Tag Archives: Mohammed bin Salman

No Starvation for Oil, by Kathy Kelly

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has killed many more innocents than Jamal Khashoggi. From Kathy Kelly at antiwar.com:

As President Joe Biden embarks on his trip to the Middle East, those of us back home must acknowledge that a “sensitive” trip would visit the victims rather than the butchers.

President Joe Biden’s foreign policy advisors are applauding themselves for devising a “sensitive” itinerary as he plans to embark on a trip to the Middle East on July 13.

In a Washington Post op-ed, Biden defended his controversial planned meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (known as MBS), saying it is meant not only to bolster U.S. interests but also to bring peace to the region.

It seems that his trip will not include Yemen, though if this were truly a “sensitive” visit, he would be stopping at one of Yemen’s many beleaguered refugee camps. There he could listen to people displaced by war, some of whom are shell-shocked from years of bombardment. He could hear the stories of bereaved parents and orphaned children, and then express true remorse for the complicity of the United States in the brutal aerial attacks and starvation blockade imposed on Yemen for the past eight years.

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Biden’s Visit To Saudi Arabia Exposes The Ukraine Narrative For The Sham It Is, by Caitlin Johnstone

Whatever the U.S. currently stands for, it’s current foreign policy certainly isn’t about freedom and human rights. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

In a major walkback from his campaign pledge to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” for human rights abuses like the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, President Biden will reportedly visit Riyadh with the goal of persuading Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to help the US alliance win its economic war against Russia.

The Guardian tells us the trip “suggests Biden has prioritized his need to bring oil prices down and thereby punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, over his stand on human rights.”

So in order to punish Vladimir Putin for his war crimes and his assault on freedom and democracy, Biden will be courting a tyrannical war criminal whose country has no freedom or democracy.

Washington will be ending its brief diplomatic dry spell with a government that has been waging a horrific war against Yemen while suppressing any semblance of human rights at home in order to more effectively punish Putin for waging a horrific war against Ukraine which we’re told threatens freedom and democracy throughout the western world.

I am not the first to note the risible irony of this development.

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Is Trump Kicking the Saudis to the Curb the Beginning of Something Not Terrible? by Tom Luongo

The Saudi Arabia government is as bad as or worse than the Iranian regimes we’ve been trying to change since 1979. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

More than anything else in Saudi Arabia, that thing you smell is fear. Everything is coming unglued for the royal family there all at once. If we all weren’t so distracted by the Coronapocalypse these things would all be front page news.

In the past week there have been three major stories concerning Saudi Arabia, none of the bullish.

First, there was the news that UAE-backed forces in Yemen broke with the Saudis-led coalition there to declare the Southern Transitional Council the new administrators over southern Yemen which includes the capital and major port at Aden.

This led to major clashes over the next week between forces which less than two weeks ago were supposedly on the same side.

In addition, Saudi mercenaries were routed in Northern Yemen. The UAE pulled its troops out of Yemen ending its fight with the Houthis after the attack on the Ab Qaiq oil processing facility last summer.

Finally, the Saudis accepted a UN-brokered ceasefire with the Houthis. This is a two-week provisional ceasefire, but considering how badly their mercs and pet head-chopping animals have been faring this should be considered a mercy gesture by the Houthis.

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The ‘America Last’ Express Hurtles On: Saudi Arabia, INF, Ukraine, by James George Jatras

Donald Trump has adopted the America Last foreign policy for which he criticized his predecessors. From James George Jatras at strategic-culture.org:

As the façade of 2016 Candidate Donald Trump’s promised “America First” continues to crumble away, the baked-into-the-cake pathologies of the foreign and security policy “experts” who monopolize President Trump’s administration plunge forward along their predetermined paths. Any realistic notion of American national interests comes last after the priorities of – well, pretty much everyone else with leverage in Washington.

Case in point, let’s start with Saudi Arabia and all the breast-beating over whether Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) really is guilty of ordering the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. (Spoiler Alert: You betcha!)

