The case of Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged murder has received a lot of support lately. Media giants such as, Financial Times, CNN, CNBC, and US politician and senator Marco Rubio, have officially boycotted the Saudi Future Investment Initiative, FII 2018, in demand of justice for Khashoggi.
American politician and attorney, Rubio even went on to ‘challenge’ Trump’s diplomatic stance in the case by ‘warning’ that “if Trump doesn’t do anything, the congress will”. Saudi FII 2018 is an investment forum held annually in Riyadh, since 2017. However, a look at the withdrawal of attendees from the conference only points at a potentially failed event. Khashoggi may not be alive anymore, but the movement started after his name is storming the Saudi’s as good as he did, while he was alive.
US Officials and Media Giants Back Off
The support received in Khashoggi’s case from media groups was presumed in the alleged murder of a prominent journalist like, Jamal. He was an open critic of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and had been living in the US under a self-imposed exile.
Being an outright case of human rights violation, the boycott has also received global support of politicians and large scale enterprises such as, Uber, Virgin Group, etc. Around two dozen senators besides, Marco Rubio, have sent a letter to President Trump. The association led by Bob Corker, Foreign Relations Committee chairman, and Sen. Bob Menendez, the Democratic ranking member, has demanded probe in disappearance of Khashoggi and ‘possible sanctions against the culprits’. This has sent a stern message to the government of Saudi Arabia that retaliated to the news about sanctions over Khashoggi, by warning to ‘destroy US economy’ by raising oil prices to $200 a barrel.
Regardless of everything, endless support from media giants has been pouring in, with the likes of New York Times, LA Times, Huffington Post, and Viacom, joining the list. Meanwhile, exceptions like the US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, exist, who is willing to attend the event despite the boycott of Saudi FII 2018 by US lawmakers and congressmen, unanimously.
Congress to Block Saudi Arms Sale
A unition of Republican and Democratic lawmakers have been pushing to end US’ arms sale to Saudi, whereas, Trump thinks it would be “foolish”. The President’s stance has constantly remained diplomatic, who first claimed to severely punish the Saudi, if found responsible. However, later stated that the US’ withdrawal from Saudi arms deal would be “foolish”, displaying an unstable stance in the whole situation.
On the contrary, attorney and senator, Marco Rubio stated, “With almost full unanimity across the board, Republicans and Democrats, there will be a very strong congressional response if, in fact, Saudis lured him into that consulate, murdered him, and cut up his body and disposed of it.”
“No matter how important they might be to our Iranian strategy, our ability to be a voice for human rights … is undermined and compromised if we are not willing to confront something as atrocious as what’s allegedly happened here,” Rubio continued. “How can we criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin for killing journalists if we’re prepared to allow an ally to do the same?”, expressing his outrage towards Saudi.
A Massive Boycott Ahead?
The recent development in the boycott of Saudi FII 2018 event took place when JP Morgan and Chase withdrew from the conference. This is going to be a blow to the Saudi crown prince, MbS, who had been allies with Tony Blair, the Chairman of JP Morgan and Chase, and received lending from the group for Aramco IPO.
The kingdom seems to be in a helpless position with the mass boycott of Saudi FII 2018, gradually transforming into a Saudi boycott movement, with the likes of Gerard Butler canceling a planned trip to the gulf nation. Butler was supposed to visit Riyadh to promote his upcoming film Hunter Killer, but the ripples of the movement seems to have reached the hollywood star, who also chose to fight for Khashoggi’s justice instead. With allies and media fraternity turning its back on Saudi Arabia, the future and vision of the nation seems doomed.