Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 24, 2017

And Then The Clown Prince Told Friedman: 'Suck On This.'

The Moustache of Understanding, Thomas Friedman, has written the probably most embarrassing fanfiction ever:

The most significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today is in Saudi Arabia. Yes, you read that right. Though I came here at the start of Saudi winter, I found the country going through its own Arab Spring, Saudi style.

Unlike the other Arab Springs — all of which emerged bottom up and failed miserably, except in Tunisia — this one is led from the top down by the country’s 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and, if it succeeds, it will not only change the character of Saudi Arabia but the tone and tenor of Islam across the globe.

Friedman once said that U.S. soldiers must shove their guns into the face of random Arabs and tell them to "suck on this".  How things change. Friedman now went to Riyadh to suck on whatever side of his abdomen Mohammed bin Salman shoved into his mustached mouth:

We met at night at his family’s ornate adobe-walled palace in Ouja, north of Riyadh. M.B.S. spoke in English, while his brother, Prince Khalid, the new Saudi ambassador to the U.S., and several senior ministers shared different lamb dishes and spiced the conversation. After nearly four hours together, I surrendered at 1:15 a.m. to M.B.S.’s youth, pointing out that I was exactly twice his age. It’s been a long, long time, though, since any Arab leader wore me out with a fire hose of new ideas about transforming his country.

"Look here! MbS SPEAKS ENGLISH (and pays in dollars)! This must be OUR GUY."

("And don't ya all love those (homo-)sexual allusions I enwombed in those words?")

Tom Friedman (left) being "instructed" of his next fellacious duty (artist conception)

It hasn't been such a "long, long time" since Friedman used that "wore me out" cliche. Only two years exactly, or four Friedman units, have passed since he last fellatiated MbS like this:

I spent an evening with Mohammed bin Salman at his office, and he wore me out.

Friedman's Love Letter to a War Criminal largely ignores the famine in Yemen caused by the U.S.-Saudi blockade of that country. The Saudi tyrant promised to lift the blockade two days ago only to keep it up and to even tighten it since. "A humanitarian nightmare" is all Friedman has to say about it.

But "it blew [his] mind" to learn that "men-only" concerts in Riyadh are now a thing.

Friedman falsely claims that MbS is a "lawyer by training,..". Since when is a Bachelor degree in Islamic law - the only academic training MbS claims to have - sufficient to join a legal bar?

Friedman goes on to repeat the ridiculous claim that the tyrant's brutal shakedown of his local competition is following some rule of law:

When all the data was ready, the public prosecutor, Saud al-Mojib, took action, M.B.S. said, ... "Under Saudi law, the public prosecutor is independent. We cannot interfere with his job ..."

Those are of course outright lies which Friedman makes no attempt to refute. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. What part of "absolute" is so difficult to understand? King Salman's decree gave his son's shakedown committee absolute authority to maim whoever it wants to and to take whatever it likes - literary:

“It may take whatever measures deemed 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, ..."

There is no "public prosecutor" or "rule of law" involved in that mass rape. Moreover, the kings decree immunizes MbS of any consequences. It exempts his committee "from laws, regulations, instructions, orders and decisions" as long as it claims to perform its tasks.

All is well, Friedman says, because the few people he was allowed to talk to, knew their script well:

Not a single Saudi I spoke to here over three days expressed anything other than effusive support for this anticorruption drive.

No Saudi speaks out against that drive because doing so might get him killed. Anything less than "effusive support" for the clown prince constitutes "terrorism" and gets one jailed or killed in no time:

The law, introduced earlier this month, includes penalties of up to 10 years in jail for insulting the king and crown prince, as well as the death penalty for other acts of "terrorism", according to Saudi Gazette and other local news media.

Friedman. won't go to jail. He pens down whatever the Saudi ruler and his entourage tell him to - or not to write. He says as much:

Indeed, M.B.S. instructed me: "Do not write ..."

Thus, Saudi Arabia, which is funding thousands of extremist Wahhabi mosques all around the world, will now become the beacon of liberal Islam. Or so he claims.

The whole piece is a terrible embarrassment for its author, but even more so for the editors at the NY Times, who let it pass. They should demand the pay for a full spread advertisement from the Saudis to compensate for the loss of readership Friedman's column is likely to cause.

One wonders why the mustache felt the need to suck up all the crap MbS offered to him. He is married to a billionaire and does not need the extra income. Then again - some "youth" to "surrender to" and a "fire hose"  to "wore him out" for "a long, long time" might have been an enticing compensation.

Posted by b on November 24, 2017 at 17:32 UTC | Permalink

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Must read series of tweets

"Abdullah Al-Arian‏ @anhistorian
This piece from 1953 describes King Saud as “more progressive and international-minded than his autocratic father”


Posted by: anon | Nov 24 2017 17:45 utc | 1

Who else but Friedman would be best suited for such a stomach- turning exercise of sycophancy? The man is the walking embodiment of a toady, never having met a barrel he didn't want to be bent over. I had long thought of Friedman as America's own Joseph Goebbels, but certainly this interview with "the new Hitler" (MbS's words) cements that status.

I can only hope this disgrace of an author and article stains the rag of the NYT for years to come. But I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Nov 24 2017 17:48 utc | 2

Poor Friedman is fully whorned in.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 24 2017 17:50 utc | 3

the pay must be good, and rest assured, nyt is getting a good whack off this... maybe it was soros inspired?

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2017 18:03 utc | 4

The targeted mosque in Bir al 'Abd was known to be frequented by the local sufis. The attackers shouted 'death to the Kharijis'. No one has seen a khariji for 1200 years but it does not matter. Maybe Tom could ask his new friend to make a nice speech about the rights of the Sufis, after all, KSA is a member of UNESCO, isn't it?

Posted by: Mina | Nov 24 2017 18:05 utc | 5

@mina - just wait for the death toll to come in on yemen... friedman and mbs are a couple of sick sycophants for different really demented ideologies - oh but they are going to modernize.. my ass..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2017 18:25 utc | 6

"...compensate for the loss of readership Friedman's column is likely to cause."

Ummm, b? Do you get a different edition than everyone else? This is EXACTLY what NYT readers want to read - smarmily pseudointellectual bullshit propaganda masquerading as "news", "opinion" and "truth".

Posted by: what? | Nov 24 2017 18:43 utc | 7

Note that Friedman quotes MBS as saying that Donald Trump was the "right person at the right time" without breaking stride. The effusion of praise for MBS is not interrupted and we are left to think that perhaps Friedman himself agrees that Donald Trump is the right person at the right time.

Friedman is a Hannity of the Left. That's where we are in the U.S., a nation separated by two oceans from reality, which spends a trillion a year (including veteran's benefits) on "defense" without a single dissenting vote in its government.

Posted by: Burt | Nov 24 2017 18:46 utc | 8

Thanks for the latest propaganda parsing b.

History is written by the winners it has been said. One wonders what there is going to be left of our world to be a winner of.

