Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 08, 2017

Trump Is Bashing The 'Salvator Saudi' - Why?

The Trump administration seemed to get along very well with the Saudi tyrant and his son Mohammed bin Salman. They together admired the orb and joined up to bash Iran. But now the Trump administration scolded and embarrassed MbS three times in as many days. One wonders what is going on behind that scene.

In mid November a mysterious buyer bought a probably fake Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ for a cool $450 million. On December 6 the New York Times reported that some Saudi prince was the front-man for the purchase:

He is a little-known Saudi prince from a remote branch of the royal family, with no history as a major art collector, and no publicly known source of great wealth. But the prince, Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, is the mystery buyer of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Salvator Mundi,” which fetched a record $450.3 million at auction last month, documents show.

The revelation that Prince Bader is the purchaser, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times, links one of the most captivating mysteries of the art world with palace intrigues in Saudi Arabia that are shaking the region. Prince Bader splurged on this controversial and decidedly un-Islamic portrait of Christ at a time when most members of the Saudi elite, including some in the royal family, are cowering under a sweeping crackdown against corruption and self-enrichment.

As it happens, Prince Bader is a friend and associate of the leader of the purge: the country’s 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

The NYT did not explain how it had gained access to the documents it reviewed. Later that day Bloomberg reported that the painting would be shown in Abu Dhabi. This somewhat diverted from the trail to MbS:

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is getting Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” which sold last month at a Christie’s auction for $450 million, the most ever paid for a work of art.

Christie’s said the artwork will be going to the museum, but declined to say whether the Louvre Abu Dhabi bought the painting. The Louvre Abu Dhabi said in a tweet Wednesday: “Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi.

A day later, on December 7 the Trump administration gave a tip to the Wall Street Journal's Shane Harris. The real buyer, it confirmed, was the Saudi clown prince:

Prince Mohammed, known by his initials MBS, was identified as the buyer of the 500-year-old painting, “Salvator Mundi,” in U.S. intelligence reports, according to people with direct knowledge of the information. American officials have closely watched the activities of the 32-year-old, who is trying to portray himself as a reformer determined to root out corruption in the oil-rich kingdom.

The NYT had already hinted at MbS as the real buyer. But it did not say from where it had that information. The WSJ confirmed the buyer and made explicit that the Trump administration was behind the embarrassing leak.

A few weeks ago MbS arrested 200 of the richest and most powerful people in his country. He locked them in a hotel and is fleecing them for their money which, he says, was gained though corruption. That claim is nonsense. He simply wants to steal that money and let them know who the boss is.

The Saudis have a budget problem and are cutting on social spending in the country they rule. It does not look good to cut money from the poor, fleece other members of the wider family and to then waste a large fortune on a picture that might even be fake. On top of that owning that picture is religiously problematic for MbS. Under Wahhabi doctrine no visual portrayals of prophets like Jesus Christ are allowed.

The UAE again came to the rescue. Today the museum tweeted:

Louvre Abu Dhabi @LouvreAbuDhabi - 1:57 PM - 8 Dec 2017
Louvre Abu Dhabi is looking forward to displaying the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo Da Vinci. The work was acquired by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi for the museum.

The Department of Culture and Tourism seemed to confirm (ar) that, but when the museum was directly asked by the AP it went mum:

Jon Gambrell جون @jongambrellAP - 8:07 AM - 8 Dec 2017
The Louvre Abu Dhabi refused to say whether they made the $450 million bid or if someone gave the Department of Culture and Tourism the painting when asked by the @AP.

Hmmm ... this is a cover up. Why is the UAE doing this?

The de-facto ruler of the UAE is the 56-year-old crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed. He is the mentor of (and brain behind) the 32-year-old crown prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman. Did MbS buy a little Christmas gift for MbZ, but was embarrassed when the Trump administration let the world know about it? Or is MbZ running covering for an outrageous buy MbS made for himself?

The buying of the picture is not the only issue at hand. Just the day before the administration leaked to the WSJ about the art deal, President Trump had publicly  scolded MbS about the situation in Yemen:

President Trump called on Saudi Arabia to lift its crushing blockade against its war-torn neighbor Yemen on Wednesday, hours after defying the kingdom and saying the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Trump said he had directed members of his administration to reach out to the Saudi leadership "to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it."

Today Secretary of State Tillerson again pushed that line:

Speaking in Paris on Friday, Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, called on Saudi Arabia to be "measured" in its military operations in Yemen.
Tillerson urged Saudi restraint.

"With respect to Saudi Arabia's engagement with Qatar, how they're handling the Yemen war that they're engaged in, the Lebanon situation, we would encourage them to be a bit more measured and a bit more thoughtful in those actions to, I think, fully consider the consequences," he said.

He once again demanded a "complete end" to the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen so that humanitarian aid and commercial supplies could be delivered.

Embarrassing MbS about the art buy and publicly(!) scolding hm for the situation in Yemen, for which the U.S. is just as much responsible as the Saudis, is quite an assault. What has MbS done - or not done - to deserve such a punishment?

Trump has just declared that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Did the administration expect the applause of the Saudis for its breaking of international law with regards to Jerusalem? Does it lash out to the Saudis to get their agreement?

