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Khashoggi, Erdogan, Yemen, Saudi lies and Media hypocrisy

Written By | Nov 26, 2018
Saudi Arabia, Jamal Khashoggi, Khashoggi

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: The brutal murder of Muslim Brotherhood supporter and Osama bin Laden associate Jamal Khashoggi has left the worlds media in an uproar. That an opinion “Journalist” for the Washington Post could be eliminated by his enemies in such a barbaric fashion is shocking and unacceptable.

Erdogan is an autocratic despot

That stalwart of Democracy, Turkish President Recep Erdogan, has led the way in instigating the international outrage by leaking wiretaps of the Saudi consulate to prove the murder had occurred. The moralistic media has been lining up to condemn Saudi Arabia and its current de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon (MBS), for ordering Khashoggi’s murder.

Except that Erdogan is the man with tens of thousands of his citizens in jail for being part of a coup attempt against him.  (Turkey coup: Erdogan set to crush all opponents and purge army after surprise failed attempt) Erdogan has had numerous political opponents incarcerated or killed.

Erdogan has been running an autocratic repressive regime. He has become ever more Islamic, ever less Democratic, and is a stalwart supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Khashoggi was no innocent

Khashoggi himself has so much blood on his hands that it is an outrage to cloak him in the mantle of protected journalist. It is disingenuous to mask his involvement with all sorts of nefarious activity. First of all, Khashoggi was for decades a Saudi insider, close to the ruling members of the royal family.

He openly defended the Saudi government and was its representative at dozens of think tanks during his years associated with the royal family. His uncle was the famed arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. He only moved to the United States last year, after seeing his influence dry up within the highest reaches of the Saudi Royal family. All of this as the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman consolidated his authority within the kingdom.

Khashoggi and the Saudi royal family go back decades. Khashoggi had been complicit for years with the actions of that same Saudi government. An absolute monarchy that had been an authoritarian autocracy for 70 years. His Grandfather was the personal physician to Abdul Aziz, the first king of Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi was a firm supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and extremist Islamic causes.

He had a long association with Osama bin Laden, and interviewed him in the 1980’s. In his interview, Khashoggi expressed sympathy with  bin Laden while the Soviets were still in Afghanistan. In 2001 he was sent to the US as an apologist for the actions of the 15 Saudi citizens involved in the 9/11 attacks.

He was part and parcel of a monarchy and a system that beheaded thousands of its citizens over the years. Khashoggi was completely supportive of the system and its leaders. For decades. He was a reliable Saudi supporter, a stalwart figure, close to the regime, until he wasn’t.

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Khashoggi: “Journalist” or Saudi turncoat

So the man who was intimately involved in a regime that is as repressive as any on earth then finds himself on the outs with that system, on the wrong side of a succession struggle. At that point, he became a ‘dissident”. At that point, he became a “freedom fighter’ and a “Journalist”.

It is more accurate to say he betrayed the very system he had supported for decades and was done in by them. That doesn’t make it right, but it does provide some context. In the eyes of the Saudi’s he was more in the line of a traitor to the monarchy being brought to justice, .

Erdogan’s autocracy of repression and manipulation

Despicable as his murder may be, the myopia of the media and its allies in the Turkish government is nothing less than astounding. So here’s one autocrat, brutalizing and suppressing his own people. Shutting down newspapers, and imprisoning civil servants, police officers, and teachers at universities for the flimsiest of excuses. Yet attacking another autocratic regime, with political motives, for equally despicable behavior.

Then like little pawns, Erdogan spoon feeds the wiretaps of the Saudi Consulate to the media with the most egregious of charges. Charges that are almost certainly true. Saudi Arabia dispatched a hit squad to murder and dismember Khashoggi almost certainly on the orders of the Crown Prince.

But what is the result? As a result of the murder of an Islamist supporter and Saudi traitor, America is supposed to completely up end our policies in the Middle East. Suddenly this is the greatest moral imperative on earth.

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Khashoggi is a tiny piece of a Middle East puzzle

For a Middle East set amongst death, terror, and autocracy, American foreign policy is to be completely dismantled because the Saudi’s killed a dissident?  Somehow we are shocked, shocked to see this type of behavior from the Saudi’s. Really? Where the hell has any of you been for decades.

I hate to say it, but Khashoggi should have known better than to enter the consulate in Istanbul, and sadly, probably got what he had coming. How many murders was he privy to. What secrets did he hold?  How much did he know about the funding of Madrasas in Pakistan and the arming of ISIS in Iraq and Syria?

How is he absolved of all the crimes of a Saudi regime we have propped up because of oil for 70 years. Why is the worlds media so indignant about Khashoggi, and yet is completely silent about his past. How is it that Khashoggi is more important than the war crimes occurring on a daily basis in Yemen.

