This post was published at Scott Horton
Two weeks ago, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman carried out a brutal crackdown on his political opponents, arresting dozens of high-ranking relatives, kidnapping the prime minister of Lebanon, and seeing eight of his political rivals die in a convenient helicopter crash. The ‘consolidation of power’ by the de facto Saudi ruler comes as his government ramps up its siege of Yemen and gets even closer to its US sponsor, thanks to Trump’s dopey love affair with – and direct assistance of – the regime.
The cynical plan has been met, in some media quarters, with condemnation, but for many in the Western press, Mohammed’s self-serving power grab is the action of a bold ‘reformer,’ a roguish bad boy doing the messy but essential work of ‘reforming’ the kingdom – the ‘anti-corruption’ pretext of the purge largely repeated without qualification.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.
*** COLLAPSE OF THE KINGDOM ***
The Saudi Kingdom will fall, a longstanding Jackass forecast, an inevitable event
The Saudi Kingdom will fall alongside the ruined collapsing Petro-Dollar
The Saudi foundation has been the primary element to entire Petro-Dollar system
This Saudi situation is loaded with intrigue, corruption, cunning, collusion, criminality
The Saudi region will erupt in chaos ruin decay and gross destabilization
The entire Saudi situation is a grand mixture of deep corruption and wreckage
The Saudi Royals will scatter and escape with stolen wealth, an absolute guarantee
*** BLATANT TREACHERY ***
The old guard like Prince al-Waleed are Citigroup investors and Wall Street friends
US will knock off princes to continue the USD, and to prevent deviation toward the East
Iran will knock off princes to stop the Yemen War, and to halt ISIS
Iran has a new vested interest, to avoid the spread of war to Lebanon
The US will deploy its usual terrorism, via Langley and ISIS tool
Iran will use the Yemeni violent anger for a rapacious invasion by the Saudi thugs
This post was published at GoldSeek on 12 November 2017.
History shows how the United States has staged dozens of violent coups worldwide since the end of WWII. Here the CIA will simply install its own compliant puppet leader in order to better streamline US interests with those of the target nation. This practice was not only confined to nation states, however, as we can see with the out-going UN Secretary General.
The whole basis of the UN charter was to avoid the kind of undeclared wars of aggression suffered at the hands of Nazi Germany. Back in October, 21WIRE’s Vanessa Beeleyexplained:
‘To compare Saudi Arabia’s belligerent actions in Yemen to Nazi Germany’s undeclared wars of aggression prior to WWII is no exaggeration. In fact, one could make the argument that this Saudi-US joint venture is much worse, and a far more dangerous precedent. Likewise, the failure of a corrupt UN (who effectively sold Saudi Arabia its seat on at the head of the UN Human Rights Council ), led by an impotent Secretary General in Ban-ki Moon, to censure Saudi Arabia for its flagrant violation of international law, the Nuremberg Principles and the entire Geneva Convention content and implied framework – leaves the UN in the exact same position as the League of Nations in 1938.’
Now that US puppet Ban-Ki Moon is finally on his way out, we can see the true scope of the corruption he’s presided over – and the irreparable damage he’s inflicted on this international institution…
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JANUARY 10, 2017.
VIOLENTLY INTERVENING IN the affairs of other countries has brought the United States much grief over the last century. We are hardly the only ones who do it. The club of interventionist nations has a shifting membership. During the current round of Middle East conflict, two new countries have joined: Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Both have succumbed to the imperial temptation. Both are paying a high price. They are learning a lesson that Americans struggle to accept: Interventions have unexpected consequences and often end up weakening rather than strengthening the countries that carry them out.
Turkey’s long intervention in Syria has failed to bring about its intended result, the fall of President Bashar Assad. Instead it has intensified the Syrian conflict, fed a regional refugee crisis, set off terrorist backlash, and deeply strained relations between Turkey and its NATO allies. As this blunder has unfolded, Saudi Arabia has also been waging war outside its territory. Its bombing of neighboring Yemen was supposed to be a way of asserting regional hegemony, but it has aroused indignant condemnation. The bombing campaign has placed Saudi Arabia under new scrutiny, including more intense focus on its role in promoting global terror, which the Saudi royal family has managed to keep half-hidden for years.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia intervened in foreign conflicts hoping to establish themselves as regional kingmakers. Both miscalculated. They overestimated their ability to secure quick victory and failed to weigh the strategic costs of failure or stalemate. If the Turks and Saudis had studied the history of American interventions, they would have been more prudent. We know the sorrows of empire. From Iran to Cuba to Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, the legacy of our interventions continues to haunt us. Ambitious powers, however, continue to ignore the stark lesson that American history teaches. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are the latest to repeat our mistake. It is the same mistake that has undermined many nations and empires. They overestimated their ability to shape events in foreign lands. Now they are paying for their delusional overreach.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 6, 2016.
Saudi Arabia resumed its appalling war in Yemen last week and has already killed dozens more civilians, destroyed a school full of children and leveled a hospital full of sick and injured people. The campaign of indiscriminate killing – though let’s call it what it is: a war crime – has now been going on for almost a year and a half. And the United States bears a large part of the responsibility.
This US-backed war is not just a case of the Obama administration sitting idly by while its close ally goes on a destructive spree of historic proportions. The government is actively selling the Saudis billions of dollars of weaponry. They’re re-supplying planes engaged in the bombing runs and providing ‘intelligence’ for the targets that Saudi Arabia is hitting.
Put simply, the US is quite literally funding a humanitarian catastrophe that, by some measures, is larger than the crisis in Syria. As the New York Times editorial board wrote this week: ‘Experts say the coalition would be grounded if Washington withheld its support.’ Yet all we’ve heard is crickets.
High-ranking Obama administration officials are hardly ever asked about the crisis. Cable television news has almost universally ignored it. Both the Clinton and Trump presidential campaigns have been totally silent on this issue despite their constant arguing over who would be better at ‘stopping terrorism’. Beyond the grotesque killing of civilians, it’s clear at this point that the Saudis’ bombing campaign has also boosted al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap) to a level which Reuters described as ‘stronger and richer’ than anytime in its 20-year history.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Trevor Timm via The Guardian ‘ August 19, 2016.
Actually, the Nice horror was the demented suicide of a wretch who recently got fired, divorced and arrested for road rage, not a planned jihadi terrorist attack.
Beyond that, the real jihadi threat is rooted in blowback, and combatting it is a domestic police function. Enough militatistic bellicosity already!
The inconvenient truth is, Washington and its NATO vassals have brought bombs, drones, occupations and slaughter to towns and villages throughout the greater middle east for upwards of three decades. It is that senseless intervention and aggression that has fueled the rise of vengeful barbarians who operate under the ideological cover of a twisted Sunni jihaddism.
In fact, it was the Bush/Clinton/Obama wars which gave rise first to al-Qaeda and then to ISIS. In very substantial degree Washington trained them, armed them and then incited them to their anti-western rampages.
The Imperial City’s insidious doctrine of ‘regime change’ also destroyed the states of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan, thereby giving the jihadi vast lawless territories from which to operate and to even establish a murderous medieval caliphate in the desert backwaters of western Iraq and northern Syria..
The frightful violence that has been episodically erupting in France owing to internal cadres and in the US owing to copycats does not originate in the religion of Islam. The latter confession is 1384 years old, but it was only 25 years ago that meaningful jihadi terrorism first impinged on the west.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 16, 2016.
As Americans swarmed theatres on Friday, setting record-breaking sales to watch Captain America; Civil War, without warning or fanfare – much less, debate – the Pentagon announced ground troops have already been deployed in Yemen, ostensibly to reinforce the ongoing battle against al-Qaeda in the war-ravaged country. In fact, as typical for modern undeclared ‘warfare,’ Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Friday that to back Saudi and Emirati forces, U. S. troops have been on the ground for two weeks now.
‘We view this short term,’ the Washington Post said Davis told reporters.
According to the Wall Street Journal, officials claimed ‘about a dozen or so’ special operations forces had been deployed over the two-week period to assist the United Arab Emirates fighting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and had helped Saudi forces reclaim the port city of Mukalla.
‘This is specifically about routing AQAP from Mukalla, and that has largely occurred, Davis said, noting that the mission isn’t one of ‘advise and assist,’ but would instead ‘fall into the category of intelligence support.’
AQAP, Davis insisted from the Pentagon, ‘remains a significant security threat to the United States and to our regional partners, and we welcome this effort to specifically remove AQAP from Mukalla and to degrade, disrupt and destroy AQAP in Yemen.’
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on May 9, 2016.
New Eastern Outlook
The Wall Street Journal is the perfect example of a state and corporate controlled counter-information service. A report recently attempts to characterize the Saudi war on the Yemeni people as having little to do with oil. Nothing my friends, nothing could be further from the truth. The Saudis need untapped reserves Yemen currently controls. Here’s a look at the real reason for the genocide in Yemen.
