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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

Sen. Graham Wants to Bomb Iran in Response to Houthi Attack on Saudi Oil – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2019

But then Graham, as a neocon fellow traveler, is enthusiastically in favor of Israel’s wars in the Middle East. If it takes a few lies to get things moving, so be it.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/graham-wants-bomb-iran-response-houthi-attack-saudi-oil/5689229

By Kurt Nimmo

Following the early morning attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil processing facility—the largest oil processing plant in the world—and a similar drone attack at the Khurais oil field on Saturday, the neocon senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, has called for attacking Iran.

Although the Houthis claimed responsibility for the crippling attack, there is little evidence who is actually responsible. It is just as likely the Saudis did this to 1) ramp up hostilities against their arch enemy, Shia Iran, 2) jack up the price of oil, and 3) in the process make the impending Aramco IPO more lucrative.

In addition, the Saudis fear the end of the illegal war on the people of Yemen negotiated by the US:

Zerohedge notes:

According to Reuters reports the drone attacks will impact up to 5 million bpd of oil production, which suggests that the price of oil—already severely depressed by the recent news that John Bolton is out, making de-escalation with Iran far more likely—is set to soar when trading reopens late on Sunday, just what the upcoming Aramco IPO desperately needs, which in turn has prompted some to wonder if the “Yemen” attack on Saudi Arabia wasn’t in fact orchestrated by Saudi interests. (Emphasis mine.)

Meanwhile, the corporate media, as should be expected, is placing the blame indirectly on Iran. From the beginning of the Saudi campaign to bomb the daylights out of Yemen, creating one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent memory, the corporate media has stated as an indisputable fact the Houthis are an Iranian proxy doing the bidding of the mullahs in Tehran.

On the contrary, the Iranians have very little to do with supporting the Houthis, a fact rarely mentioned because it conflicts with the narrative that fallaciously states Iran is the most vicious terror state in the world (that designation is better suited for the United States and Israel).

Thomas Juneau, the assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and an analyst with Canada’s Department of National Defense, wrote for The Washington Post in 2016, “Tehran’s support for the Houthis is limited, and its influence in Yemen is marginal. It is simply inaccurate to claim that the Houthis are Iranian proxies.”

Iran’s assistance “remains limited and far from sufficient to make more than a marginal difference to the balance of forces in Yemen, a country awash with weapons. There is, therefore, no supporting evidence to the claim that Iran has bought itself any significant measure of influence over Houthi decision-making.”

Graham sits on a number of committees—including the Foreign Relations Committee, and he is the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs—so it really isn’t possible he doesn’t know the oft-claimed accusation Iran controls the Houthis is little more than war propaganda…

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A View from the Brink – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2019

If that happens, the world will never be the same. You can kiss the global economy goodbye for good. Let’s hope some people don’t do something.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/a-view-from-the-brink/

James Howard Kunstler

Welcome to the world where things don’t add up. For instance, some people did some things to the Saudi Arabian oil refinery at Abqaiq over the weekend. Like, sent over a salvo of cruise missiles and armed drone aircraft to blow it up. They did a pretty good job of disabling the works. It is Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing facility, and for now, perhaps months, a fair amount of the world’s oil supply will be cut off. President Trump said “[we] are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Exclamation mark his.

How many times the past few years has our government declared that “we have the finest intelligence services in the world.” Very well, then, why are we waiting for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to tell us who fired all that stuff into Abqaiq? Whoever did it, it was unquestionably an act of war. And, of course, what are we going to do about it? (And what will some people do about it?)…

The presence of Israel greatly complicates things, since Iran has a hard-on for that nation, too, and for Jews especially, often expressed in the most belligerent and opprobrious terms, such as “wiping Israel off the map.” No ambiguity there. The catch being that Israel has the capability of turning Iran into an ashtray.

The world has been waiting for a major war in the Middle east for decades, and it might have one by close of business today. Or perhaps some people will do nothing. The Iran-backed Houthi rebels of Yemen supposedly claimed responsibility for the attack. That’s rich. As if that rag-tag outfit has a whole bunch of million-dollar missiles and the knowledge and capacity to launch them successfully, not to mention the satellite guidance mojo. A correspondent suggests that the missiles were fired from a pro-Iranian military base in Iraq, with the Houthis brought in on flying carpets to push the launch buttons…

With the new crisis in the Middle East, benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil is up from around $55-a-barrel to just over $60 at the market open (European Brent crude is just above $70). That’s a pop, but not a spectacular one, considering that a whole lot more damage might ensue in the days ahead. China, Korea, and Japan stand to lose bigly if the players in the Middle East really go at it and bust up each other’s assets. If that happens, the world will never be the same. You can kiss the global economy goodbye for good. Let’s hope some people don’t do something.

