Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Khashoggi children have received houses in Saudi Arabia and monthly payments (washingtonpost.com)
74 points by onetimemanytime 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 64 comments

Pretty cheap as far as PR schemes go. Letting his children leave and speak openly to the free media would be a PR disaster. Killing them would be a worse one. But keep them where they are and under threat of death while giving the appearance of comfortable, consensual living, and everybody wins, right? It at least offers sufficient plausible deniability for Pompeo to continue to ignore the SA government's historical and ongoing affronts to US sovereignty, which is all anyone with a real hand in the stakes cares about.

Totally agree. Although this is totally disgraceful, this is a very smart act from Saudi Arabia government I have to say!

TIL the arab version of Weregild (blood money) is called Diya:



All of this is funded by their oil wealth. Everything about SA can be traced back to their oil wealth (including their relations with the US). If the oil runs out or the demand for oil drops low enough, we can expect to see an entire country return to the empty desert it came from. Unlike Norway and similarly to Canada their sovereign wealth fund isn't very healthy, and unlike Norway and Canada they don't have much else going for them.

| My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel

Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Hey, if Nigeria can become an up-and-coming tech hub, so can Saudi Arabia.

The UAE seems to be handling it all better.

SA is heavily invested in US companies, they will have a lot of money and power for a long long time

Do you think they US will play along when they have nothing to gain from SA anymore?

> If the oil runs out or the demand for oil drops low enough, we can expect to see an entire country return to the empty desert it came from.

I think that's the least of the worries. If oil runs out it has the potential to cause a massive upheaval in the Islamic world with can have dire consequences for the entire world.

With their support for things like Wahhabism, the blockade of Qatar and the war in Yemen, the Saudis are doing pretty well at causing upheaval in the Islamic world even while the oil still flows.

Yes, but it is still somewhat centrally controlled.

I was referring to the fragmentation that will happen in the post-oil world and what it will do.

Hence the US strategy of developing local oil extraction (fracking etc.). Reduce dependence on the middle east and thus the power of totalitarian regimes. Too bad EU isn't following suit (to the extent they can).

I don't think it's accurate to characterize fracking as a geopolitical strategy. It is being done independently by oil companies who see it as an attractive way to produce oil - not on orders from the state department.

The state sets the regulatory framework. Would not be unreasonable to expect fracking to be largely prohibited due to its ecological impact.

Better than nothing. But it would have been a magnanimous gesture to give them the choice between houses in Saudi Arabia and, say, Switzerland.

Now now ... they are a big investor in Softbank ... who is going to fund the next WeWork scam ???.

Terrifying. Why would the children even want to live there?

Shocking but true: In some countries you aren't allowed to Just Leave, and some people aren't welcomed in other countries. The US has a highly inaccurate list of people who aren't even allowed to visit!

Blood money. How about putting the killer who ordered the killing in prison.

This article is from April.

Well that's nice. Totally makes up for a theocratic dictator having their father chopped up.

I guess they have no choice but to just accept it, because of the same dictator.

Can't believe this shitty government is our "ally". Fuck the Saudi Government.

Can you please stop posting unsubstantive and/or flamebaity comments to HN? I'm afraid you've already done it a lot, and it's not what HN is for. As you'll see if you review the site guidelines, we're trying for something a bit better than internet default here.


Unsubstantive? Flame bait?

A man is dead. He was murdered at embassy, then they chopped him up to make him easier to move.

You aren’t tying for better than the internet default. You don’t want anything approaching open discussion or substantive discussion. You want bland inoffensive tripe. You want to have a bunch of people who can sit around discussing how we work will change the world.

A man is dead. He was murdered by a regime that has no respect for human rights. A regime that has funded terrorism. A regime currently trying to carry out genocide in Yemen. A regime propped up in no small part by American money.

If you don’t see any substantive discussion to be had then maybe you need to break a from tech for a little while so you can get your head out of your ass.

Ok, since you don't seem to want to use the site as intended, I've banned this account for the time being. If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email hn@ycombinator.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future. They are at https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.

In order to be legitimately upset with our government having"shitty allies", you first need to believe in the fiction that our government isn't shitty itself. A quick browse through history should relieve of such a fantasy. In fact you don't need to look at history. The policy of illegal sanctions begun under the last administration, and now the illegal blockade of Venezuela (which is resulting in the deaths of many civilians) should have you nice and clear-eyed about your government.

Once you understand that our government's primary function is to protect and expand markets for the capital class, you cease to be surprised or confused by it's actions. Google the coup instigated in behalf of United fruit. That was over 100 years ago, so none of this is new. Stop reading the New York times or any other mainstream publication for foreign policy opinion or news. Try alternative sites like greyzoneproject or truthdig if you want decent news.

> In order to be legitimately upset with our government having"shitty allies", you first need to believe in the fiction that our government isn't shitty itself.

