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Hariri’s capture was instrumental to the “Red Prince’s” rise to power

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman forced the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and subsequently detained him not just to destabilize Lebanon, but because the foreign leader is a dual-Saudi national who was plotting against the future King and could have granted “political asylum” to fleeing royals eager to one day exact their revenge on the “Red Prince”.  

Andrew Korybko

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Mohammed Bin Salman’s “deep state” coup has taken the world by storm and is becoming one of the most geopolitically disruptive events in the Mideast’s recent history. The author wrote about this in four separate articles that the reader is encouraged to skim through if they’re not already familiar with his interpretation of what’s happening:

* Mohammed Bin Salman: The Unlikely Anti-Oligarchic Bolshevik?

* Mohammed Bin Salman’s Post-Coup Bellicose Strategy, Bluff or Bluster?

* Saudi-“Israeli” Leaks: Collusion Or Opportunism?

* From Feudalism To The Future: How the “Red Prince’s” “Revolution” Could Modernize The Monarchy

The general idea is that the Crown Prince preemptively moved to thwart a pro-US royalist coup against him in response to the socio-economic and religious reforms that he initiated with his Vision 2030 program, as well as in retribution for his daring game-changing Great Power partnerships with China and Russia. Mohammed Bin Salman is also a “Red Prince” in the sense that his anti-oligarchic and Bolshevik maneuver (in terms of strategy and tactics, respectively) could seize upwards of $800 billion and redirect it to massive public works projects associated with his Vision 2030 plan to transform his feudalist state into a capitalist node along China’s New Silk Road, albeit one of the most important in the Eastern Hemisphere due to its tri-continental location at the crossroads of the Afro-Eurasian pivot space.

In order to advance his grand strategic plan to save Saudi Arabia from itself by reversing its declining revenue, transition its oil-dependent economy into a real-sector one, and stave off the rising threat of a generational conflict between his majority-youthful and relatively “liberal” population and the Kingdom’s conservative and more religious “old guard”, the “Red Prince” had to absolutely eliminate all threats to his future kingship first, ergo why he commenced his “deep state” coup over the weekend. As part of this complex operation, Mohammed Bin Salman also needed to prevent any royal “fugitives” and their supporters from seeking safety elsewhere in the region to plot their comeback, and it’s here where Lebanon and in particular its former Prime Minister Saad Hariri come into play.

The former Lebanese premier is a dual-Saudi national, and it’s very likely that he was involved in the pro-US royalist plot to unseat the “Red Prince”, hence why Mohammed Bin Salman decided to eliminate him as a political threat. Much has already been written about how unprecedented it is for a foreign head of state to resign while visiting a supposedly allied country, and lots of reports have circulated that this was actually done under duress and that Hariri is being held prisoner in Saudi Arabia, but these stories tend to downplay the fact that the former Lebanese Prime Minister is a dual-Saudi citizen, and therefore subject to its laws while on its soil. This means that if he was implicated in the plot to unseat Mohammed Bin Salman, then the “Red Prince” technically has every legal right to take action against him, even if it’s executed under the guise of an anti-corruption campaign.

There’s admittedly a very grey line involved here because of how unique the whole affair is, but at the end of the day, whether Hariri was a head of state or not, his status as a dual-Saudi national takes precedence in the Kingdom’s laws over his foreign statesmanship. Moreover, just like what can be presumed to be the case for most – if not all – of the wealthy people in Saudi Arabia, Hariri probably obtained his fortune through some degree of corruption. To clarify, corruption in this case isn’t be used to refer to backroom deals with decision makers in obtaining government contracts (which is the social norm in Saudi Arabia despite being legally regarded as corruption in most Western societies), but to exploiting these said deals through some form or another of deception (e.g. charging more than previously agreed upon for a good or service, or not even providing it at all after receiving payment) in order to gain greater profits.

It can only be speculated at this time what sort of corruption Hariri may or may not have been engaged in, but it’s becoming increasingly evident that the former Prime Minister was caught up in Mohammed Bin Salman’s “deep state” dragnet and that this is probably the real reason behind his resignation. The collateral damage from this event runs the risk of destabilizing Lebanon, which has traditionally been a proxy battleground between Saudi Arabia and Iran, though that’s probably not why the “Red Prince” demanded the premier’s resignation. Like it was mentioned above, it’s more than likely due to Hariri’s alliance with an anti-Salman royal clan conspiring to overthrow Mohammed Bin Salman and replace the Crown Prince with one of their own instead. The “Red Prince” knew that it would be a step too far – even for him – to openly carry out a regime change against a foreign head of state simply because the said individual was plotting against him, which is why he had to resort to superficially indirect methods.

Therefore, Mohammed Bin Salman must have found one way or another to implicate Hariri in the Kingdom’s far-reaching anti-corruption dragnet (which itself is largely being used as a populist smokescreen for justifying the “Red Prince’s” power grab and redistribution of oligarchic resources to his socio-economic Vision 2030 programs) so as to have a semi-plausible pretext before international law for detaining the former Lebanese Prime Minister, who, for the sake of “legal technicalities”, was probably detained only after he was pressured to resign and “officially” become a private dual-Saudi citizen without any “diplomatic immunity” as a head of state. Hariri’s capture was central to Mohammed Bin Salman’s plans because it prevented Lebanon from becoming a base for any “fugitive” royals and their supporters who might have fled the Kingdom to regroup elsewhere in the region while plotting their revenge.

If Hariri, as a dual-Saudi national opposed to Mohammed Bin Salman and doubling as the Lebanese head of state, offered sanctuary to “political refugees” fleeing the Kingdom after their failed coup plans went awry, then the “Red Prince” would forever face a threat to his rule from the royals hiding out in Lebanon. The reader shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Lebanon has traditionally been a “playground” for the Saudi elite because its comparatively more liberal social situation allows the “weekday Wahhabis” to engage in such “haram” weekend activities as extramarital sex and alcohol consumption, so many of the country’s elite should rightly be presumed to have cultivated extensive contacts and influence here throughout the years, which is why they’re more than likely to have wanted to use Lebanon as their “base of operations” for plotting a comeback against the future King.

That scenario is now foiled, however, because Mohammed Bin Salman pressured Hariri to resign and is now likely holding him captive at the Rizt Carlton alongside the other detainees. The Lebanese government announced that it won’t react to Hariri’s resignation until he returns back to the country to explain what’s going on, but that’s probably only going to increase the odds that the “Red Prince” won’t let him leave. The last thing that the young leader needs is for Hariri to return back to Lebanon, denounce the “deep state” inquisition that the anti-oligarchic “Red Prince” is carrying out, and offer up his country’s territory to any “fugitive” royals and their supporters who want to fight back against him and regain their power. Worse still, Mohammed Bin Salman might fear that Hariri could deepen his working relations with Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which would essentially represent yet another major geopolitical fail by making Saudi Arabia “lose” Lebanon just like it irresponsibly “lost” Qatar nearly half a year ago because of the “Red Prince’s” impetuousness.

It’s perhaps due to this tacit realization that even some of Hariri’s opponents are feigning concern about his fate and all of a sudden supporting him on a “patriotic” basis by condemning the Saudis’ forced resignation of their head of state and his subsequent detainment. These individuals might have cursed Hariri a week ago and prayed for his downfall or worse, but now that he’s out of office due to the circumstances of Mohammed Bin Salman’s “deep state” coup – who they arguably hate more than Hariri because the future King is more powerful and has much more blood on his hands – Hariri is basically being heralded as a “martyr” of Lebanese statehood, and people who would never have previously thought to defend him are rushing to offer up their condemnation of the “Red Prince”.

This Machiavellian power reversal carries with it a certain logic, because if Hariri is released and allowed to return to Lebanon, then it might turn against his Crown Prince captor and side more closely with his Iranian rivals out of spite. Should his resignation be declared invalid because it was tendered under duress, then Hariri might be reinstituted as Prime Minister and therefore allowed to grant “political asylum” to any “fugitive” “rebel royals” and their supporters, thus turning the Hezbollah-controlled country into a base of regime change operations against the “Red Prince” and representing a game-changing development in the regional Saudi-Iranian rivalry. That’s probably why Mohammed Bin Salman won’t let him go anytime soon, though, and might even see to it that Hariri suffers an “accident” just like Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin did a few days ago when his helicopter went (or was shot?) down over the country’s southern desert and killed everyone on board who tried to flee from the “deep state” coup.

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. 

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian

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The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

RT

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Via RT


The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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The conclusion of Russiagate, Part II – news fatigue across America

The daily barrage of Russiagate news may have been a tool to wear down the American public as the Deep State plays the long game for control.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Presently there is a media blitz on across the American news media networks. As was the case with the Russiagate investigation while it was ongoing, the conclusions have merely given rise to a rather unpleasant afterbirth in some ways as all the parties involve pivot their narratives. The conclusion of Russiagate appears to be heavily covered, yet if statistics here at The Duran are any indication, there is a good possibility that the public is absolutely fatigued over this situation.

And, perhaps, folks, that is by design.

Joseph Goebbels had many insights about the use of the media to deliver and enforce propaganda. One of his quotes runs thus:

The best propaganda is that which, as it were, works invisibly, penetrates the whole of life without the public having any knowledge of the propagandistic initiative.

and another:

That is of course rather painful for those involved. One should not as a rule reveal one’s secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

If there has ever been a narrative that employed these two principles, it is Russiagate.

A staggering amount of attention has been lavished on this nothing-burger issue. Axios reports that an analytics company named Newswhip tallied an astounding 533,074 web articles published about Russia and President Trump and the Mueller investigation (a number which is being driven higher even now, moment by moment, ad nauseam). Newsbusters presently reports that the networks gave 2,284 minutes to the coverage of this issue, a number which seems completely inaccurate because it is much too low (38 hours at present), and we are waiting for a correction on this estimate.

Put it another way: Are you sick of Russiagate? That is because it has dominated the news for over 675 days of nearly wall-to-wall news cycles. The political junkies on both sides are still pretty jazzed up about this story – the Pro-Trump folks rejoicing over the presently ‘cleared’ status, while of course preparing for the upcoming Democrat / Deep State pivot, and the Dems in various levels of stress as they try to figure out exactly how to pivot in such a manner that they do not lose face – or pace – in continuing their efforts to rid their lives of the “Irritant-in-Chief” who now looks like he is in the best position of his entire presidency.

But a lot of people do not care. They are tired.

I hate to say it (and yes, I am speaking personally and directly), but this may be a dangerous fatigue. Here is why:

The barrage of propaganda on this issue was never predicated on any facts. It still isn’t. However, as we noted a few days ago, courtesy of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, at present, 53% of US registered voters believe that the Trump campaign worked with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

That means 53% of the voting public now believes something that is totally false.

Many of these people are probably simply exhausted from the constant coverage of this allegation as well. So when the news came out Sunday night that there was no evidence of collusion and no conclusive evidence, hence, of obstruction of justice by the Trump Administration – in other words, this whole thing was a nothing burger – will this snap those 53% back into reality?

Probably not. Many of them may well be so worn down that they no longer care. Or worse, they are so worn out that they will continue to believe the things they are told that sustain the lie, despite its being called out as such.

C.S. Lewis wrote about this peculiarity of human nature, in particular in the seventh book of his Chronicles of Narnia. After a prolonged and fierce assault on the sensibilities of the Narnians with the story that Aslan, the Christ figure of this world, was in fact an angry overlord, selling the Narnians themselves into slavery, and selling the whole country out to its enemy, with the final touch being that Aslan and the devilish deity of the enemy nation were in fact one and the same, the Narnians were unable to snap back to reality when it was shown conclusively and clearly that this was in fact not the case.

The fear that was instilled from the use of false narratives persisted and blocked the animals from reality.

Lewis summarized it this way through the thoughts of Tirian, the lead character in this tale:

Tirian had never dreamed that one of the results of an Ape’s setting up as a false Aslan would be to stop people from believing in the real one. He had felt quite sure that the Dwarfs would rally to his side the moment he showed them how they had been deceived. And then next night he would have led them to Stable Hill and shown Puzzle to all the creatures and everyone would have turned against the Ape and, perhaps after a scuffle with the Calormenes, the whole thing would have been over. But now, it seemed, he could count on nothing. How many other Narnians might turn the same way as the Dwarfs?

This is part of the toll this very long propaganda campaign is very likely to take on many Americans. It takes being strongly informed and educated on facts to withstand the withering force of a narrative that never goes away. Indeed, if anything, it takes even more effort now, because the temptation of the pro-Trump side will be to retreat to a set of political talking points that, interestingly enough, validate Robert Mueller’s “integrity” when only a week ago they were attacking this as a false notion.

This is very dangerous, and even though Mr. Trump and his supporters won this battle, if they do not come at this matter in a way that shows education, and not merely the restating of platitudes and talking points that “should be more comfortable, now that we’ve won!”

The cost of Russiagate may be far higher than anyone wants it to be. And yes, speaking personally, I understand the fatigue. I am tired of this issue too. But the temptation to go silent may have already taken a lot of people so far that they will not accept the reality that has just been revealed.

Politics is a very fickle subject. Truth is extremely malleable for many politicians, and that is saying it very nicely. But this issue was not just politics. It was slander with a purpose, and that purpose is unchanged now. In fact things may even be more dangerous for the President – even risking his very life – because if the powers that are working behind the people trying to get rid of President Trump come to realize that they have no political support, they will move to more extreme measures. In fact this may have already been attempted.

We at The Duran reported a few months ago on a very strange but very compelling story that suggested that there was an attempted assassination and coup that was supposed to have taken place on January 17th of this year. It did not happen, but there was a parallel story that noted that the President may have been targeted for assassination already no fewer than twelve times.  Hopefully this is just tinfoil-hat stuff. But we have seen that this effort to be rid of President Trump is fierce and it is extremely well-supported within its group. There is no reason to think that the pressure will lighten now that this battle has been lost.

The stakes are much too high, and even this long investigation may well have been part of the weaponry of the group we sometimes refer to as the “Deep State” in their effort to reacquire power, and in their effort to continue to pursue both a domestic and geopolitical agenda that has so far shown itself to be destructive to both individuals and nations all over the world.

Speculation? Yes. Needless? We hope so. This is a terrible possibility that hopefully no reasonable person wants to consider.

Honestly, folks, we do not know. But we had to put this out there for your consideration.

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