Roughly around the time Trump started his Afghanistan speech, Ron Paul tweeted out a cautiously optimistic note: “Hoping for the best in tonight’s @realDonaldTrump speech but fearful that foreign intervention is only going to get worse. #Afghanistan.” Alas it was not meant to be, and over 20 tweets later in what proved to be the angriest tweetstorm of the night, Ron Paul had come to a conclusion: Trump is now nothing more than the latest neocon, one whom even Lindsey Graham applauded. Below is a chronological rundown of Ron Paul’s progressively angier tweets, as he was live commenting on Trump’s speech: Hoping for the best in tonight’s @realDonaldTrump speech but fearful that foreign intervention is only going to get worse. #Afghanistan Steve Bannon brakes removed. Neocons feeling their oats. The military personnel are the victims of bad foreign policy. Sad that these wars the politicians argue for are unconstitutional yet we are told we are over there defending the Constitution. Mr. President it’s too bad you do not follow your instincts. Planned in Afghanistan? What about Saudi Arabia?? What’s wrong with rapid exit? We just marched in we can just march out. So far very discouraging. Sounds like pure neocon foreign policy. The promoters of war win. The American people lose. #Afghanistan Remember: there was no al-Qaeda until our foolish invasion of Iraq based on neocon lies. The American people deserve to know when we are going to war and MUST give you permission through their representatives in Congress! Emphasis on Pakistan just means the war going to be expanded! Emphasis on military alliance with India may well lead to more vicious war between nuclear states Pakistan and India. Smart? Terrorism is one thing, but what about massive collateral damage? Killing civilians creates more terrorism. Round and round we go. Shorter Trump: “Afghanistan: give us your minerals!” Nothing new. More of the same. Obama was wrong. This is NOT the good war. Sooner we get out the better. More killing is not the road to peace. The emphasis on the “grave danger” of terrorism is greatly exaggerated. But more intervention surely creates more terrorism. How many Americans are really sitting around worrying about an Afghan terrorist coming over and killing them? So many of our problems are self-inflicted by a deeply flawed foreign policy. US troops – and the family members – suffer the consequences. Big issue of the night: US expanding the war into Pakistan. Could precipitate more conflict between nuclear India and Pakistan. If Americans are tired of 16 year war, how will they feel about another decade or two? When will they wake up? Our ultimately “hasty” departure from Vietnam finally ended a lot of grief. Even if it came way too late. Beware! @LindseyGrahamSC loves Trump’s speech! Why are arch-neocons celebrating so much? Very telling! There’s nothing hasty about ending America’s longest war. @POTUS bowed to military-industrial establishment; doubled down on perpetual war.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 21, 2017.
A leaked United Nations report finds that Saudi Arabia has massacred thousands of children in Yemen since the start of its air campaign in the impoverished country and now the Saudis are using their vast wealth and influence to suppress the document’s findings in order to stay off of a UN blacklist identifying nations which violate child rights. On Wednesday Foreign Policy published a bombshell report, based on its possession of a leaked 41-page draft UN document, which found Saudi Arabia and its partner coalition allies in Yemen (among them the United States) of being guilty of horrific war crimes, including the bombing of dozens of schools, hospitals, and civilian infrastructure. Foreign Policy reports: ‘The killing and maiming of children remained the most prevalent violation’ of children’s rights in Yemen, according to the 41-page draft report obtained by Foreign Policy. The chief author of the confidential draft report, Virginia Gamba, the U. N. chief’s special representative for children abused in war time, informed top U. N. officials Monday, that she intends to recommend the Saudi-led coalition be added to a list a countries and entities that kill and maim children, according to a well-placed source. The UN report further identifies that air attacks “were the cause of over half of all child casualties, with at least 349 children killed and 333 children injured’ during a designated time period recently studied. While it is unclear what specific window of time the UN assessed for these figures, the AP (also in possession of the leaked document) reports further of the secret U. N. findings that, “the U. N. verified a total of 1,953 youngsters killed and injured in Yemen in 2015 – a six-fold increase compared with 2014” – with the majority of these deaths being the result of Saudi and coalition air power. Also according to the AP: It said nearly three-quarters of attacks on schools and hospitals – 38 of 52 – were also carried out by the coalition.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.
