The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is apparently unschooled in the arts of scandal management. Having now conceded for the first time that Jamal Khashoggi died in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul earlier this month, the kingdom claims that claiming that Khashoggi’s death came after an argument and a “fistfight” with men in the facility. According to Politico’s story, the kingdom has arrested 18 Saudi nationals suspected of involvement in Khashoggi’s death, according to its Foreign Ministry. Four senior intelligence officials and a top royal adviser have been fired, apparently for their alleged connection to the episode. No word as yet on who landed the haymaker.
I gather that approximately no one is buying the “fistfight” part of the story. From the perspective of the kingdom, the truth can’t be told, but it will come out eventually. It’s hard to imagine how the “fist fight” story can mitigate the public relations problem the kingdom now faces.
Someone needs to remind us how to maintain an alliance with unsavory regimes. It really won’t do to be force-fed lessons in morality and statesmanship by Democrats who have supported the alignment of the United States with the vile regime of Iran. The Iranian regime is tyrannical and murderous, of course, but this is no great distinction in the Middle East. The mullahs lavishly support terrorist groups of the Islamic persuasion. They are an avowed enemy of the United States about which Democratic solons now calling out Saudi Arabia have approximately nothing to say.
In “Why Is Khashoggi Being Made The Defining Issue Of U.S. Foreign Policy?,” noted here by Paul, Ben Weingarten comments on the insane outburst of moralism among the Democrats. “[Their] concerns were evidently subordinated when the Obama administration was consummating the Iran Deal,” he writes, supporting the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and all manner of jihadists in Libya, and engaging in the Russian reset. Certainly the hundreds of thousands dead in Iran-backed Syria, where America’s chief contributions included arming ISIS and ceding control to Russia, are a testament to the establishment’s comfort with setting aside values when pursuing its interests.” Don’t miss Weingarten’s column.