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Britain launches cyber attack drills against Russia

Sabre-rattling by Great Britain continues to vilify and demonize Russia without proof or cause while evading any attempts at resolution.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Quartz (qz.com) reported on October 7th, 2018 that defense officials in Great Britain have simulated a crippling cyber attack on Russia as part of its military preparedness planning. However, the reported piece, like most of the West’s reporting about Russia, is full of innuendo and vague references to dimly possible scenarios that carry very little to zero burden of proof. To highlight that end, we are emphasizing these rather hyperbolic talking points in bold type:

British defense officials say they have practiced cyber war games that could shut off electricity in Russia’s capital, The Sunday Times (paywall) reports.

The measures are part of a wider range of strategies to hit back at an increasingly assertive Russia—accused of interfering with US elections, cyberattacks on Western targets, and poisoning a former spy on UK soil—without resorting to a full-blown nuclear attack.

“If they sank our aircraft carrier with a nuclear-tipped torpedo, what is our response? There’s nothing between sinking their submarine and dropping a nuclear weapon on northern Kamchatka,” one senior source told The Sunday Times. “This is why cyber is so important; you can go on the offensive and turn off the lights in Moscow to tell them that they are not doing the right things.”

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Military planners are looking for options if Russian president Vladimir Putin tests NATO’s resolve by seizing small islands belonging to Estonia, taking control of Libya’s oil reserves, or using ”irregular forces” to attack troops, according to the report.

British troops also recently held their biggest military exercise in 10 years, which included six navy ships and more than 5,000 troops in the Omani desert, to prepare for a confrontation with unconventional Russian forces like those used in Crimea. Cyber weapons are seen as a potential deterrent and a way to avoid a direct military  confrontation.

UK defense chiefs are talking up their cyber prowess after a string of alleged Russian hacker exploits, including revelations last week of a Russian computer attack on the international chemical weapons watchdog. The attempted hack was disrupted by Dutch military intelligence with the help from British officials. Also last week, US authorities charged Russian intelligence officers with seeking to hack the nuclear energy company Westinghouse Electric and anti-doping watchdogs.

The announcements suggest world leaders are pushing back against Putin’s increasing aggressive cyber operations, which allegedly includes breaking into the control rooms of vital US electric grids(paywall). Russia, after all, has hammered smaller nations with its cyber weapons in the past. The country disabled computer systems for the Estonia’s parliament, broadcasters, and banks in 2007, according to the Times, and regularly disrupts Ukrainian banking and electrical systems.

The US is expected to announce that it will use its cyber capabilities on behalf of NATO if asked, Reuters reported last week. The US announcement is aimed squarely at Russia, according to a senior defense official, and is part of a British-led effort to stiffen NATO’s cyber capacity. The 29-nation alliance has recognized cyber as a domain of warfare since 2014, but the precise implications haven’t been formalized.

American intelligence shows that Russian hackers broke into the Democratic National Committee and leaked information in the lead-up to the US presidential election. The White House recently warned foreign entities that it would use more offensive measures as part of its revised cyber security strategy. US intelligence reportedly expects a series of hacker attacks before congressional elections next month.

There is a great deal of bold-type above, and its consistency and constancy are emblematic of the West’s continued effort to isolate President Vladimir Putin and the nation he leads. However, as many readers of The Duran already know, the vast bulk of these claims are simply fake news, or at best, unproven allegations. Two of the most glaringly fake reports given here are about the alleged “unconventional military” employed in Crimea (these were actually simply Crimean citizens who voted to rejoin Russia, reversing the 1954 Khrushchev era “gift” of the region to Ukraine) and the allegation of Russian interference in the US presidential elections of 2016 (never proven, and categorically denied by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange).

Behind all this mighty effort is an attempt by a strange alliance of Cold War era hawkish people in the US and the efforts of mega-globalist figures like George Soros and his ally (or perhaps surrogate) Bill Browder to prevent the Russian Federation from charting its own course as a sovereign nation in the world.