Following an air strike in Yemen that killed at least 12 civilians, a senior United Nations official has condemned Saudi Arabia’s actions, asserting the Kingdom has shown a complete disregard for human life. According to Reuters, three women and six children from the same family were killed in their sleep during the dawn air strike conducted the Saudi-led coalition. Medical officials noted that the youngest of the children was just two years old. Ten others were wounded, according to the U. K.’s humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick. In an official statement, McGoldrick said he was ‘deeply concerned’ about the Saudi-led action, also accusing Saudi Arabia of violating international law: ‘While these new incidents are still being investigated by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, they are an example of the brutality in which the conflict is being conducted. All parties to the conflict continue to show a disregard for the protection of civilians and the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants in the conduct of hostilities. As I have said before, even wars have rules and such rules must be respected.’ [emphasis added]
A US F-18 fighter jet crash landed at Bahrain’s international airport Saturday, causing the complete closure of the island’s main commercial flight hub. Photos and brief video footage quickly posted online shows a badly damaged but intact jet with its tail on the ground and nose in the air in a gravel area located completely off the runway. According to a statement by Navy Cmdr. Bill Urban, the jet suffered engine trouble after taking off from the USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf and attempted to make it to Sheikh Isa Air Base in Bahrain but instead had to attempt an emergency landing at the busy commercial airport. The pilot ejected as the jet skidded off the runway and escaped unharmed. Bahrain, which is connected by bridge to Saudi Arabia, is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet and about 8,000 US military personnel which are mostly attached to the island nation’s Naval Support Activity base, which monitors and supports all 20+ US and coalition naval vessels in the Persian Gulf. Britain is also currently constructing a major base on the island. The airport shut down for about 7 hours and Bahrain’s Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications said that no one was injured in the crash.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 12, 2017.
In October 1973, the world shuddered when the Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries imposed an oil embargo on the United States and other nations that provided military aid to Israel in the Yom Kippur war. At the same time, they ramped up prices. The United States realized it was dependent on imported oil – and much of that came from the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia the big swing producer. It shook the nation. How had a few foreign powers put a noose around the neck of the world’s largest economy? Well, it could happen again and very soon. The commodity that could bring us to our knees isn’t oil, but rather a group of elements known as rare earths, falling between 21 and 71 on the periodic table. This time, just one country is holding the noose: China.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 6, 2017.
America has been a discouraging landscape ever since the neoconservatives took over US foreign policy during the Clinton regime and started the two decades of war crimes that define 21st century America and ever since US corporations betrayed the US work force by moving American jobs to Asia. The outlook became darker when the Obama regime resurrected the Russian Threat and elevated the prospect of military conflict between the nuclear powers. As Europe is caught in the middle, in normal circumstances European countries would have insisted that Washington cease the gratuitous provocations of Russia. But normal circumstances have not existed. Since the end of WW2, European countries have been vassals without independent economic and foreign policies. Europe hosts US military bases that threaten Russia. Europe has backed Washington’s wars of aggression against Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Washington’s air attacks on provinces of Pakistan, and Washington’s use of Saudi Arabia to fight its proxy war against Yemen.
What has been an open secret across the Arab world is not a secret anymore even in the U.S.: What happened last month in the deep recesses of the House of Saud with the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aka MBS, was in fact a white coup. Nearly a month ago, as I’ve written elsewhere, a top Middle East source close to the House of Saud told me: ‘The CIA is very displeased with the firing of Mohammad bin Nayef. Mohammad bin Salman is regarded as sponsoring terrorism. In April 2014 the entire royal families of the UAE and Saudi Arabia were to be ousted by the US over terrorism. A compromise was worked out that Nayef would take over running the kingdom to stop it.’ The source also referred to an insistent narrative then pervading selected Middle East geopolitical circles, according to which U.S. intel, ‘indirectly’, had stopped another coup against the young Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim al-Thani, orchestrated by Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, with help from Blackwater/Academi’s army of mercenaries in the United Arab Emirates. Zayed, crucially, happens to be MBS’s mentor. But instead of a coup in Doha, what happened was actually a coup in Riyadh. According to the source, ‘the CIA blocked the coup in Qatar and the Saudis reacted by dumping the CIA-selected Mohammed bin Nayef, who was to be the next king. The Saudis are scared. The monarchy is in trouble, as the CIA can move the army in Saudi Arabia against the king. This was a defensive move by MBS.’ Now, almost a month later, confirmation of the white coup/regime change in Riyadh has been splashed on the front page of The New York Times, attributed mainly to the proverbial ‘current and former United States officials’.