‘Yemen doesn’t produce a lot of oil, but there are reasons why oil markets would react to military action there. Why? Here’s the short answer, ‘ this is the ‘lead’ for an unnamed WSJ author shifting the blame for a war for profit. The story is bait, counter-intuitive and blurb-ish, but just enough to get Americans thinking in the right direction.
‘Right’ that is, if you’re Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper. But the reality underneath is all about Murdoch and his cronies’ investments in the region, and nothing to do with geo-strategic tanker routes.
The WSJ wants investor types who read the paper to believe oil prices surged a bit last week because of the ‘fear’ a ‘strategic choke-point’ known as the Bab el-Mandeb Strait might be clogged if the Yemen chaos spilled over into Saudi Arabia. Well, there’s no danger of that given the fact the Saudis are bombing Yemen back into the Stone Age using US weaponry.
Another potential though, does implicate the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, as well as Somalia across the waters from the Saudis. Our past research has shown clearly, the fact Saudi Arabia and most of the OPEC nations have already reached the oil supply tipping point, the so-called ‘peak oil’ paradigm.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on APRIL 12, 2016.
Global military spending increased to $1.7 trillion in 2015, with the U. S. being the biggest spender by a wide margin.
A new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Instituteshows that military expenditures across the globe climbed by 1 percent from the previous year, the first such increase since 2011. The growth was driven by spending in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Oceania, and some states in the Middle East, according to the study.
Overall, military expenditures were equal to 2.3 percent of the global gross domestic product.
The data is culled from various sources, including a questionnaire that is sent out annually to national governments. Some countries, such as China, do not participate and estimates are used. A handful of countries, including Cuba and Uzbekistan, are excluded due to a lack of trustworthy data.
The report attributes the uptick in spending to a number of complex conflicts currently playing out around the globe, including: the battle against the Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria; Chinese expansion in the South China Sea; the Saudi-led war in Yemen; heightened fears of Iran’s military; and Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continued support of separatists in Ukraine.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on April 7, 2016.
‘Together against the tyrannical Saudi aggression,’ read a large banner in the hands of the demonstrators as Saudi warplanes were flying overhead, reportedly breaking the sound barrier to frighten the protesters. ~ Al Manar
Hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, to protest one year of Saudi coalition bombardment of the Yemeni people. Despite the threat of Saudi jets hovering in the skies above them, the people of Yemen demonstrated their resistance and resilience, their determination to secure their right to decide their own future and to defend their national sovereignty.
They chanted their defiance at the infuriated Saudi war-planes who were witnessing the heart of the revolution against the largest absolute monarchy in the world. The Saudi despotic regime has perceived Yemen to be their fiefdom for decades and is attempting to violently silence their legitimate voice demanding freedom from Saudi colonialism and corruption.
These protests signalled to the Saudi coalition that it is the people of Yemen who have ultimate legitimacy.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MARCH 27, 2016.
The Dutch parliament has voted to ban arms exports to Saudi Arabia in protest against the kingdom’s humanitarian and rights violations.
It sees the Netherlands become the first EU country to put in practice a motion by the European Parliament in February urging a bloc-wide Saudi arms embargo.
The bill, voted through by Dutch MPs on Tuesday, quoted UN figures which suggest almost 6,000 people – half of them civilians – have been killed since Saudi-led troops entered the conflict in Yemen.
It also cited the mass execution of 47 people, largely political dissidents, ordered by the Saudi judiciary on 2 January this year.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on March 17, 2016.
For years, the United Nations seems to have been embroiled in an endless string of scandals and cover-ups, and yet rarely, if ever, has anyone ever actually been held to account. This has led a number of pundits to accuse the institution of being ‘above the law’ and riddled with institutional corruption.
This latest story only reaffirms these accusations…
Independent journalist Matthew Russell Lee (photo, left) founded Bronx-based Inner City Press in 2005 and received official press accreditation to cover the United Nations in New York City. He was the first-ever independent, non-affiliated blogger to be given access to the UN’s inner sanctum. Since then Inner City Press has broken stories on a number of controversial stories: peacekeeper rapes in Africa, UN cholera in Haiti, war crimes in Sri Lanka and Burundi, the Sudans, SEMG and Yemen (see a leaked letter here), as well as corruption within UN Headquarters (cocaine shipments through its mail room and the current bribery scandals).
Apparently, it was all too much for diplomatic luminaries at the UN. Last month, Lee was forcibly ejected from the UN headquarters.
