Murder of Saudi Arabian Journalist Jamal Khashoggi: What’s Right

Roughly a month ago, Jamal Khashoggi, brother of CIA-affiliated arms dealer, multimillionaire and critic of the Saudi monarchy Adnan Khashoggi, was kidnapped in the Saudi consulate at Istanbul and killed. Barring the case of a massive, intricate and well-done false flag operation intended to frame them, it can be safely said that his murder was orchestrated by the Saudi crown itself. News of Khashoggi’s killing and the evolving details wracked the front of newspapers for weeks, and the Trump administration has stood by the Saudi claim that the crown prince had nothing to do with Khashoggi’s murder despite significant evidence to the contrary.

The line being sold to you by mass media outlets is that this is a decision of the Trump Administration—that they are specifically and consciously turning a blind eye to the corruption and brutality of a regime willing to execute its dissenters. And make no mistake, they are. However, what isn’t mentioned is that this willingness to bend over backwards for Saudi corruption isn’t some unique facet of the Trump administration; the American government has been doing this for the past two decades.

A willingness to completely ignore the ruthless excesses of the Saudi monarchy has been a feature of the U.S.’ foreign policy ever since the Gulf War in 1990. It is a tradition largely started by George H.W. Bush and faithfully continued by Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama without question or discontent. Khashoggi is not some strange exception to an otherwise good regime; he is just another casualty in a long line of citizens and civilians that the Saudi government has tortured and killed. The Trump administration is just the latest in a long line of administrations willing to ignore them. The Obama administration gladly shook hands and held dinner parties with the Saudi monarchy while they bombed villages in Yemen, and the Bush administration’s war in Iraq was motivated in no small part by ties to the threatened Saudi state.

As usual, the motivation boils down to money. Saudi Arabia is the key player in maintaining the petrodollar the linking of the USD to Middle Eastern oil that keeps the dollar intensely valuable and ties an ungodly amount of foreign capital to the U.S. When we play Khashoggi’s death up as some particular Trumpism, we completely ignore the political realities that resulted in this situation – and worse still, we pass off the crimes of the Saudi government as a one-off “mistake” instead of an ongoing humanitarian crisis after humanitarian crisis stemming from the Saudi perception of U.S. criminal immunity.

The question remains whether we’d like to pin all our troubles on Trump, or whether we’d like to work on reaching genuine solutions to global issues. Perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect the Trump administration to break out where the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations were content to kowtow, but the death of the petrodollar is looming regardless, and it’s well past the time to tell our government to stop pretending that Saudi atrocities haven’t long been an international problem.

Contact Max Goldenberg at [email protected].