American and western media were all a-twitter last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s high five to Crown Pariah MbS at the G20. Amid the faux outrage – come on, does anyone really think MbS was the only killer in that room? – the gesture received America’s highest media tribute: a parody on “Saturday Night Live.”

What a circus. Apart from Putin’s greeting, the assembled hypocrites went out of their way to shun the leprous MbS, even shunting him to the margins of the group picture – as though the killing of one dodgy journalist outweighed their abetting MbS’s business-as-usual slaughter in Yemen. Really! I barely know the guy. We were never actually friends

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Khashoggi: How US Media Is Losing Its Moral Compass by Feeding Off Conspiracy Theories, by Martin Jay

We’ve got Turkey’s version of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, but how do we know that’s really what happened? From Marin Jay at strategic-culture.org:

Trump’s relationship with Erdogan raises new questions about the credibility of US mainstream journalism. Was Khashoggi a victim of a Turkish ‘honey trap’?

The Washington Post continues its banal attack on the regime of Saudi Arabia, following the horrific murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate on October 2. In Turkey too there is much which the western media cannot understand or refuses to probe, as Ankara plays a game of blackmail with Riyadh in a bid to extract a deal from Mohammad bin Salman who is at the centre of its character assassination.

But what are we missing? What is at the heart of this story which isn’t getting picked up by journalists or even TV commentators in the region?

Much has been written about the ‘free license’ that Trump and his son in law, Jared Kushner gave the Saudi prince and that this murder is an inevitable consequence of such blinded dogma towards ones allies. There is some truth in this, but if you are to look at the coverage of, in particular, the US media over Khashoggi, you might be curious to understand why it is so extensive and prolonged. After all, Saudi Arabia has been kidnapping its own dissidents for years and there are many western journalists who are killed or go missing around the world which get minimal coverage. Why such an entrenched campaign for Khashoggi?

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Saudi Crown Prince Admits Saudis “Financed Terrorist Groups”, Blesses Israeli Statehood, by Tyler Durden

The crown prince draws the line, however, at admitting that the Saudi government finances terrorist groups. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) admitted in a wide-ranging interview in The Atlantic that Saudi nationals have funded terrorist groups, and quite stunningly – that Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land yet another indicator that the relationship between Riyadh and Tel Aviv is strengthening.

When it comes to financing extremist groups, I challenge anyone if he can bring any evidence that the Saudi government financed terrorist groups. Yes, there are people from Saudi Arabia who financed terrorist groups. This is against Saudi law. We have a lot of people in jail now, not only for financing terrorist groups, but even for supporting them. –The Atlantic

Bin Salman’s comments come days after a U.S. judge rejected Saudi Arabia’s request to dismiss lawsuits accusing it of involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

The cases are based on the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Jasta), a 2016 law that provides an exemption to the legal principle of sovereign immunity, allowing families of the victims to take foreign governments to court.

The families point to the fact that the majority of the hijackers were Saudi citizens, and claim that Saudi officials and institutions “aided and abetted” the attackers in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks, according to court documents. Middle East Eye

MbS also told The Atlantic when asked if Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland:

I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations…  We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people”

Saudi Arabia does not currently recognize Israel – maintaining for years that normalizing relations all depends on the withdrawal from Arab lands captured in the 1967 Middle East War – territory Palestinians claim to be theirs for the establishment of a future state.

There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace,” MbS added. “There would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan”

To continue reading: Saudi Crown Prince Admits Saudis “Financed Terrorist Groups”, Blesses Israeli Statehood

New Satellite Imagery Shows Shocking Yemen Devastation As Saudi Crown Prince Tours US, by Tyler Durden

Everybody’s rolling out the red carpet for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is, with US help, waging a horrific war in Yemen. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Saudi Arabia and other oil rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allied states like the UAE have long managed to escape the scrutiny of media and international human rights bodies thanks to their deep pockets and security relationship with the West. Their collective oil, weapons, and infrastructure investment interdependency with Britain and the US have generally translated into Western governments, media, and human rights organizations toeing the party line on the gulf sheikhdoms, content to (with a few sporadic exceptions) uncritically present them as some kind of “reform-minded” terror-fighting benevolent monarchies looking out for democratic interests and championing human rights.

