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It Dates Back to Before Khashoggi’s Killing!

It Dates Back to Before Khashoggi’s Killing!

Sunday, 28 February, 2021 - 08:45
Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

The content of a recent US intelligence report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi reveals that the issue dates back to before Khashoggi’s death-- which was a crime by all standards and whose perpetrators were tried by the state which also bore the moral burden of the murder of one of its citizens.


Information provided by the intelligence report, which heavily relied on analysis and speculation, does not even qualify for getting published in an article of a reputable newspaper. Neither evidence nor facts worth checking were presented. This makes it clear that the case is much older and more complex than what was perceived.


It all started with former US President Barack Obama taking office and acting on his crystal-clear desire to withdraw from the Middle East and strike a nuclear deal with Iran. But the truth was much greater than reaching an agreement with Tehran.


Obama wanted to exit the region by recognizing Iran as a power Washington can have relations with and that has a right in the Middle East. His administration also sought to empower Islamists, namely the Muslim Brotherhood, under the pretext of their moderation and according to an ideology, not a strategy. This was confronted by a strong Saudi position.


At the time, the kingdom took a decisive stand in defending Egypt, the state, and saving Bahrain from what was falsely linked to Arab Spring protests. Saudi Arabia’s direction went against the Obama administration's views, prompting the latter to launch an organized campaign for vilifying the former.


Indeed, Khashoggi’s killing is a crime. But the demonization of Saudi Arabia started early on; taking place right after the kingdom opposed the unfair nuclear agreement with Iran, Obama's reckless stances regarding the Arab Spring, and Washington sympathizing with Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood while failing the Syrian popular revolution to please Tehran.


Therefore, it is not surprising that the US intelligence report contains speculation and analysis without providing any substantial information. Its tone primarily aimed at casting Saudi Arabia in an evil light, shocking even US media outlets that are vocally critical of the kingdom.


Clearly, the new US administration was shocked that the preceding Trump administration was right when it said that the report does not contain anything important. Nevertheless, the Biden administration was involved in keeping electoral promises and had succumbed to left-wing pressure.


Publishing the intelligence report created the noise needed to show that the Biden administration was sticking to its election campaign pledges.


Although it went on to deal with Riyadh normally, the Biden administration is following in the footsteps of the Obama-era agenda for demonizing Saudi Arabia.


For that reason, we have to be wary of this political pastime of vilifying Saudi Arabia, because its goals are rooted in ideology.


More so, leftists in the US are moving away from Israel because of their position on Iran. They are also inciting against dealing with Egypt.


Saudi Arabia is being blamed for its human rights track record despite all the revolutionary reforms it had enacted. Additionally, Saudis are being reprimanded for exercising their internationally recognized right to self-defense against Iran-backed Houthi aggressions and for backing the implementation of the UN decision to restore legitimacy in Yemen.


Meanwhile, left-wing media campaigns in the US are pushing for rapprochement with Iran, which currently occupies four Arab capitals and executes wrestlers, journalists, and dissidents. Iran’s persecution of its critics has also seen assassinations take place in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria.


It's all about vilifying Saudi Arabia - which dates back to before the Khashoggi case - and which demands that the kingdom carries out persistent work in Washington by holding more dialogue and communication and steering clear from escalation.


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