October 11, 2018 | Opinion

President Trump may not believe in a rules-based international order, but we may now be seeing the consequences of the absence of global norms. The Russians have no qualms about poisoning a former agent in Britain. Lately the Chinese have felt free to disappear or detain some of their most prominent citizens — from an Interpol chief to a leading actress — by extralegal means. And now it appears the Saudis may have lured journalist and Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi to their consulate in Istanbul, with his fate at this point remaining unknown.

Initially, given the Turkish-Saudi rivalry and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s penchant for making baseless charges, I was skeptical of the Turkish reports of Saudi operatives sent to kill KhashoggI. But with the Saudis being unable or unwilling to show footage from the consulate’s security cameras portraying him leaving the building, their denials ring less true. Unfortunately, in a world defined by President Trump’s principle of “sovereignty,” other leaders may well believe they have a license to do whatever is necessary to protect their interests as they define them…

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