SCOTUS “Mostly” Reinstates Trump Travel Ban; Schedules October Hearing

Update:
It appears that Trump has been handed a ‘partial’ victory on his travel ban by the Supreme Court. While SCOTUS revived a “narrowed” ban, they found that it can not be applied to people with a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
SUPREME COURT TEMPORARILY NARROWS TRAVEL BAN SUPREME COURT LIFTS MOST OF INJUNCTION THAT BLOCKED TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN ON SIX MUSLIM-MAJORITY NATIONS COURT SAYS BAN CAN APPLY TO PEOPLE WITHOUT U. S. RELATIONSHIP U. S. SUPREME COURT AGREES TO HEAR TRUMP APPEALS OF RULINGS BLOCKING TRAVEL BAN ON SIX MUSLIM-MAJORITY NATIONS The ban will exclude people visiting a close family member, students who have been admitted to a university or workers who have accepted an employment offer, the court said. But the court said people can’t avoid the travel ban by entering into a relationship solely to enter the U. S.
The policy will suspend entry into the U. S. by people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for a period of 90 days and it will take effect in 72 hours.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said they would have let the entire ban take effect immediately.
THOMAS, ALITO, GORSUCH ISSUE PARTIAL DISSENT ON TRAVEL BAN

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 26, 2017.

Episode #191 – SUNDAY WIRE: ‘The Big Pinch’ with Daniel Faraci, Emma, Basil Valentine

Episode #191 of SUNDAY WIRE SHOW resumes this June 25th, 2017 as guest host Patrick Henningsen brings you this week’s LIVE broadcast on the Alternate Current Radio Network…
LISTEN LIVE ON THIS PAGE AT THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULED SHOW TIMES:
5pm-8pm UK Time | 12pm-3pm ET (US) | 9am-12am PT (US)

This week we deliver another LIVE broadcast, this time from Britain’s former naval stronghold in Plymouth, as SUNDAY WIRE host Patrick Henningsen breaks down the biggest stories in the west and internationally, including a follow-up on the recent disaster in West London where we’ll speak to local resident Emma about the Grenfell Tower fire – the social and political fallout as well as questions about how many residents actually died in the fatal blaze. In the second hour, we’ll connect with geopolitical analyst Daniel Faraci from Grassroots Political Consulting in Washington DC to discuss how the recent fracture between Qatar and Turkey (and Iran) on one side – and the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the rest of Gulf, on the other. What will this mean for the region for Syria and for Yemen? In the final hour, we’ll try to connect with political pundit Basil Valentine to discuss the Queen’s top priority as Britain’s monarch; not government or Parliament – but horses, as well as a report from Glastonbury festival and the Corbynmania going on there. We’ll also get Basil’s thoughts on the Grenfell situation and how its thwarted the Tory plans to consolidate power.
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Strap yourselves in and lower the blast shield – this is your brave new world…
*NOTE: THIS EPISODE MAY CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE AND MATURE THEMES*
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This post was published at Spreaker on JUNE 25, 2017.

Did You Feel It, Something Has Changed – Episode 1315b

The following video was published by X22Report on Jun 25, 2017
CNN puts out fake news then deletes it because they had nothing backing the story. Nicaragua, Cuba and other nations are backing Venezuela. Iraq troops free more civilians in Mosul. US is now being blamed for torturing civilians in Yemen. Qatar sends a message and moves closer to Russia. US deep state is now in the process of breaking Syria apart, the Russian’s realize this is the plan. The Pentagon says it would work with Assad and Iran to fight terrorism in Syria. The deep state has one more trick up their sleeve, the big event. There are reports that Obama had cyber bombs inserted into Russian infrastructure.

What Is the Most Likely Outcome of the Qatar Crisis?

