Tag Archives: Mohammad bin Salman

The Iranian Albatross the US Has Hung Around Its Own Neck, by Alastair Crooke

President Trump has made a huge mistake placing all his chips on Saudi Arabia and Mohammad bin Salman in the Middle East. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

“Mr. Trump, nor anyone else in his administration, has announced any conclusions about how Mr. Khashoggi died, or who bears responsibility for ordering the killing”, a Washington Post editorial fulminates. “Instead, they have pretended to be waiting for the results of a Saudi investigation… the obvious problem with that stance is it assumes that Mohammed bin Salman himself is not at the bottom of the Khashoggi plot — though abundant evidence points to the crown prince. In truth, as the administration surely knows, there is no Saudi investigation — only a cover-up operation that has clumsily tried to disguise itself as an inquiry”.

One aspect to this affair is the US domestic issue. The White House is increasingly perceived – as the Washington Post implies – as engaged in a ‘soft’ cover-up of a cover-up. That is to say, the White House is being viewed as so set on keeping MbS in position as lynchpin to Trump’s entire Middle Eastern strategy that the White House and Mr Bolton will try to turn a Nelsonian ‘blind eye’ – or a ‘selective ear’ – to any audio evidence provided by the Turkish government that seems to implicate MbS.

President Trump is keeping his powder dry. He said: “I’ll have a much stronger opinion on that subject over the next week … I’m forming a very strong opinion.” But caution on his part might be wise: leading Turkish daily, Yeni Safak, which is close to the Turkish government, and which has been covering leaked details of the Khashoggi investigation day by day, has reported that Maher Mutrib, the Saudi intelligence official who led the 15-man assassination team in Ankara, spoke to Badr al-Asaker, the head of the Crown Prince’s private office, four times directly after Khashoggi was killed (if it was Mutrib who said “tell your boss” to MbS’ chef de cabinet, then the implication is clear). This has not been officially confirmed, but it is possible (and likely) that Turkish intelligence has yet further details to trickle out, piecemeal, to discredit the Saudi ‘line’ each time the kingdom tries to ‘draw the line’ under the case. Erdogan is determined to get MbS’ scalp, it seems.

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Are the Saudi Princes True Friends? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Saudi Arabia does what’s best for Saudi Arabia. US involvement in the Middle East, and its alliance with Saudi Arabia, has been very good for Saudi Arabia (or at least the dynasty that rules Saudi Arabia), but not so good for the US. From Patrick Buchanan at buchanan.org:

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 interests in determining foreign policy?

On the matter of who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, Trump does not rule out the crown prince as prime suspect:

“King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder… (but) it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge.”

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CIA Believes Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi’s Killing, by Tyler Durden

Nothing from the CIA should be taken as gospel. In fact, it should be treated with utomost skepticism. For what it’s worth, the CIA now apparently believes Mohammad bin Salman was behind Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

With Turkey’s graphic recording of Khashoggi’s final moments finally in the hands of US intelligence agencies, the Washington Postjust confirmed what the New York Times first hinted at more than one month ago: That US intelligence agencies believe that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in what is just the latest example of the Trump administration and its intelligence agencies working at cross purposes (the first being, of course, the investigations that eventually coalesced into the Mueller probe).

But instead of focusing on the recording of Khashoggi’s murder, the CIA is reportedly in possession of another piece of evidence that it believes incriminates the Crown Prince: A phone call made by Khalid bin Salman, MbS’s brother and the kingdom’s ambassador to the US, to Khashoggi, during which he promised the journalist that he wouldn’t be harmed if he visited the Saudi embassy in Istanbul to pick up the paper needed to marry his Turkish fiance.

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The Untouchable US-Saudi Relation Is A Core Element Of US Imperialism, by Federico Pieraccini

Notwithstanding the kerfuffle over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the US-Saudi Arabian relationship will quickly revert to status quo. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:

The Untouchable US-Saudi Relation Is a Core Element of US Imperialism

In the last few weeks, numerous articles and analyses have been produced relating to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. However, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States has not been questioned, and the reason for this has not yet been explained.

Nixon’s decision in 1971 to withdraw the United States from the gold standard greatly influenced the future direction of humanity. The US dollar rose in importance from the mid-1950s to become the world reserve currency as a result of the need for countries to use the dollar in trade. One of the most consumed commodities in the world is oil, and as is well known, the price is set by OPEC in US dollars, with this organization being strongly influenced by Saudi Arabia.

It is therefore towards Riyadh that we must look in order to understand the workings of the petrodollar. After the dollar was withdrawn from the gold standard, Washington made an arrangement with Riyadh to price oil solely in dollars. In return, the Saudis received protection and were granted a free hand in the region. This decision forced the rest of the world to hold a high amount of US dollars in their currency reserves, requiring the purchase of US treasuries. The relationship between the US dollar and oil breathed new life to this currency, placing it at the centre of the global financial and economic system. This privileged role enjoyed by the dollar allowed the United States to finance its economy through the simple process of printing its fiat currency, relying on its credibility and supported by the petrodollar that required other countries to store reserves of US treasuries in their basket of currencies.

