Saudi Arabia at the beginning of this year is experiencing a number of fairly serious crises, above all in the political, economic and financial areas.
There is the ongoing fallout from the scandalous, and still unresolved, murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Both the USA and Turkey have, quite reasonably, accused Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman of involvement. The position of the Turkish president, Recep Erdoğan, is entirely understandable: in the murky waters of the Saudi crisis he is fishing for an advantage – in the form of financial leverage in his country’s economy. It appears from the silence of the “free” Turkish media that he has succeeded, or almost succeeded, in this.
To tell the truth, as far as concerns Saudi Arabia, with its monarchical dictatorship, there is nothing surprising in that: people who disagree with the Saudi leaders suffer fates ranging from questioning under torture of various kinds to public execution by beheading. But this is the first time that the regime has killed a well-known journalist in a foreign country. In this we can recognize the distinctive signature of the Israeli security forces, Mossad, with whom the Saudi intelligence forces have established efficient contacts, and who do not hesitate to share their skills with those “executioners” who are more experienced, and less troubled by moral concerns, when it comes to international law and human rights.
However, there remains that so-called democracy, the United States of America. Donald Trump, the US President, after careful consideration, chose to dispense with long meaningless speeches about democracy, and instead came out in support of the Saudi Crown Prince. He justified this choice in the simplest, most cynical way possible: if he were to put pressure on Saudi Arabia then the latter might choose to cancel its arms contracts with the US and buy from Russia and China instead. As they say, money talks. In addition, Saudi Arabia is still a faithful ally of the USA in their joint campaign to stifle Iran’s economy, and if Riyadh were to take offence then it would put that “project” at risk.
Everything seemed cut and dried, until the Democratic Party, always looking out for an opportunity to unseat the erratic Donald Trump,