The apparent murder of the 59-year-old journalist (and harsh critic of the policies of Saudi Arabia) Khashoggi has caused quite a stir this past couple of weeks. Now, President Donald Trump is calling this a cover-up. The United States is proclaiming that those responsible will be punished, and it is openly questioning the official account of things by the Saudis, which is that the journalist was murdered in a Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
Further clouding the situation is a slowly revealed narrative that shows that this was no chance happening, but a premeditated plot to savagely murder a person. The motive, most believe, is just to silence someone who frequently and provocatively spoke out against the Saudi Arabian government. Now, a fragile dance is going on between Donald Trump and the Saudi prince as they try to look tough on the international scene while attempting to preserve an alliance that has stood the test of time. Yet, America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is frequently the target of conspiracy theories. Let’s have a look.
Saudi Arabia and 9/11
On September 11, 2001, we all know what happened. It would lead to the wars in Afghanistan and eventually Iraq. Yet, Saudis were proven to be a major part of the plot, not just in terms of being on the planes, but in terms of the Saudi Arabian government financing parts of the operation. It is well known in conspiracy circles that the Saudi prince and a collection of other notable Saudi figures were actually with President Bush just mere hours before the attacks happened.
Conspiracy theories about the Saudis involvement in 9/11 are all over the place, and there is not a lot to discredit them. As a matter of fact, multiple news outlets publicly reported that Saudi Arabia had been proven to have financed a “dry run” before 9/11. The concept was that Saudi Arabia footed the bill to allow a couple of nationals to try to test out their theories on how to get around American airline security protocols. This led to the real deal on September 11 that would change the world and kill thousands.
Saudi Arabia and The Oil War
Oil is the most valuable resource on Earth today, and the Saudis have unbelievable stockpiles of it. It has long been suspected that this is one of the only reasons that the United States continues to play nice with Saudi Arabia despite numerous acts of hostility believe to be perpetrated by the oil-rich country. It has also long been suspected that Saudi Arabia squeezes the United States at times by arbitrarily raising or lowering the cost of crude oil.
Saudi Arabia was virtually untouched by the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and has enjoyed even more wealth and success through its relationship with the United States, especially in the wake of more drama for Iran. Most American Presidents give the Saudis a really big pass because of oil, and 9/11 was probably the most sensational example of this.
Will This Alliance Survive Khashoggi?
It’s the question on everyone’s mind. Will Donald Trump cross the line and say something that sparks an end to the alliance that has been so fruitful for both parties over the years? And was Saudi Arabia really an ally to the United States in the first place?
The answer is only by necessity and by getting something out of it. There is no question that Saudi Arabia is not supportive of the United States any more than any other Muslim country in the Middle East. However, the Saudi family of royalty forged this friendship over the years because of mutual benefit. It has protected the ruling family as other regimes in the same area of the world have fallen. Many of those were at least in part because of the United States. From the Muslim perspective, Saudi Arabia made friends with America, the bully, and then used its economic prosperity to influence it.
Ultimately, it is unlikely that much will come of this. Much like Donald Trump’s spirited exchanges with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, this will probably be a war of words with no real direction. If there’s one thing that Trump understands, it’s money, and he will not jeopardize the fruitful economic situation that an alliance with Saudi Arabia offers. Despite his insistence that America is involved in bad trade deals all over the world, even Trump will find little wrong with the economic ties to Saudi Arabia. He certainly won’t be willing to give up the cash and the alliance over one journalist.
This will blow over, and if anything, it may very well strengthen the ties between the Saudi Arabia royal family and the United States. The worst repercussions to be felt right now, as usual, will fall on the common man. Expect some jerking around of crude oil prices as the war of words continues. In the end, though, the anti-Trump media in America is probably going to make a much bigger deal of this than anyone else. This may very well become the Democratic Party’s “Benghazi” battle cry over the coming midterms and eventual 2020 Presidential Election. Investigations will be performed, but little will be found. In the end, Khashoggi is gone, and the world will march on. The conspiracy world will too.