While Russia has made it public record that they, too, are prepared for a major world-scale conflict, as most noticeably in joint wargames with China and Mongolia at the Vostok-2018 event, Russia vigorously and repeatedly counters the aggression rhetoric from the West each time.

Great Britain recently had its own claims about the “danger” of Russia refuted by no less of an event than the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which featured England’s team playing all over Russia, and many English fans following the games. Both through reading reports in various news sources and through direct contact, the sum total of the thought of British citizens who saw and experienced Russia firsthand was that the nation offered nothing but warmth and friendship, countering the hysterical screeds of Boris Johnson and Theresa May.

In a logical world, one reviews factual information to arrive at an opinion. However, in the West, it appears that one forms an opinion and simply blocks any information that challenges it.

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Louis Robertam hantsCudwieser7.62x54RKlink Recent comment authors
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Fred
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Fred

Denmark has also said rhe same thing in the last few days….uk national newspapers are full of Russian hacking including charity organisations….trying to make up any excuse and ratchet up the tension so the boys can play with their toys…just like when we must bomb Syrians because of fake injured child accounts and tweets….jeez it just takes one slip up and the consqequences will be dreadful.Imagine as a response which would be justified that all out financial information is lost…savings pensions information NI contributions…health information …state information etc etc.

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Together with Canada and the US. Remember who funds the White Helmets? Conveniant timing when there is an OPCW meeting coming up on the 15th October 2018. Now they wouldn’t be trying to get Russia kicked out of the OPCW, would they?

You can call me AL
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You can call me AL

Denmark or The Netherlands – or both ?.

Sally Snyder
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Sally Snyder

As shown in this article, one of Europe’s leaders is admitting that Europe can no longer rely on the United States for its security:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/can-europe-rely-on-united-states-for.html

At the very least, it is interesting to see that, unlike many decision makers in Washington and much of Europe that at least one nation has realized the importance of co-operating and strengthening ties with Russia as part of its move to becoming part of an autonomous European powerhouse that is not at the mercy of the United States.

Hal Duell
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Hal Duell

Isn’t it time to put this tired old camp follower out to pasture?

Louis Robert
Guest
Louis Robert

This latest collectively orchestrated anti-Russian propaganda campaign has been in preparation of, and meant to “justify” (i.e. serve as a pretext for) a major, concerted cyber attack on Russia by the Empire (USA-EU-NATO-and the other bits).

Again, this is additional confirmation said Empire is in the long process of gradually launching its long sought total war against Russia… (and China), therefore forced to prepare and be ready to strike immediately, whenever appropriate.

All this must be considered extremely dangerous and be taken most seriously. This is war. Total war in the making.

Guy
Member
Guy

Threats and intimidation Louis .That is all it is ,to scare us all .The UK did not fare well in WWII and would fare even worse should the worst happen. And they know it also .It will be election time soon in the UK , the rest is history.They are making fools of themselves as most of the NATO slaves.
Cheers.

Louis Robert
Guest
Louis Robert

Hi,Guy! Yes, “threats and intimidation”, but expanding dangerously out of all proportion by the day, soon by the hour. The trend matters most and it is ever more towards war, total war. Any one of those fanatical idiots gone mad can all too easily, at any time, “drop the ball”… Such hysterical liars and fools cannot be trusted, playing as they are with such destructive toys that have already left behind millions of dead, and entire countries in ruin… not to mention a lethal planetary environment plagued by accelerating climate change, and global warming. If we are to survive, those… Read more »

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

‘Operation Beluga’, from the crowd behind ‘Operation Gladio’.

Operation Beluga: A US-UK Plot to Discredit Putin and Destabilize the Russian Federation + BOMBSHELL: French Counter-Terror Boss: ‘I Have Proof Who Killed Litvinenko – It Wasn’t Russia’… http://www.mirastnews.com/2016/03/operation-beluga-a-us-uk-plot-to-discredit-putin-and-destabilize-the-russian-federation.html

Amanda Momtazi
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Amanda Momtazi

Unfortunately, many otherwise, sensible people with the ability to “think” which is becoming a rare commodity in Britain today, are also taken in by the constant and unrelenting anti-Russian propaganda. We have just as much of a Deep State here as does the USA, added to which we are rapidly being censored and our free speech becoming abolished by new EU Laws to which our so-called government are willing accomplices. However, those of us who recognise the situation will continue as much as we are able to support Russia and it’s truly remarkable and wonderful President.