History for the last couple of centuries has been written by the folks that own private finance globally. They have become very adept at playing nations against each other to further indebtedness, power and control. Their God is that of Mammon which is a false God for much of humanity that doesn't believe they are better than the rest of us of the same species.

It becomes harder and harder to counter my friends argument that human extinction is better for the Cosmos than ongoing slavery by the cancerous elite of our species.....will humanity ever evolve to some better form of social organization in control of our world?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 24 2017 19:02 utc | 9

I suggest all interested in the subject as well as Mr. Friedman himself, first read NYT's own "Readers' pick" responses to this MBS interview, to realize how off the mark and biased his post has turned out to be.

Posted by: Aren Haich | Nov 24 2017 19:25 utc | 10

"One wonders why the mustache felt the need to suck up all the crap MbS offered to him."


KSA is going to declare war on Iran, for some horseshit about supplying Yemeni 'rebels' or maybe even a spectacular false flag in Riyadh. They will expect full US backing, and of course Iran will expect full Russian backing. (but may not get it, Putin seems realistic about his chances against the hegemon, at least for now)

It really is all about Russia, of course, and continuing to show Donald Trump that he has no choice: rapprochement with Russia will not be tolerated. Trump already showed that he can be jawboned: clearly didn't want to get involved with Syria, but dropped the MOAB anyway to get his party off his back. He can and will have his hand forced.

Just one loose end: the American public, who are really really sick of war in the middle east, and kind of hate KSA in a nebulous way for 9/11. Sending the young men to die in the sand for someone named Mohammed bin Salman is going to be a tough sell, and thus enter the NYT and Thomas Friedman. Turns out the Saudis were actually progressives and fans of Hamilton! So that's all right, then.

Posted by: Bob Jones | Nov 24 2017 19:30 utc | 11

I wonder if the NYT picked up the tab for all of Friedman's expenses or if the Saudis "helped out". Perhaps they paid for a special advertising section to cover the NYT's costs.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Nov 24 2017 19:33 utc | 12

It doesn't take much of an imagination to presume how Friedman would report on the Spanish Inquisition or defend the Divine Right of Kings. To get an honest characterization of just about anything from an Outlaw US Empire "media" outlet is a rarity nowadays.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2017 19:39 utc | 13

Friedman's piece becomes stranger and more surreal as it continues.

'... But one thing I know for sure: Not a single Saudi I spoke to here over three days expressed anything other than effusive support for this anticorruption drive. The Saudi silent majority is clearly fed up with the injustice of so many princes and billionaires ripping off their country. While foreigners, like me, were inquiring about the legal framework for this operation, the mood among Saudis I spoke with was: “Just turn them all upside down, shake the money out of their pockets and don’t stop shaking them until it’s all out!” ...'

How many Saudis outside MbS' palace did Friedman actually speak to and in a country whose government tolerates absolutely no dissent in a very literal way, would any Saudi be willing to express his or her personal opinion on MbS' "reforms" to a foreigner on record?

There've been reports (admittedly not entirely reliable) that Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal and other Saudi princes were hung upside down by their ankles at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton and beaten by American mercenaries from Akademi (the former Blackwater).

Did anyone else notice that all the women Friedman spoke to on his trip were completely anonymous?

Posted by: Jen | Nov 24 2017 19:40 utc | 14

Friedman may not be an 'uber-Zionist' but he is a Zionist nonetheless -- once the Israelis openly allied themselves with the Saudis, the Israeli Lobby propaganda arm was activated and the direction went out to show the barbaric, ambitious MbS, not as the leader of an Arab country determined to support Palestinian interests, but as a principled, forward-thinking leader to be trusted.

Friedman to AIPAc -- "Orders received and undersyood. Wilco"

Posted by: chet380 | Nov 24 2017 19:42 utc | 15

It's just a Lovestory. Un amour fou.

Posted by: Josef Dorer | Nov 24 2017 19:44 utc | 16

Nice summary of the PR monkey tactics of the New York Times - the same outlet that printed all the lies about WMDs in Iraq in 2003. Their foreign policy propaganda message remains unchanged over the years. There are perhaps two lines it endlessly repeats:

(1) Ideological fixation on free-market fundamentalism, the designation of neoclassical Milton-Friedman-style "market orthodoxy" as the unquestionable true economic science. Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman have been the mindless yes-men for any free trade deal approved by Washington, regardless of the devastation caused to the Rust Belt and other sectors of the economy.

(2) Absolute faith in a foreign policy agenda that views military assault as an entirely acceptable method of achieving economic dominance when the other neoliberal tools ('free trade' deals, debt wars, etc.) have failed to have the desired effect - as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. David Brooks is the most ludicrous champion of this approach, see his cheerleadaing for the "impeccably crafted" intervention in Libya (March 21, 2011) and his warning that "multilateralism works best as a garment clothing American leadership". Go forward to 2013 and he's jumping up and down again for more of the same:
Right now, President Obama is focused on the imminent strike against the Assad regime, to establish American credibility when it sets red lines and reinforce the norm that poison gas is not acceptable. - David Brooks, Aug 29 2013.

So that's their range of opinon - America must dominate the world either by shady neoliberal 'free trade' deals, or, failing that, by 'humanitarian military intervention'. Hillary Clinton boilerplate drivel. Israel and Saudi Arabia/GCC our most loyal client states, are useful tools for this effort so no criticism of them is allowed, regardless of human rights abuses, clandestine nuclear weapons programs, illegal military assaults on their neighbors (Yemen, Lebanon, Syria). It's not just stupid, it's evil.

The problem is, the people who read and regurgitate Friedman Krugman and Brooks actually think they're the intelligent, well-informed ones - the habituated loyal readership of the New York Times, who, with a little prodding, will spill all the talking points they've absorbed, just as if they've thought it all out for themselves. It's so pathetic - even in the old Soviet Union, you didn't have this section of the population that actually believed the garbage put out by Tass and Pravda - they knew it was only good for fishwrap.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Nov 24 2017 19:44 utc | 17

A quick search on what Friedman has had to say about trump in the past brought up articles like this..

"One wonders why the mustache felt the need to suck up all the crap MbS offered to him."
Sponsorship. "Donations" to foundations ect. All this is now locked away in the Ritz.
Sounds like Friedman is the tool being used to get the money rolling again.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 24 2017 19:53 utc | 18

I'd venture to say one could call the article "Fellacious".

Posted by: Elijah | Nov 24 2017 19:54 utc | 19

Props b,

This is a well written piece.


Posted by: b4real | Nov 24 2017 20:08 utc | 20

With MbS calling Iran's Supreme Leader the new Hitler, he could now qualify as one of the NY Times hack writers. But we should never confuse Friedman's scribblings with real journalism. An example of such journalism's provided by the Duran's Mercouris when he writes about an article Gareth Porter wrote for The American Conservative regarding the alleged al-Ciada document linking it with Iran, Unfortunately as Mercouris notes in his conclusion, Porter's article won't be read by nearly as many people that read Friedman's crap:

"Unfortunately it will not get anything like the sort of publicity that it deserves. Certainly it will not be given anything like the publicity the original false allegation of cooperation between Al-Qaeda and Iran which was supposedly proved by the Al-Qaeda document was given.

