Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 23, 2018

How Will Caligula Fall?

The king and the clown prince of Saudi Arabia ordered a son of Jamal Khashoggi to appear in front of them so they could express their condolences for the murder of his father. This is an attempt by the King Salman to show that his son Mohammad bin Salman is innocent of ordering the premeditated murder of Khashoggi. The audience for the pictures (and video) is the Saudi public which seem unconvinced. But the act is also an insult as Khashoggi's body has not been found* and remains unburied.

The gaze is telling.


Sahal Khashoggi is the oldest of the four children of Jamal. Three of them live in the United States. Sahal is banned from leaving Saudi Arabia.


Notice that his robe is not pressed as the usual etiquette would require. He must have been called up on short notice or was dragged before the king. Also notice that the hand of the bodyguard in the background is right on his pistol.

There seem to be a lot of conspiracy theories being weaved around the case. Some of them were mentioned in the comments here. I don't buy it. Turkey did not arrange the incident. I see no sign that the U.S., Israel, Qatar or the UAE had a hand in this. This was a very stupid crime committed by Mohammad bin Salman. Or even worse, a mistake. The wannabe-sultan Erdogan is a crafty politician. He is simply riding the wave.

Alastair Crooke explains why the Khashoggi murder, while not unusual, has this large effect:

When a single additional, undifferentiated, snowflake can touch off a huge slide whose mass is entirely disproportionate to the single grain that triggers it. Was Khashoggi’s killing just such a trigger? Quite possibly yes – because there are several unstable accumulations of political mass in the region where even a small event might set off a significant slide. These dynamics constitute a complex nexus of shifting dynamics.

Crooke sees three traditional strategic positions that already reached tipping points and are likely to change due to this event: the U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia, Turkey's role in the Middle East and Israel's strategic defenses.

On the U.S.-Saudi relations side it is likely Congress, not the White House that will push the issue. There will be another Senate vote next month to end U.S. complicity in the war on Yemen. It is now likely to pass.

The usefulness of Saudi Arabia for the U.S. has been in doubt for some time. A Wall Street Journal op-ed by Karen Elliott House tells the White House to act:

As the Trump administration wrestles with whether to buy Saudi Arabia’s belated and befuddled explanation for the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a thoughtful Saudi tells me: “Morality aside, the critical question is the sanity of our very own Caligula.”
If the crown prince loses power it could be either by the gentle hand of his father or, like Caligula, at the violent hand of cooperation between disgruntled princes and praetorians.
What this would mean for U.S.-Saudi relations is anyone’s guess. Surely, however, if Mr. Trump has the ability to influence events, the first scenario is far preferable to the second.

Saudi Arabia under an unstable ruler is a burden. Not only for the U.S. but also for the rest of the world. It's time to remove him.

*The earlier 'news' today that the body has been found came from one unreliable 'source' and was officially denied.

Posted by b on October 23, 2018 at 18:18 UTC | Permalink

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Sorry for the mono-thematic posting. I am also working on several other themes and will post those in time. But for now the Khashoggi issue is the event with likely the most consequences and I try to stay on top of it.

Posted by: b | Oct 23 2018 18:27 utc | 1

In view of his utterly ruthless past actions, it strikes me as difficult for Mohammad bin Salman to relinquish power and retain his own head. He must surely have many enemies thirsting for his blood and it is difficult to envisage anywhere he would be safe.

Posted by: MarkU | Oct 23 2018 18:28 utc | 2

If they could blame it on Russia we'd be in Archduke Ferdinand territory?!

One can understand why Freddy Hiatt and his cocktail retinue are upset, but to make this last more than a couple days is remarkable.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Oct 23 2018 18:31 utc | 3

B, it does seem that the k affair has risen the crisis in Yemen to the foreground just as many predicted. Thank goodness.

You are correct in that many are looking too far into this as some kind of conspiracy. I am reminded by this of many who put forth that it made no difference as to who won the prez election. It did make a difference to the military as well as Hillary's backers in the cIa and fbI.

The Saudis screwed up and they will get their comeuppance it seems. Russia might be able to wiggle their way into the middle then, filling the vacuum of uncle Sam at the circle jerk. The Saudis will have to curtail their operation in Yemen and no quarter will be given to wahhabi-terrorists by ksa who wish retribution against Russia. Win-win.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Oct 23 2018 18:37 utc | 4

Wall Street Journal point of view:

If the crown prince loses power it could be either by the gentle hand of his father or, like Caligula, at the violent hand of cooperation between disgruntled princes and praetorians.
What this would mean for U.S.-Saudi relations is anyone’s guess. Surely, however, if Mr. Trump has the ability to influence events, the first scenario is far preferable to the second.

Therefore the second scenario is truly the preferable one. Otherwise the dynamism of this thing is likely to fizzle out.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 23 2018 18:51 utc | 5


Don't apologize for the "mono-thematic" posting.

I'm sure many here are not especially interested in the murder mystery per se, but as you point out, the geopolitical ramifications are the gold in the story - manifold, and informative to watch.

It's good to have a real journalist paying attention as it all unfolds.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 23 2018 18:52 utc | 6

There goes Saudigula tryng to save himself of the wrath of the (previously taken-for-granted ) Praetorians :P

Posted by: Colombianonymous | Oct 23 2018 19:03 utc | 7

Interesting take by Ghassan Kadi on the Saker's blog, for those who still sense a conspiracy in this. Goes back to this 'fiance', but adds Gullen to the mix and makes Erdy out to be an instigator. Good to have a viewpoint from someone who has lived in Sawdi land.

Posted by: m | Oct 23 2018 19:11 utc | 8

"If the crown prince loses power it could be either by the gentle hand of his father or, like Caligula, at the violent hand of cooperation between disgruntled princes and praetorians."

MbS will not go quietly. And I doubt that he is without supporters both within KSA and internationally.

If the West tries to take him out, through a palace coup or a 'Color Revolution' things could get very ugly. The stability and integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could well be tested.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Oct 23 2018 19:16 utc | 9

Read Crooke's essay prior to posting my final comment on previous Khashoggi thread, wherein I somewhat echoed his thought. Nothing has occurred to change my view aside from the fact that BigLie Media writers don't seem to understand how "law" operates within a kingdom that still adheres to the Divine Right of Kings Doctrine. I understand and commiserate with b's course of action. In an effort to place Khashoggi's demise in an order of global importance, I submit it rates much lower than Trump's killing the INF Treaty or his plan to implement further illegal sanctions on Iran. Indeed, even Palestinians murdered by Zionists over the course of the Khashoggi Affair rate higher, IMO, since his death was used to cover those crimes.

From appearances, King Salman doesn't seem too affected by the dementia that reputedly plagues him, but does he have the strength or desire to depose his son as Crown Prince; and if so, who might he name--another CIA dupe or perhaps a surprise? And how important is all that really when it's quite clear the Outlaw US Empire is hell bent "to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers" Russia and China which happen to reside within--and constitute a large percentage of--that landmass?

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 23 2018 19:18 utc | 10

Since the Russian entry into Syria, the self labeled friends of Syria group of countries have taken to infighting and slowly disintegrating. First Turkey then Qatar, Jordan now seems on more diplomatic terms with Syrian government opening border and so forth. Russia's geo-political power has been perhaps more important in saving Syria than its military power. Is it by accident or design that the 'friends of Syria group' have been so affected
Putin is one of the best in setting up and carrying out long term strategy, putting it together in seemingly unconnected steps so that the setting up goes unnoticed.

The Erdogan Russia deal on Idlib seemed odd at the time even with the genuine threat of a US attack. Russia said there where no, and had not been any plans for an offensive on Idlib. Syrian government semed unhappy with the deal at the time but then a few weeks ago came out publicly in support of what Turkey was trying to achieve in the buffer zone. What is going on here.

Khashoggi - purely MBS stupidity or an easily set trap knowing MBS character.

On Crooke's bit about a snowflake touching of an avalanche, as the same time, an unstable mass can easily be set in motion by a deliberate action. Both Erdogan and Putin would have a sharp eye for these unstable masses.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 23 2018 19:26 utc | 11

I've been trying to remember what brought down the last wunderkind -- GWB's BFF Prince Bandar -- who (If I recall correctly) was the first nex-gen SAudi to propose a muscular hands-on (military) role as "leader of the Middle East" (which, again, as I recall failed badly under Bandar -- possibly in the southern Yemen border which has "always" been disputed between the two or three Yemens and has always been a point of smuggling of goods and labor from the very poor south to the rich north

I was surprized to find Bandar "still missing" although I knew his silence was complete ... because our press is passionately pro-Salman and they seek the erasure of all alternatives, I think we have no idea how popular (in reality and "politically" in youthful imagination) MBS may be.

KSA will go to great change to avoid the appearance of a western mediated "regime change" so I expect more stonewalling and "faux" horsetrading about weapons contracts ... which will serve Trump until the midterms (the big man says f@ck you). and as the other smaller states chat among themselves and with Russia and China about avoiding/mitigating suffocating Saudi dominance (assuming KSA remains stuck on the USA teat and Iranian conquest remains the vision). They all have dogs in this race as well and MBS overstepped and overreached badly.

Khashoggi's fairy tale is likely to drip-drip-drip to absurdity ... but MBS may escape with HIS life.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 23 2018 19:27 utc | 12


It is not like you said - a mono-thematic event. It is a deep wedge in the intestines of internal US politics and it does shape the outcome of mid-term elections, as well as US posture until the next administration.
Moreover, it is also a reason why EU is adrift from the current US Administration.
It is also a Mid-East event that is now crystalizing Saudi position in the region.
It is also a planetary economical event, a tipping point if you will, that will determine the fate of oil price (and everything else that is pending on it) for sometime to come and will influence the power of US Dollar preserving or throwing away the trust in the US.
It also touches Syria and Iran from many angles. It and perhaps most importantly from a humanitarian standpoint- it influences Yemen situation that is horrible in many more ways than one.
So we will follow it and understand it as a world changing event (more of a reason for it) regardless of how on the surface it seems shallow and rather boring internal Saudi affair.

Posted by: laserlurk | Oct 23 2018 19:29 utc | 13

Karlof, I believe you mentioned the Froomkin book recently. Back when I first read him I saved this quote:

“In the rest of the world European political assumptions are so taken for granted that nobody thinks about them anymore; but at least one of these assumptions, the modern belief in secular civil government, is an alien creed in a region most of whose inhabitants, for more than a thousand years, have avowed faith in a Holy Law that governs all of life, including government and politics.”

David Froomkin, “A Peace to End All Peace

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Oct 23 2018 19:30 utc | 14

Except for the Caligula outcome that cannot be ruled out, the Prince will stay, removing him would suggest the old King's judgement's at fault, a sign of unforgivable weakness in any autocracy that could be exploited by others in the future, the Prince's power may be curtailed for a while, but that's about it.

The Americans should be careful not to get too harsh on the Kingdom, the old King visited Moscow last November, nobody knows why, it may well be the old man's smarter than anyone thinks, he senses the Americans are losing their grip e.g. Syria, the era of the Far East approaches, his timing may be about right. 'The Kingdom must switch alliances before it's too late to secure its future', he may think.

Btw, the CIA knew Riyadh was planning to kidnap the unfortunate guy, if the Turks recorded the slaughter they must have been recording before, too, the same goes for the police who couldn't have missed the team of 15 equipped with the bone saw. No one of these agencies tipped K. Aren;t they complicit in the sickening atrocity? More the point, why didn't they warn him?

Posted by: Baron | Oct 23 2018 19:33 utc | 15

it also shaped the markets fall today. a unique opportunity to save the planet.

Posted by: mina | Oct 23 2018 19:49 utc | 16

@B: No excuse needed! Like you and Alastair Crooke said, its THE trigger that will likely change the game on a major scale! Our focus needs to be on it, if we truely want change. And i dont like pulling the conspriracy card too, but those that doubt MBS involvement, truely look like ppl that are detached from reality.. Far from it. I mean on an "the earth is flat" level.

Like FB Ali said in his comments on SST: MBS is acting like any of the medievial middle eastern tribal chieftains. And therefore he cant understand why anyone would dare to questions this "normal" excercising of power.
Its his birthright and his duty to act against dissent and anyone who defies him. With media, jail or a bonesaw.

Our "western" values are a totally different concept.. And however hypocritical those western "values" are, middle eastern and especially Wahhabi values and culture are an entirely different thing..

Also dont forget the ideological and religous component: He is the soon to be custodian of the holy mosques. Like the medieval european kings, from gods grace. He and his clan think that there can not be anyone who stands on the same level as they. He is as close to god (and i mean the ONLY god ;) And its only a crazy (and soon to be corrected) twist of history, that the western and asian nations are the world leaders, and not a sunni islamic calipahte. They are the true leaders, and no unbeliever can ever be equal to them.

With this mindset, we will see a shitstorm that will change the whole of MENA. And geopolitics as a whole. So B, dont loose focus on this issue. It may be the event of the year.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Oct 23 2018 19:54 utc | 17

thanks b... i always appreciate your work!

this photo op with kashoggis son and the king and clown, was pr, timed to coincide with erdogans pr.. let the best pr win, lol... well, that is how the altered western world lives at present..a pr war...

i think crooke sums it up well, as does the wsj writer.. a single event can bring on an avalanche.. i don’t know if trump is able to provide the first option as opposed to the calugula option...

it’s the significant geopolitical implications that fascinate me... cheap news from sky news is just that.. i don’t know how much of the uk press are owned by the saudis or uae, but i don’t care either.. folks need to question what they read...will be interesting to see how this plays out..

Posted by: james | Oct 23 2018 20:04 utc | 18

The old king is more cagey than people think and to me the demise of the west and rise of Russia is so blatantly obvious that there must be someone that understands that besides myself. The "clown" prince is there to stay because the one man in international statesmanship that has the power to save his ass has been totally coy about this prince gone wild surrealist melodrama.
US is failed state thanks to their Israeli masters and will never recover. The ship is rudderless and the people dazed and confused.
The king knows it and has chosen the replacement. Anyone who underestimates Putin is a fool. He is a gifted master weather you like him or not. His "trump" card is that he is not too greedy and loves his country. I am sure .....

Posted by: Joe | Oct 23 2018 20:07 utc | 19

@15 Definitely having an effect on the markets. They were already looking shaky because of Trump's trade wars. People will not be happy with this month's mutual fund returns which could impact the mid-term election.

Posted by: dh | Oct 23 2018 20:19 utc | 20

Not a 'conspiracy theory' - just an observation

Some goals are difficult to accomplish directly but can be easy with cunning and patience. To wit:

How do you move a society to the right?
By allowing 'radicals' on the left to act up via a Potemkin 'resistance'.
'Open Borders' and gender are fluff compared to issues like Cold War II and inequality (which the Democratic Party is silent about)

How do you discredit a Movement like #MeToo?
You "invite" them to discredit themselves by prompting them to go too far. Accusations with no substance against Kavanaugh did just that.

How do you take down a King and crown prince?
By indulging his whims and flattery and creating opportunities for him to cross a moral line that was deliberately blurred.

How do you control what people believe to be true?
By controlling narrative and timing. First news reports get the widest audience - subsequent clarifications are mostly ignored. And people believe news sources that align with mythology that they are emotionally invested in.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 23 2018 20:26 utc | 21

May be murder was just a bloody rant of MbS like many before but response of the west was deliberate.

Dig deep and you find the answer why US propaganda outlets are raging! It is ARAMCO failure to go IPO, this year no likely next year.

MbS being a desert thief and murderer used to behead several of his imaginary opponets a year to sharpem his beheading skills, killed the guy in Istanbul as a personal vendetta, Saudi Clan tradition and legal in SA, little did he know that his common act a prince legal prerogative of power would draw attention of the World Bankers.
Why? Because he refused to agree to sell ARAMCO under valuation of $800 billions vs. $2-$3 trillions MbS and all Saudi oil industry experts wanted.

Now it is extortion racket in progress, another way of blalant robbery of Saudis oil by the Western Banksters.
As Mubarak, as Assad as, Quaddafi they thought they are pals, friends of the western elite, only to be attacked if they do not comply, not it is turn for MbS this retarder fat blob, with gullibility of a child distracted with new toys.

MbS is next unless he surrenders the Saudi riches only to be replaced by western stooge for half price and sans golden palaces.

