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Posts Tagged ‘Mohammad bin Salman’

Saudi’s Brave Women Pull Back the Curtain on Crown Prince MBS – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on March 12, 2020

…the state security agency raided Loujain’s family’s house and arrested her. For the first three months of her detention, she was held incommunicado with no access to her family or a lawyer. According to the communication she was later able to have with her family, during those three months, she was beaten, waterboarded, given electric shocks, sexually harassed, and threatened with rape and murder.

This is just for driving. What if she advocated something really disgusting…like Christianity.

MBS, SA, 9/11, beheadings

https://original.antiwar.com/mbenjamin/2020/03/11/saudis-brave-women-pull-back-the-curtain-on-crown-prince-mbs/

Loujain al-Hathloul

This week, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), Saudi Arabia’s 34-year-old de facto ruler, was on a tear. He arrested members of his own royal family and initiated an oil price war with Russia that has sent the price of oil – and the world’s stock markets – plummeting. Behind the headlines, however, another critical event will take place in Saudi Arabia starting March 18: women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who was arrested almost two years ago for advocating the right to drive, is due in court. The diabolical MBS wants the world to believe he is the Arab world’s liberal reformer and took credit for eventually granting women the right to drive, but he is also the one who had al-Hathloul and nine other women thrown in prison, charging them as foreign agents and spies. The imprisonment of these peaceful women activists exposes the brutal nature of MBS’s regime and the duplicity of the Western democracies that continue to support him.

Loujain al-Hathloul gained notoriety in 2013 for campaigning against the driving ban when she posted videos of herself driving as an act of civil disobedience. She was first arrested in December 2014 when she attempted to drive from the United Arab Emirates to Saudi Arabia and spent 73 days in prison at that time. Al-Hathloul has also been an outspoken advocate for an end to the male guardianship system that treats women as no more than children throughout their entire lives.

On May 15, 2018, a group of armed men from the state security agency raided Loujain’s family’s house and arrested her. For the first three months of her detention, she was held incommunicado with no access to her family or a lawyer. According to the communication she was later able to have with her family, during those three months, she was beaten, waterboarded, given electric shocks, sexually harassed, and threatened with rape and murder.

Loujain languished in a Saudi prison for almost a year before the public prosecutor’s office finally announced that it had concluded its investigation and alleged that Loujain was involved in activities that “aim to undermine the Kingdom’s security, stability, and national unity.” She was accused of contacting “enemy groups” – a reference to cooperation with the United Nations and human rights groups such as Amnesty International.

Loujain’s initial hearing was in March 2019, but she was not allowed access to a lawyer or to hear the charges prior to the hearing. Her family members were permitted to attend, but the court was closed to both diplomats and journalists.

According to her family, in August 2019, Al-Hathloul was offered her freedom in exchange for denying, on video, that she was subjected to torture. She refused. For her incredible bravery and determination to fight for women’s rights, eight members of US Congress have nominated Al-Hathloul for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The case of Al-Hathloul and the other women’s rights activists on trial in Saudi Arabia is a tremendous embarrassment for MBS, who has been putting an enormous effort into convincing his Western allies that he is a reformer and that Saudi Arabia is becoming more liberal. But behind the facade of new musical concerts and theme parks, the Crown Prince has overseen a vast crackdown on all forms of opposition and dissent. In November 2018, the CIA concluded that MBS was the one who ordered the gruesome assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. MBS is also responsible for dragging Saudi Arabia into an internal conflict in Yemen, where constant Saudi bombings have decimated what was already a poor country.

The fact that MBS lifted the driving ban and simultaneously put in prison those who had campaigned and suffered for such reforms makes clear his actual motive: to silence dissent and prevent these women’s voices from being heard. Loujain’s sister Lina al-Hathloul says that the regime arrested these women’s rights activists “so that they make the [Saudi] people understand that change only comes top down. And the people should not even try to make the changes.” This sentiment was echoed by Suzanne Nossel, the head of PEN America.”These gutsy women have challenged one of the world’s most notoriously misogynist governments, inspiring the world with their demand to drive, to govern their own lives, and to liberate all Saudi women from a form of medieval bondage that has no place in the 21st century,” she said.

“The very existence of this sham trial pulls the veil off of the authorities’ so-called push for reforms in the Kingdom,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director. “How can they initiate change in the country when the very women who fought for these reforms are still being punished for it?”

