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Editorial

What about Mohammed bin Salman, What about Erdogan?

The Biden administration has released, as promised, a carefully ‘disinfected’ report on the barbaric murder – dismemberment – of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known critic of the family that rules Saudi Arabia.

The report clearly states that his assassination was approved by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler and most likely successor to his elderly and ailing father.

It was known that the Prince approved of the murder of their journalist-critic. It was leaked by the U.S. intelligence services to expose Donald Trump, who despite this, continued his close relations with the Prince.

However, given the fact that the report has now been made public as the official conclusion of the country's intelligence services, it takes on an even more serious proportions.

Following the report’s publication, one would expect that the next logical step would of course be for the U.S. government to take measures against him.

Otherwise, what would be the point of publishing the report's conclusion that the Prince has blood on his hands if America does not take action against him?

At least, some measures.

To my disappointment, Biden decided not to take any action against him, on the grounds that such a move would harm U.S. interests. In particular, the government decided that strong measures, i.e. sanctions against the Prince, would lead to the "full rupture" in relations between the U.S. government and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Among the main objections they make to this is the importance of U.S.-Saudi cooperation on the issue of Iran, the war on terror, and the mediation of Saudi Arabia in the relations of other Arab countries with Israel.

Biden had repeatedly and disparagingly spoken out against the Prince and Saudi Arabia in the run-up to the election. Now, as President, he decides that whoever is a major ally of the United States can do whatever he/she wants, with no punishment.

Instead of assessing this Prince as dangerous – which he is (and not only because of Khashoggi’s dismemberment, but both for his country and for the United States) – and doing everything they can to prevent him from becoming king, they give him … a pardon, which can only be interpreted as permission to indulge in whatever madness crosses his mind.

It is a disappointing decision made by Biden's new government.

But beyond that, I'm worried that this logic will be applied to other issues as well. In particular, I am worried that they are treating Erdogan with the same logic.

I am concerned that they may consider Erdogan important to American interests and turn a blind eye to his unacceptable provocations in the Aegean and Cyprus.

I will not disagree that realpolitik, realism or even Machiavellian politics, so to speak, has its uses.

I will not disagree that America really has interests in both Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The question is, how are they better served?

Are they served with the unconditional or cost-free forgiveness of the crimes of foreign leaders that will lead to ridicule and disrepute of the country?

Or are the interests best served by the formulation of a prudent policy that represents the principles and ideals of the country which – despite the problems they create in the short term – finally frees humanity from such villains?

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