Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 07, 2017

Defeated Elsewhere, Saudi Tyrant Declares War On Lebanon

The Saudi clown prince Mohammed bin Salman is purging all potential internal resistance and solidifies his dictatorial position. (The move includes a huge money grab. All assets of those accused of corruption are confiscated by the state which, in Saudi Arabia, is the tyrant himself.) The internal consolidation of power is the prelude for a larger external venture.

At the same time as the internal purges proceed, MbS implements an extremely aggressive foreign policy agenda targeted at Iran and its allies. Having been defeated in Iraq and Syria and at stalemate in Qatar and Yemen the Saudi ruler decided to try his luck in Lebanon. The Saudi declares war on Lebanon and will put enormous economic and political pressure on it. But all of that will be to no avail. The war will only cause Lebanon to move deeper into the "resistance" camp an join its forces with Syria, Iran and Russia.

(The recap below is mostly an accumulation of sources. My own analysis will follow in a later piece.)

The Saudi plans are well coordinated with the United States and have the full support of the Israeli government. The point man in the Trump administration for all Middle East issues is Trump's son-in-law (and arch Zionist) Jared Kushner. He made three trips to Saudi Arabia this year, the last one very recently. The Washington Post's David Ignatius brown noses:

[L]ast month, Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, made a personal visit to Riyadh. The two princes are said to have stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. several nights, swapping stories and planning strategy.

A week ago the Saudi minister (and extremists) Thamer al-Sabhan called for toppling Hizbullah and promised "astonishing developments". Friday night the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al Hariri was ordered back to his home-country Saudi Arabia and pressed to read a resignation statement on a Saudi TV station. None of his advisors in Lebanon knew that this was coming. It is claimed that Hariri did not voluntarily resign and is now under house arrest. There is even a Free Hariri Clock counting the hours, minutes and seconds of his ordeal. The Lebanese President has not accepted the PM's resignation and demands that Hariri returns to Lebanon. We called the resignation The Opening Shot Of The Saudi War On Hizbullah.

On Saturday the Saudi ruler engaged in the night of the long knives and arrested all his potential internal competition.

In the same night a missile launched by Houthi/Saleh forces in Yemen hit near the airport of the Saudi capital Riyadh. Such missile attacks are in retaliation for the intense two years of Saudi bombing of Yemen which by now probably killed more than a hundred-thousand people. While this was likely unrelated to the other events it added to the general anti-Iranian narrative the Saudis propagate. The Saudis claim that Yemeni missiles are of Iranian origin and launched by Iranian specialists. Iran denies this. Weapon experts at IHS Janes refute that claim:

Burkan-2 missile launched by Houthis is Scud derivative and is unlike variants made by Iran or DPRK.

The Houthi in Yemen are supported by elements of the Yemeni army under command of the former Yemeni President Saleh. The Yemen army has for decades owned and used variants of Scud missiles. It is unlikely that it needs help to modify and launch these.

The Saudis nominally support Yemeni forces under Saleh's successor Hadi. The former(?) President of Yemen Hadi is, like the former(?) Prime Minister of Lebanon,  held under house arrest in Saudi Arabia. The former(?) Palestinian President Abbas, long beyond his legal term, was also summoned to Riyadh. One wonders if he will ever return.

Yesterday the Saudi Minister Thamer al-Sabhan declared war on Lebanon:

Saudi minister of Gulf affairs, Thamer al-Sabhan, said on Monday that Lebanon had declared war against Saudi Arabia because of what he described as aggression against the Kingdom by the Iran-backed group Hezbollah.

“We will treat the government of Lebanon as a government declaring war on Saudi Arabia due to the aggression of Hezbollah,” he said in response to the recent decisions taken by the Lebanese government.
...
The Saudi minister said that Hariri and the Lebanese government would not accept the positions of Hezbollah militia, stressing that talk about forcing Hariri to resign lies to disperse Lebanon.

“Lebanon is kidnapped by the militias of Hezbollah and behind it is Iran,” he said.

It seems crazy that the Saudis would open another front in their chaotic war against presumed Iranian influences. Their forces were defeated in Iraq and Syria. Their wars on Yemen and Qatar are in a stalemate. Each of their moves has led to an increase of Iranian influence and power. It is hard to understand why they would want to repeat that experience in Lebanon. It is even harder to understand why the U.S. and Israel support that losing move.

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump - 3:03 PM - 6 Nov 2017

I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing....

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahoo activated his diplomats to lobby for the Saudi position:

Barak Ravid @BarakRavid - 12:11 PM - 6 Nov 2017

1 \ I published on channel 10 a cable sent to Israeli diplomats asking to lobby for Saudis\Hariri &against Hezbollah
2 \ The cable sent from the MFA in Jerusalem to all Israeli embassies toes the Saudi line regarding the Hariri resignation
3 \ The Israeli diplomats were instructed to Demarch their host governments over the domestic political situation in Lebanon. Very rare move
4 \ The cable said: "You need to stress that the Hariri resignation shows how dangerous Iran and Hezbollah are for Lebanon's security"
5 \ "Hariri's resignation proves wrong the argument that Hezbollah participation in the government stabilizes Lebanon", the Cable added
6 \ The cable instructed Israeli diplomat to support Saudi Arabia over its war with the Houthis in Yemen
7 \ The cable also stressed: "The missile launch by the Houthis towards Riyadh calls for applying more pressure on Iran & Hezbollah". END

There is no common border between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia but there are many economic relations. The Saudis have for years sponsored Sunni clans in Lebanon. Many Gulf Arabs have invested in Beirut. It is their preferred vacation destination. Lebanese companies provide many services within the Gulf countries.

There is little the Saudis can do militarily hurt Lebanon. They might want to move their Al-Qaeda and ISIS fighters from Syria to Lebanon but that will require Turkish cooperation. Even those forces would be no match for Hizbullah as it is deeply anchored within the population of Lebanon.

The Saudis will, like with Qatar, use economic means to squeeze Lebanon. It is quite obvious that such measures will mostly hurt their own constituency in Lebanon. How does that change the situation to their advantage? Analysts agree that the Saudi measures will in fact hurt. But they will also increase Hizbullah's, Iran's and Russia's influence.

Elias Muhanna‏ @QifaNabki - 1:36 PM - 6 Nov 2017

Short of outright war, how might Saudi Arabia put pressure on Hizbullah? (THREAD) 1/
A Saudi minister has announced that the very existence of Hizbullah in the Lebanese govt amounts to a declaration of war. 2/
Short of attacking Lebanon (which Hizb Sec-Gen Nasrallah scoffed at over the weekend), what could Saudi do? 3/
Saudi Arabia might issue a list of demands to the Lebanese govt, similar to what it did with Qatar. 4/
Demands might include: Hizbullah must not be in the government; must disarm; cease all military activities beyond Lebanese borders. 5/
Unless demands are met, KSA could freeze relations w/ LB, close its own borders to LB business, cease all support of LB institutions. 6/
Saudi Arabia wields a huge amount of power over Lebanon; probably more than it does over any other country besides Bahrain. 7/
With this hard-line policy, it sends the signal to Iran that Hzb has grown to be too large and too dangerous. 8/
Hizbullah's weathered such storms b4 when Israel made threats to hold the Leb govt accountable. 9/
But thumbing nose at Israel w/ Arab world behind you is different from staring down Saudi blockade. 10/

Another analyst, who long lived in Lebanon, has a slightly more positive view. (edited for readability):

Elijah J. Magnier‏ @ejmalrai - 7:50 PM - 6 Nov 2017

Saudi Arabia is preparing a war against Lebanon: hitting finance first, blocking air traffic exchange, inviting other Arab countries to follow.
Saudi Arabia is bulling Lebanon and is expected to gradually escalate procedures:
Lebanon will have to turn towards Syria for its economy/travel and towards Russia as the USA is turning a blind eye.
Qatar and Iran will support Lebanon's economy: a new front and solidarity against Saudi Arabian bulling will be created.
Saudi Arabia (wrongly) believes it can lead the Middle East: USA made the same mistake before and that brought Russia in.
Saudi Arabia never had a clear foreign policy, is unaware of diplomacy and is adopting a tribal mentality: with me or against me.
Because @realDonaldTrump has no clue what ME policy is and accepts anything Saudi Arabia is doing more instability is expected.
Israel doesn't need to act against Hezbollah or #Lebanon, Saudi Arabia is doing the job on its behalf.

The question is: how long can Saudi Arabia hold internally and regionally? Even if not for long, ME is so unstable today ...
When Saudi Arabia says: "'Lebanon is hijacked by Hezbollah and Iran, Saudi will treat Lebanese gov as an enemy of its state" it means that KSA is at war.
But Saudi Arabia is presenting Hezbollah as a kind of" superpower" and/or a "state" to stand against, magnifying it.
The same style is usually used by Israel before taking action against #Hezbollah: Saudi Arabia is copying the rhetoric.

Bahrain, Emirates will have to join Saudi Arabia sooner or later to show KSA is not alone: expect fresh accusations.
Arabs have wealth in Lebanon, proprieties and business, all may be soon affected by Saudi Arabia's belligerent attitude.
Saudi Arabia seems to enjoy unlimited support: money is powerful, sure. But learn from Syria and the 6 years of war.
Saudi Arabia wants to see a Lebanese government without any Hezbollah minister.
Hezbollah's influence in #Lebanon doesn't emanate from the presence of a couple of ministers.
Saudi Arabia wants for Hezbollah to pay the price of its effective role in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, in the defeat of ISIS.
Saudi Arabia wants also to protect the tens of thousands Al Qaeda still in Idlib and it wants to deprive Iran from its arm.
"Defeating" Hezbollah would leave Lebanon unprotected from Israel and pave the road to an Arab official relationship with Tel Aviv.

Even if PM Hariri leaves Saudi Arabia, to Beirut, his family remains behind and he can never go against Saudi will.
The return of Hariri to Lebanon won't solve the problem but will give more background to the events: no big deal.

Posted by b on November 7, 2017 at 03:41 AM | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

They were tested in cooperation with South Africa in the 1980s, off the SA coast in the Indian Ocean. before the end of Apartheid.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 8, 2017 8:41:09 AM | 101

@ CarlD | 97

Israel tested nukes in South Africa and gave them nukes too. Also US had nuclear physicists who were Israeli-firsters. So testing and correct specs werent an issue.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 8, 2017 8:42:50 AM | 102

But then,

Considering hacking possibilities, US specs should be available to all
nations/individuals capable of hiring competent hackers.

And also, most Israeli nukes would be delivered via their embassies and
at ground level where the harm done is lesser than at proper altitude.

They could always use the new world trade center.

And I guess these fit in an ordinary suitcase and are perfectly light weight?

Besides, assuming 200 nukes, they would have to air deliver them to Iran
since they have no embassies there. If Iranian defenses are what they purport
to be, this is not an easy task.

And if the Iranians really takeover the skies of lebanon and Syria, not many
Israeli jets will be able to do the crossing. So it is even better for Iran to have
the AA in Syria and Lebanon, closer to the source.

So If they cant deliver then to Iran, what countries would suffer the wrath
of the Khazars?

I would be curious to find the distribution of the candies.

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 8, 2017 8:48:15 AM | 103

101 "And I guess these fit in an ordinary suitcase and are perfectly light weight?"

And set off extremely annoying alarms unless encased in copius quantities of lead

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 8, 2017 9:15:20 AM | 104

The new Saudi Crown Prince is just doing some dirty work for American-Israeli interests.

Indeed, many of his acts represent nothing but embracing the role of American-Israeli proxy.

In effect, he serves the same purposes as did ISIS (DAESH) or Al-Nusra.

The Saudis totally illegal war in Yemen, killing thousands of civilians, is of just the same nature as ISIS dirty work has been in Syria, except the activity comes under the title of a nation-state rather than a gang of (phony-jihadi) mercenaries.

The Saudis have now have had almost a secret alliance with Israel for years. They oppose it in nothing and support it in many things.

The very fact that the US would sell the Saudis such huge amounts of weapons as Trump has done tells the story without words.

Years ago, Israel never would have tolerated such sales, and the sales would have been stopped.

Actually, such sales would never have even been started years ago, but today, they cause no outcry. Why? Because Israel knows the arms will serve its interests.

The Saudis have worked hard on destroying Syria with proxy, phony-jihadi mercenaries, a project which started as an Israeli project, just like America’s destruction of Iraq was an Israeli project. The Saudis have earned their spurs, as it were, and they did so again in Yemen.

Once, the Saudis were serious opponents of Israel's behavior, but that all disappeared in the wake of 9/11.

The Saudi rulers were terrified of American reprisals after 9/11, even fearing an invasion, and they started bending over backwards for American interests, literally lying prostrate begging how they could be of service in the region.

Of course, the first expected new behavior related to the Saudi’s official attitude towards America's Mideast colony. That was changed rather drastically although little noted in our corporate press.

The new Crown Prince, who is taking over in almost a coup against his senile father and older Saudi interests, is the latest chapter in the post-9/11 saga. This is a Prince who championed projects like the dirty war in Yemen. He is Israel’s man.

Things have reached a point of Saudi Arabia secretly working in tandem on the kind of projects Israel expects in its quest to sterilize and dominate the Mideast, effectively an American-European culture replacing and ruling over the indigenous Arabs. Only recently, Netanyahu was making very threatening noises against Lebanon.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Nov 8, 2017 9:19:29 AM | 105

Historians will note that empires in decline, and those in the ascendancy, are led by persons REPRESENTATIVE of precisely those forces (eg. internal strife, hubris, failing economics) which are pushing them to decline or ascend. So, it is with interest that we observe, on the one hand the persons of Trump, his son-in-law advisor, his representative in the foremost international forum Ms. Haley, such mediocre players as are most of his cabinet, a number of ever-changing generals, Senate leaders like the vitriolic McCain, allies like Hollande (Macron), the buffoon Boris, Lagarde and a host of other international personages of short stature and dubious political credentials. On the other hand we have arrayed the grandmaster Putin, Emperor Xi, the polymechanic Persians, and such bit players as Duterte, Erdogan, Maduro, Kim, etc. to complicate the game. If these were two NFL line-ups, tell me honestly, on which team would you put your money?

Posted by: SPYRIDON POLITIS | Nov 8, 2017 9:20:20 AM | 106

It seems that Trump has four goals in his foreign policy:

1) Eliminate the Islamist terrorist threat on the USA
2) Move to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict by

a)Weakening Iran (havoc in their allies, the nuclear deal)
b)Squeezing Israel while appearing to protect it

3) Make money on the back of rich Gulf countries ( Aramco)
4) Restrain Russia's influence in the Gulf

By supporting the bold move of MBS, Trump is moving in all the directions simultaneously.
Serious counter-reactions have not come yet but they will and then we will see who is stronger at this dangerous game.

Posted by: virgile | Nov 8, 2017 9:22:17 AM | 107

"The European Union on Wednesday affirmed support for Lebanon following the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, echoing US backing for the Beirut government which Saudi Arabia has accused of declaring war.

Statements of support from EU ambassadors and the US State Department to Lebanon on Tuesday struck a sharply different tone to Saudi Arabia, which has lumped Lebanon together with the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah as parties hostile to it."

https://www.trtworld.com/middle-east/diverging-from-saudi-arabia-eu-and-us-affirm-support-for-lebanon-12060

Posted by: virgile | Nov 8, 2017 9:43:27 AM | 108

>>>> CarlD | Nov 8, 2017 8:10:20 AM | 97

When and where were the Israeli nukes tried?

As well as the alleged test with South Africa back in the apartheid days, there were allegations that France allowed Israel to conduct tests in the south Pacific concurrent with French ones.

>>>> Harry | Nov 8, 2017 8:42:50 AM | 100

Israel tested nukes in South Africa and gave them nukes too.

No, on both counts. Israel is alleged to have conducted one test with South Africa but over the Indian Ocean. South Africa developed uranium-based gun-type nuclear weapons independently which not even the United States (Little Boy) tested. The Israelis are believed to have developed plutonium-based implosion-type weapons like the Fat Man bomb used on Nagasaki. The British alleged that Israel offered to supply South Africa with implosion-type devices but the Israeli denied this and claimed the British misrepresented an Israeli document in doing so.

>>>> CarlD | Nov 8, 2017 8:48:15 AM | 101

And I guess these fit in an ordinary suitcase and are perfectly light weight?

The smallest known implosion device, is the W82-1 artillery shell:

The largest yield of a relatively compact linear implosion device was under 2 kilotons for the cancelled (or never deployed but apparently tested) US W82-1 artillery shell design, with yield under 2 kilotons for a 95 pounds (43 kg) artillery shell 6.1 inches (15 cm) in diameter and 34 inches (86 cm) long.

To achieve such miniaturisation required very substantial testing which only the United States and the Soviet Union are supposed to have conducted. So unless the United States provided the specifications, the Israelis are unlikely to have such small devices.

Besides, assuming 200 nukes, they would have to air deliver them to Iran since they have no embassies there. If Iranian defenses are what they purport to be, this is not an easy task.

How so? Israel has already launched satellites and is claimed to have Jericho III missiles which are derived from a design developed in cooperation with the French. From Wikipedia:

It is believed that the Jericho III (YA-4) is a nuclear armed ICBM which entered service in 2011. The Jericho III is believed to have a two or three-stage solid propellant and a payload of 1,000 to 1,300 kg. The payload could be a single 750 kg (150-400 kiloton) nuclear warhead or two or three low yield MIRV warheads. It has an estimated launch weight of 30,000 kg and a length of 15.5 m with a width of 1.56 m. It may be similar to an upgraded and re-designed Shavit space launch vehicle, produced by Israel Aerospace Industries. It probably has longer first and second-stage motors. It is estimated by missilethreat.com that it has a range of 4,800 to 6,500 km (2,982 to 4,038 miles), though a 2004 missile proliferation survey by the Congressional Research Service put its possible maximum range at 11,500 km (missile range is inversely proportional to payload mass).

It's also alleged that the Israeli have nuclear-tipped Popeye cruise missiles that can be launched from submarines. Google popeye missiles for more info.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 8, 2017 9:50:07 AM | 109

107 Ghostship,

Precisions noted on Israel's missiles and possible warheads.

and the word "alleged".

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 8, 2017 10:12:33 AM | 110

>>>> CarlD | Nov 8, 2017 10:12:33 AM | 108

Unlike Washington, Tel Aviv doesn't really leak information unless it wants to, so the recent publication on Twitter of a telegram from the MFA in Tel Aviv to various embassies around the world might be either a "leak" or a leak.

BTW, this doesn't mean that information about Mossad, etc. from other sources should be regarded as compromised because just like the CIA, Mossad ain't what it used to be. For instance, all the agents involved in the assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh which took place in a Dubai on 19 January 2010, were quickly identified by the local police force(!) much to the embarrassment of Tel Aviv and a number of western governments.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 8, 2017 10:59:09 AM | 111

You gotta hope that the Lebanese remember what pointless sectarian war has ment for their country (and look to Syria if they need reminding), and DO NOT TAKE THE BAIT.

This is a great site, with great commentary insight. Thanks b, and all.

Posted by: ritzl | Nov 8, 2017 12:08:33 PM | 112

re: Israeli nukes
read "Samson Option" by Hersh
great research, from Ike to Bush
USA satt saw Israel building nuke plants in 1958
Norway sold heavy water to Israel
CIA allowed Israelis into top secret offices of CIA
Every person in USA government who spoke the truth was fired, and all USA government offices/personnel refused to even record essential documents/communications.
So much more, must read, available free online if you search.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Nov 8, 2017 12:36:13 PM | 113

really rotten deleting words kind of like antisemetic like.
i mean we where told by the bbc history programming that the nazi burnt books
i here apart from the few hundred thousand officers that called themselves jewish i here the rest was nazi.

word deletion is wrong is it not mr moon on the alabamie

your little zion helpers need replacing methinks just like nuttyahoo and pretty patel
this message will nazi delete in less than 15 dimona mins

Posted by: charles drake | Nov 8, 2017 12:37:38 PM | 114

excuse me,
USA saw Israel building nuke plants in 1958, that was with U2, satts came later.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Nov 8, 2017 12:38:17 PM | 115

@105, Virgile,

Trump intends to contain China, full spectrum.

The interruption, interference and chaos to be sown in the BRI from West to East, and especially with Maritime choke points is self-evident.

Pivot to Asia was to be 60% of naval power. It will be 75% in a year.

It has its own new regional Meme—"Indo-Pacific". Watch how that term permeates the MSM and analytical blogs.

The Thalassic Hegemony is rolling out its blockade forces and strangulating assets from the Sea of Japan to the Indian Ocean.

China is in for very rough handling.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Nov 8, 2017 1:24:45 PM | 116

mauisurfer @111

Israel agents working with Zalman Shapiro the president Numac Corp stole about 269 Kg of US weapons grade uranium (HEU) and smuggled it to Israel. Shapiro fled to Israel and was never taken out by the US CIA.
http://americanfreepress.net/documents-reveal-israel-stole-uranium-from-u-s-stockpiles-in-1950s-and-1960s/

It is amazing that even a gram of such HEU material could get through security checks let along leave the country. Then again, Israel stole three French gunboats from French bases and later used them to attack the US Liberty.

Posted by: Krollchem | Nov 8, 2017 2:23:20 PM | 117

Good background on the Israeli nuclear weapons complex here based on Vanunu Mordechai's photos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nSOlG6Wpr8
They're probably mostly "boosted" plutonium fission bombs, in which deuterium and tritium in the hollow core of the plutonium shell fuse after detonation to increase the yield of the weapon. This allows the bombs to be small enough to fit in the tip of a ballistic missile while still having yields on the order of 150 kilotons. From wiki:

Fusion boosting is achieved by introducing tritium and deuterium gas. Solid lithium deuteride-tritide has also been used in some cases, but gas allows more flexibility (and can be stored externally) and can be injected into a hollow cavity at the center of the sphere of fission fuel, or into a gap between an outer layer and a "levitated" inner core, sometime before implosion. By the time about 1% of the fission fuel has fissioned, the temperature rises high enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, which produces relatively large numbers of neutrons, speeding up the late stages of the chain reaction and approximately doubling its efficiency.

Such weapons require frequent maintenance because the tritium decays rapidly:
Tritium is a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 12.355 years. Its main decay product is Helium-3, which has the largest cross-section for neutron capture of any nuclide. Therefore, periodically the weapon must have its helium waste flushed out and its tritium supply recharged. This is because any helium-3 in the weapon's tritium supply would act as a poison during the weapon's detonation, absorbing neutrons meant to collide with the nuclei of its fission fuel.

This is one of those taboo topics in the U.S. and British media. Israel claims its arsenal is for deterrence but in reality, it allows Israel to launch conventional assaults across the Middle East with no fear of state-level retaliation. The U.S. could easily force Israel to come clean on the number of weapons it produces and accept IAEA inspections of the Dimona complex, although Israel might have some embarrassing blackmail material about U.S. involvement in the weapons production system (the NNSA, the division of the Department of Energy that oversees U.S. nuclear weapons, operates in Israel as well).

This is why the Nuttin'yahoo types hate Hezbollah so much - they've devised an effective counterstrategy to Israel's aggressive expansionist program. If Israel invades Lebanon, Hezbollah sends short-range missiles against Israeli towns (which tends to turn the Israeli public against conflict) while ambushing any Israeli tank forces entering Southern Lebanon with anti-tank rockets and missiles operated by small mobile teams. Hezbollahs's position is basically defensive, and supported by the Lebanese Army and Aoun - which really irritates Israel, and Israel has close ties to the House of Saud. . .

Posted by: nonsense factory | Nov 8, 2017 2:34:02 PM | 118

Trump is following 4 goals

1) Prevent Islamist terrorists to operate in the USA (eliminate Al Qadea and others)
2) Solve the Palestinan-Isreali issue by:

a) Weakening Iran and its allies ( Nuclear deal, media demonization)
b) Making Israel worried and more dependent on the USA


3) Make money on the back of Gulf countries (Aramco and bribes)
4) Restrain Russia's influence in the region (counter Syria, help the Kurds)

With MBS's coup Trump seems to have started the first stage successfully.
It is yet to see how these countries will counter attack and if Trump will have the chance to move on the next step.
Trump and Kushner are been investigated and if they fall that bwhole plan goes to the drain and Saudi Arabia will be shaken and probably crumble creating an earthquake in the region.

Posted by: Virgile | Nov 8, 2017 2:36:37 PM | 119

Sorry for the duplicate post

Posted by: Virgile | Nov 8, 2017 2:54:09 PM | 120

Al-Bukamal declared liberated. SAA's Tiger Force is on East side of Euphrates and headed for Raqqa. I suggest the SDF get the hell out of the way along with any Outlaw US Empire pukes.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 8, 2017 4:02:03 PM | 121

Virgile

Nobody would buy that deal, including us.

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Nov 8, 2017 4:19:38 PM | 122

Like his predecessors, Trump will continue to follow the Yinon Plan for Greater Israel.

All praise for the MBS and the coup. Easy stock market play. Long oil.

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 8, 2017 5:48:15 PM | 123

this guy has some good and some whacked out ideas on all this... he is based in turkey.. it is interesting what he suggests..

İbrahim Karagül: Saudi Arabia’s purge list was prepared with Israel

i agree with the headline, but only about maybe 1/2 of what he says on this...

Posted by: james | Nov 8, 2017 6:31:05 PM | 124

......

Posted by: james | Nov 8, 2017 6:31:35 PM | 125

In viewing the Saudi purge it is important to realize that the Russian accomplishment of several significant geopolitical cooperative agreements has destabilized Saudi influence in the Arab world:
a. TurkStream approaching completion, having entered Turkey’s EEZ
http://www.gatewayturkey.com/turkstream-enters-turkish-economic-exclusive-zone/

b. Supporting the Iraqi defeat of the Israeli backed Barzani Kurdish power grab in Northern Iraq along with pressure from Iran and Turkey.
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/iraq-the-end-of-the-kurdish-independence-project.html#comments
http://thesaker.is/game-over-how-the-kurds-lost-the-high-risk-gamble/

c. Signing Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran transport corridor agreement http://eu.eot.su/2017/11/03/experts-highly-praise-north-south-transport-corridor-project-between-russia-and-iran/

d. Getting Turkey on-board of the silk road along with China’s (OBOR)
http://aa.com.tr/en/politics/erdogan-new-silk-road-to-eradicate-terrorism/817923

e. Building the Iraq/Kurdistan gas pipeline https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201710201058389561-rosneft-kurdistan-use-pipeline/

f. Gaining control of Syrian gas fields and military airport from the Syrian Kurds
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-20/us-backed-syrian-kurds-transfer-key-gas-field-russians-after-secret-talks

g. Sale of shares of Rosneft to Qatar to inject capital into the Russian economy following the Iranian trade cooperation and Turkish military support with Qatar to break the Saudi/GCC blockade of Qatar
http://www.globalresearch.ca/liberate-idleb-after-east-aleppo-shifting-military-alliances-moscows-role/5565126
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/07/the-saudi-qatar-spat-qatar-and-iran-are-winning-while-mbz-and-mbs-lose-face-.html#comments https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201706071054403757-trump-sword-dance-wahhabi-war/
http://theduran.com/turkeys-president-erdogan-visit-qatar-next-week-amid-saudi-crisis/

h. Coordinate the production and sale of petroleum and gas with Saudi Arabia
https://www.globalresearch.ca/making-history-china-and-russia-are-transforming-enemies-into-friends/5613915


The automatic earth also has a series of articles on the weakened financial situation in Saudi Arabia:
https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2017/11/how-broke-is-the-house-of-saud/

(1) These articles propose that the purge was led by “Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, and Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S. who has been MBS’s leading advocate in Washington.” The latest purge occurred soon after “White House adviser Jared Kushner, a close ally of Otaiba, visited Riyadh, and just hours after a bizarre-even-for-Trump tweet.” Furthermore, MBS is a project of the UAE led by “Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, Otaiba’s
mentor and boss who is known as MBZ, has long detested Mohammed bin Nayef, who was in line for the Saudi throne, going so far as to publicly call him a monkey. MBZ and Otaiba saw MBS as the way to derail bin Nayef, and exert control over the larger country by elevating the junior prince.”

In turn the UAE backing the Saudi purge depends on Eric Prince’s private Xe army (US secretary of Education’s brother) along with western training of the UAE army by a retired Australian officer.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/world/middleeast/15prince.html
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/mercenaries-charge-uae-forces-fighting-yemen-764309832

(2) The purge has been able to refill the Saudi coffers to the tune of some 800 billion dollars and paves the way for the sale of Aramco. Unfortunately, the Saudi reserves are mostly heavy sour crude and the reserves are depleting, while the population getting poorer and is expected to double in the next 30 years. While Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia are running a budget deficit, Iran, Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait are running budget surpluses. Add to this is the poor education of the Saudi population in general and their desire to be bureaucrats rather than obtain useful technical skills.

