It’s been four months now since the calculated assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A prominent figure in the fight against the Saudi royalty, a brilliant journalist whose career had spanned over 30 years. Personally, I condemn the actions of the Saudi government and more importantly the role of grand executioner that crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman played in Khashoggi’s death. Although, as news of Khashoggi’s death began to unfurl even the crown prince was confused as to why the west cares so much about one journalist, why does the west pay so much attention to just one of so many that have fallen victim to the Saudi regime.
During the early days of the Khashoggi fallout Prince Mohammad Bin Salman expressed his confusion to loyal Trump advisor Jared Kushner when he asked, why the outrage? how could we all be caught up in this panic over the death of only one man?
Upon reading the Washington posts’ exclusive on this simple question, I could do nothing but sit back in my chair and agree with a prince and a regime I so wholeheartedly despised. The most ironic of this Khashoggi ordeal being the early US senate response to the assassination. It wasn’t to repeal arms deals or withdraw diplomats and business from Saudi Arabia it was to withdraw support for the Saudi involvement in Yemen’s ‘civil war’. This is difficult to grasp. How could a nation that has supported the death of over 60,000 Yemenis focus now on the death of only one man? I truly couldn’t understand it, and neither could Bin Salman.
To understand why there’s outrage we need to understand who Khashoggi was. JamalKhashoggi wasn’t just any ordinary journalist, he was one of only a few liberal editors in Saudi Arabia and his choices to publish criticisms of the state and the Wahabi faith led to him fleeing the country not once, but twice. It wasn’t until 2017 that he started writing articles and columns for the Washington post, this gave him his greatest notoriety. At the time of his death he was a prominent journalist within Washington who had proved his liberal ideas to the west and the middle east.
It’s been a long time now since his death which makes it easier for us to see the role the media played in keeping the momentum of the Khashoggi story. To hold the attention of your viewers for more than 24 hours is a skill needed for journalists, but to maintain a story for 4 months is to have control over the story itself. That’s exactly what the Turkish government did, it controlled the story. Turkish magistrates and intelligence officers used a slow drip of information to keep the masses interested and build pressure on Saudi Arabia.
Trying to show western governments that maybe it had backed the wrong horse in the middle eastern sphere and highlighting how arrogant the Saudi’s had become.So why has this one journalist been the linchpin for so much action against the Saudi kingdom?
It doesn’t seem to be a matter of morals or conscience. It surely isn’t a matter of shock orsurprise that the Saudi’s could do such a thing. The repercussions Mohammad Bin Salman and the royal family have suffered from this impulse assassination are because Khashoggi was part of the Washington elite and, fortunately for the Turkish, he was killed in Istanbul.