World
Martin Jay
December 12, 2021
© Photo: REUTERS/Umit Bektas

The truth about Khashoggi, was in fact a million miles from what the Post’s Opinion section crafted in a baptism of sensational storytelling.

The reality is that the West can no longer carry off the moral high ground when dishing out the human rights tutelage. London, Paris and Washington are addicted to Saudi arms deals and have exposed woke U.S. media as entirely fake.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohamed bin Salman (or simply MbS to many) is an opaque figure who we can say at least is hugely misunderstood by most, certainly western media. In recent weeks, the news that a Saudi official who was allegedly the mastermind behind the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was arrested and detained briefly by the French, sparked more media chaff about the affair allowing America’s woke media to peddle the worn narrative about MbS being the one who signed the murder off.

Yet the French Connection to the MbS story is interesting as it was Macron who, one could argue, has turned a page for U.S. media and brought MbS in from the cold. It was actually the French president who recently reached out to the Saudis to boost France’s trade with the kingdom as few if any in the West now can keep up the boycott of Saudi Arabia. The French, the British and more importantly the Americans all need the Saudis’ money although three years after the Khashoggi murder the news that Joe Biden is throwing his weight behind 650 million dollar air-to-air missile deal, despite it receiving some resistance in the Senate over concerns for the Saudi role in Yemen, should surprise us – given that Biden was so bellicose about hitting the Saudi regime (and in particular MbS) hard, after only a few days in the Oval office.

Did the French move spur Biden to change his tact and win some points from the U.S. army lobby? Possibly. But if those from the woke camp in America who so vociferously campaigned and whaled at every given media moment about the death of the Saudi commentator are as disingenuous as Biden, then we should be surprised that it took three years for the Saudi crown prince to get the whitewashing which he has finally been awarded by Washington.

We now see, in the bare light, what all that fake hullabaloo was really all about: bashing Trump. If we look, in particular at CNN and the Washington Post (the latter who wheeled out a black editor who claimed to be a dear friend of Khashoggi and turned on the tears when the cameras started to roll), it is clear that the campaign was really only about using the murder as a tool to generate media spin against Trump who had made the Saudis his closest allies in the region (bar the Israelis) and at the time of the murder was helping them with a ruse to destroy Qatar. Trump was blind-sided by the murder. Totally caught off guard and the Washington Post didn’t miss a heartbeat in treating Khashoggi practically like a U.S. citizen who had been murdered for carrying out his American apple pie beliefs of liberty and freedom of expression. The truth about Khashoggi, was in fact a million miles from what the Post’s Opinion section crafted in a baptism of sensational storytelling with perhaps the biggest lie being how the journal managed to not mention its own links – let alone Khashoggi’s – with Qatar, as just one example.

But where is the call centre opprobrium now, just days after Biden has decided, in fact, that it’s fine to sell the Saudi’s air-to-air missiles? Why didn’t the French detain Khaled Aedh al-Otaibi, the Saudi official believed to be at the very centre of the murder and who could shed light on two key questions, namely where the body is and whether it was MbS who issued the order or not. The fact that al-Otaibi was detained was due to his name being on an Interpol blacklist, which, in itself is part of relations between the Saudis and Turkey reaching an all-time low when the murder occurred (it was Turkey who signed off the arrest warrant). But his release is an indication that the West has decided to move on from its hypocritical campaign against MbS and instead go back to selling his regime arms. Even Turkey is trying its best now to patch up its differences with the Saudis and move on. MbS himself has won an important battle both at home and abroad and has edged closer to attaining the foreign investment colossus which he needs to modernize the kingdom and consider a second IPO of the stateowned oil facility. Expect soon photos in the New York Times of him seating with world leaders and talking green energy and a cooling off for the spat with Lebanon (to give a ‘cadeaux’ to Macron and make him feel like a player in the region).

But the lesson to Middle Eastern despots in the region is clear. If you want to kidnap or murder your own dissidents who are residing in the West, don’t risk doing the job yourself with your own third-rate security services, who are almost certain to make a dog’s breakfast of the job. Much better to ask Mossad or Mi6 to do the job for you who will be more professional, leave no forensic or digital footprint and frame your adversaries into the bargain.