(3) MBS is facing off against the two other major clans and other tribal leaders:
http://thesaker.is/the-inside-story-of-the-saudi-night-of-long-knives/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribes_of_Arabia
the Shia in northern Saudi Arabia:
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960816001492
and the Wahhabist branch of Salafism backed by trained terrorists from around the world
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

(4) Saudi threats against Iran will be blocked by Russia and Saudi threats against Lebanon will be blocked by Iran, Russia and perhaps France. It is worth noting that rich Sunni’s in Lebanon often send their children to Catholic schools for a better education and France sees itself as a protector of Lebanon and the Christians there.


Add to these articles the fact that Saudi Arabia under MBS is economically crippled by the Yemen war to capture oil reserves and Northern Yemen and build a pipeline to the Red Sea.

There is also some internal strife among the US elite as the Bush and Clinton clans and their CIA/NSA contacts are not happy with the purges that eliminated their favorite Princes of Arabia. Trump and his clan may face questions about their private gains from Saudi business deals which look a lot like the Clinton and Obama foundation donation schemes!

Posted by: Krollchem | Nov 8, 2017 8:53:02 PM | 126

Asad AbuKhalil is hearing rumours that MBS may shortly be crowning himself king. The plot thickens.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Nov 8, 2017 10:47:00 PM | 127

A comment on oil prices: while there is some degree of manipulation, speculators influencing the prices through margin contracts (short and long), and national oil reserves going up or down, the market is too huge to be driven far from "supply and demand" equilibrium. In recent years there were two quickly growing components of supply: USA shale oil deposits and "continental slope", notably of Brazil. This oil sources have high cost and were producing losses after oil prices plunged below 50. In the state where I live, Pennsylvania, hiring new engineers for exploration of shale oil and gas was frozen, to the chagrin if the graduating engineers.

When the exploration drops sharply, so do exploration costs. It seems that with prices above 60 dollars per barrel, shale oil production will start growing again, so it is hard to see long term prices above that level. Second part of equation is the consuption. As economy in India, China etc. is expanding, so does the demand there, but the demand in most Western countries is quite stable, if not shrinking.

However, after oil prices plunged below 30, Russia joined OPEC in an agreement to cut the production, and few weeks ago this agreement was extended, and prices started to grow. Current chaos in KSA extended this trend.

My impression is that when prices were particularly low, Russia was cutting the support of Syria and vice versa. Iran was also more generous or more stingy. But since Russia and Iran produce their own weapons and ammunition, their costs are much lower than in Gulf countries that supplied the rebels and wage the war in Yemen. Thus with higher oil prices, the extra petrodollars in Iran+Russia hands give more "bang" than in the hands of Gulfies.

Now the end of ISIS should be swift, and the elite forces of Syria and allies will have lots of ammunition and free hand to cut the territories of "moderate opposition". Eastern part of the Idlib enclave is already under pressure. Next year the war in Syria will be mostly over.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 8, 2017 10:54:38 PM | 128

I have to say that, in all honesty, I can't see what the Saudi game plan is here.

After all, it *starts* with MbS burning Saudi Arabia's chief puppet in Lebanon, which doesn't seem all that smart to me.

I guess it is possible that the Saudi's felt betrayed by Harari's meeting with Velayati the day before. Perhaps he agreed to something that he was expressly ordered not to accept, and that pissed off the House of Saud. Maybe.

But the coincidental purge of Saudi princelets makes it unlikely that Harari's "resignation" is a stand-alone, impulsive decision on the part of MbS. It looks much more like it is part of a plan. But what, exactly, are they planning?

I suppose the Saudi's just assumed that Harari's resignation would trigger massive demonstrations, thunderous denunciations by Nasrallah, blood in the streets etc.... new Lebanon Civil War... blah blah.... all leading to the Israelis suddenly shouting that their "legitimate security interests!!!!" demand that they launch one of their patented and oxymoronic "defensive surprise attacks" on Hezbollah.

Crash! Bang! Boom!

If so then I have to ask:
What riots? Which sectarian violence? Where? When?

The Saudi's have attempted to sow the seeds of chaos in Lebanon, and the only reason I can think of for doing that is if the Israelis have already agreed that they will then "mow the lawn".

But here's a thought: what if they declare a war and nobody turns up?

What if the Sunnis, the Shiites, the Christians, the Druze all simply shrug their collective shoulders and say "We're not falling for this old trick!!"

And instead of fighting tooth and nail amongst themselves they simply declare, politely but very firmly, that they'd quite like to get their Prime Minister back, thanks very much, and in one piece if that's not too much trouble. We have a few questions we want to ask him regarding his treatment at the hands of his Saudi masters.

You can't have a war without a casus belli, manufactured or otherwise.

What if the Lebanese refuse to provide the SaudIsraelis with one? Do they shout Havoc! regardless and let slip the IDF running-dogs?
Or do they stand around like a bunch of aimless idiots and ask themselves: errr, why aren't they following our script?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 8, 2017 11:14:54 PM | 129

@126 Yeah,Right

Great comment!

It would be wonderful if the Lebanese public began a worldwide trend of astute citizens refusing to let themselves be manipulated into betraying their own best interests by conniving, duplicitous, power-crazed politicians, businessmen and religious leaders who have no qualms dispatching thousands (sometimes millions) of people, including members of their own "flock," to the grave in the name of increased status and power for themselves.

Alas, given human susceptibility to being tricked and manipulated by the most venal psychopaths their civilization can produce, this would require a near-miracle. There is hope, however, that the collapse of the Greater European Empire (the European imperialist nations + their new world offspring) which has been slaughtering, raping and plundering its way around the globe for a few centuries, will be followed by an era of relatively peaceful coexistence.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Nov 9, 2017 12:49:45 AM | 130

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 8, 2017 10:54:38 PM | 125

Would be interesting to compare the ups and downs of the world economy with the war economy.

Oil price is driven by industrial production and transport, apart from Middle East crisis.

So when industrial production goes up everybody is for peace in the Middle East and when it goes down, there is war? What is cause what effect? A united OPEC can surely drive up price but like in any strike they won't stay united when demand goes down. It took me a while to understand that trade unions go on strike when the economy is good, not when it is bad.

Is it possible that Russia "diversifying" into Middle Eastern weapons' trade took into account these cycles of crisis? They entered Syria when oil and gas price was down.

Enough stuff for a doctoral thesis.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 9, 2017 12:53:12 AM | 131

add to 128

Here this cool assessment in a UN document from 2003

The global economy is fundamentally weak, suffering from insufficient aggregate demand.

The war in Iraq is unlikely to stimulate economic
growth in the U.S. or in the global economy.


You can of course start with Karl Marx for this.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 9, 2017 1:03:18 AM | 132

Piotr Berman @ 125
The truth about fracking is that the industry, investors and banks that issue derivatives are losing money on every barrel pumped. Part of this problem is that fracking yields condensates and not oil and is such a glut on the domestic market that it sells at a steep discount over real oil. Furthermore, fracking socializes costs by deep injection of waste fracking liquids.

