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The Earthquake in International Alliances

Eric Zuesse

America’s international alliances are transforming in fundamental ways. The likelihood of World War III is increasing, and has been increasing ever since 2012 when the U.S. first slapped Russia with the Magnitsky Act sanctions. In fact, one matter driving these changing alliances now toward unprecedented realignments is that some nations’ leaders want to do whatever they can to prevent WW III.

On October 17th, America’s Military Times bannered “Why today’s troops fear a new war is coming soon” and reported,

“About 46 percent of troops who responded to the anonymous survey of currently serving Military Times readers said they believe the U.S. will be drawn into a new war within the next year. That’s a jarring increase from only about 5 percent who said the same thing in a similar poll conducted in September 2017.” Their special fear is of war against Russia and/or China: “About 71 percent of troops said Russia was a significant threat, up 18 points from last year’s survey. And 69 percent of troops said China poses a significant threat, up 24 points from last year.”

The U.S. spends around half of the entire world’s military budget; and, after 9/11, has invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and perpetrated a bloody coup turning Ukraine into a rabidly anti-Russian government on Russia’s very doorstep and even an applicant for NATO membership though, in 2009, before Obama’s coup overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected Government, even U.S. media reported that “barely 25 percent of Ukrainians favor joining NATO.” After 1991 when Russia’s anti-American Warsaw Pact military alliance ended, America’s anti-Russian NATO military alliance expanded right up to Russia’s very borders.

Nonetheless, these troops aren’t afraid that the U.S. is posing a threat to Russia and maybe to China, but that Russia and China are both posing threats against America; they trust their Government; it’s what they’re taught to believe. But the reality is very different. And it involves all of the “great power” relationships — not only U.S., Russia, and China.

The precipitating event for the breakup that’s now occurring in international alliances, happened on October 2nd, when Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the leader of Saudi Arabia, went into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Turkey, and disappeared.

Allegedly, the dictator of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, had Khashoggi murdered and chopped-up inside that Consulate, within no more than two hours of his entrance there. Russia announced exactly a week later, on October 9th, that Salman had just bought Russia’s world-leading S-400 anti-missile system, for $2 billion. U.S. President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress will thus now need to determine whether to slap sanctions against Saudi Arabia for that purchase of Russian weaponry, just like the U.S. has already been threatening to do to fellow-NATO-member Turkey after its leader, President Tayyip Erdogan, likewise, recently purchased S-400s. (Trump and Congress also threatened India’s Modi this way, for its purchase of several S-400s.)

But even without this Saudi S-400 purchase, some in Washington have been proposing cancellation of Saudi Arabia’s $404 billion purchase of U.S.-made weaponry, the largest armaments-sale in history, which Trump had negotiated with Salman in 2017 and which is the likeliest cause of today’s booming U.S. stock market. The news-media call it a $110 billion sale, but only the first-year of the ten-year commitment is $110 billion; the total deal is a 10-year commitment, at around $400 billion.

Though initially it had been 10 years at $350 billion, CNBC headlined nine months later, “Trump wants Saudi Arabia to buy more American-made weapons” and reported:

In the past nine months alone, the U.S. has secured $54 billion in foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia.”

So, without seeing the actual signed deal, to confirm with certainty, one can assume that the total now is $404 billion.) Low-balling the amount is done in order to hide the national embarrassment of the military-industrial-complex’s now being the actual basis of America’s booming stock market.

Salman’s purchase of that $2 billion Russian S-400 could place the vastly larger $404 billion U.S. arms-sale to Saudi Arabia (and America’s consequent stock-boom and full employment) even more in jeopardy than it already is. America’s two most-core Middle Eastern allies, Saudi Arabia and Turkey (and Israel is only a distant third, and has no other option than to do whatever the U.S. Government requires it to do), could soon become no longer U.S. allies. America’s most important international alliances have never before been in such jeopardy.

Turkey is likelier to re-align with Russia than Saudi Arabia is, but even if Turkey becomes the only one to switch, that would be an earthquake in international relations. If both Turkey and Saudi Arabia go, it would be an earthquake, not just in international relations, but in world history. It could happen; and, if it does, then the reality that we know today will be gone and will become replaced by arrangements that virtually no one today is even thinking about, at all.

Jamal Khashoggi, a member and champion of the Muslim Brotherhood (as is Tayyip Erdogan — which is another reason why Erdogan would be especially unlikely to relent on this matter), was a nephew of the recently deceased billionaire international-arms merchant Adnan Khashoggi; press adviser to the billionaire Saudi chief of intelligence and Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki al-Faisal al-Saud; and, more recently, a protégé of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud (who also is a Muslim Brotherhood member). Of course, he was also a columnist for the Washington Post, which makes impossible his case being ignored in the U.S.