The bogus trial against Loujan al-Hathloul taking place this week should compel governments around the world to put more pressure on the Saudis and demand Al Houthloul’s immediate and unconditional release. Her imprisonment – as well as MBS’s arrest of royal family members and Saudi’s brutal war in Yemen – should be particularly embarrassing to the world community in light of the G20 meeting scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia in November. How can the world’s leaders pretend that it is acceptable to meet in a country that imprisons and tortures peaceful women activists and bombs civilians in Yemen? It isn’t.

Be seeing you

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The Saudi-Canada Clash: A Values War – Aussie Nationalist Blog

Posted by M. C. on November 24, 2019

https://aussienationalistblog.com/2018/08/22/the-saudi-canada-clash-a-values-war/

By Patrick J. Buchanan, August 10, 2018:

Is it any of Canada’s business whether Saudi women have the right to drive?

Well, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland just made it her business.

Repeatedly denouncing Riyadh’s arrest of women’s rights advocate Samar Badawi, Freeland has driven the two countries close to a break in diplomatic relations.

“Reprehensible” said Riyadh of Freeland’s tweeted attack. Canada is “engaged in blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs.”

The Saudis responded by expelling Canada’s ambassador and ordering 15,000 Saudi students to end their studies in Canada and barred imports of Canadian wheat. A $15 billion contract to provide armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia may be in jeopardy.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has been backsliding on his promises to modernize the kingdom, appears to have had enough of Western lectures on democratic values and morality.

A week after Pope Francis denounced the death penalty as always “impermissible,” Riyadh went ahead and crucified a convicted murderer in Mecca. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality can get you a death sentence.

Neither President Donald Trump nor the State Department has taken sides, but The Washington Post has weighed in with an editorial: “Human Rights Are Everyone’s Business.”

“What Ms. Freeland and Canada correctly understand is that human rights … are universal values, not the property of kings and dictators to arbitrarily grant and remove on a whim. Saudi Arabia’s long-standing practice of denying basic rights to citizens, especially women — and its particularly cruel treatment of some dissidents — such as the public lashes meted out to (Ms. Badawi’s brother) — are matters of legitimate concern to all democracies and free societies.

“It is the traditional role of the United States to defend universal values everywhere they are trampled upon and to show bullying autocrats they cannot get away with hiding their dirty work behind closed doors.”

The Post called on the foreign ministers of all Group of Seven nations to retweet Freeland’s post saying, “Basic rights are everybody’s business.”

But these sweeping assertions raise not a few questions.

Who determines what are “basic rights” or “universal values”?

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy that has never permitted women to drive and has always whipped criminals and had a death penalty.

When did these practices first begin to contradict “universal values”?

When did it become America’s “traditional role” to defend women’s right to drive automobiles in every country, when women had no right to vote in America until after World War I?

In the America of the 1950s, homosexuality and abortion were regarded as shameful offenses and serious crimes. Now abortion and homosexuality have been declared constitutional rights.

Are they basic human rights? To whom? Do 55 million abortions in the U.S. in 45 years not raise an issue of human rights?

Has it become the moral duty of the U.S. government to champion abortion and LGBT rights worldwide, when a goodly slice of America still regards them as marks of national decadence and decline?

And if the Saudis are reactionaries whom we should join Canada in condemning, why are we dreaming up an “Arab NATO” in which Saudi Arabia would be a treaty ally alongside whom we would fight Iran?

Iran, at least, holds quadrennial elections, and Iranian women seem less restricted and anti-regime demonstrations more tolerated than they are in Saudi Arabia.

Consider our own history.

From 1865 to 1965, segregation was the law in the American South. Did those denials of civil and political rights justify foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the United States?

How would President Eisenhower, who used troops to integrate Little Rock High, have responded to the British and French demanding that America end segregation now?

In a newly de-Christianized America, all religions are to be treated equally and none may be taught in any public school.

In nearly 50 nations, however, Muslims are the majority, and they believe there is but one God, Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet, and all other religions are false. Do Muslims have no right to insist upon the primacy of their faith in the nations they rule?

Is Western interference with this claim not a formula for endless conflict?

In America, free speech and freedom of the press are guaranteed. And these First Amendment rights protect libel, slander, filthy language, blasphemy, pornography, flag burning and published attacks on religious beliefs, our country itself, and the government of the United States.

If other nations reject such freedoms as suicidal stupidity, do we have some obligation to intervene in their internal affairs to promote them?

Recently, The Independent reported:

“Since last year, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of innocent Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region in northwest China have been unjustly arrested and imprisoned in what the Chinese government calls ‘political re-education camps.’ Thousands have disappeared. There are credible reports of torture and death among the prisoners. … The international community has largely reacted with silence.”

Anyone up for sanctioning Xi Jinping’s China?

Or do Uighurs’ rights rank below those of Saudi feminists?

 

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MoA – Saudi Arabia Acknowledges Defeat In Yemen – Starts To Sue For Peace

Posted by M. C. on August 30, 2019

It was the clown prince Mohammad bin Salman who launched the war in Yemen soon after he came to power. It was supposed to defeat the Houthi within a few weeks. Five years later and after at least a $100 billions was spent on it, the Saudis have lost the war.

Will the King hold his son responsible for the large loss of money and face that he caused?

And the loss of life. Another war of death and destruction we helped lose.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/08/saudi-arabia-acknowledges-defeat-in-yemen-starts-to-sue-for-peace-.html

Moon of Alabama

…Since 2015 the coalition of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with U.S. and British help, has waged war against the Houthi in northern Yemen. The coalition is now falling apart. Both countries claimed to fight against the Houthi, which control the capital Sanaa, in support of the internationally recognized ‘legitimate’ government under ‘President’ Hadi. But both countries had from the very beginning more egoistic war aims.

The Wahhabi Saudis want a Yemeni government that is not controlled by the Zaydi-Shia Houthi with whom they fought dozens of wars over two provinces that Saudi Arabia once annexed. They also want to control Yemen’s oil and a pipeline from the Saudi oil region to a harbor in Yemen. It would help Saudi oil exports to avoid the Iran controlled Strait of Hormuz.

The UAE is big into the port business. It wants to control the strategic port of Aden and other Yemeni harbors on the southern coast. As it has no direct border with Yemen it largely does not care who controls the rest of Yemen.

The UAE leader Mohammad bin Zayed (MbZ) is not an absolute king. He is the son of the Emir of Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates that form the UAE. His aggressive foreign policy, with military engagement in Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya, has come under criticism of the rulers of the other emirates. Wars are expensive and bad for regular business. MbZ’s alliance with the Saudi clown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) was seen as dangerous. While the Saudis would like the U.S. to wage war on Iran, the UAE, and especially Dubai, would become a casualty of such a war.

In June the emirs decided to change cause. The UAE retreated from active war in Yemen and started to make nice with Iran. It hoped that the southern separatists it had trained would keep Aden under control and continue to do the UAE’s bidding. The Saudis and the ‘legitimate government’ under Hadi they control do not want to condone that.

The Saudis are extremely angry that the UAE changed course:

But this month, at his Mecca palace, Saudi King Salman took the unusual step of expressing “extreme irritation” with the UAE, his closest Arab partner, according to sources familiar with the matter.The comment appears to be evidence of a fissure in the alliance, which is led in practice by the king’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), and the UAE de facto ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (MbZ).

The king’s annoyance was voiced in a conversation on Aug. 11 with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, head of Yemen’s Saudi-backed government, according to two Yemeni sources and one other briefed on the meeting.

Hadi’s forces in Aden had just been routed by troops supported by the UAE, as nominal allies in the country’s south turned on each other in a power struggle.

The Saudis must end the war against the Houthi that was launched at the behest of its clown prince. The war has cost the Saudis an enormous amount of money even as they are still losing it. Only yesterday 25 of their forces were killed in a Houthi ambush. With the help of Iran the Houthi acquired long range missiles and drones and they now use them in volleys that reach deep into the Saudi’s land:

Beginning on Aug. 24, the Houthis said its forces conducted two drone strikes on the King Khaled airbase in Khamis Mushayt and the Abha airport in southern Saudi Arabia. A day later, another round of drone strikes were reported on both targets.On the same day, ten Badr-1 ballistic missiles were reportedly fired into Saudi’s Jizan city. However, Saudi officials reported that the country’s air defense systems shot down six ballistic missiles. The officials did not confirm if more missiles were included in the barrage.

