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Saudi Arabia

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The US targeted assassination, via drone strike, of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, apart from a torrent of crucial geopolitical ramifications, once again propels to center stage a quite inconvenient truth: the congenital incapacity of so-called US elites to even attempt to understand Shi’ism - thus 24/7 demonization, demeaning not only Shi’as by also Shi’a-led governments.... Read More
One might postulate that the United States is regularly supporting so-called allies whose very nature will eventually generate blowback that will do terrible damage to actual American interests. The recent example of the mass shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida by Saudi Second Lieutenant Mohammed Alshamrani is illustrative. Alshamrani killed three American... Read More
Prince Andrew and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia have both had a bad week. On the very same day that Prince Andrew was giving his disastrous interview explaining his relationship with the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the crown prince – often referred to as MbS – was hearing from international bankers about... Read More
The backstage struggle between the Bush interventionists and the America-firsters who first backed Donald Trump for president just exploded into open warfare, which could sunder the Republican Party. At issue is Trump's decision to let the Turkish army enter Northern Syria, to create a corridor between Syrian Kurds and the Turkish Kurds of the PKK,... Read More
The resignation of Sigal Mandelker, an Israeli operative in the US Treasury who designed the Trump administration's Iran sanctions, is a sign of retreat. Mnuchin, Mandelker, Sheldon Adelson and other Trump-handlers wanted "maximum pressure." The goal of this policy was to blind side the Iranians by randomly withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear agreement in hopes... Read More
More attacks on Saudi Arabia appear inevitable unless it agrees to stop war against Houthi rebels
Never underestimate the power of blowback. Right now, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), the de facto ruler of the House of Saud, is staring at it, an ominous abyss opened by the Houthis in Yemen. This past weekend, Yemeni Armed Forces spokesman Brigadier Yahya al-Sari clinically described how Ansarallah, also known as the Houthi... Read More
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The debate over what actually occurred on 9/11 and, more to the point, who might have been behind it, continues to preoccupy many observers worldwide. There is considerable legitimate concern that the commission that reviewed the incident engaged in a cover-up designed either to excuse a catastrophic failure on the part of the United States’... Read More
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There are probably hundreds of books out there about the so-called "Revolution in Military Affairs", some of them pretty good, most of them very bad, and a few very good ones (especially this one). For a rather dull and mainstream discussion, you can check the Wikipedia article on the RMA. Today I don't really want... Read More
Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2019-09-23 06:58:34Z |  |
An Iranian official has announced that the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero was free to leave. Remember the Stena Impero? This is the tanker the IRGC arrested after the Empire committed an act of piracy on the high seas and seized the Iranian tanker Grace 1. Col Cassad posted a good summary of this info-battle, blow... Read More
“It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation. We support ongoing investigations to establish further details.” The statement above was not written by Franz Kafka. In fact, it was written by a Kafka derivative: Brussels-based European bureaucracy. The Merkel-Macron-Johnson trio, representing Germany, France and the... Read More
President Trump deserves credit for resisting the war cries from neocons like Sen. Lindsey Graham and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after last week’s attack on two Saudi oil facilities. Pompeo was eager to blame Iran because he wants war with Iran and anything that can trigger such a war is fine with him. So... Read More
The devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities by drones and missiles not only transforms the balance of military power in the Middle East, but marks a change in the nature of warfare globally. On the morning of 14 September, 18 drones and seven cruise missiles – all cheap and unsophisticated compared to modern military aircraft... Read More
The Mideast has its own variety of crazy humor. The Saudis have been blasting and bombing wretched Yemen, one of this world’s poorest nations, since 2015. These US-supported attacks and a naval blockade of Yemen imposed by Saudi Arabia and its sidekick ally, the United Arab Emirates, have caused mass starvation. No one knows how... Read More
President Donald Trump does not want war with Iran. America does not want war with Iran. Even the Senate Republicans are advising against military action in response to that attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. "All of us (should) get together and exchange ideas, respectfully, and come to a consensus -- and that should be... Read More
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The Middle-East is literally exploding: the Houthis have delivered an extremely effective blow against Saudi oil production which (so they claim) has now dropped by 50% before bouncing back; there are persistent rumors that Russian Su-35S and S-400 have threatened to shoot down Israeli aircraft attacking Syria; Lebanon has declared that it will defend itself... Read More
