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From Feudalism To The Future: How the “Red Prince’s” “Revolution” could modernize The Monarchy

The “Red Prince” Mohammed Bin Salman is trying to do the seemingly unthinkable — modernize Saudi Arabia through an anti-feudalist “revolution” — but he’s going to face a lot of resistance every step of the way, and his possible failure would inevitably doom the Kingdom to future destruction.

Andrew Korybko

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman flawlessly executed what can only be described as an anti-oligarchic Bolshevik “deep state” coup over the weekend in preemptively thwarting a pro-US royalist plot to unseat him in response to the socio-economic and religious reforms that he initiated as part of his ambitious Vision 2030 program, as well as his newfound game-changing Great Power partnerships with China and Russia.

Mohammed Bin Salman: The Unlikely Anti-Oligarchic Bolshevik?

He’s not just trying to preserve his own power in the ultimate Machiavellian “Game of Thrones” environment of Saudi royal politics, but to save Saudi Arabia from what would otherwise be its impending collapse with time if the old order of business is allowed to continue. The absurdly wealthy Kingdom has been bleeding billions of dollars due to the disastrous (and very expensive) War on Yemen that he unwisely commenced roughly two and a half years ago, and falling oil prices during that time have made it impossible for the country to recoup its massive expenses from this ongoing campaign.

Not only that, but Saudi Arabia ridiculously boasts over a million public sector employees and an uncomfortably high 12,5% unemployment rate in a country where 70% of the population is under the age of 30. In addition, the Kingdom’s macroeconomic riches are largely concentrated in the hands of the royal family, whereas the rest of the country mostly trudges onward in a state of semi-feudalism where wealth has never truly “trickled down” to them.

To make matters even worse, the Wahhabi extremists that Saudi Arabia has always exported from its own population and simultaneously cultivated abroad are already boomeranging back into the Kingdom with the imminent defeat of Daesh in the Mideast. On top of that, historic state suppression of the sizeable Shiite minority in the oil-rich Eastern Province and the relatively liberal cravings of the majority youthful population are setting Saudi Arabia up for future sectarian and generational clashes.

Riyadh arrogantly believed that it could throw money at all of its problems and continue to buy time in indefinitely staving off this impending domestic disaster, but this irresponsible policy was never sustainable in the first place, and the situation is clearly approaching the brink of a serious crisis in the coming years given how state expenses are dangerously running way above the budget’s resource-dependent replenishment rate.

None of the royals really seemed to care, however, since in typical oligarchic and globalist fashion, they don’t have any loyalty to their homeland and figured they could just easily relocate somewhere else if everything started to fall apart. The only influential member of the monarchy that does care is Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who cleverly muscled his way to the top of the Kingdom’s power structure in the span of just a few years by breaking all of the country’s previously sacred succession traditions.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Mohammed Bin Salman is a “radical” in every sense of the word since he’s not only poised to undertake the Bolshevik-like takeover of approximately $800 billion in oligarchic assets to fund his Vision 2030 public works projects, but he’s also totally smashed the previous power hierarchy in the Kingdom and is slated to soon set his sights on its infamous Wahhabi clerics as well. The Crown Prince is, relatively speaking, carrying out a rapid across-the-board “revolution” in modernizing his feudalist Kingdom in order to save it, and the key to understanding it all is to appreciate the grand strategy behind Vision 2030.

For the pressing economic-structural reasons described above, Saudi Arabia urgently needs to transition from its oil-dependent economy to a real-sector one, and the $130 billion in investments that it secured from China over the past year during two separate deal-signing ceremonies in April and August will go a long way to jumpstarting this initiative, but it’s still far from enough. That’s why Mohammed Bin Salman moved to purge his country’s “deep state” before it could act against him first, since he knew from the inside-out just how badly Saudi Arabia needed a comprehensive “regime reboot” otherwise the best-intended and most visionary plans were inevitably bound to fail because of the Kingdom’s cesspool of corruption.

