Settling The Khashoggi Case Is A Difficult Matter, by Moon of Alabama STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

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.

There are more tactical aspects to this historic conflict. When the Saudis cut ties with Qatar it was Turkey that sent its military to prevent a Saudi invasion of the tiny but extremely rich country. This gave Erdogan the financial backing he urgently needs.

In response to that the Saudis offered several $100 millions to prop up the YPK/PKK proxy force the U.S. uses to occupy north-east Syria. These Kurdish groups fight a guerrilla war within Turkey and are a threat to its unity.

Jamal Khashoggi supported the Muslim Brotherhood during the ‘Arab Spring’. This was in line with the Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama supported regime change program for most of the Middle East. After the fall of President Mubarak in Egypt and the election win by the Brotherhood the Saudi rulers feared to be the next in line. They started to finance counter revolutions in Egypt and elsewhere. Under the reign of King Salman and his son the suppression of all aspects of Brotherhood influence intensified. Having lost his protection Khashoggi decided to leave Saudi Arabia:

Jamal Khashoggi, a prolific writer and commentator, was working quietly with intellectuals, reformists and Islamists to launch a group called Democracy for the Arab World Now. He wanted to set up a media watch organization to keep track of press freedom.He also planned to launch an economic-focused website to translate international reports into Arabic to bring sobering realities to a population often hungry for real news, not propaganda.

Khashoggi has an enormous number of friends in Washington DC. Mainstream journalists see him as of one of their own. Like them, they feel, he does not deserve such ghastly fate. The neo-liberals as well as the neo-conservatives liked his ‘regime change’ Arab Spring support and his efforts against Saudi Arabia. Many people in Congress know him personally. They activated procedures under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act that will lead to sanctions against Saudi figures. Media, banks and well known personalities pulled out of a three-day financial conference in Riyadh dubbed “Davos in the Desert”.

But Trumps Middle East policy depends on Saudi Arabia and on Mohammad bin Salman personally. MbS finances the U.S. occupation in Syria. Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner build his ‘peace plan’ for Netanyahoo on Saudi endorsement. The sanctions against Iran can only be sustained if Saudi oil replaces the loss of Iranian output. Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ program needs the Saudi demand for U.S. weapons. He also needs the Saudis to avoid utter defeat in Afghanistan. Last but not least Trump will perceive the Kashoogi issue as part of the anti-Trump campaign.

As someone who worked closely with the Saudis for many years, and who lived and worked as a U.S. official for five years in Saudi Arabia, I am certain that if such an operation occurred inside a Saudi diplomatic mission against a high-profile journalist working for a U.S. newspaper, it would have needed the direct authorization of Saudi Arabia’s top leadership — the crown prince.

I am confident that U.S. intelligence agencies have the capability to determine, with a high degree of certainty, what happened to Khashoggi. If he is found to be dead at the hands of the Saudi government, his demise cannot go unanswered — by the Trump administration, by Congress or by the world community. Ideally, King Salman would take immediate action against those responsible, but if he doesn’t have the will or the ability, the United States would have to act. That would include immediate sanctions on all Saudis involved; a freeze on U.S. military sales to Saudi Arabia; suspension of all routine intelligence cooperation with Saudi security services; and a U.S.-sponsored U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the murder.

Riyadh is the capital of its oil, and touching this would affect oil production before any other vital commodity. It would lead to Saudi Arabia’s failure to commit to producing 7.5 million barrels. If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure. An oil barrel may be priced in a different currency, Chinese yuan, perhaps, instead of the dollar.And oil is the most important commodity traded by the dollar today.

The U.S. dollar depends on the secret deal arranged in 1974 that recycles Saudi petro-dollars into U.S. treasuries. If the al-Sauds start to touch that corner stone of the relation, the U.S. will have to invade and smash their shitty country to smithereens. Mecca and Medina would be given back to the Hashemites now ruling Jordan, the Gulf coast line, which holds the oil and oil industry and is mostly inhabited by Shia, would become a state of its own. Yemen would regain its two northern provinces. The plans to do this have long been drawn.

The Saudis asked Erdogan to accept a “joint investigation” of the Khashoggi case. This was a request to come to some solution over the issue. Rumors speak of an opening offer of $5 billion as compensation. The Saudi King dispatched the respected governor of Makkah province, Prince Khalid_bin_Faisal_Al_Saud, to Ankara to arrange a deal. The EU3, UK, France and Germany, urge both sides to use this mechanism.

MbS on the other side will do his utmost to keep his position. He might even let his father die a sudden death should King Salman decide to fire him. Khashoggi was clearly a danger to the throne. MbS probably feels that he did the right thing and does not deserve any criticism over it. After all, abduction and, if needed, murder of dissidents in foreign countries are a long standing Saudi policy that never caused any serious uproar.

Lerman envisions a scenario where Jewish political organizations in Washington – such as the American Jewish Committee, which he once worked for as head of its Israel office – may actually go to Capitol Hill, as they have done in the past, and discreetly lobby for the Saudis, something that could paradoxically bring the two countries even closer together.