Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 10, 2017

Saudi Arabia - This "Liberal Reformer" Is An Impulsive Tyrant

It is becoming more difficult to hide the mess the Saudi clown prince Mohammad bin Salman creates. The propaganda about the "liberal reformer" is too inconsistent with his obviously tyrannical behavior.

The clown prince of Saudi Barbaria practically abducted the Prime Minister of Lebanon, blackmailed him to resign and holds him since under house arrest. This is an unprecedented attack on the sovereignty of Lebanon and all other countries. Yet the U.S. and some European leaders cowardly pretend that Saad Hariri is free to go where he wants:

A French official says that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has told foreign ambassadors that he is not a prisoner in Saudi Arabia, where he has been holed up since an unusual resignation announcement.

An official in French President Emmanuel Macron's office said on Friday that the French and U.S. ambassadors in Saudi Arabia met with Hariri, and that Hariri "says he is not a prisoner, the (Saudi crown) prince says he is not a prisoner."

Macron paid a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia on Thursday night and met with the crown prince, notably about rising tensions in Lebanon, a former French protectorate.

Hariri may not be "a prisoner" but he is as free to leave his current residence as Julian Assange in free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Macron did not even meet with Hariri but slipped over into the United Arab Emirates. There an unexpected sale of two French corvettes was signed. The president of the UAE, Mohammed bin Zayed, is the mentor of the Saudi clown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Macron took the thirty pieces of silver and let Hariri and Lebanon hanging.

It is obvious that Hariri did not travel to Saudi Arabia last Saturday with the intent to resign from his job:

Hariri had scheduled meetings in Beirut on the following Monday – with the IMF, the World Bank and a series of discussions on water quality improvement; not exactly the action of a man who planned to resign his premiership.

The unofficial version of Hariri's meeting with the U.S. and French ambassador is diverging from the one above:

Mr. Hariri, a dual citizen of Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, met the ambassadors of Britain and the European Union and the chargé d’affaires from the American Embassy on Wednesday and Thursday at his Riyadh residence. Other Western diplomats, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that those envoys, too, came away with the impression that he could not speak freely.

Even the State Department spokesperson lets slip that Harairi is not free to go:

"We have seen him. In terms of the conditions of him being held or the conversations between Saudi Arabia and Prime Minister Hariri, I would have to refer you to the government of Saudi Arabia and also to Mr Hariri's office."

Hariri's own political party in Lebanon has united with its enemy Hizbullah and the Christian President Aoun in a call for Hariri to come back and explain himself to the Lebanese people:

“The return of the head of the Lebanese government, the national leader and the head of al-Mustaqbal Movement Saad Hariri is necessary to restore respect for Lebanon's balance at home and abroad, in the framework of full respect for the Lebanese legitimacy represented in the Constitution and the Taef Accord and in respecting the Arab and international legitimacies,” said Mustaqbal in a statement issued after an emergency meeting for its parliamentary bloc and political bureau.

The Saudis have told their citizens in Lebanon to leave the country. Its allies Kuwait, UAE and Bahrain have followed suit. There have been some four such orders during the last five years and the move is in itself not significant. Should the Saudis start to block the Gulf money flow to Lebanon or take other measures the economic damage in Lebanon could be quite larger If the Gulf states expulse Lebanese workers the economic damage to Lebanon would be huge. But these Lebanese workers are the people who actually run the businesses in the Gulf states. Without the 160,000 Lebanese book keepers and managers the Saudi economy would probably collapse.

The similarities with the idiotic Saudi campaign against Qatar is obvious. The Saudi made an impulsive hostile move without having thought through the second or third step. He soon found himself out of ammunition but had left no way out to solve the issue without losing face.

The French and other countries' cowardliness towards the clown prince extends to the starving of Yemen. UN flights with immediately needed medical supplies and food have been blocked by Saudi authorities. The ports for food shipment are blockaded. UN officials warn of an imminent massive famine and are begging everyone to intervene. But nothing has been heard from Macron or any other "western" politician.

Meanwhile the Saudi tyrant's purge of all potential internal competition continues. Some 500 people have been arrested with the higher ups being held in the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh. The hotel has now been "booked" until the end of January. But its 300 rooms are too few to hold the growing pile of rich trash. The Mariott hotel next door has now also been booked by the Saudi authorities. Regular guests were told to leave. A sure sign that the purge campaign will continue.

One important aspect of the purge is the open robbery that is part of it. Everyone arrested is accused of "corruption". This in a country where taking a share of every state contract is seen as an inherited right of the ruling class. The Wall Street Journal reports that the people around MbS expect to steal up to $800 billion in assets from the ultra rich businessmen and princes they have now under their control. They will probably need the money to keep the country afloat:

[E]ven a portion of that amount could help Saudi Arabia’s finances. A prolonged period of low oil prices forced the government to borrow money on the international bond market and to draw extensively from the country’s foreign reserves, which dropped from $730 billion at their peak in 2014 to $487.6 billion in August, the latest available government data.
The central bank sent a list of hundreds of names to lenders, asking them to freeze any accounts linked to them, according to people familiar with the matter.
As a precautionary measure, authorities have banned a large number of people from traveling outside the country, among them hundreds of royals and people connected to those arrested, according to people familiar with the matter.

Who will be willing to invest even a penny in Saudi Arabia after such a shakedown? There is no rule of law and there are no reliable courts. Everything depends on the whim of one man. The shakedown of the rich might bring some money into MbS coffers but all his huge projects and investment plans will now lack the necessary sponsors.

Trump had voiced full support for the Saudi moves. But it is obvious that such a purge and the external adventurism will not have a happy ending. Secretary of State Tillerson is finally rowing back Trump's grandstanding. He cautions MbS about the handling of his prisoners:

“It’s my understanding that they’re characterizing these as not really arrests at this point but they’re presenting people with evidence of what they think the wrongdoing is to see if there’s a willingness to want to make things right.”

It raises a few concerns until we see more clearly how these particular individuals are dealt with,” Tillerson added.

On Lebanon Tillerson warns Israel of any intervention. He takes the Lebanese side in the Hariri discussion. He does not recognize the compelled "resignation":

The United States was watching the situation [with Hariri] “very carefully,” supporting “the legitimate government of Lebanon” and “asking other outside parties to stay out of it,” he added.

If he’s going to step down, as I understand it, he needs to go back to Lebanon to make that official. I‘m hopeful that if that is still his intent to leave that he’ll do that so that the government of Lebanon can function properly,” Tillerson said.

The two steps on Lebanon and on the internal purge seem too impulsive to be part of a greater plan. They begin to look like the other "adventures" MbS started in Qatar and Yemen. Aimless campaigns in which the second and third order effects eventually turn against the aggressor. In all these cases the long term damage to Saudi Arabia will be huge.

Any day now the clown prince will become king of Saudi Arabia. In theory he could then rule for 50 years. But his country is unlikely to survive another five years of such impulsive and tyrannic behavior. Chances are that one his guards will be merciful enough to solve the problem with a single bullet.


As another example of MbS' impulsiveness re-consider this episode. In 2016 Salman spontaneously bought a used motor-barge for $550 million (€500m):

While vacationing in the south of France, Prince bin Salman spotted a 440-foot yacht floating off the coast. He dispatched an aide to buy the ship, the Serene, which was owned by Yuri Shefler, a Russian vodka tycoon. The deal was done within hours, at a price of approximately 500 million euros (roughly $550 million today), according to an associate of Mr. Shefler and a Saudi close to the royal family. The Russian moved off the yacht the same day.

The boat had been constructed since 2007 and launched in 2011. Its price then was $330 million (€300m)

The $330 million mega-yacht, which is reputedly owned by Russian vodka titan Yuri Scheffler, was spotted off the coast of Venice, California.

After five years of use its the fair value was probably two-third of the original price. MbS paid 250% of the actual value because he wanted the boat right then and there and because he could. A thirty year old, who has never worked to make money, wasted $330 million on an impulse buy. Money that would rightfully belong to the people of the Arab peninsula. The same dude now claims to care about "corruption".

Posted by b on November 10, 2017 at 15:41 UTC | Permalink

next page »

"Meanwhile the Saudi tyrant's purge of all potential internal competition continues. Some 500 people have been arrested.
One important aspect of the purge is the open robbery that is part of it. Everyone arrested is accused of "corruption". This in a country where taking a share of every state contract is seen as an inherited right of the ruling class. The Wall Street Journal reports that the people around MbS expect to steal up to $800 billion in assets from the ultra rich businessmen and princes they have now under their control. They will probably need the money to keep the country afloat."
I get it now! Salman has been reading Suetonius' Life of Caligula and has taken it as his blueprint for ruling.

B's conclusion seems to confirm this - or makes me think he shares my suspicion:
"But his country is unlikely to survive another five years of such impulsive and tyrannic behavior. Chances are that one his guards will be merciful enough to solve the problem with a single bullet."

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Nov 10 2017 16:01 utc | 1

Well b, glad you went there.

You asked who will invest a penny in Saudi Arabia after such a shakedown?

Ask Theresa May who thinks weapons sales will continue and the oil reserves are there. Never mind that the IPO prospectus on KSA oil reserves mis-states.

The bidding to list the Aramco IPO has begun:

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

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

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

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

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

You know, it always is about money. It’s a Big Club and we likkle people ain’t in it and never will be invited to join.