"Iran has launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," declared Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Putting America's credibility on the line, Pompeo accused Iran of carrying out the devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities that halted half of the kingdom's oil production, 5.7 million barrels a day. On Sunday, President Donald Trump did... Read More
The recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Yemeni Houthi forces demonstrate once again that an aggressive foreign policy often brings unintended consequences and can result in blowback. In 2015 Saudi Arabia attacked its neighbor, Yemen, because a coup in that country ousted the Saudi-backed dictator. Four years later Yemen is in ruins, with nearly... Read More
Trump supporters should let Trump hear from them as he is about to commit the United States to a war of Israel’s choosing. A mutual defense treaty between the US and Israel would give Israel the ability to commit the US to a war in Israel’s behalf. Remember history. It was British prime minister Chamberlain’s... Read More
The hideous cruelty of the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi death squad almost a year ago still jumps from the pages of the latest apparent transcript of the conversation between his killers as they wait for him to arrive at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. “Is it possible to put... Read More
A large number of Americans still don’t believe the official version of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. I am one of them. The government and tame media version – that crazed Muslims directed by Osama bin Laden attacked New York’s twin towers and the Pentagon because they hated ‘our freedoms’ and our... Read More
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Exploring Geopolitical Trends in the Region
The Western public has been so poorly served, in recent years, by its supposed world-class media organisations that any semblance of a coherent narrative explaining world events and tying together their deeper, underlying, causes to one another, has almost completely disappeared from the programming of the major networks. More often than not, international affairs are... Read More
In October 1950, as U.S. forces were reeling from hordes of Chinese troops who had intervened massively in the Korean War, a 5,000-man Turkish brigade arrived to halt an onslaught by six Chinese divisions. Said supreme commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur: "The Turks are the hero of heroes. There is no impossibility for the Turkish Brigade."... Read More
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There is “sufficient credible evidence” that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the effective ruler of Saudi Arabia, was responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and that he should be investigated according to a UN special rapporteur. Saudi Arabia first denied government involvement in the murder of Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi... Read More
Congress, and particularly the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, seems determined to see the end of the Trump Administration before the 2020 vote. Although House Speaker Pelosi claims she is not seeking impeachment, she’s accusing the president of “covering up” something. However, she won’t say what until she can do more investigating. But Trump’s opponents on... Read More
In its escalating confrontation with Iran, the US is making the same mistake it has made again and again since the fall of the Shah 40 years ago: it is ignoring the danger of plugging into what is in large part a religious conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims. I have spent much of my... Read More
Saudi Arabia’s claim that two of its oil tankers have been sabotaged off the coast of the UAE is vague in detail – but could create a crisis that spins out of control and into military action. Any attack on shipping in or close to the Strait of Hormuz, the 30-mile wide channel at the... Read More
How Middle Eastern Powers Fund Think Tanks
The 2016 elections awakened Americans to a startling reality: the country’s political system is ripe for foreign interference. The Russians took full advantage of social media with bot armies and through unregistered foreign agents. While their influence garnered considerable attention and has led to increased enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), one area... Read More
In a fitting legacy for my friend Walter Jones, Jr. who passed away last week, the US House made history by voting in favor of H.J.Res. 37, a resolution “Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.” As George O’Neill wrote... Read More
Last week something historic happened in the US Senate. For the first time in 45 years, a chamber of the US Congress voted to pull US forces from a military conflict under the 1973 War Powers Act.While there is plenty to criticize in the War Powers Act, in this situation it was an important tool... Read More
The number killed fighting in the war in Yemen jumped to 3,068 in November, the first time it has exceeded the three thousand mark in a single month since the start of the four-year conflict. This is about the same number as were being killed in Iraq at the height of the slaughter there in... Read More
The number of people killed by the violence in Yemen has for the first time risen above 3,000 dead in a single month, bringing the total number of fatalities to over 60,000 since the start of 2016. The figure is six times greater than the out-of-date figure of 10,000 dead often cited in the media... Read More
It’s now more than 17 years later, years in which American commanding generals in Afghanistan repeatedly hailed the U.S. military’s “progress” there and regularly applauded the way we had finally “turned a corner” in the Afghan War -- only to find more Taliban fighters armed with RPGs around that very corner. Finally, in the 18th... Read More
peaceable-kingdom
Why can't we just leave everyone alone?
