This video says about itself:
16 October 2018
In the aftermath of the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump tweeted: “For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!”
Is this yet another barefaced lie from the commander-in-chief? In this video essay, Mehdi Hasan examines Trump’s long history of doing deals with Saudi royals and reminds us how the former reality TV star even bragged about his financial ties to the kingdom during the election campaign. He also highlights the controversial payments made by the Saudi government to Trump-owned properties since the Republican businessman entered the White House. With the president refusing to take a strong stance against the Saudi government’s alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Mehdi asks: “Does Saudi Arabia own Donald Trump?”
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
The West seems to once more make a deal with Saudi Arabia. In exchange for lucrative deals with the country, the enormous violation of human rights is not condemned.
Internationally, there are few harsh words towards Saudi Arabia and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. At the moment, the country seems to be engaged in making a ‘beautiful compromise’, says Turkey correspondent Lucas Waagmeester.
According to the American news channel CNN, Saudi Arabia is now working on a statement about the death of the journalist. It would say that he died when he was questioned at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Justice Department in Turkey is said have found evidence of this.
The interrogation supposedly ended wrongly, without permission from the Saudi government. …
If there is such a statement that also includes Turkey and the United States, Saudi Arabia will get away with something that no other country could ever get away with, says Arabist and lawyer Laila al-Zwaini. “If, for example, Iran would kill a journalist at their consulate, everyone would respond immediately, but we are silent about the actions of the Saudi royal family. We never talk about the human rights violations of Saudi Arabia or their war in Yemen.”
Oil and weapons
Why? Our dependence on oil, trade in arms and strategic interests in the Middle East, says Zwaini. …
According to Amnesty International, there is much wrong with human rights in Saudi Arabia. Examples: the country conducts manhunts on people who criticize the regime, executions and corporal punishment are regular, and trials are mostly unfair. Meanwhile, the country is carrying out air raids in Yemen that are causing many civilian casualties and leading to a humanitarian disaster.
In recent years, the West has become increasingly confident in Saudi Arabia, said Dutch researcher Pieter Wezeman yesterday to Nieuwsuur TV show. “Otherwise you would not give them weapons.” Wezeman works at the Swedish research institute SIPRI and keeps an eye on the arms flows to the Middle East. He saw that Saudi Arabia has become “the second largest customer for the arms industry”.
As a result of trade with the country, Western economies have become increasingly intertwined with those of Saudi Arabia, according to Zwaini. The country is also trying, by paying millions to public relations companies, to get into the news favourably. “Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tries to pose as a modern Arab reformer. Eg, he allows women to drive cars“, says Zwaini. “That is something that most of us have received with cheers, while we did not see him giving them a favour, but meanwhile jailing the real reformers or having them executed, he uses something like distraction, so we look the other way.”
She sees what is happening now, with a team that is investigating the disappearance of Khashoggi, as buying time. “They now have the time to come up with a plan, so that people do not find out what really happened.” Zwaini does not believe that a joint statement by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States will reflect the truth.
“And I think it is serious that Saudi Arabia apparently has so much power over us, and if we once more will let them get away with this, we will end up in a very bad situation, and we all will be taken hostage by that country.”