No one believes the human rights outrage of killing known terrorist supporter working for WaPo and Bezos another terrorist supporter taking money from MbS, while Yemeni children and murdered and starved with silence of disgusting journalistic morons from MSM propaganda outlets.

Posted by: Kalen | Oct 23 2018 20:27 utc | 22

Yes, Khashoggi's son has daggers in his stare. I believe Khashoggi's brother's face was obstructed by his head scarf. It's so sick and cruel to force them into a photo-op shaking the hand of the butcher MbS who cut short Khashoggi's life in such a barbaric way. The least that Dumpster can do is demand that the Sawdis allow them to join their family in the U.S.! This is beyond repulsive.

It's strange how a bunch of news outlets are convinced Khashoggi's remains were found. Here's a Sky reporter confirming it.:

Khashoggi remains

It's bizarre that some outlets have reported this news and not rectified and others have not.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 23 2018 20:35 utc | 23

karlof1 10

Trump has invested a lot in taking control of MBS and with him control of Saudi Arabia. Because of this, I think MBS is important, if not key to Trumps plans in the middle east, the main part of which is war with Iran. With the anti Trump factions riding this for all its worth, the Khashoggi killing is at least a spanner in the works for Trump's plans, if not derailing them completely.

Trump has been and is building the US military up for war with some countries and perhaps trying to bluff others. Going by Trump's actions to date, pulling out of the missile treaty was perhaps inevitable.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 23 2018 20:42 utc | 24

Eric Zuesse writes 'the eartbhquake ininternational alliances' at off-guardian. It is well worth the time and delves into aspects of sunni schism as the background to current shifts.

Thanks b this khashoggi bone saw massacre and the Palestine and Yemen genocide are most significant stories right now.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 23 2018 20:46 utc | 25

Re:#22 Circe,

I don't think its strange at all, The Media has received the talking points from their "Deep State" contacts and now their piling on with the allegations against MbS. It's quite possible that the Whitehouse is still trying to craft a deal to minimize the fallout from the murder and save MbS (and their Iran plans), but there are elements within the government that are trying to undermine the deal to get rid of MbS. I wouldn't be surprised if the body parts were found, but the Whitehouse / Turkey is not confirming to prevent the situation from escalating and save the possibility of a deal, but the Deep state elements are leaking details to the Media to keep the pressure on.

Posted by: Kadath | Oct 23 2018 20:56 utc | 26

So now that Trump sent Gina Haspell to Turkey he's changing his tune and calling this the worst cover-up in the history of cover-ups!

Well, let's see what he does about it! He can start by granting K's son and brother asylum. They shouldn't have to endure this threatening farce on top of what they're suffering.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 23 2018 20:59 utc | 27

Very interesting seeing b calling for regime change.

Posted by: Malletgirl | Oct 23 2018 21:13 utc | 28


He's not calling for any Coalition to invade SA to overthrown Prince Salman.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Oct 23 2018 21:18 utc | 29

Photo needs a caption: MbS explains all to Khashoggi Jr. "We came, we sawed, he died".

Posted by: Barbara Ann | Oct 23 2018 21:21 utc | 30

...and in Canada our frog prince Trudeau also worries, and like bolt in the vise, stuck, will have to swallow a 1 billion dollar loss of military hardware to the dark kingdom from the Canadian citizens who will fund this crap! Morals, ah, yes morals. I do not care about the digits, as it exposes the west corruption in this mess. Thank God, some things do matter for the better. Shine a light and you see cockroaches!

Posted by: Taffyboy | Oct 23 2018 21:24 utc | 31

I watched the video that Bernhard linked to, of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud and the Crown Prince meeting Salah Khashoggi, and the King expressing his condolences to Salah.

It occurred to me that if the King and Crown Prince were truly sorry, and the Crown Prince innocent, they'd have done more than merely shake Salah's hand while keeping their distance from him. The Saudi royals and the Khashoggi family have been close for three generations at least and one might have expected Salah to stand closer to the King and for them to kiss one another on the cheeks, maybe even touch noses slightly.

The video ended at the point when Salah and MbS shook hands but it looked as if MbS was taking Salah's hand in both his hands. Beyond that, who knows? But Salah was obviously looking daggers at MbS.

I also noticed the bodyguard moving into position to come between Salah and the Crown Prince should Salah have had any thoughts of attacking MbS.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 23 2018 21:28 utc | 32

Body parts belonging to murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been found, according to Sky News sources, who added that he had been “cut up” and his face “disfigured.” Parts found in Saudi counsels garden.

Lol. So how has the body been identified? DNA (remember Erdo said they had their own source of Kashoggi DNA-sure) . Fingerprints? Surely if you disfigure the face to prevent ID you do the same with the fingers. Also, what took so long, dogs would have no problem detecting body parts on a site investigators have had access to for almost 3 weeks

Why go to the messy (hard to clean up) trouble to chop the body up if you arent transporting it out of the country in bags. Surely you can deactivate a CCTV camera if there is not a basement parking garage to remove a body rolled up in a carpet. Suspicious? Perhaps. Dump it anywhere but on Saudi property, even on a street without cameras. You can say kidnappers/killers covered the camera and whisked him away as he left the embassy. This is assuming he was killed and his body parts are not those of some Turkish homeless guy

This whole story is laughable , as is the staged migrant march by hired actors to influence the elections

I also wonder if they have the Saudis playing along , them having been given 2 choices, play along and confess with a story nobody believes and live and retain some power and wealth, dont play along (deny he was killed) and meet a Khaddafi/Saddam like ending.

Oil prices are down. Shocker. Something tells me Lockheed Martin is about to get some good news and Saudis will get a new CP who can take orders

Posted by: Pft | Oct 23 2018 21:35 utc | 33

Barbara Ann @29

Best summary yet!!!!

You've been nominated for the 2018 Hildabeast Award.

Posted by: pogohere | Oct 23 2018 21:37 utc | 34

The best insights in this drama can be found (IMHO) at Scott Crieghtons American everyman blog. MbS has reneged on a huge Lockheed Martin Arms deal. That alone can get you in deep shit with the establishment( just ask Sth Korea's Pres.)However, Scott goes on to explain that MbS has committed a even greater sin.
Also... 4 seconds of video and a drip feed of "facts" from Turkeys Prez. Mmmmmm No body as yet.... Put on ya Tin-foil hat boys... something bit fishy bout the whole story.

Posted by: The cycnic | Oct 23 2018 21:39 utc | 35

Spot the difference

If it hasn't happened already perhaps someone with a twitter account may like to post this interesting juxtaposition

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 23 2018 21:46 utc | 36

Excellent insight about this crucial international issue... Saudigula is fighting to remain in power now.

Posted by: Guy Moyssen | Oct 23 2018 21:51 utc | 37

Bit o/T but while MSM and alt media have us mesmorized with Khashoggi gate 4 days ago Vladimir Putin said ISIS had taken 700 hostages in the US-controlled area of Syria. The hostages captured in Syria by ISIS terrorists include US and European citizens and are being killed off 10 people a day.

Putin “This is just horrible, it is a catastrophe.....Some US and European citizens are among the hostages....everyone is silent … as if nothing has happened.”

Cant have that being an issue before elections. Save it for November. MBS saves Trump

Posted by: Pft | Oct 23 2018 22:08 utc | 38

Thanks for the wonderful journalism to the estimable owner of this cantina, Mr b. I have no idea how he does it. The quality of investiigation, the quality of writing, the synthesis and pointed questions,
all these are first-rate and deserve applause and attention.

To me the Kashoggi thing is simple, the Skirpal assassins (yes they were involved, amazing as this
may seem) screwed up. They confused Riyad Time with London time; they were still in bed together and
not available to routinely refine orders issued by the young King's secretary, an addict of pep pills

I agree with Mina. It IS a unique world-historical event. Kashoggi's gory death might be the one thing
that saves us. After all, it seems to be a very rare non-staged world-historical event, we have not
seen actual organic accidental purely human events since telephone operators asked: "Number please?

Still Erdowan hit HIS number, with a natural four. Even Erdo could hardly believe it when the casino manager rolled up the rack of his winnings. He had doubled down twenty-four times-in-a-row and the figurative Strip was totally silent as the awed gamblers and their molls saw him hit that fantastic roll.

