I have abridged the following article. Full article at link (r. a. note)
Mint Press.com By Asad AbuKhalil Tues., Oct. 16, 2018
The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week has generated huge international publicity, but unsurprisingly, little in Saudi-controlled, Arab media. The Washington Post, for whom Khashoggi wrote, and other Western media, have kept the story alive, increasing the pressure on Riyadh to explain its role in the affair.
It’s been odd to read about Khashoggi in Western media. David Hirst in The Guardian claimed Khashoggi merely cared about absolutes such as “truth, democracy, and freedom”. Human Rights Watch’s director described him as representing “outspoken and critical journalism.”
But did he pursue those absolutes while working for Saudi princes?
Khashoggi was a loyal member of the Saudi propaganda apparatus. There is no journalism allowed in the kingdom: there have been courageous Saudi women and men who attempted to crack the wall of rigid political conformity and were persecuted and punished for their views. Khashoggi was not among them.
Some writers suffered while Khashoggi was their boss at Al-Watan newspaper. Khashoggi—contrary to what is being written—was never punished by the regime, except lightly two years ago, when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) banned him from tweeting and writing for Al-Hayat, the London-based, pan-Arab newspaper owned by Saudi Prince Khalid bin Sultan.
By historical contrast, Nasir As-Sa`id was a courageous secular Arab Nationalist writer who fled the kingdom in 1956 and settled in Cairo, and then Beirut. He authored a massive (though tabloid-like) volume about the history of the House of Saud. He was unrelenting in his attacks against the Saudi royal family.
For this, the Saudi regime paid a corrupt PLO leader in Beirut (Abu Az-Za`im, tied to Jordanian intelligence) to get rid of As-Sa`id. He kidnapped As-Sa`id from a crowded Beirut street in 1979 and delivered him to the Saudi embassy there.
He was presumably tortured and killed (some say his body was tossed from a plane over the “empty quarter” desert in Saudi Arabia). Such is the track record of the regime.
Khashoggi distinguished himself with an eagerness to please and an uncanny ability to adjust his views to those of the prevailing government. In the era of anti-Communism and the promotion of fanatical jihad in Afghanistan and elsewhere, Khashoggi was a true believer. He fought with Osama bin Laden and promoted the cause of the Mujahideen. Khashoggi was an ambitious young reporter who knew that to rise in Saudi journalism you don’t need professionalism, courage, or ethics.
In Saudi Arabia, you need to attach yourself to the right prince. Early on, Khashoggi became close to two of them: Prince Turki Al-Faysal (who headed Saudi intelligence) and his brother, Prince Khalid Al-Faysal, who owned Al-Watan (The Motherland) where Khashoggi had his first (Arabic) editing job.
Khashoggi was the go-to man for Western journalists covering the kingdom, appointed to do so by the regime. He may have been pleasant in conversation with reporters but he never questioned the royal legitimacy. And that goes for his brief one-year stint in Washington writing for the Post.
Recent articles in the Saudi press hinted that the regime might move against him. He had lost his patrons but the notion that Khashoggi was about to launch an Arab opposition party was not credible. The real crime was that Khashoggi was backed alone by Ikhwan supporters, namely the Qatari regime and the Turkish government.
A writer in Okaz, a daily in Jeddah, accused him of meeting with the Emir of Qatar at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York and of having ties to “regional and international intelligence services.” If true it may have sealed his fate. Qatar is now the number one enemy of the Saudi regime—arguably worse than Iran.
Khashoggi was treated as a defector and one isn’t allowed to defect from the Saudi Establishment. The last senior defections were back in 1962, when Prince Talal and Prince Badr joined Nasser’s Arab nationalist movement in Egypt.
Khashoggi had to be punished in a way that would send shivers down the spine of other would-be defectors.
Full article here: https://www.mintpressnews.com/loyal-to-saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi-was-no-democracy-campaigner/250795/