Posted by: likklemore | Nov 10 2017 16:03 utc | 2

This is interesting:

on MbS possibly miscalculating re national guard forces in SA

Posted by: Sid2 | Nov 10 2017 16:09 utc | 3

The decline of the US, and its obvious reluctance to deal with it despotic "strong partner" Saudi Arabia, was obvious at State's Daily Press Briefing yesterday. (excerpts)
QUESTION: On the various situations that we have going on – the domestic situation in Saudi, the Yemen situation, and the Lebanon situation.
MS NAUERT: Understood. Let me start here. Secretary Tillerson spoke with Foreign Minister al-Jubeir yesterday. Let’s see – wait, no, I’m sorry. It was Tuesday. He spoke with him on Tuesday. I’m not going to be able to provide a whole lot about that conversation for you. I know that’ll be to the frustration of a lot of you in the room.
I can tell you part of the conversation included our recognition that Saudi Arabia is a strong partner of the United States. We continue to encourage the Government of Saudi Arabia to pursue prosecution of corruption in a fair and transparent manner. That’s something that we stress not only with Saudis but with other governments as well. In terms of whether – how these prosecutions may be going in the future, the Government of Saudi Arabia would have to address that.
As you know, Secretary Mattis spoke with his counterpart, the President spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia a few days ago, so we’re in constant communication with the government.
MS NAUERT: In terms of Yemen, one of the issues that the Secretary has followed closely is the humanitarian situation in Yemen. We’ve seen tremendous food shortages in Yemen. We’ve talked about how this is really a man-made situation there. We’ve seen the cholera problem as well. The announcement that the ports were being closed down or limited in terms of some of the supplies is an area that’s of concern to us, because the Yemeni people are not the ones at fault for their situation. We would like to see food aid, medical equipment, and all of that be able to be brought into the ports. That is a key area where that – the supplies and the food aid are able to get in. We would like to see that open so that people are not suffering any more.
QUESTION: Well, is it fair to say that you have made that – or that the Secretary or others have made that clear to the Saudis?
MS NAUERT: Well, I think this is something – that’s a part of a series of ongoing conversations. We have often had conversations with people in the region in addition with the Saudis about our concerns about the humanitarian situation. The United States has contributed a lot of money to the humanitarian situation there, so we’d like to see that opened up so people can get their supplies.
QUESTION: I mean, it’s not only the ports but also the airspace, the borders – the complete closure.
QUESTION: So we can understand what you said clearly --
MS NAUERT: Yeah. I don’t know the percentages of what comes through in terms of the ports versus --
QUESTION: Okay. But you are calling on the Saudis to open the borders and open the ports so the Yemeni people can receive these humanitarian aid and so on?
MS NAUERT: We believe that there should be unimpeded access.
MS NAUERT: Unimpeded access for commercial and humanitarian goods to get into Yemen.
QUESTION: And you’d like to see this happen immediately?
MS NAUERT: That hasn’t changed. I mean, we called for that months ago, and we would call for that again today.
QUESTION: Hi there. So do you support the call by the UN yesterday to open the borders immediately for humanitarian aid?
MS NAUERT: I don’t have the UN comments in front of me, so I’m not going to comment on those.
QUESTION: They called for the airspace and the ports to be opened immediately; otherwise there would be a famine greater than seen in many decades.
MS NAUERT: Look, that has been a concern of ours, that this could --
QUESTION: I’m just – do you support the call?
MS NAUERT: -- hold on – that this could develop into a famine. It’s close. There is tremendous food insecurity in Yemen right now. Some have said that this could be the top humanitarian disaster in the world. I don’t know that we’ve assessed that personally and can actually make that designation, but I have certainly heard that.
I think what you’re saying, that has come out of the UN, is consistent with our overall concerns, our overall concerns about getting humanitarian aid and also medical supplies into the people of Yemen.
Okay. Anybody else on Yemen? .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 10 2017 16:15 utc | 4

Tillerson might well be concerned:

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Nov 10 2017 16:33 utc | 5

Zio-Jazeera TV are reproducing tweets which focus on the 'irony' of MbS detaining and blackmailing Lebanon's Hariri and then expressing a desire to punish Iran for 'interfering' in the affairs of other countries.
Considering the silliness of such prattle, I'm expecting the jaded tyrant to capitalise on the Free Publicity and launch his Standup Comedy Career debut at Hammersmith in a Super Special episode of Live At The Apollo with his good friend QEII (aka The Mad Hatter) if we're lucky. You can never have too much silliness - especially in the UK...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 10 2017 16:44 utc | 6

I wondered what could have persuaded Macron to jump ship on the Iran agreement. The Emirates made him an offer that he was only to willing to accept. It was wise of the Emirates to make it two now, two later 'cos he's a two-faced c**t.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 10 2017 16:52 utc | 7

I like this POV Palace Coup in Riyadh, by Thierry Meyssan

While the war against Daesh is drawing to a close in Iraq and Syria, and the war against the pseudo-Kurdistan seems to have been avoided, several States of the Greater Middle East are regaining the initiative. Profiting from the fluidity of the moment, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has brutally eliminated the members of the royal family who may be in a position to contest his Power. So not only has the regional balance of power been modified by war, but one of the region’s main actors has just changed its objectives.

Although no nominative list of the suspects has been published, we know that Prince Walid Ben Talal is on it. Considered to be one of the wealthiest men in the world, he was the kingdom’s secret ambassador to Israël. His company, the Kingdom Holding Company, a share-holder notably of Citygroup, Apple, Twitter and Euro-Disney, fell by 10 % at the opening of the Riyadh Stock Exchange on Sunday morning, before its credit rating was suspended.

Contrary to appearances, it seems that the victims of the purge were not chosen because of their functions or their ideas, which seems to confirm the official anti-corruption story.

On Sunday evening, a helicopter crashed near Abha. We learned that several dignitaries died in the accident, including a certain Prince Mansour.

The success of « MBS », who has just overturned the oligarchy in order to install his autocracy, does not, however, guarantee his capacity to govern. Aged only 32, this entitled rich kid from a super-wealthy family has hardly had the time to get to know his people, and only entered politics two year ago. His first decisions were catastrophic - decapitation of the leader of the opposition and the war against Yemen. Having neutralised all those who could have stood against him within the royal family, « MBS » has no choice but to ensure himself of popular support in order to be able to exercise Power. He has already taken various measures in favour of the young (70 % of the population) and women (51 % of the population). For example, he has opened cinemas and organised concerts – which until now had been forbidden. As from 2018, women will be allowed to drive. He will soon have to abolish the sinister religious police on one hand and the tutelage system on the other – both to satisfy women and also free men from this charge – making it possible to kick-start the economy. Above all, « MBS » has announced that he wants to transform Islam in his country and make it a « normal » religion. He has declared that he not only wants to modernise Wahhabism, but also to cleanse the Hadîths - the golden legend of Mohammed – of their violent or contradictory passages. This is a secular project which goes against the practice of the whole of the Muslim community over the last few centuries.

This strategy prevents « MBS » from waging a war against Iran and Hezbollah, and gives the lie to the current official story – it is impossible to imagine a war against Teheran because ever since the Revolutionary Guard came to help the Houthis, Saudi Arabia has suffered defeat after defeat in Yemen. And it is also impossible to rally the Saudis to the flag while « MBS » is radically reforming society.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Nov 10 2017 17:11 utc | 8

“On Lebanon Tillerson warns Israel of any intervention”

It sounds like Tillerson is intent on committing political hara-kiri. Unless he has the backing of the generals in Trump’s inner sanctum, his days are numbered. By stating a position not fully in compliance with Netanyahoo’s agenda he is challenging the power of the Israeli/jewish lobby as represented by boy wonder Kushner. Good luck with that.

We have, in effect, another instance of official state policy (as represented by Tillerson) being undermined by someone (Kushner) with a pro-Israeli agenda. Where have we seen this picture before?

The front-runners to replace Tillerson as S.O.S are rumoured to be John Bolton, a fanatical neocon, and Nikki Haley, America’s version of Priti Patel (see previous post). In either case expect to see a State Department more closely aligned to Netanyahoo’s agenda (if that is even possible).

Posted by: pantaraxia | Nov 10 2017 17:28 utc | 9

I posted a TL:DR rant on SouthFront comment, but I'll summarize here for comment:

1. Salman purge is, in reality, fake; meant to explain his (temporary) reign.

2. Purpose is to have Salman appear to initiate an aerial campaign against Lebanon/Hezbollah that is designed to eventually spill over into Syria. Nayef 'The Good Saudi Prince' kept on ice for now to appear 'innocent' of starting the war. Will replace Salman when job finished (and CIA whacks Salman).

3. Unexplained massive KSA/UAE arms buildup over last few years consisted of unusual number of air-dropped bombs of all types. No way they used that many in Yemen - that was an excuse to increase stockpiles even more.

4. KSA/UAE air forces incapable of mounting a massive Lebanese/Syria aerial campaign. Pilots will be Israeli (as seen in Yemen), US or some kind of R2(UAE's Blackwater) mercs. Yes, ex-F-15/F-16 pilots from many countries are mercs, too. An uncomfortable fact: the US would prefer the taxpayers didn't know how many US-trained military pilots do this.

5. The whole crazy-Salman thing is simply cover to disguise the US/Israeli-led campaign. No Israeli or US aircraft will be used - "It wasn't US!" Furthermore, Israel can't afford the aircraft losses - it would prefer to burn through KSA/UAE aircraft. KSA/UAE have no problem with that - they can afford more (or the US will just give them more).

6. US/Israeli/KSA/UAE goal is not to take over Lebanon or Syria. Aside from the expected Israeli land-grab, the goal is only to throw both countries into chaos again (after killing Aoun and Assad with airstrikes) and destroy as much of Hezbollah and their arms as possible.

This solves many problems at once and is conveniently timed after sufficient head-chopper weakening. Best of all, it accomplishes those goals with the throw-away bin Salman. After they whack him, the 'Good-guy Saudi' Nayef will lead a kinder, gentler Saudi Arabia into the future. See? The bad guy who started the aerial butchery is dead. The US and Israel are innocent, yet have managed to 'win' the long war against Lebanon and Syria.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 10 2017 17:36 utc | 10

How about this?

EXCLUSIVE: Saudi crown prince wants out of Yemen war, email leak reveals

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Nov 10 2017 17:57 utc | 11


1. You mention Tillerson vs. Kushner but fail to mention that Trump's position (as tweeted) is that MbS is doing EXACTLY the right thing.

2. If PavewayIV is right, then maybe Tillerson is providing cover for what is actually a covert op?


Interesting theory. But how long can they keep up hostilities before people surmise what is really going on?

I thought b's expectation of alQueda/ISIS destabilizing Lebanon made sense as it could be an excuse for a US-led Coalition to enter Lebanon (for the children!).

