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Converting Khashoggi into Cash

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The hazard of writing about the Saudis’ absurd gyrations as they seek to avoid blame for the murder of the late, not notably great journalist and Muslim Brotherhood activist Jamal Khashoggi is that by the time a sentence is finished, the landscape may have changed again.

As though right on cue, the narrative has just taken another sharp turn.

After two weeks of denying any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh has ‘fessed up (sorta) and admitted that he was killed by Saudi operatives but it wasn’t really on purpose:

Y’see, it was kinda’f an ‘accident.’

Oops…

Y’see the guys were arguing, and … uh … a fistfight broke out.

Yeah, that’s it … a ‘fistfight.’

And before you know it poor Jamal had gone all to pieces.

Y’see?

Must’ve been a helluva fistfight.

The figurative digital ink wasn’t even dry on that whopper before American politicos in both parties were calling it out:

  • “To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement,” tweeted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “First we were told Mr. Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement. Now, a fight breaks out and he’s killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince. It’s hard to find this latest ‘explanation‘ as credible.”
  • California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that the new Saudi explanation is “not credible.” “If Khashoggi was fighting inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he was fighting for his life with people sent to capture or kill him,” Schiff said. “The kingdom and all involved in this brutal murder must be held accountable, and if the Trump administration will not take the lead, Congress must.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan must think he’s already died and gone to his eternal recreation in the amorous embraces of the dark-eyed houris. The acid test for the viability of Riyadh’s newest transparent lie is whether the Turks actually have, as they claim, live recordings of Khashoggi’s interrogation, torture, murder, and dismemberment (not necessarily in that order) – and if they do, when Erdogan decides it’s the right time to release them.

Erdogan has got the Saudis over a barrel and he’ll squeeze everything he can out of them.

From the beginning, the Khashoggi story wasn’t really about the fate of one man. The Saudis have been getting away with bloody murder, literally, for years. They’re daily slaughtering the civilian population of Yemen with American and British help, with barely a ho-hum from the sensitive consciences always ready to invoke the so-called “responsibility to protect” Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, Syria, Xinjiang, Rakhine, and so forth.

Where’s the responsibility not to help a crazed bunch of Wahhabist head-choppers kill people?

But now, just one guy meets a grisly end and suddenly it’s the most important homicide since the Lindbergh baby.

What gives?

Is it because Khashoggi was part of the MSM aristocracy, on account of his relationship with the Washington Post?

Was it because of his other, darker, connections? As related by Moon of Alabama: “Khashoggi was a rather shady guy. A ‘journalist’ who was also an operator for Saudi and U.S. intelligence services. He was an early recruit of the Muslim Brotherhood.” This relationship, writes MoA, touches on the interests of pretty much everyone in the region:

“The Ottoman empire ruled over much of the Arab world. The neo-Ottoman wannabe-Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like to regain that historic position for Turkey. His main competition in this are the al-Sauds. They have much more money and are strategically aligned with Israel and the United States, while Turkey under Erdogan is more or less isolated. The religious-political element of the competition is represented on one side by the Muslim Brotherhood, ‘democratic’ Islamists to which Erdogan belongs, and the Wahhabi absolutists on the other side.”

With the noose tightening around Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), the risible fistfight cock-and-bull story is likely to be the best they can come up with. US President Donald Trump’s having offered his “rogue killers” opening suggests he’s willing to play along. Nobody will really be fooled, but MbS will hope he can persuade important people to pretend they are fooled.

That will mean spreading around a lot of cash. The new alchemy of converting Khashoggi dead into financial gain for the living is just one part of an obvious scheme to pull off what Libya’s Muammar Kaddafi managed after the 1988 Lockerbie bombing: offer up some underlings as the fall guys and let the top man evade responsibility. (KARMA ALERT: That didn’t do Kaddafi any good in the long run.)

In the Saudi case the Lockerbie dodge will be harder, as there are already pictures of men at the Istanbul Consulate General identified as close associates of MbS. But they’ll give it the old madrasa try anyway since it’s all they’ve got.Firings and arrests have started and one suspect has already died in a suspicious automobile “accident.” Heads will roll!

