Tuesday 19th of January 2021

as if...

official!


dead...

US President Donald Trump said he believes Saudi Arabia's explanation that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died during a fight inside the country's consulate in Turkey is credible.

Key points:
  • Turkey questions Saudi consulate employees over Khashoggi disappearance
  • Trump and Turkey deny audio of alleged murder was shared with US
  • King intervenes as case puts strain on international relations

 

The findings of a preliminary investigation by Saudi authorities represent the country's first admission that Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist, is dead.

Investigators said a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him inside the consulate, which led to his death. 

Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with the incident, according to a statement from the Saudi public prosecutor.

Speaking shortly after the report was released, Mr Trump said the Saudi admission that Khashoggi had died was a "good first step" but added that "what happened is unacceptable".

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-20/saudi-arabia-says-fight-in-consul...

manufacturing porkies in halal-land...

This is where truth and realpolitik collide. Saudi Arabia’s belated, incomplete and highly tendentious explanation for the death of Jamal Khashoggi is barely credible, and will certainly be dismissed by critics of the Saudi regime and by the journalist’s friends and supporters as an ugly fabrication or, at the very least, a gross distortion of the facts.

But for western governments, first and foremost the US, the statement in the early hours of Saturday from Riyadh claiming that Khashoggi was unintentionally killed in a “fist fight” offers a possible way out of a diplomatic crisis that has threatened to disrupt, or even destroy, a political, security and financial relationship they regard as vital to their national interests.

The question is: will they swallow the lie?

It’s been clear for some days that Donald Trump, whose entire Middle East policy pivots on Saudi Arabia and on the Khashoggi affair’s chief suspect, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been looking for a way to defuse and preferably bury the case. But his feeble attempts at exculpation were not working.

Trump needed a more convincing story. Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, who dashed to Riyadh last week on a firefighting mission, may have provided it. The notoriously unbiddable crown prince was finally persuaded he had to come up with his own narrative or risk further, potentially crippling, damage to his own and his country’s reputation.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/20/what-saudi-statement-about...

 

"Barely credible????" Oh Simon, you must be joking! The fantasy has not a shred of credibility in this pork sandwich coming from halalland... Only a Trump will swallow it for greasy oily commercial reasons.

 

MEANWHILE:

The manufactured crisis is being used not solely to demonise NATO’s erstwhile best buds, the house of Saud, but also to further isolate and discredit Trump in nice time for the November elections. Trump is currently being bashed by the Dems for doing what they and everyone else was doing a few weeks ago – viz cozying up to the mass-murderers and selling them weapons.

With shameless opportunism the same people who ignored the slaughter in Yemen as recently as a week ago are now appalled by it. Aware that the speed of the change might make them look like the sold-out moral blanks they actually are, Jonathan Freedland and Max Fisher (amongst others) are inventing vomit-inducing excuses for why they just hadn’t got round to noticing the dead children until the deep state told them to care.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/10/20/khashoggi-a-danse-macabre-the-new-re...

the house of saud is divided...

Defusing the plot to bring down the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed ben Salmane (« MBS »), has caused several members of the Royal family to flee.

While King Salmane personally assured the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, that he knew nothing about the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, it was rumoured that his son, MBS, had definitely requested that he be presented with the head of Prince Al-Waleed’s right hand man.

Prince Ahmed ben Abdelaziz, King Salmane’s brother, has set up a permanent base for himself in Europe. He could even live in Paris. Former Minister of Home Affairs, he is one of the seven “Soudairis”. He has the reputation of both being a revolutionary and also unspoilt by corruption. By 2015 he had already participated in manoeuvres carried out to prevent MBS’s thunder-bolt like ascension.

Prince Ahmed ben Abdelaziz has been joined by one of the sons and former spouse of former King Abdallah.

Translation 
Anoosha Boralessa

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article203572.html

a reporter who dared tell the truth...

 

From Mark Perry.