Putin doesnt gamble. He doesnt smoke or drink. He likes to work and he loves his country like other Russians: from Solzyanetzin, to Sholokhov, to Dostoyevsky, to Chekov, to Tolstoy, to Gogol...
he lets the sharp operators wheel-and-deal, he's otherwise engrossed in the life of his nation.

Like a magician's trick, with Russia's blessing, the Palestinians are given Saudi Arabi as theirs;
so long as they promise to preserve sacred traditions of Mecca and Medina, the Ka'aba and so forth.

Everyone says "wow that was easy!; now that's settled let's relax and get back to building things
and to normal lives with our families..." It's so very easy. There is NO need to force anybody to do that."

The Balfour Document is cited as precedent and everything is solved in a happy way that is not a war.
The Royal family of Arabia becomes a You Tube Channel, with Nancy Pelosi and the Houses of Congress

Evil fights evil. Who loses? Evil loses. That's the only possible chance we good people have: it is
to make it so the worst evil is killed by the less worse evil; that's how human history progresses
and we are all stuck with this moral Universe the way it is, whether it makes sense at first or not.

Posted by: Guerrero | Oct 23 2018 22:14 utc | 39

The best insights in this drama can be found (IMHO) at Scott Crieghtons American everyman blog. MbS has reneged on a huge Lockheed Martin Arms deal. That alone can get you in deep shit with the establishment( just ask Sth Korea's Pres.)However, Scott goes on to explain that MbS has committed a even greater sin.

Posted by: The cycnic | Oct 23, 2018 5:39:38 PM | 34

I am willing to bet it is plausible it would have to do with these guys:

Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Lockheed Martin Space is one of the four major business divisions of Lockheed Martin. It has its headquarters in Denver, Colorado with additional sites in Sunnyvale, California; Santa Cruz, California; Huntsville, Alabama; and elsewhere in the US and UK. The division currently employs about 16,000 people, and its most notable products are commercial and military satellites, space probes, missile defense systems, NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, and the Space Shuttle External Tank.[1]

They are the guys that ussualy go KABOOM or missing because of possible meddling/messing around with cosmic frequencies/energies they shouldn't be messing with, from the days Operation Paperclip ended and so forth.

Posted by: Greece | Oct 23 2018 22:50 utc | 40

So now that Trump sent Gina Haspell to Turkey he's changing his tune and calling this the worst cover-up in the history of cover-ups!

Posted by: Circe | Oct 23, 2018 4:59:29 PM | 26

Just quoting some interesting timing here.
This (as it seems) is high level negotiation and secret ops preps between both sides.
Against whom I wonder.....
To where else our friend Gina has traveled abroad since her inaguration?Is this her first? Her first cup of coffee abroad was at Erdogan's palace in Konstantinople?

Posted by: Greece | Oct 23 2018 23:01 utc | 41

MbS is Caligula?

That's a little over the top, even for smarmy Merkelian arms dealers trying to get their mercantile horns into the hog sty.
Something tells me Marmeladebrüders would hold their noses and sell $100B of German arms to MbS in a NYC Sekunde.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 23 2018 23:06 utc | 42

Someone convinced Khashoggi he would be safe entering that Consulate. This was a man who had lived his life next to Middle Eastern power so it must have been a persuasive argument.
MbS did what he did, and the shite hit the fan.
So now what? Turkey doesn't want to leave northern Syria (or Iraq?), and while she doesn't control oil, she does control the water.
Putin (Putin again) emerges as the new best friend to the House of Saud. What would happen if Saudi oil were to start trading in a mix of Yuan/Rouble/gold?
I can't decide if this is all fortuitous or orchestrated, but the waters are roiling.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Oct 23 2018 23:23 utc | 43

Trumps comment; 'worst cover-up ever' even I could have done better.

Donald bin Asshat Trump

Posted by: Jef | Oct 23 2018 23:39 utc | 44

Peter AU 1 @23--

Currently, the extraterritorial judgement is to Magnitsky Act those responsible, which amounts to yet another illegal action. Given what Khashoggi promoted--Daesh and the wider aims of Outlaw US Empire designs on the region plus visiting genocide on Yemenis--I applaud his demise as I've written previously. And yes, I wouldn't mind seeing the same fate befall those who killed him along with those who supported him. Much of what we read amounts to deploring the gangland murder of a gangster, and we're supposed to lament that--WHY? And what's worse overall: A recession caused by the removal of Saudi oil from global market or the Climate Crisis generated by burning that oil?

Seems we've reached Through the Looking Glass extremes with no end in sight.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 23 2018 23:42 utc | 45


Rodham Sermonizes on I$I$ in MENA ... and Blames Kurd-Iraqi Complacency
La Emperatriz Who Has An Opinion On Everything ... is strangely silent on MbS.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 23 2018 23:51 utc | 46

Thank you Greece @ 39 @ 40 @ 41 & @ 43
I was about to say exactly the same thing myself !
Good work and respect.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 23 2018 23:56 utc | 47

Short vid about Saudi Tiger Squad alleged Saudi Death Squad.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 24 2018 0:00 utc | 48

The KSA is checkered by moles. Consider: there was a mole on MbS’s goon squad.

The mole audio’d and video’d aspects of the the JK killing.

This explains why Haskel is in Istanbul. She’s the top spy bitch, cutting deals, asserting dominion over the evidence.

The singing mole explains just about everything.

Don’t worry. MbS will be white-washed with/through ex-post facto exculpatory tapes.

I predict very little spanking.

Posted by: A. Person | Oct 24 2018 0:07 utc | 49

you say: The usefulness of Saudi Arabia for the U.S. has been in doubt for some time

does the house of trump and kushner care about what is usefull for the US?

Posted by: Sabine | Oct 24 2018 0:10 utc | 50

‘B ‘ you run the best blog in the world !
I hope your right and I am wrong , if not we lose this planet !
As a profesonal tree climber, I learned i’d only get one chance to make a mistake, so never did. If we make a mistake with this one it’ll cost the planet !!
‘B’ @ 1
I understand and trust.
Nil carborundum illegitimi !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 24 2018 0:39 utc | 51

It is not the killing (and disposal) that is fascinating per se; rather it is the Beast (writ large) re-configuring itself in real time that holds the attention. This may herald an Arabian Spring (after all letting 'Arab' women drive on the plantation is a dangerous policy for the Saudi family regime) -- or it may just be another mass distraction in the general flow of time and events. Hard to say what MbS's future is: if he falls from grace he's likely a dead man walking, given the number of enemies he's made.

Posted by: imo | Oct 24 2018 1:40 utc | 52

I'm sure that MbS is still shocked that people give a shit about one journalist.

Saudi Arabia Tried to Blame Doctors Without Borders After Bombing Yemen Cholera Treatment Center

Early on June 13, the embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC tweeted a photo of a fax from MSF’s administrator of communication and liaison in Djibouti. This document is dated June 11, and the Saudi embassy claimed it showed MSF “clearly admit that the unfortunate facility incident was due to their failure to update their coordinates per standard procedures.”

We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis

The memo says: “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region.” This was evidently received wisdom in the upper ranks of the US government, but never openly admitted because to it was held that to antagonise Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and Pakistan would fatally undermine US power in the Middle East and South Asia.

Reality is eventually going to catch up and it's not going to be pretty for any of us.

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Oct 24 2018 1:48 utc | 53

All the activity behind the curtain. Starting with why MBS. It would seem to indicate the House of Saud is not happy in the US Orbit. Then the new style of rule autocratic for the Princes as well as the serfs. Saudi may be facing some existential crisis. Top of the list, running out of oil.

Posted by: steve baker | Oct 24 2018 1:48 utc | 54

How Will Caligula Fall?

Like most very wealthy folks, probably upwards..

Posted by: ben | Oct 24 2018 2:25 utc | 55

I think there's not enough discussion as to why MBS would kill Khashoggi, from his public articles Khashoggi was a fairly tame critic of the MBS's rule. However Khashoggi, Adnam, uncle was a major arms dealer in the 1980s, he was friends with the prior crown prince, had ties to the CIA and was a advocate of the Muslim brotherhood. From what we know of the murder so far, MBS sent 16 representatives (including at least 3 of his personal bodyguards) to the embassy, NOT official Saudi intelligence agents, who apparently committed a very obvious murder without the use of even basic counter-intelligence techniques (apparently they didn't even use burner cell phones, meaning all of their calls would have been recorded). This would imply that MBS picked the hitmen based on loyalty to him rather than risk relying on the professional intelligence services (who may have alternative loyalties, i.e the CIA or rival Saudi princes) and back in April MBS disappeared for more than a month amidst rumors of a failed assassination attempt.

