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Cest est incontestable, lui repliqua-t-on: mais dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres -- Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 23). [It's incontestable, Martin replied, that in this country it is good to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage others.]

There's no doubt the most significant event reported everywhere this week was the killing of the journalist Jamal Kashoggi, which was allegedly ordered by the leader of the Saudi Arabian dictatorship-monarchy. Kashoggi was a man of integrity who criticized the Saudi Arabian regime. Accounts differ but as of last night it appears that he was lured to Turkey, snatched outside the Saudi Arabian embassy, dragged in, and then interrogated, and tortured to death by dismemberment, a horrifyingly barbaric act.

It should and is meant to be terrifying to all reporters and to all people who speak in public about important issues -- like bloggers. What is intensely worrying is the indifference of all others state gov'ts to this murder. The man who engineered has committed a horrendous crime and should be put in prison for life.  See John Nichols. Trump's indifference shows where he stands: he and others cite millions of dollars lost in arms sales if we "dare" criticize the Saudis; Jared Kushner a friend of this regime's head. Are we an arms dealer or a republic? This morning Trump is reported as having said in one of his rallies Gianforte who attacked a reporter is "his kind of guy."

Kashoggi as drawn in his last column for the Washington Post:

What the Arab world needs most: free expression

The fullest and most accurate account may be found on DemocracyNow.org: Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez interviewed first Jamal Eshayyal, a senior correspondenct for al-Jazeera. You can also read the transcript once you click the link. Then they talked with Sarah Aziza, a courageous reporter about (and sometimes from) Saudi Arabia.

I can no longer find this story but one stood out because of a different perspective: an army colonel told of how many men he has lost to his units over the years to the Saudis who will claim they are US allies but wreak lethal violence on any group of troops who get in the way of any of their immediate interests in this or that country in the middle east. He was very angry.

Here you can see the different coverage this event has been getting: it depends whether the gov't in charge is at all democratic.Here is Juan Cole. It is an act of state terror aimed at journalists and any press.

Robin Wright on Kashoggi's last words: what journalists like him see, what they -- and I'll add all of us need -- to have any liberty, decent lives across the globe

Miss Drake


Oct. 20th, 2018 01:26 pm (UTC)
Very interesting blog, good links. I especially like the Jon Nichol's link from the Nation. Ellen, looking for the link about Saudis shooting American soldiers, which I thought was in Truthdig, I found this interview in Truthdig. It shows a more realistic and convincing (I can easily, eg, see the Prince killing K. for embarrassing him) picture of Khashoggi. He was not a saint, and it is too bad that we have to reformulate ordinary people into saints. No matter who he was (and nobody is perfect) is was heinous to murder in him, it is oppression of the press (see Nichols), and Trump should not be suggesting it is OK. Here is the interview with an Arab who knew K: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/what-the-mainstream-media-isnt-telling-you-about-jamal-khashoggi/

I would add to what Nichols said about the suppression of the press through murdering and imprisoning journalists that not enough people are being trained to do real journalism anymore, yet another (sigh) problem. ... ah well.


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