The War on Terror is the Reign of Terror


So, does an accidental killing lead to dismemberment of the body and hiding of all the evidence and waiting days before admitting to the killing? If the United States accepts this version of events for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, we are really living in a world of fake news and, worse, a conspiracy against the truth about our relationship with Saudi Arabia. An embassy is a heavily controlled area where nothing happens against the will of the of the powers that be who conduct business on the part of the foreign country. There is no such thing as rogue elements or uninstructed elements in the embassy unless it produces a crisis in terms of terrorism or invasion of the embassy.

Let’s be clear about it. When a national cannot enter an embassy without having a fistfight to obtain a marriage license (or passport or redeeming stolen travelers checks) without having to lose his or her life, an embassy has become a “safe” place for terrorizing its citizens. Saudis who are dissidents around the world know better than to go the Saudi embassy (a safe place in international law for several hundreds of years) because they fear for their lives.

There is a thin line between terrorism and unjust wars. There is brazenness on the part of terrorist nations who declare their wars are against terrorists and then visit their destruction on civilians as the Saudis using arms from the United States and the UK have done in Yemen. The last count is that millions of Yemenis are facing displacement and lack of food. And, there is a total fiction on the part of those assistant powers who remotely frame their participation in terms of some strategic concept and jobs.

It did not matter how many women activists faced incarceration and a possible death penalty on the part of the oil kingdom. It did not matter in the United States whether the Clinton foundation accepted contributions from a regime that was authoritarian, now seen as barbaric by any standards, and that the Obama Administration prosecuted the war against Yemen. Really, it did not matter that children in Yemen died in the cause of the War on Terror. It does not matter that presidents inherit these wars in service to the military industrial complex. None of it matters until a grisly story breaks forth of the most ruthless disregard of human life of someone we can relate to because he was a writer and warrior for the truth and not an unnamed passive and hapless victim.

If we are really to face the truth, the political assassination of Jamal Khashoggi is not really the tip of the iceberg. It is standard operating procedure on the part of powers prosecuting the War on Terror, the United States most forward, and from the standpoint of our present leadership, maybe we can still get jobs out of the arms contracts dedicated to such indiscriminate violence while the horrific details of rampant assault on humanity get mostly buried, until someone we admire (or know a little about) gets ripped apart.

Mary Troy Johnston, retired political science professor, Loyola University New Orleans.

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