Jamal Kashoggi would have known best as to how dissidents are viewed and treated in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Jamal was very much part of the Saudi Establishment and his credentials would have had to have been impeccable to have served both in London and in the United States for his government.
His very closeness to that establishment would have placed him in a first class position and would have given him a ‘fly on the wall’ insight to the goings on inside the ancient Kingdom. He would have known of the archaic system in place that was relied on by a government that was largely dictatorial and authoritarian at the same time. The detentions without trials, the systemic inability to speak out and be heard without expecting the intelligence agencies to come in search of the outspoken – especially if that openness dared to be about the Royal Court, the Saudi System and other draconian matters that would sit perfectly well in an ancient Kingdom but not in a modern, progressive nation where human rights would be a cornerstone of governance.
There is no written rule that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must follow governance based on democratic principles and indeed the Saudi people are free to choose the manner in which they are governed. However and whatever the methodology of governance, the respect of basic human rights would be a pillar of strength to any form of governance. Or so the majority of the ‘free’ world verily believe.
Jamal Kashoggi’s son who has been in de facto house arrest – allowed to move freely in Saudi Arabia under heavy monitoring – but not permitted to leave its territorial waters, was ashen faced and grief stricken when he was summoned to meet His Majesty and of course the Crown Prince. Reports later emerged that young Kashoggi was permitted to travel abroad, to the United States where he is a dual national. Not even the Crown Prince would have wanted to mess with the United States government when it came to one of their citizens. In the same context Jamal Kashoggi was a ‘mere’ resident of the United States but sadly now, was a citizen of Saudi Arabia. That unfortunate detail eventually led to his grisly, pre-meditated murder.
It is of little use now to Jamal Kashoggi’s family and friends and colleagues to be told that his demise was not as a result of a rendition attempt gone horribly wrong or of a fisticuff and was in fact a pre meditated act of murder. The fact that Kashoggi was killed and the Saudis do not have the bare humaneness to permit the Kashoggi family and friends to have closure, by detailing where his body is, speaks volumes for the barbaric and grisly nature of the crime and the brazenness of the attitude now on display in the capital Riyadh.
It is often said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely – by this dragging of the feet probably in the hope that magically this matter will simply evaporate or take off on a carpet, the Saudis are merely prolonging the worldwide condemnation of their arbitrary, barbaric and grisly action.
In death – sadly though – Jamal Kashoggi has highlighted the fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a pretty long way from becoming another Dubai or Cairo or a 60’s Beirut or any other progressive country. The Saudis have a very long way to go indeed before they can be described as progressive with high regard for the rule of law and a healthy yearning for valuing and respecting basic human rights.
It would be in the interests of longevity and sustainability for the kingdom to sit up and take a good hard look at what is going on in their ancient land right now. How the world views them with disdain but all the time slurping at the oil reserves the Al-Saud family control.
Britain is facing its very own conundrum. Brexit is looming and now post-Kashoggi, the value of arms purchases from Saudi Arabia estimated at around GBP 4,000 million is on the fence.
However for all the noise the British too are making after having been startled out of their slumber by the sheer barbaric nature of the murder and the drip fed details emanating from Turkey, at the end of the day there is hardly a soul on this earth left who will doubt that the British will find a way to slither out of the conundrum being faced by their defence system suppliers and find a way out of the vexed question: the rule of law Vs. petro dollars.
As for the barbarians who carried out this despicable act, this newspaper holds that the sharia law must be applied to all those who participated in this heinous act. If members of the Saudi Establishment and or Royalty are also involved they too must face the executioner’s sword. That is the sharia law. The law is the law. Come commoner, come minor royalty, come the Crown Prince Even., the law is the law – monarchy, democracy or communist no one cares like we all care for Human Rights.
It is entirely possible that President Erdogan of Turkey was being flamboyant when he said that the naked truth will be revealed.
As far as the rest of the world are concerned his naked truth has yet to be laid bare in the open. If and when he does, what will this mean for the future of the Saudi Crown prince? Will it impact him? Will it implicate him? If he is implicated what aspect of the sharia law can the world expect to be applied to him – the man who has everything?