied Palestine”

                    all the major powers that have them, could use them strategically…. like NK– NK faces an big conventional threat in the unended war, and could use what they have tactically. I think most countries that see a tactical use have already developed them. Iran isn’t going to be invaded anymore.

                    i dont know too much about all that anyways

                    1. “i take their commentary about wiping israel off the map as bluster.”

                      100,000 -150,000 missiles are facing ready to be fired into Israel while you make such an ignorant statement. The most sophisticated ones are made in Iran and Iran funds these terrorists.

                      You add to that with your next comment:

                      “if they are muslims they are not about to nuke “occupied Palestine””

                      Fathers and mothers send their children out to blow up other children in their Jihad. The families are then paid large amounts of money every year to the families of their martyrs.

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