Flash Points Grow in Numbers & Increase Threats of Attack on U.S.

In a decision bound to have far-reaching effects, President Trump announced that the United States would be recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Furthermore, he also stated his intentions of placing an American embassy in the city. The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has already weighed in on this, and said that such a move by President Trump would not be tolerated.
It is difficult to address such an issue in a non-didactic manner that blends theological implications, but there is more at stake here than this being a theological debate, or simply a conflict between Christianity, Muslims, or Judaism, or an ‘end of days’ issue.
Politics is statecraft and stagecraft, and this decision has infuriated the Iranians and will potentially provoke them into activity: the invasion of Iran has been desired for three administrations.
Obama intended to overthrow Assad in Syria for many reasons: to ingratiate himself to the House of Saud (as the Saudi Arabians hate Assad), to control Northwestern Syria and run a natural gas pipeline through it from Qatar to Europe, and to secure a foothold with which to invade Iran. The Russians have had other plans: Gazprom was the target regarding the Qatar natural gas pipeline, and the Russians reacted by bombing ISIS (an Obama creation) and securing Syria for Assad.

This post was published at shtfplan on December 7th, 2017.

“Irresponsible, Unwarranted”: Saudis Condemn Trump’s Jerusalem Recognition, Warn Of “Serious Consequences”

Saudi Arabia has issued a formal condemnation of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and announcement of plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to ‘the holy city’ claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis. The Saudi statement was posted to its D. C. embassy website and circulated via diplomatic channels and the kingdom’s social media accounts Wednesday evening.
The kingdom’s condemnation invokes “serious consequences of such an irresponsible and unwarranted step” while expressing its “denunciation and deep regret that the administration has taken this step” while calling on the White House to “reverse this action” which constitutes “a drastic regression in the efforts to move the peace process forward.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.

US-Supplied Defense System Failed To Intercept Houthi Missile Attack On Saudi Capital

A new study in the New York Times suggests that Saudi Arabia’s state of the art defense system failed to intercept the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels which nearly hit Riyadh’s international airport on November 4th. The report contradicts the official claims of the Saudi and American governments, which both announced immediately after the incident that the US-supplied Patriot missile defense system had successfully intercepted the Houthi fired Scud.
The analysis, which utilized open-source material in the form of available video and social media photos of the aftermath of the attack, was conducted by a team of missile experts, and threatens to shake confidence in the US system, which is currently implemented by American allies around the world from South Korea and Taiwan to Turkey, Israel and Japan, among others.
And notably President Trump himself had announced while aboard Air Force One on the day following the attack, ‘Our system knocked the missile out of the air.’ Trump also emphasized the importance of demonstrable success of the systems and added, ‘That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all over the world.’
But The New York Times report begins with a flat contradiction of that claim:
The official story was clear: Saudi forces shot down a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebel group last month at Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. It was a victory for the Saudis and for the United States, which supplied the Patriot missile defense system.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.

Yemen Houthis Blow Up Ex-President Saleh’s House, Sparking Rumors Of His Death

Fighters from Yemen’s Houthi rebel movement have blown up the house of ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the centre of the capital Sanaa, residents reported, as Saleh’s current whereabouts remained unknown, Reuters reported. The attack came a day after Saleh said he was ready for a “new page” in ties with the Saudi-led coalition.
Saleh’s loyalists had lost ground on the sixth day of heavy urban combat with the Iran-aligned Houthis, his former allies in nearly three years of war with a Saudi-led military coalition. On Monday, the Houthis made gains against forces supporting the former president. According to witness reports in local media, there was intense fighting overnight, with explosions rocking the city into Monday morning.
The alliance between the Houthi rebels and former Saleh recently seemed to be on the verge of a split, after on Sunday, the former leader of the war-torn country formally renounced his alliance with the Houthis, pulling a “Hariri.” Saleh pledged to step up his fight with the Iranian-backed group, having re-aligned his forces with Saudi Arabia. In an earlier televised speech, Saleh said that he made the decision to cease fighting in the country, having asked Riyadh to stop attacks on Yemen in exchange for his support.


