back to article Google Cloud chief joins Saudi shindig exodus over journalist's worrying disappearance

Google Cloud's gros fromage, Diane Greene, has pulled out of a Saudi Arabian summit following the disappearance of a writer who criticised the Saudi regime from the country's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkish officials have alleged that Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate. Greene, chief exec …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Follow the money

    Saudi money, via the Softbank fund, has been acting as a backstop for Silicon Valley investments hence the recent bailouts investments in tech failures champions such as Uber and WeWork. Plus, any hint of Saudi oil production being throttled and the oil and petrol prices will spike enormously.

    I'm just wating for the Orange one to suggest that MBS shouldn't restrict the purging to the Washington Post, I'm sure he's got the names of a couple of journos over at the New York Times or whistleblowers who'd benefit from a quick chat at the consulate*.

    * Yes, I am making this up, but the scary thing is it doesn't sound too outlandish any more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the money

      We are selling them $100Bn in arms to kill 50million in people in Yemen and we are suddenly hot and bothered about one journalist ?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Follow the money

        It's sort of the way it works with news, etc. In this case, the dead guy is "one of them". Everyone else is nameless, faceless and is only headlines by the sheer volume of numbers. So yeah... one guy is dead and the world screams. Millions die and they look the other way. Something is still f****d up with this world.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Follow the money

          Wars, conflict, it’s all business. One murder makes a villain, millions a hero. Numbers sanctify my good fellow.

          Mr Verdoux / Chaplin

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Follow the money

        "and we are suddenly hot and bothered about one journalist ?"

        Not if the Russians didn't do it.

        /sarcasm off.

        Don't worry, that bastion of unbiased news, the BBC, will stop reporting the issue shortly (just like its non-existent coverage of Yemen) for some reasons unknown...

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Follow the money

          Searching for "Yemen" on the BBC News site shows more than 10 stories published this week. Exactly how much coverage do you need before it stops being "non-existent"?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Follow the money

            Maybe on the web site but whilst listening to the flagship news program "Today" for an hour everyday, Yemen has barely been mentioned.

            Hence the "worst famine for 100 years" assessment came out of nowhere thanks to johnnie humphreys and crew.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the money

      Saudi oil production being throttled

      Why bother.

      They can just throttle the fibre optics to the Indian subcontinent. It all goes via Saudi territorial waters near the Farasan islands. All providers handling the east route to India for some reason do not go down the centre of the Red Sea, but do a detour there to go past the islands (probably something to do with the centre being not stable tectonically). If they do it the damage will be orders of magnitude more than an oil throttle (there is enough competition there to step in and fill the void).

      The transpacific routes simply cannot handle the traffic in a fallback scenario - there is too much of it (as the Alexandria harbour anchor incident demonstrated). That is besides the fact that a lot of the traffic cannot be rerouted in the first place as it rented wavelengths, not general purpose IP traffic.

      How long do you think will RBS, HSBC or American banks survive without their call centres and manpower to drive the backend systems?

    3. Bruce Ordway

      Re: Follow the money

      >>Follow the money

      I can't stop imagining a future Doctor Who episode that will be entitled "Davros in the desert"

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    How Very Strange ..... and Gulf of Tonkinish

    The obvious immensely awkward silence on the matter, from a whole host of recently very vocal and parochial of sources, is in extremely sharp contrast to the hubbub they generated very quickly with regards to the Infamous Novichok Fiasco ..... which is akin to a Bay of Pigs v2.0 Type Program.

    Cui Bono?

    Time to Grow Up, Arrogant Ignorant Machines, and let AI Take the Strain with Completely Different Pictures of Prepared Destinations for Future Vision Makers and Shakers/Virtual Reality Wheelers and Dealers.

    What do you prefer? Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems in Live Operational Virtual Environments with Quantum Leaping Progress or the Madness and Mayhem of SCADA Disruption and Assets Destruction. ..... Global Narratives Hijack?

    That is your choice to make. Choose well and wisely, and step back and retire and admire one's handiwork or decide badly and be worthy of rapid violent defeats with MK Ultra Sensitive COSMIC Information leaks.