I give credence to your theory ONLY because it comes from you.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 10 2017 18:17 utc | 12

PeacefulProsperity 12:

How about this?
Yeah, they "want out" on their terms - which is to say after they have won and subdued the population.

IMO Their lame protesting is a response to the bad publicity that their genocidal tactics have engendered.

"But we want to get out!" is almost as transparently bullsh*t as the US position (that the famine is due to the poor logistics of the Yemenis).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 10 2017 18:25 utc | 13

b's title is correct ; .... An impulsive tyrant.

However, there has been a lot of comment about what "Saudi Arabia" will do or want. SA is a Monarchy, - the King is the "state" and the State is the King. Only. What I think he wants is absolute power, where all the decisions and all the rest of the official system (power), goes through him alone. (The cash is his as well.)
He will become "King" very soon, in which case all the country will be expected to swear allegiance to him.

The "Corruption" play could enable him to use other courts (US, UK or EU) to reclaim assets now held "off-Arabia".

The "women driving ploys..." etc. are to assure favour with the US and the other countries of the West (PR stunt). They also set the ordinary Saudi's against their Clerics. (At least in theory).


I must agree with PavewayIV that this is a set-up by Israel and the US, but you have to also note that massive air"drills" are being held in southern Israel by planes from a large number of countries (NATO?). These could be used a "bait" or "sacrifices" to involve NATO or the EU on the "side" of Israel. Saudi has sent planes to Cyprus on what is nominally a UK base. (So does the US.) (ie a missile - immediately claimed by the MSM as fired by Herzbollh - downs a F-15 of a NATO country? Particularly if it overflies Lebanon)

Posted by: stonebird | Nov 10 2017 18:55 utc | 14

Jackrabbit@13 - If the fake air campaign lasted 12 hours and took out key Hezbollah leaders, supposed Hezbollah 'missile warehouses', Aoun and Assad then that's plenty long enough. Diminishing returns over time after that for striking individual Hezbollah HQ/units in Syria. There's nothing else to be accomplished.

They will be the same targets Israel would choose to strike if they could get away with it. Israel can't do this themselves though, without expecting missiles raining down on their infrastructure, military installations and possibly civilian population centers. If Hezbollah is convinced its a purely-Saudi op, then they'll be gunning for Saudi Arabia, not Israel. By time they figure out they've been duped (if they ever do), it will be too late.

These are the targets that Israel/US would certainly want to destroy first before they can invade with troops/armor to continue seizing Syrian and Lebanese land. They don't want a toe-to-toe battle on the ground with Hezbollah or Iranian-backed militias for obvious reasons. The air campaign will not totally destroy them, but it will weaken them and add enough other chaos into the mix to make the invasion far easier than it otherwise would have been.

b's scenario is still valid, but that comes after the however brief US/Israeli false-flag aerial campaign.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 10 2017 18:56 utc | 15

Trump/MbS, a match made. What a duo, with Trump wishing he could be MbS. Strangely enough Tillerson seems to be the adult in the room.

Thanks b....

Posted by: ben | Nov 10 2017 19:14 utc | 16

stonebird@15 - Good point, stonebird. Plenty of opportunities for additional false flags to justify a massive, combined response.

US buzzes around the boarders in a remotely-piloted F-16 and 'lets' Hezbollah shoot it down in plain sight, with plenty of shakey cellphone videos of the aircraft's destruction. Followed immediately by a MSM campaign showing plenty of tear-jerking fake family photos of the non-existent hero. Oh yeah, his imaginary wife will be six month's pregnant. The type of aircraft or flag it's painted under really doesn't matter - maybe the UK will step in this time to be the victim.

Alternatively, a supposed Hezbollah missile or two could strike an Israeli air base, taking out several nation's aircraft participating in the exercise. Toss in a couple dozen allied casualties. Heck, make it a couple hundred - how's anyone ever going to know?

For that matter, a false-flag missile attack could target some sacrificial lambs like a Druze city. Maybe even one of those remote kibbutz that Israel uses to warehouse those 'undesirable' black Jewish immigrants that keep showing up. Good God, the MSM would have a field day with that one. If that happened, how could we NOT invade Syria and Lebanon to kill Hezbollah?

I better stop now, or the CIA will start banging on my door. Not to kill me, but to recruit me. "We read some of your work on MoA and were impressed by the sheer evil of your schemes. Ever consider working for the CIA?"

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 10 2017 19:20 utc | 17

I think we should re-read Pepe Escobar’s analysis of the purge – mirrors b’s.

MbS will soon find his. You can’t confiscate assets of princes and expect they’ll be sending Christmas gifts. You will be kicked off santa’s good boys’ list.

Escobar’s The Inside Story --watch -- the KSA army is said to be in an uproar.
Nayef – who replaced Bandar – is close to Washington and extremely popular in Langley due to his counter-terrorism activities. His arrest earlier this year angered the CIA and quite a few factions of the House of Saud – as it was interpreted as MBS forcing his hand in the power struggle.

According to the source, “he might have gotten away with the arrest of CIA favorite Mohammed bin Nayef if he smoothed it over but MBS has now crossed the Rubicon though he is no Caesar. The CIA regards him as totally worthless.”

Some sort of stability could eventually be found in a return to the previous power sharing between the Sudairis (without MBS) and the Chamars (the tribe of deceased King Abdullah). After the death of King Salman, the source would see it as “MBS isolated from power, which would be entrusted to the other Prince Mohammed (the son of Nayef). And Prince Miteb would conserve his position.”

MBS acted exactly to prevent this outcome. The source, though, is adamant; “There will be regime change in the near future, and the only reason that it has not happened already is because the old King is liked among his family. It is possible that there may be a struggle emanating from the military as during the days of King Farouk, and we may have a ruler arise that is not friendly to the United States.”

‘Moderate’ Salafi-jihadis, anyone?

Before the purge, the House of Saud’s incessant spin centered on a $500 billion zone straddling Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, on the Red Sea coast, a sort of Dubai replica to be theoretically completed by 2025, powered by wind and solar energy, and financed by its sovereign wealth fund and proceeds from the Aramco IPO.

In parallel, MBS pulled another rabbit from his hat swearing the future of Saudi Arabia is a matter of “simply reverting to what we followed – a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions.”

In a nutshell: a state that happens to be the private property of a royal family inimical to all principles of freedom of expression and religion, as well as the ideological matrix of all forms of Salafi-jihadism simply cannot metastasize into a “moderate” state just because MBS says so.

Meanwhile, a pile-up of purges, coups and countercoups shall be the norm.

@Paveway 16

I respect your opinion. But, Russia’s and China’s combined interests are at stake and they will not sit this one out. Israel and its sidekick MbS will not be given a free hand. Israel will be destroyed if in the next few days or weeks the Israeli police do not move to charge and arrest Bibi.

Bibi’s chief-of-staff and close confidant has turned state’s witness in the two cases of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Posted by: likklemore | Nov 10 2017 19:32 utc | 18

With “drills” going on in Israel and Saudi threats, Hezbollah will be on high alert meaning leaders will be impossible to locate and all valuable weapons and material will be stored below ground. Any “missile warehouses” visible above ground will be decoys. So limited air strikes ain’t gonna do it. All they can do is bomb civilians and infrastructure like the Israelis did in 2006. Then what?

Posted by: Lochearn | Nov 10 2017 19:39 utc | 19

Lovely, How about writing for Hollywood, although that seems to be NOT the place to be associated with at the moment?


Has this SA and Isr/US activity all been timed to coincide with the Herzbollah, Iranians, Russian airforce and the Syrians having a large force tied up at AlBukamal? In which case we are seeing a plan - not a reaction to a situation.

ie. is a distraction from US/KSA activity in East Syria, to consolidate the areas held and forestall any advance by the Syrians on the east bank of the Euphrates?

Posted by: stonebird | Nov 10 2017 19:42 utc | 20


As Carl Rove would say the empire weaves new realities for you to
choke upon and while you are analyzing it, the Empire is weaving a
new reality to keep you wondering and awed.

Your theory is utterly realistic and possible and would be the pride
of Niccolo Machiavelli himself. And I fear it is exactly the montage
a fertile mind made.

So supposedly, Iran and Nasrallah will not see through this and will
concentrate on the Saudis?

Rouhani has been appealing to MBS to discern between his handlers
and his possible real friends. To them, any action against Lebanon
and Syria will be construed to stem from the Israeli no matter who mans
the planes.

Also, it will be difficult to conceal a multi planes intrusion over the Lebanese
skies without raising automatic conmensurate retaliation by the hezbollah.

The Lebanese and Iranians know that the sole instigator of all this can only
be the Israeli.

So plan A will be put into action certainly but the reply might be not what
is expected.

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 10 2017 19:46 utc | 21

Yeah, I agree. Some kind of strikeback from the rest of the family is to be expected. I doubt that MbS has been able to decapitate all the potential opposition. There are so bloody many of them. But it might affect the success of the assassination attempt. When such serious money is in question, people don't give up easily.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 10 2017 19:49 utc | 22

It certainly reads like many believe that there is something imminent in the works as the precipitator of a more global conflict.

In some ways we have been preparing for just such an event.

What will be interesting to watch is what sides is not about ISIS anymore......bigger prey are at stake now.

As wars go, I hope this one is a wimp.....a fitting end to the social cancer of private finance.

Thanks to b and all for the "good for me" online community.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 10 2017 19:51 utc | 23

That should be FSA (Kurds) not KSA troops on the East of the Euphrates.
As an aside the US army is now claiming that THEY took Al Quaim in Iraq (which blocks the Syrian Iraq-Iran road route. To follow)

Posted by: stonebird | Nov 10 2017 19:55 utc | 24

pantaraxia | 10

I completely agree re your description of the situation Tillerson finds himself in. "It sounds like Tillerson is intent on committing political hara-kiri", this however makes it seem like you think Tillerson is not aware of where he's at. But maybe he is? Maybe he just doesn't give a flying F? After all, there's no need for him to watch his career, and he probably has some money in the bank, too. Anyway, what's he supposed to do, fall in line with the lunatics, crooks and climbers who conduct US foreign policy these days? Maybe he just can't help but act like a decent SoS should, carefully worded statements and all. I have to say, I really like the guy. He seems smart, sober-minded.


