Image Credits: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque.

Saudi Arabia is known for its periodic killing sprees. For example, in 2016, the government carried out a mass execution of 47 people, and they followed that up in 2019 by executing 37 individuals. But they outdid themselves on Saturday by putting 81 people to death.

This flies in the face of promises they’ve made in recent years to chill the fuck out.

The Saudi government said last year that it had suspended capital punishment for drug-related offenses, leading to an 85 percent drop in executions in 2020. It also pledged to stop executing people who had committed their crimes as children.

The crown prince has said that he was pushing to change Saudi law to reduce the punishment for some offenses from the death penalty to life in prison, though he said capital punishment would still apply where Islamic scripture demanded it.

But with Russian oil sanctioned, the world is more dependent than ever on Saudi sources of energy, and that evidently gave them a free hand to go bananas with the capital punishment. I don’t know why they don’t do these things piecemeal–a handful at a time–to attract a little less negative publicity for their barbarism. But I guess they like to sate their bloodlust in big servings.

It’d be nice if the world could bring the hammer down on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and tell him to take his oil and put it where the sun don’t shine. But the world ain’t nice.

That’s clearer now than at anytime I can remember.

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