All posts tagged: Saudi Arabia

The Destructiveness of America’s Alliances

byEric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Alliances between nations are military. Without being military, they would be nothing. Trade agreements don’t require any alliances at all. World War I wouldn’t have occurred if there had not been alliances — it was built upon alliances. It was not built on trade agreements. It wasn’t even built on trading-blocs. In fact, as the WTO (World Trade Organization) has said: In the two decades prior to World War I, a number of tariff wars broke out, usually provoked by the establishment of a new, more protectionist tariff, or in the course of renegotiation of bilateral treaties.17 After the expiry of a treaty, tariffs were often raised temporarily as a means of improving negotiating leverage. … Despite the widespread increase of protectionist measures before World War I in continental Europe, the United States19, Argentina and other countries, world trade continued to expand rapidly. It goes on to observe: Even though the contention that trade and peace dovetail is still very present today,119 it is not uncontested on theoretical and …

The Economic Motive for America’s Current Wars

Russia has long been the chief seller of energy — mainly gas and oil — in the world’s largest energy-market: the EU, or Europe. This means that U.S.-based energy companies, such as Exxon and Halliburton, aren’t the ones who dominate in supplying oil, gas, pipelines, and other energy-supplying needs, to the consumers and businesses in the world’s largest energy-market: Europe.

US, UAE operate network of torture chambers in Yemen

by Niles Niemuth , 27 June 2017, WSWS  The United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE), in coordination with Yemeni proxy forces, are operating a network of torture chambers in the war-torn country into which hundreds of men have been disappeared. As revealed by an Associated Press (AP) report published last week, the US and UAE have established a network of at least 18 secret prisons in Yemen used for torturing and interrogating men who are suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The brutal torture regime began under the Obama administration and continues under President Donald Trump. According to the AP report, the US operates with a mostly hands-off approach in which it provides lists of names of men to be detained and then provides the torturers with lists of questions to be asked to detainees. After tormenting and interrogating detainees, the UAE transmits transcripts and videos of confessions to US officials. However, a Yemeni officer reported to the AP that he witnessed at least two detainees brought to ships …

Trump Has Been Continuing Obama’s Syria-Policy

by Eric Zuesse U.S. President Donald Trump, who during the election-campaign ferociously condemned Barack Obama’s foreign policies, while asserting nothing concrete of his own, has, as the U.S. President, committed himself quite clearly to continuing Obama’s publicly stated policy on Syria, which policy was to place, as the first priority, the elimination of ISIS, and as the policy to follow that, the elimination and replacement of Syria’s government. I have previously indicated that on June 19th “Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria — War Against U.S. There”, and that the early indications are that Trump has changed his Syria-policy to accommodate Russia’s demands there; but, prior to June 19th, Trump was actually following Obama’s publicly stated Syria-policy. As also will be shown here, Obama’s publicly stated policy — to destroy ISIS and then to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad — was actually less extreme than his real policy, which was to overthrow Assad and to use the jihadist forces in Syria (especially Al Qaeda in Syria) to achieve that objective. Trump, at least until 19 …

Washington’s Dangerous Middle East Agenda

from New Eastern Outlook It’s clear at this point that the recent visit of US President Trump to Saudi Arabia and Israel was about setting events into motion in order to fundamentally alter the present balance of power in the entire Middle East to the greater advantage of the United States and US energy geopolitics. As with most everything that Washington tries to do to rebuild its rapidly declining global dominance, this latest move by Washington to incite the Saudi Kingdom to ignite regime change in Qatar and escalate a form of oil war disguised as a Sunni-Shi’ite power conflict already looks in serious trouble. I share with you a recent interview with an Arabic-language Middle East magazine in question and answer format. Q: What can you say about the conflict between Qatar Gulf at this moment after the Arabic-Islamic-American summit at Riyadh? WE: In my view this is a deep power struggle between Qatar and Saudi Arabia that has little to do with stated reasons regarding Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. The action to isolate …

Manchester, Berlin, Paris, Nice, London, New York: Passports and IDs Mysteriously Discovered in the Wake of Terror Attacks

by Prof Michel Chossudovsky from Global Research This article reviews the “mysterious” phenomenon of IDs and Passports of terror suspects routinely discovered (often in the rubble) in the wake of a terrorist attack. In most cases the alleged suspect was known to the authorities. Is there a pattern? The ID papers of the suspect are often left behind, discovered by police in the wake of a terrorist attack. According to government and media reports, the suspects are without exception linked to an Al Qaeda affiliated entity. None of these terror suspects survived. Dead men do not talk. In the case of the tragic events in Manchester, the bankcard of the alleged suicide bomber Salman Abedi was found in his pocket in the wake of the explosion. Legitimacy of the official stories? The UK is both a “victim of terrorism” as well as a “State sponsor of terrorism”. Without exception, the governments of Western countries which are victims of terror attacks, have supported, directly or indirectly, the Al Qaeda group of terrorist organizations including the Islamic …

The Rogue State that is the United States of America

from New Antarctica As one more US aircraft carrier steams off to confront the North Koreans and threaten nuclear war once again , it is timely to recall that 60 years ago the United States and its allies (including a very compliant New Zealand) began a genocidal bombing of every town and city in the north of Korea. Millions of Koreans died. Since that war ended, the largest and nuclear superpower in the world has refused to sign a peace treaty with North Korea, has stationed thousands of troops and weapons along its South Korean border and has regularly threatened to nuke North Korea, applied annual large scale attack manoeuvres along the border with North Korea, as well as implementing sanctions that in several years since the war, caused mass starvation in the north. Small wonder that the North Korean regime might be considered paranoid and unstable! Ironically, the United States has absolutely no interest in the Korean peninsula and its peoples; its sole rationale for maintaining the ongoing conflict with North Korea is to …

Military Blogger Alleges U.S. Now Aids ISIS to Oust Assad

by Eric Zuesse A highly informed anonymous military blogger, who goes by the name of “bernhard” and blogs at his widely followed “Moon of Alabama” website, is alleging, in a post October 12th (“The ’Salafist Principality’ — ISIS Paid Off To Leave Mosul And To Take Deir Ezzor?”), that the Obama Administration has negotiated with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and with Saudi Prince Salman (who is the decision-maker in Saudi military matters), to provide safe passage into the large Syrian city of Deir Es Zor, for the ISIS jihadists who have been occupying the city of Mosul in Iraq. On September 17th, U.S. and UK jets had bombed the compound of Syrian government troops who were fighting to oust jihadists from that City, and 62 Syrian soldiers were killed, and over a hundred were injured, in that U.S.-led bombing attack. Subsequently, Syria brought more troops to that location and retook control there, but if and when the ISIS jihadists from Mosul take control there, the forces of Bashar al-Assad will be beaten not by U.S. …

“Remember the Mason!” – US attacks Houthis in Yemen

Four days ago, after reports that Saudi Arabia had bombed a funeral in Yemen killing 140 mourners, America announced it would “review its support” for the Saudi-led coalition. Three days ago the USS Mason, an American destroyer in the patrolling the Red Sea, was apparently fired upon from Yemen. It has gone unquestioned in the Western MSM that the Houthis were behind this attack, despite strong denials from the Houthis themselves.

Aleppo: How the US manipulates humanitarianism for imperialism

by Steven Chovanec The United States is manipulating humanitarian concern in an effort to protect its proxy militias and its imperial regime-change project in Syria.  The media and intellectual classes are dutifully falling in line, promoting a narrative of military aggression under the cover of “protecting civilians.”  These same “responsibility to protect” arguments led to the invasions of Iraq and Libya, exponentially increasing the massacres, chaos, and proliferation of violent extremism within those countries.  They are hypocritical, designed to further interests of conquest and domination, and will lead to more death and destruction in Syria as well. The United States has no stake in the wellbeing of Syrian civilians, despite their condemnations of Russia’s offensive in Aleppo.  This is clearly shown in the fact that the people they are supporting are guilty of the same crimes they accuse Russia and Syria of: indiscriminate attacks, targeting of civilians, destruction of schools, hospitals, etc.  Furthermore, the offensive in Aleppo is really no different from what the US did in Manbij, where they are said to have incorporated a “scorched earth …

Making a Killing: The 1.2 Billion Euros Arms Pipeline to Middle East

by Lawrence Marzouk, Ivan Angelovski and Miranda Patrucic via Balkan Insight An unprecedented flow of weapons from Central and Eastern Europe is flooding the battlefields of the Middle East. As Belgrade slept on the night of November 28, 2015, the giant turbofan engines of a Belarusian Ruby Star Ilyushin II-76 cargo plane roared into life, its hull laden with arms destined for faraway conflicts. Rising from the tarmac of Nikola Tesla airport, the hulking aircraft pierced the Serbian mist to head towards Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was one of at least 68 flights that in just 13 months transported weapons and ammunition to Middle Eastern states and Turkey which, in turn, funnelled arms into brutal civil wars in Syria and Yemen, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP, has found. The flights form just a small part of €1.2 billion in arms deals between the countries since 2012, when parts of the Arab Spring turned into an armed conflict. Meanwhile, over the past two years, as thousands …

The Sultan of (Emergency) Swing

by Pepe Escobar, via Strategic Culture Amidst an astonishing, relentless, wide-ranging purge that shows no signs of abating, with 60,000 – and counting – civil servants, academics, judges, prosecutors, policemen, soldiers jailed, fired, suspended or stripped of professional accreditation, it’s relatively established by now the Turkish government was very much informed a military coup was imminent on July 15. The information may have come from Russian intelligence, although neither Moscow nor Ankara will reveal any details. So, once and for all, this was no false flag. A top, secular Middle Eastern intel analyst with an Istanbul front seat view to the coup clarified the internal political context even before the – widely expected – proclamation of a state of emergency (if France can do it, why not Turkey?): «They knew five to six hours beforehand that a coup was in the works and let it go ahead, knowing, as they must have, that it would fail… This affair has propelled Erdogan to semi-divine status among his supporters. The way is clear for him to get what he wants, …

9/11: Bush’s Guilt, And the ‘28 Pages’

by Eric Zuesse On Friday July 15th, as the national newsmedia were either on vacation or preparing for the opening of the Trump National Convention on Monday the 18th, the long-awaited release of the ‘missing 28 pages’ from the U.S. Senate’s 9/11 report (“DECEMBER 2002: JOINT INQUIRY INTO INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES BEFORE AND AFTER THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001”) occurred. The official title of this document is “PART FOUR — FINDING, DISCUSSION AND NARRATIVE REGARDING CERTAIN SENSITIVE NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS”, and it constitutes pages 6-34 of a pdf. (Some writers mistakenly call it “29 pages.” [I correct that statement; Robert Parry just now pointed out to me, it really is 29 pages: all of the previous references to it as “the missing 28 pages” had gotten the count wrong. Thanks, Robert!]) It “was kept secret from the public on the orders of former President George W. Bush”, and remained secret under Bush’s successor Barack Obama, until that Friday night late in Obama’s Second Administration, right before a week of Republican National Convention news …

Obama’s “Humanitarian” Bombing Campaign “Against” the Islamic State (ISIS)

by Prof. Michael Chossudovsky, for Global Research Almost 2 years ago, August 8, 2014, Obama launched a bombing campaign against Syria and Iraq, in defiance of international law. The US Air Force with the support of a coalition of 19 countries has relentlessly waged an intensified air campaign against Syria and Iraq allegedly targeting  the Islamic State (ISIS) brigades.    The counterterrorism operation was granted a humanitarian R2P mandate: at the outset, the bombing campaign was allegedly directed against the Islamic State mercenaries (ISIS) with a view to protecting the Yazidis of Northern Iraq.  Obama: A Pack of Lies According to Obama, military action was needed to protect innocent civilians and prevent ISIS’ advance on Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region.  In his Nationwide address on August 7, 2014, Obama also intimated the need to send in US ground troops: Good evening. Today I authorized two operations in Iraq — targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and …

Panama Papers cause Guardian to collapse into self-parody

You’d be forgiven for thinking, given the above picture, that the Panama Papers had something to do with Vladimir Putin. Maybe he was a kingpin of the whole thing. Maybe he was, at least, among the 12 world leaders implicated in various shady financial practices – including Petro Poroshenko, the saviour of Ukrainian democracy, and the King of Saudi Arabia.

Syria’s President Assad Amnesties Syria’s Draft-Evaders

by Eric Zuesse Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad, issued on February 17th, a decree: …granting a general amnesty for military deserters inside and outside the country and the crimes included in the Military Service Law committed before 17th February 2016.” This is being done in order to remove one reason why some Syrians are now refugees in foreign countries: their refusal (for whatever reason) to serve in the military: The decree grants amnesty on the full penalty for those who have deserted outside the country who are included in Article No. 101 of the military Penalties Law issued by Legislative Decree No. 61 for 1950 and its amendments. This decree does not include fugitives from justice unless they turn themselves in within 30 days for those inside the country and 60 for those outside the country.” However, unless and until the foreign supplies of armaments and jihadists to fight against the government reduces (instead of increasing, such as especially the Saudi and Turkish governments want to do), this decree, the amnesty-offer, won’t have many takers, because …

Saudi, Turkey backpedaling on Syria invasion?

A Turkish army tank at the border with Syria. Press TV reports: Saudi Arabia and Turkey appear to be backpedaling on rhetoric to launch ground operations inside Syria, with officials sayingthey would wait for a go-ahead from the US and to see if a planned ceasefire transpires. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday Turkey will continue to take preventative measures to avoid becoming involved in the war in Syria. He made the remarks in an address to members of his ruling AK Party in parliament as Turkey’s military shelled a Syrian city across the border for the fourth straight day. Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia have said they were waiting for a US nod after announcing their bid for ground operations inside Syria. Moscow and Washington said on Sunday Russian President Vladimir Putin and and US President Barack Obama spoke by phone about a possible ceasefire. The Kremlin said the phone call was at Washington’s initiative, and that the two leaders agreed to implement an agreement reached in Munich to determine the technicalities of a Syria ceasefire. On Tuesday, a Turkish official said Ankara would not launch an offensive …

Analysis: Saudi Arabia, the next Syria?

Saudi border guard stands next to a fence on Saudi Arabia’s northern borderline with Iraq. Photo Reuters Schuyler Moore writes in The Bridge: The Islamic State group (ISIS) is running up against a wall. As national coalitions take a larger role in the fight against ISIS, the group will become increasingly unable to operate on as large a scale as it has in years past, and it will be pushed out of its previously held territories – its decline may take years or even decades, but it will ultimately decline. But although ISIS may deplete its resources and feel increasing pressure from the international community, its members will not simply disappear as the group loses momentum. ISIS is largely comprised of foreign fighters with limited ties to the countries they fight in, and in the event of a relocation, one country in particular looks like a promising alternative – Saudi Arabia. With internal unrest, the threat of oil-driven economic instability and a history of conflict with its neighbors, the House of Saud is ripe for insurgency and …