If so the miscalculation is clearly on the U.S. side. It is impossible for the Saudis to concede the Haram al-Sharif, the mosque on the so called temple mount, to the Zionists. The Saudi King would no longer be the "custodian of the two holy mosques" in Mecca and Medina but the "seller of the third holy mosque" of Islam in Jerusalem. The people would kill him and his whole family.

If the issue of this public hustle it is not Jerusalem, what else might it be that the Trump administration wants and the Saudis can not, or are not willing to concede? 

A few hours ago the Saudi King fired his ankle biting Foreign Minster Adel al-Jubair. A relative of the king, Khaled bin Salman, will take the job. Is this related to the spat with Trump?

Posted by b on December 8, 2017 at 19:52 UTC | Permalink


This came up:

Breaking: Saudi FM allegedly sacked by regime

The Saudi Foreign Minister, ‘Adel Al-Jubeir, has been allegedly sacked by the Kingdom’s regime, several prominent political activists reported this evening.

According to the claims, Jubeir was fired and replaced by a close confidant of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The confidant that is allegedly replacing Jubeir is none other than Prince Khaled bin Salman, the Crown Prince’s brother.

The Saudi regime has yet to confirm or deny these rumors.

Posted by: arbetet | Dec 8 2017 20:02 utc | 1

It was Jerusalem. They were not willing to sacrifice Jerusalem.

Posted by: Madderhatter67 | Dec 8 2017 20:14 utc | 2

Where does MbS's interpretation of Salvator Mundi come from. The Saudi's have something with crystal orbs, like the one Trump so fondly stroked in Riyadh after giving a masterful interpretation of the sword dance.

Posted by: Quentin | Dec 8 2017 20:20 utc | 3

Yes. It is puzzling what is going on between MbS and the Trump administration. I was sure MbS, the reformer, secretly okayed the Jerusalem move. His negative statement might be just theater, I figured. But I am not so sure anymore. Yes, MbS wants a peace deal (any deal with "peace" written on it) between Palestinians and Israelis. But both he and Trump/Kushner are novices in politics and diplomacy (and that ain't the same as getting a deal for a new tower) and absolutely underestimated the effort. Totally. Word is that Kushner made Trump delay delivering his campaign promise because he needed more time for his peace plan (and that would be 6 months???). This is the level they are at. And now, they placed an obvious obstacle in the path go their peace plan - out of folly. Complete folly. Because Trump wanted to deliver. I believe they are already backtracking as good as they can. But the damage is done. I think Palestinians were just waiting for a good opportunity/reason to get rid of the US in the process and found it now. Also, the single state solution is being talked about.
The source for the WSJ need not be the Trump administration in the narrow sense but some stray intelligence official ("U.S. intelligence reports") wanting to throw a wrench because that story is absolutely damaging. Absolutely, because it is embarrassing and I don't think MbS enjoys that. Note, the story began to become known around the time it became obvious Trump would not sign the waiver and reached its epitome (WSJ) just after that. Trump set himself up for this.

Posted by: BX | Dec 8 2017 20:20 utc | 4

My pet hypothesis is Trump's recognizing Jerusalem was the bone he was willing to throw the Israelis after his generals told him attacking Iran would be catastrophic for the US military and world economy. The Saudis, who are as rabid about bombing Iran as the Zionists, were pissed as they probably had been led to believe the attack was a matter of time. In order to remind them of their position and get them on board with the "peace" deal Tillerson has been hinting about, they've been turning the screws on MBS as a taste of what's to come if he puts up stink about the wonderful Kushner- concocted "plan".

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Dec 8 2017 20:38 utc | 5

$450 mil... MbS's Egyptian torturer-in-chief must have just torn a few princely nails and whip a few feet for that, just a few days' worth of "anti-corruption" "campaigning".

Wait, wasn't the Saudi populace all behind MbS because he was going to spend the money on them? If there is no bread, let them non-royals eat paint.

Posted by: fx | Dec 8 2017 20:42 utc | 6

The Saudis could always stuff the Masterpiece into a Patriot launching tube and fire it at the next Houthi missile. It's costs and effectiveness is comparable to a Patriot PAC-3 round.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 8 2017 20:42 utc | 7

About the picture - after the shake down of Saudi Arabia's rich princes MBS must have a lot of ennemies. Some of these princes might have been close to the Trump administration.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 8 2017 20:56 utc | 8

That sacked FM - Is that the little fellow that Col Lang calls "The Chihuahua"?

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Dec 8 2017 21:01 utc | 9

Good Patrick Cockburn article on the mess.

Gazan military groups are warming up to a rocket competition. I am sure the real stuff is not involved yet.

What were they thinking? That people did not take the chance to unite on the only issue they all agree on?

I agree, Saudi in all likelihood were not part of the Jerusalem declaration. Israeli sources spread a plan they said was agreed to by Saudi, trying to embarrass them.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 8 2017 21:09 utc | 10

MbS is in it for himself, no one else. Leave him aside for the moment.

However, Trump probably thought he had a marvellous peace plan for Palestine which he would show the world.... errr... tomorrow. This was supposed to have the backing of the Saudis and the Israelis and all the other ME "actors" would be lined up behind MbS.
ie. Saudis would provide the backing, which included the "Arab" states as per the recent gathering of them all (excluding Iran and Iraq). Abbas would be blackmailed to go along in order to keep his position (Moneywise), and the Palestinians as well - but by the withholding of funds. (New vote in Congress).