Khashoggi Murder Starts to Get Its First Real Whitewash. But From the West, not From the Saudis

The truth about Khashoggi, was in fact a million miles from what the Post’s Opinion section crafted in a baptism of sensational storytelling.

The reality is that the West can no longer carry off the moral high ground when dishing out the human rights tutelage. London, Paris and Washington are addicted to Saudi arms deals and have exposed woke U.S. media as entirely fake.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohamed bin Salman (or simply MbS to many) is an opaque figure who we can say at least is hugely misunderstood by most, certainly western media. In recent weeks, the news that a Saudi official who was allegedly the mastermind behind the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was arrested and detained briefly by the French, sparked more media chaff about the affair allowing America’s woke media to peddle the worn narrative about MbS being the one who signed the murder off.

Yet the French Connection to the MbS story is interesting as it was Macron who, one could argue, has turned a page for U.S. media and brought MbS in from the cold. It was actually the French president who recently reached out to the Saudis to boost France’s trade with the kingdom as few if any in the West now can keep up the boycott of Saudi Arabia. The French, the British and more importantly the Americans all need the Saudis’ money although three years after the Khashoggi murder the news that Joe Biden is throwing his weight behind 650 million dollar air-to-air missile deal, despite it receiving some resistance in the Senate over concerns for the Saudi role in Yemen, should surprise us – given that Biden was so bellicose about hitting the Saudi regime (and in particular MbS) hard, after only a few days in the Oval office.

Did the French move spur Biden to change his tact and win some points from the U.S. army lobby? Possibly. But if those from the woke camp in America who so vociferously campaigned and whaled at every given media moment about the death of the Saudi commentator are as disingenuous as Biden, then we should be surprised that it took three years for the Saudi crown prince to get the whitewashing which he has finally been awarded by Washington.

We now see, in the bare light, what all that fake hullabaloo was really all about: bashing Trump. If we look, in particular at CNN and the Washington Post (the latter who wheeled out a black editor who claimed to be a dear friend of Khashoggi and turned on the tears when the cameras started to roll), it is clear that the campaign was really only about using the murder as a tool to generate media spin against Trump who had made the Saudis his closest allies in the region (bar the Israelis) and at the time of the murder was helping them with a ruse to destroy Qatar. Trump was blind-sided by the murder. Totally caught off guard and the Washington Post didn’t miss a heartbeat in treating Khashoggi practically like a U.S. citizen who had been murdered for carrying out his American apple pie beliefs of liberty and freedom of expression. The truth about Khashoggi, was in fact a million miles from what the Post’s Opinion section crafted in a baptism of sensational storytelling with perhaps the biggest lie being how the journal managed to not mention its own links – let alone Khashoggi’s – with Qatar, as just one example.

But where is the call centre opprobrium now, just days after Biden has decided, in fact, that it’s fine to sell the Saudi’s air-to-air missiles? Why didn’t the French detain Khaled Aedh al-Otaibi, the Saudi official believed to be at the very centre of the murder and who could shed light on two key questions, namely where the body is and whether it was MbS who issued the order or not. The fact that al-Otaibi was detained was due to his name being on an Interpol blacklist, which, in itself is part of relations between the Saudis and Turkey reaching an all-time low when the murder occurred (it was Turkey who signed off the arrest warrant). But his release is an indication that the West has decided to move on from its hypocritical campaign against MbS and instead go back to selling his regime arms. Even Turkey is trying its best now to patch up its differences with the Saudis and move on. MbS himself has won an important battle both at home and abroad and has edged closer to attaining the foreign investment colossus which he needs to modernize the kingdom and consider a second IPO of the stateowned oil facility. Expect soon photos in the New York Times of him seating with world leaders and talking green energy and a cooling off for the spat with Lebanon (to give a ‘cadeaux’ to Macron and make him feel like a player in the region).

But the lesson to Middle Eastern despots in the region is clear. If you want to kidnap or murder your own dissidents who are residing in the West, don’t risk doing the job yourself with your own third-rate security services, who are almost certain to make a dog’s breakfast of the job. Much better to ask Mossad or Mi6 to do the job for you who will be more professional, leave no forensic or digital footprint and frame your adversaries into the bargain.

