Khashoggi: A Political Murder or a Convenient Excuse?

Media outrage directed against Saudi Arabia is boiling following the apparent murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are demanding that President Trump hold Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) responsible for the Washington Post "journalist's" death.  (I place quotes around "journalist" because Khashoggi was no reporter, but rather an opinion columnist who reliably carried water for the Islamist movement for his entire adult life.)

Meanwhile, the president of Turkey saw a perfect opportunity in this crime to overshadow his public embarrassment, having unceremoniously caved to pressure from President Trump to release American pastor Andrew Brunson.

As usual, when dealing with the Saudi government in particular and the Middle East generally, there is more here than meets the eye.  It is wise to support Trump's wishes to ensure that all facts are on the table before accusing an ally of a political murder, and certainly before any consideration be given to an American response.  

Contrary to the suggestion from the left that Trump has a personal affection for the sharia-abiding dictator, MBS, or that an agenda is in play to protect his personal financial holdings in the kingdom, the stark reality remains that these flimsy attempts at narrative-building don't jibe with facts. 

The president's former life as a businessman, complete with his lavish hotels and flashy business model, are far too provocative for Saudi sixth-century cultural sensitivities.  His holdings in the kingdom are miniscule compared to not only his total wealth, but also the money Trump loses every year by making America great again rather than tending to his business empire.  During Trump's last four rallies, he even went so far as to publicly humiliate the Saudi royal family.  Hardly the behavior of a Saudi vassal.

There is a far stronger case to be made that our president is fighting for America's interests, not his own, and that is no less true in his dealings with Mohammed bin Salman.  He recognizes that MBS is a useful ruler and has deftly leveraged the Saudi crown prince's hunger for power, wealth, and Western approval to the benefit of the United States and Israel – and, by extension, the entire Mideast.

Here are the reasons to believe this.

First, MBS is working with Trump on a major deal regarding Israel. Included is a peace treaty between the Arabs and Israel that may bring long sought stability to the Middle East. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem with MBS's cooperation was the first step of this proposed peace plan.

Furthermore, MBS has aided the U.S. and Israel by diffusing and opposing the aggression of Iran.  The prince has built coalitions between the Saudi government and the Emirates to ensure that sanctions against Iran will cause no disastrous ripple within oil markets.  To that end, he increased his own oil production by nearly ten percent to offset the shortage caused by the sanctions.

He is working tirelessly to defang the Islamist movement driven by the Muslim Brotherhood, first by outlawing the organization within his country and wholly supporting Egyptian president el-Sisi's similar actions in Egypt.  He has put more than five hundred Islamic religious leaders under house arrest and has forbidden the grand imam of the Kaaba to pray for the destruction of the Jews, an ancient tradition followed without break since the time of Muhammad.  

It is no mystery why Trump is working with MBS.  The benefits are tangible and the reasons legion.

The more salient question is why Khashoggi was ever hired by the Washington Post.  Equally of interest is why he was allowed to both live and work in the United States, given his long, undeniable association with both terrorists and the international Muslim Brotherhood.

Jamal Khashoggi is not the innocent journalist the Washington Post would have you believe.

Khashoggi, before his fame as a journalist, was into international illegal arms-dealing.  He became a sworn member of the Muslim Brotherhood during his time in Egypt.  He was a close friend of Osama bin Laden and fought alongside him in Afghanistan.

His association with America's mortal enemy was no secret.  Khashoggi outed himself in numerous articles he wrote praising and advocating for al-Qaeda and bin Laden, leading some to wonder how a man with this kind of past managed to enter the United States, much less live and work here.

The media are again ignoring the facts.  True to form, they rush to condemn MBS without waiting for evidence.  Everything we know of the alleged murder comes from Turkish state-run media, and all of that has been leaked to them by Turkish security forces loyal to Turkish president Erdoğan, a known Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer and ally with an axe to grind against MBS and Saudi Arabia.

Is it because MBS's alliance with the U.S., Egypt and the Emirates is delivering a crushing blow to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement, Iran, and the anti-Israel contingent?  Is the perennial girl-left-without-a-date Erdoğan hosting this operation in the hopes of separating MBS from his Western allies and regional friends?