Normski
Member
Normski

As an “informed” Brit, I second that!.

You can call me AL
Guest
You can call me AL

As another “informed” Brit, I pass the comment.

Guy
Member
Guy

The war department in the UK has gone completely off the deep end .It would be equivalent to the Monty Python series if it wasn’t so serious .Do the people of the UK take this seriously .

Normski
Member
Normski

Unfortunately, a lot of people in the UK are still suckered in by the MSM – it’s only informed people like us that refer to the “alternate media” such as this site, Russia Insider or RT who can see the bigger picture!.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

If you havent seen this, it proves your point: “UK Sending 800 Troops To The Arctic To Target Russia” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-07/uk-sending-800-troops-arctic-target-russia Have a close look at the picture at the top of the article and it supports your statement “It would be equivalent to the Monty Python series if it wasn’t so serious”
I also enjoyed reading the comments to the article.

Normski
Member
Normski

The UK Government, security services and military seriously over estimate their capabilities if the UK goes to war with Russia!. The UK is little more than a “sitting duck” for Russian missiles and could be wiped off the map in minutes – and I’m a Brit!

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“Cyber weapons are seen as a potential deterrent and a way to avoid a direct military confrontation.”

What planet are these idiots from to think that such an action would not IMMEDIATELY be responded to by Russia with CONVENTIONAL/NUKE weapons???

The mere THREAT of such actions are breaking International Law and ARE A DECLARATION OF WAR!

Billy Shears
Guest
Billy Shears

This is the tail wagging the dog. Russia seems to be the perennial enemy of the Western Deep State apparatchiks, no matter the country. Sure makes you wonder why? All Wars are Banker’s Wars.

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

Just posted this reply, on the wrong article, so apologies for repeating it. British troops also recently held their biggest military exercise in 10 years, which included six navy ships and more than 5,000 troops in the Omani desert, to prepare for a confrontation with unconventional Russian forces like those used in Crimea. Cyber weapons are seen as a potential deterrent and a way to avoid a direct military confrontation… Russia held an exercise with 300,000 Forces (the UK has only around 125,000 serving military personnel). 36,000 land vehicles, including tanks and air defence systems. 1,000 military aircrafts, plus, 80… Read more »

dennis morrisseau
Guest

Britain is quite aggressive for a runt of a country with an Old Hag queen and a scarecrow harpy PM……seems to me.

TheCelotajs
Guest
TheCelotajs

Why doesn’t the United States, United Kingdom and NATO just come right out and hold a International Press Conference and declare open war on Russia and China. I say just bring it on so they United States, United Kingdom and NATO can start filling body bags with their military personal and civilians they murder along the way and stop all this dancing around with this News Media Propaganda crap. They have been pushing this for years now. The United States and the United Kingdom has been trying to overthrow the Russian Government since 1946/48 when they got their butt hurt… Read more »

Tjoe
Guest
Tjoe

OMG, the bad bad Russians have purchased Facebook ads again….a national emergency…. all out cyber war.

Klink
Guest
Klink

How do you prepare for annihilation >

7.62x54R
Guest
7.62x54R

Quartz.com- Isn’t that Bellingcat’s site?

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

More Skirpal news. The second suspect has been ‘identified’ as a gru medic. The BS gets deeper.

AM Hants
Member
AM Hants

It all comes back to ‘Russia Gate’, including the UK involvement. Just listening to the BBC Headlines, who are running with the social media, Belingcat story. Since when did we get rid of our intelligence services, to replace them with ‘social media’? Why do those that fund the White Helmets, contribute to the BBC? The Final Truth Of Russia-Gate… ‘… But of course the Washington Post knows perfectly well which other governments would have reason to raise “concerns” to the White House. It’s clear from the public record that the following “allies” have rendered the “Resistance” essential assistance at one… Read more »

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Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative.

