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9/11: Bush’s Guilt and the ‘28 Pages’

The 28 Pages (actually 29 pages) points straight to the involvement of the Saudi Royal family through Saudi ambassador to the US Prince Bandar bin-Sultan Al-Saud – a Bush family friend – which is why George W. Bush sought to suppress it.

Eric Zuesse

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Submitted by Eric Zuesse, via strategic-culture.org

On Friday July 15th, as the national news media were either on vacation or preparing for the opening of the Trump National Convention on Monday the 18th, the long-awaited release of the ‘missing 28 pages’ from the U.S. Senate’s 9/11 report (“DECEMBER 2002: JOINT INQUIRY INTO INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES BEFORE AND AFTER THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001”) occurred. The official title of this document is “PART FOUR — FINDING, DISCUSSION AND NARRATIVE REGARDING CERTAIN SENSITIVE NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS”, and it constitutes pages 6-34 of a pdf. (Some writers mistakenly call it “29 pages.” [I correct that statement; Robert Parry just now pointed out to me, it really is 29 pages: all of the previous references to it as “the missing 28 pages” had gotten the count wrong. Thanks, Robert!])

It “was kept secret from the public on the orders of former President George W. Bush”, and remained secret under Bush’s successor Barack Obama, until that Friday night late in Obama’s Second Administration, right before a week of Republican National Convention news would be dominating the news (along with any racial incidents, which would be sure to distract the public even more from any indication of Bush’s guilt).

The pdf was of a picture-file so as to be non-searchable by journalists and thus slow to interpret, and thus would impede press-coverage of it. The file was also of a very degraded picture of the pages, so as to make the reading of it even more uninviting and difficult. Well, that was a skillful news-release-and-coverup operation! The Federal Government had plenty of time to do this right, but they evidently had plenty of incentive to do it wrong. They’re not incompetent; the reasonable explanation is something worse than that. (After all: this information has been hidden from the public for all of the 13+ years since that report was published without the 29 pages at the end of 2002.)

A typical ‘news’ report about the matter was NBC’s, which was headlined “Secret 28 Pages of 9/11 Report Released, Hold No Proof of Saudi Link” and which ended: “American officials repeatedly have stated their conclusion: There was none.” That’s stenographic ‘journalism’, like (in 2002 and 2003) about ‘Saddam’s WMD’: it’s ‘journalism’ in which, whatever your government says, is simply reported, as being (or as if it were) the truth.

What these 29 long-suppressed pages revealed was well summarized by one succinct reader who wrote:

“The Inquiry discloses that there is a very direct chain of evidence about financing and logistics … [that] goes from the Saudi Royal family (Amb. Bandar’s wife and Bandar’s checking account) and Saudi consulate employees (al Thumiari) to the agent handlers (Basnan and al Bayoumi) to some of the 9/11 hijackers (Khalid al-Mihdhar, Nawaf al-Hazmi).”

In other words: Prince Bandar bin-Sultan al-Saud, known in Washington as “Bandar Bush” (for his closeness to the Bush family), and who served at that time as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, paid tens of thousands of dollars to Saudi Arabia’s “handlers” who were directing two of the hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. Also, one of Bandar’s subordinates at the Embassy, named al-Thumiari, was likewise paying the person who was paying and managing those two jihadists.

The report said:

“FBI files suggest that al-Bayoumi provided substantial assistance to hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi after they arrived in San Diego in February 2000. … According to an October 14, 2002 FBI document, al-Bayoumi has ‘extensive ties to the Saudi Government’. … According to the FBI, al-Bayoumi was in frequent contact with the Emir at the Ministry of Defense, responsible for air traffic control. … Al-Bayoumi was receiving money from the Saudi Ministry of Defense. … Al-Bayoumi was known to have access to large amounts of money from Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that he did not appear to hold a job. … Al-Bayoumi’s pay increased during the time that al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar were in the United States.”

Also, an FBI agent testified on 9 October 2002 regarding al-Bayoumi, and said Bayoumi:

“acted like a Saudi intelligence officer, in my opinion. And if he was involved with the hijackers, which it looks like he was, if he signed leases, if he provided some sort of financing … then I would say that there’s a clear possibility that there might be a connection between Saudi intelligence and UBL [Usama bin Laden].”

Moreover:

“The FBI has now confirmed that only Osama Bassnan’s wife received money directly from Prince Bandar’s wife, but that al-Bayoumi’s wife attempted to deposit three of the checks from Prince Bandar’s wife, which were payable to Bassnan’s wife, into her own accounts. … Bassnan was a very close associate of Omar al-Bayoumi’s and was in telephone contact with al-Bayoumi several times a day.”

Furthermore:

“Bassnan’s wife received a monthly stipend from Princess Haifa.”

>And:

“On at least one occasion, Bassnan received a check directly from Prince Bandar’s account. According to the FBI, on May 14, 1998, Bassnan cashed a check from Bandar in the amount of $15,000. Bassnan’s wife also received at least one check directly from Bandar … for $10,000. … FBI Executive Assistant Director D’Amuro commented on this financing: ‘I believe that we do have money going from Bandar’s wife, $2,000 a month up to about $64,000.’”

Also:

“On March 28, 2002, U.S. and coalition forces retrieved the telephone book of Abu Zubayda, whom the U.S. Government has identified as a senior al-Qa’ida operational coordinator. According to an FBI document, ‘a review of toll records has linked [to] ASPCOL Corporation in Aspen, Colorado. … ASPCOL is the umbrella corporation that manages the affairs of the Colorado residence of Prince Bandar, the Saudi Ambassador. … The U.S. Government also located another Virginia number at an Usama bin Laden safehouse in Pakistan … [where a person was] interviewed by the FBI in June 2002. He could not explain why his number ended up at a safehouse in Pakistan, but stated that he regularly provides services to a couple who are personal assistants to Prince Bandar.”

This has to be seen in the context of George W. Bush’s very close and longstanding personal friendship with Prince Bandar, and also in the context of Bandar’s career.

Bandar has long been involved, both officially and unofficially, in the intelligence operations of the Saud family (which own Saudi Arabia). During October 2005 through January 2015, he served as secretary general of Saudi Arabia’s National Security Council, and he also was director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014. Furthermore the just-released report asserts:

“The FBI also received reports from individuals in the Muslim community alleging that Bassnan might be a Saudi intelligence agent. According to a CIA memo, Bassnan reportedly received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi Government officials. He and his wife have received financial support from the Saudi Ambassador to the United States and his wife. … A CIA report also indicates that Bassnan traveled to Houston in 2002 and … that during that trip a member of the Saudi royal family provided Bassnan with a significant amount of cash. … FBI information indicates that Bassnan is an extremist and a supporter of Usama bin Laden.”

Regarding Shaykh al-Thumairy, he was “an accredited diplomat at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles and one of the ‘imams’ at the King Fahd Mosque … built in 1998 from funding provided by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdulaziz. The mosque … is widely recognized for its anti-Western views.”

The 29 pages also include lots more, but those facts give at least some solid indications of the links that Prince Bandar had to 9/11.

And other FBI offices than in San Diego were basically not even covered in the 29 pages; this was a rush-job by a Senate Committee, and with enormous resistance from the White House, which did everything they could to block the investigators.

Furthermore: none of this information is as solid as the sworn court-testimony of the captured former bagman for al-Qaeda, their bookkeeper who personally collected each one of the million-dollar cash donations to the organization and named many donors, including Prince Bandar, as having been among the people from whom he picked up those suitcases full of cash. He said of their donations:

“It was crucial. I mean, without the money of the — of the Saudi you will have nothing.”

The authors of the Senate investigation report, never got any wind of this, because that man was in a U.S. prison and held incommunicado until that court-case in October 2014. But it was virtually the entire Saud family — not merely Bandar — who funded 9/11.

So: we know that Bandar “Bush” was practically like a brother to George W. Bush, but what other indications do we have of GWB’s guilt in the planning of the 9/11 attacks?

