Prince and President Escalate Battle Over Khashoggi Killing

For the strongmen of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the fight over the killing of a dissident is personal and political.

Comments: 192

  1. This would seem to be our world now, if not always: wealth that buries any culpability. Yet we are lodged in a specific corrupt, desperate era, where great change--for better or worse--looms imminent. Just as the social environment festers the physical one declines. Young people, you inherit this chaos. May you make something positive out of the evil.

  2. Well,Trump has the Saudis running scared now. He revoked the visas of the people accused of the murder. In a few weeks, they will all be swimming with the fishes, forever. Big deal. Money talks and the Saudis have money, lots of it. Trump isn't going to do anything that would shut off that flow of money, nothing. The life of one Arab journalist means nothing to Trump. The only thing that means anything to Trump is money and satisfying his narcissism. As far as Erdogan is concerned, he is no champion of human rights either. In fact, he is quite the brutal one himself and does not hesitate to crush those who oppose him. Obviously he has an agenda here and that is to jockey for power in the region. Erdogan is using this issue to boost Turkey's standing and reduce Saudi influence and power. In each case here, Trump, Erdogan and SBS, the life of that good man, Mr. Khashoggi, is totally inconsequential. In death, he has become a pawn of a much bigger game of a global power grab and profit. As is the core with Trump, dignity, humans rights, and decency are trashed in the name of the almighty dollar. Making America Worse Again.

  3. Kashoggi was killed because he was the most prominent link between critics of MbS inside and outside Saudi Arabia. What Kashoggi could not do in life, he is doing through his gruesome death. The tide outside the Kingdom has turned against the Crown Prince, but needs to join forces with those in the constantly shifting alliances of princely and other factions that define the internal dynamics of Saudi power, who now want King Salman to choose another heir. I have yet to see any detailed analysis of how this could actually happen, given the changes after MbS' coup sixteen months ago. But the Crown Prince cannot have completely eliminated the century-old dynamic in sixteen months. MbS' counterpart Kushner is of course a major block to any move in the West, but the West is not an autocratic police state and Kushner can himself be sidelined, despite his father-in-law. But how do those like Saudi's richest man and Kashoggi's patron and friend Al-Waleed bin Talal, and others locked up in the Ritz Carlton a year ago, join forces with the murdered dissident's friend Erdogan and others outside the Kingdom to force King Salman's and King Donald's hand?

  4. Given that this killing was planned by the Saudis for days, surely, with all the microphones and video cameras the Turks seem to secretly have in place in the Saudi consulate, they would have known about the plan yet they did nothing about it until the deed was done. Shows that the Turks are much less interested in civilized norms and more bent on settling scores with MBS. Imagine how entertaining all this is to the Iranian regime as Sunnis fight amongst themselves.

  5. Unless the world sees/hears actual tapes of the most horrendous dead humans can commit, we have to presume SA “swept” their console in Turkey before they went to work.

  6. Sickening. Emblematic of world controlled by thieves and the lust for money. Trump is no nationalist. He's an oligarch wearing the mask of a working class hero. Dangerous times.

  7. @Al Singer I'm doubt Trump knows what a nationalist is. He is trying to say he is a patriot.

  8. For the Turks to condemn the killing shouldn’t dim the attention on the hundreds of Turkish journalist “dissidents” imprisoned throughout Turkey.

  9. “the worst cover-up ever.” Trump is not taking a moral stance here. There are only winners and losers, and the Saudis are losers because they didn't execute their crimes and cover-ups better.

  10. @Jane Finally somebody else who noticed the blizzard wording used by Trump. He sounds like a crime boss commenting on the ineptitude of some other crime family. That somebody got murdered is of little concern to him. Another “enemy of the people” who had said bad things about him. No different than the lack of compassion towards the passing of John McCain. And this is not “just” one guy. Khashoggi is just putting a light on all the other crimes committed by MBS: kidnapping and imprisonment of dissidents, the brutal war in Yemen. Have we forgotten he actually kidnapped another head of state? This guys is out of control and Trump’s attempt at papering over it is an embarrassment.

  11. @Jane Satire from Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker: WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump has dispatched the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to Saudi Arabia to provide what the White House on Thursday called “essential lying advice and assistance.” According to the counsellor to the President Kellyanne Conway, “The President was not happy with the quality of lies coming out of the Saudi royal family, and who better to fix that than Sarah Sanders?” Sources close to Sanders said that the press secretary was “horrified” during her first meeting in Riyadh to discover that the crown prince’s lying skills were “rudimentary at best.” “The absence of a free press in Saudi Arabia means that M.B.S.”—Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman—“has had virtually zero experience lying to reporters,” Sanders reportedly told one of her aides. “The learning curve is going to be steep.” In perhaps her most withering comment on the state of the Saudis’ lying, Sanders said, “These clowns could never have gotten Kavanaugh confirmed.”

  12. @Jane Indeed. Analogous to what he said in 2015 as quoted in WAPO (and everywhere else): ...As a candidate for president in 2015, Donald Trump prompted disbelief — as well as a wave of public outrage — when he derided Sen. John McCain’s military service. The Arizona Republican and decorated veteran, Trump said, was “not a war hero” because he had spent five years in captivity as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. “I like people that weren’t captured,” Trump said at the time...

  13. A sick sad sordid event in a part of the world that knows almost unfathomable misery. Perhaps the action of the Prince "forcing" the son of Jamal Kashoggi to pose with him starkly stands out as emblematic MBS' lack of personal empathy. While the event's transactions signal Saudi economic muscle and undoubtedly serve as some kind of trigger for the Donald. Meanwhile, we wait for truly meaningful signs of moral outrage of the kind deserved from our own Country.

  14. @jmadster We wait as trump drums up fake facts about families in South America running for their lives. Trump should give the a job and transport them to all of his rallies. I believe they will work for less than the people he pays now. It would add people to his numbers in the crowds and maybe ratings.

  15. I don’t have very much money in the stock market but I will be divesting out of my stock fund and into a single stock that has no chance of Saudi investment and I wish anyone who wants to stand on the side of freedom and decency to do the same . Jamal Khashoggi was trying to save the estimated 12 - 15 million Yemenis that may be killed by the saudis in these coming months . Don’t let his death be in vain. Do something, anything , no matter how small, to stop the killing.

  16. 1. US-israel wants a big open conflict between Turkey and SArabia which is already bad behind the doors. Erdogan did not fall into the trap, and so far he kept his cool and gave a measured-calm response. -- 2. SArabia-MBS wanted to taint the image of Turkey and Erdogan in the eyes of arabs by this CIA-mossad-MSB murder operation. ----- This article seems still trying to achieve the first point. But, in contrast to the title "Prince and President Escalate Battle Over Khashoggi Killing", I do not see any open escalation at least on the Turkish side.

  17. Is any leader in Washington, Ankara and Riyadh or any of the capitals of the world for that matter, truly and sincerely cares about the life of Mr. Khashoggi? They all try to make the best from the death of this man to drive their political agendas forward and settle their personal scores. (Just imagine if Mr. Erdogan is in cahoot with the Crown Prince Mohammed would we ever know any of these details at all?). Does anyone seriously think that Trump and/or Erdogan has a soft spot for journalists who speak truth to the power? Look at the face of Khashoggi's son who is forced to shake the bloody hands of his father's murderer. This itself is torture! He is not allowed to leave the country and refusal to shake the hands of the King would bring a bone saw to his body sooner or later. So what is needed at this point is to try hard to show the King is naked (pun intended)

  18. Erdogan usually imprison... journalists! How many countries embassies have Turkish microphones... in them!

  19. And? How many embassies do you think the U.S has bugged?

  20. "to inflict as much damage as possible on the public image of the crown prince" That is a method, not a goal, for Erdogan. It has the attention right now, but it is not cause or reason, just the path to them. Why is Erdogan doing this? This reports that Erdogan is going out of his way to be respectful and deferential to King Salman. Thus, the goal is related to MBS, not the Saudi rule of the Kingdom. MBS is proposing various small reforms, all of which are not a problem for Erdogan, because the same things have long been allowed in Turkey, and more besides. So it isn't the reforms. It isn't the internal climate of fear or crushing of dissent. Erdogan is fine with that himself. It can only be foreign policy conflicts. Erdogan must think that by removing or at least crippling MBS, he can gain more of Turkey's wishes in the many affairs currently contested. What are those? Syria. Kurds. Iran. Palestinians. The cash benefits of political dominance of the Sunni world. All of those are things the US wants differently, and all are things MBS is delivering on for the US. Therefore, the US blocks Erdogan's method of trimming back MBS, not for the sake of MBS any more than Erdogan does it for that reason. It is an international power play. That makes vital the question: What is Erdogan's priority? What would buy him off? What must MBS do, or what must be done on his behalf? Those are still concealed, and the real interesting questions here.