This is currently being demonstrated more than ever during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) extensive and ongoing tour of the United States after a visit to the UK earlier this month. The kingdom’s heir apparent landed in Washington nearly two weeks ago and met with Trump and other high US officials before embarking on a multi-city tour across the United States.

 Last Tuesday MBS met with Bill and Hillary Clinton, Kissinger, Senator Chuck Schumer, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during a stop in New York City.  On Friday, he also met with the CEOs of Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, James Gorman and Jamie Dimon.

He is scheduled to stop in Seattle and then California over the weekend, where he plans to strengthen ties with tech companies while meeting with Northwest business leaders.

Not unexpectedly, mainstream media and politicians have fawned over the 32-year old prince’s visit. Americans can even find a slick, nearly 100-page, ad-free magazine at their local supermarket newsstand which is entirely devoted to praising MBS and his “New Kingdom” (in the words of the magazine’s title), produced by the owner of the National Enquirer – American Media Inc.

To continue reading: New Satellite Imagery Shows Shocking Yemen Devastation As Saudi Crown Prince Tours US

Bin Salman Flies Into New York City as 9/11 Families Push Case Against Saudi Arabia, by Middle East Eye

The world’s leading Middle Eastern exporter of terrorism is Saudi Arabia, not Iran, although you’ll never hear that from anyone in the government or mainstream media. From Middle East Eye at theantimedia.org:

The two-week long visit by Mohammed bin Salman to the US is at risk of being overshadowed by an ongoing legal battle being waged by the families of hundreds of people killed in the 9/11 attacks, two legal sources have told Middle East Eye.

Nearly 3,000 people died when hijacked airplanes crashed into New York’s World Trade Centre, the Pentagon building and a Pennsylvania field in September 2001, and lawyers for the families of the victims are optimistic that the latest phase of their long-running legal battle will coincide with the visit of the powerful Saudi crown prince to the US.

The lawyers launched a string of compensation claims against Saudi Arabia in 2016, alleging Riyadh channelled money through charities to al-Qaeda to support the attacks.

They expect the ongoing court battle to move forward in the next few weeks, refocusing attention on the 9/11 families’ search for justice as the US relationship with Saudi Arabia is in the media spotlight.

Saudi Arabia also stands accused of supporting the attack through its alleged funding of al-Qaeda training camps and its support for the group, including weapons, funding and logistical support.

The cases seek to take advantage of “Jasta”, a 2016 law which provides an exemption to the legal principle of sovereign immunity so families can take the Saudi and other governments to court.

The families point to the fact that majority of hijackers were Saudi citizens, and claim that Saudi officials and institutions “aided and abetted” the attackers in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks, court documents say.

Earlier this year, lawyers for the families also presented sworn statements from two former FBI officials and Bob Graham, the former chairman of the powerful Senate select committee on intelligence, in which they link Saudi officials to two of the 9/11 hijackers.

To continue reading: Bin Salman Flies Into New York City as 9/11 Families Push Case Against Saudi Arabia

A Kingdom on the Brink – An Interview with Dr. Ali Alyami, by Erico Matias Tavares

This is s thoughtful, comprehensive, and keenly analytical article on Saudi Arabia, well worth the read. From Erico Matias Tavares at linkedin.com:

Dr. Alyami is a native of Saudi Arabia and a citizen of the US for the past four decades. From an early age he has been advocating for political, economic and social reform in his native homeland. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, a Washington D.C. based non-profit tax exempt organization.