Having “cleaned house” and holding onto power with the help of the military and internal security services who support his patriotic mission to save Saudi Arabia from itself, the Crown Prince must now take out or sideline the Wahhabi clerics who had shared power with the monarchy due to a pre-unification arrangement between the Houses of Saud and Wahhab. There’s no way that this influential bastion of Takfiri power will let the modernizing young ruler reverse society’s gender segregations and bestow more liberties to women without making a stand to oppose what they and their older generation supporters may have come to believe is a future “infidel” King.

The clerics don’t just hate what Mohammed Bin Salman has already done, but they also deeply despise what he wants to do, and that’s increase the participation of women in the workforce and therefore diminish their traditional role in the family, something which is almost as “haram” as one can get in Saudi Arabia. The Crown Prince knows that Vision 2030 won’t succeed so long as most women are kept cloistered in the home and out of work, and however reluctant some Saudis might be to recognize this, the objective economic fact is that their country’s women will have to eventually “modernize” in the Western sense if the Kingdom is to survive the coming decade, let alone this century.

Mohammed Bin Salman won the first “deep state” battle when he detained the oligarchs and confiscated their wealth on an anti-corruption pretext, but the war isn’t over so long as the Wahhabi clerics remain in positions of power and influence, though truth be told, he’s already jailed quite a few of them over the past couple of months in order to instill fear in their hearts and set an unforgettable example. Still, this might not be enough, and if this “deep state” faction isn’t put under control and effectively neutralized, then they’ll eventually agitate against him sooner than later.

This task is admittedly much easier said than done, since the legacy of the past 80 years has left an indelibly extremist mark on the country’s psyche, and even if Mohammed Bin Salman “drains the Wahhabi swamp”, his security forces are going to forever remain on the defensive in guarding against “lone wolf” and “sleeper cell” attacks, whether homegrown or inspired/boomeranged from abroad. In any case, if by some auspicious chance he can score a Herculean victory in this “deep state” war while still retaining the loyalty of the military, the Crown Prince will then have to begin the painful process of implementing “shock therapy” to structurally modernize Saudi Arabia’s socio-economic situation.

It’s not known at this point how fast he would move on the social front, but this aspect of his country is inevitably bound to change alongside the economic one that he’ll probably most directly focus on at first. As was mentioned, the Crown Prince’s planned incorporation of women into the country’s workforce can’t take place without their liberation from restrictive Wahhabi standards first, hence why he’s already begun to implement piecemeal but relatively (for his country) radical reforms such as allowing women to drive and permitting gender mixing in sports stadiums.

The next step will be to incentivize them to get jobs, most likely in the service and administrative sectors, and it’s here where his majority-youthful and comparatively more “liberal” base can help him by standing behind his moves and opposing the older “conservative” generation’s resistance to this unprecedented reform. Women always end up in the workforce whenever a feudal society transitions to capitalism, but the strict socio-religious traditions that have been pervasive in Saudi Arabia for centuries suggest that a generational-culture clash of some degree is inevitable, which again underscores the necessity of the military’s loyalty to him personally but also more importantly to the patriotic understanding of how Vision 2030 is so necessary for preserving the Kingdom’s future survival.

All told, Saudi Arabia isn’t just in the midst of a power-grabbing (counter-)coup, but in the throes of a modernizing “revolution” that’s only just begun to play out under the stewardship of the Stalinist-like “Red Prince” Mohammed Bin Salman. Despite not being an actual communist, this young royal is no less “revolutionary” in that he’s robbed his country’s oligarchs of billions in order to fund his expensive socio-economic programs for transitioning his feudal country towards a capitalist model, with all of the profound socio-religious implications that this entails.

Just like all revolutions, however, this one is bound to come across resistance from the endangered elite, their foreign patrons, and the masses under their “conservative” ideological spell, but economic and demographic facts are on the “Red Prince’s” side, though he is admittedly making a somewhat risky bet that the latter are “liberal” enough to both support him and accept the all-encompassing lifestyle changes that his “revolution” will inevitably result in.

It’s too early to know whether Mohammed Bin Salman will succeed, let alone if he’ll even live another day after de-facto expropriating the mind-boggling sum of at least $800 billion from some of the world’s most powerful oligarchs, but it’s becoming clear that the “Red Prince” is carrying out his “revolution” not just for the sake of pure power, but to patriotically save Saudi Arabia from itself and ensure its continued existence in the future.

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

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New York Times hit piece on Trump and NATO exposes alliance as outdated and obsolete (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the New York Times hit piece citing anonymous sources, with information that the U.S. President dared to question NATO’s viability.

Propaganda rag, the NYT, launched its latest presidential smear aimed at discrediting Trump and provoking the establishment, warmonger left into more impeachment – Twenty-fifth Amendment talking points.

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Via The American Conservative


The New York Times scored a serious scoop when it revealed on Monday that President Trump had questioned in governmental conversations—on more than one occasion, apparently—America’s membership in NATO. Unfortunately the paper then slipped into its typical mode of nostrum journalism. My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “nostrum” as “quack medicine” entailing “exaggerated claims.” Here we had quack journalism executed in behalf of quack diplomacy.

The central exaggerated claim is contained in the first sentence, in which it is averred that NATO had “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is wrong, as can be seen through just a spare amount of history.

True, NATO saved Europe from the menace of Russian Bolshevism. But it did so not over 70 years but over 40 years—from 1949 to 1989. That’s when the Soviet Union had 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops poised on Western Europe’s doorstep, positioned for an invasion of Europe through the lowlands of Germany’s Fulda Gap.

How was this possible? It was possible because Joseph Stalin had pushed his armies farther and farther into the West as the German Wehrmacht collapsed at the end of World War II. In doing so, and in the process capturing nearly all of Eastern Europe, he ensured that the Soviets had no Western enemies within a thousand miles of Leningrad or within 1,200 miles of Moscow. This vast territory represented not only security for the Russian motherland (which enjoys no natural geographical barriers to deter invasion from the West) but also a potent staging area for an invasion of Western Europe.

The first deterrent against such an invasion, which Stalin would have promulgated had he thought he could get away with it, was America’s nuclear monopoly. By the time that was lost, NATO had emerged as a powerful and very necessary deterrent. The Soviets, concluding that the cost of an invasion was too high, defaulted to a strategy of undermining Western interests anywhere around the world where that was possible. The result was global tensions stirred up at various global trouble spots, most notably Korea and Vietnam.

But Europe was saved, and NATO was the key. It deserves our respect and even reverence for its profound success as a military alliance during a time of serious threat to the West.

But then the threat went away. Gone were the 1.3 million Soviet and client-state troops. Gone was Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Indeed, gone, by 1991, was the Soviet Union itself, an artificial regime of brutal ideology superimposed upon the cultural entity of Mother Russia. It was a time for celebration.

But it was also a time to contemplate the precise nature of the change that had washed over the world and to ponder what that might mean for old institutions—including NATO, a defensive military alliance created to deter aggression from a menacing enemy to the east. Here’s where Western thinking went awry. Rather than accepting as a great benefit the favorable developments enhancing Western security—the Soviet military retreat, the territorial reversal, the Soviet demise—the West turned NATO into a territorial aggressor of its own, absorbing nations that had been part of the Soviet sphere of control and pushing right up to the Russian border. Now Leningrad (renamed St. Petersburg after the obliteration of the menace of Soviet communism) resides within a hundred miles of NATO military forces, while Moscow is merely 200 miles from Western troops.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has absorbed 13 nations, some on the Russian border, others bordering lands that had been part of Russia’s sphere of interest for centuries. This constitutes a policy of encirclement, which no nation can accept without protest or pushback. And if NATO were to absorb those lands of traditional Russian influence—particularly Ukraine and Georgia—that would constitute a major threat to Russian security, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to emphasize to Western leaders for years.

So, no, NATO has not deterred Russian aggression for 70 years. It did so for 40 and has maintained a destabilizing posture toward Russia ever since. The problem here is the West’s inability to perceive how changed geopolitical circumstances might require a changed geopolitical strategy. The encirclement strategy has had plenty of critics—George Kennan before he died; academics John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Robert David English; former diplomat Jack Matlock; the editors of The Nation. But their voices have tended to get drowned out by the nostrum diplomacy and the nostrum journalism that supports it at every turn.

You can’t drown out Donald Trump because he’s president of the United States. And so he has to be traduced, ridiculed, dismissed, and marginalized. That’s what the Times story, by Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper, sought to do. Consider the lead, designed to emphasize just how outlandish Trump’s musings are before the reader even has a chance to absorb what he may have been thinking: “There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” Translation: “Take that, Mr. President! You’re an idiot.”

Henry Kissinger had something interesting to say about Trump in a recent interview with the Financial Times. “I think Trump may be one of those figures in history,” said the former secretary of state, “who appears from time to time to mark the end of an era and to force it to give up its old pretenses.” One Western pretense about Russia, so ardently enforced by the likes of Julian Barnes and Helene Cooper (who, it may be safe to say, know less about world affairs and their history than Henry Kissinger), is that nothing really changed with the Soviet collapse and NATO had to turn aggressive in order to keep that menacing nation in its place.

Trump clearly doesn’t buy that pretense. He said during the campaign that NATO was obsolete. Then he backtracked, saying he only wanted other NATO members to pay their fair share of the cost of deterrence. He even confessed, after Hillary Clinton identified NATO as “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world,” that he only said NATO was obsolete because he didn’t know much about it. But he was learning—enough, it appears, to support as president Montenegro’s entry into NATO in 2017. Is Montenegro, with 5,332 square miles and some 620,000 citizens, really a crucial element in Europe’s desperate project to protect itself against Putin’s Russia?

We all know that Trump is a crude figure—not just in his disgusting discourse but in his fumbling efforts to execute political decisions. As a politician, he often seems like a doctor attempting to perform open-heart surgery while wearing mittens. His idle musings about leaving NATO are a case in point—an example of a politician who lacks the skill and finesse to nudge the country in necessary new directions.

But Kissinger has a point about the man. America and the world have changed, while the old ways of thinking have not kept pace. The pretenses of the old have blinded the status quo defenders into thinking nothing has changed. Trump, almost alone among contemporary American politicians, is asking questions to which the world needs new answers. NATO, in its current configuration and outlook, is a danger to peace, not a guarantor of it.


Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century

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Nigel Farage To Back Another “Vote Leave” Campaign If UK Holds Second Brexit Referendum

Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition.

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Via Zerohedge


Pro-European MPs from various political parties are pushing back against claims made by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government that a second Brexit referendum – which supporters have branded as a “People’s Vote” on May’s deal – would take roughly 14 months to organize, according to RT.

But while support for a second vote grows, one of the most notorious proponents of the original “Vote Leave” campaign is hinting at a possible return to politics to try and fight the effort.

After abandoning UKIP, the party he helped create, late last year, Nigel Farage said Friday that he would be willing to wage another “Vote Leave” campaign, even if he needed to use another party as the “vehicle” for his opposition. Farage also pointed out that a delay of Brexit Day would likely put it after the European Parliament elections in May.

“I think, I fear that the House of Commons is going to effectively overturn that Brexit. To me, the most likely outcome of all of this is an extension of Article 50. There could be another referendum,” he told Sky News.

According to official government guidance shown to lawmakers on Wednesday, which was subsequently leaked to the Telegraph, as May tries to head off a push by ministers who see a second referendum as the best viable alternative to May’s deal – a position that’s becoming increasingly popular with Labour Party MPs.

“In order to inform the discussions, a very short paper set out in factual detail the number of months that would be required, this was illustrative only and our position of course is that there will be no second referendum,,” May said. The statement comes as May has been meeting with ministers and leaders from all parties to try to find a consensus deal that could potentially pass in the House of Commons.