The diplomatic crisis resulting from sanctions against Qatar raises fresh questions concerning the political and economic environment in the Gulf. A guest post by Anas Abdoun.
Just a fortnight after President Trump’s visit to the Middle-East, many members of the GCC as well as Egypt, severed diplomatic, economic and security relations with Qatar. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, and Yemen, made this momentous decision, joined days later by Mauritania and the Maldives.
These measures are particularly hard for Qatar as this is not merely a closing of embassies. In 2014, Qatar had a crisis with its neighbors, who shut down their embassies to protest against Doha’s foreign policy. The crisis was resolved with an agreement, which Saudi Arabia now claims has not been respected by Qatar.
This time, in addition to cutting diplomatic ties, the five countries decided to enforce a major economic embargo against Qatar, which is financially powerful but geographically very small. The GCC is now caught up in the worst diplomatic crisis since its creation in 1981, dividing the organization which yields great power within the region and with the entire group of Arab countries.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 06/22/2017.

After Shocking Saudi Shakeup “Not A Question Of If But When New Escalation With Iran Starts”

Two days ago, when reporting on the surprising “terrorist attempt” by Iran’s National Guard on a major Saudi offshore oilfiled (at least according to Saudi media), we said that “if the Saudi account of events is accurate, and if Iran is indeed preparing to take out Saudi oil infrastructure in retaliation or otherwise, the simmering cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is about to get very hot.” This in turn followed an earlier analysis on the ongoing Syrian war in which we said that “the next major regional conflict appears set to be between Saudi Arabia and Iran. All it needs is a catalyst.”
That catalyst, according to energy consultancy Petromatrix, may have been revealed overnight with the stunning Saudi royal shakeup in which the King announced he was stripping the current Crown Prince, his nephew Mohamed bin Nayef (MBF), of all titles and obligations, and replacing him with his son Mohamed bin Salman (MBS).
Summarizing the event, Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob wrote that “the day starts with the Saudi Crown Prince sent to retirement and replaced by the deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). MBS was already the strong hand in Saudi Arabia, this latest development, and the purge that goes with it, confirms that he is the de-facto king of Saudi Arabia. Under his watch, Saudi Arabia has developed aggressive foreign policies (Yemen, Qatar…) and he has not been shy about making strong statements against Iran.”
The punchline: “with MBS now having greater control of Saudi Arabia and with Jared Kushner having a large control of the White House it is not really a question of if but rather of when a new escalation with Iran starts.”
Jakob wasn’t the only one to react strongly to the Saudi royal shakeup. Below, courtsy of Bloomberg, are several other notable reactions:

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

Trump Gives Pentagon Unilateral Authority To Set Afghan Troop Levels

President Donald Trump has has given the Pentagon unilateral authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, the WSJ and Reuters reported overnight, clearing the way for the military to intensify its fight against the Taliban and opening the door for future troop increases requested by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. While no immediate decision had been made about the troop levels, which are now set at about 8,400, the Pentagon is currently weighing plans to send between 3,000 and 5,000 additional troops.
The news comes after Mattis said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee that “We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. And we will correct this as soon as possible.” Mattis said the Taliban were “surging” at the moment, something he said he intended to address.
The decision is similar to one announced in April that applied to U. S. troop levels in Iraq and Syria, and came as Mattis warned Congress the U. S.-backed Afghan forces were not beating the Taliban despite more than 15 years of war. After the official announcement control over troop decisions to the Pentagon, expected to be announced on Wednesday, sets the stage for U. S. commanders to decide to reverse course in Afghanistan and begin sending more forces to the country after years of reductions in the hope that Kabul could handle internal threats on its own, the WSJ notes.
According to the WSJ, the White House decision to cede authority to Mr. Mattis is another reflection of Mr. Trump’s push to give the military wide latitude around the world. The White House has already given the Pentagon more power to carry out strikes in Yemen and Somalia. Mr. Trump removed a cap on troop levels in Iraq. And he approved Pentagon plans to send more U. S. troops and firepower into Syria to fight Islamic State.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 14, 2017.

The Qatari Conundrum: A Saudi Message to Turkey and Iran

The Middle East has been ablaze for many years now, but the Islamic Republic of Iran has so far largely escaped any direct harm. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has also become the victim of numerous terror attacks over the past years… but now, the whole dynamic seems to have undergone a radical shift, a shift endangering Iran, Qatar, Syria, and Yemen… with potential ripple effects also touching upon Turkey and Russia.
All the while, the United States maintain a not-so hidden presence in the region that has the potential of even endangering the whole world…
Setting the Scene in Tehran
On Tuesday, 7 June 2017, the city of Tehran was rocked by simultaneous terror attacks: a ‘multi-prong terrorist attack has struck Iran’s capital city this morning. Gunmen and suicide bombers converged on three targets including Iran’s Parliament building and the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini, killing staff and members of the public.’

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 13, 2017.

QATAR: The Unexpected Consequences of Saudi ‘Muscle’ Flexing

The quarrel between Saudi Arabia and Qatar which began on 5th June is taking unexpected twists and turns. Events are moving so fast that it is becoming difficult to foresee what will happen next week, let alone next month. Even so, some equations in the Gulf and the wider Middle East appear to have changed and need to be noted.
But first, a brief recapitulation of the events since 5th June. On that day, Saudi Arabia announced that it was breaking diplomatic relations with Qatar because of the latter’s support to terrorist groups and her growing closeness to Iran.
Saudi Arabia also takes a dim view of Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas; the activities of the Qatari news channel Al Jazeera; and Qatar’s position as the largest exporter of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) in the world.
The Saudis closed their sea, air, and land borders to Qatar, and gave Qatari nationals in the Kingdom two weeks to leave the country. They also called on Saudi nationals to leave Qatar within two weeks.
The Saudi action was quickly followed by the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, and Yemen, which announced similar measures against Qatar, on the same grounds. These developments took place within weeks of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh during which he, along with the Saudis, tried to mobilise Arab and Islamic countries against Iran, describing it as the ‘leading state sponsor of terrorism.’

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 12, 2017.

Iran Vows to Avenge Islamic State Bombs, Points Finger at Saudis

Iran vowed to take revenge for Islamic State attacks in its capital on Wednesday and hinted that it may hold Saudi Arabia responsible, risking an escalation of the feud that’s divided the oil-rich Gulf region into increasingly hostile camps.
Islamic State said it carried out the suicide-bomb and gun attacks that killed at least 12 people at Iran’s parliament and the shrine of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a site of political and religious importance for Iran’s Shiite Muslim population. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps promised retribution for the ‘innocent blood spilled’ in the first such strike by the jihadists in Iran. And, the Guards said, Iranians won’t fail to note that the violence came soon after U.S. President Donald Trump met with ‘leaders of a reactionary government in the region which supports terrorists’ — an apparent reference to the Saudis.
The contest between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the region’s main Sunni power, has helped fuel wars in Syria and Yemen. It spread to the heart of the Gulf this week as the Saudis led a drive to isolate Qatar, blaming their neighbor for ties with Iran and militant groups, and closing its land border. Trump, who endorsed the Saudi pressure while other U.S. officials appealed for calm, visited the kingdom last month and joined King Salman in calling for a united front against Iran and jihadism.
‘Today’s attack adds to cross-Gulf tensions that already had been elevated by the Trump trip — in which anti-Iranism was a principal theme — and by the Iran angle in the actions taken against Qatar,’ said Paul Pillar, a professor at Georgetown University in Washington and former CIA officer.
Saudi and Iranian leaders blame each other for sponsoring militant groups. The Saudis point to Iranian support for Hezbollah and Hamas, while Iran says Saudi preachers and financial support aided the rise of al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

This post was published at bloomberg

Is Another War Brewing In The Middle East? Saudi Arabia Gives 24 Hour Ultimatum To Qatar

What’s going down in the Middle East right now is the perfect example of a black swan event. Out of nowhere, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt, Yemen, and the Maldives cut off diplomatic relations with the nation of Qatar several days ago. Saudi Arabia and the UAE (who are leading the charge against Qatar) have since placed a naval blockade on Qatar, and have cut air and land links with the nation as well.
Keep in mind that Qatar is a fairly small nation, surrounded by larger neighbors that are basically threatening to completely cut them off from the rest of the world if they don’t comply with their demands, which are to cut ties with Iran, as well as radical organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The blockade is so serious, that the residents of Qatar have been stripping grocery stores bare in anticipation of food shortages.
And on top of that, Saudi Arabia has just issued an ultimatum to Qatar, with conditions that the nation must comply with over the next 24 hours if they want diplomatic relations to normalize. According to a journalist with Al-Jazeera, the demands include the following:

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

OPEC Has Survived Crises Far Worse Than the Qatar Debacle

The OPEC oil deal is not in peril, though the mainstream media would have you think otherwise…
Oil prices fell yesterday after member countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. These nations have closed borders and ceased all travel to and from Qatar, demanding that Qatari military troops be withdrawn from the war in Yemen.
The nations initiating the separation claim that their small, uber-wealthy neighbor was, and has been, actively supporting Islamic terrorists.
And, yes, news of the severance with Qatar – a top global liquefied natural gas (LNG) and condensate shipper – immediately dented the oil market…
Brent crude prices reversed initial 1% gains after the news, trading down 1%, at $49.45 a barrel by 2:34 p.m. ET. WTI futures ended Monday’s session at $47.40 a barrel, down $0.26, or 0.6%. U. S. gasoline futures led the sector’s largest fall in the afternoon, down 2.4% to $1.54 a gallon. But mainstream media sites followed the various oil price dips with headlines speculating about imminent doom for OPEC’s recent agreement to cut production:

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 6, 2017.

Saudi Arabia Shuts Local Al Jazeera Office For “Promoting Plots Of Terrorist Groups”

Shortly after Saudi Arabia announced it had cut ties with Qatar over Doha’s alleged support for Islamists and Iran, on Monday the kingdom said it had also shut the local office of Al Jazeera, Qatar’s influential satellite channel, and had revokved its license. Riyadh views Al Jazeera as critical of its government, but the outlet says it is an independent news service giving a voice to everyone in the region. The move was announced by state television.
From Saudi press agency SPA, google translated:
The Ministry of Culture and Information closed Al-Jazeera’s office in Saudi Arabia and withdrew its license.
The move comes after Al-Jazeera has promoted the plots of terrorist groups, supported and supported the Houthi militias in Yemen, and tried to break the Saudi internal ranks by inciting them to leave the country and harm the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia.
* * *
For readers confused about the ongoing spat between Saudi alliance and Qatar, Bloomberg has released a convenient Q&A which summarizes the key issues in the latest diplomatic spat:
Saudi Arabia and three of its Arab allies cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, furious with what they see as the tiny emirate’s tolerant attitude toward Iran and Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The moves by the Saudis, Bahrain, the U. A. E. and Egypt came soon after U. S. President Donald Trump visited the region and joined Saudi Arabia in lambasting Iran for sponsoring terrorism from Syria to Yemen.

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

Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court To Restore Travel Ban

Four months after threatening he would take his immigration travel ban all the way to the Supreme Courty, Trump’s administration did just that on Thursday night when it asked SCOTUS to revive his plan to temporarily ban travelers from six Muslim-majority nations after it was blocked by lower courts that found it was discriminatory.
“We have asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and are confident that President Trump’s executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement.
The American Civil Liberties Union, one of the legal groups challenging the ban, tweeted in response: “We’ve beat this hateful ban and are ready to do it again.”
The administration filed emergency applications with the nine high court justices seeking to block two different lower court rulings that went against Trump’s March 6 order barring entry for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days while the U. S. government implements stricter visa screening, Reuters reported. The move came after the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals on May 25 upheld a Maryland judge’s ruling blocking the order. The administration also filed a separate appeal in that case.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 2, 2017.

ABSOLUTE SUBMISSION: Trump Bows to Neocon Orthodoxy

Consortium News Exclusive: In his Mideast trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel, President Trump sought some political safe harbor by tacking toward neocon orthodoxy and jettisoning his campaign promises of a more rational strategy, writes Daniel Lazare.
With astounding precision, Donald Trump zeroed in on the worst possible Middle East policy option in his recent trip to Saudi Arabia and made it his own. He rebuffed the efforts of Iran’s newly elected moderate government to open up communications with the West and instead deepened America’s alliances with decrepit autocratic regimes across the Persian Gulf.
Turning up his nose at Iran – a rising young power – he embraced Saudi Arabia, which is plainly on its last legs. It was a remarkable display – rather like visiting a butcher shop and passing up a fresh steak for one that’s rancid and smelly and buzzing with flies.
Saudi Arabia is not just any tired dictatorship with an abysmal human-rights record but one of the most spectacularly dysfunctional societies in history. It takes in half a billion dollars a day in oil revenue, yet is so profligate that it could run out of money in half a decade. It sits atop 18 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, yet is so wasteful that, at current rates, it will become a net importer by the year 2030.
Its king travels with a thousand-person retinue wherever he goes while his son, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, plunked down $550 million not long ago when a 440-foot yacht caught his eye in the south of France. Yet this pair of royal kleptocrats dares preach austerity at a time when as much as 25 percent of the population lives on less than $17 a day in trash-strewn Third World slums.
Similarly, Saudi Arabia’s appetite for high-tech weaponry is such that in 2015 it became the largest arms importer in the world. Yet its military is so inept that it is unable to subdue ragtag Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen or even stop them from raiding deep inside Saudi territory and launching regular missile attacks.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 1, 2017.