Leaks of the plan (unverified) suggest that the PA's would be held in walled-in isolated camps, with all contact subject to the harassement and nightly raids of the IDF, the land still open to theft by settlers (this has been "legalised" in Israel !) and so on. ie they get nothing except a tissue-paper "treaty" . They seem not to have even been consulted by Kushner and the Israelis. ie who possibly expected to be able to impose whatever Netanyahu and the Israeli Generals might allow.

BUT, when have either the US or Israel kept to an agreement - never. and the PA's and the rest of the ME know it.

The reaction is deeper than expected. Not in the way of street, easily contained, violence, but by a gut reaction of the whole ME..The religious aspect seems to have been totally ignored by the US. Removing one of the major symbols of about 1.2 billion people - is not going to go down well.

Those countries with a large Palestinian refugee population, either fear them, or may be outnumbered if there are more arriving (Jordan), or will find that they now have a potential source of militants at their disposal.. (Syria?, Lebanon?). The Syrians and Lebanese have not let the Palestinians get more arms - yet, as they might have become targets themselves. But, there have been PA's in the Syrian counter-terrorist forces, even when Yarmouk camp was held by Daesh (or one of the others).

So I think that the "bit" players have got cold feet. They cannot go along with the eradication of the Palestinians or their confinement to concentrated internement camps such as Gaza, whose conditions are WORSE that prisons. Otherwise the whole "Rulers-People and the power-structures that keep them in place" would be in jeopardy.
The Leonardo ? .... acquiring "class" by buying expensive "cultural" artifacts. You can buy a lot of "class" with $450.3 million.

Posted by: stonebird | Dec 8 2017 21:54 utc | 11

I think that answer to b's question has a lot to do with trying to incite war in the ME

I think that SA does not want to be the global elite's proxy in a war with Iran....especially to start/incite the war.

It really is becoming a public spectacle and that plays into the desire of the masses to see such incompetence writ large.

I entreat everyone's spirits to keep these kooks away from the nukes.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 8 2017 22:06 utc | 12

Yo b or any of the commentariat - Any speculation as to the connection to the Russian know, follow the money?

Posted by: Jef | Dec 8 2017 22:17 utc | 13

Maybe that canvas Jesus is meant to be a hostage one day, potentially.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Dec 8 2017 22:18 utc | 14

As to how the Jerusalem actions play out, the posting here (MOA) a couple of days ago was informative as to reasons and timing (including info about Sheldon Adelson's hundred million to Trump campaign).
I do wonder...knowing that real or false-flag violence could ensue against Israeli or US targets, it could be a useful pretext for the US waging war in the ME against Hezbullah or anyone else we accuse. With our intelligence agencies providing the "evidence" and a compliant media to sell it, as usual a majority of Americans would support it.

Posted by: Kabobyak | Dec 8 2017 22:27 utc | 15

Great stuff, b et al. This Jerusalem declaration has me genuinely scared. Violence (real or false flag) could be the expected Reaction to this Problem, resulting in the long-plannd Solution of finishing off MENA.

If Russia is sincere in its alliance with Syria and Iran, and interest in a multi-polar world with self-determination for sovereign nations, this war could easily escalate to the End Timer's dreamt of Final Battle of Armageddon.

Most of the MSM coverage of Reactions I've seen name Muslim/Arab countries as opposing, and others as "concerned," even though almost all official state responses have denounced President Trump's® declaration. This "Clash of Civilizations" type narrative is not encouraging.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 8 2017 22:37 utc | 16

Terry Tibbs 14 - The family trust of Rybolovlev is the seller of the painting.
Rybolovlev was also a buyer of Trump estate in Florida previously.

Posted by: Flatulus | Dec 8 2017 23:09 utc | 17

@ Daniel ending with "This "Clash of Civilizations" type narrative is not encouraging."

That is exactly what they want you to focus on as a narrative rather than the simple truth about the demise of private banking.

On the previous thread about the Republican: Ryan deficit BS there was a commenter ex-SA with a John H. Hotson link that I want to see go viral because it simply explains the history of the Gordian Knot we face as a species

The link to a 1996 article: Understanding Money by John H. Hotson

The take away quote
Banking came into existence as a fraud. The fraud was legalized and we’ve
been living with the consequences, both good and bad, ever since. Even so it is
also a great invention-right up there with fire, the wheel, and the steam

Clash of Civilizations is as vapid a meme as the common understanding of the Capitalism myth as that article so clearly states.

Spread his word far and wide to wake up the zombies. It is time!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 8 2017 23:22 utc | 18

thanks b.. fascinating.. i wait for the next shoe to drop.. it's coming... hopefully we get the back story on this sooner then later..

i would think the timing of Foreign Minster Adel al-Jubair being fired has something to do with all this.. he revealed something that he wasn't supposed to? i would also imagine those heavies still hanging at the saudi ritz carlton might be pulling some strings from behind the scenes? meanwhile mbz is doing a hell of a fine apprentice with mbs, lol..

nice pic in the post btw!! clown prince as savior of ksa, lol...

