Alleged Murder of Turkish Journalist in Saudi embassy

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Drew, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    27,595
    Likes Received:
    2,983
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    This story is kind of nuts - anyone else following it?

    tl;dr - Jamal Kashoggi, a former family friend turned critic of the Saudi monarchy, went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to file some paperwork to finalize a divorce while his fiancee waited outside. Never came back. The Saudis initially claimed he left and vanished afterwards initially, while the Turks claimed he was killed inside, dismemberred, and his body was carried in suitcases to a waiting van (which they have security video of suitcases being loaded into). Then, when the Turks came forward saying they had audio evidence of the murder, the Saudis changed their story and said that he had been accidentally killed in an interrogation - the Turks subsequentally released audio (recorded on Kashoggi's Apple watch, which was still in syncing range to his iPhone, which was outside with his fiancee) where Saudis allegedly can be heard first cutting off his fingers and then beheading him. Both Trump and the Saudis are now saying the killing was the work of "rogue killers," however the Times has managed to identify one of the suspects as a member of the Saudi royal prince's personal security detail, adding further credence that he was executed by royal order.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/world/middleeast/khashoggi-saudi-prince.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/...=RelatedCoverage&pgtype=Article&region=Footer

    So, we have a gruesome murder of a dissident, and right now the US appears to be helping the Saud family cook up a cover story, against some pretty clear evidence.
     
    setsuna7 likes this.
  2. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,195
    Likes Received:
    680
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Location:
    Never Neverland
    Yeah, and it took a couple of weeks and the Turkish recordings to start cooking up the cover story, too.

    Why am I not surprised to hear that Trump is getting involved on the wrong side of this?
     
  3. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    27,595
    Likes Received:
    2,983
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    I mean, he seems to be trying to play both sides, saying there will be harsh consequences if there was a murder, but also saying, "he denied it, and I believe him" about the crown prince. It's a weird one for Trump, because he has a well-known soft spot for international strongmen, and this is a fight between two of them. That more than anything should worry us as Americans, maybe...
     
  4. Randy

    Randy ROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOU Super Moderator

    Messages:
    20,408
    Likes Received:
    3,477
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    Something people have yet to learn about other people in general, and it's especially true in post-Trump America, is the concept of preference on an individual coming first and facts coming second. Another example of this concept was when there was a mini-civil war going on along the border between Ukraine and Russia, and after it was discovered a number of Russia military types were being seen involved in the conflict, Putin's response was something along the lines of "if that's how Russian soldiers want to spend their free time, then that's their choice".

    When it comes down to it, if it's people you're in favor of, the qualify or believability of the excuse doesn't matter on how widely accepted it is among the intended group.

    Before this story gets further muddied by the story evolving further, let's not forget that this started with first a denial from Saudi Arabia claiming that the guy was healthy and left on his own, and when the first threats into this were made, their second reaction was threatening the US (it was vague; economically at best, with violence at worst). Those two responses are on the record now, so acting like they didn't know it happened or making a plea for sympathy both took a big hit on their initial approach.
     
  5. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    6,558
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Tokyo
    In post-Trump America when little Jessica comes into the room denying going into the cookie jar, with chocolate all over face, of course we will do our best to find out the person or persons behind the theft of the cookies. As to the allegations that it was Jessica, that's just fake news. She's a darling, a dear friend, a sweetheart of a girl who would never do such a thing.
     
    feraledge and JSanta like this.
  6. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

    Messages:
    5,189
    Likes Received:
    627
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    This whole story is a lying shit show.

    I tried to talk to a co worker about this (just a general discussion, no real opinions were presented)...holy mother she went crazy on me. She's a Republican and was ranting on about Democrats and lies I was trying to fill her head with...I quickly realized there would be no conversation on this matter. All I said was 'yeah he went into a building and never left'...

    IDC what side you are on, but when journalists are being killed because of an opinion, that's a serious matter, especially if Trump gets involved.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  7. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

    Messages:
    5,233
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago
    Something has always rubbed me the wrong way about our relationship with Saudi Arabia.

    Remember when they did 9/11 and then we retaliated by bombing 2 entirely different countries instead?
     
  8. Randy

    Randy ROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOU Super Moderator

    Messages:
    20,408
    Likes Received:
    3,477
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    Altered for clarity.
     
  9. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    6,558
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Well the targeting systems wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the dems slashing military spending!
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    27,595
    Likes Received:
    2,983
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Close. In Trump's America, we never believe the woman. If little Billy came into the room with chocolate all over his face, however, then game the fuck on.
     
    feraledge and NateFalcon like this.
  11. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    6,558
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Tokyo
    But always side with the lying bad guy...
    but don't side with the woman...
    but... woman iss... bad...guy....is ...ERROR covfefe ERROR
     
    StevenC likes this.
  12. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    27,595
    Likes Received:
    2,983
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Just insult her looks. :yesway:
     
  13. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,195
    Likes Received:
    680
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Location:
    Never Neverland
    Yeah, well - oil.
     
  14. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

    Messages:
    5,233
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago
    Everyone's been saying this to me since I was 11 years old and still I don't really get it. Lot's of places have oil. Canada has oil, Mexico has oil, USA has oil... isn't it only like a small fraction of the oil we get from Saudi Arabia anyway? I just looked up some pie charts that are telling me 12% from Persian Gulf. But I guess that's probably a lot of money to a few rich assholes. And I guess I do realize that our country is sort of an oligarchy that is ruled by the ultra wealthy from behind the scenes... so maybe I do get it, after all.
     
