The Emirati Royal Family has a hell of a lot more money than you do, so you should be willing to risk your own or your children’s lives for them. That’s what serfs do. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
Why Is Washington So Fond of Medieval Dictatorships?
President Joe Biden made headlines with his preparations to visit Saudi Arabia and kowtow to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who candidate Biden pledged to treat as a pariah. Receiving less attention is the president’s plan to take his ostentatious grovel from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi.
According to Axios: “The Biden administration and the United Arab Emirates are discussing a possible strategic agreement that would give the Gulf country certain U.S. security guarantees.” Washington reportedly has sent a draft text, which would effectively turn American military personnel into mercenaries for the Emirati royals. Just as the UAE hires out most other difficult work to others, it wants the US to provide bodyguards for the oppressive regime.
By truckling to the Gulf kingdoms, the administration hopes to convince the royals to increase oil production. Washington has been too successful in driving Venezuelan, Iranian, and most recently Russian petroleum off the market and now is desperate to lower gasoline prices. It is a forlorn hope – the Saudis and Emiratis are enjoying the financial bounty of high oil prices – but the president, facing a potential midterm congressional wipeout in November, is attempting a sort of “Hail Allah” pass.
Posted in Energy, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Horseshit, Military, Politics, Propaganda, Tyranny
Tagged Arms Sales, Emirati Royal family, Oil, United Arab Emirates
Watch what the do, not what they say. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
Washington has decided to ramp up the push for war against Russia using Ukraine as a proxy – and using a twisted narrative about Russian aggression and invasion.
American Secretary of State Antony Blinken is shuttling across Europe this week vowing that Washington “desperately wants peace not war” with Russia. This touchy-feely sentiment comes amid reports of additional American and British weapons supplies heading to the NATO-backed Kiev regime.
Ukraine has already been massively weaponized by the United States since the CIA-backed coup d’état in Kiev in 2014 brought to power a Neo-Nazi regime obsessed with antagonizing Russia. The Biden administration has boosted inventories for anti-tank missiles and other lethal weaponry with plans for further increases. Now it emerges that additional supplies are on the way from both the U.S. and Britain. Britain is to send anti-tank weapons to Ukraine along with “military advisors”.
Moscow this week condemned the increased flow of weapons to Ukraine, saying it is recklessly stoking already fraught tensions. The new supply of anti-armor missiles from the U.S. and Britain – reported only days after high-level talks on regional security between Russian and NATO officials were conducted last week – would seem to be one more proof that the Western powers are secretly pushing for war with Russia despite rhetoric appealing for a diplomatic solution.
The Saudi Arabian government is just as nasty, if not nastier, than Iran’s, but it gets a free pass from the U.S. government. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
No matter the many crimes committed by the House of Saud, defenders rush to take up their cause. The Wall Street Journal’s Karen Elliott House was the latest. Readers can imagine tears cascading across her keyboard as she wrote about the plight of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which “is begging the U.S. for Patriot interceptors to defend itself against drone and missile attacks from the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.”
House complained that this is bad for America for three reasons. “First, it endangers the Saudi people, who look to the US for protection.” Actually, what endangers the Saudi people is their reckless crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and especially his continuing war of aggression against the KSA’s much poorer neighbor.
Nearly seven years ago Riyadh attacked Yemen to reinstate the latter’s pliable president, who had been ousted by a coalition of his predecessor and the armed Ansar Allah movement, known as the Houthis. The Saudi and Emirati air forces hit hundreds of civilian targets and killed thousands of civilians. The impact of the war – malnutrition and starvation, disease, poverty – killed hundreds of thousands more. Surprising the Saudis, Ansar Allah shot back. (Apparently, they believed winning wars without loss was just another royal prerogative.) The KSA should acknowledge that it has lost, halt its attacks, and seek a realistic negotiated settlement.
Next, House contended that administration policy “endangers an ally and benefits Iran.” In fact, Saudi Arabia has no treaty commitment. Its value to American security is much overstated. The Saudi military performed miserably in Yemen. With the Abrahamic Accords Riyadh should look to Israel rather than the US as its chief security partner. As for economics, the oil market has changed dramatically, Riyadh’s importance is much diminished, and the royals recently made clear that they will pump oil to suit their, not America’s, interest.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Arms Sales, Iran, Oil, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
All is forgiven for MBS; he’s got money for a big arms’ shopping spree. From Martin Jay at strategic-culture.org:
The truth about Khashoggi, was in fact a million miles from what the Post’s Opinion section crafted in a baptism of sensational storytelling.
