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Destabilising Saudi Arabia? Crown Prince consolidates control; eliminates rivals

Saudi Crown Prince’s attempts to concentrate power put Saudi Arabia’s whole system of governance at risk

Alexander Mercouris

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The round-up of Saudi Princes which took place on 5th November 2017 is simply the latest in a succession of purges initiated by Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman, as he tries to consolidate his position by getting his hands on all of Saudi Arabia’s levers of power.

As is often the case in purges of this kind, a large number of people have been rounded up on ‘corruption charges’ (the standard pretext used to conceal power struggles of this sort) in order to conceal the identity of the true target of the purge.

That target was Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, the commander of Saudi Arabia’s National Guard, the third in the triad of defence and security agencies which underpin the rule of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Family.

Of these three the largest and most powerful is the Saudi military, which Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman controls directly as Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister.

The second is the Interior Ministry, which controls Saudi Arabia’s police and law enforcement agencies.

Its former head, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, was appointed Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s own father, King Salman, in April 2015, shortly after King Salman succeeded to the throne following the death of King Abdullah, the previous Saudi King.

As Interior Minister Prince Muhammad bin Nayef headed a sprawling police and internal security apparatus built up by his father Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, who was Saudi Arabia’s Interior Minister from 1975 to 2012, and who was also briefly Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince for a few months before his death.

In addition, from February 2014 Prince Muhammad bin Nayef also became the head of Saudi Arabia’s external intelligence agencies in succession to the notorious Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was sacked following a disastrous “secret” meeting with Russian President Putin in the summer of 2013..

As Crown Prince, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef retained overall control of both of the Interior Ministry and of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agencies.  However he was abruptly demoted and  sacked from all his posts in the first purge engineered this year by Prince Muhammad bin Salman in June 2017. Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who up to then had been Deputy Crown Prince, then arranged to have himself declared Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince in direct succession to his father King Salman in place of Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, making Prince Muhammad bin Salman the direct heir to the Saudi throne and the intended successor as Saudi King of his father King Salman when King Salman dies.

By securing Prince Muhammad bin Nayef’s downfall, Prince Muhammad bin Salman therefore removed from the scene a powerful Prince who was a rival for the throne.

As might have been predicted, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef’s downfall then appears to have been followed by a purge of his supporters from his former power base – the Interior Ministry – and their replacement with people Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman presumably considers loyal to himself.  It seems that the powers of the Interior Ministry have also been significantly cut back.

Having eliminated one potential rival in the person of Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and brought the Interior Ministry under his control, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has now turned his attention on another potential rival – Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah – and the third agency in Saudi Arabia’s security triad, the Saudi National Guard.

This is a huge well-equipped paramilitary force – it is said to number 100,000 men – which operates within Saudi Arabia as practically a parallel army to the ‘official’ Saudi army which is headed by Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

Like the army the National Guard is equipped with heavy weapons (though not tanks) and has its own air arm consisting of helicopters and light aircraft.

Unlike the official Saudi army recruitment to the National Guard is restricted to members of tribes believed to be especially loyal to the Saudi Royal Family.

In effect it functions within Saudi Arabia as a sort of Praetorian Guard, protecting the Royal Family from the risk of an internal revolution or coup.  As such it also controls security in the two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, the control of which gives the Saudi Royal Family its legitimacy (the official title of Saudi Arabia’s King is “Custodian of the two Holy Mosques” ie. of Mecca and Medina).

The commander of the National Guard is therefore a key figure in the Saudi power structure.

Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, its now ousted head, was not only one of Saudi Arabia’s best connected  and most influential Princes, but he also had a continuous connection with the National Guard extending back to 1990, making it loyal to himself and an effective power base.  He became its commander in 2009.

Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah is also the son of King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia’s former King, who was King from 2005 to 2015, making Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah therefore a potential rival for the Saudi throne.

Like Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah also belongs to a more senior generation of Saudi Princes born in the 1950s, who must be feeling unsettled by the meteoric rise of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who was born in 1985 and is only 32.

In addition it seems that Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah were friends, and political allies, a fact which would have made them doubly threatening to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, and which would have ensured that the fall of the one would be followed swiftly by the fall of the other.

By ousting Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah from his position as commander of Saudi Arabia’s National Guard Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is therefore looking to eliminate a powerful potential rival, and to bring the National Guard under his control.

If Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman can pull off the trick – and for the moment he seems to be doing so – he will have control of all of Saudi Arabia’s defence, intelligence, and internal security institutions – the Defence Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the country’s intelligence services and the National Guard – in his hands.

With Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman already in charge of Saudi Arabia’s economic policies and its civilian ministries, and with a purge of Saudi Arabia’s clerical establishment previously carried out in September, he must hope that this will concentrate all the levers of power in Saudi Arabia in his hands.