The truth about Khashoggi, was in fact a million miles from what the Post’s Opinion section crafted in a baptism of sensational storytelling.

The reality is that the West can no longer carry off the moral high ground when dishing out the human rights tutelage. London, Paris and Washington are addicted to Saudi arms deals and have exposed woke U.S. media as entirely fake.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohamed bin Salman (or simply MbS to many) is an opaque figure who we can say at least is hugely misunderstood by most, certainly western media. In recent weeks, the news that a Saudi official who was allegedly the mastermind behind the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was arrested and detained briefly by the French, sparked more media chaff about the affair allowing America’s woke media to peddle the worn narrative about MbS being the one who signed the murder off.

Yet the French Connection to the MbS story is interesting as it was Macron who, one could argue, has turned a page for U.S. media and brought MbS in from the cold. It was actually the French president who recently reached out to the Saudis to boost France’s trade with the kingdom as few if any in the West now can keep up the boycott of Saudi Arabia. The French, the British and more importantly the Americans all need the Saudis’ money although three years after the Khashoggi murder the news that Joe Biden is throwing his weight behind 650 million dollar air-to-air missile deal, despite it receiving some resistance in the Senate over concerns for the Saudi role in Yemen, should surprise us – given that Biden was so bellicose about hitting the Saudi regime (and in particular MbS) hard, after only a few days in the Oval office.

Did the French move spur Biden to change his tact and win some points from the U.S. army lobby? Possibly. But if those from the woke camp in America who so vociferously campaigned and whaled at every given media moment about the death of the Saudi commentator are as disingenuous as Biden, then we should be surprised that it took three years for the Saudi crown prince to get the whitewashing which he has finally been awarded by Washington.

We now see, in the bare light, what all that fake hullabaloo was really all about: bashing Trump. If we look, in particular at CNN and the Washington Post (the latter who wheeled out a black editor who claimed to be a dear friend of Khashoggi and turned on the tears when the cameras started to roll), it is clear that the campaign was really only about using the murder as a tool to generate media spin against Trump who had made the Saudis his closest allies in the region (bar the Israelis) and at the time of the murder was helping them with a ruse to destroy Qatar. Trump was blind-sided by the murder. Totally caught off guard and the Washington Post didn’t miss a heartbeat in treating Khashoggi practically like a U.S. citizen who had been murdered for carrying out his American apple pie beliefs of liberty and freedom of expression. The truth about Khashoggi, was in fact a million miles from what the Post’s Opinion section crafted in a baptism of sensational storytelling with perhaps the biggest lie being how the journal managed to not mention its own links – let alone Khashoggi’s – with Qatar, as just one example.

But where is the call centre opprobrium now, just days after Biden has decided, in fact, that it’s fine to sell the Saudi’s air-to-air missiles? Why didn’t the French detain Khaled Aedh al-Otaibi, the Saudi official believed to be at the very centre of the murder and who could shed light on two key questions, namely where the body is and whether it was MbS who issued the order or not. The fact that al-Otaibi was detained was due to his name being on an Interpol blacklist, which, in itself is part of relations between the Saudis and Turkey reaching an all-time low when the murder occurred (it was Turkey who signed off the arrest warrant). But his release is an indication that the West has decided to move on from its hypocritical campaign against MbS and instead go back to selling his regime arms. Even Turkey is trying its best now to patch up its differences with the Saudis and move on. MbS himself has won an important battle both at home and abroad and has edged closer to attaining the foreign investment colossus which he needs to modernize the kingdom and consider a second IPO of the stateowned oil facility. Expect soon photos in the New York Times of him seating with world leaders and talking green energy and a cooling off for the spat with Lebanon (to give a ‘cadeaux’ to Macron and make him feel like a player in the region).

But the lesson to Middle Eastern despots in the region is clear. If you want to kidnap or murder your own dissidents who are residing in the West, don’t risk doing the job yourself with your own third-rate security services, who are almost certain to make a dog’s breakfast of the job. Much better to ask Mossad or Mi6 to do the job for you who will be more professional, leave no forensic or digital footprint and frame your adversaries into the bargain.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

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The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.