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The Khashoggi Farce
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Khashoggi wasn’t some sort of dissident or human rights activist; he wasn’t even your run of the mill neoliberalism.txt crusader. He was a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, palled around with Osama bin Laden, and served as media advisor to Turki al-Faisal, one time-head of the Saudi Mukhabarat and so not a nice guy by definition.

Nor is Turkey some kind of paragon of free journalism. It imprisons more journalists than any other country by far.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that hundreds of Yemenis die from Saudi bombs every day. While I’m not going to pretend that I care very much, the thing is neither does almost anyone else.

So what’s the deal, anyway?

I think neoliberalism.txt is using Khashoggi as a battering ram to attack Trump on the eve of the midterm elections (about a third of /r/worldnews front page is consistently filled up by the story). Trump, perhaps rather foolishly, has been too overt about going to bat for MBS – perhaps under Kushner’s influence. Incidentally, it’s worth noting that Kushner may have played an indirect role in the affair by handing over US intelligence to MBS on his domestic critics.

That said, $110 billion is a lot of money. It’s about ten years’ worth of Russia’s global weapons experts. No sane President is going to virtue signal that away like the Germans recently did with the two howitzers or whatever irrelevant crap they were planning to sell to the Saudis.

Turkey and Qatar are clearly enjoying the whole affair, leading the Saudis by the nose into ever deeper humiliation. (Again, think in $$$, not feelz. Qatar is blockaded by the Saudis, who were on the brink of getting invaded by them – at least, if the rumors are true, before the now deposed Rex cajoled them out of it. Now recall that Qatar extended Turkey a $15 billion investment at the height of the lira crisis this August).

As more and more of the sordid details come out, we see that the hapless Saudis are even more incompetent and idiotic than I had given them credit for.

Possibly the biggest idiot is MBS himself, if the rumors that he’s having members of his assassination squad whacked are true. Backstabbing your own minions is something you never, ever do if you want to keep them loyal and your career as overlord assured. For all cases short of treason, you quietly pension them off at worse. Minions are not very bright, but they’re bright enough to know when they’ve been had.

Putin must also be rather happy to observe this. Putin has openly said that Khashoggi is not worth breaking ties over Saudi Arabia, practically echoing Trump. And why should he be. Ideally, MBS & Co. keep digging their hole deeper, further widening the Western rift between neoliberalism.txt, which seems to have mass adopted Khashoggi as their martyr, and the hard-nosed men of the Red Empire who surround Trump, which prioritizes funneling the $$$ to the MIC.

However, even if the Red Empire folds, for whichever unlikely reason, then Russia gets to benefit from the ensuing Saudi chimpout. Higher oil prices. Some of those sweet arms sales billions. China should also be able to cash in as well.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Assassinations, Saudi Arabia 
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  1. I think neoliberalism.txt is using Khashoggi as a battering ram to attack Trump on the eve of the midterm elections

    Yes, but that’s a pretty US-centric analysis. I would be interested in what the Turks are up to…Erdogan has of course in the past sought to be the patron of the Muslim brotherhood (e.g. when Mursi was in power in Egypt) and affiliated movements like Hamas; so Khashoggi’s ties to the Brotherhood are pretty interesting.
    Patrick Lang thinks it’s about the leadership of the Islamic world:

    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/10/httpssouthfrontorgsuspected-assasinators-of-khashoggi-appears-to-be-from-close-circle-of-saudi-crown-princ.html

    Why are the Turks doing this? IMO, the Erdogan government wants to establish itself as the leading power in the world Islamic community, the ‘Umma. the Ottoman Sultan Caliph was effectively that in Sunni communities and Erdo seeks to “restore” Ottoman times.

    So basically a conflict between the autocratic Islamism of the Saudis and the “democratic” Islamism of Erdogan, based on a populist mass movement…pity they both can’t lose.

    Some of those sweet arms sales billions.

    You’re just as cynical as Thorfinnsson about this…why are you all so keen on selling weapons to those horrible Saudis? It might bring really bad karma, given their war crimes in Yemen, or backfire in some unexpected way, given that MbS seems to be an incompetent psycho, which can’t be good for the stability of his regime.

    • Agree: Yevardian
    • Replies: @utu
    , @Excal
  2. Dmitry says:

    Lol I remember very funnily, when I was studying with Saudis in England (just summer course preparing for IELTS exam), all of them are very scared of the Saudi embassy.

