This item originally appeared on my personal website.
THE MORE THINGS DON’T CHANGE…: It’s been over a year since Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi embassy in Istanbul and soon found himself dead and dismembered. It soon became clear Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents and that it was not entirely beyond comprehension Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in on it, too.
…The More They Don’t Change: It also soon became clear the Saudis would get away with it. The Trump Administration shamefully waved away the matter and did their darndest to usher the Saudi crown prince back onto the world stage. The veil began to lift at a G20 meeting in June as countries, paced by a disinterested America, went about the process of dismissing Khashoggi’s murder so everyone could resume making money off and with the Saudis again. President Trump did everything but rub the crown prince’s feet while having Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spread za’atar on the prince’s morning flatbread. Pakistan has given the crown prince their highest civilian honor after signing assorted, billion-dollar investment deals.
Fly In The Ointment: The UN did get their shorts in a knot in June when they issued a report saying, among other things, there was:
…credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including that of the Crown Prince.
Yeah, Yeah, Whatever: This could not have been met with a bigger collective international yawn had prizes been issued for ignoring it. Even we’ve stumbled a bit here. We used to provide occasional updates, but we’ve been too busy ranking lousy college football teams to bother lately.
USA! USA! Saudi Arabia is scheduled to host the November 2020 G20 summit. While it is not clear that President Trump will lead the crown prince pep rally, it is even now expected to be well-attended, which all but assures Khashoggi died in vain and his death will not be punished.
Business As Usual: The killing itself isn’t a big surprise. Governments have been carrying out precautionary murders like this since time immemorial. All of us should be ashamed, though, by our government’s reaction to it. We’ve allowed our government to ignore it, which has allowed the world to ignore it. US insistence on accountability, both in public and in private, would have ensured we would be getting more than the secret trial the Saudis are currently holding. Sure, some hapless lower level prince might be offered up for a severe wrist-slapping, but the Saudis have brazened their way through the murder of Jamal Khashoggi with full US complicity.
God, Lighten Up, Will You?: Like a lot of things with the Trump Administration, we are the lesser for it. We deserve better than this, of course. We deserve a government that abhors and demands answers for murders like this, but we won’t have that until we demand better on Election Day.
Thank you for reading,
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