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Guardian Watch – Freedland Remembers Yemen is a Thing

“Sometimes you need an acquaintance to go missing before you realise that children being blown to pieces is a bad thing,” – Jonathan Freedland (Well, not really, but almost).

Jonathan Freedland has weighed in on the Khashoggi case. He’s outraged, of course. Because they all are. Every single voice in the mainstream world has suddenly realised just how appalled they are that Saudi Arabia does bad things.

They weren’t appalled a few weeks ago, when the Saudis blew up a bus full of school children.

But they are appalled now, because Mike Pompeo was told by the Turkish government, who were told by the Turkish secret service, that a reporter who may or may not be dead, might have been killed by a super-secret Saudi Arabian hit squad (who then died in a car accident). There are video and audio recordings to prove all of this but we’re not allowed to see them yet.

Freedland recounts these alleged gory details with po-faced prurience. Apparently, they might have used a chainsaw. But that’s not really what his article is about – his article is about attempting to claw back some credibility in the face of (perfectly justified) accusations of massive hypocrisy, and deeper questions about the motivations of the media and the agenda of the Deep State.

You see, Yemen is a thing.

It’s the poorest country in the Middle-East and it’s being systematically destroyed by its vastly richer neighbours, with the full backing and cooperation of NATO. In fact, we’re making a fortune out of it. Bombs are expensive, the Saudis need a lot of them, and you can only use them once. Ker-ching.

Domestically, Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy with a laughable track-record when it comes to human rights. This has been known for decades, it is talked about a lot. Barely a week goes by without some author, somewhere in the alternate media, writing up a story about the crimes of the House of Saud – either international or domestic. So why are we just now hearing about them in the mainstream?

When he was selling wars in Libya and Syria, did Freedland ever once suggest the “humanitarian bombing” of Riyadh?

Did he object to his paper selling ad space to promote the Muhammed bin Salman, “the great reformer”?

Did he boycott events or protest arms deals or in any way speak out?

Did he devote even a single one his columns to the war in Yemen?

People all over the world are asking: “Why are the Saudis suddenly the bad guys? Why can’t Jamal Khashoggi be brushed under the carpet as if he’s nothing but a burning bus full of children or a napalm-strewn wedding reception?”

It’s a question no one in the media has an answer for. They are aware of the contradiction though, and they are busily trying to get around it.

This is Freedland’s attempt:

I can understand the frustration of campaigners for Yemen that the death of one man has captured a global attention that has so rarely focused on the tens of thousands killed…But sometimes it takes the story of a single individual to break through. So it has proved with Khashoggi.

That’s it. A simple brush-off.

That’s the new narrative – nobody really realised just how bad the Saudis were until now. This is the big reveal. The “oh shit” moment. None of them had been on twitter, or read the alternate news or even looked at the comments BTL on their own articles. Yes, Yemen was there in the background but – through forces beyond everyone’s control – it just never broke through to the public consciousness. Oops.

He’s trying to imply that the news just sort of happens, like it’s an organic process beyond the control of the mere mortals writing the stories or filming the segments or thinking up the headlines.

That is patently absurd. We know how the media works, and it’s not some Jungian expression of the collective will. To suggest as much is insulting and ridiculous.

The news is a system by which a handful of mega-corporations distribute propaganda and manipulate public opinion. It is rigidly controlled. They push some issues to the front page and shovel others down the memory hole. When they need to, they make stuff up. Every headline is picked for a purpose, every omission deliberately made. Cogs turn and push the constantly-evolving agenda forward. There are no accidents, and the process is anything but organic.

It’s mechanical. And like all machines, it lacks a soul. There has been no grand awakening of the media conscience. There is no such thing.

There was a reason Yemen was banished to the far reaches of the press for four years. There was a reason the mainstream media were happy to white-wash the Saudi Arabians as they pummelled school buses and weddings with bombs British and American arms companies probably over-charged them for.

There’s a reason every big newspaper on both sides of the Atlantic was happy to serve as Muhammad bin Salman’s PR agency….and there’s a reason they stopped. A real reason, that has nothing to do with Jamal Khashoggi.

We just don’t know what it is yet.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: featured, latest, On Guardian, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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wardropper
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wardropper

Great article, except that we do have a pretty good idea what the reason is for the media’s ridiculous stance on Saudi Arabia and its current jamming on of the brakes. There is always a Plan B, and the greed which is driving all our western politics today has become desperate enough not to let us wait too long before it will reveal it.

vexarb
Reader
charles
Reader
charles

ashkanazim bbc historians years ago said never again.
yet here we are.

according to the red cross hundreds of thousands of innocent jews died in camps in poland and germany during the ww2.
we should never forget this even when bibi nutty supports the new nazi guy in brasil and props up the ukrainia nazi parties.

those brown folks in yemen are not the same pale human semite as the innocent askanazim of germany of 1939.

brown yemen culling will fade in memory just like the allbright babies and the depleted uranium victims of iraqi.

as clinton crime inc says what difference does it make
libya yemen who cares what happened to these million semite
who cares about ghadaffis missing gold already.

brasil will soon move embassy from tel aviv like usa usa.

