In this photograph, journalist Jamal Kashoggi enters the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey on October 2nd. Kashoggi intended on securing paperwork to finalize his divorce so that he could remarry. Kashoggi never emerged from the consulate and after weeks of speculation, it has been determined that Kashoggi was murdered while inside. Photo courtesy of CNN & Wikimedia Commons.
by Gabrielle McElyea, COLUMNIST
25 October 2018
With more facts coming in about the disappearance of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, I cannot help but question the relationship we have, as a nation, with Saudi Arabia. The conclusion of this investigation could greatly impact how the world views the Saudis.
As of right now, we know Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd and was not seen walking out, leading us to believe he was killed. Turkey allegedly has audio and video recording of the horrific actions taken against the journalist. The Saudi government had vehemently denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance or suspected murder. However, they have now retracted their previous stance to say the journalist was killed by accident during a fight that took place while Saudi officials were interrogating him.
Khashoggi’s death was not an accident. No nation “accidently” kills a man during an interrogation then proceed to dismember his dead body. Saudi Arabia has proven many times to kill off those who spark change, criticize the state, or even act as a prominent opposing voice of the despicable regime.
Like much of the Middle Eastern region, Saudi Arabia is notorious for denying citizens rights that I and many other Westerners see as inalienable and God-given. Some of which include: freedom of speech, women’s rights (voting, driving, being outside the house without a male escort), and religious freedom.
Khashoggi, as seen in many of his articles for the Washington Post, often criticized his native state on its reluctance to change and adapt to the way of the modern, more free world.
I understand the delicate relationship with hold with the Arab country. We have economic and security relations with the country. I do believe that a relationship with them is important; they play a massive role in Middle Eastern politics. Having them on our side makes us an even stronger presence in a region that has repeatedly shown hatred and desire to bring the US and the West down.
Despite this, the US needs to call the Arab country out on their atrocious actions against Khashoggi. After all, we hold a responsibility to protect innocents of any nation.
President Trump has still been reluctant to take a strong stance against the Saudis despite the strong evidence against them.
It is understandable that he may be conflicted. Trump understands the delicate situation and its potential consequences for both courses of action. However, he needs to show that Saudi Arabia killing off anyone who disagrees with them is hellish and will not be tolerated.
… The US needs to call the Arab country out on their atrocious actions against Khashoggi. After all, we hold a responsibility to protect innocents of any nation.
America is one of the most influential nations the world has ever seen. The power we possess is envied by countries all over the globe. We have been a driving force for freedom and change since our birth in 1776.
I do believe that we should allow countries to hold their sovereignty as I believe it would be ignorant and hypocritical not to. I do understand that nations have varying cultures and what they see as right and wrong. On the other hand, when the freedoms and democratic ideas we believe should be afforded to the World’s people are blatantly being attacked by a historically oppressive anti-western nation, it is time we speak up.
As for punishment for the Arab state, I believe the president and congress need to reconsider the terms and extent of our relationship with the country. They are a strong ally to have, but that is no excuse to let a hellish act be swept beneath a rug.
I would like to see the President take a look at placing some economic sanctions on Saudi Arabia. Their country thrives off oil production and trade. If we were to work with other nations who are big trade partners with Saudi Arabia, we could work to place sanctions on their oil industry until they work to fix their human rights issue.
Despite Khashoggi’s controversial past, he came to America to pursue his dream of speaking truth. In his native country, his opinion articles would have had him murdered the moment he began to type. The beautiful thing about America is the first amendment that affords us all the right to speak our truth and speak out against whoever we feel the need to, including the government.
For years, our nation has worked to promote this in nations around the globe to afford their people the same chance to speak without fear. I can only hope the President remembers this and shows that although countries have the right to sovereignty, they do not have the right to kill off anyone who criticizes them.
Gabrielle McElyea is a columnist for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl.