Creating a ‘reformer’ out of a despotic tyrant

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Khashoggi murder, but the most important one would be what could motivate the person who ordered such a reckless killing? To find the answer, it will be enough to look back at what happened in Saudi Arabia just a couple of years ago, rather than going deeper into the past. Before the entire world, some unbelievable events took place in the country. For months, we watched a dirty PR campaign that created a reformist prince from a despotic tyrant. Behind the dirty campaign were the Western mind and media. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, also known as MBS, who seized the throne in a palace coup, was praised to the skies by the Western media from the moment he came to power.

They even much-flattered “reforms” like granting women the right to drive, would have made better sense perhaps 100 years ago. So, MBS enjoyed the role of the savior of the “new” Saudi Arabia.

However, the same Western media never talked about the crown prince’s tyrannous methods of suppressing his opponents. They did not come down heavily on his confinement of opponents at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. What is worse, they completely overlooked his abduction of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The barbarity of this 33-year-old madman, who has enjoyed a self-esteem boom as he received the unconditional support of the U.S. administration, cannot be whitewashed any longer. He has blatantly committed murder before the whole world. Surely, Turkey’s wise policy played a big part in making this atrocity public. An elaborate investigation by the intelligence and the police, which leaves no room for doubt, and Turkey’s effective use of the international media have spoiled this dirty game. So, the reformist prince, who was only recently lauded as a shining star, is now likened to Saddam Hussein or Moammar Gadhafi by the Western public.

So, what will the world, or the U.S. that has pampered that prince, do? This is the most important question at this point. Washington has begun to raise its concerns, but, it is not clear where it will head. Senator Lindsay Graham, who is close to President Donald Trump, said the murder should not be whitewashed, suggesting that Saudi Arabia should be punished.

There is the Saudi side as well. What is going on there is not known either. I wonder if the crown prince will stay or step down. According to those who follow the process closely, the King of Saudi Arabia has only one way out of this scandal: To offload the blame on MBS and appoint a new crown prince. Regardless of whatever decision is made, it will deeply affect not just Saudi Arabia, but the entire region.


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