"In fact I am sorry to say that I have no doubt that the false claims about the Al-Qaeda document will continue to be made by those who either do not know or do not care that Gareth Porter and The American Conservative have proved them false.

"That does not alter the fact that what the Al-Qaeda document shows is that no cooperation between Al-Qaeda and Iran took place.

"For that knowledge those of us who care about the truth about such things owe Gareth Porter and The American Conservative our thanks."

Porter's article,

And so the plot thickens as Trump has supposedly said in a call to Erdogon today that he will cease arming the Kurds. However, this news was announced by the Turks and is as yet unconfirmed,

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2017 20:19 utc | 21

One wonders if or what China will do in the coming war.

Will it sit on the sidelines and watch US/Russia duke it out or blow us all to extinction?

Something tell me they are about to play their first empire card.

We can only hope some adults can bring our species past the "might makes right" bully contingent of our species.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 24 2017 20:58 utc | 22

#1 If Trump really agreed to stop arming the Kurds in Syria this might be to get Turkey into the KSA-Israel-US axis which might solve the Syria problem for the US (where the train is rolling without them which cannot be) on a different level.
#2 The US public is to quite some degree inclined to tolerate/support a nuclear first so that would mean no one needs to sell more US troops on the ground in a potential war against Iran. Just saying.

Posted by: BX | Nov 24 2017 20:58 utc | 23

After reading the comment by BX that wrote of US using nuclear weapons.

If I was China I would tell the US that if it EVER uses a nuclear weapon again they will obliterate all of America with their nuclear weapons.

It is time to stand up to the bullies of the world if we want to survive much longer.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 24 2017 21:05 utc | 24

If it is genocide the Saudis want in Yemen, then those lumbering Saudi super tankers in the Red Sea should become prime targets for attack by any means.
The deputy spokesman of the Yemeni army, that the Saudi oil tankers in the Red Sea will be easy targets for Yemeni missiles, if the air strikes were not stopped by the Saudi aggression alliance Just do it.

Posted by: harrylaw | Nov 24 2017 21:18 utc | 25

@BX 23
Re: Point #2; about a month after that article was published Trump signs the US on for it's 17th consectutive year of a [manufactured] State Of Emergency. The deep but unfounded fear is pretty well crafted one must admit - a generation of fear, next year that child born in 2001 turns 18. That, and the fact that the US is more at war than not since Trumans massacre. War is normal for the yank psyche. It must be that way to maintain a war economy...

...only, with rampant, out of control consumerism, a war economy can come before the war does. Not vice-a-versa.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Nov 24 2017 21:40 utc | 26

PH @24--

Problem is that Outlaw US Empire's aggressions lead to hundreds of thousands of dead and millions wounded and displaced--without--using nukes, although those results don't occur as quickly when using nukes. Since its aggressions in Southwest Asia began in 1980, over 10 million people have been murdered, wounded, displaced, with the unborn forever damaged within the womb by its use of chemical radiological weapons--Utter Evil well beyond the previous behavior of any nation--yet it remains unassailed thanks to its UNSC veto and the timidity of the planet's nations and its propagandized/indoctrinated citizenry, now reduced to having less power than Serfs.

I find it understandable yet deplorable that any nation negotiates with the Outlaw US Empire. As a criminal state, it must be arrested and its leaders interrogated, not negotiated with, put on trial, found guilty for their behavior, and sentenced to prison or put to death. This would be no small-scale purge as probably several tens of thousands must be arrested given the decades long crime spree going back to 1945. Until the above occurs, the Outlaw US Empire will continue to be a cancerous growth on the global body polity getting away with murder, theft and associated felonies differing little from Hitler's Germany--an acknowledged EVIL.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2017 22:08 utc | 27

@ Jen | 14

How many Saudis outside MbS' palace did Friedman actually speak to and in a country whose government tolerates absolutely no dissent in a very literal way, would any Saudi be willing to express his or her personal opinion on MbS' "reforms" to a foreigner on record?

Good questions!

That, and the anonymous women, gave me a figurative chuckle.

You may know that one of Friedman's time-tested rhetorical gimmicks is to enhance his "street cred" with micro-anecdotes about meeting "ordinary people" who serendipitously confirm or inspire his would-be insights.

He's forever banging on about instructive chance encounters with cabdrivers, skycaps, waiters, and other grains of "salt of the earth".

My sense is that Tom wants to come across as a down-to-earth intrepid journalist who's highly attuned to "the street", rather than the wealthy elitist and toady of capitalist Empire that he actually is.

Posted by: Ort | Nov 24 2017 22:08 utc | 28

jen - ort - no one can say what they think in saudi arabia.. friedbrainman knows this, so he is just blowing smoke up the clown princes ass publicly... it is an intolerant society where a person is not allowed to say what they think... thus, they all say the same shit about this bozo clown prince..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2017 22:27 utc | 29

Until now MBS is shielded by the clout of his father, the King, who is highly respected by the Saudis.
The moment the King is out, we will see what will happen to his smart kid.

Posted by: Virgile | Nov 24 2017 22:28 utc | 30

Journalism vs Creative Writing. What should be sitting at opposite ends of the medium, are not - in the MSM.

How fucked up does a projected reality have to get before people start gunning one another down in unexplainable, indiscriminate attacks...? Oh wait.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Nov 24 2017 22:32 utc | 31

Given the sycophantic drivel published by Friedman, your comment is an exercise in restraint. The NYT should be ashamed for publishing such rubbish, as if 3 pulitzer prizes should make them suspend all editorial judgement.

Posted by: DL | Nov 24 2017 22:41 utc | 32

Burt @8

Please don't call Friedman "of the left". I know Americans have this odd binary mindset (with us or against us) which means that all people will fit into one or the other of only two existing categories ... but one ends up stating that the NYT, or the Democratic Party for that matter, is "leftist", simply because its not of the American "Right".

It's a form of political and historical illiteracy.

Posted by: Castellio | Nov 24 2017 22:41 utc | 33

Castellio @ 33

Agreed. Friedman's piece came across as reactionary nonsense. "Of the left" it is most certainly not. Unfortunately many Western democracies today seem to be polarised into this binary mindset to which you refer, as if no rational middle ground is possible.

Posted by: DL | Nov 24 2017 22:49 utc | 34

Untill the citizens of the US get the Zionists out of power in the media and government this will end in many tears.

Allison Wier's "Against Our Better Judgement" sheds a lot of light as to how the Zios connived themselves into power.

Basically - first bribes then slander, smears then threats of violence, then violence, all while masquerding as the poor pious victims.

Thanks so for the article and the comments.

