U.S. ‘’Oil Weapon’’ Could Change Geopolitics Forever

Trump Senate

 

In a dynamic that shows just how far U.S. oil production has come in recent years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday that in the last two months of 2018, the U.S. Gulf Coast exported more crude oil than it imported. Continue reading

Berlin hopes Mosque tax will give rise to ‘German Islam’

Since the 19th century, Germany’s Catholics and Protestants have paid church taxes in order to fund the churches and schools of their faith. Now, politicians in Europe’s largest country are considering extending the scheme to the Muslim population, as a way of reducing the influence of foreign countries and encouraging the growth of a “German Islam.”

A “mosque tax” would be modeled on the Kirchensteuer or “church tax” that is currently paid by more than half of all Germans, collected through the tax system, and distributed to Christian and Jewish organizations. It currently amounts to around 8-9% of a person’s salary. Continue reading

Riyadh: Arabs in talks with US for NATO-style security pact

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Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir arrives for a press conference at the Diriya Palace in the Saudi capital Riyadh during the Gulf Cooperation Council summit on Sunday. Photo: AFP

 

Saudi foreign minister says it will be called the Middle East Strategic Alliance

Arab countries are in talks with Washington regarding a new NATO-style security agreement to protect the Middle East from “external aggression,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Sunday. Continue reading

“Arab NATO” Gaining Momentum? Washington’s ‘Plan B’ For Countering Russia

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All wars initiated or supported by the US establishment  from the occupation of Iraq in 2003, to the second Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006, and to regime-change efforts in Syria in 2011 and the occupation of a third of Iraq in 2014  have failed in their goal of stoking the fire of sectarian war between Sunni and Shia in the Middle East. The failure of this strategy has pushed the US establishment towards two new options: the first, of using the media to reveal Saudi Arabia’s intention to harm the Iranian economy and assassinate its military commanders. The second is to promote and advertise for an “Arab (Sunni) NATO Army”. The goal is to keep the possibility of sectarian war alive. Continue reading

Saudis Launch Nuclear Research Reactor Amid Competition With Iran

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Saudi Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Salman

 

The reactor launched on November 5 is among 16 that Saudi officials, citing archrival Iran’s continued development of nuclear energy, have said they plan to build over the next two decades at a cost of $80 billion.

While Riyadh insists its goal is to diversify away from oil and gas, the main drivers of the kingdom’s economy, the nuclear plans have raised concerns in the West about the possibility of a nuclear race between the two Middle Eastern rivals.

Like Iran, Riyadh insists its only goal is the development of peaceful nuclear technologies. But Prince Muhammad warned in March that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon, Riyadh will do so as well. Continue reading

Britain knew of Saudi plan to target journalist, warned Saudis against it

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Now a new report claims that Britain’s external intelligence agency, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), was aware of a plot by the Saudi government to kidnap Khashoggi in order silence him. British newspaper The Sunday Express says it has evidence from “high ranking intelligence sources” that MI6 was in possession of communications intercepts containing conversations about Khashoggi. The conversations were between Saudi government officials and officers of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID), the Kingdom’s primary spy agency. In the intercepts, a member of the Saudi royal family is allegedly heard giving orders for the GID to kidnap Khashoggi from Turkey sometime in early September. He also instructs the GID to secretly transport the dissident journalist to Saudi soil where he could be interrogated. During the conversation, a discussion took place about the possibility that Khashoggi would physically resist his abductors. At that point in the conversation, the high ranking intelligence source told The Express, the royal family member “left the door open for alternative remedies […] should Khashoggi be troublesome”. Continue reading

Saudi admission of Khashoggi death leaves turmoil in Riyadh, fallout on Saudi-US relations

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President Donald Trump saw this when he said: “Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable. It’s a big first step, only a first step.” He also announced he would work with Congress on the response.

There are too many fingers in the pie and open questions for the scandal to die down any time soon. For one, what happened to the body of the dead journalist? The Saudis now report that it was handed to an unnamed “local collaborator.” This mysterious person either got away, was smuggled out of Turkey by Saudi agents or is no longer alive. This may explain the sweep Turkish police have been conducting in the woods near the consulate and other parts of Istanbul. Continue reading

Saudis Vow to Retaliate if ‘Punished’ for Khashoggi Disappearance

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(Photo Credit: Common Action Forum/Twitter)

 

The kingdom has effectively threatened to cut off oil supplies if it is sanctioned.

As many countries around the world have rallied to say they will punish Saudi Arabia if it is found to have been involved in the disappearance and possible death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom vowed it would retaliate against any such action. Continue reading

Neo-Ottomanism Surges in Middle East Politics

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The fate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hangs in the balance. The common perception is that everything depends on which way President Donald Trump moves – go by his own preference to bury the scandal over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance or give in to the rising demand that Saudi-American relations can no longer be business as usual. Trump’s mood swing suggests he is dithering. Continue reading

What Happens to the World When America Stops Standing for What’s Right?