On Aug. 26, another ballistic missile, the newly-announced Nakal missile, was reportedly fired at Saudi troops near Najran. Later in the day, another round of drones were reportedly intercepted near the King Khaled airbase in Khamis Mushayt.

As drones were hitting the King Khaled airbase, a separate attack was purportedly occurring near Riyadh with the new Samad-3 suicide drones. If confirmed, this marks the second time Houthi drones have hit the Saudi capital. The first was a reported strike on an Aramco facility near the capital last month.

On Aug. 27, the Houthis showcased another newly-announced ballistic missile, the Qasem-1, by allegedly hitting Saudi troops positioned near the Yemeni border in Najran. Another drone was intercepted and destroyed by Saudi forces over Khamis Mushayt as well.

And yesterday a new cruise missile, the Quds-1, was launched towards the Abha airport. Though, Saudi officials stated that the missile was intercepted and destroyed.

The Saudi king must have recognized that he has no longer any chance to ever win the war. It seems that he asked the Trump administration to work out an agreement with the Houthi:

The Trump administration is preparing to initiate negotiations with Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in an effort to bring the four-year civil war in Yemen to an end, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.The effort is reportedly aimed at convincing Saudi Arabia to take part in secret talks with the rebels in Oman to help broker a cease-fire in the conflict, which has emerged as a front line in the regional proxy war between Riyadh and Tehran.

The brother of the clown prince came to Washington to prepare for the talks:

Prince Khalid met with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Wednesday and discussed “U.S. support for a negotiated resolution between the Republic of Yemen government” and a breakaway group known as the Southern Transitional Council, according to a statement from State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus.

The Hadi government is irrelevant. The Southern Transitional Council will demand independence from the north. The Houthi will demand to control the north and reparations for the war the Saudis waged against them. North Yemen’s infrastructure is largely destroyed. It will cost several dozens of billions to rebuild what the five year long Saudi air war destroyed. As the Houthi can continue to harass the Saudis at will, even in their capital, their is no way out for the Saudis but to pay whatever the Houthi demand.

It was the clown prince Mohammad bin Salman who launched the war in Yemen soon after he came to power. It was supposed to defeat the Houthi within a few weeks. Five years later and after at least a $100 billions was spent on it, the Saudis have lost the war.

Will the King hold his son responsible for the large loss of money and face that he caused?

Be seeing you

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! - War Is Crime

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How Saudi Arabia and Israel Undermine the War on Terror – LobeLog

Posted by M. C. on August 28, 2019

Israel supported the anti-Assad forces in Syria, and Israeli officials let it be known that they would prefer a Wahhabi takeover of that country as opposed to president Assad remaining in power

https://lobelog.com/how-saudi-arabia-and-israel-undermine-the-war-on-terror/

by Ali Rizk

A recent report from the Pentagon inspector general, warning of the “resurgence” of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), highlights a fact that has become abundantly clear: Washington’s “war on terror” is a failure.

Despite the formation of a “Global Coalition” to fight ISIS back in September 2014, the Pentagon report estimates that there are still between 14,000 and 18,000 ISIS combatants in Iraq and Syria. The report also argues that the terrorist group has enhanced its insurgent capabilities. These estimates and assessments are the latest piece of evidence showing that the U.S. has adopted the wrong approach to counterterrorism…

Saudi Arabia and Israel: Obstacles in the “War on Terror”

Washington’s failure in the “war on terror” has a lot to do with the fact that two of its closest allies are Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Al-Qaeda and ISIS are terrorist movements that adhere to the Saudi sponsored Wahhabi doctrine—a narrow minded extremist ideology that Saudi Arabia has spread throughout the world.

The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that killed over 250 people put the spotlight once again on Wahhabism and Saudi Arabia’s role in spreading it. Five Sri Lankans believed to be linked to the bombings were deported from Saudi Arabia to Sri Lanka where they were taken into police custody. Sri Lankan authorities also arrested a Wahhabi scholar in the aftermath of the bombings.

Despite the ideological lifeline Saudi Arabia provides to these terrorist groups, it has never been the focus of Washington’s “war on terror”. U.S. administrations have focused on military means that include killing senior terrorist leaders, without addressing the critical ideological factor. Washington has therefore failed in “destroying the idea” and terrorist movements are quickly able to replenish their ranks with new terrorists replacing those that are killed.

