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Why Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed

Khashoggi’s critique was both eloquent and controversial. It’s why he was murdered.

The Duran

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Authored by Mark Perry via The Unz Review:


A new whisper campaign against him is trying to blur the truth: that he criticized certain U.S-Arab alliances, and paid the price…

In the early summer of 2005, during the height of the U.S. war in Iraq, I arranged to have lunch with Jerry Jones, a special assistant to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. I had heard rumors that Jones and a number of senior U.S. military leaders were holding quiet talks with prominent Islamists and other officials representing Iraq’s tribes at a hotel in Amman, Jordan. The discussions were part of an effort by Jones and senior military officers to end the Anbar insurgency, which was responsible for a lengthening list of U.S. casualties in Iraq.

For the outset of our meeting, Jones (a gangly and affable Texan who’d served in influential positions in several Republican administrations), detailed the challenges facing the U.S. military in Anbar and provided a summary of the “brutal,” “bloody” and “harrowing” fighting there. America’s military deaths were spiking, with no end in sight. “We’re in trouble,” Jones concluded. While much of this was known at the time, Jones’s narrative stunned me. “Are you telling me that we’re losing the war in Iraq?” I asked. Jones chuckled and shook his head: “Losing? We’re not only losing,” he said, “we’re on the wrong side.”

Not much has changed in the intervening years, as the recent murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of a Saudi kill team has shown. While the U.S. was able to quell the Anbar insurgency, America has stumbled from position to position in the region, primarily because we’ve continued to make the same mistakes that we made in Anbar—we’re losing in the Middle East because we’re on the wrong side, a side that is represented by leaders like Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi knew this better than anyone.

Last August, Khoshoggi authored a Washington Post article cataloguing these stumbles, and offering a solution. Khoshoggi wrote that America’s failure in the Middle East was the result of its failure to recognize the importance of the region’s Islamist parties—primarily the Muslim Brotherhood. “There can be no political reform and democracy in any Arab country without accepting that political Islam is a part of it,” he wrote.

Khashoggi’s critique was both eloquent and controversial. It’s why he was murdered.

“The United States’s aversion to the Muslim Brotherhood,” he wrote

“. . . is the root of a predicament across the entire Arab world. The eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than an abolition of democracy and a guarantee that Arabs will continue living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes.”

While eloquent, Khoshoggi’s views weren’t a surprise. He had made the same point to me back in 2005 (we were only acquaintances, though we found ourselves singing from the same songsheet), during a conference of Islamist organizations in Beirut, which included the senior leaders of the Brotherhood. America was fated to fail in the Middle East, Khoshoggi told me then, because it was “unable to distinguish real enemies from true friends.” More simply, since 9/11 (as he described it), the U.S. had failed to distinguish between Islamists who have constituencies and are political parties (like the Muslim Brotherhood), with those who have no constituencies and are networks—like al-Qaeda and, later, ISIS. Conversely, the leaders whom we then and continue to identify as secular reformers and our closest friends and allies (a list that includes General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia) are neither. They are policemen.

If there is any compensation in this sordid tale, it is that America’s mistakes have been bipartisan. George Bush’s invasion of Iraq did not end al-Qaeda’s threat, but actually strengthened it (and empowered Iran), while Barack Obama’s pledge to the Egyptian people that the U.S. would support “a democratic political order with participation from all sides” breathed its last when, in August of 2013, the Egyptian military massacred over 600 pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo’s Rabaa Square. Obama looked the other way.

Put simply, when the chips were down, America’s political leaders didn’t support hope and change, they supported reaction and murder. They put American on the side of the thugs.

The idea (momentary, fleeting) that this would change under Donald Trump, died a comical death on May 21, 2017 in Riyadh, when our president placed his hands on a glowing orb that symbolized the establishment of Saudi Arabia’s “Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.” Joining him in this decidedly perverse celebration was Egypt’s dictator Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

“This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combating radicalization,” Trump said during the ceremony, “and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership.”

Among the onlookers that Sunday evening was son-in-law Jared Kushner and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. Jared was then ensconced as the administration’s new point man on Middle East peace (the bar is low, so why not?), while bin Nayef was on his way out the door —escorted there by Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s newly anointed and photogenic strongman. And so it was that while many of America’s journalists recoiled from Trump’s decision to make common cause with Fatah al-Sisi, they safely ignored him as they tripped all over each other to praise his alter-ego, and supporter, bin Salman or “MbS.” Bin Salman, they said, was a leader who promised to create “a more modern, more entrepreneurial, less-hidebound and more youth-oriented society.”

That promise, it seems, has now been drowned out by the screams of a reporter who dared tell the truth. It’s no wonder that many foreign policy officials view Khashoggi’s death as a possible turning point in U.S.-Saudi relations—and one that might spur a rethinking of U.S. policy in the region. But even that hope is now beginning to fade, led by the reaction of a community of voices—including National Security Adviser John Bolton, his allies at Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, and the new Kushner-linked Strategic Studies Group—have mounted a well-documented “whispering campaign” that Khashoggi “pimped for the Brotherhood.”

In one sense, of course, they’re right. For what Khashoggi was telling us (and what he wrote in his August piece in the Washington Post) is that the U.S. has gotten the Middle East terribly wrong. That we have miscast our enemies and misidentified our friends. That the forces for change in Cairo and Riyadh are not in its governments, but in its prisons. That America is not only losing in the Middle East, it’s on the wrong side. That Mohammed bin Salman is not a friend of democracy, but its enemy.

Khashoggi was right. Which is why he was murdered.

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ian seedBillTerence Reeves-SmythBob Valdez Recent comment authors
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Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

Western countries have never been able to fathom what it is to be a Muslim and to embrace Islam. They (westerners)still have no comprehension as to the Muslim faith and what it means to those that follow it. One is born into Islam, from their first concious thought to their last dying breath. It is not a CHOICE, it is a WAY OF LIFE, just like being born BLACK. Most westerners have the attention span of a gnat, and take up and discard the latest fad with astonishing speed. Living one’s life according to a scripture, devoting oneself to following… Read more »

Terence Reeves-Smyth
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Terence Reeves-Smyth

Khoshogg very was definately not a friend of democracy himself – nor for that matter is the Muslim Brotherhood any friend of democracy. If you think it is- then I am afraid you have no clue what democracy is really about.

Bill
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Bill

What a silly article to pretend that United States sponsors democracy or even wants to. Losing control is not something the United States looks forward to and the best way to maintain control is to support dictators. That is rather obvious.

ian seed
Guest
ian seed

So we should all embrace the Muslim Brotherhood ? For real?
I am all for listening to alternative views – but this is quite something else.
Do you know the six lines of the Muslim Brotherhood’s guiding motto?

Allah is our goal;
The Prophet is our leader;
The Qur’an is our constitution;
Jihad is our way;
Death in the service of Allah is the loftiest of our wishes;
Allah is Great; Allah is Great”

The Muslim Brotherhood is a dangerous jihadist cult.

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BREXIT chaos, as May’s cabinet crumbles (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 18.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the various scenarios now facing a crumbling May government, as the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is forcing cabinet members to resign in rapid succession. The weekend ahead is fraught with uncertainty for the UK and its position within, or outside, the European Union.

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If Theresa May’s ill-fated Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is eventually rejected this could trigger a vote of no confidence, snap elections or even a new referendum…

Here are six possible scenarios facing Theresa May and the UK (via The Guardian)

1 Parliament blocks Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement and political declarations

May faces an enormous task to win parliamentary approval, given that Labour, the SNP, the DUP and 51 Tories have said they will not vote for it.

If the remaining 27 EU member states sign off the draft agreement on 25 November, the government will have to win over MPs at a crucial vote in early December.

If May loses the vote, she has 21 days to put forward a new plan. If she wins, she is safe for now.

2 May withdraws the current draft agreement

The prime minister could decide that she will not get the draft agreement through parliament and could seek to renegotiate with the EU.

This would anger Tory backbenchers and Brussels and would be seen as a humiliation for her government. It might spark a leadership contest too.

3 Extend article 50

May could ask the European council to extend article 50, giving her more time to come up with a deal that could be passed by parliament – at present, the UK will leave on 29 March 2019.

Such a request would not necessarily be granted. Some EU governments are under pressure from populist parties to get the UK out of the EU as soon as possible.

4 Conservative MPs trigger a vote of no confidence in the prime minister

If Conservative MPs believe May is no longer fit for office, they could trigger a no-confidence vote.

Members of the European Research Group claim that Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful 1922 Committee, will receive the necessary 48 letters this week.

A vote could be held as soon as early next week. All Tory MPs would be asked to vote for or against their leader. If May wins, she cannot be challenged for at least 12 months. If she loses, there would be a leadership contest to decide who will become prime minister.

5 General election – three possible routes

If May fails to get support for the current deal, she could call a snap general election.

She would table a parliamentary vote for a general election that would have to be passed by two thirds of MPs. She would then set an election date, which could be by the end of January.

This is an unlikely option. May’s political credibility was severely damaged when she called a snap election in 2017, leading to the loss of the Conservative party’s majority.

Alternatively, a general election could be called if a simple majority of MPs vote that they have no confidence in the government. Seven Tory MPs, or all of the DUP MPs, would have to turn against the government for it to lose the vote, triggering a two-week cooling-off period. May would remain in office while MPs negotiate a new government.

Another route to a general election would be for the government to repeal or amend the Fixed-term Parliaments Act which creates a five-year period between general elections. A new act would have to be passed through both the Commons and the Lords – an unlikely scenario.

6 Second referendum

May could decide it is impossible to find a possible draft deal that will be approved by parliament and go for a people’s vote.

The meaningful vote could be amended to allow MPs to vote on whether the country holds a second referendum. It is unclear whether enough MPs would back a second referendum and May has ruled it out.

 

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Brexit Withdrawal Agreement may lead to Theresa May’s downfall (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has been published and as many predicted, including Nigel Farage, the document is leading to the collapse of Theresa May’s government.

During an interview with iTV’s Piers Morgan, remain’s Alistair Campell and leave’s Nigel Farage, were calling May’s Brexit deal a complete disaster.

Via iTV

Alastair Campbell: “This doesn’t do remotely what was offered…what is the point”

“Parliament is at an impasse”

“We have to go back to the people” …”remain has to be on the ballot paper”

Nigel Farage:

“This is the worst deal in history. We are giving away in excess of 40B pounds in return for precisely nothing. Trapped still inside the European Union’s rulebook.

“Nothing has been achieved.”

“In any negotiation in life…the other side need to know that you are serious about walking away.”

“What monsieur Barnier knew from day one, is that at no point did Theresa May intend to walk away.”

“Fundamental matter of trust to the electors of our country and those who govern us.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, and why the deal is a full on victory for the European Union and a document of subjugation for the United Kingdom.

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Coming in at 585 pages, the draft agreement will be closely scrutinized over the coming days but here are some of the highlights as outlined by Zerohedge

  • UK and EU to use the best endeavours to supersede Ireland protocol by 2020
  • UK can request extension of the transition period any time before July 1st, 2020
  • EU, UK See Level-Playing Field Measures in Future Relationship
  • Transition period may be extended once up to date yet to be specified in the text
  • EU and UK shall establish single customs territory and Northern Ireland is in same customs territory as Great Britain

The future relationship document is less than seven pages long. It says the U.K. and EU are seeking a free-trade area with cooperation on customs and rules: “Comprehensive arrangements creating a free trade area combining deep regulatory and customs cooperation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.”

The wording might raise concerns among Brexiters who don’t want regulatory cooperation and the measures on fair competition could amount to shackling the U.K. to EU rules.

As Bloomberg’s Emma Ross-Thomas writes, “There’s a clear sense in the documents that we’re heading for a customs union in all but name. Firstly via the Irish backstop, and then via the future relationship.”

Separately, a government summary of the draft agreement suggests role for parliament in deciding whether to extend the transition or to move in to the backstop.

But perhaps most importantly, regarding the controversial issue of the Irish border, the future relationship document says both sides aim to replace the so-called backstop – the thorniest issue in the negotiations – with a “subsequent agreement that establishes alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing.”

On this topic, recall that the U.K.’s fear was of being locked into the backstop arrangement indefinitely in the absence of a broader trade deal. The draft agreement includes a review process to try to give reassurance that the backstop would never be needed. Basically, the U.K. could choose to seek an extension to the transition period – where rules stay the same as they are currently – or opt to trigger the backstop conditions. In fact, as Bloomberg notes, the word “backstop,” which has been a sticking point over the Irish border for weeks, is mentioned only once in the text.

As Bloomberg further adds, the withdrawal agreement makes clear that the U.K. will remain in a single customs area with the EU until there’s a solution reached on the Irish border. It’s what Brexiteers hate, because it makes it more difficult for the U.K. to sign its own free-trade deals, which they regard as a key prize of Brexit.

Predictably, EU Commission President Juncker said decisive progress has been made in negotiations.

Meanwhile, as analysts comb over the documents, Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group, has already written to Conservative lawmakers urging them to vote against the deal. He says:

  • May is handing over money for “little or nothing in return”
  • The agreement treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the U.K.
  • It will “lock” the U.K. into a customs union with the EU
  • It breaks the Tory election manifesto of 2017

The full document…

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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