Jamal Khashoggi and the House of Saud
Sir, – Your editorial rightly states that, “Jamal Khashoggi’s fate is part of a wider international culture of intolerance and hostility to independent and critical journalism in recent years” (“Journalists under threat”, October 15th). But I don’t expect to see a large-scale expulsion of Saudi diplomats by the West following Mr Khashoggi’s probable murder, rather just some limp and idle indignation followed by no concrete action.
So far, the British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has vaguely talked about “friendships” depending “on shared values” and the US president has said: “We can’t let this happen.” However, Donald Trump has also said that the US would be “punishing itself” with lost jobs if it halted Saudi arm sales. Ultimately, the authoritarian House of Saud buys far too many expensive US and British weapons to ever be seriously punished by its main allies in the West for the murder of a “mere” journalist. – Yours, etc,