Is Saudi Arabia Coming Out of Exile? By Doug Bandow

Set aside the fact the MSB almost certainly ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Even if he didn’t, he still presides over one of the most totalitarian regimes on the planet. Other world leaders have no problem with that. From Doug Bandow at

Anyone who was anyone attended the funeral of Queen Elizabeth. Except Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. His frail father was invited. Not known is whether the invitation was exclusive to the king, excluding MBS (as the son is called), or the latter chose to skip the affair.

His peregrinations matter because he has not visited the United Kingdom since before his minions murdered and dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Despite the best efforts of the Trump administration, which deployed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as honorary mob consigliere to protect MBS, the latter was driven into diplomatic exile.


With Sunday the fourth anniversary of Khashoggi’s murder, however, the crown prince is seeking the sort of murderous respectability achieved by other tyrants around the world. According to Associated Press reporter Aya Batrawy:

Saudi Arabia appears to be leaving behind the stream of negative coverage that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi elicited since 2018. The kingdom is once again being enthusiastically welcomed back into polite and powerful society, and it is no longer as frowned upon to seek Saudi investments or accept their favor. Saudi Arabia’s busy week of triumphs included brokering a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia, holding a highbrow summit on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, marking the country’s national day with pomp and pageantry, hosting the German chancellor and discussing energy supply with top White House officials. The kingdom is able to draw focus back to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious rebranding of Saudi Arabia and his goals to build both the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and pull the kingdom up from the G-20 to the more exclusive G-7 nations representing the biggest economies.

Perhaps Riyadh’s revival is unsurprising. Even American policymakers who sanctimoniously lecture the world on human rights are famously forgiving of murderous allies bearing gifts. Especially oil from the Saudis. Yet the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is particularly odious.

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