Posted by: Tom | Nov 24 2017 23:06 utc | 35

At Google News, I spied a headline that said MbS is going past Trump and others to be TIME magazine's Man Of The Year. (I had to pass on the story.)

Posted by: Curtis | Nov 24 2017 23:06 utc | 36

@8 Burt

Friedman is a Hannity of the Left.

Friedman is "of the left"? lol Only in the USA is a war mongering toady who makes his living shilling for the capitalist American empire "of the left." That cold war anti-commie propaganda really did a number on you guys, eh? Oh wait, wasn't the left back then associated with socialism and wealth redistribution? You know, commienism. Is Friedman a commienist? I don't think so...and Hillary is no commie either come to think of it. So why are unapologetic capitalists and all-American imperialists like HRC, BHO and empire cheerleader TF considered "left"? What exactly is "left" about them? So confusing...

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Nov 24 2017 23:22 utc | 37

Once again a great article by "b" which engendered insightful comments.

karlof1, I for one would LOVE to see Darth Cheney brought to a "black site" and put through a thorough, extreme form of his "enhanced interrogation."

Not that I believe torture is useful for uncovering truth. Torture has always been intended to elicit the desired "confession" and to terrorize others so as to control them. Besides, I suspect Cheney is the sort who wouldn't "break" under torture anyway.

I'd just LOVE to see him tortured. ;-)

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 25 2017 0:02 utc | 38

@ 33 said: "It's a form of political and historical illiteracy."

And that it is, to assert Friedman is a lefty is ludicrous ( see post 8)..

I'm sure MBS will be crack'en down on the Wahhabists any day now......NOT!!

Posted by: ben | Nov 25 2017 0:07 utc | 39

@ Daniel who supports torture

I hope b deletes your comment as I do no believe it reflects well on us adults who want to rid ourselves of those who would think like you, or Dick Cheney

I believe that most of us would like justice and not revenge.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25 2017 0:10 utc | 40

Thnx for AmCon link. So very true. Friedman's a globalist toady and insider to the usual suspects (NYT, CFR, etc).

Posted by: Curtis | Nov 25 2017 0:12 utc | 41

friedman is a great man indeed and a big supporter of kurdistainia.
great minds who understand maps seem to be rare today who better than the people with a unique story of suffering abuse hatred and above all envy.
israel has a unique roll to play in shaping these new maps
great minds should be fed and watered indeed.

pressure is building for another exodus homewards.

New Jewish group supports independence for Kurdistan

Several prominent Jews in Europe and North America joined an organization fostering Jewish-Kurdish friendship and supporting independence for Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Jewish-American lawyer Alan Dershowitz joined the honorary board of the Brussels-based Jewish Coalition for Kurdistan last month, along with Philanthropist jeffrey epstein ,Irwin Cotler, a former justice minister of Canada, and Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, two well-known hunters of Nazis from Germany, the group’s founder and president, Joel Rubinfeld, told JTA Wednesday.

Also on the honorary board of the coalition are rabbi rita katz of the knesset, Rabbi Abraham Cooper,head of the frankfurt school rabbi barbera lerner spector the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Charles Tannock, a British lawmaker at the European Parliament and foreign affairs and human rights spokesman for the UK Conservative delegation.

Posted by: noah vosen | Nov 25 2017 0:21 utc | 42

@ 37

Socialism and communism are two entirely different concepts, although some communists like to call themselves socialists. Communism abolishes private property; socialism merely calls for a fair distribution of society's wealth. Socialism accepts property rights and a private sector but sees certain sectors such as health, education, utilities and railways as more efficiently run by the state and at less expense to the consumer. Some countries in the post WWII period, such as France and Germany, managed their state-run enterprises better than others, such as Britain, though in the latter case I have reason to believe that elites sabotaged British state-run companies for their own nefarious ends. Socialism sees the financial sector, especially private central banks, hedge funds and private equity sharks as essentially parasitic, but has no problem with commercial banks lending to companies.

Marx hijacked the ideas of socialism to produce communism, an extreme utopian ideology that was very appealing to the young, much as some young Moslems nowadays are drawn to extreme islam.

Posted by: Lochearn | Nov 25 2017 0:36 utc | 43

psychohistorian @22:

What do you believe will be their first move towards Empire?

I'm predicting that China will do nothing (militarily). They will watch from the sidelines if things get hot between Washington and Moscow, as long it's outside of East Asia (their sphere of influence). I'm sure there is a Chinese proverb about this.

Posted by: Ian | Nov 25 2017 0:41 utc | 44

Psychohistorian @9 says : History is written by the winners.

The complete quote is : “History is a pack of lies written by the winner” - Napoleon Bonaparte.
(“L’histoire est un tas de mensonges écrits par le vainqueur. “

Posted by: demiJohn | Nov 25 2017 1:13 utc | 45

I wouldn't mind betting the price MBS will be asking of US recipents of Saudi aid will be war with Iran. Team trump, handpicked for their hatred of Iran, MBS, and Nutty all on the same page, it would seem US attacking Iran is now close to inevitable.
Trump de-certified Iran on the nuke deal not long ago and it is now up to congess what they decide to do about it. Many in congress I guess will also be looking for their next Saudi pay cheque.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 25 2017 1:17 utc | 46

There is no "Left" in the USA. Ergo Friedman is not Hannity of the Left. He's simply a Hannity. If there were a real "Left" it would not be comprised of Republican-Lite Warmongers and Yinon Plan Zionists for Greater Israel.

Hillary is not a Leftist and Obama was not a Leftist. They are both Warmongers and Lackeys for the one percent just like the Republicans. Only difference is in the packaging.

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 25 2017 1:19 utc | 47

@42 noah/ charles drake... hey, thanks for the link.. funny how israel is down with a kurdistan, but not with a palestine.. what do you make of that???

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2017 1:22 utc | 48

@ Ian who asked what China might do

I said that their move would be of empire and I meant it only as to name a force comparable to the American fronted one. I do agree they they would prefer to watch the US fronted empire go down of its own cancer but may understand that they do no have the luxury to do so at this juncture in our species life.

I do believe that they will not sit idly by and watch Russia get nuked.

On to Lochearn and the parsing of "isms"

China calls itself communist in its country name but allows 99 year leases of property and they just told Trump that the money boys can hold 51% interest in their banks (don't know details). So while I agree with your generalizations, capitalism has never existed either but folks believe it accurately describes our current social economy.
I hope we have the opportunity to try something other than having a cabal of elite families owing the lifeblood (finance) of our social economy for another couple of centuries.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25 2017 1:26 utc | 49

MSM is just a parody of Truth. It would actually be funny if it wasnt so devastating and damaging. A former CIA chief once was reported to have said something along the lines that when everything people believe in is a lie, then their mission will be completed. Mission Acccomplished Boys. Propaganda was come a long way since WWI. I suspect people were more enlightened in the Dark Ages than today.