MBS and Saudi Arabia... So the whole world is basically left to wonder, trying very, very hard to read the mind of a - well, psychopath. That's what MBS is to me. His actions as far as they can be ascertained speak volumes, but there's also that mischievous glint in his eyes. He's got it on every picture I see. It's the kind of facial expression that I'd expect to see in a psychiatric ward or on shows like "Forensic Files", when they present the perpetrator who managed to completely dupe his/her surroundings. And just like I see that guy as someone with a dangerous personality disorder, Saudi Arabia as a country, to me, is the equivalent of a psychopath. Good luck trying to ever come to terms with it.

The irony of it all is: no matter how much politicians are sucking up to the Saudis, we still have to pay for the oil that we're sacrificing decency, soundness and independence for.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Nov 10 2017 19:56 utc | 25

One sees the same 'glint in Herr. Hitler's eyes !

Posted by: ashley albanese | Nov 10 2017 20:00 utc | 26

add to 4

From August - Qatar plans to destabilize Saudi

The Saudi government is mistakenly thought of as a tribal kingdom. In fact, it marginalised all tribal groups and eliminated their troublesome leadership. It incorporated the tribes in the National Guard but failed to incorporate them in government and leadership. In this part of the world, history matters.

Many tribal groups have no serious affinity to al-Saud and can easily switch allegiance as they used to do in the past. Tribal leaders, and there are many aspiring ones, are pragmatic political actors who pursue their own interests. They switch allegiance depending on their specific needs and follow the one who promises to fulfil their aspirations.

Although their rhetoric emphasises a rigid tribal code, any historian can trace their oscillating loyalties and their shrewd manoeuvres. Only an Orientalist can still hold the view that Arabian tribal allegiances follow rigid codes like fossils from the past.

They are, above all, shrewd political actors who have survived the colonial past and the onslaught of the nation states. They may express themselves in archaic poetry and celebrate camels, coffee pots and chivalry of a bygone era but they remain a dormant force that governments can mobilise should they need them.

They are now educated and willing to switch from old rhetoric about tribal solidarity and glory to new political ideas. Kuwait’s famous lawmaker and activist Mussalam al-Barak, who had been in and out of prison for defying the Al-Sabah ruling family, is a stark example of the “tribal modern”, who can mobilise across tribal divides. Qatar can easily find a Saudi version who will no doubt trouble Riyadh.

Did they find someone or did Saudi think they found someone so there was a preemptive coup?

Posted by: somebody | Nov 10 2017 20:14 utc | 27

If Paveway IV, our resident anon-type whistleblower has figured out (leaked?) the plan, you can bet your life Hezb/IRGC has contingencies in place for such scenarios. Also, Russia has stated many times the Syrian state’s sovereignty is not negociable and with both air defense assets fully integrated and unified, I just dont see how an KSA/UAE air campaign can happen while the targets sit idly, sipping maté..

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 10 2017 20:22 utc | 28

@13 jackrabbit

Syria was a large territory with pockets of sympathetic populations to Sunni jihadism. My understanding of Lebanon is that it is held together much firmly and is a smaller geographical area. Notwithstanding a tunnel rat invasion or a cell emergence, I think Lebanon security forces and Hezbollah are ready for any kind of insurgency. A move into Lebanon would probably relieve the grip over Idleb in Syria, too. In effect, an operation over there will be suicide for Nusra and the Turkmen, even though they might be able to pinch Hezbollah between themselves and an Israeli airforce for a little while.

Debisdead is right with their analogy of a drowning victim thrashing about looking for something to grab onto.

Fitting that Putin practices Judo and that it's main tenet is using the energy of your enemy against them.

Which begs the question: is NATO and America really that stupid, or was there an agreement to let the tyrants in the MENA perish through theater?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 10 2017 20:28 utc | 29

@19 likklemore, please see post @81 on the Priti Pratel thread and kindly send me your email @ lauzion at gmail dot com ? Thanks.

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 10 2017 20:35 utc | 30

Slightly off topic, but I couldn't stop laughing when I found this out (yes, I have a sick sense of humor, but I do believe that all human beings, regardless of race, gender, class, or disabilities should be treated with the utmost respect). It turns out that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Clinton Foundation Donor and anti-Trump Hillary Supporter...

Alwaleed Tweet
@realDonaldTrump: You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America. Withdraw from U.S. presidential race as you will never win.

...had an entourage of little people whom he had no problems tossing:

The Stockholder in the Sand

The prince’s defenders hastened to put it all into context: dwarves are outcasts in Saudi Arabia; when they come begging, Alwaleed, in his great beneficence, hires them to be a roving band of court jesters, thus instilling in them “a work ethic, and you really can’t fault that.” In Saudi Arabia the wealthy think it is lucky to have dwarves around, and the dwarves enjoy it, “kind of like a circus situation.” When they are pressed into service as human projectiles, there are pillows to catch them. Pillows are obviously moot, however, when Alwaleed has the dwarves dive for $100 bills in bonfires, as the Business Insider story also alleged.

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Nov 10 2017 20:39 utc | 31

PavewayIV's scenario as delineated @ 11 could succeed on the assumption that Hezbollah does not call on Iran, Russia and China for assistance both military and non-military (as in withdrawing any investments they have in Saudi infrastructure projects).

How would Egypt also react to a Saudi invasion of Lebanon? If Saudi Arabia were to call on Egypt, Pakistan and other Sunni Muslim countries to participate as its allies and supply pilots to engage in aerial bombing of Beirut and other cities, what would these nations say?

Does the Israeli air force also have sufficient motivation to engage in air strikes against Lebanon on behalf of the KSA? Is the Israeli military "moral" enough to support Satanyahu's government?

Posted by: Jen | Nov 10 2017 20:41 utc | 32

thanks b... great piece!!! i liked these quotes - ..."he is as free to leave his current residence as Julian Assange in free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy.." exactly, but the chicken shit leaders of the west, just can't figure out what to say about it all.. go figure.. this is why people refer to nasrallah as an actual leader!!!!

"The Saudi made an impulsive hostile move without having thought through the second or third step." clearly!

"There is no rule of law and there are no reliable courts. Everything depends on the whim of one man." - usa/uk this set up!! can't get any better!

"Aimless campaigns in which the second and third order effects eventually turn against the aggressor." - indeed.. i give him 2-3 years - probably a lot less..

@5 don bacon... the daily usa press briefing really show how clueless and out of touch the usa is here.. it's sobering thing to read these stupid dispatches..

@8 ghostship.. macron - completely beyond hope.. useless leader 101..

@11 paveway.. thanks for highlighting that...entirely possible at this point..

@15 stonebird.. indeed plenty of false flag possibilities here..

Posted by: james | Nov 10 2017 21:25 utc | 33

PavewayIV says_

By time they figure out they've been duped (if they ever do), it will be too late

your implication is that Hezbollah's a bunch of clueless twits. not very prescient of you.

Posted by: john | Nov 10 2017 21:29 utc | 34

From comment 32 "Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Clinton Foundation Donor and anti-Trump Hillary Supporter..."

... and Trump tweeting support to MBS... It would be very interesting to know how many sponsors of this faction now have their assets frozen. Trump undermining their foundations?

I see the whitehouse blocked... "conflicting schedules"... Trump from having an official meeting with Putin at ASEAN.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 10 2017 21:35 utc | 35

Nuclear strike by proxy, Saudi Arabia purchased(Maybe given) nuclear bomb(s) according to Saudi man (ON TV) and others.
The clown prince MbS is the perfect proxy to strike Iran. War is business and business is good, Might is right and keep hate alive CONTINUES. Very soon the USA is not the only one to use Nukes. A new can of warms opener.

Posted by: dognuke | Nov 10 2017 21:38 utc | 36

@ Paveway. The other option is that Lebanon may be a minor sideshow, and that domestic politics in US and KSA is the main but largely unseen play.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 10 2017 21:40 utc | 37

@ dognuke | 37

MBS isnt THAT crazy to use nuke even If he got one, especially not against Iran (arguably the strongest country in the region, and under Russia/China protection). Also nukes have specific manufacturers radioactive signature, you cant do it "anonymously" or through proxy and get away with it.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 10 2017 21:51 utc | 38

Jen@33 -

Israel and UAE are 'in' on the scheme, but I doubt any Israeli- or UAE-flagged aircraft would be used. I could see either country repainting a few F-16 to look like the Saudis if needed, but the idea is to make it look like a purely Saudi op. Israel and the UAE would covertly contribute whatever pilots, aircraft or bombs might be necessary. Israel already has a good supply of US bunker-busters to donate to the cause.

Since the goal is to specifically attack Hezbollah by air, other major players probably already know and will just sit this one out. Different than if the purpose or effect was for Saudi Arabia to overthrow the Lebanese or Syrian governments directly. And there will be no Saudi ground invasion (but I would pay good money to see the comical attempt if they tried).

If this only lasted a day or two, then Hezbollah and Iran will only have time to express outrage. It's not like this is ever going to be debated at the UN or require multi-party negotiations to resolve. Everyone, including Russia and China, will object to the Saudi aggression. But it will be over before anyone can or will react militarily.

This is and air attack on high value Hezbollah targets and maybe Shia militia and IRCG targets. Intense and brief, not a prolonged campaign. Of course nobody will know this in advance. Salman is the excuse, but he has no say in how long it will last. He has probably been told how long it will last. He's part of the charade to draw blame. When he is replaced, Nayef or whomever will cry about not blaming Saudi Arabia because it was a mean, rouge prince that did all this. I already see signs, however subtle, of the MSM demonization campaign ramping up to support the innocent Saudi royalty unjustly held captive and tortured, but somehow freed and heroically taking back their country from the evil prince.

