Thursday, October 18, 2018
Why Did the Saudis Want Jamal Khashoggi Dismembered?
With every passing day what the mad prince of Saudi Arabia had happen to Jamal Khashoggi becomes more depraved and more gruesome.
Leaving a horrified world to wonder what Khashoggi had done to have his fingers severed, his head sawn off, and his body cut into little pieces.
And in my opinion the answer can be found buried in the last article he ever wrote.
An op-ed piece that the Washington Post published yesterday.
The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power. During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe, which grew over the years into a critical institution, played an important role in fostering and sustaining the hope of freedom. Arabs need something similar.
For while Khashoggi couldn't be gentler on Saudi Arabia, a country he loved. And although he never mentions the name of Mohammed bin Salman.
I'm pretty sure it was this that led the mad prince to demand that the gentle writer have his fingers cut off and his body dismembered.
My publication, The Post, has taken the initiative to translate many of my pieces and publish them in Arabic. For that, I am grateful. Arabs need to read in their own language so they can understand and discuss the various aspects and complications of democracy in the United States and the West.
For it reminds me of the reason the Saudi barbarians declared war on Canada.
Not for putting out this tweet:
But for putting out this tweet three days later:
And by so doing crossing Saudi Arabia's red line.
For years, Canadian pressure on human rights in Saudi Arabia had elicited no more than a standard rejection. But all that changed last week, when a Canadian complaint was translated into Arabic and set off a diplomatic row.
The reaction from Saudi Arabia was swift. Hours after the Arabic tweet, the Saudi government recalled its ambassador, barred Canada’s envoy from returning and placed a ban on new trade.
For if the mad prince could react like that to a mere tweet from Canada, imagine how he must have felt about whole articles in Arabic from a former palace insider.
Especially at a time when Donald Trump had emboldened him.
The outsized reaction to the tweet underscores how the kingdom is taking a much harsher stance against what it perceives as Western interference in its internal affairs on issues like human rights, perhaps emboldened by Washington’s willingness under Donald Trump to de-emphasize rights issues when it comes to its allies.
Which can only make me wonder whether Andrew Scheer's refusal to support his own government also emboldened the Saudis, and also made them think they could get away with anything.
For it was a disgraceful example of submission to evil...
For crass political purposes.
But at least now we know this:
Mohammed bin Salman is no reformer, just a bloodthirsty maniac.
Jamal Khashoggi was a gentle hero who will long be remembered.
And Andrew Scheer, who has yet to condemn the Saudis, is a coward who should never be Prime Minister...