Khashoggi, The Women’s March, And Snitching: Revisiting Recent Topics

Looks like Time magazine may have been a bit rash in naming Jamal Khashoggi its “Person Of The Year”.

I’ve had my doubts, to put it mildly, about the canonization of Khashoggi from the moment his death was announced. This was a man who mourned the death of Osama bin Laden, who supported the Muslim Brotherhood, and who openly carried water for the worst of Saudi excesses; he had so much dirty laundry that the Post felt compelled to pre-empt some of it by calling it a “whisper campaign” to “smear” him. The “smears” in question were entirely factual, but they were counter-Narrative so they had to go.

It now appears that Khashoggi was more than just an admirer of Osama bin Laden, a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood, and a long-time Saudi insider; he was also an agent of a foreign country.

Perhaps most problematic for Khashoggi were his connections to an organization funded by Saudi Arabia’s regional nemesis, Qatar. Text messages between Khashoggi and an executive at Qatar Foundation International show that the executive, Maggie Mitchell Salem, at times shaped the columns he submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding him to take a harder line against the Saudi government. Khashoggi also appears to have relied on a researcher and translator affiliated with the organization, which promotes Arabic-language education in the United States.
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A former U.S. diplomat who had known Khashoggi since 2002.. noted that Khashoggi’s English abilities were limited and said that the foundation did not pay Khashoggi nor seek to influence him on behalf of Qatar.

Allow me to explain what the above paragraphs mean, taken together: Qatar hired a Deep State veteran, the American diplomat Maggie Mitchell Salem, to run the “Qatar Foundation International”. (And that fact should cause all decent Americans to experience nausea, but I digress.) That person wrote Khashoggi’s pitches and drafts for the Post. Because Khashoggi’s English abilities were “limited”, his work was “translated” by the same Qatari foundation that told him what to write in the first place. In other words, Mr. Khashoggi was little more than a convenient mouthpiece by which to trick the not-so-bright bulbs at the Post into publishing Qatari propaganda.

Given this information, it’s no wonder the Saudis executed him for treason; he was a Saudi subject, not an American citizen, and he was subject to Saudi law. To put this in perspective, it would be like if a British subject fled the UK during World War II and wrote columns in the Postthat were dictated to him by Joachim von Ribbentrop. That person would almost certainly face a treason prosecution were he to return to the UK, and he might be sentenced to death. While Qatar and Saudi Arabia are not in a shooting war, they are certainly in a diplomatic and economic conflict.

As you’d expect, the Post has done the bare minimum of acknowledgement regarding Khashoggi’s Qatar connections, and none at all regarding his secular canonization. Which is fine. But now you know the truth, even if most people don’t.

In other news, remember when I discussed the Jew-hating roots of the Women’s March? Today, a California Women’s March was either canceled or postponed because it would be “too white”. The organizers posted a statement that is remarkable for both its general incoherence and a bizarre detour into a story about how Humboldt County became a “sanctuary county” where the laws of the United States don’t entirely apply. Naturally, the person who wrote this long diatribe about minorities and immigrants and PoC is whiter than a polar bear. My suggestion for all future Women’s Marches would be for them to have a precise quota system for participation, just like an Ivy League school or a modern corporation. If you show up for the march and your particular quota category is already used up, then you have to be quiet and not march lest you accidentally oppress someone. That way it’s fair, right?

Finally, yesterday’s discussion of “snitching” made me think of something I’d read a long time ago: Who’s Afraid Of ‘Lil Wayne, and a very relevant footnote.

If a bully beats you up, it’s even worse if you tell on him, if you’re a tattle tale, it reveals you to be less of a man (or kid.) But think about this for a second: where did you learn that you’d be less of a man? From the bully. In other words, that threat is entirely for the bully’s benefit, it in no way reflects anyone else’s reality, yet you bought into it completely. Why? And the answer is that, in the bully’s system, in the bully’s “frame”, telling is a sign of weakness, worse than getting beat up; and since you have agreed to operate in his system, since you have agreed to operate by his rules (say, a fist fight you could never win), in those rules if you don’t tell, you at least retain your dignity. Which of course you don’t, the whole thing is madness– to anyone not inside that system. I take this diversion to show you the immense power of “the system” on: how you act, what you want, what you value, what you fear.

Doesn’t this describe how the world reacted to the Peter-Thiel-funded Hulk Hogan lawsuit. Sure, Gawker deliberately humiliated and attacked Hulk Hogan, and they also outed Thiel in a way designed to humiliate and denigrate his sexuality — but they’re allowed to do it! You’re not allowed to snitch on them to the court! You have to just take your lumps! The only problem was that Thiel didn’t accept the Gawker “system” where the bullies were allowed to operate with impunity and the regular citizens just had to take their beatings. His “frame” was one in which he had a right to obtain legal recourse for his injuries. In the end, his frame proved stronger than the frame of the guy who thought kiddie porn was HILARIOUS. If only we lived in a world where average citizens had the same legal arsenal as a Silicon Valley billionaire. Oh well. Maybe someday.

