Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly told President Joe Biden during their meeting in Jeddah Friday that while the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is “regrettable,” U.S. hands are not clean and other journalists are killed with impunity.
Bin Salman specifically mentioned the torture scandal at the US military prison at Abu Ghraib, Iraq and the killing of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces in May, according to Al Aribiya, which is owned by the Saudi government.
The de facto Saudi ruler also said that the CIA – which along with other American intelligence agencies concluded that Khashoggi’s gruesome 2018 murder was likely ordered by bin Salman – makes mistakes, as it did when it falsely claimed Iraq had an active weapons of mass destruction program prior to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and occupation.
“Bin Salman’s smarmy reply underlines the way in which the US government’s lawlessness in misadventures like invading Iraq and its weird commitment to Israeli apartheid practices against the Palestinians undermine its moral standing to argue for ‘a rules-based global order,'” Informed Comment publisher Juan Cole observed. “Almost no one in the US dares say this, but for the rest of the world it is a commonplace insight.”
Saudi official gives MBS's response to Biden when he asked about Khashoggi. "You can't impose your values on us by force. Remember Abu Ghraib? What have you done about Shireen Abu Akleh?". Yes MBS literally said that to Biden. https://t.co/9DQDrWVM2L
— ?yad el-Baghdadi | ???? ???????? (@iyad_elbaghdadi) July 16, 2022
The US government didn’t care about the Israelis assassinating Shireen Abu Akleh, (and many other unlawful killings of Palestinian journalists and just ordinary Palestinian noncombatants) and it does not stop the US from forking over to Israel $4 billion a year in foreign aid, a tax on all Americans in support of Greater Israel expansionism. So why should Biden, bin Salman wants to know, boycott Saudi Arabia over the killing of a single journalist?
Appearing Sunday on ABC‘s “This Week,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) – who is co-sponsoring a new resolution to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen – said he did not think Biden should have visited Saudi Arabia.
NEW: Sen. Bernie Sanders tells @MarthaRaddatz that Pres. Biden should not have gone to Saudi Arabia.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 17, 2022
“You have a leader of that country who was involved in the murder of a Washington Post journalist,” Sanders said. “I don’t think that that type of government should be rewarded with a visit by the president of the United States.”
“I just don’t believe we should be maintaining a warm relationship with a dictatorship like that,” he added.
Brett Wilkins is is staff writer for Common Dreams. Based in San Francisco, his work covers issues of social justice, human rights and war and peace. This originally appeared at CommonDreams and is reprinted with the author’s permission.