Even if Hezbollah knew this kind of a scheme was unfolding and who was behind it, they're kind of stuck. The 'world' will be convinced it is solely a Saudi provocation. If Hezbollah starts sending missiles into Israel, then the US will have all the excuse it needs to intervene and carry out a prolonged campaign to destroy Hezbollah. Besides, who would really believe the palace coup is a charade supporting a larger false flag to explain the destruction of Hezbollah? That's crazy talk!

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 10 2017 21:54 utc | 39

Hariri is the bastard son of Abdullah. He is a Saudi royal. His mother was always treated as a princess when she went to Saudi Arabia. He is family. However, his branch of the family is now being persecuted.

As for MbS, his mother is Syrian. That is why he was so keen to become king of Syria. He won't last long.

All of Israel's plans for the Middle East are being rubbished by events. I cannot wait for the real story of 9/11 to come out and the role of Israel and Bush/Cheney in it. These Saudis being rounded up know all the details and it is only a matter of time before the truth leaks out. They got double-crossed by the Isarelis and must be livid and thirsting for revenge.

I never thought I would live to see the day. :)

Posted by: Alfred | Nov 10 2017 22:07 utc | 40

It should be pointed out that Cyprus is not a member of NATO and only the British have unrestricted access to Akrotiri, other countries are at the mercy of the Cyprus government. So while Saudi or Emirati planes might be allowed to land there, I very much doubt that they would be allowed to attack Lebanon or Syria from there because the British following international law probably wouldn't allow it without a UNSC resolution which Russia and/or China would veto anyway. Article 1 of the Washington Treaty which governs NATO makes it quite clear:

The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

So that would be Article 5 collective defence out the window even if a few cruise missiles hit RAF Akrotiri after Saudi or Emirati warplanes were allowed to start attacking Lebanon or Syria from there.

Saudi Arabia or the UAE even with mercenary pilots couldn't attack Lebanon or Syria without overflying Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Iraq or even Iran and I doubt that any of those countries except perhaps Israel would want to be seen as complicit in the attack by allowing Saudi or Emirati aircraft to pass through their air space. And as soon as the aircraft fly through Israeli air space, probably the most heavily defended in the Middle East any pretence of deniability by the Israelis also goes out the window.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 10 2017 22:08 utc | 41

@ PavewayIV | 40

Aerial campaign is possible but it wont achieve anything positive for the attacker, regardless if its Israel, US or Saudis. And "destruction of Hezbollah" is a physical impossibility, while Nasrallah and similar high profile targets are ready for anything, and no bunker busters will reach them.

If this only lasted a day or two, then Hezbollah and Iran will only have time to express outrage.

As if they sleeping and have no prepared missiles or anything :) It would take them an hour or two (max) to launch a barrage of ballistic missiles towards attacker. In case of Saudis, it would mean destruction of their oil production, with 'n' months to rebuild. Lightning retaliation - fully legal too. There wouldnt be any UNSC condemnation due to Russia's veto, and many countries would see it as "MBS got what he deserved." Temporary shortages would be covered by Russia, Iran and others.

Again, I dont see any win for the attacker in the end, regardless who it is.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 10 2017 22:18 utc | 42

Le Figaro: Saudi Arabia wants to replace Hariri by one of his brothers

Posted by: somebody | Nov 10 2017 22:22 utc | 43

One great urgency to effect the Paveway Plan is the upcoming Sochi deal, which is to be no mere tete a tete but something groundbreaking. Washington will want to make sure it literally is.

Jen, since Washington has failed in its sunni-shia false antagonising, the forthcoming season's antagony is Arab v. Other muslim. By that token, Egypt should be in on that side. To counteract, Moscow, Beijing have been doing stirling wok on Sisi (and Haftar). Let's see how the wind blows.

Posted by: Petra | Nov 10 2017 22:28 utc | 44

Tillerson: US still calling Hariri Prime Minister

Posted by: somebody | Nov 10 2017 22:35 utc | 45

Hezbollah would be idiots if they weren't already prepared for a sudden massive air attack by the IAF (316 attack aircraft) from just across the border, and they certainly aren't idiots.

But could the Saudis (264 attack aircraft) and Emiratis (104 attack aircraft) manage a similarly ferocious attack when the nearest Saudi air base (Tabuk) is 340 miles away and the nearest Emirati air base (Al Dhafra) is 1,800 miles way? I doubt it. Hezbollah could probably survive anything the Saudis and Emiratis could throw at them over a couple of days and if the United States blocked any UNSC action, Russia might start shooting back because it needs the SAA and Hezbollah to complete the destruction of Al Qaeda. If it's only Saudi and Emiratis aircraft over Lebanese territory that are being shot down, will the United States act in their defence? I doubt it because Trump will be having wet dreams thinking about all the billions more dollars the United States will earn for the replacement aircraft.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 10 2017 22:44 utc | 46

What many USA Americans believe:

Most here at moa are well aware

that the average american idiot is under the impression that Obama-muslim-brother-hood was friendly with "Muslims" which conflate with "Al Qaida".

And now, Trump The tough guy is kicking Al Qaida's ass over there (somewhere).

Totally unaware of USA/CIA/UK/IS/NATO/AQ Nexus.

Therefore: They believe whatever they are told.

(And further, they love police brutality as long as it is not themselves or a loved one on the receiving end of it).

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 10 2017 22:45 utc | 47

john@35 - I didn't mean to imply any such thing about Hezbollah. If Salman announces his intent to do so and Saudi jets start bombing them in Lebanon and Syria, then they will suspect US/Israel involvement but have no clear understanding of the nature of that involvement. They certainly will have no evidence to make those claims - at least nothing convincing enough to attack Israel and NOT expect an immediate response by the US and cronies.

If Salman is disposed of after the attack and the old rulers return, who is Hezbollah even going to ask? Nobody is ever going to admit what happened. Hezbollah has no way to know if owned 'Saudi' aircraft serial numbers were actually ones sold to the UAE or Israel. It will have no idea if the bombs were part of the Israeli or UAE stock transferred to the Saudis. If an Israeli pilot is downed during the attacks, the Saudis will say they have always used Israeli pilots in Yemen and this is nothing different.

Hezbollah are only 'duped' in the sense that they will know Saudi Arabian aircraft bombing them and know it can't be a purely-Saudi operation, but they won't know for sure who else was involved or how - neither will we. Maybe 'screwed' would have been a better choice of words. They would love for the IDF to roll across the Lebanese border and attempt to attack them directly. Nobody will question their response. But how is Hezbollah possibly going to respond to an air attack? Ground invasion of Saudi Arabia? They will still be screwed because the 'good' Saudi regime will be back in place and say they didn't have anything to do with it. Hezbollah will know it's a lie, but the US will react like it is the truth.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 10 2017 22:47 utc | 48

Erdogan accuses MBS ( "the person") of claiming ownership of Islam

"Recently the concept of ‘moderate Islam’ has received attention. But the patent of this concept originated in the West,” Erdoğan said.

“Perhaps the person voicing this concept thinks it belongs to him. No, it does not belong to you,” he added, noting that he was “asked about ‘moderate Islam’ at meetings in the European Parliament many years ago.

Posted by: Virgile | Nov 11 2017 0:04 utc | 49

reply to: Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 10, 2017 5:47:26 PM | 49
You are assuming SA/Israel can attack Lebanon and Syria without anyone stopping them and will be able to do so without consequences.I disagree. Russia's defense systems will block them from entering Syria. And there is no way Russia/Iran will allow Lebanon to suffer given Hezbollah's value to them both. The moment SA jets were in the air they would be told to turn back or be shot down. As for Israel, its goal is to seize control of Lebanese land/water, they can't accomplish that unless they enter on foot in which case they will be chased out faster than you can say, Bob's your uncle.
The more likely case is all of this is smoke as the Prince needed some distraction to draw attention away from his Game of Thrones Redux at home.

Posted by: frances | Nov 11 2017 0:18 utc | 50

frances@53 - You might be right. Part of my reckoning is that Russia will NOT get involved, regardless how valuable Hezbollah has been in the fight against ISIS. Russia keeps saying it is in the fight to destroy the head-choppers and Syria must defend itself against anyone else. It never lifted a finger against the Israeli attacks that they were watching unfold on their very capable surveillance radars. I don't recall Russia even acknowledging most of the Israeli air strikes.

Russia will not be happy about a Saudi air attack because it's destabilizing, but they have no intention of starting WWIII over Hezbollah, Lebanon or Syria. Same with an Iranian response - but I have far less conviction about that one. The US is really pissing them off lately. This might be the provocation that broke the camel's back. Saudi Arabia and GCC military installations near the Persian Gulf could be smoked pretty easily. Of course, the Pentagon chickenhawks would explode with glee - casus belli to start destroying Iran.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 11 2017 2:12 utc | 51

The enigmatic Mohamed Bin Salman

by Ghassan Kadi

Love him or hate him, Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) is like no other prince that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen since its inception under the rule of his founding grandfather King Abdul Aziz in 1932 and the establishment of the Al-Saud dynasty that changed Arabia; including its name.

Some argue that even the worst of humans can do a bit of good. The question is this; is MBS capable of doing any?

Posted by: Virgile | Nov 11 2017 2:29 utc | 52

But what if Russia fires a few hundred cruise missiles at KSA oil pumpjacks? You know, to cut down on the competition? After all, it's just business.

Posted by: blues | Nov 11 2017 3:28 utc | 53

Long analysis of Hezbollah capabilities at:

Posted by: Krollchem | Nov 11 2017 3:37 utc | 54

Why would a Russian response to a Saudi attack on Lebanon cause World War 3 particularly if President Aoun asked for Russian assistance? Saudi Arabia would be the obvious aggressor as it wouldn't get an UNSC resolution to support its attack. Added to which Saudi Arabia has a very long history of sponsoring attacks on the Soviet Union and then Russia. Breaking up an aerial attack on Lebanon would be the best opportunity for payback the Russians would get for while. Actually I reckon a Russian intervention would be less destabilising than not intervening because Russia could tell Hezbollah and Iran that they have no reason to retaliate

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 11 2017 4:36 utc | 55

What is the point of MbS/KSA Lebanese shenanigans?

