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MSM propagated myth about Saudis defending market share

News Peak Cheap Energy and Oil Price Slump Recommended Links Energy Bookshelf Secular Stagnation Energy returned on energy invested (ERoEI) A note of ERoEI decline
MSM propagated myth about Saudis defending this market share Deflation of the USA shale oil bubble Oil glut fallacy Why Peak Oil Threatens the Casino Capitalism Russia oil production Iran return to western oil markets feamongering  
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First of all this is not defense. This is an offence, an economic war. But against whom?  This type of offence is known as predatory pricing or undercutting (Wikpedia) although in this particular case to establish that the  price are below the seller's cost in possible only indirectly, from the size of Saudis annual deficit of budget.  and in no way Saudis can replace other players as they control less then 10% of total world production:

Predatory pricing (also undercutting) is a pricing strategy where a product or service is set at a very low price, intending to drive competitors out of the market, or create barriers to entry for potential new competitors. If competitors or potential competitors cannot sustain equal or lower prices without losing money, they go out of business or choose not to enter the business. The predatory merchant then has fewer competitors or is even a de facto monopoly.

The typical MSM coverage of Saudis behavior is typically along those lines:

“The Saudis took a huge gamble last November when they stopped supporting prices and opted instead to flood the market and drive out rivals, boosting their own output to 10.6m barrels a day (b/d) into the teeth of the downturn….

If the aim was to choke the US shale industry, the Saudis have misjudged badly, just as they misjudged the growing shale threat at every stage for eight years. “It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short-run,” said the Saudi central bank in its latest stability report….

The word "flooding" used by MSM is a clear lie.  The reality is quite different from MSM tales. Saudis were clearly unable to flood market with oil in 2015, because they do not have enough oil to export for to achieve this goal.  The increase exports in 2015 was only around 0.2-0.3 Mb/d, if we believe official figures. Where is the flood of cheap oil, I would ask our MSM honchos? You have to realize that the US added a million barrels a day five years in a row... Five years --

One problem that Saudi faced is how to make room for Iran after sanctiones were lifted. Tensions between the governments in Tehran and Riyadh are much worse now than they were in the late 1990s, when both last cooperated in cutting supply.  Saudi Arabia believed that by lowing oil price via predatory pricing it can use US shale oil producers for swinging the volume of production, or at least a good deal of it. Because of its relatively high operating costs, capital intensity, financing needs, and steep decline rates, shale oil production was expected to react to price drop within months, instead of the years associated with traditional projects. Those hopes did not materialize. Instead Wall Street managed to drag Saudis into self-destructing spiral of oil prices decline. Oil price was down  to around $27 per barrel, the price level which is a death sentence for Saudis as they can't exist for more then five years at this level of prices.

Saudi’s “invitation” for US shale producers to be the swing producers by no means amounts to a “war on shale,” as it has been described by MSM. In a way it was invitation to became  a quasi-member of OPEC, a producer that has no choice but quickly adjust production in response to market imbalances. That means that Saudi Arabia’s attitude toward shale is more nuanced that MSM depict. They do not see shale only as a competitor but also as a welcome flexible source of supply. In a speech in Washington in March 2013, Saudi oil minister Naimi said:

The US energy scene is witnessing a remarkable evolution. Newly commercial reserves of shale oil or tight oil are transforming the energy industry in America. And that’s great news. It is helping to sustain the US economy and to create jobs at a difficult time. I would like to put on the record here today that I welcome these new supplies into the global oil market. I hope these additional resources will add depth and bring increased stability to global oil markets. I believe these reserves will lead the US into a much deeper engagement in world energy markets. And this is good news.

In March of 2015, he stressed, “Some speak of OPEC’s ‘war on shale’…they are all wrong,” adding that “new oil supply growth—much of it coming from the US—is a welcome development for world oil markets.” Saudi officials want shale oil to survive and thrive, in large part because it can adjust relatively quickly both up and down. Thus, when global oil oversupply developed in the late summer of 2014, Riyadh expected shale to help to stabilize prices as it had in recent years when it helped counter global supply losses, but this time by putting a floor under them with supply cuts. In September 2014, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Ministry spokesman Ibrahim al-Muhanna soothingly predicted “the high cost of producing shale oil has put a floor under oil prices…It means the price of oil will not go to less than $90, and even if it goes below that for whatever reasons, it would be for a short time before going back to the level of around $110.” They were very wrong.

But in a long run they were right. The current low oil price environment is not sustainable over the medium term (through the end of the decade). It will quickly (in two year or less most shale oil producers will be bankrupt).  Shale oil production was hit first, but even conventional oil companies are now canceling or delaying investment in other, longer lead time projects. In July, Wood Mackenzie reported oil and gas companies have delayed some $200 billion of investment in more than forty-five projects, exclusive of US shale, due to the price slump. More than half of affected reserves are in deep-water projects, and nearly 30 percent are in Canadian oil sands. In September, Wood Mackenzie predicted 140 of the 330 fields in the UK North Sea could close in the next five years, even if oil prices recover to $85 a barrel.

Saudi vice minister of oil Abdulaziz estimated some 5 million b/d of supply has been deferred or canceled.  This means supply that had previously been expected to become available in 2018 or 2019 will not be there. Project delays and cancelations will likely continue, and even accelerate, if oil prices fall more

Thus, barring a deep global recession, global oil demand growth will eventually whittle away the inventory surplus and then collide with meager, insufficient supply capacity growth. Should world GDP grow anywhere close to the IMF’s medium-term forecast in the high 3 percent range, oil supply soon will become insufficient. Moreover in low price environment world oil demand probably will rise by closer to 2 million b/d than 1 million b/d. 

The absence of an effective short-term price stabilizer will increase investor uncertainty about longer-term prices that factor into major consumption, investment, and government planning decisions. Prolonged oil price volatility will present new and significant challenges to industry, investors, consumers, and governments. As we see under neiliberalism oil, bond, and currency markets are prone to violent  price moves; oil is the tail that is wagging several macroeconomic and financial dogs.

OPEC wins no popularity contests in the West. But we may be about to learn that the only thing worse than OPEC managing the oil market is OPEC not managing the oil market. Energy companies and investors will have to adapt their business models, as will industries heavily exposed to oil price fluctuations. 

EIA data suggest that Saudi total petroleum liquids + other liquids production declined from 11.1 Mb/d in the 4th quarter of 2008 to 10.2 Mb/d bpd in 2nd quarter of 2009, a decline of almost a million bpd. From the 4th quarter of 2014 to the 2nd quarter of 2015, EIA data show that Saudi production increased from 11.6 million bpd to 12.0 million bpd, an increase of 0.4 million bpd. At the same time annual Saudi consumption for 2008 was around 2.2 Mb/d (EIA) which increased to 3.2 Mb/d in 2014. An increase around 1 Mb/d for six years. Or slightly less than 0.2 Mb/d per year. In other words Saudis are losing their export capacity with alarming speed.

Optimal conditions for oil extraction are now less commonly congruent in the fields that Aramco must now exploit to address the coming falls in production from the historic sources

The history of oil production from Saudi Arabia has largely come from individual wells that produced in the thousands of barrels a day. In order to sustain that production over decades, it has been necessary to ensure that

  1. The pressure differential between the well and the rock are sustained;
  2. That the rock has an adequate permeability to ensure that flow continues at a steady state;
  3. That the oil itself is of relatively low viscosity and is thus able to easily flow through the rock; and
  4. That there is a sufficient thickness and extent in the reservoir to allow such sustained production.

All of those factors came together in the giant fields that provided high levels of production over many decades, most particularly in the northern segments of Ghawar.

Yet those conditions are less commonly congruent in the fields that Aramco must now exploit to address the coming falls in production from the historic sources. These best of the rest (as the late Matt Simmons called them) must now increasingly carry the burden of sustaining Saudi production fail, individually, on differing grounds from meeting those earlier parameters.

Collectively and in the face of Ghawars decline, they will only be able to sustain production to their original targets and will not provide replacement production as the oldest and larger begin to fade. 

With total world consumption of around 95 Mb/d Saudi exports are  just 2-3% of total. In no way they are flooding world with oil. All they are doing is dumping  their oil at artificially, preselected predatory prices (putting explicit price with discount on each barrel) .

The only two countries which managed since 2008  significantly increase their production  are the USA and Iraq. That's it.  Even even this increase was happening on the background of civil war in Libya, unleashed by French which decimated production from this country and decline of production in North Sea and several other oil fields. Normal rate of decline of old fields is around 5% a year so unless there is additional findings and investment total production would decline around 5 Mb/y. Global offshore oil production in ageing fields will fall by 10% in 2016 as producers abandon field upgrades  due to low prices.

It is important to note that in 2014 (the first year of "oil glut" era) Saudi exports actually fell from the previous year (Bloomberg).  They recovered (and slightly exceeded 2013 level) only  in 2015.

Due to the percentage of revenue in the budget from oil sales Saudi Arabia needs oil price at or above $80per barrel. As oil price dropped to less then the half of that price  they have approximately 100 billion deficit in 2015.  So this is a pyrrhic victory for them, even if we assume that they somehow were trying to preserve their market share understanding this share not in dollar buy in volume metric. This way they are they exhausting their aging fields. why to do this just to show that they can. such action typically mean economic war -- they are equvalent to the declation of war. And there are two plausible targets -- Iran -- their archrival in the Gulf and Russia, which Obama administration trying to undermine economically for non-compliance with rule dictated by the US neoliberal empire (and Saudi, being a satellite state can be forced to support such policy as their existence depends on the US political and military support).

The most plausible hypothesis is that being the client state they operate in concert with the USA to achieve some geopolitical  goals for Obama administration. And  economic war has generally nothing to do with the defense of their market share -- this is offence of geopolitical rival.  We also need to remember that oil is not a typical commodity. It is definitely a geopolitically important commodity or geopolitical weapon, if you wish (see Carter Doctrine - Wikipedia, which is replica of  an old Imperial Britain strategy for this region). On the other hand those sheiks can't be that stupid. 

If we assume that this is an "all out" economic war against Iran after lifting sanctions with full support of Obama administration which has its own goal in decimating Russia economics and, if possible, replacing "resource nationalist" President Putin with some neoliberal stooge like former president Yeltsin. In this case the USA shale producers are just a collateral damage in a big geopolitical game. And  a lot of things that are happening in the USA shale patch (for example absence of difficulties with refinancing junk bonds for shale producers in 2015 and surprisingly accommodative behaviour of the USA banks toward indebted shale producers) became more logically explainable. The second part of this hypothesis is that the spear of this attack is directed against Russia (with Iran and Venezuela as two are desirable targets who got hit simultaneously) also correlates with explisti position of Obama administration with its compulsive desire to punish Russia for not following neoliberal dictate from Washington.  

At $30 per barrel and assuming Saudis export 7.5 Mb/d their total export revenue is just 82 billions. And even with cut of budget they need approximately $100 billion a year to balance their budget. As their foreign reserves are around $650 billions,  they might well be bankrupt in less then a decade.  So this is definitely bold,  war-style "all-in" move.

that also explains why they went "all out"  as from purely economic point of view the most logical strategy of defending their revenue stream  from oil exports (aka "market share") would be to shrink exports by 1 Mb/d  (with other 1 Mb/d of cuts coming from other, pretty eager to support such move,  OPEC members) and let the USA shale self-destruct as they were not that profitable even at $100 per barrel price.  In other words the US shale production was never a large problem for Saudis even when price was at or over $100 in 2010-2014. Why it suddenly became such a problem in July 2014 so that they resort to such drastic measures?

A modest 10% cut of their output  would increase the revenue from oil export to the budget and let them wait and see how quickly other player exhaust their "sweet spots"t. Cutting 2Mb/d from all OPEC, even taking into account cheating of individual members (which could make the cut 1.5 Mb/d instead of 2.0 Mb/d ;-) probably would instantly restore prices at $70-80 bbl range. They choose not to do that.

So in no way Saudis are fighting for their market share which would involve negotiation of long term contracts with major customers as only long term contracts protect parties from the  the market conditions.  They are engaged in economic war and do dumping of the same amount of oil,  in order to decimate spot prices with full support of Wall Street.  Please note that they were unable to raise exports even by 1Mb/d -- the size of their exports for last years oscillates in a narrow range between 7.1 and 7.54 Mb/d, so in best case they can only add to the market 0.4 Mb/d, which is insufficient even to to compensate for the US shale output drop due to low price which is estimated for 2016 between 0.6/Mb/d and 1Mb/d

Some people  attribute this "super-aggressive" behaviour  to "new Margaret Thatcher of Saudi Arabia" a 30 years old deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman  who became the right hand of the new king (yes this is an absolute monarchy, one of the few remaining on the Earth).  From Wikipedia:

On 23 January 2015, King Abdullah died, Salman took the throne and Prince Mohammad was appointed minister of defense.[18] He was also named as the secretary general of the Royal Court on the same date.[19] In addition he retained his post as the minister of the state.[20]

On 29 January 2015 Prince Mohammad was named the chair of the newly established Council for Economic and Development Affairs,[21] replacing the disbanded Supreme Economic Commission.[21]

The first major event in his tenure as defense minister was Operation Decisive Storm, part of the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, an operation against Houthi rebels in Yemen, experiencing the 2015 Yemeni Civil War.[22]

Prince Mohammad

In April 2015 King Salman appointed one of his nephews, Mohammed bin Nayef, as Crown Prince. At the same time King Salman appointed his son Prince Mohammed as deputy crown prince.

On 4 January 2016, Prince Mohammad gave his first on-the-record interview, while talking to The Economist.[23]

In any case the last thing they are doing is defending their market share because in dollar revenue their market share shrunk dramatically. A very strange strategy of defense of market share if you lose 100 billions a year and know that both Russia and the USA will outlast you in this game as they have more diversified economies. Saudi oil fields are very old and instead of   exhausting them faster the proper strategy is saving as much oil as they can to leave some oil for future generation (at least one, a single generation) as without oil the reason for existence of this monarchy is very fuzzy (and without support of the USA it will be wiped out from the map pretty quickly, probably in less then a decade).

What is the mechanism of maintaining low oil prices in the world with diminishing supply of cheap oil

In reality low oil prices are probably result of interaction of three or more factors. Among them


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[May 20, 2020] Trump administration behaviour is the byproduct of having too much money and not enough brain

May 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , May 7 2020 19:17 utc | 13

"..all of these tin pot dictatorship oil rich countries are really a sick bunch.... i guess it is the byproduct off having too much money and not enough brains..

@james@ 3

karlofi beat me to it james - or were you referring to Alberta?

[May 02, 2020] Special Report Trump told Saudis Cut oil supply or lose U.S. military support - sources

May 02, 2020 | www.msn.com

WASHINGTON/LONDON/DUBAI - As the United States pressed Saudi Arabia to end its oil price war with Russia, President Donald Trump gave Saudi leaders an ultimatum.

In an April 2 phone call, Trump told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started cutting oil production, he would be powerless to stop lawmakers from passing legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from the kingdom, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The threat to upend a 75-year strategic alliance, which has not been previously reported, was central to the U.S. pressure campaign that led to a landmark global deal to slash oil supply as demand collapsed in the coronavirus pandemic - scoring a diplomatic victory for the White House.

Trump delivered the message to the crown prince 10 days before the announcement of production cuts. The kingdom's de facto leader was so taken aback by the threat that he ordered his aides out of the room so he could continue the discussion in private, according to a U.S. source who was briefed on the discussion by senior administration officials.

The effort illustrated Trump's strong desire to protect the U.S. oil industry from a historic price meltdown as governments shut down economies worldwide to fight the virus. It also reflected a telling reversal of Trump's longstanding criticism of the oil cartel, which he has blasted for raising energy costs for Americans with supply cuts that usually lead to higher gasoline prices. Now, Trump was asking OPEC to slash output.

A senior U.S. official told Reuters that the administration notified Saudi leaders that, without production cuts, "there would be no way to stop the U.S. Congress from imposing restrictions that could lead to a withdrawal of U.S. forces." The official summed up the argument, made through various diplomatic channels, as telling Saudi leaders: "We are defending your industry while you're destroying ours."

Reuters asked Trump about the talks in an interview Wednesday evening at the White House, at which the president addressed a range of topics involving the pandemic. Asked if he told the crown prince that the U.S. might pull forces out of Saudi Arabia, Trump said, "I didn't have to tell him."

"I thought he and President Putin, Vladimir Putin, were very reasonable," Trump said. "They knew they had a problem, and then this happened."

Asked what he told the Crown Prince Mohammed, Trump said: "They were having a hard time making a deal. And I met telephonically with him, and we were able to reach a deal" for production cuts, Trump said.

[May 02, 2020] MBS's doomed attempt to play with the big boys over oil,

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes April 26, 2020 at 2:55 pm

After riffing on the theme of MBS's doomed attempt to play with the big boys over oil, Andrei Martyanov goes on to suggest a possible way for superpowers to cooperate:

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/04/one-doesnt-need-to-be.html

The intersection of great power Noblesse Oblige and The Final Frontier?

[Mar 11, 2020] Saudi's budget requires $85//bbl and flooding the market on no demand is stupid.

Mar 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Mar 10 2020 19:38 utc | 13

Posted by: Michael Droy | Mar 10 2020 18:34 utc | 8

" Oil. Saudi has 92 years of reserves.

No. There is no independent third party certification letter with respect to the balance of the kingdom's proven oil equivalent reserves. Could be near 40 years and that figure is with heaping generosity.

Poor Matt:
Twilight in the Dessert by Matt Simmons
he was found in his swimming pool. Tut, tut.

With tiny production costs, doubling output at half the price makes sense.

if you think they can, I have two acres of oceanfront at a fair deal --- priced in cents.

Saudi's budget requires $85//bbl and flooding the market on no demand is stupid.


karlof1 , Mar 10 2020 20:22 utc | 18

Can't completely agree with Tyler Durden here on his wide-ranging postulation, "Putin Launches 'War On US Shale' After Dumping MbS & Breaking Up OPEC+" mainly because it consists of too much speculation and not enough on facts and statements of those involved in the decisions. The Bloomberg story on which this is mostly based is almost 100% speculation. IMO, this is yet another attempt to bash Russia for the massive mistakes made by the Outlaw US Empire--for years, fracking's been known as a Ponzi Scheme to those closely watching, and it was already set to implode. This Sputnik article calls the Bloomberg item Bantha Pudu and offers a completely different explanation that looks at Saudi behavior which all the Western BigLie Media outlets omitted from their coverage.

Additional opinions and analyses were provided in this Sputnik article that tend to back the analysis from the previous article. But with the internal turmoil within Saudi over what's clearly an ongoing power struggle surly contributed to Saudi's choices. As with almost all reports coming from the West about anything Russian or Chinese, they must be treated with much skepticism. This makes at least the third time lowering the price of oil through increased production aimed to harm Russia and is likely the genuine reason at work again.

As for the Outlaw US Empire's fracking corps, we shall see if today's rebound is merely a dead cat bounce, as it's now close to impossible to further hide their Enron Accounting as their bonds descend to Junk status.

J Swift , Mar 10 2020 21:06 utc | 31
karlof1 @ 18

Alexander Mercouris at the Duran also recently posted his take, saying he felt the oil market meltdown was almost entirely the doing of MbS. Essentially he posits that MbS was getting more and more panicky, and Russia was in effect so preoccupied with the antics of Erdogan that they weren't paying MbS the attention he thought he deserved...and it isn't impossible that there was indeed a CIA plot to take him out. At any rate, Mercouris believes he was basically just firing one across the bow of Russia to get their attention, but of course by taking a demanding tone with Putin he almost guaranteed that he would receive the lesson in manners for which the Russians are becoming more and more well known. Mercouris feels after letting him sweat it a bit to learn his lesson, they will work out something with the Saudis, but their return demands may be stiff.

While I do tend to agree this was probably all precipitated by MbS and his mental instability, I can easily see the Russians long-range planning having long known that this day--for one reason or another-- would eventually come, and deciding to bask in the glow for just a bit more than Mercouris anticipates. After all, US fracked gas prices will now be massively greater than Russia can provide its gas for, which with Merkle on the ropes anyway Putin might feel is a very good time to send the Germans a reminder of what they risk if they don't consummate the Nordstream 2 project. And after the years of illegal sanctions, it must feel very good to be in Russia's position, where they know they can weather the storm far better than their antagonists. So while I don't think this was Russia's doing, I can easily see them taking their sweet time to come to a new deal, and even then at a price level that will keep the Saudis and US frackers on their back foot...and maybe try to put more distance between MbS and the US, too.

Peter AU1 , Mar 10 2020 22:17 utc | 39
Regarding Putin and MBS on the oil. Who funds and supports HTS al qaeda in Idlib. I am guessing the Saudi's have a big input there. Reports some time back that the drones AQ was using to attack the Russian airbase used high tech US components.
Tuyzentfloot , Mar 10 2020 22:23 utc | 41
I recall ex UK ambassador Peter Ford saying somewhere last year that the Saudis were outspent by an order of magnitude by Qatar in Syria. That Qatar is funding like 80% of it all. Things may have shifted a bit since.
Abe , Mar 10 2020 23:58 utc | 51
Regarding KSA and their oil gamble - if I were Houthi strategist, I would wait for a while for KSA to get knee deep into this experiment, then launch missile attack on their biggest refineries and pipes. With one salvo whole KSA statehood could be shattered. Sweet sweet revenge and guarantee not to get oppressed by KSA genocidal maniacs in future.
ARN , Mar 11 2020 0:43 utc | 57
and regarding how much oil is left in Saudi even here they are calling them liers..

"the Kingdom will desperately need another primary energy source in the relatively near future because it has nowhere near the amount of oil remaining that it has stated since the early 1970s"

https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/International/The-Great-Saudi-Shale-Swindle.html

[Mar 11, 2020] KSA will need another energy source in the relatively near future because they have much less oil remaining that it has stated since the early 1970s

Mar 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ARN , Mar 11 2020 0:43 utc | 58

and regarding how much oil is left in Saudi even here they are calling them liers..

"the Kingdom will desperately need another primary energy source in the relatively near future because it has nowhere near the amount of oil remaining that it has stated since the early 1970s"

https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/International/The-Great-Saudi-Shale-Swindle.html

[Mar 10, 2020] Oil war between KSA and Russia

Mar 10, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

timbers , March 9, 2020 at 8:04 am

It could crash Mr Market oil stocks and wipe out fracking and such, creating possible liquidity issues and bankruptcies which could spread. But honestly I'm not up on the details if this could even cause any domino affects with bankruptcies, or not.

But to the Fed, Mr Market is the whole economy and nothing but the economy, Fed job #1 being to make stocks always go up.

Saudi Arabia is far more dependent on oil and tourism (also being hit) than Russia. Hence Russia's reserves I think would last far longer that SA's can.

The Rev Kev , March 9, 2020 at 8:37 am

Saudi Arabia is already in the hurt locker and has run down their financial reserves under Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud. In addition, their little expedition to Yemen is costing them billions of dollars per month which is not helping. With international tourism fading away, the threat of some two million pilgrims not being able to travel to Mecca and spending their money there as well as plummeting oil prices, 2020 is not going to be a good year for Saudi Arabia. Just to make things worse, they have their own problems with Coronavirus which may knock out important links in the Royal family.

timbers , March 9, 2020 at 8:58 am

Indeed. A pattern with Salman seems to be emerging, of him rashly starting wars or policies he can't win/finish. Makes you wonder if others in the royal family are seeing this and noticing SA is burning thru it's reserves and the solution might be a change in leadership?

The Rev Kev , March 9, 2020 at 9:06 am

I was just reading an article saying how Saudi Arabia need $60 a barrel for their budget but that now it is heading towards $20 a barrel. If they wanted to achieve a massive cost-saving, they could give their Royal Family the chop – perhaps literally so. Last I heard there were over 6,000 of them-

https://asiatimes.com/2020/03/oil-to-hit-20-amid-saudi-russian-price-war/

vlade , March 9, 2020 at 9:16 am

SA would have more problems with reserves than Russia, that's definite – if nothing else, Russia exports/has other things than oil, SA doesn't.

Oil stock crash would not cause Western recession. It could well cause recession in Texas and similar, but I very much doubt it would cause even US recession, as the problems in Texas & co would be offset by the much lower prices at the pump.

Oil debt crash would be much worse, but still I suspect brunt of it would be borne by investors, not banks.

farmboy , March 9, 2020 at 10:01 am

best energy writer Gregor McDonald breaks it down

barefoot charley , March 9, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Thanks for this excellent analysis! When oil consumption permanently plateaus, as it's about to, the stock and debt value of the industry . . . flatlines.
That's the good news from Grow or Die.

[Dec 18, 2019] Saudi Aramco team arrive in Syria's oil fields

Dec 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Thinking123 , 16 minutes ago link

Saudi Aramco team arrive in Syria's oil fields: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20191217-saudi-aramco-team-arrive-in-syrias-oil-fields/

It is believed that the investments will be made through contracts signed between Aramco and the US government, whose armed forces have steadily been increasing their military presence in terms of manpower and equipment around the oil fields. Despite initially claiming to scale back troops from Syria, US President Donald Trump announced in October that America had " secured " and taken control of the oil in the Middle East.

uhland62 , 1 hour ago link

It's up to us now to expose the mendacity, although Pompeo admitted to lying, which gives us a bit more credibility.

I have been stung and yes, I expose as much mendacity as possible. Whether it makes a difference, I don't know but some seeds have taken roots.

Arising , 1 hour ago link

Russia should just grow a pair of balls and say 'NO'

No more attacks on Syria from NATO because last time you lied.

No more sanctions, or we will block black sea to NATO terrorists.

No more terrorist attacks from the occupiers of Palestine.

No more wrongly accusing other nations of doing what NATO specialises in- Terrorism.

No more standing on the sidelines and watching the U.S-Zio regime steam roll into a war with Iran.

'NO'

DarthVaderMentor , 1 hour ago link

The sad reality is that the Washington Post, New York Times and most of the mainstream TV and radio media are worse liars and better propagandists for the US Military-Industrial Complex than Pravda was for the Soviet Communist Party. There is no and never was an fair and balanced journalism. There's even no professional journalism!

My Russian opponents and Latin friends now laugh that I don't believe anything coming from US media today and I'm hoarding hard and untraceable assets just like they do in the Eastern Bloc, Middle East and Cuba. The 21st Century might yet be the century of dictators and their storm troopers who learned their lessons from Hitler and Stalin.

If populism and Trump don't survive the coup it'll be pretty grim times for the non-elites in America. The revenge from the weirdos and the leftist globalist Marxists will definitely start US Civil War 2.

Giant Meteor , 2 hours ago link

Yes and thank you for stating fundamental and obvious truths ..

on the other hand ,

"The Washington Post performed a service to the country by shedding light on the disinformation used to sustain endless war. But the Post's intentions are also political, seeking to undermine Trump's electoral chances by damaging Trump's military credentials as well as his standing amongst military personnel. What Washington's elite and the Post do not know, or perhaps prefer to ignore, is that such media investigations directed against political opponents actually end up doing irreparable damage to the political and military prestige of the United States."

The Washington Compost May well have an ax to grind with and motive for publishing newfound truthiness, it's a miracle ! I fail to see however, just how Trump takes credit in the bull **** fog, of the longest running war, motivations department.

other than that ...

And so in closing, I would be more inclined to believe sir, propagandizing, the propaganda, with such an opinion, is just another kin to, let's say, the impeachment farce in example. Or in the words of "The father of modern day marketing", an obvious attempt at further shaping public opinion, for the masses, an opinion that grows more weary, more suspicious, more distrustful, and divergent from government and their various mouth pieces, by the day.

Stating obvious points such as you have, and blowing it with flawed analysis, is not a good look ..

Washington Compost, has a much more simple, damaging ,and nefarious agenda.

Truth is being revealed, regarding the mountain of year on year lies, spoon fed to the bewildered, inflamed, dispassionate, and cowed citizenry, as the bull **** gets harder to peddle, more impossible to digest whole.

And is happening with or without the post, and likewise, various other "main stream" mouth pieces and government hacks (in the interests of national security, of course.)

*Note. Lots of editing, this comment.

Xscream , 2 hours ago link

Very similar to the Pentagon papers revealing the truth about Vietnam policy. We never learn as a nation. Wars never go as expected.

[Oct 15, 2019] Most obvious and least reported is 1800 more US soldiers and airmen are not in KSA to be tripwires/excuses if they are harmed.

Oct 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm , October 11, 2019 at 12:19 PM

... ... ...

"most prolific liar in the history of the US, "

are you talking Schiff, Pelosi, Schumer, Obama, Hillary, NYtimes, WashPost, any democrat?

Of course, Turkey should not invade a sovereign country which is the case the past few days with Syria.

Particularly a NATO member invading a country with treaties with Russia (who cares about Putin?).

Biggest lie this past week is Kurd NGOs [insurgency against Syria] are US "allies".

ilsm , October 11, 2019 at 06:05 PM
There is trouble underlying when the US military does something because of good partner relations rather than obvious contribution to a clearly defined strategy. See Vietnam and dominoes.

US is sending more "deterrent" equipment and military personnel [as targets also to improve ARAMCO IPO oil assets] into the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

https://www.defensenews.com/news/your-military/2019/10/11/f-15s-air-defense-systems-and-thousands-of-us-troops-heading-to-saudi-arabia/

New SecDef says Saudi princes have been "good partners", especially as the ARAMCO IPO is coming on. If you and I protect the ARAMCO facilities in the kingdom the IPO may go based on $2T instead of $1.5T, as some investment bankers might suggest.

Two fighter squadrons (likely F-15's, F-35 too slow, F-16 too low cost), two more Patriot missile batteries, a THAAD warning and control system (the H in THAAD is high altitude, not so good on drones and cruise missiles), etc. And prince bone Saws may pay the freight to keep them in the kingdom.

Most obvious and least reported is 1800 more US soldiers and airmen to be tripwires/excuses if they are harmed.

Deterrent and escalation; terms that go together when the new SecDef speaks.

[Sep 18, 2019] Will Trump Take Neocon Bait and Attack Iran Over Saudi Strike by Ron Paul

Sep 17, 2019 | www.ronpaulinstitute.org

The recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Yemeni Houthi forces demonstrate once again that an aggressive foreign policy often brings unintended consequences and can result in blowback. In 2015 Saudi Arabia attacked its neighbor, Yemen, because a coup in that country ousted the Saudi-backed dictator. Four years later Yemen is in ruins, with nearly 100,000 Yemenis killed and millions more facing death by starvation. It has been rightly called the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet.

But rich and powerful Saudi Arabia did not defeat Yemen. In fact, the Saudis last month asked the Trump Administration to help facilitate talks with the Houthis in hopes that the war, which has cost Saudi Arabia tens of billions of dollars, could finally end without Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman losing too much face. Washington admitted earlier this month that those talks had begun.

The surprise Houthi attack on Saturday disrupted half of Saudi Arabia's oil and gas production and shocked Washington. Predictably, however, the neocons are using the attack to call for war with Iran!

Sen. Lindsay Graham, one of the few people in Washington who makes John Bolton look like a dove, Tweeted yesterday that, "It is now time for the US to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries " Graham is the perfect embodiment of the saying, "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." No matter what the problem, for Graham the solution is war.

Likewise, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who is supposed to represent US diplomacy – jumped to blame Iran for the attack on Saudi Arabia, Tweeting that, "Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply." Of course, he provided no evidence even as the Houthis themselves took responsibility for the bombing.

What is remarkable is that all of Washington's warmongers are ready for war over what is actually a retaliatory strike by a country that is the victim of Saudi aggression, not the aggressor itself. Yemen did not attack Saudi Arabia in 2015. It was the other way around. If you start a war and the other country fights back, you should not be entitled to complain about how unfair the whole thing is.

The establishment reaction to the Yemeni oilfield strike reminds me of a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee just before the US launched the 2003 Iraq war. As I was arguing against the authorization for that war, I pointed out that Iraq had never attacked the United States. One of my colleagues stopped me in mid-sentence, saying, "let me remind the gentleman that the Iraqis have been shooting at our planes for years." True, but those planes were bombing Iraq!

The neocons want a US war on Iran at any cost. They may feel temporarily at a disadvantage with the departure of their ally in the Trump Administration, John Bolton. However, the sad truth is that there are plenty more John Boltons in the Administration. And they have allies in the Lindsay Grahams in Congress.

Yemen has demonstrated that it can fight back against Saudi aggression. The only sensible way forward is for a rapid end to this four-year travesty, and the Saudis would be wise to wake up to the mess they've created for themselves. Whatever the case, US participation in Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen must end immediately and neocon lies about Iran's role in the war must be refuted and resisted.

[Sep 17, 2019] Washington's rush to indict Iran over Saudi attacks

Notable quotes:
"... Wall Street Journal, ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | www.wsws.org

Casting itself once again as the world's judge, jury and executioner, US imperialism is recklessly hurtling toward yet another war in the Middle East, with catastrophic implications. This time, Washington has seized upon Saturday's attacks on Saudi installations as its pretext for war against Iran.

The reaction of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to these attacks, which have cut the kingdom's oil production by almost half and slashed global daily output by 6 percent, was as noteworthy for its haste as for its peculiar wording.

"Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," Pompeo tweeted late Saturday, adding, "There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen."

This image provided on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, by the U.S. government and DigitalGlobe and annotated by the source, shows damage to the infrastructure at Saudi Aramco's Abaqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia. (U.S. government/Digital Globe via AP)

The indictment of Iran for attacks that set off a series of fires which devastated two oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia came without a shred of supporting evidence, outside of the bald assertion that there was "no evidence" that they were launched from Yemen.

Yemen had to be discounted, according to the secretary of state's predatory logic, because the Houthi rebels, who control most of the country, had claimed responsibility for the attacks and had a clear motive -- given the kingdom's near-genocidal war against Yemen's civilian population -- for carrying them out. The US mass media has by and large echoed Pompeo's allegations as absolute truth. On Monday night, television news broadcasts quoted unnamed intelligence sources, citing unspecified evidence, claiming Iranian responsibility for the attacks. No doubt this "evidence" will prove just as compelling as that of the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam and "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq. These same media outlets have made virtually no mention of Saudi crimes in Yemen.

For the last four and a half years, Saudi Arabia has waged a near-genocidal war against Yemen, the Middle East's poorest country. The violence has claimed the lives of nearly 100,000 Yemenis outright -- the greatest share through a relentless bombing campaign against civilian targets -- while pushing some 8 million more to the brink of starvation.

Washington is a direct accomplice in this bloodbath, providing the warplanes, bombs and missiles used to carry it out, along with logistical support and, until the end of last year, mid-air refueling that allowed Saudi bombers to carry out uninterrupted carnage. Meanwhile, the US Navy has helped enforce a blockade that has starved Yemen of food and medicine.

If what the Yemeni Houthis say is true, that they sent a swarm of 10 weaponized drones to attack the Saudi facilities, then the action was clearly an act of self-defense, far less than proportionate to the slaughter inflicted by the Saudi regime against Yemen.

Meanwhile, Washington's new ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, repeated the charges against Iran on Monday before a United Nations Security Council meeting on Yemen. Providing no more proof than Pompeo did two days earlier, merely repeating the formulation that "there is no evidence that the attacks came from Yemen," she described the damage to the Saudi oil installations as "deeply troubling."

Like the government she represents, the UN ambassador -- the wife of billionaire Kentucky coal baron Joe Craft and a top Republican donor -- clearly finds the spilt oil of the Saudi monarchy far more upsetting than the spilt blood of tens of thousands of Yemeni men, women and children.

On Saturday night, President Donald Trump made a call to Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler, offering his condolences and unqualified support to a man exposed as a cold-blooded murderer. Bin Salman is responsible not only for the grisly assassination and dismemberment of the Washington-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul nearly a year ago, but also the beheadings of at least 134 people in just the first half of this year, 34 of them political activists slaughtered en masse on April 23.

Trump subsequently announced that the US was "locked and loaded" to avenge Saudi oil with military force. (This was a variation on his assertion in June that the Pentagon had been "cocked and loaded" when he came, by his own account, within 10 minutes of launching devastating attacks on Iran after it shot down an unmanned US spy drone over its territory.)

If there is, as Washington claims, "no evidence" that the attacks were launched from Yemen, one could, with equal if not greater justification, observe that there is likewise "no evidence" that they were not launched by the US itself, or by its principal regional ally, Israel.

If one proceeds from the age-old detective maxim of Cui bono? or "Who benefits?", Tehran is the least likely suspect. There is clearly more to Washington's rush to judgment than meets the eye.

The attack on the Saudi oil facilities provides a casus belli desired by a major section of the US ruling oligarchy and its military and intelligence apparatus, which is determined to prosecute a war for regime change in Iran. Such a war would be the latest installment in Washington's protracted drive to reverse by military means the decline of US imperialism's global hegemony, in particular by claiming unfettered US control over the world's energy reserves and the power to deny them to its rivals.

The thinking within these layers was expressed in an editorial published Monday by the Wall Street Journal, the mouthpiece of US finance capital. The Journal warned that Iran was "probing Mr. Trump as much as the Saudis." It continued, "They are testing his resolve to carry out his 'maximum pressure' campaign, and they sense weakness." It pointed disapprovingly to Trump's failure to launch airstrikes in June following the downing of the US drone.

The Journal approvingly cited calls by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham for bombing Iranian oil refineries in order to "break the regime's back" and suggested that Trump "apologize to John Bolton, who warned repeatedly that Iran would take advantage of perceived weakness in the White House." Bolton, a long-time advocate of bombing Iran, resigned as Trump's national security adviser last week, reportedly over differences on policy toward Tehran.

The attack on the Saudi oil facilities also provides leverage for Washington in corralling the Western European powers -- the UK, France and Germany -- behind US war aims. Signatories to the Iranian nuclear accord that the Trump administration renounced, they have made feeble gestures toward countering Washington's "maximum pressure" sanctions regime in an attempt to salvage their own imperialist interests. While thus far failing to endorse US charges of Iranian responsibility, they could, by means of the attack on Saudi Arabia, be swung behind the US drive to war.

Israel and its beleaguered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also have ample motive to stage a military action aimed at provoking war with Iran. On the eve of Tuesday's Israeli election, the threat of a major war with Iran serves the political interests of Netanyahu, whose political fortunes are inextricably tied to the escalation of military conflict in the Middle East. The Israeli state, moreover, had become increasingly concerned over an apparent cooling of the appetite of the ruling monarchies in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for a confrontation with Iran.

Recent drone strikes against Shia militias in Iraq that had allegedly received Iranian weapons were, according to a report by the web site Middle East Eye, staged by Israeli drones operating out of bases controlled by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the main US proxy force in Syria. A similar covert US-Israeli collaboration could easily have produced the attacks on the Saudi oil installations.

Whatever the exact circumstances of the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities, they are being exploited for the purpose of dragging the American people and all of humanity into a war that can rapidly escalate into a regionwide and even global conflagration.

US strikes against Iran carried out under the pretext of retaliation for the attacks on Saudi Arabia can trigger Iranian counterstrikes, sending US warships to the bottom of the Persian Gulf and wreaking havoc on American military bases throughout the region.

The prospect of thousands of US soldiers and sailors dying as a result of Washington's conspiracies and aggression carries with it the threat of the US government assuming emergency powers and implementing police-state measures in the US itself in the name of "national security."

This would, by no means, be an unintended consequence. The buildup to war is driven in large measure by the escalation of social tensions and class struggle within the United States itself, which has found fresh expression in the strike by 46,000 autoworkers against General Motors. There is a powerful incentive for the US ruling class to direct these tensions outward in the eruption of military conflict, while creating the pretext for mass repression.

The threat of a US assault on Iran paving the way to a third world war must be answered through a politically conscious and independent intervention of the working class to put an end to imperialism and reorganize society on socialist foundations.

Bill Van Auken

[Sep 17, 2019] Iran Rejects US Accusation It Is Behind Saudi Attacks

Notable quotes:
"... Send Pompeo to the UN...... looks like yellow cake to me. ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , September 15, 2019 at 06:19 AM

Iran Rejects US Accusation It Is Behind
Saudi Attacks https://nyti.ms/30iNte7
NYT - Michael Wolgelenter - September 15

Iran on Sunday forcefully rejected charges by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that it was responsible for drone attacks that caused serious damage to two crucial Saudi Arabian oil installations, with the foreign minister dismissing the remarks as "max deceit."

The attacks on Saturday, which hold the potential to disrupt global oil supplies, were claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen. Mr. Pompeo said that Iran had launched "an unprecedented attack on the world's oil supply," although he did not offer any evidence and stopped short of saying that Iran had carried out the missile strikes.

The Houthis are part of a complex regional dynamic in the Middle East, receiving support from Iran while the Saudis, Tehran's chief rival for supremacy in the region and the leader of a coalition that is fighting the Houthis in Yemen, are aligned with the United States.

Seyed Abbas Mousavi, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, castigated the Saudis for their role in the war in Yemen, where the Saudis have directed airstrikes that have caused heavy civilian casualties and exacerbated a humanitarian crisis. He also ridiculed Mr. Pompeo's comments.

The semiofficial Fars news agency reported on its English-language website that Mr. Mousavi described Mr. Pompeo's allegations as "blind and fruitless remarks" that were "meaningless" in a diplomatic context.

Saudi Arabia has yet to publicly accuse Iran of involvement in the attack. On Sunday, its Foreign Ministry urged international action to preserve the world oil supply in response to the attack, but it said nothing about assigning blame or striking back.

The developments come at a moment of rising tensions between Iran and the United States, which have mounted since President Trump pulled out of the 2015 accord in which Iran agreed with the West to restrict its nuclear program. Since the American withdrawal, Iran has gradually pulled away from its some obligations under the agreement. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , September 15, 2019 at 06:23 AM
... "US & its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory," Mr. Zarif wrote on Twitter. "Blaming Iran won't end disaster. Accepting our April '15 proposal to end war & begin talks may.

The attack on Saturday, which the Houthis said involved 10 drones, represented the rebels' most serious strike since Saudi Arabia inserted itself into the conflict in Yemen four years ago. That the rebels could cause such extensive damage to such a crucial part of the global economy astonished some observers. ...

im1dc , September 16, 2019 at 04:59 AM
It's Monday September 16th, 2019 and the weeks starts off like this:

GM's UAW Strike

Yemeni Houti Rebels Drones wipe out 50% of Saudi Arabia's oil production

Trump tweets in response is "locked and loaded" implying a new US war in the ME

One of Trump's White House flunky's declared "it is better if Trump does not study an issue" before making decisions (oh yea,"Stupid is what Stupid does")

Biden and S. Warren tied in the DEM race for 2020

Piketty's new Economics tome is out

PM Netanyahu is losing his re-election bid in Israel, to be determined by tomorrow's Election

We live in interesting times...

...the question I pose for the times is 'Are the People are better lead by businessmen, politicians, academics, or intellectuals?

ilsm -> im1dc... , September 16, 2019 at 06:29 AM
The biggest damage from

"Yemeni Houti Rebels Drones wipe out 50% of Saudi Arabia's oil production"

is the ARAMCO IPO.

"Trump tweets in response is "locked and loaded" implying a new US war in the ME"

Send Pompeo to the UN...... looks like yellow cake to me.

[Sep 17, 2019] Meet the Quds1 cruise missile. Made in Yemen - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Notable quotes:
"... Then the question arose whether drones had been used at all, or whether the attack might in fact have been a missile strike ..."
"... But regardless, the game has escalated up one more rung up the ladder. How many more will it take for the world to put its interests ahead of Israel's? ..."
"... Next escalation rung: a loading dock for supertankers: either the port of Yanbu or Ra's Tanura. Followed by desalination facilities, if Western politicians still pretend to turn a blind eye and prefer to follow the dictates of their Israeli masters. Nuff Sed. ..."
"... In asking the question, qui bono, you do have to include Netanyahu, who is up for reelection tomorrow. There's nothing like striking fear into the heart of the electorate on the eve of an election for firming up support for a proven incumbent. And if the US attacks Iran before tomorrow, so much the better for Netanyahu. ..."
"... That said, I don't think that Netanyahu's buddies in Riyadh would be amused if this were proven. However, poking a friend in the eye never seemed to stop Israel before think USS Liberty. ..."
"... Israel has the means, plus the motive (Bib's reelection), and might have taken the opportunity to attribute the attack to Iran and force Trump's hand. ..."
"... I am assuming, myself, personally, this action was taken to prevent a meeting in NYC between Trump and the President of Iran. That is my guess. ..."
"... There was never going to be a meeting between Rouhani and Trump. I expect to be dead of old age before there would be any substantive meetings between Iran and the United States. ..."
"... Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei has said there will be no meeting until the U.S.ends sanctions. ..."
"... I do not for a moment believe Bolton would have stood for it, and even though he's gone, neither will Pompeo or Pence. Both appear to be fanatically devoted to Israel. There may be meetings between low level functionaries, and Trump seems to want one very much, but Rouhani has said there is no way to trust America, so no point to talking. The situation may change if Netanyahu loses the election, although I have no reason to believe Avigdor will be any better. ..."
"... However, if Trump DOES cut a deal, he will not try and fluff it off as an "Executive Agreement"....if Trump cuts a deal he knows he will have to bring it to Congress. Thee Lobby may kill it there...or not. We'll see. ..."
"... It's not just Yemen. People forget there is an oppressed Shiite minority near the Aramco HQ (dispossessed of the oil fields, located in their ancestral area & treated like sub-sub-citizens); they get periodically beheaded" ..."
"... The Al Saud gang, under the Clown Prince Muhammad Bone Saw, can not count on those Shiite inhabitants of the oil rich region, not necessarily because of the latter's sympathy for Iran but because they were brutalized for almost a century. ..."
"... One to benefit from it that I see so far is Saudi's Aramco IPO which is critical to Saudi . According to WSJ they were considering delaying it because of low oil prices, they needed oil to reach $80 barrel to make it viable. The attack sent prices up but now market is talking about risk if there are 'on going attacks'. What could we deduce if there are no on going attacks and the IPO proceeds? ..."
"... We know Yemen has the Quds-1 and has surprised us before with their technical capability. Combine that with the video of Yahya Sari claiming full responsibility for the attack and I'm not sure there is any reason to speculate about conspiracies involving other actors. ..."
"... In addition, the specificity of the targets hit suggests good intel. I would suspect that Houthi's have linked with disaffected groups in SA (lots!) and improved their Humint. It seems highly unlikely that Iran would do something like this AND leave their fingerprints behind - at least based on recent events. ..."
"... Never underestimate the feckless laziness of the Saudis. In my experience they turn off all ATC and air defense systems that require manning or watch keeping when they find them inconvenient as on the weekend. IMO if Ansarallah did this they will do something similar soon to prove they are responsible. ..."
"... israel gets a lot of press and speculation on this board as well as everywhere else for all their conspiracies and supposed omnipotent power and control but in this writers opinion THEY have been punching way above their actual weight for years and current reality has exposed how feckless and puny they really are in the scheme of things. ..."
"... ''i suspect the whole 'jew' thing regarding israel is what animates people so much. if israel were all zoroastrians i doubt the world would credit them with all the machinations israel is viewed as responsible for.'' A Cult is a Cult regardless of it members makeup. And Israel is looking more like a Jim Jones farm every day. ..."
"... And Iran has demonstrated that they can cause months worth of damage on the KSA, the UAE, and Kuwait. I can't believe the number of Congressman who simultaneously believe that Iran was able to glide over U.S. made air defenses without detection and also believe that we can simply carpet bomb their refineries without any repercussion. How can one believe both things at the same time? That Iran is responsible for a sophisticated ghost attack and that they are incapable of retaliating in a target rich environment. ..."
"... Not only did Graham say this but the loon from Maryland repeated it. These people are insane but MSM hosts encourage it, just saw Cavuto snear at Ron Paul because he actually made sense. We are so messed up. ..."
"... Everyone keeps misunderestimating the Yemenis. The Houthis are fighting as part of a coalition that includes a large part of the Yemeni military and intelligence services. This coalition is carrying out a war under guerrilla conditions, but that war is led by professional military men. ..."
"... It is the benefit of being a perfumed prince or fop or neo-con that history has no meaning because history ended sometime in the 90's. Somehow I hear the voice of a Rove lecturing: ..."
"... "That's not the way the world really works anymore." He continued "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." ..."
"... Yes indeed. Dave deserves hearty congratulations though we might add a caveat. The said "valves" could have been blown out in advance via software or person throwing a switch (humint or cyber component to one attack vector). ..."
"... It cries out "sure, it's bad, but it is reversible." ..."
"... Houthis have every reason to utilize their advanced weapons systems against Saudi targets to bring the war to an end. As for Iran, seems they have been on a semi-successful diplomatic campaign to counter US maximum pressure with their own maximum pressure on Europeans, Russia and China to deliver on the economic benefits that are as important in JCPOA as the curtailing of Iran's nuclear program. ..."
"... Trump talking about meeting Rouhani in New York, Zarif in China getting at least $50-100 billion in pledged economic support, Russia suggesting $10 billion investment in the Iranian energy sector: Why would Iran at this moment make a direct move to turn the world fully against them? Perhaps a rogue faction of IRGC out to stop any diplomatic action, but even that would have to come with OK from Khamenei--or there would be strong action against the rogues. ..."
"... Pressure on Trump to maintain the hardline against Iran following Bolton ouster? Pompeo has been leading the diplomatic back channels and repeating Trump's goal of forcing Iran to the table. Even the Saudis are for the moment hesitant to blame Iran, actually calling for a UN investigation into the source of the attacks. ..."
"... "The Iran did it" narrative as an attempt to keep on undermining the pro-Syrian government coalition. ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Meet the Quds1 cruise missile. Made in Yemen?

"On September 14, several explosions rocked the Khurais oilfield as well as the Abqaiq refinery, one of Saudi Arabia's most vital petrochemical installations. Several hours later, the Houthis claimed that they had targeted both facilities with ten drones as part of their "Balance of Deterrence" campaign.

What made this attack different from other recorded Houthi drone attacks was not only the unprecedented amount of material damage caused but also lingering doubt about the nature and the attribution of the attack. First, a video allegedly showing flying objects entering Kuwaiti airspace led to speculation that like a previous "Houthi" drone attack this strike might actually have originated in Iraq or even Iran. While the video remains unverified, the fact that the Kuwaiti government launched a probe into the issue lends some credence to the idea that something might have happened over Kuwait that day. Speculation about the origins of the attack was further fueled by a tweet by Mike Pompeo in which he claimed that there was no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.

Then the question arose whether drones had been used at all, or whether the attack might in fact have been a missile strike. Previous Houthi drone strikes against oil facilities tended to result in quite limited damage which could be an indication that a different weapons system was used this time. Indeed, Aramco came to the conclusion that its facilities were attacked by missiles. Even more curious, several pictures began to emerge on social media purportedly showing the wreckage of a missile in the Saudi desert. While the images appear real, neither the date the photos were taken nor their location can be verified.

Social media users quickly claimed the images showed a crashed Iranian-made Soumar cruise missile. The Soumar and its updated version, the Hoveyzeh, are Iran's attempts at reverse-engineering the Soviet-designed KH-55 cruise missile, several of which the country illegally imported from Ukraine in the early 2000s . Others claimed it was the Quds 1, a recently unveiled Houthi cruise missile often claimed to be a rebranded Soumar." armscontrolwonl

---------------

TTG raised the issue of whether or not this wave of strikes was done by UAVs or cruise missiles. IMO this cruise missile could be built in Yemen with Iranian assistance. I am very interested in the question of what the actual vector of the attacks was in this case. pl

/www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1208062/meet-the-quds-1/


Nuff Sed , 16 September 2019 at 10:43 AM

The accuracy of the strikes in the spherical pressurized gas storage containers all being in the same place relative to each target is the place to start for those who, unlike me, are capable of analyzing these things.

But regardless, the game has escalated up one more rung up the ladder. How many more will it take for the world to put its interests ahead of Israel's?

Next escalation rung: a loading dock for supertankers: either the port of Yanbu or Ra's Tanura. Followed by desalination facilities, if Western politicians still pretend to turn a blind eye and prefer to follow the dictates of their Israeli masters. Nuff Sed.

JohnH said in reply to Nuff Sed ... , 16 September 2019 at 12:19 PM
In asking the question, qui bono, you do have to include Netanyahu, who is up for reelection tomorrow. There's nothing like striking fear into the heart of the electorate on the eve of an election for firming up support for a proven incumbent. And if the US attacks Iran before tomorrow, so much the better for Netanyahu.

That said, I don't think that Netanyahu's buddies in Riyadh would be amused if this were proven. However, poking a friend in the eye never seemed to stop Israel before think USS Liberty.

JohnH said in reply to JohnH... , 16 September 2019 at 02:59 PM
"The Israeli military is armed with the latest fast jets and precision weaponry, yet it has turned to its fleet of drones to hit targets in Iraq. Deniability has played a big factor – the ability of drones to elude radar and therefore keep targets guessing about who actually bombed them is playing well for Israeli leaders who are trying to prevent an increasingly lethal shadow war with Iran from developing into an open conflict."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/16/middle-east-drones-signal-end-to-era-of-fast-jet-air-supremacy

Israel has the means, plus the motive (Bib's reelection), and might have taken the opportunity to attribute the attack to Iran and force Trump's hand.

Procopius said in reply to JohnH... , 17 September 2019 at 08:09 AM
The Samad 3 is laden with explosives that allow it to detonate a shaped charge which explodes downwards towards its target. Footage provided to MintPress by Yemen's Operations Command Center shows the Samad landing on an asphalt runway, confirming that the drone is now capable of conducting operations and then returning to base.
from Mint Press, Jul 9, 2019.
Thirdeye said in reply to Nuff Sed ... , 16 September 2019 at 03:02 PM
Neat holes on the western sides of the tanks. Shape charges? Wonder what the required payload would be.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/09/damage-at-saudi-oil-plant-points-to-well-targeted-swarm-attack.html#more

Johnb said in reply to Nuff Sed ... , 17 September 2019 at 12:42 AM
There is a huge sea water desalination plant not far away that provides all the treated water via pipeline for injection into the oil reservoirs to improve recovery of oil. Target that and not only have you already impacted the processing of the oil produced but would then impact the total volume of oil available for processing.

I can see no happy ending short of negotiation between interested parties. MBZ looks to have already reached that conclusion in respect of the UAE. what will be the self preservation response for the House of Saud

jonst , 16 September 2019 at 10:52 AM
Could the Committee speculate on possible 'steps of retaliation' operating, for theoretical purposes, at the moment, on the assumption that regardless of where the 'bullets' were fired from, or from what 'gun' they were fired, Iran paid for deed. What steps are open for action?

I am assuming, myself, personally, this action was taken to prevent a meeting in NYC between Trump and the President of Iran. That is my guess.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD -> jonst... , 16 September 2019 at 11:28 AM
There was never going to be a meeting between Rouhani and Trump. I expect to be dead of old age before there would be any substantive meetings between Iran and the United States.
Procopius said in reply to jonst... , 17 September 2019 at 08:15 AM
Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei has said there will be no meeting until the U.S.ends sanctions.

I do not for a moment believe Bolton would have stood for it, and even though he's gone, neither will Pompeo or Pence. Both appear to be fanatically devoted to Israel. There may be meetings between low level functionaries, and Trump seems to want one very much, but Rouhani has said there is no way to trust America, so no point to talking. The situation may change if Netanyahu loses the election, although I have no reason to believe Avigdor will be any better.

Babak Makkinejad -> Procopius... , 17 September 2019 at 08:42 AM
Even then discussion were to be in 5+1 forum.

US is in an economic, legal, political, and religious war with Iran. I should think that you would need a cease fire deal before anything else.

jonst said in reply to Procopius... , 17 September 2019 at 09:30 AM
With all due respect, I think one of us fails to grasp the true nature of Trump. If he puts his mind to it, and thinks it will benefit him, nobody, not Bolton, not Pompeo, not the whole Neocon cabal, Israeli govt, the present one or the next one, will stop him if he is President and alive. He will do what is best for Trump.

And trust has nothing to do with this. Why in the hell should I trust Iran? Hell, why should I trust the UK? I trust that people and nations have interests. That's all I trust. But that does mean I could not reach a deal with them. Now, as to whether that deals holds...that is another question. However, if Trump DOES cut a deal, he will not try and fluff it off as an "Executive Agreement"....if Trump cuts a deal he knows he will have to bring it to Congress. Thee Lobby may kill it there...or not. We'll see.