Ron Paul Asks “Are We Fighting Terrorism, Or Creating More Terrorism?”

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,
When we think about terrorism we most often think about the horrors of a Manchester-like attack, where a radicalized suicide bomber went into a concert hall and killed dozens of innocent civilians. It was an inexcusable act of savagery and it certainly did terrorize the population.
What is less considered are attacks that leave far more civilians dead, happen nearly daily instead of rarely, and produce a constant feeling of terror and dread. These are the civilians on the receiving end of US and allied bombs in places like Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere.
Last week alone, US and ‘coalition’ attacks on Syria left more than 200 civilians dead and many hundreds more injured. In fact, even though US intervention in Syria was supposed to protect the population from government attacks, US-led air strikes have killed more civilians over the past month than air strikes of the Assad government. That is like a doctor killing his patient to save him.
Do we really believe we are fighting terrorism by terrorizing innocent civilians overseas? How long until we accept that ‘collateral damage’ is just another word for ‘murder’?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 1, 2017.

It Is All Unraveling And This Is Why Everyone Should Be Nervous – Episode 1289b

The following video was published by X22Report on May 25, 2017
Another insurer is leaving Obamacare. Comey is blaming the Clinton investigation on a Russian document . Trumps slams intel leaks and Jeff Sessions is going to begin an investigation. US warship enters the South China Sea and comes withing 12 nautical miles from China’s territory. Trump wants NATO members to pay their fair share. EU cannot come to a consensus with Trump on Russia. US troops kill civilians in Yemen but the corporate media says they killed al-Qaeda. Russia says the recent provocations is to derail the peace talks in Libya. Bill introduced to continue the fight against the paid mercenaries in Iraq, Syria and the rest of the middle east.

Sordid Saudi Signals

THE US-SAUDI ARMS DEAL
THE SAUDI ARMS DEAL SUDDENLY TRIPLED IN SIZE WITH LONG TIME SCHEDULE WITHIN THE AGREEMENT… TRUMP COMPLETED THE SINGLE LARGEST ARMS DEAL IN US-HISTORY, DONE WITH SAUDI ARABIA… IT EXCEEDED THE PREVIOUS COMMITMENT FROM TWO WEEKS AGO, NOW WORTH $350 BILLION… WITNESS US-STYLE ECONOMIC STIMULUS, THE TOXIC WAY… THE USGOVT SUPPORTS THE FADING SAUDI KINGDOM, SUPPORTS THEIR VICIOUS YEMEN WAR, AND APPLAUDS THEIR SUPPORT OF ISIS TERROR… THE USGOVT IS ENCOURAGING THE FORMATION OF A GULF REGION NATO, SURELY DEDICATED TO US-ARMS SUPPLY… CURIOUS THE PAYMENT METHOD TO COME, WITH CONJECTURE.
The USMilitary-industrial complex has come to the rescue of USEconomy with the massive arms sale to the world’s biggest purchaser of weapons, namely Saudi Arabia. Beyond the glitz and royal pageantry, President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in all likelihood had a main purpose to sell weapons, and to complete a gigantic $350 billion over the next decade. It will have weapon orders filled over time. In turn, the Saudi Royals have promised to invest $billions in the United States as well and to make other commitments designed to placate Trump. The pablum on the official line is that the first phase, with $109.7bn in weapons purchases, will boost Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities, bolstering their security services in the face of extreme terrorist groups, and the new threats from Iran. The White House added that the deal will create defense jobs while also reaffirming America’s commitment to Saudi Arabia. What a load of rubbish! The Saudis created the Yemen War in order to steal their neighbor’s energy deposits, thus creating a critical situation with consequent certain backfire. The USGovt support of Saudi Arabia goes hand in hand with desperate clinging to the Petro-Dollar. The defacto standard is in its final phase of demise. So the USGovt pledges support to the entire Gulf set of partners, which means the oil monarchies. If the kings and princes do not respond with overt support, they risk being murdered, or having untold terrorism unleashed on their people.