the gypsy of yememi are not original jewisher or certificated chabad semite they are sub strata.
khazarian trumps them in this regard it is a talmud fact

we must believe and trust in the q anon zionist plan
oded yinon is still shining

charles
Reader
charles

we expect shoa from perfidious albion from cia and mossadick.
it is rooted deep in dna.

pirate nations rape pillage soft ohh so soft power.
gang counter gang and pseudogang
problem reaction solution
general sir frank kitson and sas david sterling.

where is ukrainias gold and libyas
where is the 10 billion of the gadaffi families investments
what of libyas sovreign wealth funds.

dustification of history
how old was syriana iraqi and yemeni
2 much history to complex for simon scharma bbc history.
in the future the ashkanazim history of the near and middle east will be much easier to understand.

zionist plots one can understand.

simple fact is libya was butchered raped yemen dustified china and russia did nothing.
no russian talk of israli,uk or usa pilots using saud planes to bomb world heritage sites of yemen
no breach of blockade no rice or wheat emergency medicine aid.

putin hero not in yemen
busy selling s400 to partners in donmeh house of saud and not so young oded yinon turk erdogan
china buying usa debt giving loans to westminster child fiddlers for new train lines from london to birmingham
business is business progress progress
war is a masons racket

mark
Reader
mark

The US has committed so many torture murders they make Salman and the Shady Wahabians look like choirboys.
They maintain a global gulag of concentration camps and torture chambers in scores of countries where countless people have been, and still are being, tortured and murdered.
People have been beaten to death, drowned, imprisoned in coffins, had their private parts cut off, and have been (and still are being) tortured and murdered in every way known to man.
At Bagram in Afghanistan, a man was stripped naked in a freezing cell and chained to the wall in a standing position. He was left like that and died 17 days later. He would probably have considered the killers of Khashoggi very humane by comparison.
The US President is an enthusiastic advocate of torture. Thinks it’s great. Can’t get enough of it.
The CIA is now led by America’s very own Irma Griese.
Of course, this doesn’t stop the US climbing on its high horse and delivering lofty sermons and pious lectures to the rest of humanity about their human rights failings.

Paul
Reader
Paul

And I would assume that the author of this laudable article would agree that there is some reason why the Kashoggi story is being so widely and relentlessly promoted by this de-souled machine. The only explanation I’ve seen get any traction is that somehow the corporate media opinion stenographers are shocked that this could happen to one of their fellow servants of the machine. I don’t consider this satisfactory. What is it about the Kashoggi story that triggers this full-court press?

Paul
Reader
Paul

The anti Trump Deep State is on full pre-mid term assault. The Crown Prince is too close to Kushner for their liking; bring down one and the other will follow and leave Trump isolated. Similarly the mail bomber (not nail bomber!) and the shooter yesterday all carry the same MSM narrative – it’s all Trump’s fault and maybe he’s behind it; better settle his hash right away, Vote Democratic and snatch the House from his control and then stymie his Presidency the way the Republicans stymied Obama. It’s a collapsing Political system that’s for sure.

Chris
Reader
Chris

Has anyone else noticed that the Guardian aren’t allowing ANY comments on their Khashoggi coverage?

mark
Reader
mark

The Fraudian’s take on all this a couple of days ago was that Salman had shown what a “courageous reformer” he was by arresting some of the goon underlings he sent to kill Khashoggi. I don’t think they allowed any comments on that either. Sort of like Hitler turning out to be a good guy after all by putting Fritz Schmidt, one of his concentration camp guards, on trial.

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

Guardian allows very few comments these days as they are frightened both of their readers and their controllers. It seems that this possible murder is used by the Guardian to cover up all other crimes in the Middle East. It seems more and more like a false flag.

Harry Law
Reader
Harry Law

One thing the repulsive Freedland did get right was one man’s death can generate more interest than the deaths of many others, I am reminded of that excellent film from the 1950’s ‘Ace in the hole’ when Charles Tatum [Kirk Douglas] said this to his young colleague..
Herbie Cook: Like the faces of those folks you see outside a coal mine with maybe 84 men trapped inside.
Charles Tatum: One man’s better than 84. Didn’t they teach you that?
Herbie Cook: Teach me what?
Charles Tatum: Human interest. You pick up the paper, you read about 84 men or 284, or a million men, like in a Chinese famine. You read it, but it doesn’t stay with you. One man’s different, you want to know all about him. That’s human interest.

Gwyn
Reader
Gwyn

Aah, the Guardian. Where ”Comment is Free™.” That is, unless you bring up inconvenient facts, such as that the Prime Minister’s husband’s employer benefits from UK involvement in military action in Syria, as that employer, Capital Group, is a major shareholder in the ”defence” firm, Lockheed Martin (they also benefit from LM’s lucrative contracts with the Saudis, of course).

My comment to that effect has just been deleted by the Guardian’s ever-vigilant censors, I mean, ”moderators.” Perhaps they weren’t too enamoured of my sarcastic remark that the topics of arms sales/military action probably never come up in conversation between May and her husband, and that no high-level corruption could, therefore, be inferred.