JP Billen said in reply to BABAK MAKKINEJAD... , 16 September 2019 at 04:46 PM
Babak, I value your input here. However, I hope you are wrong and that a meeting or meetings (substantive or not) will start as soon as the dealbreaker is out of office, and the sanctions are called off. But I would never wish you an early death. May you live a hundred years.
BABAK MAKKINEJAD -> JP Billen... , 17 September 2019 at 09:53 AM
Thank you very kindly. I would like to ask the following questions:

In my opinion, the answer to all of these are "no". Unfortunately, even if a man with the caliber of an FDR or a Nixon is elected to the US Presidency, he will not be able to accomplish much because of the difficulty, nay the impossibility, of untangling the rules and regulations that US has woven against Iran.

In my opinion, all of that was predicated on the strategic defeat of Iran and her surrender.

jonst said in reply to BABAK MAKKINEJAD... , 17 September 2019 at 01:42 PM
If I WERE ANSWERING. I got some demands of my own..but we can put them aside for the moment. In general, I would be inclined to respond: Yes, to the "sovereign immunity" question. Certainly. Regarding "economic warfare", you would have to give me your legal definition of such a broad phrase, but in principle, yes. Whole heartedly yes. Sanctions against Iran, and it individuals officers? Yes, absolutely. Sick of sanctions, in general. It is not in my power to answer the "unrequited love" issue, but I do solemnly state that I would agree to stop laughing--in public, anyway, at the question. Wanna meet?
Amir -> jonst... , 16 September 2019 at 02:13 PM
Nassim Nicolaas Taleb, author of "Black Swan":
"SAUDI FIELDS
It's not just Yemen. People forget there is an oppressed Shiite minority near the Aramco HQ (dispossessed of the oil fields, located in their ancestral area & treated like sub-sub-citizens); they get periodically beheaded"

The Al Saud gang, under the Clown Prince Muhammad Bone Saw, can not count on those Shiite inhabitants of the oil rich region, not necessarily because of the latter's sympathy for Iran but because they were brutalized for almost a century.

eakens , 16 September 2019 at 11:01 AM
https://gifyu.com/image/hofq
turcopolier , 16 September 2019 at 11:26 AM
jonst

So, you believe that the damage was self inflicted?

jonst said in reply to turcopolier ... , 16 September 2019 at 02:05 PM
No, sorry for lack of clarity. I believe Iran was behind it.
catherine said in reply to jonst... , 16 September 2019 at 03:20 PM
''I believe Iran was behind it.''

Why would Iran have done it? Just to show they can or to provoke a attack on Iran?

One to benefit from it that I see so far is Saudi's Aramco IPO which is critical to Saudi . According to WSJ they were considering delaying it because of low oil prices, they needed oil to reach $80 barrel to make it viable. The attack sent prices up but now market is talking about risk if there are 'on going attacks'. What could we deduce if there are no on going attacks and the IPO proceeds?

Only other beneficiary would be Israel if the attack actually does and likely has killed any Trump-Iran meeting.

Yemenis claimed credit for it, Iran and Iraq said they didn't do it. First word out of US mouth is Iran did it. The mouth I am least likely to believe is the US. I remember Iraq has WMDs propaganda....and those it came from.

jonst said in reply to catherine... , 17 September 2019 at 06:45 AM
Oh well, if Iran says they did not do it.......the US govt lies. The Iranian govt lies, the Saudis surely lie. This is not about innocents. That search is for children and mighty young ones at that.
The Twisted Genius , 16 September 2019 at 11:58 AM
The Quds-1 cruise missile is a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). The remotely piloted aerial vehicles, which are more commonly referred to as drones are also UAVs. The difference is in the degree of autonomy in flight control. On board autonomous flight control negates the need for LOS radio or satellite communications with the cruise missile. Cruise missiles, with their autonomous control, were always characterized by their high degree of accuracy.

I've started looking a little closer at the Arduino/RasberryPi and model aircraft hobbyist groups. With the availability of affordable microcontrollers and sensors, along with the massive library of open source software, I am convinced a hobbyist could put together a guidance system in his garage workshop capable of doing what the Quds-1 just did in SA. I also agree with Colonel Lang that an airframe like the Quds-1 could easily be built in war-torn Yemen. A cave would make an outstanding workshop.

Amir -> The Twisted Genius ... , 16 September 2019 at 01:54 PM
I tend to have a distant memory of a chart showing that the Yemeni missile range was way lobed that the Iranian, almost embryonal arsenal, in the 80's. I think they are well capable of developing/upgrading better missile: www.janes.com/images/assets/330/72330/Yemeni_rebels_enhance_ballistic_missile_campaign.pdf

Even if Iran exported dual use components or even blue prints; it should be counted as part of the unfortunate world weapons market & wouldn't be illegal.

Amir -> The Twisted Genius ... , 16 September 2019 at 04:56 PM
"Arms Control Wonk" describing the difference/similarities between the Iranian missiles and the Yemeni cruise missiles, used to give MBS a taste of his own medicine: www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1208062/meet-the-quds-1/
JamesT -> The Twisted Genius ... , 16 September 2019 at 07:35 PM
This drone discussion board is interesting: https://diydrones.com
Johnb said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 17 September 2019 at 01:02 AM
Your point TTG was nicely illustrated in b's video of the Russian guy building in his workshopa turbofan engine that flew . Providing there is a set of plans it can be constructed and it only has to have a one time reliability.

Evidence for what delivered the strike will be found within the complex and there will be a lot of skills on the ground looking for those answers. The projectiles that struck the spheres looked to have had penetrating qualities rather than high explosive, putting a hole in a pressure vessel is sufficient to destroy its usefulness. I would be interested to know if the projectiles that struck the train were explosive to maximise damage there. Do we need to be considering what could deliver multiple targeted projectiles or were there simply multiple independent units or some combination as there were more strikes logged over two target complexes than the ten delivery platforms mentioned in the Al Ansar press release. Was there a flight controller and if so where were they located also comes to mind.

Adrestia said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 17 September 2019 at 02:54 AM
I was looking at the engine. The Quds 1 is powered by a TJ100 built in the Czech republic. https://www.pbsaerospace.com/our-products/tj-100-turbojet-engine

There is also the TJ200 built bij Polaris from Brazil with the following description::

"Turbine TJ200: TJ200 was specially designed to be used in either small cruise missiles or small high performance UAVs. The most important advantage of TJ200 engine is small diameter and a relatively low SFC (Specific Fuel Consumption) when compared to other engines of the same thrust, what makes TJ200 perfect to be used in long range small missiles." http://www.polaristec.com.br/products.html

That's a pretty specific description. So there are a number of COTS engines out there.

CK said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 17 September 2019 at 07:43 AM
If those benighted peoples of the desert can do this just think what highly motivated Antifa types could build in the warehouses of Portland.
JP Billen , 16 September 2019 at 01:45 PM
"neither the date the photos were taken nor their location can be verified."

Bingo! Interesting that bin Salman has put a press blackout on both Khurais and Buqaiq.

elkern said in reply to JP Billen... , 17 September 2019 at 12:26 AM
I'd have more confidence in the reporting if I could match it up better with what I can see in Google Maps/Earth.

The only two satellite pictures I've seen of "burning oil plants" disticntly show a large plume of black smoke centered a little ways away from the actual refinery area, in some kind of rectangular area outside the actual "plant". Are those wellheads burning? or adjacent underground storage? or what?

And the pictured of a burning plant labeled "Haradh Gas Plant" is actually (according to Google Maps & my eyeballs) the Hawiyah Gas Plant, about 60 miles NNE of Haradh.

In Google Maps/Earth, the Abqaiq facility is on the East side of the city/town of Buquaiq, and the details match the recent pix. The plume lines up with an empty square patch of desert at the end of a pipeline running SSE out of the plant.

I've looked all around Khurais, and haven't found anything which could possibly be the "Oil/Gas Infrastructure at Khurais", as the pictures of the damaged facility there are labeled.

Google Earth is big fun.

JP Billen said in reply to elkern... , 17 September 2019 at 10:58 AM
Elkern, I was referring to the pictures of the cruise missile parts in the sand. Seems to me they are old from previous attacks.

As far as I can tell the pics of damage at Buqaiq and Khurais are valid. With the exception of the eleven spherical tanks, which I believe were NOT hit. But I've been wrong before and am no expert on imagery analysis.

Erwin , 16 September 2019 at 02:00 PM
We know Yemen has the Quds-1 and has surprised us before with their technical capability. Combine that with the video of Yahya Sari claiming full responsibility for the attack and I'm not sure there is any reason to speculate about conspiracies involving other actors.

The Houthis are not an Iranian "proxy" and I highly doubt they would accept responsibility for something they didn't do.

ISL , 16 September 2019 at 03:10 PM
Dear Colonel,

Moon of Alabama links some photos and has discussion that suggests very high precision 5-10 m. That is not easily achievable with commercial GPS absent a lot of additional correction hardware. On the other hand, drones can easily do so. Further, it would be negligent for SA not to have GPS jamming around such facilities.

In addition, the specificity of the targets hit suggests good intel. I would suspect that Houthi's have linked with disaffected groups in SA (lots!) and improved their Humint. It seems highly unlikely that Iran would do something like this AND leave their fingerprints behind - at least based on recent events.

turcopolier , 16 September 2019 at 03:33 PM
ISL et al

Never underestimate the feckless laziness of the Saudis. In my experience they turn off all ATC and air defense systems that require manning or watch keeping when they find them inconvenient as on the weekend. IMO if Ansarallah did this they will do something similar soon to prove they are responsible.

PeterHug said in reply to turcopolier ... , 17 September 2019 at 01:26 PM
Well, the Swiss Air Force is only able to respond to emergencies during normal business hours...
ted richard , 16 September 2019 at 03:48 PM
imo, the saudi's and washington are going to have to take one for the team. the team being the global oil based world economy and all the notional value FOR THE present ONLY oil derivatives and interest rate derivatives burdening the western banking system.... think the insolvent deutsche bank et al.

a war on iran will do every bit as much damage or MORE to the west as it does to iran which both russia and china can not.. will not allow to die.

israel gets a lot of press and speculation on this board as well as everywhere else for all their conspiracies and supposed omnipotent power and control but in this writers opinion THEY have been punching way above their actual weight for years and current reality has exposed how feckless and puny they really are in the scheme of things.

i suspect the whole 'jew' thing regarding israel is what animates people so much. if israel were all zoroastrians i doubt the world would credit them with all the machinations israel is viewed as responsible for.

catherine said in reply to ted richard... , 16 September 2019 at 04:39 PM
''i suspect the whole 'jew' thing regarding israel is what animates people so much. if israel were all zoroastrians i doubt the world would credit them with all the machinations israel is viewed as responsible for.'' A Cult is a Cult regardless of it members makeup. And Israel is looking more like a Jim Jones farm every day.
Peter AU 1 , 16 September 2019 at 04:51 PM
Only one tank appears to have minor sooting or scorching. As though they were emptied after an initial strike then targeted in a second strike, but no reports of a second strike.
In the sat pic showing targets in red boxes, top square, the target appears to be smaller spheres which do look darkened.
The Twisted Genius , 16 September 2019 at 05:00 PM
Several correspondents here, including Adrestia and b, seem to lack faith in an autonomous navigation and terminal guidance system for these cruise missiles. They do not need a radio or cell phone communication link. This could have been even without a GPS signal. Given that the strikes appear to come from the west, the smartest route would be to fly north to the pipelines and then east to the targets. Once the missiles are close to the target either a visual terminal guidance system could take over or the targets are marked and the missiles' terminal guidance systems just home in on the marked targets. The marks could be laser illumination, small IR strobes or offset targeting devices. These offset targeting devices are emplaced with the exact azimuth and distance to the desired target programmed into the missiles' terminal guidance system. As I said before, we did this in the early 80s. In the 90s, I used the IR strobes. These were tiny lights snapped to the top of a 9V battery. You could carry a dozen in your pocket. I personally like the idea of emplacing small IR strobes on target or a set distance and azimuth from the target. The missiles could home on a spot say due east and 100 meters from the strobe. I'm sure there are other methods I haven't thought of yet. My educated guess is that this strike was well thought out with both intelligence and operational support on and near the target site. Anyone who thinks the Houthi and their Yemeni allies are incapable of planning and executing this is magnificently ignorant.
Adrestia said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 17 September 2019 at 12:14 PM
My perspective is for the DIY drone using COTS.

GPS is not accurate enough for the last 10-30 feet. Another possiblity that doesn't need any human terminal guidance could be a creative use of sensors.

Using CARVER select suitable targets. Pick something that is hot, big or fumes gas.

Then use a combination of gas-sensing, parking-sensors, heat-sensing sensors for the last few feet.

https://store.arduino.cc/components/components-sensors
https://tutorials-raspberrypi.com/raspberry-pi-sensors-overview-50-important-components/#temperature
https://tutorials-raspberrypi.com/raspberry-pi-sensors-overview-50-important-components/

walrus , 16 September 2019 at 05:21 PM
I'm reading the manual for an FY41AP autopilot right now. About $250, made in china. As for optical guidance, the attacks happened about 0400 - night or dawn?

This autopilot has a video link as well as autonomous and ground based control modes I think. If the Yemenis had a guy with a transceiver near abqaiq, then maybe they could send these things over from yemen using gps and a guy with transceiver provided terminal guidance. If that were to happen the drones would need to be launched at set intervals.

JP Billen said in reply to walrus... , 17 September 2019 at 10:49 AM
Night. Dawn at Riyadh was approximately 5:38 AM. But those facilities would have been well lit up with hundreds of floodlights.
Antoinetta III , 16 September 2019 at 05:49 PM
Your last sentence is true enough as far as it goes, but also, if Israel were all Zoroastrians (or any other group) the world would have dealt with their paranoid and psychopathic behavior decades ago. The only reason they get away with everything is because they are Jewish.
oldman22 , 16 September 2019 at 07:37 PM
Bacevich in NYT op ed. Behind a paywall, here is a copy. Please do not post if it is too long or off topic

Iran Might Be America's Enemy, but Saudi Arabia Is No Friend

After last week's refinery attack, Trump should be careful about throwing America's weight behind an unreliable "ally."

By Andrew J. Bacevich

Mr. Bacevich is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

Sept. 16, 2019

Image The American frigate Stark, which was hit by two missiles fired from an Iraqi fighter plane during the Iran-Iraq war in 1987. The American frigate Stark, which was hit by two missiles fired from an Iraqi fighter plane during the Iran-Iraq war in 1987.

In 1987, an Iraqi warplane attacked an American Navy frigate, the Stark, on patrol in the Persian Gulf. Accepting Saddam Hussein's explanation that the attack, which killed 37 sailors, had been an accident, American officials promptly used the incident, which came at the height of the Iran-Iraq war, to ratchet up pressure on Tehran. The incident provided the impetus for what became a brief, and all but forgotten, maritime war between the United States and Iran.

Last week, someone -- precisely who remains to be determined -- attacked two oil refineries in Saudi Arabia. American authorities have been quick to blame Iran, and the possibility of a violent confrontation between the two countries is once again growing. Before making a decision on whether to pull the trigger, President Trump would do well to reflect on that 1987 episode and its legacy.

Back then, the United States had become involved in the very bloody and seemingly interminable Iran-Iraq war, which Hussein had instigated in 1980 by invading Iran. As that war turned into a brutal stalemate, President Ronald Reagan and his advisers persuaded themselves that it was in America's interests to come to Iraq's aid. Iran was the "enemy" so Iraq became America's "friend."

After the Stark episode, American and Iranian naval forces in the Gulf began jousting, an uneven contest that culminated in April 1988 with the virtual destruction of the Iranian Navy.

Yet the United States gained little from this tidy victory. The principal beneficiary was Hussein, who wasted no time in repaying Washington by invading and annexing Kuwait soon after his war with Iran ground to a halt. Thus did America's "friend" become America's "enemy."

The encounter with Iran became a precedent-setting event and a font of illusions. Since then, a series of administrations have indulged the fantasy that the direct or indirect application of military power can somehow restore stability to the Gulf.

In fact, just the reverse has occurred. Instability has become chronic, with the relationship between military policy and actual American interests in the region becoming ever more difficult to discern.

In 2019, this now well-established penchant for armed intervention finds the United States once more involved in a proxy conflict, this time a civil war that has ravaged Yemen since 2015. Saudi Arabia supports one side in this bloody and interminable conflict, and Iran the other.

Under President Barack Obama and now President Trump, the United States has thrown in its lot with Saudi Arabia, providing support comparable to what the Reagan administration gave Saddam Hussein back in the 1980s. But American-assisted Saudi forces have exhibited no more competence today than did American-assisted Iraqi forces back then. So the war in Yemen drags on.
ImageSmoke billowing from one of the oil facilities hit by drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia's eastern province, on Saturday.
Smoke billowing from one of the oil facilities hit by drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia's eastern province, on Saturday.CreditAgence France-Presse -- Getty Images

Concrete American interests in this conflict, which has already claimed an estimated 70,000 lives while confronting as many as 18 million with the prospect of starvation, are negligible. Once more, as in the 1980s, the demonization of Iran has contributed to a policy that is ill advised and arguably immoral.

I am not suggesting that Washington is supporting the wrong side in Yemen. I am suggesting, however, that neither side deserves support. Iran may well qualify as America's "enemy." But Saudi Arabia is not a "friend," regardless of how many billions Riyadh spends purchasing American-manufactured weaponry and how much effort Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman invests in courting President Trump and members of his family.

The conviction, apparently widespread in American policy circles, that in the Persian Gulf (and elsewhere) the United States is compelled to take sides, has been a source of recurring mischief. No doubt the escalating rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran poses a danger of further destabilizing the Gulf. But the United States is under no obligation to underwrite the folly of one side or the other.

Supporting Iraq in its foolhardy war with Iran in the 1980s proved to be strategically shortsighted in the extreme. It yielded vastly more problems than it solved. It set in train a series of costly wars that have produced negligible benefits. Supporting Saudi Arabia today in its misbegotten war in Yemen is no less shortsighted.

Power confers choice, and the United States should exercise it. We can begin to do so by recognizing that Saudi Arabia's folly need not be our problem.

Andrew J. Bacevich is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and the author of the forthcoming "The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory."

Christian Chuba , 16 September 2019 at 07:47 PM
"a war on iran will do every bit as much damage or MORE to the west as it does to iran"

And Iran has demonstrated that they can cause months worth of damage on the KSA, the UAE, and Kuwait. I can't believe the number of Congressman who simultaneously believe that Iran was able to glide over U.S. made air defenses without detection and also believe that we can simply carpet bomb their refineries without any repercussion. How can one believe both things at the same time? That Iran is responsible for a sophisticated ghost attack and that they are incapable of retaliating in a target rich environment.

Not only did Graham say this but the loon from Maryland repeated it. These people are insane but MSM hosts encourage it, just saw Cavuto snear at Ron Paul because he actually made sense. We are so messed up.

Matt , 16 September 2019 at 08:35 PM
I found those gas domes on Google maps using the satellite view, I tagged the co-ordinates as: 25°55'37.3"N 49°41'00.8"E

or in digital format: 25.927015, 49.683559

here's a link that should take you straight there:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/25%C2%B055'37.3%22N+49%C2%B041'00.8%22E/@25.927015,49.6813703,702m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d25.927015!4d49.683559

use the pic released by USG of the damage to get an idea of the orientation of the incoming projectiles, I used that rectangularish pond behind as an aid,

then progressively zoom out looking to see which country they 'could' have come from?

oy vey!

Foxbat , 16 September 2019 at 08:50 PM
Everyone keeps misunderestimating the Yemenis. The Houthis are fighting as part of a coalition that includes a large part of the Yemeni military and intelligence services. This coalition is carrying out a war under guerrilla conditions, but that war is led by professional military men. Yemen had a serious air force consisting mostly of missile systems before the war. Much of it was destroyed by the bombing campaign carried out for Saudi Arabia, but the military organization survived. They have now reconstituted the Yemeni air forces under fire and in the midst of famine, blockade and invasion.

Stock up on popcorn, the show has only just begun.

Robert Waddell , 17 September 2019 at 01:41 AM
All,

Using my CAD and graphic tools and Google Earth along with the photo showing the four perforated pressure tanks, I have estimated the four vectors as:
E1 280W. E2 279W, E3 281W and E4 273W. I have numbered the tanks from the most eastwards (the furthermost away in the photo). Angles from true north (0/360 deg). This averages as 278N with a STDEV of 3 degrees. Its almost due west. Must be very difficult for autopilots (or real pilots) could perform more than one group-turning maneuver and still maintain final-run accuracy to what was achieved.

p.s. I'm not specialist in this field apart from terrestrial navigation and drafting experience.
RobW

Adrestia , 17 September 2019 at 03:19 AM
The Czech company which produces the TJ100 does have strong links with Iran. "2005 TPP Iranshahr Iran, the largest project in the company's history, a turnkey project - four power plant units." But then again. Creating a crash site in the desert with some COTS components in it is also easy to do. I would be surprised if Iran is launching missiles now. That would be pretty stupid to do.
turcopolier , 17 September 2019 at 07:49 AM
CK There is nothing "benighted" about them. that is a lesson the perfumed fops in Ryadh ae learning.
CK said in reply to turcopolier ... , 17 September 2019 at 08:27 AM
I know. I was attempting a comparison between the way most Americans perceive the desert peoples and the way most Americans fail to extrapolate from their beliefs of one groups capabilities and motivations and another group closer to home. The perfumed fops in Ryadh and the Perfumed Princes in DC are very similar under the perfume.
I remember in the mid sixties how the "benighted" Vietnamese and VC were on their last legs, unable to do anything militarily significant, that the war would be over in 67. This was that generations perfumed princes attitude towards a people who had been fighting against invaders since the 1850s. I remember 68 and the most unexpectedly successful operational and strategic level victory by the NVA and the VC that was TET.

From an infotainment/Cronkite perspective the important thing was that the Saigon embassy was broached. From and operational perspective a "defeated" enemy launched several hundred simultaneous attacks all over South Vietnam while holding down as a diversion the Dien Bien Phu look alike that was Khe San. 51 years 2 and 1/2 generations and today we make the exact same mistakes in evaluating the current situation.

It is the benefit of being a perfumed prince or fop or neo-con that history has no meaning because history ended sometime in the 90's. Somehow I hear the voice of a Rove lecturing:

"That's not the way the world really works anymore." He continued "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Procopius , 17 September 2019 at 07:59 AM
I found this interesting report on a display of Houthi missiles and drones from June. https://www.mintpressnews.com/uae-yemen-troop-withdrawal-houthi-new-drones-missiles/260253/

I have seen articles over the last month or so (sorry, no links) saying that because they are not able to send large amounts of material aid through the Saudi and U.S. Navy blockade of Yemen, the Iranians sent blueprints and a few engineers and the Ansar Allah have been building them in Yemen.

turcopolier , 17 September 2019 at 08:19 AM
Robert Waddell

So, the sheaf of attacks on those tanks was from due west to east?

Dave Good , 17 September 2019 at 08:52 AM
My guess,

What looks like missile hits at identical positions on those spherical tanks are not. They are the locations of pressure relief valvaes that blew when the towers hit, venting gas up out and away.

JP Billen said in reply to Dave Good... , 17 September 2019 at 10:39 AM
I am in full agreement with your assessment Dave. I don't see any penetrations on those 11 spherical tanks. Look at the complete devastation on the three smaller spherical pressure tanks.

Unless we get higher resolution pics that definitely show those tanks were pierced there is no way I am going to believe those tiny scorch marks are UAV or missile hits. Much too symmetrical! No amount of geometrical explaining of drone tracks will account for that symmetry.

Fourth and Long -> JP Billen... , 17 September 2019 at 12:36 PM
Yes indeed. Dave deserves hearty congratulations though we might add a caveat. The said "valves" could have been blown out in advance via software or person throwing a switch (humint or cyber component to one attack vector). Yes, tremors or shakes triggering sensor which blows valve is possible, I suppose. But the thing that had me up at night was the nagging sense that this was a prearranged message of sorts.

It cries out "sure, it's bad, but it is reversible." So I had been wondering about invitation for pow-wows given UN upcoming meeting in NY. I'm tending to lean toward an advance blowout rather than blowout in reaction to stress. Why damage such delicate, custom equipment as those beautiful tanks? As you say, it has to be something intrinsic/internal to the construction of the tanks. So - before or after remains to be discussed. Assuming the pics are legitimate. But that's why I thought especially there was a subtle message sent. If they are legit - see above. If not legit - then it is howling reversibility or caution at the very least.

Fourth and Long -> Dave Good... , 17 September 2019 at 11:42 AM
Tend to agree. With hat tip and high five.
JP Billen said in reply to turcopolier ... , 17 September 2019 at 11:36 AM
The processor trains are a linear series of stabilizer columns that help separate the sour hydrogen sulfide gas from the crude oil. They are at the heart of the process and probably the highest value target. They are to the left of the 11 pressure tanks in the pictures shown, or perhaps just NNW of those tanks.
turcopolier , 17 September 2019 at 09:49 AM
TTG

I buy the idea of HUMINT assets having collected target informatoin but the idea of mini-strobes, etc. seems to me to be too difficult to do given the separation of the missile force and the HUMINT assets. Very hard to coordinate.

Harper , 17 September 2019 at 11:04 AM
Houthis have every reason to utilize their advanced weapons systems against Saudi targets to bring the war to an end. As for Iran, seems they have been on a semi-successful diplomatic campaign to counter US maximum pressure with their own maximum pressure on Europeans, Russia and China to deliver on the economic benefits that are as important in JCPOA as the curtailing of Iran's nuclear program.

Trump talking about meeting Rouhani in New York, Zarif in China getting at least $50-100 billion in pledged economic support, Russia suggesting $10 billion investment in the Iranian energy sector: Why would Iran at this moment make a direct move to turn the world fully against them? Perhaps a rogue faction of IRGC out to stop any diplomatic action, but even that would have to come with OK from Khamenei--or there would be strong action against the rogues.

Pressure on Trump to maintain the hardline against Iran following Bolton ouster? Pompeo has been leading the diplomatic back channels and repeating Trump's goal of forcing Iran to the table. Even the Saudis are for the moment hesitant to blame Iran, actually calling for a UN investigation into the source of the attacks.

glupi , 17 September 2019 at 11:13 AM
The key question of JohnH - "Qui bono?"

1) other suppliers

2) a general redirection of attention is achieved from 2 points:

- from Syria

In the issue of National Geographic Bulgaria of 04.2019, April 2019 number 4 (162),on p.29 there is a map of the migratory route of a bird - Ethiopia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, Bulgaria. BUT the name of Syria is missing, just an empty space within its current borders.

Maybe, I sincerely hope not, it was just a part of a campaign of mass indoctrination - the "former Syria" to be divided between neighbors with a US military base here and there or to turn onto a No Man's land of lawlessness right there, flanking the EU, Russia's Muslim areas, China's silk road etc

"The Iran did it" narrative as an attempt to keep on undermining the pro-Syrian government coalition.

- from the temptation to mix with West's "rivals" internal issues

A strange coincidence that there was such a recent burst of "opposition" activity first in Russia, then in China. The velvet revolution recipe of the Arabian spring, Ukraine, etc (if it was such) didn't quite work however.

And the "empires strike back" - subtly and not so subtly. China offers for the London stock exchange (let's not forget that the Chinese take-over of the London metal exchange went without a fuss). Saudi Arabia next. Maybe the message is "Just stay out of your ex-colonies"

JamesT , 17 September 2019 at 12:06 PM
Richard Gill, managing director of the UK company Drone Defence: "But [drone defence is] military-grade technology and it's massively expensive. To install a defensive system is extremely complex and the threat is evolving at such a rate that it's very hard to keep up to date, because the adversaries change the type of technology they use in a way that almost renders the defence moot."

From related article on FT: https://www.ft.com/content/f2a73b40-d920-11e9-8f9b-77216ebe1f17

[Sep 17, 2019] Saudi claim capacity back soon.

Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> ilsm... , September 17, 2019 at 09:00 AM

Saudi claim capacity back soon.

WTI (oil) fall back, a bit.

Small, precise bombs do small precise damage which is mostly easy to fix.... sort of like US in Vietnam doing large imprecise bombing doing in consequential damage outside of the selling by the US airplane builders.

If the attack was "low flying cruise missiles" from a land site somewhere near Kuwait..... someone near Kuwait is technically very sophisticated.

Paine -> ilsm... , September 17, 2019 at 09:06 AM
Let us hope the sophistication of technique is match by sophistication of strategy

So far so good

Point made and well made

House of said your nuts are exposed

[Sep 17, 2019] KSA ties with Isreal might hurt KSA USA relations in the long run

Notable quotes:
"... I guess America does not need Saudi oil any more, cause it looks like Israel is about to be made king of the Oil Kingdoms in the middle east.? ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | www.unz.com

sally , says: September 17, 2019 at 12:19 pm GMT

I think you are correct there maybe many Americans in the USA.. It may take the few Americans who have been allowed to see the big picture at the USA...

I guess America does not need Saudi oil any more, cause it looks like Israel is about to be made king of the Oil Kingdoms in the middle east.?

[Sep 17, 2019] Yemeni Houti Rebels Drones wipe out 50% of Saudi Arabia's oil production

Notable quotes:
"... USA has been doing nearly everything in the Yemen war except pilot the planes. That Yemen can sneak some drones into sensitive Saudi areas would seem to raise some questions... ..."
"... Strategically what this means is that after wantonly bombing and attacking woefully poor Yemen for years, rich Saudi Arabia is not capable of protecting almost the entire source of its wealth. ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , September 16, 2019 at 04:59 AM

It's Monday September 16th, 2019 and the weeks starts off like this:

GM's UAW Strike

Yemeni Houti Rebels Drones wipe out 50% of Saudi Arabia's oil production

Trump tweets in response is "locked and loaded" implying a new US war in the ME

One of Trump's White House flunky's declared "it is better if Trump does not study an issue" before making decisions (oh yea,"Stupid is what Stupid does")

Biden and S. Warren tied in the DEM race for 2020

Piketty's new Economics tome is out

PM Netanyahu is losing his re-election bid in Israel, to be determined by tomorrow's Election

We live in interesting times...

...the question I pose for the times is 'Are the People are better lead by businessmen, politicians, academics, or intellectuals?

im1dc -> im1dc... , September 16, 2019 at 05:01 AM
Personally, I choose to be lead by people that do the right thing long term for the People, not the most politically expedient or the one that makes the most money in the short run or the smartest, etc.
ilsm -> im1dc... , September 16, 2019 at 06:29 AM
The biggest damage from

"Yemeni Houti Rebels Drones wipe out 50% of Saudi Arabia's oil production"

is the ARAMCO IPO.

"Trump tweets in response is "locked and loaded" implying a new US war in the ME"

Send Pompeo to the UN...... looks like yellow cake to me.

point -> ilsm... , September 16, 2019 at 06:44 AM
USA has been doing nearly everything in the Yemen war except pilot the planes. That Yemen can sneak some drones into sensitive Saudi areas would seem to raise some questions about USA capability. Have not yet seen any press questions in that direction.
anne -> point... , September 16, 2019 at 07:25 AM
USA has been doing nearly everything in the Yemen war except pilot the planes. That Yemen can sneak some drones into sensitive Saudi areas would seem to raise some questions...

[ Really important. ]

anne -> point... , September 16, 2019 at 08:55 AM
Strategically what this means is that after wantonly bombing and attacking woefully poor Yemen for years, rich Saudi Arabia is not capable of protecting almost the entire source of its wealth.

[Sep 16, 2019] The attack seemed to have involved not only Houti drones (already build with help from Iran), but also Iranian backed forces in Iraq, AND pro Iranian forces in Saudi Arabia itself. And maybe even other actors.

Sep 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

dh-mtl , Sep 15 2019 15:58 utc | 3

b,

The Americans have gotten themselves in a real bind with their maximum pressure campaign on Iran. This latest attack on Saudi Arabia's oil production looks like an escalation of the previous attacks on shipping and the spy drone. It is not evident how the Americans can respond to this latest attack.

As I see it their options are:

1. To let KSA respond to the Houthi attack and continue with their campaign to shut down Iranian oil production, without any direct U.S. response to the attack. However this will achieve nothing, as next month Iran will up pressure again with another attack on Middle-East oil assets, and we'll be back to the same place.

2. To bomb Iran's oil industry, as Pompeo and Graham suggest. However this risks blowing up the whole Middle East, as well as the World's oil market and their own (Western) economies.

3. Forget about Iran and move the fight to maintain U.S. global hegemony to another front: back to Venezuela? Serbia? Hong Kong? Taiwan? However the end result of such a move would more than likely be another humuliating defeat for the U.S.

4. Do as Stephen Wertheim / New York Times suggest and sue for peace. This will end the dream of U.S. World dominance, Globalization and the current western based financial system. The U.S. will become no more than a heavily indebted regional power in a 'Multi-polar World Order' led by China and Russia.

As I see it, the U.S. is out of options to continue their war for global dominance. #4 is the only viable option. But, as one author argued in a recent paper (I don't have the reference), wars continue long after the victor is clear, because the loser can't admit defeat (at heavy additional costs to the loser). I think that this is the position that the U.S. finds itself in now.


DontBelieveEitherPr. , Sep 15 2019 16:21 utc | 4

What the attack on Saudi oil infrastructure shows us, is that now Iran has united her proxys into one united front.

While they were cautious to not leave evidence of their involvment with the Houtis before, they now are putting their support more and more into the open.

The attack seemed to have involved not only Houti drones (already build with help from Iran), but also Iranian backed forces in Iraq, AND pro Iranian forces in Saudi Arabia itself. And maybe even other actors.

This is a major new development. Not only for the war on Yemen, but also in the context of Iran providing a credile detterence against US+Saudi aggression.
They excalated with increasing levels, and one wonders, what could top this last attack off.

And i am pretty sure, we will find out sooner rather than later.

Don Bacon , Sep 15 2019 20:13 utc | 29
@ 27
WaPo: Abqaiq . .damaged on the west-northwest sides
That's it! It was Hezbollah for sure. (not)

Actually there were two targets, the Buqaiq (Abqaiq) oil processing plant and the Khurais oil field, both in the Eastern Province.

These attacks are not the first -- from longwarjournal:

Last month, the Houthis claimed another drone operation against Saudi's Shaybah oil field near the United Arab Emirates. At more than 1,000 miles away from it's Yemen territory, that strike marked one of the Houthis farthest claimed attacks.
The Houthis also claimed a drone strike on the Abu Dhabi airport last year, but that has been denied by Emirati officials.
Additionally, a drone strike on Saudi's East-West oil pipeline near Riyadh earlier this year, which the Houthis claimed responsibility, was allegedly conducted by Iranian-backed Iraqi militants. If accurate, that means the Houthi claim of responsibility acted as a type of diplomatic cover for the Iraqi militants.
Since beginning its drone program last year, the Houthis have launched at least 103 drone strikes in Yemen and Saudi Arabia according to data compiled by FDD's Long War Journal. . . here . . .and more here .
Hercules , Sep 15 2019 21:27 utc | 35
Really appreciated the write up on the Houthis attack.
Sounds like the attack left substantial damage. Another bigger issue underlying all of this, aside from Saudi inability to get what it wants now from it's IPO, is the fact that the US Patriots did not detect this attack.
The Saudis spent billions last year on this defense system. Sounds like the clown Prince better give Russians a call about their S-400.
But the US wouldn't appreciate that much, would they?

[Sep 14, 2019] Oil To Hit $100 Pompeo Blames Iran For Unprecedented Drone Attack That Crippled Largest Saudi Oil Processing Facility

Sep 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Update 2 : In a sharp, if perhaps not unexpected, escalation, US Secretary of State - now without John Bolton by his side - tweeted at 4pm on Saturday, that contrary to earlier reports, "there is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen" and instead accused Iran of launching today's "unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply" which has now indefinitely taken offline as much as 5mmb/d in Saudi crude production.

In a follow up tweet, Pompeo said that he calls "on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran's attacks" which is odd as not even Saudi Arabia accused Iran of today's aggression (which many speculated could have been a Saudi false flag in hopes of sending the price of oil soaring ahead of the Aramco IPO). Pompeo concluded that "the United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression."

Will this pivot away from Houthis to Iran as the "origin" of the attack be sufficient grounds to re-inflame tensions between the US and Iran, especially following last week's news that one of the reasons Bolton was fired was due to his hard-line stance on Iran even as Trump was willing to sit down with the Tehran regime for negotiations. Since the deep state stands to make much more money from war rather than peace, our guess is that the answer is a resounding "yes." Update: The WSJ is out with an update hinting at just how much the price of oil is set to soar when trading reopens late on Sunday after the Saudi Houthi false-flag drone attack on the largest Saudi oil processing plant:

Saudi Arabia is shutting down about half of its oil output after apparently coordinated drone strikes hit Saudi production facilities, people familiar with the matter said, in what Yemen's Houthi rebels described as one of their largest-ever attacks inside the kingdom.

The production shutdown amounts to a loss of about five million barrels a day , the people said, roughly 5% of the world's daily production of crude oil . The kingdom produces 9.8 million barrels a day.

And while Aramco is assuring it can restore output quickly, in case it can't the world is looking at a production shortfall of as much as 150MM barrels monthly, which - all else equal - could send oil soaring into the triple digits. Just what the Aramco IPO ordered.

What appears to be the most devastating Yemen Houthi rebel attack on Saudi Arabia to date, took place overnight on the world's largest oil processing facility as stunning videos emerged of massive explosions rocking the major Aramco Buqyaq facility .

Fires burned into the morning daylight hours, with explosions also reported at the Khurais oil field, in what the Houthis said was a successful attack involving ten drones . "These attacks are our right, and we warn the Saudis that our targets will keep expanding," a rebel military spokesman said on Houthi-operated Al Masirah TV .

Saudi authorities -- initially slow or reluctant to identify the cause of the major blaze -- on Saturday issued a confirmation via the Saudi Press Agency: "At 4.00am (01:00 GMT) the industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of... drones," an interior ministry statement said , which further claimed the fires were "under control" .

However, the Saudis have stopped short of acknowledging the Houthis were behind the attack, which Riyadh is also likely to blame on Iran , which has lately promised that if it can't export its oil then "no one will".

It remains unclear according to early statements whether there were injuries or casualties in the twin oil facility attacks.

The impact on global oil markets - closed for the weekend - could be significant given the Khurais field produces about 1% of all the world's oil (estimated at over 1M bpd and reserves of over 20BN bpd) and more importantly Abqaiq, which based on the stunning local footage bore the brunt of the drone attacks, remains the most crucial of the kingdom's processing plants.

Located 37 miles southwest of Aramco's Dhahran headquarters, it controls all the flows from fields like the giant Ghawar field to coastal export terminals like Ras Tanura. Saudi Aramco describes the Buqyaq facility as "the largest crude oil stabilization plant in the world."

Meanwhile, the United States was quick to "strongly condemn" the attack amid already soaring tensions in the gulf after a summer of "tanker wars" and Iranian threats of walking away altogether from the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA).

The U.S. envoy to Saudi Arabia issued a statement saying , "The U.S. strongly condemns today's drone attacks against oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais. These attacks against critical infrastructure endanger civilians, are unacceptable, and sooner or later will result in innocent lives being lost."

According to Reuters reports the drone attacks will impact up to 5 million bpd of oil production, which suggests that the price of oil - already severely depressed by the recent news that John Bolton is out, making de-escalation with Iran far more likely - is set to soar when trading reopens late on Sunday, just what the upcoming Aramco IPO desperately needs , which in turn has prompted some to wonder if the "Yemen" attack on Saudi Arabia wasn't in fact orchestrated by Saudi interests. 18 years after Sept 11, this shouldn't sound all that outlandish...


funkyfreddy , 47 seconds ago link

What price does American shale need it to be to make a profit?

Ms No , 1 minute ago link

The Sauds lie about everything. Right now they appear to be minimizing it.

Thordoom , 2 minutes ago link

The houthis also said that this operation was coordinated with a cell that is inside of Saudi Arabia.

The already paranoid saudis idiots must be now completely out of their minds.

If it is not false flag they must be shitting them self.

The whole f..king arab world must be laughing and worshiping Houthis right now.

This is what happens when you get in bet with Israel and US.

holycrap , 5 minutes ago link

Oil companies want higher prices. Israel wants US to war with Iran. Jews want Bolt-on to be proven right. Hmm, how can we get all those things with one shot. Oy-vey, I have an idea.

herbivore , 8 minutes ago link

If the U.S. attacks Iran, it will only raise oil prices even more. If the Houthis have the ability to destroy Saudi oil infrastructure, then Iran has the ability to wipe it out for years to come. How can the U.S. protect Saudi oil production? If there was a simple way to do it, you'd think it would have already been implemented. It's looking like Iran wasn't kidding when they said if they can't sell their oil then neither will the Saudis.

Thordoom , 7 minutes ago link

So the mighty US MIC was not able to even detect sandals wearing Houthis fighter's drones and missile?

It is either terrible and unbelievably embarrassing event for US military industrial complex or it is false flag to escalate tensions with Iran.

Kinskian , 9 minutes ago link

No comment yet from our Commander in Tweets? $100 oil should get a market crash going.

funkyfreddy , 4 minutes ago link

$100 oil might get people more interested in electric vehicles that all manufacturers have been forced to invest billions in that the public dont want.

Einstein101 , 12 minutes ago link

What appears to be the most devastating Yemen Houthi rebel attack on Saudi Arabia to date

What is missing from that article is the fact that actually this attack was not performed by the Houthi rebels themselves, and not from Yemen. This attack was actually performed by another Iranian proxy, the PMU, and the drones were sent into Saudi Arabia's territory from Iraq, North West of the country, not from Yemen.

This just underscores the way Iran's ring of proxy terror militias are all connected and acts in tandem under the control of Iran,

Out of its twisted interpretation of Islam's Quran, Iran's mission is to bring about a regime change to moderate Islamic countries (including allies of the US), forcing them into its extremist, US hateful, Shia Islam. The way they do it is by arming and financing terrorist proxy militias in various regions, spreading death and destruction. Iran arms and finances the Houthis in Yemen, The Islamic Jihad in Gazza, Hashd Al-Shaabi in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Fatemeyoun Brigades in Syria, various terrorist groups in Africa, and more.

Iran has perfected the art of gradually conquering a country without replacing its flag by planting cancer cells in the form of terror proxy militias.

Meet the Proxies: How Iran Spreads Its Empire through Terrorist Militias

Iran spends billions of Dollars on those militias, at the expense of the well being of common Iranian people. All this money is deprived from their own people, cutting food and gas subsidies. Iran has abundance of oil reserves but a large chunk of the oil revenues goes to support insurgent groups in other countries while Iran's citizens live in misery and hunger. Heck, just on Lebanon's Hezbollah, Iran spends one Billion Dollars each year.

Iran's aim is to directly hurt our national interests by turning friendly Muslim countries against the US. Iran is not shy of demonstrating its hatred to the US. Iran states openly, and with great force, "Death to America!" They burn American flags in their parliament.

Iranian Lawmakers Burn U.S. Flag In Parliament

Iran's regime despises our Western free democratic society and strives to impose on all of us their dark extremist Islamic Sharia law.

Iranian women & girls as young as 9 who don't wear hijab face jail

Meatballs , 11 minutes ago link

Pompeo is a FAT STOOGE. Bibi is playing here. ******* psychos.

[Sep 14, 2019] $100 Oil Drone Strikes Halt Half Of Saudi Crude Production

Sep 14, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

Half of Saudi Arabia's oil production has gone offline following a surprise drone strike.

Drones attacked Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia and the Khurais oil field run by Saudi Aramco early Saturday morning, the kingdom's interior ministry said , sparking a massive fire at a crude processing plant essential to global oil supplies.

The closure will impact nearly 5 million barrels of crude processing per day , affecting 5 percent of the world's daily oil production. And while Aramco is confident that it can recover quickly, if it can't, however, the world could face a production shortage of as much 150MM barrels per month. An outcome which could send oil prices into the triple digits.

Krishnan Viswanathan @kxviswan123

Supply loss from KSA may be as high as 150 MM barrels/month. Oil may hit $100.

33 11:15 AM - Sep 14, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy
24 people are talking about this


Houthi rebels-- who are backed by Iran in a yearlong Saudi-led battle in Yemen-- have apparently asserted responsibility for the strikes and pledged that more assaults can be expected in the future.

A Houthi spokesperson explained, "We promise the Saudi regime that our future operations will expand and be more painful as long as its aggression and siege continue," adding that the attack involved ten drones.

The Iran-backed Houthis have recently been behind a number of assaults on Saudi pipelines, vessels and other energy infrastructure as tensions grow in the region.

Related: Yergin: Expect Extreme Volatility In Oil Markets

There have been no details on the severity of the damage but Agence France-Presse quoted interior ministry spokesperson Mansour al-Turki as saying that there were no human casualties as a result of the attack.

Ahmed Alsalman @AAlsalman91

# Buqayq city view as # Aramco facilities burn. Very likely to be an attack of some sort as gunshots are also heard. # SaudiArabia # Saudi # arabtwitter

44 11:26 PM - Sep 13, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy
61 people are talking about this


More Attacks To Come?

This latest strike highlights the risk posed by the Houthis to Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure as tensions between the groups continues to escalate.

The growing power of the Houthis' drone operations is likely to reignite the debate on where the militant group is securing these weapons. It could very well be that the group has weaponized noncombatant drones, or in a darker scenario, they are receiving the militarized drones from Iran.

A Saudi-led coalition has been at war with the Houthi movement in Yemen since March 2015. The Iranian-backed rebels hold the funding, Sana'a, and other areas in the Arab world's most impoverished nation.

The battle has created one of the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The violence has pressed Yemeni citizens to the brink of starvation. And the death toll has soared to more than 90,000 individuals since 2015, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, which tracks the conflict.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

IHS Markit: US Natural Gas Prices To Fall To 50-Year Low
The US Massively Underestimates The Trade War Blowback
European Carmakers Face Perfect Storm

Read this article on OilPrice.com

[Sep 14, 2019] Attack on Saudi Oil Plant Is What Everyone Feared Oil Strategy

Sep 14, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

(Bloomberg) -- Middle East geopolitics have come back with a vengeance to hit the oil market. What everybody feared has happened. An attack has penetrated the defenses of Saudi Arabia's massive Abqaiq oil processing facility, the heart of the kingdom's oil production and export infrastructure, causing an unknown amount of damage. Crude prices will react and emergency stockpiles will be tapped.

Fires at the plant were brought under control within hours, but the flow of crude from Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter, will almost certainly be affected, although we don't yet know by how much or for how long. Traders who have shrugged off tensions in the Middle East for months will respond to this attack when markets open on Monday.

The height of the price spike will depend on how much we know about the extent of the damage and how long it will take to repair. An absence of information will lead traders to assume the worst.

The Abqaiq crude processing plant is the single most important facility in the Saudi oil sector. In 2018 it processed about half of the kingdom's crude oil production, according to a prospectus published in May for the state oil company's first international bond. That's roughly 5 million barrels a day, or one in every 20 barrels of oil used worldwide.

Abqaiq is more important to the Saudi oil sector than the kingdom's Persian Gulf export terminals at Ras Tanura and Ju'aymah, or the Strait of Hormuz that links the Gulf to the Indian Ocean and the high seas. Crude can be diverted away from the Persian Gulf and Hormuz by pumping it across the country to the Red Sea through the East-West oil pipeline. But it cannot bypass Abqaiq. The East-West pipeline starts at Abqaiq and output from the giant Ghawar, Shaybah and Khurais fields is all processed there, so an attack on the facility will impact crude flows to export terminals on both coasts.

The latest attack comes just months after drones, allegedly launched from Iraq by Yemen's Houthi rebels, targeted pumping stations on the oil pipeline. The damage caused by that earlier attack was minimal, but highlighted the vulnerability of Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, even when located hundreds of miles from the country's borders.

So what happens now?

Saudi Arabia will probably seek to maintain export levels as much as possible by supplying customers from stockpiles. It holds crude in storage tanks in the kingdom, as well as at sites in Egypt, Japan and the Netherlands. But it has been running its crude hoard down since the beginning of 2016 and it is now back at levels not seen since 2008, according to data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative. That means the kingdom has much less to draw on than it did three years ago.

The attack will also test stockpiles in oil-consuming countries. Members of the International Energy Agency are required to hold 90 days' worth of oil imports in emergency stocks and those will be pressed into service if the outage at Abqaiq is prolonged. Non-member countries like China and India have also been building up their own emergency reserves. Those, too, will be pressed into service.

Neighboring countries who, just days ago, were being exhorted to stick to output quotas agreed in December will now pump as much as they can to make up for any losses from Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq will all boost output as much as they are able. But the one country with lots of spare capacity, Iran, won't see any easing of the restrictions placed on its oil sales by the U.S. Quite the opposite. Its support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have claimed responsibility for the attack on Abqaiq, will ensure that any easing of the pressure being exerted on it remains a distant prospect.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julian Lee in London at jlee1627@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net, Steve Geimann

[Aug 22, 2019] Attacks of Saudi infrastructure will continue: Houthi drone is mounted with a 30kg warhead and it is flown into the target, usually in a swarm attack.

Aug 22, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Hightrekker

x Ignored says: 08/17/2019 at 11:16 am
Yemen rebel drone attack targets remote Saudi oil field

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article234108062.html

Things are getting even more interesting.

Tom Wilson x Ignored says: 08/17/2019 at 11:49 pm
This attack was 750 miles from Houthi territory.
Round trip would be 1,500 miles.
A Predator has a published range of 1,150 miles.
My guess is they are infiltrating Saudi Arabia, attacking from much closer than 750 miles out and maybe sacrificing the drone. Sort of like the Jimmy Doolittle raid on Tokyo in WWII, for similar purpose. With a similar result. Message sent, message received.
Hightrekker x Ignored says: 08/18/2019 at 9:11 am
You know more than I do.
Sounds reasonable.
Survivalist x Ignored says: 08/18/2019 at 10:55 am
It's a one way trip. The drones used by houthis don't fire a missile and then fly home, they are the missile. The drone is mounted with a 30kg warhead and it is flown into the target, usually in a swarm attack.

https://www.defensenews.com/unmanned/2019/05/21/how-yemens-rebels-increasingly-deploy-drones/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HESA_Ababil

Hightrekker x Ignored says: 08/18/2019 at 11:01 am
Thats was my understanding also --

[Aug 17, 2019] Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field as a good news for Yemen and for oil producing nations in need of an oil price rise.

Notable quotes:
"... The field's distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis' drones. U.N. investigators say the Houthis' new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant and Dubai's busy international airport within their range. ..."
"... The outcome was a forgone conclusion. The smash, destroy, and destabilize campaign in the region could have only come from the most powerful lobby in the US. We all know who that is. ..."
Aug 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Today Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen. It has no defenses against new weapons the Houthis in Yemen acquired. These weapons threaten the Saudis economic lifelines. This today was the decisive attack:

Drones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia's sprawling desert on Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a "limited fire" in the second such recent attack on its crucial energy industry.
...
The Saudi acknowledgement of the attack came hours after Yahia Sarie, a military spokesman for the Houthis, issued a video statement claiming the rebels launched 10 bomb-laden drones targeting the field in their "biggest-ever" operation. He threatened more attacks would be coming.
New drones and missiles displayed in July 2019 by Yemen's Houthi-allied armed forces

bigger

Today's attack is a check mate move against the Saudis. Shaybah is some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory. There are many more important economic targets within that range:

The field's distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis' drones. U.N. investigators say the Houthis' new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant and Dubai's busy international airport within their range.

Unlike sophisticated drones that use satellites to allow pilots to remotely fly them, analysts believe Houthi drones are likely programmed to strike a specific latitude and longitude and cannot be controlled once out of radio range. The Houthis have used drones, which can be difficult to track by radar, to attack Saudi Patriot missile batteries, as well as enemy troops.

The attack conclusively demonstrates that the most important assets of the Saudis are now under threat. This economic threat comes on top of a seven percent budget deficit the IMF predicts for Saudi Arabia. Further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state. The Houthi have clown prince Mohammad bin Salman by the balls and can squeeze those at will. There is a lesson to learn from that. But it is doubtful that the borg in Washington DC has the ability to understand it.

The outcome was a forgone conclusion. The smash, destroy, and destabilize campaign in the region could have only come from the most powerful lobby in the US. We all know who that is.


Jen , Aug 17 2019 20:45 utc | 3

I'm afraid the only lesson the Borg in Washington will learn is to continue squandering US resources and manpower on pursuing and inflicting chaos and violence in the Middle East. Clown prince Mohammed bin Salman will not learn anything either other than to bankrupt his own nation in pursuing this war.

Israel has driven itself into its own existential hell by persecuting Palestinians over 70+ years and doing a good job of annihilating itself while denying its own destruction. If Israel can do it, the Christian crusaders dominating the govts of the Five Eyes nations supporting Israel will follow suit in propping up an unsustainable fantasy. Samson option indeed.

Tonymike , Aug 17 2019 20:46 utc | 4
I am sure that the Suads will be looking to their zionist allies to supply them with the Iron Dome system that the US military just wasted millions of tax payer dollars and purchased several days ago. The irony of that system is that is was overwhelmed several times when the Palestinian freedom fighters launched a wave of home made rockets at Occupied Palestine. I hope the Sauds learn a lesson..doubt it though.
donkeytale , Aug 17 2019 20:53 utc | 6
This is good news for Yemen and...for oil producing nations in need of a price rise.
ebolax , Aug 17 2019 21:02 utc | 13
let me throw something out there. Israel has entrenched itself in the US political and media systems. There is no logical path to eliminate or reduce that influence, and thus perhaps the plan that has been hatched is to strengthen Iran to the point that it can confront Israel.
karlof1 , Aug 17 2019 21:07 utc | 14
I anticipated just this sort of event 2+ months ago to go along with the tanker sabotaging to expand on b's thesis about Iran having the upper hand in the current hybrid Gulf War. The timing of this new ability dovetails nicely with the recent Russian collective security proposal, with the Saudis being the footdraggers in agreeing about its viability due to its pragmatic logic. So, as I wrote 2 days ago, we now have an excellent possibility of seeing an end to this and future Persian Gulf Crises along with an idea that can potentially become the template for an entire Southwest Asian security treaty, whose only holdout would be Occupied Palestine. The Outlaw US Empire is effectively shutout of the entire process. And as I also wrote, it's now time for the Saudis to determine where their future lies--with Eurasia or with a dying Empire.
KC , Aug 17 2019 21:11 utc | 15
@Tonymike

So the U.S. bought the Iron Dome stuff from Israel? I guess that means we paid for it twice, eh? Glad to know my tax dollars are hard at work "keeping us safe."

Wonder what they might be planning for with that one?

karlof1 , Aug 17 2019 21:18 utc | 18
Ian Seed | Aug 17 2019 20:55 utc | 7--

The Yemenese military had lots of technological capabilities remaining from the Cold War along with factories, technicians and raw materials. For example, Yemen's aerospace forces allied with the Houthi and are the ones producing and shooting the missiles and drones. One doesn't need to import a complete drone; technical blueprints on a floppy, CD-ROM, DVD, thumb-drive, are all that's required. The humanitarian crisis due to food and medicine shortages played on the minds of people such that an image of a poor, backward, non-industrial capable society was generated that wasn't 100% correct.

Sasha , Aug 17 2019 21:47 utc | 24
What to say? Poetic justice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGrUz-rdxxM

Ancient cultures are not so easy to erradicate so as to loot their resources.
A lesson the peoples without culture must learn.....

fx , Aug 17 2019 21:59 utc | 25
And of course, this makes the threat by Iran to hit back against military and industrial installations on the other side of the Persian Gulf that much stronger.
Really?? , Aug 17 2019 22:10 utc | 28
13

It would be rich indeed if Iran were to be the entity that ultimately manages to loosen the stranglehold that the Zionists have on the USA Congress, media, president, donors to political parties, etc.

Sasha , Aug 17 2019 22:31 utc | 33
A graphic idea of the distance in the map...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1162850455954874369

Photos of the Houthis drones and rockets arsenal...published last month...Someone possibly thought it was fake...

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1147940696705392642

jerichocheyenne , Aug 17 2019 22:39 utc | 34
I can imagine the shale oil producers smiling right now...100 a barrel oil will be just what they need! Cost-push inflation leading to a return of bell bottoms and leisure suits. No wonder all these 70's band retreads are touring again :)
karlof1 , Aug 17 2019 23:11 utc | 37
Michael Droy | Aug 17 2019 22:40 utc | 35--

So, poor Yemen wasted via siege warfare waged by NATO since 2015 though its Saudi, UAE and terrorist proxies that came very close to success, finds the initiative to counterattack with what little it has at its disposal--All accusations of Iranian help have never been proven --and thanks to the Outlaw US Empire's threats against Iran force UAE to withdrawal and seek peace with Iran with Saudi soon to follow. And the situation is all Iran's fault?! Note the date above--it precedes Trump's election, his illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA and institution of the illegal sanctions regime against Iran.