Not that there aren't pockets of those trying to see beyond the Matrix, but most of them still embrace much of what is not true. Peoples beliefs (truths) are based more on Faith than reason today. There is something for everyone on the mainstream menu of beliefs, and so long as you dont cross the line and
call out those pulling the strings in the shadows (not on menu) , then the powers that be are happy

Posted by: Pft | Nov 25 2017 1:33 utc | 50

NYT is not credible. It promoted the war (genocide, really) in Iraq and it promoted the Viet Nam War (also genocide). It has never seen a war it did not like.

NYT readers (who believe it) are fools - and there are many. Many will indeed believe this Friedman article.

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 25 2017 1:39 utc | 51

PH @40--

Must second your sentiments. Torture is an act that the Rule of Law was supposed to finally bring to an end. Unfortunately, since 1947's National Security Act, the Outlaw US Empire no longer operates according to the Rule of Law, instead relapsing to the Rule of Men who think they have recovered the once discarded Divine Right of Kings--their behavior since 1947 (actually 1945) proves this to be true. Suppressing that fact is the #1 job of the Propaganda and Indoctrination Systems; its success being proven by the lies Friedman writes as truths.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 25 2017 2:02 utc | 52

When did this concept of international policing and trials and so forth come into being? A US concept at the end of WWII? Nuremburg and so forth?
The time honoured custom in geo-politics/war is that the losers are taken out the back and shot or otherwise disposed of.
The concept of a fair international policing seems like a long running US psyop.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 25 2017 2:14 utc | 53

'...The US is a great lover of strong men...'

sounds like moustache-twat enjoys taking one up the cornhole as well...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 25 2017 2:17 utc | 54

Add to methods of diposal - bayonet in the arse.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 25 2017 2:17 utc | 55


Satire often fails to come through online, even with the traditional winkyface, it would appear. Of course I oppose torture, as the comment's entire second paragraph explained.

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 25 2017 2:24 utc | 56

Friedman may not be an 'uber-Zionist' but he is a Zionist nonetheless

Posted by: chet380 | Nov 24, 2017 2:42:26 PM | 15

He may be "Uber-Zionist" given his method of getting "popular opinion" from taxi drivers. He is a bit of a contrarian in the sense that he is not content regurgitating idiocies produced by think tank teams but he adds some original products. I have no stomach to read the latest opus, but seems that Friedman is somewhat contrarian once again.

It could not escape the attention of the Western politicians that MbS has some number of loose screws. Little bit like Trump, as he produces erratic ideas he occasionally says something sensible, but I cannot recall anything except allowing women to drive. As a digression, of many obtuse interpretation of Quran, KSA was the only one with that particular prohibition, back in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) his highly regarded daughter was not criticized for riding a camel. A digression within the digression: anabaptists living in my area (Amish) do not approve driving, or riding bicycles to avoid "wordliness", but getting rides, using scooters and roller skates is fine, so you can see Amish girls in their long dresses and bonnets skating along rural highways.

Dumping a big bunch of rich princes may seem reasonable on the account that they indeed seem to be useless garbage, but it is less than obvious that it is better to have one piece of useless garbage in total control instead of a committee. That said, MbS forgot about making a barest pretense of due process, so it will not be possible to get to the foreign accounts of the arrested (or killed) moguls. This is a serious mistake, because their families remain very influencial western capitalists (like largest stockholders of many key companies), and that generates bad press for MbS and doubts if he will stay for a long time in the numerous chairs that he occupies.

War in Yemen is a cruel endeavor, that additionally is a fruitless quagmire (somehow not noticed by MSM) that is very expensive to boot. The only worse outcome that I can imagine for KSA and UAE is if they "won" and had to take care of controlling Yemeni mountaneous countryside (Yemen has many similarities to Afghanistan, insiders may get precarious control over the country, outsiders -- not so much.) But the upside is that it generates a lot of lucrative contracts for Western MICs, that gives MbS some degree of support in "the international community". The spate with Qatar did not produce any profits, and the circus with Hariri of Lebanon raised the issue of MbS mental stability within the ranks of Western establishment. Both seem to be total nonsense that only Israel can like (paleo-Zionists moan about good old times when SoI was not ruled by total idiots, military could admirably execute actions not restricted to the harassment of villagers and assassins could kill or kidnap efficiently and without international ruckus, however, it is a rule of evolution that unnecessary skills are prone to atrophy).

Opponents of MbS are now forced to be his enemies and they have only one option: keep their foreign accounts, stock holdings etc. and use their bribing power to engineer some coup. MbS will rule like Macbeth, i.e. until he will get attack by someone that does not seem possible, so he has to be afraid of everyone, hence paranoid, cruel and erratic.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 25 2017 2:31 utc | 57

Orlov's article at NEO got me thinking about this concept of some type of impartial big brother watching over us, as his ending paragraph or two were about the hegemon movers and shakers being dragged off to trial.
The impartial big brother thing in geo-politics, the more I thought about it seems a US constrct to place themselves as big brother.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 25 2017 2:35 utc | 58

ff @ 47: Excellent synopsis on politics in the U$A. Well stated..

Posted by: ben | Nov 25 2017 2:42 utc | 59

Arabian nights, starring bin Salman and Friedman.
I threw up my breakfast.

Posted by: Steffen | Nov 25 2017 2:48 utc | 60

psychohistorian @49:
I should have been more clear. I was thinking of proxy wars, limited to conventional means. Just look at China's lack of involvement in Syria and the ME. Yes, the Chinese have supplied weapons to the SAA but that's business. All bets are off when nukes are flying across the globe.

Posted by: Ian | Nov 25 2017 2:55 utc | 61

@ Ian about wars

The US knows it cannot win a conventional war but still thinks it can shock and awe its way forward. The sooner that myth is put to bed the sooner we can all breathe a bit easier.

I know this should be put in the latest Open Thread but I am so gobsmacked that this is even happening that I feel the need to share.

Xi to attend world political party dialogue

So here we are in the middle of a build up to war and China is getting all (200+) together to share political methodology....

The take away quote
"It is aimed at providing an opportunity for equal communication between global parties and pooling their wisdom to deal with development difficulties and challenges the human society is facing," Guo noted. "It is hoped that parties can learn from each other about the experience of party and state governance, and reach consensus on major issues concerning the future of mankind."

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25 2017 3:10 utc | 62

Interesting to follow the mostly informed, nuanced, comments here as compared to the comments on the same subject at another sites, Zero Hedge for example.

Posted by: Tom | Nov 25 2017 3:17 utc | 63

"King Salman's decree gave his son's shakedown committee absolute authority to maim whoever it wants to and to take whatever it likes - literary:"

Grammar alert!
"literary" above should be "literally"

Posted by: Anon | Nov 25 2017 3:40 utc | 64


Nitpick alert!

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 25 2017 3:55 utc | 65

#9 History is written by the winners it has been said.

Well that is not stopping the US press from writing articles about the Syrian War (or Vietnam for that matter). They don't mention that we lost.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 25 2017 3:56 utc | 66

All it took was a Saudi who would collude with Israel to be considered a gentle reformer.