Without any substantial evidence to add credibility to their claims, the media say a group of intelligent, high-ranking Saudi officers killed Khashoggi while at the embassy in Turkey, on the direct orders of MBS.

It strains credulity to believe THAT the same man who coordinated the arrest of more than three hundred Muslim Brotherhood-supporting members of the royal family, all on the same day without a single leak or hiccup, would behave so clumsily in allegedly ridding himself of a writer who, in all honesty, didn't really have anywhere near the impact on Saudi affairs his former colleagues now ascribe to his memory.

Were MBS indeed responsible, he has the resources to make sure the job was done in a quieter, cleaner manner.

His ability to wield significant power with amazing rapidity was evident with his arrest of the aforementioned terror-supporting royals and the Wahhabist imams they sponsor, including, most notably, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, founder of the Islamic Centers at Harvard and Georgetown University, and the man allegedly responsible for helping former president Obama get into Harvard.

Also among the arrested was the founder of the Saudi intelligence agency, Muhammad bin Nayef.  Given the circumstances surrounding the alleged murder and the motivations of all involved, it appears that rather than perpetrating the deed, MBS is the patsy in an attempt to discredit and remove him from power.  It is entirely likely that the alleged murder being pinned on MSB was the first element of a coup attempt against the Saudi royal family.

If the Trump administration rushes headlong to judgment, as is urged by many on both sides of the aisle, he will reinforce the skewed narrative of the mainstream media and expose his most powerful Arab ally, MBS, to the predations of the Islamist movement, strengthening the hand of the Muslim Brotherhood and ensuring that terrorism and the ideology of Islamic supremacy remain the chief export of the Mideast for years to come.

It will truly be a sad day for America if we allow that to happen, especially in response to the death of a not so innocent man.

Joe Herring writes from Omaha, Neb. and welcomes visitors to his website, www.dailyherring.com.

Dr. Mark Christian is an Egyptian-born former Muslim who is the founder and executive director of the Global Faith Institute. www.globalfaith.org

Media outrage directed against Saudi Arabia is boiling following the apparent murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are demanding that President Trump hold Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) responsible for the Washington Post "journalist's" death.  (I place quotes around "journalist" because Khashoggi was no reporter, but rather an opinion columnist who reliably carried water for the Islamist movement for his entire adult life.)

Meanwhile, the president of Turkey saw a perfect opportunity in this crime to overshadow his public embarrassment, having unceremoniously caved to pressure from President Trump to release American pastor Andrew Brunson.

As usual, when dealing with the Saudi government in particular and the Middle East generally, there is more here than meets the eye.  It is wise to support Trump's wishes to ensure that all facts are on the table before accusing an ally of a political murder, and certainly before any consideration be given to an American response.  

Contrary to the suggestion from the left that Trump has a personal affection for the sharia-abiding dictator, MBS, or that an agenda is in play to protect his personal financial holdings in the kingdom, the stark reality remains that these flimsy attempts at narrative-building don't jibe with facts. 

The president's former life as a businessman, complete with his lavish hotels and flashy business model, are far too provocative for Saudi sixth-century cultural sensitivities.  His holdings in the kingdom are miniscule compared to not only his total wealth, but also the money Trump loses every year by making America great again rather than tending to his business empire.  During Trump's last four rallies, he even went so far as to publicly humiliate the Saudi royal family.  Hardly the behavior of a Saudi vassal.

There is a far stronger case to be made that our president is fighting for America's interests, not his own, and that is no less true in his dealings with Mohammed bin Salman.  He recognizes that MBS is a useful ruler and has deftly leveraged the Saudi crown prince's hunger for power, wealth, and Western approval to the benefit of the United States and Israel – and, by extension, the entire Mideast.

Here are the reasons to believe this.

First, MBS is working with Trump on a major deal regarding Israel. Included is a peace treaty between the Arabs and Israel that may bring long sought stability to the Middle East. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem with MBS's cooperation was the first step of this proposed peace plan.

