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America’s Nuclear Death Wish – Europe Must Rebel

Europe is now facing the disastrous prospect of American missiles being reinstalled across its territory as they were in the 1980s.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The Trump administration’s declared scrapping of a crucial arms control treaty is putting the world on notice of a nuclear war, sooner or later.

Any such war is not winnable. It is mutually assured destruction. Yet the arrogant American rulers – some of them at least – seem to be deluded in thinking they can win such a war.

What makes the American position even more execrable is that it is being pushed by people who have never fought a war. Indeed, by people like President Donald Trump and his hawkish national security advisor John Bolton who both dodged military service to their country during the Vietnam War. How’s that for macabre mockery? The world is being pushed to war by a bunch of effete cowards who are clueless about war.

Trump announced last this week that the US was finally pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a move confirmed by Bolton on a follow-up trip to Moscow. That treaty was signed in 1987 by former President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It was a landmark achievement of cooperation and trust between the nuclear superpowers. Both sides removed short and medium-range nuclear missiles from Europe.

With Trump intending to rip up the INF Treaty, as his predecessor GW Bush had done with the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002, Europe is now facing the disastrous prospect of American missiles being reinstalled across its territory as they were in the 1980s. However, a big distinction between then and now is that after years of expansion by NATO, European territory is at an even sharper interface with Russia’s heartland.

When the INF Treaty was implemented three decades ago, the US and Russian nuclear arsenals were seriously dialed back to the strategic level of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) confined on respective landmasses separated by thousands of kilometers. As Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of Natsionalnaya Oborona, told Russia’s Vesti news channel, the ICBMs typically have a flight time of 30 minutes from launch. That time gap would give Russian defense systems time to respond effectively to an incoming strike from the US, and vice versa.

But, as Korotchenko noted, the impending installation of intermediate-range missiles by the Americans in European states will reduce the flight time of a possible US nuclear strike on Russia to a couple of minutes, even seconds. That would seriously challenge Russian anti-missile defenses, as well as greatly increasing the margin of error in detecting a strike, possibly leading to mistaken escalation. In other words, the strategic balance has been thrown into disarray by the US over the INF, just as it was again thrown into disarray back in 2002 when Bush trashed the ABM.

It also presents the Americans with the temptation to exercise their “first-strike doctrine”. In US military planning, it reserves the “right” to use a pre-emptive attack. By contrast, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated again last week that Russia will never use a first-strike option, that it would only use nuclear weapons as a defensive action.

Recall that earlier this month, the US envoy to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, said that American forces would “take out” Russian missiles if they are deemed to be violating the INF. It was an appalling expression of the pre-emptive prerogative that Washington grants itself, even though the information upon which it would base its action is highly questionable.

Putting the American logic together one can say that the US rulers have a death wish on the planet. With criminal recklessness, they are moving to loosen the international controls over deploying nuclear weapons and are creating a situation in Europe that puts nuclear war on a hair-trigger.

Moscow vowed last week that it will respond “militarily” if Washington goes ahead with scrapping the INF Treaty. Russia can be expected to counter by deploying shorter-range missiles that will put NATO-allied Europe in the firing line.

Surely, the European states must be asking themselves what kind of ally they supposedly have in the US. What kind of ally puts its supposed friends in the firing line, under the name of “protecting them”, while it remains at relatively safer distance?

The European Union has reacted to Trump’s announced withdrawal from the INF Treaty with horror. The EU is calling on the US to adhere to the treaty and to negotiate with Russia over purported complaints. French President Emmanuel Macron telephoned Trump, appealing that the treaty has been a vital element of Europe’s peace for the past 30 years.

Washington has been claiming for the past four years, since the Obama administration, that Russia is violating the INF by allegedly developing medium-range, ground-launched cruise missiles. Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims, pointing out that the Americans have not presented evidence to back up their accusations. Washington says its information is classified, and so can’t be publicly revealed. That’s hardly convincing given past American deceptions over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Iran and Syria.

In any case, it is the Americans who are making a big deal about the alleged Russian violations of the INF. If the Europeans were really concerned, why haven’t they kicked up a fuss? The fact that the Europeans are pleading with Washington to adhere to the INF suggests that they are not convinced by allegations of Russia posing a missile threat.

