Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Orwellian “Development Plans” For The Shia Town It Just Flattened, by Tyler Durden

The American press continues its policy of seeing, hearing, and speaking no evil of the Saudi Arabian government. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Last week we reported on the Saudi regime’s brutal crackdown against its own citizens in the largely Shia town of Awamiya in the country’s East. We described the weeks long siege and official Saudi policy of ‘relocation’ of Shia residents as in truth a targeted cleansing of religious minorities, considered by the Wahhabi Sunni state authorities as heretics and apostates:

 Activists describe it as a concealed sectarian-based cleansing of the Shia population, which has been historically persecuted by the Sunni Wahhabi state. Regional news outlets have published footage which they say reveals active sectarian anti-Shia cleansing on the part of Saudi forces currently underway.

Saudi state media has now confirmed completion of its campaign to drive all pockets of Shia resistance out of Awamiya and is currently maintaining a heavy troop presence in the town. It is unclear how many local Shia militants were engaged in the fighting, but it appears the military brought its full weight to bear against the contested Almosara neighborhood which forms Awamiya’s walled ‘old city’ section. As we reported, the Saudi military utilized:

…air power, heavy artillery, RPGs, snipers and armored assault vehicles in the area. Earlier this year the Saudi regime announced plans to demolish the neighborhood and hand it over to private developers in a kind of Saudi version of “eminent domain”; however, the presence of Shia militants hiding amidst its narrow roads and concealed alleyways appears the be the real motive for razing the district.

While Saudi Arabia is framing its actions in terms of necessary counter-terrorism police action, other regional media outlets and local activists now report over 500 homes flattened in Almosara by military bombardment and subsequent bulldozers that entered the town, with estimates of 8,000 families having fled the area. Evacuation notices were also issued to Shia residents in the area by the Albarahim private property developer, and stamped by the government’s National Joint Counterterrorism Command (NJCC), which was formed in 2003.

 Meanwhile, The Independent (UK) reported the death of a three-year-old boy who was shot by Saudi forces as his family merely drove their car near a protest earlier this summer. The boy succumbed to his wounds while in a local intensive care unit on Wednesday.
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Shocking Footage Of Saudi Siege Against Own Citizens, by Tyler Durden

Saudi Arabia is no bastion of civil liberties if you are a Sunni, the majority Islamic sect that runs the country. Things are even worse if you are a Shiite. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The Saudi regime is in the midst of an extreme and brutal crackdown against its own citizenry in the country’s Eastern province – a situation now spiraling out of control with rising civilian deaths, entire neighborhoods turned to rubble, and new reports that water and electricity have been cut to the now completely besieged town of Al-Awamiya. Though local activists continue to upload shocking ground level videos to social media revealing that entire districts have been leveled, international and US media have remained largely silent.

Tensions have been simmering in the heavily Shia populated Qatif governate throughout the past year, especially after the January execution of prominent Shia cleric and Al-Awamiya native Nimr al-Nimr. Additionally, 14 Shia citizens, among them young Mujtaba al-Sweikat – a student enrolled at Western Michigan University – currently await execution upon the signature of King Salman. The torture and mass trial of the group, charged with “protest-related” crimes has further inflamed tensions in the region. Large protests against the Saudi monarchy and security services have been frequent in Qatif going all the way back to the start of the so-called “Arab Spring” – though major international media outlets have tended to ignore such protests occurring under US/UK friendly regimes.

 This was especially the case when in 2011 hundreds of Saudi tanks crossed the King Fahd Causeway to quell a popular uprising against neighboring Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy. Western media treated the event as a relatively minor hiccup, with some reports even subtly framing Saudi actions as actually motivated by the protection of civilians from Bahraini security forces, while in reality it was a massive show of force pitting tanks against civilians in order to preserve the embattled Bahraini autocratic regime.

Shocking Footage Of Saudi Siege Against Own Citizens, by Tyler Durden

Bastion of civil liberties and one of America’ Best Friends Forever is accused of behavior that doesn’t quit fit the propaganda. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The Saudi regime is in the midst of an extreme and brutal crackdown against its own citizenry in the country’s Eastern province – a situation now spiraling out of control with rising civilian deaths, entire neighborhoods turned to rubble, and new reports that water and electricity have been cut to the now completely besieged town of Al-Awamiya. Though local activists continue to upload shocking ground level videos to social media revealing that entire districts have been leveled, international and US media have remained largely silent.

Tensions have been simmering in the heavily Shia populated Qatif governate throughout the past year, especially after the January execution of prominent Shia cleric and Al-Awamiya native Nimr al-Nimr. Additionally, 14 Shia citizens, among them young Mujtaba al-Sweikat – a student enrolled at Western Michigan University – currently await execution upon the signature of King Salman. The torture and mass trial of the group, charged with “protest-related” crimes has further inflamed tensions in the region. Large protests against the Saudi monarchy and security services have been frequent in Qatif going all the way back to the start of the so-called “Arab Spring” – though major international media outlets have tended to ignore such protests occurring under US/UK friendly regimes.

This was especially the case when in 2011 hundreds of Saudi tanks crossed the King Fahd Causeway to quell a popular uprising against neighboring Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy. Western media treated the event as a relatively minor hiccup, with some reports even subtly framing Saudi actions as actually motivated by the protection of civilians from Bahraini security forces, while in reality it was a massive show of force pitting tanks against civilians in order to preserve the embattled Bahraini autocratic regime.

To continue reading: Shocking Footage Of Saudi Siege Against Own Citizens

Our Relationship with Saudi Arabia Is an Embarrassment, by Michael Brendan Dougherty

It’s not an embarrassment if you think the US should be aligned with a repressive Islamic fundamentalist regime that is one of the leading state sponsors of terror. From Michael Brendan Dougherty at nationalreview.org:

It also has very real strategic and moral costs.

When he was 17, five years ago, Mujtaba al-Sweikat committed the “crime” of participating in a pro-democracy rally in Saudi Arabia. Instead of attending Western Michigan University, as he had planned to do that fall, he was put in prison. Reports are now leaking out of Saudi Arabia that al-Sweikat will soon be beheaded for his transgression. It’s just the latest reminder that Saudi Arabia is America’s worst best friend.

The U.S. does get something out of its relationship with Saudi Arabia; there is real intelligence sharing, and the Kingdom has used its power over OPEC to drive oil prices down when we want to humiliate Russia or accomplish some other goal. That’s not nothing. Nor will I pretend that a global superpower can do the business of horse-trading only with saints and scholars. But there are real costs to our relationship with the Saudis, and I’m not sure that our policy elites are reckoning with them at all.

A day will come when we need friends with whom we share a real civilizational affinity, and our relationship with the Saudis will hurt us on that day. Saudi-funded mosques and preachers flow into the nations of our friends and allies, preaching hatred and occasionally terror. We often talk about how nationalism is a response to the globalization of commerce. But it’s also a response to the globalization of Saudi Arabia’s favorite forms of Islam. Syrian refugees come to Germany and find Saudi-funded mosques that are far more extreme than anything they knew at home. Saudi-funded clerics are a major engine of extremism, and of the nationalist backlash it produces, from France to India.

Saudi actions in this regard are so embarrassing and brazen that Western nations won’t even let themselves be heard discussing them intelligibly. Last Week, U.K. home secretary Amber Rudd refused to publish her own government’s delayed report on the funding of extremist groups. Even in the press releases, the government was too ashamed to admit the fact that everyone knew to be in them: Saudi Arabia funnels money to the extremist groups that threaten Europe with terrorism.

To continue reading: Our Relationship with Saudi Arabia Is an Embarrassment

A Coup in the House of Saud? by Pepe Escobar

You rarely get the straight story on anything in which the CIA is involved, but the recent switch in the line of succession in the Saudi Arabian monarchy may well have been a “white coup.” From Pepe Escobar at lewrockwell.com:

What has been an open secret across the Arab world is not a secret anymore even in the US: What happened last month in the deep recesses of the House of Saud with the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aka MBS, was in fact a white coup.

Nearly a month ago, as I’ve written elsewhere, a top Middle East source close to the House of Saud told me: “The CIA is very displeased with the firing of [former Crown Prince] Mohammad bin Nayef. Mohammad bin Salman is regarded as sponsoring terrorism. In April 2014 the entire royal families of the UAE and Saudi Arabia were to be ousted by the US over terrorism. A compromise was worked out that Nayef would take over running the kingdom to stop it.”