Under the leadership of crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has become an even bigger enabler of al-Qaeda. Due to the reckless Saudi war in Yemen, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (often described as the most dangerous Al-Qaeda affiliate) has greatly expanded its presence in that country. Saudi Arabia has also joined forces with al-Qaeda in Yemen against the Houthi movement. Nevertheless, Washington has supported the Saudi war in Yemen from the beginning, and the Trump administration has doubled down on this support.

Israeli enmity with Iran and Hezbollah is a major reason why the U.S. labels these actors as terrorists when in fact they have actually fought against terrorists in places like Syria and Iraq. Israel supported the anti-Assad forces in Syria, and Israeli officials let it be known that they would prefer a Wahhabi takeover of that country as opposed to president Assad remaining in power. The reason? Assad’s alliance with Iran. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post back in September 2013, the Israeli ambassador to Washington at the time, Michael Oren, remarked, “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran”. Israel even went as far as to provide assistance to al-Qaeda elements fighting the Syrian state. A report by the Wall Street Journal in March 2015 revealed that Israel had provided medical treatment to al-Qaeda terrorists who had been wounded in the fighting.

Owing largely to Washington’s traditional “Israel first policy” in the region, it too chose to take sides with the anti-Assad forces, despite the fact that a large segment of them were Wahhabi extremists from groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS…

The Trump administration’s designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization was a dream come true for Saudi Arabia and Israel and at the same time a step that runs contrary to any logical approach in the fight against terror. Iran and allies like Hezbollah have proven very capable in fighting Wahhabi terrorists. Because of the special hatred these terrorist have for Shiites, Iranian and Hezbollah fighters enjoy an advantage of doctrine and are highly motivated in waging this battle. A logical approach would therefore be for Washington to team up with Iran and its allies in the fight against terror.

Sadly, however, the Trump administration has diminished any chances of this becoming a reality.

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AfghanCorruption

Wondering where your taxes go?

 

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The World Looks the Other Way – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on October 23, 2018

http://takimag.com/article/the-world-looks-the-other-way/#axzz5UV0rGzyd

by Taki 

Is Mohammad bin Salman a murderer? Is it fair to say he is a hairy coward who has starved millions of children in Yemen? Did his crawling parasites dismember Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last week? Is this man a perverted sadist? If so, this is the real scandal.

I doubt much will come of this murder most foul. Jared Kushner, The Donald’s son-in-law, could well see to it. Kushner probably smelled money to be made from the Saudis as soon as he got his Jersey bum in the White House. But I suspect he has been played by MBS, as has The Donald, and as will every financier licking their chops for the initial offering of Aramco. MBS might well be a maniac and out of control, though Thomas Friedman of The New York Times described him as a messiah, a cross between Lincoln and Roosevelt. No prizes for guessing what MBS did for Friedman in return… Read the rest of this entry »

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Britain on the Leash with the United States – but at Which End?

Posted by M. C. on October 15, 2018

To start with, there are some relationships where it seems the US is the vassal dancing to the tune of the foreign capital, not the other way around. Israel is the unchallenged champion in this weight class, with Saudi Arabia a runner up.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/13/britain-leash-with-united-states-but-which-end.html

JAMES GEORGE JATRAS

The “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom is often assumed to be one where the once-great, sophisticated Brits are subordinate to the upstart, uncouth Yanks.

Iconic of this assumption is the mocking of former prime minister Tony Blair as George W. Bush’s “poodle” for his riding shotgun on the ill-advised American stagecoach blundering into Iraq in 2003. Blair was in good practice, having served as Bill Clinton’s dogsbody in the no less criminal NATO aggression against Serbia over Kosovo in 1999.

On the surface, the UK may seem just one more vassal state on par with Germany, Japan, South Korea, and so many other useless so-called allies. We control their intelligence services, their military commands, their think tanks, and much of their media. We can sink their financial systems and economies at will. Emblematic is German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s impotent ire at discovering the Obama administration had listened in on her cell phone, about which she – did precisely nothing. Global hegemony means never having to say you’re sorry.

These countries know on which end of the leash they are: the one attached to the collar around their necks… Read the rest of this entry »

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The House of Saud bows to the House of Saudi Arabia pivots to Russia, the new sheriff in town

Posted by M. C. on October 13, 2017

Hey! This isn’t what we paid for!

http://www.atimes.com/article/house-saud-bows-house-putin/

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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