Moreover, if there are disputes and complaints from the American side, then let them iron these problems out through diplomacy and negotiation.

It is telling that the US wants to instead escalate the tensions and the risks of war in such a reckless manner. That betrays its real agenda of seeking to militarize problems, rather than exploring political solutions. The difference it seems comes down to the US not actually having a valid political argument, so it must exercise its power through militarism as a way to conceal its lack of rational validity.

The root problem of INF Treaty tensions and alleged violations stems from the US-led configuration of military forces encroaching ever-closer on Russian territory. If the US were genuinely interested in ensuring security and peace in Europe then it would listen to Russia’s concern over the provocative expansion of US-led NATO forces towards its Western border. When Reagan signed the INF with Gorbachev it was on the understanding and commitment from the US side not to advance its military towards Russia “by one inch”. In 30 years, US forces have pushed all the way from Germany to the Baltic and Black Seas on Russia’s doorstep. Washington is trying to enlist Ukraine and Georgia into the NATO alliance, indeed is carrying out war drills with these two former Soviet Union states which share borders with Russia.

If the US now re-installs medium-range nuclear missiles with flight times to Moscow down to a matter of seconds then we can lament that the abandonment of the INF is a grave watershed move towards nuclear war.

The way out of this heinous dilemma is not only maintaining the INF Treaty. Furthermore, there should a wholesale scaling back of NATO forces in Europe on Russia’s Western, Northern and Southern flanks. Just this month, NATO is holding its biggest-ever war maneuvers since the Cold War in the Arctic region on Russia’s border with 50,000 troops, accompanied by a flurry of surveillance flights over Russia’s coast.

The insanity of America’s death wish for nuclear war has to stop. The American ruling class won’t stop it because their death wish mentality is so suffused with blind arrogance and ignorance and it is so integral with the “normal” functioning of their capitalist military-industrial complex.

Russia is holding the line with its undoubted military capability and its principled diplomatic prudence. But it is time for the Europeans to step up to the plate and to exert some sense on the Americans.

For a start, the EU states should tell Trump that any plan to re-install medium-range nuclear weapons on their soil is impermissible.

Secondly, the Europeans need to scale back the NATO expansion towards Russian territory.

Thirdly, they need to tell Washington that Russia is a partner, not a pariah to be abused for the benefit of American militarism and hegemonic ambitions.

Will the Europeans do that? Their leaders may not have the backbone, but the citizens of Europe will have to, if they want to prevent their American “ally” inciting a nuclear cataclysm. American arrogance is fomenting a European rebellion against its death-wish criminal leaders.

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FredVivian TzamisOlivia KrothTheCelotajsSmokingeagle Recent comment authors
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a.f

Ukraine at UN gets powerful support for its sovereignty – president31.10.2018 09:48 124 The UN Security Council has reaffirmed the continuing international isolation of Moscow and the UN’s powerful support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko has said on his Facebook page. “Extremely significant and expressive results of the meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine are a powerful support for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. […] I am sincerely grateful to our international partners and the leadership of the UN Secretariat for firm solidarity with Ukraine and the call for greater humanitarian… Read more »

Sean
Guest
Sean

More demented Bs from yet another Ukronazi shill. You people are the most stupid in Europe, if not the planet. Your “country” is a bankrupt, corrupt, failed state, which relies on the little economic activity it has left, on Russia, and this madness is all you can come up with? Pathetic.

a.f.
Guest
a.f.

92% of the Russian support the Genocide by the Russian Army in Donbass, you also? And the downing of MH17 BY rUSSIAN nAZZIES?

a.f
Guest
a.f

92% of the Russian supported in 2014 Putins decision to down MH17 in 2014, now down to only 56%.
Putins invasion in Donbass in 2014 is still supported by only 74% of the Russians.

Bob Valdez
Guest
Bob Valdez

You need to change your meds and face the true reality.

Ruca
Guest
Ruca

Please tell us. What exactly does your prostate look like?

a.f.
Guest
a.f.