Europe is on board with Russia's collective security proposal. Europe had representatives at the meet between Khamenei and the Houthi negotiator. Europe--even the UK--still working to salvage the JCPOA via the non-dollar trade conduit. And you conclude that the Outlaw US Empire "might actually get European support to attack Iran."

eagle eye , Aug 17 2019 23:21 utc | 38
First Afghanistan, then Yemen. Maybe the western media's imaging of these people as towel headed, sandal wearing primatives is just a tad misguided......

[Aug 06, 2019] Something is happening in Saudi Arabia

Aug 06, 2019 | www.middleeastmonitor.com

August 5, 2019

A Saudi royal, Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz, yesterday warned against "the kingdom's involvement in a war with Iran."

"I'd oppose the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman if he decided to join a US-British military alliance to confront Iran," The New Khalij quoted Abdul Aziz as saying.

The brother of the Saudi King added that it was important for Riyadh to take measures to unify the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) instead of responding to US President Donald Trump's plans, which he described as "pushing the region to the brink of war."

Posted by: somebody | Aug 6 2019 6:46 utc | 85

[Apr 07, 2019] The Ultimate Pivot Saudi Betrayal Of The Petrodollar

Apr 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Saudi Arabia has gone nuclear, threatening the petrodollar . Or has it?

The report from Zerohedge via Reuters that Saudi Arabia is angry with the U.S. for considering a bill exposing OPEC to U.S. antitrust law is a trial balloon.

The chances of the U.S. bill known as NOPEC coming into force are slim and Saudi Arabia would be unlikely to follow through, but the fact Riyadh is considering such a drastic step is a sign of the kingdom's annoyance about potential U.S. legal challenges to OPEC.

If these things are so unlikely then why make the threat public? There are a number of reasons.

First, one must remember that the Saudis are hemorrhaging money. Their primary budget deficit in 2018 was around 7% of GDP. Since the 2014 crash in oil prices it has gone from almost zero sovereign debt to $180 billion in debt to finance its spending, or around 22% of GDP.

2019's budget will be even bigger as it tries to deficit spend its way to growth. It's needs for a higher oil price are built into their primary budget not their production costs, which are some of the lowest in the world.

Second, the Saudis finally opened up t he books on Saudi-Aramco this week. And it revealed the giant is far more profitable than thought. It has is eye on acquiring stakes in some of the biggest oil and gas projects out there these past couple of years. It's floating its first public bond to buy a stake in SABIC to get into the mid and downstream petroleum markets.

Third, the Saudis budget deficit is tied directly to its having pegged the Riyal to the U.S. dollar which leaves them at the mercy of the dollar price of oil. It doesn't have the flexibility of Russia who free-floated the ruble back in late 2014 to pay local expenses in devalued local currency when oil prices drop.

This is why the Saudis are struggling financially and why Aramco is looking to use its financial might to finally begin making friends and influencing people around the world.

So, a threat to de-couple Saudi oil sales from the dollar is a threat a long time coming. I've been talking about this day since I started this blog and for years previous when I wrote for Newsmax.


MalteseFalcon , 5 minutes ago link

China is now the largest consumer of SA oil, so the clock is ticking on the petrodollar.

Aramco is super profitable. The oil scam of the last 45 years has fucked the West in the a$$.

D-plorable , 35 minutes ago link

"A decade of ZIRP has created a massive synthetic short position in the dollar in the form of emerging market corporate and real estate debt.

But after that? And after that synthetic short pushes the dollar much higher and the price of oil into the floor?"

Honrst question to the economics gurus on ZH:

How does a short position on the dollar push the price higher?

steverino999 , 36 minutes ago link

Saudis should flip Trump the bird and start selling their oil in yuan or euro, and buy weapons from Russia. America's stranglehold over global economics is coming to an end, all because of Donald Trump.

yerfej , 13 minutes ago link

Yes this has to be true and of course nothing before trump had anything to do with anything it is all a mirage.

carman , 48 minutes ago link

"Rome" is burning, and that's just what it deserves. Decades of endless wars and it's "clipping" of the currency, will end with collapse. Many of its citizens can't raise $400. for an emergency but they can have their Netflix and Prime subscriptions to pay for. Hey, War Inc. is reaching its end.

roadhazard , 1 hour ago link

The Saudis are trapped. They have All US military equipment and have to have US hands to operate their air force and who knows what else. Plus they have too many skeletons that the US can hurt them with.

ThomasEdmonds , 1 hour ago link

"Peace for Israel" would include outside businesses or investors sticking to BDS actions. Other than the United States and Europe, natural law would suggest no of law should instruct any counterparty as to what Israel entity one should or should not engage in commerce.

In another time it was called free market capitalism.

Israeli lobbies shouldn't be able to squelch the First Amendment by requiring public servants to sign agreements not to condemn Israel-related foreign policy or domestic decisions.

Boing_Snap , 2 hours ago link

The empire of paper currency and oil supported by bankers and their wars is coming to an end.

Fracking is a desperate attempt at keeping internal oil production going, it's akin to burning the roof shingles of your house to keep warm. The costs to get the oil outweigh the usefulness of the endeavor, the only ones benefiting are the bankers loaning the money to the frackers.

Rome did the same it self destructed, and rotted internally, meanwhile the cost of empire drained resources and the vassals began to act in their own self-interests. The Khazarian bankers remained the host drained, and they began to leech the new fledgling empires.

https://www.historynet.com/why-rome-fell.htm

frankthecrank , 2 hours ago link

Where do you see bankers in that history? Rome devalued its own gold coins by mixing tin in with it. The soldiers felt cheated. Meanwhile, Rome allowed mass migration to Rome and southern Italy prompting real Romans to move to Gaul (northern Italy was "Cisalpine Gaul"). Rome wasn't even the capitol when it was sacked--Ravenna was. Get your history straight. Real Romans were not willing to fight for city that wasn't their own anymore.

So too, what will bring down the US is mass migration from the third world--just what the Comintern wanted 90 years ago.

Keter , 2 hours ago link

The US petrodollar reserve currency status has been a disaster for middle class Americans much to their ignorance. It has allowed the financial-political cabal elite to enrich themselves at the expense of deficit and debt expansion while impoverishing the middle class and bringing in replacement labor serfs. Time to rip this band-aid off and the American middle class to reclaim their country, that will probably ultimately lead to revolution.

Pro_sanity , 2 hours ago link

It must, I do wonder if violence can be avoided?

sanctificado , 2 hours ago link

Suure, blame Saudi Arabia for the "betrayal". But of course overlook the fact that the US Congress passed a law that put 9/11 squarely on SA's shoulder when Israhell is the one that did 9/11 .

Keter , 2 hours ago link

Operation Northwoods redux; the Mossad may have had a big role, but it could not have been pulled off without complete acquiescence from the DIA. It is all part of the long game. {See Donald Rumsfield handling empty gurney on Pentagon grounds}

Milton Keynes , 2 hours ago link

" Second, the Saudis finally opened up t he books on Saudi-Aramco this week. And it revealed the giant is far more profitable than thought. "

I would place about as much credibility in the Aramco books as I would in Bernie Madoff's books.

Aramco pumps oil, that's about all we really know for sure. Given the intertwining with the saudi state, it's not a conventional oil company in any manner, it's much more a PDVSA then a StatOil.

To Hell In A Handbasket , 2 hours ago link

Buys oil how? You fuckers have been printing paper and buying resources with it. You guys simply lack the ability to extrapolate, because if you did, the current lifestyle of the USSA, without dollar world reserve status and the petrodollar perk, is utterly ******* horrendous.

Never will the axiom "I never knew how good I had it, until it was gone" be more apt, when the USSA faces her date with reality. $22 trillion in debt, world reserve currency, petrodollar, Wall Street a cesspit of financial fraud, no adverse market reaction to continuous money printing and has the audacity to complain trade deficits and OPEC? lol

Death to the USSA cannot come soon enough. A parasite nation of resource theives and the world knows it.

Pro_sanity , 2 hours ago link

Sorry here comes an ad hominem, the Saudi's are emblematic of all Arabs: cowards.

cashback , 2 hours ago link

What a motherfuckin degenerated bastard.

Palestinians with stones and sticks against F-35's and M-16's kick the balls of Jews and have been doing so for the past 100 years.

Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and everywhere the Anglo-Zionists have waged war, Arabs have put on a resistance that left the aggressors astonishing.

And for the fact: Arabs created the biggest empire known to men in the matter of 80 years that was almost 3 times bigger then the mighty Rome.

White snowniggers like Pro-sanity **** their pants by what Arabs have done.

InTheLandOfTheBlind , 3 hours ago link

why is it not reported that through Citigroup, the Saudis hold a large financial interest in shale production?

[Apr 06, 2019] Of course the Saudis are laughing at Trump. The world is laughing at Trump. He is an ignorant baffoon.

Apr 06, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

vonfleck, 04/05/2019 at 4:53 pm

All quiet on the saudian front…

https://www.arabianbusiness.com/energy/416992-saudi-aramco-reveals-sharp-output-drop-at-worlds-largest-oil-field

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 04/06/2019 at 12:24 pm

Trump Declares War on OPEC, Saudis Laugh as Oil Price Surges

Donald Trump is ramping up his attack on oil prices as US crude hit a 5-month high today. While up to now the US president has been focused on denouncing high energy costs via Twitter, it appears he now is looking to do more than merely bash OPEC online. As CNBC reported, the US wants to ensure "dominance" in this sector through a blockbuster executive order designed to boost pipeline infrastructure. In reality, Trump walks a dangerous tightrope when it comes to crude.

Of course the Saudis are laughing at Trump. The world is laughing at Trump. He is an ignorant baffoon.

likbez says: 04/06/2019 at 7:59 pm

Of course the Saudis are laughing at Trump. The world is laughing at Trump. He is an ignorant baffoon.

May be ignorant bully, not only (or so much) baffoon ? He practices what is called “gangster capitalism” on international arena for some time. Totally ignores international law. Does not even use a fig leaf as previous administrations. Trump is “Full Spectrum Dominance” in action 😉

In view of the Saudi role of the guarantor of the “dollar as the reserve currency” system his behavior might well be a reckless move, which totally contradicts Trump’s behavior in Khashoggi case. Kind of direct pressure is Soprano style: “Do what I want, or…”

If Saudi stop selling oil for dollars that will be a very bad news for the USA. Hopefully they can’t do this being a Washington vassal, but to insult a vassal is not the best diplomacy, anyway.

Why Trump can’t understand that oil is limited and higher prices might well be the best strategy as they helps to find alternatives, develop infrastructure (for example for EV passenger cars) and prepare to inevitable shortages, or even the Seneca Cliff in oil supply.

Why he wants to propel/sustain the US stock market at any cost?

Low oil prices can help to kick the neoliberal can down the road, but they can’t save the USA from the “secular stagnation” and might not be able to save the USA from the recession too because consumption is low: credit card debt reached 0.87 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018 On other words the bottom 80% of the USA population might well be debt slaves of the US banks.

On March 25, 2019 yields curve inverted the first time since mid 2007: The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note dipped below the yield on the 3-month paper.

In other words secular stagnation is the result of the crisis of neoliberalism both as the ideology and as the social system dominant in the world. Neoliberalism entered “zombie” stage in 2008 and it continues to exist (and even counterattack, as in Argentina and Brazil) only due to the fact that there is no acceptable alternative and the return to the New Deal capitalism (which many wish) is difficult or impossible because management now is allied with the capital owners, not with workers (as was temporary the case after the Great Depression; that alliance ended in 70th).

I just do not understand if Trump is on drags such as amphetamine, see rumors at https://heavy.com/news/2016/10/donald-trump-drugs-drug-use-sniffing-sniffles-cocaine-clinton-debate-test ; BTW captagon was/is a favorite drag of ISIS headchoppers which allowed them to demonstrate the level of toughness in fight and self-sacrifice they did, as it switches off the instinct of self-preservation enhancing the person’s ability to do dangerous things. ( https://www.vox.com/world/2015/11/20/9769264/captagon-isis-drug ).

Or he is a “naturally stupid” bully, who does not care to learn diplomatic etiquette and some elements of diplomacy, while on the job.

In both cases he is a real embarrassment for the nation, is not he?

While I do not support Russiagate witch hunt, his behavior really raises questions about fitness for the office.

Also Bush II style (as in Iraq WDM fiasco ) bunch of crazy warmongers, neocons that control Trump administration foreign policy (Haley in the past, Pompeo, Bolton now ) is not what his voters expected based on his election promises.

In a sense, he proved to be Republican Obama, another master of “bait and switch” maneuver.

Looks like we are living during what Chinese call “interesting times”, aren’t we ?

[Apr 06, 2019] Saudi News Saudi Aramco reveals sharp output drop at world's largest oil field - ArabianBusiness.com

Apr 06, 2019 | www.arabianbusiness.com

Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest conventional oil field, can produce a lot less than almost anyone believed It was a state secret and the source of a kingdom's riches. It was so important that US military planners once debated how to seize it by force. For oil traders, it was a source of endless speculation.

Now the market finally knows: Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest conventional oil field, can produce a lot less than almost anyone believed.

When Saudi Aramco on Monday published its first ever profit figures since its nationalization nearly 40 years ago, it also lifted the veil of secrecy around its mega oil fields. The company's bond prospectus revealed that Ghawar is able to pump a maximum of 3.8 million barrels a day - well below the more than 5 million that had become conventional wisdom in the market.

"As Saudi's largest field, a surprisingly low production capacity figure from Ghawar is the stand-out of the report," said Virendra Chauhan, head of upstream at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. in Singapore.

... ... ...

[Apr 05, 2019] Petrodollar Panic Saudis Threaten To Dump USD-Oil Trades Over OPEC Anti-Trust Bill

Apr 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Three year ago - almost to the day - Saudi Arabia rattled its first sabre towards the United States, with an implicit threat to dump US Treasuries over Congress' decision to allow the Saudis to be held responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

In a stunning report at the time by the NYTimes , Saudi Arabia told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Then, six months ago , the Saudis once again threatened to weaponize their wealth as the biggest importer of arms from America in the world.

You will find more infographics at Statista

And now , Reuters reports, citing three unidentified people familiar with Saudi energy policy, Saudi Arabia is threatening to drop the dollar as its main currency in selling its oil if the U.S. passes a bill that exposes OPEC members to U.S. antitrust lawsuits .

While the death of the petrodollar has long been predicted (as the petroyuan gathers momentum), this is the most direct threat yet to the USDollar's exorbitant privilege...

"The Saudis know they have the dollar as the nuclear option," one of the sources familiar with the matter said.

"The Saudis say: let the Americans pass NOPEC and it would be the U.S. economy that would fall apart," another source said.

Riyadh reportedly communicated the threat to senior U.S. energy officials , one person briefed on Saudi oil policy told Reuters

As Reuters details, NOPEC, or the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, was first introduced in 2000 and aims to remove sovereign immunity from U.S. antitrust law, paving the way for OPEC states to be sued for curbing output in a bid to raise oil prices.

While the bill has never made it into law despite numerous attempts, the legislation has gained momentum since U.S. President Donald Trump came to office. Trump said he backed NOPEC in a book published in 2011 before he was elected, though he not has not voiced support for NOPEC as president.

Trump has instead stressed the importance of U.S-Saudi relations, including sales of U.S. military equipment, even after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.

A move by Saudi Arabia to ditch the dollar would resonate well with big non-OPEC oil producers such as Russia as well as major consumers China and the European Union, which have been calling for moves to diversify global trade away from the dollar to dilute U.S. influence over the world economy.

Russia, which is subject to U.S. sanctions, has tried to sell oil in euros and China's yuan but the proportion of its sales in those currencies is not significant.

Venezuela and Iran, which are also under U.S. sanctions, sell most of their oil in other currencies but they have done little to challenge the dollar's hegemony in the oil market.

However, if a long-standing U.S. ally such as Saudi Arabia joined the club of non-dollar oil sellers it would be a far more significant move likely to gain traction within the industry.

Perhaps this explains why Russia has been dumping dollars in favors of gold in recent months ...

And why China suddenly admitted to increased gold reserves...

And why there has been a spike in yuan buying by reserve managers last year, as the IMF pointed out in a recent report.

So the next time you hear an analyst on CNBC categorically dismiss the notion that the loss of the dollar's reserve currency status isn't something that markets should take seriously (even as several credible voices have warned that it should be), you'd do well to remember this chart.

Nothing lasts forever.

[Mar 16, 2019] Perhaps the level of Saudi oil production was unsustainable and they are really glad to officially have an excuse to cut back on production.

Mar 16, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ron Patterson

x Ignored says: 03/15/2019 at 6:22 am
.Saudi Arabia
Quota 10,311
.Feb. Production 10,087
.Difference -224

Saudi Arabia produced 224,000 barrels per day less than their quota. Did not anyone notice this and wonder why? The rest of OPEC was 179,000 barrels per day over their quota. Iraq was the largest violator being 121,000 bpd over their quota.

Also, Saudi Arabia was the absolute driving force behind these quota cuts implemented in January.

Baggen x Ignored says: 03/15/2019 at 7:24 am
Noticed, and you could argue that they are showing the way and taking the larger part of the burden since they want to be so nice to the rest of the opec members ;-).

Or perhaps the level they have been producing at is unsustainable and they are really glad to officially have an excuse to cut back on production.

Your take?

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 03/15/2019 at 8:11 am
Or perhaps the level they have been producing at is unsustainable and they are really glad to officially have an excuse to cut back on production.

You nailed it. That's my take exactly.

[Mar 05, 2019] Saudi Oil Strategy Brilliant Or Suicide

This is neoliberal/neocolonial analysis of the situation. Reader beware. But it catches some interesting interdependencies. For example the need for revenue intensifies with the growth of the population. This creates problems for KSA. As of March 2019 oil price per barrel did not return to $90 level yet.
The article was written in 2015 but still has value. So it is interesting to read what neoliberal thought at this time is not that different from what they think now...
The idea that Saudi Arabia is an independent player is too simplistic... It never was. It just hides the key role of the USA in engineering oil prices slump and the fact that Saudi Arabia is a vassal of Washington is ignored.
"... The Saudi miscalculation has several sources. One is the negative feedback loop between oil production, GDP, and national budgets that plagues many non-Western oil producers. Their GDP and national budgets depend significantly on the revenues from their oil exports. As a result, the revenue shortfalls incentivize them to produce as much oil as possible to mitigate the shortfall. ..."
"... Asian customers are taking advantage of the competition. They are reducing the share of long-term contracts in favor of spot purchases. For example, as the Wall Street Journal reported , some Japanese refiners are cutting the proportion of oil purchased through long-term contracts to around 70 percent from more than 90 percent, while some South Korean refiners are reducing the proportion from 75 to 50 percent. Furthermore, several national oil companies, Venezuela's among them, are building refineries with local partners in Asia, which will use their crude. ..."
"... Third, Saudi refusal to act as price guarantor undercuts the confidence foreigners need to invest in, or loan to, oil projects. ..."
"... Fourth, in terms of political risk, Saudi Arabia with its Gulf allies, Iran, and Iraq, and the Middle East in general, is at the epicenter of global tension, turmoil, and tumult. ..."
"... Fifth, its influence within OPEC, and therefore its ability to manage OPEC output and prices, is diminished ..."
"... Saudi officials apparently viewed $90 or even $80 per barrel oil for "one or two years" with equanimity. Can they maintain the composure they have displayed thus far as they incur in a single year the revenue losses they expected to take four years (at $90 oil) or two years (at $80 oil)? ..."
"... Yet, in effect, these countries are engaged in the oil equivalent of mutually assured destruction. The sharp drop in oil revenue damages each of these countries economically and financially, while the wars they wage directly and indirectly against each other drain resources from vital domestic projects. ..."
Aug 30, 2015 | peakoilbarrel.com
The Saudi miscalculation has several sources. One is the negative feedback loop between oil production, GDP, and national budgets that plagues many non-Western oil producers. Their GDP and national budgets depend significantly on the revenues from their oil exports. As a result, the revenue shortfalls incentivize them to produce as much oil as possible to mitigate the shortfall.

According to the IEA , daily output in June 2015 increased 3.1 million barrels over 2014, with 60 percent (1.8 million barrels) coming from OPEC. At 31.7 million barrels per day, OPEC output reached a three-year high.

This increase in output occurs with the context of a narrow global demand opportunity. Growth in demand in 2015, which the IEA forecasts to average around 1.4 million barrels per day, comes primarily from Asia and North America. In other major export markets, demand is stagnant. That has oil exporting countries, including OPEC members, Russia and others, focusing their sales on Asia, particularly China. North American demand is growing now that oil prices are low, but due to high levels of domestic production, the U.S. is no longer a growth market for oil exporters.

Each producer, therefore, is incentivized to undercut other producers directly (price per barrel) or indirectly (absorbing shipping cost or delivery risk) to win sales in Asia (or displace incumbent suppliers in other major markets). National oil producers can and are shifting the cost of the lowered prices to other sectors of the economy. The U.A.E., for example, has ended fuel subsidies, thereby essentially, increasing its budget revenues, while Saudi Arabia recently floated a $4 billion domestic bond offering to help finance its budget.

Asian customers are taking advantage of the competition. They are reducing the share of long-term contracts in favor of spot purchases. For example, as the Wall Street Journal reported , some Japanese refiners are cutting the proportion of oil purchased through long-term contracts to around 70 percent from more than 90 percent, while some South Korean refiners are reducing the proportion from 75 to 50 percent. Furthermore, several national oil companies, Venezuela's among them, are building refineries with local partners in Asia, which will use their crude.

Given this environment, it is not surprising that the revenue elasticity of production is highly sensitive, and negative. Saudi Arabia increased production by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2015 but saw export revenues shrink by 42 percent.

Any Saudi Victory Will Be Pyrrhic

Saudi confidence in their financial wherewithal is proving misplaced.

Their need for revenue is intensifying rather than moderating. They are fighting a multi-front war with Iran directly (in Yemen) and indirectly (in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq). ISIS, Al Qaeda, and disaffected Shias present a significant domestic security threat. Countering external and internal threats demands increased spending (including, perhaps, a very expensive future nuclear weapons program), as does placating the fast growing male and female youth demographic, which requires substantial spending on education, training, employment, and support. Hence, the budget deficit equal to 20 percent of GDP, noted above.
Increased production does not offer a solution. Saudi Arabia doesn't have the capacity to increase production sufficiently to reduce the shortfall significantly in any meaningful timeframe. They currently do not have the spare capacity-to make up for the $291 million in export revenue lost in Q1 , 5.4 million more barrels a day would have been necessary at $53.92 a barrel. Of course, such a drastic increase in output would have driven prices even lower. It is doubtful they can increase capacity substantially even in the medium- to long term. They won't be able to spend significantly more than other major national oil companies. First, low prices reduce Aramco's cash flow and therefore its ability to fund investment. Second, the Saudi government likely will increase its draw from this cash flow to fund higher priority national security and domestic security needs.
Third, Saudi refusal to act as price guarantor undercuts the confidence foreigners need to invest in, or loan to, oil projects. What might be attractive at $75 per barrel oil isn't at $50 oil, and even less attractive if the price of oil is thoroughly unpredictable.
Fourth, in terms of political risk, Saudi Arabia with its Gulf allies, Iran, and Iraq, and the Middle East in general, is at the epicenter of global tension, turmoil, and tumult.
Fifth, its influence within OPEC, and therefore its ability to manage OPEC output and prices, is diminished . Their underestimate of the impact of their policy change on prices, their indifference vis-à-vis the financial damage to other OPEC members, and their willingness to take market share at the expense of other OPEC members undercut their credibility within OPEC (particularly since it derived from Saudi willingness to protect the interests of all members (and sometimes to endure disproportionately).

While Saudi financial reserves are substantial ( circa $672 billion in May ), drawing on them is little more than a stop-gap measure. If its major competitors (Russia, Iraq, Iran, and North America) maintain or even increase output (and they have the incentive to do so), prices could stay lower far longer than the Saudis anticipated.

Saudi reserves have decreased some $65 billion since prices started to fall (in November), so ~$100 billion to ~$130 billion at an annual rate. The longer prices stay low, the faster their reserves fall, and, as reserves plummet, the greater the pressure to prioritize spending, to the disadvantage of some Saudis.

Saudi Arabia Caused The Problem, Can It Engineer A Solution?

Saudi officials apparently viewed $90 or even $80 per barrel oil for "one or two years" with equanimity. Can they maintain the composure they have displayed thus far as they incur in a single year the revenue losses they expected to take four years (at $90 oil) or two years (at $80 oil)?

And if they can't-and surely, though they are loath to admit it, they can't - can they engineer a durable increase in prices - i.e., a durable decrease in output? At first glance, it seems impossible. Daily output from Saudi Arabia (10.5 million), and its allies, UAE (2.87), Kuwait (2.8), and Qatar (.67), is roughly equal to the daily output from countries with which it is in conflict, directly or indirectly, Russia (11.2), Iran (2.88), and Iraq (3.75), and therefore have an incentive to take advantage of any unilateral Saudi output concessions.

Yet, in effect, these countries are engaged in the oil equivalent of mutually assured destruction. The sharp drop in oil revenue damages each of these countries economically and financially, while the wars they wage directly and indirectly against each other drain resources from vital domestic projects.

Moreover, given the sensitivity of prices to changes in volume, it is possible, if not likely, that holding output steady or matching a Saudi

[Mar 02, 2019] Saudi Arabia Oil Exports To U.S. Nosedive

Mar 02, 2019 | oilprice.com

OilPrice.com

Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports to U.S. are falling sharply, with shipments so far this month at just 1.6 million barrels, according to data compiled by Bloomberg , versus 5.75 million barrels a year ago.

For the whole of January, Saudi Arabia exported just 2.69 million barrels of crude to the United States. The decline follows Saudi Arabia's decision to cut its crude oil production -- primarily heavy crude grades -- by more than it agreed to at the December OPEC+ meeting as it seeks higher oil prices.

One analyst told Bloomberg oil exports from the Kingdom to U.S. refiners could even fall to zero but that was unlikely to happen.

"We could see Saudi oil imports declining to zero into the U.S. Gulf Coast," Andy Lipow from Lipow Oil Associates said. "OPEC and non-OPEC members feel prices are too low, and they will do what it takes to put the market back in balance."

[Feb 26, 2019] Ain Dar, Shedgum, and Uthmaniyah are all in decline and likely in steep decline. Hawiyah and Haradh likely have not yet peaked. However, it is production from Khurais and Manifa and Shaybah that is keeping the decline in Saudi production from becoming obvious

Feb 26, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 02/26/2019 at 3:23 pm

My understanding is that there are proved undeveloped reserves, those require new wells.

Dennis, I need to know just how you arrived at this understanding? It is my understanding that these are infill wells. The word "infill" implies developed, not undeveloped.

infill drilling Bold mine.

1. n. [Enhanced Oil Recovery]
The addition of wells in a field that decreases average well spacing. This practice both accelerates expected recovery and increases estimated ultimate recovery in heterogeneous reservoirs by improving the continuity between injectors and producers. As well spacing is decreased, the shifting well patterns alter the formation-fluid flow paths and increase sweep to areas where greater hydrocarbon saturations exist.

Infill drilling does increase the ultimate recovery as it gets gaps near the top of the reservoir that otherwise might be missed. But mostly it just pulls the oil out faster. That is most of the oil recovered by infill drilling is not oil that would otherwise be missed.

There are no longer any undeveloped fields in Saudi Arabia. These wells are in the very well developed Ghawar, and I assume the field to the west is Khurais. Both fields are not just developed, but overly developed. They have been doing infill drilling in Ghawar for almost two decades. I assume these new Ghawar wells will be in the very southern two fields.

Survivalist x Ignored says: 02/26/2019 at 12:23 pm
From what I understand it was also stated by Schlumberger that they are in-fill (infill?) wells Just sticking more straws in an almost empty bucket. It seems to me that that will bring forward future production(to sustain a plateau) and the eventual decline rate in the future will necessarily be steeper, like a bell curve vs a Seneca Cliff type curve.

I would suggest infill drilling is a good indicator of what KSA feels it's oil development priorities are. One could make an assumption about why they feel that way. I assume it's because they don't have anything better to do with the drilling rigs.

Baggen x Ignored says: 02/26/2019 at 12:32 pm
Yes it was stated they were infill wells and i dont know if it was a slip but from memory MD? Also said purpose was to mitigate decline rates.
islandboy x Ignored says: 02/26/2019 at 9:54 am
Ron, what is your opinion on Saudi Arabia? A I have said here before, I think that the Ghawar could water out at any time, reducing Saudi output by somewhere in the region of 3 mbpd in short order. It could happen tomorrow, next week, next year, who (outside of Aramco) knows?
Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 02/26/2019 at 10:40 am
Islandboy, Ghawar is not one field, it is five fields. From north to south there is Ain Dar, Shedgum, Uthmaniyah, Hawiyah and Haradh. Ghawar was developed from north to south.

Ghawar Oil Field

Ghawar is currently estimated to account for about six percent of the world's total daily crude oil output. The field's production peaked at 5.7million barrels per day in 1981 and later slipped below the five million mark. The development of the southern Hawiyah and Haradh areas during 1994 and 1996, however, raised the production to five million barrels per day again.

Ain Dar, Shedgum, and Uthmaniyah are all in decline and likely in steep decline. Hawiyah and Haradh likely have not yet peaked. However, it is production from Khurais and Manifa and Shaybah that is keeping the decline in Saudi production from becoming obvious. All other fields, other than the bottom two Ghawar fields, and these three latest developed fields, are in steep decline.

Khurais and Manifa were in mothballs for decades. Then they were brought on line, at great expense, to counter the decline in all the other super-giant fields. But the decline in these old super-giants is getting steeper.

[Feb 22, 2019] Saudi crude oil closing stocks fell again by 2.84 million barrels to nearly 10-years low of 205.38.

Feb 22, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Energy News x Ignored says: 02/18/2019 at 7:32 am

Saudi crude oil closing stocks fell again by 2.84 million barrels to nearly 10-years low of 205.38.
JODI's own chart: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dzr_iVGWoAEVkm7.png
Oilytics chart https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DzsB3kIWsAArlyG.jpg
Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 02/18/2019 at 8:01 am
Why on earth would Saudi stocks be falling at such a rate? If Saudi is concerned about low oil prices, they do not need to cut production, they only need to cut exports.

Saudi has 266 billion barrels of oil in the ground, and in the dead of winter, their lowest crude burn season, their stocks are falling? Something just don't add up here.

Greenbub x Ignored says: 02/18/2019 at 5:31 pm
Giovanni Staunovo
🛢
‏ @staunovo

Saudi Crude Exports Slump to 6.2M B/D in 1H February: Kpler
Shipments tumble by 1.34m b/d in 1H February, compared with same period in January, consultant says in report.
BBG #OOTT

Jeff x Ignored says: 02/18/2019 at 8:38 am
Are there any (public) estimates of how much SA produce vs. draw from inventory to cover their exports or are all these charts based on their own reported figures?

There are several issues with the reported numbers that appears odd to me.

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 02/18/2019 at 8:50 am
I found, back when I was reporting JODI data, that for OPEC, they used the "direct communication" data rather than the "secondary sources" data for their OPEC production data. But that was several years ago.
Energy News x Ignored says: 02/18/2019 at 9:02 am
It's just their own reported figures. I know that the secondary sources quoted in OPEC MOMR use tanker tracking and reported refinery runs to check OPEC production but beyond that I don't know.
Dennis Coyne x Ignored says: 02/18/2019 at 6:46 pm
Robert Rapier's newest article

Discussion Of Saudi Arabia's Oil Reserves Provokes Some Emotional Responses

I find his logic impeccable.

In summary, while I have not proven that Saudi has 270 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, I think the evidence points in that direction. And if you accept a much lower number, you essentially accept that there is a vast conspiracy involved in hiding the real numbers.

An old post by me, maybe I got the idea from Robert Rapier. I hadn't realized he had written something on this at the time. (If so I apologize to Mr. Rapier for the lack of citation.)

http://peakoilbarrel.com/us-oil-reserve-growth-2/

dclonghorn x Ignored says: 02/18/2019 at 9:46 pm
I don't find Mr. Rapier's logic even close to impeccable.

Mr Rapier does not address a number of issues which concern Saudi reserves in his article. For instance, KSA reserves are known to consist mostly of a relatively small number of giant fields, as compared to the USA which has a much larger geographic area, many small fields and perhaps close to a million wells drilled.

In KSA most of its oil resources are concentrated in about a fifth of its 830,000 square mile geographic area. It has conducted a systematic and thorough search using seismic, drilling and other tools to explore for other resources. I believe their best undeveloped findings have been deeper gas in the known oily areas. The Shaybah oil field, said to be the last of the elephants, was discovered in 1968. Remote and relatively expensive, it was not developed until 1998. Likewise, the development of Ghawar also proceeded slowly, with the last southern parts not being developed until around 2000.

The manner in which the country's resources have been developed has not been addressed. In the USA every promoter with access to OPM has drilled, including many wells of questionable economics. Would the LTO currently developing here be brought on at all, or very slowly anywhere else? Is LTO really economic at today's prices?

In KSA the government owned oil company has systematically developed their resources, and by most accounts they have been thorough, methodical, and have used cutting edge technology. In the early 2000's they combined advanced seismic, drilling, and completion technologies to create multi-lateral super wells which have been used to develop Shaybah as well as to rejuvenate many older worn out fields such as Abqaiq. These super wells have allowed KSA to maintain its massive production but when these traps have been depleted there is not likely to be an encore.

The nature of the giant Saudi fields is different from the USA. Ghawar has been described as the perfect trap. With high perm and porosity KSA expects to produce a large percentage of original oil in place. The old reserve reports Rapier referenced also expected to recover high percentages of original oil. Technology has certainly increased the amount of oil KSA will recover but I believe they are looking at increasing recovery by a few, maybe up to 10 percentage points in each field. Their best result, is pulling forward production with their super wells, not creating recoverable oil from resources such as shale which were previously considered uneconomic.

Rig counts in KSA were around 10 for much of the 90's. They have increased sharply since with the push to maintain their production around 10 million bpd. Current levels of around 130 rigs seem needed to maintain 10, not 25.

Of course, the underlying problem comparing USA reserves with KSA is the geology, and I am not a geologist, but my understanding is that the persian gulf area is unique and not comparable to USA.

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 02/19/2019 at 7:06 am
Thanks dclonghorn. I find your logic impeccable.
shallow sand x Ignored says: 02/19/2019 at 8:19 am
Good post dc.

EIA used to publish stats regarding number of US oil wells, gas wells and average TD per well.

I guess there are over one million active oil/gas wells in US, including Alaska and GOM. There are over 100K "shale wells already and US is adding 10K +/- per year.

Schlumberger had a graphic awhile back comparing the drilling intensity of the US to both Russian and the Middle East. Was an eye opener.

dclonghorn x Ignored says: 02/19/2019 at 10:37 am
Thanks for the kind comments Ron and Shallow.

After reviewing recent comments, I see an additional area to address, that of the D&M reserve review. As one who used to do audits, I can tell you that auditors rely heavily on management to present them with a basis for their opinion. Auditors cannot review everything, and most are familiar with some of the noted failures such as Enron and Billie Sol Estes.

One of the old standard auditor jokes goes like this.

A prospective client interviews three firms and asks each the same question: What is 2 plus 2.
First firm answer is : We pride ourselves on our expertise, the answer is 4. They do not get the job.
Second firm: We would like to research this question and provide you with a suitable answer. No job.
Third firm: What did you have in mind? Job!

A bigger question is why would KSA want to overstate its reserves. At its face value, the answer is they would not, lower reserves should lead to higher prices realized from their oil. I don't think it is that simple. The Saudi regime is an oppressive dictatorship that oddly relies on extensive welfare type payments to maintain power. They do have a national interest in overstating their reserves, its sort of an Emperor's new clothes thing.

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 02/18/2019 at 10:51 pm
And if you accept a much lower number, you essentially accept that there is a vast conspiracy involved in hiding the real numbers.

That sentence is total nonsense. In 1980 ARAMCO suggested that quotas would be allocated on the amount of proven reserves each country has. That is, the greater their proven reserves, the higher their quota would be. Within the next few years, every OPEC nation started increasing their "proven reserves" with a pencil. And their reserves just kept growing and growing and growing. They never did allocate quotas based on proven reserves, but that did not deter any of them from continually increasing their numbers.

But it is just downright silly to suggest that there is a conspiracy to hide their true reserves. Of course their true reserves, like those of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE are closely garded secret while their published reserves are published everywhere. But no conspiracy is needed to keep their true reserves a secret. All they have to do is deny all other published numbers. Besides, most OPEC officials really believe those numbers. It is not really hard to believe something you really desire to believe.

I find it astonishing that you Dennis, or Robert, thinks a conspiracy is needed to claim those absurded numbers. No, no, no. It's just a gross exaggeration, nothing more. A gross exaggeration does not require a conspiracy and it is just absurd to claim it does.

Tony Eriksen x Ignored says: 02/19/2019 at 2:44 am
Until Saudi oil reserves are independently audited their remaining crude oil reserves cannot be verified.
This is recent audit but until the entire audit is released, maybe in an IPO prospectus, there remains uncertainty.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-09/saudis-raise-oil-reserves-estimate-ahead-of-aramco-s-planned-ipo
http://tradearabia.com/news/OGN_349583.html

Saudi Arabia published the first audit of its vast oil reserves since it nationalized its energy industry about 40 years ago, saying its reserves total 268.5 billion, slightly more than the 266.3 billion figure that the government published previously.

The audit, conducted by Dallas-based consultant DeGolyer & MacNaughton Corp., is the first since Riyadh fully nationalized Saudi Aramco between 1976 and 1980, and it comes as the kingdom tries to generate interest in Aramco ahead of a potential initial public offering.

"This certification underscores why every barrel we produce is the most profitable in the world, and why we believe Saudi Aramco is the world's most valuable company and indeed the world's most important," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in a statement posted on the state news agency's website.

Tony Eriksen x Ignored says: 02/19/2019 at 3:04 am
This is a link from DeGolyer & MacNaughton about their audit on Saudi oil reserves. There is no field by field split of the reserves or the quality – heavy, light, sweet etc
Feb 12, 2019
https://www.demac.com/dm-confirms-independent-assessment-of-reserves-in-saudi-arabia-for-the-saudi-arabian-oil-company/
DeGolyer and MacNaughton is pleased to acknowledge the recent completion of the first contemporary independent assessment of reserves in Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Arabian Oil Company. The study encompassed a highly detailed independent analysis of a massive dataset and onsite review. More than 60 geophysicists, petrophysicists, geologists, simulation engineers, reserves engineering specialists, and economists were involved in the 30-month effort.
In 1943, one of our founders, Everette DeGolyer, surveyed the Middle East and Persian Gulf area as part of the war effort. Mr. DeGolyer was quoted at the time as declaring, "The oil in this region is the greatest single prize in all history." At the time of this survey, Mr. DeGolyer's estimates and predictions that the Middle East would become the center of the world's oil production were considered by some to be massive exaggerations, but his work has since been found to be quite conservative. DeGolyer and MacNaughton's work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues Mr. DeGolyer's legacy of knowledge and integrity, and the firm remains at the forefront of the petroleum consulting services industry.

Below is a compilation of article links where you can find further information regarding our most recent work in Saudi Arabia. At this time, DeGolyer and MacNaughton will make no further comments on this extensive project.

This link had some more detail
https://www.reuters.com/article/saudi-oil-reserves/update-3-saudi-arabia-announces-rise-in-oil-reserves-after-external-audit-idUSL8N1Z93WO
The consultant evaluated 54 major oil reservoirs operated by Aramco, out of 368 in its portfolio. In DeGolyer's view, these contained 213.1 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, compared to 210.9 billion as estimated internally by Aramco.

Dennis Coyne x Ignored says: 02/19/2019 at 8:46 am
Thanks Tony.
Watcher x Ignored says: 02/20/2019 at 3:15 am
More than 60 geophysicists, petrophysicists, geologists, simulation engineers, reserves engineering specialists, and economists were involved in the 30-month effort.

That's a lot of doods. Who funded it?

Dennis Coyne x Ignored says: 02/21/2019 at 9:54 am
Watcher,

All audits are paid for, so I guess that means we cannot believe any of them.

A reputable firm does not lie when they make these evaluations, they make their best estimate as their reputation for honesty is the core of their business.

Watcher x Ignored says: 02/21/2019 at 12:22 pm
Of course.

Just like tobacco danger audits funded by the tobacco industry were entirely credible because the analyzing firms had to be so very careful about their reputation.

I also recall the brain cancer/cellphone linkage study was funded by Motorola and challenging it on that basis never really got traction.

Eulenspiegel x Ignored says: 02/21/2019 at 3:33 am
The fishy things are the more side themes:

Why do they want to produce from the neutral zone – not really necessary the next 50 years with that reserves?

Why do they produce the expensive off shore fields? They could wait for a few decades more before spending this money.

Normally, a tapped giant field produces for 50-60 years – so with an original 4-500 GB ressources(this survey + everything they produced already) they should have capacity for up to 20 or 25 mb / day. They have erverything tapped they have, not some giant fields untapped as reserve.

Russia produces 11 mb/day from reserves of round about 100GB.

dclonghorn x Ignored says: 02/21/2019 at 2:07 pm
Good points Eulen.
Baggen x Ignored says: 02/21/2019 at 3:22 pm
Exactly, why would you develop more expensive and complicated offshore if you have "unlimited" resources left in cheap and easily accessible already developed areas?

Dont they need that money to pave the streets with gold, balance the budget, keep people happy? What king or politician would make that desicion? Lets develop the more expensive stuff we dont need so i have less money to throw around.. makes sense?

Schlumberger mentioned in their q3 in the q&a they had contact for drilling 400 infill wells for saudi during the next 3 years think starting year was 2019. Why is that needed if these unlimited reserves are there?

Or should we look at it the different way, 400 new holes unlocks these reserves or perhaps even more future reserves?

[Feb 22, 2019] The Saudis have had 270B barrels of oil since the 80s even though they've been producing 3-4B/yr. An independent audit found, miraculously, that they still have 270B barrels of oil.

Feb 22, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Stephen Hren: 02/21/2019 at 9:37 am

The Saudis have had 270B barrels of oil since the 80s even though they've been producing 3-4B/yr. An independent audit found, miraculously, that they still have 270B barrels of oil. As a small business owner I can tell you that my books can be audited and deemed in good order, and the auditor will never have gone back in the warehouse to see if there is actually any of the stock that I have listed in the books. The Saudis will have 270B barrels of oil, until, one day, they have none.
Eulenspiegel: 02/21/2019 at 10:38 am
It's the 270 GB that implies they are lying – how much is unknown.

Reserve growth and production never is hand in hand – it would be slowly decrease to 200 during the 90s, increase to 300 with higher oil prices for reclassifying marginal fields or introduction of new recovery technic, and reducing again.

Or a bump up with the discovery of a new field (this is always good for propaganda reasons).

Instead it was constant 270 over almost 40 years – not believable. And the audit was too near at this 270 – a 300 or a 250 would have been more believable.

So we still know nothing yet – perhaps it's 150, perhaps even 300.

[Feb 22, 2019] My calculations of Saudi reserves came to around 70-74 bb of remaining reserves

Feb 22, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 02/21/2019 at 2:52 pm

Mamdouh G Salameh's Response to Robert Rapier's article

Jeffrey J. Brown
9:35 AM

From Oilprice.com (Dr Mamdouh G Salameh):

In a paper titled:"Saudi Proven Crude Oil Reserves: The Myth & the Reality Revisited" I gave at the 10th IAEE European Energy Conference in Vienna, 7-10 September 2009, I reached the conclusion that Saudi proven crude oil reserves actually range from 90-125 billion barrels (bb) and not the 264 bb the Saudis were claiming then. That was 2009.

However, there has recently been claims that an independent audit has put Aramco's Oil Reserves at $270 billion Barrels". It transpired that the audit was neither independent nor unbiased since some of the companies that conducted the audit (DeGolyer, MacNaughton, and Baker Hughes' Gaffney, Cline, and Associates) have or have had service contracts with Saudi Aramco, so it can't truly be classified as an independent audit.

Still, I decided to make a new estimate of Saudi proven reserves by adding Saudi production since the discovery of oil in 1938 till now (for which we have figures) and then deducting them from Saudi claimed proven reserves along with an annual depletion rate of Saudi aging fields averaging 5%-7% for the same period. My calculations came to around 70-74 bb of remaining reserves compared with the figure in 2009 allowing for production since 2009.

The fact that Saudi Arabia's proven reserves remained virtually constant year after year despite sizeable annual production and a lack of major new discoveries since 1965 is due to the Saudis increasing the oil recovery factor (R/F) and the oil initially in place (OIIP) to offset the annual production. The Saudis have been declaring an R/F of 52% or even higher when the global average is 34%-35%. They have also increased the OIIP from 700 bb to 900 bb on the basis of Saudi Aramco projecting new discoveries which are yet to be discovered.

Venezuela does have the world's largest proven reserves estimated at 303 bb and growing. However, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that there may be more than 513 bb of extra-heavy crude oil and bitumen deposits in Venezuela's Orinoco belt region. The fact that the bulk of the reserves consists of extra-heavy oil doesn't detract from the fact that they are proven and have been refined in Venezuela's own refineries in Texas and sold in the United States as gasoline and diesel. Moreover, it is virtually no different from Canada's tar sand oil.

Your argument that the rise of oil prices to triple digits has made Venezuela's extra heavy oil economical to produce applies also to Canada's tar sand oil and US shale oil (though shale oil is light).

Your argument that Saudi barrels were deemed to be economical to produce even before oil prices spiked is a valid one but it misses the point about reserves. Irrespective of whether crude oil reserves consist of light or medium or heavy or extra-heavy crude, once they are proven they are all categorized as oil reserves. Of course, cost of production is a very important factor in the economics of oil and the profitability of production. In this regard, the production of Venezuela's extra-heavy oil at current prices is not different from an economic point of view from US shale oil production or Canadian tar sand oil production.

Finally, the claimed audit about Saudi reserves smacks of a blatant attempt by Saudi Aramco abetted by foreign oil companies which are beneficiaries of Saudi Aramco largess to resurrect the IPO of Saudi Aramco. The IPO is dead and buried. We now know that the withdrawal of the IPO was because of risk of American litigation related to the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York and question marks about the true size of Saudi proven oil reserves. However, when Saudi King Salman called off the IPO, he justified his decision by saying that he didn't want to expose Saudi Aramco's finances or reserves to be scrutiny. His words speak volumes about Saudi reserves.

Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

Two other articles:

What is the Real Size of the Saudi Oil Reserves? (Pt 1/2)
http://blog.gorozen.com/blog/what-is-the-real-size-of-the-saudi-oil-reserves-pt-1/2

What is the Real Size of the Saudi Oil Reserves? (Pt 2/2)
http://blog.gorozen.com/blog/what-is-the-real-size-of-the-saudi-oil-reserves-pt-2/2

My comments:

The data suggest that on a net exports basis, after subtracting out rising domestic liquids consumption, Saudi Arabia has been supply constrained since 2005.

Their net exports of total petroleum liquids (BP data base) increased from 7.1 million bpd in 2002 to 8.7 million bpd in 2005, but their net exports have been below the 2005 level for 12 straight years, through 2017, averaging only 7.9 million bpd for 2006 to 2017 inclusive.

Note the large increase in Saudi net exports from 2002 to 2005 as annual Brent crude oil prices approximately doubled from $25 in 2002 to $55 in 2005.

However, as annual Brent crude oil prices doubled again, from $55 in 2005 to $110 for 2011 to 2013 inclusive, Saudi net exports averaged only 8.0 million bpd during this three year period of triple digit oil prices, versus 8.7 million bpd in 2005.

Regards,

Jeffrey Brown

[Feb 15, 2019] Saudi Aramco halted oil output this week at Safaniyah, the world's largest offshore oilfield

Notable quotes:
"... The unplanned shutdown takes out another 1 million barrels a day of heavy oil from the market, Alex Schindelar, executive editor of content & strategy at Energy Intelligence Group tweeted Thursday, adding that the heavy crude oil market was already tight because of the OPEC output cuts and U.S. sanctions on both Iran and Venezuela. ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Greenbub x Ignored says: 02/14/2019 at 6:06 pm

Saudi Aramco halts oil output at the world's largest offshore oilfield: report

Saudi Aramco halted oil output this week at Safaniyah, the world's largest offshore oilfield, Energy Intelligence reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter, according to a tweet from Amena Bakr, senior correspondent at the news and research service provider. Further information was only available through subscription-based Energy Intelligence.

The potential impact on oil prices depends on how long output at the oilfield is down, said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group.

"The thinking is that the field produces heavy crude, and the world is short of that [type of] oil."

The unplanned shutdown takes out another 1 million barrels a day of heavy oil from the market, Alex Schindelar, executive editor of content & strategy at Energy Intelligence Group tweeted Thursday, adding that the heavy crude oil market was already tight because of the OPEC output cuts and U.S. sanctions on both Iran and Venezuela.

In electronic trading, March WTI oil CLH9, +1.06% was at $54.51 a barrel, after settling at $54.41 on the New York mercantile Exchange.

~Marketwatch

[Feb 15, 2019] True KSA reserves are very likely somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 billion barrels.

Feb 15, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 02/14/2019 at 4:37 pm

I had to google the link, but it was not hard to find.

How Much Oil Does Saudi Arabia Really Have?

Okay, you will have to read the article to see how Robert arrived at his conclusion. But his conclusion is:

So, I have no good reason to doubt Saudi Arabia's official numbers. They probably do have 270 billion barrels of proved oil reserves.

I find his logic horribly flawed. Robert compares Saudi's growing reserve estimates with those of the USA.

First, the US Securities and Exchange Commission have the strictest oil reporting laws in the world, or did have in 1982. Also, better technology has greatly improved reserve estimates. And third, the advent of shale oil has dramatically added to US reserve estimates.

Saudi has no laws that govern their reserve reporting estimates.

From Wikipedia, US Oil Reserves: Proven oil reserves in the United States were 36.4 billion barrels (5.79×109 m3) of crude oil as of the end of 2014, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The 2014 reserves represent the largest US proven reserves since 1972, and a 90% increase in proved reserves since 2008.

Robert says US reserves are 50 billion barrels. I don't know where he gets that number but it really doesn't matter. Oil production, along with reserve estimates, are growing in the US for one reason and one reason only, the advent of shale oil. Reserve estimates before 2008 were based on conventional oil. Onshore conventional oil production in the USA is in steep decline.

Robert Rapier is brillant oil man, but a brilliant downstream oil man. Refineries are his forte. He should know better than the shit he produced in that article.

100 percent of Saudi Arabia's reserves are based on conventional oil. Their true reserves are very likely somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 billion barrels.

[Feb 07, 2019] Saudi Arabia cuts oil output by about 400,000 bpd in January sources

Feb 07, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, cut its crude output in January by about 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), two OPEC sources said, as the kingdom follows through on its pledge to reduce production to prevent a supply glut.

Riyadh told OPEC that the kingdom pumped 10.24 million bpd in January, the sources said. That's down from 10.643 million bpd in December, representing a cut that was 70,000 bpd deeper than targeted under the OPEC-led pact to balance the market and support prices.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other non-OPEC producers - an alliance known as OPEC+ - agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1.

The agreement stipulated that Saudi Arabia should cut output to 10.311 million bpd, but energy minister Khalid al-Falih has said it will exceed the required reduction to demonstrate its commitment.

[Jan 22, 2019] Saudi trick before the cut in 2019

Notable quotes:
"... That works out to be 320,000 barrels per day. Saudi production increased by 384,000 barrels per day during November. So Saudi's November increase was mostly just emptying their storage tanks. ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Energy News says: 01/21/2019 at 8:03 am

2019-01-21 (JODI Data) Saudi Arabia crude oil inventories declined by -9.6 million barrels in November
Chart on Twitter https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dxb2106X0AEVusm.jpg
Ron Patterson says: 01/21/2019 at 8:27 am

That works out to be 320,000 barrels per day. Saudi production increased by 384,000 barrels per day during November. So Saudi's November increase was mostly just emptying their storage tanks.

And from looking at your chart, it looks like the 135,000 barrel per day increase in October was from the same source.

Saudi cuts start from a base of 10,633,000 barrels per day. That is almost their exact production in October. And your chart shows Saudi inventories had been dropping for months. Saudi had obviously been preparing to "cut" production from a level of production they reached by emptying their storage tanks.

[Jan 07, 2019] Saudi Oil Production Cuts May Stoke Oil Prices, Spur Trump Tweets by Julian Lee

All graphics and images removed...
Notable quotes:
"... It makes sense for Saudi Arabia to focus its cuts on sales to the U.S., the only country that publishes detailed weekly data on oil imports and inventory levels -- traders watch the reports closely. This means the reductions will be evident more quickly than would similar cuts to other destinations, so a drop in American imports should have a much more immediate impact on price expectations. ..."
www.marketwatch.com

There's already less Saudi crude oil getting loaded for export.

The list of things that President Donald Trump criticizes in his tweets varies from one day to the next. He may soon have to direct his ire to oil prices and the actions of his ally, Saudi Arabia, once again.

The desert kingdom is already making good on its promise to slash supply, and the initial evidence suggests that the biggest cut is being made in deliveries to the U.S. On top of that, the price it charges American buyers of its crude has been raised to near record levels for cargoes to be shipped in February. That could be bad news for a president who just celebrated falling gas prices.

The OPEC+ group of countries met in December and, after Russia took the reins , eventually agreed to cut supplies by 1.2 million barrels a day from January. For Saudi Arabia, that meant cutting production to just over 10.3 million, but it pledged to go further -- oil minister Khalid Al-Falih told reporters and analysts that it would be slashed to 10.2 million barrels a day in January.

The first job was to unwind the output surge made in November that had helped to deliver the price drop hailed by Trump. That was done last month. Saudi production in December was back below the October baseline used for its (and most other countries') promised cuts.

Saudi Cuts

Saudi crude production was cut to 10.65 million barrels a day in December from a record 11.07 million in November

That couldn't have been what Trump wanted, given what he tweeted the day before OPEC began its meeting in Vienna -- at the time, crude prices were in the midst of their worst quarterly decline in four years.

Bloomberg's tracking of crude exports from Saudi Arabia indicates that the biggest drop in flows from the kingdom was in the volume heading for the U.S. Shipments to ports on the Atlantic, Gulf and West coasts fell by nearly 60 percent between November and December to just over 350,000 barrels a day. That's the lowest since Bloomberg started tracking these flows in January 2017.

Cutting Shipments

The flow of Saudi crude heading to the U.S. slumped last month, as the kingdom slashed output

The size of the drop isn't set in stone -- a small number of ships signaling that they are heading for the Suez Canal or Singapore could eventually go to the U.S. Even so, a decline in Saudi crude shipments to American ports should start to show up in lower deliveries after about six weeks. By mid-February, U.S. imports of the kingdom's oil could fall to the lowest in more than 30 years, according to data from the Department of Energy. The last time the flow from Saudi to the U.S. fell below half a million barrels a day was in the mid-1980s, after the kingdom slashed its production by 80 percent over four years in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to prop up oil prices.

Slowing The Flow

Imports of Saudi crude into the U.S. could soon fall to their lowest in more than 30 years

It's not just this volume decline that is going to rile Trump. The price of that oil isn't going to make him happy either.

Saudi Arabia sets its crude prices a month in advance of it being loaded at its export terminals, so it has just published its price list for February. In common with other producers, it does not set an outright price, but rather a differential to regional benchmarks for each export grade and each market area.

Price differentials for U.S. buyers have been going up since August and for most grades are now close to record levels. Saudi heavy crude, which is the closest alternative to dwindling supplies from Venezuela and Mexico, is the most expensive it's been since 2009 in relative terms.

Price Rises

Saudi crude prices for U.S. buyers have risen to near record levels against the regional benchmark

It makes sense for Saudi Arabia to focus its cuts on sales to the U.S., the only country that publishes detailed weekly data on oil imports and inventory levels -- traders watch the reports closely. This means the reductions will be evident more quickly than would similar cuts to other destinations, so a drop in American imports should have a much more immediate impact on price expectations.

There is no reason to doubt that Al-Falih will do what he said in Vienna. It was only after slashing exports to the U.S. in July 2017 that oil prices really began to recover, and Saudi Arabia will be hoping for a similar impact this time, too. But don't be surprised if that also unleashes angry tweets from the U.S. president.