If the latest leaks from the audio tape are to be believed, MBS spoke to Khashoggi immediately prior to his death in the embassy and after Khashoggi refused to return to Saudi Arabia, MBS ended the call with words to the effect of "bring me this dog's head". Perhaps MBS suspected Khashoggi of being part of / aware of a conspiracy against him and tried to get Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia and "flip" on the conspirators. When Khashoggi refused, MBS killed him rather than allow him to go free, hoping that his guards would be able to conceal the murder long enough to eliminate the conspiracy through other means. This is only a theory, but it makes more sense than simply MBS killing Khashoggi over a few disdainful articles.

Posted by: Kadath | Oct 24 2018 2:34 utc | 56

So how did the Saudis know that Khashoggi was coming into the consulate that day? Did he have to make an appointment? Obviously they were ready and prepared for his arrival. Was his Turkish fiancee really Turkish intel agent keeping an eye on him? Did the Turks tip off the Saudis that he was going in to get his marriage papers? If would not be the first time a female agent used her body to get something. They could have had his flat bugged. Maybe the Saudis had it bugged. Who knows?

I do not think Mbs is going anywhere. He moved to solidify power quickly and the old longtime US advocates of the bush clinton era were given a good ass whipping to get in line immediately. This is the new normal. Maybe they are tired of being ripped off by the US.

Do not look at this thing with any sense of morals. He is a filthy rich millennial. Expect him to act like one bearing his set of morals and dogmas.

Posted by: dltravers | Oct 24 2018 3:15 utc | 57

OT. Perhaps it is just my computer, but it looks like Au internet is now being censored. Started with not being able to access b's link to SOHR, then b's blog slows right down sometimes comment will not load, Strategic Culture very difficult to access at times and now 404 forbidden message when trying SST. All MSM sites are no problem.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2018 3:34 utc | 58

That should have been 403 Forbidden when trying to access SST. Only other thing on the page is cloudflare

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2018 3:43 utc | 59

Apologies for the off topic posts. Yandex is accessing all sites and I can again post comments here using the yandex browser.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2018 3:55 utc | 60

As previously posted, the Khashoggi murder has more levels than previously reported as well as a lot of misreporting on the details:

It would appear that Erdogan is still going after Gülenist cells in Turkey while trying to recreate an Ottoman Empire. At another level, Erdogan (as a Sufi) appears to be trying to create a pan-Muslim world in which the schism between Sunnis and Shia (also the Ibadi sect of Oman and the Zaydi school of Shi'a Islam in Yemen) would be minimized. This would involve getting rid of the radical Wahhabism sect!

Erdogan also knows that the Saudi murder of Khashoggi was in violation of article 55 of the Vienna Convention concerning consular relations. Thus the murder makes Saudi Arabia a violator of international law. Those who watched Erdogan's speech would note that he took a Putin like legal approach in detailing the criminal details. In calling for the murder team to be tried in Turkey, Erdogan hopes to obtain confessions that MbS ordered the hit. He would also be able to eliminate Saudi cells hidden within Turkish society.

Saudi Arabia is activating its network to counter Turkey, such as working with the Hudson Institute to get the Muslim Brotherhood declared a terrorist organization and by extension making Turkey and Qatar as sponsors of terrorism:

Where possible Saudi Arabia is buying off other Muslim countries to quell any criticism. For example, Saudi Arabia is proposing several billions in aid to Pakistan:

Interesting that King Salman’s previously announced Saudi Arabia intends to join China Pakistan, Economic Corridor (CEPEC) as this runs afowl of the US efforts to contain China.

Saudi Arabia is also trying to deflect criticism by bring up Iran, Qatar and Hezbollah and their human rights abuses and arms shipments:

The Saudi leadership has several hold cards for bringing down the world economic order is case of painful sanctions:

Meanwhile, the Zionist US and Israeli governments are threatening multiple countries with acts of war. I am reminded of a portion of William Yeats poem titled "The Second Coming" written in the aftermath of the World War I.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity….

Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 24 2018 3:57 utc | 61

I think Erdogan is playing a major role in this affair. Pat Lang’s blog has some interesting discussions touching on this theme. The animosity between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the Wahhabi beholden al-Saud dynasty is considerable and Erdogan is making a sport of masterfully trumping the Saudi’s hilariously incompetent attempts to credibly explain this “event” away and save face.

Posted by: Novice Novichok | Oct 24 2018 4:28 utc | 62

I am posting a short China Net posting that says the brother was also present at the apology meeting

RIYADH, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met on Tuesday two family members of the slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Al Arabiya reported.

The king, accompanied by the crown prince, met Khashoggi's brother Sahl bin Ahmed Khashoggi and his son Salah Jamal Khashoggi at the royal palace.

The Saudi king and crown prince expressed their "deepest condolences" to the family and relatives of Jamal Khashoggi, while the Khashoggis thanked the royals for their condolences, the report said.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, has been missing since his entry to the Saudi consulate in Turkey's Istanbul on Oct. 2.

The kingdom said early Saturday that Khashoggi had died in a "brawl" in its consulate but did not explain the cause of his death.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 24 2018 5:03 utc | 63

psychohistorian 66

Have watched the video in b's link several times and wondered who was the man in white head cloth that shook King S's hand ahead of the son. Maybe that was the brother. Though I notice the only other person in view wearing white head cloth rather than checkered red and white was the camera man.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2018 5:12 utc | 64

Sorry for the mono-thematic posting. I am also working on several other themes and will post those in time. But for now the Khashoggi issue is the event with likely the most consequences and I try to stay on top of it.
Posted by: b | Oct 23, 2018 2:27:46 PM | 1

No need to apologise, b.
It's not your fault that the Jew-controlled MSM has turned this nothing-burger into "News." Apart from the Identity Politics factor, there is no sane reason to elevate this particular crime to #1 status all over the world. The only justification for the Fake Indignation superimposed on this story (about someone nobody has ever heard of) is that the victim has a name, thus enabling Khashoggi's unremarkable murder to be over-sentimentalised.

This is so obviously Fake News that it's timely to ask "How come?"
There are so many embarrassingly important trends unfolding on the World Stage right now that it's hardly surprising that the Jew-Controlled MSM wants to divert attention from them...

#1 - AmeriKKKa ("Israel's" brainless bully-boy) is now an ex-super-power. The prattle about the Intermediate Range Missile Treaty is a confession that AmeriKKKa has NO workable strategy to counter Russia's Military Supremacy. In a sane world this wouldn't matter, if the Neo-conned Yanks hadn't been kidding themselves about Full Spectrum Dominance since 1945, but they have. So it's only a matter of months until they do "something" stupid enough for Putin to blow their wishful thinking and daydreams clean out of the water - very publicly.
The "Israelis", and the dumbass Yanks, are shitting themselves.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 24 2018 5:24 utc | 65

I think we are over speculating ramifications of this coverup.
Saudi B* are not flinching at killing million in Yemen.. why will killing 1 person will affect them.

I am also surprised with how Turkey/Erdogan always has the upper hand in geopolitical events. Survived coup, is in Syria, and now this.

Posted by: AG17 | Oct 24 2018 5:31 utc | 66

Hoarsewhisperer "The "Israelis", and the dumbass Yanks, are shitting themselves."

The dumbass yanks sure need a nappy change, but the Israelis - IL-20 aside - have been hedging their bets and not burning their bridges with Russia. They know Russia takes no shit. They will ride the yank goyim and milk them for all they're worth and then perhaps settle into the multi-polar world once the yank goyim have been milked dry.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2018 5:49 utc | 67

@54 tobin paz and @58 kadath.. thanks for the overview..

kadath. i agree with you.. this would suggest that the enviroment mbs is in, is very unstable and could lead to his downfall.. i think it is more like you suggest then the simplified ideas that have been offered to date... the fact mbs helda number of higherups in the ritz carlton, while fleecing them gives one clear window into this.. i am not sure what role the cia is playing in this or if trump has the clarity to foresee the downside to all this both for himself or the horse he is presntly riding here..