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2017.

India’s Secret Involvement in the War Against Yemen

Andrew Korybko
21st Century Wire
Speculation has been rife over the past couple of years that Pakistan was clandestinely involved in the War on Yemen, but it turns out that it’s actually India which is the South Asian state playing a shadow role in this conflict.
Every now and then people are exposed to the thoroughly debunked fake news story that’s been circulating for the past couple of years claiming that Pakistan agreed to deploy its military forces to Yemen in support of the Saudi-led war on the country. Nothing of the sort ever happened because Islamabad refused to get directly involved in the war due to its sectarian implications and the quagmire-like risk that it entails, instead settling for a ‘compromise’ agreement to dispatch some of its forces to protect the Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia in the event that they ever come under attack from Yemeni-based fighters.
Since the Houthi National Liberation Movement harbors no such sacrilegious intentions, the announcement was essentially a face-saving way for Pakistan to politely resist the joint Saudi-Emirati pressure to get tangled up in this conflict as a de-facto mercenary force while still symbolically showing that it doesn’t outright reject its historic partnership with these two Gulf States.
Nevertheless, it’s widely thought that this prudent decision dealt irreversible damage to Pakistani-Emirati relations, seeing as how the latter has been doing most of the ‘heavy lifting’ in that warzone, and as such, would prefer for Pakistanis to bear the brunt of the Houthis’ effective countermeasures than their own troops.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 29, 2017.

Is ‘Geopolitical Risk’ Behind Rising Oil Prices?

Toward the end of October, Brent crude prices crossed $60 per barrel for the first time in two years. They continued their ascent, peaking at around $64. Experts explained the spike with vague references to ‘geopolitical risk,’ without really detailing what those risks entailed. Such explanations are not wrong, but they are careless. A proper geopolitical risk assessment necessitates that we go beyond equivocal wording and develop an understanding of the relevant economic, political, and military factors.
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Threats to Supply For weeks, developments in Saudi Arabia have been cited in commentary on oil markets. It all comes down to the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran – a rivalry that plays out throughout the region, in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on NOVEMBER 27, 2017.

Middle East Heating Up

An attack on a Mosque in Egypt has left 235 dead. The assault even opened fired on ambulances taking the wounded to the hospital. Meanwhile, the war of words between Saudi Arabia and Iran are heating up. Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman compared Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. In return, Tehran has responded saying that with regard to the Crown Prince: ‘No one in the world and in the international arena gives credit to him because of his immature and weak-minded behavior and remarks.’
Tensions in the Middle East continue to expand.
Armstrong Economics

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 25, 2017.

The Saudi System And Why Its Change May Fail

Via Moon Of Alabama blog,
The Saudi clown prince Mohammad Bin Salman is an impulsive tyrant. But what accounts for his urge to purge the country of any potential competing power center? Why does he run a such an activist foreign policy? The answer might be Iran. Not Iran the country, but Iran the system.
Since the U. S. war on Iraq the sclerotic Saudi Arabia continuously lost standing in its region. The Iranian model gained ground. A decade later the authoritarian Arab systems were challenged by the so called “Arab spring”. While the movements in the various countries -as far as they were genuine- have failed, they were a warning sign for things to come.
Saudi Arabia reacted to the challenges by moving away from a sedate, consensual run family business towards a centrally controlled, supercharged tyranny. The move allows for more flexible and faster reactions to any future challenge. But it also increases the chance of making mistakes. To understand why this endeavor is likely to fail one needs look at the traditional economic and social system that is the fabric of the country. The fate of the Hariri dynasty is an example for it.
Since Salman climbed the throne he has moved to eliminate all competition to his rule. The religious establishment was purged of any opposition. Its police arm was reigned in. First crown prince Murqrin was removed and then crown prince Nayef. They were replaced with Salman’s inexperienced son. Economic and military powers were concentrated in his hands. During the recent night of the long knives powerful family members and business people were detained. The Wall Street Journal reports of a second arrest wave. More higher ups have been incarcerated. This round includes senior military commanders and very wealthy business people.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 22, 2017.

