The world is being subjected to a streak of authoritarianism. One of the worst instances is the suspected killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Reports swirling in Turkey claim the vocal critic of the kingdom was killed inside the consulate by a 15-man hit squad that may have come through Attaturk airport as tourists and left after the “assignment”. Also, Russia is accused of sending a hit team to poison former Russian spies in Britain while China held captive filmstar Fan Bingbing for reported tax dodging, and the fate of Interpol chief Meng Hongwei is unclear after his return to China.
It’s thought Khashoggi, a prominent journalist in his homeland before shifting to the US last year, may have been killed and his body dismembered on what is technically Saudi soil. That the world is bowing to the Saudis’ financial clout is clear from the fact that Turkey, which first threatened to inspect the consulate, later declared a joint investigation would be held. When cornered on the Khashoggi issue as he is a permanent US resident, President Donald Trump said an inquiry will be held. At the same time, he talked of the importance of the $110 billion fighter and arms deals with Saudi Arabia. Diplomatic norms are being shattered in such vile actions as a helpless world looks on as authoritarian regimes act how they please with dissidents, rebels, critics and even movie stars.