Though in the short term Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman appears to be achieving some success, it must be said that this is a high risk strategy.

Though Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, its King has never before ruled as an autocrat.  Rather he has ruled on behalf of the entire Saudi Royal Family as its trustee.

That means that the Saudi King has traditionally consulted widely within the Royal Family before making important decisions, and that he has always given power to other members of the Royal Family, to whom he has entrusted important functions such as the control of the Interior Ministry and of the National Guard.

Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is throwing all that out of the window.  By seeking to concentrate all power in his own hands he really does seem to be aiming at making himself Saudi Arabia’s autocrat.

In the process he must be causing intense anger within the Saudi Royal Family, with many of its members furious at the way in which they are being shunted aside, and at the shabby treatment – as many of them will see it – of the Family’s senior Princes like Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah.

Beyond that the use of the issue of corruption as the cloak behind which to carry out the purge is one which is all but guaranteed to provoke further anger and alarm.

Saudi Arabia though possessing many of the trappings of a state is nonetheless ultimately the property of the Saudi Royal Family.  In such a system lines between what is corrupt and what is not inevitably become blurred.

The result is that what in many countries would be seen as corruption in Saudi Arabia is the accepted norm, becoming in effect the organising principle of Saudi Arabia’s government and society.

It is doubtful that most of the Saudi Princes, accustomed to thinking of the Kingdom’s wealth as their own collectively held personal property, even think of many of the things they do as corruption.

The result is that almost any prominent Saudi Prince can be classified as ‘corrupt’, with the term from their point of view having little or no meaning or having much relevance to the things they do.

In such a situation for Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to start jailing Saudi Princes because he calls things which all of them do and have been long accustomed to doing ‘corrupt’ is all but guaranteed to provoke alarm and anger across the rest of the Royal Family.

Since the accession of his father King Salman in 2015 Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has been remarkably active as he he looks to put into effect his own vision of himself and of the future of the Kingdom.

He has launched a war against the Houthis in the Yemen which by all accounts is not gong well.  He has also conducted a feud with Qatar which seems ill-advised, and he has now extended his meddling to the affairs of Lebanon as well.

He has also committed the Kingdom to a grossly over-ambitious and unrealistic economic policy, with the latest fantasy being the creation from scratch of an all-new industrial city for which there is no obvious purpose or need.

He is now acting to eliminate his rivals and to concentrate all power in the Kingdom in his hands, achieving thereby a position of greater power in Saudi Arabia than any Saudi King before him except for the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul-Aziz Ibn Said.

At the same time he is purging the country’s clerical establishment, enacting liberal innovations such as allowing women to drive cars, whilst declaring that he intends to replace Saudi Arabia’s stern Wahhabi religious ideology with a more ‘moderate’ version of Islam, which he claims – falsely – to have been that of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud.

This purported internal ‘liberalisation’ of Saudi Arabia looks to me like a ploy by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to gain popular support as he consolidates his power from the younger, more liberal and better educated members of the Saudi elite.

I am as skeptical of it as is Gilbert Mercier and I would add that it is anyway at odds with the reality of the rapidly growing centralisation of power in Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s own person which is now underway.

As I said in my previous discussion of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s grandiose economic policy, the person of whom his actions increasingly remind me is the late Shah of Iran.

Like the Shah Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman promotes an appearance of ‘modernisation’ and ‘liberalisation’ in order to disguise and justify his increasingly autocratic and arbitrary behaviour.

Like the Shah Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is doing this whilst pursuing a break-neck military build-up, a grandiose and completely unrealistic foreign policy, and an economic policy which is so grandiose that it has left all reality behind it.

Like the Shah Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has the unqualified support in all his follies of the US, whose Secretary of State Rex Tillerson almost certainly gave the purge the green light during the course of his recent visit to Riyadh.

In the case of the Shah it all ended in tears, with the Shah forced into ignominious exile by the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Saudi Arabia is a very different society from Iran, lacking Iran’s history and its ancient culture and tradition of parliamentarianism and democracy.

The fact however remains that by acting to eliminate all rivals Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman must be provoking huge anger within Saudi Arabia, whilst by concentrating all power in his own hands he will have no one else to blame if things go seriously wrong.

Meanwhile his purported religious ‘liberalisation’ – because of the way it is being combined with his growing trend towards achieving personal power – is more likely to be seen as threatening by most sections of Saudi society than as attractive to them.

One way or the other by his recent actions Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has taken Saudi Arabia further down the road first to autocracy, and then to collapse.

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The real reason Western media & CIA turned against Saudi MBS

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

RT

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Via RT…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Indiscreet Charm of the Gilets Jaunes

Nothing scares the Identity Politics Left quite like an actual working class uprising.

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Authored (satirically) by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review:


So it appears the privatization of France isn’t going quite as smoothly as planned. As I assume you are aware, for over a month now, the gilets jaunes (or “yellow vests”), a multiplicitous, leaderless, extremely pissed off, confederation of working class persons, have been conducting a series of lively protests in cities and towns throughout the country to express their displeasure with Emmanuel Macron and his efforts to transform their society into an American-style neo-feudal dystopia. Highways have been blocked, toll booths commandeered, luxury automobiles set on fire, and shopping on the Champs-Élysées disrupted. What began as a suburban tax revolt has morphed into a bona fide working class uprising.

It took a while for “the Golden Boy of Europe” to fully appreciate what was happening. In the tradition of his predecessor, Louis XVI, Macron initially responded to the gilets jaunes by inviting a delegation of Le Monde reporters to laud his renovation of the Elysée Palace, making the occasional condescending comment, and otherwise completely ignoring them. That was back in late November. Last Saturday, he locked down central Paris, mobilized a literal army of riot cops, “preventatively arrested” hundreds of citizens, including suspected “extremist students,” and sent in the armored military vehicles.

The English-language corporate media, after doing their best not to cover these protests (and, instead, to keep the American and British publics focused on imaginary Russians), have been forced to now begin the delicate process of delegitimizing the gilets jaunes without infuriating the the entire population of France and inciting the British and American proletariats to go out and start setting cars on fire. They got off to a bit of an awkward start.

For example, this piece by Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian‘s Paris Bureau Chief, and her Twitter feed from the protests last Saturday. Somehow (probably a cock-up at headquarters), The Guardian honchos allowed Chrisafis to do some actual propaganda-free reporting (and some interviews with actual protesters) before they caught themselves and replaced her with Kim Willsher, who resumed The Guardian‘s usual neoliberal establishment-friendly narrative, which, in this case, entailed dividing the protesters into “real” gilets jaunes and “fake” gilet jaunes, and referring to the latter fictional group as “thuggish, extremist political agitators.”

By Sunday, the corporate media were insinuating that diabolical Russian Facebook bots had brainwashed the French into running amok, because who else could possibly be responsible? Certainly not the French people themselves! The French, as every American knows, are by nature a cowardly, cheese-eating people, who have never overthrown their rightful rulers, or publicly beheaded the aristocracy. No, the French were just sitting there, smoking like chimneys, and otherwise enjoying their debt-enslavement and the privatization of their social democracy, until they unsuspectingly logged onto Facebook and … BLAMMO, the Russian hackers got them!

Bloomberg is reporting that French authorities have opened a probe into Russian interference (in the middle of which report, for no apparent reason, a gigantic photo of Le Pen is featured, presumably just to give it that “Nazi” flavor). According to “analysis seen by The Times,” Russia-linked social media accounts have been “amplifying” the “chaos” and “violence” by tweeting photos of gilets jaunes who the French police have savagely beaten or gratuitiously shot with “less-than-lethal projectiles.” “Are nationalists infiltrating the yellow vests?” the BBC Newsnight producers are wondering. According to Buzzfeed’s Ryan Broderick, “a beast born almost entirely from Facebook” is slouching toward … well, I’m not quite sure, the UK or even, God help us, America! And then there’s Max Boot, who is convinced he is being personally persecuted by Russian agents like Katie Hopkins, James Woods, Glenn Greenwald, and other high-ranking members of a worldwide conspiracy Boot refers to as the “Illiberal International” (but which regular readers of my column will recognize as the “Putin-Nazis“).

And, see, this is the problem the corporate media (and other staunch defenders of global neoliberalism) are facing with these gilets jaunes protests. They can’t get away with simply claiming that what is happening is not a working class uprising, so they have been forced to resort to these blatant absurdities. They know they need to delegitimize the gilets jaunes as soon as possible — the movement is already starting to spread — but the “Putin-Nazi” narrative they’ve been using on Trump, Corbyn, and other “populists” is just not working.

No one believes the Russians are behind this, not even the hacks who are paid to pretend they do. And the “fascism” hysteria is also bombing. Attempts to portray the gilets jaunes as Le Pen-sponsored fascists blew up in their faces. Obviously, the far-Right are part of these protests, as they would be in any broad working class uprising, but there are far too many socialists and anarchists (and just regular pissed-off working class people) involved for the media to paint them all as “Nazis.”