28 Replies to “Khashoggi, The Women’s March, And Snitching: Revisiting Recent Topics”

  1. Widgetsltd

    Whew! That was a close one. For a moment there, I thought that you were just going to come out and say that it’s OK for a government to murder a journalist with whom it disagrees. But that’s not what you said, though. Right?

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      It wouldn’t be okay in the United States, but Saudi Arabia is a Kingdom and they have different rules. Or do you think we need to tell the brown people how to run their country?

      Reply
      • safe as milk

        no, i don’t want to tell them how to run their country. i agree that once you get over the ghoulishness of this, it’s a relatively small event. i’m a lot more concerned about us assisting the saudi’s genocide in yemen.

        i’m writing this from the new luxury shopping mall in the world trade center complex. there are kids in camo unifoms with glocks less than ten feet from me guarding against terrorists. the saudis did this to us. it was almost 20 years ago and we are still their partner. why?

        Reply
        • SexCpotatoes

          Funny you should mention that genocide in Yemen, where Saudis are using chemical weapons to exterminate civilians, and using child soldiers, and starving millions of people, and dropping a US-manufactured bomb on a school bus. Yet, we need to sell them more weapons

          I read a theory that Khashoggi was investigating the US involvement in Yemen, and that’s why Saudi Arabia sawed off his limbs while he was still alive. I don’t know how much of it is true, but a lot of this seems to be connected, not just “they wanted to silence a critic.” as Jack seems to be saying.

          Then there’s this from Twitter: @KenTremendous: When Trump goes easy on the Saudi state-sponsored murder of a journalist and says it’s because the Saudis give us a lot of money, it’s offensive. When you realize “us” isn’t even America, it’s him and his family, it’s fucking disgusting. https://twitter.com/KenTremendous/status/1070495776659320832

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Eh, compared to the Clintons giving China the Long March missile for personal gain it’s small potatoes.

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            Please tell me, since I have no experience at it, what’s it like to one’s own country?

          • Panzer

            Funny, I don’t see you and your fellow liberals foaming at the mouth about Obama’s administration empowering a similar muslim dictatorship just across the water from SA (Iran)
            I guess because propping up muslim theocracies in the name of the bigger pocture is okay when liberal presidents do it 👍

          • SexCpotatoes

            Ronnie:

            ad ho·mi·nem
            /ˌad ˈhämənəm/
            adverb & adjective
            1.
            (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
            “vicious ad hominem attacks”

            These claims that you like to make, that I voted for Bill Clinton (sorry my first voting Presidential Election was 2000, and in grade school our class mock election winner was Ross Perot, largely due to my well-timed drop of information in the classroom debate that Bill Clinton didn’t really create jobs in Arkansas–Walmart expanded), or that I *clutches pearls* “never criticized a librul president!” are completely false.

            Panzer: MANY times, I criticized Obama for many things, not closing Guantanamo Bay, bailing out the banks not the people, the massive increase in drone killing of innocent civilians, etc. I believe the words “he’s a creature owned by the banks” passed my lips more than thrice.

            So for conservatives like you to lie, and viciously try to smear me, especially saying ‘you hate America’ just because I’m exposing your hypocrisy, is pretty much all I should expect at this point I guess.

            Let’s talk about those kids in cages again, briefly, because I unequivocally decried that President Obama did it at all, when I found out about him doing it. But he wasn’t doing it to EVERY family. He wasn’t claiming ‘they’re all terrorists.’ Plenty of people in Congress or employed in DHS/Homeland Security/Border Patrol knew about this, and approved of it. Decent people don’t approve of anything like this. Republican politicians could have exposed this at the time and there would have been a HUGE outcry about it against Obama, but they *love* that kids were being separated from their parents. You see the same attitude in people that feign sadness about the “situation” but call them (or at least their parents) “criminals” and justify it by blaming them for bringing the kids here. Delighting in human rights violations and the suffering of innocent people. Feigning regret. Nice Christian nation we got here.

            Now let’s talk honestly about our Southern Border.

            “@nahaltoosi: This is truly amazing. The Justice Department admits that, under Trump, it effectively made up and misstated information to link immigrants to terrorism, but that it won’t retract or correct the culprit report.”

            https://twitter.com/nahaltoosi/status/1081250103686516737

            Yes, you read that right, The Motherfucking JUSTICE DEPARTMENT is releasing outright lies in their official reports to back up Trump’s lies. Who is okay with this? Jack? Ronnie? You really think “this is fine?!?” Oh the Nazis never did anything like this.