Posted by: james | Dec 8 2017 23:56 utc | 19

Belief in Jerusalem as the Jew capital is the same as belief in the intrinsic value of fiat currency, or the exceptionalism of the US. It's just mental illness. The Kingdom of God is within you, not in temples of stone and wood. We'd be better just cultivating our own personal relationship with our higher selves and leave the deluded to scrap it out over ash and sand. That said, if someone with a big nose came to my door and said my house was going to get knocked down because Shalom etc, that would be the day I would have to really figure out how to proceed without becoming the necessary victim in another's persecutor drama complex. I guess that's what Palestinians have to deal with every day. Horrible situation.

I heard a story once that when the British were throwing the Aborigines of Australia off cliffs en masse in their Australian version of the Middle East story of dispossession and demonization, the Aborigines would look up calmly at the officers as they fell and in their own language say: "You have a problem, bro". Sometimes death is better than becoming a victim. And as a worshiper of Lord Shiva the Destroyer, I wish you all completely liberating and renewing deaths from yourselves.

Posted by: jezabeel | Dec 9 2017 0:02 utc | 20

But, has not The Donald declared that this media NYT, Bloomberg, etc...were all "fake news"?
Then why is anybody going to trust them when publishing whatever?
Sounds quite clumsy, or simply, demential ( as every move of this administration ) to try to leak something through those media you have widely discredited during all your election campaign and beyond....
I, by a norm, do not trust any move coming from Trump could be for any good. This is, simply, "smoke and mirrors" and an intent of whitewashing a bit the already deplorable image of this admnistration in front of the world wide reaction in rejection of his bold and clumsy declaration of Jerusalem as capital of the Zionist regime.
The same for the clearly hypocritical call for to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, just another intent of whitewashing when they are main puppet-masters in that war torn country, as it happens with every conflict in the world.
What it is beyond me is that the Russians, are always amongst those who swallow this theater plays....I wonder why....

In front of the demential way this administration makes fun of every event, people, country... in the world, in spite of the suffering they could inflict on them, I concur with Terry in that this just could be some esotheric issue more proper of unoccupied people with too much money to waste. Most probably something involving "Damian" Kushner, his 666,Madison Avenue penthouse and an occult message from The Messiah in the reverse of the canvas of that Jesus paint with a codified message on the results of the coming final battle of Armaggedon amongst the forces of evil and those of good, when Russia will be santified as the real Promised Land and The Saker will be ( finally! ) crowned as the saint he always claimed to be along with Saint Nicolas Romanov, and they will all eat sardinas together with the Trumps, the Kushners and the Netanyahus in Mar a Lago or in the super-yatch of Abramovich during the summer, but in winter they will go together to Sochi´s Putin dacha, since they love to meet super-intelligent, well educated, cool people....well, the elite of everything...

The surviving Arabs and the rest of us, plebeian ignorant clumsy sinners not so white as them, ( what they call "the sheeple", vaya )we will continue working from sunrise to sunset for crumbs, but, who cares? We will continue having good times with our peers and loved ones and laughing as usual with the little things of real life...Do not despair....

Posted by: elsi | Dec 9 2017 0:20 utc | 21

The poster above was drawn by Basque artist Josetxo Ezcurra

Posted by: elsi | Dec 9 2017 0:44 utc | 22

Western media called Putin unpredictable, but that was because he could see moves that others didn't see. Erdogan looked unpredictable and irrational while moving from the hedgemon to the multi-polar world.
Trump? Like Erdogan, trying to move US to the multi polar world?
Too many moves he makes puts sand in the hedgemon's gears.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 9 2017 0:46 utc | 23

For you to see that all this is not but theater, look what worries them most, meanwhile, in The Vatican:

Pope Francis supports the idea of changing a phrase in the Lord's Prayer

Posted by: elsi | Dec 9 2017 1:15 utc | 24

Change just one letter and you have "waRabbi". The one state solution. There, fixed it for ya!

Posted by: mireille | Dec 9 2017 1:29 utc | 25

It's all about Saudi Aramco's IPO. Theresa May and Perfidious Albion are mounting a full court press to land the IPO in London.
The front goy inside the White House wants the IPO to be held on the NYSE so he can tell brain dead deplorables that gilded Murikkka is great once again.
Never mind the fact that Chump's new tax cuts like a giant sucking sound will make their way directly to China's capital markets.
The Chinese easily played the narcissistic Chump, he couldn't resist. Can't fix stupid, it's terminal...

Posted by: Augustin L | Dec 9 2017 1:43 utc | 26

It's an awful fucking painting anyhow. Even if it's not a fake it has been overpainted (sorry 'restored') so many times the original dauber's intent is long lost. As to who the buyers are; was it was pretty bloody obvious to anyone who watched the auction, that this was a laundry scheme. As the price went up, instead of becoming at least a little faint of heart at the thought of raising the bid by another ten lamborghinis or whatever, the bidder accelerated - obviously embolded by being able to rinse another coupla hundred mill. Since any self respecting coke dealer would be wanting to stay out of the limelight of this purchase, that left Asian manufacturing magnates (who haven't been having a great year) or oil princes flushed with the continued rise of a barrel of brent crude.

So the junior creep has managed to flush nearly half a billion of his ill-gotten gains down the toilet, an act that would make him with the huge front and tiny back, agent orange, ropeable with jealousy.

Where others see conspiracies I see a twerp who reacts rather than plans, who is already pissed at being upstaged in 'his year'. Remember that Time mob went and gave the cover to a gang of women how dare they. trump has lashed out in his usual weak arsed passive aggressive way by leaking intelligence about the picture, what a sad little derp he is.