First of all: if he wasn’t involved in the attack’s planning, then he was grossly incompetent and uncaring, to the point of criminal negligence for the numerous attempts that the CIA had made to warn GWB that such at attack was being planned and would occur soon — that he simply ignored those warnings. Criminal negligence, however, isn’t the same as being a traitor. That’s far more serious, and it would entail Bush’s conscious desire for such an attack to occur. Such evidence does exist. Here it is:

Researcher Chris Whipple headlined at Politico, on 12 November 2015, “‘The Attacks Will Be Spectacular’”, and he reported:

“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” The CIA’s famous Presidential Daily Brief, presented to George W. Bush on August 6, 2001, has always been Exhibit A in the case that his administration shrugged off warnings of an Al Qaeda attack. But months earlier, starting in the spring of 2001, the CIA repeatedly and urgently began to warn the White House that an attack was coming.

By May of 2001, says Cofer Black, then chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, “it was very evident that we were going to be struck, we were gonna be struck hard and lots of Americans were going to die.” “There were real plots being manifested,” Cofer’s former boss, George Tenet, told me in his first interview in eight years. …

The crisis came to a head on July 10. The critical meeting that took place that day was first reported by Bob Woodward in 2006. Tenet also wrote about it in general terms in his 2007 memoir At the Center of the Storm.

But neither he nor Black has spoken about it publicly in such detail until now—or been so emphatic about how specific and pressing their warnings really were. Over the past eight months, in more than a hundred hours of interviews, my partners Jules and Gedeon Naudet and I talked with Tenet and the 11 other living former CIA directors for The Spymasters, a documentary set to air this month on Showtime.

The drama of failed warnings began when Tenet and Black pitched a plan, in the spring of 2001, called “the Blue Sky paper” to Bush’s new national security team. It called for a covert CIA and military campaign to end the Al Qaeda threat—“getting into the Afghan sanctuary, launching a paramilitary operation, creating a bridge with Uzbekistan.” “And the word back,” says Tenet, “‘was ‘we’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking.’” (Translation: they did not want a paper trail to show that they’d been warned.)

Five days later, I wrote an article interpreting that, titled “Politico Reports Bush Knew 2001 Terror-Attack Was Imminent and Wanted It”. Readers here are referred to that, for the continuation of the case here.

For additional information on the bonding between the Saudi aristocracy and the U.S. aristocracy, see this and this. It’s important to understand in order to be able to understand why Obama helped to set up the 21 August 2013 Syrian sarin attack to be blamed on Bashar al-Assad, who is allied with Russia. The U.S. is allied with the Saud family, against Russia; and Syria is allied with Russia and refuses to allow pipelines for gas from Qatar and oil from Saudi Arabia through Syria to replace gas and oil that Russia has been selling to the EU. (Like RFK Jr. properly headlined on 25 February 2016, “Syria: Another Pipeline War”. That’s why the Sauds want Assad dead.)

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Russia calls on US to put a leash on Petro Poroshenko

The West’s pass for Mr. Poroshenko may blow up in NATO’s and the US’s face if the Ukrainian President tries to start a war with Russia.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia called on Washington not to ignore the Poroshenko directives creating an active military buildup along the Ukrainian-Donbass frontier, this buildup consisting of Ukrainian forces and right-wing ultranationalists, lest it “trigger the implementation of a bloody scenario”, according to a Dec 11 report from TASS.

The [Russian] Embassy [to the US] urges the US State Department to recognize the presence of US instructors in the zone of combat actions, who are involved in a command and staff and field training of Ukraine’s assault airborne brigades. “We expect that the US will bring to reason its proteges. Their aggressive plans are not only doomed to failure but also run counter to the statements of the administration on its commitment to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.

This warning came after Eduard Basurin, the deputy defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic noted that the Ukrainian army was massing troops and materiel for a possible large-scale offensive at the Mariupol section of the contact line in Donbass. According to Basurin, this action is expected to take place on 14 December. TASS offered more details:

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, Ukrainian troops plan to seize the DPR’s Novoazovsky and Temanovsky districts and take control over the border section with Russia. The main attack force of over 12,000 servicemen has been deployed along the contact line near the settlements of Novotroitskoye, Shirokino, and Rovnopol. Moreover, more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple missile launcher systems, 180 artillery systems and mortars have been reportedly pulled to the area, Basurin added. Besides, 12 BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers have been sent near Volodarsky.

