Sunday, 21 October 2018

The Saudi story changes

Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the second of October. He has not been seen since. Initially, the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stated that Mr Khashoggi had left the consulate after an hour or so. However, whilst there was closed circuit television evidence of his entry, there was none of his exit. For eighteen days, the Saudi authorities stuck to their claim, in the face of constant leaks from the Turkish authorities claiming that Khashoggi had been tortured and murdered. Then the Saudi authorities issued a new story. They claimed that Mr Khashoggi had died in the consulate during a fight. The new story did not explain why Mr Kahashoggi had decided to engage in a fist fight with a number of younger and fitter men. It did not explain why the Saudis had not informed the Turkish authorities of the death at the time. It did not explain, why they had falsely insisted for eighteen days that Khashoggi had left the consulate, alive and well. Nor, did it explain what had happened to Mr Khashoggi's body. The Saudi story is nothing but an obvious fiction. Yet President Trump asserts that he finds it credible.

The case of Jamal Khashoggi can be reasonably compared with that of Sergei Skripal. The two cases involve allegations of state agents killing or attempting to kill persons on foreign soil. In the case of Khashoggi there is clear and overwhelming evidence of the involvement of the Saudi state. In the case of Skripal there is no evidence of the involvement of Russian state. A disinterested and impartial observer would find the allegation against Russia to be unsupported. The same observer would, however, find that senior Saudi state officials had, at least, killed Khashoggi and that this was almost certainly premeditated and planned in detail. Given the differences between the two cases, one would expect reasonable people to respond very differently. And the responses have been very different. Yet the responses of western governments have been precisely the opposite of what a reasonable person would have expected.

In the unproven case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, western governments have pronounced Russia guilty and imposed punishments, including the expulsion of a record number of Russian diplomats and the imposition of sanctions. Whereas in the proven case of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, western governments have repeatedly stated that there needs to be a thorough and complete investigation to establish all the facts. They, especially the United States and the United Kingdom, have stressed the importance of their relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This relationship has been emphasised for its substantial economic ties, and a role that Saudi Arabia plays in combatting jihadi terrorism, which is not only completely bogus, but is the exact opposite of the truth.

A dispassionate comparison of the responses of western governments to the two cases clearly reveals the complete hypocrisy of the ruling elites in the western liberal democracies. The application of double standards could not be more blatant. The much vaunted values of the liberal democracies are shown to be nothing but mere propaganda. The Russian Federation, in comparison to the barbarous Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a model of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has none of these. It routinely kills people for non-crimes, such as the expression of opinions. It has no democratic institutions and it is ruled by an absolute monarch, a dictatorial tyrant. Its pretence to a rule of law is just that: a complete fiction. Yet, the governments of the western liberal democracies ignore the systemic human rights violations, the war crimes and crimes against humanity of the Saudi regime; whilst condemning and punishing Russia on the basis of nothing more than unsupported allegations and false facts.

As can be seen from a comparison of the two cases, the elites of the west are sociopaths, for whom words such as human rights, democracy and the rule of law are nothing more than rhetorical tools to be exploited as propaganda.

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