  21. As history has revealed, there are silent undercurrents which together weave the fabric of human and political reality. The complexity of interests engaged in the struggle centered around the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, despite the changing obfuscations offered by the Saudis, have been brought closer to the surface and the underside of the geopolitical interests have come into clearer focus and are now being viewed by the much larger body politic. Questioned and barely passed by congress at its last vote, the United States participation and financial support of the Saudis in the tragic proxy war now being waged in Yemen may be curtailed or even halted now that the larger political fabric has undergone this latest scrutiny. If this becomes the case, then despite the poor, little men whose egos and fortunes directed and payed for the perpetrators who carried out their dastardly deed, Mr. Khashoggi's murder will have served a higher purpose.

  22. In response to Ranjith , who writes Is any leader in Washington, Ankara and Riyadh or any of the capitals of the world for that matter, truly and sincerely cares about the life of Mr. Khashoggi? The chancellor of Germany does Angela Merkel has suspended all arms shipments to Saudi Arabia

  23. “Khashoggi’s son forced to shake the hands of the bloody hands of his father’s murderer” Can it get any worst? Who is advising the Saudis on their public announcement and presentation? They could not think any of this would work? Only a desperate person who stands to gain a lot by this whole situation, “blowing over.” Who did,we see quoted advising his father-in-law, “to just wait, this will blow over,” Is Kuscher being paid to be a Saudis advisor at the same time a presidential advisor?

  24. I find it curious that Mr. Erdogan has not yet released the smoking guns of evidence: the audio and video tapes showing conclusively the killing of Mr. Kashoggi. Everyone seems to think that these tapes were gathered by Turkish intelligence. But were they? With their abundance of money, could not the Saudis hire the best counterintelligence experts in the world -- Americans, Israelis, Russians -- to inspect the inside of their consulate for listening / recording devices? My guess is that the Saudi crown prince suspects that a foreign intelligence service gave those materials -- if they even exist -- to Turkey, with the proviso that they NOT / NOT be publicly released. I hope that the NYT follows up on this angle of the story. I think that it is crucial to understanding the game of chicken that is being played between Ankara and Riyadh.

  25. @Frank J Haydn "Everyone seems to think that these tapes were gathered by Turkish intelligence." Covertly bugging the embassy of a foreign power is an extraordinary breach of diplomatic protocol and international law. Erdogan won't admit Turkish intelligence did this. That's why the recordings are being leaked not admitted. Of course embassies are sovereign, protected and sensitive. US Embassy, Tehran, November 1979, remember?

  26. @Frank J Haydn I read a rumor that Khashoggi was wearing an Apple watch and the intel on his murder was captured there and uploaded to the icloud. We'll see... Apparently his wife received a text from him with *3 daggers*, signaling MBS was going to work on him. Nonetheless, all the leaks so far point to deliberate intentional bias building and intimidation to all other critical journalists. The validity of the intel and its source remains to be seen. Either way - I'd love it if Khashoggi could talk from the grave through his watch. I think we all know the truth anyway.

  27. I never cared much for Mr. Erdogan, but he’s captured my attention with his defiant position against the Kingdom. I’m sure Turkey could have suppressed much of what happened and may have been able to extract economic concessions from the Saudis. If, in fact Turkey continues providing sufficient evidence of a brutal, premeditated murder, I will have a newfound respect for Mr. Erdogan. I’m sure his decision carries risk - for Turkey, for Israel and for the Middle East in general, as everyone has always believed the Saudis were a stable ally. They were, but they’re also murderers - they’ve been murdering thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen, in addition to the killing of Khashoggi. America must stop all arms sales to the Kingdom - they have truly become Barbarians at the Gate.

  28. @JMS "America must stop all arms sales to the Kingdom.." MUST? Are you volunteering to go tell 30,000 American workers that their jobs are toast?

  29. @nolongeradoc 30,000 jobs are not a good excuse to keep exporting death in the world. We should regard arms the same way we regarded coal. We lost a lot of jobs, but it’s a cleaner world. At the same we created a whole new industry around health, generated after Obamacare was enacted. The US has never been short of ideas about creating new jobs.

  30. @nolongeradoc So, how many journalist murders (to say nothing of the on-going carnage in Yemen, and the oppression of the population of Saudi Arabia - in particular on the female side) would be enough to make you take a principled stand?

  31. When the dust settles on this mess, America the war state will be more like the middle east nations we "partner" with. Workers in American defense plants will keep their mouths shut- or lose their jobs. Nobody will discuss the instability and death which American weapon exports drive this madness. By a Trump second administration, America's NDAA 2012 bill could be activated: article 1021 no warrant arrest of US civilians; 1022 no right to trial-ever. For now, go back to your fantasies of "America the great."

  32. This is a fight that Erdogan will not win - because he himself has been complicit in similar acts of revenge before. Just the photo of him with all standing and applauding - if not North Korea - may be the old courts of Ottoman. Some Turks do call him the modern Pasha. And if history is to be a guide - the Ottoman rule in the Middle East - especially the Holy Land is a lesson of torture, forced occupation and outright rejection of other religions. Turkey was proudly a secular country - knowing this past and it's immediate history in areas of Izmir - this modern Pasha is turning Istanbul into a Constantinople of yester year. The Saudis as the Guardian of islams Holiest places far outweigh this Pasha on reliogisity. And then, there is the money of course. Even when it comes to oil - the build up of pipelines from Azerbaijan, Georgia and far east Russia is bypassing Bosphorous - reducing importance of Turkey. So, Erdogan may want to create a modern Ottoman - but today's geopolitics are not in his favor. This dog don't hunt in about a couple of months.

  33. @Neil Your woefully misinformed about the Muslim world. Erdogan is he most admired leader and the Saudis the most despised

  34. MBS was always hostile to Turkey so no there is no risk of him being king with a 50 year grudge because he already started long ago before being king. Erdogan acted with tact, everyone would find that lacking in MBS from canda to everything he touches.

  35. Please, tell me whose playbook Erdogan uses- after all, it was only a couple of months ago that Jim Carrey expressed his dismay with that playbook... If the original US playbook had more morality to it, then rulers elsewhere would perhaps feel compelled to act more responsibly. Let's not shift the focus from SA to Erdogan. In the end, this is (and should be) between the US and SA, two of the most important actors in world politics and world economy. What has your representative in the Congress done so far to address citizen Jim Carrey's concerns, or the brutal dismemberment of a US resident for being a journalist?

  36. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition are provided to all participants at the conference. Rule 165: Never let your sense of morals get in the way of opportunity.

  37. The one and only comment that captures the situation in it's totality!

  38. And so, here we are one hundred years after the end of "The Greata War" and the Turks and Arabs are squaring off, and probably going to have their own personal Great War. It couldn't come too soon.

  39. Yes, but there is no T.E. Lawrence is sight to lead the Arabs to victory, while the British army pounds the Turks into submission. Maybe Jim Mattis get to play Lawrence when he "leads" the Saudi's to victory over the Iranians.

  40. With “allies” like these 2, who needs enemies? Erdogan has committed untold human rights violations and the Saudis are as despicable as it gets in this and many other regards. Our “friendship” with SA is based on a black liquid that will eventually destroy this planet and we have for years tried to figure out ways to remove Erdogan from power, including the recent failed coup. Allies? Friends? NO THANKS!

  41. The photo of MBS shaking hands with his victim’s son is sickening. It seems obviously planned as an intimidation tactic against any internal Saudi dissent. It’s all (the entire Saudi kingdom) disgusting and immoral. We need to dissentangle.