Nothing good for amerika can come from the crazy Jerusalem stunt and I point out again that the Palestinian issue is one of a very few on which all of Islam (not just Arabs, also Kurds, Persians, South Asians and South East Asians) have always united. I was in Indonesia for a good part of 1990 and it wasn't just the Indonesian Arabs who saw Saddam Hussein as their potential world leader, it was the entire Islamic population because he had been outspoken on Palestine.

Yes, the Palestinians will have their 3 days of rage, something the zionists planned for and maybe even organised, but underneath that something much bigger and covert will be happening, as every Islamic leader on this old rock develops a strategy to unite everyone behind himself. The obvious ones such as erdogan will fall by the wayside, but out there somewhere is a young smart & nimble Islamic leader who will achieve a unification, if only because muslims have come to realise the current mess of division and discord is an exercise in self-mutilation whose only beneficiaries are amerikans & jews.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 9 2017 1:46 utc | 27

But...the real nitty-gritty is not in this strange purchasing of a Jesus paint amongst a Saudi crown prince and a Russian oligarch close to Putin, but in the babbling by Trump during his speech on Al Quds, when he failed to pronounce some letters.....

Mental crisis! Trump crawls during his Al-Quds speech

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday experienced uneasy moments when faced with a question about the abnormalities in Wednesday's speech by US President Donald Trump, in which he recognizes Al-Quds ( Jerusalem) as the capital of the Israeli regime.

The oral cadence of the president became irregular during his speech, in which he failed to pronounce well some letters, particularly that at the end of "United States". "God bless the United Shhtates" he said.

Saying that "the president had a dry mouth. There is nothing more than that", Sanders tried to justify the fact, in addition to considering the journalists' questions about the president's pronunciation of "quite ridiculous".

In this regard, the spokeswoman pledged to reporters that Trump will undergo a complete medical examination during "the first part of next year" and said he will release his results to demonstrate that the head of state enjoys good health.

The former Republican member of the US Congress Joe Scarborough said on Thursday on his MSNBC show that dementia was the most likely explanation for the rarity in Trump's oratory, a sign that does not occur for the first time.

The presidency of Donald Trump is unique, but to criticism, fears have been added that the US president is out of his mind, and there are even suspicions that he suffers from a delusional paranoid disorder, which would make him unfit to direct USA.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 9 2017 1:46 utc | 28

U-turn: Tillerson is in, Adel el Jubair is out

I think that Tillerson is on the rebound and Jared Khusner pushed aside. It is quite possible that Jared Kushner and Adel Al Jubair have been plotting in the back of MBS about Lebanon, Iran and Israel.
They were probably the ones who pushed MBS to bully Hariri , the Lebanese PM, they are the ones who convinced Trump to make the announcement on Jerusalem that got total rebuff from the Arab world and the Western allies.

Tillerson, now rehabilitated after rumors of his imminent dismissal, is trying to minimize that blunder and limit the damages.
MBS has fired his FM, a close friend to the Jewish lobby and probably a close friend to Jared Kushner
What will happen to Jared Kushner?

Posted by: Virgile | Dec 9 2017 1:53 utc | 29

re Trump's Jerusalem announcement:
151 UN states vote to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem
To me it sounds like Jared called in a favor (to help Israel save face) with his father-in-law to balance off the UN vote. Last Thursday the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem as part of six anti-Israel resolutions it approved on Thursday in New York. The vote was 151 in favor and six against, with nine abstentions. Only six countries out of 193 UN member states fully supported Israel’s ties Jerusalem: Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the United States and Israel itself.
As for a Trump peace plan:
I don't think there is or will be any "plan" other than the one in Jared and Nuti's dreams. For by saying what he did Trump managed to sideline the US from any peace plan negotiations. IMO the ball is Putin's now, Trump has bigger fish to fry.
re: the painting
Yep, it is a dud and to think that the sale was to pay off some debt is not much of a stretch.
re: the Prince
About a week ago one of the lead Wahhabi leadership presumably at the Prince's order called for Israel's statehood to be recognized and further that to speak ill of them was against god's law. My guess is both SA and Israel want the US to attack Iran for them so they are now the best of friends.
Will the US attack Iran, no but the call for SA to play nice in Yemen is probably an excuse for the US to go into Yemen to show them how it is done.
Remember Russia is bringing a pipeline into the area, my guess is the US wants to put in a US base on Yemen's island of Socotra to play head games with Russia.
With Trump it will always be about the money and/or the oil/gas.

Posted by: frances | Dec 9 2017 5:19 utc | 30

Some people say that these ridiculously large art payments are hoaxes to hide money laundering, dope payments, etc.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 9 2017 5:57 utc | 31

The Saudi's are going to sell oil to China in Yuan rather than american dollars. Methinks that is why trump is trying to pressure MBS

Posted by: Ike | Dec 9 2017 6:19 utc | 32

The Saudi's are going to sell oil to China in Yuan rather than american dollars. Methinks that is why trump is trying to pressure MBS

Posted by: Ike | Dec 9, 2017 1:19:02 AM | 38

While I've seen some discussion of this, I wonder how serious it actually is. Perhaps on a small, small scale (which would still make the USA mad I'm sure, signifying changing global economy), I can't see that MbS just up and start trading in the yuan one day. SA is a client state. Period full stop. There's not way it would just happen so suddenly with the current state of affairs. It'd be way too big a deal to the US to stand idly by. US weapon sales there and the consistent Saudi's use in regard to proxy troops/whabbi missionary work/financing of proxy wars/etc are not comparable (to trading oil in dollars). That's one big reason why Iran is so hated after all. SA and USA seem on the same page on that for sure.

