Why the mad media campaign against Saudi Arabia?

Jameel al-Thiyabi

Published: Updated:

The mad media campaign and continuous lies and fabrications – even after the announcement of the preliminary results of the ongoing investigations – confirm that their goal is to weaken the Kingdom and prevent it from achieving its ambitions and the aspirations of its youth, who form over 70 percent of its total population.

The population of Saudi nationals is 21 million and those involved in a condemned operation were only a few. Hence, this does not justify condemning all of these millions by crafting headlines promoting hatred and incrimination and disparaging the Kingdom’s image leaving it open for blackmailing.

Saudi Arabia is facing an unjust campaign with calmness and composure. This is the policy of major countries. The Kingdom has left no stone unturned in cooperating with Turkey in an attempt to unearth the facts and reveal them to global public opinion. This emanates from the Kingdom’s self-confidence and from pursuing policies that have led to relieving several senior officials from their posts, investigating 18 Saudi suspects, restructuring the General Intelligence apparatus and specifying the responsibilities and powers of their senior officials.

Saudi Arabia is a big country and is unperturbed by this loud noise and barking. It possesses the qualities of capably facing adversities and challenges however grave or numerous they might be. The Kingdom will never accept such an ugly crime and its history is testimony to this. What Riyadh has announced and will announce subsequently about the death of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi proves this.

As to tendentious and dubious media outlets attacking the Kingdom’s credibility, they will surely fail. These include media like those of the “Two Hamads regime” or the other controlled media that aim to make political gains. The reason is that Saudi Arabia is much too big to be blackmailed or insulted.

Jameel al-Thiyabi

Justice will be served, those involved will be brought to book and the investigations will continue. Everyone involved in the incident will receive his appropriate punishment.

As to those who harbor malice and hatred against the Kingdom, their main concern will be to distort the image of the Kingdom and attempt to blackmail it. Their schemes, conjectures and conspiracies will not stop because they are working in line with dubious agendas to appease parties that want to weaken our nation and commit aggression against it. They will continue to fan the fire whenever it is about to die out.

However, in the coming days, the “self-confident” Kingdom should silence the dwarfs and expose the goals behind the lies and fabrications they are spreading. The Kingdom should restore confidence by providing information to force those lying in wait to retreat in disgrace, in search of a new issue, in which they will be slapped left and right.

The ‘New Saudi Arabia’

The “New Saudi Arabia” knows that it will be subject to attacks, conspiracies, lies and ugly attempts to disparage it. However, all these plots hatched against the Kingdom will not affect it.

On the contrary, the Kingdom will counter them with all firmness. As is its usual custom, the Kingdom will continue in its policy of honesty, integrity and transparency. It will forge ahead with its development and reform projects.

Undoubtedly, members of the public are waiting for the announcement of the final results of the investigation, but those who harbor hatred and malice against the Kingdom will continue to fan the fires of the crisis by circulating lies and rumors.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom has more brethren, friends and allies. Saudi Arabia expects stronger and more courageous stances from them.

Some might ask: “Has the Kingdom sustained harm due to what has happened?”

Nobody can deny that the Kingdom’s reputation has suffered some harm due to the painful incident. However, Saudi Arabia’s reputation will not be shaken by one mistake, as it is a major and influential country. It is the fate of big countries to face challenges and surprises. If Saudi Arabia were a minor country lacking any influence, the world would not have cared about what it does or says. Nor would it have been the talk of the East and West.

It is true that some of the media campaigns were biased. They were not searching for the facts because they liked Khashoggi, but rather their objective was to condemn the Kingdom and disparage it to achieve cheap goals and political gains.

However, those involved in such campaigns must remember that Saudi Arabia is a leading Arab and Islamic country. It is a pivotal country that has won the confidence and trust of the international community. Saudi Arabia occupies a respectable position in the Arab and Muslim world. It has the Holy Kaaba in the Grand Mosque of Makkah, toward which all Muslims in the world perform their prayers. The Kingdom has one of the largest economies in the world and is the topmost oil producer. Hence, it is capable of facing challenges and of hindering the dreams of the greedy and malicious.

Since the disappearance of the late Jamal Khashoggi on Oct. 2, the Kingdom has pledged that it will not give up its responsibility toward its citizen in seeking justice and transparency. This is what it did, after the suspects were placed behind bars. Justice will take its course. It is the courts that will have the final say. The law will be implemented on whoever is found guilty.

With regard to Jamal Khashoggi’s death in his country’s consulate at the hands of his fellow countrymen, we must remind the world of the following:

First: It would be better before announcing the final results of the investigation to invite news agencies and correspondents of the Arab and world media to a press conference transmitted live where questions will be answered. All the latest developments related to this case should be announced. As this case has preoccupied world public opinion, this live press conference would be an opportunity for explaining the truth and dispelling all doubts, in implementation of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s statement: “We’ve nothing to hide and be fearful about.”

Second: They must not compare the Kingdom with countries that violate laws and conventions by harming their citizens within the country and abroad. We are a moderate and reliable country that is concerned with protecting its reputation and presenting an internal and external image in line with a respectable and transparent policy and tangible facts.

Third: One must understand that an ordeal can in fact be a blessing. In other words, such crises can be a blessing in disguise, as they sort out one’s friends from one’s enemies and those who are sincere from those who are hypocrites. Therefore, after such a sorting out process, stronger and closer ties can be forged.

Fourth: Such crises make it clear to the Kingdom those who are lying in wait for it, the hypocrites and those harboring hatred and other bad intentions against it. At this point, we can learn lessons from crises and hasty reactions.

Fifth: Major nations know that crises are the gateway to rectification and revising policies so as to design policies that suit the current time and the future. This is what the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques did upon the recommendations of the Crown Prince on restructuring the intelligence apparatus, relieving several leading and senior officials from their posts, specifying responsibilities and powers, and referring those involved in the incident to the courts to face the consequences of their deeds.

Sixth: Admitting one’s mistake is a courageous attribute, characteristic of normal and moderate people. Moreover, one scores a point by doing so and do not lose a point. History will register that the Kingdom did this. When moderate, self-confident countries admit their mistakes, they can rectify matters fast, win confidence and change public opinion in their favor.

Seventh: Some Arab countries are lagging behind in supporting the Kingdom and expressing solidarity with it. This is at a time when the Kingdom stood by all in times of crisis with all force. This crisis calls for them to express more support for the Kingdom than merely issuing statements full of rhetoric.

Eighth: It is necessary to strengthen Saudi media institutions and develop their professional work mechanisms. The war in such big crises is between media institutions. These institutions can be supported by providing them with information and not leaving them to carry stories leaked by foreign news agencies or newspapers. Simultaneously, work must start fast in opening media outlets in other international languages, run and managed by qualified Saudi youth.

As to tendentious and dubious media outlets attacking the Kingdom’s credibility, they will surely fail. These include media like those of the “Two Hamads regime” or the other controlled media that aim to make political gains. The reason is that Saudi Arabia is much too big to be blackmailed or insulted.

Such attacks will merely crash on the boulder of the truth.

Surely, Saudis should be optimistic and have confidence in their leadership. They should rally behind them so as to repulse those mad attacks. Those harboring malice and hatred against the Kingdom do not know that Saudis stand steadfast and firm in the face of adversity. They stand together, united and proud against everyone who targets their country. The greater the challenge, the more that sacrifice is evident, and this is the best example of loyalty and national cohesion. This is what the largest newspapers in the world have experienced. They have written on this while posing many questions indicating their astonishment and amazement!

May Allah Almighty have mercy on the soul of our colleague Jamal Khashoggi and may He grant his family and relatives patience and solace.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette.
Jameel al-Thiyabi is a Saudi journalist who has held different editorial positions at al-Hayat and Okaz newspapers. Al-Thiyabi holds a master’s degree in diplomacy and media from the UK. He has spent over 20 years in the media, working first with Asharq Al-Awsat in London and then with LBC TV. He is the editor-in-chief of Okaz. Follow him on Twitter @JameelAlTheyabi

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