Julian Lee is an oil strategist for Bloomberg First Word. Previously he worked as a senior analyst at the Centre for Global Energy Studies.

[Dec 09, 2018] Pompeo is a Deep State Israel-firster with a nasty neocon agenda

Trump lost control of foreign policy, when he appointed Pompeo. US voters might elect Hillary with the same effect on foreign policy as Pompeo.
Notable quotes:
"... It is to Trump's disgrace that he chose Pompeo and the abominable Bolton. At least Trump admits the ME invasions are really about Israel. ..."
"... Energy dominance, lebensraum for Israel and destroying the current Iran are all objectives that fit into one neat package. Those plans look to be coming apart at the moment so it remains to be seen how fanatical Trump is on Israel and MAGA. MAGA as US was at the collapse of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... As for pulling out of the Middle East Bibi must have had a good laugh. Remember when he said he wanted out of Syria. My money is on the US to be in Yemen before too long to protect them from the Saudis (humanitarian) and Iranian backed Houthis, while in reality it will be to secure the enormous oil fields in the North. ..."
"... The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF. ..."
Nov 30, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

jim slim | Nov 29, 2018 4:04:44 AM | 24

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

Peter AU 1 , Nov 28, 2018 9:44:50 PM | link

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

Trump, Israel and the Sawdi's. US no longer needs middle east oil for strategic supply. Trump is doing away with the petro-dollar as that scam has run its course and maintenance is higher than returns. Saudi and other middle east oil is required for global energy dominance.

Energy dominance, lebensraum for Israel and destroying the current Iran are all objectives that fit into one neat package. Those plans look to be coming apart at the moment so it remains to be seen how fanatical Trump is on Israel and MAGA. MAGA as US was at the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Pft , Nov 29, 2018 1:15:05 AM | link

As for pulling out of the Middle East Bibi must have had a good laugh. Remember when he said he wanted out of Syria. My money is on the US to be in Yemen before too long to protect them from the Saudis (humanitarian) and Iranian backed Houthis, while in reality it will be to secure the enormous oil fields in the North.

Perhaps this was what the Khashoggi trap was all about. The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF.

[Dec 09, 2018] Wannabe Zionists (Bolton) has been trying hard to show his loyalty to the Jewish State

Notable quotes:
"... Trump won't fire his son-in-law, so if Jared doesn't have the decency to resign on his own, he may well be responsible for Trump's downfall in addition to his own. Trump's silly daughter, Ivanka, needs to go to. ..."
"... Time for Bolton to send for the clairvoyant Theresa May who has managed to accuse Russia, and Mr. Putin personally, in the Skripals' poisoning n the absence of any evidence ..."
Nov 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

annamaria, November 13, 2018 at 6:43 pm GMT

@Z-man The "wannabe Zionists (Bolton)" has been trying hard to show his loyalty to the Jewish State.

The latest tragicomic attempt by the mustached "person of easy morals": "John Bolton Says "No Evidence" Implicating Crown Prince On Khashoggi Kill Tape" https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-13/john-bolton-says-no-evidence-implicating-crown-prince-khashoggi-kill-tape

Comment section (David Wooten): "According to the crown prince himself, Trump's [Jewish] son-in-law gave him a secret list of his enemies -- the ones like Al Aweed who were tortured and shaken down for cash. Khashoggi might even have been on that list.

One or more of the tortured ones likely tipped off Erdogan, which is why Turkey only needed to enter the consulate, retrieve the recorded audio device they planted, and walk out with the evidence. Turkey also has evidence that puts MbS' personal doctor and other staff arriving in Turkey at convenient times to do the job -- and probably more. Khashoggi was anything but a nice person but Trump cannot say that or he'll likely be accused of involvement in his murder.

Dissociation is made far more difficult by the fact that Jared is a long time friend of Netanyahu who, like Jared, has befriended MbS .

Trump won't fire his son-in-law, so if Jared doesn't have the decency to resign on his own, he may well be responsible for Trump's downfall in addition to his own. Trump's silly daughter, Ivanka, needs to go to.

Were it not for the Khashoggi affair, fewer Republican seats would have been lost in the election."

-- Time for Bolton to send for the clairvoyant Theresa May who has managed to accuse Russia, and Mr. Putin personally, in the Skripals' poisoning n the absence of any evidence .

These people -- Bolton, May, Gavin Williamson and likes -- are a cross of the ever-eager whores and petty brainless thieves. To expose themselves as the willing participants in the ZUSA-conducted farce requires a complete lack of integrity.

Of course, there is no way to indict the journalist's murderers since the principal murderer is a personal friend of Netanyahu and Jared.

Jump, Justice, jump, as high as ordered by the "chosen."

By the way, why do we hear nothing about Seth Rich who was murdered in the most surveilled city of the US?

Z-man , says: November 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm GMT
@annamaria A 1st grader can see that MbS was behind the murder of Kashoggi.

Trump won't fire his son-in-law, so if Jared doesn't have the decency to resign on his own, he may well be responsible for Trump's downfall in addition to his own. Trump's silly daughter, Ivanka, needs to go to.

I've been hoping for this since they moved to Washington with 'big daddy'.

annamaria , says: November 14, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
@Anon " crappy bedtime reading the woolyheadedness "

Hey, Anon[436], is this how your parents have been treating you? My condolences.

If you feel that you succeeded with your "see, a squirrel" tactics of taking attention from the zionists' dirty and amoral attempts at coverup of the murder of the journalists Khashoggi, which was accomplished on the orders of the clown prince (the dear friend of Bibi & Jared), you are for a disappointment.

One more time for you, Anon[436]: the firm evidence of MbS involvement in the murder of Khashoggi contrasts with no evidence of the alleged poisoning of Skripals by Russian government.

The zionists have been showing an amazing tolerance towards the clown prince the murderer because zionists need the clown prince for the implementation of Oded Yinon Plan for Eretz Israel.

The stinky Skripals' affair involves harsh economic actions imposed on the RF in the absence of any evidence , as compared to no sanctions in response to the actual murder of Khashoggi, which involved MbS according to the available evidence . Thanks to the zionists friendship with the clown prince, the firm evidence of Khashoggi murder is of no importance. What else could be expected from the "most moral" Bibi & Kushner and the treasonous Bolton.

Z-man , says: November 14, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
@annamaria

The stinky Skripals' affair involves harsh economic actions imposed on the RF in the absence of any evidence, as compared to no sanctions in response to the actual murder of Khashoggi, which involved MbS according to the available evidence. Thanks to the zionists friendship with the clown prince, the firm evidence of Khashoggi murder is of no importance. What else could be expected from the "most moral" Bibi & Kushner and the treasonous Bolton.

Bears repeating.

[Nov 26, 2018] The deceased was the nephew of the arms dealer, Adnan.

Nov 26, 2018 | craigmurray.org.uk

hagar , October 24, 2018 at 10:51

Sharp Ears,

Is this Kashoggi that has been butchered allegedly related to the biggest arms dealer in the world, Adnan Kashoggi? Who had the biggest super yacht in the world, and did he sell said super yacht to Donald back in the day?

Your super research skills could help me out this morning.

I have just been told by the secretary of the Prof. at the Beatson in Glasgow that the Secretary of State's new rules on cancer treatment with Medical Cannabis oil which is supposed to come into effect on the 1st of November does not apply to me. But will not tell me why I am excluded.
Is this another con by the Tory Gov. to make themselves look like a caring Gov. treating young children only?

I can't find the criteria anywhere. Mind you I have difficulty focusing on anything at the moment while steam is coming out my ears in anger.
Maybe I should move to Israel to get a Medical Cannabis cure? NAE CHANCE!!!

Sharp Ears , October 24, 2018 at 13:00

The deceased was the nephew of the arms dealer, Adnan.

The Heil has all the lurid family details.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6280767/Missing-Saudi-journalist-Jamal-Khashoggi-second-cousin-Princess-Dianas-lover.html

No wonder the establishment had Diana killed.

[Nov 25, 2018] Senior Saudi Prince Says CIA's Khashoggi Findings Cannot Be Trusted

Nov 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
If anybody had any doubts about the Washington's determination to give Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman a pass over allegations that he was involved with the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump put them to rest earlier this week when he released a statement praising Saudi Arabia, openly questioning the CIA and stressing the importance of the US-Saudi relationship (while also portraying Khashoggi as a suspicious and untrustworthy figure with ties to terror groups).

And while rumors about a possible intra-family coup in Riyadh have been simmering since Khashoggi disappeared inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 (with the latest reports surfacing earlier this week ), the notion that MbS's spurned relatives might rise up and exact their revenge for last year's brutal "corruption crackdown" at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton is looking increasingly improbable. In other words, as long as the international response to the Khashoggi incident is limited to countries that don't sell weapons to Saudi Arabia ending arms sales to the kingdom, then MbS will almost certainly survive.

And in the latest indication that the royal family - not to mention nearly all of the Saudis' regional allies - remains firmly behind the Crown Prince, even as the return of his uncle from exile has set tongues wagging about MbS' impending ouster, one senior prince recently told Reuters that the CIA's findings are "not to be trusted."

[Nov 24, 2018] The assassination, and evidence of MbS' ordering of it, might be used as leverage to achieve various objectives that MbS wasn't on board with (a resolution of the Yemen situation? Oil pricing? toning down jihadi support in the MENA? )

Notable quotes:
"... Snowden accuses Israeli cybersecurity firm of enabling Khashoggi murder ..."
"... You would not consider as viable the hypothesis that Trump is using the assassination, and evidence of MbS' ordering of it, as leverage to achieve various objectives that MbS wasn't on board with (a resolution of the Yemen situation? Oil pricing? toning down jihadi support in the MENA? Other?). ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Snowden accuses Israeli cybersecurity firm of enabling Khashoggi murder: Play Hide

Vicky SD , 11 hours ago

What do people make of the fact that it seems Khashoggi apparently was recently married, the picture of him with his supposed fiancée was clearly photoshopped (used the same photo from his WaPo profile), and his family has indicated they knew nothing of this new fiancée?

It also seems interesting how the US has a tape of MBS ordering his silencing when we apparently knew little at the outset. Seems this turd is starting to stink a bit.

Pat Lang Mod -> Vicky SD , 11 hours ago
Automated SIGINT collection produces such volumes of material based on standing targets that it often takes a while to sift through it. MBS's phone would be such a target. In any event Trump doesn't want to hear it.
Eric Newhill -> Pat Lang , 9 hours ago
Sir,

You would not consider as viable the hypothesis that Trump is using the assassination, and evidence of MbS' ordering of it, as leverage to achieve various objectives that MbS wasn't on board with (a resolution of the Yemen situation? Oil pricing? toning down jihadi support in the MENA? Other?).

Pat Lang Mod -> Eric Newhill , 8 hours ago
It's viable but I don't think Trump is that subtle.

[Nov 22, 2018] CIA officials are signaling Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must be replaced

Nov 20, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Warren November 20, 2018 at 10:23 am

https://youtu.be/JBQZIJGmwPc

TheRealNews
Published on 20 Nov 2018
CIA officials are signaling Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must be replaced. Is this all about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi? Professor Asad AbuKhalil says there are other political reasons.

Mark Chapman November 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Fear not! I heard on the news on my way home that Trump has decided Saudi Arabia will not be punished for the killing of Khahsoggi with termination of current arms contracts. The Donald reasons that if that happens, the KSA will just buy its weapons elsewhere. And nobody in the military-industrial complex wants that. I am very confident Justin Trudeau will interpret that as a signal that Canada likewise should not cut off its nose to spite its face, and so Canada will not 'punish' its good friend, either. Therefore, Saudi Arabia will experience no punishment whatsoever for its admitted murder of an inconvenient American journalist. There are limits to western indignation, after all. So the west will content itself with revoking the KSA's invitation to the Spring Strawberry Social, and double down on its insistence that Crimea is Ukraine and must be returned to Kiev's control, and the west will never accept its 'annexation'. Never, never, never. There are some issues on which the west has spine to spare. So if you want a noisy western journalist removed, slip the Saudis a few bucks, and they can probably make it happen with no recriminations.
kirill November 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm
The recognition of Crimea as part of Ukraine by Washington and its minions is totally worthless. It is not based on law and justice, it is based on self-interest (as in the USA had big plans to acquire Crimea and build a massive naval base there). The use of the word annexation is propaganda drivel.

Ukraine annexed Crimea in 1991 and the ICJ has ruled that local ethnic majorities have a right to self determination. If independence is good enough for Kosovo, it is good enough for Crimea. No amount of special pleading by Washington and its bootlicks about Kosovo being "special" has any merit.

et Al November 21, 2018 at 9:38 am
I'm afraid you are wrong about the ICJ Kirill. The ICJ dodged the actual issue. They ruled that making a declaration of independence is not against international law, not whether anyone/whatever/blah blah blah actually has the right to independence. Possibly because they did not want to cross Pandora's Rubicon Box

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Court_of_Justice_advisory_opinion_on_Kosovo%27s_declaration_of_independence

the adoption of the declaration of independence of the 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law because international law contains no 'prohibition on declarations of independence

####

Some call it 'unique', others call it a precedent , therefore 'not unique'. If the West argues that the ICJ said it was ok, then it is also ok for Crimea to declare independence. Or, if they claim that Crimea is not independent, that Kosovo cannot be either, hence, as you point out the use of the word ' annexation ' and other creative circumlocutions to avoid mentioning that secession was first and the clear comparison with Kosovo which would not serve them well at all.

https://nyujilp.org/icj-rules-on-kosovo-independence/

The Inter­na­tion­al Court of Jus­tice today held that inter­na­tion­al law did not pro­hib­it Kosovo's dec­la­ra­tion of inde­pen­dence, while side­step­ping the larg­er issue of Kosovo's state­hood

####

But, this is not the first time the West has decided what international law is for itself when back in 1991 the European Council ministers themselves appointed the Badinter Commission to give it a legal figleaf for recognizing the administrative borders of Yugoslavia as international. I've posted this link before, but once more with feeling:

How the Badinter Commission on Yugoslavia laid the roots for Crimea's secession from Ukraine
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2015/02/20/how-the-badinter-commission-on-yugoslavia-laid-the-roots-for-crimeas-secession-from-ukraine/

kirill November 21, 2018 at 10:51 am
Thanks for the clarification. But it is all a house of cards. Given that empires and countries have continually fissioned into pieces through the whole of relevant history, the notion of "territorial integrity" is bogus and a corollary of "might makes right". As long as the country can suppress secessionists it has territorial integrity, when it becomes too weak everything falls apart. There is no international law. And if ware to assume a common law regime that is not maintained by legislatures, then secession is fully legal if the local majority wants it hard enough.
et Al November 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm
We know it is nothing but the Law of the Jungle. It's just that the fancy dress shop has expanded and has a lot more more costumes on offer to its clients.
Mark Chapman November 21, 2018 at 7:01 pm
Quite so; however, as I have frequently pointed out before – notably here –

https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/radoslaw-sikorski-is-a-handsome-urbane-well-educated-twat-the-ignominious-collapse-of-british-journalism/

when the west trots out its I-never-said that-exactly smokescreen, it is helpful to read what various western countries wrote as legal opinions, and the arguments they used to support their reasoning. Where Kosovo is concerned, a classic is the Polish opinion, written by (or more likely for) its then-Foreign Minister, Radek Sikorski. He wrote, in part;

" a state is commonly defined as a community which consists of a territory and a population subject to an organized political authority; that such a state is characterized by sovereignty the existence of the state is a question of fact, the effects of recognition by other states are purely declaratory. A declaration of independence is merely an act that confirms these factual circumstances, and it may be difficult to assess such an act in purely legal terms."

Legal opinions are usually replete with bafflegab to confuse the easily-bored and the pressed-for-time readers. But Mr. Sikorski made what he must have believed was a very convincing case that a sovereign state-within-a-state is characterized by an ethnic population, a pre-existing degree of autonomy (so that the entity demonstrates the capability to function autonomously), and its own functioning institutions such as banks and infrastructure.

Which of those is not descriptive of Crimea? It was even called "The Autonomous Republic of Crimea", for Christ's sake. Sikorski doubtless had an inkling that the Kosovo precedent might come back to bite NATO, and so tried to duck a justification which might read like a precedent, but it was unavoidable.

[Nov 21, 2018] Keeping Bin Salman In Place Will Hurt Trump s Middle East Policies

Notable quotes:
"... The CIA disliked MbS since he replaced Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince. MbN is a longtime U.S. asset with a proven record of cooperation. ..."
"... Khashoggi's projects were allegedly financed by Qatar but probably also had CIA support. MbS got wind thereof. He told his private office chief Bader Al Asaker to send his bodyguards to kill Khashoggi. They did so on October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But it was a much too large and too complicate mission. They Saudi agents made too many mistakes. They also underestimated the Turkish intelligence service. ..."
"... Sounds like, for all of MbS's recklessness and all the regime's existential dependency on the US military, the Saudis aren't willing to place all their bets on one US pony but, like most of the rest of the world, are trying to diversify if not detach from the tottering US empire. ..."
"... funny thing.. why is it that those who call for free and open elections in the middle east countries where the us/uk/west military industrial complex have murdered countless innocent people in iraq, libya, syria and now yemen - never complain about the absence of free and open elections in saudi arabia??? i know these same people are hypocritical liars.. what their real interests are is money off military sales and nothing more.. ..."
"... Trump is essentially doing all of Israel's talking points... iran this and that, hezbollah, or hamas this and that.. ..."
"... they sure aren't busy getting their head out of the military industrial complex's ass ..."
"... "Trump's priorities in the Middle East are: the 'deal of the century' for Israel, the forging of a united Arab front against Iran, weapon sales, cheap oil and minor issue like financing the U.S. occupation of Syria and ending the unsavory war on Yemen. Delivering on the deal of a century is not the priority, the promise is. United Arab front is not a priority because it's not needed. Most of all, stopping the war in Yemen is not. ..."
"... Is it too late for MbS to finally spit out the truth? "Khasshoggi was an Enemy of the Kingdom fomenting the mechanism for a coup, and I ordered him liquidated." ..."
"... "The Erdogan machine has sensed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to simultaneously bury the House of Saud's shaky Islamic credibility while solidifying Turkish neo-Ottomanism, but with an Ikhwan framework." ..."
"... We have seen oil prices plummet since the Khashoggi event although that may be due to insider trading of those knowing Trump was backing off on Iran oil sanctions which accelerated after being announced in November ..."
"... MBS is anti Iran and pro Israel. Trump is in Bibis pocket. More important MBS is a counter to Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood. More conflicts in the region are desirable . He is also willing to bomb US civilian targets in Yemen so they can pretend to have no involvement, and as such will buy more weapons ..."
"... If MBS gets the message and follows orders, he stays. If he doesn't and makes Lockheed Martin disappointed, he goes. Also that Saudi Aramco IPO has to happen before 2020. The list is long. ..."
"... There is another angle to the Khashoggi killing and that is that the US or UK organized the killing to embarrass Trump and remove MBS. ..."
"... The CIA also fear Trump; and they have shown that they are not and never will be a friend to him. So I am inclined to agree with john mason 28 when he suspects the US or UK organized the killing to embarrass Trump and remove MBS. ..."
Nov 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Nov 21, 2018 1:02:55 PM | link

Against the advise from his intelligence services U.S. President Trump decided to leave the effective Saudi ruler, clown prince Mohammad bin Salman, in place. That move is unlikely to help with his larger policy plans.

Bruce Riedel, a (former) high level CIA analyst, long warned of betting on Mohammad bin Salman. Even before the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Riedel wrote that Saudi Arabia is at its least stable in 50 years (also here ):

The stability of Saudi Arabia is becoming more fragile as the young crown prince's judgment and competence are increasingly in doubt. Mohammed bin Salman has a track record of impulsive and reckless decisions at home and abroad that calls into question the kingdom's future.

Riedel warned that the Trump administration, by betting on Mohammad bin Salman, put everything on one dubious card. MbS is unstable and made himself many internal enemies. If King Salman suddenly dies there will probably be a leadership crisis . Saudi Arabia could end up in chaos. U.S. Middle East policy, largely build around MbS, would then fall apart.

The CIA disliked MbS since he replaced Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince. MbN is a longtime U.S. asset with a proven record of cooperation. MbS came from nowhere and the CIA has no control over him. That he is indeed impulsive and reckless only adds to that. That the CIA feared that MbS meant trouble even before the Khashoggi disaster, explains why it sabotaged Trump's attempts to exculpate MbS over the murder of Khashoggi.

While Riedel was writing about the Saudi danger, Jamal Khashoggi, a longtime Saudi intelligence agent who had aligned himself with the wrong prince, went to Istanbul to build the public relation infrastructure for regime change in Saudi Arabia:

Jamal Khashoggi, a prolific writer and commentator, was working quietly with intellectuals, reformists and Islamists to launch a group called Democracy for the Arab World Now. He wanted to set up a media watch organization to keep track of press freedom.

He also planned to launch an economic-focused website to translate international reports into Arabic to bring sobering realities to a population often hungry for real news, not propaganda.

Part of Khashoggi's approach was to include political Islamists in what he saw as democracy building.
...
Khashoggi had incorporated his democracy advocacy group, DAWN, in January in Delaware, said Khaled Saffuri, another friend. .. The project was expected to reach out to journalists and lobby for change, representing both Islamists and liberals, ...

Khashoggi's projects were allegedly financed by Qatar but probably also had CIA support. MbS got wind thereof. He told his private office chief Bader Al Asaker to send his bodyguards to kill Khashoggi. They did so on October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But it was a much too large and too complicate mission. They Saudi agents made too many mistakes. They also underestimated the Turkish intelligence service.

The Turks had bugged the Saudi consulate and have records of all phone calls. When they learned from Khashoggi's fiancee, a well connected daughter of a co-founder of Erdogan's AK Party, that Khashoggi was missing, they wound back the tapes and unraveled the story. The killers had made four phone calls to Al Asaker to report back. In one of the calls the mission leader told him : "Tell your boss" that "the deed was done." The Turkish president Erdogan was delighted to receive such a gift. It allowed him to cut his strategic competitor down to size.

The Saudis were too slow to recognize the danger. They came up with all sorts of unbelievable claims over what happened in their consulate. Trump sent Secretary of State Pompeo who told them to find a sufficiently high ranking scapegoat ...

XXX

Interesting times. Sounds like, for all of MbS's recklessness and all the regime's existential dependency on the US military, the Saudis aren't willing to place all their bets on one US pony but, like most of the rest of the world, are trying to diversify if not detach from the tottering US empire.

But I suspect the Saudi regime is too far committed on its prior US-dependent path to survive in any other way. They're going down too.

Never Mind the Bollocks , Nov 21, 2018 1:06:21 PM | link

Mystery solved: here's why the Western mainstream media suddenly 'discovered' the war in Yemen
thinkingmind111 , Nov 21, 2018 1:10:58 PM | link
Trump is openly and proudly accepting blood for money, so what? It's just business as usual for the US whom are running all and any of their global businesses and operations on that premise since decades. But Karma is a bitch and will haunt back, and we're getting closer to the day of reckoning while already witnessing the loss of power and influence of the US and their allied western powers and vassals.

The close future will see China, Russia, India, Asia and Eurasia ruling the global affairs, and soon it's check mate concerning the new great chess game, e.g. game over for the US. The only remaining question: do we get there with or without an all-out nuclear war, because the US won't accept their loss of power? Time will tell ...

james , Nov 21, 2018 1:29:14 PM | link
thanks b... good overview.... as we noted - the kashoggi murder is the gift that keeps on giving to erdogan and the cia...

funny thing.. why is it that those who call for free and open elections in the middle east countries where the us/uk/west military industrial complex have murdered countless innocent people in iraq, libya, syria and now yemen - never complain about the absence of free and open elections in saudi arabia??? i know these same people are hypocritical liars.. what their real interests are is money off military sales and nothing more..

well, this is what the usa-uk and poodles have come down to... military arms sales... and they now have competition with russia who appears to make better weapons..

mbs is not going to last... he might hang in for another year, but i doubt much longer, if that.. meanwhile, trump is standing naked for all to see what his priorities are... make america great again, lol... yeah, right.. making the usa look like shit again is more like it..

james , Nov 21, 2018 1:34:36 PM | link
here is a link to caitlin johnstone's comments on trumps response to the kashoggi murder...

Trump is essentially doing all of Israel's talking points... iran this and that, hezbollah, or hamas this and that.. . why can't the usa gets it's head out of israels ass?? they sure aren't busy getting their head out of the military industrial complex's ass either...

CasualObserver , Nov 21, 2018 1:53:54 PM | link Peter AU 1 , Nov 21, 2018 1:54:14 PM | link
"The Turks had bugged the Saudi consulate and have records of all phone calls. When they learned from Khashoggi's fiancee, a well connected daughter of a co-founder of Erdogan's AK Party, that Khashoggi was missing, they wound back the tapes and unraveled the story."

Turks bugged the embassy but only listen to the tapes after something happens .. unlikely.
With the animosity or competition between KSA and Turkey prior to the killing, it is more likely that KSA embassy calls were monitored in real time.

james , Nov 21, 2018 1:59:18 PM | link
@6 ort.. here is the direct link!
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/11/21/nothing-in-any-conspiracy-theory-is-as-bad-as-whats-being-done-out-in-the-open/
S , Nov 21, 2018 2:19:40 PM | link
Risk-taker king + S-400/Bastion/GLONASS = switch from 100% dollar oil sales to something like 40% yuan, 30% euro, 30% dollar. Others follow suit, American manipulation of world economy lessens. I'll take it.
steven t johnson , Nov 21, 2018 2:30:47 PM | link
"When [the Turks] learned from Khashoggi's fiancee, a well connected daughter of a co-founder of Erdogan's AK Party, that Khashoggi was missing, they wound back the tapes and unraveled the story."

This is ficion, as there is every likelihood the Turks knew perfectly well ahead of time that Kashoggi was walking into trouble. And it is very likely they had an agent on scene, part of the crime. As for the tapes, it is still unknown whether the real leverage in the tapes is what Kashoggi said.

The notion the CIA has sabotaged Trump with its assessment is wrong. If the CIA had given the tapes to Erdogan or is funding plots within KSA against MbS, that's sabotaging Trump's support. Nobody believed Trump before the assessment, and nobody believed Trump would change his mind for any reason whatsoever. The assessment just lets the CIA pretend to be competent and objective, rather than producing cooked intelligence in service of predetermined policy goals. The actual covert operations are under presidential control, and only presidential control. No deep state, much less Congress, has any say on those. That's why presidents like the CIA so much.

"Trump's priorities in the Middle East are: the 'deal of the century' for Israel, the forging of a united Arab front against Iran, weapon sales, cheap oil and minor issue like financing the U.S. occupation of Syria and ending the unsavory war on Yemen. Delivering on the deal of a century is not the priority, the promise is. United Arab front is not a priority because it's not needed. Most of all, stopping the war in Yemen is not.

the pair , Nov 21, 2018 2:36:13 PM | link
always odd when the (relatively) "good guys" in a story are the CIA and their bloggers at the WaPo. but then they object to MbS for the same reason they are mortified by trump: his style and not his substance.

as for trump, he's always been a spoiled and petulant rich kid and that type only change course when it's "their idea".

on oil: it's been a pain in the ass for Iran and Russia to some degree but also here in Canada's Texas aka the oil sands. the usual ayn rand-reading "get rid a' the gubmint" rednecks are panicked and suddenly want said government to force production cuts in the sector. when it comes to iran, china and others have made it clear that they care as much about sanctions as the US does about climate and nuclear treaties. not hard to guess what russia and venezuela would like the saudis to do since they've both been suffering (probably intentional) pain from the petrol glut. russia has weathered it incredibly well but the timing for maduro and the chavism experiment couldn't be better with the usual pack of US-aligned wolves fomenting trouble in the continent.

nice thorough article as usual.

Bart Hansen , Nov 21, 2018 3:24:26 PM | link
I see that the Magnitsky Act had been slapped on some KSA usual suspects several days ago. Has anyone asked Ben Cardin, godfather of the act, why MbS has escaped the same fate?
peter , Nov 21, 2018 3:24:52 PM | link
@12

Of course the CIA isn't trying to sabotage Trump. They just came to the same painfully obvious solution any other intelligence operation worth its salt arrived at.

Erdogan required no help from them. His people just connected the dots like everyone else. The CIA does not have to try and "appear" competent. Like 'em or hate 'em, they're as competent as hell.

Trump has chosen to wobble om MsM's culpability so he can pursue his tortured agenda throwing numbers about with abandon on the reams of cash that the Saudis will come supposedly up with whether it's imaginary arms deals or production numbers that will keep the price of oil low.

Nobody believes Trump. Nobody except his hardcore base and they will never change. If their faith remains solid after two years of total skullduggery, lies and ill-considered deals with batshit-crazy dictators then what could he possibly do or say that would change things now? They're like those lunatic Baptists that play with rattlesnakes during their services.

The US needs the KSA for a number of reasons and Trump has decided to forfeit any moral high ground or any appearance of sanity or reason to achieve his aims.

Clueless Joe , Nov 21, 2018 4:15:04 PM | link
Well, MBS staying in charge for a bit longer is good news for many. Were he to be replaced, someone half-competent might take his place. With him at the helm, we're sure he's going to bumble and make a mess of his next endeavours, weakening the Saudis and being all around counter-productive to Saudi Arabia's long-term interests. Of course, his days are numbered, yet he can still do a lot of damage to the kingdom.
karlof1 , Nov 21, 2018 4:37:40 PM | link
Is it too late for MbS to finally spit out the truth? "Khasshoggi was an Enemy of the Kingdom fomenting the mechanism for a coup, and I ordered him liquidated." IMO, that's less awkward than continuing the other charades, shuts-up Erdogan and wrong-foots his detractors. Now, I don't particularly care for MbS, but IMO he's no worse than Erdogan, Sisi, Trump, or May, all of whom are Capital Criminals. And I'd prefer to see someone independent of the CIA in charge of Saudi, although that's probably his only redeeming asset.

Perhaps, MbS will send a body-double to G-20, and the CIA will crash his plane only to see MbS alive and well, taunting Haspel and Trump as he personally beheads arrested CIA assets.

dh-mtl , Nov 21, 2018 5:46:43 PM | link
'Keeping Bin Salman In Place Will Hurt Trump's Middle East Policies', but removing him will hurt Trump's mid-east policies even more.

If he is removed, he will be replaced by a 'Globalist' puppet. The 'Globalists' will then use Saudi as an additional lever to try to drag Trump into a war with Russia, which so far Trump has desperately tried to avoid. I also don't think that MBS will go easily. The same fate as Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein is what awaits him. However, I think Trump is too weak to save MBS. Look for MBS to turn Saudi towards Russia to look for salvation.

karlof1 , Nov 21, 2018 6:03:28 PM | link
Pepe Escobar reminds us of another issue at stake: Leadership of the Umma, which was Ottoman for centuries prior to the artificial elevation of Saudi by Ottoman's European rivals. Pepe smartly invokes Alastair Crooke's take that if Saudi was to lose that distinction, it "would strip the Gulf of much of its significance and value to Washington." Pepe:

"The Erdogan machine has sensed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to simultaneously bury the House of Saud's shaky Islamic credibility while solidifying Turkish neo-Ottomanism, but with an Ikhwan framework."

Iran, Syria, Iraq, Qatar, Russia, and China all seem to be okay with that. IMO, most here will agree with Pepe's conclusion: "Expect major fireworks ahead."

VietnamVet , Nov 21, 2018 6:09:03 PM | link

Thanks. This clarifies the contradictions. The USA has only one Middle East ally left; Israel, which also influences American politics. With the main goal in life to make more money. Morality and decency have disappeared in the West. All that is left is a mercenary force illegally occupying Eastern Syria for a paltry 100 million dollars surrounded by professed enemies. Basically, MbS isn't delivering the cash the oligarchs want. He must go. This is highly unstable. Ignoring reality is a sure-fire way to ignite the prophesied Abrahamic Apocalypse.
vk , Nov 21, 2018 6:15:53 PM | link
Trump is doing nothing out of the ordinary by a POTUS. If it was a Democrat POTUS in the same situation, it would also ultimately support Saudi Arabia (the NYT and WaPo would, obviously, be silent, but Fox News would propagate the scandal).

I stick to my hypothesis: Trump's only sin to the liberal eyes is that he erodes America's soft power among its First World allies. If you take out his image, he's a normal POTUS doing normal POTUS things.

Baron , Nov 21, 2018 6:24:03 PM | link
(1) Nobody has yet figured that the Turks must have listened to what was going on in the Consulate if not before K's first visit then at least from the time K first stepped into the building, the Turks knew what was coming, could have waned K, but didn't. Does it not make them complicit in the murder?

(2) MbS cannot be kicked out, the decision to promote him was made by the King for a reason, the old man thinks ahead, he sees the Republic losing its grip on things worldwide, he wants to make a move towards the coming powers of the East, Russia and China, hence the King's visit to Moscow last December. What did the King and Putin talk about?

(3) Bibi backs the King, the Israeli lobby in Washington will buy anyone opposing MbS, the atrocity will be swept under the carpet, the Donald will be OK the American unwashed don't give AF about the Saudis, most of them probably don't know where the country is.

Pft , Nov 21, 2018 6:38:26 PM | link
Since when has US and Israel goals has been about stability in the region. Chaos makes waves and rock the boat to the delight of the baby in the cradle. Wheeee.

Besides, MBS may have went a bit rogue but the Khashoggi event, set up or what not, was meant to reign him in and show him who is boss. We have seen oil prices plummet since the Khashoggi event although that may be due to insider trading of those knowing Trump was backing off on Iran oil sanctions which accelerated after being announced in November

MBS is anti Iran and pro Israel. Trump is in Bibis pocket. More important MBS is a counter to Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood. More conflicts in the region are desirable . He is also willing to bomb US civilian targets in Yemen so they can pretend to have no involvement, and as such will buy more weapons

The Event was probably also meant to get him to back off his investment efforts that would compete with US efforts to do the same, and to back off Russian and China military/economic cooperation.

If MBS gets the message and follows orders, he stays. If he doesn't and makes Lockheed Martin disappointed, he goes. Also that Saudi Aramco IPO has to happen before 2020. The list is long.

Krollchem , Nov 21, 2018 6:47:31 PM | link
According to this report by Eric Zuesse the leader of the UAE had a part in cleaning up the consulate in Turkey:
http://theduran.com/turkish-newspaper-implicates-uaes-crown-prince-in-covering-up-murder-of-khashoggi/
john mason , Nov 21, 2018 7:11:26 PM | link
There is another angle to the Khashoggi killing and that is that the US or UK organized the killing to embarrass Trump and remove MBS.

Can't see that the Saudis are that naive to believe that their Embassy wouldn't be under surveillance and the mention of "tell your boss...." is too convenient. One assumes that the boss is MBS but it could be anyone else also.

SteveK9 , Nov 21, 2018 7:25:54 PM | link
The problem with Trump's plan ... is Trump's plan. It makes no sense for the United States as a nation to destroy Iran. That is only for Israel-firsters. Perhaps their power is just too great for Trump to resist, but what would have worked well would have been rapprochement with Iran.
karlof1 , Nov 21, 2018 7:53:45 PM | link
Very sagacious observation :

"With regard to #SaudiArabia, as with #Israel, #US foreign policy is entrenched, it cannot change, nor adapt. It rather tries to change the politics in the region according to its rigid framework. There must be a breaking point to this approach and it might come under #Trump."

Trump's also about to forfeit what remaining influence he has with Lebanon as Magnier posits .

At least we won't need to wait long to see what happens next as the G-20 begins November 30--Will MbS undergo an assassination attempt before, during, after, or constantly if he does attempt to attend.

Jen , Nov 21, 2018 7:56:13 PM | link
John Mason @ 28: Another possible angle is that while Jamal Khashoggi's killing is real enough, the narrative that the Turks are feeding out is being fabricated continuously, and in response to whatever the Saudis are doing to deny or excuse any possibility that the Crown Prince ordered it. The recordings being parceled out could be complete fakes or the original recording may have had other, fabricated recordings added to it.

I'm with Clueless Joe @ 16 and Karlof1 @ 17 in keeping MbS as Crown Prince: he is no more if no less sociopathic and vicious than the current crop of Western political leaders. If Gavin Williamson and his guru / mentor (in the form of his pet tarantula) were to replace Theresa May as British Prime Minister, then British-Saudi leadership relations need a voice of relative sanity and MbS would be that voice.

Ghost Ship , Nov 21, 2018 8:03:25 PM | link
Meanwhile Tulsi Gabbard tweeted "Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia's bitch is not "America First.""

And various Republican morons popped out of the woodwork rehashing that crap that Assad had murdered 500,000 Syrians while fine upstanding Americans like Jimmy Dore and Stephen Linzer are backing her.

BTW, I'm surprised the trash with learning disabilities at the Washington Post haven't accused her of being ISIS (see second picture in article credited to the Washington Post)

frances , Nov 21, 2018 8:07:23 PM | link
b- you pointed out that: "..the CIA feared that MbS meant trouble even before the Khashoggi disaster, explains why it sabotaged Trump's attempts to exculpate MbS over the murder of Khashoggi."

The CIA also fear Trump; and they have shown that they are not and never will be a friend to him. So I am inclined to agree with john mason 28 when he suspects the US or UK organized the killing to embarrass Trump and remove MBS.

I am further inclined to take this reasoning a bit further and suggest that the CIA facilitated this murder; probably by telling their reporter asset he could safely go to Turkey and by telling SA when he would arrive. For how else could anyone purportedly as clever as this fellow think they would be safe on SA defacto soil?

The CIA want their own guy in SA and they want Trump on his knees, so far they don't have what they want. Which leads me to also wonder if the CIA is possibly responsible for the misadventures Bibi is having. If the CIA and its masters can dethrone Bibi and the Prince, Trump's ME strategy would be toast, significantly diminishing or even wiping out his US/Israeli support and possibly destroy his shot at a second term. For all his flaws he did and has overturned a lot of apple carts; the Deep State wants their damn carts back.

[Nov 21, 2018] An alternative view on Turkey and Khashoggi by Marios Evriviades

Notable quotes:
"... By Marios Evriviades ..."
"... [*] Marios Evriviades is a former Cyprus diplomat and presidential advisor. He is a professor of international relations at universities in Greece and Cyprus. ..."
www.defenddemocracy.press
Turkey: Milking the Khashoggi Murder

By Marios Evriviades
Athens

Can a man gasping for breath as he is forcibly suffocated with a plastic bag over his head, articulate his survival problem multisyllabically with a medicalized request to which he invited his killers to consent? "I'm suffocating Take this bag off my head, I'm claustrophobic".

These are the alleged last words of Saudi politician and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to the latest leak from the Turkish intelligence agencies. If you are keeping count, this may be the 22nd in the series since Khashoggi's disappearance in Istanbul on October 2. The last words come from the audio tape of a recording system installed, unsuspected and undetected in the Saudi consulate, by some of the finest electronic equipment the Turkish services have received from their western allies.

Before the new last words leaked into the press, there was no plastic bag. The previous Turkish version was that Khashoggi was attacked within minutes of entering the Saudi

consulate at 13:14 on the fateful day; strangled by the bare hands of at least one, possibly two attackers, as he fought and screamed for his life. Those screams, according to an even earlier Turkish leak, were recorded on a device Khashoggi was wearing undetected on his wrist, primed to transmit to his Turkish fiancée standing outside the building.

Then there is the crucial matter of the corpus delicti. For without that, in a police or coroner's court in a country other than Turkey, there is only the case of a missing person. That person's body is missing, the world was originally told, because it had been cut into pieces with a bone-saw.

In disclosures to the press which have followed, the body pieces were taken in packages by car to the nearby house of the Saudi Consul-General. There they were either buried in the backyard, or thrown in a garden well, or carried off in another vehicle by a local Turkish subcontractor and disposed of in a nearby forest. Because Turkish investigators have found no trace of any of these things, we are now told that none of them happened. In addition, no explanation has been given by the Turkish services, which had earlier provided photographs of body parts, including a scalped head, allegedly Khashoggi's, which have been circulating in Turkey and other countries.

The version which has followed in the more squeamish western press is that the body parts of Khashoggi were dissolved in acid at the home of the consul, and that is the reason we are now told the body could not be found. Strangely, no traces of acid were reported to have been found in the house or its well or waste system, after the Turks entered and searched it thoroughly days before the story of the acid appeared. The acid traces were reported to have been found in the house of the consul days later, once the earlier versions of Khashoggi's "disappearance" had ceased to be plausible or possible.

Read also: The Empire Strikes Back: Hillary Clinton and the military-industrial complex

The world has been asked by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to believe all of this in sequence, and forget each story as the Turks released new ones. Also, the world was requested to share in the Turks' moral outrage at the dastardly act. Turkish morality is the reason Erdogan's subordinates threw a temper tantrum when the French Foreign Minister,

Jean-Yves Le Drian, accused Erdogan of "playing a political game" https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKCN1NH0O5 with the Khashoggi murder. The evidence Erdogan has been releasing makes this plain to everyone.

But not to the righteous Turks. Did not their president say to an international audience on October 23, and in an editorial he arranged with the Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/gdpr-consent/?destination=%2fnews%2fglobal-opinions%2fwp%2f2018%2f11%2f02%2frecep-tayyip-erdogan-saudi-arabia-still-has-many-questions-to-answer-about-jamal-khashoggis-killing%2f%3f on November 2, that he will move "earth and heaven" to get to the bottom of the Khashoggi case; have the Saudi perpetrators punished no matter how high-ranking they are -- Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's photograph is placed in illustration of Erdogan's words, but he himself doesn't dare name him. Erdogan has also promised to serve justice; give Khashoggi a muslim funeral; and ensure that nothing of this kind will ever again occur in a NATO member state. (These are not assurances Erdogan has offered the families of the fourteen Turkish journalists also still missing in Erdogan's jurisdiction; seven of them confirmed dead, including the famous Hrant Dink. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hrant_Dink )

How dare anyone question Erdogan's integrity? is the unanimous cry out of Turkey.

Let me tell you why. The Turks do not have to move "earth and heaven" now to get to the bottom of the Khashoggi murder. They could have done that within hours – repeat hours -- of the reported disappearance of Khashoggi, by arresting the eighteen alleged Saudi murderers; by searching the premises of the Istanbul consulate and the residence of the Saudi consul; and by arresting him as a co-conspirator in the homicide. Within hours, the Turkish authorities reporting to Erdogan had all the prima fac ie evidence they needed to establish that a crime had been committed. But act they did not. Instead, they – that means Erdogan -- allowed the alleged murderers to leave Istanbul on the evening after the crime was committed. They allowed the Saudi Consul, Mohammed al-Otaibi, to take his time – two weeks -- before he departed on October 16.

Read also: Saudi Arabia has to be stopped and this time it may get stopped

On what the Turks did or did not do in their prosecution of the Khashoggi case, let

Yasar Yakis tell us. Yakis is a retired career diplomat, a former Turkish Foreign Minister and member of Erdogan's Islamist party. In a subtle article, "What Turkey did and didn't do about the Khashoggi murder", published on October 24 in the English-language

Turkish website Ahval, https://ahvalnews.com/jamal-khashoggi/what-turkey-did-and-didnt-do-about-khashoggi-murder based in Washington, Yakis endorsed Turkey for what it "did". He also went on to report what it "didn't do", and why. Yakis is quite revealing.

By citing the official time frame of Khashoggi's disappearance, Yakis shows that the authorities had ample time to decide they were holding enough evidence that a serious crime had been committed on the premises of the Saudi Consulate and at the home of the Saudi consul in Istanbul; by a group of Saudi nationals carrying diplomatic passports who had flown into the country in two private jets and a commercial airline early on October 2. Since Turkish laws had been violated, the authorities knew they had the legal right, in line with the 1963 Geneva Convention on Consular Relations, to search the Saudi diplomatic premises, and arrest the suspects, including the Consul-General. Their diplomatic status, the Turkish authorities knew at the time and Yakis has repeated, guaranteed immunity from search and arrest only in the Saudi performance of diplomatic duties. Committing murder, as the evidence immediately suggested, was not one of them.

Yakis does argue that the relevant articles of the Geneva Convention limited the right of Turkish entry and search at the consulate and the consul's home, putting off-limits the Saudi

office archives and documents related to the diplomatic activities routinely carried out at the mission.

Additionally in his Ahval article Yakis discloses a crucial detail. Whether Yakis intended it or not, he reveals the deliberate and manipulative behaviour of the Turkish authorities. Fifteen of the alleged culprits departed in two private planes at 18.20 and 22.50 hours respectively, after going through regular customs clearance. Even if as Erdogan revealed in his October 23 statement the Turkish authorities did not learn the fate of Khashoggi until 17:50 on October 2 -- a time that is patently false if the timeline leaked by Turkish intelligence is accepted as the truth – there was still plenty of time for the Turks to arrest the fifteen, plus another three of the conspirators who left on a commercial flight.

What is reported by Yakis is that "the plane carrying part of the Saudi team was stopped in the skies above Nallihan (a rural district in the Ankara Province) and ordered into a holding pattern, before being allowed on its way. If the plane had been forced to land, and itspassengers put under questioning, a great deal of now unknown information would have been obtained".

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Yakis reveals that it wasn't necessary for the Turks to move "earth and heaven" – all they had to do on the evening of October 2 was to prevent the alleged culprits from fleeing the scene of the crime, or stopping them at the airport, or in their airplanes before they left Turkish airspace. At that time, even if the Consul had been left untouched, the case would have been wrapped up in no time.

But Erdogan and his associates had other, more ambitious plans. It is those plans unfolding which have dictated each new leak. Had Erdogan decided to hold the eighteen fleeing Saudis, that would have meant rupturing relations with the Saudi kingdom, but this is something Erdogan and his officials repeat they do not want to do. However, such behaviour is exactly what the French foreign minister meant when he accused Erdogan, directly and personally, "that he has a political game to play in these circumstances."

And what is this game? Foremost, the Turks are attempting to concoct an image of themselves and of their Great (Buyuk) Leader as defenders of justice and of international law and order, while extracting rewards for this pretence from all those, primarily the West

and Israel, who have a stake in the stability of the present Saudi regime. If Khashoggi's death was Saudi state murder, Erdogan's game is Turkish state extortion. That makes two crimes.

This Saudi regime does not deserve sympathy. It must be held accountable, not only for the fate of Khashoggi, but for much more which the regime is responsible for in promoting war, terrorist violence and sectarian extremism from Syria to Yemen and further afield. Holding the Saudis accountable for Khashoggi's murder is one thing. It's not the only thing. Allowing Erdogan's Turkey to prevail as source and judge of the truth of this case serves faking and falsehood, not justice. End+

[*] Marios Evriviades is a former Cyprus diplomat and presidential advisor. He is a professor of international relations at universities in Greece and Cyprus.

[Nov 19, 2018] We now learn that the person in the U.S. National Security Council who put al-Qahtani on the list was fired: Kirsten Fontenrose, the National Security Council official in charge of U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia, resigned

Notable quotes:
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... The Nation ..."
"... The Treasury declaration blamed MbS advisor Saud al-Qahtani as mastermind behind the Khashoggi murder, while the Saudis carefully avoided that. We now learn that the person in the U.S. National Security Council who put al-Qahtani on the list was fired : ..."
"... Fontenrose had played a key role in the administration's decision about which Saudis to sanction in response to Khashoggi's killing, these people said. ..."
"... I suspect that MbS tried, via Trump's son-in-law Kushner, to save al-Qahtani (and himself). Trump clearly wanted to do that, but Fontenrose blew the plan by pushing for al-Qahtani to be sanctioned. The CIA also sabotaged the planned exculpation of MbS by 'leaking' its judgment about MbS' personal responsibility to the press. ( WaPo published the CIA conclusion in Arabic , another point the Saudis will hate.) ..."
Nov 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama :

We were first to point out that the NYT's characterization of an old North Korean missile site as "deception" was pure nonsense. Newsweek , 38north.org , NKNews.org , The Nation and others now also condemned the neo-conned NYT propaganda.

The war let to the loss of Netanyahoo's majority in the Knesset. He is now trying to stall new elections in which he could lose his job.

Trump's Middle East policy is in total disarray. Nothing is working as planned. Netanyahoo will probebaly fall. Saudi Arabia will not make nice with Qatar. There will be no Arab NATO or anti-Iran alliance. MbS is despised but will stay on the job. Yemen is starving. The U.S. is at odds with Turkey over support for the Kurds. Trumps knows and hates this :

The adviser who talks to Trump said: "If the president had his way, he would stay entirely out of the Middle East and all of the problems."

The piece was the first to point out the difference between the Saudi investigation, which put blame on Major General Ahmed al-Asiri, and the names on the U.S. sanction list published at the same time. The Treasury declaration blamed MbS advisor Saud al-Qahtani as mastermind behind the Khashoggi murder, while the Saudis carefully avoided that. We now learn that the person in the U.S. National Security Council who put al-Qahtani on the list was fired :

On Friday evening, Kirsten Fontenrose, the National Security Council official in charge of U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia, resigned, administration officials said. The circumstances of her departure weren't clear. But Fontenrose had previously been placed on administrative leave, according to people familiar with the matter.

Fontenrose had played a key role in the administration's decision about which Saudis to sanction in response to Khashoggi's killing, these people said.

I suspect that MbS tried, via Trump's son-in-law Kushner, to save al-Qahtani (and himself). Trump clearly wanted to do that, but Fontenrose blew the plan by pushing for al-Qahtani to be sanctioned. The CIA also sabotaged the planned exculpation of MbS by 'leaking' its judgment about MbS' personal responsibility to the press. ( WaPo published the CIA conclusion in Arabic , another point the Saudis will hate.) Trump is furious that the CIA (again) sabotaged his policy:

Asked about reports that the CIA had assessed involvement by Mohammed, the president said: "They haven't assessed anything yet. It's too early."

[Nov 14, 2018] Installing an Arabic speaking Arab American general as the new ambassador to the kingdom sounds like the Borg is becoming concerned with kingdom stability when changes come.

Nov 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Kooshy , 11 hours ago

Colonel Salam , what do you think of retired general Abizad becoming new US' ambassador to KSA. To me installing an Arabic speaking Arab American general as the new ambassador to the kingdom sounds like the Borg is becoming concerned with kingdom' stability when changes come. They probably don't want to repeat the mistake of keeping Sullivan during IRI. So sorry for OT.
Pat Lang Mod -> Kooshy , 6 hours ago
Abizaid is a good man but he is Lebanese American and the Saudis will try to buy him off and if that doesn't work will undermine him. I wish him luck.

[Nov 12, 2018] Saudi royals internal fight looks probably like the Austrians in 1913 arguing about who their next Habsburg Ruler is going to be

Nov 12, 2018 | peakoilbarrel.com

Survivalist says: 11/03/2018 at 12:13 am

To put it mildly, I'm not an expert on where to find info Ghawar. Perhaps brighter minds will chime in.
http://peakoilbarrel.com/closer-look-saudi-arabia/
http://crudeoilpeak.info/category/saudi-arabia

My guess is that much of KSA will look a lot like the shabby end of Yemen before too long. This will perhaps strand some assets. Once the House of Saud fragments further among competing clans/factions (Faisal, Sudairi, Abdullah, Bin Sultans) things will hasten. Collapse is preceded by intra-elite rivalry over a shrinking pie, so to speak.
Caspian Report has a nice set on KSA if you look for them. Here's one-
https://youtu.be/9tHwvZ9XDLU
And another-
https://youtu.be/hh8isVX3H9w

Hightrekker once commented something quite apt, along the lines of~ 'And all this is probably like the Austrians in 1913 arguing about who their next Habsburg Ruler is going to be'.

From what I understand there are 4000 Saudi princes (a suspiciously round number, so likely an approximate). It all should make for a very bloody affair. Hopefully Iran will do the right thing and kick 'em while they're down.

  1. Mushalik 10/31/2018 at 8:25 pm
    Saudi Update October 2018
    http://crudeoilpeak.info/saudi-update-october-2018

[Nov 09, 2018] Khashoggi Was No Critic of Saudi Regime

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A writer in Okaz, a daily in Jeddah, accused him of meeting with the Emir of Qatar at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York and of having ties to "regional and international intelligence services." If true it may have sealed his fate. Qatar is now the number one enemy of the Saudi regime -- arguably worse than Iran. ..."
Nov 09, 2018 | neznaika-nalune.livejournal.com

...Khashoggi was a loyal member of the Saudi propaganda apparatus. There is no journalism allowed in the kingdom: there have been courageous Saudi women and men who attempted to crack the wall of rigid political conformity and were persecuted and punished for their views. Khashoggi was not among them.
...
By historical contrast, Nasir As-Sa`id was a courageous secular Arab Nationalist writer who fled the kingdom in 1956 and settled in Cairo, and then Beirut. He authored a massive (though tabloid-like) volume about the history of the House of Saud. He was unrelenting in his attacks against the Saudi royal family.

For this, the Saudi regime paid a corrupt PLO leader in Beirut (Abu Az-Za`im, tied to Jordanian intelligence) to get rid of As-Sa`id. He kidnapped As-Sa`id from a crowded Beirut street in 1979 and delivered him to the Saudi embassy there. He was presumably tortured and killed (some say his body was tossed from a plane over the "empty quarter" desert in Saudi Arabia). Such is the track record of the regime.
...
Khashoggi distinguished himself with an eagerness to please and an uncanny ability to adjust his views to those of the prevailing government. In the era of anti-Communism and the promotion of fanatical jihad in Afghanistan and elsewhere, Khashoggi was a true believer. He fought with Osama bin Laden and promoted the cause of the Mujahideen.

The Washington Post's David Ignatius and others want to embellish this by implying that he was an "embedded" reporter -- as if bin Laden's army would invite independent journalists to report on their war efforts. The entire project of covering the Afghan Mujahideen and promoting them in the Saudi press was the work of the chief of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki, Khashoggi's principal patron-prince.

Western media coverage of Khashoggi's career (by people who don't know Arabic) presents a picture far from reality. They portray a courageous investigative journalist upsetting the Saudi regime. Nothing is further from the truth: there is no journalism in Saudi Arabia; there is only crude and naked propaganda.
...
Khashoggi was a reactionary: he supported all monarchies and sultanates in the region and contended they were "reformable." To him, only the secular republics, in tense relations with the Saudis, such as Iraq, Syria and Libya, defied reform and needed to be overthrown. He favored Islamization of Arab politics along Muslim Brotherhood lines.

Khashoggi's vision was an "Arab uprising" led by the Saudi regime. In his Arabic writings he backed MbS's "reforms" and even his "war on corruption," derided in the region and beyond. He thought that MbS's arrests of the princes in the Ritz were legitimate (though he mildly criticized them in a Post column) even as his last sponsoring prince, Al-Walid bin Talal, was locked up in the luxury hotel. Khashoggi even wanted to be an advisor to MbS, who did not trust him and turned him down.
...
A writer in Okaz, a daily in Jeddah, accused him of meeting with the Emir of Qatar at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York and of having ties to "regional and international intelligence services." If true it may have sealed his fate. Qatar is now the number one enemy of the Saudi regime -- arguably worse than Iran.

Khashoggi was treated as a defector and one isn't allowed to defect from the Saudi Establishment. The last senior defections were back in 1962, when Prince Talal and Prince Badr joined Nasser's Arab nationalist movement in Egypt.

Khashoggi had to be punished in a way that would send shivers down the spine of other would-be defectors.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/10/15/khashoggi-was-no-critic-of-saudi-regime/

See also: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/07/03/its-time-to-divide-syria

[Nov 08, 2018] Ed Snowden Infamous Israeli Spyware 'Pegasus' Helped Kill Khashoggi

Nov 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Via MiddleEastMonitor.com,

US whistle-blower Edward Snowden yesterday claimed that Saudi Arabia used Israeli spyware to target murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi .

Addressing a conference in Tel Aviv via a video link, Snowden claimed that software made by an Israeli cyber intelligence firm was used by Saudi Arabia to track and target Khashoggi in the lead up to his murder on 2 October inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Snowden told his audience:

"How do they [Saudi Arabia] know what his [Khashoggi's] plans were and that they needed to act against him? That knowledge came from the technology developed by NSO," Israeli business daily Globes reported.

Snowden accused NSO of "selling a digital burglary tool," adding it "is not just being used for catching criminals and stopping terrorist attacks, not just for saving lives, but for making money [ ] such a level of recklessness [ ] actually starts costing lives," according to the Jerusalem Post .