No, you don't. You can be upset about our government being shitty, and hold the shitty allies it chooses to support as one of the many exhibits demonstrating the general shittiness of the government.

You're not wrong in that both things can be true at the same time.

I think the wording that more accurately describes my thoughts would be "... legitimately surprised."

You should really define shitty. What you are saying is you don't particularly like a country without the ability to actually describe why that is. It's comes off feeling like someone's opinion of their favorite sports team.

Certainly, the countries you like do things differently than the ones you want, but you won't even highlight those differences. No, instead it's only bad and good.

I'm frankly tired of people that can't describe in real thoughts what makes something great or terrible without falling back on the words that a two year old might make use of to describe their day.

Get creative. Go on a verbal tirade and tell me how you really feel. But please stop compressing your thoughts down to good, bad and shitty. If you really want to communicate, please do so.

You don't like capitalism? Because you're not making the money? What are the real reasons? You don't like communism? Because of the Gulag Archipelago? Be clear.

What part of instigated coups on behalf of a fruit company and illegally killing people I'm Venezuela is unclear? Cause I literally typed those things in my parent comment. Those seem to me to be valid reasons for having issues with a government. It's ironic that a comment trying to persuade others to "get creative" is the comment that seems suspiciously like copypasta.

So you point to one incident to prove everything that exists about a country must be wrong? How does that logically work? Was there corruption? Yes. Which government doesn't have corruption. Tell me if you know.

Well, telling people to hate a country on the basis one one corrupt incident sounds suspiciously like IDF to me. If you think corruption is an issue, then why don't you do something about it, instead of whining that it's bad?

"point to one incident" so I pointed out two things and clearly allude that if one does the research, you'll find many more than two things (Iranian revolution is an easy one).

"telling people to hate a country" the word hate never appears once in my comment. Again, you seem to be "responding" to some generalization of a viewpoint you don't like instead of what is actually on your screen. No disrespect but I don't really see any reason to continue to respond to you when you are making no effort to respond to what I'm actually writing.

No disrespect, but find another country the size of the USA that has as many things going decently for them. Yes, large governments breed corruption more easily. That seems to be a known at this point. That's why size plays into this.


>Are you getting in a pissing contest about how many shitty things the US Government has done? Because, let me tell you, that is a contest you are going to lose.

Hi from the UK. I think we are still in the running. Mind you, we did have a head start.

Haha! Well met.

Although, IANAHistorian but I bet if you limited the accounting to no earlier than 1776 the UK looks better than the USA.

Are you getting in a pissing contest to figure out if the US government has done more wrong things than right things? Because if so, you are going to lose.

Good luck practicing open and honestly blatantly hostile criticism of political figures in any other country. Even Europe has squashed things like memes to keep the public from realizing the truth.

You're not a patriot. You are a wanna be.

People are wrong and corrupt. Governments by and large can only do what we allow them to do. They are simply an amplification of the people underneath it all that are in charge.

If you think countries that help companies in their borders are wrong, you're going to have a really hard time with countries that openly steal from and abuse their citizens.

You think that the US isn't perfect, Possibly you're right. Tell me about your paradise now. Tell me who is perfect? The reality is that every country optimizes for different things. Which country do you think optimizes the best? Have you been able to find a job there you like, pays you well enough, and to move there? If so, great. If not, maybe there's a reason for that? Maybe you really like the X of one country and the Y of another because the X and Y are those things those countries have optimized best for.

I am a patriot, as in I love this country and would, if called, give up my very life for it. God Bless America.

One of the things I love about the US of A is our freedom of speech. We can talk openly about things like how our nation is founded on genocide and slavery, and being able and willing to do that is an essential part of overcoming our faults and atoning for our sins.

What are we even arguing about? Whether the US government is "shitty" or not? I would say it's too big: some shitty and some sublime, the totality beyond human comprehension.

Red White and Blue.

Brahma Vishnu Shiva

Brahma, do you know that india was founded on a caste system, part of which used children sexually for idol worship? Let's talk about how wonderful that system was before its reform!

Every single system that man has invented has relied on exchanges of goods and services. Anyone can call them exploitative, and some are. However, in America, you do have a choice. If you don't like it, you can run for a political position. You can start a non profit. You can start your own business. And if for whatever reason, you still can't stand it after all these choices have basically been handed to you, you can try living in a different nation where more or fewer of these things are available. No one in the US is going to threaten you, like in the former USSR or North Korea if you try to leave.

If all you want to do is whine, then have fun doing nothing good for your fellow man or yourself.

My government doesn't reflect on me. I'll protest any government that I disapprove of.

One thing you should quickly learn is that "ally" does not mean "friend". An ally has similar enough goals to most of the time work together in those goals that are the same, and also to try not to encroach when goals are different.