The DPR has warned about possible provocations plotted by Ukrainian troops several times. Thus, in early December, the DPR’s defense ministry cited reconnaissance data indicating that the Ukrainian military was planning to stage an offensive and deliver an airstrike. At a Contact Group meeting on December 5, DPR’s Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova raised the issue of Kiev’s possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict area.

This is a continuation of the reported buildup The Duran reported in this article linked here, and it is a continuation of the full-scale drama that started with the Kerch Strait incident, which itself appears to have been staged by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko. Following that incident, the president was able to get about half of Ukraine placed under a 30-day period of martial law, citing “imminent Russian aggression.”

President Poroshenko is arguably a dangerous man. He appears to be desperate to maintain a hold on power, though his approval numbers and support is abysmally low in Ukraine. While he presents himself as a hero, agitating for armed conflict with Russia and simultaneously interfering in the affairs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church, he is actually one of the most dangerous leaders the world has to contend with, precisely because he is unfit to lead.

Such men and women are dangerous because their desperation makes them short-sighted, only concerned about their power and standing.

An irony about this matter is that President Poroshenko appears to be exactly what the EuroMaidan was “supposed” to free Ukraine of; that is, a stooge puppet leader that marches to orders from a foreign power and does nothing for the improvement of the nation and its citizens.

The ouster of Viktor Yanukovich was seen as the sure ticket to “freedom from Russia” for Ukraine, and it may well have been that Mr. Yanukovich was an incompetent leader. However, his removal resulted in a tryannical regíme coming into power, that resulting in the secession of two Ukrainian regions into independent republics and a third secession of strategically super-important Crimea, who voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

While this activity was used by the West to try to bolster its own narrative that Russia remains the evil henchman in Europe, the reality of life in Ukraine doesn’t match this allegation at all. A nation that demonstrates such behavior shows that there are many problems, and the nature of these secessions points at a great deal of fear from Russian-speaking Ukrainian people about the government that is supposed to be their own.

President Poroshenko presents a face to the world that the West is apparently willing to support, but the in-country approval of this man as leader speaks volumes. The West’s blind support of him “against Russia” may be one of the most tragic errors yet in Western foreign policy.

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Second Canadian Citizen Disappears In China

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea.

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Via Zerohedge…


For a trade war that was supposed to be between the US and China, Canada has found itself increasingly in the middle of the crossfire. And so after the arrest of a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in retaliation for the detention of the Huawei CFO in Vancouver, Canada said a second person has been questioned by Chinese authorities, further heightening tensions between the two countries.

The second person reached out to the Canadian government after being questioned by Chinese officials, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, at which point Canada lost contact with him. His whereabouts are currently unknown and Global Affairs Canada said they are in contact with his family.

“We haven’t been able to make contact with him since he let us know about this,” Freeland told reporters Wednesday in Ottawa. “We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we have also raised this case with Chinese authorities.”

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea. He gained fame for helping arrange a visit to Pyongyang by former NBA player Dennis Rodman, and he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on that trip, the newspaper reported. Attempts to reach Spavor on his contact number either in China, or North Korean went straight to voicemail.

Spavor’s personal Facebook page contains several images of him with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un including one of him with both Jong-un and former Dennis Rodman at an undisclosed location.

Michael P. Spavor, right, pictured here with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, second from right, and Dennis Rodman.

Another image shows the two sharing a drink on a boat.

The unexplained disappearance takes place after China’s spy agency detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing on Monday, who was on leave from the foreign service. The arrest came nine days after Canada arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. DOJ. While Canada has asked to see the former envoy after it was informed by fax of his arrest, Canada is unaware of Kovrig current whereabouts or the charges he faces.

“Michael did not engage in illegal activities nor did he do anything that endangered Chinese national security,” Rob Malley, chief executive officer of the ICG, said in a written statement. “He was doing what all Crisis Group analysts do: undertaking objective and impartial research.”