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Via Zerohedge


On Friday, one day after Russia and China pledged to reduce their reliance on the dollar by increasing the amount of bilateral trade conducted in rubles and yuan (a goal toward which much progress has already been made over the past three years), Russia’s Central Bank provided the latest update on Moscow’s alternative to US-dominated international payments network SWIFT.

Moscow started working on the project back in 2014, when international sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea inspired fears that the country’s largest banks would soon be cut off from SWIFT which, though it’s based in Belgium and claims to be politically neutral, is effectively controlled by the US Treasury.

Today, the Russian alternative, known as the System for Transfer of Financial Messages, has attracted a modest amount of support within the Russian business community, with 416 Russian companies having joined as of September, including the Russian Federal Treasury and large state corporations likeGazprom Neft and Rosneft.

And now, eight months after a senior Russian official advised that “our banks are ready to turn off SWIFT,” it appears the system has reached another milestone in its development: It’s ready to take on international partners in the quest to de-dollarize and end the US’s leverage over the international financial system. A Russian official advised that non-residents will begin joining the system “this year,” according to RT.

“Non-residents will start connecting to us this year. People are already turning to us,”said First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova. Earlier, the official said that by using the alternative payment system foreign firms would be able to do business with sanctioned Russian companies.

Turkey, China, India and others are among the countries that might be interested in a SWIFT alternative, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in a speech earlier this month, the US’s willingness to blithely sanction countries from Iran to Venezuela and beyond will eventually rebound on the US economy by undermining the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

To be sure, the Russians aren’t the only ones building a SWIFT alternative to help avoid US sanctions. Russia and China, along with the European Union are launching an interbank payments network known as the Special Purpose Vehicle to help companies pursue “legitimate business with Iran” in defiance of US sanctions.

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative. For one, much of Europe is dependent on Russian natural gas and oil.

And as Russian trade with other US rivals increases, Moscow’s payments network will look increasingly attractive,particularly if buyers of Russian crude have no other alternatives to pay for their goods.

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US leaving INF will put nuclear non-proliferation at risk & may lead to ‘complete chaos’

The US is pulling out of a nuclear missile pact with Russia. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty requires both countries to eliminate their short and medium-range atomic missiles.

The Duran

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Via RT


If the US ditches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), it could collapse the entire nuclear non-proliferation system, and bring nuclear war even closer, Russian officials warn.

By ending the INF, Washington risks creating a domino effect which could endanger other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and collapse the existing non-proliferation mechanism as we know it, senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Sunday.

The current iteration of the START treaty, which limits the deployment of all types of nuclear weapons, is due to expire in 2021. Kosachev, who chairs the Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.”

“Now the US Western allies face a choice: either embarking on the same path, possibly leading to new war, or siding with common sense, at least for the sake of their self-preservation instinct.”

His remarks came after US President Donald Trump announced his intentions to “terminate” the INF, citing alleged violations of the deal by Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly denied undermining the treaty, pointing out that Trump has failed to produce any evidence of violations. Moreover, Russian officials insist that the deployment of US-made Mk 41 ground-based universal launching systems in Europe actually violates the agreement since the launchers are capable of firing mid-range cruise missiles.

Leonid Slutsky, who leads the Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament’s lower chamber, argued that Trump’s words are akin to placing “a huge mine under the whole disarmament process on the planet.”

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The deal effectively bans the parties from having and developing short- and mid-range missiles of all types. According to the provisions, the US was obliged to destroy Pershing I and II launcher systems and BGM-109G Gryphon ground-launched cruise missiles. Moscow, meanwhile, pledged to remove the SS-20 and several other types of missiles from its nuclear arsenal.