            “@chitovela3: US government statistics confirm all of this. In 1992, when I graduated high school, 4,000 border patrol agents apprehended 1.2 million people illegally entering the US. In 2017, 19,000 border patrol agents apprehended just 310,000 people.”

            https://twitter.com/chitovela3/status/1082035585777389568

            Uh if you read that thread… not, quite, the, “emergency” the *completely sane and most honest president evar* holds it up to be… and when I pointed this out to Jack & Bark on twitter, you said I couldn’t possibly know anything about the southern border because I live “in Cleveland,” then you called me a racist for not living in a diverse neighborhood (paraphrased). More ad hominem attacks, because you don’t have a leg to stand on, you don’t have any facts to support your claims about immigrants.

            Then there’s the fact that FOX NEWS, of all places, fact checked Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ mendacious lies–our southern border is really very secure, and no terrorists, not a single one, have been apprehended at the border. They all seem to come in on airplanes, and get caught!

            https://boingboing.net/2019/01/07/busted-fox-host-chris-wallace.html

            Don’t tell me that I hate America when I’m trying to defend her from your vicious lies. Real men can take criticism, can admit when they’re wrong. They don’t shut down the government, hold workers hostage, and claim all that money they’re not paying workers is going to be used for the wall. And they don’t give lip service to free speech while CENSORING comments on their blog that call them out for their repeated lies. And why is it okay for you to link to sites that my comments got shitcanned for linking to?!?

            Where was this outrage about “foreign agents” when Trump was caught employing them, hell, HIRING Flynn when Obama told him not to, and explained that he was FIRED from the Obama administration/military for having a forbidden, secret internet line installed in his office AT THE PENTAGON! https://www.businessinsider.com/michael-flynn-pentagon-internet-2016-11?op=1

            Where was this “let duh brown peebles decide their own fates” when Jared Kushner was likely hand-delivering US intelligence on who in the Saudi royal family was loyal or not to MbS. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Saudi_Arabian_purge Did Kushner sell or merely trade that information for a financial bailout at his 666 5th Avenue investment property? When MbS boasted that “Jared Kushner” was “IN HIS POCKET.” How long has Kushner been Saudi Arabia’s bitch?

            How many times did Kushner fail in his Security Clearance application? How many times was it amended? Each submission of an incomplete disclosure is a FELONY! It’s ridiculous that he even has a security clearance. They kept revoking/downgrading it because he’s compromised, or working as a foreign agent.

            And what about Individual-1, who seems to be working as a foreign agent for Putin. Repeating Russian Intelligence propaganda, stuff that no one else in the world is talking about, or believes, except for Russian disinformation campaigners. Withdrawing from Syria, exactly what Putin wants, pissing off all our allies and trying to break up NATO. These things are completely indefensible! Yet you shrug like there’s nothing wrong, like people who point these things out are *crazy.* Or imagining things. All of this is documented, all of these are facts. Almost all of them easily provable, backed by multiple sources, yet you ignore them, or try to change the subject. I’m willing to criticize Obama, and Hillary, but for things THEY HAVE ACTUALLY DONE. Not made up fairytale scandals like “uranium 1” or whatever conspiracy BS. As we’re finding out with the Trump presidency, THE TRUTH comes out. 3 people can only keep a secret as long as 2 of them are dead. Yet you and your ilk accuse and fabricate and lie and change the subject. Then you’re completely silent when Hillary is exonerated! JFC man, how can anyone believe your opinions or recommendations on cars or the industry when you lie so blatantly about politics? And you even lie about your own beliefs!

    • Ronnie Schreiber

      Depends on the government, the journalist, and the disagreement. Jack’s example of a British turncoat publishing Nazi propaganda during WWII is relevant.

      Speaking of governments and journalists, did you have anything to say about how the Obama administration treated journalists?

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2018/06/08/seizing-journalists-records-an-outrage-that-obama-normalized-for-trump/?

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/shocked-by-the-trump-aggression-against-reporters-and-sources-the-blueprint-was-made-by-obama/2018/06/08/c0b84d88-6b06-11e8-9e38-24e693b38637_story.html?utm_term=.3937160bfff9

      Reply
      • stingray65

        Ronnie – these explain everything:
        “Just think of the media as Democratic operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense” – Glenn Reynolds.

        “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” – David Burge aka Iowahawk

        Reply
        • Ronnie Schreiber

          Judd Apatow, who failed at standup, disparaged Louis CK’s attempt to revive his own standup career, because Louis was daring to be genuinely edgy, mocking David Hogg, the Parkland high school publicity addict. On his worst day, David Burge is funnier than Apatow is on his best.