I do wonder what will happen if the Chinese get that sale of (part of) Aramco however. Don't see it happening but would introduce interesting dynamics into the situation. MbS seems really unbalanced and impulsive anyways so who knows.

Posted by: George Smiley | Dec 9 2017 6:51 utc | 33

Russia sells S400 to Saudi Arabia

Saudi is a client state but a client state with options.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9 2017 7:29 utc | 34

psychohistorian, yep, the private banking system is a house of cards. More often than not, I'm surprised it hasn't collapsed in on itself already (or collapsed more completely is probably a better phrasing). And JSIL (Jewish State of Israel in the Levant, (and thanks to Max Blumenthal for that acronym) is a creation of the supra-national private banking cabal.

And those blood-suckers encourage and profit off of both sides of every war. And war is precisely what I fear is the "Solution" that's behind this. And the MSM's "Clash of Civilizations" narrative is the excuse that's already in use to excuse our Global War OF Terror, which is why I noted it being suggested as regards reaction to Trump's Jerusalem declaration.

As has been mentioned here before, some of us are not so sure that Russia really is an independent actor, but if they are then this next war could escalate quickly to near-extinction event levels.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 9 2017 7:37 utc | 35

@ Penelope | Dec 9, 2017 12:57:18 AM | 37
But some people say this "Miles Mathis“(anybody here to have met him in person?) is an established psy-op, a conspiracy concoctor: "Miles Mathis- very possibly an op!...a revisit with Julie!“.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 9 2017 9:47 utc | 36

@ Penelope | Dec 9, 2017 12:57:18 AM | 37
But some people say this „Miles Mathis“(anybody here to have met him in person?) is an established psy-op, a conspiracy concoctor.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 9 2017 9:49 utc | 37

Anyway, there is a strange communication going on where Israeli media claim that Saudis are on board with Trump's announcement and Saudi say they are not.

Wishful thinking?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9 2017 11:36 utc | 38

@Penelope 37

"Hoaxes" is probably not the word to use. The Art market (upper end) has long been a means of transferring large sums of money, without Government oversight or taxes. No need to think drugs.

An example from several years ago; Basle Art Fair, Swedish Gallery, five translators on call, and at first the principle exhibition was one of Yves Klein Paintings, sponges and other smaller works. (The Prospective buyer, a Lady, only drank white wine - which we had - so the Gallery asked for some for their client, which is how I know about this). The biggest painting, large, blue, was at that time very expensive, and had been brought up from Italy. Recently "dipped" Klein sponges were about $25'000 apiece. Good money at the time. (Call them "renovated" if you want - Klein had been dead for several years). The whole collection was sold to a buyer from the US. BUT, at the end of the exposition an exactly same sized "blue" painting of a guy sitting on a ladder, was sent to Italy and the Kleins went to the US. No visible "sale" had happened - but several millions $ changed countries.
You can no longer do this as they have tightened the rules, but you get the idea.

Note that the "sponges" tastefully mounted on stands - would also have been categorised, catalogued, probably photographed and otherwise identified as genuine productions by Klein. - even if they had been redipped in "Klein blue" paint. This is important as it is the "visibility" and track of expensive works that upholds their "value", on the market.

Oh, and the Klein exhibition disappeared and was replaced on each of the other days (5 in all) by a new exhibition).

Posted by: stonebird | Dec 9 2017 12:19 utc | 39

The "acquisition for" the Louvre is actually standard practise at a certain level of smart-alex.

The Leonardo, and I take as an assumption that it is one, has possibly been "touched up, renovated" or whatever. BUT, Leonardo usually used sfumato, ie with a series of fine transparent glazes and a bit of finger painting to get the final result. Result being that the "final touches" by the master's hand may have been screwed up. So by lending or some other arrangement to the Louvre - it can then be accepted as genuine, catalogued, tomes written about it etc. ie. Its' "value" as an original becomes reinforced, by the Louvre.

There could also be a part of the contract giving the owner a large percentage of the revenue from any "special exhibition". Can be big money - as the quantity of "exposable" artists with drawing power for the masses, is limited. Leonardo would be top.

Posted by: stonebird | Dec 9 2017 12:33 utc | 40

@ terry tibbs | Dec 9, 2017 9:39:05 AM | 47

"he does give lots of truth you just have to remove the dung"
Thanks, fine. How do you recognize "the dung"?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 9 2017 14:58 utc | 41

I prefer money-laundering as an explanation for the $450M Leonardo. I presume that 'fake' means a fake Leonardo because Jesus is a figment of someone's imagination so ANY likeness is as real or fake as any other.
Since the Presidential campaign got into full swing, it's been obvious, to me, that Trump is a very clever individual; among the top 1% of everyone on the planet, imo.
If he's hammering the Saudis then it'll be because they've breached a 'private' understanding with him, and he's reminding them that POTUS is the most powerful person on Earth and they'd better not forget...
Trump obviously sees his anti-SWAMP role as chucking all the stale old hypocrisies up in the air and letting them fall into disarray to be scrutinised and then PUBLICLY, and sanely, revamped.
And he's making headway, imo.
And, not completely irrelevant, Pat Lang thinks POTUS Trump has a lot of constitutional power/authority which hasn't been wielded - yet.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 9 2017 15:16 utc | 42

