And yes, “killed,” as in somebody did something to him with the express intent of ending his life. This we get from Turkey making public statements reflecting its evidence gathering in the Khashoggi murder. Turkey continues to call out Saudi Arabia for its role in the death.

Concern for our time

Alex Kienlen

Certainly it was not all that long ago where nobody – at least nobody from this part of the world - knew the name Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi is at this point, of course, well known for being the lynch pin of international diplomatic debate.

Khashoggi has the lynch pin role as he has, of course, been killed.

And yes, “killed,” as in somebody did something to him with the express intent of ending his life. This we get from Turkey making public statements reflecting its evidence gathering in the Khashoggi murder.  Turkey continues to call out Saudi Arabia for its role in the death.

Pause here: Turkey calling out Saudi Arabia and insisting perpetrators be brought to justice is something of a poor reflection of its own history. Sure, the murder took place in Turkey, in the Saudi consulate, and Turkey does have a right to call for justice to be served. Such are the ways of territory. The flip side of this being, however and of course, that Turkey is the same country which sent thugs abroad, in this case to America, to beat up journalists. Turkey refused to bring any of the said thugs to American justice, despite requests to do so. The journalist’s crime that led to the beat-down was calling out the Turkish government for its oppression.

It’s not like there’s any angels in this.

Khashoggi’s crime was calling out the Saudi government. He had done so for so long, and so effectively, that he, sensing danger, left his home country (“self-imposed exile” being the operative term here). He wanted to get married, went to the consulate to get some papers which would allow him to do so and then, murdered.

Because they didn’t like what he wrote.

And the entire situation keeps getting worse. Saudi Arabia, the kind of country which murders journalists it doesn’t like, is supporting a civil war in nearby Yemen. And this, this is a terrible mess. Right now estimates (and the reason they are estimates will be shown in a minute) have it that somewhere between 8,600 to 13,600 have been killed in the Yemen war since 2015, with civilian deaths due to famine in the 50,000 range. Worse, the UN estimates (that word again) that over 13 million civilians will die due to famine in the near term.

And it’s an estimate because Saudi Arabia is blocking journalists from entering the country. (Are you seeing a trend here?) And sure, you would like to do something about this, children starving to death being a horrible thing and all, but don’t worry, you can’t: Saudi Arabia is blocking aid convoys.

Saudi Arabia is in the war because the other side, the rebel group, is supported by the Iran government. Saudi Arabia is in the war by an ongoing campaign of air strikes, these in turns using weapons purchased by United States vendors, with operations intelligence provided by United States agencies.

The United States, in turn, is fulfilling its role in this because being anti-Iran is the cornerstone of its foreign policy. In fact the President’s first international diplomacy visit was to Saudi Arabia – the first time that country received a number one spot on the list – as a symbol (and international diplomacy has symbolism at its core) of the strong America-Saud relationship.

And, speaking of symbolism, this is the same American Executive which got this whole thing about journalism being “an enemy of the people” into public discourse.

Saudi agents brought a bone saw to their meeting with Khashoggi.

And today, as we prepare for press, mail bombs in the national news.

I am concerned for what is acceptable in our times. I am concerned for the growing amount of hate-rhetoric and it being used to justify violence (famine and murder). I am concerned for the future.