Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 05, 2017

Saudi Arabia - This 'Night Of The Long Knives' Is A Panic-Fueled Move

Yesterday the ruling Salman clan in Saudi Arabia executed a Night of the Long Knives cleansing the state of all potential competition. The Saudi King Salman and his son Clown Prince Mohammad bin Salman initiated a large arrest wave and purge of high ranking princes and officials. Part of this internal coup was the confiscation of huge financial estates to the advantage of the Salman clan.

The earlier forced resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is probably related to the last night's events. The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahoo endorsed the resignation. This guarantees that Hariri will never again be accepted in a leading role in Lebanon.

In Saudi Arabia eleven princes, including sons of the deceased King Abdullah, more than thirty former and acting ministers as well as the heads of three major TV stations were taken into custody or put under house arrest. The National Guard Commander Prince Mitieb Bin Abdullah was relieved from his post and replaced with Prince Khalid Bin Abdulaziz al Muqrin. The National Guard was the last intelligence and security power center held by the Abdullah branch of the al-Saud family.

An earlier purge in July had dethroned the former Crown Prince Nayaf and replaced him with the young Mohammad Bin-Salman. Then the Nayef branch of the al-Saud family was removed from all power centers. The Abdullah branch followed yesterday. The purged officials were replaced with stooges of the ruling Salman clan.

The Salman branch of the current king and clown prince has now eliminated all of potential internal competition. This goes against the consensus model that had been the foundation of the Saudi family rule over the last century. Tens of thousands of clans and people depended on the patronage of the removed princes and officials. They will not just sit back as their fortunes evaporate.

One effect of the purges will be the concentration of Saudi wealth in the hands of the Salmans.

One of the arrested persons is the allegedly sixth richest man of the world, Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal (video). He has (had?) an estimated net-worth between $18 and $32 billion. Al-Waleed had publicly clashed with U.S. President Donald Trump. (Al-Waleed is (was?) the largest shareholder of Citygroup which selected Barack Obama's cabinet before receiving a huge government bailout.) Another casualty is Bakr bin Laden, brother of Osama Bin Laden, chairman of the Saudi Binladin Group and fifth richest man of the country.

Official pretext for the purge are corruption allegations going back to 2009. This financial subterfuge will allow the ruling Salmans to confiscate the wealth of the accused. The total haul of this raid will amount to dozens of billions of dollars. A new anti-corruption committee was installed under Clown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. It has dictatorial powers and can freeze and confiscate whatever financial assets it deems worth its attention:

It may take whatever measures it deems necessary to deal with those involved in public corruption cases and take what it considers to be the right of persons, entities, funds, fixed and movable assets, at home and abroad, return funds to the state treasury and register property and assets in the name of state property.

The events in Lebanon and Riyadh would have been impossible without U.S. approval and support. In late October Trump's son in law and senior adviser Jared Kushner made an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia. In a tweet yesterday Donald Trump, sworn to the Wahhabi orb, named the price for his consent and cooperation:

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump - 12:49 PM - 4 Nov 2017

Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange. Important to the United States!

A primary listing of Aramco oil conglomerate at the NYSE will give the U.S. government regulatory and legal authority over the most valuable company of the world.

Also last night Yemeni forces fired a medium range missile from north Yemen towards Riyadh airport. The well targeted 1,000 kilometer (660 miles) shot is impressive and unprecedented. The Saudi air-defense near the airport, U.S. Patriot systems manned by contractors, launched four interceptor missiles (video) towards the incoming Yemeni projectile. The Saudis claim that one of the interceptors hit the target. A uprising smoke column was seen from the airport (video). It is not possible to say if it was the result of the original missile or of an interception.

That the Saudi capital can be hit will come as another shock to many Saudis. It discourages investment in Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni missiles, fired by the original Yemen army under former president Saleh, may have their origin in Iran. But they could also be older ones Yemen had purchased elsewhere decades ago. The Saudis will surely blame Iran without explaining how such missiles could be smuggled through their tight blockade cordon around the resistance held country.

The missile launch is unlikely to be related to the Hariri resignation or to the purge in Riyadh. It takes days for the Yemenis to prepare such a missile and its launch. It is presumably in retaliation for Wednesday's devastating Saudi air attack on an open market in the northern Saada province of Yemen. According to Yemeni sources more than 60 people were killed. After the missile launch on Riyadh Saudi jets again bombed the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

Since the incapacitated King Salman took the throne in Riyadh his ruthless 32 year old son Mohammad bin Salman has taken control of all branches of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi launched a war on a defenseless Yemen and supported al-Qaeda, ISIS and other "rebels" against the Iraqi and Syrian governments. He split the Gulf Cooperation Council by attacking Qatar. After a stalemate in Yemen and Qatar and losing in Iraq and Syria he has now initiated a war against Hizbullah in Lebanon. None of these bloody initiatives has achieved its aim of weakening the influence of the perceived enemy Iran. All of them helped Iran to consolidate its position.

The financial position of the Saudi state is in disarray. To the applause of the western claque Bin Salman announced the economic, social and religious liberation of Saudi Arabia. But little, if any, of the grand promises have been delivered.

Yesterday's purge can be perceived as a panic-fueled move. All of Bin Salman's endeavors have failed. The successful targeting of Riyadh's airport only underscores this. He is under pressure but unable to deliver. The internal resistance to him is growing.

When Hitler initiated the Night of Long Knives against the socialist part of his party he was on an upward trend of his political power. The country was at peace, its international standing was growing, the economy surged and the majority of the people endorsed him. Bin Salman's remake of that night comes while his initiatives fail. It is doubtful that the consolidation he seeks will be equally successful.

Posted by b on November 5, 2017 at 06:43 AM | Permalink

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Silly the man who's kept his assets under Saudi flags.
Bin Talal is certainly NOT a conservative. Linking the purge with the fanciful announcement of going back to a moderate Islam will be made only by ppl who have no clue about the kingdom.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 5, 2017 6:54:09 AM | 1

Interesting post.Thanks.The Twitter threads in this connection are interesting too.

Posted by: Theo | Nov 5, 2017 7:06:38 AM | 2

One interesting Twitter thread : twitter.com/brasco_aad/sta

Posted by: Theo | Nov 5, 2017 7:14:20 AM | 3

In Iran they must really be enjoying the show.

Posted by: xor | Nov 5, 2017 7:36:57 AM | 4

Trump's enslaving strategy on Saudi Arabia is working!
If the Aramco IPO goes to NYSE, Saudi Arabia will be totally under US control.
Panic-striken Saudi family is throwing all its hopes of the survival of their autocratic system in Trump. What they still don't realize, is that they are no more puppets but becoming slaves.
All these gimmicks of "women driving" liberation, "moderate islam", "futuristic city in the desert" are just smoke to hide the deep anxiety of a country that has no ideals, no power, no culture, no courage, and no brain.
Events have proven that Bashar al Assad was right when he said Saudi rulers are half-men!