Saving MbS’s skin and his succession to the throne of his doddering father may depend on how many of the usual recipients of Saudi – let’s be honest – bribery and influence peddling will find sufficient pecuniary reason to go along. Saudi Arabia’s unofficial motto with respect to the US establishment might as well be: “The green poultice heals all wounds.”

Anyway, that’s been their experience up to now, but it also in part reflects the same arrogance that made MbS think he could continue to get away with anything. (It’s not shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, but it’s close.) Whether spreading cash around will continue to have the same salubrious effect it always has had in the past remains to be seen.

To be sure, Trump may succeed in shaking the Saudi date palm for additional billions for arms sales. That won’t necessarily turn around an image problem that may not have a remedy. But still, count on more cash going to high-price lobbying and image-control shops eager to make obscene money working for their obscene client. Some big American names are dropping are dropping Riyadh in a sudden fit of fastidiousness, but you can bet others will be eager to step into their Guccis, both in the US and in the United Kingdom. (It should never be forgotten how closely linked the US and UK establishments are in the Middle East, and to the Saudis in particular.)

It still might not work though. No matter how much expensive PR lipstick the spinmeisters put on this pig, that won’t make it kissable. It’s still a pig.

Others benefitting from hanging Khashoggi’s death around MbS’s neck are:

  • Qatar (after last year’s invasion scare, there’s no doubt a bit of Schadenfreude and (figurative) champagne corks popping in Doha over MbS’s discomfiture. As one source close to the ruling al-Thani family relates, “The Qataris are stunned speechless at Saudi incompetence!” You just can’t get good help these days).

Among the losers one must count Israel and especially Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. MbS, with his contrived image as the reformer, was the Sunni “beard” he needed to get the US to assemble an “Arab NATO” (as though one NATO weren’t bad enough!) and eliminate Iran for him. It remains to be seen how far that agenda has been set back.

Whether or not MbS survives or is removed – perhaps with extreme prejudice – there’s no doubt Saudi Arabia is the big loser. Question are being asked that should have been asked years ago. As Srdja Trifkovic comments in Chronicles magazine:

“The crown prince’s recklessness in ordering the murder of Khashoggi has demonstrated that he is just a standard despot, a Mafia don with oil presiding over an extended cleptocracy of inbred parasites. The KSA will not be reformed because it is structurally not capable of reform. The regime in Riyadh which stops being a playground of great wealth, protected by a large investment in theocratic excess, would not be ‘Saudi’ any longer. Saudia delenda est.”

The first Saudi state, the Emirate of Diriyah, went belly up in 1818, with the death of head of the house of al-Saud, Abdullah bin Saud – actually, literally with his head hung on a gate in Constantinople by Erdogan’s Ottoman predecessor, Sultan Mahmud II.

The second Saudi state, Emirate of Nejd, likewise folded in 1891.

It’s long past time this third and current abomination joined its antecedents on the ash heap of history.

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KillcoffinCheryl BrandonJane KarlssonShaun RameweBarneyRubble Recent comment authors
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Tom Welsh
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Tom Welsh

This article loses all credibility after the allegation that Colonel Qadafi was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing. It was glaringly obvious that Lockerbie was payback – “karma”, in Mr Jatras’ terms – for the deliberate shooting down of the Iranian Airbus a few months earlier.

Guy
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Guy

I also was stunned to read this about the Lockerbie downing being caused by Colonel Qadafi .Libya through Qadafi took the fall in order to regain good relations with the US .It worked for a while but only temporarily as we all know.I had collected many links to the subject but most are no longer functioning .Some org did some cleaning on the subject.
http://www.voltairenet.org/article174247.html

Jim Jatras
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Jim Jatras

To those for whom this piece “loses all credibility” or are “stunned,” note that it is called “Converting Khashoggi into Cash,” not “Who really blew up Pan Am 103.” I didn’t say anything about Kaddafi’s or Libya’s being responsible. Rather, my point it that MbS (who may be being framed, though I don’t think so) is trying to use the same dodge: blame a subordinate and let them take the rap. That’s what Kaddafi did, whether he was guilty or not. In fact, by offering up his guys for trial in Scotland, where he knew they would be convicted, he… Read more »