There's 195 countries on the planet. You want to go to war with every single one whose leaders have people arbitrarily killed...you'd need to go to war with most of them, including the United States itself.

You don't have to go to war with each of them, there are other options. And you definitely don't have to prop up said leaders with the worlds most advanced military hardware.

You need to think like the leader of a nation, not like the leader of an advocacy group. This is a playing field most people can't comprehend.

The idea that the rich and powerful breed are at another level than the commoners, and we can never aspire to the genius behind their choices, is not a new talking point but maybe one of the oldest.

> You need to think like the leader of a nation

It'd sure be nice if we had someone in DC doing that...

Right, what lobbying group paid their bribes this year.

Ah, military contractors are well up to date. Okay, lets toss them a few billion in Saudi weapons contracts.

How did I do?

Incredibly poorly.

Nation states aren't supposed to have egos.

Iran managed to arm themselves very effectively without American help.

There’s a whole lot of lesser evils which define plenty of diplomatic decision making in that region.

If our instinct is to jump from allying with a nation to being at war, we have accepted the most violent countries' axioms of how the world must work. Bush Jr's "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists" mentality and policy have certainly sown some seeds.

Go to war with? No. There's a wide gulf between "close allies" and "at war." We're selling them arms, buying their oil, and trading intelligence with them.

I can't help thinking that if the US were forced at ICBM-point to choose sides in the Saudi Arabia vs. Iran international rivalry, Iran would be the better choice, even after all the terrible history between Iran and the US.

It's like fighting Christianity's Devil by making a blood pact with Ialchtaluogoloth, Inscrutable Lord of the Slime Pits From Beyond the Dead Stars. At least Lucifer can appreciate a finely tailored suit.

If Saudi Arabia didn't have light, sweet oil reserves and control of the Hajj, they wouldn't have much of anything at all.

> It's like fighting Christianity's Devil by making a blood pact with Ialchtaluogoloth, Inscrutable Lord of the Slime Pits From Beyond the Dead Stars. At least Lucifer can appreciate a finely tailored suit.

This is an excellent paragraph and I bet I would enjoy reading more of what you write. If you happen to blog, would you mind emailing me a link? My email address is in my profile.

while your statement is technically true, the sa is the most disgusting state in the world. IMHO ideologically even farther from western democracies then north korea is

I find that statement ridiculous. Saudi Arabia is a theocratic society with an absolute monarch. The things that occur there may seem abhorrent, but they follow relatively strict norms. Capricious things occur, but even the monarch responds to internal political and cultural pressures in service to a nominally higher authority.

North Korea is ruled by the capricious whim of a single person who makes the rules as he goes along, and whose decisions have led to multiple famines and other atrocities resulting in the deaths of millions of North Koreans, still ongoing. And Kim Jong-un doesn't need a cover up when he assassinates someone; he's a god incarnate.

Have a little perspective. It's easier to criticize Saudi Arabia precisely because it's more like Western society than North Korea, even if that similarity is often illusory.

There is a wide gap between war and staunch ally.

Like, we could stop supporting their genocide in Yemen. Could stop selling weapons to them period. Could stop buying their oil. Could start putting out sanctions. Could actually demand some accountability for their role in 9/11.

Whole spectrum between what we have now and outright war.

Financial compensation is an Islamic cleric and state compliant way to resolve deaths over there.

Of course you can read the book one thousand different ways.

The point is that it is nice they fulfilled that promise.

edit: remember, their religious clerics can say whatever they want and thats the law in a theocracy. English wikipedia is not going to describe that adequately

> The point is that it is nice they fulfilled that promise.

In a free society, I'd have asked for for MBS' life under retributive justice. I wouldn't want him killed, just would want a much fairer diya (double digit share of Aramco?).

The Wikipedia article says https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diya_(Islam)

> It only applies when victim's family want to compromise with the guilty party; otherwise qisas applies.

But it's not a free society. It's not only an Islamic society (a very distinct kind, with scriptural exegesis not lifted from Wikipedia), but an absolute monarchy as well.

From a humanistic standpoint, the assassination was abhorrent. From an international politics and international law standpoint, intolerable. From the standpoint of a recently elevated absolute ruler suppressing dissent, diligent.

As the previous poster said, at least they're paying benefits, even though it's all part of the cover up. From a Western, guilt-based moralist standpoint such benefits can seem like a slap in the face. From a Middle Eastern, honor-based moralist standpoint, it's the decent thing to do, regardless of what precipitated it.

I'm not proud of what the government here in America is doing to its own citizens. Prison population, border detainment, Guantanamo... The USA is imprisons over 2 million people. Our human rights record is not strong.

Also not that far removed from the same sort of behaviour; Joe McCarthy.

I think you might be assuming I think more highly of the American government.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact