Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

Why is China choosing to partner with Israel and Saudi Arabia?

China’s reaching out to Israel and Saudi Arabia is not a case of selling out to Zionism and Wahhabism. It is the product of a pragmatic conception of statesmanship intended to lay the foundations for a multipolar world.

Andrew Korybko

Published

on

6,697 Views

Far away from the public eye and amidst relatively little fanfare compared to other official visits of leaders elsewhere across the world, both the Saudi King and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu were  both just recently in China to clinch dozens of deals.

The mainstream media reported on these events, though they were conspicuously absent from most coverage by alt-media. There’s a fair chance that it might just be coincidence, and that small teams of journalists with limited resources only chose to focus on the most pressing worldwide issues, of which there are many, or it could be due to something else, and that’s the “political correctness” which has recently become a driving force in the online multipolar information community.

There are a few axiomatic truths which are generally prevalent in most alt-media reporting, and the two most relevant ones are that Israel is a fake, unjustly established, geopolitical entity, and that the Saudis are the main exporters of terrorism all across the world.

I agree with these assertions, but that’s beside the point, because what this article plans to focus on is China’s flourishing partnerships with both Israel and Saudi Arabia, which are practically ignored by the alt-media community.

I suspect that this has something to do with the “politically correct” “thinking” that the “gatekeepers” impose by “reasoning” that it is “bad for overall morale” to focus on these relationships, and that – like with Russia’s excellent ties with Israel – there “must be a secret explanation”, potentially one in which China is just “too smart and clever” for Netanyahu and King Salman, so that it has found an innovative way to beat them at their own game, while wondrously helping the Palestinians at the same time.

As attractive a conspiracy theory as such a narrative might be for the individuals who are drunk on this wishful thinking, alas, it doesn’t at all represent the reality.

The goal of this article is to break through the “political correctness” that alt-media “gatekeepers” have implemented in the community by explaining what China – one of the leading catalysts of the emerging multipolar World Order – sees of benefit in partnering so closely with the US’ two most privileged allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

To that end, the first part of this article reviews the latest developments in Chinese-Israeli relations, while the second one looks at the rapidly developing ties between Beijing and Riyadh.

Finally, the last part syncretises the former two in order to produce a set of “politically incorrect” conclusions which describe the real nature of China’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

Netanyahu’s New Friend

(1) Rolling Out The Red Carpet In Red China:

The Israeli leader just concluded his very important trip to China this week, during which time some very symbolic statements of intent were expressed between him and his host.

Reuters reported that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reminded everybody that “The Chinese people and the Jewish people are both great peoples of the world”, with The Diplomat emphasising Netanyahu’s declaration that Chinese-Israeli ties are “a marriage made in heaven”.

Apart from the high-sounding rhetoric, both sides engaged in talks about boosting their technological-security cooperation with one another, with observers noting that China is one of Israel’s largest trade partners.

Correspondingly, Netanyahu asked his counterparts to allow Israeli companies greater market access for their high-tech goods in the country in exchange for inviting more Chinese investment to Israel.

While no details were revealed about what sort of security cooperation the two sides discussed, it can be assumed that intelligence sharing and general briefings about both parties’ attitude towards relevant regional affairs were on the agenda.

(2) The Silk Road Comes To Israel:

Naïve observers, especially those under the influence of ideological dogmatism, are at a loss for words to cohesively explain why China is striking Silk Road deals with “the devil”, but the “inconvenient truth” is that China makes no value judgments whatsoever in regards to its international partners, hence why Beijing doesn’t see Netanyahu as an evil figure but a “pragmatic and shrewd businessman” presiding over a geo-strategically important strip of territory.

Netanyahu revealed in an interview with the Times of Israel that he discussed the so-called “Red-Med Railway” with China during his trip, which, just as the name implies, will connect the Red Sea with the Mediterranean via Eliat and Ashdod.

I wrote about this route over 2 years ago in a two-part series of articles for Oriental Review about the ties that multipolar countries were cultivating with Tel Aviv, and I suggest that readers take the time to review “Israel And The Multipolar Bag Of TRICs” and “The Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership Strikes Israel”.

The pertinent point that I expressed in these article was that the Chinese are globally respected for always thinking many steps ahead and for preparing reliable backup plans for all of their investments, and the One Belt One Road (OBOR) global vision of New Silk Road connectivity is no exception.

China is well aware of the geo-strategic vulnerability of the Suez Canal, and thus has an urgent self-interest in building the prospective Red-Med line in order to ensure that Beijing’s maritime connectivity with Europe is never threatened by future hostilities with the US.

The People’s Republic is building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a workaround for avoiding the bottlenecked Strait of Malacca chokepoint, and Beijing’s forthcoming military base in Djibouti will safeguard the Bab el Mandab.

The only missing node in guaranteeing the security of China’s Sea Lines of Communication and “String of Pearls” is the Suez Canal, for which the Red-Med Railway is envisioned as providing the ideal logistical solution.

