Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 28, 2018

If The Saudi's Oil No Longer Matters Why Is Trump Still Supporting Them?

Why are U.S. troops in the Middle East?

In an interview with the Washington Post U.S. President Donald Trump gives an answer:

Trump also floated the idea of removing U.S. troops from the Middle East, citing the lower price of oil as a reason to withdraw.

“Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world? One reason to is Israel,” Trump said. “Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to stay there.”

It is only Israel, it is no longer the oil, says Trump.  But the nuclear armed Israel does not need U.S. troops for its protection.

And if it is no longer the oil, why is the U.S. defending the Saudis?

Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disagrees with his boss. In a Wall Street journal op-ed today he claims that The U.S.-Saudi Partnership Is Vital because it includes much more then oil:

[D]egrading U.S.-Saudi ties would be a grave mistake for the national security of the U.S. and its allies.

The kingdom is a powerful force for stability in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is working to secure Iraq’s fragile democracy and keep Baghdad tethered to the West’s interests, not Tehran’s. Riyadh is helping manage the flood of refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war by working with host countries, cooperating closely with Egypt, and establishing stronger ties with Israel. Saudi Arabia has also contributed millions of dollars to the U.S.-led effort to fight Islamic State and other terrorist organizations. Saudi oil production and economic stability are keys to regional prosperity and global energy security.

Where and when please has Saudi Arabia "managed the flood of refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war". Was that when it emptied its jails of violent criminals and sent them to wage jihad against the Syrian people? That indeed 'managed' to push millions to flee from their homes.

Saudi Arabia might be many things but "a powerful force for stability" it is not. Just ask 18 million Yemenis who, after years of Saudi bombardment, are near to death for lack of food.

Pompeo's work for the Saudi dictator continued today with a Senate briefing on Yemen. The Senators will soon vote on a resolution to end the U.S. support for the war. In his prepared remarks Pompeo wrote:

The suffering in Yemen grieves me, but if the United States of America was not involved in Yemen, it would be a hell of a lot worse.

What could be worse than a famine that threatens two third of the population?

If the U.S. and Britain would not support the Saudis and Emirates the war would end within a day or two. The Saudi and UAE planes are maintained by U.S. and British specialists. The Saudis still seek 102 more U.S. military personal to take care of their planes. It would be easy for the U.S. to stop such recruiting of its veterans.


It is the U.S. that holds up an already watered down UN Security Council resolution that calls for a ceasefire in Yemen:

The reason for the delay continues to be a White House worry about angering Saudi Arabia, which strongly opposes the resolution, multiple sources say. CNN reported earlier this month that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, "threw a fit" when presented with an early draft of the document, leading to a delay and further discussions among Western allies on the matter.

We recently wrote that pandering to the Saudis and keeping Muhammad bin Salman in place will hurt Trump's Middle East policies. The piece noted that Trump asked the Saudis for many things, but found that:

There is really nothing in Trump's list on which the Saudis consistently followed through. His alliance with MbS brought him no gain and a lot of trouble.

Trump protected MbS from the consequences of murdering Jamal Khashoggi. He hoped to gain leverage with that. But that is not how MbS sees it. He now knows that Trump will not confront him no matter what he does. If MbS "threws a fit" over a UN Security Council resolution, the U.S. will drop it. When he launches his next 'adventure', the U.S. will again cover his back. Is this the way a super power is supposed to handle a client state?

If Trump's instincts really tell him that U.S. troops should be removed from the Middle East and Afghanistan, something I doubt, he should follow them. Support for the Saudi war on Yemen will not help to achieve that. Pandering to MbS is not MAGA.

Posted by b on November 28, 2018 at 20:12 UTC | Permalink


Pompeo: "Saudi Arabia has also contributed millions of dollars to the U.S.-led effort to fight Islamic State and other terrorist organizations."

Everyone knows it's the US presence in the Middle East which creates terrorists, both as proxies of and in resistance to the US imperial presence (and often one and then the other). So reading Orwellian language, Pompeo is saying the US wants to maximize Islamic terrorism in order to provide a pretext for creeping totalitarianism at home and abroad.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 28 2018 20:28 utc | 1

The real reason is to maintain the petrodollar system, but there seems to be a conspiracy of silence never to mention it among both supporters and opponents of Trump.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 28 2018 20:35 utc | 2

There is really nothing in Trump's list on which the Saudis consistently followed through. His alliance with MbS brought him no gain and a lot of trouble.

He did get to fondle the orb - although fuck knows what weirdness was really going on there.

