Democrats and Media Seized by Saudi Role in Khashoggi Killing; Downplaying Iran’s Role in the Rushdie Attack

When Saudi Arabia secretly murdered columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the media and politicians demanded sweeping changes in US foreign policy; but even after Iran openly backed the attempted murder of author Salman Rushdie, the Biden administration is getting a pass as it persists in negotiations with the Iranian regime.

When Khashoggi was assassinated in October 2018, and in the months and years that followed, politicians and high-profile media raised the hell out of the incident – ​​with then-candidate Joe Biden, swearing in particular to “punish” the Saudi leaders for his death, and promising to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah”.

As then-President Donald Trump worked to advance U.S. foreign policy interests in the Middle East — an effort that required the cooperation of Saudi Arabia — headlines dominated the headlines. newspapers condemning and reprimanding him and his administration for continuing to work with the Kingdom.

“Trump places Saudi arms sales above Khashoggi murder investigation,” PBS wrote in June 2019, almost a year after the incident.

“While Jared Kushner still fails to hold MBS accountable, Jamal Khashoggi remains near the top of the 10 most pressing press freedom cases,” Forbes said the same month.

“Mike Pompeo did not bring up the murder of Jamal Khashoggi during his meeting with the Saudi king,” the Guardian also scolded in June 2019.

Congressional lawmakers also participated, with many insisting that no meetings with the Saudis could take place in light of the killing, let alone reaching deals.

“Please they are sitting across from the person who cut up a journalist and dissolving his remains in chemicals, and he is sitting across from the person believed to have left this. I see no responsibility for us to protect and defend Saudi Arabia,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said of the Pompeo meeting, appearing to use the most explicit and most explicit language. scathing she can summon.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) has asked the FBI to investigate the ‘state-sponsored execution’, despite it taking place thousands of miles away in Turkey and n has no connection with any business in the United States.

“This investigation is more important than ever to achieving real accountability and justice for this horrific crime,” Kaine said in a July 2019 letter to FBI Director Chris Wray, reported by The Daily Beast.

That same month, Trump administration officials faced bipartisan grilling in the Senate over Saudi policy, with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) demanding the administration justify any arms sales “after Jamal Khashoggi was literally slaughtered”.

Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) introduced a bipartisan bill, which he described as a “comprehensive review of US-Saudi relations”, which sought to deny visas to certain Saudi government officials in light of of the incident.

Under mounting pressure, the State Department in December 2019 barred a Saudi diplomat from entering America, citing “gross human rights violations”.

It would be one thing if this attitude were applied uniformly to all the “state-sponsored” murders of writers and intellectuals that draw the wrath of governments in the Middle East, but now the American people are being shown that this is not is not the case.

Last week, British author Salman Rushdie was brutally attacked in Chappaqua, New York, by an American attacker who had become radicalized after a month-long trip to the Middle East, according to his mother.

Rushdie has been under threat since Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for his head in 1989, citing his book satanic verses as blasphemous. A “semi-official Iranian foundation” also offered a $3 million bounty on Rushdie’s head.

His attacker, a 24-year-old man named Hadi Matar, reportedly became a “religious fanatic” during his recent trip and was found with pro-Iranian content filling his social media and phone.

It remains unclear whether Matar is an official agent of Iran – but any reasonable observer can assume that he was inspired by the fatwa and acted on it, and would then certainly classify it as attempted murder “state-sponsored”.

Iran praises the attack, though it denies any involvement, NPR reported. Iran considers the attack justified.

“With regard to the attack on Salman Rushdie in America, we do not see anyone as deserving of blame, reproach or even condemnation, except for [Rushdie] himself and his supporters,” Tehran said in an official statement, according to NPR.

However, while Rushdie remains hospitalized, recovering from a horrific stabbing on American soil, the same lawmakers and media, including even President Joe Biden, remain silent on Iran’s role in the attack. and dare not blame the mullahs.

This situation almost parallels the Khashoggi incident, but there is one key difference that apparently keeps our judgmental punters quiet: the Biden administration is now in power and busy hammering out a new iteration of the deal on the Iranian nuclear.

The stark difference in the treatment of two similar incidents in the press – and the different political conditions surrounding them – illustrates how these real human rights issues have become the victims of domestic politics and media bias.


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