In recent weeks editors at The Washington Post were aghast at the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a long-time Saudi Arabian activist who was most likely murdered, and in a gruesome way, by operatives of his own government.
Post editors were upset because Khashoggi wrote an occasional column for the paper, but that wasn’t his primary function in life.
Rather, he was a long-time dissident who abhorred the Saudi monarchy and worked with the Muslim Brotherhood, which the monarchy reviles, and the late Osama bin Laden, a fellow Saudi, to undermine the regime. And agree or disagree, the Saudis do not value “freedom of the press” in their country; sometimes, when public criticism gets too extreme, journalists pay the price with their freedom.
Or their lives.
But there’s more to this story than the Post’s indignant outrage over Khashoggi’s death: The paper’s affinity for hiring and promoting people who oppose the U.S. and its allies.
Take Mohammed al-Houthi, for instance. He’s the founder of the Houthi rebel movement in Yemen, which is backed by U.S. and Israeli archenemy Iran. And the Saudis, with U.S. support, are currently engaged in an Afghanistan-like conflict against the Houthis in Yemen.
Al-Houthi is also a contributor to the Post. And just recently he was caught on video launching a shoulder-fired rocket at a target, followed by chants of “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!”
Meet Mohammed al-Houthi, a leader of the Houthi movement. The Washington Post recently gave him space to write an oped about "peace." pic.twitter.com/T5RyB5zh8V
— Mike (@Doranimated) January 1, 2019
Hudson Institute scholar and senior fellow Michael Doran tweeted the video, adding, “Meet Mohammed al-Houthi, a leader of the Houthi movement. The Washington Post recently gave him space to write an op-ed about ‘peace.’”
Conservative Review confirmed that the shooter in the video is indeed al-Houthi:
Less than two months after he was given prominent op-ed space in the Washington Post, a video has surfaced of Houthi rebel leader Mohammad Ali al-Houthi launching a shoulder-fired missile and then reciting the Houthi slogan, which calls for “Death to America.”
Ali Shihabi, the founder of the Arabia Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based Middle East think tank, confirmed to Conservative Review that it is indeed al-Houthi in the video. Shihabi tells CR that it is “documentary evidence of the type of leader” that the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen is up against, whom “many critics have ignored.”
Additional video tweeted by Al Arabiya depicts al-Houthi behind a vehicle-mounted heavy machine gun surrounded by “young recruits.”
VIDEO: A video has surfaced showing militia leader Mohammed Ali al-#Houthi taking a joyride with young recruits.
The #WashingtonPost has been criticized for recently running an op-ed piece by al-Houthi on its pages.
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) November 16, 2018
The Post’s position regarding controversial figures it gives space to is that it’s about ‘freedom of the press’ and ‘freedom of expression.’ But there’s a line, and it’s not really that fine a line, between ‘press freedom’ and giving aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States. It’s absurd for the Post to pretend that al-Houthi, for instance, is a man of peace; he’s nothing more than a revolutionary in his own country, opposed by the ruling faction and supported by Iran, the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
Providing him with a forum not only legitimizes him and his cause, but it also hurts our allies which, in turns, hurts the United States.
As for Khashoggi, Doran — a member of President George W. Bush’s national security council — noted that while he wasn’t condoning the Saudi’s murder, the dissident wasn’t who the Post said he was.
“He’s depicted as a ‘reformer,’ a ‘democracy advocate’ and a ‘journalist.’ Yet these are half-truths that obscure the political role Khashoggi played,” Doran and co-author Tony Badran, a Hudson research fellow and terrorism expert, wrote.
“Before anything else, he was a regime insider. He was a close associate of senior members of the royal family who were eclipsed by the new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman,” they noted. — J. D. Heyes
A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.
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