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 9, 2017 10:16:53 AM | 49

He is up for reelection in two years time. Good Luck! (not)

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9 2017 15:49 utc | 43

He is up for reelection in two years time. Good Luck! (not)
Posted by: somebody | Dec 9, 2017 10:49:33 AM | 50


Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 9 2017 16:14 utc | 44

@ Daniel, karlof1 and others with a question

What is the early history of the seemingly structural mutual support pact of the ME religious myth folks and the "thou shall not be named" cabal of global elite that control our lifeblood/money and maintain/extent the private property/inheritance/usury meme that the West lives and has since......feudal era?

I see it as some sort of Devil's Pact between the two social organization tenets that evolved out of the never quite finished Enlightenment period.

I posit all this as some context for the drama play that we are watching before this posting from b

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 9 2017 16:15 utc | 45

US presidential elections 2020

I counted the campaign as "up for election"

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9 2017 16:25 utc | 46

@49 Hoarsewhisperer

Good points.

He is quite different from the Clinton/McCain/Obama/Bush old guard.

I agree with the headway. He stated originally that he wanted to work with Russia against actual terrorism and that seems to be what is going on.

He is approaching climate change in somewhat the same way rather than the Clinton/Obama deceptive lip service.

I think the Clinton Foundation crime syndicate is in the crosshairs. Then he can move on to universal health care and improved social security. :) (First things first. I supported Bernie but it seems we need the swamp drained first.)

Posted by: financial matters | Dec 9 2017 16:40 utc | 47

One wonders how clever is Republican boilerplate, trickle-down, piss on the working class voodoo economics.

Improved Social Security and Healthcare? Where is there any evidence for that?

All I see is the dismantling of social welfare and increasing health-care related bankruptcies.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Dec 9 2017 20:25 utc | 48

@ fastfreddy, agree, but wasn't seeing much improvement with the dems either

There are a lot of bait and switches going on and demand for single payer health care has never been greater. Also the precariat economy is showing signs of strain.

Posted by: financial matters | Dec 9 2017 20:41 utc | 49

Back to the topic, the Arab League (including the non replaced Saudi foreign minister) has just called on everybody to recognize Palestine with East Jerusalem as capital.

If that had been agreed between Trump and Saudi Arabia it was very good theater.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9 2017 20:51 utc | 50

The Indians called on the USA to recognize the territory west of the Mississippi as Indian Territory. Before that, they called upon the European Settlers to recognize New York as Indian Territory and so on.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Dec 9 2017 21:02 utc | 51

this blog provides some more background on the sale of the painting

Posted by: The Supreme Dr. Ayatoilet Kh Kh Kh | Dec 9 2017 21:47 utc | 52

You forget that Israel is a country of a few square kilometers with a population of 8 million and few natural resources. And that some things have changed since colonial times like eg international law.

Any serious divest and boycott movement would make Israel cave. South Africa's colonial leaders had to cave, too, though white South Africans still own much colonial property.

Anyway,it is back to the Saudi Peace Initiative of 2002 which Israel does not like. So all this rumour of the Saudi prince agreeing to Israel's dream of a final settlement was just that, rumour.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 9 2017 22:16 utc | 53

Someone told me that picture was a boyfriend of Leo.Laugh.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 9 2017 23:23 utc | 54


You ask the BIG questions. I’ll try to give as concise an answer from my perspective as possible.

Basically, the way I see it, way back at at the dawn of civilization, some people figured out how to manipulate others to profit from the wealth of “nations” (resources and labor). They invented organized religions and governments to facilitate this manipulation. They created “secret societies” to pass on their manipulative techniques to new generations of elitists. Over the millennia, they’ve created various organizations to study, and technologies to enforce newer and more effective means of control.

So, when people say the Jesuits are behind it all, I say, sure. When people say the Illuminate are behind it all, I say sure. When people say “the Jews” are behind it all, I say sure. When people say it all goes back to the “mystery religions” and ancient Egypt (or Kemet), I say, now you’re on to something.

Whether these institutions/groups/clubs were created by the elitists or arose independently and were then infiltrated and utilized by the elitists is an interesting historical question, but of no structural difference.

I refer to the current iteration of this cabal of ruling elitists as the AAZ Empire (Anglo-American-Zionist) because that’s a convenient shorthand to describe the organizational foundation they are using.

The foundation of all systemic Power is economics. And the supra-national financial institutions control most of global economics. It's absolutely true that a disproportional number of those banksters that we know are Jewish, but I see that as a result of specific historical events combined with the supremacist ideology of Talmudic Judaism. The ancient European Royal lineages are just as deep into that cabal as "the Jews."

The mechanisms of Mental/Emotional Control are governments and religions, and ideologies more broadly. And those are owned/controlled by the same cabal.

And the foundations of Physical Control are militaries and police. Again, same bosses.

So, how to overturn this “eternal” dynamic and provide for the mass of humanity to take control of the wealth of nations (to attain genuine Liberty/Freedom)?