The secret is out: the ascension of Mohammad bin Salman, displacing CIA favorite Mohammad bin Nayef as Crown Prince, was in fact a white coup… *** What has been an open secret across the Arab world is not a secret anymore even in the US: What happened last month in the deep recesses of the House of Saud with the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aka MBS, was in fact a white coup. Nearly a month ago, as I’ve written elsewhere, a top Middle East source close to the House of Saud told me: ‘The CIA is very displeased with the firing of [former Crown Prince] Mohammad bin Nayef. Mohammad bin Salman is regarded as sponsoring terrorism. In April 2014 the entire royal families of the UAE and Saudi Arabia were to be ousted by the US over terrorism. A compromise was worked out that Nayef would take over running the kingdom to stop it.’ The source also referred to an insistent narrative then pervading selected Middle East geopolitical circles, according to which US intel, ‘indirectly’, had stopped another coup against the young Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim al-Thani, orchestrated by Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, with help from Blackwater/Academi’s Eric Prince’s army of mercenaries in the United Arab Emirates. Zayed, crucially, happens to be MBS’s mentor.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 24, 2017.
If you appreciate my work and want to contribute to independent media, consider becoming a monthly Patron, or visit our Support Page. Must Reads Facial Recognition Surveillance is Here – But Privacy Protections Are Not (Huge issue not getting the attention it deserves, The Hill) Our Relationship with Saudi Arabia Is an Embarrassment (Excellent, National Review) Pentagon Study Declares American Empire is ‘Collapsing’ (Nafeez Ahmed, Medium)
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Michael Krieger | Posted Saturday Jul 22, 2017.
In Islamic symbolism, Crdoba is the lost Caliphate. Political authorities in Crdoba dealt a blow to the Catholic Church’s claim of ownership of cathedral by declaring that “religious consecration is not the way to acquire property”. But this is how history works, especially in the lands where Christianity and Islam fought hard for dominion. Why are secularists not pressing Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to give Christians back the Hagia Sophia? No one has raised an eyebrow that “Christendom’s greatest cathedral has become a mosque”. The Spanish left, governing the region, would like to convert the church into “a place for the meeting of faiths”. Nice ecumenical words, but a death trap for the Islamic domination over other faiths. If these Islamists, supported by the militant secularists, will be able to bring Allah back inside the Cathedral of Crdoba, a tsunami of Islamic supremacism will submerge Europe’s decaying Christianity. There are thousands of empty churches just waiting to be filled by the voices of muezzins. The Western attempt to free Jerusalem in the Middle Ages has been condemned as Christian imperialism, while the Muslim campaigns to colonize and Islamize the Byzantine Empire, North Africa, the Balkans, Egypt, the Middle East and most of Spain, to name but a few, are celebrated as a season of enlightenment. Muslim supremacists seem to have fantasies — as well as a long history — of converting Christian sites to Islamic ones. Take, for example, Saint-Denis, the Gothic cathedral named for the first Christian bishop of Paris who was buried there in 250, and the burial place of Charles Martel, whose victory stopped the Muslim invasion of France in 732. Now, according to the scholar Gilles Kepel, this burial place of most of France’s kings and queens is “the Mecca in Islam of France”. The French Islamists are dreaming of taking it over and replacing the church bells with the call of the muezzin.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 19, 2017.
21st Century Wire says…. ‘This barbaric nation [Saudi Arabia] should not be getting our weapons, I am embarrassed that people are out here making money and making a buck, while 17 million are living on a starvation diet.’ ~ Senator Rand Paul ‘The United States has no business supporting a war that has only served to embolden our terrorist enemies, exacerbate a humanitarian crisis, and incite fear and anger among the Yemeni people toward the United States,’ ~ Senator Chris Murphy Yemen is a catastrophe we should all be taking personally. For two years and four months, the Saudi coalition, supported and armed by the UK, US and EU has been pounding 27 million Yemenis with all manner of heavyweight military hardware, including cluster bombs that have been illegally deployed against predominantly civilian targets.
Much has been said about the much vaunted trip of US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia where he was lavished with extravagant royal pomp. The $110 billion arms deal was signed and the plans to create an Arab NATO set the agenda. The visit – the president’s first foreign trip – was described as a major step to boost the US clout in the Middle East but the days when the region was Washington’s exclusive sphere of influence are gone. The Kingdom has launched an ambitious Vision 2030 program to start a new chapter in its history, turning itself from a US dependent oil exporter to a regional powerhouse with diversified economy, gradually opening the doors to the whole world. Investment flows are to come from different directions with money put into different baskets. Saudi Arabia is intensifying its diplomatic efforts to change its perception to start a new era. Russia is viewed as a partner in the far-reaching plans. The blossoming relationship between Russia and Saudi Arabia signals yet another sea change in the ever-evolving global order. King Salman is to become the first Saudi monarch to visit Russia. The trip is expected this month with talks on the way to specify the date. The visit acquires special importance as the King has taken a decision not to attend the July 7-8 summit of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 10, 2017.
It’s no secret that the governments of the US, UK and France, along with other EU member states, have been involved in training and equipping what used to be known as ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria. We now know that the bulk of the arms that get into opposition areas in Syria have gone to terrorist groups, much of which has been paid for by their wealthy benefactors in the Gulf, namely Saudi Arabia and Qatar. What we didn’t know however, was the method of delivery, until now…
Back in April, 21WIRE reported how Trude Newspaper, based in Sofia, Bulgaria, broke the story of a ship called ‘Marianne Danica’ arrived the biggest port of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah under the flag of Denmark, after it left the port of Burgas on March 28th – loaded with tons of weapons heading for conflict zones. This was part of a trail that led Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhievato East Aleppo in December 2016 where she discovered a massive Bulgarian arms cache that had made it into the hands of western and gulf-backed terrorists groups operating in Syria.
In an analysis of the ongoing dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar published on June 12, this writer had commented that the ‘Saudis might have bitten off more than they can chew.’ That is what appears to be happening, according to the latest developments in the region. When the Saudis and their allies – the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain – announced breaking of diplomatic relations and imposition of a blockade against Qatar on June 5 for ‘sponsoring terrorism,’ they expected Qatar to capitulate to their demands quickly, within days. However, that has not happened so far, more than a month later. If anything, Qatar has hardened its stand and categorically rejected the threats and ultimatums issued by the Saudis and their friends, refusing to succumb to their pressure. The Qatari Foreign Minister has said that Qatar will ‘never surrender our sovereignty to end the siege’ and saw ‘little chance of a rapid reconciliation.’ Qatar has also reminded the UAE that 80% of its electricity supplies depended on the export of Qatari gas to the Emirates.
On June 19, just around the time it emerged that Israel had been secretly funding Syrian rebel groups and was explicitly aligned with Saudi Arabia in the Syrian conflict, Saudi media reported that the kingdom had captured three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps from a boat as it approached the kingdom’s offshore Marjan oilfield. The Saudi Center for International Communications added that the boat carried explosives, and the Iranians aboard “intended to carry out terrorist act in Saudi territorial waters” with the Marjan Saudi offshore oilfield allegedly targeted. In other words, Saudi paraded that it had caught what appeared to be three Iranian terrorists belonging to IRGC, suggesting this was an operation ordered from the very top. Of course, Iran’s take on things was different: Iran’s Tasnim news agency said that Saudi border guards had opened fire on an Iranian fishing boat in the Gulf on Friday, killing a fisherman. It said the boat was one of two Iranian boats fishing in the Gulf that had been pushed off course by waves. So on one side terrorists, on the other fishermen: about par.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2017.
Restrictions on Qatar will continue after it rejected the ultimatum made by its Middle East neighbours, Saudi Arabia has said. The foreign ministers of four Arab countries, meeting in Cairo, said they regretted Qatar’s “negative” response to their list of demands. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE severed ties with Qatar last month. They accuse it of supporting jihadi groups, and called for major changes in its policies. The diplomats said Qatar lacked “understanding of the seriousness and gravity of the situation“. The Saudi foreign minister said further steps would be taken against Qatar at the appropriate time, and would be in line with international law. “We’re not doing this because we want to hurt Qatar, we’re doing this to help Qatar,” Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir said.
The Group of Twenty, known as G20, is an unaccountable and powerful organization that is the closest thing on earth to a true world government. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the rotating President of the G20, will host the next G20 meeting in the city of Hamburg, on the mouth of the Elbe River near the North Sea Coast. G20 refers to its twenty member countries. They are a mixture of what were once the world’s seven largest economies, known as the G7, consisting of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Japan, and some fast-growing, newly emerging economies such as Brazil, China, South Korea, Mexico, India and Indonesia. Other countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia are included because of their natural resources or for reasons of geopolitics. The G20 operates at many levels. Several times each year their finance ministers and central bank heads meet to discuss technical issues and try to reach consensus on specific goals. The most important meetings, however, are the leaders’ summits, attended by presidents, prime ministers and kings, which meet periodically to discuss global financial issues. It is at these leaders’ summits, both in the formal sessions and informally on the sidelines, that the actual deals shaping the global financial system are made.
It’s been nearly a month since Saudi Arabia issued an ultimatum to Qatar, demanding that the Gulf state cut ties with Iran, shut down Al-Jazeera, and perhaps most hypocritically, the Saudi’s demanded that Qatar stop aiding terrorist groups. When Qatar refused to comply with the ultimatum, Saudi Arabia and the UAE placed an embargo on the country, and tried to blockade Qatar’s air, land, and sea borders. Qatar is still refusing to comply with the ultimatum, and the blockade is still in place. For now this ongoing Middle Eastern spat has been largely ignored by the media, which shouldn’t be the case. Given the tumultuous history of this region, no conflict there should go unnoticed. Perhaps the media is too busy hyperventilating about the president’s provocative memes to report on a brewing war in the Middle East. And that’s exactly what it is. The conflict between Saudi Arabia (and many of that nation’s allies) and Qatar could easily spiral into an Arab on Arab war. By some accounts, it could even set another world war in motion. That’s also the opinion of Gefira, which is a financial analysis group from Europe. They see many eerie parallels between what’s going on the Middle East now, and the world wars that devastated Europe in the 20th century.
This post was published at shtfplan on July 5th, 2017.
After announcing late last night that they had received an official response from Qatar, the Saudi-led bloc of nations that cut ties to the natural-gas rich Gulf nation are meeting in Cairo on Wednesday to “deliver a verdict” on Doha’s response to a stiff ultimatum, but settlement of the dispute seemed far off according to Reuters. Foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain will consider whether to escalate, or less likely abandon, the boycott imposed on Qatar last month that has rattled a key oil-producing region and unnerved strategic Western allies. Additional punitive measures may emerge from the meeting after the deadline for Qatari compliance with the bloc’s demands was extended by 48 hours on Monday. As a reminder, Qatar’s Arab neighbors cut off diplomatic and trade links with it last month, accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism, and issued a list of demands that includes shuttering the Qatari-funded news network Al Jazeera. Reuters adds that the editor of the Abu Dhabi government linked al-Ittihad newspaper wrote in an editorial that Qatar was “walking alone in its dreams and illusions, far away from its Gulf Arab brothers”.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 5, 2017.
There is a revolution coming that is engulfing the world. Governments are broke and are taking drastic measures to stay in business. Not all revolutions are bloody. There have been revolutions such as that in Russia when the army stood down and would not fire upon the people. Even in Saudi Arabia, there is talk of revolution and civil war as a rift within the Royal family has been unfolding and the army is by no means united behind one faction.