Beware of the patient man, when he loses his temper

November 08, 2018
Beware of the patient man, when he loses his temper
Rami Al-Khalifa Al-Ali

Since the death of Jamal Khashoggi, may Allah Almighty have mercy on his soul, the Turkish side has taken advantage of this case from a political and media point of view.

This is apart from the criminal aspect of the case, which a country having proper institutions ought to have concerned itself with. From the beginning, the political aspect has dominated the case and the criminal aspect has just been used to fill the gaps in the political campaign and media frenzy.

In the Khashoggi case, the concepts of war media and media war are being taken advantage of. As a result, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been subject to an ugly and fierce media war. Different mass media outlets, drawing on various ideologies, are cooperating with one another, each with its own agenda.

Some of them belong to the Muslim Brotherhood while others are affiliated to Qatar, Iran, Erdogan and his party and others even to the Western left.

Despite the differences between them, all these media outlets have banded together, as they harbor enmity against the Kingdom for various political and ideological reasons. The Turkish government has become the conductor that leads the choir and provides them with their needs with a drop-by-drop strategy.

The agencies conducting investigations as well as the Turkish Public Prosecutor have issued only one, useless, statement that has not added anything to the information that has already been circulated. Meanwhile, Turkish politicians have turned into investigative bodies, at times hinting and at other times issuing statements.

At the same time, satellite TV channels have been turned into courts that are transmitted live. The only authority that used to disclose information is that of the media affiliated to that choir. The objective is to keep the maximum media and political pressure on Saudi Arabia.

If we look at the map of the media outlets responsible for publishing information “leaked” by the Turks, we will find that they are in harmony with Turkish policies and the goals Erdogan is striving to achieve.

In Turkey, the media are distributed among the various political factions. It is as if the Khashoggi case has caused these factions in Turkey to overcome their differences with regard to Erdogan and his economic and administrative policies.

Questions about such differences emerged following the appointment of Erdogan’s son-in-law as Minister of Finance, and in the wake of the Turkish lira and Turkish economic crisis. However, all of these questions have disappeared amidst the storm of the Khashoggi case.

At the Arab level, the media outlets of the Muslim Brotherhood and the State of Qatar were both already engaged in a media war against Saudi Arabia. This was a result of the Qatari crisis, and the crisis the Muslim Brotherhood was experiencing in Egypt and other regions in the Arab world.

As for the Western media, the Turkish government’s focus has been exclusively on American media. Well-known European media outlets, like the German Der Spiegel or the French Le Monde have stayed away from the Turkish “leaks” of information and have not been influenced by them.

The Turks have focused on American media outlets, considering them necessary for influencing American public opinion. They consider that taking political advantage of foreign media is incomplete without American media.

The timing of the case was politically suitable, as it coincided with the US Congress midterm elections. The matter reached its peak with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publishing an article, he personally wrote, in the Washington Post.

Those behind this war media and media war want to discredit the Kingdom due to its leading role in the Arab and Islamic world. To say that you can differentiate between the Kingdom as a state and the Kingdom as a leadership is a deception, a lie and an act of slandering.

If this were the case, then Turkey would have dealt with this issue from criminal and legal aspects. It would have allowed those involved in investigations to carry out their professional role away from the political and media frenzy. But this has not taken place.

The goal behind this propaganda campaign being waged against the Kingdom is no longer hidden from anyone. The last thing that those behind this campaign really want is to know the truth about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and that this case should come to an end quickly along with freedom of the press and human rights.

On the contrary, they want to prolong this case as much as possible and to benefit from it to the maximum. They want to make Jamal Khashoggi’s blood a pretext for continuing the media frenzy and to exert pressure on Saudi Arabia, with the hope that this will weaken the Kingdom’s stand on political issues on which it differs with its adversaries. Those behind these media campaigns want to make Khashoggi’s blood a Trojan horse that can be used to attack the Kingdom’s stability.

Historically, the Kingdom deals with internal, regional and global issues with calmness and patience. This has been its policy for decades. This might give a false impression to those who are lying in wait for it. The Kingdom’s calmness and patience do not emanate from being helpless or from a lack of political cards to play or from a lack of strength. Rather it is a policy that it has preferred to adopt in order to avoid political repercussions that might be harmful.

Nevertheless, those behind the media frenzy should realize that even such patience has a limit. Beware of the patient man, when he loses his temper.

The author is a researcher in political philosophy and an expert in Middle Eastern affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @ramialkhalifa

November 08, 2018
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