Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Saturday, October 20, 2018

What Are you Willing to Believe?

The Saudi government is now willing to admit that Jamal Khashoggi has died, although they are currently saying he died in the event of a fistfight that broke out with himself and about a dozen or fifteen people upon entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. In the way, you know, that nearly 60-year old men simply acquiring paperwork for their upcoming nuptials will engage in a fistfight with a dozen or so men, especially when they are academically-minded and generally practice "using their words" to accomplish things.  

This is a story too late in the telling and too peculiar in the offering to be taken at face value.  To say that KSA has offered us the barest thread of a reason for what happened to the man whose body (or remains) have not been produced, is saying rather a lot. They seem to be wanting to get in front of whatever the Turks actually have (even if the digital proof is less than advertised, given the hide and seek that had gone on with whether US SOS Mike Pompeo has heard it), and still keep some face about whether whatever happened to the man was entirely KSA's fault. This might have been punctuated with something other that Prince MsB being given purview over any further investigation and being also charged with revamping the KSA intelligence services.

Well great, for MsB. How terrible though, for anyone who was rather hoping they might expect more. It gives every credence to the idea that King Salman is not fully compos mentis, and that Crown Prince Mohammed is making shit up as he goes along. It also reinforces the idea that reform is basically dead in Saudi Arabia--that the fate of the Badawi family, of Ali Al-Nimr, and others, that of people who for what it's worth, who even mildly and eloquently dissent from the view of the Saud family authority, and are severely punished. 

This is a horrifying thing for a government to turn into. This is a horrifying thing, also, for the US government, given what our ideals, constitutionally, should be, to endorse or even merely permit without strong comment backed with sanctions. And yet our weaksauce president, instead of championing human rights and freedom of the press, is still a little thug admiring the talents of other thugs. He champions thuggery here at home, too. 

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