The Mysterious Case of a Missing Journalist


A Saudi journalists disappears inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey and is now presumed dead, so you know you can count on “The Huffington Post” for the take so hot it would melt the Sun:

The left’s obsession with Trump is starting to mirror the Muslim obsession with Israel: nothing bad happens anywhere that is not in some way caused by the Evil One. You see, no one has ever persecuted journalists around the world until Trump started talking about “fake news”.

I haven’t blogged about the Khashoggi disappearance before because the whole thing seems very murky and a subject of a propaganda battle between some very unsavoury people in the Middle East. Essentially one Islamist regime (Muslim Brotherhood-friendly Turkey) is accusing another Islamist regime (Wahhabi Saudi Arabia) of murdering a Muslim Brotherhood Islamist propagandist. For the record, I’m against murdering and dismembering journalists, even if, like Khashoggi, they write for “The Washington Post” and are progressive darlings (while not being progressive themselves). But the Muslim Brotherhood-Wahhabi struggle, in which Khashoggis has been a player for decades, is a bit like the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s, of which Henry Kissinger had once famously said he wished that both sides could lose. Both strains of Islamism want to get to an Islamic theocracy, the difference being that the former wants to use democracy to get there, while the latter abhors democracy as an infidel heresy; it’s an ideological battle over means, not ends.

In lieu of writing more on the topic, do yourself a favour and read this piece by John R Bradley who has extensively covered the Middle East and has worked with Khashoggi over the years:

The fate of Khashoggi has at least provoked global outrage, but it’s for all the wrong reasons. We are told he was a liberal, Saudi progressive voice fighting for freedom and democracy, and a martyr who paid the ultimate price for telling the truth to power. This is not just wrong, but distracts us from understanding what the incident tells us about the internal power dynamics of a kingdom going through an unprecedented period of upheaval. It is also the story of how one man got entangled in a Saudi ruling family that operates like the Mafia. Once you join, it’s for life, and if you try to leave, you become disposable.

In truth, Khashoggi never had much time for western-style pluralistic democracy. In the 1970s he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, which exists to rid the Islamic world of western influence. He was a political Islamist until the end, recently praising the Muslim Brotherhood in the Washington Post. He championed the ‘moderate’ Islamist opposition in Syria, whose crimes against humanity are a matter of record. Khashoggi frequently sugarcoated his Islamist beliefs with constant references to freedom and democracy. But he never hid that he was in favour of a Muslim Brotherhood arc throughout the Middle East. His recurring plea to bin Salman in his columns was to embrace not western-style democracy, but the rise of political Islam which the Arab Spring had inadvertently given rise to. For Khashoggi, secularism was the enemy.

Khashoggi, among other insider pursuits, used to be a go-between between the Saudi royal family and Osama Bin Laden. There seem to be an awful lot of skeletons buried all over the place besides Khashoggi’s dismembered one.