You, nazzies hate the truth

Tom
Guest
Tom

More lying Bs from another Ukronazi idiot. MH17 was downed by Poroshenko’s Ukronazi military.

ruca
Guest
ruca

To be specific, Kolomoisky.

a.f.
Guest
a.f.

International Investigation showed the truth. Russian downed it. The Kursk Brigade!

a.f.
Guest
a.f.

Mayor Dubinsky from the Kursk Brigade: I got the order from the Kremlin!

Shaun Ramewe
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Shaun Ramewe

Maybe now the EU will wake up and realize they are being conned and forsaken by the dirty rip-off ZioYank imperialists who are responsible for MH17 and other atrocites everywhere.

Bob Valdez
Guest
Bob Valdez

“Washington has been claiming for the past four years, since the Obama administration, that Russia is violating the INF by allegedly developing medium-range, ground-launched cruise missiles. Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims, pointing out that the Americans have not presented evidence to back up their accusations. Washington says its information is classified, and so can’t be publicly revealed.”

It is a good guarantee that if such information is “classified”, it DOES NOT EXIST.

Jake Breker
Guest

A long article to basically say this “For a start, the EU states should tell Trump that any plan to re-install medium-range nuclear weapons on their soil is impermissible”.

Olivia Kroth, author and journalist
Member

Quite right! The article is stating that the EU should “say” anything meaningful and valid which will have political consequences. But the EU has no power whatsover, the EU is a US overseas protectorate and will do exactly as the Pentagon wishes …

Steve Hayes
Guest

Calling people who did not serve in the military cowards for the non-service is beneath you.

Raymond Comeau
Guest
Raymond Comeau

I suggest that you take that statement as being too broad. I think the comment means those who were purposely avoiding fighting the war by getting out of it by faked medical problems. For example, what did Trump have a hangnail or a shin splint, or a pimple on his brain or ass! ( or are those two body parts of Trump the same )!

Smokingeagle
Guest
Smokingeagle

Almost one in two Germans want the US bases in Germany closed. Now would be a good time to give them the boot.

TheCelotajs
Guest
TheCelotajs

It is time all countries give up and destroy their nuclear weapons including Israel who keep saying they don’t have nuclear weapons. Just how may time do we need to blow up the world and destroy man kind as we know it 600 1000 times or even more. The really need for nuclear material is for the use in medical equipment such as x-ray machines and for treating cancer other wise it all can be destroyed.

Vivian Tzamis
Guest
Vivian Tzamis

All this is theatre…..US bases across Europe serve only one purpose….to facilitate the massive drugs weapons and human trafficking trade…that’s why they need so many…the NATO encirclement of Russia is about stealing their resources…and those of Central Asia…that’s why Turkey built that mega-airfield… Turkey has always been the nexus of the vast International Mafia network of assassins…everyone is in on it…Iran, Russia, US UK EU…and of course Israel

Fred
Guest
Fred

Eu cannot handle this conundrum…hence Merkel resigning and Macron going off with stress after hopefully being fully briefed by Putin the other day.

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Canada to Pay Heavy Price for Trudeau’s Groupie Role in US Banditry Against China

Trudeau would had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Huawei CFO Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


You do have to wonder about the political savvy of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government. The furious fallout from China over the arrest of a senior telecoms executive is going to do severe damage to Canadian national interests.

Trudeau’s fawning over American demands is already rebounding very badly for Canada’s economy and its international image.

The Canadian arrest – on behalf of Washington – of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, seems a blatant case of the Americans acting politically and vindictively. If the Americans are seen to be acting like bandits, then the Canadians are their flunkies.

Wanzhou was detained on December 1 by Canadian federal police as she was boarding a commercial airliner in Vancouver. She was reportedly handcuffed and led away in a humiliating manner which has shocked the Chinese government, media and public.

The business executive has since been released on a $7.4 million bail bond, pending further legal proceedings. She is effectively being kept under house arrest in Canada with electronic ankle tagging.

