25 February 2021
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul, and operatives of the Crown Prince murdered him, dismembered the corpse and disposed of it. The US intelligence community has evidence that the “rogue operation” fabrication by the Saudi authorities is just that, a fraud. Instead, the declassified report coming out today will show that the murder had the blessing of officials at the highest level. The publication of that report marks the beginning of an attempt by the Biden administration to create distance between America and Saudi Arabia. The US will be well-served if the administration succeeds.
Mr. Khashoggi was hesitant to go to the consulate to get some paperwork needed for him to marry his fiancee. However, Prince Khalid bin Salman, who was the then Saudi ambassador to the US and who is brother of Mohammed bin Salman [MBS as the Crown Prince is known], called him to assure him he would be safe. He was not.
The BBC reports, "Saudi authorities say his death and dismemberment was the result of a 'rogue operation' by a team of agents sent to return him to the kingdom. Five individuals were given death sentences for the murder by a Saudi court but these were commuted to 20 years in prison last September."
While he denies any knowledge of the crime, MBS said in 2019 that he accepted "full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.” The CIA-led report will say otherwise. Although there is no smoking gun, there is a preponderance of proof linking MBS to the murder.
The publication of this report is part of a change in Washington's ties with Saudi. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday, "We've made clear from the beginning that we are going to recalibrate our relationship with Saudi Arabia." In addition to this, the US is halting assistance to Saudi in its war in Yemen.
This recalibration is vital to US interests because of the changed political nature of the Gulf in the last several years. First and foremost, Israel is no longer the big issue. Of late, Israel has come in from the cold and has aligned itself with the Sunni kingdom and its allies. The Israelis and the Saudi are both antagonists of Shi'ite Iran. This means Israel needs the US less. Second, the Trump administration made very sure that the ties with Saudi went beyond the political and economic becoming personal. Jared Kushner and MBS were best buddies. Mr. Trump and the Saudi princes could not get enough of each others' company.
What that meant was the US had become a de facto member of the anti-Iran bloc in the Middle East. That made it difficult to do anything constructive with US-Iranian relations, and it brought US into clashes like the Yemeni conflict where it had little interest.
If the Biden administration can extricate the US from the Sunni-Zionist bloc, it will be able to negotiate from a more neutral position both with Iran and with the Sunni-Zionist nations. If the history of the last generation has taught anything, it is that America needs to stay of out Middle East conflicts. Getting dragged into a conflict with Iran by Riyadh and Tel Aviv would be a disaster. American interest in the region is not to be the arsenal of Sunni kingdoms. It is to use its influence and power to lower the tensions all around and to provide security for all sides through its ability to act as an honest broker.
It is a large order to fill, and one does not expect success except in the long term. However, this report will prove to be a big step forward.
© Copyright 2021 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.