Posted by: james | Oct 24 2018 6:29 utc | 68

France has its annual arms fair and Macron reacted angrily when ask to comment on Merkel s decision regarding arms deliveries to KSA. He refused to answer on possible retaliation arguing that his agenda was not directed by the news.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 24 2018 6:29 utc | 69

@63 Krollchem

Interesting points. I hate the thought of Saudi Arabia joining with China. China's moving forward while Saudi Arabia is regressing. The Saudi King is visibly in bad shape mentally and physically and MbS has very poor judgment. The moment his father goes, his will be a reign of terror. He's made powerful enemies and will hold onto power with brute force, and that always ends badly. I agree with Erdogan on this: Wahhabism has got to go. It's destructive and the main reason Zionists want it around. They use it to sow division, chaos and devastation to weaken their Muslim adversaries. They love MbS. That's why Trump is so reluctant to condemn him.

Trump's recent comments demonstrate that he doesn't care that MbS got rid of Khashoggi, he's frustrated with the sloppy way it was done and covered up, as Trump has been in a we'll see holding pattern trying not to condemn MbS even pushing the Saudi denials and subsequent narratives while every day Erdogan uncovers more writing on the wall that is just too compelling to be ignored or denied. Trump is looking really bad in this as global condemnation grows and he looks not only like he's obstructing justice, but actually scolding MbS for not doing a perfect hit that could be easily covered up. It's sick.

@66 Khashoggi's son cannot leave Saudi Arabia and was forced to give MbS that disgusting pr photo-op.

@68 Gee, I don't know, but when someone writes this: But for now the Khashoggi issue is the event with likely the most consequences and I try to stay on top of it..... I kinda interpret he means it's not as much of a nothing-burger as you think it is.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 24 2018 6:35 utc | 70

I've become so frustrated by the passing parade of cock-suckers and liars masquerading as "experts" on issues concerning "Israeli" and AmeriKKKan interests, however remote/tenuous, that I've coined a global epithet for them...


Like Peace Process/ Piece Process, it doesn't matter how or in what context one says NextSpurt, it always translates as what the target wants to hear.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 24 2018 6:37 utc | 71

I seem to be the only one that has replied to your post at 68 horse. Is your post @ 74 aimed at me.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2018 6:43 utc | 72


Obviously Putin was behind the Novichuk attack that nearly killed two Brits in Britain, no less, and with a lot more evidence, and it's about time we talk about it in every post for two weeks, lol.

It's ludicrous to think this K-story will 'affect the US mid-terms' that's laughable. The Saudis flew two planes into three towers and a week later it wasn't even a story, they were all back home tucked in their ramikins.

The next two weeks will be absurd political theater and Big Lies, then regardless of the outcome, K-story will be forgotten.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 24 2018 7:11 utc | 73

Very interesting seeing b calling for regime change.

Posted by: Malletgirl | Oct 23, 2018 5:13:47 PM | 27

Big mistake! Anyone calling for externally forced regime change is morally responsible for detailing how that will come about and analyzing the consequences for a failure to bring their Utopia into being -- as well as being morally responsible for all the suffering and deaths that may ensue from their hare-brained scheme.

b is in the same moral boat as useful idiots like Kanan Makiya in Iraq, Hillary Clinton in Libya, and the White Helmets in Syria.

Perhaps we should listen to the advice of Master Putin at this year's Valdai conference:

It’s okay to dislike a regime in a country. Tastes differ. But, destroying the existing regime and offering nothing in return or offering something that is unacceptable or impossible for the people due to historical specifics is absolutely thoughtless, immoral policy that leads to the worst results.

Our position is that we probably can support someone or sympathise with someone without directly interfering in the affairs of other states, but any move should primarily rely on the country’s internal development. True, this requires patience, and a delicate handling of the current situation, but there is no other option. Any other behaviour, attempts to impose something from the outside leads to the gravest consequences, as in Libya or Iraq.

We might not like what Saudi Arabia is doing to Yemen, but turning it into another Yemen with millions killed and displaced is not the answer.

Posted by: Cynic of all cynics | Oct 24 2018 7:37 utc | 74

saudi barbs clown prince will be giving his first speech since the kashoggi murder today, while at the future summit.. meanwhile usa has revoked some saudi barbs visas on those considered responsible for the killing... no mention of revoking ksa clown prince visa to the usa!

another pr stunt day.....

Posted by: james | Oct 24 2018 7:46 utc | 75

76, no Saudi didn't do 9/11 try again

Posted by: jezabeel | Oct 24 2018 7:57 utc | 76

james 79
US empire is starting to canabalise itself. I think Putin and Erdo are making snow while the sun shines.
This causes more canabalism within the empire.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24 2018 7:58 utc | 77

The big stories here are knock-on issues related to the mock horror forced by the need to maintain pretentions of morality by the usual pigs at the trough. There is now an increased likelihood of the dropping of Western support for the war on Yemen and a reduced likelihood of war on Iran, a forced withdrawal of Saudi support for the Kurds in NE Syria, and a collapse of Israeli (and US) foreign policy in the Middle East. Regarding the predicted war on Iran, just who would fight it? Americans? No. Can't have those coffins in the news, folks. Israelis? No we only shed Goyim blood. Saudis? Ha ha. So, exactly whose mercenaries are going to do the fighting?? A war that is just a fly over? With S-400's on the Iranian side and the ability to plug the Strait of Hormuz? No, we are seeing the height of the war against Iran right now: sanctions, and we are about to see the collapse of that strategy, when the imposed sanctions in November fail, with trade in Rubles and Yuan and shipments of oil to Russia, China, and India. So with Syria and Iran effectively no-fly zones and the collapse of Saudi support for the Israeli absorption of the West Bank, the Yinon plan is dead, whether the Zionists and neocons like it or not. There is really nothing Bolton, Trump, Kushner or Netanyahu can do about it. Pity. Odds are that Mohammed bone Sawman will go, to be replaced by a more respectable murderer, so as to save face for respectable Western apex predators.

Posted by: JNDillard | Oct 24 2018 8:00 utc | 78

The Saudis, Republicans, Democrats did 911 curupeted into it by Israil! Very relevant here I feel,same trick, exactly the same monkeys !!
As to the Skripal incident there is not one single scrap of evidence to suggest President Putin was involved. The list of other false so called terrorist attacks , carried out by the same players and to include not least U.K. is endless !!!
Criminal profiling can be used therefore regarding kashoggi.
Round up the usal suspects.

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 24 2018 8:44 utc | 79

Killing a national abroad is no big deal. Drones do it all the time with collateral. UK drones have done it. Rendition (using embassy cover) was common not long ago. As an accusation against Saudi it is a total nothingburger.

So the story is the media and diplomatic reaction. As it turns out this has been minor. 19 days till the first big "Saudi and Yemen" to his a big newspaper on front page (WaPo).
The first media pull-outs from Davos in the Sun were 2 weeks before Mnuchin pulled out. Most European pull outs occurred simultaneously or just after Mnuchin. They had to weight that up very carefully.

Yes if the world really turns on Saudi, that would be massively important (not least for millions of Yemenese). Israel's big protector would be gone. Indeed Saudi might well get in a race with Iran to be regional leader by turning its American weapons on Israel.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Oct 24 2018 8:50 utc | 80

This is hilarious...let them write soaps...after all, watching them is what they do best
from the aj live

.Saudi officials have acknowledged a body double was part of an operation aimed at extracting journalist Jamal Khashoggi from the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul for questioning at a “safe house”, AP news agency reported.

Speaking to AP on condition of anonymity, two Saudi authorities said a team was sent to Turkey on a directive issued by King Salman's predecessor, King Abdullah, to bring Saudi dissidents abroad back to the kingdom so they could participate in a “national dialogue” over the country’s future.

Posted by: mina | Oct 24 2018 9:10 utc | 81

Oh happy days! We can all stop speculating about the MSB dustup. Gina Haspel is in Ankara, which can only mean that the fix is in big time. MSB isn't going up to very, very top with Erdogan hanging on his 'rob-tails'. No matter what Mecca and Medina are not Turkish real estate, no matter how much Erdogan and his Muslim Brotherhood buddies want it.

Posted by: Quentin | Oct 24 2018 9:19 utc | 82

Is your post @ 74 aimed at me?
Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24, 2018 2:43:08 AM | 75

No. It's about MSM reptiles.
What, pray tell, led you to imagine that it was about you?

Btw, have you noticed that my favourite "holier than Thou" www Military Solution swashbuckler, Pat Lang, now refers to WaPo as Bezos' Blog?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 24 2018 9:43 utc | 83

Excellent article, a lot of very smart people here writing comments. Liked Joe @ 18, Kalen @ 21

Killing one Washington Post propaganda writer does not warrant all the media attention, while Palestinians, Yemenis are butchered in a holocaust. It is a diversion , a smokescreen of events which are unfolding. B - regime change in the making is very possible. I agree, but he is not unstable , he has been FRAMED. MbS is rebelling against American domination, selling dollars for oil . He noticed multipolar world , smells the inevitable collapse of the US wants to follow Qatar's example in going to the other side. He is rebelling against bankers that want to buy Aramco on the cheap. His demise may begin the collapse of monarchies in the region , but will not prevent Saudi Arabia from joining Russia , China block. That move will end the Syrian war for good.

Posted by: Friar Ockham | Oct 24 2018 9:47 utc | 84

The dropkicks revelling in their ignorance don't know/cannot comprehend that amerika and england created Saudi and put the most sociopathic clan al-Sauds, a clan who have no legal right to any of the oil, in control because it suited them to use thugs to make sure Anglo-American oil, a division of Standard now Mobil-Exxon, got most of the dough.
The USuk arses have been doing regime change on the peninsular since 1938. Flicking fishy is nothing new.
The englanders drew up the borders, hiving most of the Shia population into Yemen, because the oilfields are in the East of the peninsular which is all traditional Shi'ite lands.
The border was rough as but in the early 2000's one last field was discovered in the south east on land which was according to the maps, part of Yemen. The al-Sauds grabbed it claiming it was part of Saudi, the Yemenis disagree, but as Saudi's other fields aint what they used to be, the Saudis decided it made more sense to win a war than lose a court case. england and amerika back em because they get a bigger slice of the pie if it is Saudi, They don't have any worries about the money going elsewhere, say Russia or Iran, the al-Sauds who should be living off the proceeds of sweet FA get to do as they did for most of the 20th century, crush any dissent from anyone, especially the legitimate owners of the petrochemicals.

The regime has been changed by a committee of amerikan govt, englander govt and the Oil Corp, many times as it has suited them.
Getting rid of MBS is the least that gang of pr1cks can do, but really what is needed is a complete change in political structure to something which suits all the sh1tkickers on the peninsular. There are plenty of totally impoverished Sunni clans, as well as Shia. al-Saud sociopaths don't do generosity or charity other than loud, crassly bad taste things, just like a a manhattan socialite.

The ordinary Arabians of whatever ilk, deserve a break, but d1ckheads & drongos who believe it is acceptable to visit a gathering without invitation then sh1t on the rung and abuse the host, wouldn't have a clue about doing the decent thing.
If you didn't know the history and want links Yandex is a good place to begin looking.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 24 2018 10:16 utc | 85

@82 peter.. yes... cannabilizing themselves...

@83 jndillard... that’s a wet dream i can get into, but i am afraid it won’t work out so simply.. i wish it would!

@85 michael dory... we see it differently.. read crookes article as you might enjoy it..

@ debs... good comments.. many seem ignorant of this.. in fact some of yemen was stolen as far back as 1926, the same provinces bordering yemen that the houthis had been making some inroads with back a year or 2 is all about where the oil is and how to rape the locals.. classic empire mindset from uk to usa and all inbetween..

Posted by: james | Oct 24 2018 11:03 utc | 86

Novice Novichok | Oct 24, 2018 6:25:51 AM | 92

So, you're saying an echo chamber?
Yes, to some extent it is that.
But, aren't most blogs?
IME, they are.
But hard to avoid; it takes a whole hell of a lot of very independent thinkers, willing to dialogue a lot, over a fair length of time, which the internet does not encourage...
Face to face can not be replaced by blogs, any...

Posted by: V | Oct 24 2018 12:26 utc | 87

Posted by: james | Oct 24, 2018 7:03:34 AM | 93

It isn't a question of stealing back in 1926 James, the englanders grabbed the entire peninsular after ww1 and the collapse of the Ottoman empire, there had been regions on the peninsular but no actual nations the englanders via StJohn Philby, father of the more notorious Kim Philby was the al Sauds initial puppet master in control of the al - Sauds and the borders were drawn up at his behest, no local had any say in anything in 1926, remember at that time the englanders were bombing the bejezus outta Iraq & Churchill really really wanted to use mustard gas on the 'fuzzy wuzzies' to get rid of as many as poss and grab the oil. As with Libya, the oilfields hadn't been properly discovered but some of the local tales of tarpit type spots and lagoons of black infammable muck had the englanders knowing they were onto a good thing. Anglo American a consortium which traded under the name 'Esso' or S.O. Standard Oil in england had cut a deal with the english at Rockerfellas behest. Shell Oil an Anglo Dutch Enterprise was created to compete with it. The Dutch had the oilfield, well actually the Sumatrans but this was back in the day when whitefellas 'owned' everything, the englanders were brought onside because Samuel & Benjamin Samuel had a fleet large enough to transport the oil and back then britannia reckoned it ruled the waves so the canny Dutch figured getting the high seas protection due an englander enterprise was the go,

The thing is that Turkey had sort of provincial names for the ME which it had run for over 300 years but they were mostly controlled by Turks and weren't nations ever. In fact big chunks of areas such as the Arabian peninsular were nothing, not part of an Ottoman province and not a nation.
England made these places into nations because that way it was much easier to rip them off legally, but the borders were frequently changed as it suited englander larceny.
They made errors drawing lines ob faulty maps in London and because the local 'governments' were just made up of puppets selected by englanders and kept in power with Brit weapons, moving the lines around was no problem.

Of course the deal for ww2 was that england had to let africa, Asia and the ME go so amerika could take over and in return amerika helps beat the Nzis.

It just shows how stupid Churchill was. Churchill, just like all aristos hated socialism more than he hated fascism, so he didn't even consider ignoring amerika and working with the Soviets who won the war anyhow. The amerikans did SFA and then delivered a massive bill for it. Remember how the amerikans got bogged down by 4 divisions of boy soldiers in the Ardennes while the Soviets knocked out over 90 Wehrmacht divisions, the same divisions which had visited blitzkrieg on western and central europe ie experienced, well trained and highly motivated troops between Kursk and Berlin.
The USSR wouldn't have made england give them its empire, altho they prolly would have aided the locals to get shot of much of it.

It couldn't happen to a more cretinous gang of thieves and murderers so I'm not complaining but if Churchill had paid no mind to Roosevelt's greedy demands, Ebgland would still be riding the hog's back and amerika would have remained the ignorant rube infested home of parochial tosh it was before ww2 and still sorta is beneath the jingoistic claptrap and fake veneer.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 24 2018 12:29 utc | 88

@59 "So how did the Saudis know that Khashoggi was coming into the consulate that day?"

Because a consular official rang him and said his papers were ready to be picked up.

"Did he have to make an appointment?"

Possibly. Or maybe the official simply said "ring me when you are coming in and I'll hand them over myself".

"Obviously they were ready and prepared for his arrival."

Obviously. But they had already sent him away empty-handed several days before, so they knew he would be returning.

"Was his Turkish fiancee really Turkish intel agent keeping an eye on him?"

No idea. Why would the Turks keep an eye on him?

"Did the Turks tip off the Saudis that he was going in to get his marriage papers?"

No. The Saudis rang him up and told him his papers were finally ready, so come in and pick 'em up.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 24 2018 12:35 utc | 89

Craig Murray on the Khashoggi case: Khashoggi, Erdogan and the Truth

I have not seen the video from inside the consulate, but have been shown stills which may be from a video. The most important thing to say is that they are not from a fixed position camera and appear at first sight consistent with the idea they are taken by a device brought in by the victim. I was only shown them briefly. I have not heard the audio recording.