To add insult to injury, it is not even clear what Wanzhou is being prosecuted for. The US authorities have claimed that she is guilty of breaching American sanctions against Iran by conducting telecoms business with Tehran. It is presumed that the Canadians arrested Wanzhou at the request of the Americans. But so far a US extradition warrant has not been filed. That could take months. In the meantime, the Chinese businesswoman will be living under curfew, her freedom denied.

Canadian legal expert Christopher Black says there is no juridical case for Wanzhou’s detention. The issue of US sanctions on Iran is irrelevant and has no grounds in international law. It is simply the Americans applying their questionable national laws on a third party. Black contends that Canada has therefore no obligation whatsoever to impose those US laws regarding Iran in its territory, especially given that Ottawa and Beijing have their own separate bilateral diplomatic relations.

In any case, what the real issue is about is the Americans using legal mechanisms to intimidate and beat up commercial rivals. For months now, Washington has made it clear that it is targeting Chinese telecoms rivals as commercial competitors in a strategic sector. US claims about China using telecoms for “spying” and “infiltrating” American national security are bogus propaganda ruses to undermine these commercial rivals through foul means.

It also seems clear from US President Donald Trump’s unsubtle comments this week to Reuters, saying he would “personally intervene” in the Meng case “if it helped trade talks with China”, that the Huawei executive is being dangled like a bargaining chip. It was a tacit admission by Trump that the Americans really don’t have a legal case against her.

Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland bounced into damage limitation mode following Trump’s thuggish comments. She said that the case should not be “politicized” and that the legal proceedings should not be tampered with. How ironic is that?

The whole affair has been politicized from the very beginning. Meng’s arrest, or as Christopher Black calls it “hostage-taking”, is driven by Washington’s agenda of harassment against China for commercial reasons, under a legal pretext purportedly about Iranian sanctions.

When Trump revealed the cynical expediency of him “helping to free Wanzhou”, then the Canadians realized they were also being exposed for the flunkies that they are for American banditry. That’s why Freeland was obliged to quickly adopt the fastidious pretense of legal probity.

Canadian premier Justin Trudeau has claimed that he wasn’t aware of the American request for Wanzhou’s detention. Trudeau is being pseudo. For such a high-profile infringement against a senior Chinese business leader, Ottawa must have been fully briefed by the Americans. Christopher Black, the legal expert, believes that Trudeau would had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

What Trudeau and his government intended to get out of performing this sordid role for American thuggery is far from clear. Maybe after being verbally mauled by Trump as “weak and dishonest” at the G7 summit earlier this year, in June, Trudeau decided it was best to roll over and be a good little puppy for the Americans in their dirty deed against China.

But already it has since emerged that Canada is going to pay a very heavy price indeed for such dubious service to Washington. Beijing has warned that it will take retaliation against both Washington and Ottawa. And it is Ottawa that is more vulnerable to severe repercussions.

This week saw two Canadian citizens, one a former diplomat, detained in China on spying charges.

Canadian business analysts are also warning that Beijing can inflict harsh economic penalties on Ottawa. An incensed Chinese public have begun boycotting Canadian exports and sensitive Canadian investments in China are now at risk from being blocked by Beijing. A proposed free trade deal that was being negotiated between Ottawa and Beijing now looks dead in the water.

And if Trudeau’s government caves in to the excruciating economic pressure brought to bear by Beijing and then abides by China’s demand to immediately release Meng Wanzhou, Ottawa will look like a pathetic, gutless lackey to Washington. Canada’s reputation of being a liberal, independent state will be shredded. Even then the Chinese are unlikely to forget Trudeau’s treachery.

With comic irony, there’s a cringemaking personal dimension to this unseemly saga.

During the 197os when Trudeau’s mother Margaret was a thirty-something socialite heading for divorce from his father, then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, she was often in the gossip media for indiscretions at nightclubs. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards claims in his autobiography that Margaret Trudeau was a groupie for the band, having flings with Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood. Her racy escapades and louche lifestyle brought shame to many Canadians.

Poor Margaret Trudeau later wound up divorced, disgraced, financially broke and scraping a living from scribbling tell-all books.

Justin, her eldest son, is finding out that being a groupie for Washington’s banditry is also bringing disrepute for him and his country.

