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Saudis Cut Up Khashoggi, Trump Defends Milk Cow

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Nour Rida

Since the Turkish intelligence revealed more information into the brutal killing of the Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, the seven-minute-killing story has been circulating; it is the talk of the town.

It just went wrong…

Visualize the scene here: 15 Saudi people; call them Mohammad bin Salman’s (MBS) bodyguards or his death squad traveled to Istanbul on October 2. Reports have not said if they had muscular or well-toned physique but they had “brutal-toned” slaughter and chopping skills. They arrive to Istanbul on two jets, but not any jets. The 15 Saudis flew on two jets that belonged to Sky Prime aviation services; a company that was seized by the Saudi government with what the Saudi regime dubbed as “anti-corruption” effort in 2017. So they arrive at the Saudi consulate roughly one-nish in the afternoon, exactly around the same time Khashoggi enters the consulate. The head of the team had a bone saw with him; a bit unexpected when it is almost impossible to enter a consulate usually with a slightly sharp pen. Khashoggi enters with the hope to register his marriage as his fiancée waits outside, but his hopes were smashed along with his body, which was sliced into pieces. With Khashoggi forced to lie down on a table; the team starts with cutting off his fingers. They chop off his fingers while the person apparently in charge of the team, a forensic expert advices them to spice it up by wearing their earphones on and listening to music, it probably makes it easier and then they can saw and chop off body parts along with the music beats! Cutting off the fingers becomes a bit too boring, so they start with the limbs and God knows what the process looked like. So was it more like a finish it off quickly thing and let’s leave or let us have some fun before the final hit, no one really knows. They chop off the head and pack him in containers and clean up the mess. Khashoggi was no more in one piece and no longer breathing. So the team leaves and off again to Saudi Arabia to where MBS waits anxiously to hear the details of that feast.

The Wall Street Journal cited sources saying that the 15 people arrived on the jets belonging to the Saudi government. The New York Times was able to put together some information, including the fact that 7 out of the 15 team members are close to MBS. These were identified as body guards, security companions, and support officers who typically travel with MBS. Many of them were identified as officers who accompanied MBS on diplomatic visits to the UK and France earlier this year The New York Times also revealed that along with the men was Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy, THE HEAD of the forensic evidence department within Saudi General Security; saying that his presence among the suspects “suggests that killing might have been part of the original plan”.

On Wednesday, the Middle East Eye, a source close to Turkey and Qatar, disclosed that it took seven minutes for Jamal Khashoggi to die, quoting a Turkish source who has listened in full to an audio recording of the Saudi journalist's last moments. According to MEE, Khashoggi was dragged from the consul-general’s office at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and onto the table of his study next door, the Turkish source said. Horrendous screams were then heard by a witness downstairs, the source said. So they dismembered his body and had all the fun they wanted. The source reported that after that the screaming stopped when Khashoggi - who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on 2 October - was injected with an as yet unknown substance.

“When I do this job, I listen to music. You should do [that] too,” Tubaigy was recorded as saying, the source told MEE. Apparently this is not Tubaygi’s first time to chop off people’s body parts alive. MBS has withdrawn the Saudi consul and his family back to Riyadh, and has been denying Turkish intelligence from interviewing any Saudi officials or diplomats.

With all this in mind, it is difficult to believe that the Khashoggi matter was an “investigation that went wrong”.

Trump defends the milk cow

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump heaped praise on Saudi Arabia and cast doubt on their involvement. In an interview with Fox Business Network on Wednesday, Trump said “the US needs Saudi Arabia in its fight against terrorism.”

 On October 15, Trump tweeted that he spoke to bin Salman, who "totally denied any knowledge of what took place" in Istanbul.

The United States has for decades turned a blind eye to human rights abuses carried out by Saudi Arabia. The White House did not sound alarmed amid a barrage of questions about Khashoggi's disappearance, what Saudi officials know about it and its close ties to Saudi rulers and the country's Mohammed bin Salman, in particular.

Trump has called for people to give the Saudis the benefit of the doubt, stressing Washington's business and geopolitical interests in staying close to Riyadh. Trump has favored to set a blind eye to the vicious killing of Khashoggi and keep milking the MBS regime.

The US president, or better say businessman, has already used humiliating tone in addressing the Saudi leaders. During his campaign-time speech to his supporters in Maryland in 2016 he openly called Saudi Arabia “milk cow” that should be milked to the last drop and when its milk is over, it should be beheaded.

Speaking at a campaign rally in West Virginia beginning of October, Trump said he had complained that Washington was not getting what it should from Saudi Arabia during a phone conversation with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Trump said he had told King Salman that Riyadh has "trillions of dollars" and could pay its military bills.

"I love Saudi Arabia. They are great, King Salman, I spoke with him this morning. I said, king, you have got trillions of dollars. Without us, who knows what’s going to happen. .... With us they are totally safe. But we don’t get what we should be getting," he said.

Trump further threatened to end what he claimed to be subsidies for the Saudi military and he said that the Saudi regime cannot last for two weeks without his support.

Saudi Arabia, a kingdom running an oil-reliant economy, dependent on foreign military help, and governed by a ruling family has been feeding and supporting terrorism in the Near East region. In fact, the scenario at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is not very different from what Saudi and US backed groups in Syria and Iraq have been doing. Daesh, also known as ISIS, slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, rapes and enslaves women and despises non-Muslims. Saudi Arabia, the US government’s first ally among Arab countries has been the number one exporter of Wahhabi thought on which Daesh, al-Qaeda and the like feed.

The Saudi team attitude is not very far from what would take place at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghoreib prison and the US government normalization of such violence is not unprecedented. Some images showed prisoners killed by the soldiers, some shot in the head and some with slit throats, but it’s doubtful this took only seven minutes. When the material was released, President Obama, who at first approved the publishing of pictures that show torture, abuse, rape, killing and every indecency, changed his mind after lobbying from senior military figures, saying their release could put troops in danger and "inflame anti-American public opinion".

Maybe releasing a video of the Khashoggi killing would inflame anti-Saudi and American public opinion, but this is unlikely to happen.

Now in light of all this, a question remains on whether Turkish government may be seeking to reach some accommodation with Saudi Arabia while avoiding a full rupture in relations with what it considers as an important regional power and ally. At the time Turkish intelligence had evidence including recordings, it seemed reluctant to disclose any evidence at first and no serious attempt could be seen to reveal the fate of Khashoggi. It was only until President Recep Teyyip Erdogan spoke that things were more official and the investigations started to take place after an unexplained delay.

So it remains unknown if the seemingly attempted leverage is also for Turkey to milk the cow, and whether Trump will allow it to do so or fight to keep the milk or most of it at least to himself.
Source: Al-Ahed News