In addition, the only wars which could disrupt the maritime portion of OBOR and that China predicts it will ever have to worry about would in one way or another concern the US, and it’s absolutely unforeseeable that Washington would militarily turn on Tel Aviv. Therefore Chinese decision makers wisely believe that Israel will remain free from anti-OBOR Hybrid War activity, which explains Beijing’s interest in investing in the Red-Med Railway.

(3) Networking:

China and Israel both expect to gain something intangible from their enhanced partnership with one another.

Tel Aviv wants Beijing to passively support it in the UN, while China might hope that the powerful and perceivably omnipotent Israeli lobby in the West could more convincingly promote China’s interests in that civilisational sphere than its own influence-makers ever could.

In practice, Israel wants China to abstain from voting for hostile UN resolutions against it and to progressively disengage from dealing with the Palestinian issue, whilst China would like Israeli lobbyists to make sure that the EU and US don’t enact any anti-Chinese trade policies.

Both of these goals are highly ambitious and not likely to bear any fruit, let alone in the short term, but they nonetheless remain powerful motivators for bringing Israel and China together in an intangible way beyond their growing New Silk Road cooperation.

Salman Seeks Out The Silk Road

(1) Eastern Allure:

Switching gears and turning towards Chinese-Saudi relations, King Salman just signed $65 billion worth of deals in the People’s Republic. The robust set of agreements covers everything from infrastructure development, military cooperation, finance, and energy, and it was with a sigh of relief that Salman concluded these deals. His country is bleeding tens of billions of dollars each year as a result of the global energy price glut and the costly War of Terror on Yemen, so Saudi Arabia could use all of the help that it can get right now to remain standing on its own two feet and not implode in the coming years.

Although Saudi Arabia is an energy exporting-dependent economy, the Kingdom has sought to begin a lengthy and painful diversification through the unveiling of its structural reform program marketed as “Vision 2030”, which interestingly looks to be a perfect complementarity to OBOR.

Riyadh wants to fundamentally transform its economy into a “normal” one within the next 15 years, and the only way that it can even come close to that is through Chinese investment in the real-sector (commercial, manufacturing) parts of the economy.

I described the general way in which this could happen in the article that I co-authored late last year for the Moscow-based Katehon think tank about how “China Chases Markets In The Mideast”, during which time I highlighted the attractiveness of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province for Chinese entrepreneurs. If the workers there can be steadily transitioned out of the energy and public sectors, then they would make up a suitably large enough labour pool to work on New Silk Road projects there.

Aside from anchor investments such as factories and other such production facilities, there are two interconnected initiatives which have really caught the Chinese’s eye.

China is very interested in promoting physical connectivity across countries and regions, and for this purpose Beijing is likely considering expansion of its coastal investments in Oman’s Duqm port in order to link them to the other countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The most feasible way in which this could be achieved is by breathing new life into the stalemated GCC Railway project through an influx of Chinese capital.

It might sound like a crazy idea for China to potentially invest billions of dollars into a desert railway, but the logic behind such a decision is driven by concrete economic and strategic factors. As was explained when discussing the Red-Med Railway in Israel, China is always trying to build back up plans to support its main projects, and the spearheading of an overland transport route from the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea would circumvent the Strait of Hormuz chokepoint and bestow Beijing with direct and unimpeded access to the GCC’s energy (and, if the New Silk Road plans are successful, commercial/manufacturing) resources.

It was described in an earlier part of this article how China wisely calculates that the greatest global threat to OBOR comes from US-designed Hybrid War schemes, and just as China doesn’t foresee the US ever attacking or destabilising Israel as part of this strategy, so too does China not envisage Washington attacking the Gulf Cooperation Council.  This translates into making the GCC Railway as secure a long-term investment for China as the Red-Med railway is or at least appears to be according to the prevailing logic of the day.

(2) Protecting The Caravans:

The next point that needs to be analysed when discussing Chinese-Saudi relations are the military ties between these two ideologically separate – and it can be argued, even contradictory – countries.

It is here where I’ll do what scarcely any alt-media analyst has done beforehand, and humbly recognise that I was wrong when I analysed this topic almost a year ago for the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies.  In my article “Pakistan And India ‘Trade Off’ Allies, KSA And China Start A Cold War”, I wrote that Beijing and Riyadh were moving onto a collision course with one another, postulating that the US would use its allies in the Wahhabi Kingdom to sow the seeds of disruptive Hybrid war terrorism all across OBOR’s transit states in order to sabotage this world-changing series of projects.

I admittedly was under the influence of “wishful thinking” and had “drank the Kool-Aid” to an extent, in that I sincerely believed that China and Saudi Arabia would never pragmatically cooperate with one another outside of their producer-customer energy relationship.  Like many alt-media individuals are prone to do, I projected my own personal principles and value system onto China, falsely seeing “moral limits” where there were only cold, hard interests.

As time has revealed, my earlier forecast didn’t pan out the way that I originally anticipated, and in fact has since followed the opposite direction, which suggests that the public (and presumably, also private) deals which had been reached between the two countries were sufficient to get the Saudis to ensure that the Wahhabi terrorists under their control (which, to be clear, aren’t all of the terrorists in the world anymore) won’t attack the OBOR projects.

Interestingly, not only is Saudi Arabia poised to give China a Silk Road stake all along the southern shores of the Persian Gulf, but Beijing has even been selling military drone technology to Riyadh, despite the obvious possibility that these weapons could be (and likely already have been) used in the War of Terror on Yemen.

An agreement was struck in September 2016 whereby a Chinese company was tasked with providing these unmanned systems to the Saudis, and King Salman’s recent visit to the People’s Republic netted him a deal which will see Chinese drones produced right inside of his Kingdom.

I have my own personal reservations about the wisdom of this decision, but then again, if Russia is seriously considering selling S-400 missiles to NATO-member Turkey, then how comparatively bad is it that China wants to produce drones in Saudi Arabia?

(3) Forgetting About Yemen:

Both Ankara and Riyadh were, and to an extent still are, the US’ chief allies in executing the War of Terror on Syria, even though each of these countries’ geopolitical loyalties have somewhat shifted to varying degrees since the start of that conflict.

It is not my intent to focus on this imperialist tragedy in the present article.  However, I do feel compelled to make an unpopular but factual point about the War of Terror on Yemen.  This is not intended to “absolve” China’s decision to sell drones to the Saudis or “apologise” for it, but simply to explain how some of the most prominent state actors with the Multipolar Community view what is happening there.

Believe it or not, neither the 2015 nor the 2016 BRICS Declarations contained a single word about Yemen, so it is clear that those five countries don’t collectively care enough about the war in Yemen to allow it to interfere with their “19th-Century Great Power Chessboard” interactions with their peers.

It’s not my job to explain why the BRICS have failed two years in a row to include Yemen in their collective declarations, but one could cynically suggest that it might be because they calculate that it would be risky for them to flagrantly get on the Saudis’ bad side.

Russia’s valiant and effective anti-terrorist intervention in Syria was infinitely more detrimental to Saudi Arabia’s “interests” than any rhetorical BRICS statement about Yemen would be, but the difference is that the Saudis are able to understand the reasons why Russia decided to become involved in Syria (irrespective of whatever claims the Saudis make to the contrary) whereas Russia and the other BRICS states realise that leading the charge in collectively condemning the Saudis for their crimes in Yemen, however morally justified or correct it might be, would be an unnecessary, unacceptable and ultimately pointless provocation of Riyadh.

Since the War of Terror on Yemen has begun the BRICS’ silence on Yemen (in terms of their collective response, not individual statements, of which Russia has issued several powerful ones) might have served some of their Great Power interests.

For example, Russia was able to cut an historic production deal with OPEC, and Sputnik reported in both 2015 and 2016 that Moscow was in talks with Riyadh over possible weapons deliveries, though nothing has been agreed to as of yet. Neither of these discussions might have been possible had the Saudis refused to talk with the Russians because of what could have only been predicted to be their overwhelming anger if Moscow was responsible for a BRICS statement on Yemen.

As for India, Prime Minister Modi has done everything that he can to intensify relations between New Delhi and Riyadh in order to advance his country’s energy interests and to try to wean the Kingdom away from its historical alliance with India’s arch-rival Pakistan. In fact, Prime Minister Modi was even awarded Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour during his trip to the Kingdom last year, and earlier this month it was reported thatSaudi Arabia and India will explore possibilities for joint production of defence equipment and technologies.

As for China, I have already discussed its interests in forging closer relations with Saudi Arabia earlier in this article.

As “politically incorrect” as it is to say, and fully accepting that this will trigger dismay amongst many in the alt-media ocmmunity, the harsh truth is that China and the rest of BRICS have largely forgotten about Yemen because it is not to their long-term and high-level advantage vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia to take tangible steps to relieve this beleaguered country’s suffering.  Beijing – and possibly also New Delhi soon – is even going so far as to sell drones to Riyadh which will only make the war worse.

How Multipolar Works With Unipolarity

It’s now time to explain how one of the most effective multipolar engines of the unfolding world order implicitly justifies its growing robust cooperation with two of the unipolar camp’s most steadfast proponents.

It sounds paradoxical, and some people will probably never understand it because they refuse to acknowledge any of the “inconvenient facts” which I elaborated above, but it is indeed theoretically (key word) possible for multipolar and unipolar leaders to engage in (at least perceived) “win-win” cooperation with one another, which I explained in detail in my book-length article series at Katehon about “The Meaning Of Multipolarity”.

The gist is that if both sides find a way to focus on important areas of mutual interests, then they run the chance of expanding their partnership into something much broader and improving the possibility that they can overcome their preexisting bilateral obstacles.

Of course, such a strategic concept works a lot better on paper than it does in real life, but there are still plenty of examples of it occurring within various bounds.

Take for instance how Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela sold oil to the country which its revolutionary leader inferred was ruled by Satan, or how President Putin initially supported the US’ 2001 War on Afghanistan and even allowed the Pentagon to set up bases in Central Asia for this purpose.

There is also China, which had its record-breaking modernisation and economic development greatly facilitated by US investment, after which Beijing turned around and paid back the favour by investing in the US dollar through Treasury bonds.

India on the other hand has gone way too far and can no longer be said to be “balancing” or entering into “pragmatic” relations with the US, but is now instead a de-facto military-strategic ally of Washington through LEMOA and Congress’ related designation of India as the US’s first-ever “Major Defense Partner”.

Being soberly aware of the practical limitations and inherent risks whenever multipolar actors seek cooperation with their unipolar counterparts, let’s take a look at how China applies this policy towards Israel and Saudi Arabia, keeping in mind what was explained earlier in the text in order to form a holistic strategic concept which describes Beijing’s approach to both of them:

1. No Historical-Political Baggage:

For better or (as most of the people in the alt-media community would say) for worse, China does not hold any of its present or future partners to account for their historical or political problems. Beijing does not think that it is up to China to serve justice for perceived or even actual wrongs, let alone halfway across the world and in disputes which China has never had any role in.  As a result China has strictly abided by a uniform policy for decades whereby it avoids interference in the domestic affairs of its partners.

That being said, if a given actor isn’t partnered with Beijing or not on positive terms with it, then the aforesaid rule may not necessarily apply, such as was the context in the Old Cold War when Beijing didn’t have normal diplomatic relations with either Tel Aviv or Riyadh.

The world has dramatically transformed since that epoch, and a series of seemingly never-ending paradigm shifts are taking place all across the globe nowadays, two of which have been the progressive deepening of the Chinese-Israeli and  Chinese-Saudi partnerships. Although beginning to ‘bloom’ at different times in the post-Cold War period, both of these interconnected relationships have begun to finally bear visible fruit during Netanyahu’s and Salman’s visits to the People’s Republic earlier this month.

Since the international situation has so fundamentally changed over the past quarter of a century, all sides appear to have agreed that it is better to “let bygones be bygones” and to move beyond the historical-political baggage of their pasts.

In line with this, China also doesn’t allow the Palestinian, Syrian, Yemeni, or Iranian issues to interfere with its bilateral relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia, preferring to leave such international historical-political “baggage” out of the mix as well.

2. Great Power Balancing:

China’s ability to look past its partners’ historical-political “baggage” (both in terms of bilateral and international relations) enables it to more flexibly engage in Great Power balancing.

The “19th-Century Great Power Chessboard” was alluded to earlier in the work, and it’s now time to describe what exactly was meant by that. I previously wrote about this in an extensive analysis for Regional Rapport when referring to the “worst-case” scenario pertaining to the Russian-written “draft constitution” for Syria.

At the time I explained this term as meaning that Russia (or any Great Power for that matter) cares more about its relations with its similarly sized/influential peers than it cares about the interests of its small- and medium-sized partners, the latter of whom are essentially negotiable pawns in a larger neo-realist game of power and interests that the Great Power is playing in order to advance “the greater good” (as the Great Power perceives it to be at any given moment).

I also referred to this concept in another article for Regional Rapport focusing on Russia’s new Balkan strategy, particularly in regards to its developing rapprochement with Serbia’s arch-enemy Croatia.

With all this in mind, it makes sense why President Xi visited Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt during his Middle East tour last year, since he clearly wanted to avoid the perception that he was favouring one or other of these countries at the expense of the rest but instead wanted everyone to see that China was seeking to strike a balance between the three.

Correspondingly, China’s balancing act on the “19th-Century Great Power Chessboard” – and Russia’s too for that matter – is not aimed against anyone, but is laser-focused on the pursuit of improving bilateral relations for what is conceived to be (as China sees it) “the greater good”.

3. Silk Road Strategies:

Picking up where the last part left off, China’s “greater good” is for the rest of the world to participate in OBOR, which Beijing truly believes will radically transform the nature of international relations by making it more fair, just, and balanced.

The idea is that the more stakeholders there are in this global project, the more secure and resistant to Hybrid War sabotage it will be, thereby boosting its chances of successfully changing the world by connecting all interested parties together by means of Chinese-financed transport infrastructure.

China’s traditional multipolar partners of Russia, Pakistan, and Iran occupy centre stage in this visionary formulation, but per the above Great Power Balancing, this doesn’t mean that Beijing wants to exclude other parties, as OBOR is open for all to take part in it.

This is why China is reaching out to Israel and Saudi Arabia in order to involve  itself in their own nationally relevant projects for the New Silk Road which – as coincidence would have it – in both cases happen to have a very high geo-strategic priority for Beijing. The Red-Med Railway will help to avoid any potential disruptions along the Suez Canals, while the GCC Railway will do the same for the Strait of Hormuz.

China is betting – whether rightly or wrongly, wisely or naively – that bringing Israel and Saudi Arabia onboard OBOR will help to moderate their foreign policies and make them less likely to partake in any of the US’ proposed destabilisation schemes against this ambitious initiative.

It is still way too early to say whether that will ultimately be the outcome or not, but the fact remains that this is Beijing’s most likely intention.

Concluding Thoughts

This article aimed to answer the question about what China has been up to in feting the Israeli and Saudi leaders, something which might seem odd and even surprising to the casual observer, but which upon subsequent examination actually carries with it a very strong degree of strategic foresight.

There is actually nothing which should ordinarily be controversial about Beijing’s latest geo-strategic breakthroughs with Tel Aviv and Riyadh, but the problems begin to appear once ideologically zealous and politically dogmatic “gatekeepers” start to chime in on what is happening. The alt-media community is one in which there are several layers of “access control”, though most of them are in one way or another influenced to varying degrees by the prevailing notion of “political correctness”, which is usually interpreted as opposing Zionism and Wahhabism.

The issue however is that the “gatekeepers” haven’t really defined what the opposite of that is, or in other words, how to qualify one action or another as being Zionist or Wahhabi “collaboration”. Is it conducting trade with their related geopolitical entities?  Is it signing military deals?  Is it in fighting in wars for them? All three of these or maybe none of them?

The reason why uncertainties so powerfully linger and no final say on this has been clearly expressed is because “political correctness” usually isn’t openly described or even recognised as such, since doing so would paradoxically be “politically incorrect”. The shadowy world of symbols and signals that emerges in such a mess means that the “gatekeepers” have a large degree of leeway in liberally and arbitrarily interpreting Zionist and Wahhabi “collaboration” however they want, which could mean all sorts of nasty things such as attacking people who even talk about any multipolar countries’ ties with these ideologies’ affiliated entities.

“Political correctness” can only be sustained in an information vacuum and under conditions of absolute totalitarianism, which are impossible to indefinitely uphold in 2017, so any system of control based on this outdated anti-intellectual tool is bound to come up against multiple challenges sooner than later, especially given the pace at which paradigm shifts are unfolding all across the world right now.

It might have been possible to dismiss or bury Russia’s relations with Israel and China’s relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia in the 1990s or early 2000s, but there’s no way that President Putin’s very close ties with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu can be ignored when the latter’s visits to Moscow come in the midst of the Middle East’s meltdown and are widely reported about in “official” (publicly financed) alt-media outlets like Sputnik and RT.

Similarly, it is impossible to ignore Netanyahu and Salman’s visits to Beijing at a time when China is the US’s chief economic rival and is engaged in the globally transformative OBOR initiative, to say nothing of Xinhua and other “official” Chinese alt-media organisations proudly broadcasting the latest news from these trips.

Eventually, the “non-official” alt-media “gatekeepers” will be forced to confront these overlapping pairs of relationships, though they’ll be unable to “excuse” them because they “violate” the “politically correct” ideological dogmas of not “collaborating” with Zionists or Wahhabis.

What I hope to achieve with my article is to provide a calm and sane explanation for why China is all of a sudden prioritizing its engagement with Israel and Saudi Arabia.  I’m not necessarily endorsing each and every facet of Beijing’s policies, but nor am I condemning them. What I want to do is get everyone to think about what China is doing, and why it is doing it, and to arrive at their own conclusions.  It is not for me to dictate how someone is supposed to think.  All I want to do is inform the level-headed, open-minded, and well-intentioned members of the alt-media community (what I would like to believe are the majority of its constituents) about China’s latest moves and how they figure into its global calculus.

But having said that, if anyone thinks for a moment that China is “selling out” to the US by pragmatically working with Israel and Saudi Arabia towards its perceived vision of the “greater good”, or that it is “joining the Zionist and Wahhabi ranks” because it is hosting and signing deals with Netanyahu and Salman, then quite simply they are wrong. These kinds of people need to be removed from the multipolar community before they succeed with the Social Yinon Plan of deliberately dividing it from within and turning it into a Hobbesian collection of fratricidal factions.

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. 

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Saudi Arabia’s version of events: Jamal Khashoggi died during a fist fight (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 5.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

The BBC examines the stunning Saudi admission that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered from three angles:

What is Saudi Arabia’s version of events?

The kingdom says a fight broke out between Mr Khashoggi, who had fallen out of favour with the Saudi government, and people who met him in the consulate – ending with his death.

It says investigations are under way, and so far 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested.

Unnamed officials speaking to Reuters news agency and the New York Times say the Saudis did not know the whereabouts of the body after it was handed to a “local collaborator” to dispose of.

In addition to the arrests, two senior officials have been sacked over the affair – deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani, senior aide to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

The Saudi authorities have yet to give evidence to support this version of events.

Observers are questioning whether Saudi Arabia’s Western allies will find their account of a “botched rendition” convincing – and whether it will persuade them not to take punitive action against them.

US President Donald Trump said what had happened was “unacceptable” but that the arrests were an important “first step”. The UK Foreign Office said it was considering its next steps after hearing the report.

What did Turkey say?

“Turkey will reveal whatever had happened,” said Omer Celik of Turkey’s ruling AKP party, according to Anadolu news agency.

“Nobody should ever doubt about it. We are not accusing anyone in advance but we don’t accept anything to remain covered [up].”

Publicly Turkey has so far stopped short of blaming Saudi Arabia for the killing.

Turkish investigators, however, say they have audio and video evidence which shows Mr Khashoggi was killed by a team of Saudi agents inside the consulate and dismembered. Reports in Turkish media this week gave gruesome details of what are said to be his final minutes.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Saudi King Salman on Friday evening, and the two agreed to continue co-operating in the investigation.

How have Saudi’s Western allies reacted?

President Trump praised the kingdom for acting quickly and said the official explanation was “credible”, despite many US lawmakers expressing disbelief over the Saudi account.

Mr Trump stressed the importance of Saudi Arabia as a counterbalance to Iran in the Middle East, and pushed back against the need for sanctions against the country in light of the new information, talking about the effect of such a move on the US economy.

Earlier this week he warned of “very severe” consequences if Saudi Arabia was proved to have killed the journalist.

A number of US lawmakers, including a Republican highly critical of the Saudis, Senator Lindsey Graham, said they were sceptical about the report on the journalist’s death.

The UK Foreign Office described it as “a terrible act” and said the people behind the killing “must be held to account”.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at Saudi Arabia’s admission to killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a fist fight inside the Istanbul consulate…a story that the Trump White House has so far accepted, but many US Congressmen and mainstream media pundits outright reject.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Meanwhile Reuters floated this story on turmoil inside the Saudi Kingdom as a trial balloon to see if anyone has the might to challenge a very unstable crown prince, by appealing to the frail King and his western allies.

Since he acceded to the throne in January 2015, the king has given MbS, his favorite son, increasing authority to run Saudi Arabia. But the king’s latest intervention reflects growing disquiet among some members of the royal court about MbS’s fitness to govern, the five sources said.

MbS, 33, has implemented a series of high-profile social and economic reforms since his father’s accession, including ending a ban on women driving and opening cinemas in the conservative kingdom.

But he has also marginalized senior members of the royal family and consolidated control over Saudi’s security and intelligence agencies.

His reforms have been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, a purge of top royals and businessmen on corruption charges, and a costly war in Yemen.

Khashoggi’s disappearance has further tarnished the crown prince’s reputation, deepening questions among Western allies and some Saudis about his leadership.

“Even if he is his favorite son, the king needs to have a comprehensive view for his survival and the survival of the royal family,” said a fourth Saudi source with links to the royal court.

“In the end it will snowball on all of them.”

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

MISCALCULATION

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any role in Khashoggi’s disappearance. But the sources familiar with the royal court said the reaction from the United States, an ally for decades, had contributed to the king’s intervention.

“When the situation got out of control and there was an uproar in the United States, MbS informed his father that there was a problem and that they have to face it,” another source with knowledge of the royal court said.

The crown prince and his aides had initially thought the crisis would pass but they “miscalculated its repercussions”, this source said.

Turkish officials have made clear they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, and two Turkish sources have told Reuters police have audio recordings to back up that assertion.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican close to President Donald Trump, on Tuesday accused MbS of ordering Khashoggi’s murder and called him a “wrecking ball” who is jeopardizing relations with the United States. He did not say what evidence he was basing the allegation on.

Trump said on Thursday he presumed Khashoggi was dead but that he still wanted to get to the bottom of what exactly happened. Asked what would be the consequences for Saudi Arabia, Trump said: “Well, it’ll have to be very severe. I mean, it’s bad, bad stuff. But we’ll see what happens.”

Trump has previously said “rogue killers” may have been responsible and has ruled out cancelling arms deals worth tens of billions of dollars. On Tuesday, Trump said he had spoken with MbS and that the crown prince told him he did not know what had happened in the consulate where Khashoggi went missing.

The case poses a dilemma for the United States, as well as Britain and other Western nations. Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil exporter, spends lavishly on Western arms and is an ally in efforts to contain the influence of Iran.

But in a sign of the damage, a succession of international banking and business chiefs, including IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and Ford Chairman Bill Ford, have pulled out of a high-profile investment conference in Saudi Arabia this month.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday also abandoned plans to attend, as did Britain’s trade minister and the French and Dutch finance ministers, putting the event in question.

Saudi officials have said they plan to move forward with the conference, scheduled for Oct. 23-25, despite the wave of cancellations.

Neither JP Morgan nor Ford would elaborate on the reasons for the decision not to attend and did not comment on whether concerns about the disappearance of Khashoggi were a factor.

Lagarde had previously said she was “horrified” by media reports about Khashoggi’s disappearance. An IMF spokesperson did not give a reason for her deferring her trip to the Middle East.

TAKING CONTROL

Before the king’s intervention, Saudi authorities had been striking a defiant tone, threatening on Sunday to retaliate with greater action against the U.S. and others if sanctions are imposed over Khashoggi’s disappearance. A Saudi-owned media outlet warned the result would be disruption in Saudi oil production and a sharp rise in world oil prices.

“Reaction and threats to the possible sanctions of the last 24 hours were still (coming) from the crown prince,” the businessman close to royal circles said on Monday. “The king is now holding the file personally … and the tone is very different.”

The king has spoken directly with Erdogan and Trump in recent days. Both the king and his son met U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he visited Riyadh on Tuesday.

King Salman, 82, spent decades as part of the inner circle of the Al Saud dynasty, which long ruled by consensus. In four decades as governor of Riyadh, he earned a reputation as a royal enforcer who punished princes who were out of line.

Whether he is willing or able to resume that role in this crisis remains unclear, palace insiders say. One source with links to the royal court said the king was “captivated” by MbS and ultimately would protect him.

Still, there is precedent for the king’s intervention.

He stepped in this year to shelve the planned listing of national oil company Saudi Aramco, the brainchild of MbS and a cornerstone of his economic reforms, three sources with ties to government insiders told Reuters in August. Saudi officials have said the government remains committed to the plans.

And when MbS gave the impression last year that Riyadh endorsed the Trump administration’s still nebulous Middle East peace plan, including U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the king made a public correction, reaffirming Riyadh’s commitment to the Arab and Muslim identity of the city.

Despite these rare instances of pushback, several of the sources close to the royal family said that King Salman had grown increasingly detached from decisions taken by MbS.

“He has been living in an artificially-created bubble,” said one of the sources. Lately, though, the king’s advisers have grown frustrated and begun warning him of the risks of leaving the crown prince’s power unchecked.

“The people around him are starting to tell him to wake up to what’s happening,” the source said.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Kiev ‘Patriarch’ prepares to seize Moscow properties in Ukraine

Although Constantinople besought the Kiev church to stop property seizures, they were ignored and used, or perhaps, complicit.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

The attack on the Eastern Orthodox Church, brought about by the US State Department and its proxies in Constantinople and Ukraine, is continuing. On October 20, 2018, the illegitimate “Kyiv (Kiev) Patriarchate”, led by Filaret Denisenko who is calling himself “Patriarch Filaret”, had a synodal meeting in which it changed the commemoration title of the leader of the church to include the Kyiv Caves and Pochaev Lavras.

This is a problem because Metropolitan Onuphry of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church which is canonically accepted and acts as a very autonomous church under the Moscow Patriarchate has these places under his pastoral care.

This move takes place only one week after Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople unilaterally (and illegally) lifted the excommunications, depositions (removal from priestly ranks as punishment) and anathemas against Filaret and Makary that were imposed on them by the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate.

These two censures are very serious matters in the Orthodox Church. Excommunication means that the person or church so considered cannot receive Holy Communion or any of the other Mysteries (called Sacraments in the West) in a neighboring local Orthodox Church. Anathema is even more serious, for this happens when a cleric disregards his excommunication and deposition (removal from the priesthood), and acts as a priest or a bishop anyway.

Filaret Denisenko received all these censures in 1992, and Patriarch Bartholomew accepted this decision at the time, as stated in a letter he sent to Moscow shortly after the censures. However, three years later, Patriarch Bartholomew received a group of Ukrainian autocephalist bishops called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, who had been in communion with Filaret’s group. While this move may have been motivated by the factor of Bartholomew’s almost total isolation within Istanbul, Turkey, it is nonetheless non-canonical.

This year’s moves have far exceeded previous ones, though, and now the possibility for a real clash that could cost lives is raised. With Filaret’s “church” – really an agglomeration of Ukrainian ultranationalists and Neo-Nazis in the mix, plus millions of no doubt innocent Ukrainian faithful who are deluded about the problems of their church, challenging an existing arrangement regarding Ukraine and Russia’s two most holy sites, the results are not likely to be good at all.

Here is the report about today’s developments, reprinted in part from OrthoChristian.com:

Meeting today in Kiev, the Synod of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) has officially changed the title of its primate, “Patriarch” Philaret, to include the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras under his jurisdiction.

The primate’s new official title, as given on the site of the KP, is “His Holiness and Beatitude (name), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Kiev—Mother of the cities of Rus’, and Galicia, Patriarch of All Rus’-Ukraine, Svyaschenno-Archimandrite of the Holy Dormition Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras.”

…Thus, the KP Synod is declaring that “Patriarch” Philaret has jurisdiction over the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras, although they are canonically under the omophorion of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the primate of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Philaret and his followers and nationalistic radicals have continually proclaimed that they will take the Lavras for themselves.

This claim to the ancient and venerable monasteries comes after the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced that it had removed the anathema placed upon Philaret by the Russian Orthodox Church and had restored him to his hierarchical office. Philaret was a metropolitan of the canonical Church, becoming patriarch in his schismatic organization.

Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have clarified that they consider Philaret to be the “former Metropolitan of Kiev,” but he and his organization continue to consider him an active patriarch, with jurisdiction in Ukraine.

Constantinople’s statement also appealed to all in Ukraine to “avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties,” which the Synod of the KP ignored in today’s decision.

The KP primate’s abbreviated title will be, “His Holiness (name), Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine,” and the acceptable form for relations with other Local Churches is “His Beatitude Archbishop (name), Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine.”