Posted by: Ross | Nov 28 2018 20:41 utc | 3

thanks b... pompeo is a very bad liar... in fact - everything he says is about exactly the opposite, but bottom line is he is a bad liar as he is thoroughly unconvincing..

everyone knows why the usa is in the middle east.. to support the war industry, which is heavily tied to the financial industry.. up is down and down is up.. that is why the usa is great friends with ksa and israel and a sworn enemy of iran... what they don't say is they are a sworn enemy of humanity and the thought that the world can continue with their ongoing madness...

oh, but don't forget to vote, LOLOL.... no wonder so many are strung out on drugs, and the pharma industry... opening up to the msm is opening oneself up to the world george orwell described many years ago...

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 20:47 utc | 4

Take a wafer or two of silicon and just add water. The oil obsession has been eclipsed and within 20 years will be in absolute disarray. The warmongers will invent new excuses.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 28 2018 20:49 utc | 5

A hypothetical: No extraordinary amounts of hydrocarbons exist under Southwest Asian ground; just an essential amount for domestic consumption; in that case, would Zionistan exist where it's currently located and would either Saudi Arabia, Iraq and/or Iran have any significance aside from being consumers of Outlaw US Empire goods? Would the Balfour Declaration and the Sykes/Picot Secret Treaty have been made? If the Orinoco Oil Belt didn't exist, would Venezuela's government be continually targeted for Imperial control? If there was no Brazilian offshore oil, would the Regime Change effort have been made there? Here the hypotheticals end and a few basic yet important questions follow.

Previous to the 20th Century, why were Hawaii and Samoa wrested from their native residents and annexed to Empire? In what way did the lowly family farmers spread across 19th Century United States further the growth of its Empire and contribute to the above named annexations? What was the unspoken message sent to US elites contained within Frederic Jackson Turner's 1893 Frontier Thesis? Why is the dominant language of North America English, not French or Spanish?

None of these are rhetorical. All second paragraph questions I asked of my history students. And all have a bearing on b's fundamental question.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 28 2018 21:33 utc | 6

b says, “And it its no longer the oil, why is the U.S. defending the Saudis?”

The US has a vital interest in protecting the narrative of 9/11. The Saudis supplied the patsies. Mossad and dual-citizen neocons were the architects of the event. Hence, the US must avoid a nasty divorce from the Saudis. The Saudis are in a perfect blackmailing position.

Posted by: A. Person | Nov 28 2018 22:20 utc | 7

Maybe Trump is unaware, but the fracking boom is a bubble made possible by near zero interest rates:

U.S. SHALE OIL INDUSTRY: Catastrophic Failure Ahead

Of course, most Americans have no idea that the U.S. Shale Oil Industry is nothing more than a Ponzi Scheme because of the mainstream media’s inability to report FACT from FICTION. However, they don’t deserve all of the blame as the shale energy industry has done an excellent job hiding the financial distress from the public and investors by the use of highly technical jargon and BS.

Oil is the untold story of modern history.

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Nov 28 2018 22:50 utc | 8

S.A. is a thinly disguised US military base, hence the "strategic importance" and the relevance of the new Viceroy's previous experience as a Four Star General. It's doubtful that any of the skilled personnel in the SA Air Force are other than former US/Nato. A few princes might fancy themselves to be daring fighter pilots. In case of a Anglo-Zio war with Iran SA would be the most forward US aircraft carrier. The Empire is sustained by its presumed military might and prizes nothing more than its strategically situated bases. Saud would like to capture Yemen's oil fields, but the primary purpose of the air war is probably training. That of course is more despicably cynical than mere conquest and genocide.

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 28 2018 23:08 utc | 9

Trump is the ultimate deceiver/liar. Great actor reading from a script. The heel in the Fake wrestling otherwise known as US politics. It almost sounds as if he is calling for an end of anymore significant price drops now that he has got Powell on board to limit interest rate hikes. After all if you are the worlds biggest producer you dont want prices too low. These markets are all manipulated. I cant imagine how much insider trading is going on. If you look at the oil prices, they started dropping in October with Iran sanctions looming (before it was announced irans shipments to its 8 biggest buyers would be exempt) and at the height of the Khashoggi event where sanctions were threatened and Saudi was making threats of their own. In a real free market prices increase amidst supply uncertainty.

Regardless of what he says he wants and gets now, he is already planning a reversal. Thats how the big boys win, they know whats coming and when the con the smaller fish to swim one way they are lined up with a big mouth wide open. Controlled chaos and confusion. For every winner there must be a loser and the losers assets/money are food for the Gods of Money and War

As for pulling out of the Middle East Bibi must have had a good laugh. My money is on the US to be in Yemen to protect them from the Saudis (humanitarian) and Iranian backed Houthis while in reality we will be there to secure the enormous oil fields in the North. Perhaps this was what the Khashoggi trap was all about. The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF

Posted by: Pft | Nov 28 2018 23:08 utc | 10

@ Pft who wrote: "The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF"

BINGO!!! Those that control finance control most/all of everything else.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 28 2018 23:35 utc | 11

Saudi Arabia literally owns close to 8% of the United States economy through various financial instruments. Their public investment funds and dark pools own large chunks froms various strategic firms resting at the apex of western power such as Blackstone. Trump and Pompeo would be stupid to cut off their nose to spite their face... It's all about the petrodollar, uncle sam will ride and die with saudi barbaria. If push comes to shove and the saudis decide to untether themselves from the Empire, their sand kingdom will probably be partitioned.

Posted by: Augustin L | Nov 28 2018 23:37 utc | 12

The oil certainly still plays an important role, the u.s. cannot maintain the current frack oil output for long. For Tronald's term in office it will suffice, but hardly longer. (The frack gas supplies are much more substantial.)
Personal interests certainly also play a role, and finally one should not make u.s. foreign policy more rational than it is. Much is also done because of traditions and personal convictions. Often they got it completely wrong and the result was a complete failure.

Posted by: Pnyx | Nov 29 2018 0:02 utc | 13

Let us watch what Trump does with this or if the resolution makes it to daylight:

Senate advances Yemen resolution in rebuke to Trump

The Senate issued a sharp rebuke Wednesday to President Trump, easily advancing a resolution that would end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen’s civil war despite a White House effort to quash the bill.

The administration launched an eleventh-hour lobbying frenzy to try to head off momentum for the resolution, dispatching Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Capitol Hill in the morning and issuing a veto threat less than an hour before the vote started.

But lawmakers advanced the resolution, 63-37, even as the administration vowed to stand by Saudi Arabia following outcry over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“There’s been a lot of rhetoric that’s come from the White House and from the State Department on this issue,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. “The rhetoric that I’ve heard and the broadcasts that we’ve made around the world as to who we are have been way out of balance as it relates to American interests and American values.” [/]
LINK TheHill

But Mattis says there is no smoking gun to tie the Clown Thug-Prince to Kashoggi's killing.

And Lyias @ 2 is a bingo. Always follow the fiat.

Soon, without any announcements, if they wish to maintain selling oil to China, KSA will follow Qatar. It will be priced in Yuan...especially given the escalating U.S. trade war with China.

2019 holds interesting times. Order a truckload of popcorn.

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 29 2018 0:07 utc | 14

You would have to have your head buried in the sand to not see that the Saudi "Kings" are crypto-Zionistas. Carl Sagan once said, “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” And Mark Twain also wrote “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

Posted by: Midwest For Truth | Nov 29 2018 0:29 utc | 15

Gee, not one taker amongst all these intelligent folk. From last to first: 1588's Protestant Wind allowed Elizabeth and her cronies to literally keep their heads as Nature helped Drake defeat the Spanish Armada; otherwise, there would be no British Empire root to the USA, thus no USA and no future Outlaw US Empire, the British Isles becoming a Hapsburg Imperial Property, and a completely different historical lineage, perhaps sans World Wars and atomic weapons.

Turner's message was with the Frontier closed the "safety valve" of continental expansion defusing political tensions based on economic inequalities had ceased to be of benefit and future policy would need to deal with that issue thus removing the Fear Factor from the natives to immigrants, and from wide-open spaces to the inner cities. Whipsawing business cycles driving urban labor's unrest, populist People's Party politics, and McKinley's 1901 assassination further drove his points home.

Nationwide, family farmers demanded Federal government help to create additional markets for their produce to generate price inflation so they could remain solvent and keep their homesteads, which translated into the need to conduct international commerce via the seas which required coaling stations--Hawaii and Samoa, amongst others--and a Blue Water Navy that eventually led to Alfred T. Mahan's doctrine of Imperial Control of the Oceans still in use today.

As with Gengis Khan's death in 1227 that stopped the Mongol expansion to the English Channel that changed the course of European history, and what was seen as the Protestant Wind being Divine Intervention, global history has several similar inflection points turning the tide from one path to another. We don't know yet if the Outlaw US Empire's reliance on Saudi is such, but we can see it turning from being a great positive to an equally potential great negative for the Empire--humanity as a whole, IMO, will benefit greatly from an implosion and the relationship becoming a Great Negative helping to strip what remains of the Emperor's Clothing from his torso so that nations and their citizens can deter the oncoming financialized economic suicide caused by massive debt and climate chaos.

