Caleb Pollema–Staff Writer
The relationship between the United States and one of its Middle Eastern allies, Saudi Arabia, has been strained over recent weeks as news surfaced about the disappearance and alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
In September 2017, Khashoggi was silenced and forced to leave Saudi Arabia because of his beliefs regarding free speech in the Middle East.
He traveled to Turkey earlier this month to seek papers to marry his Turkish fiancée from the Saudi consulate. He has been missing ever since.
His fiancée sought out President Trump to investigate his disappearance in a recent op-ed in the Washington Post earlier this month, forcing media members to withdraw sponsorships from a Saudi business conference.
Days after the media withdrawal, the Turkish government reported that they had significant audio and video recordings to suggest that Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate.
With the attention of President Trump, the Turkish and Saudi governments announced a joint investigation into the incident. Mike Pompeo would then travel to Saudi Arabia to meet with the king over Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Following the meeting, Khashoggi’s final column was published in the Washington Post declaring the need for free expression and free speech in the Middle East.
Trump confirmed Khashoggi’s death the day following the release of his final column. The Saudi government would go on to say that Khashoggi was killed in a fistfight in the consulate.
Great speculation swirls around this matter due to the strict limitations and lack of freedom inside of Saudi Arabia.
“I don’t think that these limitations are right,” said Dordt sophomore Cole Evans. “But that’s why America has a Constitution, and it’s important that we protect it.”
The death of Khashoggi is of great importance to the United States as the beacon of personal liberties and freedom of speech across the world.
The consequences and resulting tensions from this revelation could have a significant economic impact on both countries. With oil being an important commodity to both countries, time will tell the resulting effects of Khashoggi’s death on petroleum products.
The death of Khashoggi points to the growing concern for the United States over oppressive regimes in other countries specifically in the Middle East.
The Trump administration will continue to deal with these behaviors from Middle Eastern countries if speech is limited and the people of Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other countries are oppressed and even killed.