Mark Perry is the author of The Most Dangerous Man in America and The Pentagon’s WarsFollow him on Twitter @markperrydc.

 

In the early summer of 2005, during the height of the U.S. war in Iraq, I arranged to have lunch with Jerry Jones, a special assistant to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. I had heard rumors that Jones and a number of senior U.S. military leaders were holding quiet talks with prominent Islamists and other officials representing Iraq’s tribes at a hotel in Amman, Jordan. The discussions were part of an effort by Jones and senior military officers to end the Anbar insurgency, which was responsible for a lengthening list of U.S. casualties in Iraq. 

For the outset of our meeting, Jones (a gangly and affable Texan who’d served in influential positions in several Republican administrations), detailed the challenges facing the U.S. military in Anbar and provided a summary of the “brutal,” “bloody” and “harrowing” fighting there. America’s military deaths were spiking, with no end in sight. “We’re in trouble,” Jones concluded. While much of this was known at the time, Jones’s narrative stunned me. “Are you telling me that we’re losing the war in Iraq?” I asked. Jones chuckled and shook his head: “Losing? We’re not only losing,” he said, “we’re on the wrong side.” 

Not much has changed in the intervening years, as the recent murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of a Saudi kill team has shown. While the U.S. was able to quell the Anbar insurgency, America has stumbled from position to position in the region, primarily because we’ve continued to make the same mistakes that we made in Anbar—we’re losing in the Middle East because we’re on the wrong side, a side that is represented by leaders like Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi knew this better than anyone. 

Last August, Khoshoggi authored a Washington Post article cataloguing these stumbles, and offering a solution. Khoshoggi wrote that America’s failure in the Middle East was the result of its failure to recognize the importance of the region’s Islamist parties—primarily the Muslim Brotherhood. “There can be no political reform and democracy in any Arab country without accepting that political Islam is a part of it,” he wrote.

Khashoggi’s critique was both eloquent and controversial. It’s why he was murdered. “The United States’s aversion to the Muslim Brotherhood,” he wrote “. . . is the root of a predicament across the entire Arab world. The eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than an abolition of democracy and a guarantee that Arabs will continue living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes.” 

While eloquent, Khoshoggi’s views weren’t a surprise. He had made the same point to me back in 2005 (we were only acquaintances, though we found ourselves singing from the same songsheet), during a conference of Islamist organizations in Beirut, which included the senior leaders of the Brotherhood. America was fated to fail in the Middle East, Khoshoggi told me then, because it was “unable to distinguish real enemies from true friends.” More simply, since 9/11 (as he described it), the U.S. had failed to distinguish between Islamists who have constituencies and are political parties (like the Muslim Brotherhood), with those who have no constituencies and are networks—like al-Qaeda and, later, ISIS. Conversely, the leaders whom we then and continue to identify as secular reformers and our closest friends and allies (a list that includes General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia) are neither. They are policemen.  

If there is any compensation in this sordid tale, it is that America’s mistakes have been bipartisan. George Bush’s invasion of Iraq did not end al-Qaeda’s threat, but actually strengthened it (and empowered Iran), while Barack Obama’s pledge to the Egyptian people that the U.S. would support “a democratic political order with participation from all sides” breathed its last when, in August of 2013, the Egyptian military massacred over 600 pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo’s Rabaa Square. Obama looked the other way. 

Put simply, when the chips were down, America’s political leaders didn’t support hope and change, they supported reaction and murder. They put American on the side of the thugs.

The idea (momentary, fleeting) that this would change under Donald Trump, died a comical death on May 21, 2017 in Riyadh, when our president placed his hands on a glowing orb that symbolized the establishment of Saudi Arabia’s “Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.” Joining him in this decidedly perverse celebration was Egypt’s dictator Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. “This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combating radicalization,” Trump said during the ceremony, “and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership.” 

