The Barbaric Slaughter of Jamal Khashoggi


A Commentary by Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 13.10.2018,




Unfortunately, there is almost certainty about the tragic fate of Jamal Khashoggi. He entered the Saudi embassy in Turkey on 2 October in order to get the necessary papers to marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. He has not been seen since then. According to numerous accounts (including audio and video recordings), he was awaited by a 15-men assassination team which arrived from Riyadh on the same day in order to kill him. They detained, interrogated, tortured and finally brutally slaughtered him. Among the assassination team was a forensic expert who brought a bone saw to dismember Khashoggi's body after killing him. "It is like Pulp Fiction," a senior US official familiar with the investigation has been quoted as saying.


There is substantial evidence that this murder was ordered by Saudi Arabia’s strong men himself, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to reports some of the 15 assassins were even drawn from Salman’s personal bodyguard. (1)


Jamal Khashoggi was a very moderate critique of the Saudi regime. Living in the U.S. he wrote articles for the liberal Washington Post in which he expressed concerns about Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen or the arrest of women’s rights activists. He supported more individual rights in his country but did not call for an overthrow of the autocratic monarchy which rules Saudi Arabia since its foundation. He supported the Syrian Revolution from its beginning in 2011.


No doubt, as revolutionaries and Marxists we adhere to a very different ideology than Khashoggi. However, we certainly share his desire for more democratic rights. Only a professional idiot and right-wing rabble-rouser like Donald Trump Jr. could dare to link Khashoggi to “jihadists”. (2)


We express our deepest condolences to Hatice Cengiz and his family and join millions of people around the world who condemn this barbaric homicide.


His brutal murder demonstrated that the Saudi monarchy can not tolerate even such a modest critic like Khashoggi. The ruling class in Riyadh is determined to liquidate each and every voice of criticism. It is doing so because its reign in fact is highly instable. This class is thoroughly corrupt and lives a decadent live based on huge profits of its massive oilfields as well as the super-exploitation of the millions of migrants working as cheap labor force. Bin Salman and his tyrannical regime wage a barbaric war of aggression against the Yemeni people since 2015 which has resulted in the killing of thousands of civilians. (3) It has been the key supporter of General Sisi’s military coup in Egypt in July 2013 which resulted in the killing of thousands of demonstrators. (4) Riyadh was also close to wage war against Qatar in June 2017 because the later allows Al Jazeera to voice criticism against its corrupt reign. (5)


Characteristically, bin Salman is also “best friends forever” of Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner (“We've put our man on top!" Trump told his friends according to Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury). (6)  The Saudi regime is also a loyal support of the Zionist Apartheid state. (7) At the same time, Riyadh is also making profitable deals with Russia and looks for reconciliation with the Assad tyranny. (8) In short, the Saudi regime is an arch-reactionary fortress ruled by an utterly corrupt and decadent elite serving the interests of the imperialist Great Powers.


The barbaric slaughter of Jamal Khashoggi demonstrates once more the urgent need to bring down the Saudi regime of terror. Smashing this tyranny will aid the liberation struggles of the heroic peoples in Palestine, Yemen, and Syria. It will hit all autocratic rulers and, in particular, the mad man in the White House.


We might not be able to bring Khashoggi back to life. But his sacrifices will not be in vein if we support all efforts to bring down the tyranny of the Saud family and its imperialist masters in Washington.






(1) David Hearst: Trump and the boy king: Mohammed bin Salman's reign is over before it even began, 12 October 2018


(2) Carla Herreria: Donald Trump Jr. Peddles Tweet Linking Jamal Khashoggi To ‘Jihadists’, 13.10.2018,


(3) The RCIT has published many articles on the Saudi War against the Yemeni people. They are collected here: Our latest article on this issue is: Michael Pröbsting: Western Hypocrisy and the Saudi War of Aggression against the Yemeni People, 10 April 2018,


(4) The RCIT has published numerous articles on Egypt under the military dictatorship of General Sisi. They are collected here: Our latest article on this issue is: Michael Pröbsting: EU Leaders Praise Egypt’s Military Dictatorship, 21.09.2018,


(5) See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Qatar-Gulf Crisis: Another Offensive of the Arab Counter-Revolution, 10 June 2017,


(6) On the RCIT’s analysis of the Trump Administration see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Meaning, Consequences and Lessons of Trump‘s Victory, 24.November 2016,; Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, RCIT Books, Vienna 2018,


(7) The RCIT has published numerous articles on Israel and the Palestinian liberation struggle. They are collected here: Our latest article on this issue is: Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine): Solidarity with Gaza! 18.07.2018,


(8) The RCIT has published numerous articles on the Syrian Revolution. They are collected here: Our latest article on this issue is: Michael Pröbsting: Syria: Who is Responsible for the Civilian Death Toll from March 2011 to September 2018? 10.10.2018,