    Jacksonluvr636 likes this.
  15. Randy

    Randy ROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOU Super Moderator

    Messages:
    20,408
    Likes Received:
    3,477
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    Speaking way out of my paygrade but I believe the concept revolves around the idea of oil as a commodity and that the value of MY oil that I pump out of my ground is dictated by how much oil YOU pump out of your ground and what you choose to charge for it. Even if only a percentage of the oil we use comes from a specific country in the middle east, OPEC still dictates what we're paying when we import from wherever really, and likewise what we're able to charge when we sell our own as well.

    So in that sense, the oil thing is less about seizing it as a resource and more about being able to use it to dictate what everyone pays for their oil everywhere. I think.
     
    vilk likes this.
  16. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    27,595
    Likes Received:
    2,983
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    This, basically, though with the advent of shale oil fracking, OPEC is increasingly losing their place as the swing producer in oil, and we're gaining more power to move global oil prices by increasing or decreasing production.

    The long term implications of that are going to take some time to tease out, and will depend hugely on US regulatory policy and if we even allow fracking in the future... But, as an easy example, if I were Israel, I would be very, very, very concerned about US oil production increasing.
     
  17. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,070
    Likes Received:
    534
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Location:
    AndalucĂ­a
    We deal with the country with less respect for human rights in the world, cutting hands for stealing, hanging people for being homo, lapidating women for alleged adultery... they are in the middle ages but with cell phones. But the rich countries don't care as they get profit from weapons and oil commerce. Hypocrisy.
     
    JoshuaVonFlash and vilk like this.
  18. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

    Messages:
    6,059
    Likes Received:
    3,763
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Salem, MO
    This story is making headlines, but it feels like there's so much innate indifference in politics that it isn't sinking in. And that's insane. This is a huge story. Yet again asking how this becomes split down to what Trump is saying or not so quickly.

    It's both.

    Shale and conventional crude are tied at the hip. Fracking theoretically only becomes economically feasible when crude is over $50 per barrel, which is why the Peak Oil crowd was dismissive of it even back in 2006 (myself included). It was believed to be too costly until crude skyrocketed and then things shifted.
    That said, it's still too costly, but the entire industry is no different than subprime mortgages: a bunch of rights bundled together and sold based off of optimum projections on the best case scenario and assuming the first fracturing works (rarely) and that things go as planned (even more rarely).
    OPEC isn't losing their place, they still have it. It's a finite resource and projections are based on a number of shifting understandings, evidenced by OPEC nations vastly increasing their projections at the outset to gain a stronger market share and control. When OPEC opted to cut the price of crude, almost 1000 projected wells in Pennsylvania were dropped overnight (thankfully). It was a power play, but an effective one.

    This might seem entirely OT, but it also seems to explain a lot of what is going on here. Trump's immediate deflection is the same kind of manipulation, it's just about jobs and economy, who cares if someone (a US-based journalist) is killed and dismembered in a Saudi consulate? As Pat Robertson says, can't cause this much uproar about one person (Oops, Jesus).
    Everything about Trump's alliances and support continues to get wacky. They hype up elections by being afraid of "radical Islamist" gangs imposing Sharia law, only to back an actual monarchy, soaked in oil money, where the legal system is actually based on Sharia law and they executed a goddamn Washington Post journalist.
     
  19. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    6,558
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Tokyo
    A huge story. Split down into tiny, suitcase-sized portions so it can be kept out of sight of the mainstream view.
     
  20. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    27,595
    Likes Received:
    2,983
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Couple comments here.

    First, the breakeven on shale oil is falling as the technology advances - we're probably looking at more like $40-45 at this point, and unlike deepwater rigs new shale rigs can be brought online fairly fast. I'd say right off the bat, the fact that we're approaching a time where we will have a call-it-$45 ceiling on the price of oil is fairly important.

    Second, this speaks to another constraint - oil is getting more expensive to produce, as we predominantly have to turn to harder-to-access sources as easily accessible oil reserves start to become depleted. At present, BP's estimated all-in breakeven price (which, to be fair, includes buyback and dividend service) is around $55/barrel. Saudi Arabia's breakeven for remaining deficit neutral is more like $75, although their out-of-the-ground cost is well below that - most estimates I've seen are around $9-10. The exact price to maximize revenue to the saudis would require some optimization that I don't feel like taking the time to work out, but the short of it is it appears that pricing power HAS shifted to fracking producers, at least in the short term, because the breakeven price for getting shale oil out the ground is very likely lower than 1) for-profit deepwater firms, and 2) the revenue maxing price for the Sauds. If you want to know why Aramco's IPO keeps getting pushed back, well...

    tl;dr - I'm not saying I'm a fracking supporter per se - my feelings on the subject are a complex balancing act of international political and domestic environmental concerns - but if you look at the pure market dynamics, as long as fracking isn't outlawed in the US, then we should increasingly expect to become the swing producer in the market.

    I mean, I don't know if I feel right sharing Bloomberg screencaps here, exactly, but I'm looking at a chart I just put together of WTI vs Brent crude, and they traded in lockstep until about 2011, at which point suddenly WTI began to get consistently cheaper than Brent. There are some oil export controls here that make unchecked price movements difficult, but the silver lining is the spread between the two is a pretty meaningful indicator that shale oil is pulling the price of oil down domestically, just further than it is internationally (at present the spread is $79 Brent to $69 WTI, about $10/barrel).

    It's like Stalin's old quip, only in reverse. A million deaths are a statistic, but one death is a tragedy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018

Share This Page