Biden and justice for Khashoggi- What else did we expect?
So much happened during the chaos of the Trump years, it’s almost
forgivable to have forgotten the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi
at the direction of the Saudi government. For “Saudi government”,
make that the whim of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).
Of course, Trump was a despot-loving democracy-hating admirer of
strong-men such as MBS. Add to that how Saudi Arabia has an
insatiable appetite for American arms, and the Pentagon has an
insatiable appetite for Saudi Arabian money, and the chances of
Khashoggi’s murderers being named, shamed and brought to justice,
including MBS by proxy, were slim to non-existent.
Along comes the forty-sixth president and wasn’t everything
supposed to get a whole lot better? Like milk and honey better?
Well, putting aside the federal minimum wage at fifteen dollars an
hour debacle, and the fact that the US under Biden is again bombing
targets in the Middle East, how about an intelligence cover-up
On Friday just gone, the Office of the Director of National
Intelligence (ODNI) released a report identifying three Saudi
individuals, all in the inner orbit of MBS, as being complicit in some
way in the murder of Khashoggi. Yet just a few hours after
publication of the report online, it was hauled down shortly
thereafter only to be replaced with a redacted version minus the
three aforementioned culprits. What exactly is going on here?
Especially so as Biden, during his presidential campaign, made
reference to ensuring that Saudi Arabia was “called out” as the
pariah state that it is.
Saudi-American ties have been strong ever since the founding of the
oil-rich country in 1932. A strategic and economic marriage of
convenience, both Washington and Riyadh stare longingly into each
other’s geo-political eyes. The US maintains five military bases in
Saudi Arabia which, even if Biden’s declaration about identifying the
kingdom to be the pariah state that it is, are still going to be in situ
regardless. The US needs just that kind of military projection and
the murder of an increasingly forgotten journalist, no matter how
brutal the bloody deed was, is not going to change that. It’s not a
huge leap of the imagination, with all that in mind, to see how the
Khashoggi report was so quickly sanitized to no doubt excuse the
MBS and the Saudi regime.
And how quickly are the powers-that-be in Washington and the
Pentagon to overlook the further felonies of Riyadh. At least 15 of
the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. They were all of the
Wahhabi sect of a fundamental, militant and unrelenting
interpretation of Islam, sponsored by any number of Saudi
government actors and agents. Planes were flown into American
buildings, resulting in the deaths of thousands, and still back then,
Riyadh was allowed a seemingly perpetual bye from any semblance of
unilateral American military retribution, let alone international
Biden is then just the next proponent of the age-old American
hypocrisy of do as I say, don’t do as I do. Already he is bending the
American knee to the realpolitik realities of geo-politics, especially
that of the Middle East. More of the same is, then, the foreign
policy order of the Biden day.
Khashoggi was literally killed by dismemberment in the Saudi
consulate in Ankara. Lead after lead led back to MBS shortly after
the crime, but of course, Trump being Trump, that was of no
concern. Only military dollars and phony prestige. What else did we
expect? And then along comes Biden and, well, guess what? What
else did we expect?
Unless there is real change in the White House, and not just one of
two oscillating parties of permanent establishment dominance, then
America will continue to be a morally bankrupt voice of shrill
hypocrisy and duplicity that will only continue to echo bitterly
around the globe. If Biden genuinely wants the US to re-engage
with the rest of the world, including its erstwhile allies, then it
needs to start facing up to its responsibilities, such as calling out
MBS, and not just peddling the same old sorry sound-bites and
watery platitudes on the international stage.
America has the potential to be way, way better than being bury-
their-head in the sand apologists for any number of butchers in the
Middle East and the rest of the world. If only it would ever realize
that and be the beacon of freedom, and justice, that it truly should