The reality is that the West can no longer carry off the moral high ground when dishing out the human rights tutelage. London, Paris and Washington are addicted to Saudi arms deals and have exposed woke U.S. media as entirely fake.
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohamed bin Salman (or simply MbS to many) is an opaque figure who we can say at least is hugely misunderstood by most, certainly western media. In recent weeks, the news that a Saudi official who was allegedly the mastermind behind the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was arrested and detained briefly by the French, sparked more media chaff about the affair allowing America’s woke media to peddle the worn narrative about MbS being the one who signed the murder off.
Yet the French Connection to the MbS story is interesting as it was Macron who, one could argue, has turned a page for U.S. media and brought MbS in from the cold. It was actually the French president who recently reached out to the Saudis to boost France’s trade with the kingdom as few if any in the West now can keep up the boycott of Saudi Arabia. The French, the British and more importantly the Americans all need the Saudis’ money although three years after the Khashoggi murder the news that Joe Biden is throwing his weight behind 650 million dollar air-to-air missile deal, despite it receiving some resistance in the Senate over concerns for the Saudi role in Yemen, should surprise us – given that Biden was so bellicose about hitting the Saudi regime (and in particular MbS) hard, after only a few days in the Oval office.
Why has America been Saudi Arabia’s bitch for so long? From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
Many observers have been mystified by the Saudi regime’s hold over President Donald Trump. For years he had criticized the gaggle of corrupt, dissolute royals. He also asked why Americans were paying to defend the wealthy, licentious al-Saud family, as it practiced totalitarianism at home and promoted Islamic fundamentalism abroad, including in America.
Yet Trump made his first trip as president to Saudi Arabia. Some observers wondered if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had salvaged his infamous orb from Mordor’s collapse eons ago and used it to take control of the president’s mind. No other explanation made sense.
Now the New York Times reports that the fault lies with Peter Navarro, the protectionist aide who spends much of his time urging economic and real war with China. He apparently was instrumental in convincing the president to put the profits of munition makers before the lives of Yemenis.
Consider the tragedy that had befallen Yemen, a deeply divided and tragically impoverished nation. During the Arab Spring the Yemeni people ousted the longtime president, leaving a weak and unpopular successor. The former chief executive joined a longtime rebel movement to overthrow the government. All par for the course in a divided land that has never known peace or stability.
Russia, China, and the US are scrambling to secure Africa’s resources. From Vanand Meliksetian at oilprice.com:
Virtually all great powers have set their eyes on Africa as the continent’s global importance grows. Its population is set to double by 2050 and its economy is expected to expand significantly alongside its energy consumption. It is these projections that have driven Russia to invest heavily in strong relations in the region for when the continent’s explosive growth takes off. The Kremlin’s goal is to emulate China’s success in fostering economic, diplomatic, and military links with Africa. To become an important partner, Moscow is organizing the first-ever Russia-Africa summit on 23-24 October.
Sochi, Russia’s de facto capital after Moscow, will host the summit where Egypt’s President Sisi is invited as co-chair. The event is a major test for Russia’s corps diplomatique and the country’s rise as a global power. To showcase the ineffectiveness of Western sanctions and their failure in isolating Moscow, 50 heads of state are invited to the summit.
Nothing about Saudi Arabia is on the up-and-up. From Andrew Cockburn at theamericanconservative.com:
CEO of Lockheed Martin, Marillyn Hewson (L) and Ahmad Bin Aqeel Al Khatib (R), Director of Saudi Research and Marketing Group pose for a photo after signing a bilateral agreement, worth $280 billion, between United States and Saudi Arabia at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 20, 2017. (Photo by Bandar Algaloud /Saudi Royal Council/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
The old maxim that “the U.S. government exists to buy arms at home and sell arms abroad” was never truer than today. Our defense budget is soaring to previously undreamed-of heights and overseas weapons deals are setting new records.
Indeed, the arms sales industry has become so multi-faceted that while some American corporations push weapons, other U.S. firms are making money by acting on behalf of the buyers. Thus a Lockheed Martin-Raytheon team recently dispatched to Riyadh to negotiate the finer points of the ongoing $15 billion deal for seven Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries jointly manufactured by the two companies, found themselves facing not Saudis across the table, but a team of executives from the Boston Consulting Group. This behemoth, which has $7.5 billion in global revenues, is just one of the firms servicing Mohammed “Bone Saw” Bin Salman’s vicious and spendthrift consolidation of power in the kingdom.
Trump’s not going to let the Jamal Khashoggi murder get in the way of the mutually advantageous US-Saudi Arabia relationship. From Middle East Eye at theantimedia.org:
US President Donald Trump’s latest statement on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder is an extraordinary example of political sincerity – although backed by a completely wrong analysis.
Trump departed from the usual empty and generic rhetoric made by former American presidents about Saudi Arabia. He made it very clear that the US will condone what Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did, i.e ordering the killing of Khashoggi, because the kingdom is containing Iran, purchasing American weapons and is helping to control oil prices in line with American interests.
In other words, when American values, such as defending human rights and the rule of law, collide with American interests, Trump will opt for the latter. In fact, Trump statement confirms indirectly Middle East Eye’s report on the US intention to offer a way out to the Saudi crown prince from the Khashoggi quagmire.
Posted in Crime, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Investigations, Law, Money, Morality, Politics, War
Tagged Arms Sales, Jamal Khashoggi murder, Mohammad bin Salman, President Trump
Trump has given the green light for Saudi Arabia to continue its war in Yemen. From Randi Nord at theantimedia.org:
Washington has chosen to diverge from its European allies and continue support for the Saudi led-coalition against Yemen. Following a White House statement that reaffirms US commitment, the Saudi coalition has continued with its assault on Hodeidah port and civilians in Yemen.
- Germany, the United Kingdom, and other European nations have recently put forth effort to stop the war against Yemen.
- The White House has issued a statement doubling down on its seemingly unconditional support for Saudi Arabia — particularly its assault on Yemen.
- Saudi Arabia has since continued its attacks on Yemen’s Hodeidah port and civilian areas.
- Yemenis hold out hope for the European effort and UN envoy’s recent visit to Hodediah port.
Washington Diverges from European Allies, Doubles Down on Support for Gulf Monarchies
On November 20th, the White House issued (yet another) statement blaming Iran for the ongoing bloodshed in Yemen. It’s worth noting that Iran has no troops in Yemen. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia and the UN inspect all aid shipments entering Yemen for weapons and missile parts. There is absolutely no concrete evidence of Iran providing support to Ansarullah (aka. Houthis) in Yemen.
Posted in Collapse, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Imperialism, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Arms Sales, Mohammad bin Salman, President Trump, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
Doug Casey doesn’t see anything unusual about Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. From Casey at caseyresearch.com:
Justin’s note: Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has taken the world by storm.
Khashoggi, as I’m sure you’ve heard, was a Saudi journalist. He lived in the United States, worked for The Washington Post, and was highly critical of the Saudi regime.
Last month, Khashoggi walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey… and never walked out. The story is that he was tortured and murdered by 15 Saudis before his body was dissolved in acid.
You can see why this is such a big scandal. But maybe it shouldn’t be…
I say this because of a recent conversation I had with Doug Casey. Below, you’ll find a transcript. We hope you enjoy.
Justin: Doug, what do you make of the Khashoggi story? Is this as big of a deal as the media is making it out to be?
Doug: Okay, let’s consider what’s supposed to have happened. There’s a journalist who was apparently quite wired with the Saudi Royal Family. He’s been saying some things that they don’t like while living in the United States. He goes into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and never walks out.
Now, the story is that a hit team was flown in from Saudi Arabia. They tortured him, chopped him up, and disappeared his body in suitcases.
Of course, this is grizzly stuff; gentlemen aren’t supposed to dismember other gentlemen. But governments do this type of thing all the time. Hearing about it makes me feel like Inspector Renault in Casablanca: “Gambling at Rick’s? I’m shocked! Shocked!”
Posted in Crime, Cronyism, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Investigations, Morality, Politics
Tagged Arms Sales, Jamal Khashoggi murder, Mohammad bin Salman, President Trump