Hariri’s “Unresignation” As Seen In A Bizarre Photo With The Iranian Ambassador

During Wednesday’s independence day celebrations in Lebanon, Prime Minister Saad Hariri was bizarrely photographed in what appeared to be in a warm and enthusiastic handshake with Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Fathali, while greeting dignitaries less than 24 hours after his plane touched down in Beirut following his bizarre two week detention in Saudi Arabia.
The photograph is receiving a lot of attention and circulation on Arab social media as ironically during his initial televised resignation speech from Riyadh he cited Iranian meddling and rising influence, even going so far as to suggest he could be assassinated in a nefarious Iranian plot. Yet now he appears surprisingly overjoyed standing in front of the Iranian ambassador.
But surely, based on the below photograph, the Saudi script is not unfolding exactly as planned. Not only did Hariri announce earlier on Wednesday that he will remain Lebanon’s prime minister, but he looks absolutely relieved to be back, and nothing close to being a man who actually fears possible assassination (as he previously declared in Saudi Arabia, likely under coercion).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 22, 2017.

France’s Macron Covers For Saudi Aggression

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
France’s invitation to beleaguered Lebanese premier Saad Hariri for him and his family to spend ‘a few days in Paris’ has been viewed as French President Emmanuel Macron stepping in with deft soft power to resolve tensions between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
Less charitably, what Macron is really doing is giving cynical cover to the Saudi rulers for their extraordinary acts of aggression towards Lebanon and their violation of that country’s sovereignty.
Two of Hariri’s children were left in Saudi capital Riyadh while he visited France over the weekend. Were they being used as hostages by the Saudis to ensure that Hariri maintains the Saudi spin on events? Certainly, the arrangement raises suspicions, but the French president sought instead to affect a ‘normal’ nothing-is-unusual appearance.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun last week publicly accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri in Riyadh against his will. Aoun said the Saudi rulers were violating international law by detaining Hariri and forcing his resignation as prime minister of Lebanon. Such acts were tantamount to aggression, said President Aoun.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.

Macron Stands Accused of ‘Stoking Regional Tensions’

France’s invitation to beleaguered Lebanese premier Saad Hariri for him and his family to spend ‘a few days in Paris’ has been viewed as French President Emmanuel Macron stepping in with deft soft power to resolve tensions between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
Less charitably, what Macron is really doing is giving cynical cover to the Saudi rulers for their extraordinary acts of aggression towards Lebanon and their violation of that country’s sovereignty.
Two of Hariri’s children were left in Saudi capital Riyadh while he visited France over the weekend. Were they being used as hostages by the Saudis to ensure that Hariri maintains the Saudi spin on events? Certainly, the arrangement raises suspicions, but the French president sought instead to affect a ‘normal’ nothing-is-unusual appearance.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun last week publicly accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri in Riyadh against his will. Aoun said the Saudi rulers were violating international law by detaining Hariri and forcing his resignation as prime minister of Lebanon. Such acts were tantamount to aggression, said President Aoun.
Yet Macron has said nothing about Saudi interference. He has instead turned reality on its head by censuring Iran for regional ‘aggression’ and thereby backing Saudi claims that Iran is supplying ballistic missiles to Yemen. Iran swiftly condemned Macron for ‘stoking regional tensions’.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 20, 2017.