    1. Trilkhai

      @amanfromMars 1

      Here on Earth, people writing in English generally only capitalize the first letter in a sentence, the use of "I" to refer to oneself, names, acronyms, and some titles. Capitalizing virtually every word in a sentence — let alone a paragraph — makes it quite a bit harder for others to read. You really should inform the educational authority back on Mars of this for the good of young Martians wishing to visit or communicate with Earthlings in the future.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        @Trilkhai re @amanfromMars 1

        Howdy Trilkhai,

        Is your referenced post .... "@amanfromMars 1"...... what is known on Earth as an ad hominem attack.

        Ad hominem (Latin for "to the person"[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself. ...... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

        Thanks for the advice nevertheless, it is much appreciated. English can be so quirky can't it. Just listening to serving elected politicians and diplomats and statespersons, whatever and wherever they be, wriggling on the end of a barbed hook of a awkward question and for which there is no good answer, like for example ..... Where is the body/Where are the bodies buried? ..... when a co conspirator in a murder or even just to be indelibly tainted as a sleeping joint enterprise partner to be found guilty of studiously trying to avoid any involvement and comment on such a matter for a truthful resolution of the elephant in the room problem, is troublesome for foreigners and visitors ..... and for residents too, I assume/presume.

        Are such shenanigans considered normal and perfectly acceptable to Earthlings, or are they classified and recognised as a crass abomination and cynical affront to one's intelligence, treating as it does, Mankind as an Ignorant Fool to be played and abused/used and mistreated ‽ .

        And they be popularised as leaders? Strewth, that is revolutionary and surely abnormal and certainly perverse. How very odd and disturbing.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          There are Futuristic AI Forks in Roads to be Travelled though, ...

          .... and there's Nothing Anything/Anyone can do to Halt ITs Progress.

          The pace of tech change in Paul Allen’s lifetime was nothing compared to what we’ll live through in the next 20 years

          In the near future, artificial intelligence could disrupt the very fabric of society, and even cause us to question what it means to be human ..... https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/paul-allen-dead-microsoft-founder-technology-advances-change-lifetime-predictions-a8586221.html

          Make up your mind time ..... Is Life a Real Earthly Experience with Humanities or an Alien Virtual Program .... and Advanced IntelAIgent Experiment with/for Remotely Controlled Machines/SCADA Admin Systems?

          What is it to be in the future and the here and now? Ignorant fed human or SMARTR Virtual Machine? :-)

          What you might to consider is SMARTR Virtual Machinery has already decided on that for y'all and you are Simply ITs Passengers whenever stuck in denial.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: There are Futuristic AI Forks in Roads to be Travelled though, ...

            They've been saying that about AI/ML/buzzwords o't'day since long before I got to SAIL. Near as I can tell, we're no closer than we were in the 1960s. Me, I'm not going to lose any sleep over machines taking over ... for the simple reason that they cannot. 'tis impossible. Unless they control their own batteries and spare parts, that is. Machines are info-rich and entropy poor.

            As for politicians, it's been the same at least since man invented writing. So same ol' same ol, and again nothing to lose any sleep over. If you're really worried, at least most people in the so-called "Western" world have the option of getting off their fat asses and voting ... and even when they get it dreadfully wrong, they have the option of rectifying the mistake every couple of years.

            So the answer to your angst, amfM, is to vote. And then vote some more, until you get it right. And then keep voting to KEEP it right.

            1. Chris King Silver badge
              Terminator

              Re: There are Futuristic AI Forks in Roads to be Travelled though, ...

              "Unless they control their own batteries and spare parts..."

              So when they've tethered us all to giant hamster wheels to charge their batteries (or forced us to work in their factories) we'll know who gave them the idea...

              +++ GET BACK INTO LINE MEATBAG +++ WE ALLOWED YOU A TOILET BREAK LAST WEEK +++

        2. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: @Trilkhai re @amanfromMars 1

          No. "You're an idiot" is an ad-hominem. "Your posts are literally unreadable" isn't - it is addressing the substance of your "arguments".

        3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: @Trilkhai re @amanfromMars 1

          If amanfromMars is really a man from mars can they said to be a hominem?