The Russian Orthodox Church broke eucharistic communion and all relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate over this matter earlier this week. Of the fourteen local Orthodox Churches recognized the world over, twelve have expressed the viewpoint that Constantinople’s move was in violation of the canons of the Holy Orthodox Church. Only one local Church supported Constantinople wholeheartedly, and all jurisdictions except Constantinople have appealed for an interOrthodox Synod to address and solve the Ukrainian matter in a legitimate manner.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Claims of Khashoggi death by fistfight expose Saudi brutality

The brutality of both state claims and unproven allegations in Khashoggi’s death raise serious questions about American alliances.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

On October 2, 2018, Muslim Brotherhood member and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, never to be seen or heard from again.

This chilling report has been answered with some horrifying and grisly stories about what happened – that he was dismembered while still alive, that his body parts were dissolved completely in acid, leaving nothing left.

Now after two weeks, the Saudi official word on what happened came out: He died in an unexpected fistfight in the embassy.

Really. That is the Saudi’s explanation. A fistfight. In an embassy. With 18 people detained as suspects in the investigation.

And apparently the Saudi government expects the world to accept this explanation and just let it go.

This situation has just exposed the true nature of this “ally” of the United States. Even Rush Limbaugh, a staunch supporter of all conservative positions in America, has spoken from time to time about the amazing disconnect in American foreign policy with regards to Saudi Arabia. He continued that on his radio programs on both October 18th and 19th, 2018, as shown in this excerpted transcript, with emphasis added:

I’m simplifying this, folks, but generally that’s what happens. So, by the same token, you could say that this militant terrorist Islam that we’ve known since 9/11 and maybe 10, 15 years prior, that has been sponsored by Saudi Arabia, by the Saudi royal family. It’s why so many people have been upset with so many American presidents being buddy-buddy with the king, whoever he happens to be. The Saudis always fund former presidents’ libraries. I mean, the Saudis had a good thing going. They had relationships with every president, former president and so forth.

And while they were selling us oil, sometimes. Cooperative or uncooperative, depending on the time, with price. But during all of that, they were the primary thrust for Wahhabi Islam. Now, here comes MbS (Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia), and he wants to just reform the hell out of the country, get rid of Wahhabism, bring in petrodollars competitors such as Hollywood and Silicon Valley and basically bring Saudi Arabia into the twenty-first century instead of the seventh. And there’s some people that don’t want that to happen.

And from the 19th:

Wahhabi Islam is where the really radical clerics and Imams are who are welcoming anybody they can into their mosques and just literally converting them into suicide bombers, terrorists, and what have you, under the auspices of Islam. And the Saudi royal family stood by and let it all happen. Whether they were instrumental in advocating it, don’t know, but Saudi-funded charities all over the world promoted Wahhabism.

And that’s when I went back to Mr. Buckley and said, “I don’t see how the Saudi royal family, the Saudi government can be separated from these 19 hijackers.”

Now in the rest of these transcripts, which are very interesting, Rush explains that Khashoggi was a Muslim Brotherhood member, and as such, stood opposed to MbS’ reform plans and actions. However the brutality of the alleged murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the official “State version” account of his death are almost equally brutal. Death by fists? How is it that the United States considers such people allies?

President Trump is on record as saying that this explanation by the Saudi government is “credible.” However, this statement alone is out of context, so we bring you the entire statement:

This is not to be misunderstood as a Trump endorsement of belief. He points out that this is a first step, and that in his view it is a good one, but that is all.

Still, these events throw the real nature of the Saudi kingdom into sharp relief. They are the number one customer for US military equipment, now considered allies against Iran. In the complicated field of Middle East relations, the president’s caution is probably very wise for the moment. However, this is a nation which produced most of the 9/11 hijackers, which is said to be the last voice in what Islam is, and so promotes a very violent interpretation of an already violent faith.

CLICK HERE to Support The Duran >>

The news and information media got a great lesson in following something like “due process” with this matter, and while the President is doing that, this situation still invites some strong speculation. Allies that simultaneously seek an allied nation’s destruction do not seem like allies much at all. And embassies are usually held to be very safe places for people, not places where they meet their death in any way at all, let alone the cruel means alleged and later claimed.

This event may actually be very damaging to the Saudi Crown Prince’s effort to bring his nation out of Wahhabism and into some more kind interpretation of Islam, and indeed the West’s assessment of Khashoggi has taken to calling him a “teddy bear” when he is a Muslim Brotherhood member. Former US President Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and these people were so violent, killing Christians and destroying homes and businesses, that the Muslim Brotherhood’s uprising was followed by a second uprising from the more reasonable people in Egypt (which Obama promptly dropped).

If reports are to be believed, Mohammed bin Salman wants to end Wahhabism. It would seem to logically make sense that his agencies were involved in what happened to Kashoggi, who is a known critic of bin Salman. But if it really is true that the Saudi royals were not involved, then whoever it was certainly succeeded in stopping bin Salman’s efforts to modernize his country, at least for now.

 

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending