Blood and Oil

Why do you think everyone suddenly cares about some Saudi journalist?

Which of the following seems more plausible to you?

#1. The world suddenly cares deeply and passionately about human rights in Saudi Arabia. (note that this wailing and gnashing of teeth was conspicuously absent when Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman decided to go full Michael Corleone on the Saudi elite last year)

#2. The US financial/political/industrial complex cares deeply and passionately about inflationary pressures and what they might mean for the future path of interest rates, is irritated that the Saudis prefer a higher oil price, and has lucked into the perfect issue with which to needle Riyadh.

Forgive my cynicism, but this all strikes me as by-the-numbers geopolitical gamesmanship.

Update (10/18/18): A more robust analysis can be found here and here. As this story has evolved it seems clearer that this is less about the US using this as leverage and more about plain old-fashioned virtue signaling.

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