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Saudi Arabia executes 134 people including six kids as brutal crucifixions spike

Posted by M. C. on September 16, 2019

Which is worse ISIS or Saudi Arabia? Are they one in the same?

Tell me again, which one is our friend?

Which one wants US to sacrifice our soldiers in war against Iran?

You can’t tell the players even with a program.

Where are the Iranian crucifixion and beheading stories?

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/saudi-arabia-executes-134-people-20072152

By

More than 134 people have been brutally executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, including six who were just kids when they were arrested.

A massive spike in crucifixions and beheadings has seen the slain tortured and slaughtered by brutal methods, according to a human rights organisation.

In a report presented at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, The Death Penalty Project revealed a further 24 people are at “imminent risk” of execution.

They include three children, prominent political opponents of the crown prince, clerics, and human rights campaigners.

A massive spike in crucifixions and beheadings has seen the slain tortured and slaughtered by brutal methods (Image: Rex Features)

At least six teens were executed this year after being arrested for supposed “crimes” when they were kids, the report claims.

An event hosted by The Death Penalty Project highlighted the “illegal and arbitrary executions” in Saudi Arabia as well as human rights abuses for both detainees and their families.

Experts said these abuses have been “exacerbated by the systematic torture of detainees and grossly unfair trials culminating in death sentences”.

Among those executed this year are three women and 51 who were facing drug charges that would be considered minor offences elsewhere in the world.

At least 58 of those killed were foreign nationals and most were accused of spreading Shia Islam – a crime in the Sunni Arab state.

There were 21 Pakistanis, 15 Yemenis, five from Syria and four from Egypt.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pledged to reduce the use of the death penalty (Image: REUTERS)

Two Jordanians, two Nigerians, a Somalian and two from unidentified nations were also included in the figures.

On April 22, a horrific mass execution was carried out by the savage regime involving 37 men being killed.

One was crucified and another had his head impaled on a spike.

Those killed during the beheading bloodbath had all been convicted of “terrorism offences” in the hardline kingdom.

One of those beheaded was Abdulkareem al-Hawaj, who was arrested while attending an anti-government protest when he was aged just 16.

The lad was tortured with electricity and beheaded for sending WhatsApp messages about the protests.

He was convicted of being a “terrorist” in a trial branded a “farce” by Amnesty International.

Abdulkareem al-Hawaj was tortured with electricity and beheaded for sending WhatsApp messages about the protests (Image: Twitter)

He had his head cut from his body in front of a baying, bloodthirsty crowd along with 36 other men in the medieval country.

At least one of the bodies were reportedly crucified and put out on display after the execution.

Sentencing a person to death who is aged under 18 is banned under international law.

Another victim, Mujtaba al-Sweikat, a teenager who was set to start a new life in the US, studying at Western Michigan University, when he was arrested for attending an anti-government protest.

Mujtaba al-Sweikat was a teenager who was set to start a new life in the US (Image: Twitter)

The then-17-year-old – who had enrolled in an English language and finance and was at the airport to catch a flight to the US who he was arrested – was badly beaten including on the soles of his feet before he “confessed” to crimes against the state…

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Dead Men Tell No Tales – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 14, 2019

Bin Laden, Jeffrey Epstein…who next? Julian Assange.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/09/eric-margolis/dead-men-tell-no-tales-bin-laden-and-9-11/

By

Special for LewRockwell.com

A large number of Americans still don’t believe the official version of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.  I am one of them.

The government and tame media version – that crazed Muslims directed by Osama bin Laden  attacked New York’s twin towers and the Pentagon because they hated ‘our freedoms’ and our religions – is wearing very thin as contrary evidence piles up.

Ever since the attacks, I’ve held the belief that neither bin Laden nor Afghanistan’s Taliban were involved, though bin Laden did applaud the attacks after the fact and remains a key suspect.  Unfortunately, he was murdered by a US hit squad instead of being brought to the US to stand trial.  Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, was adamant that bin Laden was not behind the attacks.

So who did it?  In my view, the attacks were financed by private citizens in Saudi Arabia and organized from Germany and possibly Spain.  All the hijackers came from states nominally allied to the US or its protectorates.

Fifteen of the 19 were Saudis. Two came from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and one each from Egypt and Lebanon. Amazingly, during the national uproar after the attacks, little attention was focused on Saudi Arabia, a key US ally (or protectorate) even though most of the hijackers were Saudi citizens, and a planeload of important Saudis were quietly ushered out of the US by the CIA soon after the attacks.

Saudi Arabia was too important to US domination of the Mideast to point any fingers at the Saudis. The Saudi royal regime in Riyadh did not appear to have been involved – why would it since their survival and gravy train depended on US protection?

But the royal regime does not represent all Saudis, as many people believe. Saudi Arabia is a collection of tribes played off against one another by Riyadh and kept in line by the US Air Force from its bases in Saudi and a tribal force, ‘the white army,’ led by American ‘advisors.’ Saudi Arabia has little in the way of a regular army because its rulers fear coups by the armed forces such as occurred in Egypt, Iraq and Syria.

In addition, over 40,000 Americans live and work in Saudi. Another 5,000 US military personnel are stationed there. Much of the kingdom’s technology – banking, telecommunications, airports and flights, trains, military affairs, TV and radio – are supervised by foreigners. This process began in the 1920’s when the British moved into Arabia and helped promote the Saudi tribe to prominence…

Within the complexities of Saudi Society lie bitterly anti-western groups who see the nation as being militarily occupied by the US and exploited – even pillaged – by foreigners. Arabia was originally the holy land of Islam. Today, it has been westernized, occupied by US military power, and given marching orders by Washington.

“When we succeed in kicking the Russians out of Afghanistan,” Azzam told me, “we will go on and kick the Americans out of Saudi Arabia.” I was shocked, never having heard of Americans called ‘occupiers’. Azzam was murdered by a bomb soon after, but his words kept ringing in my ears. He thought of the Americans as much colonialists as the Soviets.

Private nationalist groups in Saudi who bitterly opposed foreign domination of their country could very well have financed and organized 9/11. But, of course, Washington could not admit this. That would have brought into question the US occupation of Saudi.

What’s also pretty clear is that Israel – at minimum – knew the attack was coming yet failed to warn its American ‘allies.’ Israel was the chief beneficiary of the 9/11 attacks – yet its bumbling Arab foes and bin Laden were blamed for this crime.

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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?

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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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MoA – Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen

Posted by M. C. on August 19, 2019

All the wars the U.S. and its allies waged in the Middle East, against Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Lebanon (2006), Syria (2011), Iraq (2014) and Yemen (2015), ended up with unintentionally making Iran and its allies stronger.

There is a lesson to learn from that. But it is doubtful that the borg in Washington DC has the ability to understand it.

Another war lost against one of the poorest places on earth.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/08/long-range-attack-on-saudi-oil-field-ends-war-on-yemen.html

by Moon of Alabama

Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen

Today Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen. It has no defenses against new weapons the Houthis in Yemen acquired. These weapons threaten the Saudis economic lifelines. This today was the decisive attack:

Drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia’s sprawling desert on Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a “limited fire” in the second such recent attack on its crucial energy industry.

The Saudi acknowledgement of the attack came hours after Yahia Sarie, a military spokesman for the Houthis, issued a video statement claiming the rebels launched 10 bomb-laden drones targeting the field in their “biggest-ever” operation. He threatened more attacks would be coming.

New drones and missiles displayed in July 2019 by Yemen’s Houthi-allied armed forces

biggerToday’s attack is a check mate move against the Saudis. Shaybah is some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory. There are many more important economic targets within that range:

The field’s distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis’ drones. U.N. investigators say the Houthis’ new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant and Dubai’s busy international airport within their range.Unlike sophisticated drones that use satellites to allow pilots to remotely fly them, analysts believe Houthi drones are likely programmed to strike a specific latitude and longitude and cannot be controlled once out of radio range. The Houthis have used drones, which can be difficult to track by radar, to attack Saudi Patriot missile batteries, as well as enemy troops.

The attack conclusively demonstrates that the most important assets of the Saudis are now under threat. This economic threat comes on top of a seven percent budget deficit the IMF predicts for Saudi Arabia. Further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state. The Houthi have clown prince Mohammad bin Salman by the balls and can squeeze those at will…

Today’s attack has an even larger dimension than marking the end of the war on Yemen. That Iran supplied drones with 1,500 kilometer reach to its allies in Yemen means that its allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have access to similar means.

