Khashoggi wasn’t some sort of dissident or human rights activist; he wasn’t even your run of the mill neoliberalism.txt crusader. He was a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, palled around with Osama bin Laden, and served as media advisor to Turki al-Faisal, one time-head of the Saudi Mukhabarat and so not a nice guy by definition.
Nor is Turkey some kind of paragon of free journalism. It imprisons more journalists than any other country by far.
Finally, it’s worth remembering that hundreds of Yemenis die from Saudi bombs every day. While I’m not going to pretend that I care very much, the thing is neither does almost anyone else.
So what’s the deal, anyway?
I think neoliberalism.txt is using Khashoggi as a battering ram to attack Trump on the eve of the midterm elections (about a third of /r/worldnews front page is consistently filled up by the story). Trump, perhaps rather foolishly, has been too overt about going to bat for MBS – perhaps under Kushner’s influence. Incidentally, it’s worth noting that Kushner may have played an indirect role in the affair by handing over US intelligence to MBS on his domestic critics.
That said, $110 billion is a lot of money. It’s about ten years’ worth of Russia’s global weapons experts. No sane President is going to virtue signal that away like the Germans recently did with the two howitzers or whatever irrelevant crap they were planning to sell to the Saudis.
Turkey and Qatar are clearly enjoying the whole affair, leading the Saudis by the nose into ever deeper humiliation. (Again, think in $$$, not feelz. Qatar is blockaded by the Saudis, who were on the brink of getting invaded by them – at least, if the rumors are true, before the now deposed Rex cajoled them out of it. Now recall that Qatar extended Turkey a $15 billion investment at the height of the lira crisis this August).
As more and more of the sordid details come out, we see that the hapless Saudis are even more incompetent and idiotic than I had given them credit for.
Possibly the biggest idiot is MBS himself, if the rumors that he’s having members of his assassination squad whacked are true. Backstabbing your own minions is something you never, ever do if you want to keep them loyal and your career as overlord assured. For all cases short of treason, you quietly pension them off at worse. Minions are not very bright, but they’re bright enough to know when they’ve been had.
Putin must also be rather happy to observe this. Putin has openly said that Khashoggi is not worth breaking ties over Saudi Arabia, practically echoing Trump. And why should he be. Ideally, MBS & Co. keep digging their hole deeper, further widening the Western rift between neoliberalism.txt, which seems to have mass adopted Khashoggi as their martyr, and the hard-nosed men of the Red Empire who surround Trump, which prioritizes funneling the $$$ to the MIC.
However, even if the Red Empire folds, for whichever unlikely reason, then Russia gets to benefit from the ensuing Saudi chimpout. Higher oil prices. Some of those sweet arms sales billions. China should also be able to cash in as well.