Posted by: virgile | Nov 5, 2017 7:56:25 AM | 5

According to a prominent Saudi dissident based in London the confiscation of bin Talal's fortune was planned at least months in advance.

"Ali AlAhmed‏Verified account @AliAlAhmed_en 16h16 hours ago
More
I told @nytimesworld reporter 3 months ago of #Saudi #MBS plan to seize @Alwaleed_Talal wealth. Idiot did not belive me. It happened today"

1. As mentioned above Talal is a liberal and seen as somewhat irreligious and relatively decadent. His arrest may also be as a favour to Trump.

2. The Saudi royal family have concentrated huge power in their hands and the fact that bin Salman is removing other members from sharing power is not a huge thing because in Saudi power was spread out too wide including brothers, uncles, cousins etc.

He is simply drifting towards a more conventional dictatorial system whereby power is concentrated in the immediate family or at least them and those very close to them. That model has worked for many tyrants.

3. I simply don't see anyone being able to overthrow bin Salman, the infrastructure simply doesn't exist. Saudis are not fighters. The Saudi population and elite will follow him as the alternative, chaos, is far worse.

4. In the long run i.e. in the next decade or two, I don't see bin Salman around. There are too many dynamics going on which he and won't be able to control. A decade may seem long but remember this is a man who is 30+ and if he lives up to the 80s of his father and previous monarchs should rule for another half a century. I don't think that will happen, another decade at most until things just get out of hand that Saudi as a country has to radically change or ceases to exist in its current format.

5. Online chatter is this is a major blow for Clinton as Talal funded her and this could be a warning shot to Clinton that she could face a similar fate to that of her Saudi ally.

Posted by: Muslim Dude | Nov 5, 2017 7:56:33 AM | 6

@Muslim Dude

Don't ignore that MBS could be eliminated physically as many powerful people want him out now.

Posted by: virgile | Nov 5, 2017 8:08:44 AM | 7

@virgile, anything is possible.

However now will any Saudi prince dare do anything, plan, let alone muster a whisper against bin Salman?

We will have to wait and see, btw I'm also hearing that Saad Harriri, the ex-Lebanese prime minister has just been arrested for "corruption". If so now it make sense why the Saudis brought him in to Saudi, i.e. that's where they can physically arrest and imprison him which they can't do in Lebanon.

Posted by: Muslim Dude | Nov 5, 2017 8:16:08 AM | 8

Bahrein asking its citizens to evacuate Lebanon

Posted by: Mina | Nov 5, 2017 8:23:15 AM | 9

@ xor | 4

In Iran they must really be enjoying the show.

Yes, except the part where the war is coming to Lebanon. A lot of people will die to satisfy ruthless psychos in US/Israel/Saudi.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 5, 2017 8:54:45 AM | 10

@muslim dude

I doubt the Saudis will jail hariri for corruption, as this will unite the Sunnis and the shias against KSA and in favor of Iran.
Yet the Saudis have shown to make one mistake after the other!

Posted by: Virgile | Nov 5, 2017 9:03:26 AM | 11

One mistake after another . . . MBS's coda.

This guy is General Custer, born again.

Overthrow the Kingdom? 40% of the population is Shiite. Plenty of manpower to use if the disgruntled princes gather the balls to do something.

Or if the Iranians and Qataris work an insurgency against the new dictatorship.

Since the workforce inside SA is foreigners, there are plenty of angry souls and healthy bodies to take up arms against their slave masters.

Plenty of prospects that could shake, rattle and rolls the 'mastermind" MBS.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Nov 5, 2017 9:17:11 AM | 12

Why would Saudis jail their puppet for corruption? The only explanation in such case would be the puppet turning against their masters or he is used as a scapegoat (for what purpose?).

Posted by: Harry | Nov 5, 2017 9:34:30 AM | 13

@13 Speaking about Hariri.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 5, 2017 9:35:34 AM | 14

About Aramco and Trump begging...

Fact is that China is biggest buyer of Saudi oil...and holds the hammer...

Trump can beg all he wants but Xi has already set up a gold-backed petro-yuan trading floor and will be slowly but surely insisting that Saudi oil is traded for renmibi...

KSA is in financial trouble precisely because of US dropping the oil price in order to inflict pain on Russia...

That exploded mainly in the face of KSA...Saudis may be many things but they are not dumb, deaf or blind...

As soon as the US starts going down the toilet [inevitable]...KSA will turn their back...they are already laying the groundwork now...with the overtures to Moscow for instance...

Many are not paying attention to the big picture in world energy geopolitics...but William Engdahl certainly is...

His article from yesterday is must reading...newsflash...Rosneft quietly bought 60 percent of the Iraqi Kurdistan pipeline...

Even the SDF is in a deal with the Russians to hand over Syria's biggest gas field Taiyah [Conoco]...

https://journal-neo.org/2017/11/04/moscow-outmaneuvers-washington-s-kurdistan-project/

What has been slowly happening over the last couple of decades is that Russia has taken control over the world's key energy distribution infrastructure...

This...combined with the Chinese money clout is going to turn the petro-dollar to dust...

Everybody will soon realize this...and surely MBS or anyone else in KSA is well ahead of the learning curve when it comes to these matters...

The US has managed to flush itself down the toilet with all its crazy schemes...I'm reminded of the Wile E. Coyote misadventures...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 5, 2017 10:20:37 AM | 15


@15 Which is what makes the Aramco listing such a big deal. The US needs it badly to maintain its position in the energy market. Saudis like London because it has hookers and casinos. Frankfurt and Hong Kong just don't have the same cachet.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/11/saudi-arabia-favors-new-york-for-aramco-listing-sources.html

Posted by: dh | Nov 5, 2017 10:45:09 AM | 16

@15 flankerbandit

The US and certainly Israel are eager to have a balkanized middle east consisting of weak statelets the so called Yinon plan. None of the Kurdish area's are for the moment viable as the oil can not get out without the support of either Turkey, Iraq, Syria or Iran. Syria and Iraq are already fractured each having rather big Kurdish controlled areas. The Kurds are heavily supported and dependent on US and Israeli support. If Russia made a deal on the Kurdish gas fields in Syria or some Kurdish Iraqi pipeline it gives the US's strongest enemy (Russia) an interest in letting the Kurdish project (balkanization) succeed. That would also mark the Kurdish/SDF landgrab of eastern Syria as permanent.

Posted by: xor | Nov 5, 2017 10:51:18 AM | 17

16
thanks, but no thanks, Saudi in Frankfurt would completely destroy the place :-))

Posted by: somebody | Nov 5, 2017 10:51:56 AM | 18

@18 You'll never become a major player with that attitude.

Posted by: dh | Nov 5, 2017 11:02:30 AM | 19

Rosneft quietly bought 60 percent of the Iraqi Kurdistan pipeline...
It will be going cheap at the moment, as it just lost its raison- d'être. I suppose that a new deal between the Talebani fa

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 5, 2017 11:05:23 AM | 20

*the Talebani faction and Baghdad will mean Kirkuk oil going south again to the Gulf.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 5, 2017 11:06:44 AM | 21

@21 Kirkuk/Baniyas more likely. 2 new pipelines are in the works.

Posted by: dh | Nov 5, 2017 11:09:45 AM | 22

add 18

The plan seems to be to stay in Riyadh - very sensible I would say.

The snag with the Chinese option is that Saudi Arabia has other objectives beyond raising cash to fatten the kingdom’s finances and fund social welfare. The Aramco offering is a key step toward making Riyadh a regional, if not international, capital for capital. It is part of the crown prince’s blueprint for reducing Saudi Arabia’s reliance on oil — a feat never fully achieved by a major resource economy in the modern era.

And they might do it with Russian protection.

So what if Saudi has a deal with Russia to roll back jihadis for protection?

Retiring Hairiri might be part of the deal.

I am all in. Cheers to the Saudis.


Posted by: somebody | Nov 5, 2017 11:10:00 AM | 23

@23 That's probably why we're seeing the big 'anti-corruption' drive. The Riyadh stock market will be clean as a whistle.

Posted by: dh | Nov 5, 2017 11:22:03 AM | 24

Reason for Hariri being sacked
https://twitter.com/ejmalrai/status/927197090056491009

+ they need his cash

Posted by: Mina | Nov 5, 2017 11:22:38 AM | 25

24 makes sense.

Found the Russian Saudi military cooperation bit.

“Work on this will be continued,” Peskov told reporters on a conference call. “The improvement of military cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia ... is not directed against a third party and we believe it’s groundless to express concern about this issue.”

Posted by: somebody | Nov 5, 2017 11:34:30 AM | 26

How low can the Brits go?
from the BBC about Bin Talal
"Two years ago he offered luxury cars to fighter pilots participating in a bombing campaign in Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition continues to bomb Houthi rebels, killing 26 people in an attack on a hotel and market on Wednesday."

No UK weapons or allies involved?

Posted by: Mina | Nov 5, 2017 11:41:11 AM | 27

forgotten link to the above
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41874117

Posted by: Mina | Nov 5, 2017 11:41:28 AM | 28

@15 flankerbandit

Great Engdahl article. Multiply that specific of directly “counterproductive” incompetence by EVERY aspect of US foreign policy and you sum up the US’s backward sprint toward the cliff of the end of [increasingly hollow] hegemony. It’s really hard to grasp how even pathologically self-interested people in power can NOT see it coming. Failure is the rule, not the exception - literally over lifetimes. The level of self-absorbed delusional thinking has to be total and/or genetic.

As a US citizen I hate to see it because it will probably mean the end of economic life as we (here) know it, but I find myself rooting for it if only to see what a relatively sane world might mean for a few billion people who just want to get on with their lives, and have some normal prospects for their kids.

Posted by: ritzl | Nov 5, 2017 11:58:44 AM | 29

And the snake eats its tail.

Things must be getting extremely desperate for MBS to unleash this purge. It is undoubtedly related to Hariri's "resignation", even if their only visible link at this time is their short- sighted nature. Both were done to show strength but will be roundly, and correctly, seen as utter weakness.

Does anyone have a link to Hariri also being arrested for corruption? That would really take the cake...

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Nov 5, 2017 12:09:38 PM | 30

The spaghetti that make up these plot lines would make for an unbelievable novel. Let's see how close I can get:

First you have to look at the Saudi bodyguard, the US. The weak presidency of Obama followed now by the subverted presidency of Trump has allowed the always troublesome factions that once appeared to represent a united US government to become brazen in their independence. The CIA, usually allied with and muscle for the State Dept., had their "man-in-waiting" Nayaf ready to assume the throne. But the neocon cabal, temporarily allied with the Obama bunch, in their frenzy to hurt Russia, pushed the Saudis too far in ordering them to crash oil prices and thus their sole income, while simultaneously encouraging them to spend lavishly on the (State/CIA) ISIS and (Neocon/Pentagon) al Quida projects in Syria. Then getting Saudi to agree to an unprecedented arms purchase which smacked of "we better get their last dollar before they go down, then we'll just take back the shit at our leisure." It certainly didn't look like the US was overly concerned with "protecting" KSA.

As for the Kingdom, the Young Prince seemed to be recklessly taking charge of patently no-win projects like Yemen, while the Clinton/State/CIA Nayaf waited patiently to take over, probably smiling at how the young gun was making Nayaf's value as the wiser choice more apparent by the day. But was MBS really a fool? Who cared if the expedition in Yemen succeeded, it was just a bunch of mercenaries (and Yemenis) dying anyway, and the conflict gave him excuses to expand his authority to more and more areas, particularly in the areas of defense and security. One day Nayaf woke up no longer the Crown Prince, the next day no longer in charge of State Security, and basically under house arrest. MBS could not help but know that the Kingdom had already been scheduled for regime change (clear by the way they were being "used up"), and he more than anyone would have a CIA target on is back. So suddenly the (US controlled) OPEC is thrown into disarray by a silly spat with Qatar, weakening one potential source of external opposition, and now we have a full blown purge of most of his internal opposition. Plus he has been courting Russia, knowing that the Kingdom is nothing without a protector, and the US is certainly not going to be a reliable ally while it connives to replace him.

Very interesting. MBS may of course just be a brash fool, but then again maybe he wanted his enemies to assume so and underestimate him. Hell, Alexander the Great was about his age, so youth may but doesn't necessarily equate to idiocy. Is it possible that he just saw the writing on the wall (that the US was preparing "help" with the changes rushing to greet the Kingdom), and decided that the window of opportunity was now if he ever hoped to have real power? After all, one should not assume that Nayaf would not have done the same thing, albeit more smoothly, with his own opponents once he assumed full power. I'm not saying the Young Prince is going to be a force for good, or necessarily stable, but he may not be quite the fool he allowed himself to be portrayed to be, and if he is forced to turn to Russia for his protection, at least there will be a far more "Earth friendly" power encouraging his actions than the US.

Now is that the plot for a book or what?

Posted by: J Swift | Nov 5, 2017 12:09:55 PM | 31

To correct b, listing on NYSE would not necessarily give US jurisdiction over Aramco.
Look at Alibaba shares backed by a mailbox in Cayman Islands no connection to Chinese business and all no legal recourse in US or China as well NYSE allows for complex shareholder structure leaving all the power in management clique hands M. Bin Salman regardless what shareholder vote for, see FB management mafia.

Posted by: Kalen | Nov 5, 2017 12:14:39 PM | 32

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

This should be a lesson to elites everywhere.

This only highlights why Western elites embraced democracy over feudalism. And why a return to feudalism in the West as dangerous to the elite as it is to the common man and women.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 12:15:09 PM | 33

@23 somebody

Good point. Totally possible, even rational.

The cue, to me anyway, that that rationality may be operative/ascendant is whether or not KSA “rationally” finds some way to back out of its completely irrational “war” in Yemen and foster the regional stability it would take to make that new vision for the KSA future feasible, believable, real, and/or investable.

If KSA does not create a stable environment for their vision, nobody is going to invest serious, long-term money there because blowback from their many murderous, destabilizing adventures may and will eventually change everything “tomorrow.” That’s unacceptable risk imho. Thing is too, I don’t think the ingrained Saudi ruling practices/thinking will allow them to move from pretty words to deeds. TBD...

Posted by: ritzl | Nov 5, 2017 12:21:54 PM | 34

So there really is a reshuffle of the deck chairs on the top deck of Mothership earth going on.

Room has to be made for this upstart called China who doesn't play the game quite like the rest but can no longer be ignored.

If SA is going to become a financial center, is it going to create its own cryptocurrency as a replacement for the increasingly vaporous petrodollar?

If our world suddenly blossoms forts with multiple Reserve Currencies, how are they exchanged and more importantly, by whom?

Thanks for the on-top-of-it-as-usual posting b

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 5, 2017 12:25:13 PM | 35

@Don Wiscacho

On the twitter feed of Saudi dissident, Ali Al Ahmed he claims he's heard reports that Hariri's been arrested.

"Ali AlAhmed‏Verified account @AliAlAhmed_en 5h5 hours ago
More
People are telling me that ex #Lebanese PM @saadhariri is also arrested #Riyadh for corruption. He holds #Saudi citizenship as well. @nypost"

Posted by: Muslim Dude | Nov 5, 2017 12:33:16 PM | 36

J Swift @31

I'm skeptical of that KSA is woo-ing Russia at all.

KSA may sell most of their oil to China, but China NEEDS that oil. And KSA has huge investments in the West.

Perhaps they seek instead to sideline Russia in the Sunni-Shia conflict? Perhaps they seek to make the case that outsiders should not interfere in this in intra-Muslim dispute? To prove that it is independent of US and Russia, they buy some Russian arms.

Such a scenario is reminiscent of Saddam's seeking US clarification in his dispute with Kuwait. USA said they had no opinion and wouldn't take sides. To Saddam, that was a green light to invade Kuwait.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 12:34:45 PM | 37

Interesting:

Hizb leader Nasrallah explained that Hariri was held against his will and that his speech was (like I said) dictated by the Saudis. With that he did the best to get Hariri followers onto his side. If he succeeds with that narrative Lebanon may stay relatively calm.

-
The Ritz Carlton in Riyadh was booked completely for a whole month to detain all the princes and minister. This will piss off Prince Al-Waleed more than anything else. He owns the Four Seasons and would have liked to have that business.

One really wonders why MbS detained Prince Al-Waleed. He was totally on his side with regards to Yemen and liberalization. I presume that this was a gift to Trump.

Bruce Riedel, ex? CIA with good knowledge of the Sauds concludes:

Knowledgeable observers of Saudi internal politics point to the many arrests of prominent clerics and intellectuals this summer as a sign of tensions inside the kingdom. There is no guarantee that if his father dies or abdicates the succession will be smooth. The latest round of arrests only reinforces the sense that the succession debate is more difficult than the king and his son want. Prince Mohammed is now in charge of an anti-corruption task force that looks more like a means to punish his opponents than anything else. Eleven princes have been detained, and the number of royals under suspicion is unprecedented.

The kingdom is at a crossroads: Its economy has flatlined with low oil prices; the war in Yemen is a quagmire; the blockade of Qatar a failure; Iran is rampant in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq; and the succession is a question mark. It is the most volatile period in Saudi history in over a half-century.


The MbS move from Clown Prince to King had been planned for last September but was held back because of internal resistance. The current purge will not make it easier.

Posted by: b | Nov 5, 2017 12:47:45 PM | 38

thanks b and to the posters for additional insights..

i just can't see it working out for the clown prince.. as i have predicted in the past - saudi arabia is going to break apart with 2020 a pivotal year for it all..

Posted by: james | Nov 5, 2017 1:03:01 PM | 39

Posted by: ritzl | Nov 5, 2017 12:21:54 PM | 34

Russia is mediating in Yemen. The US have effectively left the Middle East.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 5, 2017 1:09:07 PM | 40

A sort of palace coup, as KSA in its trad form is no longer viable. Oil revenues down, hugely blooming pop … pay offs, appeal to the religious authorities to keep order of a kind (or for others to instore a deal with them), fail(ed.)

The only public reponse has been ‘modernisation’ - in the shape of economic diversification, which has only resulted in outside orgs./ppl profiteering from ‘joint ventures’ and then the outsiders skipping town (education, research, innovative engineering, some infrasructure, etc.) Which has all been going on for at least 15 years. KSA has tried to get its citizens into the workforce even promising good pay, to no avail as slave labor is dirt cheap. (Besides of course the small % who ‘runs the regime’.) KSA moreover has not ever tried to aid their citizens on the poverty line, or to rehabilitate and help those living in slums and dire misery, in any consequent way i.e. beyong survival food stamps, see also USA. Which leads at the same time to vicious repression of any ‘aginst.’

Letting women shift car gears and selling off part or ARAMCO will solve nothing. The palace coup is of course one faction against another, but mostly, it is a symptom of cutting back, the Royals (about 40,000 of them afaik) can no longer count on their safe positions, restrictions and downsizing bring out the ugly and mean, time to fight it out.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 5, 2017 1:16:48 PM | 41

somebody @40:

Russia is mediating in Yemen. The US have effectively left the Middle East.
The article you link to does NOT support your first assertion; you attempt to turn speculation into fact. And your second assertion is false on its face.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 1:32:47 PM | 42

@ Muslim Dude

Thanks for the link and your comments @ 6. I wonder though now that the other branches of the Saud family have essentially been put on notice that they and/ or their wealth could be next on the chopping block, do you think there isn't a tipping point when everyone will unite against MBS? You can't piss everyone off indefinitely, or maybe just in the house of Saud?

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Nov 5, 2017 1:35:23 PM | 43

Is the Carlton/Ritz owned by the Saudis? How come they made no statement? Imagine if North Korea's Kim arrested a bunch of guys in a Ritz?

Posted by: Mina | Nov 5, 2017 1:36:49 PM | 44

Isn't the guy in Twitter who asked for Trump get out of the race in 2015? LOL

Posted by: Nick | Nov 5, 2017 1:44:26 PM | 45

@ mina.. not a bad prison, so far as prisons go, although alweed is probably upset they didn't use his hotel chain..

Posted by: james | Nov 5, 2017 1:55:02 PM | 46

Do royals get head chopping treatment for "corruption"? Or is it simply up to the Clown Prince to decide who gets what t "treatment"?

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 5, 2017 2:04:43 PM | 47

Lebanon's president refuses Hariri's demission until he comes back to Lebanon. nice juridical battle in perspective.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 5, 2017 2:08:33 PM | 48

I can't help thinking this is a US play to keep Saudi oil out of China Russia orbit for a litlle longer. The semile king and his clown son tying their fortunes to the US to control power for a little longer? The purge taking out those starting to look to China and Russia?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 5, 2017 2:15:13 PM | 49

I want to point out that I'm just throwing this out there for wiser heads than mine to refute...

Is this what a Saudi surrender looks like? Is this possibly part of a realignment of KSA policy in its near-neighbourhood?

Under the old king Abdullah perhaps there was a lot of power leakage to powerful families in the Kingdom. Maybe this is a consolidation before an adjustment of Saudi opposition to Iran/Syria?

Posted by: poster formerly known as oneoffposter | Nov 5, 2017 2:16:17 PM | 50

Alsi, reading through Hariri's twitter account yesterday, I gained the distinct impression he had not resigned voluntarily. If he has now been arrested for "corruption" it would seem he has been lured to Riyadh and forced to resign. Anouncing his resignation from Riyadh, on Saudi television, somebody else posting on his twtter account....

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 5, 2017 2:26:04 PM | 51

Mina | Nov 5, 2017 2:08:33 PM | 48

Mina, an interesting move by Lebanon. If the Saudi move was to throw lebenese politics into confusion prior to a military attack, then the lebonese move may prevent that?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 5, 2017 2:29:14 PM | 52

So many threads of discussion weave around growing Chinese power causing realignments . Here in Australia there is virtually no discussion of the decline in the petrodollar competeing with an emerging Chinese currency fully convertible with gold . As they say ' gold for goods , goods for gold' . Perhaps I should have removed 'virtually' from my second sentence .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Nov 5, 2017 2:36:24 PM | 53

1. "A panic-fueled move"? or does this move indicate that King Salman's heath is worse than thought?

Because he has the King's blessing, MBS's failings only matter wrt succession. If the King will soon die, this move become more rational as it throws MBS critics into turmoil and fear. If the King is healthy, though, MBS critics have time to plot against his succession.

2. To what extent is this purge related to plans for Syria and Lebanon as per Thamer al Sabhan or independent of these?

From November 2nd: Lebanon Church Leader Invited to Meet Saudi King in Historic Move

While Lebanese Christian politicians often meet Saudi rulers in Riyadh, Al Rai would be the first church leader to visit the kingdom, where crosses and religious signs are banned.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 2:37:38 PM | 54

Very interesting news.
I wonder what Trump has to do with this.
Not that I expect he would have the wonk knowledge, focus or interest to abet these events, but the multi-decade stranglehold the US "establishment" had set up with the deposed Saudi faction could have been broken purely through negligence.
I can easily see how FBI, intel agency or military efforts to get to the roots of various concerns were getting squashed or soft pedaled to death at the top level; a change in administration could easily lead to massive changes simply by enabling the simmering groundswell to erupt - much as a giant tree falling in the forest clears an open area for green shoots to erupt.
Totally agree that the present Saudi setup does not look terribly stable. The question will be whether the KSA is going to be the next "Arab Spring" location. After all, the way oil exports flow these days, the best way to hurt China is to put the KSA (and its millions bpd sales of oil) into a tailspin.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 5, 2017 3:00:10 PM | 55

No Ritz Carlton for him but some 3 feet hole in the sand?

https://twitter.com/michaelh992/status/927261574389215233
Michael Horowitz @michaelh992

A plane transporting eight Saudi officials including Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin, reportedly crashed near Abha #KSA
---
Mansour was "Advisor at the Court of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia."

Posted by: b | Nov 5, 2017 3:02:21 PM | 56

Would anyone be surprised if the crown prince's car blew up at this point?

Posted by: never mind | Nov 5, 2017 3:16:35 PM | 57

@Don Wiscacho

Not an expert on Saudi by any stretch but here's what I can share.

1. The Saudi royal family are all about preservation of power and have kept the regular army and the National Guard at parity in terms of strength. So if the army were to try to carry out a coup the National Guard could stop them. Each branch of the armed forces however is controlled by a prince.

2. Any Saudi who dares do anything will be beheaded, so I cannot see anything coming from inside the Saudi security forces.

3. MBS won't behead his cousins e.g. "princes" if they revolt but still they are all now going to be petrified of doing anything against him and won't really get support from "commoners", I can't foresee anything happen to MBS. He's wiped out the opposition.

4.Outside of the Saudis themselves, then unless the CIA (Clintonites) sponsor some Wahabists to carry out an attack or the Iranians do something, I think MBS's position is safe.

There is also a Sino-Russian v America (CIA) chess battle going on here and there have even been claims that Putin informed MBS of an attempted coup (read it on Syrian Perspective, but seen no link as of yet).

All I can say is though I can't see any coup, attack against MBS, and he is secure in the short, medium-term in the long run I don't think things will work out well for him. The only very long distant chance of him not taking the throne and I think it's neigh on impossibe is if lots of his uncles lobby his father, Salman, about his recent actions and call for him not to be made king but for Nayef instead. Nayef could receive some backing from the CIA faction of the US elite.

My 2 cents, not a specialist on Saudi.

Posted by: Muslim Dude | Nov 5, 2017 3:33:39 PM | 58

42 It is happening, the writing is on the wall.

Saudi urgently need the solution of the Yemen conflict.

This here is Bruce Riedel

The Saudis are increasingly desperate to find a way out of the Yemeni quagmire. They apparently believe Yemen's ex-dictator, their longtime enemy Ali Abdullah Saleh, can help.

A Russian medical team flew into Sanaa on Oct. 11 with the approval of the Saudis, who control Yemeni airspace. The Russian surgeons then performed a life-saving procedure on the 75-year-old Saleh. Some reports say the surgery took place at the Russian Embassy in the capital. Saleh's exact health issue is unclear, but it apparently is a result of the severe burns and other injuries he suffered during an assassination attempt in 2011. At the time, the Saudis rushed him to a hospital in the kingdom, where his life was saved. He formally gave up the presidency the next year.


Posted by: somebody | Nov 5, 2017 3:37:59 PM | 59

@56 Wow, things are moving fast..