Snowden – made famous in 2013 for leaking classified National Security Agency (NSA) files and exposing the extent of US surveillance – added that "Israel is routinely at the top of the US' classified threat list of hackers along with Russia and China [ ] even though it is an ally".

Snowden is wanted in the US for espionage, so could not travel to Tel Aviv to address the conference in person for fear of being handed over to the authorities.

The Israeli firm to which Snowden referred – NSO Group Technologies – is known for developing the "Pegasus" software which can be used to remotely infect a target's mobile phone and then relay back data accessed by the device. Although NSO claims that its products "are licensed only to legitimate government agencies for the sole purpose of investigating and preventing crime and terror," this is not the first time its Pegasus software has been used by Saudi Arabia to track critics.

In October it was revealed that Saudi Arabia used Pegasus software to eavesdrop on 27-year-old Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz, a prominent critic of the Saudi government on social media.

The revelation was made by Canadian research group Citizen Lab , which found that the software had been used to hack Abdulaziz' iPhone between June and August of this year. Citizen Lab's Director Ron Deibert explained that such actions by Saudi Arabia "would constitute illegal wiretapping".

A separate report by Citizen Lab in September found a "significant expansion of Pegasus usage in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the Middle East," in particular the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Citizen Lab added that in August 2016, Emirati human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor was targeted with the Pegasus spyware.

Snowden's comments come less than a week after it emerged that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the United States to stand by Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) in the wake of the Khashoggi case. The revelation was made by the Washington Post , which cited information from US officials familiar with a series of telephone conversations made to Jared Kushner – senior advisor to President Donald Trump and Trump's son-in-law – and National Security Adviser John Bolton regarding the Khashoggi case. The officials told the Post that:

In recent days, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have reached out to the Trump administration to express support for the crown prince, arguing that he is an important strategic partner in the region, said people familiar with the calls.

Bin Salman has come under intense scrutiny in the month since Khashoggi first disappeared , with many suspecting his involvement in ordering the brutal murder. Yet while several world leaders have shunned the crown prince, it is thought that Israel would suffer from any decline in Saudi influence in the region in light of its purportedly central role in the upcoming " Deal of the Century ".

[Nov 01, 2018] If the Khashoggi Affair was planned as a warning to Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, then the US knew exactly what was going to happen in the consulate. It was coupled with an immediate and orchestrated MSM reaction that was curiously detailed, and delivered at high volume.

Notable quotes:
"... The key point from my POV was the immediate MSM blanket coverage with every detail explained. No investigation, research, doubts or questions. ..."
"... The US MSM is a propaganda tool and they were pre-prepared, so some US deep state group knew that Bin Salman's bodyguard was heading to the consulate and what they planned to do there (and maybe even set them up to do it). ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | www.unz.com

Miro23 says: October 30, 2018 at 5:45 am GMT 600 Words

The Saudis also support the system of petrodollars, which basically requires nearly all international purchases of petroleum to be paid in dollars. Petrodollars in turn enable the United States to print money for which there is no backing knowing that there will always be international demand for dollars to buy oil.

I would emphasize this aspect, except that MbS doesn't so much support the PetroDollar as the PetroYuan, and this is more than troubling for the US since the PetroDollar is essential to the dollar's world reserve currency status.

Many American economists have expressed alarm at Saudi Arabia's willingness to borrow in Chinese yuan, as Riyadh's decision could cause other oil-exporting countries to abandon the U.S. dollar in favor of the "petro-yuan." A marked decline in the use of the U.S. dollar as the preferred credit-issuing currency by oil-producing countries would greatly weaken the U.S. dollar's long-term viability as a global reserve currency.

As the United States views its alliance with Saudi Arabia as the lynchpin of its Middle East strategy, Washington will likely react strongly if Riyadh uses its influence within OPEC to strengthen the Chinese yuan. As Saudi Arabia remains dependent on U.S. arms sales to pursue its geopolitical objectives in the Middle East and counter Iran, intense U.S. pressure would likely cause Riyadh to distance itself from Beijing, limiting economic integration between the two countries.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/02/the-risks-of-the-china-saudi-arabia-partnership/

It is no coincidence that these statements from the Crown Prince come days after the official launch of China's Petroyuan. As every historical trend indicates, the world's most powerful economy dictates which currency will be used in most international transactions. This continues to be the case with the US in respect of Dollar, but as China gets set to fully overtake the US as the world's leading economy, the Dollar will inevitably be replaced by the Yuan.

China's issuing of oil futures contracts in Petroyuan is the clearest indication yet that China is keen to make its presence as the world's largest energy consumer known and that it would clearly prefer to purchase oil from countries like Saudi Arabia in its own currency in the future, quite possibly in the near future.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince appears to understand this trajectory in the global energy markets and furthermore, he realises that in order to be able to leverage the tremendous amount of US pressure that will come down on Riaydh in order to force Saudi Arbia to avoid the Petroyuan, Riyadh will need to embrace other potential partners, including China.

More than anything else, the Petroyuan will have an ability to transform Saudi Arabia by limiting its negative international characteristics that Muhammad bin Salman himself described. As a pseudo-satellite state of the US during the Cold War, Muhammad bin Salman admitted that his country's relationship to the US was that of subservience. China does not make political let alone geopolitical demands of its partners, but China is nevertheless keen to foster de-escalations in tensions among all its partners based on the win-win principles of peace through prosperity as articulated on a regular basis by President Xi Jinping.

Thus one could see China's policies of political non-interference rub off on a potential future Saudi partner, in the inverse way that the US policies of ultra-interventionism are often forced upon its partners. Thus, whatever ideological views Muhammad bin Salman does or does not have, he clearly knows where the wind is blowing: in the direction of China.

https://astutenews.com/2018/03/29/saudi-crown-prince-muhammad-bin-salman-blames-america-for-spread-of-wahhabism-as-petro-yuan-beckons/

If the Khashoggi Affair was planned as a warning to Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, then the US knew exactly what was going to happen in the consulate. It was coupled with an immediate and orchestrated MSM reaction that was curiously detailed, and delivered at high volume.

chris , says: October 30, 2018 at 11:02 am GMT

Yeah, the US will never get rid of the Saudi regime but will always be dangling the sword right above their necks, and not just figuratively.

Besides the tangible benefits of the 'strategic' control of oil resources, which the US believes it needs to control in order to dominate Western Europe and its Asian allies, the Saudis also function as the CIA's private slush fund for off-the-books operations like Iran-Contra and many others which surface in the news from time to time. Thus, the CIA controls such vast sums through the Saudis as to make their budgets effectively limitless.

During his triumphant tour of the US earlier this year, the Saudi King said something which I found shocking and incredibly revealing in the way the story dropped like a stone making absolutely no ripples anywhere in the MSM, nor in the alternative media for that matter.

When asked about Saudi funding of Wahhabism around the world, he said that 'the allies (presumably US and UK) had 'asked' the Saudis to 'use their resources' to create the Madrassas and Wahhabi centers to prevent prevent inroads in Muslim countries by the Soviets (a premise which is very questionable in the ME context after the fall of Nasser).

Now that seems to be the story of the century because it reveals the operating method of the CIA wrt the Saudis. And even though MBS was trying to only reveal the distant roots of the system they put in place, there is absolutely no logical reason why any part of this system would have been subsequently dismantled; 911 notwithstanding. The continuing US/Israeli support for and generous use of jihadis in Libya, Syria, etc. only reinforces this point.

This is ultimately the greatest impediment to anything changing the status quo.

virgile , says: Website October 30, 2018 at 12:02 pm GMT
If the consulate was bugged , the Turks must have known the plan to abduct kashooggi.
They let it happen, and now that the abduction turned into a murder, they are accomplice.
Miro23 , says: October 30, 2018 at 12:06 pm GMT
@Mark James

US knew exactly what was going to happen in the consulate.

I doubt the US knew "exactly", but they likely knew something bad (a kidnapping perhaps?) was a strong probability. Alas I wish Khashoggi had been warned. Too it seems very odd he was willing to set foot in a Saudi embassy anywhere? Maybe Director Haspel can explain.

Supposedly Khashoggi's smart phone picked it all up and filmed his own murder ??

More likely the room was prepared, and Khashoggi was following US instructions/assurances in going there. The key point from my POV was the immediate MSM blanket coverage with every detail explained. No investigation, research, doubts or questions.

The US MSM is a propaganda tool and they were pre-prepared, so some US deep state group knew that Bin Salman's bodyguard was heading to the consulate and what they planned to do there (and maybe even set them up to do it).

One question is whether the Halloween show was aimed at removing Bin Salman or just getting him back in line.

Amanda , says: October 30, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
Sibel Edmonds has been following this story from Turkey (she speaks Turkish) and posting her thoughts and findings on twitter. She seems to think this is about some kind of soft coup (get rid of MBS b/c getting too cozy with Russia/China, Euroasia). Sibel also says Khashoggi was actually in Istanbul working with some kind of Soros NGO, maybe for future Color Revolution/Arab Spring in the Middle East.

Sibel Edmonds @sibeledmonds As Predicted (OnRecord) One Of 3 Objectives in #Scripted #Khashoggi Case: Get #Trump- Replace BS #RussiaGate with #SaudiGate. (Screenshot Coming In Reply)- – "Khashoggi fiancee hits at Trump response, warns of 'money' influence"

Sibel Edmonds‏ @sibeledmonds Oct 27
Very Important #Khashoggi Continued: #Khashoggi Relocated To #Turkey To Be a Part of a Business-ThinkTank-NGO. He set up a business here. He opened Bank Accounts. He bought a house/expansive Flat. He traveled to #London from #Istanbul paid handsomely by #Neoliberal #DeepState

AnonFromTN , says: October 30, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
Jamal Khashoggi did not die for nothing. His murder was part of the plot to push current de-facto ruler of the Saudi royal crime family aside.

On the moral side, considering who Khashoggi was, one can only say "serves him right". However, all the other players involved, the Saudis, Israel, Turkey, and the US, are by no means morally superior to him. His murder and essential non-reaction by others are useful, as these events unmasked the hypocrites, who are showing their true colors even as we speak.

Mike P , says: October 30, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
UK Was Aware of Saudi Plot Against Khashoggi Weeks in Advance: Report
ChuckOrloski , says: October 30, 2018 at 7:12 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus Hi again, S2C,

Should have added that the Kashoggi murder & extremely strange aftermath, dulled US political response, smacks of a scene from the film "V for Vendetta."

Thanks!

JLK , says: October 30, 2018 at 7:41 pm GMT
If I were the Saudis, I'd watch my wallet.
Anon [159] Disclaimer , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:46 am GMT
"There is every indication that the U.S. is not in fact seeking to punish the Saudis for their alleged role in Khashoggi's apparent murder but instead to punish them for reneging on this $15 billion deal to U.S. weapons giant Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the THAAD system.

S-400 gamechanger. / Saudi Plan to Purchase Russian S-400:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/angered-by-saudi-plan-to-purchase-russian-s-400-trump-admin-exploiting-khashoggi-disappearance-to-force-saudis-to-buy-american/250717/

Miro23 , says: October 31, 2018 at 3:41 am GMT
@Colin Wright Thanks for the link. Now we can see that Empire had previously turned against MbS, and that the scripted Khashoggi affair conveniently arrived on cue – with MbS getting the full MSM treatment.

In other words the deep state knew exactly what was going to happen in the consulate that day, set it up and recorded it themselves (nothing to do with Khashoggi's smart phone).

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-saudi-dissident-prince-flies-home-tackle-mbs-succession-58983364

Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, the younger brother of King Salman, has returned to Saudi Arabia after a prolonged absence in London, to mount a challenge to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or find someone who can.

The source said that the prince returned "after discussion with US and UK officials", who assured him they would not let him be harmed and encouraged him to play the role of usurper.

Meanwhile, in Washington disquiet grows.

Writing in the New York Times, former national security advisor to the Obama administration and US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said: "Looking ahead, Washington must act to mitigate the risks to our own interests. We should not rupture our important relationship with the kingdom, but we must make clear it cannot be business as usual so long as Prince Mohammed continues to wield unlimited power.

"It should be United States policy, in conjunction with our allies, to sideline the crown prince in order to increase pressure on the royal family to find a steadier replacement," she added.

Erebus , says: October 31, 2018 at 5:36 am GMT
@Miro23 The mainstream narrative has had "Psyop" written all over it from the first. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Khashoggi is still alive and languishing in an undisclosed location with only the Skripals for company.
ChuckOrloski , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:44 pm GMT
@Bill Jones An interesting bullet-sentence, Bill Jones said to me: "The strange and dulled aftermath in the US is, I believe, because the lesson was not really meant for US audiences."

Greetings, Bill!

Lessons on dramatic world events are cunningly spun to insouciant & government-trusting Americans. The weird Jamal Kashoggi murder is an excellent example among hundreds to choose from!

Fyi, along with FDR administration's cooperation, Zionists helped gin-up war fervor in order to get the US into World War 2. Such deception resulted in unnecessarily sending-off another round of American "doughboys" into world war.

Fyr, as recovered from America's Memory Hole Knowledge Disposal / Sewer System," below is a great Pat Buchanan article titled, "Who forged it?"

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4065.htm

[Oct 28, 2018] It's interesting that Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote that Jews will have to die by force, is a media darling.

Oct 28, 2018 | heavy.com

Dana Tufts October 27th, 2018

It's interesting that Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote that Jews will have to die by force, is a media darling. Robert Bowers said something very similar today, and is rightly demonized. We could do with a lot less hagiography of Khashoggi, as well.

(Now in case you made the mental leap to thinking I don't wan't Khashoggi's killers held accountable, let me be clear: they should be held accountable.)

Reply

[Oct 28, 2018] Skripal and Khashoggi West Manufactures Absurd Fantasy to Pin on Russia, Lets Saudi Get Away With Chopping up WaPo Journalist by Finian Cunningham

Oct 28, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Two disappearances, and two very different responses from Western governments, which illustrates their rank hypocrisy.

When former Russian spy Sergei Skripal went missing in England earlier this year, there was almost immediate punitive action by the British government and its NATO allies against Moscow. By contrast, Western governments are straining with restraint towards Saudi Arabia over the more shocking and provable case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The outcry by Western governments and media over the Skripal affair was deafening and resulted in Britain, the US and some 28 other countries expelling dozens of Russian diplomats on the back of unsubstantiated British allegations that the Kremlin tried to assassinate an exiled spy with a deadly nerve agent. The Trump administration has further tightened sanctions citing the Skripal incident.

London's case against Moscow has been marked by wild speculation and ropey innuendo. No verifiable evidence of what actually happened to Sergei Skripal (67) and his daughter Yulia has been presented by the British authorities . Their claim that President Vladimir Putin sanctioned a hit squad armed with nerve poison relies on sheer conjecture.

All we know for sure is that the Skripals have been disappeared from public contact by the British authorities for more than seven months, since the mysterious incident of alleged poisoning in Salisbury on March 4.

Russian authorities and family relatives have been steadfastly refused any contact by London with the Skripal pair, despite more than 60 official requests from Moscow in accordance with international law and in spite of the fact that Yulia is a citizen of the Russian Federation with consular rights.

It is an outrage that based on such thin ice of "evidence", the British have built an edifice of censure against Moscow, rallying an international campaign of further sanctions and diplomatic expulsions.

Now contrast that strenuous reaction, indeed hyper over-reaction, with how Britain, the US, France, Canada and other Western governments are ever-so slowly responding to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case.

After nearly two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the Saudi regime is this week finally admitting he was killed on their premises – albeit, they claim, in a "botched interrogation".

... ... ...

Source: Strategic Culture

[Oct 27, 2018] Everytime I think of the Khashogi hit...

Oct 27, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Not Henry Kissinger

I think of Goodfellas:

For most of the guys, killings got to be accepted. Murder was the only way that everybody stayed in line. You got out of line, you got whacked. Everybody knew the rules. But sometimes, even if people didn't get out of line, they got whacked. I mean, hits just became a habit for some of the guys. Guys would get into arguments over nothing and before you knew it, one of them was dead. And they were shooting each other all the time. Shooting people was a normal thing. It was no big deal.

We had a serious problem with Billy Batts Jamal Khashoggi. This was really a touchy thing. Tommy'd MbS killed a made guy. Batts Khashoggi was part of the Gambino Neocon crew and was considered untouchable. Before you could touch a made guy, you had to have a good reason. You had to have a sitdown, and you better get an okay, or you'd be the one who got whacked.

Khashoggi was a made man in DC. Nobody in Yemen is.

[Oct 27, 2018] The Horrified Hypocrites

Notable quotes:
"... @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal ..."
"... @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal ..."
"... The Last Battle ..."
"... @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal ..."
Oct 26, 2018 | graysinfo.blogspot.com

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/10/25/the-khashoggi-affair-and-the-futur...

Stephen J.
October 26, 2018 at 11:19 am
The "power structure" is filled with:
-- -
"The Horrified Hypocrites"

Anybody with a spark of human decency is surely horrified at the latest murderous Saudi atrocity. But to see the so-called international community, the corporate media, business leaders and all the other political elites and establishment members all rightly upset over the horrific murder of Jamal Khashoggi is, I believe, to see selective hypocrisy in action.

Where were these "pillars of society" when the Saudis murdered schoolchildren travelling in a school bus in Yemen? Did that get blanket coverage in the newsrooms of the "investigative media"? Did any of them speak out daily? Oh, I forgot, some of these "honourable people" sell arms to the Saudis, do sword dances with them, kiss their cheeks, [1] and call them "allies." Now they pretend to be outraged at their Saudi friends. Therefore, I ask:

What kind of "people" slaughter children in a school bus in Yemen?
What kind of army guides the missiles into the school bus?
What kind of "democratic governments" support this slaughter?
What kind of governments sells weapons to the killers of children?
What kind of politicians call selling weapons "creating jobs"?
What kind of politicians vote for illegal wars?

Furthermore, what kind of media covers up the crimes of the war criminals [1a] [1b] in our midst that have supplied the weapons to the Saudis and joined their "Coalition of Carnage" [2] that is destroying and committing "Genocide in Yemen"? [2a]
[read more at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-horrified-hypocrites.html

Submitted by dkmich on Sat, 10/27/2018 - 7:44am dkmich's picture Thanks for the link. Thanks for the link. Interesting news. Good to know those ruling elites are all alike. Greedy as all hell and indifferent to how they murder people and how many. Some just like to hide their atrocities, others don't.

But if the Saudi power structure were ever to crumble in the wake of the Khashoggi scandal, there would likely be chaos because there is no alternative to replace it.

Since when do we care about that? All we care about is oil and money. It is very possible that it could be a good thing. Maybe the globe would dump oil for energy, and bomb makers would have to blow up the US or build our infrastructure instead. up 6 users have voted. --

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Submitted by Cant Stop the M... on Sat, 10/27/2018 - 10:45am Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture @dkmich Apparently bin Salman has @dkmich @dkmich @dkmich Apparently bin Salman has done something that fiddled with the elite's plans.

Huh. I googled "bin Salman" and look at one of the first things that came up:

How Mohammed bin Salman Turned Saudi Arabia Into an Investment Wasteland

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/10/26/how-mohammed-bin-salman-turned-saud...

Some gems from this article:

"From 2016 to 2017, foreign direct investment in Saudi Arabia plummeted by an astonishing 80 percent, from about $7.5 billion to about $1.4 billion, according to the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development. Net capital outflows were also way up -- largely because wealthy Saudis were moving money abroad, noted Phillip Cornell, an expert in the Saudi economy at the Atlantic Council ."

"...both savvy outside investors and many Saudi businessmen no longer had faith in the kingdom, considering "the crown prince's authoritarian tendencies" and "capricious economic policy choices," Cornell said."

Since obviously authoritarianism abounds, and neither the Atlantic Council nor anybody else in real power in this country gives a shit, I'm guessing the real problem lay in the "economic policy choices."

Digging through the article to find actual information on those policy choices, I come up with this:

"For example, the swift outflow of money has forced Mohammed bin Salman's government to put in some informal capital controls -- but that only made foreign money even more reluctant to come in. The Saudi government has cost itself credibility by promising to balance the budget and reduce unemployment to 9 percent only to back away from those pledges."

Anybody know what those "informal capital controls" are?

Any reason the elites would give a shit whether Saudi Arabia's governmental budget was balanced, or how many of their people are unemployed?

EDIT: On re-reading, the "informal capital controls" seem to have followed the exodus of foreign money, not preceded it, so, although clearly the elites don't like those controls (as Mr. Cornell of the Atlantic Council said), that couldn't have been the impetus for the global financial elites to try to spank bin Salman and stand him in a corner.

What did he do (probably in late 2016 or 2017) that pissed them all off?

Submitted by sny on Sat, 10/27/2018 - 1:41pm @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

What did he do (probably in late 2016 or 2017) that pissed them all off?

MBS was appointed crown prince/heir in June 2017, but then the article doesnt say exactly when the dropoff happened either. I can certainly see the Saudi royals seeing the writing on the wall and moving their money out before MBS' appointment, but did MBS have enough power to make decisions affecting external investors then (or would they know that he was a future tyrant, given how the west fawned over him then)? My understanding is that his primary responsibilities in 2016 were Vision 2030, which doesn't seem to me to have a bearing on this.

In short, more information is needed before accepting this article's conclusions.

Submitted by Cant Stop the M... on Sat, 10/27/2018 - 2:21pm Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture @sny Given that its main @sny Given that its main (read only) source is that guy from the Atlantic Council, your point is well taken.

Submitted by The Liberal Moonbat on Sat, 10/27/2018 - 7:41pm The Liberal Moonbat's picture Stop calling plutocrats/military-industrialists "elites" @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal They're not. They're not "TPTB", either. They're neither godlings nor Ubermenschen.

They're just rich, and only as "powerful" as people believe they are.

It should go without saying that the measure of a man cannot possibly be determined in dollars and cents.

Gods and heroes do walk among us - but they're not these macro-mediocrities. Everyone's got to stop validating what is nothing more than, shall we call it, 'grand theft ego.'

I keep thinking of the Shift the Ape from The Last Battle , the final book of The Chronicles of Narnia - people can't (or won't) see past the various specific offensive allegories, but if one does, that character actually strikes me as one of the most underrated villains in all of English literature: A contemptible mediocrity who, in a benighted age, presumes to hijack a mantle of greatness he doesn't understand, only to sour people on the very idea of greatness, when that is precisely what the world needs most. When the cats are away, the mice will play.

#2 #2 #2 Apparently bin Salman has done something that fiddled with the elite's plans.

Huh. I googled "bin Salman" and look at one of the first things that came up:

How Mohammed bin Salman Turned Saudi Arabia Into an Investment Wasteland

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/10/26/how-mohammed-bin-salman-turned-saud...

Some gems from this article:

"From 2016 to 2017, foreign direct investment in Saudi Arabia plummeted by an astonishing 80 percent, from about $7.5 billion to about $1.4 billion, according to the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development. Net capital outflows were also way up -- largely because wealthy Saudis were moving money abroad, noted Phillip Cornell, an expert in the Saudi economy at the Atlantic Council ."

"...both savvy outside investors and many Saudi businessmen no longer had faith in the kingdom, considering "the crown prince's authoritarian tendencies" and "capricious economic policy choices," Cornell said."

Since obviously authoritarianism abounds, and neither the Atlantic Council nor anybody else in real power in this country gives a shit, I'm guessing the real problem lay in the "economic policy choices."

Digging through the article to find actual information on those policy choices, I come up with this:

"For example, the swift outflow of money has forced Mohammed bin Salman's government to put in some informal capital controls -- but that only made foreign money even more reluctant to come in. The Saudi government has cost itself credibility by promising to balance the budget and reduce unemployment to 9 percent only to back away from those pledges."

Anybody know what those "informal capital controls" are?

Any reason the elites would give a shit whether Saudi Arabia's governmental budget was balanced, or how many of their people are unemployed?

EDIT: On re-reading, the "informal capital controls" seem to have followed the exodus of foreign money, not preceded it, so, although clearly the elites don't like those controls (as Mr. Cornell of the Atlantic Council said), that couldn't have been the impetus for the global financial elites to try to spank bin Salman and stand him in a corner.

What did he do (probably in late 2016 or 2017) that pissed them all off?

up 1 user has voted.

Submitted by Cant Stop the M... on Sat, 10/27/2018 - 10:48am Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture My question's not rhetorical; I hope somebody on here knows more about foreign policy than I do. Nobody's been more surprised than me that the Saudi Arabians have begun to be actually held accountable for anything, given that we accepted it without a murmur when a bunch of Saudis came over here and murdered a few thousand of our civilians.

Submitted by Linda Wood on Sat, 10/27/2018 - 11:32am I'm hoping @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
all the disconnects are happening now because the 9/11 Victims' lawsuit may finally be allowed to take place against the Saudi princes named in the suit, one of whom is the current king.

One of the last things to happen in the Obama administration was JASTA, The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, passed by Congress, narrowing the scope of the legal doctrine of foreign sovereign immunity.

Submitted by Not Henry Kissinger on Sat, 10/27/2018 - 1:50pm Not Henry Kissinger's picture Everytime I think of the Khashogi hit... I think of Goodfellas:

For most of the guys, killings got to be accepted. Murder was the only way that everybody stayed in line. You got out of line, you got whacked. Everybody knew the rules. But sometimes, even if people didn't get out of line, they got whacked. I mean, hits just became a habit for some of the guys. Guys would get into arguments over nothing and before you knew it, one of them was dead. And they were shooting each other all the time. Shooting people was a normal thing. It was no big deal.

We had a serious problem with Billy Batts Jamal Khashoggi. This was really a touchy thing. Tommy'd MbS killed a made guy. Batts Khashoggi was part of the Gambino Neocon crew and was considered untouchable. Before you could touch a made guy, you had to have a good reason. You had to have a sitdown, and you better get an okay, or you'd be the one who got whacked.

Khashoggi was a made man in DC. Nobody in Yemen is.

[Oct 26, 2018] Germany bans arms sales to SA

Notable quotes:
"... If the United States imposed sanctions on Saudi Arabia, other major arms exporters such as Britain would probably also be forced to take similar measures. ..."
"... Who knew this would happen? This should be an example for all the neocons and hyper-nationalists in the US. The wahabbiyeen ..."
"... So can the rest of NATO. If the Russians and/or the Chinese really want to be stuck with this Tar Baby, let them try it on! But! But! The Iranian threat! The Iranian threat! Threat to what? Israel? ..."
"... It's not the petro, but the "petrodollar" system. Now if India, Japan, China, or most any country, I suppose, want to buy Saudi oil it must use US Dollars. This goes back to deals made by Simon & Kissinger with the K of Saudi Barbaria when Nixon took the US off the gold standard and the Near East was awash with money after the oil shock following the Arab Oil Embargo. ..."
"... First of all, the system of petrodollars, which basically requires nearly all purchases of petroleum to be paid in dollars, is underwritten by the Saudis. ..."
"... Petrodollars in turn enable the United States to print money for which there is no backing knowing that there will always be international demand for dollars to buy oil. The Saudis, who also use their own petrodollars to buy U.S. treasury bonds, could pull the plug on that arrangement ..."
"... Whenever a medium size country has taken steps to wean itself from the petrodollar, it has been taken out: Saddam Hussein taking steps to move to the Euro; Qaddafi talking about creating a pan-African currency for trade. It was no accident that Obama had to ship hundreds of millions of dollar bills to Iran for his nuke deal. It was their own money in T bills and bank deposits that had been frozen and because of sanctions they wanted cold hard cash. ..."
"... If the Saudis attempt to carry out their threat to move away from the petrodollar or start seriously liquidating their US treasury holdings, the KSA government would be de-legitimized, overthrown, the oil fields seized, and the country carved up. This is what Nixon would have done in 1973 if they hadn't agreed to the petrodollar deal ..."
"... There are pros & cons in having the reserve currency. The pro is naturally the ability to exchange paper for real goods. The con is that we have to run trade deficits to export dollars and then provide deep & liquid asset markets for those dollars to return. There's many reasons why the Chinese Yuan can't easily supplant the USD as a reserve currency. First, they don't have a fully convertible currency. Then their asset markets are neither open nor deep & liquid. China would also have to reverse their mercantilist policy to have the Yuan as a world reserve currency. ..."
"... China & Russia have sold hundreds of billions of Treasury bonds over the past few years. For crying out loud, the Fed is selling $600 billion annually now to normalize their balance sheet. Add to the over $1 trillion in fresh borrowing by the Treasury and you can see interest rates edge up to attract buyers. In any crisis most investors around the world still prefer US government backed securities. ..."
"... Two problems w Afghanistan. First, We shouldn't have interfered w the Soviets bringing modernity to them. That was the beginning of weaponized Wahhabism and the worldwide spread of Saudi financed madrassas. It pushed out Sufi and secular minded Muslims in favor of Takfiri Jihadists. Second, we should have declared victory after the fall of Kabul and left. ..."
"... Problem w/Iraq. It was the wrong country to invade, none of the 9/11 Islamist thugs on the airplanes were from secular Iraq ..."
"... Nixon provoked the 73 oil embargo with his resupply of the Israelis w/ Operation Nickel Grass ..."
"... I speculate he went off the gold standard in order to print enough money to finance the Vietnam war -- just speculation. ..."
"... FB Ali had a link to an article on the extent of Saudi money flowing into Silicon Valley. ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"In the United States, a bipartisan group of senators triggered global Magnitsky Act sanctions procedures two weeks ago, forcing Trump to determine possible punishments against Saudi Arabia or Saudi officials over Khashoggi's killing.

If the United States imposed sanctions on Saudi Arabia, other major arms exporters such as Britain would probably also be forced to take similar measures.

But in Berlin, top officials hope that their move to suspend future sales could pressure other European allies into following suit, even if the United States refrained from doing so. Germany's export stop will have little impact "if at the same time other countries fill this gap," Merkel's ally Altmaier acknowledged Monday."

--------------

Germany has gone "anti-medieval" on Saudi Arabia.

Who knew this would happen? This should be an example for all the neocons and hyper-nationalists in the US. The wahabbiyeen are playing them for suckers over the promised contracts. So far the "contracts" are just promises of contracts. That is not an unusual way to proceed in big business contracting; first the promise, then the contract, but nevertheless, the contracts do not exist as yet. We can survive without Saudi money.

So can the rest of NATO. If the Russians and/or the Chinese really want to be stuck with this Tar Baby, let them try it on! But! But! The Iranian threat! The Iranian threat! Threat to what? Israel? pl

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/10/22/germany-its-allies-well-halt-future-arms-sales-saudi-arabia-until-we-have-clarity-khashoggi-so-should-you/?utm_term=.58c7030d046b

Wally Courie , 9 hours ago

It's not the petro, but the "petrodollar" system. Now if India, Japan, China, or most any country, I suppose, want to buy Saudi oil it must use US Dollars. This goes back to deals made by Simon & Kissinger with the K of Saudi Barbaria when Nixon took the US off the gold standard and the Near East was awash with money after the oil shock following the Arab Oil Embargo. PHILIP M. GIRALDI explains it better than I could:

"Saudi Arabia, for its part, has a couple of cards to play also even if it did kill and dismember Khashoggi under orders from the Crown Prince. First of all, the system of petrodollars, which basically requires nearly all purchases of petroleum to be paid in dollars, is underwritten by the Saudis.

Petrodollars in turn enable the United States to print money for which there is no backing knowing that there will always be international demand for dollars to buy oil. The Saudis, who also use their own petrodollars to buy U.S. treasury bonds, could pull the plug on that arrangement. "

https://www.strategic-cultu...

Whenever a medium size country has taken steps to wean itself from the petrodollar, it has been taken out: Saddam Hussein taking steps to move to the Euro; Qaddafi talking about creating a pan-African currency for trade. It was no accident that Obama had to ship hundreds of millions of dollar bills to Iran for his nuke deal. It was their own money in T bills and bank deposits that had been frozen and because of sanctions they wanted cold hard cash.

If the Saudis attempt to carry out their threat to move away from the petrodollar or start seriously liquidating their US treasury holdings, the KSA government would be de-legitimized, overthrown, the oil fields seized, and the country carved up. This is what Nixon would have done in 1973 if they hadn't agreed to the petrodollar deal.

blue peacock -> Wally Courie , 7 hours ago
"...if India, Japan, China, or most any country, I suppose, want to buy Saudi oil it must use US Dollars."

Wrong. It is whatever Saudi Arabia is willing to accept for its crude. It could be Euro, Japanese Yen, Chinese Yuan or Russian Rubles. Or even soybeans, wheat or coffee. Note that most crude are sold on long-term bilateral agreements and not on spot markets.

There are pros & cons in having the reserve currency. The pro is naturally the ability to exchange paper for real goods. The con is that we have to run trade deficits to export dollars and then provide deep & liquid asset markets for those dollars to return. There's many reasons why the Chinese Yuan can't easily supplant the USD as a reserve currency. First, they don't have a fully convertible currency. Then their asset markets are neither open nor deep & liquid. China would also have to reverse their mercantilist policy to have the Yuan as a world reserve currency.

The petrodollar analysis that many promote including the article you linked by Phil Giraldi show they don't know much about trade finance. Saudi Arabia doesn't have to hold dollars that they gain from selling their oil in dollars. They can sell those dollars to those that want it like a Cayman Island hedge fund that wants to go long dollars. The USD fx markets are deep and very liquid.

China & Russia have sold hundreds of billions of Treasury bonds over the past few years. For crying out loud, the Fed is selling $600 billion annually now to normalize their balance sheet. Add to the over $1 trillion in fresh borrowing by the Treasury and you can see interest rates edge up to attract buyers. In any crisis most investors around the world still prefer US government backed securities.

Pat Lang Mod -> Wally Courie , 8 hours ago
I lunched with Giraldi the day before his article on this was published. i questioned his economic argument. As you say, he says that the need for enough US dollars in foreign circulation to make foreign transactions for petroleum possible under the present system and that, as you say, that causes the US to create enough dollars for that system to work. That is essentially unconnected from most functions of the US economy since the dollars stay overseas.

This is not true when the petrodollars are used by Saudi Arabia as funny money to buy US securities or US government sales of heavy equipment like civilian or military aircraft. The Saudis now have their surrogate "Zillim" (slaves) on TV making preposterous claims that a move away from denominating petro currency sales in dollars would collapse the US economy. Are you buying into that? I am not and told Giraldi that.

The obverse of that argument is what you are advocating which is that if the Saudi try to tank our economy by selling their US assets, then we should "coalition" them out of existence. Know that this would result in an occupation for decades accompanied by incessant guerrilla war in what is now Saudi Arabia. This would be another Afghanistan or Iraq. Perhaps it would e worth it.

Wally Courie -> Pat Lang , 8 hours ago
The Holy Cities are in the Hejaz. Hussein of Jordan would love to get them back and the Turks would back him. The oil fields are in the Shia East. (Shades of the NeoCon Lt Col Ralph Peters Blood Map. Zykes!) The KSA and UAE have been making enemies all over the place. Even Kuwait is afraid of a Saudi invasion.

Two problems w Afghanistan. First, We shouldn't have interfered w the Soviets bringing modernity to them. That was the beginning of weaponized Wahhabism and the worldwide spread of Saudi financed madrassas. It pushed out Sufi and secular minded Muslims in favor of Takfiri Jihadists. Second, we should have declared victory after the fall of Kabul and left.

Problem w/Iraq. It was the wrong country to invade, none of the 9/11 Islamist thugs on the airplanes were from secular Iraq. No, not advocating an invasion, but believe the House of Saud would be overthrown if they start messing with the petrodollar. Nixon provoked the 73 oil embargo with his resupply of the Israelis w/ Operation Nickel Grass

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

I guess he figured if they were on the ropes they would break out their nukes? I speculate he went off the gold standard in order to print enough money to finance the Vietnam war -- just speculation.

I would not be surprised if the Saudis and Gulfies don't hold an amount of US debt in the order of Trillions. I read that foreigners own some 47% of the US public debt of some $13 trillion or so. But others here surely have more expertise on this matter.

Pat Lang Mod -> Wally Courie , 7 hours ago
You really want the US to invade Saudi Arabia. What an awful idea! Do you think the populace would greet us with open arms? They would not! American son and daughters would fight there for generations. Who would govern the place, the Israeli agent neocons?

Would Kushner be governor of the Eastern Province? The Hashemites could only govern the Hijaz (Mecca and Medina) as agents of Turkey. Hussein is long dead.

Jack , 12 hours ago
Sir

You are correct. We, the USA as a nation can easily survive even prosper without the Saudi and Gulfie oil and money. But can our political, governmental and media classes survive the loss of their easy path to riches?

FB Ali had a link to an article on the extent of Saudi money flowing into Silicon Valley. What would Masayoshi Son and his Softbank Vision Fund do without the $45 billion committed by the Saudis. Just the management fees on this gigantic venture fund pays some hefty salaries and expenses.

[Oct 26, 2018] The Saudi s have been using precision guided munitions in a most imprecise manner to murder thousands of men, women and children in Yemen too a very muted western outcry

The level of commentary in NYT is incredibly low... Several better comments are reproduced below. It looks like most are from foreigners.
Oct 23, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Peter J. New Zealand Oct. 23

Does bring to mind Stalin's observation that "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic." The Saudi's have been using precision guided munitions in a most imprecise manner to murder thousands of men, women and children in Yemen too a very muted western outcry.

It has taken the, albeit particularly gruesome, murder of Mr Khashoggi to elicit widespread outage. The arms deals that Trump talks about are not producing weapons to kill the Mr Khashoggi's of this world, but rather to render wholesale destruction of a mass enemy.

Frederick Kiel Jomtien, Thailand Oct. 23

The killing was outrageous, but so many commenters seem as if they don't know that Saudi executions are beheadings by sword carried out in public (after Friday prayers) before hundreds of onlookers. Videos are available everywhere. The condemned are forced to kneel on the ground, no blind fold, having seen the swordsman standing a few feet away.

Saudi Arabia carried out 48 public beheadings in the first four months of this year, half for non-violent crimes, with women as well losing their heads. ( https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/26/saudi-arabia-criticised-ov...

This country has been "our best Arab friend" dating back to FDR. Knowing all this, both Bushes, Clinton, Obama and now Trump have all embraced the royal Saudis.
top U.S. universities. Back in 2005, the Saudi gov't gave $20 million each to Harvard and Georgetown ( https://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=1402008) .

In the years since, the Saudi govt has pumped tens of millions of dollars into other U.S. universities ( https://www.meforum.org/campus-watch/articles/2007/saudis-give-big-to-u-... .

I've read no outraged pundits calling on these schools to return the money. Matter of fact, I haven't heard any Harvard denunciations of this horrendous act of murder. Wonder why?

Moe Def Oct. 22

Why did Mr. Khashoggi risk his life, and lose it, by entering that Consulate knowing he was "an enemy of the state "with a price on his head? It makes no sense. Certainly not over some routine paperwork that could have been done in, say, The Washington D.C. Embassy with security!

Chris UK Oct. 23

Why are people and the press pretending that the US is a paragon of virtue and morality. Do people believe that US bodies don't "neutralise" people, even their own citizens, who represent threats? Executions still happen in certain states; the "humaneness" of it is merely a distraction, as if the penalty for murder would be any less severe if the victim was treated well before the action.

Tangentially, if you think that the US isn't violating its own nuclear proliferation treaties, I have a bridge in London to sell you...

Krishna Maringanti Hyderabad, India Oct. 23

Unfortunate for Ms Cengiz, but the timing of their meeting May 2018 & quick decision to marry is a bit suspicious. Qahtani and several others have been trying to lure Khashoggi to Saudi since past several months, offering protection, top Govt jobs etc., It is also in the public domain that MBS put up the so called directive to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi. Whether Cengiz is used to honey trap Khashoggi - because, it seems he never trusted the offers from Riyad. Police protection to Cengiz rises several doubts - Is Riyad trying to assassinate Cengiz 0r Istanbul put Cengiz in a protective custody for being an accessory to the murder of Khashoggi?

[Oct 25, 2018] Alastair Crooke on the JK murder

Oct 25, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Olga , October 23, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Alastair Crooke on the JK murder:
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/23/khashoggi-murder-complex-intersection-three-points-inflection.html
"When a single additional, undifferentiated, snowflake can touch off a huge slide whose mass is entirely disproportionate to the single grain that triggers it. Was Khashoggi's killing just such a trigger? Quite possibly yes – because there are several unstable accumulations of political mass in the region where even a small event might set off a significant slide. These dynamics constitute a complex nexus of shifting dynamics."

[Oct 24, 2018] It does seem that the murder allowed the war and killing in Yemen to move to the foreground

Oct 24, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Nemesiscalling , Oct 23, 2018 2:37:45 PM | link

B, it does seem that the k affair has risen the crisis in Yemen to the foreground just as many predicted. Thank goodness.

You are correct in that many are looking too far into this as some kind of conspiracy. I am reminded by this of many who put forth that it made no difference as to who won the prez election. It did make a difference to the military as well as Hillary's backers in the cIa and fbI.

The Saudis screwed up and they will get their comeuppance it seems. Russia might be able to wiggle their way into the middle then, filling the vacuum of uncle Sam at the circle jerk. The Saudis will have to curtail their operation in Yemen and no quarter will be given to wahhabi-terrorists by ksa who wish retribution against Russia. Win-win.

m , Oct 23, 2018 3:11:58 PM | link

Interesting take by Ghassan Kadi on the Saker's blog, for those who still sense a conspiracy in this. https://thesaker.is/insights-into-the-khashoggi-ordeal-who-and-why/ Goes back to this 'fiance', but adds Gullen to the mix and makes Erdy out to be an instigator. Good to have a viewpoint from someone who has lived in Sawdi land.

[Oct 24, 2018] Neoliberal MSM flenzy over the this murder (and silence about systematic murders of Yemen children by KSA) reflects the split of the USA elite and desire of the "old guard" to cut Trump; that why called for "regime change is KSA are so laud

Oct 24, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Oct 23, 2018 4:26:52 PM | link

Not a 'conspiracy theory' - just an observation

Some goals are difficult to accomplish directly but can be easy with cunning and patience. To wit:

How do you move a society to the right?
By allowing 'radicals' on the left to act up via a Potemkin 'resistance'.
'Open Borders' and gender are fluff compared to issues like Cold War II and inequality (which the Democratic Party is silent about)

How do you discredit a Movement like #MeToo?
You "invite" them to discredit themselves by prompting them to go too far. Accusations with no substance against Kavanaugh did just that.

How do you take down a King and crown prince?
By indulging his whims and flattery and creating opportunities for him to cross a moral line that was deliberately blurred.

How do you control what people believe to be true?
By controlling narrative and timing. First news reports get the widest audience - subsequent clarifications are mostly ignored. And people believe news sources that align with mythology that they are emotionally invested in.


Peter AU 1 , Oct 23, 2018 4:42:09 PM | link

karlof1 10

Trump has invested a lot in taking control of MBS and with him control of Saudi Arabia. Because of this, I think MBS is important, if not key to Trumps plans in the middle east, the main part of which is war with Iran. With the anti Trump factions riding this for all its worth, the Khashoggi killing is at least a spanner in the works for Trump's plans, if not derailing them completely.

Trump has been and is building the US military up for war with some countries and perhaps trying to bluff others. Going by Trump's actions to date, pulling out of the missile treaty was perhaps inevitable.

uncle tungsten , Oct 23, 2018 4:46:50 PM | link
Eric Zuesse writes 'the eartbhquake ininternational alliances' at off-guardian. It is well worth the time and delves into aspects of sunni schism as the background to current shifts.

Thanks b this khashoggi bone saw massacre and the Palestine and Yemen genocide are most significant stories right now.

Kadath , Oct 23, 2018 4:56:16 PM | link
Re:#22 Circe,

I don't think its strange at all, The Media has received the talking points from their "Deep State" contacts and now their piling on with the allegations against MbS. It's quite possible that the Whitehouse is still trying to craft a deal to minimize the fallout from the murder and save MbS (and their Iran plans), but there are elements within the government that are trying to undermine the deal to get rid of MbS. I wouldn't be surprised if the body parts were found, but the Whitehouse / Turkey is not confirming to prevent the situation from escalating and save the possibility of a deal, but the Deep state elements are leaking details to the Media to keep the pressure on.

Circe , Oct 23, 2018 4:59:29 PM | link
So now that Trump sent Gina Haspell to Turkey he's changing his tune and calling this the worst cover-up in the history of cover-ups! CIA director travels to Turkey to investigate murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Well, let's see what he does about it! He can start by granting K's son and brother asylum. They shouldn't have to endure this threatening farce on top of what they're suffering.

Malletgirl , Oct 23, 2018 5:13:47 PM | link
Very interesting seeing b calling for regime change.
The cycnic , Oct 23, 2018 5:39:38 PM | link
The best insights in this drama can be found (IMHO) at Scott Crieghtons American everyman blog. MbS has reneged on a huge Lockheed Martin Arms deal. That alone can get you in deep shit with the establishment( just ask Sth Korea's Pres.)However, Scott goes on to explain that MbS has committed a even greater sin.
Also... 4 seconds of video and a drip feed of "facts" from Turkeys Prez. Mmmmmm No body as yet.... Put on ya Tin-foil hat boys... something bit fishy bout the whole story.
Pft , Oct 23, 2018 6:08:44 PM | link
Bit o/T but while MSM and alt media have us mesmorized with Khashoggi gate 4 days ago Vladimir Putin said ISIS had taken 700 hostages in the US-controlled area of Syria. The hostages captured in Syria by ISIS terrorists include US and European citizens and are being killed off 10 people a day.

Putin "This is just horrible, it is a catastrophe.....Some US and European citizens are among the hostages....everyone is silent as if nothing has happened."

Cant have that being an issue before elections. Save it for November. MBS saves Trump

Guerrero , Oct 23, 2018 6:14:32 PM | link
Thanks for the wonderful journalism to the estimable owner of this cantina, Mr b. I have no idea how he does it. The quality of investiigation, the quality of writing, the synthesis and pointed questions,
all these are first-rate and deserve applause and attention.

To me the Kashoggi thing is simple, the Skirpal assassins (yes they were involved, amazing as this
may seem) screwed up. They confused Riyad Time with London time; they were still in bed together and
not available to routinely refine orders issued by the young King's secretary, an addict of pep pills

I agree with Mina. It IS a unique world-historical event. Kashoggi's gory death might be the one thing
that saves us. After all, it seems to be a very rare non-staged world-historical event, we have not
seen actual organic accidental purely human events since telephone operators asked: "Number please?

Still Erdowan hit HIS number, with a natural four. Even Erdo could hardly believe it when the casino manager rolled up the rack of his winnings. He had doubled down twenty-four times-in-a-row and the figurative Strip was totally silent as the awed gamblers and their molls saw him hit that fantastic roll.

Putin doesnt gamble. He doesnt smoke or drink. He likes to work and he loves his country like other Russians: from Solzyanetzin, to Sholokhov, to Dostoyevsky, to Chekov, to Tolstoy, to Gogol...
he lets the sharp operators wheel-and-deal, he's otherwise engrossed in the life of his nation.

Like a magician's trick, with Russia's blessing, the Palestinians are given Saudi Arabi as theirs;
so long as they promise to preserve sacred traditions of Mecca and Medina, the Ka'aba and so forth.

Everyone says "wow that was easy!; now that's settled let's relax and get back to building things
and to normal lives with our families..." It's so very easy. There is NO need to force anybody to do that."

The Balfour Document is cited as precedent and everything is solved in a happy way that is not a war.
The Royal family of Arabia becomes a You Tube Channel, with Nancy Pelosi and the Houses of Congress

Evil fights evil. Who loses? Evil loses. That's the only possible chance we good people have: it is
to make it so the worst evil is killed by the less worse evil; that's how human history progresses
and we are all stuck with this moral Universe the way it is, whether it makes sense at first or not.


Greece , Oct 23, 2018 6:35:52 PM | link
@all

Sorry for the mono-thematic posting. I am also working on several other themes and will post those in time. But for now the Khashoggi issue is the event with likely the most consequences and I try to stay on top of it.

Posted by: b | Oct 23, 2018 2:27:46 PM | 1

Khassogi theme has been milked for all that it could deliver, yet the large Russian delegation to Saudi Arabia Direct Investment Fund - headed by Cyril Dmitriev and the following international corporations Trafigura, Total, Hyundai, Norinco, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes.

Total also signed a 15 billion deal with the Saudi's.

Russian-Saudi partnership particularly is about deals being made between corresponding State Funds of each country. This means they are important.

Probably Erdogan and Mossad didn't like that, as the whole Khassogi case seems as an Erdogani-faction, possible pro Mossad Saudi elements from within the closed circle of MbS and the Mossad itself.

There is no Heaven or Hell. There is only the Mossad.
Las Vegas Massacre 1st Octobr 2017
Khassogi assasination October 1st 2018.

Mossad actions are all about dates/numbers/and cabala magic rituals. It's how they roll.

from: Joe Vialls internet investigator research.

Three major investigations

The first major Vialls investigation was into the 1984 murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in St. James's Square . He concluded that the fatal shots had come not from within the embassy but from a penthouse flat next-door-but-one to the Libyan embassy, and were fired by CIA/Mossad agents .[7]
The second investigation concerned the 1988 Lockerbie bombing together with day-by-day summaries of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial . Vialls developed his own theory about the true cause of the bombing. Again, Vialls linked the CIA and Mossad to the crime.[8]
The third major investigation was into the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, Australia . Vialls claimed that an intellectually impaired man, Martin Bryant, was wrongly convicted for this crime and did not receive a fair trial. Vialls claimed that this case, also, was an Israeli operation carried out by Mistaravim .[9]

Other controversies

Vialls was a self-proclaimed private investigator dedicated to "exposing media disinformation," and made many claims in his reports disputing official explanations for events. The website thewebfairy.com wrote a comprehensive report, rebutting Vialls' claims regarding the crash of American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on 11 September 2001 . The rebuttal centred mainly on Vialls' comparison of the Pentagon crash with an incident in which an Israeli El Al 747-200F cargo plane, flight 1862 , crashed into a 12-story apartment block in the Amsterdam suburb of Bijlmer on 4 October 1992 .[10]

He also disputed the official explanation for the bombings of the Australian embassy and Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital. Vialls asserted that the explosives that authorities claimed were used in the Indonesian bombings were not powerful enough to have caused the damage and casualties that resulted. He claimed to demonstrate from photographs of the aftermath of each of the bombings, compared to the photographs taken in Northern Ireland where a 1,000 pound IRA bomb did not leave a crater or strip concrete from buildings, that a "micronuke" from Mossad's Dimona research and development facility in the Negev desert had been used. Vialls claims a device similar to the smallest United States nuclear weapon known as the Davy Crockett or M-388 round, a version of the W54 warhead, a very small sub-kiloton fission device, was used in the attacks. The Mk-54 weighed about 51 lb (23 kg), with a selectable yield of 10 or 20 tons, which Vialls claimed was consistent with the damage inflicted in Bali and elsewhere. A complete Mk-54 round weighed 76 lb (34.5 kg). One criticism of Vialls' theory was the absence of any radiation in Bali after the explosion. Vialls explained this flaw by arguing that Geiger counters cannot effectively detect alpha radiation , the most likely radiation to be present after the detonation of a plutonium fission bomb, since alpha particles are large and do not penetrate the walls of the Geiger-Muller tubes adequately enough to register radiation.[11] In his investigation of the first Bali bomb, Vialls cited an opinion article in the Jakarta Post, Indonesia's largest English-language newspaper by circulation, written by an expatriate editor at the Post, which expounded a similar theory.[12]

Vialls' theories have received popular support among leaders of some Muslim factions in Indonesia, who have cited his theories as fact. Indonesian internet forum Swara Muslim ('Muslim voice') wrote an opinion piece stating that Vialls' claim that the bombing of the Australian embassy was conducted by the CIA and Mossad was "based on solid fact."[13] Indonesian Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir told Australia's ABC radio that he believed Vialls' theory regarding the first Bali bomb was a correct one.[14]

Mossad has two parallel structures going through its hierarchy from top to bottom.
One is directly influenced/assisted/funded by the Rothchilds.
They do the ussual hacking/killing/maiming/disposing by the "their magick numbers" principle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Vialls

Greece , Oct 23, 2018 6:50:18 PM | link
The best insights in this drama can be found (IMHO) at Scott Crieghtons American everyman blog. MbS has reneged on a huge Lockheed Martin Arms deal. That alone can get you in deep shit with the establishment( just ask Sth Korea's Pres.)However, Scott goes on to explain that MbS has committed a even greater sin.

Posted by: The cycnic | Oct 23, 2018 5:39:38 PM | 34

I am willing to bet it is plausible it would have to do with these guys:

Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Lockheed Martin Space is one of the four major business divisions of Lockheed Martin. It has its headquarters in Denver, Colorado with additional sites in Sunnyvale, California; Santa Cruz, California; Huntsville, Alabama; and elsewhere in the US and UK. The division currently employs about 16,000 people, and its most notable products are commercial and military satellites, space probes, missile defense systems, NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, and the Space Shuttle External Tank.[1]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_Space_Systems

They are the guys that ussualy go KABOOM or missing because of possible meddling/messing around with cosmic frequencies/energies they shouldn't be messing with, from the days Operation Paperclip ended and so forth.

Greece , Oct 23, 2018 7:01:34 PM | link
So now that Trump sent Gina Haspell to Turkey he's changing his tune and calling this the worst cover-up in the history of cover-ups!

Posted by: Circe | Oct 23, 2018 4:59:29 PM | 26

Just quoting some interesting timing here.
This (as it seems) is high level negotiation and secret ops preps between both sides.
Against whom I wonder.....
To where else our friend Gina has traveled abroad since her inaguration?Is this her first? Her first cup of coffee abroad was at Erdogan's palace in Konstantinople?

Anton Worter , Oct 23, 2018 7:06:31 PM | link
MbS is Caligula?

That's a little over the top, even for smarmy Merkelian arms dealers trying to get their mercantile horns into the hog sty.
Something tells me Marmeladebrüders would hold their noses and sell $100B of German arms to MbS in a NYC Sekunde.

Greece , Oct 23, 2018 7:16:14 PM | link
Trump has been and is building the US military up for war with some countries and perhaps trying to bluff others.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 23, 2018 4:42:09 PM | 23

He is changing the configuration and introducing new doctrines for the End Game.
It's goose stepping at Rothchild's orders.
It's for moving the chess pieces on the board before the actual full blown WWIII events in such a way to favor the Rothchild devised plan for the world domination. The actual war is a scheme in order to divide resources and strategic possitioning, while getting rid of the excess poppulations here and there. They have huge plans concerning energy management projects and new technologies. Real energy management like terrawats think about Tesla style technologies, not mundane stuff like oil/gas and pipelines which is only there just for show about controlling the narrative for the masses. They want to become gods. They will suck everything on this plane of existence dry for their purpose to succeed. The war is innevitable. It's a must do for them. We are near the End Game.Prepare accordingly.

Hal Duell , Oct 23, 2018 7:23:22 PM | link
Someone convinced Khashoggi he would be safe entering that Consulate. This was a man who had lived his life next to Middle Eastern power so it must have been a persuasive argument.
MbS did what he did, and the shite hit the fan.
So now what? Turkey doesn't want to leave northern Syria (or Iraq?), and while she doesn't control oil, she does control the water.
Putin (Putin again) emerges as the new best friend to the House of Saud. What would happen if Saudi oil were to start trading in a mix of Yuan/Rouble/gold?
I can't decide if this is all fortuitous or orchestrated, but the waters are roiling.
Jef , Oct 23, 2018 7:39:04 PM | link
Trumps comment; 'worst cover-up ever' even I could have done better.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/trump-saudi-handling-khashoggi-killing-worst-cover-181023205449681.html

Donald bin Asshat Trump

karlof1 , Oct 23, 2018 7:42:48 PM | link
Peter AU 1 @23--

Currently, the extraterritorial judgement is to Magnitsky Act those responsible , which amounts to yet another illegal action. Given what Khashoggi promoted--Daesh and the wider aims of Outlaw US Empire designs on the region plus visiting genocide on Yemenis--I applaud his demise as I've written previously. And yes, I wouldn't mind seeing the same fate befall those who killed him along with those who supported him. Much of what we read amounts to deploring the gangland murder of a gangster, and we're supposed to lament that--WHY? And what's worse overall: A recession caused by the removal of Saudi oil from global market or the Climate Crisis generated by burning that oil?

Seems we've reached Through the Looking Glass extremes with no end in sight.

Anton Worter , Oct 23, 2018 7:51:16 PM | link
29

Rodham Sermonizes on I$I$ in MENA ... and Blames Kurd-Iraqi Complacency
La Emperatriz Who Has An Opinion On Everything ... is strangely silent on MbS.

karlof1 , Oct 23, 2018 8:00:42 PM | link
Short vid about Saudi Tiger Squad alleged Saudi Death Squad.
A. Person , Oct 23, 2018 8:07:47 PM | link
The KSA is checkered by moles. Consider: there was a mole on MbS's goon squad.

The mole audio'd and video'd aspects of the the JK killing.

This explains why Haskel is in Istanbul. She's the top spy bitch, cutting deals, asserting dominion over the evidence.

The singing mole explains just about everything.

Don't worry. MbS will be white-washed with/through ex-post facto exculpatory tapes.

I predict very little spanking.

Sabine , Oct 23, 2018 8:10:23 PM | link
you say: The usefulness of Saudi Arabia for the U.S. has been in doubt for some time

does the house of trump and kushner care about what is usefull for the US?

[Oct 24, 2018] Khashoggi - purely MBS stupidity or a trap

Notable quotes:
"... Btw, the CIA knew Riyadh was planning to kidnap the unfortunate guy, if the Turks recorded the slaughter they must have been recording before, too, the same goes for the police who couldn't have missed the team of 15 equipped with the bone saw. No one of these agencies tipped K. Aren;t they complicit in the sickening atrocity? More the point, why didn't they warn him? ..."
Oct 24, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Oct 23, 2018 3:26:17 PM | link

Since the Russian entry into Syria, the self labeled friends of Syria group of countries have taken to infighting and slowly disintegrating. First Turkey then Qatar, Jordan now seems on more diplomatic terms with Syrian government opening border and so forth. Russia's geo-political power has been perhaps more important in saving Syria than its military power. Is it by accident or design that the 'friends of Syria group' have been so affected

Putin is one of the best in setting up and carrying out long term strategy, putting it together in seemingly unconnected steps so that the setting up goes unnoticed.

The Erdogan Russia deal on Idlib seemed odd at the time even with the genuine threat of a US attack. Russia said there where no, and had not been any plans for an offensive on Idlib. Syrian government seemed unhappy with the deal at the time but then a few weeks ago came out publicly in support of what Turkey was trying to achieve in the buffer zone. What is going on here.

Khashoggi - purely MBS stupidity or an easily set trap knowing MBS character.

On Crooke's bit about a snowflake touching of an avalanche, as the same time, an unstable mass can easily be set in motion by a deliberate action. Both Erdogan and Putin would have a sharp eye for these unstable masses.

Baron , Oct 23, 2018 3:33:18 PM | link

Except for the Caligula outcome that cannot be ruled out, the Prince will stay, removing him would suggest the old King's judgement's at fault, a sign of unforgivable weakness in any autocracy that could be exploited by others in the future, the Prince's power may be curtailed for a while, but that's about it.

The Americans should be careful not to get too harsh on the Kingdom, the old King visited Moscow last November, nobody knows why, it may well be the old man's smarter than anyone thinks, he senses the Americans are losing their grip e.g. Syria, the era of the Far East approaches, his timing may be about right. 'The Kingdom must switch alliances before it's too late to secure its future', he may think.

Btw, the CIA knew Riyadh was planning to kidnap the unfortunate guy, if the Turks recorded the slaughter they must have been recording before, too, the same goes for the police who couldn't have missed the team of 15 equipped with the bone saw. No one of these agencies tipped K. Aren;t they complicit in the sickening atrocity? More the point, why didn't they warn him?


[Oct 23, 2018] MbS explains all to Khashoggi Jr. We came, we sawed, he died

Alastair Crooke explains why the Khashoggi murder, while not unusual, has this large effect: When a single additional, undifferentiated, snowflake can touch off a huge slide whose mass is entirely disproportionate to the single grain that triggers it. Was Khashoggi's killing just such a trigger? Quite possibly yes – because there are several unstable accumulations of political mass in the region where even a small event might set off a significant slide.
Or was is "an externality" of MbS reneging on a huge Lockheed Martin Arms deal in favor os S400? .
Notable quotes:
"... Photo needs a caption: MbS explains all to Khashoggi Jr. "We came, we sawed, he died". ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | moonofalabama.org

Barbara Ann | Oct 23, 2018 5:21:36 PM | 29

Photo needs a caption: MbS explains all to Khashoggi Jr. "We came, we sawed, he died".

pogohere | Oct 23, 2018 5:37:36 PM | 33

Barbara Ann @29

Best summary yet!!!!

You've been nominated for the 2018 Hildabeast Award.

To me the Kashoggi thing is simple, the Skirpal assassins (yes they were involved, amazing as this may seem) screwed up. They confused Riyad Time with London time; they were still in bed together and not available to routinely refine orders issued by the young King's secretary, an addict of pep pills

[Oct 23, 2018] Khashoggi Drama - A Deal Is No Longer Possible - Erdogan Demands That MbS Goes

Looks like an intelligence operation to remove MBS was launched after this blunder. BTW was it MBS blunder or a set-up?
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... This death is kabuki "wag the dog" type theatre for the masses while the real geo-political arm wrestling goes on behind the scenes ..."
"... Khashoggi met his fiance (36 year old to his 59) in May 2018. By October 2018, they were looking to get married. One little problem. He is already married and had to arrange a separation. Did he go to the consulate of his own free will or was he 'pushed' (ie he went very reluctantly as he realized he was taking a big risk). His fiancée is documented as a PhD candidate (in what subject? At which institute? What was her background?) They managed to meet at some high level think-tank get-together. That sounds a bit unlikely for some random unconnected outsider. How did she manage to get invited to the meeting? In other circumstances (Assange, Vanunu, etc) a honeypot would come to mind. ..."
"... Qui bono? Trump is negotiating with SWIFT to disconnect Iran from the world economy (an act of war?). Presumably once Iran reacts, it will be used as an excuse for an all out military attack against Iran, using Saudi airspace and ground facilities. Given Saudi has been making nice with Russia (and potentially Iran via Russian mediation), some 'encouragement' seems necessary for that to go ahead. Not so long ago, Trump stated that Saudi wouldn't last two weeks without US support, possibly a not-so-subtle hint. Corrupt leaders desire nothing more than holding on to power and the benefits of said power. ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Sally Snyder , Oct 22, 2018 12:23:08 PM | link
No one seems to care how many Yemeni's Mohammad bin Salman kills each day. There was no harsh reaction when MbS kidnapped the Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri, nor when he incarcerated nearly 400 princes and tortured them to steal their money. Why would anyone care about Khashoggi?

Because that is how human psychology works:

The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.
Josef Stalin

We humans care way more for a single persons we know, than for a mass of people we have no relations with.

Khashoggi was a personal friend of Erdogan. He was a columnist at the Washington Post , the CIA's most favored news outlet. Mohammad bin Salman is an enemy of both. Neither the neocon opinion editor of the Post , Fred Hiatt, nor Erdogan have any love for the Saudi clown prince. They would of course raise a ruckus when given such a chance.

They will pile on and air the Saudi's dirty linen until MbS is gone. Yesterday the New York Times exposed the twitter brigades the Saudis hired to manipulate the public. Today the Washington Post has a detailed report of Saudi influence peddling through U.S. stink tanks. The Middle East Institute, CSIS and Brookings get called out. Lobbyists for the Saudis are canceling their contracts. More such reports will come out. Years of lobbying and tens of millions of dollars to push pro-Saudi propaganda have now gone to waste.

The affair is damaging to Trump. He built his Middle East policy on his relations with Saudi Arabia. But he can not avoid the issue and has to call out MbS over the killing. His own party is pressing for it. Yesterday the Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, dismissed the Saudi version of the story on CNN and called (vid) for consequences:

"It is my sense, I don't know yet, but based on the intel I have read, based on the other excerpts that I have read, it is my thinking that MbS was involved in this, that he directed this and that this person was purposefully murdered. "
...
There has to be a punishment and a price paid for that.
...
Do I think he did it? Yes, I think he did it. [...] We obviously have intercepts from the past that point to involvement at a very high level, so let's let play this out.

On Sunday Erdogan was on the phone with Trump. The Turkish readout of the call hints at negotiations over Syria, the lifting of sanctions against Turkey and other issues. But the Khashoggi case has now gone too far to allow for a deal to be made over it.

Erdogan's mouthpiece, the somewhat lunatic columnist Ibrahim Karagül, gives an insight into Erdogan's thinking and sets out his aims:

The real trap was set against Saudi Arabia. Even though a Saudi Arabia-U.S.-Israel rapport was established and discourse about shielding the Riyadh administration from Iran, the objective was to destroy Saudi Arabia through Salman and Zayed. The next front after the Syria war was the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia. They never understood this, they could not understand it. Turkey understood it, but the Arab political mind was blinded.

Now Saudi Arabia is in a very difficult situation. The world collapsed over them. Crown Prince Salman is going through a tough test via Zayed, who has control over him. If the gravity of the situation after the facts revealed with the Khashoggi murder is not comprehended, we will witness a "Saudi Arabia front" in less than a few years.
...
The Riyadh administration must dethrone Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at once . It has no other choice. Otherwise, it is going to pay very heavy prices. If they fail to quash the trap set up targeting Saudi Arabia through bin Zayed, they will be victims of Trump's "You won't last two weeks" statement, and the process is going to start to work in that direction.
...
This duo must be taken out of the entire region and neutralized. Otherwise they are going to throw the region in fire.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed is Mohammad bin Salman's mentor and partner in crime in Yemen. MbZ is smarter than MbS - and will be more difficult to dislodge.

Erdogan announced that he will describe more details of the case on Tuesday in a speech to his party's parliament group. He will probably not yet play the tape from inside the consulate that Turkish intelligence claims to have. But he may well confirm the revealed phone calls and threaten to release their content.

Erdogan's aim seems clear. The chance for deal is gone. MbS has to go. He will try to play the case out until that is achieved.

Posted by b on October 22, 2018 at 11:47 AM | Permalink Here are some cables that Wikileaks released in 2015 showing how the Saudi royal family tries to control the world's media:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/01/how-saudi-arabia-controls-its-own-media.html

The Saudi Royal Family has bottomless pockets when it comes to controlling the negative press coverage.

Circe , Oct 22, 2018 12:27:36 PM | link

It appears like a very ambitious plan to get rid of MbS and MbZ, but I have to agree that it's critical. They along with Netanyahoo are the biggest threat in the ME.
Passer by , Oct 22, 2018 12:39:05 PM | link
"No one seems to care how many Yemeni's Mohammad bin Salman kills each day. There was no harsh reaction when MbS kidnapped the Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri, nor when he incarcerated nearly 400 princes and tortured them to steal their money. Why would anyone care about Khashoggi?

Because that is how human psychology works:

The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.
Josef Stalin

We humans care way more for a single persons we know, than for a mass of people we have no relations with."

You are naive person, b, and this section does not belong to MoA articles.

This is not about human psychology. Its about targeted media attention. Media could create a hysteria about Yemen too, but only if the elite wanted that. Then you would see lots outraged people and large protests against the war in Yemen. But elites do not want that. So that is not going to happen.

It is very simple how that works. When elites want, they bring massive media attention to something. When elites do not want, they cover up things and the media is silent.

If elites wanted to adress the issue of the Yemen war, you will see similar media hysteria to the ones about Idlib or Aleppo. Since the elites do not want that, media will be generally silent about the killings in Yemen and will keep things under control.
In this case, there are important western elites behind this, so you are getting lots of media coverage. So this has nothing to do with what Stalin said or with human psychology, and everything to do with the fact that elites control media and public attention.

This is being used as a way of attacking Trump.

For more information, you can check Adam Garrie and Andrew Korybko, it seems that some european, US deep state (behind Trump's back), and of course turkish interests are behind the increased media attention.

Sid2 , Oct 22, 2018 12:47:51 PM | link
Where is the body (or its parts)? Having arrested 18 the Saudis must know the answer to this question. Why the delay on this question?

But as Pieraccini hinted a few days ago the American Congress and its associates want MbS gone because he's a bad business manager. (Look at what happened to the "Vision" thing although Munchkin today indicated business deals more important than anything else.) Trump will need to get over his sentimentalism to go along, and he needs to do this fast with midterms two weeks away.

worldblee , Oct 22, 2018 1:01:26 PM | link
Hmm, it seems there was another nearby ruler that Erdogan also demanded should leave...
karlof1 , Oct 22, 2018 1:10:33 PM | link
Passer by @6--

The same could be said of Palestine as Yemen, along with Zionist manipulation of "Western" policy. Clearly, having to justify his actions is something MbS has seldom faced previously and has failed abysmally when it was actually very simple at the outset. If MbS gets demoted, will he flee or stay and fight? The arms contracts were never signed, so they're likely dead, which I view as a plus. I wonder if a pro-Palestinian/Anti-Zionist non-CIA captured Prince exists within Saudi that Salman might name to replace MbS, or is such a beast wishful thinking?

joeymac , Oct 22, 2018 1:11:02 PM | link
All this proves that the spy-craft of the Saudi assassination team was abysmal. All cellphone networks store records of each call. Any foreign official's phone in Turkey is under surveillance of the country's intelligence service. Only some throw-away phone with an anonymous prepaid card could have given some protection.

Perhaps some, but not much. Even anonymous cellphone connections can be geo-located with a maximum error of a few meters, so calls to Saudi Arabia from within the consulate could be noted. What more, the dim-witted Saudis probably would not have bothered with tack-on encryption devices.

Hal C , Oct 22, 2018 1:12:06 PM | link
The one death is a tragedy quote is often misattributed to Stalin. See here and here and here .

What is apparent, however, is that the large American media outlets suddenly have discovered Yemen as a club to use in retribution for the murder of one of their own.

Hal C

Sid2 , Oct 22, 2018 1:12:30 PM | link
B's point on human psychology is good on the question why this event has attracted so much attention. Obviously in the congress the event is working in two ways: to facilitate removal of MbS, yes, by those annoyed with his and Trump's amateurish bullshit; and to appeal for votes via all the outrage. Even Trump has to play to this sentiment.

But cynical deal-making on the inside aside, the ordinary person is amused and appalled at this naked display of the psychopath with his thuggish sadism as increasingly it becomes apparent Mohammed Been Sawbones has done the deed. Plus trying to excuse it and cover it up, as Trump et al are trying to do, clashes obscenely with the usual rhetoric/propaganda.

So, yes, the specific content here is much easier and clearer to grasp than abstractions and generalities. It's a case for JQ Ordinary of "Got you! And we'll rub your face in it while we can!" In short, it's another reflection of how pissed off people are with the globe's honorable leaders.

Alpi57 , Oct 22, 2018 1:18:50 PM | link
It is obvious that Erdogan didn't get the deal he was hoping for probably due to Trump's arrogance thinking that this one will blow over as well and they can fix it. Gross miscalculation.

MBS is small potatoes. MBZ as mentioned is the target. He is the ambitious one with a brain, at least he thinks so. And he has pissed off most of the gulf monarchies that have no interest in war and hegemony. They want to live quiet and make their money and get along, especially with Iran.

What is interesting here, is that this event seems to have not been a random thing, but a carefully laid out trap they walked right into.

This might be the undoing of Trump, Bolton and the rest, in the midterms first and then in their ME plans. Watch for the Russians to come out as victors, yet again.

Passer by , Oct 22, 2018 1:20:13 PM | link
"B's point on human psychology is good on the question why this event has attracted so much attention."

No, it's not. If elites did not want, there would be zero attention about it. In the same way, there would be huge attention for the killings in Yemen or Palestine, if only the elites wanted that. In fact, it would be number one news story every day and the topic of the year if they wanted that.

Susan Sunflower , Oct 22, 2018 1:30:48 PM | link
All bets are off until we see how the impetuous one in the White House takes the growing "global consensus" and accepts defeat.

I think MBS was "supposed" to be gone 2 weeks ago ... being a well-documented loose-cannon. He was given temporary reprieve (again) as Trump and the money men "negotiated" various terms of his survival and that of the arms deal....

Erdogan may well end up with a "better" deal than he hoped for due to impeccable stage craft and and slam-dunk evidence (we'll see).

I believe I read that MBS personally assured Erdogan that Khasoghogi would be save ... assurances passed on to that gentlment before he entered the compound. If true, that also speaks massively about MBS and his "word" as a gentleman (perhaps part of reason for claims it was a "hot-headed accident")

The Saudis have such an embarassing history of failure at "stealth" like this ... if they'd just managed to abduct Khashoggi like so many others currently disappeared or simply waited. This is also riding the crest of journalist complaints of state-sponsored threats of violence towards journalism under the "fake news claims" internationally and by Donald Trump specifically in the American heart land which is pretty much bled out already when it comes to "keep 'em honest" investigations.

If, when MSB goes, it will be -imho- the first major defeat of the Trump administration, both foreign and domestic.

Passer by , Oct 22, 2018 1:39:35 PM | link
@21

There are some who want that, in the US and especially Europe, as well as medium level ones such as Erdogan. And some who do not want that (the US administration, or Israel).

For Europe, the reaction was relatively harsh, as they use that to hit back at the US admin for its belligerent behavior. In the US, it is used by those who oppose Trump, as well as due to other reasons. Check Adam Garrie and Andrew Korybko for more on this.


As for Erdogan, it is already mentioned in the article here.

S , Oct 22, 2018 1:43:55 PM | link
Meanwhile Haaretz publishes the following in its Opinion section: Why We Should Go Easy on the Saudi Crown Prince .
Piotr Berman , Oct 22, 2018 1:44:54 PM | link
Forget advisors. Seems that in his purge, MbS eliminated everybody with a functioning brain. At least, from the ranks responsible for "special actions". Some princes were kidnapped shortly after he got ministerial portfolios so at that time the art of committing atrocities on kith and kin without raising undue noise was not lost.

"What is interesting here, is that this event seems to have not been a random thing, but a carefully laid out trap they walked right into.

This might be the undoing of Trump, Bolton and the rest, in the midterms first and then in their ME plans. Watch for the Russians to come out as victors, yet again.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Oct 22, 2018 1:18:50 PM | 17"

In retrospect, it seems that Khashoggi was "suicidal", but probably he thought that his government will not be so monumentally stupid to kill him or kidnap in a consulate that is under monitoring of an unfriendly government. Perhaps he was persuaded by his princely mentors who knew that he is a sacrificial pawn. The purge of people with functioning brain could eliminate the threat of assassination by MbS own protecters, but it made him vulnerable in other ways.

Peter AU 1 , Oct 22, 2018 1:50:24 PM | link
Khashoggi may have thought Erdogan was his friend. From what I have read, they worked on a number of the same Muslim Brotherhood projects.

Turkey have the goods on the killing which means Turk intel was most likely watching or listening in real time to what was occurring in the consulate. Erdogan seems quite ruthless when setting a trap.

psychohistorian , Oct 22, 2018 1:52:54 PM | link
I agree with the previous comments by Passer By

This death is kabuki "wag the dog" type theatre for the masses while the real geo-political arm wrestling goes on behind the scenes

The world is being brought to a climax by the real or feigned death of empire and its too early to tell how the elite infighting will work out but the elite still expect to be in control with private finance when it is over.

Blue , Oct 22, 2018 1:54:11 PM | link
The link between Khashoggi and Erdoğan is not "fiendship", but the Muslim Brotherhood. Erdoğan made a similar scene about the Morsi's overthrow in Egypt. This is a Ikhwan vs Wahabbi spat.
Alpi57 , Oct 22, 2018 1:56:02 PM | link
@30

I couldn't imagine with the faux friendship that MBS has developed with Kushner/Mossad that they didn't know about this and allowed him to do something like this. There is a larger play here. Why this and why now? On the surface, this will derail the Iran plan entirely, not to mention a big dent in Trump and the midterms. This a gift to democrats. Why would they risk that over Khashoggi?

Susan Sunflower , Oct 22, 2018 2:05:42 PM | link
well, so far in the "damage control" column we have not seen vast alarms about "targeted assassinations" (of journalists or scientists) or much mention of the large-scale arrests of various Trump / Israel buddies and allies or -- for that matter --- the wholesale slaughter of Mexican journalists (not to mention the usual Putin fingerpointing). There is an intersection between international crime/money laundering and this sort of "pointless" ad hoc killing of the messengers which could also be "ripe" for discussion. The Trump "coverup" has been quite successful in protecting the usual suspects.
the pair , Oct 22, 2018 2:06:58 PM | link
#2 : he gets called "journalist" but his true vocation was professional ass kisser. it's not a huge leap of faith to assume he went from directly kissing saudi royal ass to smooching various high level turkish ones. maybe not a "friend" (but who really is at that level?) but probably a useful acquaintance.

now that we have the silly minutiae out of the way...this is still an increasingly amusing game of "let's you and him fight". the whole "ultimate game of taking down saudi arabia" idea floated by the turkish writer is just silly but it will make the royals slightly more malleable and it distracts from the "OMG iran is teh devul!!!1!!" bullshit we've been force-fed for the last few years (and decades). whether it disrupts the newish israel/saudi axis has yet to be seen but i doubt it.

i also keep thinking of the odd selective outrage - not just when it comes to yemen but going back to 9/11. 15 of those guys (going by the official story here) were saudis. relations barely skipped a beat after they offed ~3,000 of our own folks. 15 saudi guys butcher one saudi stenographer turned bezos/CIA company man and everyone shits their collective pants (including many of the most virulent "STFU trutherz!" establishment idiots and Brennan CIA types who have 9/11 stink all over them). Seems like a good time to dredge up any unfinished 9/11 business. after all, 3K americans = like 9 quadrillion yemenis, amirite?

Hoarsewhisperer , Oct 22, 2018 2:13:53 PM | link
The Khashoggi Affair has been messier than a dog's breakfast from the get go. Is it possible that MBS is using the same team of UK "Intelligence Experts" as the nonchalant and sleazy Theresa (Would I Lie To You) May?
joeymac , Oct 22, 2018 2:18:27 PM | link
@peter | Oct 22, 2018 1:44:39 PM | 28
And what's with this continuing blather about malign forces operating behind Trump's back to make him look bad? He went all in with a psychopath, sidelined all the seasoned diplomats, and left his fucking son-in-law in charge of his entire ME policy.

Birds of feather congregating?

Yonatan , Oct 22, 2018 2:32:51 PM | link
Khashoggi met his fiance (36 year old to his 59) in May 2018. By October 2018, they were looking to get married. One little problem. He is already married and had to arrange a separation. Did he go to the consulate of his own free will or was he 'pushed' (ie he went very reluctantly as he realized he was taking a big risk). His fiancée is documented as a PhD candidate (in what subject? At which institute? What was her background?) They managed to meet at some high level think-tank get-together. That sounds a bit unlikely for some random unconnected outsider. How did she manage to get invited to the meeting? In other circumstances (Assange, Vanunu, etc) a honeypot would come to mind.

Qui bono? Trump is negotiating with SWIFT to disconnect Iran from the world economy (an act of war?). Presumably once Iran reacts, it will be used as an excuse for an all out military attack against Iran, using Saudi airspace and ground facilities. Given Saudi has been making nice with Russia (and potentially Iran via Russian mediation), some 'encouragement' seems necessary for that to go ahead. Not so long ago, Trump stated that Saudi wouldn't last two weeks without US support, possibly a not-so-subtle hint. Corrupt leaders desire nothing more than holding on to power and the benefits of said power.

Lochearn , Oct 22, 2018 2:38:03 PM | link
@ 7

The situation is much more complicated than your rather arrogant comment suggests. The elites in the US are divided and have been since the election of Trump. The Democrats and their media have found an ideal weapon in the brutal demise of Khashoggi with which to bash Trump and bolster their chances in the mid-terms. We are perfectly aware of the hypocrisy involved by all elites. But another section of the elites, namely the military industrials and Wall Street (weapons and petrodollar) do not want any problems with Saudi Arabia, whatever MBS does or does not do. They want the story to go away. If they can get a more placid figure to lead the country all well and good but, if they can't they will stick with "bone saw man."

The situation has maybe come about because Saudi Arabia is concerned about lashing its future so completely to a sinking ship and a young upstart like MBS feels he is able to challenge the US, just as the Philippines' Duterte did when he cursed Obama; just as Turkey and India and indeed the Saudis have done by ordering the S-400 from Russia. Rebellion is in the air as everyone looks East.

GoraDiva , Oct 22, 2018 2:41:30 PM | link
I don't see how this would have any effect on the mid-terms. Most US-ians don't care. Also, pretty sure KSA is no friend to Muslim B-hood, so hard to believe that the sultan and MbS would have worked on any such projects. OTOH, it is "highly likely" that somewhere, MbZ lurks in the background. In some form or shape, he is a part of the trap (including that the trap could turn against him). This was an interesting discussion (and hear what Sharmine Narwani has to say at the end): https://www.rt.com/shows/crosstalk/441490-saudi-murder-journalist-trump/
b , Oct 22, 2018 2:45:08 PM | link
Reuters How the man behind Khashoggi murder ran the killing via Skype
He ran social media for Saudi Arabia's crown prince. He masterminded the arrest of hundreds of his country's elite. He detained a Lebanese prime minister. And, according to two intelligence sources, he ran journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by giving orders over Skype.
...
Qahtani himself once said he would never do anything without his boss' approval.

"Do you think I make decisions without guidance? I am an employee and a faithful executor of the orders of my lord the king and my lord the faithful crown prince," Qahtani tweeted last summer.
...
According to one high-ranking Arab source with access to intelligence and links to members of Saudi Arabia's royal court, Qahtani was beamed into a room of the Saudi consulate via Skype.

He began to hurl insults at Khashoggi over the phone. According to the Arab and Turkish sources, Khashoggi answered Qahtani's insults with his own.

... ... ...

A Turkish intelligence source relayed that at one point Qahtani told his men to dispose of Khashoggi. "Bring me the head of the dog", the Turkish intelligence source says Qahtani instructed.
...
The Arab source and the Turkish intelligence source said the audio of the Skype call is now in the possession of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. The sources say he is refusing to release it to the Americans.

Erdogan said on Sunday he would release information about the Turkish investigation during a weekly speech on Tuesday. Three Turkish officials reached by Reuters declined to comment ahead of that speech.

Mina , Oct 22, 2018 2:45:19 PM | link

Yonatan, please read the articles linked by b before asking wrong questions;
he was not married since right after he fled to the US in 2015 (trying to escape what happened to a number of his rich friends) the KSA regime made pressure on his family until his wife filed for divorce.
But Turkish law requests a proof of such a divorce to allow a man marrya Turkish woman.
Some good rants by PLang lately
https://tinyurl.com/yc9fg9xu
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/10/did-the-chihuahua-do-it.html

Posted by: Mina | Oct 22, 2018 2:45:19 PM | link

steven t johnson , Oct 22, 2018 2:57:35 PM | link
Trump has unilaterally begun economic warfare wherever and whenever he wants. He does not conduct foreign policy in consultation with anyone, least of all the Republican Party. If he or his own are taking bribes from Saudi, then he is likely going to retain MbS no matter the whining. It's not like the US is a democracy. If Kashoggi gave up something against Trump, so that Erdogan thinks he has something, Erdogan is overplaying his hand.

Trump is bullet proof politically, and he will almost certainly resort to violence if needed. Although cell phones can be cloned and placed from a car in front of an embassy, it is likely there were nineteen calls to MbS personally. The thing is, this is rather strong evidence the murder either was not premeditate...or the real point was the interrogation. We know nothing about what Kashoggi said. All this blather about the incident is drivel until we know that.

The effects of the midterm elections depend entirely on turnout. The Democrats have been trying to run to the right, which suppresses popular turnout. The centerpiece has been the Kavanaugh nomination, which they lost. Losing depresses turnout. The Republicans are consciously suppressing turnout. If people turn out, yes, there's a blue wave. But every indication is there's not going to be the kind of turnout. If turnout is low, the Democrats may even fracture as the few Democratic Party winners will be anathema to the moderate conservative paymasters. And, after Trump pretends not being massively rejected at the polls means he is massively popular instead of people being in despair at having no one for them, Trump will be even less inclined to dump MbS.

Erdogan is soft on Iran and Russia because the US insists on limiting his slice of the pie, in favor of Israel and Saudi. He's miscalculated the balance of forces.

Susan Sunflower , Oct 22, 2018 3:15:14 PM | link
Tomorrow will be the opening of the Arab Economic Summit (that MBS's was staking KSA's future on) apparently competing with Erdogan's "weekly speech" ... Watch what happens (except KSA/MBS could have scarcely engineered quite as effective a "kick me" sign to affix on the back of their robes.

KSA's economic development/innovation (rather like US infrastructure investment) is decades shopworn with little to show for it (AFAICT) AP Saudi prince's future put to the test at investment forum . Millions of bitterly disappointed over-educated young Saudis could be hard to contain given how long they've been fed empty promises of jobs-jobs-jobs and meaningful lives.

Erdogan has been handed a "golden football" to run with wrt knocking KSA's "dominance" into proportion (American's don't know there are any non-KSA lover's except evil Iran) I'm curious what the summit will produce, from whom ... strange to realize the Saudi's are publicly admitting to need to recruit investment to bankroll their future ...

karlof1 , Oct 22, 2018 3:17:58 PM | link
Agree with GoraDiva @46 that this will have negligible impact on midterms as Trump and 2/3s of Senate aren't on ballot. It may, however, have some impact on Trump's ability to help stump for other Reprehensibles.

Passer by @25--

I disagree with Korybko's take that Russia will be happy to fill the vacuum caused by the Outlaw US Empire's abandonment of its longtime ally if MbS remains. Most important is the media war being waged on Russia--Russia will be further demonized if it befriends MbS, which comes at a time when its image is recovering. IMO, Russia won't launch any new initiatives until the situation eases being content to continue its current policy.

Related to this affair is Caitlyn's latest penetrating essay : The Screens , which complements her earlier essay about narratives.

Christian Chuba , Oct 22, 2018 4:02:47 PM | link
Erdogan should be called Mac the Knife

He eviscerated bin Salman brilliantly. I don't think anyone can take Erdogan on his home turf.

[Oct 23, 2018] Leaving aside what President Obama knew about Russiagate allegations against Donald Trump and when he knew it, the question arises as to whether these operations were ordered by President Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) or were rogue operations unknown in advance by the leaders and perhaps even directed against them

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... why would MBS risk a Khashoggi scandal as he was assiduously promoting his image abroad as an enlightened reform-minded Saudi leader? ..."
"... We lack the evidence and official candor needed to study these questions, as is usually the case with covert, secretive, disinforming intelligence operations. But the questions are certainly reason enough not to rush to judgment, as many US pundits do. Saying "we do not know" may be unmarketable in today's mass-media environment, but it is honest and the right approach to potentially fruitful "analysis." ..."
Oct 17, 2018 | www.thenation.com

From Inconvenient Thoughts on Cold War and Other News by Stephen F. Cohen

1. National intelligence agencies have long played major roles, often not entirely visible, in international politics. They are doing so again today, as is evident in several countries, from Russiagate in the United States and the murky Skripal assassination attempt in the UK to the apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Leaving aside what President Obama knew about Russiagate allegations against Donald Trump and when he knew it, the question arises as to whether these operations were ordered by President Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) or were "rogue" operations unknown in advance by the leaders and perhaps even directed against them.

There have been plenty of purely criminal and commercial "rogue" operations by intelligence agents in history, but also "rogue" ones that were purposefully political. We know, for example, that both Soviet and US intelligence agencies -- or groups of agents -- tried to disrupt the Eisenhower-Khrushchev détente of the late 1950s and early 1960s, and that some intelligence players tried to stop Khrushchev's formal recognition of West Germany, also in the early 1960s.

It is reasonable to ask, therefore, whether the attacks on Skripal and Khashoggi were "rogue" operations undertaken by political opponents of the leaders' policies at home or abroad, with the help of one or another intelligence agency or agents. Motive is a -- perhaps the -- crucial question. Why would Putin order such an operation in the UK at the very moment when his government had undertaken a major Western public-relations campaign in connection with the upcoming World Cup championship in Russia? And why would MBS risk a Khashoggi scandal as he was assiduously promoting his image abroad as an enlightened reform-minded Saudi leader?

We lack the evidence and official candor needed to study these questions, as is usually the case with covert, secretive, disinforming intelligence operations. But the questions are certainly reason enough not to rush to judgment, as many US pundits do. Saying "we do not know" may be unmarketable in today's mass-media environment, but it is honest and the right approach to potentially fruitful "analysis."

[Oct 23, 2018] Khashoggi murder can be used to discredit the Trump presidency, expose the amorality of his foreign policy and sever his ties to patriotic elements of his Middle American constituency

The problem is the Trump already severed ties with votes who voted for him in a hope that the USA neocon-dominated foreign policy will be changed.
Oct 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

Was the assassination of JFK by Lee Harvey Oswald still getting as much media coverage three weeks after his death as it did that first week after Nov. 22, 1963? Not as I recall.

Yet, three weeks after his murder, Jamal Khashoggi, who was not a U.S. citizen, was not killed by an American, and died not on U.S. soil but in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, consumes our elite press.

The top two stories in Monday's Washington Post were about the Khashoggi affair. A third, inside, carried the headline, "Trump, who prizes strength, may look weak in hesitance to punish Saudis."

On Sunday, the Post put three Khashoggi stories on Page 1. The Post's lead editorial bashed Trump for his equivocal stance on the killing.

Two of the four columns on the op-ed page demanded that the Saudis rid themselves of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the prime suspect in ordering the execution.

Page 1 of the Outlook section offered an analysis titled, "The Saudis knew they could get away with it. We always let them."

Page 1 of the Metro section featured a story about the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Virginia that began thus:

"Corey A. Stewart's impulse to use provocative and evidence-free slurs reached new heights Friday when the Republican nominee for Senate disparaged slain Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi

"Stewart appears to be moving in lockstep with extremist Republicans and conservative commentators engaging in a whisper campaign to smear Khashoggi and insulate Trump from global rebuke."

This was presented as a news story.

Inside the Business section of Sunday's Post was a major story, "More CEOs quietly withdraw from Saudi conference." Featured was a photo of JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon, who had canceled his appearance.

On the top half of the front page of the Sunday New York Times were three stories about Khashoggi, as were the two top stories on Monday.

The Times' lead editorial Monday called for a U.N. investigation, a cutoff in U.S. arms sales to Riyadh and a signal to the royal house that we regard their crown prince as "toxic."

Why is our prestige press consumed by the murder of a Saudi dissident not one in a thousand Americans had ever heard of?

Answer: Khashoggi had become a contributing columnist to the Post. He was a journalist, an untouchable. The Post and U.S. media are going to teach the House of Saud a lesson: You don't mess with the American press!

Moreover, the preplanned murder implicating the crown prince, with 15 Saudi security agents and an autopsy expert with a bone saw lying in wait at the consulate to kill Khashoggi, carve him up, and flee back to Riyadh the same day, is a terrific story.

Still, what ought not be overlooked here is the political agenda of our establishment media in driving this story as hard as they have for the last three weeks.

Our Beltway elite can smell the blood in the water. They sense that Khashoggi's murder can be used to discredit the Trump presidency, expose the amorality of his foreign policy and sever his ties to patriotic elements of his Middle American constituency.

How so?

First, there are those close personal ties between Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, son of the King, and Jared Kushner, son-in-law of the president of the United States.

Second, there are the past commercial connections between builder Donald Trump, who sold a floor of a Trump building and a yacht to the Saudis when he was in financial straits.

Third, there is the strategic connection. The first foreign trip of the Trump presidency was, at Kushner's urging, to Riyadh to meet the king, and the president has sought to tighten U.S. ties to the Saudis ever since.

Fourth, Trump has celebrated U.S. sales arms to the Saudis as a job-building benefit to America and a way to keep the Saudis as strategic partners in a Mideast coalition against Iran.

Fifth, the leaders of the two wings of Trump's party in the Senate, anti-interventionist Rand Paul and interventionist Lindsey Graham, are already demanding sanctions on Riyadh and an ostracizing of the prince.

As story after story comes out of Riyadh about what happened in that consulate on Oct. 2, each less convincing than the last, the coalition of forces, here and abroad, pressing for sanctions on Saudi Arabia and dumping the prince, grows.

The time may be right for President Trump to cease leading from behind, to step out front, and to say that, while he withheld judgment to give the Saudis every benefit of the doubt, he now believes that the weight of the evidence points conclusively to a plot to kill Jamal Khashoggi.

Hence, he is terminating U.S. military aid for the war in Yemen that Crown Prince Mohammed has been conducting for three years. Win-win.

[Oct 23, 2018] 1988 - Donald Trump on buying a yacht that he did not want

YouTube
An interesting fact that Khashoggi father was a well known and very rich Saudi arms merchant and he himself was very close to jihadists, especially those who belong to Muslim brotherhood.
Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Trump bought the Trump Princess, as the well-known yacht is called, for $30 million in 1987 from the Sultan of Brunei, who had secured it as collateral for a multimillion-dollar loan to Adnan M. Khashoggi. ..."
"... Mr. Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian arms dealer, reportedly spent $85 million to build and outfit the vessel with such features as a helicopter landing pad, a screening room and 800-film library, a discotheque, a hospital, sleeping quarters for a crew of 52, bathrooms of hand-carved onyx, and refrigerators that can carry a three-month supply of food for 100 people. The yacht has 14 fuel tanks that allow it to travel 8,500 miles without refueling. ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Extracted from: Trump Is Reportedly Selling Yacht - The New York Times

Mr. Trump bought the Trump Princess, as the well-known yacht is called, for $30 million in 1987 from the Sultan of Brunei, who had secured it as collateral for a multimillion-dollar loan to Adnan M. Khashoggi.

Mr. Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian arms dealer, reportedly spent $85 million to build and outfit the vessel with such features as a helicopter landing pad, a screening room and 800-film library, a discotheque, a hospital, sleeping quarters for a crew of 52, bathrooms of hand-carved onyx, and refrigerators that can carry a three-month supply of food for 100 people. The yacht has 14 fuel tanks that allow it to travel 8,500 miles without refueling.

In 1989, the Princess was leased by the Trump's Castle hotel and casino and berthed at an Atlantic City marina. It was used for promotion and entertainment by the Castle and several other Trump enterprises.

Mr. Trump disclosed on a recent television appearance that the yacht was cruising the waters of the Far East while he sought a buyer for it.

[Oct 23, 2018] More details emerge on Khashoggi's alleged fianc e

MBS is now stained. Cue bono?
Notable quotes:
"... Hatice graduated from the Sharia college in the University of Istanbul in 2013 and got her MA in 2017 from the Faculty of Social Sciences – History Department at Salahaddin University after finishing a field study about sects in Oman. ..."
"... Sources close to Hatice's family said the family did not know their daughter was engaged to Khashoggi and were surprised to hear the news which they only learnt via media reports, adding that Hatice does not live in the same house with her family. ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | english.alarabiya.net

Ever since Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing in Istanbul, the name Hatice Cengiz has dominated the scene and remained at the forefront of news headlines amid the mysterious aura of the past 13 days.

So who is this Turkish woman that emerged from behind her Twitter account to claim that she is Khashoggi's fiancée?

Hatice graduated from the Sharia college in the University of Istanbul in 2013 and got her MA in 2017 from the Faculty of Social Sciences – History Department at Salahaddin University after finishing a field study about sects in Oman.

She later joined a study program at the Ibn Khaldun University which is affiliated with the Justice and Development Party, and where Bilal Erdogan holds the post of Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

The Ibn Khaldun University which was founded in 2015 signed educational and cultural cooperation agreements with the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies where the Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Azmi Bishara.

Hatice presented herself as a freelance researcher of Gulf countries and presented academic studies about Oman, but the most important question is: Which party was Hatice Cengiz working for then, and which center did her studies and articles serve?

On July 13, 2018, she interviewed Dar Al-Arab media group's Executive Director Jaber al-Harmi for the foreign policy magazine, which is a periodical that is published in the Turkish and English languages and which is affiliated with the Institute of Foreign Policy that's affiliated with the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

In the interview, she addressed the convergence between Qatar and Iran and the stance of the countries that have boycotted Qatar.

The topic was under the headline "Qatari-Iranian relations and the region's developments after America's withdrawal from the nuclear deal," and in it, Hatice criticized Saudi Arabia in exchange for extending the "olive branch of peace" to the Khomeini regime.

Sources close to Hatice's family said the family did not know their daughter was engaged to Khashoggi and were surprised to hear the news which they only learnt via media reports, adding that Hatice does not live in the same house with her family.

[Oct 23, 2018] Insights Into The Khashoggi Ordeal; Who And Why by Ghassan Kadi

This is the same turkey in which Russian ambassador was gunned down... Russian ambassador shot dead in Ankara gallery Reuters (Dec 19, 2016)
Notable quotes:
"... As a Muslim, Mr. Khashoggi could have gone to any country that upholds Muslim marriage rites and remarried without having to formally divorce his first wife, and then go to America and live with his "new wife" under the guise of a de-facto relationship. So why would he risk his life and walk into a potential death trap? ..."
"... Logic stipulates that Khashoggi entered the Consulate after he was given vehement assurances that his safety was guaranteed by the Saudi Crown. He would have never entered the Consulate had he not been given this assurance. ..."
"... Hatice Cengiz (Turkish for Khadijeh Jengiz) it is claimed, raised the first alarm for Khashoggi's disappearance, announcing at the same time that she is/was his fiancée. But that latter announcement of hers came as a surprise even to Khashoggi's own family. ..."
"... Some reports allege that Hatice has had a colourful history, including Mossad training https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SPuKo7WMSA&feature=youtu.be . The same YouTube alleges that she was a Gülenist and was arrested by Erdogan and released under the condition that she works for his security apparatus in order to guarantee her freedom. If such is the case, do we know if she has been also blackmailed in exchange for security of family members, loved ones, property etc? We don't know. ..."
"... In reality, irrespective of what his family members are saying now, Khashoggi has never introduced her to the world as his fiancée; and this is fact. So was she his fiancée? It is at least possible that she wasn't? So, who was she to Khashoggi and what role did she possibly play? ..."
"... Gülen is falling out of America's favour as he seems to have outlived his use-by date, and the Gülenist movement would be in dire need of a new benefactor. ..."
"... Cengiz, a former Gülenist, released on the above-mentioned conditions and possible threats, might have introduced herself to Khashoggi as an undercover Gülenist, and she had a history to support her claim. Being a former Gülenist, she might have indeed kept a foot in the Gülenist camp, and with the diminishing support of the American Government to the Gulenist movement, she might have been recruited to source finance. The Gülenists might have eyed Saudi Arabia to take this role, and as the rift between the Saudi royals and Erdogan intensified after their former joint effort to topple the legitimate secular government of Syria ..."
"... MBS himself would have inadvertently invited the Gülenists to approach him when he announced, back in March 2018 during a visit to the Coptic Pope Tawadros II in Egypt, that the triangle of evil in the Middle East is comprised of Iran, Islamist extremists groups and Turkey, and, in naming Turkey, he obviously meant Erdogan personally. ..."
"... With the Saudi-led Wahhabi version of fundamentalist Islam competing with the Muslim Brotherhood side, politically and militarily headed by Erdogan, it is not far-fetched to believe that either party is conspiring to topple the other. ..."
"... It is highly likely that Saudi officials had several contingency plans for Khashoggi's visit; depending on its outcome and the information that he had to offer. Those plans might have included giving him a wide range of treatments, ranging from a red carpet reception in Saudi Arabia, to beheading and dismembering him within the Consulate's grounds. ..."
"... It is possible that the Saudi officials in Turkey have had their own contacts with the Gülenists prior to the supposed ground-breaking visit of Khashoggi. In such a case, if the story Khashoggi may have offered did not fall in line with the story the Saudi's already know, then Khashoggi would have automatically been branded as suspicious and his safe entry would have been revoked. In such a case, he would have walked into his own trap. ..."
"... If any of the above scenarios are accurate, then the role of Erdogan in this story is not that of a scavenger who capitalized on the rift generated between the Saudis and America, but that he was instrumental in conjuring up and orchestrating the whole drama. Erdogan might have subjected the Saudi Government to the Gülen litmus test, and in such a case, the victim is Saudi Arabia and the scavenger is America seeking silence money in lieu of continued protection of Saudi interests. ..."
"... In all of the above scenarios, Khashoggi would have been driven into the trap by his alleged fiancée and had his impunity revoked by the Saudi officials because he failed the test. ..."
"... Most likely, Khashoggi was after amnesty from the Saudi Crown, and this would be a safety concern not only for Khashoggi himself, but also for his family that continued to live in Saudi Arabia ..."
"... Arabic media are inundated with posts and YouTube videos that are very damning of Hatice Cengiz ..."
"... . In reality however, her sudden emergence as Khashoggi's "fiancée", the fact that she allegedly waited for nearly 24 hours before reporting his disappearance and her personal, professional and political history are all factors that cast much doubt about her innocence and instead, portray her as a possible key element in the series of events that led to the disappearance of Khashoggi. ..."
"... And if Trump is seizing the opportunity to grab MBS, and this time he will be grabbing by the wallet, if Erdogan smells a hint of preparedness of MBS to support Gülen, then Erdogan would want MBS's wallet and head. Any whichever way, the silver lining of this story is that for once, Saudi Arabia is finally running for cover. Few around the world will give this brutal royal family any sympathy. ..."
"... MBS has committed heinous war crimes in Yemen and has made huge errors of judgment with regard to Syria and Qatar. He made many enemies, and it seems that Erdogan is out to get him. ..."
"... It does seem possible that the Assad-must-go curse has reached the neck of the Saudi throne ..."
"... Interestingly enough apparently K handed his two phones to fiancée before he went in ..any good journalist would have left a cache somewhere to be opened incase of certain events?????? ..."
"... why enter the consulate in Turkey? And, not in USA? And, why not the Embassy as the Ambassador has more power, than the Consular? Also, both the Muslim Brotherhood have Wahhabism have been friends for ages, as their theology is very similar with each other. And, if fact Erdogan is not Muslim Brotherhood but a Sufi. ..."
"... I've read several articles about Khashoggi and my feeling right now is everyone is lying, including B and Ghassan Kadi. ..."
"... Seems to me that also the Old US Establishment, along with the EU Establishment, both anti-Trump, never wanted MbS in the first place. Israel, and therefore Trump, are happy with MbS but a lot of people would like to see him gone and get the old "safe" gang back (who paid handsome bribes/salaries for decades). MbS is similar to Trump, way too impulsive, unpredictable and manic, and a special kind of crazy on top to make for a reliable partner in crime. ..."
"... The Establishment wants the Saudis to sell them their oil, then to recycle the money back into their economies. They'd prefer that they do this quietly, without any big fuss. They can get rich doing so, but they shouldn't disrupt the world. And this is the role that the Saudis have played mostly for the last 60-70 years. ..."
"... Until MbS. So yes, it is conceivable that some other powerful people are getting a bit tired of him. The same powerful people who really don't want the disruption of the world that a Shiite-Sunni war over the oil fields would cause. The same powerful friends who are also worried about Trump upsetting apple carts. Perhaps these powerful people are moving against a war, which means against Trump on Iran, and against MbS if they feel he keeps stirring things up too much. ..."
"... One problem throughout this whole affair is that I don't believe the Turks. Erdogon shutdown or converted the independent media that they once had. And in a case like this, all information comes from the government anyways. The Sauds have been rightly attacked for changing their story. But the Turks have been too. I've gotten the feeling that the 'news' reports from Turkish leaks (supposedly) have simply been the plot lines of various Hollywood movies. The body was cut up (with a chainsaw? like in Texas?), the body was dissolved in acid, the killers watched on Skype (always good to get that hip tech tie-in to a story). It can't all be true. ..."
"... Like The Salisbury Affair, The Case of the Disappearing Lover in Instanbul simply is going to have to be one to sit back and wait and see what if anything actually emerges as the truth. ..."
"... Seems pretty clueless to drop the bits in a well. Maybe the "local contact" was actually the consul, suggesting: Hey, I have an idea! How about dropping the body parts down the well? ..."
"... That is about the dumbest thing I have heard yet in the Story of K. Except, the idea of the body double. The people who thought up the body double idea must be the same Einsteins who figured the well in the consul's garden was a solution to disposal. Keystone Konsul. ..."
"... That bit of imagination leads to the idea that one of Khashoggi's last thoughts was "shit, I knew getting married again was a bad idea." ..."
"... The interesting thing was watching the US media go crazy about this. I kept thinking how different was this from Obama ordering Anwar Al-Awaki executed by drone strike? Al-Awaki received no trial, or even some kind of demand. Obama and his team just had him executed. So MBS is a horrible monster for doing exactly what Obama did. ..."
"... Khashoggi seemed to be working to "end dictatorship" and spread "free speech," democracy, voting, opinion polls, feminism, gender theory, lgbt washrooms, all that. All the great stuff of democracy. Worked out great in Sweden, why not Saudi Arabia? ..."
"... It was Khashoggi beating the Assad must go drum. The last Saudi represented on this site said Assad is harmless as long as he understands Saudi interests exist in Syria. Not ideal, but a better offer than London's. Further, the dead "journalist" believed Syria should be divided, and worse, that we should now act as if Assad is already gone ..."
"... Seems to come down to him being lied to, conn'd or lured into the consulate and his death. Then we come to the whole other point of why on earth did the Saudis use their consulate as an assassination killing ground? ..."
"... Governments killing people within their consulates is very rare. For reasons that are now very obvious, if they weren't before. ..."
"... The pundits who say MBS wanted to send a message set off alarms in my brain. Because that is exactly the reason we are supposed to believe that Putin uses all sorts of bizarre assasination methods that are obviously traced back to him. He wants to send a message. Yeah, right. And that's why they brought a bleep-storm of trouble down on top of their heads. To send a message? ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | thesaker.is

­ When I worked and lived in Saudi Arabia, one of the first things I learnt was that the company I worked for had a fulltime employee with the job description of "Mu'aqeb". The best translation of this title is "expeditor". This man was in charge of every matter that had to do with dealing with government. He is the one who takes one's passport and sees that a Saudi "Iquama" (temporary certificate of residence) is produced. He is the one who renews driving licenses. He is the one that does the necessary paperwork to grant employees exit and re-entry visas when they go away on holidays. He even applies on one's behalf for visas to visit other countries. He even paid water and electricity bills. He did it all, and of course, on top of his salary, he expected a present from employees on their return to work from holidays, and some employees would risk big penalties smuggling in Playboy magazines to reward him with. But the company I worked for was not alone in this regard; all other companies had their own "Mu'aqeb".

It is against the Saudi psyche, culture and "pride" to go to a government office, wait in line and make an application for anything. Not even uneducated poor Saudis are accustomed to go through the rigmarole of government red-tape and routine.

Mr. Khashoggi was from the upper crust, and it is highly doubtful that he would have been willing and prepared to physically enter the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul seeking an official document.

Furthermore and more importantly, Mr. Khashoggi had a better reason not to enter any Saudi territory. Even though some recent reports portray him as a Wahhabi in disguise among other things, the man had nonetheless made some serious anti-MBS (Mohamed bin Salman) statements https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-journalist-called-saudi-arabia-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salmans-behavior-in-foreign-policy-impulsive-2017/

Jamal Khashoggi was no fool. He knew the modus operandi of the Saudi Government too well. He knew that what he had said was tantamount to a death sentence in the brutal Kingdom of Sand. So what incited him to walk into the Consulate? To receive a divorce certificate so he could remarry as the reports are trying to make us believe? Not a chance.

But this is not all. As a Muslim, Mr. Khashoggi could have gone to any country that upholds Muslim marriage rites and remarried without having to formally divorce his first wife, and then go to America and live with his "new wife" under the guise of a de-facto relationship. So why would he risk his life and walk into a potential death trap?

Logic stipulates that Khashoggi entered the Consulate after he was given vehement assurances that his safety was guaranteed by the Saudi Crown. He would have never entered the Consulate had he not been given this assurance.

But why would the Saudi Government give him this assurance even though he had been very critical of MBS? A good question.

Once again, a logical hypothetical answer to this question could be that Khashoggi had some important meeting with a high ranking Saudi official to discuss some issues of serious importance, and this normally means that he had some classified information to pass on to the Saudi Government; important enough that the Saudi Crown was prepared to set aside Khashoggi's recent history in exchange of this information.

If we try to connect more dots in a speculative but rational manner, the story can easily become more interesting.

Hatice Cengiz (Turkish for Khadijeh Jengiz) it is claimed, raised the first alarm for Khashoggi's disappearance, announcing at the same time that she is/was his fiancée. But that latter announcement of hers came as a surprise even to Khashoggi's own family.

Not much is said and speculated about Hatice in the West, but she is definitely making some headlines in the Arab World, especially on media controlled and sponsored by Saudi Arabia. To this effect, and because the Saudi neck is on the chopping board, it is possible that for the first time ever perhaps, the Saudis are telling the truth.

But the Saudis are the boys who cried wolf, and no one will ever believe them. But, let us explore how they might have got themselves into this bind.

As we connect the dots, we speculate as follows:

Some reports allege that Hatice has had a colourful history, including Mossad training https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SPuKo7WMSA&feature=youtu.be . The same YouTube alleges that she was a Gülenist and was arrested by Erdogan and released under the condition that she works for his security apparatus in order to guarantee her freedom. If such is the case, do we know if she has been also blackmailed in exchange for security of family members, loved ones, property etc? We don't know.

It has also been reported that Jamal Khashoggi met her only as early as May 2018 and later introduced her as an expert on Omani history and politics. In reality, irrespective of what his family members are saying now, Khashoggi has never introduced her to the world as his fiancée; and this is fact. So was she his fiancée? It is at least possible that she wasn't? So, who was she to Khashoggi and what role did she possibly play?

The following speculation cannot be proved, but it makes sense:

To explain what a Gülenist is for the benefit of the reader who is unaware of this term, Erdogan blamed former friend and ally Fethullah Gülen for the failed coup attempt of July 2016 and persecuted his followers, putting tens of thousands of them in jail. Erdogan's relationship with America was already deteriorating at that time because of America's support to Syrian Kurds, and to add to Erdogan's woes, America was and continues to give Gülen a safe haven despite many requests by Erdogan to have him extradited to Turkey to face trial. But Gülen is falling out of America's favour as he seems to have outlived his use-by date, and the Gülenist movement would be in dire need of a new benefactor.

Cengiz, a former Gülenist, released on the above-mentioned conditions and possible threats, might have introduced herself to Khashoggi as an undercover Gülenist, and she had a history to support her claim. Being a former Gülenist, she might have indeed kept a foot in the Gülenist camp, and with the diminishing support of the American Government to the Gulenist movement, she might have been recruited to source finance. The Gülenists might have eyed Saudi Arabia to take this role, and as the rift between the Saudi royals and Erdogan intensified after their former joint effort to topple the legitimate secular government of Syria

The Gülenists would have found in Al-Saud what represents an enemy of an enemy, and they had to find a way to seek Saudi support against Erdogan. MBS himself would have inadvertently invited the Gülenists to approach him when he announced, back in March 2018 during a visit to the Coptic Pope Tawadros II in Egypt, that the triangle of evil in the Middle East is comprised of Iran, Islamist extremists groups and Turkey, and, in naming Turkey, he obviously meant Erdogan personally. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/08/saudi-crown-prince-sees-a-new-axis-of-evil-in-the-middle-east/

Khashoggi, with his expansive connections, looked like a good candidate to introduce the would-be new partners and broker a deal between them.

Back to what may have incited Khashoggi to enter the Saudi Consulate and to why the Saudi Government would have, in that case, given him a safe entry despite his history. Possibly, Khashoggi believed that he had a "big story" to relay to the Saudi Government; one that most likely exposed big time anti-Saudi dirt about Erdogan.

With the Saudi-led Wahhabi version of fundamentalist Islam competing with the Muslim Brotherhood side, politically and militarily headed by Erdogan, it is not far-fetched to believe that either party is conspiring to topple the other. If Khashoggi had a story to this effect, even if it was fake but credible enough for him to believe, it would have given him the impetus to seek an audience at the Saudi Consulate and hence an expectation for the Consulate to positively reciprocate. In reality, given the history and culture involved, it is hard to fathom that any scenario short of this one would have given either Khashoggi and/or the Saudi officials enough reasons to meet in the manner and place they did.

It is highly likely that Saudi officials had several contingency plans for Khashoggi's visit; depending on its outcome and the information that he had to offer. Those plans might have included giving him a wide range of treatments, ranging from a red carpet reception in Saudi Arabia, to beheading and dismembering him within the Consulate's grounds. What happened after Khashoggi entered the precinct of the Consulate is fairly muddy and hard to speculate on. If the above speculations thus far have been accurate, then these are the possible scenarios that followed the fateful CCTV coverage of Khashoggi's entry to the Consulate:

1. It is possible that the Saudi officials in Turkey have had their own contacts with the Gülenists prior to the supposed ground-breaking visit of Khashoggi. In such a case, if the story Khashoggi may have offered did not fall in line with the story the Saudi's already know, then Khashoggi would have automatically been branded as suspicious and his safe entry would have been revoked. In such a case, he would have walked into his own trap.

