On Oct. 13, I answered the following question at Quora:
What happens on the world stage if Turkey's claims are true in that they have proof that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate? What does the US do? What does the UN do?
START OF QUORA ANSWER
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
Answered Sun Oct. 13, 2018
I do not expect the US to do anything meaningful. If Trump does anything at all, it will be aimed at getting votes for the GOP in the Nov 6 midterms. The UN is toothless. It will do nothing meaningful.
The only person who may do something meaningful is Turkish president Erdoğan. Unlike Trump, who is a man of words, Erdoğan is more a man of actions. All eyes should be on him at this time. I have no predictions for what he will do. However, we know that he differs sharply with the Saudis, particularly on the Palestine issue. The Saudis are de facto allies of Israel and tacitly approve of everything they do. Erdoğan is incensed at the wanton slaughter of unarmed protesters and the aerial bombings in Gaza. Of all world leaders who oppose this, he is the strongest and is capable, at some point, of acting. No Western leader or group will act. The US constantly issues condemnations of Israel’s slaughter of civilians, missile attacks on Syria and occupation of Arab territories and Netanyahu laughs it off.
END OF ANSWER
For those who missed the news this AM, the Turkish investigation turned up body parts presumably belonging to Jamal Khashoggi, in the garden of the Saudi consul in Istanbul. Now there is no way MBS can distance himself from the murder. The investigation was elegant, with Erdoğan simply asking the Saudis for permission to interrogate consulate employees and dig up the consul’s yard. Any hesitation or refusal would have been damaging, and besides, the Saudis knew Ergogan would have simply sent in the amy, so the answer was yes.
Why I guessed that Erdoğan would be the only national leader to do something meaningful.
First off, I did not count blood moons or consult Revelation or Ezekiel for this one.
Right from the start, Trump tried to show toughness by saying the punishment would be “severe” if he found out the Saudi government was involved in a murder. But he immediately negated this by saying we had to think about all the jobs that would be lost if Saudi decided to stop buying US weapons with which to murder Houthis. (He didn’t say it exactly that way of course). So Trump was blowing smoke as usual, trying to please both sides but annoying almost everyone.
I knew that Russia, though deemed a candidate for intervention in Saudi, would do nothing because, as any student of Putinology knews, Russia has an iron clad policy of respecting the sovereignty of all nations. Therefore, Russia is bound by its own policy to refrain from influencing the internal policies of other nations.
I knew that Egypt would try to stay in line with Saudi, so even if Sisi was annoyed with MBS, he would neither say nor do anything substantive. The rest of the Middle East would keep mum because everyone there fears the US and the keeper of the Holy Shrine. Israel is not averse to bloodshed and would sympathize more with MBS than with Khashoggi. Germany would condemn Saudi and maybe slap them on the wrist but had always sold arms to the dictatorial kingdom. (In fact, they have momentarily suspended arms sales to Riyadh. Don’t worry. It won’t last).
But then there was Erdoğan.
Aside from the fact that I knew Erdoğan was in sharp disagreement with Saudi on Israeli protester murder and aparthed, I had read the Turkish president’s first reaction to what appeared to be a murder in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. He spoke firmly but did not mention any “severe” punishment or the like as Trump had. He was professional about it, would speak softly but after all, he was in control of the investigation and would not spare anyone. I also knew him to be a serious enough leader that he would not tolerate any country committing a crime in a diplomatic mission in Turkey, even though embassies and consulates are, strictly speaking, sovereign territories of the nations that establish them.
Erdoğan had already been the target of a failed coup, which Putin had told him was tied to the CIA. Momma Merkel had also sullied him on one occasion, banning Turkish candidates from campaigning in Germany. Further, the US just recently tried to slap economic sanctions on Turkey for buying the Russian S-400 air defence system. The Turkish president might even be resentful of the US attempt to kill the joint Russian-Turkish TurkStream gas pipeline project that promised to be lucrative for Turkey. So he has had every reason to bear a grudge against Western powers for some time and would be motivated to embroil them, especially the US, in a scandal. And let’s make no mistake about it, Erdoğan knows that any scandal that stains Saudi Arabia touches the US as well. After all, the world has been generally sceptical about the liberal supply of lethal weapons to a bloody dictatorship, especially from a nation that constantly levels proofless accusations of inhuman behaviour against nations like Iran, Syria, Serbia, Libya and Iraq to gain undue influence in those nations, generally by simply dropping countless bombs on civilians. And no regime has been more inhuman than the Saudi one.
So Erdoğan was my pick, and of course, I was right. It will be interesting to see what’s next.