We have multiple theories now:

b: prelude to destabilizing Lebanon with jihadis (to what end? ... liberal intervention by USA?)

PavewayIV: smash & grab Lebanon initiated by air attack

frances: distraction to further MbS power grab

others: raise the price of oil via ME tensions

More than one of above.

Now I will add another possibility:
Distraction for an attack on Qatar

While many have pointed out that a KSA attack on Lebanon would face many challenges, KSA + UAE do have the power to do attack Qatar. Such a plan would also put the roundup of opponents in a new light. There are many ties between wealthy Qataris and Saudis.

This doesn't mean that MbS/KSA isn't anti-Hezbollah, or isn't planning some action against Lebanon. But MbS/KSA has trumpeted its antagonism toward Lebanon so much that Hezb will be prepared for any direct and even indirect assault. Thus tensions with Lebanon are best seen as a distraction: a prelude to destabilization of Lebanon (as b has surmised) or an attack elsewhere: the logical target is Qatar.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 11 2017 4:53 utc | 56

S-300 and S-400 cover any area of interest in Syria and all Lebanon. They might get away with the odd strike that will do nothing in the scheme of things, but a short one or two day campaign? Nutty and the boy king would be looking for some rock solid garrantees from Putin before attempting that shit.
Looks to be a half hearted atempt to get a coalition of the killing type thing going, with foreign ministries of the usual suspects pumping out a few tweets on "Assad gassing his own people cos UN sed so" but doesn't seem to be anything building there.
This is just a win win for Trump and MBS with lebanon the red herring.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 11 2017 5:04 utc | 57

Krollchem@57 - Hezbollah is well prepared for defense of Lebanon and perhaps a punishing counterstrike if Israel attacked, but they don't have much besides an enhanced-range SCUD-D to reach Riyadh 1000km or so away or to reach most major oil infrastructure and military airfields in response to a Saudi attack. They could easily hit northwest Saudi airfields and infrastructure, but most targets up there would be a waste of a good SCUD.

Hezbollah has also had years to think about an Israeli attack and the guaranteed US air attack on them if they retaliate against Israel with missiles. Hezbollah has to have a response (or several) planned by now. They're not just going to take a pounding hiding in bunkers and then do nothing for fear of the US response. They probably figure that the US/Israeli satellites/drones have pinpointed anything they would have like a munitions or command bunker and those will be struck by bunker-busters in any attack. I doubt they would even rely on bunkers for that very reason.

The big question is what DO they have planned for Israel and could that be used against Saudi Arabia if they attacked, or would Hezbollah just lob a few SCUDS at Riyadh to make the Saudis back down, then invoke their Israeli plan anyway? Hard to imagine Hezbollah acquiring any air defense systems, but I suppose it's always possible. US/Israeli jets can attack while staying well above and beyond MANPADS range, so Hezbollah can't depend on them for much air defense. Best I can think of is provoking Israel to attempt a ground invasion into Lebanon and destroying them there. Would Israel be that arrogant?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 11 2017 5:31 utc | 58

People here are like Pavlov's dogs smelling war.

Reuters take A house divided: How Saudi Crown Prince purged royal family rivals

In the past few decades, every Saudi king had one or two of his brothers, sons or nephews by his side advising and sharing in governance. But Prince Mohammed has not appointed any of his brothers or other close family to top positions, instead relying on a team of advisers -- mainly Saudis though some are U.S.- or British-trained.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 11 2017 6:23 utc | 59

Washington Post goes negative

What do the Saudis want next? The Lebanese sources believe Hariri's harder-line older brother Bahaa may be Riyadh's candidate for prime minister. Other Hariri relatives were summoned to Riyadh last week but refused to go; it's said that Bahaa was already there. The sources also say that Bahaa sent Safi Kalo, a close adviser, to meet secretly 10 days ago with Druze leader Walid Jumblatt to discuss future strategy for Lebanon, but Jumblatt is said to have left the meeting, refusing to discuss the subject.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 11 2017 6:37 utc | 60

Interesting thread, but saturated with the belief that this is real.

Nothing will happen. No lie can endure against Nasrallah's truth. Hezbollah will fight wherever its theater arises - and will win. No one can outwit these genuine people, or defeat them. Look at the Yemenis, starved, and fully poised to destroy their tormentors before they die of hunger. You cannot win against people this real.

Nothing will happen. This is only bluster. The US? Israel? Proven blusterers. There is no scheme that can work in the light of day. These are only dreams, poignant but impossible.

Everything inside Saudi Arabia is very real and speaks of life and death. All of the palace coup is very real - you bet your life it is.

But every plan outside its borders is a fabrication of fevered minds. None of it can survive the sunrise.

Nothing will happen. Rest easy. Calm yourself.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11 2017 7:37 utc | 61

Grieved 61

It would be interesting to know how much "Russiagate" sponsorship money is no frozen or inherited by MBS and how many of the sponsors of the Russiagate crowd are booked into the the Ritz.
From what I can make of it MBS is making a clean sweep in his 'corruption investigation' putting him in a strong position domestically, and if sponsors of Trumps domestic enemies have been nutralised then Trump is in a better position. Would be a win win situation with Lebanon just glitter to keep the peasants distracted?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 11 2017 9:30 utc | 62

If Saudi Arabia attack Hezb in Lebanon, Oil facilities of Saudi will come under attack, maybe there won’t be ARAMCO the way they hope.

Posted by: Loyal | Nov 11 2017 10:00 utc | 63

There is the possibility that any air attackers cannot be immediately identified.

ie. a planes Id can be doubled or counterfeited (at least civilian). Proof of this was seen on radar where two planes with the same id were in two different places. (over the US if my memory serves me correctly.
2) The Israelis have been bombing targets in Syria by first overflying Lebanon, at low altitude and sending in "stand-off" bombs. Where there has been no reply is probably because any defensive missile would have to enter Lebanese airspace, and that could cause territorial problems. (The "shooting at, if not down, of a recent F.35, was probably Israel trying out the stealth capabilities of their newest toy - which seems not to be as good as claimed)
3) A precedent is the episode at the "climax" of The Obama-Syrian Gas-red line period. US warships were retired to the other end of the Mediterranean, and IFD planes launched two missile from near (or over) their positions towards Syria. The hope being that the Syrians would fire missiles towards the US ships in a case of "mistaken" identity, thus "justifying" an US entry into the Syrian war. The Russians identified the originators of the missile as the IAF. Having been identified, the Israelis claimed they were "practice" missiles which were then diverted into the sea. With the amount of planes/ships in the area around Lebanon, a similar false flag could easily be mounted.

I doubt that anyone in the area would think that the bombing would be for a limted period. The US is no longer trusted and Israel never has been. (Remember the Deir Ezzor "mistake". They were "coalition" planes, probably Australian or Danish, and the US was the one who gave the orders)

Posted by: stonebird | Nov 11 2017 10:39 utc | 64

Good catch, b.
"Impulsive tyrant" sounds like an apt label when we see MbS's actions. And it's a good call on the news of the meetings. The MSM if it ever mentions this says meetings like the one of Macron and Hariri actually took place. Even Nasrullah says Hariri is welcome to return along with the other partners of the coalition. Something does not connect here. And misinformation is most of what is delivered. Very thankful for the alt media.

Posted by: Curtis | Nov 11 2017 13:07 utc | 65

Bacon 4
Our State Dept is as hapless as our foreign policy. The US has been trying to get food/humanitarian aid into Yemen for three years??!! It doesn't sound like our Saudi "partners" are listening.

Posted by: Curtis | Nov 11 2017 13:10 utc | 66

Father of Invention: Media Portrayed Grief Stricken Dad Turns Out To Be al-Nusra Front Terrorist

Massive White Helmets Photo Cache Proves Hollywood Gave Oscar to Terrorist Group

“Now You See Me” – Over 100 White Helmet Self-Posted Facebook Images Expose Fake Humanitarian Group as FSA Terrorists Linked with Al-Qaeda

False Flagger: Al-Nusra Front Terrorist ‘Reporter’ Hadi Abdallah First Responder to Chemical Massacre in Idlib, Syria on April 4th, 2017

Posted by: Liam | Nov 11 2017 13:16 utc | 67

Guys, I can't believe anyone takes seriously the prospect of a Saudi, or even more absurd, a UAE attack on Lebanon. Ridiculous. Russia won't "lift a finger" to stop it because it will never happen anyway.

Now Saudi can definitely boycott Lebanon and hurt the economy and that they very well might do. But that leaves so much room for Iran and Qatar to step in and replace KSA. So let's hope they are that stupid.

So what we are left with is KSA offering Israel political cover to attack Lebanon. Unfortunately for Israel, KSA can't help them with the Hezbollah arsenal of missiles, anti tank weapons, highly trained warriors, etc. So I'm not sure how much political cover really helps. And MBS would look really stupid if it's a replay of 2006 on steroids.

Posted by: lysander | Nov 11 2017 13:34 utc | 68

>>>> Jackrabbit | Nov 10, 2017 11:53:26 PM | 56

Distraction for an attack on Qatar

That is too blatant an aggression. As soon as the aggression starts, Qatar could legitimately request aid from other countries including Russia and Iran. While the aggression was on going I'd expect to see Russian cruise missile and Iranian ballistic missiles filling the air over the Gulf. Also, the last time I checked there are Turkish troops based in Qatar for this eventuality.

KSA + UAE do have the power to do attack Qatar.

Looking at what has happened in Yemen, I seriously doubt they do.

This doesn't mean that MbS/KSA isn't anti-Hezbollah,...

If he's as pro-Israel as he appears to be and has invested as much as he has in the proxy war in Syria then he's almost certainly anti Hezbollah.

....or isn't planning some action against Lebanon.