On 4 November 2017, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud, and many other Princes and billionaires, were seized by the forces of the billionaire Prince Salman, the heir-apparent to the thone of his father, King Salman al-Saud, who is the world’s only trillionaire. What’s essential to understand is that in order for any Saud Prince (such as this Crown Prince, Salman) to become King Saud (and thus to inherit his father’s trillion-dollar-plus fortune), he must first win the approval of the nation’s Wahhab clergy or “Ulema”, and so Saudi Arabia is both a monarchy and a theocracy.

There has long been a global competition between two fundamentalist-Sunni groups: the Saud-funded Al Qaeda versus the Thani-funded Muslim Brotherhood. Ever since the Saud family and the Wahhab clergy agreed in 1744 to take control of all Arabs and to convert or kill all Shia, the Sauds have been (and are) anti-Shia and insist upon fundamentalist Sunni rule.

Al Qaeda represents the Wahhabist and Saud view, which advocates elimination of Shiites and accepts hereditary monarchy as the power to impose Sunni Islamic law and rejects democracy; the Muslim Brotherhood represents instead the more tolerant Thani view, which accepts Shia and also accepts imposition of Islamic law by means of democracy, and not only by means of dynasty. Both Prince and King Salman hate the Shia-accepting Muslim Brotherhood, whose top funder is the competing Thani family, who own Qatar; the Thanis don’t hate democracy and Shiites and Iran enough to suit the Sauds and especially the Salmans. They’re not sufficiently anti-Iran and anti-Shiite and anti-democracy.

Khashoggi had explained why he shared the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideals:

We were hoping to establish an Islamic state anywhere. We believed that the first one would lead to another, and that would have a domino effect which could reverse the history of mankind.”

He was out to save the world by making it a fundamentalist Sunni world, somehow without using terrorism to do it. Like him, the Thanis and Erdogan don’t share such extreme extremism as the Sauds demand.

Furthermore, On October 16th, Gabriel Sherman at Vanity Fair bannered “HOW JAMAL KHASHOGGI FELL OUT WITH BIN SALMAN”, and he wrote that Khashoggi had told him, back in March, that the reason he had turned against Prince Salman, and why the Washington Post had hired him, was what had happened on 4 November 2017:

‘When the arrests started happening, I flipped. I decided it was time to speak,’ he told me. Khashoggi subsequently landed a column in The Washington Post.”

Furthermore, Khashoggi told Sherman:

The people M.B.S. arrested were not radicals. The majority were reformers for women’s rights and open society. He arrested them to spread fear. He is replacing religious intolerance with political closure.”

This was the difference between Al Qaeda versus the Muslim Brotherhood.

The competition between, on the one hand, the pro-Muslim-Brotherhood Thanis and Erdogan, versus the pro-Al-Qaeda Sauds, UAE and Kuwait, on the other; is forcing the U.S. to choose between those two sides, or else even possibly lose both of them and even to go instead with Shia Islam as America’s Muslim partners. The biggest U.S. Middle Eastern military bases in the Middle East are Al Udeid in the Thanis’ Qatar, and Incirlik in Turkey. Both of those are Muslim Brotherhood Sunni territory, not Al Qaeda Sunni territory. The U.S. under Trump has been more pro-Al-Qaeda (pro-Saud) than the U.S. had been under Obama, but doesn’t want to lose those bases.

President Obama had supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi in Egypt. But he also vetoed the congressional bill for investigating whether the Sauds had done 9/11. He wanted friends on both sides of the Sunni divide. But he killed Al Qaeda’s founding leader, bin Laden. And yet he continued being staunchly pro Al Qaeda against Russia.

Turkey has been a U.S. ally through its membership (since 1952) in the NATO anti-Russia alliance. Saudi Arabia has been a U.S. ally since a major 1938 Rockefeller oil-discovery there, and especially since U.S. President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s switched gold for oil as the physical basis for the dollar’s value in international commerce. But for both of these till-now US allies to be buying the world’s best anti-missile system from the very same country that the US aristocracy has secretly been trying ultimately to conquer even after the USSR and its Warsaw Pact military alliance and its communism all ended in 1991, is a shock, and an insult, to America’s aristocracy (the billionaires), coming from two of their most important former allies.

What is at stake now is not only the value-basis of the U.S. dollar and the continuance of America’s NATO alliance against Russia, but, more basically than either, is the full realization of the dream by Cecil Rhodes in 1877 and of George Soros today, for a unified and all-inclusive UK-U.S. empire to become ruler over the entire world — the first-ever all-encompassing global empire. Britain importantly bonded King Saud and his family to its Empire, at the time of World War I, against the Ottoman Empire. That was the Sauds’ alliance against Turkey’s empire.

After World War II, U.S. became the leader of this joint UK-US empire, as Rhodes had expected ultimately to happen. Ever since 2000, Erdogan has been scheming to restore Turkey’s role as the world’s primary Islamic empire, and so to squelch the Saud family’s aspirations to achieve dominance over global Islam. Ever since 1744, the Saud family has been trying to achieve that dominance as being the fundamentalist-Sunni champion against the fundamentalist-Shiite leadership since 1979 in Iran. But, now, the Sunni Sauds’ main competitor might no longer be Shiite Iran, but instead turn out to be Sunni Turkey, after all — which had been the Sauds’ main enemy at the very start of the 20th Century.

What will the U.S. do, as the collapse of its aristocracy’s dream of global conquest after the fall of communism, is now gathering force even to bring into question such key former allies of America’s aristocracy, as Turkey, and as the world’s richest family (by far), the Saud family (the owners of Saudi Arabia)?

Perhaps the Sauds are making this stunning weapons-purchase from Russia because the prominent critic of the Sauds, Saudi citizen (and nephew of the global arms-merchant Adnan Khashoggi) Jamal Khashoggi, was recorded by loads of hidden cameras and audio recording devices including the watch and cellphone of the victim Jamal Khashoggi himself, as he was being murdered and chopped-up inside the Saudi Embassy in Constantinople-Istanbul when seeking papers that were required in order for him to marry his Turkish fiancé — as the Turkish Government now claims. This is an incident that reverberates hugely against the more-than-a-century-long goal of the UK-U.S. aristocracies for those billionaires to take control over the entire world — including Russia.

Erdogan got shaken to resist the UK-U.S. alliance, when on 15 July 2016, there was a coup-attempt against Erdogan, which endangered his life. The UK-U.S.’s establishments kept the coup-attempt’s very existence almost hidden in their media for several days, because the attempt had failed and the ‘news’-media hadn’t received instructions on how to report what had just happened — the usual CIA-MI6 pipelines ‘informing’ them were probably silent, because those sources were prepared only for delivering the storyline for a successful coup, and it hadn’t been successful — it instead failed.

So, for example, UK’s Independent headlined on July 18th, “Turkey coup attempt: Rebel jets had Erdogan’s plane in their sights but did not fire, officials claim: ‘Why they didn’t fire is a mystery,’ former military officer says,” and they raised the question in their report, of whether this had actually been a coup-attempt or instead an event that had been planned by the Erdogan regime in order for him then to be enabled to impose martial law so as to eliminate his political opponents:

Conspiracy theorists are saying the attempted military coup was faked, comparing it to the Reichstag fire – the 1933 arson attack on the German parliament building used by Hitler as an excuse to suspend civil liberties and order mass arrests of his opponents.”

If you then click onto that “attempted military coup was faked”, you will come to this same newspaper’s report, dated July 16th, which was headlined “Turkey coup: Conspiracy theorists claim power grab attempt was faked by Erdogan”. It’s unusual for an Establishment news-medium to provide any sort of credence to the possibility that a false-flag event has occurred, but if the empire’s intelligence services were providing no information, then even an Establishment ‘news’-medium can do such a thing — anything in order to pretend to have news that’s worthy of publishing about an important event.

But also on July 18th, yet another Establishment ‘news’-medium, Newsweek, headlined “PUTIN CALLS ERDOGAN TO VOICE SUPPORT FOR ORDER IN TURKEY” and used this event as an opportunity to publicize a statement by an expelled Russian billionaire who had actually been expelled because he had cheated Russia on his tax-returns. Newsweek hid that fact. This supposed billionaire-champion of democracy was there approvingly quoted in a passage: “Many in Russia drew parallels between Erdogan and Putin, hinting Putin may fear mutiny in his own ranks. ‘Well done Turkey,’ Putin rival Mikhail Khodorkovsky tweeted as news of the coup broke on Friday.” (That’s “Putin rival,” instead of billionaire tax-crook. Brainwashing is done that way.) Every possible anti-Russian angle to this attempted coup was pursued: the angle here was, the failed coup had been attempted for the sake of ‘democracy’.

On July 21st, Al-Araby headlined “Russia ‘warned Erdogan about coup’ moments before assassination attempt”, and reported that:

Russian intelligence warned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that factions within the army were planning a coup – possibly saving the Turkish leader’s life – Iranian state media has alleged.

Moscow reportedly received “highly sensitive army exchanges and encoded radio messages showing that the Turkish army was readying to stage a coup”, Fars News Agency said, citing Arab sources.

An unnamed Turkish diplomatic source confirmed that intelligence services “received intel from its Russian counterpart that warned of an impending coup”.
Russian spies … informed Ankara that several military helicopters were dispatched to Erdogan’s hotel to “arrest or kill him”.

The CIA edits, and on some matters, even writes, Wikipedia articles; and their article on the “2016 Turkish coup d’état attempt” says nothing at all about this advance-notice by Putin — the key fact about the event, if it’s true.

They don’t even mention it as something that might have happened (and which would explain even much that Wikipedia’s article does report). Is this absence because the CIA thinks that it’s not true, or because the CIA knows that it is true and perhaps also that the CIA itself was involved in the coup-attempt and so wants to keep this fact out of their account and out of the public’s consciousness altogether?

Also on July 21st, Alexander Mercouris, who is deeply knowledgeable about international relations, headlined at his The Duran, “Why Reports of the Russian Tip Off to Erdogan May Be True”, and he presented a stunning case, which could more accurately have been headlined “Why Reports of the Russian Tip Off to Erdogan Are Almost Certainly True.”

I further have documented its extreme likelihood, headlining at Strategic Culture Foundation on August 18th, “What Was Behind the Turkish Coup-Attempt?” But, of course, Wikipedia doesn’t link to sites such as The Duran, or Strategic Culture Foundation, because a controlled news-and-information system-environment is essential to the effective functioning of any dictatorship (and also see this and this, with yet further documentation that the U.S. is no democracy, at all).

So: ever since 15 July 2016, Turkey has been veering away from the U.S. and toward Russia, in its national-security policies.

But the only major prior indication that the Sauds might do likewise was when the Sauds’ intelligence-chief, head of the National Intelligence Council, and former U.S. Ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud, secretly met with Putin in Moscow on 31 July 2013 in order to try to pry Russia away from protecting the Governments of both Syria and Iran — Bandar even told Putin:

I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the [upcoming Sochi Winter Olympic] games are controlled by us.”

Bandar also promised to buy up to $15 billion of Russian-made weapons, if Putin would abandon protection of the sovereignty of the Syrian and Iranian Governments. Putin said no. Bandar was the long-time friend of Israel who had donated heavily to Al Qaeda prior to the 9/11 attacks, even out of his personal account. He was especially close to both U.S. President Bushes.

The Trump arms-deal with Saudi Arabia is enormous — $404 billion over ten years — and it very much is at stake now because of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. America’s ‘news’-media hide this reality.

For example, the 16 October 2018 NPR “Morning Edition” program headlined “Trump Says He Won’t Scrap Arms Deal Over Missing Saudi Journalist” and host Steve Inskeep diminished the importance of Trump’s enormous arms-deal with Saudi Arabia. Inskeep interviewed a supposed expert on international arms-sales. He asked her about Saudi Arabia, whether they are “a really lucrative market for weapons” and she said “Arms sales aren’t this lucrative big deal for the United States,” because “arms sales are a pretty inefficient employment mechanism,” which wasn’t even relevant to answering the question that had been asked.

She went on to say they’re not lucrative because “sometimes weapons are given on grant or on favorable credit terms,” but that too was irrelevant but just pointed to the fact that the U.S. taxpayer is often subsidizing those extremely lucrative — for the weapons-firms — transactions. Her answer ignored that Lockheed Martin etc. benefit just the same; only taxpayers lose when it’s subsidized.

Inskeep: “You’re saying that there aren’t actually many jobs at stake?” She answered: “That’s what we’ve seen in the past.” But she again falsified, because what the econometric studies actually show is that armaments-expenditures produce less economic growth than non-‘defense’ spending does. (In fact, in the U.S., military spending actually decreases long-term GDP-growth.) Yet still, adding $404 billion to U.S. manufacturing sales in any field (‘defense’ or otherwise) is an enormous short-term boost. (Inskeep and his guest never even mentioned the amount, $404 billion in this deal; the program was geared to idiots and to keeping them such. It was geared to deceive.) Both the questioner and the ‘expert’ were geared toward hiding the basic reality, certainly not to explaining it.

Trump’s largest boost to U.S. GDP thus far has been that $404 billion arms-sale he made to Prince Salman in 2017. It caused stock-values of those armaments-firms to soar, and will (unless cancelled) produce an enormous number of new jobs in the U.S. making those weapons, once the specific contracts have become finalized. But the boosts to armaments-makers’ stock values are already evident. And yet not once in that segment was it mentioned that the Saudi deal was for $404 billion of U.S.-made weapons over a ten-year period. That sale dwarfs any previous weapons-sale in history.

NPR simply lied; they deceived their audience. One might say it’s instead because of incompetence on their part, but those program-hosts and producers and guests are hired and engaged and retained because they possess this kind of ‘incompetence’. It’s no mistake, and it is systematic throughout the mainstream Western ‘news’-media. It is lying ‘news’-media. So, as a result, the American public cannot understand U.S.-Saudi relations and other matters that are basic understandings by and for the aristocracy. These are propaganda-media, not news-media.