Among the onlookers that Sunday evening was son-in-law Jared Kushner and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. Jared was then ensconced as the administration’s new point man on Middle East peace (the bar is low, so why not?), while bin Nayef was on his way out the door —escorted there by Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s newly anointed and photogenic strongman. And so it was that while many of America’s journalists recoiled from Trump’s decision to make common cause with Fatah al-Sisi, they safely ignored him as they tripped all over each other to praise his alter-ego, and supporter, bin Salman or “MbS.” Bin Salman, they said, was a leader who promised to create “a more modern, more entrepreneurial, less-hidebound and more youth-oriented society.”

That promise, it seems, has now been drowned out by the screams of a reporter who dared tell the truth. It’s no wonder that many foreign policy officials view Khashoggi’s death as a possible turning point in U.S.-Saudi relations—and one that might spur a rethinking of U.S. policy in the region. But even that hope is now beginning to fade, led by the reaction of a community of voices—including National Security Adviser John Bolton, his allies at Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, and the new Kushner-linked Strategic Studies Group—have mounted a well-documented “whispering campaign” that Khashoggi “pimped for the Brotherhood.” 

In one sense, of course, they’re right. For what Khashoggi was telling us (and what he wrote in his August in the Washington Post) is that the U.S. has gotten the Middle East terribly wrong. That we have miscast our enemies and misidentified our friends. That the forces for change in Cairo and Riyadh are not in its governments, but in its prisons. That America is not only losing in the Middle East, it’s on the wrong side. That Mohammed bin Salman is not a friend of democracy, but its enemy. 

Khashoggi was right. Which is why he was murdered.

 

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-jamal-khashoggi-was...

consular services...

services

 


the near-untouchables...

The Khashoggi affair is one of the multiple examples of Western variable geometry ethics.

The Arabia of the Saoud family

For seventy years, we have been ignoring the facts, shouting : « Saudi Arabia is not a State like the others. It’s the private property of the King, and all the people that live there are no more than serfs. That is why it is described as the residence of it’s owners, the Saoud family, in other words, « Saudi » Arabia ».

In the 18th century, a tribe of Bedouins, the Saouds, allied themselves with a Wahhabite sect and rebelled against the Ottoman Empire. They managed to create a kingdom in Hedjaz, the region of the Arabian peninsula which includes the holy cities of Islam, Medina and Mecca. They were quickly put down by the Ottomans. 
At the beginning of the 19th century, a survivor of the Saoud tribe raised a new rebellion. However, his family began fighting amongst themselves and lost again. 
Finally, in the 20th century, the British allied with the Saoud family in order to overthrow the Ottoman Empire and exploit the hydrocarbon resources in the Arabian peninsula. With the help of Lawrence of Arabia, they founded the present kingdom, the tribe’s third.

The Foreign Office’s idea was that the Saouds and the Wahhabites should be hated by their serfs and incapable of maintaining good relations with their neighbours. Because of the disproportion of the military forces – between the Saoud’s sabres and the modern weaponry of the British – this family would never be able to turn on their Western masters. However, at the end of the Second World War, the United States seized the opportunity presented by the weakened British forces, and took their place. President Franklin Roosevelt concluded the Quincy Pact with the founder of kingdom. The United States pledged to protect the Saoud family in exchange for their hydrocarbons. Apart from that, the Saoud family would not oppose the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine. This document was renewed by President George W. Bush.

The founder of Wahhabism, Mohammed ben Abdelwahhab, considered that all those who did not join his sect should be exterminated. Many authors have pointed out the proximity of the Wahhabite way of life and that of certain Orthodox Jewish sects, as well as the resemblances between the reasoning of the Wahhabite theologians and that of certain Puritan Christian pastors. However, in order to maintain their influence over the Middle East, the British decided to fight the Arab nationalists and to support the Muslim Brotherhood and the Nashqbandis. That is why, in 1962, they asked the Saouds to create the Muslim World League, and in 1969, what we now call the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Wahhabism admitted Sunni Islam, which, until then, it had always contested. The Wahhabites then presented themselves as the protectors of Sunnism, but continued to oppose all other forms of Islam.