Vico's circle is about to intersect with Hegel's dialectic and generate a new temporal phase in human history. Although many will find it hard to tell, the current direction points to a difficult change to a more positive course for humanity as a whole, but it's also possible that disaster could strike with humanity's total or near extinction being the outcome--good arguments can be made for either outcome, which ought to unsettle everyone: Yes, the times are that tenuous. But then, I'm merely a lonely historian aware of a great many things, including the pitfall inherent in trying to predict future events.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 29 2018 0:59 utc | 16

"The suffering in Yemen grieves me, but if the United States of America was not involved in Yemen, it would be a hell of a lot worse." And I'll bet Pompeo said that with a straight face, too. lmfao
And as for "...keep[ing] Baghdad tethered to the West's interests and not Tehran's," I'm guessing the "secretary" would have us all agree "yeah, fk Iraqi sovereignty anyway. Besides, it's not like they share a border with Iran, or anything. Oh, wait..."

p.s. Many thanks for all you have contributed to collective knowledge, b; I will be contacting you about making a contribution by snail mail (I hate PayPal, too).

Posted by: robjira | Nov 29 2018 1:08 utc | 17

"... a powerful force for stability in the Middle East."

"Instability" more like it.

Paid for military coup in Egypt. Funding anti-Syrian terrorists. Ongoing tensions with Iran. Zip-all for the Palestinians. WTF in Yemen. Wahhabi crazy sh_t (via Mosque building) across Asia. Head and hand chopping Friday specials the norm -- especially of their South-Asian slave classes. Ok, so females can now drive cars -- woohoo. A family run business venture manipulating the global oil trade and supporting US-petro-$ hegemony recently out of goat herding and each new generation 'initiated' in some Houston secret society toe-touching shower and soap ceremonies before placement in the ruling hierarchy back home. But enough; they being Semites makes it an offence to criticize in some 'free' democratic world domains.

Posted by: imo | Nov 29 2018 1:25 utc | 18

Likklemore @14--

Instead of the "rebuke to Trump" meme circulating around, I found this statement to be more accurate:

"'Cutting off military aid to Saudi Arabia is the right choice for Yemen, the right choice for our national security, and the right choice for upholding the Constitution,' Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action, declared in a statement. 'Three years ago, the notion of Congress voting to cut off military support for Saudi Arabia would have been politically laughable.'" [My Emphasis]

In other words, advancing Peace with Obama as POTUS wasn't going to happen, so this vote ought to be seen as an attack on Obama's legacy as it's his policy that's being reconsidered and hopefully discontinued.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 29 2018 1:52 utc | 19

Trump, Israel and the Sawdi's. US no longer needs middle east oil for strategic supply. Trump is doing away with the petro-dollar as that scam has run its course and maintenance is higher than returns. Saudi and other middle east oil is required for global energy dominance.
Energy dominance, lebensraum for Israel and destroying the current Iran are all objectives that fit into one neat package.
Those plans look to be coming apart at the moment so it remains to be seen how fanatical Trump is on Israel and MAGA. MAGA as US was at the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 29 2018 2:44 utc | 20

As for pulling out of the Middle East Bibi must have had a good laugh. Remember when he said he wanted out of Syria. My money is on the US to be in Yemen before too long to protect them from the Saudis (humanitarian) and Iranian backed Houthis, while in reality it will be to secure the enormous oil fields in the North. Perhaps this was what the Khashoggi trap was all about. The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF.

Posted by: Pft | Nov 29 2018 6:15 utc | 21

@16 karlof1.. thanks for a broader historical perspective which you are able to bring to moa.. i enjoy reading your comments.. i don't have answers to ALL your questions earlier.. i have answers for some of them... you want to make it easy on us uneducated folks and give us less questions, like b did in his post here, lol.... cheers james

Posted by: james | Nov 29 2018 6:57 utc | 22

This came faster than assumed:

Yemen war: US Senate advances measure to end support for Saudi forces

The US Senate has advanced a measure to withdraw American support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

In a blow to President Donald Trump, senators voted 63-37 to take forward a motion on ending US support.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had urged Senators not to back the motion, saying it would worsen the situation in Yemen.
The vote in the Senate means further debate on US support for Saudi Arabia is expected next week.

However, correspondents say that even if the Senate ultimately passes the bipartisan resolution it has little chance of being approved by the outgoing House of Representatives.

That is quite a slap for the Trump administration. It will have little consequences in the short term (or for Yemen) but it sets a new direction in foreign polices towards the Saudis.

Posted by: b | Nov 29 2018 7:33 utc | 23

Pompeo is a Deep State Israel-firster with a nasty neocon agenda. It is to Trump's disgrace that he chose Pompeo and the abominable Bolton. At least Trump admits the ME invasions are really about Israel.

Posted by: jim slim | Nov 29 2018 9:04 utc | 24

duterte...idris mqny democrats visiting netanyahou lately!!

Posted by: mina | Nov 29 2018 9:14 utc | 25

@Uncle Tungsten, 5:

Take a look at some of the - informed - comments below the vid to which you linked. Then think again about an 'all electric civilisation within a few years'. Yes, and Father Christmas will be providing everything that everyone in the world needs for a NAmerican/European standard of living within the same time frame. Er - not.