  42. It's a small point but Khashoggi is a Turkish, not Arabian name The family moved to Saudi Arabia when SA was part of the Ottoman empire

  43. Somewhere in this tragedy , if dig deep enough, Trump's foot and finger prints will be implicated of this mystery... and cover up...first denial...then...really...

  44. Just an aside as I look the photograph over. A room full of older Turkish MEN.

  45. @Eva O'Mara and a few covered women. Not the Turkey of a few years ago...

  46. Two despots fighting each other over a murder tactic they both use.

  47. How long before Mr Khashoggi’s son “disappears”?

  48. @Mat You made a good observation, "mysterious disappearance". It was heartbreaking that he was forced to shake the hands of the man who planned and carried his father's torture, murder and dismemberment.

  49. ooh what will trump do? two intermational despots who suppress dissent and the press are at odds with each other. he cant support them both. it's like when hannity was trying to decide between trump and ted cruz.

  50. Trump's concern was not the vicious murder and dismemberment of JK but the fact that the prince and his toadies did not craft a better "coverup".

  51. They don't make dictators they used to anymore! Back in the old days, when Stalin and Mao were about to kill people one way or another, those people would thank them - so some older folks told me when I was young - and other dictators would blink an eye. Now, after murdering Khashoggi in the most ham handed, or bone sawed, manner, and got exposed, the Saudi King & Prince have to threaten his brother and son in the form of a condolence. Translation: ya, so we killed your brother/father, we still have you. Then they might transfer some bloody oil money to their bank accounts. Case closed! Of course, Erdogan has no great love for the Saudis. He wants to be the Strong Man of the Middle East. When Trump said this is the worst coverup ever, he meant the Saudis didn't do the coverup right, not of their killing Khashoggi. With dictators like these, no wonder the world is a mess!

  52. Money and politics: what a sick world we continue to live in.

  53. @James Murphy Its not "money and politics" that's the problem. Its "money IN politics" that is. For this, at least in my 70 plus years, we can thank the Republican Party. They believe that power and trump truth, decency, and the good of their fellow Americans, who they spit on, particularly if they are Black, Tan, Gay, Female, Poor, or Educated. How low the GOP has brought this once great nation.

  54. Deeply saddened and alarmed by the situation. The upside down in which we live since the election of Trump is a living nightmare. That Trump doesn't condemn the country that committed torture and murder of a journalist killed for practicing freedom of speech in our free country is just sickening, alarming and very very sad. King Trump and The Arabian Prince are both sociopaths. Of course they are pals. Two megalomaniacal, utterly greedy, amoral, thoughtless men, whose only concern is money. Trump's only goal right now is to let this slide into the collective horrified memory, move on to the next outrage, keep us all shocked and awed, all the while raking in the dough. I can almost hear his evil laughter as he continues his evil-doing. God help the world. God help the USA.

  55. @Ellen America has been dealing with Saudi Arabia a long time before Trump. A country who actively supported terrorism through Hamas and other anti Israeli groups. Obama nor numerous Presidents before him have their hands clean in this. You play with dogs you get fleas. America's history is long ongoing as to support of nasty rulers around the world. Part of the reason that caravan is heading north to America is America's long support of despotic leaders in Central and South America. It can be argued that one has to support the enemies of their enemy. And Saudi Arabia does stand against Iran in the Middle East. An all powerful Iran in the area would be a disaster. The recent allowing propping up of Assad by Iran is going to bring more war and terrorism to the Middle East and the world.

  56. @JDSept You are almost correct, except Obama did reach out to Iran and the excellent non-proliferation treaty reached by him and Secretary Kerry was trashed because of Trump's pathological hatred of Obama. That was a beginning for peace with Iran, which with their election of the moderate Rouhani opened the door for peace in that area. But Israel does not want peace with Iran, it needs Iran to be seen as a persecutor in order to remain the victim in order to keep the US rescuing them with dollars, arms and support of their apartheid regime and Theocratic rule. Iran would allow Israel to be except for their continued persecution of the Palestinians. Saudi Arabia needs Iran to be seen as a persecutor also, as their more moderate Shia Islam is a deterrent to the Saudi exportation of Wahabbi Sunni radicalism.

  57. The ongoing dispute between the despotic regime’s in Saudi Arabia and Turkey reminds one of the rather silly flick “Alien v. Predator”. In the movie one side — the predator — was slightly less awful than the alien. Here we are now, with the Turks telling the truth about the Saudi murder of Khashoggi, so the Turks, for now, are “the good guys”. Like the predator in the movie, we need to temporarily support the Turks and their revelations.

  58. It is to embarrass the Saudi royals and to undermine the Saudi led Sunni Arab alliance, and gain weight in the geopolitical power game in the Middle East that Turkey's president Erdogan is exploiting the Khashggi murder case, which could also be used as the tool of political mobilisation and image makeover at the home front. In short, all the high sounding talk of justice and truth that Erdogan is indulging in is really about scoring strategic brownie points over the Saudi Arabian rivals.

  59. @Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma And the killing of Khashggi is what from the Saudi side? A murder carried out and most likely with the Saudi Prince's planning and OK. Erdogan is not a good guy but it doesn't lessen the Saudi and the Prince carrying out a blatant murder. Both sides using it brownie points and political mobilization but the murder itself was the start of this incident. The weight of this falls on the murderer first.

  60. @Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma Of course. Notwithstanding, the Saudi "Crown Prince" and his acolytes are still murderers. Notwithstanding, the Saudi regime regularly chops heads off, imprisons activists, funds terrorists, funded the criminals who attacked us on 9.11 and last but certainly not least, has been engaged in a depraved war against Yemen for 4 years.

  61. @Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma Yes of course he is seeking political gain. Erdogan is a budding despot. Yet that should not diminish the crime committed against Khashoggi and humanity in general. I detest Erdogan. But in this case I'm glad he is motivated to do the right thing. We know the game. There's nothing subtle about these despots.

  62. Among Mr. Trumps' myriad of sinful qualities, also lies moral indifference to murder, perhaps even preference. Although we had already seen this in Charlottesville, the dismemberment of Mr. Khashoggi drives it home. None of us is safe.

  63. So I've been reading through the comments (& replied to a few) on this and other NYT articles on this Khashoggi saga . The one thing that stands out to me is how a lot of folks are lumping Turkey together with Saudi as a "despotic" regime ! I can only assume that they (a) clearly don't know the meaning of the word despot (b) are not very well read or travelled to realize that Turkey and Saudi are like chalk & cheese (C) throwing out this term to sound like they know what or who the heck they're talking about. You don't have to like Erdogan the "strongman" or whatever else his detractors would like to portray him - but the fact is Turkish is very far from the despotic (that word again) Saudi'

  64. I just love it when someone criticizes others for not knowing enough, and leave me with the feeling that neither does s/he. When in truth, few of us know much.

  65. THE PRINCE'S NEW CLOTHES The new clothes that Salman had shrouded himself in match those of the emperor and also of Trump. They're transparent. So light that they're invisible actually. Salman's pronouncement that Erdogan wants to profit from challenging the prince about allegedly ordering the gruesome slaughter of Kashoggi would be laughable, if his perjured remarks weren't stained by the blood and guts of the slain reporter. Of course the audience is going to laugh and jeer--their very lives depend on catering to Salman's whim. Woe be unto us if the house of Saud and the house of Trump clash! Meanwhile, Edogan is attempting to burnish his tarnished reputation in the west by playing the innocent, when he's ruthless in the suppression, repression and violence toward dissidents--suspected and otherwise. Well, as they say in the Mideast: Hold your friends close and your enemies closer. The enemy of yur enemy is your friend. Politics and, indeed these days, international relations breed strange, unexpected bedfellows. Metaphorically speaking of course. The alternative is bloodcurdling.

  66. Trump, Kushner, and Mnuchin are shameless toadies to the Saudis. In all three cases, they have personal financial interests at stake.

  67. Erdogan with a failing economy propped up by the US and Saudi Arabia, a failing Turkish lira, with much domestic discontent having just barely escaped a coup, with one foot out the door of NATO, and with more journalists in jail than just about any other country, is milking this for all its worth to distract everyone in Turkey and elsewhere from his own massive failures and to stick it to the Saudis as he is allied with Iran, Saudi's primary adversary, while harboring his own imperial, Islamist fantasies.

