Will Khashoggi Incident Be Saudi Crown Prince’s Undoing?
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance since October 2 after entering Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate clearly suggests foul play.
His likely abduction and possible murder by Riyadh created an international uproar.
Make no mistake. Saudi relations with the US and other Western countries are strong – given its huge oil reserves and support given Washington’s regional imperial agenda.
How crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) fares if Khashoggi’s abduction and/or murder is proved is another issue entirely.
His status and ascension to the kingdom’s throne could be doomed. Saudi king Salman may replace him as crown prince to soothe international anger, especially in the region and West.
On Monday, Turkish President Erdogan demanded Riyadh prove Khashoggi left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as claimed.
“Do you not have cameras and everything of the sort,” Erdogan asked? “They have all of them. Then why do you not prove this? You need to prove it.”
Turkish officials believe Khashoggi was abducted and killed because of his outspoken criticism of the kingdom.
Until Monday, Trump was silent, finally expressing weak-kneed concern saying:
“I don’t like hearing about it. Hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now, nobody knows anything about it, but there’s some pretty bad stories going around. I do not like it.”
Pompeo on Monday tried downplaying the incident, saying there are “conflicting reports on (Khashoggi’s) safety and whereabouts.”
Turkish media reported that a number of diplomatic vehicles left the consulate on October 2, the day Khashoggi disappeared.
Turkish investigators believe he may have been killed, his body dismembered, taken from the consulate in boxes, and flown to the kingdom for disposal.
The so-called anonymous Saudi Julian Assange whistleblower known as Mujtahid uses Twitter as a platform for his remarks.
Last April, he was wrong tweeting in Arabic: “Circles close to Mohammed bin Salman have disclosed that he has coordinated with Trump and Jared Kushner to have King Salman step down from power to be succeeded by the Saudi Crown Prince by July 4 at most.”
On Tuesday, he tweeted: “It seems that the details that Turkey will announce (in the near future about the fate of Khashoggi) are enough to put an end to the political career of Mohammed bin Salman.”
“It is also likely that an international stance will be formed against Saudi Arabia which is a law-breaking government and bin Salman will be sued (in) the International Court of Justice (ICJ).”
He believes evidence Turkish investigators uncover may dissuade the Trump regime to stop supporting MBS – suggesting Ankara already has enough evidence to prove his responsibility for Khashoggi’s disappearance and likely death, adding they’re waiting to complete their investigation before passing judgment publicly.
According to Turkish/Arab Media Association head Turan Kislakci, “(w)hat was explained to us (by Turkish officials) is this. (Khashoggi) was killed. Make your funeral preparations,” adding:
“We called a few other places. These are lower officials, but they said: ‘We have evidence he was killed in a barbaric way. We will announce it’ ” later this week.
Last May, exiled Saudi prince Prince Khaled bin Farhan Al Saud since 2013 said the kingdom could “descend into chaos,” destabilizing the region and elsewhere.
“I would like to say to Europeans that the situation in Saudi Arabia resembles a volcano that is about to erupt. And if this volcano erupts, it will not only affect the situation inside Saudi Arabia or in the Arab region, but it will also have an effect on you too,” he said, adding:
“(I)f Saudi Arabia descends into a state of chaos, there will be global chaos, and (the kingdom) will be a source of terrorism for the entire world as it will support and sustain international terrorism” – what it’s done for many years, he failed to explain.
On Monday, he tweeted: “If the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi is proved, I invite all walks of life in Saudi Arabia to cooperate in a legal measure and change the political system through civil disobedience.”
According to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), at least 81 members of the profession were killed in 2017 globally, calling attacks and threats against journalists at “epidemic levels.”
So far this year, IFJ reported 73 journalists killed worldwide. No fatalities from their ranks in recent memory caused the international uproar like Khashoggi’s disappearance and likely murder.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”