The USA has signalled a return to a rules-based international order after it told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman that the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was an intolerable act of abuse and that the US would respond to any more murders with some immediate and stern frowning.
Brock Williams, the newly appointed US ambassador to the UN, said that the days of Saudi autocrats committing crimes with total impurity were over and that the rulers of the oil-rich country better shape up or face some pretty contemptuous sneers when American officials sign huge arms deals with them.
He told us, “For four years we saw the unedifying sight of an American president doing a sword dance with Islamic fundamentalist dictators just to sell some weapons systems and keep oil money filling up political coffers.
“Now America is back, and when we sell weapons systems to Islamic fundamentalist dictators and ask for oil money it will be done with diplomatic polish and a small amount of disdain.
“Mark my words, we will no longer tolerate horrific cruelty inflicted on the opponents of the Saudi Regime. Well, except for those they hold in their jails, Saudi women asking not to be considered property anymore, Yemeni civilians and the countless victims of the jihadist psychopaths worldwide that get money from the Saudi regime. But embassies are a place for champagne receptions, not murders!”
Mr Williams said the harsh tone was necessary to ensure Mohammed Bin Salman knew he could not just buy his way out of trouble.
“It will take more than an order for two dozen F35 jet fighters with the Desert Operations Avionics package. We’d need at least that and to see Saudi Arabia sharing intelligence with the Israelis.
“No, those guys can keep doing whatever the fuck they want.”