SAUDI journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who lived for years in the US, walked into the Saudi embassy in Turkey over a week ago, and did not walk back out. His butchered remains were taken out by van!
Turkish officials have said that Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the Saudi regime, was assassinated in the embassy, by as many as 15 Saudi operatives. They say a black van was seen leaving the consulate. They say they suspect that the journalist’s dismembered body was taken out in diplomatic bags and flown back to Saudi Arabia in two jets, with bits of him presumably in each jet.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ‘personally ordered the assassination’. US President Donald Trump says he is not willing to throw away billions of dollars in arms deals with Saudi Arabia by condemning the murder. Profits are Trump’s number one priority – human life must not be allowed to get in the way of profits!
Answering those who demanded that he at least take up the matter with Salman, Trump responded: ‘What good does that do us? . . This took place in Turkey and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen.’
Again nationality, and the distance from the US of the site of the crime, did not worry Trump when he let loose a US-UK-French air attack on Syria that killed large numbers of innocent Syrians, and was set up by White Helmet provocateurs with a fake gas attack.
Murder by the imperialist powers for the sake of present and future profits is OK for Trump. He will not condemn Saudi Arabia because the US has invested billions in the feudal state. He will ride out the storm provoked by the crude murder by a special hit squad, that were probably trained in the USA anyway.
For Trump profit making is the key, and anything that assists in profit making is good, while all barriers to making a profit are evil itself, to be eliminated at all costs. What is also remarkable in the controversy over the killing, is that Trump took flack in the UK press while the UK government – which arms Saudi Arabia with everything from planes, bombs, missiles and killer drones, as well as assisting it with special forces – has got off scot-free.
There has been no condemnation of the silence of the UK government over the Khashoggi murder. The UK capitalist media is concentrating on its anti-Russian campaign while the role that the UK has played in arming and training the Saudi murder machine has been ignored. May is just as guilty as Trump. The Tory government has only recently reconfirmed its own multi-billion pound arms deal with the Saudis, signing a fresh deal in July earlier this year. In 2017, the government approved some £1.5 billion in arms export licenses, up from £820 million it did the year before.
The licenses allowed weapons sales to 18 countries on the Home Office blacklist, which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Pakistan and the Israeli regime. Arms deals with Saudi Arabia, which has been running a deadly military aggression against Yemen since March 2015, accounted for the lions share, a whopping £1.13 billion of the total amount.
The Campaign Against the Arms Trade’s (CAAT) Andrew Smith said: ‘Right now UK-made fighter jets and bombs are playing a central role in the Saudi-led destruction of Yemen. These arms sales don’t just provide dictatorships and human rights abusers with the means to kill, they also give them a huge degree of political support.’
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen to reinstall its former Saudi-allied government. The military aggression has so far killed over 13,600 Yemenis. The destruction of infrastructure has obliterated the means to process sewage and supply clean water. The resulting famine and cholera epidemic threatens hundreds of thousands of Yemeni families.
The UK has increased its weapons sales to the Saudis by around 500 per cent since the onset of the invasion. The UK has, so far, sold more than £6 billion worth of arms to the Saudi kingdom. Labour must now speak up and demand that all arms sales to Saudi Arabia are stopped. The trade unions must move into action to prevent arms being transported to Saudi Arabia to slaughter the people of the Yemen and the region.
Labour must pledge that its first actions in government will be to ban all arms sales to Saudi Arabia, to take action to aid the people of the Yemen with restoring their country, and to recognise the State of Palestine and take every action that is necessary to see that it prospers.