As gory details emerge about the alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hand of the Saudis in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, political and financial matters complicate any response America may be contemplating. At present, confirmation of the murder is all but a given.
See video below for a discussion of some of those financial complications
Politically, Saudi Arabia is an essential part of President Donald Trump’s strategy to isolate Iran and bring its mullahs to their knees. The kingdom is also a major player in the Saudi-Israel-U.S. alliance to increase American influence in the Middle East and sideline not only Iran, but its allies Russia and Turkey. Any response that weakens that alliance will necessarily give strength to Iran, Russia and Turkey and their dangerous union. It is doubtful the United States would be willing for that to happen.
On the home front, Saudi Arabia wields enormous power over the U.S. economy, with the ability to wreak havoc on Trump’s thus far successful economic program. This is another risk Trump would not be willing to take when deciding how to respond to the charges against the Saudis.
There are obviously details we don’t know and most likely never will concerning this story. One thing that seems clear is that Khashoggi was not the simply “dissident journalist” the mainstream media is painting him to be.
We know a number of things about why Khashoggi came to be in the crosshairs of the Saudi political elite. Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of the regime. He was an adamant supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist political agenda for Saudi Arabia (which would mean an overthrow of the current government). He was virulently anti-Israel and fomented Palestinian intransigence.
Die Welt, a leading news outlet in Germany, reported that being a journalist was a cover for Khashoggi, who was actually a high-level operative for the Saudi intelligence service, an intimate of Osama bin Laden and the nephew of the notorious arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.
Perhaps he had become a double agent. He certainly had already betrayed current Saudi royalty.
Saudi Arabia will most likely have to abandon its first try at explaining away Khashoggi’s murder (which was floated in the media a few days ago) as an interrogation gone horribly wrong. The audio tapes the Turks claim to have allegedly prove Khashoggi was murdered in the first minutes after entering the embassy – his fingers first severed, then his head and finally his body chopped into small pieces.
Gruesome stuff indeed to be carried out by one of America’s top allies.
The question remains: How will Trump save America’s economy and its worthwhile political agenda of collapsing the fanatical Iranian regime without having to be in bed with an equally brutal partner?