US Should Honor Jamal Khashoggi By Becoming More Supportive Of A Free Press In The Middle East

I am sick over right wing pundits getting the word out, spreading lies sub rosa about the character of the Saud national Jamal Khashoggi who became a US permanent resident as he worked as a journalist for the Washington Post. Somehow these Trumpians think that if they can besmirch his reputation, then it would somehow be okay for Sauds to have murdered him when he entered the Saud embassy in Istanbul to pick up documentation proving his divorce, as his fiancee waited for him outside, on the 2nd of October 2018.

As per the 10/18/18 Washington Post by Robert Costa and Karoun Demirjian,”Hard-line Republicans and conservative commentators are mounting a whispering campaign against Jamal Khashoggi that is designed to protect President Trump from criticism of his handling of the dissident journalist’s alleged murder by operatives of Saudi Arabia — and support Trump’s continued aversion to a forceful response to the oil-rich desert kingdom.”

Jamal Khashoggi (Illustration by Alex Fine for The Washington Post)”In recent days, a cadre of conservative House Republicans allied with Trump has been privately exchanging articles from right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as an embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden, according to four GOP officials involved in the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly.”

“Those aspersions — which many lawmakers have been wary of stating publicly because of the political risks of doing so — have begun to flare into public view as conservative media outlets have amplified the claims, which are aimed in part at protecting Trump as he works to preserve the U.S.-Saudi relationship and avoid confronting the Saudis on human rights.”

“The conservative push comes as Saudi government supporters on Twitter have sought in a propaganda campaign to denigrate Khashoggi as a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement once tolerated but now outlawed in Saudi Arabia as a terrorist organization.”

Image result for PHOTOS JAMAL KHASHOGGI

“Trump wants to take a soft line, so Trump supporters are finding excuses for him to take it,” said William Kristol, a conservative Trump critic. “One of those excuses is attacking the person who was murdered.”

“Several Trump administration aides are aware of the Khashoggi attacks circulating on Capitol Hill and in conservative media, the GOP officials said, adding that aides are being careful to not encourage the disparagement but are also doing little to contest it.”

 

Jamal Khashoggi’s final appeal is his call for free expression in the Arab world which reflects a lifelong passion.

[Read Khashoggi’s last column for The Post before his disappearance in Arabic]

CCTV image of the missing Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate on Tuesday oct 2nd

Here is the rest of the story…

On October 17, 2018, Karen Attiah for the Washington Post published a forward to its murdered colleague’s final column that he wrote for the Washington Post, “Jamal Khashoggi: What the Arab world needs most is free expression”

Here’s a note from Karen Attiah, Global Opinions editor

“I received this column from Jamal Khashoggi’s translator and assistant the day after Jamal was reported missing in Istanbul. The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together. Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen. This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post. This column perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world. A freedom he apparently gave his life for. I will be forever grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together.”

“I was recently online looking at the 2018 “Freedom in the World” report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization. There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as “free.” That nation is TunisiaJordanMorocco and Kuwait come second, with a classification of “partly free.” The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as “not free.”

“There are a few oases that continue to embody the spirit of the Arab Spring. Qatar’s government continues to support international news coverage, in contrast to its neighbors’ efforts to uphold the control of information to support the “old Arab order.” Even in Tunisia and Kuwait, where the press is considered at least “partly free,” the media focuses on domestic issues but not issues faced by the greater Arab world. They are hesitant to provide a platform for journalists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen. Even Lebanon, the Arab world’s crown jewel when it comes to press freedom, has fallen victim to the polarization and influence of pro-Iran Hezbollah.”The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power. During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe, which grew over the years into a critical institution, played an important role in fostering and sustaining the hope of freedom. Arabs need something similar. In 1967, the New York Times and The Post took joint ownership of the International Herald Tribune newspaper, which went on to become a platform for voices from around the world. My publication, The Post, has taken the initiative to translate many of my pieces and publish them in Arabic. For that, I am grateful. Arabs need to read in their own language so they can understand and discuss the various aspects and complications of democracy in the United States and the West. If an Egyptian reads an article exposing the actual cost of a construction project in Washington, then he or she would be able to better understand the implications of similar projects in his or her community.”
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Jamal Khashoggi with fiancée Hatice Cengiz.
“The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education. Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.”

10 comments

  1. Gronda, I hope you feel better. I agree, but I would not hold my breath waiting for the transactional US President to be empathetic enough to do this. It is not ironic to most of us, but totally lost on this man, by celebrating a Congressman’s body slamming a reporter (to which he was found guilty), he is showing disrespect to Khashoggi. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      I am in pain. It’s pretty bad when even pain medication doesn’t work but I’m told there’s an end in sight.

      This is where the US Congress needs to step in. I get that Saudi Arabia is an important US partner in the middle east but MBS (Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salam ) the butcher needs to go. The killing of Jamal Khashoggi is simply the last straw of his being a party to a list serious bad acts. he is not dependable.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

      • Gronda, I am sorry you are in such pain. Take care. As for the Saudi Arabia, if Trump can pee all over his allies without a second thought, he can tell Saudi Arabia to clean up their act. Their inept lying has exceeded even Trump’s lying. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

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