2. On the other hand, if Khashoggi indeed gave Saudi authorities vital information, so vital that it clearly is vehemently pro-Gülen, and as Gülen is no longer an American favourite, then upon his return to America he may have become a Saudi liability that can potentially muddy the Saudi-American waters that the Saudis desperately try to keep clear. In such an instance, it would be opportune for the Saudis to finish him off before he could return to America.

3. A third possibility is that some Saudi officials already working covertly with Gülen saw in Khashoggi an already persona non grata, a dangerous Erdogan implant and decided to take action against him.

If any of the above scenarios are accurate, then the role of Erdogan in this story is not that of a scavenger who capitalized on the rift generated between the Saudis and America, but that he was instrumental in conjuring up and orchestrating the whole drama. Erdogan might have subjected the Saudi Government to the Gülen litmus test, and in such a case, the victim is Saudi Arabia and the scavenger is America seeking silence money in lieu of continued protection of Saudi interests.

In all of the above scenarios, Khashoggi would have been driven into the trap by his alleged fiancée and had his impunity revoked by the Saudi officials because he failed the test.

But what triggered him off personally to walk into this possible trap? What was in it for him? Definitely not divorce documents. Most likely, Khashoggi was after amnesty from the Saudi Crown, and this would be a safety concern not only for Khashoggi himself, but also for his family that continued to live in Saudi Arabia. He may well have thought that by providing vital and sensitive information to his government, his previous "sins" would be set aside and he would be treated as a hero, his family would feel safe, despite that fact that he has criticized the Crown Prince in the past.

Arabic media are inundated with posts and YouTube videos that are very damning of Hatice Cengiz. Most of them perhaps are Saudi propaganda and should not be taken without a grain of salt. In reality however, her sudden emergence as Khashoggi's "fiancée", the fact that she allegedly waited for nearly 24 hours before reporting his disappearance and her personal, professional and political history are all factors that cast much doubt about her innocence and instead, portray her as a possible key element in the series of events that led to the disappearance of Khashoggi.

Furthermore, why would a person in her position make rules and conditions about meeting the President of the United States of America, even if this President is Donald Trump? ( Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee I will only visit Trump if he takes action World news The Guardian ) How many people in history have refused the invitation of American Presidents? Who does she think she is or who is she trying to portray herself as?

And if Trump is seizing the opportunity to grab MBS, and this time he will be grabbing by the wallet, if Erdogan smells a hint of preparedness of MBS to support Gülen, then Erdogan would want MBS's wallet and head. Any whichever way, the silver lining of this story is that for once, Saudi Arabia is finally running for cover. Few around the world will give this brutal royal family any sympathy.

There are other rumors spreading in the Arab world now alluding to the removal of MBS from office and passing over the reins to his brother. MBS has committed heinous war crimes in Yemen and has made huge errors of judgment with regard to Syria and Qatar. He made many enemies, and it seems that Erdogan is out to get him.

It does seem possible that the Assad-must-go curse has reached the neck of the Saudi throne.


JJ on October 23, 2018 , · at 11:22 am EST/EDT

https://www.rt.com/news/442023-khashoggis-body-parts-found/

Allegedly?

Erdogan presentation to his party today too most media seemingly reporting deep international concern and hubris from arms suppliers... Interestingly enough apparently K handed his two phones to fiancée before he went in ..any good journalist would have left a cache somewhere to be opened incase of certain events??????
No confirmation of victims "screams", etc although a there is one report he was held in a stranglehold which would prevent such vocalisation?

Talha on October 23, 2018 , · at 12:28 pm EST/EDT
You left the elephant out of the room. You are right that Jamal Khashoggi had no need to enter the consulate for his divorce, and you suggested the reason being quid pro quo. But why enter the consulate in Turkey? And, not in USA? And, why not the Embassy as the Ambassador has more power, than the Consular? Also, both the Muslim Brotherhood have Wahhabism have been friends for ages, as their theology is very similar with each other. And, if fact Erdogan is not Muslim Brotherhood but a Sufi.

So, why did you leave out the elephant in the room, Israel. With the fall of Saudi Arabia, Israel has more to loose and Iran has more to gain.

Talha

Zico the musketeer on October 23, 2018 , · at 3:48 pm EST/EDT
I was waiting for this article. Looks B is not buying this version.

"There seem to be a lot of conspiracy theories being weaved around the case. Some of them were mentioned in the comments here. I don't buy it. Turkey did not arrange the incident. I see no sign that the U.S., Israel, Qatar or the UAE had a hand in this. This was a very stupid crime committed by Mohammad bin Salman. Or even worse, a mistake. The wannabe-sultan Erdogan is a crafty politician. He is simply riding the wave."
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/10/how-will-caligula-fall.html#more

I've read several articles about Khashoggi and my feeling right now is everyone is lying, including B and Ghassan Kadi. (wrote this article. Mod.)

B ignores all said by Ghassan Kadi . And Ghassan Kadi is being soft on SA cuz Russian wants it. SA is a prize big enough to the bear get out of his cave. Deep State set the trap and SA fell like a kid cuz they are very predictable. They simply kill a lot! Everybody is trying to profit and only one thing is sure about all this: we will never know!

Christian W on October 23, 2018 , · at 12:36 pm EST/EDT
Seems to me that also the Old US Establishment, along with the EU Establishment, both anti-Trump, never wanted MbS in the first place. Israel, and therefore Trump, are happy with MbS but a lot of people would like to see him gone and get the old "safe" gang back (who paid handsome bribes/salaries for decades). MbS is similar to Trump, way too impulsive, unpredictable and manic, and a special kind of crazy on top to make for a reliable partner in crime.
Talks-to-Dawgs on October 23, 2018 , · at 3:41 pm EST/EDT
The Establishment wants the Saudis to sell them their oil, then to recycle the money back into their economies. They'd prefer that they do this quietly, without any big fuss. They can get rich doing so, but they shouldn't disrupt the world. And this is the role that the Saudis have played mostly for the last 60-70 years.

Until MbS. So yes, it is conceivable that some other powerful people are getting a bit tired of him. The same powerful people who really don't want the disruption of the world that a Shiite-Sunni war over the oil fields would cause. The same powerful friends who are also worried about Trump upsetting apple carts. Perhaps these powerful people are moving against a war, which means against Trump on Iran, and against MbS if they feel he keeps stirring things up too much.

Anonymous on October 23, 2018 , · at 2:48 pm EST/EDT
One problem throughout this whole affair is that I don't believe the Turks. Erdogon shutdown or converted the independent media that they once had. And in a case like this, all information comes from the government anyways. The Sauds have been rightly attacked for changing their story. But the Turks have been too. I've gotten the feeling that the 'news' reports from Turkish leaks (supposedly) have simply been the plot lines of various Hollywood movies. The body was cut up (with a chainsaw? like in Texas?), the body was dissolved in acid, the killers watched on Skype (always good to get that hip tech tie-in to a story). It can't all be true.

To some extant, I get the feeling I'm watching Qatar money buying news stories to get back at the Sauds. If so, good for them.

Like The Salisbury Affair, The Case of the Disappearing Lover in Instanbul simply is going to have to be one to sit back and wait and see what if anything actually emerges as the truth.

JJ on October 23, 2018 , · at 5:44 pm EST/EDT
Could not be sulphuric acid the "traditional acid" for dissolving bodies you would need more than 25 litres the most dangerous lethal fumes and smell would have filled the whole building which would have been contaminated other people choking with deadly fumes. How to get acid in and out/disposed ..people in PPE hosing down etc etc
Katherine on October 23, 2018 , · at 6:41 pm EST/EDT
I actually thought the "local contact" who supposed disposed of the body took it rolled up in a rug and cremated it. Seems pretty clueless to drop the bits in a well. Maybe the "local contact" was actually the consul, suggesting: Hey, I have an idea! How about dropping the body parts down the well?

That is about the dumbest thing I have heard yet in the Story of K. Except, the idea of the body double. The people who thought up the body double idea must be the same Einsteins who figured the well in the consul's garden was a solution to disposal. Keystone Konsul.

Katherine

Anonymous on October 23, 2018 , · at 2:53 pm EST/EDT
Maybe I'm being sexist, but I imagine a discussion between the couple, with the future wife saying she wants to get married, while the future husband is saying "Ah, aren't things great now? Why change it? We can just live together." That bit of imagination leads to the idea that one of Khashoggi's last thoughts was "shit, I knew getting married again was a bad idea."
John Neal Spangler on October 23, 2018 , · at 3:01 pm EST/EDT
The interesting thing was watching the US media go crazy about this. I kept thinking how different was this from Obama ordering Anwar Al-Awaki executed by drone strike? Al-Awaki received no trial, or even some kind of demand. Obama and his team just had him executed. So MBS is a horrible monster for doing exactly what Obama did.
Katherine on October 23, 2018 , · at 6:42 pm EST/EDT
And not to forget Assange. Still fighting for his freedom and his life. Elephant in the newsroom.

Katherine

Paul on October 23, 2018 , · at 3:24 pm EST/EDT
Khashoggi seemed to be working to "end dictatorship" and spread "free speech," democracy, voting, opinion polls, feminism, gender theory, lgbt washrooms, all that. All the great stuff of democracy. Worked out great in Sweden, why not Saudi Arabia?

All I'm getting out of this article is a desire to see the house of Saud fall. Plus some dense little leaguer stuff about a marriage or something. Come on!

It was Khashoggi beating the Assad must go drum. The last Saudi represented on this site said Assad is harmless as long as he understands Saudi interests exist in Syria. Not ideal, but a better offer than London's. Further, the dead "journalist" believed Syria should be divided, and worse, that we should now act as if Assad is already gone – said the guy who got sawed up and buried under a flower bed.

Anonymous on October 23, 2018 , · at 3:32 pm EST/EDT
Seems to come down to him being lied to, conn'd or lured into the consulate and his death. Then we come to the whole other point of why on earth did the Saudis use their consulate as an assassination killing ground? Governments wanting to kill people is nothing new. That's what governments do. Governments killing people within their consulates is very rare. For reasons that are now very obvious, if they weren't before.

The pundits who say MBS wanted to send a message set off alarms in my brain. Because that is exactly the reason we are supposed to believe that Putin uses all sorts of bizarre assasination methods that are obviously traced back to him. He wants to send a message. Yeah, right. And that's why they brought a bleep-storm of trouble down on top of their heads. To send a message?

Email is cheaper. And if someone is dead from methods not traced back to you, then someone else goes and whispers the message into the few ears you want to hear it, that is a lot more effective than either Novachuk in a park or a bloody murder in a consulate.

Anonymous on October 23, 2018 , · at 4:15 pm EST/EDT
Israel/US/Saudi tried to pass Turkey off as the sole sponsor and creator of ISIS. It was an important player, certainly, largely because of its geographic location. So a bit of revenge?

As with all these events, there will be multiple facets from the various actors, some mutually exclusive.

The only thing that is certain so far is the west's concern for Saudi's alleged execution of a 'journalist' is rank hypocrisy.

pogohere on October 23, 2018 , · at 4:54 pm EST/EDT
I had some trouble with the syntax here:

"2. On the other hand, if Khashoggi indeed gave Saudi authorities vital information, so vital that it clearly is vehemently pro-Gülen, and as Gülen is no longer an American favourite, then upon his return to America he may have become a Saudi liability that can potentially muddy the Saudi-American waters that the Saudis desperately try to keep clear. In such an instance, it would be opportune for the Saudis to finish him off before he could return to America."

The SA gang would want to protect the "vital" . . . pro-Gulan" information obtained from K because that information would have given the SA gang an advantage in dealing with America because a K running free could expose SA sources and knowledge, so he had to be eliminated. (??)

Or, Erdogan knows via Cengiz that K believes he can facilitate a deal between Gulan and SA to the detriment of Turkey, in order that K can protect his family in SA. But SA already knows somehow that K is in effect an agent for SA's enemy Erdogan and is peddling polyester rugs, that K's story is donkey doo, so SA believes K is betraying SA with said donkey doo, so out comes the Popeil's Pocket Body Dismemberer. ??

". . . should not be taken for (without) a grain of salt." ??

As for the conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and SA's Wahabbists, it strikes me that the custodianship of the two holy mosques in SA, or better said the moral leadership role that said literal custodianship confers could be in contention if Erdogan can demonstrate to his immense egoic neo-Ottoman satisfaction belongs to Turkey under his direction.

It seems no matter who "wins" every one of the players loses credibility any way this plays out.

Katherine on October 23, 2018 , · at 6:48 pm EST/EDT
"contention if Erdogan can demonstrate to his immense egoic neo-Ottoman satisfaction belongs to Turkey under his direction."

This was my main takeaway from Erd's address to Parliament. The bit about the Saudis as protectors of the holy cities. Like, maybe not. LIke, look at the mess they have made.

They are clearly incompetent and have no standing as protectors of holy sites. Hmm, so who would be a better "protector"? Could it be the one who arrogates to himself the authority to call out false 'protectors" by any chance?

Katherine

Katherine

Uncle Bob on October 23, 2018 , · at 5:47 pm EST/EDT
Probably this murder will end with nothing more than "The Saudis are really evil. Who didn't already know that". But lets look at what we do know about the killing (and what is rumored in news reports).

Before Khashoggi goes into for the meeting a team of 15 Saudi agents, several of them men close to MBS arrive from Saudi Arabia and go into the building. Including among them an autopsy expert with a "bonesaw". One of them is a body double for Khashoggi and carries with him a fake beard to make his resemblance to Khashoggi even stronger. An hour or so later that man leaves the building wearing Khashoggi's clothes and sunglasses. And the fake beard. So that the CCTV might record him as Khashoggi.

RT reports that minutes before the killing Khashoggi talks on the phone to MBS. Its thought that MSB wants Khashoggi to agree to return to Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi refuses. Right after that Khashoggi is killed and dismembered. The Turkish press is now reporting that parts of Khashoggi's remains have been found in a well at the Saudi Consuls official residence. I'd say with that kind of evidence anyone would have to be braindead (or just not willing to admit the truth for political reasons), to not conclude MBS is up to his beard in this conspiracy to commit murder.

One question being asked is why would MBS risk it. But I think the answer is simple. He believes he is untouchable and can do whatever he wants (the track record for that is pretty good for him until now, and maybe now as well). He took power in Saudi Arabia from his cousins, and got away with it. He starts and conducts a bloody war against Yemen, and isn't punished. He holds hostage dozens of the wealthiest Saudis and tortures them for large chunks of their wealth. And gets away with it. He kidnaps the Lebanese PM, and forces him to resign (at least for a while). And he gets no punishment even for that. He threatens Qatar with war, closes the border. And still no punishment. He funds terrorists all over the Middle East. And yet again no punishment. So why on earth would he pause at murdering a "pain in the a$$" Saudi dissident who dares to defy him. He may have gone a "bridge too far" this time. But his record points to his surviving this time too (hopefully not).

Katherine on October 23, 2018 , · at 7:49 pm EST/EDT
Has anyone commented of the features of this grisly murder that make it look like some kind of ritual murder? They could have just stabbed or strangled him or druged him. Bu why cut off fingers? Symbolism? Why deface facial features? Was he drawn and quartered like traitors in medieval Europe? Or was it renaissance Europe?
And, what happened to all the blood? How did they keep it off the clothing that the body double then donned?

Just wondering what kind of "message" K's murder was designed to send to him, as he died. Or, what kind of cultic weirdness was being provided for bin Salman to feel satisfaction at the manner of the death?

Katherine

[Oct 23, 2018] Bezos blog (Washington Post) does not love Saudi Arabia. Who knew?

It looks like CIA turned on MBS and want to replace him.
Oct 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"The Saudis say they are countering Iran, which backs the Houthis. But the Houthis are an indigenous group with legitimate grievances, and the war has only enhanced Iranian influence . As has been obvious for some time, the only solution is a negotiated settlement. But the Saudis have done their best to sabotage a U.N.-led peace process. Talks planned for Geneva in September failed when Saudi leaders would not grant safe travel guarantees to Houthi leaders." Bezos' editorial board at WaPo

---------------

Beneath the largely specious argument that Saudi Arabia has the US by the cojones economically lies the true factor that has caused the two countries to be glued together.

This factor is the Israeli success in convincing the US government, and more importantly, the American people, that Iran is a deadly enemy, a menace to the entire world, a reincarnation of Nazi Germany, and that Saudi Arabia, a country dedicated to medieval methods of operation, is an indispensable ally in a struggle to save the world from Iran. The successful effort to convince us of the reality of the Iranian menace reflects the previous successful campaign to convince us all that Iraq was also Nazi Germany come again.

The Iran information operation was probably conceived at the Moshe Dayan Center or some other Israeli think tank. and then passed on in the form of learned papers and conferences to the Foreign Ministry, the Mossad and the IDF. After adoption as government policy the Foreign ministry and Zionist organizations closely linked to media ownership in the US and Europe were tasked for dissemination of the propaganda themes involved. This has been a brilliantly executed plan. The obvious fact that Iran is not presently a threat to the US has had little effect in countering this propaganda achievement.

Last Saturday morning, the Philadelphia based commentator Michael Smerconish openly asked on his popular talk show why it is that US policy favors the Sunni Muslims over the Shia. i.e., Saudi Arabia over Iran. To hear that was for me a first. This was an obvious defiance of the received wisdom of the age. I can only hope that the man does not lose his show.

It is a great irony that the barbaric murder of a personally rather unpleasant but defiant exiled journalist has caused re-examination of the basis and wisdom of giving strategic protection to a family run dictatorship. pl

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/this-is-the-first-step-to-recalibrating-us-saudi-relations/2018/10/22/fb9eb598-d61f-11e8-a10f-b51546b10756_story.html?utm_term=.f3a1169429e7

Posted at 09:32 AM in Current Affairs , Media , Middle East , Saudi Arabia | Permalink | 3 Comment


TTG , 3 hours ago

Erdogan called the Khashoggi murder brutal and premeditated, but did not reveal any damning audio or video evidence. Elijah Magnier surmises Erdogan extracted a heavy payment from both the Saudis and the Americans in exchange for his relative silence. We shall see if the economic pressure on Turkey dissipates in the coming days and weeks.

It appears the central pillar of the Borg creed, so eloquently and precisely described here by Colonel Lang, will survive this bout of heretical thinking. Will journalists and other members of the press be able to keep challenging the Borg? With Trump so thoroughly assimilated into the Borg, will the "resistance" keep the issue of Saudi perfidy alive? I have my doubts. The Israeli information operations machine is a juggernaut. Few have the stamina and will to resist it. But it is a fight worth fighting.

Onslaw , 5 hours ago
Too little, too late to derail this Zioconned merdias campaign. Soon enough kashoggi will be forgotten and the looney toons will be back in force...
jnewman , 6 hours ago
There are some interesting threads to chew on in this:
https://off-guardian.org/20...

[Oct 23, 2018] The overplayed drama of Mr. Khashoggi assassination is going to be used by the American Oil Cartel to control the Saudis Oil output

Disaster capitalism in action ???
Notable quotes:
"... It's quite unusual to see such unanimous anti-Saudi reactions from the American political class for the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi – who was just a part-time journalist living in U.S – he was not even an American citizen ..."
"... Oil which is extracted by Fracking method that requires high Oil price above $70 to remain competitive in the global Oil market – by simultaneously sanctioning Iran, Venezuela, and the potential sanction of Saudi Arabia from exporting its Oil, the Trump Administration not only reduces the Global Oil supply which will certainly lead to the rise of Oil price, but also it lowers demand for the US Dollar-Greenback in the global oil market which could lead to subtle but steady devaluation of the US dollar. ..."
"... And perhaps that's what Trump Administration was really aiming for all along; a significant decline of the US Dollar Index and the rise of price of Oil which certainly pleases the American Oil Cartel, though at the expense of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – all of which are under some form of U.S sanctions. ..."
"... However gruesome, Mr. Khashoggi's assassination is going to be used by the Trump Administration to help the American Oil Cartel by controlling the Saudi Oil output, hence, to raise the price of Oil and to lower demand for US dollar which is the currency of the global Oil trade. ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Alistair , says: October 20, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT

The overplayed drama of Mr. Khashoggi assassination is going to be used by the American Oil Cartel to control the Saudis Oil output.

It's quite unusual to see such unanimous anti-Saudi reactions from the American political class for the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi – who was just a part-time journalist living in U.S – he was not even an American citizen , so, it's quite unusual because the same political class remained muted about the Saudis involvement with ISIS, the bombing and starvation of civilians in Yemen and destruction of Syria, and of course the Saudis involvement in 9/11 terrorist attack in which 3000 American citizens have perished in New York, in the heart of America.

So, we must be a bit skeptical about the motive of the American Political Class, as this again could be just about the OIL Business, but this time around the objective is to help the American Oil producers as opposed to Oil consumers – with 13.8% of the global daily Oil production, the US has lately become the world top producer of Crude Oil, albeit, an expensive Oil which is extracted by Fracking method that requires high Oil price above $70 to remain competitive in the global Oil market – by simultaneously sanctioning Iran, Venezuela, and the potential sanction of Saudi Arabia from exporting its Oil, the Trump Administration not only reduces the Global Oil supply which will certainly lead to the rise of Oil price, but also it lowers demand for the US Dollar-Greenback in the global oil market which could lead to subtle but steady devaluation of the US dollar.

And perhaps that's what Trump Administration was really aiming for all along; a significant decline of the US Dollar Index and the rise of price of Oil which certainly pleases the American Oil Cartel, though at the expense of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – all of which are under some form of U.S sanctions.

However gruesome, Mr. Khashoggi's assassination is going to be used by the Trump Administration to help the American Oil Cartel by controlling the Saudi Oil output, hence, to raise the price of Oil and to lower demand for US dollar which is the currency of the global Oil trade.

jilles dykstra , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:39 am GMT
@Alistair History has its weird twists.
Early in WWII FDR was reported that USA oil would be depleted in thirty years time.
So FDR sent Harold L Ickes to Saudi Arabia,where at the end of 1944 the country was made the USA's main oil supplier.
FDR entertained the then Saud in early 1945 on the cruiser Quincy, laying in the Bitter Lakes near the Suez Canal.
This Saud and his entourage had never seen a ship before, in any case had never been on board such a ship.

In his last speech to Congress, seated, FDR did not follow what had been written for him, but remarked 'that ten minutes with Saud taught him more about zionism than hundreds of letters of USA rabbi's.
These words do not seem to be in the official record, but one of the speech writers, Sherwood, quotes them in his book.
Robert E. Sherwood, 'Roosevelt und Hopkins', 1950, Hamburg (Roosevelt and Hopkins, New York, 1948)
If FDR also said to Congress that he would limit jewish migration to Palestine, do not now remember, but the intention existed.
A few weeks later FDR died, Sherwood comments on on some curious aspects of FDR's death, such as that the body was cremated in or near Warm Springs, and that the USA people were never informed that the coffin going from Warm Springs to Washington just contained an urn with ashes.

At present the USA does not seem to need Saudi oil.
If this causes the asserted cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel ?

Alfred , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:53 am GMT
@Harris Chandler Now it has made alliances with Israel and between them the tail wags the dog

The Saudi Royal family and the governments of Israel have always been in cahoots. They both despise and fear secular governments that are not under their own control in the Middle East. Witness the fear and dread of both of them of president Nasser in the 1960′s, for example.

[Oct 22, 2018] Cherchez la femme

Highly recommended!
'Cherchez la femme' is sometimes mistakenly thought to refer to men's attempts to pursue romantic liaisons with women. In fact, the phrase, which is occasionally used in its loose English translation 'look for the woman', expresses the idea that the source of any given problem involving a man is liable to be a woman. That isn't to say that the woman herself was necessarily the direct cause of the problem, as in Shakespeare's Macbeth for instance, but that a man has behaved stupidly or out of character in order to impress a woman or gain her favour. 'Cherchez la femme' - the meaning and origin of this phrase
Notable quotes:
"... His fiance is documentd as a PhD candidate (in what subject? At which institute? What was her background?) They managed to meet at some high level think-tank get-together. That sounds a bit unlikely for some random unconnected outsider. How did she manage to get invited to the meeting? In other circumstances (Assange, Vanunu, etc) a honeypot would come to mind. ..."
"... She is linked to a humanitarian aid organisation IHH whose head Bulent Yıldırım appears to have links with ISIS and al Qaeda. ..."
Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Greece , Oct 22, 2018 4:10:22 PM | link

Cherchez la femme

Khashoggi met his fiance (36 year old to his 59) in May 2018. By October 2018, they were looking to get married. One little problem. He is already married and had to arrange a separation. Did he go to the consulate of his own free will or was he 'pushed' (ie he went very reluctantly as he realised he was taking a big risk). His fiance is documentd as a PhD candidate (in what subject? At which institute? What was her background?) They managed to meet at some high level think-tank get-together. That sounds a bit unlikely for some random unconnected outsider. How did she manage to get invited to the meeting? In other circumstances (Assange, Vanunu, etc) a honeypot would come to mind.

Posted by: Yonatan | Oct 22, 2018 2:32:51 PM | 44

Indded. These are some good questions. Nobody asks anything about the fiance. Like she is not even there.

Jen , Oct 22, 2018 6:38:56 PM | link

Yonatan @ 44, Greece @ 61:

I posted this reply to LittleWhiteCabbage on a previous MoA comments thread:

LittleWhiteCabbage @ 223:

I would not trust Hatice Cengiz (the fiancée) even if Jamal Khashoggi did.

Apparently her family did not know she was engaged to marry him until the news of his disappearance / murder became public. She has not been living with her birth family for some time. She first met Khashoggi only in May this year.

She is linked to a humanitarian aid organisation IHH whose head Bulent Yıldırım appears to have links with ISIS and al Qaeda.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/10/18/Khashoggi-s-alleged-fianc-e-and-ties-to-a-radical-charity-linked-to-ISIS-al-Qaeda.html
https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/former-turkish-counter-terror-chief-exposes-governments-support-for-isis-d12238698f52

Methinks we would be wise not to give this 36-year-old "girl" a pass.

Incidentally the first link is now down but you can still read the Insurge Intelligence link about IHH. Cengiz has now been placed under 24-hour police protection in Istanbul.

[Oct 22, 2018] The man who runs such a country with largest world oil reserves is a strategic Western concern. It is important that he is pro-Western and did not try to rock the neoliberal boat

Removing Saudi's contribution of @8.5Mbbls/day from the global oil market would be a blow that Western countries might not survive.
Looks like somebody in the West want MBS out.
Notable quotes:
"... be honest -- this all seems a bit too convenient for Erdogan, and at a too convenient time. ..."
"... at the moment I cannot believe someone has so much luck like Erdogan has. He stands to gain in the short term, in the long term, tactically and (geo)strategically. From just a stroke of luck, that came to his country. That came to him, for which he didn't even need to get out of his chair? ..."
"... Maybe we're asking the wrong questions. Are factions within the CIA at work, setting up elaborate plans with the ambitious Erdogan to get rid of Trump and MbS, for the sake of what... strategically increasingly important depleting oil fields? ... a better position to strangle Iran? ..."
"... Erdogan doesn't want a Kurdistan martyr in Khasshogi either. He wants to totally controlled-dissent ..."
"... This total psyop, and every piece of 'evidence' in it, is coming from Ankara Intel operatives! ..."
"... Hey, they had two weeks of preparation. You can make a full length Blair Witchcraft in two weeks. ..."
"... Cui bono? Erdogan, Iran Oil transit and EU/RU weapons systems dealers. That's why Germany has jumped on the bandwagon, lol. Expect the whole krew to toe the line, and Putin left with a jumbled mess on the chessboard. ..."
"... Khashoggi has ties to Lockheed Martin through his late uncle Adnan Khashoggi, who used to be one of Saudi Arabia's most powerful weapons dealers. MBS is considering buying Russias S-400 instead of Lockheed Martins 15 billion THADD. Interesting fact but unlikely to be important IMO ..."
"... So regardless of the truth of Khashoggis disappearance there is a Deep State operation in place, the evidence is in the media saturation and persistence and bipartisan support. Its purpose may be as simple as coercing MBS to buy more weapons. Perhaps it may even be that a replacement for MBS even more pro-Israel has been found. ..."
"... Khashoggi is news, because they say its news. They make it news. Why? BC it fits an agenda. Somebody wants MBS out. ..."
"... The bigger play here is bringing turkey back into the western fold. Lose turkey you lose the whole middle east. also, a secondary play - guardianship of Mecca. SA an unreliable partner under mbs. ..."
Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Sid2 , Oct 22, 2018 3:43:55 PM | link
The one question that matters

Khashoggi's murder has transcended questions of foreign policy shaped by values of democracy, free speech, and due process. The Khashoggi killing raises questions of cold, unblinking realpolitik.

Three weeks into this affair and with the overwhelming evidence from the Turkish inquiry and intelligence from US and British services, world leaders have only one question to ask themselves: is Saudi Arabia safe in the crown prince's hands?

The kingdom is not Libya under Gaddafi. Nor is it Syria under Bashar al-Assad. It is the world's largest oil producer. It is the region's richest nation.

For better or worse (mainly worse), it is the key Arab state. In the wrong hands, Saudi Arabia has already proved that it can determine the fate of presidents in Egypt, kidnap prime ministers from Lebanon, attempt coups in Qatar and, when that fails, blockade it. It can start wars in Yemen.

The man who runs such a country is therefore a vital strategic Western interest. It is important that he is mentally stable.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/saudi-arabia-safe-mohammed-bin-salmans-hands-1784595453

Note the interesting graph with this piece on MbS's behavior in the short time he's been promoted.

Greece , Oct 22, 2018 3:48:58 PM | link

Reuters How the man behind Khashoggi murder ran the killing via Skype
He ran social media for Saudi Arabia's crown prince. He masterminded the arrest of hundreds of his country's elite. He detained a Lebanese prime minister. And, according to two intelligence sources, he ran journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by giving orders over Skype.

Posted by: b | Oct 22, 2018 2:45:08 PM | 47

So this guy allegedly working for Public Relations (social media) & security (managing lists with arrests) for Crown Prince MbS was making absolutely sure that everyone would be able to follow his actions (attributed to MbS of course). We (the people) were getting fed minute details of suspects and treatment (during/after the coop in Saudi Arabia) even from the Alex Jones conspiracy show (been publicly ousted as Fake-News and Mossad ops though since he was attributing Las Vegas massacre to either MbS or rivals that tried to allegedly assassinate MbS in Vegas hinting at Iran )

Lo and behold! Las Vegas shooting October 1st 2017. Khassogi murder October 1st 2018! .

Both allegedly MbS involved! Ain't these all suspicious? There is no heaven or hell there is only the.... (let me hear it - The Israeli Intel Services Sing-Along) sing it with me.... (come on)

karlof1 , Oct 22, 2018 4:11:25 PM | link
Obamabots trying to reverse history will find it hard to do. That they're trying is significant. I've seen a few reports musing SKYPE was used during the brief interrogation. If true, then all advanced intel services will know its content.

Peter AU 1 @55--

Yes, I was aware of that. TASS reports : "Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters on Monday.

"'Yes, we [had] visits, our interministerial top-level delegation went, there were meetings,' the diplomat said in response to the question about whether Russia still plans to attend the summit in the wake of Khashoggi's murder."

Russian and Saudi cooperation in the energy field trumps other events. China will also attend.

bjd , Oct 22, 2018 4:46:37 PM | link
I don't know. I'm having these waves of suspicions. I wouldn't put the current narrative past MbS at all, that's for sure. And he deserves everything he currently gets -- foremost over Yemen. But -- be honest -- this all seems a bit too convenient for Erdogan, and at a too convenient time. Id est, a too in convenient time for his opponent, that was until two weeks ago holding Erdogan's ambitious head in a bucket of water -- Trump. With the midterms only a few weeks away, look who's holding whose head in that bucket, who is holding whose feet to the fire.

If this is truly a coincidence, I'm beginning to believe Allah is Turkish. But at the moment I cannot believe someone has so much luck like Erdogan has. He stands to gain in the short term, in the long term, tactically and (geo)strategically. From just a stroke of luck, that came to his country. That came to him, for which he didn't even need to get out of his chair?

Maybe we're asking the wrong questions. Are factions within the CIA at work, setting up elaborate plans with the ambitious Erdogan to get rid of Trump and MbS, for the sake of what... strategically increasingly important depleting oil fields? ... a better position to strangle Iran?

Anton Worter , Oct 22, 2018 4:50:52 PM | link
@6

Erdogan wants to be New Caliph. That's all this is. Caliphate wars. MbS is Erdogan's blood enemy. MbS-IL-US is shading the New Caliphate! Duhh! Erdogan doesn't want a Kurdistan martyr in Khasshogi either. He wants to totally controlled-dissent The Parable of a Man Walked Into an Embassy New Revelations. Erdogan wants to be supplicated by US and IL for His permission to transit Syria and Kurdistan. Erdogan wants to be Putin's go-to guy in Ankara for Assad.

This total psyop, and every piece of 'evidence' in it, is coming from Ankara Intel operatives! Khashoggi could has as easily been re-dressed in a thwab, then frog-marched under the cameras into the waiting Mercedes. His discarded clothes could have been paraded in front of Ankara's street cameras by Turks.

Hey, they had two weeks of preparation. You can make a full length Blair Witchcraft in two weeks.

Cui bono? Erdogan, Iran Oil transit and EU/RU weapons systems dealers. That's why Germany has jumped on the bandwagon, lol. Expect the whole krew to toe the line, and Putin left with a jumbled mess on the chessboard.

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Scotch Bingeington , Oct 22, 2018 5:00:53 PM | link
B, amazing work again, thrilling to read. Though this is a yet unfolding story, you manage to write about it in a profound way.

Regarding the manner in which MbS operates here and subsequently reacts towards other people's reactions is certainly telling, at least to me. First off, the coercion – "come back or else " – flat out. The ruthlessness vis-à-vis the victim, the complete disregard for that individual's life. The crassness of the methods applied. The carelessness concerning the risks and the half-assed way in which this exercise, by and large, was carried out. Once word got out, being utterly taken by surprise that this murder should draw so much attention and should shock and outrage people – like, at all! Followed by, of course, a sudden switch from ever-so-charming to furious rage.

That's textbook psychopathic behavior. MbS is a psychopath. I don't mean that as an insult, but as the descriptive term and category that it is. It was already palpable in all the other incidents, which was duly pointed out here by people at the Moon. To me, it's also in his eyes. But the thing is, as such, MbS is a befitting representation of his country. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the way that it works, how it's organized, its history, its outlook on the world – it's the equivalent among states of a psychopath. I certainly agree, the sooner MbS gets kicked off the stage, the better for them and for us. But he'll be replaced and SA will still be the equivalent among states of a psychopath – and act accordingly. There's much more to be done than just put an end to MbS' games. In that vein, I'd be appalled if Russia were to seriously consider sucking up to SA should they break away from the US orbit.


On another aspect: I don't really see how this would seriously upset Trump. Sure, it's a huge challenge and a lot of accommodating will have to be done, which is always annoying. But if Congress were to take action, why shouldn't he give in and play along?

karlof1 , Oct 22, 2018 6:02:10 PM | link
At long last, Valdai Club questions about Saudi-Russian relations were added to transcript. Here is the relevant passage, which mostly repeats what was posted from news stories:

Putin: "If someone understands it and believes that a murder has been committed, then I hope that some evidence will be presented and we will adopt relevant decisions based on this evidence. This gives me a pretext to say something else.

"From time to time, there are steps taken against Russia and even sanctions are imposed, as I have repeatedly said, on the basis of flimsy excuses and pretexts. They groundlessly claim that we have allegedly used chemical weapons, even though, incidentally, we have destroyed our chemical weapons, while the United States has failed to do so despite the obligation to that effect it assumed.

"So, there is no proof against Russia but steps are being taken. According to claims, the murder was committed in Istanbul, but no steps are being taken.

"Uniform approaches to problems of this kind should be sorted. To reiterate: Our policy towards Saudi Arabia has evolved over a long period of time, over many years. Of course, it is a misfortune that a man has disappeared, but we must understand what has really happened."

The policy investment "over many years" isn't one Russia will suddenly jettison. Yemen is obviously a much greater tragedy but Russian-Saudi relations haven't suffered -- Geopolitics creates strange bed-fellows. Russia's international relations are built upon fundamental principles of International Law of which the sanctity of Sovereignty reigns supreme. As much as we may dislike it, the Khashoggi Affair falls within the realm of an internal Saudi affair although it occurred in Turkey; thus, it's up to Saudis to solve. Putin's pointing to the Double Standards relates to that reality. Would Russia sell weapons for Saudi to use on Yemen? I have no idea, although I'd like to think it wouldn't. It's quite possible some new inroads have opened for Russian diplomacy, but they remain hidden from public.

Pft , Oct 22, 2018 6:08:19 PM | link
Khashoggi has ties to Lockheed Martin through his late uncle Adnan Khashoggi, who used to be one of Saudi Arabia's most powerful weapons dealers. MBS is considering buying Russias S-400 instead of Lockheed Martins 15 billion THADD. Interesting fact but unlikely to be important IMO

This Khashoggi story never lasts more than a week in MSM unless there is a psyops operation in place by the Deep State. Media saturation and persistence is the key to any operation. Inconvenient truths are reported and then dropped and forgotten. Lies without evidence are repeated constantly until they are accepted as truths, in some cases inconsequential truths that are convenient serve the same purpose

So regardless of the truth of Khashoggis disappearance there is a Deep State operation in place, the evidence is in the media saturation and persistence and bipartisan support. Its purpose may be as simple as coercing MBS to buy more weapons. Perhaps it may even be that a replacement for MBS even more pro-Israel has been found. Israels influence on the media is not neglible. This saturation coverage does not happen without them supporting it or at least not using their influence to suppress it Another more disturbing possibility should MBS stand his ground , is conditioning the people to accept MBS as the new OBL and Saudis Wahhabis as the new AQ and repeating history.

There simply is no way to know. Just have to watch and see but whatever it is probably wont be good

fast freddy , Oct 22, 2018 9:50:02 PM | link
The Saudi bmobing - with US bmobs - of the Yemeni School Bus Full of Babies was truly and completely horrifying - rotten and utterly detestable by anyone's standards (except for Trump, Hillary, Bill, Bolton, Graham, Biden, All the Bush's, Rick Scott and etc.)

And Newsworthy. But it was, instead, crickets chirping in that deep east Texas nighttime.

Khashoggi is news, because they say its news. They make it news. Why? BC it fits an agenda. Somebody wants MBS out.

m , Oct 22, 2018 10:03:51 PM | link
The bigger play here is bringing turkey back into the western fold. Lose turkey you lose the whole middle east. also, a secondary play - guardianship of Mecca. SA an unreliable partner under mbs.

[Oct 22, 2018] Kushner Tells CNN What Advice He Shared With MbS After Khashoggi Killing

The US arms for oil scheme is the key in anaylizing this situation.
Oct 22, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

In excerpts from the interview released by CNN , Jones asked Kushner whether it is wise to trust MbS to oversee Saudi Arabia's investigation, given that he's also the prime suspect. Kushner, who, in the absence of a US ambassador to KSA, has been handling the kingdom's relationship with the Trump administration directly via his friendship with MbS, said the US will examine facts from "multiple places."

me title=

Jones: Do you trust the Saudis to investigate themselves?

Kushner: We're getting facts in from multiple places. Once those facts come in, the Secretary of State will work with our national security team to help us determine what we want to believe, and what we think is credible, and what we think is not credible.

Jones: Do you see anything that seems deceptive.

Kushner: I see things that seem deceptive every day I see them in the Middle East and in Washington. We have our eyes wide open. The president is looking out for America's strategic interests...the president is fully committed to doing that."

Given their close relationship, media reports have implied that Kushner has been acting as an unofficial liaison of sorts to MbS since the crisis began (it has also been reported that the Crown Prince initially didn't understand why the backlash to Khashoggi's murder had been so intense). In light of this, Jones asked Kushner what advice, if any, he has given the Saudi royal during their conversations (to be sure, MbS has also spoken with President Trump directly on the phone). In a story published over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that Trump has privately expressed doubts about MbS's story, and has also lamented his close ties with Kushner, fearing they could be a liability. But during a phone interview, the president was somewhat more sanguine, pointing out that both Kushner and MbS are relatively young for the amount of power they wield.

"They're two young guys. Jared doesn't know him well or anything. They are just two young people. They are the same age. They like each other, I believe," Trump said.

Kushner's interview followed reports published Sunday night that MbS tried to convince Khashoggi to return to Riyadh during a brief phone call with the journalist after he had been detained at the Saudi consulate Khashoggi refused, reportedly because he feared that he would be killed, and was subsequently killed anyway. Adding another macabre twist to the saga of Khashoggi's murder and dismemberment, Surveillance footage released Monday showed one of the Saudi operatives leaving the consulate wearing Khashoggi's clothes with the suspected intent of serving as a "decoy" to bolster the kingdom's claims that Khashoggi had left after receiving his papers. It was later reported that Turkish investigators had found an abandoned car that once belonged to the Saudi consulate.

We imagine we'll be hearing more about these strange developments on Tuesday, when Turkish President Erdogan is expected to deliver a report on the killings.


ludwigvmises , 2 hours ago link

Kushner is another boarding school educated snobbish little child of rich parents.

Yippie21 , 2 hours ago link

Why is "everyone" so ******* upset about the Muslim Brothernood, green-card holding journalist being offed? I mean, folks in the M.E. are murdered all the ******* time. Journalists are not immune. Especially ones that are actually agitators that write ****. This whole thing is ********. How do I know? Just look at the reactions. Media everywhere to level 11.. What about Stormy Daniels? The Playboy bunny? Ford? Scandal # 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 , etc??

Saudis murder folks . Turkey murders folks. Turkey crushed a coup a couple years ago and 60K folks disappeared. I don't remember the US media demanding Obama " do something" about Turkey immediately, do you? Seriously.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

USA has killed over 30 million INNOCENT human beings around the globe since 1950.

headless blogger , 2 hours ago link

true. And I'm sure the CIA gets in on some very disgusting killings as well. Along with the Mossad and Mi6 (2 groups that get little attention but should).

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Kushner to Ivanka,.

Your father is a **** for brains,wanker.

Ivanka, I know that but we are part of the chosen now,. and he soon will be dead.

We have chance to rule the USA, Jared,

Bibi told me ./

Byte Me , 2 hours ago link

" Jones: Do you trust the Saudis to investigate themselves?"

"Kushner: We're getting facts in from multiple places. Once those facts come in, the Secretary of State will work with our national security team to help us determine what we want to believe , and what we think is credible, and what we think is not credible."

Jones: Do you see anything that seems deceptive.

Kushner:

NO

I (bullshitbullshitbullshit) see things that seem deceptive every day I see them in the Middle East and in Washington. We have our eyes wide open (bullshitbullshitbullshit. The president is looking out for America's strategic interests...the president is fully committed to hanging me out to dry . After that - ho noze bubelah ."

(Can I sukie suckie now black master?

FIFT

All will be well when the head honcho sends this YidTwat to be Royal Commissioner in either Greenlnd or Antarctica.

johnnycanuck , 2 hours ago link

Have you heard the latest about the Peace Deal of All Times Kushner has been working on? And going to deliver any day now... soon...really soon.

After all this time what it comes down to is a leveraged buyout proposal. The buyout is cash for Palestinians to give in to what Israel's far right wants, give up their land and get the hell out of Dodge if they can't live with the remnants.. The leverage is Trump trying to starve them out and Kushner's friends in the IDF Palace Guard at the ready to pile drive anyone who resists.

" All this nonsense depends on the largesse of Saudi Arabia – whose bungling crown prince appears to be arguing with his kingly father, who does not want to abandon the original Saudi initiative for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital – "

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/palestine-jared-kushner-ultimate-plan-israel-donald-trump-jerusalem-right-to-return-a8420836.html

Some deal, some master planner.

NuYawkFrankie , 3 hours ago link

KUSHNER --->> LOCK HIM UP!!!

Jared Kushner was communicating with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) prior to and after the Saudis brutally murdered Washington-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi

http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/25361

Wayne Madsen - the author of the above - also reckons it was Kushner that supplied the Saudi Prince HIT LIST to MbS a few months back - to clear the deck for "closer co-operation" with ISISrael

Hope Copy , 3 hours ago link

Unfortunately, the only crime here is that the Turks have no decent respect for the consular as sovereign territory, thus they are revoking Saudi rights and are operating as an act of territorial aggression as the US has done to the Russians. Civility is braking down and one has to ask one's self, for who's benefit.. The Turks are not going to benefit. Khashoggi was going to die one way or another, so he made a show of it.. Spy vs. spy.

The USA has in the past just 'droned' them (as Hilterary was eager to reveal).

rlouis , 3 hours ago link

Questions I would like to hear:

Was Khashoggi a CIA agent?

Did he betray Mbs and Saudi family?

DjangoCat , 2 hours ago link

"Did he betray MBS and Saudi family.."

Perhaps you missed the regime change that happened last year, a globally significant event, by the way.

Khashoggi was on the wrong side of that, and has stayed away from SA ever since, sniping from the sidelines. MBS has lots of reasons not to like him.

However, his power base was removed when MBS hung his mates up by their heels in the Hilton Hotel. He was not worth bothering with. So why was he killed then?

Possibly, he was not killed, only used as a foil to bring down hell fire and damnation on MBS. He probably walked out the back, just as the SA said when this first came out. Now Marketwatch has a story saying a man dressed in Khashogggi's "still warm clothes" was photographed going into the Blue Mosque. Yeah, right:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/turkish-official-decoy-wore-khashoggis-still-warm-clothes-after-murder-2018-10-22

The really interesting question is why have they walked that back and now admit he was killed? What is that about?

rlouis , 1 hour ago link

Yes! And tying it together with the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay-Harvest Festival shooting, and the video of the LV SWAT team escorting a person who looked like MBS through a casino suggests that there was a 'failed' assassination attempt.

And the fact that Prince Al Talweed, a co-owner of top floors of Manadaly Bay with Bill Gates, had tweeted his loathing of Trump...

It begins to tie a lot of loose ends together.

spqrusa , 3 hours ago link

The "Crown" (British or SA or many others) is inviolable. They take threats to sovereignty seriously unlike Americans who have outsourced Monetary Sovereignty to their Banks, Military and Economic Sovereignty to their Corporations.

farflungstar , 3 hours ago link

This kid's a ****. A real Chabad Lubavitch **** with a criminal father who I am going to hazard has never worked a hard day in his life. (Both father and son)

Remember Dan Aykroyd from "Trading Places"? Kushner is like that, only not funny. And jewish.

RubberJohnny , 3 hours ago link

Kushner was parachuted into the White House on the sole basis of his being the President's son-in-law.

He quickly ascended to the top rungs of power in our Nation even receiving Top Security Clearance and has been privy to our most tightly guarded secrets ever since.

This little ********** has turned out to be a tremendous thorn in our side facilitated by the President's pleasure.

Is everyone blind? This ******* nobody is practically running the whole show in the Middle East and with what credentials?

He's a power *** with vast connections, having been chosen to be the front man for the destruction of America as we know it.

GoingBig , 3 hours ago link

Exactly, plus his arrogance and stupidity has made the middle east even more fraught with problems.

Just like Trump moving the embassy to Jerusalem; this has caused nothing but problems.

Going in with no background in the middle east, without knowing anything except what was told to him in Hebrew school is a recipe for disaster which is unfolding before our eyes.

olibur , 3 hours ago link

This Kushner guy doesn't look natural. Kind of like molded silicone ear plug.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

Built in the same factory as Zuckerberg, but it's the Twink-Z-9000m Model

Albertarocks , 3 hours ago link

Skinny. Stiff. Plastic. Rather defiant, somewhat snotty. I have no reason to decide whether I like him or not but Kushner comes across to me as somebody I would not trust as far as I could throw him. Mind you that's quite a distance since I think he probably weighs about 109 lb.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

with whom Kushner reportedly shares a "special relationship" (the prince reportedly once bragged about having Kushner "in his pocket")

well we know who the pitcher and who the catcher is in that "special friendship."

Straw Dog , 17 minutes ago link

The CNN interviewer is Van Jones.
This is the same Van Jones who was Obama's "Green Jobs Czar" and was forced to resign his position in 2009 because of his radical left wing background.

What the hell is Kushner doing in a position of power in the White House, what are his qualifications for whatever post he holds ?

Wild Bill Steamcock , 43 minutes ago link

Kushner- "Late into the night, I stroked him. He stroked me. All to completion"

ExpatNL , 1 hour ago link

Memo to **** Kushner

Hire some food tasters.

The world is sick of you KIKES.

ardent , 2 hours ago link

"The president is looking out for Israhell's strategic interests ...the president is fully committed to doing that."

There, fixed it.

headless blogger , 2 hours ago link

What the hell is anyone doing dealing with these animals who dress up in dresses? They behead people in public squares, mutilate people, oppress woman, kill homos, etc. Real crazy degenerates that got ahold of lots of money via their oil.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Saudis are actually KIKES in drag

headless blogger , 1 hour ago link

But they look Black.

boattrash , 31 minutes ago link

" They behead people in public squares, "

You say that like it's a bad thing...I can think of several cases where it would be justified and appropriate.

ludwigvmises , 2 hours ago link

Kushner is another boarding school educated snobbish little child of rich parents.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Cardinal Rule

Never, EVER trust a ****

If you think jews are nice people you're braindead.

Yippie21 , 2 hours ago link

Why is "everyone" so ******* upset about the Muslim Brothernood, green-card holding journalist being offed? I mean, folks in the M.E. are murdered all the ******* time. Journalists are not immune. Especially ones that are actually agitators that write ****. This whole thing is ********. How do I know? Just look at the reactions. Media everywhere to level 11.. What about Stormy Daniels? The Playboy bunny? Ford? Scandal # 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 , etc??

Saudis murder folks . Turkey murders folks. Turkey crushed a coup a couple years ago and 60K folks disappeared. I don't remember the US media demanding Obama " do something" about Turkey immediately, do you? Seriously.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

USA has killed over 30 million INNOCENT human beings around the globe since 1950.

negan2 , 2 hours ago link

Innocent? You prefer Hitler and Stalin.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

yes, innocent. I suppose killing 2 million Vietnamese are guilty? of what>? Not kissing your FAT Americunt ***?

surroundedbyijits , 2 hours ago link

He said since 1950. Hitler had been dead for 5 years and Stalin would be dead within 3 years so wtf are you referring to?

Venice Screech , 5 minutes ago link

**** education for some in America.

headless blogger , 2 hours ago link

true. And I'm sure the CIA gets in on some very disgusting killings as well. Along with the Mossad and Mi6 (2 groups that get little attention but should).

robertocarlos , 2 hours ago link

Marry a hot shiksa?

g3h , 2 hours ago link

Exactly what a brother would do for a brother.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Kushner to Ivanka,.

Your father is a **** for brains,wanker.

Ivanka, I know that but we are part of the chosen now,. and he soon will be dead.

We have chance to rule the USA, Jared,

Bibi told me ./

Byte Me , 2 hours ago link

" Jones: Do you trust the Saudis to investigate themselves?"

"Kushner: We're getting facts in from multiple places. Once those facts come in, the Secretary of State will work with our national security team to help us determine what we want to believe , and what we think is credible, and what we think is not credible."

Jones: Do you see anything that seems deceptive.

Kushner:

NO

I (bullshitbullshitbullshit) see things that seem deceptive every day I see them in the Middle East and in Washington. We have our eyes wide open (bullshitbullshitbullshit. The president is looking out for America's strategic interests...the president is fully committed to hanging me out to dry . After that - ho noze bubelah ."

(Can I sukie suckie now black master?

FIFT

All will be well when the head honcho sends this YidTwat to be Royal Commissioner in either Greenlnd or Antarctica.

johnnycanuck , 2 hours ago link

Have you heard the latest about the Peace Deal of All Times Kushner has been working on? And going to deliver any day now... soon...really soon.

After all this time what it comes down to is a leveraged buyout proposal. The buyout is cash for Palestinians to give in to what Israel's far right wants, give up their land and get the hell out of Dodge if they can't live with the remnants.. The leverage is Trump trying to starve them out and Kushner's friends in the IDF Palace Guard at the ready to pile drive anyone who resists.

" All this nonsense depends on the largesse of Saudi Arabia – whose bungling crown prince appears to be arguing with his kingly father, who does not want to abandon the original Saudi initiative for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital – "

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/palestine-jared-kushner-ultimate-plan-israel-donald-trump-jerusalem-right-to-return-a8420836.html

Some deal, some master planner.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Kikes always find a way to weasel their way into any administration of the USA/

Kikes are sneaky vermin and worthy of being shot (or gassed) where they sleep.

Oh and if you object you are an Anti-Semite.

KILL them ALL!!!

Long Live The Donald , 2 hours ago link

Looks like he weaseled his way right into Ivankers Vagina.

ardent , 2 hours ago link

Kushner Tells CNN What Advice He Shared With MbS After Khashoggi Killing

The same advice he shared with Satanyahoo of Apartheid Israhell: MORE BLOODSHED.

WARNING: Graphic Images

ExpatNL , 3 hours ago link

**** Kushner told Trump,. I got this, if you intervene I will have the Mossad do a JFK on your ***.

Savvy , 3 hours ago link

The illusive Kushner gave an interview to CNN.

I find that a little out of step with Trump.

ExpatNL , 3 hours ago link

What qualifications does this **** have?

Who voted for him?

Isn't nepotism illegal?

TabakLover , 3 hours ago link

What a joke. How do these people sit there and spew their pure ******** with a straight face? Oscar worthy performance.

NuYawkFrankie , 3 hours ago link

KUSHNER --->> LOCK HIM UP!!!

Jared Kushner was communicating with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) prior to and after the Saudis brutally murdered Washington-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi

http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/25361

Wayne Madsen - the author of the above - also reckons it was Kushner that supplied the Saudi Prince HIT LIST to MbS a few months back - to clear the deck for "closer co-operation" with ISISrael

Hope Copy , 3 hours ago link

Unfortunately, the only crime here is that the Turks have no decent respect for the consular as sovereign territory, thus they are revoking Saudi rights and are operating as an act of territorial aggression as the US has done to the Russians. Civility is braking down and one has to ask one's self, for who's benefit.. The Turks are not going to benefit. Khashoggi was going to die one way or another, so he made a show of it.. Spy vs. spy.

The USA has in the past just 'droned' them (as Hilterary was eager to reveal).

lose

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ExpatNL , 3 hours ago link

Hail President **** Kushner

ExpatNL , 3 hours ago link

Eyes wide open, brain completely closed.

RubberJohnny , 3 hours ago link

The only upside is that only 42 people watched this farce.

VladLenin , 3 hours ago link

WHO THE **** CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!

This who pile of **** is fake outrage by the ******* leftists hoping they can undermine Trump.

DonFromWyoming , 2 hours ago link

I care because I am hoping this assassination will destroy our 80 year old relationship with The House of Saud which is the epicenter of Wahhabism that brought us 9/11, the ISIS headchoppers and much more.

snow queen , 2 hours ago link

Agreed. The comments on this article are mostly very sick. Why the ugly antisemitism etc. etc.

Bob Lidd , 3 hours ago link

Freaking reptilian eyes......

rlouis , 3 hours ago link

Questions I would like to hear:

Was Khashoggi a CIA agent?

Did he betray Mbs and Saudi family?

DjangoCat , 2 hours ago link

"Did he betray MBS and Saudi family.."

Perhaps you missed the regime change that happened last year, a globally significant event, by the way.

Khashoggi was on the wrong side of that, and has stayed away from SA ever since, sniping from the sidelines. MBS has lots of reasons not to like him.

However, his power base was removed when MBS hung his mates up by their heels in the Hilton Hotel. He was not worth bothering with. So why was he killed then?

Possibly, he was not killed, only used as a foil to bring down hell fire and damnation on MBS. He probably walked out the back, just as the SA said when this first came out. Now Marketwatch has a story saying a man dressed in Khashogggi's "still warm clothes" was photographed going into the Blue Mosque. Yeah, right:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/turkish-official-decoy-wore-khashoggis-still-warm-clothes-after-murder-2018-10-22

The really interesting question is why have they walked that back and now admit he was killed? What is that about?

rlouis , 1 hour ago link

Yes! And tying it together with the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay-Harvest Festival shooting, and the video of the LV SWAT team escorting a person who looked like MBS through a casino suggests that there was a 'failed' assassination attempt.