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US Commits To “Indefinite” Occupation Of Syria; Controls Region The Size Of Croatia

Raqqa is beginning to look more and more like Baghdad circa 2005.

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Via Zerohedge


“We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation” — a Syrian resident in US-controlled Raqqa told Stars and Stripes military newspaper. This as the Washington Post noted this week that “U.S. troops will now stay in Syria indefinitely, controlling a third of the country and facing peril on many fronts.”

Like the “forever war” in Afghanistan, will we be having the same discussion over the indefinite occupation of Syria stretching two decades from now? A new unusually frank assessment in Stars and Stripes bluntly lays out the basic facts concerning the White House decision to “stay the course” until the war’s close:

That decision puts U.S. troops in overall control, perhaps indefinitely, of an area comprising nearly a third of Syria, a vast expanse of mostly desert terrain roughly the size of Louisiana.

The Pentagon does not say how many troops are there. Officially, they number 503, but earlier this year an official let slip that the true number may be closer to 4,000

A prior New Yorker piece described the US-occupied area east of the Euphrates as “an area about the size of Croatia.” With no Congressional vote, no public debate, and not even so much as an official presidential address to the nation, the United States is settling in for another endless occupation of sovereign foreign soil while relying on the now very familiar post-911 AUMF fig leaf of “legality”.

Like the American public and even some Pentagon officials of late have been pointing out for years regarding Afghanistan, do US forces on the ground even know what the mission is? The mission may be undefined and remain ambiguously to “counter Iran”, yet the dangers and potential for major loss in blood and treasure loom larger than ever.

According to Stars and Stripes the dangerous cross-section of powder keg conflicts and geopolitical players means “a new war” is on the horizon:

The new mission raises new questions, about the role they will play and whether their presence will risk becoming a magnet for regional conflict and insurgency.

The area is surrounded by powers hostile both to the U.S. presence and the aspirations of the Kurds, who are governing the majority-Arab area in pursuit of a leftist ideology formulated by an imprisoned Turkish Kurdish leader. Signs that the Islamic State is starting to regroup and rumblings of discontent within the Arab community point to the threat of an insurgency.

Without the presence of U.S. troops, these dangers would almost certainly ignite a new war right away, said Ilham Ahmed, a senior official with the Self-Administration of North and East Syria, as the self-styled government of the area is called.

“They have to stay. If they leave and there isn’t a solution for Syria, it will be catastrophic,” she said.

But staying also heralds risk, and already the challenges are starting to mount.
So a US-backed local politician says the US can’t leave or there will be war, while American defense officials simultaneously recognize they are occupying the very center of an impending insurgency from hell — all of which fits the textbook definition of quagmire perfectly.

The New Yorker: “The United States has built a dozen or more bases from Manbij to Al-Hasakah, including four airfields, and American-backed forces now control all of Syria east of the Euphrates, an area about the size of Croatia.”

But in September the White House announced a realignment of its official priorities in Syria, namely to act “as a bulwark against Iran’s expanding influence.” This means the continued potential and likelihood of war with Syria, Iran, and Russia in the region is ever present, per Stripes:

Syrian government troops and Iranian proxy fighters are to the south and west. They have threatened to take the area back by force, in pursuit of President Bashar Assad’s pledge to bring all of Syria under government control.

Already signs of an Iraq-style insurgency targeting US forces in eastern Syria are beginning to emerge.

In Raqqa, the largest Syrian city at the heart of US occupation and reconstruction efforts, the Stripes report finds the following:

The anger on the streets is palpable. Some residents are openly hostile to foreign visitors, which is rare in other towns and cities freed from Islamic State control in Syria and Iraq. Even those who support the presence of the U.S. military and the SDF say they are resentful that the United States and its partners in the anti-ISIS coalition that bombed the city aren’t helping to rebuild.

And many appear not to support their new rulers.

We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation,” said one man, a tailor, who didn’t want to give his name because he feared the consequences of speaking his mind. “I don’t know why they had to use such a huge number of weapons and destroy the city. Yes, ISIS was here, but we paid the price. They have a responsibility.”

