The PBS documentary aired on September 28 that touched on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder quoted Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) as saying: “It happened under my watch. I get all the responsibility, because it happened under my watch.”
When PBS asked how the killing could happen without his knowledge, MbS is quoted as saying: “We have 20 million people. We have three million government employees.”
When pressed, albeit ever so gently, how the killers could have taken private government jets, BS responded: “I have officials, ministers to follow things, and they’re responsible. They have the authority to do that.”
The documentary's PR nature is evident from the fact that it aims ot whitewash the role of the Saudi regime with BS at the helm.
With Donald Trump mired in scandals and his reelection looking increasingly unlikely, the US state apparatus must create a credible alibi for why it will continue to deal with the Saudi regime and BS in particular.
Khashoggi’s murder is primarily a PR fiasco for Washington rather than the Saudi regime. Global public opinion does not factor in Saudi policies. For the Saudis’ chief patron, it matters.
Irrespective of who occupies the White House, the US state apparatus needs to rehabilitate the Saudi regime in order to continue utilizing them for their imperialist agenda in the Muslim world.
The PBS documentary attempts to put a positive spin on BS’ murderous activities in a subtle way that the Saudis are incapable of doing themselves, given their lack of understanding of how the media works.
It should be noted that just as PBS announced the release of its documentary, the Saudis announced relaxation of visas for international tourists for the first time.
The announcement was widely publicized in the corporate Western media, clearly signifying the organized nature of the PR campaign to refurbish the Saudi regime’s jaded image.
Those with even the slightest understanding of the nature of the Saudi regime, realize that without orders from the very top, it would be impossible to murder Khashoggi the way it was done.
PBS’s strategy at the behest of MbS is not difficult to fathom. Since he became the crown prince, the Western PR companies were hired to use the corporate media to present BS as some sort of a new type of Saudi leader willing to take the kingdom into modernity.
BS’ “admission” of guilt is aimed at positioning him as someone who takes public opinion into account and is willing to accept responsibility for mistakes.
The narrative is riddled with contradictions. In any “normal” state system where public accountability plays at least some role, BS would have had to step down long ago.
For the US deep state, PBS documentary nudging towards the rehabilitation of BS is a double-edged sword.
The Saudi regime is at its most vulnerable stage. Its collapse is simply a matter of time.
While Washington will not dump the regime, it will aim for a controlled demolition, which will be almost impossible to achieve if BS is rehabilitated.
He will not give up power to other power-hungry members of the royal family jockeying to become Washington’s favorite in Riyadh.
BS’ revival means that other members of the Saud clan will have to fight for their seat in the palace, a situation that will add to regime’s troubles.
Currently the regime’s main threat comes from the resilient resistance by the people of Yemen. However, once the regime is destabilized internally, the Yemenis will go for the jugular.
The irony of the collapse of Bani Saud will be the fact that the wealthiest people will be brought down by one of the poorest people in the world.
No surprises here. Islamic eschatology through the Prophetic (pbuh) ahadith has foretold the centrality of Yemen’s role in bringing down the calamity from Najd.