After the Greenspan Recession of 2008, how does a guy who got it so wrong still able to bloviate and have anyone take him seriously.

Such a reformer eh? Ask the starved and brutalized Yemenis how great the Clown Prince is.

According to the Moustache of Wisdom, it’s kinder, gentler genocide

Posted by: Anunnaki | Nov 25 2017 3:57 utc | 67

Of course MbS knows English! Tom Friedman, the Mustache of Understanding, rarely interviews anybody who doesn't know English ... or Hebrew.

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Nov 25 2017 4:01 utc | 68

'...President Trump also informed President Erdogan of pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria, now that the battle of Raqqa is complete and we are progressing into a stabilization phase to ensure that ISIS cannot return'...the White House said...'

Haw Haw Haw...

Trumpenstein now looking for a way to cut the Kurds loose...[as many predicted]

The Grand Plan is really coming together isn't it...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 25 2017 4:04 utc | 69


i think if you read the talmud or the encyclopedophilia judaica you would see clearly via words that the kurdy have always lived in those lands as have the askanazim in the balfour declared areas.
no conspiracy existed in these matters the cards where played and not stacked some folks have to be more special than others.
kinky friedman is a vital part of the informational education programming system for the cattle.

listen to the words of chatham house bbc rabbi rupurt murdoch and kinky friedman pure rothchilds chatham house talking points
but james you already know that.
you do know that chatham house rules

Posted by: noah vosen | Nov 25 2017 4:22 utc | 70

@ noah vosen with encyclopedophilia judaica

LOL! thanks for that....26 volumes of lies

As for who lived where first, do any of those monotheistic religions believe our world existed more than 6K ago? Convenient for them I suspect to ignore all prior claims.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 25 2017 4:46 utc | 71

Is there a psychologist in the bar?

Looking at this fawning by the “West” from a completely different geological and cultural perspective, I am struck by the “fairy tale” aspect of this whole thing.

The photograph used is the most flattering they can find and I can imagine many a heart going all aflutter at the image of the handsome young prince coming to save the sleeping princess, the kingdom, and the cheering, adoring subjects from the corrupt and evil enemy.

@ Steffen | Nov 24, 2017 9:48:18 PM | 60

Arabian nights indeed. All we need is a flying carpet.


Posted by: E | Nov 25 2017 4:49 utc | 72

psychohistorian | Nov 24, 2017 11:46:38 PM | 71

About 10 to 11k ago methinks, but the written word only kicked off about 6k ago. Noah is oral history of the tribe, but no mattaer where, the very old oral history moves into the relm ofthe supernatural - and lo an behold.. a god is born.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 25 2017 4:57 utc | 73

Thanks it s a must read and archive

Posted by: Mina | Nov 25 2017 6:22 utc | 74

lochearn 49
Marxism is not an extreme form of utopian ideology .
Marxism is aiming to transform the 'profit principle' or control of 'surplus value to shared , egalitarian goals . As he said '' the individual is the social being '' - not extreme , to compete at all we must first cooperate !

Posted by: ashley albanese | Nov 25 2017 7:22 utc | 75

Good article. Thomas Friedman is the embodiment of the stereotypical view of jews throughout history.

Posted by: xor | Nov 25 2017 7:54 utc | 76

The Ashkenazim were probably one of the earlier Caucasian/Aryan tribes to pour out of the Black Sea Vicinity/Russian Steppes a couple thousand years after the ending of the last ice age. Eventually they conquered regions around the Mediterranean from the darker featured folks who had been living there, in some cases smaller warrior bands would intermarry with the locals, in other cases full genocide. In time, they became recognized as the original inhabitants.

Posted by: Hassan | Nov 25 2017 8:38 utc | 77

Ah, news from Absurdistan.

It becomes increasingly more difficult by the day, to make sense of the "Monkey-Theater" (German: 'Affentheater').

Usually, chimps and their cousin the Bonobos are superior in cognition to Friedman et al and their well lubricating political lovers in the Middle East.

At this time, I trust the Bonobos to get this whole Fascist mess transcended via unconditional fellatio, cunnilingus and other peace inducing activities.

Homo Non-Sapiens is one aggressive prick of a monkey. Driven by his degraded ego, he must be in control of everything. Unfortunately though, Homo is far sub par to his stronger relative, the Silverback. Homo is dreaming of either being as strong as Silverback, or even manhandling it to make sure the only Moron in the house will be King.

While I leave it to others to predict the future, since tomorrow never comes, I rather like to look at the chain of cause that leads to the ordering of one of the least intelligent pretenders of insight to a Fascist crude child emperor in spirit, since it takes light years more mental sovereignty than the torturer's apprentice will ever call his own.

Just another puppet doing petting with another puppet. But, oh, yes, we are all so powerful! It's Friedman with a fried brain and his psychopathic cock-whisperer. Cocks among each other. Cocks of a feather scheming together.

What else is new?

"It becomes harder and harder to counter my friends argument that human extinction is better for the Cosmos than ongoing slavery by the cancerous elite of our species.....will humanity ever evolve to some better form of social organization in control of our world?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 24, 2017 2:02:52 PM | 9"

Apologies, Psychohistorian, but the Cosmos won't even notice when the most confused, misguided and fearful creature in The Universe has blown itself up. Even though there is more Life in The Universe than any priest will ever admit (bad for the little ego still believing into being the crown of creation...), these folks wouldn't touch Earth with a light year long pole.

But, of course, evolution is nothing that is ever concluded, nor is it ever finished. And as bad as it may look as of this moment, there is a silver streak at the horizon. Something that could bring fresh energy in an otherwise pitiable species whose greatest achievement since its appearance is to shot itself in the foot.

This silver streak is the growing understanding that a) one is born out of this world and not into it, and b) one is The Universe as that one and not one simply walking, talking, eating etc. in The Universe. The implications are mind boggling.

The present condition of Earth and the fact that this, too will pass, does not bode well for the greatest species of all creation times. It will pass without Homo attempting to right a 'few' effups that were done/are done based on greed and systemic corruption.

When I was much smaller, I asked as many people as I could, what it meant, to saw off the branch one is sitting on. It struck me with unease to ponder about that "The Need To Destroy My Own Planet-Syndrome" - to saw off the connection to the life spending tree trunk.

Homo Imbeciliens will keep on keeping on with his/her unwillingness to transcend its own addiction to everything 'surface', everything 'shallow', to everything 'container'.

Thank you all for your efforts to makes sense of/bring light to the ineffability pertaining the degradation of the 'Sapiens' part into a mindless, clueless, obedient consumer.

Last but not least, China has formed a Double Helix with Russia. A fact that escapes even more sophisticated minds. Both China and Russia have been pulling on one rope specifically: the rope that will prevent you from getting overrun by a rabid, psychopathic mad-people whose intellectual capabilities are second to Earthworms, creatures we have to worship for having created the soil we still use to grow food.

Life has become more tiring, or the pollution has become more tiring, or everything has become more tiring than ever before.