In fact, just the day earlier, on October 15th, NPR had even headlined “Fact Check: How Much Does Saudi Arabia Spend On Arms Deals With The U.S.?” The sub-head was “President Trump says he does not want to endanger what he describes as a $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. But the actual figure is considerably lower.” They reported that, “Since Donald Trump has been president, the United States and Saudi Arabia have concluded less than $4-billion-worth of arms agreements.”

No mention was made of the $350 billion figure, much less of the $404 billion one. It’s as if the agreements didn’t exist. (At the time of the signing of the ten-year arms-deal, the video, which starts with Trump signing some documents, shows that the Saud Government stated at 3:03 that the deal was for “an investment of more than $480 billion dollars” some of which was non-military, and at 3:15 it says that the deal will “provide hundreds of thousands of jobs” to the United States. Specific congratulations were given there as contracts were being handed to CEOs and Chairmen of Raytheon, General Electric, Dow Chemical, and other corporations.)

Of course, the U.S. Government could have been lying, and the deal could have been different from what the PR says. But that’s not the type of lie which NPR alleged here. Anyone nowadays who trusts what either the U.S. Government or its news-media say, is trusting demonstrably untrustworthy sources — and this too is not the type of lying (their own lying) that NPR says exists. They just lie.

Saudi Arabia’s purchase now of Russia’s S-400 does indicate that the U.S. aristocracy might lose their most important foreign ally, the Saud family, and that international relations could transform in transformative ways, not just superficially. It’s only a sign, but what it signals is enormously significant — and U.S. ‘news’-media are hiding it.

The General Manager of the Saud family’s Al Arabya international TV channel that was established in order to compete against the Thani family’s Al Jazeera international TV channel, issued stark warnings to the U.S., on Sunday, October 14th. Headlining “US sanctions on Riyadh would mean Washington is stabbing itself,” he closed:

If Washington imposes sanctions on Riyadh, it will stab its own economy to death, even though it thinks that it is stabbing only Riyadh!”

In between those were: The Kingdom is considering “more than 30 potential measures to be taken against the imposition of sanctions on Riyadh.” Included among them are: the price of oil “jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure.” Also “a Russian military base in Tabuk, northwest of Saudi Arabia.” More realistically, however, he threatened: “An oil barrel may be priced in a different currency, Chinese yuan, perhaps, instead of the dollar. And oil is the most important commodity traded by the dollar today.” And, he did not miss this one, either:

It will not be strange that Riyadh would stop buying weapons from the US. Riyadh is the most important customer of US companies, as Saudi Arabia buys 10 percent of the total weapons that these US companies produce, and buys 85 percent from the US army which means what’s left for the rest of the world is only five percent; [and that’s] in addition to the end of Riyadh’s investments in the US government which reaches $800 billion.

For the very first time publicly, a mouthpiece for the Saud family has now said publicly that the U.S. doesn’t control the Saudi Government; the Saudi Government controls the U.S.

If the relationship between the Saud family and the U.S. is the relationship between a dog and its tail, which is which? Perhaps Cecil Rhodes, were he to return, would be so shocked, he’d have a heart-attack and die a second time.

As this is being written, on October 19th, there has been speculation that the Saudi Government is planning to admit that individual(s) in it had made bad errors, which tragically ended in a botched interrogation of Khashoggi at the Consulate in Istanbul. This response would not be credible in any case, because of the long history, going back decades, of prominent potential opponents of the Saud family being inexplicably disappeared and never heard from (or about) again.

For one example, the headline from this past May 30th, six months ago, remains current news, as of even today: “NAWAF AL RASHEED, SON OF PRINCE TALAL BIN ABDULAZIZ AL RASHEED, DISAPPEARED SINCE MAY 12 DEPORTATION TO SAUDI ARABIA”. And, going back to before Crown Prince Salman, to the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing ‘suspects’, all of them simply disappeared, never to be heard from (or about) again — no public trial, nothing at all. There are many such cases, of many different kinds. This is normal Saudi practice — not abnormal at all. What is abnormal is that Jamal Khashoggi had just been hired by perhaps the world’s second-wealthiest person, Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post, to write articles against the Crown-Prince son, and future heir, of overwhelmingly the world’s wealthiest person, King Salman. That’s what is different from those such prior instances.

Originally posted at strategic-culture.org

36 Comments

  1. A very interesting and informative article, thank you. I agree that one ought to take US media claims about America’s “booming economy” and the government’s official employment numbers with a grain of salt, but the sour tone taken by some commentators towards Zuesse is unwarranted. People who push a certain 9/11 theory are convinced their assumption about what happened is objectively true and get awfully stroppy when a different opinion is presented. Get over yourselves and accept that you don’t actually know what happened. None of use do and if you’re confusing your assumptions and informed guesses with infallible truth, we’ll, that is seriously delusional.

