US President Joe Biden has reverted to "the sort of opportunism," that he condemned while campaigning for the 2020 election, says a political commentator.
Former UN human rights investigator Richard Falk made the comments in an interview with Press TV on Saturday after Biden defended inaction towards the order by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to e murder dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
"Now in charge of the US government, Biden reverts to the sort of opportunism that he condemned when he was a candidate seeking to discredit [former President Donald] Trump," said the former UN special rapporteur from Santa Barbara. "MBS’s behavior should have been repudiated and US leverage used."
"Jamal Khashoggi was a WaPo journalist massacred by agents from a foreign country. The previous administration cheered it on. The current administration has decided to give the Saudi regime a pass. This is a disaster in multiple respects." -- @gaslitnation https://t.co/S44NsVMS6x— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) March 10, 2021
'Giving rise to fear'
Khashoggi, 59, a former advocate of the Saudi royal court who later became a critic of bin Salman, was killed after being lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018. His body was dismembered by a Saudi hit squad and probably incinerated in an oven at Saudi envoy's home in the major Turkish city, which straddles Europe and Asia.
The lack of accountability for the brutal assassination "gives rise to fears" similar actions by the MBS, the American professor suggested.
"If Biden backs off, it signals a green light for further atrocities adversaries of the Kingdom," Falk noted.
Ali Jaseb was not as prestigious as Jamal Khashoggi.He never penned for @washingtonpost .He wasn't a permanent resident of the US.He was a father of two,the youngest only 6months ago when he was disappeared by militias.I thought heartbreak would kill his father, but bullets did https://t.co/3UDBxvkGHr— Rasha Al Aqeedi (@RashaAlAqeedi) March 10, 2021
Crushing dissidents no matter what?
Unlike Trump, under Biden the US acknowledged the crown prince's role, but nothing was done accordingly.
How bin Salman will act away from his favorite President Trump raises "two sets of expectations," the analyst explained.
"I would imagine that the magnitude of the public relations setback suffered by the Khashoggi assassination in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul would lead to greater caution in the future by MBS," he said, adding that, there is the simultaneous, "willingness to defy world censure, and do whatever it takes to get rid of hostile journalists and other critics.
“Jamal Khashoggi is only the most visible and terrible example of a global phenomenon that is really increasingly worrisome.” The US must take further action against #TransnationalRepression. @abramowitz https://t.co/fqmzTHiRbd— Freedom House (@freedomhouse) March 11, 2021
Under President Biden, Washington is expected to take it easy on Riyadh and Tel Aviv but hard on Moscow and Beijing.
Falk described it as "maintaining strong ties with Israel and Saudi Arabia without scrutinizing their behavior too closely," while "maintaining the pressure applied during the Trump years, and actually moving in more confrontational directions with respect to China and Russia."
While Washington imposed sanctions on some of those involved in Khashoggi's murder, it spared bin Salman himself, a move that has angered rights groups, and worried Saudi dissidents.
Many were hoping the US Democratic president would take a meaningful action in regard to the heinous act, considering the Biden administration's claims of respect for human rights.