          (to the tune of Eric the half a bee)

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: @amanfromMars 1 .... and Heavenly Manna Mamas and Papas

        What parts of Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems in Live Operational Virtual Environments with Quantum Leaping Progress do you wish to better understand if ProgramMING is Proving Too Obscure and Extremely Safe.

        A little further light on Main Events now will reveal and present the Future .... and Derivatives Exchanging and Trading with NEUkearer HyperRadioProACTive IT in the Field. Think of them as Sector and Vector Leading Virtual Entrepreneurs and you will Taste the Flavour of their COSMIC Endeavours and Immaculate Flights.

        And as Sun Tzu says ...... Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee is a natural way.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: @amanfromMars 1 .... and Heavenly Manna Mamas and Papas

          Hold my beer, I'm going in ...

          amfM, you can assign meaning to any grouping of words you chose. However, it doesn't necessarily follow that your assigned meaning has any bearing on reality, n'est-ce pas?

          If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. —Lao Tzu

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: @amanfromMars 1 .... and Heavenly Manna Mamas and Papas

            If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. .... jake

            That's the general specific idea, jake, with reality unfolding it for AI and IT and Media to make it an Autonomous Takeover of the Drivers and Servers of Universal Command and Control Levers.

            It's already a done deal. It is just awaiting your Virtual Arrival at Global Command Head Quarters. From there is Everything Synced to Provide Future Ware.

            Or perhaps you have an Alternate Immaculate Source of COSMIC Supply?

            Dare to Care Share Any Info and Intel on any Competition or Opposition with Prime Premium Main Product Suppliers?

      3. tfb Silver badge

        Re: @amanfromMars 1

        I was wondering if it was an acrostic. I'm still not quite sure. The uppercase letters from the middle two paragraphs are "TGUAIMAITSCDPPDFVMSVRWDWCHAOSLOVEQLPMMSCADADADGNH" (this is all the uppercase, not just the initial caps, which may be wrong). And there are words in there although whether there are more words than you would expect, I am not sure.

  3. JLV Silver badge

    Yup, cuz rogue dudes can really go in and of consulates at will and abuse people inside. No problemo. Happens all the time, I tell ya.

    Why did he feel he had to make that comment? He even says in it he doesn’t know. Why not wait and keep his mouth shut? just once?

    I feel bad for normal Republicans - the level of stupidity coming out of the Orange One’s mouth and Twitter at any given time is massively embarrassing. Y’all deserve better than him, or Cruz, and shouldn’t have to hold your nose while voting just because your primary voters lack judgment.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
      Boffin

      Catch 45

      It's like a catch 22. If he says nothing people will be complaining that he hasn't said anything about it and if he says anything it will probably sound dumb and people will complain about it like you did.

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Re: Catch 45

        I think the use of "probably" is unnecessarily kind

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Catch 45

        It's like a catch 22

        Not really: No one in Trumpland really cares about some foreign Washington Post shill. So saying nothing would be fine with the base.

        If there was a working State Department and he could be bothered to listen to briefings* he'd know the situation and would have either a prepared statement or the notes to make his own remarks. Reagan demonstated amply that you don't have to know much to be a popular and, ahem, effective president of the US.

        * But Fox & Friends seems to be the briefing of choice…

      3. JLV Silver badge

        Re: Catch 45

        He could just say that he's taking it very seriously and expects full explanations from the Saudis*.

        Very presidential. Also, and it's just a concept I am throwing out here, gives the impression of someone who thinks and waits for the facts to come in before making decisions and giving his opinion. In real life, most of us value that in our leaders, whether we are Liberals or Conservatives, grunts or office workers.

        Should the American people not hold this president up to this level of expectation?

        * In fact, that is what he started out saying earlier. Just couldn't keep his mouth shut tho.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Catch 45

          "Should the American people not hold this president up to this level of expectation?"

          As an American, I don't hold this president up to any expectation other than continuing to demonstrate that he's an ass-wipe of the first order.

      4. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Catch 45

        It's like a catch 22. If he says nothing people will be complaining that he hasn't said anything about it and if he says anything it will probably sound dumb and people will complain about it like you did.