The Saudi War of Attrition and Aggression Against the Yemeni People

Yemenis Sit Between the Hammer and Anvil of US-backed Saudi Siege and Airstrikes
Sana’a (GPA)’ – ‘Yemeni forces launched a long-range ballistic missile at the King Khalid Airport in early November in retaliation for the Saudi-led war against Yemen. Days later, Saudi Arabia tightened their already-existing blockade. This impacts Yemeni life in a number of ways and puts millions of Yemenis on the brink of death.
Nearly 1,000 days ago, Saudi Arabia along with most of the Gulf Cooperation Council and backed by western allies launched a brutal war against Yemen to defeat a popular uprising and prop-up the Saudi puppet government of Mansur Hadi.
International observers estimate the death toll from Saudi airstrikes and military operations is about 5,000 but local estimates suggest that total is over 13,000.
The number of Yemenis killed by the ongoing siege is harder to calculate. Not long after beginning the war, the Saudi coalition imposed a land, sea, and air blockade’ – ‘effectively turning Yemen into an open-air prison.
Aid, which was already severely restricted, is now nonexistent. The previous measures put seven million Yemenis on the brink of famine, made 17 million food insecure, and triggered a globally unprecedented cholera outbreak infecting nearly 1 million and killing over 3,000 since April.
The Saudi measures in early November increased this existing blockade by closing Yemen’s few remaining lifelines including the Aden airport, Hodeidah port, and various land routes. The siege also restricts the flow of movement, and the Sana’a airport has been closed to commercial travel for years. (Saudi airstrikes attacked the Sana’a airport’s communication equipment last week just to ensure aid cannot enter.)
People living in Sana’a say the once bustling capital has become a ghost town as the prices of available goods have skyrocketed.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 19, 2017.

Hezbollah On “High Alert”, Says It Will Be Blamed For ‘False Flag’ Assassination Attempt

Hezbollah has raised its military readiness on the whole Lebanese territory in the last few days and put its forces on high alert in the light of the threats it has received from a number of countries, and especially from Israel and Saudi Arabia. Hezbollah forces have been mobilized in the event of any hostile activity on the borders or in the country, notwithstanding the ongoing conviction of its leadership that Israel will not wage a direct war in the near or distant future.
According to well informed sources, Hezbollah fears the possible assassination of a well-known Lebanese figure, Sunni or Christian, similar to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. The aim would be to re-mix the cards on the Lebanese scene, accuse Hezbollah and to embarrass President Michel Aoun.
Aoun has raised the challenge against Riyadh during the recent events related to the televised resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and he has accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri as a hostage (for more than two weeks), defining the Prime Minister’s submission to this act as ‘unconstitutional and illegitimate.’
Moreover, Hezbollah, in coordination with Iran, has issued orders not to transfer weapons sent to it from Iran via Syria to Lebanon for the following clearly defined reasons:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 19, 2017.

Arab League Holds Emergency Session: Iran And “Terrorist” Hezbollah Must Be Stopped

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, in opening remarks to the Arab League today, declared that the kingdom ‘will not hesitate to defend its national security to keep its people safe’ while requesting that joint action be taken to stop Iranian “aggression” and attacks on Arab states.
Last weekend Saudi Arabia called an emergency session of the Arab League to address what it labeled “Iranian interference” after the bizarre series of events related to MBS’ aggressive internal purge, which included the detention of Lebanese ex-PM Hariri, left the kingdom in an unprecedented state of strife and uncertainty. The destabilizing events were precipitated by a November 4 attack claimed by Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen, which the Saudis called a “violation” committed by Iran, though Iran denied that it had anything to do with the rare ballistic missile launch out of Yemen.
Arab foreign ministers from member states met at League headquarters in Cairo on Sunday and in predictable fashion blasted Iran and Hezbollah for sowing instability and discord within Arab countries, citing Iranian “aggression” and expanding influence. The meeting is only the 12th such emergency summit to be held since the Arab League’s founding in 1945 – a fact which hints at Saudi Arabia’s increased desperation to confront Hezbollah while also shifting blame from its own self-made crisis at home.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 19, 2017.

