Despotic Saudi Regime a Regional Vision of Light?
Among numerous Arab world despotic regimes, Saudi Arabia ranks worst of the worst by far – using its enormous wealth for pure evil, not good.
Last February at the Davos World Economic Forum, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir laughably called the kingdom “a vision of light,” vilifying Iran as “a vision of darkness.”
Like Washington and Israel, he lied calling Tehran the preeminent Middle East threat. The dubious distinction applys to Israel, Riyadh, and America’s regional presence most of all – Iran an antidote to the menace they represent, why it’s disgracefully vilified.
Jubeir turned truth on its head, accusing Iran of “setting up terror groups, like Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah.” Like the Islamic Republic, they resist tyranny and combat terrorism the Saudis support.
Riyadh, along with Washington, NATO, Turkey, and Israel back ISIS, al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra offshoot, and other regional terrorists groups.
Iranian military advisors are allied with Russia, Hezbollah, and Syria in combatting them. Houthi fighters in Yemen are resisting US-supported Saudi/UAE terror-bombing and blockade, responsible for the world’s gravest humanitarian disaster.
At a so-called security summit in Bahrain on Saturday, Jubeir repeated what he said in Davos months earlier, trying to diffuse international furor over kingdom responsibility for murdering Jamal Khashoggi.
It was ordered by crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), no one else daring to circumvent his iron-fisted authority, carried out by his henchmen.
Kingdom officials are going all-out to shift blame for the incident to lesser regime figures, wanting MBS shielded, his culpability whitewashed.
Jubeir blamed what he called international media “hysteria” over Khashoggi’s murder, pronouncing “Saudi Arabia’s guilt before the investigation is completed.”
There’s no ambiguity about what happened. Turkey’s Erdogan likely knows all, letting damning information drip out – so far stopping short of accusing MBS of ordering the murder.
Jubeir rejected Erdogan’s call to extradite 18 Saudi suspects detained in the kingdom for prosecution in Turkey, saying:
The suspects “are Saudi nationals. They’re detained in Saudi Arabia, and the investigation is in Saudi Arabia, and they will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia,” adding:
The so-called internal investigation is still ongoing. “We’re trying to uncover what happened. We know that a mistake (sic) was committed.”
“We know that people exceeded their authority, and we know that we’re investigating them. We will share the results of the investigation.”
“We will hold people to account and those responsible will be punished, and we will put in place mechanisms to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
Far worse internally and ordered by the kingdom abroad happens repeatedly, Khashoggi’s brutal murder a minor incident compared to longstanding Saudi high crimes continuing unabated, not curtailed.
On Sunday, Riyadh’s attorney general arrived in Turkey to discuss Khashoggi’s murder with Ankara’s investigators. According to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, the country’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul said he expects Saudi suspects to be extradited because the incident happened in Istanbul, adding:
“Turkish authorities are both determined and competent to shed light on this case.”
Germany’s Merkel and France’s Macron called for a common EU position on arms sales to the kingdom in response to Khashoggi’s murder.
US and European relations with the kingdom won’t change because of the incident. Critical rhetoric is one thing, longstanding ties with and policies toward Riyadh another entirely.
MBS remains a strong US-led NATO ally, involved in waging regional war OF terror on nations Washington targeted for regime change.
Merkel’s promise to halt German arms sales to the kingdom until Khashoggi’s killing is explained was empty rhetoric. There’s virtually no chance that Western nations will abandon their lucrative business with Riyadh.
France’s Macron called Merkel’s remarks on halting arms sales to the kingdom “pure demagoguery.”
Western and other international community dirty business as usual with the Saudis continues.
Khashoggi’s murder changed nothing except for short-term critical empty rhetoric.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”