It all makes me grateful for the existence of websites such as Off-Guardian, where one can discuss things in a mature way, with no possibility of the childish resort to censorship. Thanks, Off-G.

charles
Reader
charles

why would they allow that information out of interest?
who owns the guardian is it not red shields wifey
no doubt they have money in bombs missiles for brown folks.
what do you want of them write article explaining fake soft power liberalism inside a rape murder and machine
or better still what really is chatham house and tavistock all about.

Kate Francis
Reader
Kate Francis

Every editorial decision is an act of censorship

George cornell
Reader
George cornell

Not really. There surely is a difference between suppressing inconvenient or embarrassing truth vs publicizing public corruption, dishonesty, and trying to inflame public passions against political opponents.

James Robertson
Reader

I absolutely loathe what you have done to the English language in your title. That dumbed down, infantile version of English favoured by the Americans is absolutely horrendous. Why on earth would you ape something so base and so low? Nothing is “a thing”. Ever. What you have said there is both meaningless and aesthetically hideous.

Bilbo
Reader
Bilbo

I really appreciate your pedantic, superior tone in this four-line comment about this extremely minor non-issue. Really on point, not pompous and irrelevant at all.

Paul Damascene
Reader
Paul Damascene

Ah, Bilbo, as regards the offended party’s tone, what struck me were the notes of rage and moral loathing–that this bonesaw taken to English usage might be overlooked amid all this incidental attention to the murder of one, and the genocide of millions.

axisofoil
Reader
mog
Reader

Keep going Matt, I want to see treble figures on the down vote on under this article.
Try harder, I know you can do it.
I know you have the strength.

mog
Reader

We know how the media works, and it’s not some Jungian expression of the collective will.
More like a Freudian manipulation.

Kit, I was going to say ‘long may you hold a mirror up to Jonathan Freedland’s shitty journalism’, but, to be honest, I hope he resigns (or something worse).

Benge
Reader
Benge

PoorJonathan. He was very busy, suffering from excruciating hurt feelings, what with all that Labour antisemitism flying about. How can a man think about Yemenis starving, or Palestinian limbs shattered by snipers, when he’s having to deal with feeling offended day after day..

Robert J.
Reader
Robert J.

Federico Pierracini does actually seems to have an idea about “the real reason”:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/19/mohammad-bin-salman-must-go-but-us-saudi-ties-here-stay.html

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

Good shot across the bow of reality Kit.So very well put .The media will tells us what is good for us to hear/read .This Khashoggi disappearance , disappearance as we don’t have a body and probably never will, has become a very big fly in the proverbial ointment and the spin is on , to make make us look the other way .

Matt
Reader
Matt

“They weren’t appalled a few weeks ago, when the Saudis blew up a bus full of school children.”

In order to discredit this obvious strawman argument, I typed in “saudi arabia bus children” on Google. Google gave me the following top articles:

The Guardian: US supplied bomb that killed 40 children on Yemen school bus

CNN: Bomb in Yemen school bus strike was US-supplied

Yep. The MSM doesn’t care. They care so little that they reported on the event, multiple times, and repeatedly emphasized that the U.S. was the supplier of the bomb. So little care. Oh my.

lundiel
Reader

“In order to discredit this obvious strawman argument, I typed in “saudi arabia bus children” on Google. ”
It’s true what they say…..you really are Eliot Higgins, citizen journalist.

Gwyn
Reader
Gwyn

How easily people such as Freedland are seduced by their own self-importance. The opportunity to be bit-part players in the U.S. Empire’s global game is too much for these weak-minded individuals to resist. Hence, they will churn out lies, day after day, apparently caring little that they’re always on the wrong side of history.

As for the Guardian’s general output, well, it’s their sanctimoniousness that gets on my wick. Preaching from on high, while doing their bit to promote inequality and injustice, both at home and abroad. For example, they do their utmost to denigrate Jeremy Corbyn, including their disgusting smears of anti-Semitism against him, while always giving a platform to their hero, the repulsive Tony Blair. Then, there are the daily propaganda efforts which target Russia, China, Venezuela, etc., at the same time as defending Israeli and Saudi atrocities.

And they have the gall to call what they do ”fearless, independent journalism.” The snivelling, cowardly little wretches.

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

“I can understand the frustration of the campaigners for Yemen that the death of one man has captured a global attention that has so rarely focused on the tens of thousands killed in that dirtiest of wars. But sometimes it takes the story of a single individual – his life and death – to break through.”

Sort of reminds me of an old quote sometimes attributed to Stalin: “One death is a tragedy; a millions deaths are a statistic.”

None of them had been on twitter, or read the alternate news or even looked at the comments BTL on their own articles.

Well, these days, looking at the BTL comments is a bit more difficult, since the Fraudian tend to shut them off after about 5 minutes … when they allow any comments at all.

lundiel
Reader

They allow and “pick” comments that parrot the narrative: Brexit bad, remain very, very good, Theresa bad, Corbyn much worse, Boris is a !%^&/` ^$*= and we’re all right on lefties who think like, Tony Blair was wrong over Iraq but did a lot of good stuff. And we wish David Miliband would come back and lead us.