Which is not to say that the corporate media and prominent public intellectuals like Bernard-Henri Lévy will not continue to hammer away at the “fascism” hysteria, and demand that the “good” and “real” gilets jaunes suspend their protests against Macron until they have completely purged their movement of “fascists,” and “extremists,” and other dangerous elements, and have splintered it into a number of smaller, antagonistic ideological factions that can be more easily neutralized by the French authorities … because that’s what establishment intellectuals do.

We can expect to hear this line of reasoning, not just from establishment intellectuals like Lévy, but also from members of the Identity Politics Left, who are determined to prevent the working classes from rising up against global neoliberalism until they have cleansed their ranks of every last vestige of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, and so on. These leftist gatekeepers have been struggling a bit to come up with a response to the gilets jaunes … a response that doesn’t make them sound like hypocrites. See, as leftists, they kind of need to express their support for a bona fide working class uprising. At the same time, they need to delegitimize it, because their primary adversaries are fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and assorted other isms and phobias, not the neoliberal ruling classes.

Nothing scares the Identity Politics Left quite like an actual working class uprising. Witnessing the furious unwashed masses operating out there on their own, with no decent human restraint whatsoever, Identity Politics Leftists feel a sudden overwhelming urge to analyze, categorize, organize, sanitize, and otherwise correct and control them.

They can’t accept the fact that the actual, living, breathing working classes are messy, multiplicitous, inconsistent, and irreducible to any one ideology. Some of them are racists. Some are fascists. Others are communists, socialists, and anarchists. Many have no idea what they are, and don’t particularly care for any of these labels.This is what the actual working classes are … a big, contradictory collection of people who, in spite of all their differences, share one thing in common, that they are being screwed over by the ruling classes. I don’t know about you, but I consider myself one of them.

Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. According to The Guardian, as I am sitting here writing this, the whole of Europe is holding its breath in anticipation of the gilets jaunes’ response to Macron’s most recent attempt to appease them, this time with an extra hundred Euros a month, some minor tax concessions, and a Christmas bonus.

Something tells me it’s not going to work, but even if it does, and the gilets jaunes uprising ends, this messy, Western “populist” insurgency against global neoliberalism has clearly entered a new phase. Count on the global capitalist ruling classes to intensify their ongoing War on Dissent and their demonization of anyone opposing them (or contradicting their official narrative) as an “extremist,” a “fascist,” a “Russian agent,” and so on. I’m certainly looking forward to that, personally.

Oh… yeah, and I almost forgot, if you were wondering what you could get me for Christmas, I did some checking, and there appears to be a wide selection of yellow safety vests online for just a couple Euros.

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Washington Is Changing The World Order Against Its Own Interests

Any country sufficiently stupid to ally with the US is allied with a dead man walking.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Authored by Paul Craig Roberts:


The hubris and arrogance of Washington have been at work since the Clinton regime to destroy the power and relevance of the United States.

This website has an international audience. The most asked question from this audience is the world order. There is a realization that Washington’s control might weaken, a development people abroad see as hopeful. They ask me for verification of their hope.

Here is my answer:

The world order has already changed.  China has a larger and more powerful industrial and manufacturing based economy than the US, and China’s potential domestic consumer market is four times larger than that of the US. As economies are consumer based, China’s potential is an economy four times larger than that of the US.

Russia has a far more capable military with weapon systems unmatched by the US. The US is drowning in debt, and the illegal and irresponsible sanctions that Washington tries to impose on others are driving the world’s largest countries away from the use of the US dollar as world reserve currency and away from Western clearance systems such as SWIFT.  The United States already has one foot in the grave.  Any country sufficiently stupid to ally with the US is allied with a dead man walking.

President Eisenhower, a five-star general, warned Americans 57 years ago to no effect that the military/security complex was already a threat to the American people’s ability to control their government. Today the military/security complex is the Government. As Udo Ulfkotte documented in his book, Journalists for Hire: How the CIA buys the News—no you can’t buy a copy unless you can find a used copy in German in a German book store, the CIA has seen to that—journalism independent of official explanations no longer exists in the Western world.

Much of the world does not understand this. Aside from the material interests of Russian and Chinese capitalists, a portion of the youth of both superpowers, and also even in Iran, have succumbed to brainwashing by American propaganda. Gullible beyond belief, they are more loyal to America than they are to their own countries.

The United States itself is extremely unsuccessful, but its propaganda still rules the world. The consequence is that, based on its propagandistic success, Washington thinks it still holds the balance of economic and military power. This is a delusion that is leading Washington to nuclear war.

Considering the hypersonic speed, trajectory changeability and massive power of Russian nuclear weapons, war with Russia will result in nothing whatsoever being left of the US and its vassals, who sold out European peoples for Washington’s money.

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