Anxious to avoid the fratricides which had marked the history of his family in the 19th century, Ibn Saoud instituted a system of succession between brothers. The founder of the kingdom had 32 wives who gave him 53 sons and 36 daughters. The oldest of the survivors, King Salman, is now 82. In order to save his kingdom, the Family Council decided in 2015 to put an end to this adelphic rule and designate the children of Prince Nayef and the new King Salman as future heirs to the throne. Finally, Mohammed Ben Salman ousted Nayef’s son and became the only Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

The morals of the Saoud family

In Antiquity, the word « Arab » defined the Aramean people who lived on the Syrian side of the Euphrates. In this sense, the Saouds are not Arabs. However, since the Coran was collated by the Caliph in Damascus, the word « Arab » today describes the people who speak the language of the Coran, in other words, the people of Hejaz. This generic term masks the very different civilisations of the desert Bedouins and the people of towns in a geographical area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf.

Having evolved abruptly from the use of camels to the private jet, the Saoud family of the 21st century has conserved the archaic culture of the desert. For example, its hatred of History. It destroys any historical vestige in its country. It is with this mentality that we saw it working with the jihadists in Iraq and Syria. There is no other reason for the destruction of the house of Mahomet by the Saouds, or that of the Sumerian administrative tablets by Daesh.

Just as the Western powers used the Saouds to force the Ottomans to retreat – which no-one contests today – they used the jihadists, financed by the Saouds and supervised by the Wahhabites, to destroy Iraq and Syria.

This has been forgotten, but at the beginning of the aggression against Syria, when the Western Press was inventing the « Arab Spring », Saudi Arabia asked only for the departure of President Bachar el-Assad. Riyadh accepted that Syria keep its counsellors, its government, its army and its secret services, with which it had no quarrel at all. It only wanted Assad’s head because he is not a Sunni.

When Prince Mohamed Ben Salmane (alias d« MBS ») became the youngest Minister of Defence in the world, he demanded to exploit the oil fields of the « Empty Quarter », a zone which straddles his country and Yemen. Faced with Yemen’s refusal, he launched a war to cover himself in glory, like his grand-father. In reality, no-one has ever been able to successfully occupy Yemen, no more than Afghanistan. But whatever... the Crown Prince displayed his power by depriving 7 million people of food. And although all the members of the Security Council expressed their concern about the humanitarian crisis, none of them dared say anything about the valourous Prince MBS.

Advising his father, King Salman, MBS proposed to eliminate the head of the interior opposition, Cheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr [1]. The man was a peace-lover, it’s true, but from the Wahhabite point of view, he was an infidel, a Chiite. He was decapitated without causing an uproar in the West. Then MBS ordered the destruction of Moussawara and Chouweikat in the Qatif region. All Chiites ! Here too, the West failed to see the cities destroyed by tanks and the massacred serfs.

Since he stands for no contradiction, in June 2017, MBS pushed his father to break with Qatar, which had dared to take the side of Iran against Saudi Arabia. He called for all the Arab states to follow his lead and managed to force the Emirate to back off - temporarily.

When he entered the White House, President Trump made some allowances. He would leave the Yemenites to their agony on the condition that Riyadh stop supporting the jihadists.

That’s when President Trump’s advisor, Jared Kushner, had the idea of recuperating the oil money to replenish the US economy. The immense fortune of the Saoud family is nothing other than the money that the Western powers, in particular the United States, had automatically been paying them for their hydrocarbons. It is not the fruit of their work, but only a rent on their property. The young man therefore organised the Palace coup of November 2017 [2]. 1,300 members of the royal family were placed under house arrest, including the bastard son of the Fadh clan, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Some of them were hung by their feet and tortured. All of them were obliged to « offer » the Crown Prince half of their fortune. So « MBS », in his own name, raked in at least 800 billion in dollars and actions [3]. A fatal error !