Israel and Turkey will have to take that into consideration. U.S. bases along the Persian Gulf and in Afghanistan must likewise watch out. Iran has not only ballistic missiles to attack those bases but also drones against which U.S. missile and air defense systems are more or less useless. Only the UAE, which bought Russian Pantsir S-1 air defense systems on German MAN truck chassis(!), has some capabilities to take those drones down. The Pentagon would probably love to buy some of these.

It was the U.S. use of stealthy drones against Iran that gave it a chance to capture one and to analyze and clone it. Iran’s extensive drone program is indigenous and quite old but it benefited from technology the U.S. unintentionally provided.

All the wars the U.S. and its allies waged in the Middle East, against Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Lebanon (2006), Syria (2011), Iraq (2014) and Yemen (2015), ended up with unintentionally making Iran and its allies stronger.

There is a lesson to learn from that. But it is doubtful that the borg in Washington DC has the ability to understand it.

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State Dept: Al-Qaeda Is Strong As it Has Ever Been – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on August 5, 2019

18 years, thousands of US dead, tens of thousands of US maimed, millions of civilian dead and refugees, immigrant invasion of US and Europe.

All for nothing.

It doesn’t help that the US supports 9/11 and Al Qaeda enabler Saudi Arabia.

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/08/04/state-dept-al-qaeda-is-strong-as-it-has-ever-been/

It is difficult too understand how the US measures the strength of al-Qaeda at any given time, but the US State Department is saying that the group remains as deadly and active worldwide as it has ever been, and that they are not any weaker than they were during the 9//11 attack.

Arguing that well-established enemies are as strong as ever makes sense from one perspective, as it allows the administration to continue to justify huge military spending to confront their global war on terror.

At the same time, admitting al-Qaeda isn’t substantially weakened from 9/11, despite 18 solid years of US wars against them, doesn’t exactly put the wars in a very positive light, and seems all but an admission of failure.

This is particularly true since the US wars aren’t broadly against al-Qaeda anyhow. A generation of war that was meant to degrade and defeat al-Qaeda has ultimately done neither, and the US is still entangled in multiple wars for its trouble.

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Gaines & Horton: It’s Time to Stop Fighting Osama bin Laden’s War

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2019

For the dignity of servicemembers and for the future of the country, it is time to stop playing into al Qaeda’s hands.

https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/03/09/robert-gaines-scott-horton-its-time-to-stop-fighting-osama-bin-ladens-war/

by Robert Gaines and Scott Horton

Osama bin Laden is long dead, but his plans live on through American foreign policy.

In 2001, al Qaeda consisted of only 400 ideologues in the far corners of the world. After the recent regime change wars in Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Syria, typical estimates place their membership at around 20,000. To top it all off, the American economy is out $5.6 trillion dollars for the whole failed project. This is not the legacy of a war to spread, or even protect, liberty and prosperity. Instead it is the legacy of an evil but gifted tactician, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Contrary to the popular misunderstanding of al Qaeda’s motives and strategy, bin Laden and his partner Ayman al Zawahiri were not trying to scare America away with the September 11th attacks. They were trying to provoke an overreaction. Al Qaeda’s leaders wanted the U.S. to invade Afghanistan in order to bog our military down, “bleed us to bankruptcy,” and force a worn-out, broken empire to leave the region the hard way, and permanently, just as they had done to the Soviet Union in the 1980s with American support. Only then could they hope to launch the revolutions they sought in their home countries without interference from the American superpower.

Osama bin Laden’s mentor Abdullah Azzam warned in 1986 that the U.S. was on deck for expulsion from the region after the USSR. After observing the effectiveness of asymmetric war against a superior adversary, bin Laden, galvanized by the sanctions against Iraq and the U.S. occupation of the Arabian Peninsula, took up Azzam’s mission. In an early declaration aimed at the U.S., bin Laden noted that the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan helped the mujahideen defeat one of the most powerful militaries in history, and declared that he would seek to lure America to its same fate.

After decimating al Qaeda’s old guard at Tora Bora in 2001, the U.S. military could have returned home victorious. Instead, our leaders chose to follow bin Laden’s wishes by committing to an extended occupation and impossible nation-building mission – one which has lasted for more than 17 years.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq to overthrow the man bin Laden called a “socialist infidel,” Saddam Hussein, was a massive boon to the terror organization, decimating a secular government, paving the way for the creation of the first al Qaeda franchise there in 2004, radicalizing of a generation of new fighters, and proving the limits of U.S. influence in the Middle East.

America’s further regime change wars in Yemen, Libya, and Syria have been strategic victories for the U.S.’s terrorist enemies beyond the former terrorist leader’s wildest dreams.