Pershing missiles stationed in the US Army arsenal. © Hulton Archive / Getty Images ©

By scrapping the historic accord, Washington is trying to fulfill its “dream of a unipolar world,” a source within the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“This decision fits into the US policy of ditching the international agreements which impose equal obligations on it and its partners, and render the ‘exceptionalism’ concept vulnerable.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov denounced Trump’s threats as “blackmail” and said that Washington wants to dismantle the INF because it views the deal as a “problem” on its course for “total domination” in the military sphere.

The issue of nuclear arms treaties is too vital for national and global security to rush into hastily-made “emotional” decisions, the official explained. Russia is expecting to hear more on the US’ plans from Trump’s top security adviser, John Bolton, who is set to hold talks in Moscow tomorrow.

President Trump has been open about unilaterally pulling the US out of various international agreements if he deems them to be damaging to national interests. Earlier this year, Washington withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. All other signatories to the landmark agreement, including Russia, China, and the EU, decided to stick to the deal, while blasting Trump for leaving.

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Converting Khashoggi into Cash

After two weeks of denying any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh has admitted that he was killed by Saudi operatives but it wasn’t really on purpose.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The hazard of writing about the Saudis’ absurd gyrations as they seek to avoid blame for the murder of the late, not notably great journalist and Muslim Brotherhood activist Jamal Khashoggi is that by the time a sentence is finished, the landscape may have changed again.

As though right on cue, the narrative has just taken another sharp turn.

After two weeks of denying any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Riyadh has ‘fessed up (sorta) and admitted that he was killed by Saudi operatives but it wasn’t really on purpose:

Y’see, it was kinda’f an ‘accident.’

Oops…

Y’see the guys were arguing, and … uh … a fistfight broke out.

Yeah, that’s it … a ‘fistfight.’

And before you know it poor Jamal had gone all to pieces.

Y’see?

Must’ve been a helluva fistfight.

The figurative digital ink wasn’t even dry on that whopper before American politicos in both parties were calling it out:

  • “To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement,” tweeted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “First we were told Mr. Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement. Now, a fight breaks out and he’s killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince. It’s hard to find this latest ‘explanation‘ as credible.”
  • California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that the new Saudi explanation is “not credible.” “If Khashoggi was fighting inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he was fighting for his life with people sent to capture or kill him,” Schiff said. “The kingdom and all involved in this brutal murder must be held accountable, and if the Trump administration will not take the lead, Congress must.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan must think he’s already died and gone to his eternal recreation in the amorous embraces of the dark-eyed houris. The acid test for the viability of Riyadh’s newest transparent lie is whether the Turks actually have, as they claim, live recordings of Khashoggi’s interrogation, torture, murder, and dismemberment (not necessarily in that order) – and if they do, when Erdogan decides it’s the right time to release them.

Erdogan has got the Saudis over a barrel and he’ll squeeze everything he can out of them.

From the beginning, the Khashoggi story wasn’t really about the fate of one man. The Saudis have been getting away with bloody murder, literally, for years. They’re daily slaughtering the civilian population of Yemen with American and British help, with barely a ho-hum from the sensitive consciences always ready to invoke the so-called “responsibility to protect” Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, Syria, Xinjiang, Rakhine, and so forth.

Where’s the responsibility not to help a crazed bunch of Wahhabist head-choppers kill people?

But now, just one guy meets a grisly end and suddenly it’s the most important homicide since the Lindbergh baby.

What gives?

Is it because Khashoggi was part of the MSM aristocracy, on account of his relationship with the Washington Post?

Was it because of his other, darker, connections? As related by Moon of Alabama: “Khashoggi was a rather shady guy. A ‘journalist’ who was also an operator for Saudi and U.S. intelligence services. He was an early recruit of the Muslim Brotherhood.” This relationship, writes MoA, touches on the interests of pretty much everyone in the region:

“The Ottoman empire ruled over much of the Arab world. The neo-Ottoman wannabe-Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like to regain that historic position for Turkey. His main competition in this are the al-Sauds. They have much more money and are strategically aligned with Israel and the United States, while Turkey under Erdogan is more or less isolated. The religious-political element of the competition is represented on one side by the Muslim Brotherhood, ‘democratic’ Islamists to which Erdogan belongs, and the Wahhabi absolutists on the other side.”