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    • Rhisiart Gwilym says

      Actually, George, there are now a whole slew of things that are known about the 11/9 scam with about as much certainty as humans can hope to know anything; epistemology and all that. And they all trash the official cospithirry. See, for just one of several examples, the just-published ‘9/11 Unmasked’ by Griffin and Woodworth for details (now no longer being given the runaround by the Bezos’ book-retaling racket, it seems). Then let’s hear you ‘get over’ what they have to say. Personally, I leave claims of infallibility to popes, takfiris and other such magical thinkers. :O)

      But yes, otherwise all due respect to Eric’s piece, which is an almost-perfect Curate’s Egg: only off in some very small parts; otherwise very good.

  2. I’m still unconvinced that the 2016 apparent coup attempt was real.

    Erdogan called it a “gift from God”, and it was – for both US and Erdogan. The distancing of the two allowed Erdogan to negotiate an end to Russian sanctions and for USA to get close(r) to the Kurds.

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  3. jjc says

    Trump campaigned on a promise of a massive investment/jobs program directed to the USA’s aging infrastructure. Instead, he cooked up a huge tax break for those already very comfortable, tied a jobs program to the armament industry, and will lead the bipartisan effort in the new year to fully loot the Social Security system. The stark contrast between the USA’s bellicose rhetoric and huge investments in the machinery of death and destruction, as opposed to investments which produce engineering feats such as today’s unveiling of the Hong Kong bridge, couldn’t be more apparent to the world’s people.

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  4. flamingosarepink says

    Thank you Eric Zuess, that explained an enormous amount for me. I now have a better nuanced understanding of sunni factionalism and its power motivators. Might pleased to have met you.

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  5. Denis O'hAichir says

    The filthy Saudis had done the deal to purchase weapons systems from the filthy Russians long before Khashoggi was disappeared not as a consequence of thereof, Russia as well as the other filthy weapon manufacturing counties are responsible for propping up the scum that are perpetuating genocide on the Yemeni people.

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    • Eric Zuesse says

      When RT reported that on 9 October 2017, it was tentative. The report
      https://www.rt.com/business/406116-russia-saudi-arabia-s400-delivery/
      said:
      “despite the difficulties, Saudi Arabia has decided to diversify its military suppliers, as it understands it can’t rely on Washington so heavily. ‘Even if the implementation of this agreement will be difficult, it is still a sign that Saudi Arabia recognizes the need for diversification of military-technical cooperation.’”

      The more-recent report isn’t about a “sign”; it suggests that “the difficulties” are now resolved and “implementation” is now occurring. For any such report to be issued under the present circumstances seems to me to be considerably more serious than that October 2017 news-report — not just a negotiation that’s still in process, but maybe even a completed deal if not the transaction itself.

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      • lysias says

        I wonder if that explosion in Riyadh a few months ago that some reported as an attempted coup and after which Mohammed bin Salman disappeared from view for weeks may, like the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey, have involved the CIA and if Saudi Arabia since then, like Turkey after 2016, have been reacting to that U.S. behavior.

    • Seamus Padraig says

      An air-defense system, which is what the S-400 is, would not be useful for attacking Yemen–or any foreign country. It is strictly defensive in nature, which raises the question: why would KSA want Russian weapons rather than FUKUS weapons for self-defense? Was MBS anticipating a Western attack on KSA at some point?

  6. UK-US Empire will never happen – period. The rest of the world will not let it happen. Just remember, we (the rest of the world) are prepared to die for our freedom and Anglo-American (five eyes) are prepared to kill to dominate the world. Notice the difference in attitudes? Yes. Are you ready Anglo scum?

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  7. BigB says

    According to a BBC report I heard earlier: Davos in the Desert starts today. MBS wants to sell his Vision 2030 – including a holographic NEOM AI-pleasure palace – to the capitalist world. As we know, many of the big players – including Mnuchin and “JP Morgan Chase” Dimon – won’t be there. Also in the news: later today Erdogan will be doing his best Poirot reveal of what REALLY happened to Khashoggi. Coincidence? I think not.

    MBS got too close to China, and has been brought to heal. This is about the geo-economics of BRI. That’s still my best guess: which the facts, as little as they are, seem to be confirming my bias!

    Still, later today the truth will be revealed by Erdogan! 😀

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    • BigB says

      Well, it’s definitely the line the BBC are pushing. On the way home, they’ve got someone at the investment fair who said Erdogan didn’t “pull the trigger” with his non-reveal. The vulture capitalists feel this will all blow over and Saudi has a bright future. Just when I thought they might be developing a counterfeit conscience.

