Turkey, along with Qatar, had thought that the opportunity was ripe to slash Saudi Arabia in the past few weeks. With every day that passes of this campaign, they noticed that no other country joined them as the region’s countries proved that they are more aware by estimating the scene and putting it in its accurate framework (it being a temporary campaign), and a page that will be turned and then it will be time for accountability.
In a few days, it will be two months since the hideous crime of murdering Khashoggi. The media campaign has, since the first days, escalated in an organized manner that sought to turn the incident into a constantly burning flame; hence no longer categorizing what happened as a political crime and transforming it into an organized project to target Saudi Arabia. During these heated days, the map of Arab and foreign countries’ stances was formed.
Arab countries stood by Saudi Arabia, except for Qatar. Islamic countries also stood by Saudi Arabia, except for Turkey. Even Iran did not entirely jump to side by Ankara and DohaFares bin Hezam
The fierce media campaign pushed opposing parties in various western countries to ride the wave to punish their governments. The Khashoggi case became a claw in the local political conflicts in Europe and in the mid-term elections’ agenda in America. All this was frank, and European governments had to respond to their rivals’ pressure so they had no other option but to increase their condemnation of the crime and hold the Saudi government responsible.
Arab countries stood by Saudi Arabia, except for Qatar. Islamic countries also stood by Saudi Arabia, except for Turkey. Even Iran did not entirely jump to side by Ankara and Doha. The West appeared to have three models; Russia provided the model that’s frankly in support of Saudi Arabia, America sought to balance between its strategic relations but also to respond to the call to punish Riyadh, and Europe’s major countries agreed to stand against Saudi Arabia.
A change of stances
This scene in the first weeks began to take a new form especially with Saudi Arabia’s measures of announcing the crime, declaring that the accused have been arrested and that those who were politically responsible were dismissed, as well as revealing the preliminary details of what happened. Arab support for Riyadh increased, Washington frankly voiced new support and Europe’s mood changed towards encouraging the Kingdom to move forward in its measures.
The fierce media campaign succeeded in achieving international mobilization against the Kingdom in the first weeks. Today, we are in a phase of accelerating retreat after the West calmed down and got preoccupied with its affairs and brave voices emerged hinting to the political tampering in Ankara, which turned the crime into a political game to trade with Riyadh and western capitals. One of these voices is the French foreign minister.
What the French minister publicly said is what his western counterparts are saying behind closed doors when they meet with Saudi officials and the Kingdom’s allies. However, it’s for domestic considerations in local conflicts that they do not dare to frankly announce this. The French minister’s remarks spoke for all of these, and let’s keep in mind that his country along with Britain and Germany made strongly-worded statements at the beginning of the crisis.
Turkey and Qatar’s efforts have failed today, and the iron masks have fallen. When will some know that heroism is not to harm others and it’s not in the blind prowess and extending fangs in the false wind? Heroism is in having a path for review and a held banner to preserve dignity.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Fares bin Hezam is Editor-in-Chief at Al Arabiya Channel.