Enjoy your holidays and let them be happy.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Nov 25 2017 9:17 utc | 78

@ notheonly1 | Nov 25, 2017 4:17:01 AM | 78

Where do we see a connection between Earth and Friedman/MbS? In other terms: what you are talking about?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Nov 25 2017 9:33 utc | 79

Similar to b's piece on Friedman, there is a good article on the former British ambassador to Riyadh and his fawning over MBS. Here is an extract from the article written by Peter Oborne:

"All clear? No? Don't worry. There's no need to panic. I've read Sir John's speech so that readers of Middle East Eye don't need to do so.

Cut out the show-off name dropping and look-at-me academic jargon, and Sir John's speech can be boiled down to some very old-fashioned sentiments indeed.

The Arabs can't be trusted with democracy. Not ready for it. Best to stick with the House of Saud because they are on our side and will do what we want."

I'd recommend everyone to read the article or have a brief perusal through it.

Posted by: Muslim Dude | Nov 25 2017 10:50 utc | 80

notheonly1 | Nov 25, 2017 4:17:01 AM | 78
Last but not least, China has formed a Double Helix with Russia. A fact that escapes even more sophisticated minds. Both China and Russia have been pulling on one rope specifically: the rope that will prevent you from getting overrun by a rabid, psychopathic mad-people whose intellectual capabilities are second to Earthworms, creatures we have to worship for having created the soil we still use to grow food.

In total; a very insightful post; the quoted paragraph above especially pointed and correct.
I learned a new word a few days ago; Kakistocracy; It denotes a system of government ruled by the least competent and most corrupt.
I would add; and the completely bankrupt.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Nov 25 2017 11:14 utc | 81

Pressures around a planned talk on the White Helmets in the free (as in 'free cash') country of Switzerland

Posted by: Mina | Nov 25 2017 11:19 utc | 82

"One wonders why the mustache felt the need to suck up all the crap MbS offered to him. He is married to a billionaire"

A male or female billionaire?

Posted by: Lea | Nov 25 2017 12:13 utc | 83

Mina @82

Thanks for that heads-up...well worth reading...

The fascists are clearly panicking as they continue to lose the information could have been expected... since truth will always prevail in the end...

Just to summarize what is going on for those who haven't followed the links...

The Swiss Press Club is hosting a press conference on the al qaeda 'humanitarians' knowns as the white helmets...

Guests are to include inveterate truth teller Vanessa Beeley who has spent much time in Syria and has dismantled the white helmets criminal organization quite thoroughly...

Also Marcello Ferranda De Noli, a Swedish doctor who heads Swedish Doctors for Human Rights...and has done much to discredit the fake white helmets videos...some of which show dangerous procedures on infants...which in fact may have resulted in the death or serious injury of said infants...

This has sparked a vicious response from the fascist Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in Switzerland...which has a long criminal history of fighting against truth in the service of empire...and which thoroughly disses Beeley and Dr. de Noli as 'Russian propagandists...'

Guy Mettan...the director of the Swiss Press Club would have none of it...

In a reply to said criminals masquerading as journos...he pointed out that this kind of request is unprecedented...other than from authoritarian regimes like KSA...Bahrain etc...

Also worth reading the article comments...very strongly against the criminal RSF...

'Fritz' said...

'...Even in Switzerland, a neutral country a priori, Reporters Without Borders fights for the Empire. This organization is the same cask as Bellingcat, Conspiracy Watch, etc...'

A most excellent read and a signpost...if any more were thoroughly the fascist propagandists have been defeated...

May we dare hope that scumbags like RSF and the rest of the parasites in the MSM will one day be sitting in the dock...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 25 2017 13:57 utc | 84

Great post by notheonly1 @78

'...China has formed a Double Helix with Russia. A fact that escapes even more sophisticated minds. Both China and Russia have been pulling on one rope specifically: the rope that will prevent you from getting overrun by a rabid, psychopathic mad-people whose intellectual capabilities are second to Earthworms...'

Also notice the mousy reply from 'Hausmaus'...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 25 2017 14:08 utc | 85


the house of saud have always been talmudick always been agents of foreign powers.look at the destruction of all the old of mecca and medina it is all gone a wiki article can be found.korans burnt found down drains,building cranes crashing inside remaining old buildings.
the folks of palestine and yemen and syriana are needed for it is the juice that is required.
blood pain torture for ritual delete ignore if you must but those are the realities it is written one must always go to the next village to commit your crimes.sisi is jewish his blood ritual was yesterday.reset history to year zero replace with a new bbc simon scharma real history of the ancient of khazaria that where always in th middle east forever.
satanist need blood ritual and slaughter local goyim cattle must always be near at hand for the snatch squads.

Posted by: leon britainski | Nov 25 2017 15:00 utc | 87

NYT is a whore, I am sorry to say. Op-Eds by clowns is a lesser issue, after all, Friedman is well known as a crank and the article was his personal opinion. But today there is an explanatory piece:

MIDDLE EAST|Who Are Sufi Muslims and Why Do Some Extremists Hate Them?

Some people, presumably Sunni militants who pledge loyalty to ISIS, perpetrated a major massacre. So it has something to do with ISIS ideology/theology. But this theology and tradition was not invented by ISIS de novo. Wahhabis entered the pages of history burning, looting and killing Shia's and Sufis. When the forces of Saudi clan took power over Mekka, they demolished sufi tombs. The theology of ISIS is Wahhabism, and the practice evokes the formative periods of Wahhabism, "heroic good old days". But the historical background in NYT does not extend that far, only the recent "officially terrorist" movements. But those movements were at least initially funded by people who genuinely believed in doing a good things, according to the peculiar theology of KSA. And some of that funding, avoiding Egyptian intelligence etc. probably persists, and the "seed money" were surely from ardent rich "armchair Wahhabis".

Actually, there are theological distinctions between Wahhabi strains, and Wahhabis and Taliban etc., folks who attack Muslim "heretics" in Pakistan are closer to the latter, and taqfiri is (recent?) umbrella term for the practice of declaring "fellow Muslim" as heretics, apostates and mortal sinners. And USA had a role in fanning those movements.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 25 2017 15:28 utc | 88

The demise of the House of Saud can't come too soon as far as I'm concerned. Even if it causes gas prices to double, it'll be worth it.

Posted by: Fidelios Automata | Nov 25 2017 15:30 utc | 89

KSA ’s ‘development’ plans have been successful in, - expanding the oil industry (petro-chemicals, new plants, etc. though how ++ i can’t judge) - in the building of infrastructure, which is a one-time cost (say), paid for with oil revenues.

For the rest, all remains pretty stable. About (all nos. rough) 90% or so of KSA’s revenues are from oil. It does actually export sand, another story. It makes money from the Hajj. 90% of workers in the private sector are foreign, imported experts, professionals and ‘slaves.’ Only about one third of Saudi adults work — though how this is counted and what counts as work is moot. Note the patronage system functions with *effective* ‘trickle down’ and someone who does not ‘work’ (employee with a contract etc.) may be fulfilling an important social role.