'Renewables' are not going to save hitech industrial 'civilisation' from The Long Descent/Catabolic Collapse (qv). Apart from any other consideration - and there are some other equally intractable ones - there is no - repeat NO - 'renewable' energy system which doesn't rely crucially on energy subsidies from the fossil-hydrocarbon fuels, both to build it and to maintain it. They're not stand-alone, self-bootstrapping technologies. Nor is there any realistic prospect that they ever will be. Fully renewable-power hitech industrial civilisation is a non-deliverable mirage which is just drawing us ever further into the desert of irreversible peak-energy/peak-everythig-else.

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Nov 29 2018 9:49 utc | 26

@16 karlof1. I also find your historical references very interesting. We do indeed seem to be at a very low point in the material cycle, it will reverse in due course as is its want, hopefully we will live to see a positive change in humanity.

Posted by: Rancid | Nov 29 2018 10:58 utc | 27

Rhisiart Gwilym says:

Fully renewable-power hitech industrial civilisation is a non-deliverable mirage which is just drawing us ever further into the desert of irreversible peak-energy/peak-everythig-else

sounds like you know something Nikola Tesla didn't. cheer up, dude, you'll be dead soon enough.

Posted by: john | Nov 29 2018 11:57 utc | 28

John 28

For example we know Tesla didn't succeed in splitting the planet in half, the way techno-psychotics fantasize. As for that silly link, how typical of techno-wingnuts to respond to prosaic physical facts with fantasies. Anything to prop up faith in the technocratic-fundamentalist religion. Meanwhile "electrical civilization" has always meant and will always mean fracking and coal, until the whole fossil-fueled extreme energy nightmare is over.

Given the proven fact that the extreme energy civilization has done nothing but embark upon a campaign to completely destroy humanity and the Earth (like in your Tesla fantasy), why would a non-psychopath want to prop it up anyway?

Posted by: Russ | Nov 29 2018 12:24 utc | 29

It is still the oil, even for the US. The Persian Gulf supplies 20% of world consumption, and Western Europe gets 40% of its oil from OPEC countries, most of that from the Gulf. Even the US still imports 10% of its total consumption.

Posted by: bob sykes | Nov 29 2018 12:37 utc | 30

Peter AU 1 | Nov 28, 2018 9:44:50 PM | 20
b | Nov 29, 2018 2:33:04 AM | 23
USD as a world reserve currency could be one factor between the important ones.
With non US support the saud land could crash under neighbours pressure, that caos may be not welcomed.

Posted by: y | Nov 29 2018 12:47 utc | 31

i would answer but it was made clear that it would break the rules of this sight to do so.

Posted by: pB | Nov 29 2018 13:54 utc | 32

Russ says:

For example we know Tesla didn't succeed in splitting the planet in half, the way techno-psychotics fantasize

well Russ, there are even some other things we know about Tesla…(silly link)

...and when i consider anomalies like 21 trillion dollars missing from DOD, well, it just gets my techno-psychotic fantasies sizzling.

Posted by: john | Nov 29 2018 14:27 utc | 33

pB, go ahead and speak your mind.

Posted by: morongobill | Nov 29 2018 14:54 utc | 34

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 28, 2018 7:59:31 PM | 16 "Vico's circle is about to intersect with Hegel's dialectic and generate a new temporal phase in human history. Although many will find it hard to tell, the current direction points to a difficult change to a more positive course for humanity as a whole..."


Humble people around where I live have mentioned that time is speeding up its velocity;
there seems to be a spiritual (evolutionary)/physical interface effect or something...

Tolstoy, in the long theory-of-history exposition at the end of War and Peace,
challenges 'the great man' of History idea, spreading in his time, at the dawning of
the so-called: European Romantic period of Beethoven, Goerte and Wagner, when the unique
person was glorified in the name of art, truth, whatever (eventually this bubble burst
too, in the 20th C. and IMO because of too much fervent worship in the Cult of the Temple
of the Money God. Dostoyevki's great Crime and Punishment is all about this issue.)

Tolstoy tries to describe a scientifically-determined historical process, dissing the
'great man of History' thesis. He was thinking of Napoleon Bonaparte of course, the
run-away upstart repulican, anathema to the established order. Tolstoy describes it in the
opening scene of the novel: a fascinating parlor-room conversation between a "liberal" woman of good-birth in the elite circles of society and a military captain at the party.

...only tenuously relevant to karlofi1's great post
touching upon the Theory of History as such; thanks.

Now as to the question: ¿Why is Trump supporting Saudi Arabia? Let me think about that...