He says that the Turkish story is true and that video and audio have been shared with "western" intelligence.

On the mission of CIA torture chief Gina Haspel he says that her job was to quiet Erdogan:

Haspel’s brief was very simple. She took with her intercept intelligence that purportedly shows massive senior level corruption in the Istanbul Kanal project, and suggested that Erdogan may not find it a good idea if intelligence agencies started to make public all the information they hold.

Whether Erdogan held back in his speech yesterday as a result of Haspel’s intervention I do not know.

Posted by: b | Oct 24 2018 13:18 utc | 90

Having trouble accessing your site ("this site cannot be reached") or multiple attempts required, then loading very slow. Your site is under some kind of attack. Possible new visitors being deterred.

Posted by: ThereisaGod | Oct 24 2018 13:37 utc | 91

Battle to deprive Erdogan his blue ribbon -- realpolitik -- how many years did Lockerbie drag on, how many trials?

Guardian: Only an international court can bring Khashoggi’s killers to justice
Geoffrey Robertson

Geoffrey Robertson QC is author of Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice

Continuing pressure from the security council and orders by the court, backed by sanctions against powerful Saudis (preventing them from travelling to Europe or using schools and health services), trade boycotts and sanctions, and threats of diplomatic isolation, could force the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to send suspects to The Hague, as it forced Gaddafi to cooperate over Lockerbie, and to disclose evidence that, when analysed together with other evidence, might lead a chief prosecutor to include him in the charge sheet – at least as an “unindicted co-conspirator”. Only an international legal process can establish with any credibility whether Bin Salman actually gave the lethal order, or perhaps said in the manner of King Henry II: “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?”

Realpolitik – as Jeremy Hunt has hinted and Donald Trump has megaphoned – dictates that Saudi Arabia is too important to be pushed too far because of its oil wealth, its arms purchases and its intelligence about terrorists. The most disgraceful moment for British justice came when our highest court yielded to demands from the Blair government to drop the bribery case against BAE and its high ranking Saudi recipients. The crown prince himself may be too big to jail, but the only prospect of getting at the truth about this hideous event will come from the establishment of an international court.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 24 2018 13:42 utc | 92

@all - it seems that Typepad on which this blog runs has some system trouble.

I currently can't get into the administration site to manage the blog and delete the troll comments.

@peter AU 1
Have watched the video in b's link several times and wondered who was the man in white head cloth that shook King S's hand ahead of the son. Maybe that was the brother. Though I notice the only other person in view wearing white head cloth rather than checkered red and white was the camera man.

That man was the son of Adnan Khashoggi, the famous weapon dealer who led the clan. He is a cousin of Salah.

Posted by: b | Oct 24 2018 13:53 utc | 93

Caligula? NAW!!! More like El Chapo. El Chapo is a monster, just like Bin Salmanella.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Oct 24 2018 14:58 utc | 94

@91 There is no need to be rude, I was simply making an observation. I didn't insult b. One thing you shouldn't do is make assumptions, I have a background in the middle East and I do know how Saudia Arabia was formed. Calling people dropkicks for a simple accurate observation makes me less likely to want to accept your opinion. As for still calling for regime change and saying you don't want a war that will hurt the little people as you can see from Iraq and Syria regime change large numbers of regular Saudis will be killed. Maybe I am wrong and regime change will just hurt the royal family, but I doubt that would happen.

Posted by: Malletgirl02 | Oct 24 2018 15:22 utc | 95

Thanks b, for telling us that "his robe is not pressed as the usual etiquette would require"

however, that is the least of his problems, that can always be changed

it's the look on his face that needs changing, as required by the rules of etiquette.

Posted by: chris | Oct 24 2018 15:25 utc | 96

@91 There is no need to be rude, I was simply making an observation. I didn't insult b. One thing you shouldn't do is make assumptions, I have a background in the middle East and I do know how Saudia Arabia was formed. Calling people dropkicks for a simple accurate observation makes me less likely to want to accept your opinion. As for still calling for regime change and saying you don't want a war that will hurt the little people as you can see from Iraq and Syria regime change large numbers of regular Saudis will be killed. Maybe I am wrong and regime change will just hurt the royal family, but I doubt that would happen.

Posted by: Malletgirl02 | Oct 24 2018 15:26 utc | 97

Several of us have wondered why Khashoggi went into the Consulate in Turkey.

I read somewhere that the Saudi Embassy/Consulate in USA directed him to go to Turkey. Why would the location matter if he was seeking a divorce?

Well, it would matter if he was seeking a "divorce" from the Saudi State itself - if he were renouncing his citizenship. And he would have to do that in Turkey if he had arranged to become a citizen of Turkey.

There's a standing rule that a person can not be left without a country. A country is not allowed to terminate citizenship unless someone has arranged for citizenship elsewhere. Someone has to have citizenship in another country before his/her citizenship can be terminated.

Citizenship by marriage happens faster than naturalization (Khashoggi was a US permanent resident).

By giving up citizenship, Khashoggi would escape any claim that the Saudi Kingdom/State has on its citizens AND doing so would be a powerful statement ("voting with your fee", as it were). Also, he could no longer be portrayed as "disloyal" or "treasonous" and he would burnish his anti-MbS credentials.

Renouncing citizenship seems very possible given Khashoggi's Muslim Brotherhood leanings and his founding of DAWN (Democracy in the Arab World Now) which made him a direct political opponent of the Saudi Kingdom.

If Khashoggi planned to renounce, then we might also ask: Did Erdogan offer any incentive to do so? A job/position in Turkey? An arranged marriage? Was Khashoggi used as a pawn?

Khashoggi renouncing and working with Erdogan/MB doesn't excuse those that had a hand in killing him. it would explain a lot.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 24 2018 15:34 utc | 98

There's great merit in Craig Murray's commentary and the information he provides. One point he continues to make is the fact that many people in positions of power differ little from MbS, particularly within the US and UK governments and ought to be drowning in the gore their policies create. It's not just MbS who must be stopped but the Tories, Neocons and Neoliberals who empower him. Those groups may crave Saudi cash, but who is really underwriting who in what appears as an incestuous relationship? Trump famously said the Outlaw US Empire protects Saudi such that it wouldn't last 2 weeks without its protection. What better answer might be provided.

In closing, Murray observes:

"The truth the leads can reveal is much wider than the narrow question of the murder incident, as I hope this article sketches out."

What needs to occur now is to get the wider truths circulating in a manner that can turn this affair into a teachable moment showing the utter depravity of the Outlaw US Empire's project which helped bring MbS into power and fuels the Terror rained down on Yemenis, Syrians, Palestinians, and all too many other innocents globally while also denouncing the gross misuse of scarce resources and abuse of the planet. That's the only way I see Khashoggi's death being useful, which ironically he'd likely disagree with.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 24 2018 16:11 utc | 99

"Evil fights evil. Who loses? Evil loses. That's the only possible chance we good people have: it is to make it so the worst evil is killed by the less worse evil; that's how human history progresses
and we are all stuck with this moral Universe the way it is, whether it makes sense at first or not." El Guerrero

Sadly, Evil smothers Good in the cradle. WA State is trying for a 3rd time to,pass a Carbon Tax, the same 'Green' State legislators who overwhelmingly approved four (count 'em) oil recoveries, a huge chemical complex, a huge aluminum smelter, one of the largest CAFO operations in the US, one of the largest Cold Chain operations in the US, the theft of citizens hydropower by Amazon blade warehouses, and even a huge coal strip mine and power plant belching just south of the State capital.

Oh, but we need a carbon tax 'and the impact will lessen' they preach 'as more citizens buy $35,000 electric coal-powered cars!' Asked where the carbon tax funds would go, the faceless, emotionless bureaucrats answered onlyy, 'programs'. When a reporter noted the programmed carbon tax funds exactly matches the State bureaucrats PERS pension shortfall, an enraged Senator shot back, 'E pluribus now get back to work!', which is New Carbon Catholic Latin for 'kiss my ring'.

Caligula indeed. Pope Albertus Gore and 97% White Male Scientocrats, plunging the Earth's 7B citizens back into a 'Indefinite Dark Ages of the New Energy Revelations', above a massive Mil.Gov Pharoahocracy.

L-11 and green-over-green for Tehran!

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 24 2018 16:16 utc | 100

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