Guest article — developing
Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser, has been urging the president to stand by the prince, according to a person close to the White House and a former official with knowledge of the discussions.
Mr. Kushner has argued that the crown prince can survive the outrage just as he has weathered past criticism.
–David D. Kirkpatrick and Ben Hubbard,“Saudis May Blame Intelligence Official for Killing Jamal Khashoggi,” New York Times, Oct. 18, 2018.
“Hilal Kaplan, one of the most outspoken columnists, known to be close to the (Turkish) president and strongly anti-American, even suggested in her column Friday that the United States could be blamed as an accessory in Mr. Khashoggi’s murder. If the U.S. administration continues this defensive line of language in favor of M.B.S. and reiterates mostly what they want to hear, one would fairly wonder if Trump and his Middle East peace envoy Jared Kushner also had prior knowledge of this atrocity to come and did nothing.”
—Carlotta Gall, New York Times, Oct. 19, 2018
The consequences of letting Jared Kushner run U.S. foreign policy towards Saudi Arabia have been catastrophic. Not only did he facilitate what was in effect a coup d’etat within the Saudi leadership and Royal Family, placing Prince Mohammed bin Salman (aka MBS) in power, but he has also defended MBS at every turn.
Now, in response to the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istambul, with evidence pointing to the Saudi leadership as the intellectual author(s) of this hideous crime, Kushner argues within the Trump administration that Trump should support MBS, and that the whole thing will blow over.
Kushner does not even want to ascertain the facts or wait until they are made public before deciding on a response.
One cannot imagine a more craven and morally bankrupt action by a U.S. official.
Moreover, as the Turkish author quoted by Kirkpatrick and Hubbard suggests, the question now becomes “What did Kushner, or Trump, know and when did they know it?”
Prince Jared should immediately be removed from the White House and the U.S. government.
Saudi leaders need to think hard about how stupid Americans really are. Not just Trump and Kushner, but also leaders of the foreign policy elite in the U. S., and Americans in general.
As they prepare their coverup, Saudi leaders need to reflect on the fact that under the common law “felony-murder rule”, a participant in a crime that unexpectedly results in a death is himself guilty of murder.
Thus, if someone ordered the abduction of Khashoggi, a felony, and the crime unexpectedly led to Kashoggi’s death, the person who issued the original order would be guilty of murder under the felony-murder rule.
The macabre nature of the Khashoggi murder seems, moreover, to have been an act of terror designed to strike fear into the hearts of all Saudi critics of the regime, both at home and abroad.
As such, it stands as strong evidence of the current regime’s decision and intent to rule by terror.
Without major changes to its leadership structure and a sharp change im its governing philosophy, Saudi Arabia should not expect to see any significant foreign investment from Western countries in the next 50 years.
Given the events of the last weeks and the Saudi response, it is not too soon to start organizing a Saudi Arabia disinvestment movement.
The Khashoggi Affair, far from blowing over, is likely to blow fire imto the faces of Saudi leaders until they make a sharp change of course.