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Saudi Arabia admits to killing of Khashoggi, accidentally, in ‘fist fight,’ during ‘discussions’

Middle East
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Saudi Arabia has now finally changed its story about the disappearance and alleged murder of American-Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey. Now they admit he was killed, but by accident, in a “fist fight” during “discussions” that took place with him at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

This stands in diametric contradiction to Saudi Arabia’s original claim that Khashoggi, 59, had gone missing after leaving the Consulate building through the back door on October 2nd – for which there was absolutely no evidence. 

For most people, this is a macabre farce. Who could possibly take these new claims seriously?

Donald Trump. He says these claims are “credible”.

Donald Trump said Saudi Arabia’s announcement on the circumstances of Khashoggi’s death was credible and a “good first step” but that what happened was “unacceptable”. He also said he preferred that any sanctions against Riyadh not include cancelling large defence orders.

Trump began apologizing for the Saudis almost from the start of the affair. He made clear at an Oval Office meeting (October 11th), how money mattered a lot here, downplaying Khashoggi’s ties to the US:

“This took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge Khashoggi is not a United States citizen. He’s a permanent resident. We don’t like it even a little bit. But as to whether or not we should stop $110 billion from being spent in this country, knowing that they have four or five alternatives – two very good alternatives – that would not be acceptable to me.” 

Then we began hearing reports that Saudi Arabia might change its story, to admit a killing and frame it as an accident, or possibly by ‘rogue killers’. Trump, having talked to his buddy Mohammad bin Salman, promoted the rogue operation narrative (October 15th):

“It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers — who knows”.

Israel is also feeling uncomfortable about this, as Saudi Arabia is a key strategic partner to the fight against Iran, as well as a means of pressing Palestinians to accept their Bantustanization and surrender once and for all. So Israeli apologists are busy smearing Khashoggi as a terrorist and victim of his own politics. A smear piece even appeared in Haaretz, albeit with the qualification that there is “no justification for his murder” (opinion by Petra Marquardt-Bigman). “Don’t whitewash what he believed – his commitment to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, his hope that Israel would ‘die by force’, and the anti-Semitic Islamists with whom he spent his final days.”

Former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, also writing in Haaretz, analyzed the strategic alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia and pointed out why this story was disastrous for it, in his piece titled “Why the Kashoggi Murder Is a Disaster for Israel”:

“The grisly hit-job on Khashoggi has implications far beyond its exposure of the Saudi Crown Prince as brutal and reckless. In Jerusalem and D.C., they’re mourning their whole strategic concept for the Mideast – not least, for countering Iran”.

It’s clear that the Saudi regime are murderous liars. Shapiro:

“But now, clearly at MBS’s direction, a terrible murder was committed, essentially out in the open. And the Saudis lied about it to President Trump for days. They are still lying. Trump himself may care little, motivated by his own amorality or the over-hyped job-creating impact of Saudi weapons orders.”

The Israeli response to all this has unsurprisingly been very quiet, no tweets from Netanyahu, and the mainstream press has generally been quite low-key about the Israel connection.

Mohammed bin Salman has been a dream for the US and Israel. He has shown clear Zionist tendencies, including a derisory attitude towards Palestinians. But this Saudi-horror-story of murder and body dismemberment is not looking good. Every new episode the Saudis come up with is only making it worse.

One could have suggested that an autopsy be done on Khashoggi, but it appears that a top Saudi doctor of forensics was already involved in a similar act – apparently going all the way to completely dismember every part of Kashoggi’s body into oblivion. It may prove to be difficult to determine whether the “fist fight” took place before, or after, Khashoggi’s hands were cut off, during those “discussions” that he had at the consulate.

But the Saudi story is now credible. We have to believe it if Donald Trump says so. And 110 billion Dollars cannot possibly be wrong.

H/t Tom Lawrence

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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17 Responses

  1. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    October 20, 2018, 12:00 pm

    Yep, a 61 year old geezer/Pillsbury Doughboy decides he can rumble with a dozen Saudi Seals.
    Not bloody likely, mate…but The Donald could do it, so it’s credible.
    10 fingers, 12 hitmen…not enough to go around.
    Maybe they played “Little Piggy.”

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 21, 2018, 2:54 am

      So where is the body? Surely it must be in one piece?

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        October 21, 2018, 10:12 am

        This morning, they say it was whole when they rolled it into a magic carpet…

  2. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    October 20, 2018, 3:20 pm

    Trump.. “It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers — who knows”. Should read ‘who cares’. Sen Tammy Duckworth once called Trump, Cadet ‘bone-spurs’, his new name should be Donald ‘bone-saw’ Trump. If someone asked MbS what he regretted most about this current saga, he would probably say ‘getting caught’.

  3. RoHa
    RoHa
    October 20, 2018, 11:34 pm

    I suspect that, from now on, people will be a bit cautious about having discussions with the Saudis.

  4. Marnie
    Marnie
    October 21, 2018, 8:12 am

    Fist fight with a forensic scientist’s bone saw. What could possibly have gone wrong? One thing is for certain, tRUMP will continue to believe and legitimize anything the saudi’s tell him, because Boobi told him to.

  5. CHUCKMAN
    CHUCKMAN
    October 21, 2018, 10:21 am
    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      October 22, 2018, 10:18 am

      @CHUCKMAN

      Agreed. Excellent column.

      Whatever the overall final outcome, the psychopathic monster MbS is finished. He is now an international pariah and no longer welcome in Washington (much to conniving Trump’s disappointment) or other world capitals.

  6. Citizen
    Citizen
    October 21, 2018, 10:48 am

    The Bland BoyJared Kushner has interesting friends.

  7. gamal
    gamal
    October 21, 2018, 11:35 am

    notably the BBC lady I just heard was pronouncing Hashobgi correctly, see America still going with Cashoggy, sounds a bit you know provincial.

    • bintbiba
      bintbiba
      October 21, 2018, 1:05 pm

      Sorry ‘ Gamal’ , it is pronounced Khashukji … the official double gg at the end is very deceptive ! All newsreaders on Al Jazeera and RT uk pronounce it well !
      Regards …

      • gamal
        gamal
        October 21, 2018, 3:09 pm

        “Sorry ‘ Gamal’ ”

        not at all you are quite right, I am lost in approximations, i didn’t want to give them K, but I defer to you.

        your servant Madame.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        October 21, 2018, 4:02 pm

        Hi Bintbiba, any Turkish speaker would know the ending (about that Turkish name), of course, but isn’t the Egyptian exception for the jim/ghim still valid?

  8. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    October 22, 2018, 12:20 pm

    How dumb do these people think we are??? OK, one might die in a fist fight but…where is the corpse???

    • bintbiba
      bintbiba
      November 7, 2018, 3:17 pm

      Hi echinococcus , you say quite rightly : … … ” isn’t the Egyptian exception for the jim/ghim still valid? ”

      Yes it is ,as far as I know , I haven’t heard any Egyptian being spoken for s long time .
      But Jamal Khashukji wasn’t an Egyptian . So it may have been a simplifying the pronouncement of his name while he lives in the US .

  9. JWalters
    JWalters
    October 22, 2018, 10:13 pm

    This is the best the combined talents of the Saudis, Mossad, and the CIA can come up with. SNL could do a skit about the meeting where this explanation was concocted.

  10. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    October 24, 2018, 5:55 am

    Trump is now being utterly ruthless with the Saudis, he has revoked the visas of those suspected of the Khashoggi murder, word has it that Trump is going to ‘take one for the team’ by not allowing them on any Trump golf course worldwide for the next year. That’ll show them. /s

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