Posted by: Guerrero | Nov 29 2018 15:16 utc | 35

The US is no longer sovereign and is a manipulated vassal of the UK, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.
The US brings immense suffering, death, and destruction to the MENA.
Being a US citizen is no longer a badge of honor.
US elites are lying, unfeeling, bloodthirsty monsters.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Nov 29 2018 18:16 utc | 36

I seem to recall a deal being made with the Saudis back in the 70s to buy massive amounts of US debt with their oil wealth, with the US hurting from stagflation and looking for a big investor. (and to keep KSA from hopping in bed with the Soviets) But the deal was that such bond purchases had to happen on the down-low, as everyone in the middle east hated the US because of backing Israel (little/great Satans, etc) and KSA didn't want to alienate the rest of the Arab world.
I'm guessing that's the reason that no president is willing to drop the Saudis - the threat of bond dumping. China supposedly can do the same, but won't because it's OK for now and doing so would hurt China as much as the US. KSA is in a different boat, probably up shit creek without US military aid (a race to see if the Saud family gets deposed by their restive populace, or can last long enough to get steamrolled by Iran) and thus is happy to take the US economy with them if they go down.

Posted by: IguanaBowtie | Nov 29 2018 18:21 utc | 37

Guerrero @35--

Thanks for your kind words!

A brief note about time: Yes, it seems to accelerate as we age because it does--each unit of time becomes a smaller fraction when compared to the time already lived; for example, the last year was 1/62 of my life, yet this year is 1/63 a smaller, yet quicker, fraction, with the next year speeding up as it becomes 1/64. As I told my daughter--the mathematics of time cannot be escaped with our current technology.

Trump and The Big Man Theory of History. Trump was and remains enigmatic, but he has performed a singular service: He slowed down the Empire's War Machine, although the primary policy of Full Spectrum Dominance remains in place and global tensions have escalated. There are many aspects of Trump's and Republican party policies I loathe, but then the same could be said for Obama's Neoliberalism and naked Imperialism--of the two, Obama's by far the bigger criminal, as is Hillary Clinton. If Trump can get his Justice Department to indict HRC for her many crimes, he will have done the nation a positive service and triumphed where previous presidents have failed. But I doubt he'll ever be considered a Big Man historically.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 29 2018 18:32 utc | 38

The Saudi's have not much to lose here- as long as OPEC exists, they have a dominant hand in the global price and trade of oil. We, on the other hand, have much to lose. Not just military sales, but also all the dirty linen from historical dealings in and around the Middle East, and most definitely 9/11 and all the "terror" incidents that have flowed from it. The Saudis could ruin American hegemony with one dump of files from their Wikileaks-like trove. Even Assange would not do that, as all the "whistleblowers" have shown more concern with national security secrets, so as not to hurt the poor little spies we have planted globally. Makes the quote all the more true - "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." Wait for the dramatic closing curtain... unless you wish to take direct action in helping it along.

Posted by: ProWorks48 | Nov 29 2018 19:05 utc | 39

You'd best learn the difference between "near oil" and oil to understand why the KSA
matters.The huge losses on every barrel of that "near oil" can only be hidden by some quite
amazing financial engineering.What they cannot hide is the ever increasing debt that goes to
fracking it.Profitable companies pay down debt,not increase it.
My guess is that it is a psychopathic scheme to bludgeon down the price of real oil ,at
the cost of eating our own seedcorn.
The Hills Group thermodynamic thesis on oil depletion is well worth everyone's time to read,
and as we are now entering an extended grand solar minimum stronger than the Maunder minimum,
the implications are staggering.TPTB are well aware of both.
The bunkers they're building are not for a nuclear war at all.

Posted by: Winston | Nov 29 2018 19:08 utc | 40


OT, but is this the same karlof1 that used to post @ the oil drum?
If so, I have gleaned quite a few gems from your knowledge over the years.

Posted by: fractional ownership | Nov 29 2018 19:26 utc | 41

fractional ownership @41--

Yes, that would be me! Thanks for remembering! And thanks for the kudos!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 29 2018 21:45 utc | 42


Do you have anything to back this statement up? "He slowed down the Empire's War Machine". Here on planet Earth, he has:
a) aided the ever-worsening genocide in Yemen,
b) deployed US troops in Syria,
c) attacked Syria twice (unlike his predecessor),
d) allowed Israel to try to start a war with Syria,
e) not said a word about the almost weekly Friday shootings in Gaza,
f) continued to arm Saudi Arabia (Obama froze arms shipments),
g) falsely accused Iran of violating the nuclear deal,
h) is trying to goad Iran into starting a war,
i) allying his administration with what was deemed a terrorist group, MEK
j) started some sanctions on certain people in Lebanon,
k) tried to dictate whom Iraq can get its energy from,
l) drastically increased the defense budget,
m) disbanded the INF treaty with Russia.

Posted by: Schmoe | Nov 29 2018 23:06 utc | 43

Ending support for Saudi forces in Yemen is step one

Step 2 is direct intervention by US against the Houthis out of humanitarian concerns

Step 3 is secure the oil and keep it from the Saudis

Step 4 is another country in which to set up a military base

Posted by: Pft | Nov 29 2018 23:11 utc | 44

Schmoe @43--

I didn't say he stopped it. Everything ongoing now was ongoing when he became POTUS--all were Obama's or Bush's doings. And just who does the aiding or adding to the military budget? Congress does the latter, and the former was all delgated to military commanders at the outset of his admin. Obama didn't attack Syria or Iraq?!? what sort of drugs do you injest? Trump illegally exited JCPOA citing it was a "bad deal for America," not because Iran was in violation. US Imperial policy since the Islamic Revolution has been war with Iran via proxy or hybrid. The Outlaw US Empire was already alled with MEK going back to last century.

Unlike all his predecessors, Trump's been honest about the intent of Outlaw US Empire policy--to dominate the entre planet. There was already growing international pushback against Obama that Trump's antics have reinforced and escalated, which is what's needed to happen for decades. His Trade War has exposed the Outlaw US Empire's very glaring weaknesses which are being exploited. And unlike previous presidents dating back to Nixon, Trump's not a protege of the CIA as were Obama and Hillary. But most importantly, Trump's antics combined with Democrat Party perfidity and lawlessness have finally aroused a domestic oppositional movement that's aiming higher than Trump at the components of the Deep State--if HRC had won, none of that would have occurred, and the international situation would be far worse based on CIA/HRC track records.

Trump was clearly, and announced as such by me, the lesser of two evils. And there's a lot of crap he's done you neglected to mention that I strongly oppose. I'm willing to bet the entire national debt that if you were to poll the great majority of seasoned international geopolitical analysts about Trump's slowing the Outlaw US Empire's war machine, that the majority would agree with me.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 30 2018 0:02 utc | 45

I actually agree with most of your more recent post, although I stand by my comments (except as noted below) but acknowledge that while several of the matters I mentioned were in motion pre-Trump, most were not.

Where we differ most is that I feel like you are implying that Trump is being such an a-hole such that he intentionally weakens the US empire in the long run, while I see most of his antics as just doing precisely what Sheldon Adelson, MBS or John Bolton tell him to do. Anybody that deviates from the "Iran focus of all evil / Netanyahoo rules" gets dismissed (other than Mattis, but his days could be numbered). At least Obama didn't take orders from Netanyahoo (which irritated the latter to no end).

As for the JCPOA, I did not word that correctly. What I was trying to say was that Pompeo alleged that Iran had violated certain provisions (there were minor technical violations on Iran's part), although I might have that confused with glaring misstatements Pompeo made about the scope of the JCPOA. Don't have time to research that now.

I also believe that Pence would be far more dangerous than Trump because he might do more damage and not just flail around.

Posted by: Schmoe | Nov 30 2018 1:27 utc | 46

Well, let's see. The U.S. provides the Saudis with "intelligence and targeting information," so we are responsible for the bombing of hospitals, schools, mosques, markets, and civilian areas. In 2015 the U.S. Navy imposed a blockade on Yemen in support of KSA. So we are responsible for blocking food, medicine, and humanitarian aid. We know Pompeo is a bald-faced liar. He was, after all, a highly praised head of the CIA before being sent to continue the destruction of the State Department (which probably is actually a good thing, considering their record for the last 150 years). I don't think anyone has succeeded in forcing Mattis to give a straight answer to why we are supporting KSA in Yemen, but he is said to be deeply committed to attacking Iran. Lord knows what that has to do with Yemen, but that's the excuse they give.

Posted by: Procopius | Nov 30 2018 3:24 utc | 47


d) allowed Israel to try to start a war with Syria,
That's ludicrous. How on Earth could the President of the United States prevent Israel from starting a war with Syria? Aside from the fact that Israel is a sovereign country over which the U.S. has no formal authority, the neoconservatives who have been in charge of the government apparatus, especially the State Department and the Department of Defense would insist of deferring to the Prime Minister of Israel on all policy matters. They would be backed up by veto-proof majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate. That is quite aside from the fact that his beloved daughter and her husband are Orthodox Jews loyal to Netanyahu.

Posted by: Procopius | Nov 30 2018 3:39 utc | 48

Oil is the untold story of modern history.
Posted by: Tobin Paz | Nov 28, 2018 5:50:19 PM | 8

The history has been told by Matthieu Auzanneau in French and recently translated in English:

a most fascinating and enlightening saga, very well documented.

Posted by: Charles Michael | Nov 30 2018 7:02 utc | 49

Procopius 47
You missed bombing funerals.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 30 2018 7:22 utc | 50

Schmoe 46 "while I see most of his antics as just doing precisely what Sheldon Adelson, MBS or John Bolton tell him to do."