President Donald Trump’s recent statement on the Jamal Khashoggi killing by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince might well be considered a metaphor for his foreign policy. Several commentators have suggested that the text appears to be something that Trump wrote himself without any adult supervision, similar to the poorly expressed random arguments presented in his tweeting... Read More
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Abizaid of Arabia
What does President Trump’s recent nomination of retired Army General John Abizaid to become the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia signify? Next to nothing -- and arguably quite a lot. Abizaid’s proposed appointment is both a non-event and an opportunity not to be wasted. It means next to nothing in this sense: while once... Read More
The 633-word statement of President Donald Trump on the Saudi royals' role in the grisly murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi is a remarkable document, not only for its ice-cold candor. The president re-raises a question that has roiled the nation since Jimmy Carter: To what degree should we allow idealistic values trump vital... Read More
It’s not often that US Government officials are honest when they talk about our foreign policy. The unprovoked 2003 attack on Iraq was called a “liberation.” The 2011 US-led destruction of Libya was a “humanitarian intervention.” And so on. So, in a way, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was refreshingly honest last week when, speaking... Read More
Saudi Arabia has been shaken to its core by the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkish intelligence has leaked that the Saudi journalist, who wrote op-ed pieces for the Washington Post newspaper, was strangled in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, then cut up into pieces for disposal or dissolved in acid. His remains have... Read More
On October 31st the US Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and the US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo called for a cease fire and a negotiated settlement to the war against Yemen. This was more than an obvious publicity stunt. It was a cruel Halloween prank? It is the US that is leading... Read More
khashoggi
Let the cover-up begin
The angst over the Jamal Khashoggi murder in the Saudi Arabian Consulate General building in Istanbul is already somewhat fading as the media has moved on in search of fresh meat, recently focusing on the series of attempted mail bombings, and currently on the mass shooting in Pittsburgh. But the affaire Khashoggi is still important... Read More
One reason Saudi Arabia and its allies are able to avoid a public outcry over their intervention in the war in Yemen, is that the number of people killed in the fighting has been vastly understated. The figure is regularly reported as 10,000 dead in three-and-a-half years, a mysteriously low figure given the ferocity of... Read More
The murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey is unprecedented in its audacity. The response from Washington and the Canadian government is to sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia, weapons that are being used by the Saudis in their destruction of the Yemeni population. The Russian response, if the report I... Read More
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a skilful politician who knows how to maximise his advantages and this was very much on display in his speech to the Turkish parliament. He contemptuously dismissed the official Saudi story that the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was the accidental outcome of a botched interrogation by a “rogue” Saudi intelligence... Read More
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The Turkish account of the murder of Khashoggi given by President Erdogan is true, in every detail. Audio and video evidence exists and has been widely shared with world intelligence agencies, including the US, UK, Russia and Germany, and others which have a relationship with Turkey or are seen as influential. That is why, despite... Read More
Was the assassination of JFK by Lee Harvey Oswald still getting as much media coverage three weeks after his death as it did that first week after Nov. 22, 1963? Not as I recall. Yet, three weeks after his murder, Jamal Khashoggi, who was not a U.S. citizen, was not killed by an American, and... Read More
The Saudi version of the disappearance and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi seems to change every day or so. The latest is the Saudi government claim that the opposition journalist was killed in a “botched interrogation” at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Or was it a fist-fight? What is laughable is that the Saudi king... Read More
The Middle East has a century old tradition of being the political graveyard of American and British political leaders. The list of casualties is long: Lloyd George, Anthony Eden, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Tony Blair and George W Bush. All saw their careers ended or their authority crippled by failure in the region. Will the... Read More
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After watching the Saudis behead and even reportedly crucify critics and opponents for decades, suddenly Washington’s great and good are outraged by a single murder. The victim was a Saudi columnist from that nation’s elite who was noted for his moderate, cautious views, who was also linked to the former Saudi intelligence chief, Turki al-Faisal.... Read More
Introduction In recent weeks the White House has embraced the contemporary version of the world’s most murderous regimes. President Trump has embraced the Saudi Arabian “Prince of Death” Mohammad bin Salman who has graduated from chopping hands and heads in public plazas to dismembering bodies in overseas consulates – the case of Jamal Khashoggi. The... Read More
The Khashoggi affair has weakened President Trump’s campaign to impose stringent economic sanctions on Iran aimed at reducing its influence or forcing regime change. Saudi Arabia is America’s main ally in the Arab world so when its credibility is damaged so is that of the US. On 5 November the US will impose tough restrictions... Read More
Over the weekend Donald Trump warned of "severe punishment" if an investigation concludes that a Saudi hit team murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Riyadh then counter-threatened, reminding us that, as the world's largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia "plays an impactful and active role in the global economy." Message:... Read More
Category Classics
How America was neoconned into World War IV
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?