The fortune of the Saouds, which until then had been shared between them all, was now concentrated in the hands of a man who was not the King, and therefore was not representative of the state. All that needed to be done was to twist the Prince’s arm in order to grab the loot.

MBS also threatened Kuwait with the same destiny as that of Yemen if it refused to offer him its frontier oil reserves. But time flies...

Operation Khashoggi

We only had to wait. On 2 October 2018, in violation of article 55 of the Vienna Convention concerning consular relations, MBS ordered the assassination of one of Prince al-Waleed Ben Talal’s henchmen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the journalist Jamal Khashoggi [4].

Jamal Khashoggi was the grandson of the personal doctor of King Abdul Aziz. He was nephew of the arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, who equipped the Saudi Air Force, and then, on behalf of the Pentagon, supplied Chiite Iran against Sunni Iraq. His aunt Samira Khashoggi is the mother of arms dealer Dodi Al-Fayed (eliminated with his companion, British Princess Lady Diana [5]).

Jamal had been associated with the Palace coup that old Prince al-Waleed was preparing against MBS. Mercenaries cut off his fingers and dismembered him before presenting his head to MBS, their master. The operation was carefully recorded by the Turkish and US secret services.

In Washington, the US Press and parliamentarians demanded that President Trump raise sanctions against Riyadh [6].

One of MBS’s advisors, Turki Al-Dakhil, replied that if the US were to sanction the kingdom, Saudi Arabia would be ready to destabilise the world order [7]. In the tradition of the desert Bedouins, all insults must be avenged whatever the cost.

According to Al-Dakhil, the kingdom was preparing some thirty measures, the most significant being to : 
- Reduce the production of oil to 7.5 million barrels per day, provoking a raise in prices of about 200 dollars per barrel. The kingdom would demand to be paid in other currencies than the dollar, which would bring about the end of US hegemony ; 
- Move away from Washington and move closer to Teheran ; 
- Buy arms from Russia and China. The kingdom would offer Russia a military base in Tabuk, in the North-East of the country, in other words, close to Syria, Israël, Lebanon and Iraq ; 
- Immediately begin supporting Hamas and Hezbollah.

Aware of the damage that this wild cannon could cause, the White House sounded the attack. Remembering a little late their uplifting speech about « Human Rights », the Western powers declared en chœur that they would no longer stand for this medieval tyrant [8]. One by one, all of their economic leaders obeyed the instructions from Washington and cancelled their participation in the Riyadh Forum. In order to calm their anger, and remembering that Khashoggi was a « US resident », President Trump and his advisor, Kushner, mentioned the confiscation of his properties for the benefit of the United States.

In Tel-Aviv, panic reigned. MBS was Benjamin Netanyahu’s best partner [9], and had asked him to create a joint staff in Somaliland in order to crush the Yemenites. He also made a secret visit to Israël at the end of 2017. The US ex-ambassador in Tel-Aviv, Daniel B. Shapiro, warned his Israëli coreligionists that with an ally like that, Netanyahu is putting the country in danger [10].

The Quincy Pact only protects the King, not the pretenders to his throne.

Thierry Meyssan

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article203589.html

 

Read also:

why the saudis are jealous of the iranians...

 

and:

 

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/34144

damaged goods...

The murder of one man has diminished two world leaders and revived the standing of a third.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reputation has been trashed by the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It is unlikely his father King Salman will strip him of his powers, but his image as a dynamic young reformer is gone forever.

It will be years before any image-wary world leader would even consider standing with the toxic Prince at a photo call.

Donald Trump might even think twice about inviting him back to the White House — his closeness to Mohammed bin Salman has damaged the US President's reputation, too.

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-24/khashoggi-killing-damages-trump-a...

 

MSB should be in prison for the rest of life.

 

Read also: 

why khashoggi was murdered by a little psychopatic prince...

the others good-for-nothing...

