Yemie ADEOYE, Global Affairs Analyst
Finally, after two weeks of tomfoolery, Riyadh has come out to confirm our fears. Jamal Khashoggi the Saudi Journalist and writer for the Washington post is dead.
Washington is in disarray and so is Riyadh, but for two different reasons. While the former is concerned about its image as the world police and champion of human rights, the latter is concerned more about a single individual, His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman or MBS. The 33 years-old Crown Prince who has unleashed subtle terror on the once conservative kingdom since his coronation.
The reason for America’s worry is quite understandable. It was in 1974 that Henry Kissinger brokered a deal to secure America’s future as not just the worlds only super power but also the worlds strongest and most secured economy.
Washington had proposed a deal that Riyadh could not refuse. THE FOREVER PROTECTION OF THE HOUSE OF SAUD! This is in return for petrodollar, the kingdom must trade in the greenback to strengthen the currency and the by extension the US economy. Today America has a minimum of five military bases in Saudi Arabia, the country can also boast of the US patriot air defence shield systems.
Over this period the two nations have formed a frightfully strong alliance such that can only be envied by other nations of the gulf region. America has ensured the Kingdom appreciates democratic values even if it does not respect it internally, and that in effect has helped the kingdom never to go radical as the kingdom wields too much influence in the Islamic world for America to allow it go rogue.
Saudi Arabia is unarguably the US strongest ally in the region and this was the reason why President Trump made Riyadh his first port of call on assumption of office. He didn’t just visit Riyadh but also signed a whooping arms deal worth US$100 billion.
Now you understand why the US has been pussyfooting when the news of Mr. Kahoggi’s murder inside the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul, Turkey. I can place a bet on it that Washington was aware of Mr. Kashoggi’s death the moment it happened but was thrown into confusion over the above enumerations.
The handsome Crown Prince is 33 years old and immediately displayed a reputation that can best be described as mean, tough, vengeful and irrational.
One of his first assignments was to arrest about 11 royal princes (most, his cousins and family members) including THE RICHEST MAN IN THE MIDLE EAST BILLIONAIRE ALWALEED BIN TALAL, along with numerous ministers. He had them locked up at the Ritz Carlton HOTEL, nicknamed the richest prison in the world.
Almost immediately after that, Saad Al-Hariri Lebanon’s prime minister was also arrested in Saudi Arabia on the orders of Crown Prince MBS against all known diplomatic laws and ethics. Now note this, Al-Hariri was a sitting Prime Minister of a country and on a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, even the likes of Kim Jong Un and Uncle Vladmirovich wouldn’t attempt that on any visiting head of state.
He calmed frayed nerves by decreeing that women can now drive a car in the kingdom and while we were still basking in the euphoria of that lovely news, Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in a gruesome and unconscionable manner right inside an embassy, the house of diplomacy for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Turkey.
After over two weeks, with The World Police and only super power looking the other way and insisting the kingdom needs more time to investigate itself (quite laughable) The kingdom has come out to blame it on a failed operation due to a scuffle between the 59 years old journalist and over a dozen trained security men including a forensic pathologist some of whom allegedly had bone saws with them.
If the reports emanating from Turkish media is anything to go by, and it should in my view, then it means Mr. khashoggi has been dismembered after the killing and must have been buried by now.
As calls continue to mount for the removal of MBS as the Crown Prince, which wont happen, again in my not-so-humble views (due to the fathers trust, age and health) it is pertinent to say that the onus now lies on RIYADH TO RELEASE THE BODY OF THIS SLAIN JOURNALIST to his family or fiancé in Turkey, yes, the same lady that went with Jamal to the embassy and was waiting outside while her man was been murdered inside the embassy. The condition of the body would go a long way to explain the motif behind his death.
I hope and sincerely hope that the body was not dismembered has alleged by some Turkish and western media.
In Conclusion, the crown Prince MBS who is at the center of the storm has investigated himself and found himself not guilty (As expected), the arrest, investigation and detention of about 18 security personnel has been ordered by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia all in a seeming attempt to protect MBS.
The attention of the world and all well-meaning people now shifts to Washington and the DONALD TRUMP’s white house. THE WORLD AWAITS WASHINGTON’S DECISION IN THIS REGARD. The world wants to see if AMERICA WOULD WIELD THE BIG STICK AND CUT TIES WITH THE KINGDOM EXCEPT IT REPLACES THE CROWN PRINCE. It is of note that other rogue nation’s led by self-styled strong men are also watching how this would unfold.
Again, there are other strong men who have been kept in check by America’s foreign policies e.g Vladmir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Chairman Kim, Rodrigo Duterte, Nicola Maduro and a host of others. These once are watching as the US may not be able to request that they do the right thing when ever that dark hour creeps up and they have to take an unpopular decision as always, one which infringes on the right of millions and other valuables of life which the US so passionately protects across the world in the interest of humanity, freedom, equality. OVER TO YOU MR. TRUMP, THE WORLD IS WATCHING!!!
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Diplomatic Watch.