10 Questions Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Must Answer

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked ten questions to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, all of them related to the human rights situation in the Kingdom and Riyadh’s violations against neighbouring countries.

This came in a statement issued by the organisation demanding Bin Salman provide answers to questions related to the war in Yemen, the detention of activists and academics, the arrest of princes and businessmen, forced disappearances, the oppression of women and non-Muslims in the Kingdom. It also demanded Riyadh explain its campaign against oppositionists abroad, the most recent victim of which was journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

HRW’s statement pointed out that the Kingdom’s admission that government representatives killed Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul has provoked an extensive, albeit belated, review of the country’s record of human rights violations. Human Rights Watch also called on foreign government officials to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for this record….

Source: 10 Questions Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Must Answer

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Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Coming Into Focus

Gradually, almost imperceptibly, the outline of a coherent Trump foreign policy is emerging and succeeding. The elements were to withdraw from the role as the default war-maker in the Middle East without creating a vacuum, render Russia less adversarial without facing it down into the arms of the Chinese, and revitalize the Western Alliance to a plausible notion of multilateral contributions and not just an American military guarantee for everyone, ex gratia and pro bono.

At the same time, there would be unrestricted war on terrorist organizations, a revival of nuclear non-proliferation by direct and overbearing threats to North Korea and Iran, and the reconstruction of America’s status as the world’s preeminent economy by tax reductions, deregulation, renegotiation of trade treaties, and encouragement of energy self-sufficiency.

There have been some unfortunate moments from a presentational standpoint, but it is a good plan and it is working….

>>> continue reading: Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Coming Into Focus

Saudi Arabia’s Twitter Troll Army Is Lethal

The Kingdom’s vast operation of authoritarian social media control and weaponization isn’t confined to people who live there.

A recent article in The New York Times headlined “Saudis’ Image Makers: A Troll Army and a Twitter Insider” highlights the danger of undemocratic countries in the Middle East exploiting new media platforms to eliminate activists and dissidents.

That such cyber campaigns are prevailing only underscore how the Arab authoritarian regimes have fully grasped the importance of social media’s impact on politics in the post-Arab Spring period. Indeed, the Arab uprisings in 2011 shook the region in no small part because of social media’s ability to streamline communication and mobilize opposition….

>>> continue reading: Saudi Arabia’s Twitter Troll Army Is Lethal

The Saudis Keep Changing Their Story On The Murder Of Khashoggi. What Should We Do?

The Saudi version of the disappearance and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi seems to change every day or so. The latest is the Saudi government claim that the opposition journalist was killed in a “botched interrogation” at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Or was it a fist-fight? What is laughable is that the Saudi king has placed Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a prime suspect, in charge of the investigation of Khashoggi’s murder!

Though the official story keeps changing, what is unlikely to change is Washington’s continued relationship with Saudi Arabia. It is a partnership that is in no way beneficial to Americans or the US national interest….

>>> continue reading: The Saudis Keep Changing Their Story On The Murder Of Khashoggi. What Should We Do?

Did Saudis Bring In A Khashoggi Body Double To Cover Up Planned Murder?

If true, this elaborate ruse pretty much kills off the “fistfight” story — not that too many people bought that one in the first place. Turkish officials have video surveillance of a man leaving the Saudi consulate and milling around Istanbul’s tourist district in Jamal Khashoggi’s clothing, but it’s not Khashoggi, CNN’s Clarissa Ward reports. It’s one of the 15 Saudis who entered the consulate two hours before Khashoggi, and who appears later not just in Khashoggi’s clothing but also a fake beard….

>>> continue reading: Did Saudis Bring In A Khashoggi Body Double To Cover Up Planned Murder?

‘Mohammad bin Salman Must Go’, But US-Saudi Ties Are Here To Stay

Mohammad bin Salman is fully aware of the Western elite’s understanding of its own values. While he may be given a pass to bomb Yemen and kill thousands of innocent civilians, he should know better than to dare touch a Washington Post columnist – “one of ours”, as one MSNBC host said. Did he not realize there would be consequences?

As more information came out, many analysts began to confront the most obvious question. Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime? How could MBS betray Trump this way, not anticipating that the Democrats and the mainstream media would jump all over Trump’s friendship with him? Could he be so foolish as to place in jeopardy foreign investments planned at the Davos in the Desert conference on October 23? The answer to that question is apparently: yes, he could.

The only rational explanation for this behavior is that MBS thought he could get away with it. Remember that we are talking about someone who had Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon, kidnapped and carried off to the Kingdom, with his whereabouts unknown for days but with very little reaction from the mainstream media or Western politicians. It is possible that in this instance, MBS simply misjudged the level of Khashoggi’s popularity amongst neoliberals of the Washington establishment, provoking an unexpected response. Furthermore, the thesis that the Saudis understood that they had some kind of green light from Trump is not to be totally dismissed. Such a backlash is what you get from having a big mouthpraise your friends too much, and tweet all the time….

>>> continue reading: ‘Mohammad bin Salman Must Go’, But US-Saudi Ties Are Here To Stay

Saudi Arabia Claims Khashoggi Was Killed In A Fight, Contrary To Other Accounts

  • Saudi Arabia says dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a fight at its consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Its account contradicts its own earlier claim that Khashoggi left shortly after arriving the consulate.
  • Previous media reports, citing Turkish officials, said Khashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered.

Missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, Saudi Arabia’s general prosecutor said early Saturday morning local time.

The government said that Khashoggi got into a fight with the people he met at the consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 2. The kingdom alleged that Khashoggi died in that clash….

>>> continue reading: Saudi Arabia Claims Khashoggi Was Killed In A Fight, Contrary To Other Accounts

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