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Why Benjamin Netanyahu Defends the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, by Middle East Eye

Benjamin Netanyahu is not going to abandon his good buddy Mohammad bin Salman, any more than Donald Trump will. From Middle East Eye at theantimedia.org:

The Saudi crown prince is the key Arab linchpin of the Trump-Netanyahu deal of the century and shares Netnayahu’s animosity toward both Iran and Erdogan.

For the past month, while governments and media outlet around the world sounded a drumbeat of shock and dismay over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, all that could be heard on the subject from Israel was the sound of crickets. Israeli columnist Ben Caspit said his country’s leadership was avoiding the subject “like the plague.”

It appears no Israeli politician wants to say anything for fear of offending that country’s latest Arab bromantic partner, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Bin Salman, according to many analysts, would have had to have ordered the murder of a figure as prominent as Khashoggi.

Then on Friday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally gave his view on the Khashoggi case, saying it had to be “dealt with” but not at the cost of the stability of Saudi Arabia and the fight against Iran.

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As US and Western Allies Suddenly Push Peace in Yemen, Can Their Endgame be Trusted? by Ahmed Abdulkareem

Is peace in Yemen on the horizon after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder? From Ahmed Abdulkareem at mintpressnews.com:

The U.S. has expressed a desire to rely in Yemen upon the often practiced and rarely successful strategy of breaking a nation into multiple enclaves based on ethnicity and political affiliation. The process, known as balkanization, has been implemented with disastrous results in Syria, Sudan and elsewhere.

SANA’A, YEMEN — Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the head of Ansar Allah’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee, welcomed U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ recent remarks urging an end to the three-year-long Saudi-led war in Yemen. In a tweet, Al-Houthi urged Mattis to announce an immediate end to the war, as well as to the Saudi coalition’s blockade that has triggered a famine in the world’s poorest nation.

Yemen’s Ansar Allah (Houthis) and its allies have been receptive to previous initiatives to end the war, which has killed tens of thousands of civilians. Al-Houthi stressed on Wednesday that any initiative would be welcomed so long as it does not undermine Yemen’s independence and sovereignty.

Dr. Yaser al-Houri, Secretary of the Supreme Political Council, the highest political authority in Sana’a, told MintPress:

“We welcome any call for peace that will end the war and we will deal responsibly with any future peace talks under the umbrella of the United Nations.”

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Time For A Change In Saudi Arabia? by Eric Margolis

Will the US, Great Britain, and Israel move to replace Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman? From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

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 not yet been found.

Khashoggi’s brazen murder has caused a crisis in US-Saudi relations, an angry confrontation with Turkey, and serious questions about the Saudi war in wretched Yemen, which so far had caused 60,000 deaths and left this remote land facing starvation.

Trump and his allies initially supported the Saudi-Emirati war against Yemen, having fallen for the false claim that great Satan Iran was backing the Yemeni Houthi forces.  Britain and Israel strongly supported the Saudi war.

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Doug Casey on the Khashoggi Scandal

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!”

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Murder of Saudi Journalist Builds Opposition to Yemen War, by Reese Erlich

If the backlash from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder leads to the end of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, then some good will have come from the murder. From Reese Erlich at antiwar.com:

The murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has backfired on the Saudi royal family by focusing new attention on its vicious war on Yemen.

The last few weeks have seen startling new reports on civilian atrocities and growing support for a House of Representative resolution invoking the War Powers Act to stop the war. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-San Jose) now has 73 cosponsors for a resolution that would stop US participation in the Yemen slaughter.

The Arab Spring spread through Saudi Arabia and continued for years in the mostly Shia Muslim, eastern part of the country. When the current Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman came to power, he escalated the war in Yemen and cracked down on dissent at home. Photo by Reese Erlich.

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The Man For Our Age, by Robert Gore

Mohammad bin Salman has a bright future.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, known by his initials, MbS, stands as the quintessential figure of our age. He represents the ultimate, larger-than-life fulfillment of the stated aspirations of the world’s many power grabs disguised as political philosophies. That “respectable” potentates and media worthies are denouncing him now is not because he allegedly had Jamal Khashoggi murdered, but in allegedly doing so, had the bad taste to reveal the blood-soaked tactics of their power grabs.

MbS is a beacon for Democratic Socialists, Regular Socialists, and Marxists. The differences between these sects are mere labeling. At root, they all believe that reward should be separated from production, which entails forcibly separating production from those who produced it. MbS has produced nothing, yet the thirty-three-year-old has rewarded himself with a $500 million yacht, a $450 million Leonardo da Vinci painting, and a château near Versailles for which he paid over $300 million.

Most socialists claim they’d be happy with state-provided jobs, housing, medical care, and incomes (they wouldn’t, they’re a permanently unhappy lot), so they might be a bit envious of MbS’s rewards. However, not one riyal has come from capitalist exploitation, it has all came from the munificence of the Saudi government he in effect heads. From each according to his ability to each according to his need—the government has decided he’s the country’s neediest person. He’s living the something-for-nothing dream.

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