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 5, 2017 3:40:09 PM | 60

More on the Saudi money problem and a 9/11 trial

The task is growing more urgent because the kingdom, long confident of essentially unlimited wealth, is facing money problems. Oil prices are in a slump and likely to stay there. The war in Yemen, launched in 2015 by Salman’s appointed heir, Mohammed bin Salman, drags on, costing an estimated $200 million a day, with no end in sight. To alleviate his cash-flow problems, the young prince is set on raising as much as $2 trillion by floating the state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, on international stock markets. That is part of the reason the 9/11 lawsuit poses such a threat — it raises the possibility that much-needed cash from the stock sale might never find its way to Riyadh. “They’re afraid they’re going to get a default judgment against them, and some of their domestic assets will be seized,” the former senior official explained to me.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 5, 2017 3:51:41 PM | 61

Saad Hariri sends a tweet from Saudi Arabia to stop the rumors that he has been jailed.

https://twitter.com/saadhariri/status/927230897690173440

Posted by: Virgile | Nov 5, 2017 3:59:15 PM | 62

I guess the question in Saudia Arabia's elite circles is not whether you are paranoid, but if you are paranoid enough. I once worked for a telecom that had many installations in the country; I was told that every prince maintained their own private wireless network between their abodes since they were paranoid about eavesdropping, resulting in the country being awash in antennas and repeaters.
Regarding culture, an architect working on a shopping center recounted how he once saw plans that had forgotten to remove the reference to the "slave" entrances for the imported foreign labor. Be interesting to see what happens after selling every last drop of rapidly diminishing oil and the remaining unaudited "reserves". My guess is that elites will just abandon ship for their London enclaves...

Posted by: Rageon | Nov 5, 2017 4:16:14 PM | 63

'Official pretext for the purge are corruption allegations going back to 2009'

charging corruption is a tried and true method of removing competion or obstacles to power

Posted by: brian | Nov 5, 2017 4:51:43 PM | 64

Posted by: somebody | Nov 5, 2017 3:37:59 PM | 59:

The Saudis are increasingly desperate to find a way out of the Yemeni quagmire.
The same was said months ago. The Saudi response has been to double-down and starve the people.
... the writing is on the wall.
The article that you link to makes it clear that the effort to force US from helping KSA has strong opposition and is also marred by loopholes (fighting against al Queda would be expressly allowed - but help for KSA could be masked as part of that fight).

Furthermore, in an attempt to derail the legislation, the US military is now saying that they have provided little actual assistance to the Saudis.

... this month, officials said the data they had been providing was not fully accurate.

The data, officials with Air Forces Central Command said, encompassed total refueling operations happening in or near the Horn of Africa "to include but not limited to Saudi-led operations in Yemen, U.S. missions in that area, and Emirate operations against [Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula] targets," ...

Khanna said the House bill also outlines removing "targeting assistance" provided by the U.S. to the Saudis. [But the airforce says that] ... the U.S. does not have "the mandate to do that or the authorities to do that."

US determination to continue is further backed by MSM reporting: It’s Up to the Rebels to Stop Yemen’s War

Lastly, given the moves in Lebanon and Syria, what is more likely to be happening now: double-down, or compromise?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 5:09:40 PM | 66

66
I know, it is defensive and unsustainable in the long run.

64 Corruption allegation go back much longer, the question is who is doing the bribing as much as who is being bribed.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 5, 2017 5:32:25 PM | 67

@67 The Riyadh stock exchange is going to be fun to watch.

Posted by: dh | Nov 5, 2017 5:44:35 PM | 68

So who will bailout Jared?

Posted by: Flatulus | Nov 5, 2017 6:08:01 PM | 69

68

Where would be safe enough for Saudi money?

Aramco’s lawyers warned about litigation risks associated with the U.S. Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA. Passed last year, the law allows the Saudi government to be sued on the grounds that it helped to plan the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, an allegation which Riyadh denies.

Mohammed al-Sabban, who has been an adviser to former Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi, told Reuters that Trump’s intervention would not resolve the JASTA problem.

“President Trump has forgotten completely that the risks of implementing the JASTA law against Saudi assets are still there,” Sabban said.

“Probably during his administration he could prevent any case against Saudi Arabia. However, when President Trump’s term ends, this will raise fears that the JASTA law could still be applied.”

Shanghai?

Posted by: somebody | Nov 5, 2017 6:08:33 PM | 70

.It's a huge omission in both the article and comments notbto mention Jared Kushner's $112B USarms sale to al-Saud that Congress ignored strategic blowback implications of, and Trump immediately approved, earning Kushner the 1% 'rainmaker fee' standard in all weapons sales, which Kushner d3sperately needs to refinance 666-5th Avenue before 2019 loan is called.

I undersrand MoA is EU-based, and a felony in EU to mention Usrael (or Hudaism) in any negative context), but not all the comments are from EU, and yet nobody noticed Kushner fleeing to Riyadh, then Tel Aviv, last Sunday in advance of the Mueller arrest warrants as significant!

It's well-known Manafort is deeply involved in money-laundering for the Dual-Usrael Criminal Junta in Kiev, and Trump Hotels & Casinos was charged with money-laundering, and paid a small fine. Trump's financiers are former-Soviet (()) financial mafiya, it's not implausible they have been washing Saudi royals money through all the NYC banks for years! And that would tie to TH&C.

It's not unreasonable at all to say Kushner flew first to Riyadh after fleeing Mueller, before hiding out in Tel Aviv, to tell Salman to clean up their ties to Manafort-Trump-Kushner's mafiya, and to consolidate their power to quickly execute on Trump-signed US arms buy, so Kushner gets his $1.1B fee to save 666 5th Avenue, and everyone else gets their cut of the baaksheesh in $10sBs, so House of Saud isn't overthrown in a real or imaginary coup.

Talal's hotel investment company competes with Trump's, and Trump may have paid back Talal's loans with preferred TH&Cs stock, that Talal may have threatened to liquidate?
And there is something DEEPLY disturbing about Pentagon running over-budget for 2017 in less than 9 months, then receiving an emergency $54B stop-gap from Congress, and then later an astounding $754B 2018 budget for Pentagon-DHD-CIA-NSA! It was $465B under Bush2! This concern is DEEPLY reinforced by DHS being AWOL for Harvey, Irma and Maria. They receive $60B a year, aand after 10 years without disasters or national security crises had amassed 2/3rds $TRILLION war chest! How is it possible? Where is the $100sBs?

Pentagon-DHS-CIA-NSA should be AWASH in surplus funds!! $100Bs! Deeply disturbing even more, Pentagon was hacked in 2012 of all of its military-civilian employee data, then hacked again in 2013 of all of its MIC contractor data! Pentagon burns through $2,900,000,000 every day on Defense.gov/news/contracts

The Pentagon Payroll & Purchasing offices have never been audited, despite Panetta's promise to, and there is no stoploss in place. They have no idea where $100Bs is disappearing.

I would make a strong connection between Manaford-Flynn-Trump-Kushner, the Usrael-Ukraine-Saudi money laundering and missing $100Bs at Pentagon-DHS-CIA-NSA, as a probable driving cause for the recent timing of the al-Saud purge

Posted by: Chipnik | Nov 5, 2017 6:45:06 PM | 71

Oh, no, ... not death by helicopter!

How convenient....?

saudi-helicopter-carrying-8-and-crown-prince-mansour crashes near Yemen

Posted by: x | Nov 5, 2017 6:57:12 PM | 72

So who will bailout Jared?


hahahaha... Well, "we the people of the united $nakes of Merica" the working poor. Praise the blue eyed Jesus!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 5, 2017 7:07:02 PM | 73

Chippy

1. The witch-hunt against Kushner is described here: Russia funded Facebook and Twitter investments through Kushner associate.

I am no fan of Kushner's but the smear is tenuous at best:

>> Milner invested a mere $850,000 of a total $50 million invested in one of Kushner's many ventures.

>> Milner, an internet-savvy entrepreneur who started mail.ru invested in Facebook and Twitter and made millions. His stake in each was too small to allow for ANY management control - and I think his stake is being exaggerated by being reported as percent of float instead of percent of market value. He sold the stakes long ago. That he might've financed it from a Russian-government bank means little.

I see no reason for Kushner to hide in Tel Aviv. This is just MSM stirring the pot, trying to conjure the appearance of impropriety.

=
2. There are many hotels that compete with Trump.

=
3. There are other explanation for the Saudi purge that are more plausible than money laundering of hundreds of billions of dollars.

Plus, tying three (!!) groups of money launderers together in a conspiracy of epic proportions seems audacious.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 7:53:51 PM | 74

The link I tried to provide @73 is not being accepted. It was to a Guardian article titled: "Russia funded Facebook and Twitter investments through Kushner associate".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 8:32:14 PM | 76

Re: Muslim Dude @58

Thanks for the insight

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Nov 5, 2017 8:42:49 PM | 77

There was a crack-down in mid-September that preceded this one.

Saudi crown prince tries to consolidate power with string of arrests

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has launched a broad crackdown on dissent, targeting clerics, public critics and political rivals, as he moves to consolidate his newfound power amid a standoff with Qatar.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 9:13:09 PM | 78

I've seen suggestions that this Saudi turmoil is just MbS trying to raise the price of the Aramco IPO.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 9:20:43 PM | 79


ohh salman or is it soloman
ali baba is a cohen.
satanic donmeh
jewish britisher masonc
cia projects init.
oded yinon and on and on

According to the Middle East Observer, Isaac Herzog, member of the Knesset and Chairman of the Israeli Labor party, revealed that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz financed the election campaign of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

“In March 2015, King Salman has deposited eighty million dollars to support Netanyahu’s campaign via a Syrian-Spanish person named Mohamed Eyad Kayali. The money was deposited to a company’s account in British Virgin Islands owned by Teddy Sagi, an Israeli billionaire and businessman, who has allocated the money to fund the campaign Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”, Herzog cited a leaked Panama Paper.

Posted by: charles de drake | Nov 5, 2017 10:06:32 PM | 80

Jackrabbit@73 - "...I see no reason for Kushner to hide in Tel Aviv. This is just MSM stirring the pot, trying to conjure the appearance of impropriety..."

Depends. Israel won't extradite dual-citizens back to the US, so he's safe from US law for now (if that was his concern - no idea). Let's see if he shows his face in the US in the next few days. If not, well.... Agree that the Russia/Twitter/Facebook thing is weak at best, but all the political elite and oligarchs use offshore corp's to hide stuff. I can only hope this results in a retaliatory leak by the pro-Trump Oligarch Mafia damaging to the Clinton-Obama-DNC-RNC Oligarch Mafia. It will never result in any real justice, but it's great entertainment.

Chipnik@71 - The US and Israel ALWAYS planned on throwing the Saudis/GCC under the bus after the Evil Orb club had 1) sufficiently stoked anti-Iranian/anti-Shia sentiment among their Wahhabi Death Cult followers and 2) carried out the provocation or false flag that starts the planned Iranian war (which the US will join, of course, and attempt to finish). The Israelis also enjoyed billions in Saudi funding for various Israeli military capabilities - the Saudis had imagined Israeli backing if they were attacked. Now that the money pipeline has dried up, Israel just want the Saudis to get the war started. Israel can't have a nuclear-armed Saudi, Qatari or Emirati state - they are all scheduled for destruction in the Iranian war.

The Saudis/GCC were dumb enough to believe they were actually respected and considered part of the Global Elite Club. They eagerly played their part until Russia! and the unraveling of their scheme.

By now, the royals must clearly understand their fate and the fate of KSA/GCC: right into the garbage dump of history. The more pragmatic among them are asset-stripping the country now before they make their final escape.

The ARAMCO IPO scam is part of that - the negligible financial worth of the company has been hidden in secrecy for years as corrupt Saudi leaders used it as their personal ATM. They haven't wasted money on capital improvements lately because it isn't worth it. Their facilities are falling apart and foreign workers increasingly paid late. The IPO will be the biggest scam the world has ever known once people start questioning the financial statements. That's going to be in a year or two - plenty of time to ensure 'little people' are the ultimate bag-holders, not Wall Street. The Saudis will probably destroy as many of the facilities and records as they can in the Iranian War - to blame on Iran of course and to cover up evidence of the scam. First things first, though: IPO to keep the company on life support for a year or two and cash to refill the royal's ATM.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 5, 2017 10:21:15 PM | 81

Excess is weakness.

Posted by: Burt | Nov 5, 2017 10:31:24 PM | 82

@ PavewayIV with confirmation for me of the ARAMCO IPO scam

Thanks!

I am enjoying the infighting seemingly happening within your characterized Global Elite Club. I keep wanting to take away their tools of enslavement rather than focusing ire on some social subgroup that may/may not represent the Global Elite Club but not the unfair "rules" of society regarding finance/private property.

We are setting ourselves up for clashes of cultures where the visible and behind the scenes narratives of the conflict will be "distorted" as fits the propaganda need. Which Big Lie will sell? Hopefully none!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 5, 2017 10:51:34 PM | 83

@ PavewayIV - 80

I know from someone that, till last month, managed a fleet of personal jets for the great and the good in Saudi Arabia, that there is an exodus under way. The great and the good are literally taking the cuckoo clocks onboard their 380s and relocating to their foreign residences. Owners of the fleets have not been paying their bills for months neither to the crews, nor to the management nor, indeed, to the facilities.

Posted by: guidoamm | Nov 5, 2017 11:14:53 PM | 84

I understand the distrust of Kushner - his countenance is creepy and he is secretive - but I don't YET see any real threat to Kushner or Trump from Mueller's investigation. It is all hearsay and innuendo meant to create FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). In short, it is an excuse for the establishment to do divide us along partisan lines and, by doing so, do as they please.

1. Daily Mail says that Kushner returned: Jared Kushner returns from secret trip to Saudi Arabia - his third visit to the country this year - but the White House won't say why.

==
2. Perhaps a more complete description of the witch-hunt would help. From CNN, Thursday November 2nd, and updated Friday November 3rd: Jared Kushner's team turned over documents to special counsel in Russia investigation

Jared Kushner has turned over documents in recent weeks to special counsel Robert Mueller as investigators have begun asking in witness interviews about Kushner's role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey, CNN has learned.

. . .

