All posts tagged: Saudi Arabia

Pentagon Think-Tank Praises Al Qaeda as ‘Moderate’ Islamists

by Eric Zuesse An October 24th article by Colin P. Clarke of the Rand Corporation — the main think-tank for the Pentagon — is headlined “The Moderate Face of Al Qaeda”, and a section of it is headed “A Moderate Alternative,” presenting Al Qaeda as the moderate alternative to ISIS. That article praises the 5 July 2005 decision, by Al Qaeda’s then #2 leader — who now is their #1 leader after the killing of Osama bin Laden — Ayman al-Zawahiri; Clarke’s article praises there Zawahiri’s decision to chastise the founder of ISIS, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was then in Iraq. Zawahiri chastised Zarqawi for slaughtering Shia Muslims. However, if one looks at the Zawahiri letter, Zawahiri actually says there that Shia ought to be slaughtered, but not now, because most Muslims won’t understand why Shia deserve death. The matter is presented by Zawahiri as a severe PR problem for jihadists at this stage of building the fundamentalist Sunni movement to establish a global Islamic Caliphate or theocracy, if they slaughter Shia Muslims (such as …

Trump’s Hate-Iran Campaign

by Eric Zuesse On October 19th, the far-right Foundation for Defense of Democracy (FDD) held a “National Security Summit” which featured as speakers both Donald Trump’s CIA chief Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, both of them (as will be shown here by extensive excerpts from their speeches) whipping up hatred against Shia Iran and against Shia Muslims generally. They presented Shia Iran — not Sunni Saudi Arabia — as being the most dangerous source of radical Islamic terrorism. Donald Trump during his Presidential campaign had spoken frequently against ‘radical Islamic terrorism’, but everybody thought it pertained to the people who had perpetrated the 9/11 attacks, and those individuals were all fundamentalist Sunnis, not any Shias, and no one from Iran. But now, nine months into his Presidency, it’s clear that he was referring instead to Shia Muslims (and to Iran most of all), which Muslim category the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia hate, and call an “existential threat” to themselves, and so they even bomb Shia parts …

Pepe Escobar: The House of Saud bows to the House of Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman attend a welcoming ceremony ahead of their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia October 5, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS Pepe Escobar in Asia Times: What a difference a year – an eternity in geopolitics – makes. No one could see this coming; the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadi terror – which Russia fights no holds barred, from ISIS/Daesh to the Caucasus Emirate – beating a path to the Kremlin and about to embrace Russia as a strategic ally. The House of Saud was horrified by Russia’s successful campaign to prevent regime change in Syria. Moscow was solidifying its alliance with Tehran. Hawks in the Obama administration were imposing on Saudi Arabia a strategy of keeping oil prices down to hurt the Russian economy. Now, losing all its battles from Syria to Yemen, losing regional influence to both Iran and Turkey, indebted, vulnerable and paranoid, the House of Saud has also to confront the ghost of a possible coup in Riyadh against …

Signs Indicate Trump Continuing Obama’s Support for Al Qaeda in Syria

by Eric Zuesse, September 22, 2017 According to a report issued on September 22nd by the most accurate reporter on the current status of forces in the war against Syria — the anonymous military and geostrategic blogger who owns, and posts exclusively at, the “Moon of Alabama” blog — the effort by the previous U.S. President Barack Obama in support of Al Qaeda in Syria, is continuing under the current U.S. President Donald Trump. However, that report isn’t the only indication of Trump’s continuing Obama’s war against Syria, and of the U.S. Government’s continuing pro-Al-Qaeda policy in Syria. And, furthermore, the U.S. Government even supports ISIS in Syria when ISIS is being attacked by Syria’s secular and non-sectarian Government, which Government the U.S. Government has been trying to overthrow and replace by Saud-financed fundamentalist-Sunni Islamists, ever since 1949. Back on 14 October 2016, Patrick Cockburn appropriately headlined in Britain’s Independent, “We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding ISIS”, but any reference to the government …

The Rohingya Psyops: Waging Covert War on Myanmar

The United Nations has accused the Government of Myanmar of committing ‘genocide’ against the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country’s troubled Rakhine State. In recent weeks the crisis in Myanmar has escalated, with human rights groups and NGOs publishing copious denunciations of the alleged human rights abuses and mass murder committed by the Myanmar Armed Forces, (Tatmadaw). The Myanmar government claims that they are fighting a war on terrorism against forces which seek to destabilise the state, Islamist forces in particular. They also claim that the so-called ethnic minority commonly referred to as ‘Rohingya’ are really illegal East Bengali immigrants.

Spectator: Iran is our natural ally, not Saudi Arabia

Photo from Women in Iran are too hip to handle – even with strict religious dress laws in Metro John R. Bradsley in The Spectator: The Saudi town of Awamiya — like so many countless cities across Iraq, Syria and Yemen that are witnessing an unleashing of the ancient hatred of Sunni for Shia — now exists in name only. Last month, days before an assault on its Shia inhabitants by the Saudi regime, the UN designated it a place of unique cultural and religious significance. But under the guise of fighting Iran-backed terror cells, the Saudis then subjected Awamiya’s entire civilian population to the indiscriminate use of fighter jets, rocket-propelled grenades, snipers, heavy artillery, armoured assault vehicles and cold-blooded executions. More than a dozen Shia, including a three-year-old boy, were killed. Hundreds of young men were rounded up. At least 500 homes were flattened, and 8,000 residents were forcibly removed from those that remained. Saudi soldiers recorded themselves dancing and singing amid the rubble of the town’s once-beautiful old city. They stomped on a …

The West Just Might Be Giving Up On Syrian Regime Change At Last

In the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, sieged by ISIS, residents watch a speech by president Assad projected on a wall. Caitlin Johnstone in Medium: The Guardian has published a new article titled “Victory for Assad looks increasingly likely as world loses interest in Syria”, which is just as significant for what it says as for who is saying it. The Guardian has long been one of the most virulent promulgators of establishment lies about the Syrian government, giving extensive coverage to the transparent Bana Alabed psy-op, the western-instituted propaganda outlet known as the White Helmets, as well as advancing establishment narratives about Aleppo and Assad and many other blatant falsehoods. And indeed the article itself does a good job of retaining that vintage Guardian propaganda feel, portraying the failure to unseat Bashar al-Assad as something unfortunate and talking about poor refugees who are afraid to return home now that regime change is looking unlikely. But it also describes how the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and other nations have been coming to terms with …

The Nations that Accept Nazism Today

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The U.S. Government leads a global operation to make racist fascism ‘respectable’ again. On 21 November 2014, in a vote at the United Nations on a Resolution opposing a resurgence of the racist-fascist ideology (opposing the ideology that’s commonly called “nazism”) which Resolution was titled “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices that contribute to contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance”, 115 nations voted “Yes” to pass the Resolution, 3 voted “No” to reject it, and 55 voted “Abstain,” meaning they didn’t want to express a view on the resolution. An additional 19 didn’t vote at all on it (decided to absent themselves from that roll-call, for whatever reason — basically, not even saying whether they were neutral on it by voting “Abstain” — just said nothing at all on it). The document that they were voting on had been posted complete on 17 November 2014, and is still posted in its entirety here. As can be seen there, it had been proposed by …

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 …