Since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi hit squad in early October, Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and patron of Saudi Arabia’s own crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), has resembled the cat that swallowed the canary. The disastrous regional adventurism and ruthless despotism of his protégé has averted Washington’s gaze from the UAE’s own responsibility for the carnage that is roiling the region. But the UAE should not be given a get out jail free card. If the White House refuses to hold the Emirates accountable for undermining U.S. interests, Congress should use its constitutional power to step into the leadership void.

Throughout Yemen’s three-and-a-half-year civil war, the Emiratis have been as brutal and reckless as the Saudis. While Saudi aircraft slaughter innocent civiliansat wedding halls, funerals, homes, markets, schools, and ports, UAE boots on the ground have also contributed to the humanitarian disaster. The UAE-led military offensive in and around the port city of Hodeidah has been a catastrophe: over 400,000 Yemenis have been displaced since June and the fighting has considerably worsened the country’s already alarming food crisis and famine. Human rights organizations have reported on secret UAE-administered detention facilities where torture, beatings, electric shocks, and killings have occurred. The UAE royal family has paid retired U.S. Special Forces soldiers to track down and assassinate Yemeni political figures that it believes are in league with the wider Muslim Brotherhood movement. In Aden, the UAE has organized, supplied, and paid militias to foment fractious proxy violence. Yemenis who once saw the Emirati intervention as an heroic act to defend their nation’s sovereignty from a ruthless Iran-supported militia are now depicting it as an occupation, if not colonization.

The UAE is part of the coalition of “Saudi-led” Arab countries (along with Bahrain and Egypt) that imposed a blockade against Qatar in May 2017. These nations were attempting to, among other things, end Qatar’s “terrorism,” cut its ties to Iran, get it to stop meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, and force it to pursue a less independent foreign policy. The UAE has taken an even more hardline stance against the Qataris than the Saudis, in part because it is more fanatical than Riyadh about eradicating any trace of Muslim Brotherhood influence in Qatar and the region more broadly. The boycott, which has divided America’s partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council, has been a disaster for both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, affording both Iran and Turkey opportunities to expand their influence in Doha. Nor has it worked out well for Washington, which hoped to forge a united Gulf front to contain Iranian influence. But for the UAE, the Saudis have been a useful surrogate for outsized regional ambitions; the Emiratis’ relationship with the Kingdom has allowed them to punch well above their weight. That’s not a good thing.

The UAE is also up to no good in Libya, undermining U.S. policy and the U.N.-endorsed Government of National Accord (GNA). It has provided extensive military support to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) in direct violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. According to the U.N. Panel of Experts on Libya, it may have supplied the LNA with attack helicopters, armored personnel carriers, and other military vehicles that are no match for its lightly armed opponents. UAE combat aircraft are reportedly providing Haftar’s forces with air support. And this summer, Emirati officials allegedly discussed a scheme to export Libyan crude oil outside of the official National Oil Corp in order to increase financial pressure on the U.S. and the GNA. In short, the UAE has made it far more difficult to stabilize wretched Libya.

 

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-other-murderous-gul...

 

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spreading wahhabism for the west...

The Saudi-funded spread of Wahhabism began as a result of Western countries asking Riyadh to help counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Washington Post.

Speaking to the paper, bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia's Western allies urged the country to invest in mosques and madrassas overseas during the Cold War, in an effort to prevent encroachment in Muslim countries by the Soviet Union.

He added that successive Saudi governments had lost track of that effort, saying "we have to get it all back." Bin Salman also said that funding now comes mostly from Saudi-based "foundations," rather than from the government.

The crown prince’s 75-minute interview with the Washington Post took place on March 22. Another topic of discussion included a previous claim by US media that bin Salman had said that he had White House senior adviser Jared Kushner "in his pocket."

Bin Salman denied reports that when he and Kushner – who is also Donald Trump's son-in-law – met in Riyadh in October, he had sought or received a greenlight from Kushner for the massive crackdown on alleged corruption which led to widespread arrests in the kingdom shortly afterwards. According to bin Salman, the arrests were a domestic issue and had been in the works for years.