In his journals, bin Laden was optimistic about the 2011 Arab Spring, writing that it had “opened a door for jihadists.” He wouldn’t live to see the aftermath of the U.S. and NATO-backed regime change operation in Libya, but the country remains awash in members of Ansar Al-Sharia and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) that the U.S. and NATO supported in the war. Both groups are led by veterans of al Qaeda in Iraq from Iraq War II.

The jihadists empowered by the regime change in Libya quickly spread to Mali, Chad, and Niger. A new generation of Sunnis with rifles and SOCOM operators are fighting now throughout the Maghreb, Sahel, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Saudi Arabia became bin Laden’s primary target for revolution when the king allowed the American military buildup there in preparation for the first Iraq war in 1990. As a key ally and major purchaser of American weapons, the kingdom has long appeared immune from the fate of Iraq or Libya. Now that the current regime has been racked by political purges and the financial burden of a war in Yemen, it’s not difficult to see how the legions of jihadists cultivated directly and indirectly by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia itself in the recent regional wars might return and wreak havoc there.

U.S. and regional allies’ covert intervention on behalf of the insurgency in Syria backfired horribly by helping to bring al Qaeda in Iraq back to life from its previous near-total destruction by Iraqi tribal leaders during the 2007 “Awakening” in Iraq. In 2011, al Qaeda in Iraq, or the “Islamic State of Iraq,” crossed into Syria to take part in the uprising against the Ba’athist dictatorship there. In Syria, AQI/ISI began calling itself Jabhat al Nusra, then Hayat Tahrir al Sham. It remains loyal to al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri. Their group now again numbers in the tens of thousands and for the time being remains ensconced in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.

In 2013, the Iraqi-dominated faction split from al Nusra and Zawahiri’s al Qaeda. They returned to calling themselves the Islamic State (ISIS) and consolidated control over eastern Syria. A year later, they conquered all of predominately Sunni western Iraq, declared an Islamist “caliphate,” and seized numerous fully stocked military bases left behind by the United States just three years before. As President Trump correctly said during the 2016 campaign, this disaster was the direct consequence of the previous administrations’ wars in Iraq and Syria. The loss of western Iraq to ISIS led to the launching of Iraq War III in 2014-2017 to destroy the ISIS caliphate and drive them out of western Iraq and eastern Syria.

Now that fight is over. Trump should ignore demands for the continuation of a policy which has only furthered Osama bin Laden’s original agenda.

Two wars expanded into multiple conflicts that have enveloped entire regions, costing thousands of American lives, requiring vast defense expenditures, and killing or displacing millions of civilians. Though Washington hawks insist upon indefinitely extending commitments abroad, President Trump understands the consequences of open-ended war.

For the dignity of servicemembers and for the future of the country, it is time to stop playing into al Qaeda’s hands. Trump should withdraw from Afghanistan and Syria, and end the counter-productive war on terrorism.

 

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US Poised to Send 500 Troops to Saudi Arabia Amid Iran Tensions – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on July 19, 2019

This is how our kids defend oil… America. By doing SA’s and Israel’s dirty work.

Think about that the next time you see a young paraplegic or when you are at a military celebration that suddenly breaks out into a sporting event.

Remember when Obama said was sending 275 troops to Iraq for support and training? It didn’t take long for that number to reach many thousand.

We can’t defeat ME countries that are barely out of the stone-age militarily. Iran is bigger than Afghanistan and Iraq combined and has a real army with Russia as an Allie.

Iran has never attacked US and poses no threat. Iran does pose a threat to SA’s dream of a pan Sunni Islamic state. You remember Saudi Arabia, it is the country that sponsored 9/11 and we pay them back by supplying arms and (more) American lives.

I have seen estimates of up to 1 million troops required to defeat Iran in a full blown war. That means the draft and massive expenditure. We can’t afford either.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the practicality of low yield tactical nukes and nuclear upgrade.

Coincidence?

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/07/18/us-poised-to-send-500-troops-to-saudi-arabia-amid-iran-tensions/

After satellite images showed facilities being prepared for them, US officials were quoted in the media as saying that there is a plan to send “up to 500” US ground troops to Saudi Arabia in response to Iran tensions.

Former Congressman Ron Paul commented on the matter, both saying it accomplishes very little, and warning that historically having US troops on the Arabian Peninsula has been a source of anger among Islamists. Osama bin Laden specifically attributed his 9/11 attack to the US having troops in his holy land. After 9/11, the US made a point of removing troops from Saudi Arabia, and now seems to be in the process of sending them back…

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