The 14 month estimate is how long May and her government expect it would take to pass the primary legislation calling for the referendum (seven months), conduct the question testing with the election committee (12 weeks), pass secondary legislation (six weeks) and conduct the campaigns (16 weeks).

May has repeatedly insisted that a second referendum wouldn’t be feasible because it would require a lengthy delay of Brexit Day, and because it would set a dangerous precedent that wouldn’t offer any more clarity (if some MPs are unhappy with the outcome, couldn’t they just push for a third referendum?). A spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street said the guidance was produced purely for the purpose of “illustrative discussion” and that the government continued to oppose another vote.

Meanwhile, a vote on May’s “Plan B”, expected to include a few minor alterations from the deal’s previous iteration, has been called for Jan. 29, prompting some MPs to accuse May of trying to run out the clock. May is expected to present the new deal on Monday.

Former Tory Attorney General and pro-remainer MP Dominic Grieve blasted May’s timetable as wrong and said that the government “must be aware of it themselves,” while former Justice Minister Dr Phillip Lee, who resigned his cabinet seat in June over May’s Brexit policy, denounced her warning as “nonsense.”

As May pieces together her revised deal, more MPs are urging her to drop her infamous “red lines” (Labour in particular would like to see the UK remain part of the Customs Union), but with no clear alternative to May’s plan emerging, a delay of Brexit Day is looking like a virtual certainty.

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The National Security Agency Is A Criminal Organization

The National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Via Paul Craig Roberts…


Years before Edward Snowden provided documented proof that the National Security Agency was really a national insecurity agency as it was violating law and the US Constitution and spying indiscriminately on American citizens, William Binney, who designed and developed the NSA spy program revealed the illegal and unconstitutional spying. Binney turned whistleblower, because NSA was using the program to spy on Americans. As Binney was well known to the US Congress, he did not think he needed any NSA document to make his case. But what he found out was “Congress would never hear me because then they’d lose plausible deniability. That was really their key. They needed to have plausible deniability so they can continue this massive spying program because it gave them power over everybody in the world. Even the members of Congress had power against others [in Congress]; they had power on judges on the Supreme Court, the federal judges, all of them. That’s why they’re so afraid. Everybody’s afraid because all this data that’s about them, the central agencies — the intelligence agencies — they have it. And that’s why Senator Schumer warned President Trump earlier, a few months ago, that he shouldn’t attack the intelligence community because they’ve got six ways to Sunday to come at you. That’s because it’s like J. Edgar Hoover on super steroids. . . . it’s leverage against every member of parliament and every government in the world.”

To prevent whistle-blowing, NSA has “a program now called ‘see something, say something’ about your fellow workers. That’s what the Stasi did. That’s why I call [NSA] the new New Stasi Agency. They’re picking up all the techniques from the Stasi and the KGB and the Gestapo and the SS. They just aren’t getting violent yet that we know of — internally in the US, outside is another story.”

As Binney had no documents to give to the media, blowing the whistle had no consequence for NSA. This is the reason that Snowden released the documents that proved NSA to be violating both law and the Constitution, but the corrupt US media focused blame on Snowden as a “traitor” and not on NSA for its violations.

Whistleblowers are protected by federal law. Regardless, the corrupt US government tried to prosecute Binney for speaking out, but as he had taken no classified document, a case could not be fabricated against him.

Binney blames the NSA’s law-breaking on Dick “Darth” Cheney. He says NSA’s violations of law and Constitution are so extreme that they would have to have been cleared at the top of the government.

Binney describes the spy network, explains that it was supposed to operate only against foreign enemies, and that using it for universal spying so overloads the system with data that the system fails to discover many terrorist activities. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50932.htm

Apparently, the National Security Agency values being able to blackmail citizens and members of government at home and abroad more than preventing terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately for Americans, there are many Americans who blindly trust the government and provide the means, the misuse of which is used to enslave us. A large percentage of the work in science and technology serves not to free people but to enslave them. By now there is no excuse for scientists and engineers not to know this. Yet they persist in their construction of the means to destroy liberty.

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