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A security personnel looks out from the entrance of the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP PHOTO/PETRAS GIANNAKOURIS)

 

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi drives home the consequences of the Trump administration’s refusal to champion democratic values around the globe.

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi has shocked many in the United States, but it should not come as a surprise. Indeed, it is a logical outgrowth of the policies that the Saudi leadership has been pursuing for the past two years, and the support that it has found for its approach in the Trump White House and parts of the American establishment. Continue reading

The US Fading into Irrelevance – A Good Thing for the World

 

Chaos reigns in the United States, spreading to its closest allies. The war amongst Western elites is in full swing, manifesting itself from commercial wars to failed diplomacy, empty threats of war, corruption, and announced military withdrawals and attacks.

To sum up the last few weeks of international events, it is worth comparing the direction taken by the multipolar troika of Russia, China and Iran, and the one taken by the fading unipolar order led by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

Saudis summon Lebanese PM moments before Beirut falls into Iranian orbit

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s switch of loyalty to Hizballah and Iran shocks Riyadh and dismays Israel.

The Lebanese Sunni politician and his family have long been inextricably tied to Saudi Arabia and its royal house, as well as professing a pro-West orientation. However, it was suddenly noticed in Riyadh, as well as Jerusalem, that the most devoted Saudi loyalist in Beirut had quietly crossed the lines. Hariri had quietly decided to follow the Iranian star and throw in his political lot with his old enemy, the Shiite Hizballah. And they had promised he would retain the premiership after Lebanon’s May 8 general election, in which their Shiite March 8 Alliance was sure to win a majority in parliament. Continue reading

US May Open Path For Saudi Arabia To Acquire Nuclear Weapons

The U.S. is in a catch-22. Either step in, and in some sort of restricted way, help the Saudis build a nuclear program, or allow the Russians and Chinese to fill the vacuum in giving the Kingdom a path to nuclear weapons. The latter would likely mean the end of a U.S.-Saudi alliance and see relations in Riyadh shift to the Moscow-Beijing axis.

This isn’t the first bit of news regarding Saudi Arabia’s quest for nuclear weapons, either. Saudi Arabia has always seeked nuclear weapons as a hedge against Iran. In doing so under a low profile, Saudi Arabia has financed Pakistan’s nuclear program in exchange for technology transfer should the need arise to acquire them one day.

Allowing for Iran to proliferate opened the gates to Saudi proliferation, which will without a doubt, pave the way for other nations in the region to acquire. In the end, you can’t say you weren’t warned of the consequences.

More information can be found in the following previous posts:

Saudi Nuclear Weapons ‘on order’ from Pakistan

Saudi Arabia Says it Won’t Rule Out Building Nuclear Weapons

Saudi Arabia to Extract Uranium for ‘Sel-Sufficient’ Nuclear Program

Fallout from Iran ‘nuclear deal’: Saudis becoming ‘more active’ in developing WMD

Iran’s rising influence raises Saudi eyebrows

Saudi prince: Getting nukes an option if Iran breaks deal

Saudi Arabia Versus Iran

Saudi Arabia Admits it Has NUCLEAR BOMBS; Will Test Within Weeks!

Is Saudi Arabia building an ‘Islamic NATO?’

As Predicted, the Iran Deal Has Begun to Wreck Global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Efforts

Saudi Arabia to buy nuclear bombs from Pakistan: report

Saudis to warn Obama they will match Iran’s nuke buildup

 

Nuclear weapons [file photo]

 

Saudi Arabia is moving swiftly to become the next country in the Middle East with nuclear power. The Kingdom is on the verge of striking a deal with the US for the purchase of nuclear reactors despite concerns over its refusal to accept stringent restrictions against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Continue reading

Putin plans to end Alawite hegemony in Damascus and evict pro-Iranian Shiite militias including Hizballah

Vladimir Putin has drawn up this plan for the Sochi conference. He will put it before Binyamin Netanyahu when they meet on Monday, Jan. 29.

DEBKAfile reports that the Russian president has prepared a plan for Syria’s post-war future for presentation to the Syrian peace conference which begins on the same day at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Moscow has taken into account 1,600 Syrian government and opposition participants. Some rebel groups have announced a boycott. DEBKAfile reports that the absentees are pro-Assad and pro-Iranian groups who are boycotting the event to reflect their masters’ objections to the Russian president’s plans. Unless he decides to back down at the last moment, those plans are substantially as follows:

Continue reading

A major showdown awaits Palestinian leader in Riyadh

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is on his way Tuesday to Riyadh where he faces a stern demand to break away from the Turkish-Qatari-Jordanian line-up fighting US political steps in the region. DEBKAfile reports that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman will not give way on this demand and, if Abbas holds out, the showdown could end in the Saudis cutting off assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Continue reading