The source also referred to an insistent narrative then pervading selected Middle East geopolitical circles, according to which US intel, “indirectly”, had stopped another coup against the young Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim al-Thani, orchestrated by Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, with help from Blackwater/Academi’s Eric Prince’s army of mercenaries in the United Arab Emirates. Zayed, crucially, happens to be MBS’s mentor.

But instead of a coup in Doha, what happened was actually a coup in Riyadh. According to the source, “the CIA blocked the coup in Qatar and the Saudis reacted by dumping the CIA-selected Mohammed bin Nayef, who was to be the next king. The Saudis are scared. The monarchy is in trouble, as the CIA can move the army in Saudi Arabia against the king. This was a defensive move by MBS.”

Now, almost a month later, confirmation of the white coup/regime change in Riyadh has been splashed on the front page of The New York Times, attributed mainly to the proverbial “current and former United States officials”.

That, in essence, is code for the US deep state, and confirms how the Central Intelligence Agency is extremely annoyed by the ouster of Nayef, a trusted partner and former counterterrorism czar. The CIA on the other hand simply does not trust arrogant, inexperienced and hubristic MBS.

To continue reading: A Coup in the House of Saud?

 

 

Who Is the Real Enemy? by Philip Geraldi

Saudi Arabia is a far bigger enemy to the US than Iran ever has been. The threat from Saudi Arabia is magnified; it pretends to be a friend. From Philip Geraldi at lewrockwell.com:

The White House is targeting Iran but should instead focus on Saudi Arab

It is one of the great ironies that the United States, a land mass protected by two broad oceans while also benefitting from the world’s largest economy and most powerful military, persists in viewing itself as a potential victim, vulnerable and surrounded by enemies. In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so they U.S. has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation.

Also, I would characterize international terrorism as a faux threat at a national level, though one that has been exaggerated through the media and fearmongering to such an extent that it appears much more dangerous than it actually is. It has been observed that more Americans are killed by falling furniture than by terrorists in a year but terrorism has a particularly potency due to its unpredictability and the fear that it creates. Due to that fear, American governments and businesses at all levels have been willing to spend a trillion dollars per annum to defeat what might rationally be regarded as a relatively minor problem.

To continue reading: Who Is the Real Enemy?

Has Washington Lost the Middle East After Qatar? by F. William Engdahl

Why Qatar is important. From F. William Engdahl at NEO Journal via lewrockwell.com:

There is a hidden thin red thread connecting the recent US Congress’ sanctions against Iran and now the Russian Federation, with the decision of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies to sanction Qatar. That red thread has nothing to do with a fight against terrorism and everything to do with who will control the largest natural gas reserves in the world as well as who will dominate the world market for that gas.

For more or less the past Century, since 1914, the world has been almost continuously at war over control of oil. Gradually with the adoption of clean energy policies in the European Union and most especially in China’s agreeing to significantly cut CO2 emissions by reducing coal generation, itself a political act not a scientific one, as well as advances in natural gas transport technologies, notably in the liquefaction of natural gas or LNG, natural gas has finally become a globally traded market as is oil. With this development, we now are in an era not only of wars for control of major oil reserves around the world. Now we have the dawn of the age of natural gas wars. Fasten your seatbelts, ladies, and gentlemen.

In terms of geopolitical actors, no political power has been more responsible for launching the recent undeclared gas wars than the corrupt Washington cabal that makes policy on behalf of the so-called deep state interests. This began markedly with the Obama Presidency and is continuing with a vengeance under the current Trump-Tillerson dog-n-pony show. Donald Trump’s recent trip to Riyadh and Tel Aviv to nudge along the idea of a Sunni Arab “NATO” to fight “terrorism,” which Washington now defines as Iran, has ignited a new phase in the emerging US global gas wars.

Burning the house to roast the pig

The Trump Administration policy in the Middle East–and there is a clear policy, rest assured–might be compared to that of the ancient Chinese fable about the farmer who burnt down his house in order to roast a pig. In order to control the emerging world energy market around “low-CO2″ natural gas, Washington has targeted not only the world’s largest gas reserve country, Russia. She is now targeting Iran and Qatar. Let’s look more closely at why.

To continue reading: Has Washington Lost the Middle East After Qatar?