He said it would be "really insane" for him to trade classified information with Kushner, or to try to use him to advance Saudi interests within the Trump administration. He stated that their relationship was within a normal governmental context, but did acknowledge that he and Kushner "work together as friends, more than partners." He stated that he also had good relationships with Vice President Mike Pence and others within the White House.

The crown prince also spoke about the war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition continues to launch a bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in an attempt to reinstate ousted Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi as president. The conflict has killed thousands, displaced many more, driven the country to the brink of famine, and led to a major cholera outbreak.

Although the coalition has been accused of a large number of civilian deaths and disregard for civilian lives - an accusation which Riyadh denies - the crown prince said his country has not passed up "any opportunity" to improve the humanitarian situation in the country. “There are not good options and bad options. The options are between bad and worse,” he said.

The interview with the crown prince was initially held off the record. However, the Saudi embassy later agreed to led the Washington Post publish specific portions of the meeting.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/422563-saudi-wahhabism-western-countries/

 

See also earlier article:

https://www.rt.com/uk/420178-yemen-johnson-binsalman-visit/

 

 

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a US bill to stop the buchery...

A newly proposed bill in the US Senate would suspend the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and block refueling of Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen, as punishment for the death of a Washington Post columnist.

A group of senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, led by Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) introduced the “Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2018.” It was sponsored by three Democrats and two Republicans.

Menendez, who is the top Democrat on the committee, said that sanctions against 17 Saudi nationals introduced earlier on Thursday by the Trump administration were “not enough” to ensure a credible investigation of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and pressure Riyadh into ending the war in Yemen.

“This legislation is an important way to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for various acts in Yemen as well as the death of Jamal Khashoggi,” said Graham.

“We are putting teeth behind these demands with regular oversight, sanctions and suspension of weapons sales and refueling support,” Menendez said.

The US currently supplies Saudi Arabia with billions of dollars’ worth of tanks, airplanes and ammunition, and offers in-flight refueling and other logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen. Riyadh has waged war on its southern neighbor since March 2015, to overthrow the Houthi-led government, which Saudi Arabia accuses of being a proxy of Iran.

The bill introduced by Menendez and Graham would also impose US sanctions on anyone blocking humanitarian aid deliveries to Yemen, but also on anyone providing support to the Houthis.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in Turkey and was an outspoken critic of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Turkey quickly accused the Saudis of murdering Khashoggi, which Riyadh spent weeks denying until it eventually blamed it on a “fight” inside the consulate.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/usa/444128-saudi-arms-ban-bill/

 

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will they die one by one...?

  • One of the men named by pro-government Turkish media as one of 15 suspects in the alleged murder of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi has reportedly died in a car accident.
  • Mashal Saad al-Bostani of the Saudi Royal Air Forces had reportedly been en route to Saudi Arabia.
  • The report comes from a pro-Turkish government source that has had a lot of scoops from anonymous Turkish officials on the Khashoggi case.
  • Turkish officials have leaked intelligence to Turkish and US publications, but have apparently not provided key evidence to US intelligence services.
  • Saudi Arabia is known for its exceptionally high rate of car accidents and fatalities. 

Mashal Saad al-Bostani of the Saudi Royal Air Forces, who was named by pro-government Turkish media as one of 15 suspects in the alleged murder of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi, has reportedly died in a car accident on return to the kingdom.

An article titled "Riyadh Silenced Someone" on Yeni Safak, a Turkish newspaper that strongly supports Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, cited anonymous sources as saying Bostani died in a car crash, without giving a specific time or location.

Yeni Safak has proven a major voice in coverage of Khashoggi's disappearance, with daily scoops from unnamed Turkish officials giving gory details to what they allege was a murder within the Saudi consulate on October 2.

Saudi Arabia flatly denies any knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts or disappearance, but US intelligence officials have started to echo the view that the prominent Saudi critic, who recently took residence in the US, was murdered.

 

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