Friday, November 5, 2021

Saudi Arabia: The Hariri and Khashoggi files are an example of media failure

    Friday, November 05, 2021   No comments

 

Exactly four years ago, Saad Hariri spent his first night in detention in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, by order of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The latter was in the process of carrying out a coup in Lebanon, re-shuffling the cards in the Levant. After this coup failed inside Lebanon, Western and Arab countries intervened to rescue Hariri from captivity and return him to Beirut.

Bin Salman did not preach, and repeated the crime a year later, in his country's consulate in Istanbul, where Jamal Khashoggi was murdered. No one in the world objected to what the Rising Prince had done within the confines of his kingdom. But the two crimes of kidnapping Hariri and killing Khashoggi left him in more embarrassment than the aggression on Yemen. The crime that a besieged people has been subjected to, continuously for more than six years, is being waged by Ibn Salman with full Western support, breached from time to time by slight criticism from American or European officials, while they leave their official positions, or when they want to blackmail the milking cow in Riyadh.

Hariri's kidnapping crime was the basis. The Saudi crown prince did not pay for it, which encouraged him to commit others. Khashoggi's murder may have been a direct result of bin Salman's impunity after he kidnapped the prime minister of a supposedly sovereign country in the twenty-first century. It can also be concluded that the failure to hold him accountable, even verbally, for his actions on November 4, 2017, made him dare to repeat the coup attempt in Jordan, where he could not invoke confronting the non-existent Iranian influence, nor fighting Hezbollah and its arsenal. Today, it is opening a new chapter of recklessness in Lebanon, by punishing it and seeking to bring about political change in it, through blackmail and threats, under the pretext of statements made by a media person who happened to become, after that, the Minister of Information. George Kordahi's case is also based on the passing of the crime that took place four years ago, without any blame. The former Lebanese prime minister acted like a Saudi citizen, seeking the consent of the guardian, by all possible means. But the problem was that official Lebanon had also given up its right. Despite the passage of four years since bin Salman’s aggression, the authority agreed to be in the position of the accused, not the accused, which prompted the Saudi regime to carry out more attacks on the “younger brother”: the Lebanese security services help their Saudi counterparts in the fight against drugs, so the reward is penalties in the commercial field . (Former) Foreign Minister Charbel Wahba makes a verbal mistake against Saudi Arabia, so he is forced to resign. George Qardahi says a word of truth about the criminal war on Yemen, so Ibn Salman decides to punish the whole of Lebanon.

The problem is not so much with the emir's recklessness as it is with the authority that has made Lebanon a country "with low walls". The strong performance of that authority in November 2017, which eventually led to the release of the prime minister, was quickly wasted in the following days. The crime of kidnapping Hariri, humiliating him and forcing him to resign, was an occasion to correct part of the distortion in the dysfunctional relationship between the Saudi regime and Lebanon. The latter was not required to wage war, but rather his duty was to manage the post-crisis phase in a manner that preserves the country's rights and dignity, and deters Ibn Salman from repeating his crime. Leaving him in this way, he turned the crime of kidnapping the prime minister, as was the killing of Khashoggi later, into a public relations problem that Ibn Salman addresses by spending some money on image-improving companies, and encouraging him to make Lebanon a servile country that obeys his orders. As usual, official Lebanon is looking for a way to acquiesce again, ignoring that whoever kidnapped a prime minister one day, without anyone questioning him, will repeat it in the coming days. This is the conclusion that Najib Mikati should be aware of today, while he is talking about “predominantly the national interest.” Achieving this “interest” by conceding to bin Salman again and again means placing the neck of the concessioner between two future options: slapping and kicking at the Ritz-Carlton, or sawing off in a consulate.

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Source: Alakhbar


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