With regard to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist, the hypocrisy and inaction of our world leaders makes me sick.
It is evil and totally unacceptable that a journalist can walk into his own nation’s consulate in another land and be tortured, killed and disappeared, which is what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. Yet, every single year, the Saudis murder a great many women and LGBTQ people.
Saudi Arabia is an oppressive dictatorship that crushes dissent and maintains a brutal orthodoxy. Where is the international outrage when gay men, lesbians, trans* people and women who won’t be subjugated are tortured, tried in kangaroo courts, and beheaded? How many names of the dead end up on the front pages of newspapers and on the TV news?
And how many know that the war in Yemen is directed and funded by the Saudis, killing men, women and children? Or that Osama bin Laden was a Saudi, Al-Qaeda a recipient of Saudi royal family funds before and after 9/11?
Only recently the Natural History Museum in the UK hosted a party for the Saudis. Theresa May has played host to its leadership. American Presidents, Democratic and Republican, have lavished praise on the Saudis many times. Tony Blair gets cosy with them. The Tories love them.
Any other country doing what Saudi Arabia does would have been bombed and crushed by now, its leadership deposed by the Americans, the British and the EU.
Politicians generally don’t give a flying fart about injustice unless it suits them. The oil keeps flowing out of Saudi Arabia and the money keeps feeding into the bank accounts of its vicious patriarchal monarchy. The cost of the petrol you buy at the pump is determined by the Saudis, whose decisions on how many oil barrels are released to the world have massive impacts on the world economy.
Saudi Arabia should, by now, at the very least, be a country under siege, sanctioned, a pariah state. Instead our democratically-elected leaders regularly get their tongues as far as they can up the arses of Saudi royals. The current US President – far from virtuous, far from decent, lacking in all grace and humility – was told no when he begged them to release more oil barrels onto the market to bring prices down. Trump is just as much the Saudis’ slave as all other world leaders.
Of course the incredible world-controlling power and unimaginable wealth of the Saudi elite comes from their oil, a fossil fuel we need to ditch entirely if the human race is to survive. It’s not happening fast enough because vested interests stand against the idea that global warming is even real. The Saudis stand to lose everything but have friends in governments and organisations the world over working hard to protect their interests and ensure we all keep heading towards a fiery, polluted, uninhabitable hell. It’s nothing short of insane. Every world economy is operated with a need for continuous and infinite growth and expansion on a planet with finite resources. Sadly, by the time the oil wells run dry in Saudi Arabia, it will be too late.
The vision for a new approach – based on clean fuels, sustainability and stability rather than unchecked growth – fills the ultra-rich everywhere with terror as a prospect, because it would involve a revolution robbing them of the ultimate source of their wealth and power. Counting the Saudis among them, they’ll do all they can to prevent change. They will protect their own, especially the ones upon whom they all depend.
And all the above is why the Saudis believed themselves untouchable, that they could arrange the torture, murder and disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. They are indeed untouchable but this time their violence made headlines. Make no mistake: for all Trump’s largely incoherent bluster about “there will be punishment”, there will be none. World leaders will issue soundbites and wring their hands for a while. That’s it. Nothing more. Because making the Saudis pay for their many crimes would destroy the global economy, even though it might just help to save the Earth.
So, no. There will be no justice for Jamal Khashoggi nor any of the thousands who have been murdered down the years on the orders of the Saudi royal family. Those saying there will, they are the ones working hard to make sure there won’t.