No one’s especially asked about what my opinion on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, almost certainly on the orders of the current Saudi monarch, but here it is: Sorry, I don’t much care. I’ve thought about it…. and just cannot work up any special outrage. I’ll just move on because there’s nothing for me to see.
Yes, it’s a terrible way to die and nasty and brutal and almost anything bad you can say about it is probably true, but…. he’s not the hill I want to die on (to misuse a metaphor). He was a member of the completely awful Muslim brotherhood and his supposed forward looking views sounded tinny and thin next to his history of embracing extreme political Islam (as failed policy as socialism – it’s been tested many times and it never works). There’s also something obscene about the ghoulish Erdogan trying to cash in on this death when he’s one of the biggest enemies of secular press freedom in the world today.
But the biggest reason is that this stinks of royal intrigue that I don’t begin to know enough about to comment on. In terms of political culture Saudi Arabia is roughly like Europe 1000 years ago with feuds running between and within clans and constant royal intrigue with no real peace just temporary cessations of hostility. The current king (or whatever they call him) is probably a terrible human being but his policy seems to be roughly headed in one good direction away from religious fundamentalism and slowly a little bit toward the modern world.
This killing was terrible but Khashoggi was an enthusiastic player in the very dangerous games of Saudi intrigue so it’s not like he was a real reformer or dissident or anything. If anyone has any more accurate info I’d be glad to hear it.
So…. I’m sick of hearing about it and it should play no great role in US policy towards Saudi Arabia.