But he's already taking action against Lebanon by demanding that Saad Harati be replaced by his brother, Bahaa:

Adding to the speculation, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, known for its anti-Saudi stance, reported Thursday that the kingdom had decided to replace Hariri with his older brother, Bahaa Hariri, as its new man in Lebanon. It added that Saad Hariri agreed to pay allegiance to his brother as long as he is set free and allowed to move to Europe and leave politics.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 11 2017 13:43 utc | 69

mr ms moon humourless word eraser
you let spooky james tavistock the site
flag up the word deletion little ask a nazi crew based in dimona no doubt
5 sheckles an hour.
by deception thou shalt do war
no doubt

Posted by: terry thomas | Nov 11 2017 14:24 utc | 70

Ghostship @69

This Guardian article describing the crackdown in September that preceded the latest roundup links detention to Qatar:

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.

The campaign has led to the detention of up to 10 popular clerics – the biggest mass arrest of its kind in the kingdom’s recent history. It follows a failed recent attempt to end the three-month feud between Riyadh and its tiny neighbour, which has defied calls to sever links with the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, whom the oil-rich state and its allies in the Gulf view as subversive threats.

. . .

The arrests of the clerics – and recent departure from Saudi Arabia of high-profile dissenters – come after a campaign launched in June against Qatar by Riyadh and the United Arab Emirates, which has since led to an air, land and sea blockade, trade sanctions and a series of demands that have so far not been met.

. . .

Senior figures inside Saudi Arabia say the crackdown is aimed at sidelining influential clerics who the royal court believes have been muted in their support for the stance against Qatar, which some senior officials believe has exposed the limits of Saudi power, rather than showcasing its strength.

“This [crackdown] needs to be viewed through the prism of Qatar primarily,” said one senior figure. “But it’s also about eliminating any other potential rival power bases on the home front for an eventual ascendancy to the top job. He remains wary of anyone connected to Mohammed bin Nayef, or the old guard.”

The country’s top religious body and state media supported the arrests, with the latter accusing the clerics of being aligned to the Muslim Brotherhood. The State Security Directorate said it had arrested people who were aligned to “foreign powers”.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 11 2017 14:24 utc | 71

>>>> PavewayIV | Nov 10, 2017 9:12:25 PM | 51

Your scenario has definite merit:

Saudi Arabia attacks Hezbollah after flying through Israeli airspace in the hope that Hezbollah respond against Israel and Iran against Saudi Arabia. The legalities of the responses would allow the US to claim that these were unwarranted acts of aggression and the US goes to war with Hezbollah and Iran. This has the added advantage that the Al Qaeda terrorists in Idlib would not be subject to the imminent planned attack

Part of my reckoning is that Russia will NOT get involved.....Russia will not be happy about a Saudi air attack because it's destabilizing...

Russia can get involved without shooting down any aircraft. Aoun requests Russian assistance in case of any attack by Saudi Arabia. Russia locates a number of air defence capable warships off the Lebanese coast. Russia places a number of S-300 batteries with their full radar systems north of the Litani River and posts pictures of them on Instagram for bellingcat to geo-locate. The intention of these deployments is not to shoot down aircraft but to make the attackers, be they the Saudis, Emiratis or the Israelis, understand that if they attack Lebanon they going to have to go down the SEAD route against Russian forces making the potential costs, political and financial, far too high. Furthermore, with all of Lebanon south of Beirut being less than 60 kms from the sea, I'm not sure a land-based component is even necessary.

Putin doesn't want instability in the Middle East and leaving Hezbollah and Iran to bear the brunt of any conspiracy is very likely to lead to a steaming great pile of instability. Also, as I mentioned above, the Saudis are due some payback from Russia and as is well known, the Russians like their payback to be legal, and what would be more legal than providing air defences at the request of the Lebanese president while the prime minister has been kidnapped by the Saudis.

I suspect the window for this conspiracy is closing. If the Saudis and Emiratis had launched it immediately after the "Iranian" missile fell on Riyadh Airport it might have succeeded but now it's no longer a "hot" response. This conspiracy looks like it's something the Israeli would dream up and these days they're not too bright, so perhaps the delay is either a way for the Saudis and Emiratis to kill the conspiracy while not obviously doing so or else Aoun and Berri have killed it by refusing to accept Saad Hariri's resignation unless he gives it in person in Beirut thus preventing Bahaa Hariri's accession to power to prevent any outside intervention.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 11 2017 14:47 utc | 72

Interesting thread, but saturated with the belief that this is real.

Nothing will happen. No lie can endure against Nasrallah's truth.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11, 2017 2:37:07 AM | 61

I would be more cautious with "truth shall prevail". For example, many aspects of history got successfully falsified and even enshrined in "sacred books" in a dubious form. But a combination of truth, the best infantry in the region, unknown but sizable missile force makes a good deterrent. An attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon will require approval of USA and Israel, USA is a "big boy that can handle that", but Israel is a different story. Retaliatory missiles would land on Haifa chemical factories and wreck havoc all over northern Israel. Because of missile defenses becoming more sophisticated, successful attacks would require coordinated salvos that would overwhelm defenses, so I would not expect huge damage in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas.

Yet, getting substantial losses for no good reason whatsoever is not an appealing plan. Politicians need topics to be statesmanlike, and "handling threats" is always a good topic even if derided by anti-patriotic assholes. Actually, that derision is valuable because it shows the main base of the government what kind of scum they have to resist. But loosing a war is a totally different story. Moreover, Israeli public has very lofty standards about "loss" and "victory", mere survival would not cheer the public.

To summarize, an attack on Hezbollah would be a total looser for Israeli government, so sorry, no green light for whatever fantasies can hatch in Riyad, Washington or Las Vegas. I suspect that pols in Israel and "prince charming" of KSA will restrict themselves to what they did so far, "low grade shit".

By the way of contrast, clobbering competing princelings is a very rational move for MbS, why he should wait until he is removed for reasons of incompetence and/or insanity?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 11 2017 15:14 utc | 73

KSA has been in dire straits for a while, or at least in a v. unfavorable a position, due to miscalcs. + errors of various kinds. (Oil price, OPEC, other economics, population, amongst others.) The curse of black gold writ so large it blows the mind.

To escape the trap of selling sand for bread and water (KSA actually does sell sand, but that is another story, not for now) and/or perpetually relying oil, a ‘renewal’ had to be presented.

Maverick MbS pops up, mentally challenged and focussed on his own hubris, touting that KSA could actually join the world economy (with oil revenues reduced or what not...) in some fantastico 2030 plan…

Sidebar. > Note that KSA has tried various schemes to diversify economically, attract foreign investment, and transform itself, for at least 25 years now. None of the initiatives have led to positive results and all have been shut down or limp along on terminal support. An oligarchic cum monarchic rigid-control economy, rentier type (mass of top ppl supported and making perpetual claims, infighting, etc. with dire poverty for the bottom half) is a model resistant to change, because the top-down authoritarian control can’t be given up as it controls the lower orders.

KSA mass killing sprees ( > Yemen), trying to condemn and attack others (> Quatar) to provoke US wide eyed US approval, is normal. Massive arms buys are also A+ marks in the book, joining up against Iran in a US-Isr-UAE- …Egypt?- Morocco? coalition can only lead to greater glory.

Possibly, the first “ME” country officially partioned into statelets (Syria and Iran not for now) will be KSA. Care of the USA. Heh.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 11 2017 16:41 utc | 74

Piotr Berman | Nov 11, 2017 10:14:43 AM | 73

So you think this is all a kind of Oriental fairy tale stuff? Calling back SA and UAE-citizens from Lebanon now? For diverting attention? May be, I hope it will end like this.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Nov 11 2017 16:43 utc | 75

@75 It's not clear if Saudi Arabia has ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon. Various headlines suggest they were told to leave. Some say urged. Some say advised.

Posted by: dh | Nov 11 2017 17:12 utc | 76

Hausmeister @75

This is not the first time KSA called back citizens from Lebanon, and "KSA coalition" is rather feeble now. With western ties, Qatar and Turkey estranged from KSA etc. Lebanon can survive with stride. Actually, the largest crisis of recent years, trash disposal, will be now nicely solved. In the absence of functional central government, opening trash disposal sites became impossible, clogging larger municipalities with temporary and smelly trash sites, and the only area were it would be easy to open new large sites were probably quarries in uninhabited Arsal mountains that were occupied by jihadists. Now those jihadists are gone, with substantial role of Hezbollah and Syria.

Realistically, winding down the civil war in Syria will be a boon for Lebanese economy: more security, access to markets like Jordan, Syria and perhaps Iraq, participation on the reconstruction of Syria and so on. I will not cry for Lebanon.

It is also interesting that USA recently supplied Lebanon with more sophisticated weapons like Helfire missiles. With jihadists gone from their mountain enclaves the danger of those weapons used in a "wrong way" abated, hm? In any case, USA is actually resigned to substantial role of Hezbollah in Lebanon and is content in keeping it on somewhat discrete level.

Fomenting a new war there would require more compelling reasons. The west and various interested parties can manipulate what they view as a "compelling reasons", but right now, they exhibit cautious attitude.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 11 2017 17:18 utc | 77

Regarding the truth of Nasrallah.

The reason he is listened to by friend and enemy alike throughout the Middle East is twofold: one part is that he speaks truth and does not dissemble, and so his words can be taken as truly meant. The other part is that his strategic and tactical grasp of a situation in both military and political terms is fiercely clear-eyed. So that what he says always reflects the fundamental, actionable reality of a situation - and this has been demonstrated again and again.

This is what makes him such an amazing asset in situations such as the one we're discussing now. All one has to do is listen to Nasrallah, and one has the clear picture. He even knows who it is that doesn't see the picture clearly, and states this clearly too.

So we know that Israel will not attack Lebanon. We know that Saudi Arabia cannot. We know that both nations are allied with the US in their hatred and fear - yes, fear - of Iran. And Hezbollah is perceived as a road to Iran. Impossible to defeat Hezbollah, but suppose you could. Suddenly, there would be Iran, and that would be much worse.

All the bad actors are hemmed in by realities that stick in their throats. They are caught in a trap made largely of their own hubris and evil greed. There is no way out of this trap. They twist and squeal, and are a general nuisance. But the trap is final, history says so. Nasrallah sees this very, very clearly also. What are the stages of coming to terms with disaster? Denial, anger, acceptance, grief, something like that. The bad actors are having a hard transition to acceptance, but really this is all that is left for them to do. We can all breathe out when they finally get there.

