Pepe Escobar: Turkish President milks House of Saud's ties to the Khashoggi slaying.
[AsiaTimes] Erdogan, MBS, Islamic leadership and the price of silence
The House of Saud's ties to the Khashoggi slaying are being milked by the Turkish President for maximum benefit amid debate on leadership of the Islamic world and how the crisis may affect US and Saudi strategy in the Middle East.
The big prize: leading Islam
Now juxtapose this developing entente cordiale between the Bear and the (aspiring) Sultan with the gripping drama in Istanbul. Ibrahim Karagul – never afraid to apply a Rabelais touch – is always useful as a mirror reflecting the state of play of AKP circles around Erdogan.
For this political elite, a breakthrough in the Erdogan-conducted “Death By a Thousand Leaks” is imminent, allegedly proving that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) directly gave the order for the killing and slaying of Jamal Khashoggi.
The consensus among the AKP leadership – confirmed by independent Left academics – is that the US-Israel-House of Saud-UAE axis is deep in negotiations to extricate MBS from any culpability.
That includes key items in the hefty Erdogan “package” dangled to the axis to essentially buy Ankara’s silence – an end of the Saudi blockade on Qatar and the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, described across the Turkish political spectrum as the leader of FETO (the Fetullah Terrorist Organization).
The Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry are very much aware that the high-stakes game goes way beyond ‘Pulp Fiction’ in Istanbul and the Astana peace process on Syria – carefully micro-managed by both Putin and Erdogan alongside Iran’s Rouhani. The big prize is no less than the leadership of the Islamic world.
There is nowhere better than a few stops in select landmarks of Ottoman imperial power, or a lively conversation at Istanbul’s Old Book Bazaar, to be reminded that this was the seat of the Islamic Umma for centuries – a role usurped by those Arabian desert upstarts.
| BTW there are tweets now that say Khashoggi did not have a Green Card or a H1B work permit. If he was just here on a visitor's permit for his WaPo job than going back to Saudi territory (embassy) after X-weeks and then returning for another visit on a new visa makes sense in a INS worldview. Getting a fiancée makes sense in that immigration view too.|
Posted by: 3dc 2018-11-22