The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi regime insider and columnist, in Istanbul continues to dominate the news cycle as the president and Congress consider their response. Despite the dog-bites-man nature of the story–– autocrats and tyrants across the globe regularly eliminate political enemies without such intense outrage from the West–– our media and politicians have conducted an orgy of moral preening, thunderous denunciations, and various proposed punishments of Saudi heir to the throne Mohammed bin Salman.
Once again, the cheap idealism and hypocrisy of the self-righteous West illustrates the dangers that come from a foreign policy based on illusion rather than on the tragic reality of human nature and action.
Much of this outrage results from the fact that Khashoggi worked as a columnist for the Washington Post and possessed a green card. Ignoring the distinction between journalists who supposedly report facts, and an editorial page columnist who gives opinions, both progressive and conservative media have turned Khashoggi into a martyr of the Fourth Estate, an intrepid seeker of facts and watchdog of the public weal.
Only a few commentators have reported on the real nature of Khashoggi’s “analyses.” Khashoggi was an Islamist press agent for Osama bin Laden and the Muslim Brotherhood, the mother-ship of modern jihadism, and a critic of the Saudi regime not for its human rights offenses, but for bin Salman’s war against the Iranian supported jihadists in Yemen, his hostility to the Muslim Brotherhood, his break with Qatar for supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, and his desire for closer ties with the U.S. Khashoggi was a “dissident” alright, but one who opposed the reformist policies of the regime that align with the interests of the U.S., and who wooed gullible Westerners with sweet-talk of Islamists “reform.”