Furthermore, MBS has aided the U.S. and Israel by diffusing and opposing the aggression of Iran.  The prince has built coalitions between the Saudi government and the Emirates to ensure that sanctions against Iran will cause no disastrous ripple within oil markets.  To that end, he increased his own oil production by nearly ten percent to offset the shortage caused by the sanctions.

He is working tirelessly to defang the Islamist movement driven by the Muslim Brotherhood, first by outlawing the organization within his country and wholly supporting Egyptian president el-Sisi's similar actions in Egypt.  He has put more than five hundred Islamic religious leaders under house arrest and has forbidden the grand imam of the Kaaba to pray for the destruction of the Jews, an ancient tradition followed without break since the time of Muhammad.  

It is no mystery why Trump is working with MBS.  The benefits are tangible and the reasons legion.

The more salient question is why Khashoggi was ever hired by the Washington Post.  Equally of interest is why he was allowed to both live and work in the United States, given his long, undeniable association with both terrorists and the international Muslim Brotherhood.

Jamal Khashoggi is not the innocent journalist the Washington Post would have you believe.

Khashoggi, before his fame as a journalist, was into international illegal arms-dealing.  He became a sworn member of the Muslim Brotherhood during his time in Egypt.  He was a close friend of Osama bin Laden and fought alongside him in Afghanistan.

His association with America's mortal enemy was no secret.  Khashoggi outed himself in numerous articles he wrote praising and advocating for al-Qaeda and bin Laden, leading some to wonder how a man with this kind of past managed to enter the United States, much less live and work here.

The media are again ignoring the facts.  True to form, they rush to condemn MBS without waiting for evidence.  Everything we know of the alleged murder comes from Turkish state-run media, and all of that has been leaked to them by Turkish security forces loyal to Turkish president Erdoğan, a known Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer and ally with an axe to grind against MBS and Saudi Arabia.

Is it because MBS's alliance with the U.S., Egypt and the Emirates is delivering a crushing blow to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement, Iran, and the anti-Israel contingent?  Is the perennial girl-left-without-a-date Erdoğan hosting this operation in the hopes of separating MBS from his Western allies and regional friends?

Without any substantial evidence to add credibility to their claims, the media say a group of intelligent, high-ranking Saudi officers killed Khashoggi while at the embassy in Turkey, on the direct orders of MBS.

It strains credulity to believe THAT the same man who coordinated the arrest of more than three hundred Muslim Brotherhood-supporting members of the royal family, all on the same day without a single leak or hiccup, would behave so clumsily in allegedly ridding himself of a writer who, in all honesty, didn't really have anywhere near the impact on Saudi affairs his former colleagues now ascribe to his memory.

Were MBS indeed responsible, he has the resources to make sure the job was done in a quieter, cleaner manner.

His ability to wield significant power with amazing rapidity was evident with his arrest of the aforementioned terror-supporting royals and the Wahhabist imams they sponsor, including, most notably, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, founder of the Islamic Centers at Harvard and Georgetown University, and the man allegedly responsible for helping former president Obama get into Harvard.

Also among the arrested was the founder of the Saudi intelligence agency, Muhammad bin Nayef.  Given the circumstances surrounding the alleged murder and the motivations of all involved, it appears that rather than perpetrating the deed, MBS is the patsy in an attempt to discredit and remove him from power.  It is entirely likely that the alleged murder being pinned on MSB was the first element of a coup attempt against the Saudi royal family.

If the Trump administration rushes headlong to judgment, as is urged by many on both sides of the aisle, he will reinforce the skewed narrative of the mainstream media and expose his most powerful Arab ally, MBS, to the predations of the Islamist movement, strengthening the hand of the Muslim Brotherhood and ensuring that terrorism and the ideology of Islamic supremacy remain the chief export of the Mideast for years to come.

It will truly be a sad day for America if we allow that to happen, especially in response to the death of a not so innocent man.

Joe Herring writes from Omaha, Neb. and welcomes visitors to his website, www.dailyherring.com.

Dr. Mark Christian is an Egyptian-born former Muslim who is the founder and executive director of the Global Faith Institute. www.globalfaith.org