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2 Jan, 2019 14:06

Khashoggi’s murder made the West ‘notice’ war in Yemen, but was it all for show?

Khashoggi’s murder made the West ‘notice’ war in Yemen, but was it all for show?

Unlike the brutal war in Yemen, which has claimed thousands of lives, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi drew widespread ire from the West. The condemnation, however, might be just for show, while business as usual goes on.

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi – who vanished without a trace after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in early October – has been making headlines for over two months now. As the kingdom reluctantly admitted the journalist was actually killed, Riyadh has received a barrage of criticism from politicians and media alike.

However, those words of condemnation from the West might not all be completely sincere. According to British media, the UK continued to actively – yet secretly – talk arms trade with Saudi Arabia while the Khashoggi affair unfolded.

A high-level delegation from the Defence and Security Organisation – whose sole task is to promote arms exports – was actually in Riyadh on October 2 – the day when Khashoggi was slain. The unfolding scandal did not affect the ongoing talks, with the delegation visiting the Saudis on October 14 and 22 – just as Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was “condemning” the murder in the House of Commons.

While for some, business has apparently continued as usual, certain politicians – such as US Senator Lindsey Graham – have given up their previously strong support for the kingdom over the murder.

There might be more to it, however, as politicians – and the media – appeared to use the scandal to bash US President Donald Trump over his approach to it. Trump openly hailed the lucrative arms deals with Saudi Arabia and was not keen to pin the blame on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite multiple reports – including some from US intelligence – signaling his involvement.

The appalling nature of the murder, which violated all principles of diplomacy and international law, has even moved some to finally “notice” the brutal war in Yemen, waged by the Saudi-led coalition for well over three years.


The conflict – which has claimed the lives of over 60,000, brought millions to the brink of starvation, and triggered a massive cholera outbreak – has been repeatedly called the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis” by the UN and other human rights watchdogs. Yet it has received little to no media attention in the West over the years, with only the murder of Khashoggi bringing it into the spotlight to a certain extent.

For example, MSNBC has aired only one segment on the Yemen war in over a year, while Stormy Daniels – the porn star who claimed to have slept with Trump – was featured a whopping 455 times. It seems that for some in the media, the bloody, brutal, and lengthy war is no biggie – unless it can be used to criticize the president.

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