One possibility is that Kovrig may have been caught up in recent rule changes in China that affect non-governmental organizations, according to Bloomberg. The ICG wasn’t authorized to do work in China, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said during a regular press briefing in Beijing Wednesday.

“We welcome foreign travelers. But if they engage in activities that clearly violate Chinese laws and regulations, then it is totally another story,” he said, adding he had no information on Kovrig specifically.

As Bloomberg further notes, foreign non-governmental organizations are now required to register with the Chinese authorities under a 2017 law that subjects them to stringent reporting requirements. Under the law, organizations without a representative office in China must have a government sponsor and a local cooperative partner before conducting activities. ICG said this is the first time they’ve heard such an accusation from the Chinese authorities in a decade of working with the country. The company closed its Beijing operations in December 2016 because of the new Chinese law, according to a statement. Kovrig was working out of the Hong Kong office.

Meanwhile, realizing that it is increasingly bearing the brunt of China’s retaliatory anger, Trudeau’s government distanced itself from Meng’s case, saying it can’t interfere with the courts, but is closely involved in advocating on Kovrig’s behalf.

So far Canada has declined to speculate on whether there was a connection between the Kovrig and Meng cases, with neither Freeland nor Canadian Trade Minister Jim Carr saying Wednesday that there is any indication the cases are related. Then again, it is rather obvious they are. Indeed, Guy Saint-Jacques, who served as ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016 and worked with Kovrig, says the link is clear. “There’s no coincidence with China.”

“In this case, they couldn’t grab a Canadian diplomat because this would have created a major diplomatic incident,” he said. “Going after him I think was their way to send a message to the Canadian government and to put pressure.”

Even though Meng was granted bail late Tuesday, that did not placate China, whose foreign ministry spokesman said that “The Canadian side should correct its mistakes and release Ms. Meng Wanzhou immediately.”

The tension, according to Bloomberg,  may force Canadian companies to reconsider travel to China, and executives traveling to the Asian country will need to exercise extra caution, said Andy Chan, managing partner at Miller Thomson LLP in Vaughan, Ontario.

“Canadian business needs to look at and balance the reasons for the travel’’ between the business case and the “current political environment,’’ Chan said by email. Chinese officials subject business travelers to extra screening and in some case reject them from entering, he said.

Earlier in the day, SCMP reported that Chinese high-tech researchers were told “not to travel to the US unless it’s essential.”

And so, with Meng unlikely to be released from Canada any time soon, expect even more “Chinese (non) coincidences”, until eventually China does detain someone that the US does care about.

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Multipolar World Order in the Making: Qatar Dumps OPEC

Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The decision by Qatar to abandon OPEC threatens to redefine the global energy market, especially in light of Saudi Arabia’s growing difficulties and the growing influence of the Russian Federation in the OPEC+ mechanism.

In a surprising statement, Qatari energy minister Saad al-Kaabi warned OPEC on Monday December 3 that his country had sent all the necessary documentation to start the country’s withdrawal from the oil organization in January 2019. Al-Kaabi stressed that the decision had nothing to do with recent conflicts with Riyadh but was rather a strategic choice by Doha to focus on the production of LNG, which Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, is one of the largest global exporters of. Despite an annual oil extraction rate of only 1.8% of the total of OPEC countries (about 600,000 barrels a day), Qatar is one of the founding members of the organization and has always had a strong political influence on the governance of the organization. In a global context where international relations are entering a multipolar phase, things like cooperation and development become fundamental; so it should not surprise that Doha has decide to abandon OPEC. OPEC is one of the few unipolar organizations that no longer has a meaningful purpose in 2018, given the new realities governing international relations and the importance of the Russian Federation in the oil market.

Besides that, Saudi Arabia requires the organization to maintain a high level of oil production due to pressure coming from Washington to achieve a very low cost per barrel of oil. The US energy strategy targets Iranian and Russian revenue from oil exports, but it also aims to give the US a speedy economic boost. Trump often talks about the price of oil falling as his personal victory. The US imports about 10 million barrels of oil a day, which is why Trump wrongly believes that a decrease in the cost per barrel could favor a boost to the US economy. The economic reality shows a strong correlation between the price of oil and the financial growth of a country, with low prices of crude oil often synonymous of a slowing down in the economy.