Economically, we can hit them with mass strikes and boycotts.

Mental/Emotional freedom requires that each be treated separately, but together. Many of us have focused on Logic, believing that once people have the knowledge, their innate ability to Reason will cause almost everyone to “do the right thing.” But psychologists have long known that most people make most decisions based on emotional reactions that often occur even before the conscious mind is aware of the event at issue. So, we have to learn how to communicate Truth through emotions.

And the Physical Control is enforced by a minority of perhaps 5% of any given society’s population. As far as I can tell, every successful revolution has occurred only after a substantial number of those enforcers have been convinced to refuse the orders handed down by the elitists. This is particularly true of non-violent revolutions/transformations.

That’s why I noted recently that a significant number of Honduran police have refused orders to enforce the “curfew” and crush street protests over the clearly rigged election. And within days, the putsch regime announced they were repealing much of the curfew and crackdown on protest. I don’t expect a complete surrender by the military regime, but it is evidence of that general observation.

But of course, much easier said than done - especially with the current surveillance/security apparatus and the awesome power of modern, scientifically-designed propaganda.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 10 2017 2:34 utc | 55

The game is about who blinks first here. The US declare a no fly zone over SDF areas. Whos gonna challenge it?

Posted by: Hermius | Dec 10 2017 2:42 utc | 56

@ Daniel who replied to my question

Thanks for that and I agree with your description. That said, what you described from an ideological level only covers one minority of the global populace and its domineering ways. Those domineering ways are meeting resistance by other ideologies that are calling BS all their drama bulling of constant wars.

I think that making the tools of finance be a public utility instead of being the core social cancer our species is the one structural change that should be made along with evolving inheritance/ongoing ownership of private property to maintain a controlling Global Commons.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 10 2017 5:07 utc | 57

Trump? Like Erdogan, trying to move US to the multi polar world?
Too many moves he makes puts sand in the hedgemon's gears.
Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 8, 2017 7:46:42 PM | 23

Yes, I agree. The confusion is real, but look at the trajectory. Unifying the ME is not in the Hegemon's interest.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Dec 10 2017 5:46 utc | 58

b. You need an update here

1. Saudi Foreign Minister Al Jubeir was alive and well in his function as Foreign Minister in Cairo. Saudi insisted on the Saudi peace plan from 2002.

2. Press TV signals an agreement with Saudi on Yemen - and a lot of other things I guess.

Rouhani: Iran to embrace Saudi if it cuts Israel ties, stops bombing Yemen

So, what was first - Saudi deciding on an agreement with Iran or Trump declaring Jerusalem part of Israel.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 10 2017 11:52 utc | 59

More updates

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince: Yemen solution will not be at expense of region’s stability

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed said on Saturday that the UAE and Arab coalition supporting legitimacy in Yemen have repeatedly stressed the importance of a political solution in the country.

He said that the solution will not be at the expense of the security and stability of the region and will not be at the expense of empowering military militias operating outside the country that pose a direct threat to the security and safety of Saudi Arabia and the region.

During a meeting with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the crown prince expressed his country's concern about the negative impact of the recent US president's decision on Jerusalem in the future of regional stability and the peace process..

The crown prince of Abu Dhabi also expressed the hope that the US administration will reverse this step and work effectively and impartially to formulate principles of genuine peace that serve all parties.

So what was first - UAE coming to an agreement with Iran or the US calling for "moderation" in Yemen.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 10 2017 12:15 utc | 60

psychohistorian, Thanks. I absolutely agree that banking/monetary policy/etc. should be operated as a publicly owned, and democratically controlled utility (as the US Constitution suggested, but failed to enumerate, which I blame on Hamilton and his crowd of Federalists). Since that is the basis of all Power, it seems apparent to me that making such a fundamental, structural change requires a global revolution.

And yeah, I clearly presented an abbreviated and over-simplified description. One important factor left out is that this ruling/financial elite has never been a monolith. There have always been competing factions within it. Right now, I am most curious as to whether the BRIC/One Road grouping is an actual competing faction, or an illusion.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 11 2017 3:18 utc | 61

The reason is very simple: The clown prince wants to show the world again- than he's serious about his push for "modernizing" the medieval intolerant wahhabi terrorist state. First you give the women the right to drive cars; then you "fight corruption" jailing some royal parasites and after that, you buy western master works with christian themes to demonstrate that even islamic fundamentalists can love foreign art and be open mind...

Posted by: guy | Dec 11 2017 6:13 utc | 62

Posted by: guy | Dec 11, 2017 1:13:54 AM | 62

Yep. The strategy of outdoing Iran via fundamentalism is over. Which is good.

Just in the news - Saudi Arabia reopened its cinemas after 35 years.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 11 2017 11:08 utc | 63

read "will reopen" its cinemas in 2018

Posted by: Jul | Dec 11 2017 14:24 utc | 64

Last sentence is interesting. 2 days before Saleh was killed, al Jubeir said the Houtis could participate in the nego.

Posted by: Jul | Dec 11 2017 14:35 utc | 65

Posted by: Jul | Dec 11, 2017 9:35:06 AM | 65

Last sentence was disinfo. Al Jubeir was still in function at the Arab League meeting on Jerusalem.

But your information might be the reason why the disinfo was spread.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 11 2017 15:33 utc | 66

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