  68. Oil. If destroying the environment isn't enough of a reason to get the world off fossil fuels, our dependence needs to stop in order to emasculate despots like MSB.

  69. It is true, everything DJT touches dies. - His businesses (inevitably) - US leadership on climate change and individual liberty - Standing up for a free press (which is part of our constitution). Let’s not forget the murdered journalist was a Washington Post writer and US resident at the time of his killing. - Hard fought international deals on nuclear arms, trade - with help from mitch, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security - the GOP. Come 11/6, we will begin to see the unraveling happen as the Dems take the House and soon after Mueller drops the details of his 2 year investigation DJT is cancer. The good news is there is a cure for cancer though- VOTE! It does not cure things over night but over time, wise consistent voting can cure many of our issues but it has to start 11/6!

  70. Erdogan is a dictator who is simply making a power play. Turkey is ranked #157 out of 180 countries in relation to press freedoms by Reporters without Borders: “The witch hunt waged by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government against its media critics has come to a head since an abortive coup in July 2016. A state of emergency has allowed the authorities to eliminate dozens of media outlets with the stroke of a pen, reducing pluralism to a handful of low-circulated and targeted publications. Turkey is again the world’s biggest prison for professional journalists, with members of the press spending more than a year in prison before trial and long jail sentences becoming the new norm—in some cases, journalists are sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of a pardon. Detained journalists and closed media outlets are denied any effective legal recourse. The rule of law is a fading memory under the now all-powerful president. Even constitutional court rulings are no longer automatically implemented. Censorship of websites and online social media has also reached unprecedented levels.”

  71. Let’s see about the definition of despot: Colloquially, the word despot applies pejoratively to those who abuse their power and authority to oppress their populace, subjects, or subordinates. More specifically, the term often applies to a head of state or government. In this sense, it is similar to the pejorative connotations that are associated with the terms tyrant and dictator. Yep that’s Erdogan, even democracies can elect them. See Germany, Italy, Russia et:al.

  72. @John Chastain don’t forget US..

  73. I agree with you 100%

  74. Has anybody questioned why the 21 Saudis had the USA visas in the first place??

  75. @Doubtful Thomas Some of them came with the Crown Prince as his "bodyguards" when he visited here with Trump, and toured 3 American cities. It's a farce, though. Visas are a temporary one-time requirement to enter here, from certain countries. The other reason why it doesn't matter, is that the Turkish President said in his speech to his Parliament (akin to our Congress) that he wants this Saudi hit-squad extradited to Turkey to face trial.

  76. "Worst cover-up in the history of cover-ups," said the so-called president of the USA in an attempt to cover up his own lie that "rogue killers" were responsible.

  77. Trump's comment implies that he desired a better "cover-up story." A bunch of state security people are flown in just before Khashoggi's scheduled appointment, one who is close to the victim-to-be's age and another one, a forensic doctor carrying a bone saw. Does the President really think that they came to have a discussion with Khashoggi? They came to murder him, dispose of his body, and make believe that he walked out of the back entrance of the embassy.

  78. Yes, you have to hand it to the US when it comes to tough sanctions against the most murderous terrorist gang on this planet: 21 visa revoked! Twenty One, you have to read it more than once to believe it. Meanwhile the US will continue to deliver weapons, Israel will continue to deliver weapons (Yes, they are selling the Iron Dome system to the kingdom) and building a pipeline for Saudi oil to the Med, Trump&cronies will sell them more apartments and the ARAMCO board will continue to have members close to your usual assortment of US Republican families. So, apart from a few people not attending a meeting in the kingdom, nothing much is really happening. Even Erdogan in reality does little more than to haggle for better conditions for the next round of Saudi cheque book diplomacy. But 21 Saudis may not enter the US for now. Man, what a tough round of sanctions against the kingdom. They will have a hard time stop laughing at the West in Riyadh.

  79. Why should the Saudi's actions in this case in particular come as a surprise to anyone ? In a country where they still regularly beat and stone people for "minor crimes" such as infidelity. Cut off hands for theft. Kill people on a regular basis for other crimes, or simply have them disappear, how ironic it is that now everyone's up in arms. Worse than Zimbabwe, where everyone closed one eye to the despot Mugabe's atrocities. with S. Arabia, every politician closes both eyes and hope it all goes away, so they can continue their lucrative and often needed import export trade. Nothing will change. A few rearranging of chairs. Then back to the status quo. The world is full of hypocrites, and yes that means all of us.

  80. @Russell Eff You are right. Its not like we didn't know that these guys are murderers, torturers and supporters of terrorists. Canadians have been shoveling their money into Saudi pockets for decades by purchasing their oil even though we have ample amounts at greatly reduced prices to serve our needs. But we don't want to build a pipeline from the west to the east coast. Consequently our money goes to murders, torturers and supporters of terrorists to buy oil for east coast refineries. We also sell the Saudis billions of dollars in light armoured vehicles, which our government claims are only "trucks" even though they are armed to the teeth. Then we are confronted with the horrifying murder of Khashoggi and suddenly Canadians are all up in arms as if they didn't know. Yes, we should be glad they are outraged. But let that outrage turn into some solid policies about trade and international relations. Create an economy that can bypass these thugs. Time for the Western democracies to get together and back human rights.

  81. Mr. Khashoggi, an exceptional and brave journalist is the victim in a farce where wealthy men play games at the expense of the common decency and common folk.

  82. The middle east is a different world that still condones a variety of practices and behavior we may find barbaric, i.e. stoning, etc. We backed Iraq when they were fighting Iran. Strange bedfellows indeed, as I'm sure there are other countries where we find their lifestyles opposite of ours. And, there are countries that find our death penalty abhorrent. Not to forget, we have Trump, who has done a lot to alter how we're interacting with our allies (tariffs and treaties, etc), as well as despots, from past presidents. In the words of Dylan, The times they are a changing. At least the president's heard our views on this matter, and changed his views a number of times, as usual. (And, let's not forget, The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, and, Jackson Browne's, Lives in the Balance. Worth listening to one more time.)

  83. It is vital to remember that the EU refused membership to Turkey, because Erdogan , then a wanna-be dictator, showed the same traits that the Crown Prince has now demonstrated. Additionally, Turkey, as a poor nation would take away more than it added. And, finally, the corrupt EU officialdom, doubted that they wanted a country in the Union that was a religious state. It was when America's decision-makers were guided exclusively by Israel and the Saudis' moneyed regimes. Now that the Saudis have made such a flagrant blunder, one of the things surely in Erdogan's mind is polishing his image with the EU. Watch for a new Turkish attempt to elbow its way into EU membership about 6 months after this heat has all gone away.

  84. As disturbing as is the brutal murder of Mr. Khashoggi apparently by the Saudis, and as unsettling as is President Trump's uninformed waffling and inability to confront anyone with money or autocratic power, and as complex as is the endless power struggle in the Mideast, this incident has echoes that are still more horrific. In 1914, a fractured Europe and Mideast ignited WWI when Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were assassinated by terrorists. I have zero confidence in the ability of President Trump and his nationalist advisors to avoid having this or any crisis spin out of control and precipitate a disaster of enormous magnitude.

  85. Imagine...if there was no oil.

  86. @wmferree, the Shias and Sunnis would still be killing each other.Only difference is Neither Trump nor Putin would bother with them. Why does a long dead prophet still cause civil wars among Muslims.?? There is only one God.Both acknowledge this.

  87. The battle of the tyrants. Trump, Erdogan and MSB. Whomever wins, the people and humanity will loose as long as people accept this. The Saudi people have no say still living in the 5th century. The Turkish people have little to say since the dictator Erdogan. The American people have the best chance to control our Mussolini type president because we still have honest voting although the Republicans are trying to curtail us. Remember, we still have a free press even though they are irritating at times.

  88. American media outlets so loved MSB. He was going to allow Saudi women to drive! Maybe they could even go to sports matches! Lifestyle pages! Kushner loved him. Trump melted under the light from his orbs. Israel was saved! "Millions" of jobs for Americans! Deals. Deals. Deals. The favored son ordered the murder of a journalist who criticized him. The journalist was a permanent resident of the United States. He did it because he believed thatMr. Trump, who calls journalists the enemy of the people, would not care. He was right.

  89. What is likely to happen is that for a few months the Saudi Establishment will back the Crown Prince and in doing so hope this will fade away. In the mean time the royal family will look for and develop another prince who can step up. In about a year Prince Salam will have his powers reduced or he will be censored as part of a process of moving away from him without damaging the royal family. International Companies critical to Saudi Arabia's planned transformation into a modern state have already shown loyalty but this does not mean they want to be identified with murder. Three years from now Prince Salam will be diminished or simply gone. He must know this, and his resistance will be serious, for a while. He embarrassed his family and important allies around the world. He may well find a gracious exit, perhaps not, we will see. The damage has been done and it will not be erased.

  90. Given the mutual courtship of Crown Prince MBS and Trump for each other, it seems to me highly likely that the Saudis consulted with Trump before setting in motion the execution plot. Indeed, considering that Khashoggi wrote for the Washington Post, which Trump has repeatedly criticized and mocked, it may even be the case that Trump originated the idea. What to do? Perhaps send Jared to consult with MBS? But where? How about at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul? Get rid of the evidence of collusion....

  91. @Lifelong Democrat Now that is a stretch too far. The disappearance of Kushner from the Saudi consulate would precipitate .... .

  92. You think Trump wouldn't throw a son-in-law under the bus to protect his wealth in Saudi?

  93. So why is Khashoggi's son Salah barred from leaving Saudi Arabia? I know the answer, but this fact, and his having to accept crocodile-tear condolences from MBS is just layering it on.

  94. By making Kashoggi's son a virtual prisoner in the kingdom, the Crown Prince has all but admitted that he ordered the killing of the young man's father.

  95. trump would do well to read (or have someone summarize it for him) "The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire" Were it not for the fact that the Arab Nations have "Black Gold" there is no doubt that Turkey would be occupying Saudi Arabia. Of course, trump may not care because, after all, he is a "Nationalist". What could Saudi Arabia have that he does not already have here in the good old U-S of A?

  96. @Allen82 He also does not read He admits this He gets all his “lessons” from high school grad hannity

  97. There are actually three basic deep divisions in the Islamic world of today: one, the Shia -Sunni divide, two, the Turkish( Ottoman)-Saudi divide, and three the Israel-Arab divide. These partisan groups deeply distrust one another and each feels that its opponent is murderous and inhumane. Now the utter stupidity of the Saudis has given the Turks an opportunity to present themselves as the great moral and most civilized partisan in that cauldron of unease. But make no mistake. The Turks like all politicians are capable of deceit. They shout, cry out "Revenge for Jamal Khashoggi" but they have not the slightest interest in defending freedom of the press or of protecting any kind of freedom. Recep Erdogan has imprisoned more journalists than any other country in the Middle East (possibly the world) and is the kind of disgusting authoritarian figure that Trump admires (the Putin-Kim-Duterte kind, the kind that relishes "body-slams" on reporters and critics). Now Erdogan seizes this chance to get closer to our Administration by taking on the garb of the avenging angel. He is no angel. There are no angels among the politicians of that world today (except in Israel, the only true democracy) . Wars as in Yemen become inhumane and civilians and children become victims--in the face of their supposed great adherence to Islam the religion of love. We should not trust Erdogan any more than we trust MBS, but he was clever enough to seize this opportunity handed to him.

  98. @shimr - There is also an Arab/Persian divide, although that often gets conflated with the Sunni/Shia divide.

  99. Everything you say is right on, EXCEPT, Israel is not a "true democracy." Look at how the Palistinians are treated.

  100. @shimr, Deceit is an international currency,used by all nations when expedient.

  101. Whatever one may think of Erdogan, i.e. Him being a despot and what not,the fact remains that a preplanned murder of an innocent man was committed in his country by the Saudi state. So whatever Erdogan's political motives may be, and there are many, his outrage at this blatant display of Saudi muscle is justified. Erdogan has succeeded in creating a worldwide outrage of this incident and getting the Saudis to fess up to this crime and to make them look like bumbling fools with their multiple explanations of Khassogi's disappearance. To get our pliant President to finally admit that the Saudi explanation is bogus is itself where Erdogan has succeeded.

  102. It is interesting to note that President Erdoğan of Turkey neglected to mention the audio tapes of the torture and mutilation of Khashoggi. Although it doesn't take a genius to put two and two together to conclude that an autopsy specialist equipped with a bone saw and a dozen other security team members didn't "accidentally" kill Khashoggi but rather cruelly executed him. Otherwise Saudi Arabia would have produced the body to prove their alibi that he was "accidentally" killed during a spontaneously erupted fight between the journalist & 12 or 13 younger, more fit large men. Mr. Trump's statements evolved as he realized he would appear to be a bigger fool than usual if he kept sticking by the Crown Prince's ludicrous alibi. As Jared Kushner stated this past week in an interview, the Saudis are part of the overall Trump Middle East policy agenda. What Jared conveniently neglected to disclose as he spoke on this topic was that he shared US intel with his princely newfound buddy MbS (aka Mr. Buzz Saw) in exchange for a $57 million dollar loan from a SoftBank subsidiary. Jared's agenda to further Israel's strategic interest in exchange for Saudi Arabia's help in containing Iran in a deal with Israeli funder of Kushner investments, Raz Steinmetz.

  103. Where is the body?

  104. "Worst cover-up ever, folks! In fact, it was such an amateurish lie that I was fooled by it only for about 6 or 7 days! Why, the Obama birther hoax had me fooled for 2 straight years!"

  105. Mr. Erdogan has no chance of changing Trump's approach to MBS, Saudi Arabian policy or commitments. He doesn't have adequate funds to bribe, as SA has owned the last 3 Republican Administrations and most assuredly the current one.

  106. It's a strange place we've arrived at when a dictator like Erdogan is suddendly a good guy.

  107. The Washington Post is reporting this morning that the Saudis are refusing to allow the Turkish authorities to search a well on the grounds of the Saudi Consulate. Likely where Jamal’s remains were dumped. Surely the Turks must be granted or taken if not. There must be an exception to diplomatic neutrality for murder.

  108. Trump, not just a few days ago a skeptic, now denounces the killings as "the worst cover-up ever"? Sounds like that two-track foreign policy that the White House "resistance" is running is starting to work.

  109. Oh, goody. Another step closer to WW3. Anyone who votes for any republican is voting for WW3. Do YOU want your children, grandchildren and future generations to be the International Mafia Robber Baron war fodder? Do YOU want your life and those of your family destroyed? If not either vote only for democrat/independent Socially Conscious Women and men or don't vote.

  110. @njglea, so how many WWIII's were we supposed to have had since Trump's been in office? I've lost count. He'll be a good lesson for us to reteach us our Roman numerals. I'm never sure what D and L stand for anymore but no doubt will need them as long as he's around.

  111. @njglea But it was Hillary Clinton who wanted to establish a no fly zone in Syria which would have led to any immediate conflict with the Russian forces there.

  112. A wider picture of Jamal Khashoggi's son shaking hands with MBS would have shone what was clear in the video of the event, the security guard with his hand on his gun. That is the reality within Saudi Arabia under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman that also strikes out to disappear those who voice dissent or call for democracy from foreign locales. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi as horrific as some stories portray it, involving planes flying in a team of fifteen, cooperation of the Saudi consulate staff, an admitted handoff to a crony on call who would dispose of Khashoggi's remains to help cover up the crime, a body double, a dissection and autopsy expert, and finally flying the team split to follow two different routes back to Riyadh was so elaborate and complex that most find it inconceivable that it would not have required approval by MBS himself. If the stories that Khashoggi's torture and dismemberment was broadcast live back to Saudi via the internet and so intercepted by Turkish authorities are true that would be the final piece of leverage Erdogan is holding wouldn't it? In any event doesn't this call for a much stronger response than canceling the US visas of the hit team members now supposedly in custody by the Saudi regime? Germany has demonstrated how far a civilized country should be willing to go. Hopefully Congress as with sanctions against Russia will have the scruples to really take action that Trump seems to lack.

