As in other quasi-totalitarian dictatorships, the press in Saudi Arabia must express views approved by the government. Additionally, items appearing in English media generally are vetted to make sure they portray the kingdom in a positive light.
All of which makes an article in today's Arab News, "Assassination of Yassin: Who Is to Blame?" by Muhammad Salahuddin a real eyebrow raiser. Select excerpts:
The people who are slaughtering the Palestinians on a daily basis are not Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister and his Zionist aides. The actual killers are the government of President George Bush who still insists that the Zionist terror and the war of genocide waged by Sharon is an act of legitimate self-defense while the Palestinian resistance to the occupation is terrorism. …
The assassination of Sheikh Yassin, for all his status, history, personal qualities and the high place he occupies among the people inside and outside Palestine, is no bigger an outrage than the murder of tens of Palestinians who are being knocked down day and night by American bullets and rockets, …
Salahuddin ends by calling for the complete destruction of Israel, stating that
the Muslim Ummah will never find the burden of steadfastness and jihad unbearable. It is capable of, with the help of the Almighty Allah, facing the challenge and prevailing over the enemy, and it will never give up even one inch of Palestine land, whatever may be the brutality of the occupiers and their supporters.
I wonder how apologists for the U.S.-Saudi "friendship" are going to explain how this particular state-sanctioned bit of opining. (March 25, 2004)