  8. Rhisiart Gwilym says

    Poor old Eric seems to have a bad case of multiple false-meme infections. Several on display in this piece: ‘booming US economy’ (sic!); ‘Obama killed Osama’ (sic!); giving even token credibility to ‘the al Saud gang were behind 11/9’ 28-pages canard (hint: look a little further north-west Eric; on the Eastern Med. coast…) .

    Pity. Still, respect as far as it’s due. These blemishes apart, this is pretty good stuff from Eric, and definitely outlines the way that world geopolitics is going, as the US empire continues its non-reversible, terminal decline.

    One urgent request, though, not just to Eric, but to anyone posting here: Please don’t offer >anythinganyanything< that that troll-pit publishes. See Chris Hedges and guest here for more insight on that:

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    • Rhisiart Gwilym says

      This is weird. My last paragraph in the comment above has been mangled. A whole chunk of text, about the total unreliability of WikiP has vanished, to be replaced by that odd typo. That wasn’t there when I proof-read my comment before hitting ‘Post’, and the now-vanished text was there. What gives, admin?

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    • @ Rgisiart Gwilym. I read something recently from NEO or Dr.Stuart Bramhall about the slight discrepency between the “full employment” claimed and the actual total lack of employment and the ever increasing poverty in the US. As for this story, it is also investigated in:
      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/
      You might also like this article by Gabriel Black:http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/20/econ-o20.html

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    • Robbobbobin says

      “One urgent request, though, not just to Eric, but to anyone posting here: Please don’t offer >anythinganyanything< that that troll-pit publishes. See Chris Hedges and guest here for more insight on that:…"

      Depends on the topic. There are many on which Wikipedia is both reliable and often ahead of the academic publishing curve. As for some other topics, early in the millennium my cleaner (oh yes, I was once a real person with a real day job) said, when I suggested she check something she had asked about in Wikipedia, "Wikipedia? That's just full of lies and nonsense." Plus ça change…

    • Eric Zuesse says

      My article here stated (and documented via its links): “The CIA edits, and on some matters, even writes, Wikipedia articles; and their article on the “2016 Turkish coup d’état attempt” says nothing at all about this advance-notice by Putin — the key fact about the event, if it’s true.” But apparently Rhisiart Gwilym not only didn’t click onto the links but didn’t even read that statement in this article. Furthermore, there is no indication that Rhisiart Gwilym had read any of my several articles debunking the “Israel did 9/11” ‘evidences’.

      • Rhisiart Gwilym says

        Dear Eric,

        I did read your line about the missing information on the apparent Putin warning to Erdogan. But the missing text from my post said that – emphatically – Jimmy Wales’ tainted outfit should *never be trusted on anything at all* that it offers, since there’s simply no way to tell for sure when its peddling deceits and tendentially-partial stories. The only sound approach with WikiP is total boycott – slightly inconvenient though that may be. “Touch pitch and be defiled.” That’s the rule by which I operate now regarding WikiP, on principle. I think that anyone looking into it all, *on any topic whatever*, is simply asking to be suckered. It’s fundamentally untrustworthy. I seek actually-reliable information elsewhere. And naturally, I don’t regard anything at all – ever – from WikiP as acceptable evidence. Not unless it’s fully corroborated by other sources.

        And no, I haven’t read your articles claiming to debunk the idea that the gics who run the ziP – the gangsters-in-charge who run the zioentity-in-Palestine (how do you like my ‘Rectification of Names’? :)) – were the true authors of the huge false-flag operation that culminated in the 11/9/01 atrocities in the US. But may I suggest respectfully that it isn’t necessary for anyone to have taken in absolutely all the many millions of words that have been spilled on these topics (who could?) – and on OBL’s alleged culpability for the attacks, and on how, and when, he died subsequently – for us to be able to reach sound conclusions just from a judicious sampling taken from all the available material. Do that sufficiently and the front-running likelihoods just stare you in the face. And these are:

        That 11/9 had to have been created by some operators with the resources of a powerful state-machine at their disposal – and one, moreover, with extensive influence within the US machinery of state. No other entity on the planet could have undertaken everything that needed to be organised – actually inside the US – both before *and after* the event.

        That 11/9 was indeed most likely a ziPper scam, long cultivated over a period of years, as Chris Bollyn, amongst others, documents so exhaustively. I reckon that this is clearly the front-running hypothesis.

        And that Osama most probably died – either of natural causes or with malignant assistance – at the end of ’01 or the beginning of ’02; with the subsequent Abbottabad theatrics being a faked psyop by Western propagandists and public-perception-manipulators. And that anyway, he simply wasn’t behind the 11/9 atrocities – as he stated. He was just the ziPpers’ designated scapegoat. As were the ’19 Arab jihadis’.