Media hypocrisy, bias, and myopia is astounding

The hypocrisy of the media is stunning, but it shouldn’t be. Khashoggi coverage is being used to attack Trump, which is the media’s basis for all existence. The US should change its policy towards Saudi Arabia. The Crown Prince must be deposed. The Washington Post should be the moral arbiter of all that is just and holy.

Except what was the Washington Post doing cloaking this Saudi operative in the robes of an “opinion journalist”. How is it that his own unbelievably complicated ties to the Saudi royal family didn’t wave a red flag in the hallowed offices of the WaPo. How did his history of openly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood escape their grasp.

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Why should Khashoggi affect US policy

Why is Khashoggi more important than Yemen. If you want to attack the Saudi Government for its many sins, the war in Yemen has got to be the worst of them. Why is Khashoggi more important than Iran. How is Khashoggi more important than Middle East Peace and the ongoing development of closer ties between Israel and the Saudis.

What is occurring in Yemen is a travesty and an ongoing war crime. But why doesn’t the media talk about how Yemen started. During the Arab Spring, President Obama undermined Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had ruled Yemen for 25 years.

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When Obama forced Saleh out it triggered a civil war, with Saleh aligning himself with the Houthi rebels, a Shiite Muslim minority in Yemen, who were funded by the Iranians. The ensuing civil war has been brutal, with hundreds of thousands of casualties on both sides, and millions facing starvation.

When Saudi Arabia began an intensive bombing campaign, that continues to this day, they did so with American, French, British and German weapons. When Saudi warplanes strike Yemen, they are controlled and monitored by British and American AWAC planes coordinating targets. We are openly complicit in the ongoing Yemen civil war, and thousands are being killed each month.

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Where is the outrage over Yemen and American complicity

Where is the outrage there? How is it that Jamal Khashoggi captures the world’s headlines for months, but war crimes and a brutal slurry of deaths in Yemen is ignored by Western media. Germany condemns Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi’s death but provides literally tons of lethal weaponry used to kill innocent civilians in Yemen.

What is the greater crime, the murder of a turncoat Saudi operative, or the daily murder of dozens of innocent civilians? Is Britain ashamed of their role in destroying Yemen? Apparently not. Will America,  Britain, Germany, Italy, and France stop providing them with weapons. Of course not.

In a despicable world filled with vicious characters there are no real winners here. Only national interests. On all sides. Is that immoral. Of course, it is. Is our outrage at Khashoggi’s murder overplayed and outdone by our own hypocrisy?  You bet it is.

Forgetting history while blowing up wedding parties

When Barack Obama blew up wedding parties in Pakistan during 8 years of drone strikes, were they only killing terrorists? No, of course not. They were immolating women and children, burning them to death with hellfire missiles. How is that not reprehensible?  Of course, it is.

People forget history, or they just don’t care. Or they have a political bent to their outrage. Abdullah Ali Saleh in Yemen was killed by the Houthi rebels he aligned himself with when he tried to change sides again and rally his supporters to the Yemeni governments’ side. Too late.

Yemen used to be two countries, North and South Yemen. South Yemen was aligned with the old Soviet Union. When the countries merged in 1990 following the demise of the USSR, Abdullah Ali Saleh was its first President. He kept order and the peace, albeit autocratically, for 25 years.

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Overlooking the facts in favor of the false narrative

When Obama ousted him, didn’t he suspect that the violence and disorder that afflicted Egypt and Libya would spread to Yemen? Didn’t he think that might destabilize Saudi Arabia? He didn’t care. He was too busy crafting rapprochement with Iran and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The point is, however heinous the killing of Khashoggi was, and it was, it was par for the course in a region that has seen millions killed in Syria, Yemen, and Libya. Who is worse, Erdogan or MBS, Assad or Saleh, Khamenei or Qadaffi?  Or are they just all cards in the same deadly deck?

Erdogan is as corrupt and as deadly a suppressor of human rights than Saudi Arabia. While MBS is trying to open Saudi society, Erdogan is repressing social gains and democratic norms in Turkey.

Khashoggi’s mistaken trust and the Washington Post’s myopia

While the Washington Post is decrying the Trump administrations viewpoint toward the Middle East, they are silent on Khashoggi’s own complicity in Saudi crimes. Including but not limited to his support of the Muslim Brotherhood and his personal complications with the regime. They are also silent about the ongoing American role in Yemen.

It is said that the Saudi Ambassador gave Khashoggi assurances that he could enter the consulate in Turkey unharmed. Obviously, the one time Saudi Royal family insider thought he would have one more pass at immunity with his old comrades.

Clearly a miscalculation on Khashoggi’s part, but a symbol of his complicity as well.

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L.J. Keith

LJ Keith is a non-partisan commentator taking aim at all aspects of governmental domestic and foreign policy and the American socio-political landscape with an eye toward examining the functional realities of the modern age, how they can be understood, and what context to view the changing face of life in America and its place in the world at large.