Just imagine... The response if Jamal Khashoggi had been Russian

Neil Clark
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
Just imagine... The response if Jamal Khashoggi had been Russian
All we have to do to highlight the enormous hypocrisy and double standards which are the hallmark of domestic and international politics is to switch the names around.

Here are just a few examples:

Horror Consulate – but damn, it’s our ally’s!

Just imagine…If a Russian journalist, a vocal critic of President Putin and the Russian government, had walked into a Russian consulate in a NATO member state to obtain papers for his forthcoming marriage and never came out again alive. After Kremlin denials, and several changes of story, it transpired that he had indeed been killed while in the Consulate, with claims made that he had been cut up while a ‘look-a-like’ left the building. 

Well, that what’s happened to the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi. And guess what, there have been no diplomatic expulsions of Saudi diplomats from the UK and US - as happened quite swiftly in the Skripal Case, despite Russian government involvement not being proved. 

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has not said that Saudi Arabia ‘should go away, should shut up’ as he said about Russia (see below). Or if he did, I’ve missed it.

And that great human rights respecting liberal, Justin Trudeau, says he is unlikely to cancel Canada’s $12bn sale of armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia because it’s a “difficult contract”. Canada expelled four Russian diplomats over the Skripal case, when no one had died, but none yet over Khashoggi.

READ MORE: Canada is 'concerned' with Khashoggi's fate but will sell arms to Saudis anyway – Trudeau

What a surprise. Not.

‘Right’ and ‘wrong’ marches

Just Imagine… If around half a million people marched through the streets of central London calling for a radical change in UK foreign policy and an end to UK involvement in Middle Eastern wars. Would Alastair Campbell be saying that MPs had to take notice – as he did after Saturday’s pro-EU People’s Vote protest?

Well, over 1 MILLION people (myself included), did march through central London on February 15, 2003, calling on the UK government not to attack Iraq. But Campbell, then spin doctor to the pro-war MP Tony Blair, did not want MPs to take notice of that – and they didn’t, despite it being the largest ever political demonstration in British history. Why does he think some protestors should be listened to but others-who take to the streets in much greater numbers, should be ignored? Why didn’t he want us to have a ‘People’s Vote’ on invading Iraq? 

Nothing to see here folks, look over there instead!

Just Imagine… If in 2009, a leading Russian newspaper, had published an article entitled: ‘Battling Cameron, Russia’s main British enemy’, in relation to the then UK Opposition leader.

And then the newspaper asked the question: Is there anything Russia’s allies can do to make it more difficult for a Cameron-led Conservative Party to rise to power?

Imagine too if this had come after a sustained campaign by Parliamentary ‘Friends of Russia’ in the Conservative Party and pro-Russian government figures in the media, to undermine Cameron’s leadership because they thought he was anti-Russian – and a Senior Political Officer of the Russian Embassy was caught on camera talking about the ‘take-down’ of MPs – including the UK’s Deputy Foreign Minister, who was causing Russia ‘a lot of problems’. The political officer also boasted that he had a fund of ‘more than £1m’ for ‘Labour Friends of Russia’.

We can be sure there would have been major repercussions, involving the expulsion of Russian Embassy staff and the imposition of economic sanctions, and calls for Russian media channels such as RT and Sputnik to be taken off air in the UK.

None of this happened as above, but it has happened if you switch Russia for Israel and Cameron for Corbyn.

But we’re not really meant to talk about it, as it’s an ‘ok’ country – who’s doing the meddling. There have been no expulsions. No sanctions. Instead we have staunch ‘Friends of Israel’ like Tom Watson MP, calling for a ‘Mueller-style investigation’ into the 'subverting' of British democracy, by... you've guessed it –Russia! 

The wrong perpetrators

Just Imagine… if, on August 9, 2018, the Syrian air force had bombed a school bus killing 40 boys aged six to eleven who were being taken on a school trip along with eleven adults. And that the 227kg laser bomb which had caused the carnage had been supplied by Russia?

You can be sure that there would have been renewed calls for airstrikes on Syrian government targets and for protests outside Russian Embassies worldwide. There would also have been calls for the UK Parliament to be recalled from summer recess. Pro-war MPs would have demanded that President Assad stood trial at The Hague.

But it wasn’t the Syrian air-force who bombed the school bus in August. It was the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. And the bomb was supplied by the US, not Russia. 

So the neocons and ‘humanitarian interventionists’ stayed as silent as Trappist monks with sore throats.

Leakers are cool – so long as it’s the enemy’s stuff that's being leaked!

Just Imagine… if a Russian leaker of classified Kremlin documents took refuge in the British Embassy in Belarus after rape allegations had been made against him by a country friendly to Russia and he had skipped bail. It then transpired that the Russian authorities had urged the country requesting the extradition not to drop the request – with an email being sent saying ‘Don’t you dare get cold feet !!!’

We can be sure that the person in question would be hailed as a ‘Courageous Fighter for Truth and Freedom’ and Russia would be fiercely condemned for its ‘persecution’ of the ‘dissident’. But it’s Julian Assange, an Australian, who we are talking about here, and he’s been holed up in an Embassy in London. He doesn’t fear extradition to Russia, but to the US – where politicians and commentators have labelled him a ‘terrorist’ and called for him to be killed. It was the British authorities – and not the Russians who urged the Swedes, who had wanted to drop the case, not to get cold feet.

Assange leaked stuff ‘we’ wanted kept secret, like classified Iraq War documents, and a cable discussing how the US could 'exploit' ethnic divisions in Syria, so he's not a ‘hero’ but a pariah. Let’s hope he doesn’t suffer the same fate as Saki’s talking cat Tobermory

Who's the Aggressor? Who's the 'Regime'?

Just Imagine… if there were two Iranian politicians who went head-to-head in their country’s Presidential elections a decade or so ago. The first politician, let's call him Ccandidate A, had previously been a prisoner-of-war having been captured while bombing a Third World Country. He’s renowned for his aggressive, pro-war rhetoric against western countries and on the campaign trail sang ‘Bombing the USA’ to the tune of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’.

The second politician, let's call him Candidate B, presents himself as a ‘progressive’ man of peace, and is elected. He even wins the Nobel Peace Prize! But he then follows more or less the same policies of warmongering as Candidate A, and in 2011 bombs a country which had the highest living standards in the whole of Africa, transforming it into a failed state where slave markets re-appear. Candidate A continues to call for more bombing and sanctioning of Western countries, until his death, from a brain tumor in 2018. He is hailed as ‘a warrior for peace’ and is eulogised by the Iranian media and the entire political establishment.

At his funeral Candidate B says of his old ‘rival’: ‘we never doubted we were on the same team’.

What would commentators be saying about these candidates, and what their careers told us about the state of Iranian ‘democracy’?

Well, these candidates did exist but they weren’t Iranian but American. Candidate A was John McCain and Candidate B Barack Obama. And McCain singing ‘Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran’ to the tune of The Beach Boys’ Barbara Ann was just further evidence not of his moral depravity, but of what a ‘great guy’ he was.

As for Obama’s destruction of Libya, again: just imagine if an Iranian President had done it.

And finally....

Just Imagine… if a communist faced imprisonment for contempt of court after he had filmed, contrary to reporting restrictions, a group of bankers who faced a trial in connection with fraudulent activities which led to the 2008 Financial Crash.

Do we think he would be hailed as a ‘free speech hero’ as anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson has been? Interesting thought, isn't it? But of course it wouldn’t happen as the bankers would never have been charged in the first place!

Follow Neil Clark @NeilClark66  

You can read other articles in Neil Clark’s ‘Just Imagine’ series here, here, and here

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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