RETIRED FBI AGENT ACCUSES 9/11 COMMISSION OF LYING ABOUT SAUDI CONNECTIONS

Sworn testimony from a former FBI investigator claims the 9/11 Commission lied to the American public regarding the relationship between the hijackers and Saudi Arabia.
The question over exactly what role the Saudi Kingdom played in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 is once again a hot topic. The Saudi Kingdom has long been suspected of financing the 9/11 hijackers. A fourteen-year-old lawsuit brought forth by the ‘9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism’ seeks to hold the Saudi Kingdom accountable for the attacks. Meanwhile, the Saudi government continues to deny any involvement and calls for the lawsuit’s dismissal.
Now, The Florida Bulldog reports that a new sworn statement from a former FBI agent has once again called attention to the involvement of the Saudi Kingdom. In a six-page statement provided as part of the lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, retired FBI agent Stephen K. Moore says the 9/11 Commission has provided the American public with incorrect statements regarding the FBI’s investigation. Moore is a 25-year veteran of the FBI who retired in 2008. He also led the FBI’s PENTTBOM, or ‘Pentagon/Twin Towers Bombing Investigation,’ a 400-member task force responsible for investigating the 9/11 attacks.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 16, 2017.

Why Iran is a Major Threat

The Yemen Civil War is an ongoing conflict that began in 2015 between two factions. Each is claiming to constitute the Yemen government. This is really a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Houthi forces control the capital Sana’a who are allied with forces loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh backed by Saudi Arabia. They are opposed by Yemen’s Shiite rebels who are loyal to the religious government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, based in Aden, supported by Iran.
To grasp what this is all about, one must understand Islam. Saudi Arabia in Sunni that boils down to a separation of church and state. They are fighting the Shiite forces of Iran, which believe that religion should control the state. Therefore, the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Shiite rebels toward the Saudi capital was manufactured by Iran as if this should be any surprise given that Iran is their backer.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 14, 2017.

Millions Face Starvation in Yemen Due to Saudi Arabia’s Blockade

Two years ago, German intelligence warned the world of the unique risks Saudi Arabia posed to the region. I covered it at the time in the post, German Intelligence Warns – Saudi Arabia to Play ‘Destabilizing Role’ in the Middle East. Here’s an excerpt:
Saudi Arabia is at risk of becoming a major destabilizing influence in the Arab world, German intelligence has warned.
Internal power struggles and the desire to emerge as the leading Arab power threaten to make the key Western ally a source of instability, according to the BND intelligence service.
‘The current cautious diplomatic stance of senior members of the Saudi royal family will be replaced by an impulsive intervention policy,’ a BND memo widely distributed to the German press reads.
Saudi Arabia has previously been accused of supplying arms and funding to jihadist groups fighting in Syria, including Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
At the core of this intelligence warning was none other than crown prince Mohamed bin Salman, or MBS. I’ve been warning about the specific dangers presented by his brazen and sociopathic personality for years, and the recent purge finally threw it all into the spotlight for everyone to see.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Nov 13, 2017.

Outrage Follows “Jaw-Droppingly Shocking” 1986 Prince Charles Letter Blaming Mid-East Problems On “Foreign Jews”

Prince Charles has sparked media outrage following a report he wrote a letter blaming “the influx of foreign, European Jews” for aggravating the Arab-Israeli conflict and leading to general unrest in the Middle East, while also asking whether an American president would “have the courage” to take on “the Jewish lobby” to put an end to terrorism in the region.
The note, written on November 24, 1986, was found in a public archive and published Saturday by the Daily Mail. The Prince penned the letter after official visits to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar with Princess Diana.
“I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally,’ the then 38-year-old Prince of Wales wrote in his letter, adding, that ‘it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems’ in the Middle East. ‘I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated?’ he questioned.
“Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in the US? I must be naive, I suppose!’ he concludes.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 12, 2017.