Afaik, all the efforts at Saudization, pushing Sauds to work and be productive, throwing out foreignors have failed (Britain NHS and Brexit comes to mind, see it coming.) in the sense of the situation remaining static, except for the population growing and growing.

MBS has pushed a ‘modernising’ gloss to the long series of ‘coordinated’ plans, the latest of which came at crunch time. State revenues down..low oil prices..moving away from building… and, supposedly, he does have the support of ‘large chunk of’ young ppl, which is what allows the likes of Friedman to glow enthusiastic pink about ‘reform’ and Arab Springs from the top. (sounds wild heh.)

What we see is ppl jockeying for position and gains around a major shake-up in a state that is deep trouble and extremely vulnerable. “Reform” has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 25 2017 15:46 utc | 90

@69 flankerbandit yep and today another report, similar, on the discrepancy between WAPO interp with its US to be in Syria for years to come vs. Trump's statements (yesterday) US will stop support of the kurds, as he courts Erdo:

Interesting to me that Trump's lingering campaign sentiments still affect policy so as to turn against neocon-Israel machinations for the region and actually work for the growing alliance against the global dominance playbook . . .

Posted by: Sid2 | Nov 25 2017 16:17 utc | 91

Has Saudi Arabia succeeded in having the Syrian opposition accept to meet in Geneva WITHOUT preconditions for the first time in 6 years?
Or the issue of Bashar al Assad's fate will come up again and again, as the opposition gave contrary statement about it. The previous opposition 'negotiator' close to KSA has resigned supposedly because of pressure by the Saudis to accept that Bashar Al Assad is here to stay.
Erdogan is also giving contradictory statements , probably preparing for a U-turn/
Will it be the Saudis' first political concession to end the war in Syria and lure Syria away from Iran?

Posted by: Virgile | Nov 25 2017 16:41 utc | 92

wow peter piotr beer man
got some news for yer honey
what if israel and saud are the same what if donmeh,askanazim,muslim brotherhood and Wahhabism are all city of london,newyork tel aviv zionist
projects for oded yinon or sum such
all actors scripted slaughterhouse enablers
what what

Posted by: leon britainskie | Nov 25 2017 16:45 utc | 93

i highly recommend opening the link @1... i didn't until mina recommended it @74..

@ noah - maybe you can continue your conversation with @ leon... you two seem to be speaking the same talmudic language..

@70 muslim dude.. thanks for the link - i guess usa/uk want to continue with some form of colonialism here.. meanwhile as peter osborne notes - not a word on saudi arabias starvation approach towards yemen... this sir john and anyone aligned with his covering up of the truth can go live in ksa and report back to us in 20 years..

@84 flankerbandit.. thanks for the translation on that.. it sounds encouraging..

and in other news - isis flags everywhere in the massacre in egypt.. isis and saudi arabia are one and the same as i see it.. has egypt not been towing the line for the wahabbi whack job cult? what a sick death cult it is.. too bad usa/ksa/israel/uae are all happy to use it as a battling ram..

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2017 17:11 utc | 94

the details count

Ex. Saudization. Since at least 10 years (?) a drive to nationalise Gold ’n Jewelry shops has been implemented. Nationalise, in the KSA context, means the traders are ‘free’ but can only hire KSA nationals, not that the State takes over the biz. Drive was never taken really seriously but now MBS has put his foot down (I have read) and in 10 days, Dec 2017, the decree is absolute. Some obligatory training programs took place in the past (how to measure gold.. greet customers..), but no Saudi man will work as a lowly salesman touting baubles. It is predicted that about a third of the shops will close.

Ex. Upping tax revenue. Afaik. I am no expert on KSA, all just off news / stories etc. KSA has introduced a VAT of 5% and all biz have till x December to comply. Various ‘educational biz’ are going to feel the pinch badly - and some may close down and leave. A major part of ‘educ’ biz, post basic educ, in KSA, is run by foreignors - Brit, French, Swiss, USA in endless cooperation agreements, etc. for which KSA pays extravagant over the top dollar. Note that in very recent visits Le Drian, Foreign Minister of F, pushed educational cooperation etc. and the USA, in the shape of Bill Gates, digitalization, training, etc. did the same. Both went off like rockets to protect revenues in this sector and/or cash in more.

goog: Arab news / Saudi Arabia educational partners / Bill Gates in Saudi/ etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 25 2017 17:14 utc | 95

More news and commentary on the coming Trump Kurd Dump...

Couple of good video interviews in this link as well...

Syrian Kurds aren't amused by Dump's noises in Erdo's ear...

Some are speculating that Dump might make some kind of pact with Erdo...

Certainly the Turks are not likely to leave Syria easily...historically Turks never leave once they come...

True from Byzantine era when stupid Constantinople [Roman Empire...aka eastern Roman Empire in West's version of history]...invited Turks in to help fight conquering Serbs and Bulgars...

Once in Europe Turks never left...just kept grabbing more...

Definitely we're moving to another phase in Syria...

US sponsored jihadist war has US turns to Kurds...

Now the Kurd card has petered next move...what...?

Some pact with Erdo...?

Pass the popcorn...Mr. Deal Artiste is going to find himself just another notch in Erdo's belt...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 25 2017 17:16 utc | 96

Few know that Friedman was invited like Hariri, detailed and sodomized by Saudi Clown Prince and his brother. While nursing his wounds, Friedman wrote this garbage piece of article.

Posted by: Martin | Nov 25 2017 17:30 utc | 97

no bond here
just a jane.
james did you know the chest that plays bond the chap that looks like the son of sid james is a gayman
what is it with james brits and analism?

too bad usa/ksa/israel/uae are all happy to use it as a battling ram.. says jane

so begign so polite like these actions are after thought these actions are not happening in synagogues only the competition is getting destroyed.
history erased

cui bono bozo?

you and your judas goat pals like keeping your 66 shades of grey confusion
when the answer can all be found in the talmud.
sisi is just another controlled masonic keeping his sheeple on tip toes working for the men at the bis you know the folks that funded london,moscow and berlin during the ww2 ritual slaughter theatre

Posted by: leon britainski | Nov 25 2017 17:50 utc | 98

Ref Saudis and work
the reason why they need slave is the string habit of non-mixity. With some distance it is possible but in hospital conditions of work, forget about it.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 25 2017 17:54 utc | 99

People have a very short memory. For the past 15 years, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has been promoting the so-called “Saudi Initiative,” a plan which he says proves that Saudi Arabia sincerely wants peace with Israel. But this week, a senior Palestinian leader revealed that at the very moment the Saudis were launching that plan, they were financing a major wave of terrorism against Israel.It’s time for Friedman to publicly admit he was wrong and apologize for the harm he caused to Israel.

Thomas Friedman lied about Saudis before

Posted by: Carmen | Nov 25 2017 19:17 utc | 100

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