Recent reports out of the Pentagon suggests defense officials simply want to throw more money into US efforts in Syria, which are further focused on training and supplying the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (or Kurdish/YPG-dominated SDF), which threatens confrontation with Turkey as its forces continue making preparations for a planned attack on Kurdish enclaves in Syria this week.

Meanwhile, Raqqa is beginning to look more and more like Baghdad circa 2005:

Everyone says the streets are not safe now. Recent months have seen an uptick in assassinations and kidnappings, mostly targeting members of the security forces or people who work with the local council. But some critics of the authorities have been gunned down, too, and at night there are abductions and robberies.

As America settles in for yet another endless and “indefinite” occupation of a Middle East country, perhaps all that remains is for the president to land on an aircraft carrier with “Mission Accomplished” banners flying overhead?

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The real reason Western media & CIA turned against Saudi MBS

The problem with MBS isn’t that he is a mass murdering war criminal, it is that he is too “independent” for the United States’ liking.

RT

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Via RT…


Forces are aligning against Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, lead by elements within the CIA and strong players in the mainstream media. But what is really behind this deterioration in relationship, and what are its implications?

Following the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, western media and various entities, including the CIA, appear to have turned their back on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS). In response to the scandal, the Guardian released a video which its celebutante, Owen Jones, captioned“Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest threats on Earth. Time to stop propping up its repulsive regime.”

The Guardian was not alone in its condemnation. “It’s high time to end Saudi impunity,” wrote Hana Al-Khamri in Al-Jazeera. “It’s time for Saudi Arabia to tell the truth on Jamal Khashoggi,” the Washington Post’s Editorial Board argued. Politico called it “the tragedy of Jamal Khashoggi.”

Even shadowy think-tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Atlantic Council released articles criticising Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi’s death.

A number of companies began backing away from Saudi money after the journalist’s death, including the world’s largest media companies such as the New York Times, the Economist’s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, Arianna Huffington, CNN, CNBC, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Google Cloud CEO, just to name a few.

The CIA concluded that MBS personally ordered Khashoggi’s death, and was reportedly quite open in its provision of this assessment. Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, also took time out of his schedule to express concern over Saudi Arabia’s confirmation of the killing.

At the time of the scandal, former CIA director John Brennan went on MSNBC to state that the Khashoggi’s death would be the downfall of MBS. Furthermore, the US Senate just voted in favour of ending American involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen (a somewhat symbolic victory, though this is a topic for another article), but nonetheless was a clear stab at MBS personally.

The only person who appeared to continue to uphold America’s unfaltering support for MBS, even after all the publicly made evidence against MBS, was the US president himself. So after years of bombarding Yemen, sponsoring terror groups across the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific and beyond, why is it only now that there has been mounting opposition to Saudi Arabia’s leadership? Let’s just bear in mind that western media had spent years investing in a heavy PR campaign to paint MBS as a “reformer.”

Former national security adviser under Barack Obama’s second term, Susan Rice, wrote an article in the New York Times, in which she called MBS a “partner we can’t depend on.” Rice concludes that MBS is “not and can no longer be viewed as a reliable partner of the United States and our allies.” But why is this? Is it because MBS is responsible for some of the most egregious human rights abuses inside his own kingdom as well as in Yemen? Is it because of MBS’ support for groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda? No, according to Rice, we “should not rupture our important relationship with the kingdom, but we must make it clear it cannot be business as usual so long as Prince Mohammad continues to wield unlimited power.”

One will observe that the latter segment of Rice’s article almost mirrors former CIA director Brennan’s word on MSNBC word for word who stated that:

“I think ultimately this is going to come out. And it’s very important for us to maintain the relations with Saudi Arabia. And if it’s Mohammed bin Salman who’s the cancer here, well, we need to be able to find ways to eliminate the cancer and to move forward with this relationship that is critical to regional stability and our national interests.”