Previously, he was a Senior Fellow at the Saudi Institute in Washington, D.C., Director of an educational peace program for the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco and a Representative for the Arab Organization for Human Rights (a Cairo based group) in North America. Dr. Alyami has spoken at conferences throughout the US, Egypt, Sudan, Israel, France, Belgium, Spain and the UK, has offered expert testimony before Congress and has advised senior officials at the Pentagon, the National Security Council and the Department of State.

E Tavares: Dr. Alyami, thank you for your being with us today. We have spoken on several occasions in the recent past and your views on what is currently unfolding in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (“KSA”) have proven to be extremely accurate. Its new leadership has announced a range of social liberalization measures, including letting women drive at long last and even creating a whole new area in Saudi Arabia outside of strict Islamic law to attract tourists. Given your efforts to liberalize your motherland, are you pleased with these developments?

Ali Alyami (AA): Despite the fact that the embryonic social initiatives you listed are decades (and in some cases centuries) overdue, their psychological and practical impact on Saudi society cannot be underestimated. However, it’s important for your readers, business CEOs and politicians to keep in mind that the recent administrative rearrangements in Saudi Arabia were not designed to alter the absolute monarchical system or to abandon the Saudi’s zealot brand of Islam, Wahhabism (as has been misleadingly reported), but rather to ensure the royal family’s continued iron-fisted rule, a cherished life-long commitment held by King Salman. Thus, he chose his most trusted novice son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (“MbS”) to implement his wish.

By arresting and detaining a handful of corrupt royals and prominent commoners, MbS gave many Saudis a flicker of hope for better things to follow. For the first time in their history, some Saudis felt that the state’s draconian policies and practices are being applied to a selected number of the ruling elites who have been spared the severe social injustices, political repression and economic hardships inflicted on the subjugated population. If MbS continues to apply the state’s rules to all segments of society, including all members of the parasitical royal family, he will go down in history books as a liberator.

To continue reading: A Kingdom on the Brink – An Interview with Dr. Ali Alyami

The inside story of the Saudi night of long knives, by Pepe Escobar

Here is one perspective on the mysterious events in Saudi Arabia these last few days. From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

Princes, ministers and a billionaire are ‘imprisoned’ in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton while the Saudi Arabian Army is said to be in an uproar

The House of Saud’s King Salman devises an high-powered “anti-corruption” commission and appoints his son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as chairman.

Right on cue, the commission detains 11 House of Saud princes, four current ministers and dozens of former princes/cabinet secretaries – all charged with corruption. Hefty bank accounts are frozen, private jets are grounded. The high-profile accused lot is “jailed” at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton.

War breaks out within the House of Saud, as Asia Times had anticipated back in July. Rumors have been swirling for months about a coup against MBS in the making. Instead, what just happened is yet another MBS pre-emptive coup.

A top Middle East business/investment source who has been doing deals for decades with the opaque House of Saud offers much-needed perspective: “This is more serious than it appears. The arrest of the two sons of previous King Abdullah, Princes Miteb and Turki, was a fatal mistake. This now endangers the King himself. It was only the regard for the King that protected MBS. There are many left in the army against MBS and they are enraged at the arrest of their commanders.”

To say the Saudi Arabian Army is in uproar is an understatement. “He’d have to arrest the whole army before he could feel secure.”

Prince Miteb until recently was a serious contender to the Saudi throne. But the highest profile among the detainees belongs to billionaire Prince al-Waleed Bin Talal, owner of Kingdom Holdings, major shareholder in Twitter, CitiBank, Four Seasons, Lyft and, until recently, Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp.

Al-Waleed’s arrest ties up with a key angle; total information control. There’s no freedom of information in Saudi Arabia. MBS already controls all the internal media (as well as the appointment of governorships). But then there’s Saudi media at large. MBS aims to “hold the keys to all the large media empires and relocate them to Saudi Arabia.”

So how did we get here?

To continue reading: The inside story of the Saudi night of long knives

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