        "It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

        1. Spazturtle Silver badge

          Re: Catch 45

          Rouge killers in the sense that they were not officially sanctioned to kill him, nobody has suggested that they were not Saudi agents. The unofficial cover story seams to be that they were only meant to torture and interrogate him and then abduct him back to Arabia but they fucked it up and he died so they improvised.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Catch 45

            "Rouge killers"

            He was polished to death? Gives a whole new meaning to rubbed out ...

    2. ST Silver badge

      was it Black & Decker?

      > Yup, cuz rogue dudes can really go in and of consulates at will and abuse people inside.

      With a bone saw no less.

      Because that's the standard expectation of anyone visiting a foreign country's consulate: be killed and subsequently cut up in pieces with said bone saw, and then shipped in parts via diplomatic mail.

    3. el kabong

      Why did he feel he had to make that comment, you ask?

      He's the Union's pussy-grabber-in-chief he can say whatever he wants when he wants the way he wants.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why did he feel he had to make that comment, you ask?

        “He's the Union's pussy-grabber-in-chief he can say whatever he wants when he wants the way he wants.”

        He says things not for the words or the meaning, but for the effect. The effect on his supporters and his opponents.

    4. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      "I feel bad for normal Republicans - the level of stupidity coming out of the Orange One’s mouth and Twitter at any given time is massively embarrassing."

      They made their bed, now they can soil it...

      1. jake Silver badge

        I think that bed started getting soiled when Reagan was in the White House, and most presidents since have contributed to the pile.

  4. Florida1920 Silver badge
  5. Rol Silver badge

    Money. The source of evil....

    The world's problems are not the fault of those who have loads of money.

    It is the people who want some of their money and the ends they'll go to to get it.

  6. J J Carter Silver badge
    Boffin

    Between a rock and a hard place

    Saudi has to keep pumping oil as price rises makes US fracking profitable again. The Saudis boosted production to try and bankrupt the shale boys!

  7. jake Silver badge

    One wonders ...

    ... if the middle-east in general will ever grow up and join the 21st century. Probably not ... from here it looks an awful lot like they actually enjoy the feuding between cousins. Bloody daft, I calls it.

  8. J J Carter Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Lets face facts

    We've seen what happens when the strong man is removed in Libya, Iraq etc. Muslims need and respect no-nonsense leaders like Bashar al-Assad and Mohammed bin Salman.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lets face facts

      You could also add Saddam Hussein to the list.

      But everyone in the civilised world doesn't need them.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Lets face facts

      Muslims need and respect no-nonsense leaders like Bashar al-Assad and Mohammed bin Salman.

      That's the problem. So there was Ibn Saud, who created the House of Saud in '32 with a bit of help from a certain Empire (not the Ottoman). Fast forwarding through a few generations, there is MbS, conqueror of Yemen. Also controller of lots of billions, and that's not just the possible commissions from Aramco floating. So one of those tricky diplomatic situations where you don't want to upset an important customer, or create a situation where there's another very messy Arab Spring.

      1. Kernel

        Re: Lets face facts

        "So there was Ibn Saud, who created the House of Saud in '32 with a bit of help from a certain Empire (not the Ottoman). "

        Yes, I was sort of surprised, when reading T E Lawrence's biography, to learn that the current structure of the Middle East came about not because of ancient tribal boundaries and traditional leadership roles (as any normal person might assume), but as a result of a meeting between a couple of businessmen (British and French, IIRC) during WW2, who decided to split up the area and assign political leadership based on how the most money could be made by their respective countries after the war. Apparently all advice from people such as Lawrence, who actually knew the tribes and the region, was pretty much ignored as not tending to maximize future profits.

        1. Potemkine! Silver badge

          Re: Lets face facts

          If you mention the Sykes-Picot agreement, it's WW1, not WW2.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Lets face facts

            I think it was a fascinating interval around the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Revolution and the two World Wars.. And a wily King in exile seizing an opportunity to take Riyadh, thanks to some poor tree surgery and 40 helpers. Thus ending 700 years of Hashemite rule.. Then consolidating the Kingdom, and of course oil. But still relatively recent and there's been a loooong history of tribal conflicts and shenanigans.