In reality, this is probably the issue that western media and government advisors have taken up with MBS. Aside from the fact he allegedly held a huge hand in the brutal murder of one of their own establishment journalists (Saudi Arabia reportedly tortured and killed another journalist not long after Khashoggi, but western media was eerily silent on this incident) MBS is not opposed for his reckless disregard for human rights. With insight into Rice’s mindset, we actually learn that if the US were to punish MBS, he would be likely to “behave more irresponsibly to demonstrate his independence and exact retribution against his erstwhile Western partners.”

You see, the problem with MBS isn’t that he is a mass murdering war criminal, it is that he is too “independent” for the United States’ liking.

Last week, Saudi Arabia and the other major oil producers met in Vienna at the year’s final big OPEC meeting of the year. As Foreign Policy notes, Saudi Arabia remains the largest oil producer inside OPEC but has to contend with the US and Russia who are “pumping oil at record levels.” Together, the three countries are the world’s biggest oil producers, meaning any coordinated decision made between these three nations can be somewhat monumental.

However, it appears that one of these three nations will end up drawing the short end of the stick as the other two begin forming a closer alliance. As Foreign Policy explains:

“But Saudi Arabia has bigger game in mind at Vienna than just stabilizing oil prices. Recognizing that it can’t shape the global oil market by itself anymore but rather needs the cooperation of Russia, Saudi Arabia is hoping to formalize an ad hoc agreement between OPEC and Moscow that began in 2016, a time when dirt-cheap oil also posed a threat to oil-dependent regimes. That informal agreement expires at the end of the year, but the Saudis would like to make Russia’s participation with the cartel more permanent.”

Russian officials have been signalling their intention to formalise this agreement for quite some time now. Given the hysteria in western media about any and all things Russian, it is not too much of a stretch to suggest that this is the kind of news that is not sitting too well with the powers-that-be.

Earlier this year, Russia and Saudi Arabia announced that it would “institutionalize” the two-year-old bilateral agreement to coordinate oil production targets in order to maintain an edge on the global market.

While US president Trump has been supportive and incredibly defensive of MBS during this “crisis”, the truth is that the US only has itself to blame. It was not all too long ago that Trump announced that he had told Saudi King Salman that his kingdom would not last two weeks without US support.

Saudi Arabia is learning for themselves quite quickly that, ultimately, it may pay not to have all its eggs in one geopolitical superpower basket.

Saudi Arabia has been increasingly interested in Moscow since King Salman made a historic visit to Moscow in October 2017. While Trump has openly bragged about his record-breaking arms deals with the Saudis, the blunt truth is that the $110 billion arms agreements were reportedly only ever letters of interest or intent, but not actual contracts. As such, the US-Saudi arms deal is still yet to be locked in, all the while Saudi Arabia is negotiating with Russia for its S-400 air defence system. This is, as the Washington Post notes, despite repeated US requests to Saudi Arabia for it disavow its interest in Russia’s arms.

The economic threat that an “independent” Saudi Arabia under MBS’ leadership poses to Washington runs deeper than meets the eye and may indeed have a domino effect. According to CNN, Russia and Saudi Arabia “are engaged in an intense battle over who will be the top supplier to China, a major energy importer with an insatiable appetite for crude.”

The unveiling of China’s petro-yuan poses a major headache for Washington and its control over Saudi Arabia as well.According to Carl Weinberg, chief economist and managing director at High-Frequency Economics, China will “compel”Saudi Arabia to trade oil in Chinese yuan instead of US dollars. One must bear in mind that China has now surpassed the US as the “biggest oil importer on the planet,” these direct attacks on the US dollar will have huge implications for its current world reserve status.

If Saudi Arabia jumps on board China’s petro-yuan, the rest of OPEC will eventually follow, and the US might be left with no choice but to declare all of these countries in need of some vital freedom and democracy.

Therefore, ousting MBS and replacing him with a Crown Prince who doesn’t stray too far from the tree that is US imperialism may put a dent in pending relationships with Saudi Arabia and Washington’s adversaries, Russia and China.

Once we get over the certainty that the US media and the CIA are not against MBS for his long-list of human rights abuses, the question then becomes: why – why now, and in this manner, have they decided to put the spotlight on MBS and expose him exactly for what he is.

Clearly, the driving force behind this media outrage is a bit more complex than first meets the eye.

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