If you wondered about the obsession over the death of Jamal Khashoggi, this lays it all out, including the newly revealed information about his connection to Qatar.

Via Security Studies:

When Donald Trump announced that his first trip abroad as president would take him to Saudi Arabia and to Israel, it was a signal that the new administration had returned America’s traditional alliances in the Middle East to their privileged status. For the prior eight years, the Obama White House had, in contrast, prioritized relations with these countries’ regional adversary in Iran and embraced the Islamic Republic’s regional allies, Turkey and Qatar, as key interlocutors and partners. The Obama administration also supported Islamist movements in the Middle East, principally the Muslim Brotherhood, that threated to topple regimes and instigate more hostility toward the Jewish State. Even before taking office, it was clear that the Trump administration would reverse these policies.

Obviously, some were alarmed both at the American turn back to Jerusalem and Riyadh as well as the Trump administration’s recognition of the threat of political Islam, but none more than the architects of Obama foreign policy and the many talking heads, reporters, think tank wags and politicians who supported it and comprised their “echo chamber.”

That effort, spearheaded by former National Security Council Communications Director Ben Rhodes, organized a chorus of voices in support of Obama national security policy and waged brutal rhetorical war on its enemies in the press. Indeed, over the last decade, this community has come to broadly view the Iranian regime, Erdogan’s Turkey and Qatar-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood as positive forces in the Middle East. Moreover, they resented the efforts by Israel and Saudi Arabia to combat their signature achievement, the Iran Deal, an agreement they believed would solidify a new alliance with that country.

In some ways, the American public’s support for the Jewish State made it difficult for Obama partisans to wage total information war against it, even as they did just that during the intense time of the Iran Deal debate in 2015. The monarchy of Saudi Arabia, by contrast, was vulnerable; it quickly found itself the target of a relentless and hostile American press corps.

By the end of the first week of October 2018, when the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi set off a global media firestorm, these voices, including many that were prominent in American media, were primed to take advantage—and revenge. Faced with a common enemy, members of the media and policy community who comprised the “echo chamber” that spun and amplified the positions of the Obama administration soon found themselves aligned with a sophisticated Turkish and Qatari information operation to target the US-Saudi alliance.

Due to their policy biases and the friendly intellectual environment created and nurtured by petrodollars inside the Beltway, American elites and policymakers have been soft targets for Qatari influence and information operations. Information operations use media and traditional tools of public relations to advance policy interests through narratives. A negative message is always more potent than a positive one, so operators of all kinds quickly find that the easiest way to advance one’s interests is to coordinate and weaponize media attacks on one’s enemies or rivals.

The narrative focusing on the death of Jamal Khashoggi was to be put into the service of both Qatar and Turkey’s main interest, undermining the stability of its rival, Saudi Arabia. When complete, the successful information operation would depict Khashoggi a heroic martyr to independent journalism and freedom, while Saudi Arabia would be the embodiment of evil and callousness. It is clear now that, not only was Khashoggi transmogrified in death into a major front in Qatar’s war on its Gulf neighbors; in life, he was Qatar’s asset in that war, as well.

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