          Speaking of Hogg, his publicity seeking got him admitted to Harvard with a 1270 SAT, about 200 points lower than the average of Harvard’s *bottom* quartile. While I’m quite sure that Harvard will make sure that he graduates, he’s going to have an interesting experience.

          Harvard students may be the definition of PC, but they are more fundamentally self-identified as smart credentialists who, despite the warm fuzzies of campus PCdom, are very, very competitive. Hogg may think he’s a star, but I expect other Harvard students to resent him and show him that he’s not very smart.

          Reply
  2. Sightline

    To put this in perspective, it would be like if a British subject fled the UK during World War II and wrote columns in the Post that were dictated to him by Joachim von Ribbentrop

    Which is basically what happened to PG Wodehouse who, upon his return to Britain was exonerated by the government but crucified by public opinion and never really recovered even though he wrote for another thirty years.

    Some belated followup: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/27/pg-wodehouse-archive-british-library-redemption-nazi-collaboration

    Reply
  3. stingray65

    So to summarize, the Bezos Post lies about the background and actual written content source of one of its editorial contributors who turns out to be a traitor to his country, other media doesn’t cover the anti Semitism and law flouting of the Women’s March movement, and Gawker was run by a child porn fan and flouted privacy and defamation laws with impunity until a billionaire took them to court and won, but Trump is dangerous because he says the mainstream media is a purveyor of fake news and as a consequence an enemy of the people. And the media still can’t figure out why the general public trusts them less than a used car salesman – perhaps they should put some investigative reporters on the case to figure it out.

    Reply
  4. Rich

    It’s also completely normal when a foreign national dies abroad for the head of the CIA to fly out and investivate personally . Nothing out of the ordinary there!

    Reply
    • John C.

      Perhaps a Tornado IDS strike, since his charming uncle the arms dealer would have gotten a commission on the contract selling those to the RSAF. The family paying in blood over it’s corruption and treason. Adnan himself no longer being available to turn upside down in that hotel, there being an outstanding score against the whole family. No doubt the uncles name was Jamal’s entre into the new international elite that has made him a martyr.

      Reply
        • John C.

          Hence the Tornado, old school and British. Against a real integrated air defense system(Turkey), they could actually use the terrain following radar. Post cold war when they only bomb shitholes, the idea was to fly high. Some young Saudi prince at the controls would get quite a ride on his way to avenge for the house of Saud. Be interesting to see if that old method for delivering weapons precisely worked. I suspect a Turk F16 couldn’t catch a supersonic Tornado at 100 feet, look down/shoot down was never it’s forte.

          Reply
  5. Jeff Weimer

    Kashoggi reminds me of Tommy in Goodfellas. The nature of his liquidation and now the revelations of his insult to the Bosses.

    Reply
    • CliffG

      I never really understood the enthusiasm regarding “Goodfellas” until I understood the movie was actually a brilliant comedy. If you don’t bust out laughing when Tommy gets whacked I seriously question your sense of humor. Something, something, Oscar Wilde, Little Women, etc.

      Reply
  6. Christopher Feola

    No need to guess how we would act. American poet Ezra Pound was a big Mussolini fan and spent WWII in Italy broadcasting anti-American propaganda on Facist radio. American soldiers were not amused; when they liberated the station they threw Pound into a steel bar Gorilla Cage and left him out in the sun and rain. For weeks. Until he had a mental breakdown and was sent to “the bughouse.” For 13 years.
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/20/the-bughouse-poetry-politics-and-madness-of-ezra-pound-daniel-swift-review

    Reply
    • BlueovalDave

      First of all quoting the Guardian is like reading Mi6 or CIA press releases. Secondly, read anything by Eustace Mullins and you will have a newfound respect for Ezra Pound who was a genius and realized the world was run by an oligarchy and saw the fascist as an antidote.

      Reply
      • Chris Feola

        Not arguing about the Guardian. Linked to the article because it was the most concise summary I could find; Pound is largely forgotten outside of literary circles. Yes, I’ve heard Pound’s excuses before, but remember he was captured at the end of the war. At some point reality should have set in. Also, no amount of excuses for pro-fascism excuses his anti-Semitism.

        I don’t consider Pound to be a genius. Sure, T. S. Eliot said Il miglior fabbro in his dedication to Pound for The Wasteland, but that only goes to prove Plato’s point that the poet is the last person you should listen to when considering poetry. Frankly, he was a better editor than poet.

        My $.02.

        Cjf

        Reply
  7. Tyler

    Holy hell, that Facebook post – from a purely compositional perspective. Post-ponement, life and death, NAACP, sanctuary counties, indigenous peoples, William McKinley, alleged prosecutorial neglect, “would you like to know more?” Part pagan ritual, part HuffPo Twitter feed, part fever dream.

    Reply

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