Fracking condensate does however create a hydrocarbon glut, depressing oil prices with a goal of damaging the economies of non-assimulated countries (e.g. Russia, Iran). The race is to see which economy crumbles first.

The US currently does sell some anthracite coal overseas to Ukraine at twice the cost of Russian coal in an attempt to damage the Russian economy. The 700,000 tons to be delivered by Xcoal Energy & Resources to Ukraine's Centrenergo still leaves a shortfall of some 20 million tons for the winter heating season.
https://sputniknews.com/europe/201709141057383894-ukraine-us-coal/

There has even been some export of LNG to Europe and especially Asia, although a lot of gas is flared off at the wellhead. So much of reducing climate change! Besides, US LNG cannot compete with Russian natural gas
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-20/us-gas-will-never-replace-russian-gas-europe

On the humorous side there is the US Commerce Secretary’s investment in a company that exports Russian LNG.
http://www.theindependent.com/news/national/correction-commerce-secretary-russian-gas-shipments-story/article_bca0659d-8415-5d9d-b5ee-afc08f4f258e.html

Posted by: Krollchem | Nov 9, 2017 2:06:54 AM | 133

Posted by: Krollchem | Nov 9, 2017 2:06:54 AM | 130

I think the US coal to Ukraine is meant to damage Donbass, not Russia economically, that would be a fool's errant to try with coal. It is futile anyway as now Russia exports Donbass coal.

Shale is sure going to destroy US geology. But is has survived simply by virtue of being private enterprise and a small part of the US budget. All people need to get out of it is competitive profit.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 9, 2017 5:00:19 AM | 134

Interesting take by Bloomberg: Is Saudi Arabia bluffing on Iran

Posted by: somebody | Nov 9, 2017 6:37:00 AM | 135

Krollchem@126 - "...MBZ and Otaiba saw MBS as the way to derail bin Nayef, and exert control over the larger country by elevating the junior prince...”

Israel has spent a lot of time and money sucking up to the UAE and lobbying on their behalf in Washington. MbZ is as anti-Iranian as you can get. Whether Israel had any part in the Saudi soft coup or not, you can bet they're celebrating Nayef's replacement, MbS. Israel was irritated by Hariri's less-than-fanatical opposition to Hezbollah and, in general, Lebanon kicking out head-choppers. Both of those are stabilizing forces. Israel needs a new Sunni Master of Chaos installed to keep Lebanon weak. They'll end up getting just the opposite, now.

"...In turn the UAE backing the Saudi purge depends on Eric Prince’s private Xe army (US secretary of Education’s brother) along with western training of the UAE army by a retired Australian officer..."

Prince sold Xe/Academi and really isn't involved. His new private merc army and air force are headquartered in the UAE and operate as Reflex Responses or R2. That's where the Columbians are going. While they do a lot of work for the UAE and Saudi Arabia, then are still a private, for-hire merc outfit involved in plenty of other shady projects. A good portion of the arms the US sends to the UAE are then diverted to Prince, since he would have a hard time buying them himself. We're not suppose to know that.

The Aussi guy is head of the Emirati Royal Guard, not the regular UAE Army. The Royal Guard is mostly western ex-SF mercs and way better equipped than the regular UAE army. The Emirati royalty really wouldn't trust their commoner army to protect them. Best to stick with well-paid outside help for protection, because those Emirati peons might get uppity and try to string up their masters.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 9, 2017 8:15:53 AM | 136

Sorry, "stabilizing actions"

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 9, 2017 8:16:49 AM | 137

Saudi Arabia has just ordered all its citizen to leave Lebanon. Does this mean that Netanyahu is completely off his rocker?

Breaking: Saudi Arabia orders citizens to leave Lebanon immediately
By Leith Fadel - 09/11/20173

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:00 P.M.) – At 4:00 P.M. (Beirut Time), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued a statement ordering their citizens in Lebanon to return to home immediately.

“Due to the circumstances in the Lebanese Republic, the kingdom asks its citizens who are visiting or residing,” the statement read, as quoted by the Reuters News Agency.

This move by the Saudi regime comes just days after Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, resigned from his post while visiting the Gulf nation.


And all the concern expressed by western governments in the last few days over Lebanon a sham to provide cover for the coming war. And Priti Patel's resignation just misdirection.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 9, 2017 12:14:00 PM | 138

thanks paveway and ghostship... maybe princes mercs are headed to lebanon? the control tower with usa-ksa-israel suggests as much...

Posted by: james | Nov 9, 2017 12:31:10 PM | 139

PavewayIV @ 137

Thanks for the update on Prince's new outfit R2, the Emirati Royal Guard and background on MbZ!

Posted by: Krollchem | Nov 9, 2017 1:00:23 PM | 140

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-kuwait-lebanon-travel/kuwait-foreign-ministry-orders-its- nationals-to-leave-lebanon-immediately-kuna-idUSKBN1D92P0

RIYADH (Reuters) - Kuwait’s foreign ministry ordered its nationals to leave Lebanon immediately, according to a statement on Thursday carried by state news agency KUNA.

The decision came hours after Saudi Arabia warned its citizens against traveling to Lebanon and asked those in the country to leave as soon as possible.

.........

I have read that SA has already told its nationals to leave lebanon.
Looks as though Israel will very soon launch another war against Lebanon, although judging by the recent leak, there is strong opposition to this within Israel.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 9, 2017 1:44:20 PM | 141

Hezbollah returned most of its soldiers from Syria couple of months back (20k out of 25k), they probably were suspecting something and are prepared.

Nowadays Hezb is 10x bigger and vastly better armed than in 2006, with fresh battle experience too. For the life of me, I dont see what Israel could achieve with direct invasion, its impossible for them to win (I'm not even talking about Saudis, their military threat to Hezb is close to zero). US will most likely keep away, maybe will support Israel for the sake of appearance, at the most.

Color revolution? The most logical path, but do the Axis of terror even have many headchoppers left? And Hezb are very much experienced how to handle them, SAA with Iran will 100% help as well, maybe Russia too. Even this most likely attack on Lebanon will go nowhere, other than increasing Hezbollah influence and solidifying Iran/Russia presence, just as 'b' mentioned. So whats the point?

Posted by: Harry | Nov 9, 2017 2:22:36 PM | 142

Harry @142:

So whats the point?
That's a great question. It could be that it is all smoke and mirrors to throw people off balance prior to MbS becoming King.

If there is to be a real military operation, it seems most likely to start with destabilizing the country (as b has anticipated) prior to a US-led Coalition intervention. I say this because Saudis don't have what it takes to invade and Israel risks a barrage of missiles if they were to invade.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 9, 2017 2:56:48 PM | 143

personally i think the timing is off.. i think this is a bluff, but i do believe a war on lebannon is coming, as nasrallah had mentioned a few months back..

as for running out of wahabbi headchopping whack jobs - i mostly think there is an endless supply of idiots willing to get involved for a small amount of pay, but i could be wrong.. the beauty of exporting wahabbism internationally for the past umpteen years to impoverished - look at indonesia for example - is a huge reservoir of losers willing to follow the insane death cult.. really saudi arabia and it's wahabbi cretins have to have their head chopped off at the source... and as such useful idiots for the usa/israel dreams of grandeur - i doubt it will happen any time soon..

