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27 Nov, 2018 15:20

Atlantic Council advises MBS how to 'refocus' West from Khashoggi murder

Atlantic Council advises MBS how to 'refocus' West from Khashoggi murder

The Atlantic Council, the US think tank that advises Facebook on which news is fake, has some friendly hints for Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman on how to make everyone forget all about the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

An article by Atlantic Council CEO Frederick Kempe advises MBS how he can divert the bad publicity caused by Khashoggi's hideous murder – “refocus Western thinking,” as Kempe puts it – to avoid weakening his alliance with the US. That alliance is desperately needed, of course, to face the “growing role of China and Russia,” as well as Iran.

The murder was “brutal, foolish and irresponsible,” Kempe allows, and American and European outrage "understandable," but it's a dangerous time for America and its allies, so pesky values like human life and press freedom can be put on a backburner and make way for strategic interests.

One way that MBS can get back in the good graces of the Western public, Kempe believes, is by “redoubling his efforts to reform Saudi society.”

Twitter is not buying it. Out of over 300 comments under Atlantic Council's tweet of Kempe's article, hardly a one is supportive.

On the other hand, what else is to be expected from a (supposedly independent) think tank funded by Gulf monarchies and US defense contractors who sell Riyadh hundreds of billions worth of weapons?

Some commenters point out the questionable “MBS the reformer” line of defense. The much-lauded changes in Saudi society, after all, mostly consist of introducing some of the most basic freedoms, like allowing women to drive – and even those, some argue, are just a show for Western allies.

Others just descended into bitter irony.

And as perhaps the definitive illustration of the hypocrisy, here's the same headline, but with Atlantic Council's top bogeyman substituted for MBS.

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