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.
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.