Middle East Destabilized Over Khashoggi’s Murder?

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Middle East Destabilized Over Khashoggi’s Murder?

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

US war secretary James Mattis gently blamed Saudi Arabia for regional destabilization over the Khashoggi murder, an incident the Trump regime is going all-out not to let alter US/Saudi relations.

Mattis shifted blame to the kingdom for what Washington’s imperial agenda caused in the Middle East and elsewhere, namely endless violence, chaos, and human misery, saying:

“With our collective interests in peace and unwavering respect for human rights in mind, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic facility must concern us all,” adding:

“Failure of any nation to adhere to international norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most.”

“We will maintain our twin imperatives…of protecting America and holding accountable those responsible for this murder.”

Some facts Mattis ignored:

True enough, Saudi Arabian despotism is worst among Arab world nations, notorious for hateful Wahhabism, Islam’s most extremist/intolerant form, public beheadings and whippings, imprisonments, torture, and/or execution of critics, countless other human rights abuses, support for ISIS and other terrorist groups, along with serving as a valued US imperial partner.

All of the above are longstanding  kingdom policies, its criminality ignored in the West, Khashoggi’s state-ordered murder an  exception.

It’s minor compared to its horrendous internal and cross-border high crimes too egregious to ignore.

Yet Khashoggi’s abduction and murder captured world headlines since October 2, the day he entered the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate, never to be seen or heard from again – eliminated to silence him.

The world community reaction to what happened is polar opposite its silence over US mass slaughter and destruction in all its war theaters. The hypocrisy needs no elaboration.

US/Saudi relations remain strong. Khashoggi’s murder changed nothing except short-term tough rhetoric, sure to fade once the incident no longer captures world headlines, notably in the West.

Mattis turned truth on its head, claiming America’s pursuit of “peace and unwavering respect for human rights” – notions Republicans and undemocratic Dems reject at home and abroad, along with democratic values and rule of law principles they abhor, tolerating them nowhere.

Above all other nations, the US bears responsibility for “failure…to adhere to international (rules and) norms,” for “underminin(g) regional (and global) stability” – Saudi Arabia at most a junior partner in its belligerent imperial agenda.

The Trump regime wants MBS shielded from “accountab(ility)” for Khashoggi’s murder, kingdom underlings alone to be blamed for what happened.

Mattis indicated no change in US relations with Riyadh, other Arab regimes, Israel most of all. The special relationship persists. Both nations partner in each other’s wars of aggression. 

The world community ignores their high crimes of war and against humanity, dismissive toward their victims.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir continues going all-out to shield crown prince/de facto Saudi ruler Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) from culpability for Khashoggi’s murder.

On Friday, he called the incident “hysterical,” claiming “(p)eople assigned blame on Saudi Arabia with such certainty before the investigation is complete.”

None exists internally, just whitewash, shifting blame to convenient patsies, absolving MBS despite his responsibility for what happened.

Jubeir rejected Erdogan’s request for Saudis involved in Khashoggi’s murder to be extradited to Turkey for prosecution,” saying:

“On the issue of extradition, the individuals are Saudi nationals. They’re detained in Saudi Arabia, and the investigation is in Saudi Arabia, and they will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia” – wanting justice for the incident denied, adding:

“We will know the truth. We will hold those responsible accountable. And we will put in place mechanisms to ensure it doesn’t happen again” – bald-faced lies.

Kingdom high crimes happen repeated at home and abroad, accountability never forthcoming.

As in America, other Western countries and Israel, victims are punished, not perpetrators of state-sponsored high crimes – ones committed by US-led NATO and Israel worst of all.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”


Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.