  113. Somewhat buried in the article is the fact that Khashoggi's son, Jamal, has been barred from leaving Saudi Arabia. Why is that?Shouldn't the Trump administration be demanding Jamal's right to travel freely? The photo of Jamal shaking the Crown Prince's hand is sadly reminiscent of the photo op of Americans with their children forced to meet with Sadaam Hussein during the Ieadup to the Iraq war. Obviously fake.

  114. This is a power play in the middle east that could rival Games of Thrones. Absolutely to be expected for President Erdogan to exploit to gain political leverage. Let's bottomline this. The House of Saud has committed atrocities while the United States, and the western world, has turned a blind eye for decades. Money talks. One can only hope that MBS will be removed from power by the King and the barbaric murder of Jamal Khashoggi will be a game changer towards a more humane regime. Literally. One can ONLY hope because our leaders are failing us again and again and again.

  115. Kashoggi's son is a prisoner in his own country, and knows his life is in danger. When the media interest in his father's murder is over, he knows he'll be target for kidnap and summary execution by the very same prince whose hands he had to shake, presumably under the pain of instant retribution. And the prince knows this too.

  116. Turkey has a history of genocide as brutal as the holocaust which the entire country denies ever happened.. it was the Armenian genocide , a religious cleansing during WW1. That Turkey and Erdogan would be shocked or offended by the torture, murder, and dismemberment of Khashoggi is not to be believed. Compared to the Turks the Saudis and their prince are bumbling amateurs. The Turks only interest is leverage . And our only interest is protecting big money deals with the Saudis. Goodbye Mr Khashoggi. In a week President Trump will not remember your name. In a month it will be erased from the memory of America, if such a memory even exists.

  117. why don't you point out this? Armenians lived with Turks for 500 years and suddenly Armenians are killed during WWI? Why why why? The world press does not mention this but I will. Ottoman empire was fully engaged in WWI in many fronts. Armenians conspired with the enemy of the Ottoman Empire France, Russia and British to hit the turks from inside. Armenians did terrible things to all the turkish villages because all the turkish men were fighting in WWI. Now I ask anybody reads my comment? What did America do in WWII after Japanese hit Pearl Harbour? They put them them in camps. What would America or any other country do if some of your ethnic citizens are conspiring with the enemy to to help them take land and do terrible things to indefensible towns because men of the towns are fighting a war. Nobody or any press outlet talks about this. So they gathered them and have them travel in freezing conditions and many armenians have died this way. Bad things happen during wars. Don't conspire with the enemy of your country especially during wars.

  118. @Kirk You forgot to mention the genocide of Ottoman Muslims in the 19th century by Orthodox Christians in the Balkans and Caucasus as well as recently in Bosnia and Kosovo.

  119. That is right, I forgot but when does the press talk about the Balkans Bosnia and Kosovo? Never, but they always remind us the armenian killings by Ottomans in any news related to armenians. Djokovic, tennis player, he always talks about how they suffered during the NATO bombing. How come nobody in the press brings it up that it was the Serbian government that started the genocide of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosova. Why don't they ask him that question when he complains about NATO bombings.

  120. The pathological liar Trump will slap the prince on the wrist and then invite him to the White House for dinner that he has done or wants to do for some of the world's biggest butchers and dictators. America now has the moral reputation of a third world banana republican. (typo, I meant to say republic, but the typo was more correct).

  121. @Paul Paul, for the love of God, do not insult Third World countries in this manner. A third World country is defined as one financially poor, maybe with a high rate of illiteracy, under developed in terms of resources. What you have in mind is MORAL bankruptcy, spiritual failure, given to perversion, inclined towards vice, etc. Now, also one has to differentiate between the individual and the collective (Nation, or Community). In every nation there are SOME bad people. A Nation becomes a "banana republic" when its ruling class become dedicated to self interest. Examples of Banana republics are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. America is on the way, maybe even well-on-the-way, to becoming a banana republic. Another 6 years of Tump at the helm will take us there.

  122. @Chaudri the peacenik- thank you for your reply. The term banana republic refers to a country that does not have a stable, long term democracy like we do. The people of that country are not bad, they just don't enjoy the gov't we have. In other ways they may be better than us. The point is that at least in the area of gov't we don't want to get down to the level of a banana republic.

  123. Pompeo and Mnuchin met, shook hands and smiled alongside the Crown Prince. I saw men with no morals or ethics, only dollar signs in their eyes

  124. Mr. Trump sees this as a botched cover up?

  125. After three years of an invitation to visit Istanbul and tour the country we finally accepted thinking it cannot get any worse than it already is. Were we wrong! And trip insurance does not cover stuff like this.

  126. @Steve Beck Is it not glaringly obvious that this control by murder is what you get when you give in to a despots and abandon free press, rule of law, and separation of power? i.e. , the dream state of trumpism?

  127. A big reason why Turks don’t disclose information on the killing in Saudi embassy is: nobody trusts Trump. He would disclose Turkey’s information gathering methods and damage their intelligence network.

  128. @Kam Eftekhar Saudi doesn't do anything without US knowing; thus this all could be not only a payback at Saudi but indirectly at USA which through Gulenist movement attempted coup d'etat two years ago against Erdogan; when taht didnt work Trump played finacial dirty tricks against Erdogan. Trump is trapped here.

  129. We keep getting lessons in why the Founding Fathers forbid emoluments in the Constitution: When Mr. Bone Saw bragged that he had Prince Jared in his pocket we should have known then that Trump would not be making decisions in office based on the good of the United States.

  130. It is clear that there is deep enmity between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and this murder is being exploited by Erdogan brilliantly. By taking this public right away the day after the killing, he not only exposed the Prince for the despot he is but as well underlined America's support for him. Erdogan must be quite pleased to see Trump and his Administration twist themselves into pretzels in their changing responses (from wait and see to a grudging condemnation) to Saudi's changing explanations. Erdogan wanted to embarrass Trump, and he has.

  131. I'm not a big fan of Erdogan but I respect his desire to bring to light the truth behind the death of Jamal Khashoggi. I can't imagine the pain and conflict felt by Khashoggi's son, Salah as he's forced to participate in a photo-op with MBS. He is a prisoner and needs to be given safety and sanctuary from Saudi Arabia.

  132. Of course MBS got a standing ovation. Nobody in the audience wanted to be the only one sitting with Mr. Bone Saw taking notes.

  133. This puts Israel in a difficult place. Their obsession with thwarting Iran needs Saudi support. Yet the West maybe forced to distance themselves from the Saudis. Meanwhile the Iran Russia Turkey axis is solid. Neo cons must be having kineption fits.. no pathway to another ME war

  134. @Reflections9 Israel should not worry about Iran (as Iran never attacks anyone; proven through history) Iran only supports Hezbollah and they do not attack outside of their borders they only defend themselves. What Isreal should worry is how to make peace with Palestinians or soon she will have to accept all those people into some different new country as Israel will not be predominantly Jewish as she is refusing to make peace with Palestinians and make a two state countries.

  135. Two vultures, fighting over the remains. Literally.

  136. The main mistake here is thinking that human lives are worth anything compared with Saudi Arabia’s wealth. Look no further then Yemen for the answer.

  137. "Hours later, Prince Mohammed bounded into the gilded conference hall of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh to a standing ovation from scores of oil executives, bankers and other businessmen who had risked association with scandal over the killing of Mr. Khashoggi for a chance to profit from the kingdom’s vast wealth." Does it need to be pointed out, over and over again, how little value is placed on a human life when the possibility of "making a killing" financially is involved? Shameful and disgusting displays of sycophancy by all involved.

  138. @Etienne Not exactly true; some human lives do matter: but only those of the royal family.

  139. Kushner supposedly told his father-in-law to stand up for MBS and that this "scandal" would pass. America's "royal family" is as depraved as the perpetrators of the assassination.

  140. Trump condemn the cover-up as the worst ever. What he doesn't mention in his diatribe is the psychopathic murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Would it have been pure genius if MBS (or those rogues) had gotten away with it? I am so proud of the Transactional Trump.

  141. I'm sure others commenting on this article have used the following paragraph from it but here is again, if so: "Hours later, Prince Mohammed bounded into the gilded conference hall of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh to a standing ovation from scores of oil executives, bankers and other businessmen who had risked association with scandal over the killing of Mr. Khashoggi for a chance to profit from the kingdom’s vast wealth." If this doesn't open your eyes to you how and why wars, political killings, mass refugee exoduses, civilian casualties, terrorism and a host of other human induced plagues keep occurring then perhaps there's a seat in that gilded conference room for you?

  142. The only reason Erdogan is going after Arabs is to have some of Turkey’s loans forgiven. He is basically “blackmailing” them on an international scale so he won’t have to pay millions of dollars he owns them because him and his people already stole everything from Turkish people. Now that the country is tight on money, he is getting creative in securing funds. This incident has nothing to do with EU or USA.

  143. Hollywood and America like to make complex largescale events about individual actors. So the Second World War was really all about Private Ryan. Many people ask, why the fuss about one Islamist journalist after tens of thousands of deaths and ten million facing starvation because of MbS in Yemen? But here the focus on one individual makes sense. Kashoggi was the key link between key players inside and outside Saudi Arabia. To use a much abused word, Kashoggi's death marks the Epicentre of a great shift of the geopolitical tectonic plates in the Middle East at the end of the Syrian war. But it's really (as many here have deplored) not about him, any more than WW2 was about Private Ryan, though in death he is achieving what he tried and failed to achieve in life - a true martyr or Shaheed. And he has done this exactly 100 years after the tectonic shift that destroyed the Ottoman Empire which Erdogan wants to recreate, and that created all the nominal and largely artificial Arab 'states' now in such collective turmoil as the crucible of a now global Great Game. As the rump of the old Ottoman Empire leaves the Syrian marriage of convenience with its old Arab provinces, allies with Iran and Russia, and gets closer to America to pressure the poor Kurds, one murdered journalist is creating a new Middle East.

  144. It is time to have a reasonable public conversation (if possible) about what 'punishment' MBS and the Saudi's should face for the probable murder of Jamal Khasoggi. MBS has lots of company on the world stage with other ruthless power obsessed leaders but with the rather ironic prosecution of the 'case' against the Saudis by strongman Erdogan just maybe there is a window for a strong reaction that actually stands up for justice, rule of law, decency and putting democratic values over profits.

  145. The Trump Administration would have tossed Prince Bone Saw overboard weeks ago if the Prince wasn't a de facto ally of Israel and an enemy of Iran. Is there anything stranger and more self defeating than US Middle East policy?

  146. @John Taylor what about Private investment deals with kushner? also trump cabal?

  147. At the same time, Mr. Erdogan continued to hold in reserve his biggest gun: the release of an audio recording and other evidence Turkish officials claim to have of the assassination. Talk about mutilation of evidence. Our world leaders are often worse than assassins. Khashoggi's goal was to bring Democracy to Saudi Arabia, of which the election of Donald Trump as President of these United States embodies. If there is any case to be made why that might irritate and annoy MBS, might not that be it?

  148. Trump/Kushner =oil, arms and Investment money in Trump/Kushner enterprise worldwide. More winning at any cost, TrumpDrunk at the casino using US power and money as their bank. So much winning.

  149. I notice Trump has dropped the metaphor of the "false allegations" against Kavanaugh in his defense of Saudi's Crown Prince.

  150. There is no battle over the story of the "killing" . this aint a battle. The evidence is pretty clear who orchestrated it. Its that somehow the prosecutor has turned a bling eye. Neither party , GOP nor Dems want to suddenly be "law abiding" people. "Murder.. ah no big deal." But somehow but parties will insist YOU must be law abiding. Even the NYTime has had itself threatened with "abide by the law". You should be taking both parties to task for standing so strongly next to a murderer and you should be taking the side of the victim

  151. I have yet to see any leadership from anyone. This murder happened in plain sight, the culprits are known, yet all anyone does who gets in front of a camera is posture for power, position and money. All we want to see is a clear and unequivocal response to this example of brutality, arrogance and barbarism. A despot like Salmon cannot kill he way out of forces that will ultimately work to end this medieval reign of thieves. This was a murder of a journalist. Who could be next? The Saudi king should remove his brutal son from any position in the government. Wishful thinking? Salmon has just lost any respect that the kingdom had been working hard over the decades to construct. For myself, I will never visit there and I will start to divest any interest I have in businesses that takes Saudi investment money.

  152. @Leslie Duval,Sadly the government heads can murder with impunity because they always have deniability. Putin has it, Obama had it(drone assassination), Modi has it, Bush ,Blair and Xi Jinping have it. Obama ordered CIA to train and arm rebels in Syria to murder. We have supported many despots who murdered by thousands. This too shall pass. We will see Trump doing sword dance again in Saudi Arabia. It is too tempting to pass opportunity to have Trump hotel, golf course in new Saudi city of NEOM.

  153. Saudi international investment conference: all men and pretty well all Saudis with a bored looking murderer slouching in his leather chair up front.

  154. America needs to reform its energy policies now; I'm tired of watching presidents of both parties suck up to 14-th century barbarians so my idiot neighbor doesn't have to pay too much to drive his clean, empty Ford 150 pick-up. Solar, wind, hydro, safe nuclear -- I'll take any of it if it means no more watching this country's 'leaders' exchange air-kisses with murderers.

  155. When will we Americans wake up to the fact that EVERYTHING we do in the middle east is to support the interests of the oil and arms dealers. Forget fighting terror, forget morality all together. The performances of Trump and other world leaders are just that--a show. We in the US were never able to learn the extent to which the Saudis were involved in 9/11, and if we did not punish them for that crime, we will surely not punish them for this one. We rely on the Saudis to transform middle eastern oil into US dollars, so that our stock market can climb and the wealthy can roll in those dollars. This story will fade away soon.

  156. Print this comment by @Tenfork on your front page, New York Times.

  157. @Tenfork WHERE IS THE BODY? MBS finally admits his own people killed Khashoggi, now WHERE IS THE BODY?

  158. One butcher calling out another, while our president changes his position every minute. When considering these individuals there is no such thing as high moral ground. One country classifies insults against it as a felony, with their paranoid leader rounding up tens of thousands anytime he has delusions about a coup, while grabbing as much power as he can. The other ruler attempts to portray himself as a modern, forward thinking, kind and benevolent leader who actually has thinner skin than our president(hard to believe)as evidenced by his overblown reaction to minor criticism from Canada and alleged hit on a journalist . Our own “dear leader” leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy knowing he will make decisions affecting this country based on how they will impact his personal business deals. Is this Bizzaro Earth or what?

  159. @Bill Bill, we are in a Post Bizzaro World. At the beginning of the new century, Y2K, we though it might be an American Century. But we now know time is getting compressed. Perhaps, by the middle of the century, we will have traveled the same distance as the British took 250 years to accomplish: the Rise and the Fall.

  160. Trump will continue to try to make this about whether the Crown Prince was personally involved in planning the murder and the feckless GOP will bend over for Trump once again. The personal involvement of MBS will be hard to prove and is not the main issue; Which is that the government of the nation of Saudi Arabia acted to kill a journalist that was critical of that government. America became America in a revolution based on the right to criticize any government, and the founders made it the very first of our Constitutional amendments because it is that important. Trump has made plain what he thinks of the pillars of our democracy, our rights and how much he loves Saudi cash.

  161. Exactly!!!!

  162. "His son appeared to have little choice about the handshake" This second mega-money-meeting is about global commodification. Complex processes and outcomes. For some.Profits and not Peoples.At the expense of many of the rest of US. The meeting, in, by and for an undemocratic, authoritarian country and culture. Accused of dismembering the fingers, hands and the rest of this son's father. "little choice" is an ummenschlich semantic surrealistic choice of words! Indeed this global performance of 3000 complacent and complicit fellow human BEINGS brings shamelessness to new heights.LOWS? It is possible that there are no limits to human planned and random achievable and sustainable lows!The Saudi performance is matched in the theatre of hubris, hate, dehumanization and institutionalized violating of selected and targeted "the other(s)" in nearby Turkey and its own human rights-wrongings.Billions in anticipated profits of monies as millions are harmed by words and deeds.Daily. Temporarily. Permanently. ONE reported dismembered in Turkey. How many blown apart in Yemen by Saudis, being supported by the US as an ally? Disremembered. How many drowned in the Mediterranean, escaping from their country's violence?How many "alt-facts" transmited yesterday, today, and probably tomorrow as well, which seed, feed, and harvest mistrust? Disrespect? Uncaring and hateful ummenschlich behaviors? By a complicit and complacent many? Choices made to BE willfully blind. Deaf. Ignorant of what is.

  163. @s einstein God Bless You. The God of Abraham, the God of Jesus and the God of Mohammed bless you.

  164. So do we Americans root for the scorpion aka Mohammad bin Salman or the tarantula Recep Tayyip Erdogan? Or do we Americans hope and pray and wish for their mutually assured self destruction aka suicide? What are the costs and benefits to Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kurds, Libya, Palestinians, Russia and Syria?

  165. Let's not be fooled by Erdogan. He is simply the lesser of two evils in this current debacle who took his own unjust steps to consolidate his power by eviscerating and jailing Fetulah Gulen's entire Hizmet movement, purging them from judiciary, police, press and educational institutions, freezing or seizing their assets and putting them in jail. Erdogan still has hissy fits about why the U.S. won't extradite Gulen, an 85-year old ailing cleric who lives in Pennsylvania. Yeah, he might be the hero of this story, but he's the pot calling the kettle black.

  166. @Ellen Burleigh Erdogan is by far the worst of two evils.

  167. I can’t let an outrageous comment like that go unchallenged. Yes both dictators are terrible. But MBS is on a whole different level of evil. Erdogan has been a huge disaster for Turkey and has been a nasty force of oppression. But Turkey abolished capital punishment in 2004, and Turkey has not executed any prisoners since October 1984. The outrage in SA is far too lengthy to describe here. But Amnesty International has compiled a very good list:

  168. That is a completely laughable statement. Why are you trying to spread such obvious misinformation?

  169. Sheik Mohamed rule of Dubai just walked into the Riyadh investment conference. It is good for Saudi to know who its friends are.

  170. Donald Trump is not outraged by the killing of a journalist, he is offended by the poor quality of the cover-up. The Saudis should have consulted with President Trump first. He is a far more convincing con man than they, and could have offered a much better cover-up.

  171. Erdogan got away with committing violence on US soil, perpetrated by his bodyguards on demonstrators. It is scandalous, and he should be indicted. We should care as much about the violence he instigated on US soil as he claims to care about Saudi violence instigated on his soil (though not Tuirkish sovereign territory). And his activities against his opponents are far more widespread than those of the Saudis We should not let him get away with his actions on US soil, we should bring it up whenever he mentions the Saudi incident.

  172. You would think we would have been reminded more about that.

  173. @Avirab The violence started with attacks by Kurdish PKK and Armenian nationalists demonstrators against Turkish American supporters of Erdogan while the DC police looked on.

  174. Trump’s promise of “severe sanctions” for the torture and murder of the journalist are only the denial of future entry to the US by the henchman directed by MBS!

  175. Bycott of the west is temporary, mostly caution in reaction to wide media coverage of Khashoggi's murder. When media moves on to some other issue, Jared Kushner and other businessmen will show up in Riyadh. Money is the alter they worship on. It will be blasphemy if they spurn money making opportunity.

  176. Imagine that, Erdogan has gone from goat to god almost overnight. I wish this paper could leave their strong opinions for their opinion columns and just convey the news to us. Trump has now come out harshly against the crown prince, apparently reaching a judgement with understandable caution, imo. He received a lot of criticism for not following the paper's newscycle-based timeline.

  177. Erdogan an outright authoritarian ruler, who eliminates dissenters, stifles the press, calling out the Saudi's for practicing the same, is hypocritical. Nothing wrong in using the Khashoggi murder to benefit one's political fortunes, is there? Two confirmed brutal autocrats, with donald in the wings, waiting and willing to join them on stage.

  178. @Bob81+2 So I've seen a number of commenters who seem to be claiming that Erdogan has had people murdered but not in so many words. Does "eliminating dissenters" mean murdering them? If so why not say it outright? Now, let's have some names. I'm definitely not a fan of Erdogan but I don't know that he's guilty of murder. Do you?

  179. @Jack Toner I don't know if he murders dissenters, but he does eliminate critics in many other ways. Like jailing under suspicious reasoning for one.

  180. @Bob81+2 False, Erdogan has never assassinated anyone and he is genuinely the most popular elected leader in Turkey unlike the bloody Saudi and UAE despots so beloved of the Israel Lobby.

  181. Battling about what? The better method for murder? Whom do they think they're fooling? Armenia deniers? Let's talk 'bout that while we are at it.

  182. “The worst cover up”, Trump is a silly man. He has two allies, one in NATO and one the greatest oil producer in the world, at odds and he sounds like a sports announcer, calling the plays. Trump does not see that this mess is not just going away on it’s own and why the U.S. has devoted so much effort to foreign relations until now. Now it’s Trump thinking that he can do foreign relations with his son in law better than anyone else but acting like bystanders who happened to witness an event. He was supposed to step up and lead.

  183. "That he was strangled to death by accident during an attempt to persuade him to come home." Anyone else see something wrong with this sentence?

  184. @Really? No. Nothing wrong, for two reasons: (1) This is the usual style of writing for Kirkpatric & Gall (2) This is persuasion, in Saudi style

  185. They are all bad people, killing jailing their opponents. But there is a small difference, MBS is trying to bring his country forward, while Erdogan is doing the opposite. Obviously, the Khashoggi murder is not a proof of progress and quite simply a sign of ongoing dictatorial behavior. We can only wish these country to adopt our kind of democracy and human rights, though I'd also wish them to get better politicians than ours (both sides of the aisle). Reality is that they are far away and Turkey going away from the close-to-democracy they had before. MBS, with all of his many faults, is focusing on what he thinks is best for bringing his country forward. His challenges include the ultimate reduced dependence on oil and more immediately the Iranian threat to the whole region. Erdogan seeks the return of the power of the Ottoman Empire, devilishly infiltrating not only parts of the Middle East but also Europe through the many Turkish paid Imans in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and elsewhere. he is brutal with the Kurds and denies the Armenian genocide. They are both bad persons, but right now MBS is more on our side than Erdogan. That does not mean that we must like him, that does not mean that must make it very clear that we condemn the Khashoggi murder, but MBS can be factor in bringing a safer Middle East.

  186. @Harry Mazal Safer for whom? Certainly not for Mr. Khashoggi and his family. Certainly not for the women moldering in Saudi jails for daring to drive an automobile, or for the victims of daily, public be-headings for adultery and other "crimes." The children of Yemen, dying by the thousands under Saudi bombing, are certainly not safer. Please. We do not have to raise the monstrous Saudi regime up to make a case against the Turks.

  187. @Harry Mazal " MBS is trying to bring his country forward". No, he most certainly is NOT. He is trying to bring HIMSELF "forward", and that's all. He's a narcissist, like our traitor. Your first sentence, "They are all bad people." is absolutely correct. Add our fake president, who has done NOTHING in the face of this brutal murder and pathetic lying (something with which he's all too familiar).

  188. Our current leadership does not promote democracy. Why should they?

  189. Trump probably thinks that that(the murder) is a good way to handle "the lying media". He doesn't seem upset by the murder, but by the ridiculous cover-up.

  190. So, for Trump, the real issue was the worst cover up ever. Of course this begs the question, if it had been a better cover up, would Trump have been satisfied? It would have left him off the hook and he wouldn't have to make one of those awful moral decisions that he loathes so much. In a world teetering on the brink of plunging into the throes of fascism, the only government to take a moral stance was that of Angela Merkel. Oh how times have changed.

  191. I know, it’s ironic that Germany is now the leading democracy. We really do live in very rapidly changing times compared to history. The fact that Germany came back from a place of total devastation to lead once again, in such a relatively short period of time, is really unbelievable. I wonder if we’ll be able to do the same thing in the post Trump era.

  192. Somehow forced or threaten the son shaking hands and seeing his father’s killer is quite heavy. And America has sanctioned all the wrong people. The agents who killed Khashoggi are less guilty than the person who ordered the killing. Let’s sanction and remove MBS along with Al Jubier, the sadist Saudi foreign who is the mastermind for all these violations.