It is not clear how Kushner's advice to the President might relate to the overall Russia investigation or potential obstruction of justice.

Sources close to the White House say that based on their knowledge, Kushner is not a target of the investigation.

Kushner voluntarily turned over documents he had from the campaign and the transition, and these related to any contacts with Russia, according to a source familiar with the matter. The documents are similar to the ones Kushner gave to congressional investigators.

. . .

One theory promoted by those in the anti-Kushner camp is that Kushner did not want Comey to comb through his own personal finances, and this was a way to slow down any investigation.

And now we see the fruits of this 'theory': inconsequential, easily explained investments from someone that Kushner barely knows.

==
3. Democratic Party friendly media stirs the pot. Vanity Fair: The Sky is Falling! on the Trump Administration..

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 11:26:41 PM | 85

FWIW, a snopes.com fact check.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5, 2017 11:45:12 PM | 86

As always paveyway , your thoughts/analysis much appreciated, Muslim Dude - a voice from the region? Oman if my memory is functioning which is not often. And others like guidoamm who have a bit of a window into some of the crap that is occurring. Much accolades to b and the quality of his posts for drawing in the quality of comments to this blog,

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 5, 2017 11:45:41 PM | 87

@PavewayIV | Nov 5, 2017 10:21:15 PM | 80

Pretty much how I see it as well. Yes, Iran is the focus, but they (KSA) had better watch their backs if they can't make the usual Egyptian 'peace' payments. Iran is just one corner of the traditional regional triangle (Egypt and Turkey the others). Everywhere else are just lonely crossroads and pumping stations.

Posted by: x | Nov 6, 2017 12:00:46 AM | 88

i would like to 2nd peter au's comments - thanks muslim dude, paveway and some others here for the additional insights on this thread..

Posted by: james | Nov 6, 2017 12:04:35 AM | 89

Sorry to continue the OT conversation, but this is very relevant.

The only real target of the Mueller investigation may be General Flynn. Now NBC reports that: Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn Investigation.

I say that he is "the only real target" because Flynn has been hated since he clashed with the Obama Administration. Flynn may have been the one responsible for the leak of the DIA memo that said that US allies wanted to set up a "Salafist principality" in Syria, and when interviewed about that memo Flynn said that the Obama Administration's allowing ISIS to grow was a "willful decision".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 6, 2017 12:53:02 AM | 90

Jackrabbit, the memo was not leaked. It was obtained by a group of US lawyers under freedom of information laws? Flynn and Trump are far from perfect, but they are enemies of the hegemon.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 6, 2017 1:01:49 AM | 91

@ Peter AU1 who wrote: "Flynn and Trump are far from perfect, but they are enemies of the hegemon."

They may be enemies of a faction within the global leadership but I see them as instruments of the core group.....all part of the rotten head of our virtual/real species.

I would not trust nor spend much energy on MSM speculative reports from US sources but YMMV

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 6, 2017 2:13:04 AM | 92

psychohistorian | Nov 6, 2017 2:13:04 AM | 91
Trump and flynn are products of US indoctrination that has been inflicked on them since birth. Although they have rebelled, they have never been able to break their minds free of this indoctrination. Hence their antogonism towards US traditional enemies.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 6, 2017 2:47:36 AM | 93

psychohistorian | Nov 6, 2017 2:13:04 AM | 91 "I would not trust nor spend much energy on MSM speculative reports from US sources but YMMV"

My spelling early in the monings is woefull and not much better later in the day. Do you base my thinking on that?
Many of b's articles are based on reading and disecting MSM. The only MSM I read is Rueters and Sputnik,I check on these every day. I check on guardian to see what the rainbow flag waving brits are up to and RT which is nearly always the same as Sputnik. SST for a look at the trees that make up the hedgemon forest, AMN, Magneir, Hezbolla acc, ect for what is happening in syria/Iraq.....
You are a good person psycho, but wake up, smell the air, reconcile that we live in an extremely complicated world that although we can make it better, will never be all goodness and roses

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 6, 2017 3:10:50 AM | 94

The Angry Arab nailed it,
why do you need such unprofessional journalists
http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2017/11/so-was-huthi-missile-intercepted-by.html
when you can afford to buy the Guardian's staff?
http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2017/11/who-would-have-believed-that-one-would.html

ref the helicopter, it's a birdshot from Yemen and the prince was governor of Asir, originally a Yemeni region with a big Shiite community that was conveniently annexed and erased in the 30s

Posted by: Mina | Nov 6, 2017 3:11:15 AM | 95

PS to post 93
Pilger has a documentry on the real world Utopia if anyone cares to look it up - there is a fictional utopia and there is a place in Australia named Utopia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 6, 2017 3:29:10 AM | 96

@73 Jackrabbit

Kushner’s vulnerability is probably not associated with the Miner deal (although financing via the VTB bank may prove to be problematic). His exposure, similar to Manafort’s, is running a money-laundering operation for the jewish mafia (as was Manafort).via his real estate operations

Jared Kushner sealed real estate deal with oligarch's firm cited in money-laundering case
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/24/jared-kushner-new-york-russia-money-laundering

“A Guardian investigation has established a series of overlapping ties and relationships involving alleged Russian money laundering, New York real estate deals and members of Trump’s inner circle. They include a 2015 sale of part of the old New York Times building in Manhattan involving Kushner and a billionaire real estate tycoon and diamond mogul, Lev Leviev.”

see also:
The dubious friends of Donald trump: King of Diamonds
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvd7PqI_Lx0

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If Kushner’s real estate business is indeed under the microscope of Mueller and if the investigation goes wide (beyond the Russia connections) it would lead to a cesspool of corruption. Kushner is up to his neck in deals with rich jews who have mastered the art of corruption and exploitation. Besides the above-mentioned Lev Leviev (see the video). there are also such paragons of virtue as Beny Steinmetz, Dan Gertler, and others who have been ruthlessly looting the resources of third world countries for decades.

Posted by: pantaraxia | Nov 6, 2017 3:35:08 AM | 97

96
US "democracy" is a commodity that is freely bought and sold would wide. In the countries it has been exported to, it is also freely bought and sold. Should be listed on stock markets. Not sure that selling US "democacy" can be termed as corruption

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 6, 2017 3:45:15 AM | 98

OT "ISIS member arrested by Lebanese security forces in Tripoli"

I first noticed this headline in MSM. It then appeared in AMN and I had to check a map to ensure that Tripoli was indeed in Libya.
Lebonese forces arrest ISIS member in Libya...? either I have not had enough caffeine, or I have downed too much home brew?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 6, 2017 4:14:14 AM | 99

@97

Agreed.

Apologies for being vague. Corruption was meant to refer to the utilization of the real estate racket both as a vehicle for money-laundering and as a repository for ill-gotten gains. This is where Kushner (and Trump for that matter) is vulnerable.

Posted by: pantaraxia | Nov 6, 2017 4:28:52 AM | 100

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