The above is all my opinion. To hear Nasrallah's, his latest speech is well narrated at the Duran: Hezbollah leader Nasrallah slams Saudi aggression – says Israel will not invade Lebanon

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

Fort Russ also rushed out its own translation: Saudi Arabia has declared war on Lebanon and Hezbollah, says Nasrallah FULL TEXT

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11 2017 17:20 utc | 78

@Alred #40 Bandar now arrested as part of the roundup is interesting; don't the 28(9) pages released a year ago indicate he was part of the supply chain (along with other Saudi Royals) to the hijackers' role in 9/11? These bastards will turn on each other, given the opportunity . . .

Posted by: Sid2 | Nov 11 2017 17:43 utc | 79

@61/78 Grieved. « None of it can survive the sunrise »
I love that, thank you.

@All Remember Netanyahoo’s ridiculous ploy at the UN with the « bomb » charter that screamed of « soon it will be too late »? Well, it is..

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 11 2017 17:49 utc | 80

From Nasrallah's speech...
"In Syria; Saudi emirs in Jordan led the fight in side Syria and left it in destruction."

From the Kremlin statement on a short informal meet betwween Trump and Putin at APEC...
"The two presidents, today, welcomed the Memorandum of Principles concluded in Amman, Jordan, on November 8, 2017, between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America."

Nov 8th 2017...
MBS gets total control of KSA and Trump takes out one of the major players (KSA) behind the war on Syria...and also the domestic US war on himself. If Hezbollah/Iran took some collateral damage from the cover story, well that would be just icing on the cake for Trump and MBS, but I doubt it was ever the main game.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 11 2017 18:03 utc | 81

no doubt

prince bender bush bandar is long dead his swiss gold and moneys goldman sacked.

today bahrain says iran did the bahrain oil bang

oded yinon and on and on
this message will be deleted
no doubt

by deception thou shalt do war
no doubt

Posted by: terry thomas | Nov 11 2017 18:19 utc | 82

Bandar bush, amongst other Saudi's quietly and quickly left the US under US protection after 9/11. 9/11, The War on Terra, Russiagate - all the same crowd?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 11 2017 18:30 utc | 83

The 'mukhtar' on 9/11

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 11 2017 19:16 utc | 84

As to what can happen next in the kingdom, Ghassan Kadi has an interesting article that just appeared at the Saker:
"The Second Saudi Dynasty: MBS’s reset button" [no link]

He says, with what seems to make perfect sense, that MBS must kill all his detained royals or forever watch his back. But even then, how many are currently outside the kingdom? How can he get them all?

There is one other possibility, says Kadi. He can strip all the royal lines of their royalty and start a new dynasty. I suppose this is the "constitutional" way that royalty deposes the old line and starts the next. For this to work, his father would have to abdicate and give him the crown, but we've heard this might be imminent anyway. One assumes his father would be happy to do this.

It's an interesting thought. The reset button. All those gravy-train dependents, dependent no more. It seems at first glance that a move like this could radically alter Saudi Arabia's economy, for the better.

By the way, Kadi in his article can't resist the thought that MBS has given new meaning to the phrase "putting on the Ritz" ;)

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11 2017 19:34 utc | 85

b isn't reading A Anon on 4Chan.

Google that before embarrassing yourself with this illogical pov.

The Saudi arrests are Trump taking down the US deep state at the source.

#followthewhiterabbit in Twitter and YouTube

Tillerson is following Trump's orders to tell Israel that their days of running the US deep state are over.

Posted by: B Logical | Nov 11 2017 19:35 utc | 86

That was Q Anon by the way.

He also says 300 indictments are in the dockets stateside.

Posted by: B Logical | Nov 11 2017 19:37 utc | 87

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11, 2017 12:20:48 PM | 78

Nasrallah is listened to because he commands the fire power to back him up.

What he will say is predictable

- any danger of "the umma" being split - it is an Israeli plan
- any danger of proxy conflict in Lebanon - let's keep the conflict abroad
- Saudi trying to incite Israel to attack - we are able to deter Israel

As is he has called Saudi's bluff - that Hariri's resignation was his own idea and that Israel was likely to attack.
But the whole affair only makes sense that there are backroom dealings and a Sunni prime minister taking part in Lebanon's government is one of the chips used to make a deal.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 11 2017 19:37 utc | 88

B Logical | Nov 11, 2017 2:35:08 PM

Can't you cite here more detailed what this “Q Anon“ said? I could not get it.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Nov 11 2017 19:51 utc | 89

@Belogical It seems so, e.g a butcher of Syria, Ponce Bandar "Bush", taken down...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Nov 11 2017 19:56 utc | 90

Iran, Syria, HZB, Russia, PRC are ready...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Nov 11 2017 19:59 utc | 91


On YouTube you can search for "Q Anon" and find several channels are closely following what seems to be a member of Trump's Asia entourage who started posting last Friday saying there was going to be a big takedown the next day. When the Saudi arrests happened the next day a few hundred thousand perceptive ppl subscribed to their channels and started following the hashtag #followthewhiterabbit on Twitter and FB.

He says Mueller was appointed Special Council by Rosenstein because, of course, Rosenstein was appointed by Trump as an ally (why would Trump have appointed a traitor who would appoint a hostile Mueller). Mueller is on Trump's side obviously. Now that a trillion dollars in Saudi money can no longer pay US politicians and media hacks to promote Islam and the MB and Al Qaeda and act like ISIS was never a big deal, much of the US deep state can be bought with the same money to say the opposite maybe. But the CIA and its ISIS remnants and HTS force are ready to lethally stop reverse this counter coup.

This may be a fake narrative somehow but I'd appreciate it if this blog at least knew about all this and stopped acting like it would be a great thing if the CIA gets the Saudi military to kill MBS and all Trump supporters in that kingdom.

Let's be careful about whom we're cheering for.

Incidentally, when b presents his left wing leanings and seeming personal revulsion toward Trump, he seems to be going against his prime directive of wanting the US and Russia to get along. Putin probably doesn't want the US to continue destroying itself with socialism. His alliance with Trump can save the US from nonsense like Obamacare and globalism and feminism.

Trump couldn't possibly want Israel to save HTS with a new war in Lebanon. I don't know what his relationship with Bibi is. But it's in Trump's interest to destroy all of the CIA's assets if they are traitorously against the elected President. HTS in Idlib is whom the US military should want to see action against (by the SAA with Hezzy help). Let's at least consider that Trump and the CIA faction connected until recently with the Saudis are enemies.

Posted by: B Logical | Nov 11 2017 21:49 utc | 92

Can someone explain them that hariri is sunni?

Why hasnt twitter launched a hashtag freewaleed our boss? Why no reaction of the carlton and ritz owners for being the new lutetia or a 21st type c new type of gulag?

Posted by: Mina | Nov 11 2017 22:17 utc | 93

B Logical | Nov 11, 2017 4:49:26 PM

Aha, thanks. So MBS is a partner of Trump to kill the old deep state, bring down the forces in SA who cooperated with it and finish off HTS etc. That is the reason then why Erdogan today warned against MBS. Right? Lebanon is just some play to divert public attention. Ad both Trump and MBS, are of course enemies of Iran but have no power at this moment to do anything. Correct?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Nov 11 2017 22:42 utc | 94


It's not socialism or feminism that's destroying the U.S., B Log, it's neoliberalism, exceptionalism and hegemonic world domination fantasies of a neoconservative-driven foreign policy. Putin can help the U.S. by continuing to stand strong and showing in no uncertain terms that the neocons (and their Wall Street/City masters) will not succeed in in their goal of taking down Russia and sucking up its abundant natural resources vampire squid-like at a fire sale. Instead, Putin and Trump will do deals which benefit both countries.

Posted by: Captain Cook | Nov 11 2017 22:50 utc | 95

Posted by: Mina | Nov 11, 2017 5:17:27 PM | 93

It is possible the Patriarch tries to mediate with Saudi Arabia.

The split goes through his constituency.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 11 2017 23:30 utc | 96


Any attack by Saudi Arabia/UAE would either overfly Syria or Jordan. Any fighter jets crossing into Syrian airspace would be dusted by the integrated Syrian/Russian air defense command without any blow-back.

I doubt that Jordan would approve any flyover by hundreds of Saudi/UAE aircraft. In the case of Jordan, one must recognize the role of Jordan in trying to bring peace to the Children of the Book:

Besides the King of Jordan is not happy that the Sherif (sp) of Mecca was removed by the Saudi dynasty.

What is your viewpoint?

Posted by: Krollchem | Nov 12 2017 0:04 utc | 97

Posted by: B Logical | Nov 11, 2017 4:49:26 PM | 92

Trump is the outcome of a "democratic" coup underwritten by a hedge fund manager and the US military.

His plan is for his family to get influential and rich.

All Trump is going to achieve is to cut taxes, rid the finance industry of regulations, fund the military, make his family rich. The rest is fantasy.

The only positive outcome of the Saudi coup might be that the royal family thouroughly delegitimate themselves. No one including the Israel lobby who hope for a Saudi Israeli "Arab peace" expect this to end well

If Washington is not careful, the Saudis will sandbag America into standing up to Tehran while the Saudis hide behind its skirt.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 12 2017 0:10 utc | 98

Haven't seen anyone posting about this possibility- is anyone else nervous of some sort of "terror attack" on the two hotels that are housing royal detainees or whatever you'd like to call them in Riyadh?

Ya know, the usual Wahabbi suspects come in and bomb the shit out of the place, and the farcical notion that Hezbollah came and pulled the thing off is pushed to no end?

Posted by: Sandy | Nov 12 2017 5:25 utc | 99

"Ya know, the usual Wahabbi suspects come in and bomb the shit out of the place, and the farcical notion that Hezbollah came and pulled the thing off is pushed to no end?"

What the fuck you on about? It's the wahhabi KINGdom. they will most likely get their heads chopped off. All official and above board. No "terrorists" required.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 12 2017 5:34 utc | 100

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