The DC-based Government Accountability Project, which defends UN and other whistleblowers, believes that the ouster of Inner City Press from the UN’s press office is ‘retaliatory in response to independent, critical journalism.’
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MARCH 6, 2016.
The insatiable appetite of America’s bipartisan foreign policy elites for military intervention – despite its record of creating failing states in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen – traces back to the marriage of liberal and neoconservative interventionists during the Clinton administration’s 78-day bombing of Serbia to create the break-away state of Kosovo in 1999.
One scholar-advocate has called NATO’s campaign ‘The most important precedent supporting the legitimacy of unilateral humanitarian intervention.’ Even Sen. Bernie Sanders was proud to support that use of American power, ostensibly ‘to prevent further genocide.’
Following a series of violent street protests and wild disruptions of parliament, the leader of the radical nationalist party, Vetvendosje, announced on Feb. 19, ‘This regime is now is in its final days. They will not last long.’But Kosovo, which is still not recognized as an independent state by nearly half of all UN members, and which still relies on 4,600 NATO troops to maintain order, is hardly a showcase for the benefits of military intervention. With an unemployment rate of 35 percent, Kosovo is wracked by persistentoutbreaks of terrorism, crime, and political violence.
That day, members of Vetvendosje set off tear gas cannisters in parliament and tussled with police in the latest of their many protests against anagreement reached by the government last summer to grant limited powers to the country’s Serbian minority, in return for Serbia’s recognition of Kosovo. Opposition lawmakers also rail against endemic corruption and the country’s under-performing economy.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on February 22, 2016.
The great Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – the long-time dictator of crude oil prices for the world – is struggling on all fronts.
The Saudis are losing their proxy wars in both Syria and Yemen; their OPEC leadership is under threat; they are not winning the crude oil price war; and its long-running alliance with the West is in question.
From Saudi Arabia’s perspective, Iran seems to be gaining ground everywhere. Saudi Arabia has several weaknesses that help explain the current anxiety emanating from Riyadh.
1. Saudi Arabia losing its leadership in the OPEC
Saudi Arabia has been the default leader of OPEC; however, despite Saudi insistence to the contrary, the U. S. shale boom, increased Russian oil production, and a very resolute Iran are challenging this leadership.
The result is that Saudi Arabia now finds itself powerless in supporting oil prices. Instead of the much-needed production cuts, during the 4 December 2015 meeting, the OPEC nations refused to adhere to any ceiling, which has been the practice for years.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on January 15, 2016.
The rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran has quickly ballooned into the worst conflict in decades between the two countries.
The back-and-forth escalation quickly turned the simmering tension into an overt struggle for power in the Middle East. First, the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric prompted protestors to set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran. Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic relations and kicked out Iranian diplomatic personnel. Tehran banned Saudi goods from entering Iran. Worst of all, Iran blames Saudi Arabia for an airstrike that landed near its embassy in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia’s Sunni allies in the Arabian Peninsula largely followed suit by downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran. However, recognizing the dire implications of a major conflict in the region, most of Saudi Arabia’s Gulf State allies did not go as far as to entirely sever diplomatic relations, as Saudi Arabia did. Bahrain, the one nation most closely allied with Riyadh, was the only one to take such a step.
Many of them are concerned about a descent to further instability. Nations like Kuwait and Qatar have trade links with Iran, plus Shiite populations of their own. Crucially, Qatar also shares a maritime border with Iran as well as access to massive natural gas reserves in the Persian Gulf. These countries are trying to split the difference between the two belligerent nations in the Middle East. “The Saudis are on the phone lobbying countries very hard to break off ties with Iran but most Gulf states are trying to find some common ground,” a diplomat from an Arab country told Reuters. “The problem is, common ground between everyone in this region is shrinking.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 01/13/2016.
In the wake of the latest terrorist outrage in Paris, the big question is not which specific group is responsible for the attack, but who’s responsible for the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in the first place. The answer that has grown increasingly clear in recent years is that it’s Western leaders who have used growing portions of the Muslim world as a playground for their military games and are now crying crocodile tears over the consequences.
This pattern had its beginnings in the 1980s in Afghanistan, where the Central Intelligence Agency and the Saudi royal family virtually invented modern jihadism in an effort to subject the Soviets to a Vietnam-style war in their own backyard. It was the case, too, in Iraq, which the United States and Great Britain invaded in 2003, triggering a vicious civil warfare between Shi’ites and Sunnis.