Posted by: james | Nov 9, 2017 3:15:42 PM | 144

robert fisk via the independent - Saad Hariri’s resignation as Prime Minister of Lebanon is not all it seems

good overview...

Posted by: james | Nov 9, 2017 3:35:12 PM | 145

@142/143 Exactly. Dont they understand the potential consequences? I’m amazed how stupid a military intervention would be but with Kuwait/KSA/Bahrain citizens asked to leave Lebanon, it sure looks like folly is in the making..

Also this (not sure about the validity of the source):

#BREAKING #Saudi - Sources familiar with the matter say #KingSalman is to announce abdication tonight. Many royal decrees also expected, including appointments of new #SaudiCrownPrince crown prince and deputy. Announcements of war against #Hezbollah or #Qatar also rumored.

https://twitter.com/geostrat_me/status/928606505007566849

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 9, 2017 4:03:38 PM | 146

The unknown is - what are Kushner and Trump cooking up. Kushner I take it is solidly in the Zionist camp, but I tend to think Trump hates the Saudi's as much as he hates Hezbollah and Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 9, 2017 4:21:25 PM | 147

Western media are not really positive on the Saudi coup. I think there might be a lot of resentment among people who realize that they cultivated the wrong Saudis. Like this battle of the banks.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 9, 2017 5:47:25 PM | 148

About substituting Donbas coal in Ukraine with American coal: sure, the damage to Russia is minuscule, but for Ukraine it means quite a bit. If you have crazy and thus unreliable allies, the most rational thing is to get some quick profits.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 9, 2017 6:19:14 PM | 149

An interview with Marwan Osmanwith corbettreport speaking directly from Lebanon with interesting information and status update from the other side of the 'fence'.
Definately worth your time

Marwa Osman Reports on the Saudi Purge

Posted by: youss | Nov 9, 2017 6:37:17 PM | 150

Of course this is the 'reaction' to King Salman's visit to Russia !

My guess is that the SA King is not 'senile' at all - he went to Russia with plans to extricate the KSA from the Zio/US !

Posted by: Jack Oliver | Nov 9, 2017 7:07:05 PM | 151

150
I'm listening/watching that video now. Amazing how much is going on. She suggested MbS is mismanaged by Kushner/Trump at one point.

Posted by: Curtis | Nov 9, 2017 7:24:58 PM | 152

@145 Agreed. Fisk appears to be bemused by the Saudi antics. Interesting that he is insistent that the Lebanese aren't going to fall for this provocation; as far as he is concerned the smart move is simply to request - firmly but without belligerence - that the Saudis give them back their Prime Minister. And he is quite convinced that the Lebanese are way smarter than the Saudis.

I mean, this Saudi action is beyond bizarre: they have essentially kidnapped the head of government of another sovereign state and not only are they holding him against his will but they have forced him to appear on TV to recite their propaganda nonsense against a 3rd country.

That is an unprecedented and brazen interference in the political independence of a member state of the UN.

Imagine if the North Koreans had pulled this trick. Ask yourself what the reaction would have been if Kim had invited the Prime Minister of Thailand to Pyongyang for talks only to seize him and forced him to "announce his resignation" on North Korean TV.

The uproar would be deafening, and the USA would already be ramming through a UNSC Resolution authorizing the use of force against North Korea.

But because it is Saudi Arabia playing these games then it is a case of..... nothing. Nothin' at all. Nothin' to see here, just move along...

Extraordinary.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 9, 2017 7:52:08 PM | 153

152

yes, very much information indeed and lots at least i didn't heard before :

- MBS was kicked out of SA because he wanted to buy weapons and liberate Iran
- the status of Hariri and his bodyguards
- one of the killed princes was best friend and businesspartner of hariri

etc. etc.

Posted by: youss | Nov 9, 2017 8:13:35 PM | 154

UK hands world's largest oil company Saudi Aramco $2bn loan to secure IPO

The UK Government has offered the world’s largest oil company a $2bn (£1.5bn) loan guarantee as the battle to host the Saudi oil giant’s market debut drags on.
The Treasury has admitted to finalising the details of the deal which comes amid a fierce battle between the world’s largest exchanges to secure what could prove to be the world’s largest initial public offering.

The timing of the significant loan has raised eyebrows because Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state-back oil giant, is yet to decide where to list 5pc of the oil behemoth in its market debut expected next year.

The float is a central piece within Saudi Arabia’s plans to overhaul its economic future in the wake of the global oil crisis which could leave prices depressed indefinitely.
The listing could raise up to $100m through a joint listing on the Saudi exchange and a foreign partner, but complex rules around transparency has thrown into question which exchange will be able to offer the Saudis the best terms.

The Saudis are considering a listing on the London Stock Exchange but ministers in Japan, China and the US are also pushing for their own exchanges to be considered.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter last week, tweeting: "Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange. Important to the United States!"

The Treasury denied a report in The Financial Times which linked the loan deal with the lobby efforts to secure the Saudi listing.

[.]

Posted by: likklemore | Nov 9, 2017 8:42:52 PM | 155

>>>> somebody | Nov 9, 2017 5:47:25 PM | 148

Western media are not really positive on the Saudi coup.

Have you read The Guardian? They're treating MbS like the second coming.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 9, 2017 9:19:31 PM | 156

>>>> james | Nov 9, 2017 3:35:12 PM | 145

robert fisk via the independent - Saad Hariri’s resignation as Prime Minister of Lebanon is not all it seems

The Angry Arab reckons it's an "English translation" of the al-ahkbar article about the defenestration of Hariri. Perhaps it's my imagination but Fisk's language is a bit stilted.

At least it's not the normal regurgitation of Bin Ladenite March 14th talking points we've come to expect from Liz sly and Anne Barnard.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 9, 2017 9:29:54 PM | 157

The European Union and the United States on Wednesday reaffirmed support for Lebanon after the resignation of its prime minister, striking a sharp contrast to Saudi Arabia, which accuses Beirut of declaring war because of the Shi‘ite group Hezbollah. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 9, 2017 10:33:48 PM | 158

@158 Well, heck, it stands to reason that they will think little of the idea that the leader of a foreign government can be enticed to visit another country, only to be kidnapped and forced to read a resignation letter written by that "host" country before being led into house arrest.

After all, what's good for the goose should also be good for the gander.

Some things *should* remain sacrosanct, and chief amongst them is that "diplomacy" shouldn't involve holding a gun to the head of Prime Minister of a foreign country in order that he should become a tool of your own propaganda.

Assassination? Sure, give it your best shot.
A "decapitation strike"? OK, if you think you can do it.

But that's just "killing". Business as usual, nothing personal, get over it.

But this?

Nah, this is humiliating, and who wants to back the idea that humiliation should become a respectable tool of foreign policy?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 10, 2017 5:00:04 AM | 159

It will be interesting to see how the USA reacts to all this.

I assume that the Saudi's excuse for refusing to let Harari go back to Lebanon is because "he fears he will be assassinated by Hezbollah" on his return.

Yeah, sure. I believe that, don't you???

But this is a bluff that can so easily be called, if only someone has the guts to call it.

France, for example, could say that they are willing to "protect" him.
Ditto the UK, ditto the USA. Or Australia. Or Canada. Or Germany.