        And that the infamous ‘redacted 28 pages’ contain nothing that fingers the Saudis for anything more than minor involvement in arranging visas for the Arab patsies to visit the US, as part of their fitting up process. All the fuss about these pages has been simply a diversionary limited hangout.

        And that the US economy is staggering towards its next big crisis – absolutely not, not, not booming at all, not in any realworld way – on its way to its own ultimate, clearly-inevitable collapse-of-USSR moment. The immense serac of unrepayable and never-to-be-repaid debt on the US’s books, on its own, guarantees this upcoming collapse; along with a whole clutch of other intractable problems that are also weighing down the US polity.

        Sorry if I have to respectfully disagree with you on these conclusions, Eric old soak. But there it is. Plenty of available, actually reliable-looking evidence compels them.

        Cheers!

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  9. Francis Lee says

    Hmmm, so much speculation. Reference is made to ”America’s consequent stock-boom and full employment” With all due respect, I personally wouldn’t read too much into the official US figures for growth and employment. Most of the ‘growth’ has been stock buy-backs by corporations which have availed themselves of free monies courtesy of the Fed’s QE and easy credit low interest rate policies. This is not growth it is asset-price inflation. As for ‘full-employment’ these figures are more or less openly fraudulent. A cursory check-out of the US government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics will show that both employment and unemployment are falling, which is illogical since these figures inversely proportional. Moreover the definition of employment has become rather elastic in recent years. A job at one-hour per week is is counted as employment. Discouraged and marginally attached persons are simply disappeared off the statistics and underemployment is also counted as full employment. The Labor participation rate has fallen from a high of 67% in 2003 to a low of 62% today. And there has been no uptick in employment since 2015, which suggests that the levels of of unemployment are structural rather than cyclical. The same statistical sleight of hand is apparent in the official inflation figures which using hedonics and the substitution effect, and stripping out categories such as fuel and food prices, as well as a redefinition of inflation, results in an understatement of inflation, which in turn gives rise to an overstatement of growth since this is effected by the size of the GDP deflator.

    John Williams ‘Shadow Government Statistics’ provides some genuine statistics and is well-worth consulting.

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  10. Robbobbobin says

    “$404 billion U.S. arms-sale”

    If that number is accurate and the Nixon-Kissinger/US-Saudi petrodollar stitchup of the 1970s is taken into account, that is an extremely – erm – ”adjustable” sum.

    Amazing how nobody in any US administration wants to acknowledge the very real cost of maintaing the US’s over-all highly lucrative “dollar hegemony” except when it comes to – erm – “adjusting” the numbers to hoodwink the US electorate while simultaneously fleecing the treasuries of other all other US petrodollar-dependent trading nations.

    • MichaelK says

      Basically, in order to send a message to the Americans and have a ‘joker’ up their sleeve.

    • Vaska says

      Look what happened to Iraq, without such a system. Iraq, whom the US had encouraged to invade Iran and whom it then supplied with foreign-made weapons, as well as financial aid, during that slaughter. Neither the Turks nor the Saudis have forgotten how the US treats its “friends” and “allies”.

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    • Yonatan says

      For the Saudis, to shoot down the Yemeni air force (*) it seems.

      https://off-guardian.org/2018/10/23/the-earthquake-in-international-alliances/#comment-135174

      * – which doesn’t exist (to all intents and purposes). The comment author doesn’t seem to grasp the S-400 system is purely defensive – to defend against attacking air forces. SInce it would not be defending against the Yemeni air force, and the missiles the Houthis fire could be taken out be more appropriate, cheaper and effective systems (for that target class), it must be someone else. The US umbrage indicates exactly which North American Terrorist Organisation states it does target. The comment author, from the simplistic world, also doesn’t realise that sales like this don’t happen in a vaccuum. There would be a quid pro quo such as stopping supporting terrorism, and negotiation with neighbours rather than the use force (eg Saudi-Iran).

      Just imagine the consequences should Russian mediation be able to get Saudi and Iran to deal with each other as adults. Israel would be shreying from the rooftops. The US would be facing the end of the petro-dollar scam if Saudi were to go OBOR. Something needs to be done to stop this possibility, for the health of MIC profits, and done now (or yesterday)!

  11. Antonym says

    America’s two most-core Middle Eastern allies, Saudi Arabia and Turkey (and Israel is only a distant third, and has no other option than to do whatever the U.S. Government requires it to do), could soon become no longer U.S. allies.
    But, but, the Zionists rule the world since decades; at least some of the 15 million Jews on Earth, and all that without any oil, aircraft carriers, multiple nations and just 20,000 km2 of land in possession, right?

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