Today, it’s the case in Yemen where the U. S. and France are helping Saudi Arabia in its massive air war against Houthi Shi’ites. And it’s the case in Syria, the scene of the most destructive war game of them all, where Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states are channeling money and arms to Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh), and similar forces with the full knowledge of the U. S.
Western leaders encourage this violence yet decry it in virtually the same breath. In April 2008, a Treasury official testified in a congressional hearing that ‘Saudi Arabia today remains the location from which more money is going to … Sunni terror groups and the Taliban than from any other place in the world.’ [See Rachel Ehrenfeld, ‘Their Oil Is Thicker Than Our Blood,’ in in Sarah N. Stern, ed., Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), p. 127.] In December 2009, Hillary Clinton noted in a confidential diplomatic memo that ‘donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.’ In October 2014, Joe Biden told students at Harvard’s Kennedy School that ‘the Saudis, the emirates, etc. … were so determined to take down [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war … [that] they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of military weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda.’
Just last month, a New York Times editorial complained that Saudis, Qataris and Kuwaitis were continuing to funnel donations not only to Al Qaeda but to Islamic State as well.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on November 19, 2015.
Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world, bereft of resources, fractured by tribal divisions and religious sectarianism, and plagued by civil war.
And yet this small country tucked into the bottom of the Arabian Peninsula is shattering old alliances and spurring new and surprising ones. As Saudi Arabia continues its air assault on Yemen’s Houthi insurgents, supporters and opponents of the Riyadh monarchy are reconfiguring the political landscape in a way that’s unlikely to vanish once the fighting is over.
The Saudi version of the war is that Shiite Iran is trying to take over Sunni Yemen using proxies – the Houthis – to threaten the Kingdom’s southern border and assert control over the strategic Bab-el-Mandeb Strait into the Red Sea. The Iranians claim they have no control over the Houthis and no designs on the Strait. They maintain that the war is an internal matter for the Yemenis to resolve.
Source: Yemen’s War Is Redrawing the Middle East’s Fault Lines by Conn Hallinan – Antiwar.com
The Saudis have constructed what at first glance seems a formidable coalition consisting of the Arab League, the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Turkey, and the United States. Except that the ‘coalition’ isn’t as solid as it looks – in fact, it’s more interesting for whom it doesn’t include than whom it does.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on May 13, 2015.
The U. S. is running around in circles in the Middle East, patching together coalitions here, acquiring strange bedfellows there, and in location after location trying to figure out who the enemy of its enemy actually is. The result is just what you’d expect: chaos further undermining whatever’s left of the nations whose frailty birthed the jihadism America is trying to squash.
And in a classic tale of unintended consequences, just about every time Washington has committed another blunder in the Middle East, Iran has stepped in to take advantage. Consider that country the rising power in the region and credit American clumsiness for the new Iranian ascendancy.
Today’s News – and Some History
The U. S. recently concluded air strikes in support of the Iraqi militias that Iran favors as they took back the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State (IS). At the same time, Washington began supplying intelligence and aerial refueling on demand for a Saudi bombing campaign against the militias Iran favors in Yemen. Iran continues to advise and assist Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom Washington would still like to depose and, as part of its Syrian strategy, continues to supply and direct Hezbollah in Lebanon, a group the U. S. considers a terror outfit.
Meanwhile, the U. S. has successfully negotiated the outlines of an agreement with Iran in which progress on severely constricting its nuclear program would be traded for an eventual lifting of sanctions and the granting of diplomatic recognition. This is sure to further bolster Tehran’s status as a regional power, while weakening long-time American allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States.
This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on April 12, 2015.
It happens so often you wonder whether it is due to total ineptness or a deliberate policy to undermine our efforts overseas. It’s most likely a result of corruption and unintended consequences, combined with a foreign policy that makes it impossible to determine who are our friends are and who are our enemies. One would think that so many failures in arming others to do our bidding in our effort to control an empire would awaken our leaders and the American people and prompt policy changes.
A recent headline in Mother Jones read: ‘US Weapons Have A Nasty Habit of Going AWOL.’ The report was about $500 million worth of military equipment that is unaccounted for in Yemen. Just as in so many other places, our policy of provoking civil strife in Yemen has been a complete failure. At one time it was announced that there was a great victory in a war being won with drones assisting groups that claimed to be on our side in the Yemen Civil War. As usual, we could have expected that these weapons would end up in the hands of the militants not on the side of United States and would never be accounted for.
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on March 21, 2015.