This post was published at GoldSeek on May 23rd, 20.

Why Is The Trump Administration Rewarding Saudi War Crimes With More Weapons?

Last October the Saudi Arabia-led coalition bombed a funeral hall in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, killing and wounding hundreds of people.
***
‘The scene was catastrophic,’ one survivor told me. ‘Beyond what I can explain to you or describe … There were burned bodies and dead bodies all over the hall.’
Soon after that unlawful bombing, the Obama administration suspended the sale of nearly $400 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 20, 2017.

RED HERRING: What’s Behind the Wave of Ransomware Attacks Linked to NSA Hacking Tools?

In this age of hyper-real media propaganda, some stories published by mainstream media whether true or not, can be used as a ‘red herring’ to provide an all to convenient mask for other politically charged news releases.
In fact, the very same day as the viral spread of WannaCry, the United States was said to have nearly completed a series of arms deals with Saudi Arabia worth $110 billion dollars and some $350 billion total over the next 10 years. This dovetailed the Trump administration’s decision to announce a ‘vision for a new regional security architecture’ for an ‘Arab NATO’ headquartered in Saudi Arabia, the largest state-sponsor of terror in the world.
Furthermore, the largest financial support for Al Qaeda linked terror operations involving Sunni extremists worldwide – has come from Saudi Arabia, with other GCC allies providing logistical support.
From 2015 to today, Saudi Arabia has breached international law with an ongoing bombardment of Yemen and more recently it emerged that Saudi government forces began a shocking military offensive against its own citizens in the eastern province of Qatif in the Awamiyah town.
A recently released Stockholm study yielded some stunning conclusions concerning arms exports from the US and Europe, in addition to arms imports acquired by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, most notably Saudi Arabia. According to this latest report from 2012-16, there has been the highest arms transfer volume over a 5-year stretch since the end of the Cold War.

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

As Trump Heads To MidEast, Is His Plan Finally Becoming Clear?

The first stage of U. S. President Donald Trump’s plan to restore America’s former dominance as a manufacturing country will be announced this coming weekend in Riyadh Saudi Arabia and Washington DC, but its outlines are now already more than clear.
The biggest-ever foreign sale of U. S.-made weaponry will be announced at that time, and, according to a little-noticed report by Reuters on May 12th, an unidentified U. S. government official informed Reuters that We are in the final stages of a series of deals, whose size will be of truly extraordinary historic proportions.
Trump will announce during this, his first trip abroad as the U. S. President, starting on Friday May 19th, deals for the fundamentalist-Sunni government of Saudi Arabia to purchase more than $100 billion, and perhaps more even than $300 billion, in U. S.-made weaponry. The announced intention of Saudi princes is to defeat what they declare to be the ‘existential threat’ they face from Iran and from Shia Islam, and so these weapons will presumably be used for ‘defense’ against the fundamentalist-Shiite government of Iran, and against any nation whose leader is Shiite (even if not fundamentalist, and including non-sectarian and even secular Shiite, such as Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad, and such as the Houthis in Yemen). The U. S. (especially the major investors in corporations such as Lockheed Martin) will therefore be in a position to profit from intensification of the wars in Syria and in Yemen, as well as from other national battlefields between Sunni and Shia. That’s the plan, and, on this basis, as soon as Trump won the 2016 election, he appointed to all of his national-security posts people who have solid records as being rabidly hostile, above all, towards Iran, and secondarily, toward Iran’s allies, such as Russia and Syria. (Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, was hostile, above all, toward Russia; her aim was to conquer it, which would entail unlimited spending on nuclear weapons. Trump’s plan is focused instead on unlimited spending on conventional weapons, and the deal that he has reached with the Sauds is designed specifically to supply them with that – not with nuclear.)

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 18, 2017.