It must be remembered that to keep oil prices low, OPEC countries are required to maintain a high rate of production, doubling the damage to themselves. Firstly, they take less income than expected and, secondly, they deplete their oil reserves to favor the strategy imposed by Saudi Arabia on OPEC to please the White House. It is clearly a strategy that for a country like Qatar (and perhaps Venezuela and Iran in the near future) makes little sense, given the diplomatic and commercial rupture with Riyadh stemming from tensions between the Gulf countries.

In contrast, the OPEC+ organization, which also includes other countries like the Russian Federation, Mexico and Kazakhstan, seems to now to determine oil and its cost per barrel. At the moment, OPEC and Russia have agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day, contradicting Trump’s desire for high oil output.

With this last choice Qatar sends a clear signal to the region and to traditional allies, moving to the side of OPEC+ and bringing its interests closer in line with those of the Russian Federation and its all-encompassing oil and gas strategy, two sectors in which Qatar and Russia dominate market share.

In addition, Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey (a future energy hub connecting east and west as well as north and south) and Venezuela. In this sense, the meeting between Maduro and Erdogan seems to be a prelude to further reorganization of OPEC and its members.

The declining leadership role of Saudi Arabia in the oil and financial market goes hand in hand with the increase of power that countries like Qatar and Russia in the energy sectors are enjoying. The realignment of energy and finance signals the evident decline of the Israel-US-Saudi Arabia partnership. Not a day goes by without corruption scandals in Israel, accusations against the Saudis over Khashoggi or Yemen, and Trump’s unsuccessful strategies in the commercial, financial or energy arenas. The path this doomed

trio is taking will only procure less influence and power, isolating them more and more from their opponents and even historical allies.

Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi, the Eurasian powerhouses, seem to have every intention, as seen at the trilateral summit in Buenos Aires, of developing the ideal multipolar frameworks to avoid continued US dominance of the oil market through shale revenues or submissive allies as Saudi Arabia, even though the latest spike in production is a clear signal from Riyadh to the USA. In this sense, Qatar’s decision to abandon OPEC and start a complex and historical discussion with Moscow on LNG in the format of an enlarged OPEC marks the definitive decline of Saudi Arabia as a global energy power, to be replaced by Moscow and Doha as the main players in the energy market.

Qatar’s decision is, officially speaking, unconnected to the feud triggered by Saudi Arabia against the small emirate. However, it is evident that a host of factors has led to this historic decision. The unsuccessful military campaign in Yemen has weakened Saudi Arabia on all fronts, especially militarily and economically. The self-inflicted fall in the price of oil is rapidly consuming Saudi currency reserves, now at a new low of less than 500 billion dollars. Events related to Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) have de-legitimized the role of Riyadh in the world as a reliable diplomatic interlocutor. The internal and external repression by the Kingdom has provoked NGOs and governments like Canada’s to issue public rebukes that have done little to help MBS’s precarious position.

In Syria, the victory of Damascus and her allies has consolidated the role of Moscow in the region, increased Iranian influence, and brought Turkey and Qatar to the multipolar side, with Tehran and Moscow now the main players in the Middle East. In terms of military dominance, there has been a clear regional shift from Washington to Moscow; and from an energy perspective, Doha and Moscow are turning out to be the winners, with Riyadh once again on the losing side.

As long as the Saudi royal family continues to please Donald Trump, who is prone to catering to Israeli interests in the region, the situation of the Kingdom will only get worse. The latest agreement on oil production between Moscow and Riyad signals that someone in the Saudi royal family has probably figured this out.

Countries like Turkey, India, China, Russia and Iran understand the advantages of belonging to a multipolar world, thereby providing a collective geopolitical ballast that is mutually beneficial. The energy alignment between Qatar and the Russian Federation seems to support this general direction, a sort of G2 of LNG gas that will only strengthen the position of Moscow on the global chessboard, while guaranteeing a formidable military umbrella for Doha in case of a further worsening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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