Blog note: The killing of Jamal Khashoggi has geo-political and prophetic significance. It has exposed the extremes that the Saudi Government will go to ‘silence’ even the smallest or greatest of dissent and criticism. It also showcases the growing evil behind Mohammed Bin Salman and the cult of obedience to him. He is highly regarded by his millennial generation (he is in his early 30’s) and is widely considered the future face of the country. He is also in line to become the 8th King of Saudi Arabia from the House of Saud. However, his track record in the very few short years he has been on the stage in the Middle East is worrisome. Yes, there have been despots and dictators all over the Middle East for decades. Nothing new. HOWEVER, the power that is coalescing around Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) is worrisome because of the role Saudi Arabia plays in the Middle East, its size and influence with OPEC, its role as one of the largest oil producers in the world, its relationship with the U.S./Trump over arms deals, its oil agreements with Putin/Russia and so on. Strangely, Saudi Arabia and ‘MBS’ have sided with Israel, since IRAN is both Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s nemesis in the Middle East. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. This is a fairly recent development and has further prophetic implications because other Arab countries tend to follow the Saudi’s lead. Mohammed Bin Salman has that much political and financial muscle with most of his Arab brethren. All of this on-top of the pending ‘deal of the century’ by Donald Trump to offer or create an ‘agreement’ (covenant) of ‘peace and safety’ or ‘peace and security’ between Israel and the Palestinians. The so-called ‘two state solution’. Jared Kushner, Trump’s creative genius behind crafting the plan has routinely met with and conferred with Mohammed Bin Salman during the construction of this ‘peace’ plan. Presumably, whatever peace plan is unveiled and agreed upon between the parties will have to gain wider acceptance in the region by means of a ‘confirmation’ or verification that everyone in the region will abide by the covenant or agreement. Perhaps it will be up to MBS and Saudi Arabia to police and ensure that the plan will be enforced and actively implemented by all those concerned. The ‘Big Arab Brother’ in the region will make sure everyone toes the line and doesn’t cross the agreement. Who in the region might have the ‘political weight’ or strength to solidly ‘confirm’ the ‘covenant of peace and security’ for Israel? Mohammed Bin Salman. End of note.
Blog note 2. If you have followed the world wide reaction to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, most world leaders are tip-toeing around doing anything constructive against Saudi Arabia and Mohammed Bin Salman. Excuses have ranged from protecting arms deals, to keep the oil flowing, to maintain ‘stability’ in the Middle East (keep the status quo), to keep the allegiance and alliance together against Iran and so forth. There are higher geo-political issues at stake than severing political, military and financial relationships with Saudi Arabia and MBS because the Saudi’s killed a dissenter. MBS will come out of this relatively unscathed. Already, there are scapegoats and fall-guys. Nothing new here. No one wants to touch Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) for all these reasons and more. Oh, by the way, follow the BIG-BIG-BIG money… The recent investment initiative held in Saudi Arabia still drew some of the world’s biggest money kingpins from Japan and Europe. Even with some invited attendees sitting out the conference because of the Khashoggi killing, Saudi Arabia still received commitments of an additional $50 Billion investment funds. This is on TOP of a $2 Trillion sovereign investment fund that MBS has set up to fund his ‘vision 2030’ agenda and NEOM, a $500 Billion Babylon/high-tech oasis in Saudi Arabia that is planned to be 26,500-square km (10,230-square mile) business and industrial zone that will sit on the intersection of three countries, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt and is on both the Red Sea and Sea of Aqaba. It will be 17X the size of London and 22X the size of New York. All of these are just part of the Great Convergence of Signs. End of note.
Turkey gave Khashoggi tapes to European nations, Erdogan says
Ezgi Erkoyun. NOVEMBER 10, 2018 / 6:46 AM
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey has given recordings related to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi to Germany, France and Britain, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, seeking to maintain international pressure on Riyadh over the Saudi journalist’s death.
Khashoggi, a critic of de facto Saudi ruler Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate last month in a hit which Erdogan says was ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.
His killing provoked global outrage but little concrete action by world powers against Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter and a supporter of Washington’s plans to contain Iranian influence across the Middle East.
Speaking as he left Turkey to attend World War One commemorations in France alongside President Donald Trump and European leaders, Erdogan said for the first time that the three European Union states had heard the recording “We gave the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, Germans, French and British, all of them. They have listened to all the conversations in them. They know,” Erdogan said.
CIA director Gina Haspel heard an audio recording of Khashoggi’s death when she visited Istanbul, two sources told Reuters last month. A senior Saudi envoy was also played a recording, a source said. Erdogan did not give details of the contents of the tapes on Saturday but two sources with knowledge of the issue have told Reuters that Turkey has several audio recordings. They include the killing itself and conversations pre-dating the operation which Turkey subsequently uncovered, the sources said. These had led Ankara to conclude from an early stage that the killing was premeditated, despite Saudi Arabia’s initial denials of any knowledge or involvement.
Saudi Arabia’s prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb has since said Khashoggi’s killing was planned in advance, although another Saudi official said Prince Mohammed had no knowledge of the specific operation.
One source familiar with the recordings said that officials who heard them had been horrified by their contents. One of Prince Mohammed’s top aides, Saud al-Qahtani, featured prominently in them throughout, sources said. Last month two separate intelligence sources told Reuters Qahtani gave orders over Skype to Khashoggi’s killers at the consulate. Qahtani did not respond to questions from Reuters at the time. Saudi state media said King Salman sacked him and four other officials over the killing. There was no indication that any of the suspects were detained.
WHO KILLED KHASHOGGI?
Erdogan did not repeat on Saturday his accusation that the operation was ordered by Saudi leaders. However, he called on Riyadh to identify the killer, saying it must have been a member of a team that arrived in Turkey hours before Khashoggi’s disappearance. “There’s no need to distort this issue, they know for certain that the killer, or the killers, is among these 15 people. Saudi Arabia’s government can disclose this by making these 15 people talk,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan also accused Mojeb – who visited Istanbul to discuss the investigation with his Turkish counterpart and inspect the Istanbul consulate – of refusing to cooperate. “The prosecutor came to Turkey to make excuses, make things difficult,” he said. During his visit, Mojeb revealed no information to Turkish authorities, a source said, but instead asked for Khashoggi’s mobile phones which the journalist had left with his fiancee before entering the consulate.
Erdogan repeated a demand for information on the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body. An adviser to the president has said the body was cut up for disposal, and Vice President Fuat Oktay has called for an investigation into reports that it was then dissolved in acid.
A Turkish official said last week that Saudi Arabia sent two people, a chemist and a toxicologist, to Istanbul a week after Khashoggi’s Oct. 2 killing to erase evidence, calling it a sign that top Saudi officials knew of the crime. Saudi Arabia has said members of the team which was sent to Istanbul, and returned shortly after the killing, have been arrested along with three others.
Following a meeting on Saturday in Paris, Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed that Saudi authorities needed to shed full light on Khashoggi’s murder, a French presidency source said. They also agreed that the matter should not be allowed to cause further destabilization in the Middle East and that it could create an opportunity to find a political resolution to the war in Yemen, according to the official.
Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Dominic Evans and David Stamp