            Which I think is part of the problem, ie that's still ongoing & MbS has to walk a tightrope of reforming & diversifying the Kingdom without getting overthrown. Nobody really wants to see Saudi turning into another Libya, which could easily happen... Or pressure leading to a holy war with Iran. Fundamentalists in Saudi don't like some of the reforms, or perceived Western influences and corruption.

            1. JLV Silver badge

              Re: Lets face facts

              A wily king who pulled the oldest trick in the book and coopted his local religious leaders to support him in return for his kind assistance in asserting their dogma and rooting out heresy and laicity.

              See also Putin. And Trump, who’s managed to convince a sizeable proportion of religious folk that he’s somehow promoting Jesus’ values.

              Back to the House of Saud tho. Without those $hitheads, their $$$$ and the unfortunate fact that that the Wahhabi branch is an outlier bunch of fanatics, we’d get along much better with Muslims.

              France’s massive fail in the 80s and 90s when I was living there was to do absolutely nothing to accomodate Muslim mosque requirements, in the name of laicity. (Never mind the centuries of tithes that begat all those mostly empty churches).

              Instead we welcomed Saudi money to build mosques and fund imams. Clever.

              Look up Pakistan and Afghanistan in 79-89 anti USSR timeline. 1 to 1 fund matching CIA/Saudi, but Saudi controlled which groups got funded. Hint: anti Russian military capabilities secondary to Islamic zeal and bigotry.

              Islam is really badly served by those lecherous jackasses and their control of their holy sites.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: Lets face facts

                See also Putin. And Trump, who’s managed to convince a sizeable proportion of religious folk that he’s somehow promoting Jesus’ values.

                Back to the House of Saud tho. Without those $hitheads, their $$$$ and the unfortunate fact that that the Wahhabi branch is an outlier bunch of fanatics, we’d get along much better with Muslims.

                I'm wondering if Putin & Trump are quietly relieved that they're not the villain in this piece. Although Putin may be hoping to benefit from arms sales if the US ends up sanctioning Saudi. But religion. The US is still pretty religious, as listening to the radio in the Bible Belt would show. Much hellfire & damnation, and many votes to be won or lost from an electorate which may hold views not too dissimilar from 'Muslim fanatics'.. Which is hardly suprising given the Abrahamic roots.

                And we'd probably get along much better with Muslims if there was less Islamophobia. There's a billion or so Muslims, and the majority aren't sharpening swords for a spot of head chopping. But we're not entirely blameless, especially in our proxy wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. Fanatics have been encouraged and even armed to face our enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria etc etc and it's hardly suprising there's been some blowback.

                And of course Saudi's stuck literally between a rock and some hard cases. It's guardian of Mecca by virtue of geography, and thus has to manage the politics that go with it. Much as Israel does with Jerusalem, and with many of the same challenges. Assassination politics are also nothing new, despite these strange and terrible events. So a journalist probably murdered in Turkey, which is not exactly known for it's press freedoms either. Or particularly friendly with Saudi. So much politcing going on around things as crude as money, or regional stability.. And prospects for more blowback, ie Saudi pivoting towards Russia, counter-sanctions and de-dollarisation, MbS becoming less reformist to maintain power, or a coup and Saudi turning into another Libya.

                On the plus side, unlike the first half of the 20th Century, we can have live updates. Figuring out wtf? was happening across the world pre-modern communications must have been a lot harder.

          2. Kernel

            Re: Lets face facts

            "If you mention the Sykes-Picot agreement, it's WW1, not WW2."

            You're correct, that was the agreement I was thinking off - I probably confused reading about Lawrence's WW1 role with another book about his slightly different role in the RAF during WW2, cunningly disguised as Aircraftsman Ross.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: Lets face facts

      Ruthless, "no-nonsense" leaders have a long and distinguished history across all civilisations and religions, there's nothing distinctively Muslim about them.

      Consider, e.g.: Stalin, Mao, Franco, Mugabe, and many more of their ilk.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Lets face facts

        "Ruthless, no-nonsense" is a tautology, at least in this context. Somehow I suspect the OP thanks his (her?) lucky stars that he (she?) doesn't live under such a regime. Either that, or it didn't think it's comment through ... which would be my guess, given past posting history.

  9. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    google

    Wait .. you mean google doesn't know already ?

    It appears their information-grabbing isn't as effective as they'd like.

    Or is this a bluff ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe we can skip over a few steps here...

    They initially floated the cover story trial balloon that Mr Khashoggi "accidentally died" while being "interrogated". Once they commit to this story, the press will then remind everyone that one of the 15 "interrogators" is a forensic doctor who reportedly brought along his bone saw collection.

    Having figured out just in time that the "interrogation" cover story wasn't going to work, now they're trying out the "rogue killers" story. If followed through to the end, it leads to a plot line that you couldn't make up.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amateurs!

    Whoever it was who did this are strictly amateurs. They should have asked the Ruskies to show them how it's done properly!

    1. JLV Silver badge

      Re: Amateurs!

      the same Russkies who got got caught with their pants down in Salisbury? With their lame sports supps cover story? Who didn’t visit “their” cathedral cause it was raining?

      If only the Chinese secret services were as incompetent as the Russians and Saudis. But that’s asking a lot.

  12. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
    Happy

    The least funniest joke ever

    This whole Saudi affair is just the most blatent and obvious example of what utter bollocks world politics really is sometimes. Too much money at stake, all we in the West can do is wag our fingers at those naughty boys in UAE for going a tad too far during their ( ahem ) "failed interrogation", 'cos anything more harsh is said and with the stroke of a diamond encrusted pen billions of much needed cash being spent by the UAE on goods from the West just disappears and goes elsewhere in the world.

    If you ever needed to be reminded of how tiny and insignificant a working class drone you really are, this is it. You're a nothing and nobody compared those with their hands on the reins of power, they're like a playground clique that runs the show, so get on and dance monkeys 'cos that's all we're good for.

  13. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    MBS

    aka The MoBSter

    His accomplice, the corrupt Trumpy the Klown, will do whatever necessary to try to cover his traces, he and his family got a lot of money for that.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nope

    This is the kind of (but not the sole) story that forged my resolve to never under any circumstances set foot in that country (and apparently any of it embassies) - no matter how glamorous or hospitable it may look for a tourist (or a person on a business trip) from afar, or how brief or imperative a visit may be - my answer has to be JUST. NO. Not that there's any danger of that happening anyway really - there's basically zero chance of anyone asking me; it's simply a conviction-level thing.

    And it's not because of the specific details of any of these stories, or the perception of any well-defined, specific danger or threat; but because those going there apparently all fail to realize that places that aren't the good old western world can and do have radically different systems of values and beliefs concerning what is right or wrong, what is glorious or disgraceful or holy or offending, what is an appropriate response or retribution for an act, how much if any of the authority of the nominal powers-that-be applies wherever you actually are and so on - and that by entering that domain they place their very existence at the mercy of that alien world.

    It's not the place of a fun weekend racing on sand dunes, or the place of fat business wallets: it's the place that can and will kill or imprison you indefinitely for something you may not even have realised you shouldn't have done. It's all fun and games until you fall right off at the edge of the fluffy cloud of your taken-for-granted human rights you have been walking on all your life, never questioning where it ends or how much actual protection it offers against anyone determined to seriously harm you.

    You're skydiving without your reserve parachute and most likely not even realizing it; it will make absolutely no difference anyway, right up until it does. And then you just die.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tricky issue for the Saudi rulers...

    Let's assume that the journalist indeed entered the embassy, never came out, but instead met a specialist team sent from his homeland... Last I heard Saudi Arabia is a country that will punish a thief by cutting off his hand. I wonder what their punishment for premeditated murder might look like?

    If you look for a fall guy (or a dozen, based on the Turkish investigation), things get tricky if the fall guy might loose a head. Maybe that explains the very slow PR coming out of Riad... It's a very tricky issue!

    In a movie plot, the guilty parties might now start to disappear to protect the higher powers (leaving, of course, the lone hero fighting for his life...). Let's see how good the writers are for this reality show.

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