Salman's Flimsy Scenario for Khashoggi's Murder
by John Lawrence, October 20, 2018
Finally, the Saudis have admitted the fact that Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi embassy after proof emerged that a whole contingent of Saudi security guards plus one doctor with a bone saw were present that day. So the problem now is how to get around the fact that this was a human rights abuse ordered by Saudi dictator, Mohammed bin Salman. Trump has said that, if Salman is responsible, there will be very serious repercussions for the Saudi distatorship. Whether or not this is true is a matter of conjecture. Trump could give Salman a slap on the wrist and claim he had delivered a punishing blow. Salman could react vehemently, but the whole thing might have been preconceived and acted out for the benefit of the world press.
So now begins the kabuki dance in which Trump and Salman orchestrate a plausible denial that Salman had anything to do with the murder. At first Salman professed to have no knowledge that Khashoggi was even murdered. But the facts showed Khashoggi walking into the Saudi embassy and never coming out. Pretty hard to rationalize this. So the Saudis, not wanting to appear to be fools, devised another explanation. Sure, they said, Khashoggi died in the embassy but only because an impromptu fist fight broke out in which Khashoggi was evidently the loser. Only how do you explain the presence of 15 Saudi security guards and one doctor with a bone saw?
Trump and Salman are hoping that the media attention to this specific even will soon be over, and they both can relax having offered up a somewhat plausible scenario for what happened that day. The media will have focused on another 'outrage of the day' and forgotten all about Khashoggi. Salman will have relieved from duty or fired those presumably responsible for the event while not implicating himself, of course. Trump may have offered up some 'severe' punishment for Salman (wink, wink) and Salman will have sworn that such an event will never happen again because those responsible have been severely punished. Maybe even a few will have their heads cut off which the Saudis seem to do for minor crimes without a moment's hesitation.
It's obvious that Trump and the American establishment want to preserve Saudi Arabia as an ally so they can preserve Iran, the Saudi's enemy, as their enemy. Then there is the 'oil for dollars' deal that Nixon entered into with the Saudis in 1971. The Saudis are perhaps the least ethical and the least democratic of the Middle Eastern countries, but no matter, they have been reliable allies in colluding with the US over oil. However, the fact of the matter is that oil must be phased out or the whole planet will be going up in smoke because of global warming in about 20 years. This fact seems to be of no concern to either the Saudis or to Trump who is doing everything he can to increase global warming.