Killcoffin
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Killcoffin

Thanks for the clarification, Jim, as I also misunderstood your point. However, MBS is in a very different position to Kadaffi, in that if the Turks are to be believed, his guys have essentially been caught red handed, so throwing them under a bus is his only option. It may well be that if he succeeds in bribing the Turks to withhold the evidence, this will work – or at least buy him time. The US and UK still blame Syria for chemical attacks that have all be exposed as fiction – in Douma with not only doctors but the… Read more »

BarneyRubble
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BarneyRubble

Speaking of Khashoggi and cash, did anyone notice that Pat Robertson confessed that the God he prays to is not the same one who wrote the 10 commandments? For him, “Thou shalt not kill” is less important than “Thou shalt not stand in the way of profits”. Someone should tell Pat that his influence will decline in direct proportion to his credibility by accepting the Saudi version of Khashoggi’s murder.

Shaun Ramewe
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Shaun Ramewe

The ‘plausible deniability’ guise is the only evidence one needs to know they are being overtly lied to – so it is more than probable that the absolute contrary of which deceptive words are being surreptitiously wielded for such self-excusing contrivance is in fact the real truth and guilt. This has been proven time and time again – so the more it is spuriously used the less believable it can ever be. The ‘plausible’ becomes ‘probable’ lies so then gets diluted out of the news.

Shaun Ramewe
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Shaun Ramewe

Saudi coward-perverts sneakily and pathetically doing what the pro-terrorist anti-democracy media-lying war-criminal Zio-Yanks try to sham the world with every time they get caught brutalizing and murdering innocents (illegally and maliciously breaking all international laws) – slyly pretend you somehow had nothing to do with it ‘directly’ and then suddenly falsely go for the cover-up stage-act – like you are now intervening or investigating despite it always being hypocritically obvious!! Sociopaths all think they can scam the human race with the deceitful ruse of ‘probable deniability’ whereby just one disgusting sicko made to state the lying narrative publicly (which this… Read more »

Jane Karlsson
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Jane Karlsson

It may be that the Saudis are telling the truth. If the CIA knew what MbS had planned (rough treatment but not murder) it could have told the Turks to manufacture some lurid ‘evidence’ and killed Khashoggi itself.

Khashoggi wrote for the Washington Post, which is widely believed to be a CIA front. Obviously it approved of what he was writing, and knew MbS would be infuriated.

There are too many similarities with the Skripal affair, to my mind, to accept uncritically what is being said.

Cheryl Brandon
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Cheryl Brandon

If $930 million is the answer. what could be the question? How much money did MBS use to bribe UNSG Antonio Guterres early in 2018? Yes my friends, UN is now a “captured” organization being used as a means of getting the UN to loo the other way in terms of the War Crimes in Yemen/ Syria.Iraq/ Occupied Palestine.Do not expect Mr 4930 million dollar SOP asset to serve the majority. Inner City Press was also banned by UNSG 109 days ago as well. So, Antonio is not interested in free speech or transparency? Is he

Cheryl Brandon
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Cheryl Brandon

After Murder of Khashoggi Role of McKinsey Obfuscated in UN Global Compact Style of Guterres Censors of Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NY Post

Killcoffin
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Killcoffin

Jatras’s commentaries are always interesting and he must be right that MBS has struck another self-inflicted blow on his kingdom. However, methinks it’s premature to predict the fall of the House of Saud. MBS has undoubtedly overplayed his hand and may well find himself pushed aside – or hopefully worse – by other members of his mob family, but so long as the Kingdom plays along with the Anglo-Zionist agenda, no one is going to give them the heave-ho yet. The big winner must surely be Iran, whose influence grows all the time thanks the antics of the clodhopping sorcerer’s… Read more »

Saudi Arabia’s version of events: Jamal Khashoggi died during a fist fight (Video)

US leaving INF will put nuclear non-proliferation at risk & may lead to ‘complete chaos’