With the noose tightening around Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), the risible fistfight cock-and-bull story is likely to be the best they can come up with. US President Donald Trump’s having offered his “rogue killers” opening suggests he’s willing to play along. Nobody will really be fooled, but MbS will hope he can persuade important people to pretend they are fooled.

That will mean spreading around a lot of cash. The new alchemy of converting Khashoggi dead into financial gain for the living is just one part of an obvious scheme to pull off what Libya’s Muammar Kaddafi managed after the 1988 Lockerbie bombing: offer up some underlings as the fall guys and let the top man evade responsibility. (KARMA ALERT: That didn’t do Kaddafi any good in the long run.)

In the Saudi case the Lockerbie dodge will be harder, as there are already pictures of men at the Istanbul Consulate General identified as close associates of MbS. But they’ll give it the old madrasa try anyway since it’s all they’ve got.Firings and arrests have started and one suspect has already died in a suspicious automobile “accident.” Heads will roll!

Saving MbS’s skin and his succession to the throne of his doddering father may depend on how many of the usual recipients of Saudi – let’s be honest – bribery and influence peddling will find sufficient pecuniary reason to go along. Saudi Arabia’s unofficial motto with respect to the US establishment might as well be: “The green poultice heals all wounds.”

Anyway, that’s been their experience up to now, but it also in part reflects the same arrogance that made MbS think he could continue to get away with anything. (It’s not shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, but it’s close.) Whether spreading cash around will continue to have the same salubrious effect it always has had in the past remains to be seen.

To be sure, Trump may succeed in shaking the Saudi date palm for additional billions for arms sales. That won’t necessarily turn around an image problem that may not have a remedy. But still, count on more cash going to high-price lobbying and image-control shops eager to make obscene money working for their obscene client. Some big American names are dropping are dropping Riyadh in a sudden fit of fastidiousness, but you can bet others will be eager to step into their Guccis, both in the US and in the United Kingdom. (It should never be forgotten how closely linked the US and UK establishments are in the Middle East, and to the Saudis in particular.)

It still might not work though. No matter how much expensive PR lipstick the spinmeisters put on this pig, that won’t make it kissable. It’s still a pig.

Others benefitting from hanging Khashoggi’s death around MbS’s neck are:

  • Qatar (after last year’s invasion scare, there’s no doubt a bit of Schadenfreude and (figurative) champagne corks popping in Doha over MbS’s discomfiture. As one source close to the ruling al-Thani family relates, “The Qataris are stunned speechless at Saudi incompetence!” You just can’t get good help these days).

Among the losers one must count Israel and especially Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. MbS, with his contrived image as the reformer, was the Sunni “beard” he needed to get the US to assemble an “Arab NATO” (as though one NATO weren’t bad enough!) and eliminate Iran for him. It remains to be seen how far that agenda has been set back.

Whether or not MbS survives or is removed – perhaps with extreme prejudice – there’s no doubt Saudi Arabia is the big loser. Question are being asked that should have been asked years ago. As Srdja Trifkovic comments in Chronicles magazine:

“The crown prince’s recklessness in ordering the murder of Khashoggi has demonstrated that he is just a standard despot, a Mafia don with oil presiding over an extended cleptocracy of inbred parasites. The KSA will not be reformed because it is structurally not capable of reform. The regime in Riyadh which stops being a playground of great wealth, protected by a large investment in theocratic excess, would not be ‘Saudi’ any longer. Saudia delenda est.”

The first Saudi state, the Emirate of Diriyah, went belly up in 1818, with the death of head of the house of al-Saud, Abdullah bin Saud – actually, literally with his head hung on a gate in Constantinople by Erdogan’s Ottoman predecessor, Sultan Mahmud II.

The second Saudi state, Emirate of Nejd, likewise folded in 1891.

It’s long past time this third and current abomination joined its antecedents on the ash heap of history.

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