After a strong refusal drama of 17 days, finally Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has confessed death of Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Mysteries are coming out one after another. A lot of confusing news has spread out one after another from missing to death. Saudi Arabian government founded news media Al-Arabia has affirmed in October 19, 2018 that Jamal Khashoggi had died in fighting with some Saudi envoys. But this conclusion could not satisfy any rational person. Saudi also fired a brunch of high profile officials of KSA. These persons were close to Mohammad Bin Salman shortly MBS. International community has accused MBS for this death. It is certain that those fired officials have been scapegoats to obliterate accusation of MBS. Everyone can unveil the fiction of Saudi authority. Death of Khashoggi left thousands of questions but most of them are unanswered.
Who is Jamal Khashoggi?
Jamal Khashoggi was born in an aristocratic in Medina in 1958. He was very close to Saudi Royal family but he criticized some traditions of monarchy. He was famous for his reformist character. He studied in Indiana State University in USA. After completing his study abroad, he joined in Saudi Gazette newspaper. From 1087 to 1990, he was correspondent of London based Ashraq Al-Awsat. From 1991 to 199, he was a foreign correspondent in such countries as Afghanistan, Kuwait, Sudan, and in the Middle East. He was also appointed as a deputy editor-in-chief of Arab News till 2003. Khashoggi was the one who had taken interviews of Osama Bin Laden several times in 1980s and 1990s. He served in Saudi government for many years. But he had a lot of contradictions with MBS. Then he himself moved to USA as an exile. He worked for popular news agency Washington Post. Jamal khashoggi died in 2 October, 2018 when he entered in Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His dead body has not yet found. Turkish Intelligence said that Khashoggi’s body has been cut into many pitches.
Principles of Saudi Dynasty
When Arab Spring spread out in 2011, Saudi ruling class controlled it consciously with utmost close surveillance. Saudi’s tradition and culture have not yet changed from the Middle Age. In the name of reformation, Mohammad Bin Salman actually revised old tradition rather than altering fundamental rigorous values of his society. People thought that MBS would be the one who could be a real reformer of Saudi Arabia. But his fascination now fades away as days go on. Saudi people now realized that watching a foreign film in nearby cinema hall and women driving cars are not enough for empowering people. According to women right observers, situation of women has been deteriorating after crown prince MBS took control of Saudi’s actual power. Affiliation of MBS in khashoggi killing has proved that Saudi ruling class still depends on medieval blood policy. Reformation concept is a bogus notion to bewilder the mind of critics.
Saudi Arabia is used to disrespecting human rights and freedom of expression issues. Ruling class has engaged in murdering and kidnapping members of Saud family. To perpetuate Saud domination. Ruling class is not afraid to engage in any humiliating procedure. We can say that policy towards Palestine of Saudi Arabia has changed. Saudi Arabia used to demand the right of Palestinians but now they do not even pronounce the right of these displaced people. Rather Saudi Arabia has engaged in a deep relationship with Israel. US version of human rights is not applied in Saudi Arabia by US authority. Recent diplomatic crisis between Canada and KSA over human rights abuse, USA stayed calm instead supporting Canada on such a legal issue.
Double Acting of West:
Aftermath of Khashoggi killing has raised the question of the legitimacy of western liberal states. There has been almost a similar incident in England. Russian authority has been accused of poisoning a former Russ double agent Sergei and his daughter Skripal. West has shattered Russia because of its possible allegation with this case. Reaction of west about mafia Russia and rogue Saudi Arabia is very different. There is no substantial effort of the West in the case of khashoggi killing. FBI or CIA dose not talk about Saudi hit squad who came Istanbul to kill Khashoggi. Trump showed condemnation in the very beginning but now his tone has changed. Trump is just alarming that they have multi-billion trade deals with KSA. So USA cannot take any hasty move. A portion of senators demanded to withdraw 110billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia but USA certainly knows that it would go against US interest. If interest and money is everything to USA, then what is the fundamental difference between illiberal Russia-China and USA? USA always portrays itself as a pioneer of human rights but its double standard of human rights must put it in the prison of human history. Permanent members of the UN are the most arms selling countries. They are biased in their actions and reactions. West has allergy about dictator Assab in Syria, but they never talk about Saudi Arabia which is totally based on totalitarian dictatorship. Mike Pampeo has already visited Riyadh and Ankara over khashoggi issue. Maybe they are in ruthless bargaining of Kashoggi murder. Erdogan must take a chance to gain something. No one loves to leave own interest rather tries so hard to occupy others’ portion.
MBS Loves to Show off
From the starting point of his reign to power, he always tried to come up with some destructive way. He showed a robust and powerful Saudi Arabia as much as possible. He was national defense minister in 2015 when he had launched a massive bloody military operation in Yemen along with Jordan and UAE. Till now, 10 thousand civilians have died in this brutal civil-war. Thousands of children are malnourished. Famine broke out over time. MBS also engaged in a conflict with Qatar in response of Qatari allegation in sponsoring terrorism. Though, it was not the main intention of Saudi Arabia. Rather MBS wanted to close Qatari international news media Al Jazeera which has been used to criticize Saudi Arabia in last few decades. Qatar’s opening up policy is also threatening for Saud monarchy. Qatar blockade is still embarked. Qatar was strong enough overtaking this blockade. It is also predicted that Mohammad Bin Salman and Netanyahu had convinced Donald Trump to overthrow Iran Deal made by P5 in 2015. Saad Hariri, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, was missing in his visit of Riyadh last year. When he was found after one day drama, he resigned from his position in Riyadh. Ridiculously he withdrew his abdication when he left Saudi Arabia. MBS tries to be western in suit and lifestyle when he is in western hemisphere. Recently he met US ex-President George H. W. Bush who destroyed the Middle East in the mame of “War on Terror”. Within last two years, MBS has become an evil for the Middle East. It is almost true proved. MBS denied his allegation in Khashoggi murder. But everyone knows that no wind of Riyadh moves without MBS’ permission. So it is unbelievable that he does not know anything about Khashoggi killing in Istanbul. Why Khashoggi killing has taken place in Istanbul is a burning question. Analysts have expressed that maybe MBS is irritated with Erdogan because he dismissed MBS’ Qatar blockade plan and remained a strong ally of Iran. Maybe Saudi Arabia wanted to put Turkey in warm water by this killing. But Erdogan has taken strong position from the very beginning to reveal Saudi allegation in this conspiracy. Turkish intelligence has played the central role in whole drama. There is a gossip that MBS is going to lose his position.
What is Next?
Khashoggi’s last article “Arab World needs Freedom of Expression” was published in Washington Post in 17 October. He demanded freedom of speech over and over times. He did not oppose Saud monarchy rather he demanded some rational and feasible reformation in Saudi Arabia. He criticized MBS for his arbitrary reformation which was below the expectation of civilians.
Turkey or USA, their responses must be calculative. They will not intend to go against their long term interest. Khashoggi is just a symbol of bargaining of stakeholders. Saudi Arabia has sent 10billion dollar to USA on the day of arrival of Mike Pampeo in 16 October. Analysts consider this payment as adulation USA though USA denies. Some days ago Trump said to the King of KSA that “Saudi king would not last two weeks without US support.” MBS responded this humiliation with flattering word calling USA as a best friend. There is a higher interdependence between USA and KSA. USA needs oil and selling arms while KSA needs legitimacy from Washington. On the other hand Turkey will try to get some benefit from KSA by pressuring as much as possible. After all it is evident that Khashoggi murder will dominate contemporary politics of the Middle East. Perhaps Khashoggi did not think that his dead body would be more significant than living one.
The Writer is a student of Dhaka University