Add Kissinger to the list
Trump takes his advice from anyone that is pro Israel anti Iran. They are the people he surrounds himself with. Pat Lang has a post up on what an easy mark Trump would be for a conman- not that he needs a conman to do what he is doing.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 30 2018 7:28 utc | 51

Pft @ 44: Step 2 should be the United States leaving Yemen alone and allowing the Yemenis themselves to decide whether they want the Houthis or not.

The US would be stupid enough to bring on another Vietnam War on itself - because that's what replacing the Saudis in Yemen would be, just as the US replaced France in Vietnam over half a century ago - but there's no need to encourage the Americans.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 30 2018 11:14 utc | 52

Step 1, 2, 3 and 4 should be West Get Out.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 30 2018 12:56 utc | 53

So what's up with the Putin/MBS rapport at the G20? Some suggest it's intended to send a message to Turkey...

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 30 2018 19:26 utc | 54

I don't think Russia has taken a public stance on the conflict in Yemen, have they?

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 30 2018 19:28 utc | 55

the pessimist @55--

Here's the link to Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs where you can type Yemen into the search box and get 735 results to comb through to answer your question.


Did you see the pic I linked to at the Fake News thread? Of course, we're not shown how other leaders greeted him, and in the group photo nobody's trying to distance themselves from him. IMO, everyone understands that Khashoggi was deemed an Enemy of the Kingdom and eliminated for what to all of them's a reason they can all sympathize with.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 30 2018 19:46 utc | 56

In November last year the Saudi King paid a visit to Putin in Moscow, not much of it was covered in the MSM. It may well be the old man came to the view the centre of gravity in geo-politics is shifting to the East, the Americans will do everything to thwart the Saudis (possibly Turkey) to get closer to Russia and China.

It was also the Saudis' decision in the early 70s to price oil in dollars that underpinned the greenback's reserve status. If the Saudis were to price oil in a currency other than the dollar (other major supplier like Russia and Venezuela will follow) it would seriously undermine the dollar reserve status, the Republic will have to start budgeting as other countries.

Posted by: Baron | Dec 1 2018 0:45 utc | 57

Procopius @48

Posted by: Schmoe | Dec 1 2018 2:06 utc | 58

Procepius #48
So Trump can go against the great weight of public opinion as well as his then SOS, Sec'y of Defense, and National Security Adviser on the JCPOA, but not risk any political capital regarding Israel bombing a country that is fighting ISIS? You're saying he has no choice? I simply don't buy that he couldn't try.

Also, we need to keep in mind that Trump wanted to involve us much more deeply in the Syrian conflict via strong airstrikes but Mattis pushed back.

Posted by: Schmoe | Dec 1 2018 2:11 utc | 59

Lest one forget the tensions within the American empire. The book by Isa Blumi suggests the shift Trump's administration brought to neocon driven policies, that included investment in Muslim brotherhood regimes reflects the struggle in places like Yemen being multi sided. The war in Yemen thus pits regional powers against each other and shift from Obama to early Trump reflected a shift from Qatar at the political table (and economic rewards awaiting) to marginalized as Trump excised pro-Qatari elements from State Department etc. The milking of Saudi desperation due to eternal economic structural weaknesses and failure to secure Yemen's economic prizes to date resulted in plunder of Saudi wealth...largely based overseas until forcible repatriated under MBS. Those billions long invested in Western Economy are now being liquidated to help pay for expensive war...a win-win for Military Industrial Complex but now, as failure to produce results on ground, and failure to pay some hefty global players leaves MBS expendable and window for return of Qatari/Muslim Brotherhood forces, shift is taking place in Washington/London/Paris...Leverage the neocons have on Trump, 2 years after gaining office on largely populist platform has compromised and induced strategic survival tactics in White House...openly allowing Neocons access to decision-making positions that will have to be considered moving forward as previous policies failed in Syria (partially at least), Iran and Yemen.

I would suggest consulting Blumi's book or recent interviews that are online

Also of concern is the use of Sanders and others to put pressure on Saudi project in Yemen while excluding the larger direction toward US neocon bid for hegemony there. Reading the fineprint on these votes to stop support of Saudi specifically efforts does not interfere with operations considered by US military industrial complex as off-grounds...


Posted by: Yaman | Dec 3 2018 13:19 utc | 60

reply to: karlof1 | Nov 29, 2018 4:45:30 PM | 42
It is you!! Your site was awesome, I read it each day as the Gulf Spill debacle was unfolding in all its horrors. Thank you for doing a magnificent job, your site is much missed.

Posted by: frances | Dec 3 2018 17:43 utc | 61

The comments to this entry are closed.