And the fact that Prince Al Talweed, a co-owner of top floors of Manadaly Bay with Bill Gates, had tweeted his loathing of Trump...

It begins to tie a lot of loose ends together.

Yen Cross , 3 hours ago link

Kushner = Nu-Male sans the neckbeard.

Son of Captain Nemo , 3 hours ago link

When you know you're an accessory to murder and can flaunt it!...

delta0ne , 3 hours ago link

All i see is all-out Kushner bashing going on. People forget that he is busy with bringing peace to the Middle East.

ExpatNL , 3 hours ago link

**** hate peace unless it benefits THEM

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

deltaOne hey **** lover., Jews don't want peace they want to control the M,E.

Nuke Tel Aviv

robertocarlos , 2 hours ago link

Whoosh. I hope.

kindasketchy , 1 hour ago link

Wow, look at the up/downvote ratio! I remember when people on this site got the ******* joke.

Pablo Enchilada , 3 hours ago link

Can someone wipe the smug smile off this prick?

kindasketchy , 3 hours ago link

Did he say he had his eyes wide open or his arse?

css1971 , 3 hours ago link

Solar panels & a Chevy Bolt.

YKIMS

Ikiru , 3 hours ago link

Better buy an extra set. Those damn solar panels wear out pretty quick. In fact, you may want to buy an extra Chevy Volt. Haha

spqrusa , 3 hours ago link

The "Crown" (British or SA or many others) is inviolable. They take threats to sovereignty seriously unlike Americans who have outsourced Monetary Sovereignty to their Banks, Military and Economic Sovereignty to their Corporations.

farflungstar , 3 hours ago link

This kid's a ****. A real Chabad Lubavitch **** with a criminal father who I am going to hazard has never worked a hard day in his life. (Both father and son)

Remember Dan Aykroyd from "Trading Places"? Kushner is like that, only not funny. And jewish.

Philo Beddoe , 3 hours ago link

Dan Aykroyd also bagged a hot chick in that flick. Jamie Lee had quite the rack when she was young.

richatstructure , 3 hours ago link

Very important insight ... thanks for trying out.

kindasketchy , 1 hour ago link

More Impressive - Aykroyd bagged the hot chick in "Spies Like Us" for real

RubberJohnny , 3 hours ago link

Kushner was parachuted into the White House on the sole basis of his being the President's son-in-law.

He quickly ascended to the top rungs of power in our Nation even receiving Top Security Clearance and has been privy to our most tightly guarded secrets ever since.

This little ********** has turned out to be a tremendous thorn in our side facilitated by the President's pleasure.

Is everyone blind? This ******* nobody is practically running the whole show in the Middle East and with what credentials?

He's a power *** with vast connections, having been chosen to be the front man for the destruction of America as we know it.

notfeelinthebern , 3 hours ago link

He's Rosa Luxembergs modern day doppelganger in drag.

GoingBig , 3 hours ago link

Exactly, plus his arrogance and stupidity has made the middle east even more fraught with problems.

Just like Trump moving the embassy to Jerusalem; this has caused nothing but problems.

Going in with no background in the middle east, without knowing anything except what was told to him in Hebrew school is a recipe for disaster which is unfolding before our eyes.

DisorderlyConduct , 3 hours ago link

Trump didn't move the embassy - he simply obeyed existing law that said it was to be done. Law ignored since Clinton signed it.

lew1024 , 3 hours ago link

I do not think you can cite evidence to back up those assertions. Mere assertions.

debunker , 3 hours ago link

Jones: Is President Trump upset on how to play this so as not to offend all of his Saudi financial connections?

Jared: The Saudis are my portfolio, Mr. Jones, lest I remind you I'm bringing peace to the Middle East.

Jones: Oh yeah, I forgot. So how's that going anyhow?

Normal , 3 hours ago link

There have been so many attempts at selling advertising with this article the author says, "to deliver a report on the killings." I thought they only chopped up one cash-hoggi now they are trying to turn it into two. What does the author think it was cactus they killed?

carbonmutant , 3 hours ago link

Kushner did you ask him where the body was?

DjangoCat , 2 hours ago link

Damn good question. We know who the "perps" are. Why no body, or bloody bits?

No body, no crime. Show me the evidence.

I think Khashoggi is on on the play, all Kabuki to try to get the SA DS back in power, and give Trump a black eye to boot.

jose.six.pack , 3 hours ago link

Getting their facts from "Multiple pieces"...

:D

KrazyUncle , 3 hours ago link

How about SA being honest....and transparent?

Seasmoke , 3 hours ago link

The Game Show Host let his daughter became a *** for this guy. Unreal.

Fecund Stench , 3 hours ago link

#Kushner is a #Zionist #Traitor, whom #Trump despises.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

whom #Trump despises.

Have you been psychic since birth, or is that a recent phenomenon?

Fecund Stench , 3 hours ago link

Trump is a Libertarian, and will prove it by beheading ten Kurds, officially joining #ISIS.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

I'm the Pope. The Power of Christ compels you.

Fecund Stench , 3 hours ago link

Actually, Trump is in the middle of a fight between Rand Paul and the Koch brothers, who own Pompeo.

olibur , 3 hours ago link

This Kushner guy doesn't look natural. Kind of like molded silicone ear plug.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

Built in the same factory as Zuckerberg, but it's the Twink-Z-9000m Model

Albertarocks , 3 hours ago link

Skinny. Stiff. Plastic. Rather defiant, somewhat snotty. I have no reason to decide whether I like him or not but Kushner comes across to me as somebody I would not trust as far as I could throw him. Mind you that's quite a distance since I think he probably weighs about 109 lb.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

What character building experiences could he possibly have had to cause him to become a good/stable leader/decision maker?

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Cardinal Rule

Never, EVER trust a ****

If you think jews are nice people you're braindead.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

with whom Kushner reportedly shares a "special relationship" (the prince reportedly once bragged about having Kushner "in his pocket")

well we know who the pitcher and who the catcher is in that "special friendship."

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

dupe

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

Jared Reportedly often walks with a limp and uses a hemorrhoid doughnut seat pillow

costa ludus , 3 hours ago link

Jud Süß

Philo Beddoe , 3 hours ago link

Damien speaks!

Dornier27 , 3 hours ago link

Kashoggi did return to Saudi Arabia....in bin bags.

Hope Copy , 3 hours ago link

ProbaBLY so..

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hooligan2009 , 3 hours ago link

who voted for kushner to represent the US?

costa ludus , 3 hours ago link

Bibi- but it wasn't a vote

opport.knocks , 2 hours ago link

It was at least fifty million $1 votes from Israel laundered through Trump supporter and uber-Zionist Sheldon Adelson's casinos in Macau. Steve Wynn was likely in on that action too.

Until America wakes up and gets dirty money out of your "(s)elections" you will be hostage to foreign powers.

No one asked Kavanaugh if he thought "Citizens United" was settled law.

Venice Screech , 17 minutes ago link

I guess everyone who voted for Trump.

dot_bust , 3 hours ago link

If Kushner has current business dealings with the Saudis, he's not exactly credible with regard to MBS. Or, should I call him the Notorious MBS ?

The U.S. should stop coddling the murderous Saudi government. Stop selling them weapons.

cheech_wizard , 3 hours ago link

Actually they should sell them more weapons. As many as they are willing to buy. And the same with every other country in the region.

Standard Disclaimer: It's all about market share.

Erek , 3 hours ago link

Why the big deal over some A-rab?

Has everyone forgotten about (((The Libyan Job))), Seth Rich and all the others who have been Arkancided?

The .gov should be throwing more resoures at these crimes and the huge (((Pedogate))) crimes etc.

[Oct 22, 2018] Saudis, Chinese and Russians want to dump their $Ts in junk 1.88% US Treasuries. That will implode the US budget deficit, and the SS and MC Trust Funds as 'buyers of last resort'. Kashkori is a trump card for the USA in negotiation with Saudi on this and other matters

Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anton Worter , Oct 21, 2018 3:28:40 PM | link

25

IDK if MbS had anything to do with the confrontation, or it was some 9th cousin royal guard attempting to give Khashoggi an offer he couldn't refuse. Nobody will ever know what happened. Just another MSM Piece Beyond Understanding.

Remember though, we *do know* that Obama and Rodham and their WH crew sat there in the White House Situation Room, watching *live satellite feed* of Ghaddafi's final movements, the half-meter long bayonet stabbing bloody anal rape to death.

Then Rodham sat there, right afterward, drenched in dewey musk, chortling a paraphrase from Caesar, "We came, we saw, he died! CAWW, CAWW, CAWW!" Monsters!!

Then everyone forgot about it, like it never happened! Poor! The Lion of Africa, like the Lion of Panjshir, just another hot blip on Deep State's radar. Same sh*t, different day. Fahged abahd et.

So why is Khashoggi, a non-entity, *still in the media cross-hairs?!* Pre-election psyop, and extortion. Saudis, Chinese and Russians want to dump their $Ts in junk 1.88% US Treasuries. That will implode the US budget deficit, and the SS and MC Trust Funds as 'buyers of last resort'.

May you live in blistering times.


Red Ryder , Oct 21, 2018 3:27:51 PM | link

What might Erdogan want out of this gift that has fallen into his lap?

Gulen out of the the US and into his hands.

CIA won't do that, but Gulen is what Erdogan wants from US. He gave up the "Pastor" without getting anything.
Pompeo tried to pressure him over S-400s. That was laughed off by Ankara.

Erdogan has two big worries: Kurds and Gulen.
He has many desires (dreams, delusions).
But he knows the forces internally that threaten his existence and success as ruler. Already, the Muslim Brotherhood has suffered great losses.

This noose around MBS's neck that Erdogan may be holding is leverage against the CIA specifically. It was information handed by Jared Kushner to MBS that led to this and others being liquidated by the Saudis. Erdogan might be able to tie it all together. That would be leverage the US cannot ignore. The entire anti-Iran strategy depends on Jared-Bibi and MBS.

Anton Worter , Oct 21, 2018 3:28:40 PM | link
25

IDK if MbS had anything to do with the confrontation, or it was some 9th cousin royal guard attempting to give Khashoggi an offer he couldn't refuse. Nobody will ever know what happened. Just another MSM Piece Beyond Understanding.

Remember though, we *do know* that Obama and Rodham and their WH crew sat there in the White House Situation Room, watching *live satellite feed* of Ghaddafi's final movements, the half-meter long bayonet stabbing bloody anal rape to death.

Then Rodham sat there, right afterward, drenched in dewey musk, chortling a paraphrase from Caesar, "We came, we saw, he died! CAWW, CAWW, CAWW!" Monsters!!

Then everyone forgot about it, like it never happened! Poor! The Lion of Africa, like the Lion of Panjshir, just another hot blip on Deep State's radar. Same sh*t, different day. Fahged abahd et.

So why is Khashoggi, a non-entity, *still in the media cross-hairs?!* Pre-election psyop, and extortion. Saudis, Chinese and Russians want to dump their $Ts in junk 1.88% US Treasuries. That will implode the US budget deficit, and the SS and MC Trust Funds as 'buyers of last resort'.

May you live in blistering times.

Peter AU 1 , Oct 21, 2018 3:32:00 PM | link
@ 16 "The whole mega-chart of crossed alliances has become so confused nobody knows what is going on, who to support, who to trust to have an impact, what to do, etc."

Keeping in mind the anti Israel faction helps keep track of, or make sense of alliances. Syria, Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Jordan and Kuwait headed that way. These are forming into a faction of strange bedfellows with the US moving their embassy to Jerusalem and the other Trump machinations with Israel being the catalyst.

joey , Oct 21, 2018 2:31:06 PM | link
Undisputed :::
Saudi Arabia Wahabbism is a leader of Mideast mayhem.
USA supports Saudi Arabia in the ongoing mayhem
So does Canada.
So does Britain.
and France.
Kashoggi a Washington Post reporter.
Washington Post big disseminator of lies.
Same with the New York Times
Both WP and NYT hid the Saudi USA CANADA BRITAIN FRENCH supported aggression on Yemen.
But this is WP and NYT opportunity to disparage Trump.
Therefore it is big "nooze." To be sensationalized. however.
Nothing new to report at all. Same old.
But shame on the alt for sucking along. Stupid is as stupid does.
One WP "journalist" a bigget casualty ? But, hundreds of thousands Syrian and Yemen casualties? No pro blem for NYT and WP s--t heds.
Grow up, world.


Sid2 , Oct 21, 2018 2:11:40 PM | link
Details continue to spill out. Now, interior royal princes are reported disturbed and trying to contact the King, but prevented by MbS. A General Mutrib, very close to MbS, one of his seven bodyguards at the Consulate,left Istanbul before the others with a large bag while the others celebrated at a dinner re "mission accomplished."

The latest WHAAT? out of me is that MbS spoke to Khashoggi by telephone moments before he was murdered. If true, this directly shows the lies the man is capable of. Maybe the US senators calling MbS a liar know something we don't. Jared is in the doghouse for his complicity in enabling MbS to deal with his critics.

Trump is floundering from "credible" to "deception," as he floundered re Kavanaugh ("both seemed convincing," he said after the late September hearing with Christine Ford) before wiping her up one side and down the other with demonizing a few days later. I think the damage problem here for the midterms is significant, and Trump will not retain the House and perhaps not the Senate either.

Why this case should rivet so much attention whereas deaths of 40 kids on a bus, then 17 more a few days ago, etc. etc. do not, seems a case of gag me, where is my vomit trough taken a step too far, possibly because US friends of Khashoggi in the government, CIA, MSM got upset. And let's not forget the rumor Khash was in on a CIA plot to establish a commission to run SA (one of a three member board) in the interests of the US. Could add to why MbS was keen on shutting him up.

I wouldn't think the detail of the fake person in his clothes leaving the back door is "gratuitous, unneeded" in that it shows once again the lies spun from the Saudis in their desperate scrabbling as this thing falls apart.

[Oct 22, 2018] Converting Khashoggi into Cash

Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

pogohere , Oct 21, 2018 7:56:53 PM | link

Krollchem @56

Re: "Converting Khashoggi into Cash"

ARTICLE SUMMARY

10-12-18

The Turkish government's vacillations and zigzagging in the face of the country's economic woes reflect how squeezed it has become economically and politically and how concerned it is about it with elections scheduled for March.

. . .


In mid-2018, Turkey's external debt stock stood at $457 billion. Over the next 12 months, the country will need $181 billion to roll over maturing debts. The financing of the current account deficit requires another $40 billion, at the least, though the gap has begun to decrease under the impact of the economic downturn.

In total, Turkey needs a minimum of $220 billion over the next 12 months, or roughly $18 billion a month, but it has become a high-risk country for creditors. Its risk premium, reflected in credit default swaps, has decoupled from those of other emerging economies, hovering above 400 basis points despite occasional drops. In sum, borrowing has become more expensive for Turkey.

Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/10/turkey-pins-hope-on-time-buying-measures-for-economy.html#ixzz5Uc3TXAgv

Short Term External Debt Statistics [Central Bank of Turkey]

8/18


As of the end of August 2018, short-term external debt stock was realized as USD 175.2 billion, based on the remaining maturities calculated using external debt data, which was 1 year or less due to the original maturity. The stock's 18.2 billion US dollars portion, composed of resident banks and the private sector's debts to foreign branches and subsidiaries are in Turkey. When evaluated on a debtor basis, it is observed that the public sector has a share of 18.1%, the Central Bank and the private sector have a share of 81% and 0.9%, respectively.

https://www.tcmb.gov.tr/wps/wcm/connect/TR/TCMB+TR/Main+Menu/Istatistikler/Odemeler+Dengesi+ve+Ilgili+Istatistikler/Kisa+Vadeli+Dis+Borc+Istatistiklerii/

Krollchem , Oct 21, 2018 5:13:01 PM | link

The Duran just published an article titled "Converting Khashoggi into Cash"
It points out that The Turkish/Saudi conflict goes back a long way as the "The first Saudi state, the Emirate of Diriyah, went belly up in 1818, with the death of head of the house of al-Saud, Abdullah bin Saud – actually, literally with his head hung on a gate in Constantinople by Erdogan's Ottoman predecessor, Sultan Mahmud II."
https://theduran.com/converting-khashoggi-into-cash/October 21, 2018

Interesting, Turkey will reveal entire truth about Khashoggi's death on Tuesday - Erdogan
https://www.rt.com/newsline/441877-turkey-reveal-truth-khashoggi/

[Oct 21, 2018] The Khashoggi Murder -- Worse Than a Crime, a Mistake by Eric Margolis

Notable quotes:
"... it's quite unusual to see such unanimous anti-Saudi reactions from the American political class for the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi – who was just a part-time journalist living in U.S – he was not even an American citizen ..."
"... So, it's quite unusual because the same political class remained muted about the Saudis involvement with ISIS, the bombing and starvation of civilians in Yemen and destruction of Syria, and of course the Saudis involvement in 9/11 terrorist attack in which 3000 American citizens have perished in New York, in the heart of America ..."
"... However gruesome, Mr. Khashoggi's assassination is going to be used by the Trump Administration to help the American Oil Cartel by controlling the Saudi Oil output, hence, to raise the price of Oil and to lower demand for US dollar which is the currency of the global Oil trade. ..."
"... The seemingly well-connected news outlet Voltairenet claims that there has been a plot against MbS and that Khashoggi was involved in it. ..."
"... It fares a atrocial war on Yemen, shits on international laws and regulations, just like Israel, Why would they not murder a juorno entering their land? Now this juorno was a man revealing in practices done by head choppers, so I will not cry much. It just shows these people are savages, all of them. What should be done ? You judge. ..."
"... I've read on Zerohedge that Khashoggi was on the verge of publishing an article about the Saudi's and CIA's involvement in 9/11, specifically about his former boss Turki al-Faisal, who ran Saudi intelligence for 23 years then abruptly resigned 10 days before 9/11 without giving any reason. ..."
"... Kashiggi's not a reformer. He's hard core Muslim Brotherhood ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

Alistair , says: October 20, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT

The overplayed drama of Mr. Khashoggi assassination is going to be used by the American Oil Cartel to control the Saudis Oil output.

it's quite unusual to see such unanimous anti-Saudi reactions from the American political class for the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi – who was just a part-time journalist living in U.S – he was not even an American citizen.

So, it's quite unusual because the same political class remained muted about the Saudis involvement with ISIS, the bombing and starvation of civilians in Yemen and destruction of Syria, and of course the Saudis involvement in 9/11 terrorist attack in which 3000 American citizens have perished in New York, in the heart of America.

So, we must be a bit skeptical about the motive of the American Political Class, as this again could be just about the OIL Business, but this time around the objective is to help the American Oil producers as opposed to Oil consumers – with 13.8% of the global daily Oil production, the US has lately become the world top producer of Crude Oil, albeit, an expensive Oil which is extracted by Fracking method that requires high Oil price above $70 to remain competitive in the global Oil market – by simultaneously sanctioning Iran, Venezuela, and the potential sanction of Saudi Arabia from exporting its Oil, the Trump Administration not only reduces the Global Oil supply which will certainly lead to the rise of Oil price, but also it lowers demand for the US Dollar-Greenback in the global oil market which could lead to subtle but steady devaluation of the US dollar.

And perhaps that's what Trump Administration was really aiming for all along; a significant decline of the US Dollar Index and the rise of price of Oil which certainly pleases the American Oil Cartel, though at the expense of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – all of which are under some form of US sanctions.

However gruesome, Mr. Khashoggi's assassination is going to be used by the Trump Administration to help the American Oil Cartel by controlling the Saudi Oil output, hence, to raise the price of Oil and to lower demand for US dollar which is the currency of the global Oil trade.

MrTuvok , says: October 20, 2018 at 8:06 pm GMT
The seemingly well-connected news outlet Voltairenet claims that there has been a plot against MbS and that Khashoggi was involved in it.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article203497.html

This seems to explain the motive to kill him. A few mildly critical articles by Khashoggi's pen scarcely seem to be sufficient for such a high-profile murder, even if we take into account that MbS appears to be impulsive and little capable of thinking ahead.

byrresheim , says: October 21, 2018 at 2:14 am GMT
It was not Talleyrand who said "pire qu'une crime " but rather Boulay de la Meurthe. But then the Queen never said "Let them eat cake" either.

Pardon my hint at historical accuracy, please.

FKA Max , says: October 21, 2018 at 3:48 am GMT
Very insightful video:

Duplicitous Khashoggi Picked the Wrong Prince

http://www.unz.com/video/therealnews_duplicitous-khashoggi-picked-the-wrong-prince/

Funny

Cato , says: October 21, 2018 at 3:55 am GMT
First of all, when has the death of a journalist made any difference in the relations between countries? Why act like it should now?
Second, Khashoggi was not simply a journalist -- he was a member of the Saudi elite, an Intelligence officer, and an activist for the Muslim Brotherhood (the Die Welt article established that).

Third, the real question is how this story came out, and why it has come out as it has ("journalist murdered by police state agents"). Turkey pushed this story out into the open. Apparently a calculation that the crown prince is losing ground, and an effort (perhaps assisted by bribes) to align the AK party with the crown prince's enemies in Saudi.

Den Lille Abe , says: October 21, 2018 at 4:20 am GMT
It fares a atrocial war on Yemen, shits on international laws and regulations, just like Israel, Why would they not murder a juorno entering their land? Now this juorno was a man revealing in practices done by head choppers, so I will not cry much. It just shows these people are savages, all of them. What should be done ? You judge.
anon [321] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2018 at 4:35 am GMT
It seems quite curious why MBS would go through such trouble to waste a guy whose only crime was writing a few low key disparaging articles about him that nobody read. Maybe there's more to this story than meets the eye.

I've read on Zerohedge that Khashoggi was on the verge of publishing an article about the Saudi's and CIA's involvement in 9/11, specifically about his former boss Turki al-Faisal, who ran Saudi intelligence for 23 years then abruptly resigned 10 days before 9/11 without giving any reason. The rumor was he knew about the attack as did CIA, but Saudis and CIA decided not to do anything to use it as pretext to start the "war on terror" and bring down Saddam Hussein. Personally I find that a little far fetched but you never know when it comes to the CIA.

Anon [257] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT
The murder of d'Enghien had no effect on the French Revolution, other countries reactions to the revolution and the subsequent revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. In fact, most of the liberal pro French Revolution historians consider the execution as necessary and moral as the execution of other anti revolutionaries

Koshoggi's murder won't make a bit of difference either once the blame Trump media blast blows over. The Turkish police appear to be doing a good job. They've arrested 18 people involved. At least the moralist pundits won't be punditing and pontificating about Kavanaugh for a few days. Kashiggi's not a reformer. He's hard core Muslim Brotherhood

johnson , says: October 21, 2018 at 6:04 am GMT

who likely cried, like England's King Henry II, 'will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?'

Yawn. This author is tediously hackneyed. And, it was 'turbulent priest.'

jilles dykstra , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:18 am GMT
That the Saudi regime commits murders does not surprise me, but getting caught not just with murder, but also with torture, indeed an unbelievable stupidity. Why torture the man ? But what also baffles me is that the journalist wrote for Washpost, a friend of Israel.

That Netanyahu and the Saudi regime cooperate to attack Iran, it is asserted by many, and it sems quite probable to me. A technical question, can indeed a smartwatch do what it is supposed to have done ? If so, then the torturers and murderers are even more stupid, I let the moral issue undiscussed, than one can imagine. Then there is the assertion, in cases like this one never knows what the facts are, that the journalist's girl friend waited outside. Did he expect trouble ? Did he ask her to record the trouble ? Did not the consulate security see her ? A final remark, what now is the difference in cruelty between IS and the USA's ally ?

jilles dykstra , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:39 am GMT
@Alistair History has its weird twists.

Early in WWII FDR was reported that USA oil would be depleted in thirty years time. So FDR sent Harold L Ickes to Saudi Arabia,where at the end of 1944 the country was made the USA's main oil supplier. FDR entertained the then Saud in early 1945 on the cruiser Quincy, laying in the Bitter Lakes near the Suez Canal. This Saud and his entourage had never seen a ship before, in any case had never been on board such a ship.

In his last speech to Congress, seated, FDR did not follow what had been written for him, but remarked 'that ten minutes with Saud taught him more about zionism than hundreds of letters of USA rabbi's. These words do not seem to be in the official record, but one of the speech writers, Sherwood, quotes them in his book. Robert E. Sherwood, 'Roosevelt und Hopkins', 1950, Hamburg (Roosevelt and Hopkins, New York, 1948) If FDR also said to Congress that he would limit jewish migration to Palestine, do not now remember, but the intention existed.

A few weeks later FDR died, Sherwood comments on on some curious aspects of FDR's death, such as that the body was cremated in or near Warm Springs, and that the USA people were never informed that the coffin going from Warm Springs to Washington just contained an urn with ashes. At present the USA does not seem to need Saudi oil. If this causes the asserted cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel ?

Proud_Srbin , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:45 am GMT
When was the last time evangelical party or any other "christian" spoke against apartheid of Israel in large and meaningful numbers?
Alfred , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:53 am GMT
@Harris Chandler Now it has made alliances with Israel and between them the tail wags the dog

The Saudi Royal family and the governments of Israel have always been in cahoots. They both despise and fear secular governments that are not under their own control in the Middle East. Witness the fear and dread of both of them of president Nasser in the 1960′s, for example.

Lin , says: October 21, 2018 at 8:15 am GMT
The US establishment, 'liberal' or not, just fake an outcry to soften the image of 100′s of 1000′s of yemenis, iraqis, libyan.. war casualties they are wholly or partly responsible for. Khashoggi's death is no more brutal than that of Gaddafi. What's the big deal ?

Whether Khashoggi is an islamist or not is very minor. (Sunni) Islam is basically a caravan of arab tribal or civilizational power and the house of Saud just rides this vehicle or caravan to siphon off the oil wealth. The house of Saud, said to be Jewish in origin, have the option to migrate en mass to Israel or French Riviera, with their swiss/US/caribbean offshore accounts during time of crisis or after new forms of energy resource displace oil

Art , says: October 21, 2018 at 8:30 am GMT

Equally important, the Saudis and Emiratis are now closely allied to Israel's far right government. Israel has been a door-opener for the Saudis and Gulf Emirates in Washington's political circles. The Israel lobby is riding to the Saudi's defense .

The Israelis are defending Old Saudi (pre MBS) -- not the New MBS/Kushner fix Palestine cabal. The last thing Israel wants is a defined Israeli border recognized by the world. The sycophant Israeli backing Senators in congress (Graham et al) are all backing Israel by condemning MBS and calling for his head.

Think Peace -- Art

Miro23 , says: October 21, 2018 at 8:42 am GMT
@FKA Max Thanks for the excellent Real News Network interview with someone I hadn't heard about (As'ad AbuKhalil) who has followed the career of Khashoggi for years.

http://www.unz.com/video/therealnews_duplicitous-khashoggi-picked-the-wrong-prince/

It seems that Khashoggi was lately different things to different people – one voice in English at the Washington Post following the Israeli line, and another in Arabic and the Arab media supporting the Palestinians and the Moslem Brotherhood.

Over the long term he was a propagandist for the rule of the Saudi princes, and his problem seemed to be his too close connection to the wrong ones, while they were overthrown by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS). There's the suggestion of a plot against MbS where he may have been involved.

So why are the Israelis, their MSM and their AIPAC congressmen making such a big thing out of it? Isn't MbS their friend? And why should they care about the assassination of a pro-Palestinian journalist?

Maybe they've a better knowledge of the forces at play in Saudi Arabia, and concluded that MbS was too much of a risk (too isolated and independent – e.g. talking with the Chinese about a Petro/Yuan). Maybe they decided to Regime Change MbS in a usual Israeli/US Deep State operation with Khashoggi at the centre (the duplicitous sort of character that they favor) – with the outrage at MbS unexpectedly striking back. It was in fact MbS' team of bodyguards who arrived in Istanbul. And it would account for the Deep State anger at having one of its chief conspirators murdered.

The back story has to be that the US/Israel want control of both Saudi and Iranian oil priced in US Dollars and they'll go with anyone who can give that outcome (currently not MbS). Or they invade Saudi Arabia Eastern Province on some pretext or other and just take the oil directly.

Greg Bacon , says: Website October 21, 2018 at 8:54 am GMT

I'm surprised that the Saudis didn't ask the Israelis, who are very good at assassination and kidnapping, to go after Khashoggi.

They probably did, but Israel is gearing up to invade Gaza AGAIN, and that takes time and resources that they couldn't afford to let go and do some free-lancing in the Murder Inc Department.

But Blessed are the War Mongers or something, as that oh-so devout Christian, Pat Robertson, is against holding KSA accountable:

Prominent evangelical leader on Khashoggi crisis: let's not risk "$100 billion worth of arms sales"

Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, appeared on its flagship television show The 700 Club on Monday to caution Americans against allowing the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia to deteriorate over Khashoggi's death.

"For those who are screaming blood for the Saudis -- look, these people are key allies," Robertson said. While he called the faith of the Wahabists -- the hardline Islamist sect to which the Saudi Royal Family belongs -- "obnoxious," he urged viewers to remember that "we've got an arms deal that everybody wanted a piece of it'll be a lot of jobs, a lot of money come to our coffers. It's not something you want to blow up willy-nilly."

https://www.vox.com/2018/10/17/17990268/pat-robertson-khashoggi-saudi-arabia-trump-crisis

Did Robertson take all of that loot he made from smuggling blood diamonds out of Africa–using his charity as a front–and invest in the defense industry?

If Pat is headed to Heaven after he expires, then send me to the other place, as I have no desire to be stuck with hypocrites for all eternity.

Tyrion 2 , says: October 21, 2018 at 8:59 am GMT
@Harris Chandler Why would it be Trump's to avenge that man?
animalogic , says: October 21, 2018 at 9:44 am GMT
"Error" ? "Mistake" ? These people (the KSA) are fucking "stupid" . Now they're saying he died in a "fist fight" in the consulate ! A 13 year old street criminal would know that that excuse is an admission of guilt. These guys shouldn't be allowed to run a model railroad.
Brabantian , says: October 21, 2018 at 9:59 am GMT
On television in 1988, Donald Trump said he had bought a US $200 million 85-metre-long yacht ,'The Nabila', from billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, uncle of just-murdered-in-Istanbul journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The yacht was named after Adnan Khashoggi's daughter. Trump later sold the yacht to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.

Donald Trump talking about the boat and arms dealers like Khashoggi – "not the nicest guys in the world"

... ... ...

[Oct 21, 2018] Pepe Escobar The Jared of Arabia-Bonesaw connection by Pepe Escobar

Oct 20, 2018 | www.sott.net
Once again my best House of Saud-connected source RE-CONFIRMED Mohammed Bone Saw (MBS) received direct info on CIA assets in Saudi Arabia from his close whatsapp pal Jared of Arabia.

Jared could only have access to this top secret info because of his high clearance. That led to the Ritz-Carlton jail saga - and other arrests.

The CIA protégé Mohammed bin Nayef - who was previously made Crown Prince by the CIA itself - was also arrested and is still under house arrest. The CIA was grooming Nayef be King.

The CIA managed to elevate Nayef by plotting to get rid of Bandar Bush - who was fired by then King Abdullah. When King Abdullah died, Nayef continued to be Crown Prince until ousted by the new King Salman bin Abdulaziz to the benefit of his son.

Big mistake.

MBS moved against the clergy - who had been neutralized by Nayef. He moved against CIA friends, ousting former King Abdullah's son Prince Miteb as head of the powerful National Guard - who's after his blood ever since.

Crucially, Khashoggi was also CIA.

MBS ordered the invasion of Yemen - and turned large sectors of the army against him. He met with AIPAC in New York, befriended Israel and turned the bulk of the Saudi population against him.

Only misinformed simpletons believe that the Pulp Fiction in Istanbul op could have proceeded without his green light. Hubris, arrogance and inter-galactic ignorance are MBS's trademarks.

What kind of intel op does not know that Turkish secret police would be monitoring the Saudi embassy 24/7?

The Coward Prince, meanwhile, has had ample time to find not one but TWO fall guys.

Fall Guy Number One is Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, deputy head of Saudi intel (yes, that's an oxymoron), a senior air force officer with NO (very important) family connections to the Saudi two-bit royals.

Fall Guy Number Two is Saud al-Qahtani, who was a sort of Desert Grand Inquisitor - totally controlling the media and supervising the non-stop purge of any critics. Call him the Saudi Steve Bannon - as he was known in Qatar. He led a mighty troll army spreading fake news on the murderous war on Yemen, the pathetic blockade of Qatar and non-stop demonization of Iran.

Turkey for its part has masterfully deployed Death by a Thousand Leaks on MBS.

Now the whole planet knows the detailed description of the 15-men hit squad; pics of all of them; their role in the "mission"; arrival and departure flights; which hotels they stayed for a few hours.

The hit squad includes the Bone Saw Master; four intel ops; 6 Royal Guard members; a member of MBS's personal guard; and a free agent.

Compared to all this evidence, the official "fist fight" Saudi explanation as well as the Jared of Arabia-spun "rogue killer" spin are inter-galactic jokes designed for suckers.

What remains unexplained is whether MBS was striking some sort of dodgy deal with the Trump administration, via his best pal Jared, behind the back of his House of Saud many rivals. Consul Pompeus Minimus was on the phone to MBS immediately after the Pulp Fiction news broke out. This could well turn out to have been a double-double cross.
Comment: Pepe is probably a little too sure it couldn't have happened without MbS's approval. He may have been involved and it escalated further than he approved, (as Scott Adams theorizes ), or it could've been a rogue operation. Mohammed bin Salman has made enough enemies within the sprawling Saudi royal family with last year's "anti-corruption purge", that more than one faction would be happy to pin the assassination on him

[Oct 19, 2018] Thank you, Saudi Arabia for exposing the utter hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of British and American gangsta press and equally gangsta establishment

Notable quotes:
"... "I am withdrawing from all ventures with the Saudi government until they go back to killing people I'll never meet at a party" ..."
"... In relation to people like MBS, there is a double stupidity. The problem is not simply that he has been playing to their need to believe that he wants to 'modernise' Saudi Arabia. It is also that they have wanted to believe that such a venture is possible, which it almost certainly is not. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk -> TTG , 2 days ago

TTG,

Someone from whose writings I have derived a great deal of instruction, as well as amusement, is Vladimir Golstein, a Russian Jewish émigré now in charge of 'Slavic Studies' at Brown University.

I introduce his explanation of the response to the Khashoggi killing, in a 'Facebook' post, not because I think it should be taken as some kind of authoritative truth, but because, as often, Golstein's irreverence is thought-provoking.

The post begins:

'Thank you, Saudi Arabia for exposing the utter hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of British and American gangsta press and equally gangsta establishment.

'You've been at it for a very long time. And it seems that finally you've got it right.'

After providing a long list of Saudi delinquencies, Golstein continues:

'I understand that you began to feel more and more desperate. You sided with Israel against Iran and Syria, and the rest of the world said that it is a moral thing to do and put you on the UN human rights board.

'Well, finally, you hit the right cord. Killing innocent people and abusing your moneyed power by buying newspapers, hotels, city districts or think tanks, was not enough to produce an outrage in the west, but when you whacked another cynical morally corrupt journalist that proved too much for the cynical and morally corrupt western press. They decided to stand up for one of their own.'

This does, I think, point to something rather important. And it leads to the thought that MBS and others may have miscalculated, as a result of an 'hubris' which many in the West have actually encouraged – just as they have a parallel 'hubris' in Israel.

As Golstein, who has a great deal of complex history behind him, can see very clearly, it is an interesting question when the 'sympathy' of Western 'liberals' is and is not actually felt.

What I think MBS may have missed is, quite precisely, the realisation that for people like Tom Friedman the fact that – as Golstein is pointing out – Khashoggi is the same kind of animal as they are means that killing him touches them personally.

Second, he is the kind of figure whom they have, as it were, 'cast' in a 'starring role', in their 'narrative' as to how somehow 'Saudi Barbaria' is going to 'modernise', and in so doing create a Middle East hospitable to a Jewish settler state.

So, in assassinating him, MBS may have unleashed a curious kind of psychological 'maelstrom.'

Barbara Ann -> David Habakkuk , 2 days ago
Jon Schwarz of The Intercept summed up the hypocrisy of the outrage rather well in a humorous tweet:

"I am withdrawing from all ventures with the Saudi government until they go back to killing people I'll never meet at a party"

David Habakkuk -> Barbara Ann , a day ago
Barbara Ann,

I think that is absolutely brilliant.

But, as well as hypocrisy, there is also a basic stupidity.

In fact, if one is reasonably 'worldlywise', one knows that people's sympathies, including one's own, are very often much more limited than they profess to be. We commonly find it much easier to feel the griefs and pain of people whom we see as like ourselves, than we do with those of others.

My own history, ironically, has been a move from finding it relatively easy to sympathise with people who write for the 'New York Times', or the 'Guardian', or the 'New York Review of Books', to finding it really rather difficult.

There is also, however, about so many of these people, an element of sheer stupidity.

Whether one agrees, or disagrees, with 'deplorables' is relevant, but only partly so. Actually, people who would not appear at the kind of 'party' which Jon Schwarz so aptly characterises have a very wide range of views, and I often agree in whole or in part with such people, and also often disagree in whole or in part. It is not a simple matter.

A related but distinct question has to do with common prudence.

People who lock themselves in a kind of bubble of the supposedly 'enlightened' are not only doing the rest of us no favours, but are inherently bound to head off in directions which are liable to be suicidal for themselves.

Prudent élites take the trouble at least to be aware that the world is not controllable by the comfortable people who appear at their dinner parties, and realise that if they persist in trying to persuade themselves that it is, sooner or later their self-delusion will blow up in their faces.

In relation to people like MBS, there is a double stupidity. The problem is not simply that he has been playing to their need to believe that he wants to 'modernise' Saudi Arabia. It is also that they have wanted to believe that such a venture is possible, which it almost certainly is not.

[Oct 19, 2018] Profanity-Laced Shouting Match Erupts Between Kelly, Bolton Outside Oval Office

Oct 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

"Profanity-Laced" Shouting Match Erupts Between Kelly, Bolton Outside Oval Office

by Tyler Durden Thu, 10/18/2018 - 15:33 41 SHARES

The White House is back to its old, chaotic ways.

Citing "three people familiar", Bloomberg reports that on Thursday, around the time when the Trump administration was contemplating next steps in the Saudi Arabia fiasco, Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, and his national security adviser, John Bolton, engaged in a "profanity-laced" shouting match outside the Oval Office.

The shouting match was so intense that other White House aides worried one of the two men might immediately resign. Neither is resigning, the people said.

While one possible reason for the argument is which of the two admin officials was more excited to start war in [Insert Country X], Bloomberg said that it wasn't immediately clear what Trump's chief of staff and national security adviser were arguing about. However, the clash was the latest indication that tensions are again resurfacing in the White House 19 days before midterm elections.

It's not clear if Trump heard the argument. "but the people said he is aware of it."

Tags Politics

[Oct 19, 2018] The demise of Davos in the Desert - TTG

This is not just MBS stupidity (which killing of a journalist in a consulate is), or Erdogan reaction, this might be something else. Neoliberal MSM reaction suggest that this is a kind of trigger for the color revolution against MBS when an event is blown out of proportion and used to justify already decided political shift or actions. It might be a trap specifically designed to MBS (the role of "fiancé" here is very interesting) by western intelligence agencies. Look at Skripals for the main components of this plot.
What is interesting is the Stephen Cohen supports this hypothesis.
Notable quotes:
"... Last summer, a standoff between Saudi Arabia and Canada gave us a window into how Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman deals with critics -- but most of the world looked away. It started with two tweets. On Aug. 2, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote on Twitter that she was alarmed by the detention of Samar Badawi, a Saudi human rights activist whose brother, Raif Badawi, was arrested in 2012. Raif Badawi's family lives in Canada. The next day, Global Affairs Canada weighed in, urging Saudi authorities to release civil and women's rights activists. ..."
"... Saudi Arabia was not having it. In a blustery Aug. 6 tweetstorm, the country's Foreign Ministry announced that it was recalling its ambassador to Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia 24 hours to leave. The state airline said it would stop flying to Toronto. Saudi scholarship students were told to pack their bags. Trade and investment were frozen. ..."
"... Pulling ambassadors and threatening to suspend investment was a "massive overreaction" and offered an important lesson, said Thomas Juneau, assistant professor of public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa. "The lesson was that MBS is reckless and completely overreacts to threats," he added, using the crown prince's nickname. ..."
"... The sheer stupidity of what MBS has done fascinates me. The inability to realise 1. that the MIT are rather good at 'bugging', 2. that Erdogan may calculate that his need for Saudi financial assistance is outweighed by his determination – which may also involve 'need' – to portray himself as the leader of the 'Umma', and 3. that people like Tom Friedman are happy to see Yemenis murdered on mass, but get a bit queasy when people like Khashoggi are. ..."
"... For very many years, the 'ruling élites' in Washington, as in London, have allowed themselves to be 'played for suckers', alike by the Saudis and the Israelis. Both have created situations in which there are very powerful concrete incentives for those who have gulled them to continue doing so. A rather unsurprising result is that people like MBS and Netamyahu have got to used to thinking they can get away with anything. A natural result has been massive 'hubris.' An equally unsurprising result is that this is in the process of leading to 'nemesis.' ..."
"... people like Tom Friedman are happy to see Yemenis murdered on mass, but get a bit queasy when people like Khashoggi are ..."
"... This is so true. The sociopaths in the MSM only care when one of their own is put on the chopping block. I get ill watching these people smile as they interview 'experts' cheering on the Saudis on in Yemen. They are pleased by the more convoluted arguments because it makes them feel more intellectual. ..."
"... David Habakkuk's comment below illustrates the difficulty that Western observers have in understanding the thinking and actions of the Saudi rulers. They are essentially just glorified tribal chieftains, still stuck in their medieval ways. MbS wasn't "stupid" when he ordered the killing of Khashoggi, that is what a tribal chief does when a member of his tribe defies him. It was, for him, a 'normal' reaction. After all, he has been doing this kind of stuff in his kingdom for years (without any reaction from outside). ..."
"... I'm quite sure he did realise that the consulate was bugged, and that it would be known that the Saudis had murdered Khashoggi. He just didn't care. Since he believed he had bought off Erdogan and the Western leaders, media, etc who mattered. While he was right in his expectation of the Western leaders' reactions, he misjudged Erdogan's reaction. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

18 October 2018

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just announced he will not be attending the Future Investment Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia next week. Obviously he didn't decide this on his own. His announcement stated that this was done after consultation with Trump and Pompeo. Given that this "Davos in the Desert" summit is the brainchild of MbS, this official and personal snub by the Trump administration could be a sign of future sanctions or it could be an effort to get through this crisis with the issuance of a wrist slap. A lot will depend on how MbS reacts. Judging by his reaction to a mean tweet by the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister earlier this year, it would not surprise me if MbS goes ballistic over the collapse of his summit.

***********************

Last summer, a standoff between Saudi Arabia and Canada gave us a window into how Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman deals with critics -- but most of the world looked away. It started with two tweets. On Aug. 2, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote on Twitter that she was alarmed by the detention of Samar Badawi, a Saudi human rights activist whose brother, Raif Badawi, was arrested in 2012. Raif Badawi's family lives in Canada. The next day, Global Affairs Canada weighed in, urging Saudi authorities to release civil and women's rights activists.

Saudi Arabia was not having it. In a blustery Aug. 6 tweetstorm, the country's Foreign Ministry announced that it was recalling its ambassador to Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia 24 hours to leave. The state airline said it would stop flying to Toronto. Saudi scholarship students were told to pack their bags. Trade and investment were frozen.

Pulling ambassadors and threatening to suspend investment was a "massive overreaction" and offered an important lesson, said Thomas Juneau, assistant professor of public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa. "The lesson was that MBS is reckless and completely overreacts to threats," he added, using the crown prince's nickname. (Washington Post)

***********************

Trump and Pompeo are now pushing for more time for the Saudis to investigate the disappearance of Khashoggi, essentially stalling for time. I doubt Pompeo's recent trip to Riyadh and Ankara was a search for the truth. It was a desperate effort to coordinate a way out of this mess and preserve the existing Saudi-US relationship. I'd like to know what Pompeo promised Erdogan in an effort to make this all go away. Was it enough? I doubt it. This situation is absolute gold for Erdogan's dreams of a renewed Ottoman Empire.

How about MbS? Did Pompeo convince him to meekly accept whatever slap on the wrist is on the way? I doubt that as well. The Trump administration pretty much destroyed what was left of "Davos in the Desert." If I had my family stationed in the Kingdom, I'd get them out right now and have my go bag within arm's reach at all times. Without any degree of hyperbole, I predict MbS is about to get medieval on someone's ass someone beyond an aging expatriate reporter. The chessboard of the Middle East may be about to change dramatically. The result will be a lot of crying in Tel Aviv and Washington and a lot of smiling in Ankara and Tehran. And maybe an end to the needless dying and suffering in Yemen.

TTG

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/10/17/saudi-arabias-spat-with-canada-was-lesson-trump-ignored-it/

Posted at 01:17 PM in Middle East , Saudi Arabia , TTG , Turkey | Permalink | 32 Comments

Reblog (0) The killers are associated with MBS

"On October 16 th , unnamed Turkish officials reportedly provided the Washington Post with scans of passports supposedly carried by seven men who were part of the 15-person team suspected in the disappearance and likely killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The passports add to the public information provided by Turkish officials as it seeks to fill out gaps in the narrative of what purported after Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate on October 2 nd . The Washington Post published the passports, but obscured the names and faces of the suspects, because it reportedly had no time to verify the people's identities.

Turkey maintains that Jamal had been killed and dismembered within the Saudi Arabian consulate. It also claims that a 15-man team dispatched from Saudi Arabia played a major role in the killing. One man from the group is the head of the medical forensics department in the Saudi ministry of interior.

Turkish officials also reportedly confirmed that the 15 names reported in the Daily Sabah are the actual names of the suspects." SF

-----------

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. There is no constitution. There is no legislature. Instead, there is "consultation." There are no laws that are not royal whims or Wahhabi Hanbali Sharia. Ah, no, my bad! There is also 12er Sharia in the Eastern Province for the Shia second class subjects (not citizens) who live there.

Turkey clearly is intent on "outing"Saudi Arabia as the butchers who killed Khashoggi and cut up his body in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, thus preparing it for re-export to The Kingdom.

Why are the Turks doing this? IMO, the Erdogan government wants to establish itself as the leading power in the world Islamic community, the 'Umma. the Ottoman Sultan Caliph was effectively that in Sunni communities and Erdo seeks to "restore" Ottoman times.

Donald Trump has one hell of a problem, largely of his own and Jared's creation, but, to be fair, also the product of 70 years of IMO misguided US insistence that the Saudis were a normal, post Treaty of Westphalia country that thought of the US as an ally rather that an alien entity to be manipulated and deceived whenever possible.

The Turks evidently really have "the goods" on MBS who is effectiely both head of state and head of government in SA. IMO they will drive the evidence home with the world media seeking to force an acknowledgement of their position in the world by Trump. pl

https://southfront.org/suspected-assasinators-of-khashoggi-appears-to-be-from-close-circle-of-saudi-crown-prince/


David Habakkuk , 12 hours ago

TTG,

A very fine piece. I am waiting to see how this plays out, wit h a mixture of interest and fear.

The sheer stupidity of what MBS has done fascinates me. The inability to realise 1. that the MIT are rather good at 'bugging', 2. that Erdogan may calculate that his need for Saudi financial assistance is outweighed by his determination – which may also involve 'need' – to portray himself as the leader of the 'Umma', and 3. that people like Tom Friedman are happy to see Yemenis murdered on mass, but get a bit queasy when people like Khashoggi are.

This is a clear case of stupidity, but, as we have been learning, the 'realist' notion that one can interpret international politics in terms of reasonably 'rational' calculations of 'national interest' is complete BS: theories produced by intellectually lazy academics who want to avoid the messy business of attempting to understand how other societies, and indeed one's own, actually work.

A further thought.

For very many years, the 'ruling élites' in Washington, as in London, have allowed themselves to be 'played for suckers', alike by the Saudis and the Israelis. Both have created situations in which there are very powerful concrete incentives for those who have gulled them to continue doing so. A rather unsurprising result is that people like MBS and Netamyahu have got to used to thinking they can get away with anything. A natural result has been massive 'hubris.' An equally unsurprising result is that this is in the process of leading to 'nemesis.'

chris chuba -> David Habakkuk , 9 hours ago
"and 3. that people like Tom Friedman are happy to see Yemenis murdered on mass, but get a bit queasy when people like Khashoggi are."

This is so true. The sociopaths in the MSM only care when one of their own is put on the chopping block. I get ill watching these people smile as they interview 'experts' cheering on the Saudis on in Yemen. They are pleased by the more convoluted arguments because it makes them feel more intellectual.

I haven't seen Babbak post in ages, I hope he is doing okay.

Kooshy -> chris chuba , 7 hours ago
Chris- in case you didn't see this, a well done job on Tom Friedman by Hamid Dabashi, in Al Jazeera. An American and an Arab Journalist Walk Into a Saudi Consulate
http://www.informationclear...
FB Ali , 6 hours ago

David Habakkuk's comment below illustrates the difficulty that Western observers have in understanding the thinking and actions of the Saudi rulers. They are essentially just glorified tribal chieftains, still stuck in their medieval ways. MbS wasn't "stupid" when he ordered the killing of Khashoggi, that is what a tribal chief does when a member of his tribe defies him. It was, for him, a 'normal' reaction. After all, he has been doing this kind of stuff in his kingdom for years (without any reaction from outside).

I'm quite sure he did realise that the consulate was bugged, and that it would be known that the Saudis had murdered Khashoggi. He just didn't care. Since he believed he had bought off Erdogan and the Western leaders, media, etc who mattered. While he was right in his expectation of the Western leaders' reactions, he misjudged Erdogan's reaction.

As DH has correctly surmised, Erdogan took advantage of this wonderful opportunity to turn on MbS, and cleverly ensured that Western leaders and media had to publicly react. I don't think Trump, Friedman, etc got "queasy" about the killing, they were pushed into having to take a stand.

The reason the 'ruling élites' in Washington, London etc have "allowed themselves to be 'played for suckers' by the Saudis" is because they've all been bought by the latter (Israel is a different case).

Col Lang is a very special case in that he resisted all their attempts to buy him, unlike all the other US military and political leaders he has mentioned in an earlier comment.

Pat Lang Mod -> FB Ali , 6 hours ago
I thank you brother.
Barbara Ann , 10 hours ago
Gold indeed. Right now the drip drip of salacious details in the Turkish press is focused on the audio recordings, they haven't even started on the claimed video evidence yet. It seems MbS is to undergo prolonged torture by media. And the fear and loathing in The Kingdom is now being given a nice helping hand by claims that one of the 15 dismemberers has been traffic accidented in Riyadh. The report on this starts with the words " Claims are circulating " - outstanding. Turkish media has a huge audience among the 'Umma these days and combined with Al Jazeera this is a potent weapon.

You are right to ask what price Erdogan may be willing to accept to make this go away, his wish list will be long. But if he calculates that the prize may be MbS himself plus irreparable damage to the reputation of the custodians of Islam's two holiest sites, I am not at all sure Pompeo will be able to offer anything to beat that. My SWAG is MbS is removed before it these negotiations are concluded.

Kooshy , 10 hours ago
IMO, for sure Saudi intelligence as well as MBS knew that their diplomatic missions like everybody else's is bogged, everybody knows airports and foreign missions are closely monitored by the host country. With that in mind, what still inspired MBS without any fear of getting exposed and still order the journalists' execution, was his believe of his indispensability and the protection from Trump and the Israelites. I think he very well thought if Erdo and the world can and will find out they wouldn't be able to do a damn thing about him. Unfortunately, with Trump' behavior in last few days he might be right. The one good thing about Trump' admin. is, that they don't care to bore us with the usual hypocritical AMERICAN moral high ground and shining hill BS, they know the world in now full of it. That same goes for our good mannered and morally proper Europeans the Germans, French and jolly good Brits. Not a word about this is coming out of Europeans, they are waiting for the coin to drop and see which side is proper for business to side with.
An important second point in this IMO, is that the American foreign policy establishment, can not and will not trust Erdo and Turks to climbs to the leadership of the Sunni Muslims, that has been the case ever since the Iranian Islamic revolution, specially as is been seen by behavior of this last three US Administrations. US wants and will accept a SOB for the job, as long as he is their SOB. Erdo knows who was behin the cope a few years back, this was a mana from the heavens for him, he is enjoying this torturing MBS and US inch by inch.
VietnamVet , 6 hours ago
TGG

Thanks. Even in the States it is good idea to have a bag packed. Albany GA has been hit three times in the last two years.

During Mike Pompeo's visit, it was reported that the Saudis gave him the 100 million dollars for the American occupation of Eastern Syria. That sum is something that Donald Trump is unlikely to walk away from nor Israel's desire to cut the Shiite Crescent. Erdogan's new Ottoman Empire and eliminating Turkey's Kurd problem requires the Americans to leave. This cauldron will keep boiling until it explodes into a world war. The only way out is Russia convincing the Kurds to rejoin a Syria Federation; liberating Idlib Province and pounding out a peace treaty where everyone respects each other's borders and stands down.

Pat Lang Mod -> VietnamVet , 6 hours ago
It was "reported" by what or whom? You know better than that. If you say such a thing on SST you must support the statement. You want to believe that all people are corrupt? You must prove it here.
TTG -> Pat Lang , 5 hours ago
It was in the NYT and WaPo. The money was pledged by al Jubier back in August. This is from Yahoo Finance:

"U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to discuss the disappearance and presumed murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. That same day, the U.S. government received a $100 million payment from the oil-rich kingdom, The New York Times and Washington Post reported -- an amount that had earlier been promised to the Trump administration to support its stabilization efforts in Syria."

Gresso , 8 hours ago
What do you all think Erdogan's opening line of negotiation would be? Abandoning the Kurds in Syria? Or further, US support for destroying the YPG/J/PKK?
Pat Lang Mod -> Gresso , 6 hours ago
Oh, bullshit. The Saudis do not support the Kurds in Syria and the Americans are not sophisticated enough for such a deal.
Ael , 8 hours ago
Colbert was calling MbS - "Mr. Bone Saw". I think the nickname will stick.
Pat Lang Mod -> Ael , 6 hours ago
I prefer "the electric bone saw."
Jack , 8 hours ago
POTUS tweets: View Hide
Pat Lang Mod -> Jack , 5 hours ago
Yes. They knew exactly what they were doing, but Trump did not. I said at the time that the Islamic World interpreted his performance in Riyadh as submission. At last!
TomWonacott , 10 hours ago
"........This situation is absolute gold for Erdogan's dreams of a renewed Ottoman Empire......."

If that is his dream, it is as realistic as Putin reviving the Soviet empire. Turkey is gaining regional influence; however, Erdogan certainly has no plans to share that with Iran if the Saudis falter.

Pat Lang Mod -> TomWonacott , 10 hours ago
Putin is not delusional. Erdogan is.
Ishmael Zechariah -> Pat Lang , 5 hours ago
Col. Lang,
tayyip is truly delusional along many dimensions. However, he is probably cognizant of the economic difficulties his policies have caused in Turkey. He and his coterie are desperately trying to find a way to pay the piper.
O rly -> TomWonacott , 9 hours ago
Putin has no intention of restoring the soviet empire, he has every intention of protecting the interest of Russians who were stranded outside the Russian state when the soviet union dissolved
Pat Lang Mod -> O rly , 8 hours ago
Yes
Vicky SD , 11 hours ago
Agreed. This is going to be a tricky transition, which is typical when the successors dare not raise their hand before it's crystal clear their head chopping predecessor no longer poses a threat.
A.Trophimovsky , 12 hours ago
But, according to Bloomberg...Big Money is going...although, allegedly, not its "heads"...But since when it is public the air traffic of private jets.....

https://www.bloomberg.com/n...

If great banks are going ( their is that unique opportunity of the public offering by Aramco ), I very doubt Trump is going to lose this opportunity to make "deals"......

I mantain that all this noise is focussed on the midterms, so as to whitewash US support related to Yemen war....After that, everything will go business as usual .....

Pat Lang Mod , 12 hours ago
"Go medieval" I like it. The idea of getting your family out before they become hostages is a good one. The State Department will, of course, evacuate their dependents to Switzerland or some such place while trying to persuade or "demand" that the military not evaacuate families. Ii have "been there" several times.
TTG ->