This week on CounterSpin: Elite media are fond of saying that the US is resetting its Middle East policy. During the 2020 campaign, the New York Times explained, Joe Biden pledged, if elected, to stop coddling Saudi Arabia, after the brutal murder of prominent dissident and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. “We are not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them,” Biden said. “We’re going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are.”
When officials said Biden would visit the kingdom in July of last year and meet with Mohammed bin Salman, understood as the architect of Khashoggi’s murder, a New York Times headline explained that Biden had “‘only bad options’ for bringing down oil prices.”
We talked at the time with Raed Jarrar, advocacy director at DAWN, Democracy for the Arab World Now, an organization founded by Khashoggi. We’ll hear that conversation again today.
Also on the show: “If you’re not careful,” Malcolm X famously warned, “the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” This is a problem of long standing, and in June 2021 we explored one case of it—the 1921 massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma—with author and activist Joseph Torres. We hear that this week as well.