If any of those countries offered Harari their "protection" from Hezbollah then what excuse can MbS give for not letting Harari go to Paris... or to London... or Washington for that matter?

None that I can see, but such a refusal would make it incontrovertible that Harari is being held by the Saudi's against his will.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 10, 2017 5:09:27 AM | 160

Macron is the first to prostitute himself to Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh over the Iran issue:

Macron wants to amend Iran nuclear deal to avoid Tehran’s ‘hegemony’ in Middle East
French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed to amend the nuclear deal with Iran to cover ballistic missile development to avoid a “North Korean” scenario in the Middle East.

.....

The Iranian nuclear agreement “must be preserved” but “complemented with two pillars,” Macron said during his visit to the United Arab Emirates. In particular, the French leader wants to renegotiate the question of the “ballistic activity of Iran” – not covered under the current accord – “with sanctions if necessary.” He further wants discussions about “Iranian hegemony throughout the region.”


I'm surprised he has enough cavities to satisfy his clients.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 10, 2017 5:56:50 AM | 161

What Macron needs to do is get his French ass out of the Pacific - especially New Caledonia which supports various industries.
List_of_French_islands_in_the_Indian_and_Pacific_oceans

We are Rebels-New Caledonia

Posted by: x | Nov 10, 2017 6:19:37 AM | 162

Well, by now we all know why the MSM falls silent anytime proxies bump up the killing quotient. I just did some research at the behest of Veterans Today editor, Gordon Duff, who told me Google's Jigsaw is a military operation. I was a tad skeptical til Qatar, Al Jazeera, Google Jigsaw, and key investors all lined up for a deep state mug shot. Pepe's work, as usual, clues us as to the coming chaos. Our "Putin's Praetorians" are all on the job. Question is; "Can we do anything else to avert the coming tempest?"

(excuse shameless book plug)

Posted by: Phillip A Butler | Nov 10, 2017 7:38:53 AM | 163

156

The Guardian retracted.

My guess - first wave of positive reports was the international part of the coup - second negative wave is people waking to what is going on.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 10, 2017 8:23:01 AM | 164

Read on RT News:

US Air Force says rocket fired at Ryad Airport bears Iranian Markings.

https://www.rt.com/news/409467-missile-targeting-main-saudi-airport/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome

So, the false flag has been found. Iranian rocketry is a menace to its "peaceful"
neighbors.

What is next? A torpedo in one of SA blockading vessels? This one also
will bear "Iranian" markings.

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 10, 2017 9:42:07 AM | 166

>>>> somebody | Nov 10, 2017 8:23:01 AM | 164

The Guardian retracted.

No it didn't. All the fawning articles are still up on its website and the journalists who wrote them free to go on brown nosing the Saudis and writing fake news. The article you linked to is an editorial and they are often more balanced and reality-based than the news articles.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 10, 2017 9:42:46 AM | 167

Setting the table for war with Iran via Lebanon. The Yemeni false flag.

RT/ZH reports

Dismissing IHS Janes,

U.S.Airforce Says Missile Targeting Saudi Capital Was Iranian

One day after Saudi Arabia and Kuwait ordered their citizens to evacuate Lebanon - a move many suggested telegraphed an imminent "military intervention" - the mainstream media has begun building the case for a new mid-east war, one which will involve Iran and Hezbollah (and potentially Russia, not to mention other Shia Muslims) on one hand, and Saudi Arabia and Israel on the other.

For that, it got help from the US Air Force today, and as AP reports this morning, "the ballistic missile fired by Yemeni rebels that targeted the Saudi capital was from Iran and bore “Iranian markings,” the top U.S. Air Force official in the Mideast said Friday." Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, who oversees the Air Forces Central Command in Qatar, made the comments at a news conference in Dubai.

The narrative is familiar: just as European terrorists conveniently commit suicide and always dutifully bring along their passports so they can be identified, so Iran always makes sure it leaves identifying marks when it illegally sells its weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

No really: after the Nov. 4 strike near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry said investigators examining the remains of the rocket found evidence proving “the role of Iranian regime in manufacturing them.” It did not elaborate, though it also mentioned it found similar evidence after a July 22 missile launch. French President Emmanuel Macron similarly this week described the missile as “obviously” Iranian.

"Obviously."

Fitting the narrative because we are in panic mode - need to
a). cancel the Iran deal
b). stoke chaos and war tensions to get the price of oil above break even. We are broke.

Posted by: likklemore | Nov 10, 2017 9:52:26 AM | 168

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 10, 2017 9:42:46 AM | 167

:-))

Looks like you don't understand the concept of free media and the competition of ideas and opinion.

An editorial is a clear indication where a paper stands.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 10, 2017 10:39:31 AM | 169

Nasrallah has made a new speech, saying that Hariri is being detained, and that Saudi Arabia has offered billions of dollars to Israel to wage war against Hezbollah and Lebanon.

Al-Manar has a brief precis of it: Sayyed Nasrallah: Hariri Detained in Saudi, Must Be Set Free Immediately

Fort Russ has a more complete transcript, apparently translated by them, in a piece presented by Joaquin Flores: BREAKING: Saudi Arabia has declared war on Lebanon and Hezbollah, says Nasrallah FULL TEXT

Haven't studied any of this yet.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 10, 2017 11:00:47 AM | 170

>>>> somebody | Nov 10, 2017 10:39:31 AM | 169

Looks like you have a more fundamental problem, you don't understand the meaning of the word retract. From Google's dictionary:

withdraw (a statement or accusation) as untrue or unjustified.

Has The Guardian done that with any of the articles fawning on MbS and Saudi Arabia? Or even stopped publishing such articles? No, so it's retracted nothing.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 10, 2017 11:42:25 AM | 171

@153 yeah right.. yes, i agree and your analogy is a good one in throwing light on it too.. thanks

@157 ghostship.. i was a bit confused by that comment from angry arab.. still don't understand it.

@169 somebody.. the guardian is trash... i don't understand why anyone bothers to read it..

@170 grieved.. i agree with nasrallah.. see @153 yeah rights analogy for where we are at here..

Posted by: james | Nov 10, 2017 11:51:02 AM | 172

@166 "US Air Force says rocket fired at Ryad Airport bears Iranian Markings"

Excuse my cynicism, but "because I say so" isn't necessarily the slam-dunk that Jeffrey Harrigian, USAF, so obviously thinks it to be.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 10, 2017 8:31:42 PM | 173

Posted by: james | Nov 10, 2017 11:51:02 AM | 172

@157 ghostship.. i was a bit confused by that comment from angry arab.. still don't understand it.

The Angry Arab is suggesting that Robert Fisk sourced his English language article by copying and translating the article in al-ahkbar which some might suggest is plagiarism as Robert Fisk didn't attribute, reference, etc. the source.

In this case that is probably not a bad thing as Robert Fisk is more widely read in the west than the Arab language al ahkbar and many in the west regard al-ahkbar as nothing more than Russian/Syrian/Iranian/Hezbollah propaganda so would disregard the Fisk article if linked to al-ahkbar.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 11, 2017 10:03:31 AM | 174

>>>> somebody | Nov 10, 2017 10:39:31 AM | 169

The Guardian has done it again with an article by Martin Chulov regurgitating Saudi bullshit although no fawning on MbS this time.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 11, 2017 10:08:41 AM | 175

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