    All they were talking about was the Saudi embassy. (And if they didn’t go to a lesson, then the Saudi embassy was calling them on their phone).

    I was writing about it last summer – now I’m feeling more empathy for them

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-49/?highlight=embassy#comment-2415413

  3. songbird says:

    I wonder what the transcript says… What questions did they ask, and did he talk?

    It is a foolish misconception that torture doesn’t work. You can get actionable intelligence, like an address and then use surveillance to verify its importance. For intellectuals, often what is needed is only the threat.

    • Replies: @notanon
    , @Iberiano
  4. iffen says:

    Saudi Oil Chief Says OPEC’s in ‘Produce as Much as You Can’ Mode
    By Javier Blas , Vivian Nereim , and Mohammed Sergie
    ‎October‎ ‎23‎, ‎2018‎ ‎7‎:‎01‎ ‎AM‎ ‎CDT Updated on ‎October‎ ‎23‎, ‎2018‎ ‎9‎:‎17‎ ‎AM‎ ‎CDT
    ‘We will meet any demand that materializes’: Saudi oil chief

    Hail yeah! Read it and weep ‘Murica haters.

    Energy News Oct. 23, 2018 / 9:39 AM
    Fuel prices at U.S. gas stations lower for second straight week
    By
    Renzo Pipoli

  5. The Iranians have probably ruptured both lungs with their laughter. The sequence of disintegrating cover stories by the Saudis has been hilarious. MBS’ dream of foreign investment and tourism has probably bitten the dust forever. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. I look forward to the inevitable coup.

    • Replies: @Talha
  6. Talha says:
    @Ali Choudhury

    foreign investment and tourism

    As long as they have the Holy Cities, that tourism will never dry up.

    I look forward to the inevitable coup.

    Let’s pray that it is clean if it does indeed happen, because the situation in the ME could go from bad to very, very bad.

    Wa salaam.

    • Replies: @Ali Choudhury
  7. The American far right doesn’t like Trump’s closeness to Saudi Arabia, and rightly so.

    American taxpayer dollars are being wasted providing US logistical and intelligence support to the Saudi coalition in Yemen, and the Saudis in turn are strengthening America’s real enemy, AQAP.

    More importantly, subservience to Saudi barbarians makes Trump look bad in the eyes of moderate voters, endangering American nationalism.

    Bush’s Iraq War was a moral catastrophe for social conservatism. It paved the way for Obama, transgenderism and all sorts of moral depravity.

    The boneheaded Adelson/Kushner/Bolton/Netanyahu support for the atrocious Saudi war in Yemen could similarly give American nationalism and immigration restriction a bad name, now that the neo-progressives have decided to resume pretending to care about peace.

    • Agree: German_reader, utu
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  8. notanon says:

    the Red Empire

    (the linked article was very good)

    i don’t understand the Khashoggi thing – the media chimpout implies he was on the banking mafia team but after the coup i’d assumed MBS was too – all getting too complicated, too many factions.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  9. notanon says:
    @songbird

    i don’t think they were torturing him for information – i think MBS wanted to watch it on skype

    • Replies: @songbird
  10. songbird says:

    I have a hard time believing the invasion was a real threat. It would have been colossally stupid to do anything analogous to Saddam.

    When I was in elementary school, I remember one kid expressing a genuine fear of Saddam. It’s amazing to think of this: he had already been primed for “Dessert Storm” by television. A generation previously no kid would have known of Iraq or its ruler, let alone been afraid of him.

  11. Yemen is simple proof that ‘morality’ – by any objective standard – as an active force in international affairs is simply fictitious. Not, I hope, that the Khashoggi affair won’t have dire consequences for Saudi Arabia as Congress enters a holiness spiral.

  12. songbird says:
    @notanon

    That would be pretty interesting if he was involved somehow in real-time through communication technology, even if it were through some filter.

  13. neutral says:

    I would think it simply comes down to the Washington Post taking it personally that one of their own was killed. But since both neoliberalism.txt and the red empire are arse licks for Israel, and since Saudi Arabia is basically an ally to Israel it is safe regardless what it does.

  14. It’s funny in this, on the one hand there are theories that Trump is targeted as well as Prince MbS (via e.g., the Kushner info AK mentions above), and on the other hand, there is a theory that Trump sponsored the Khashoggi killing as a way to ‘send a message’ to Khashoggi’s boss, the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post and a Hillary Clinton friend, ‘Be careful what you publish, bro’.

    It was in major media that Western intel knew about the threats to Khashoggi and didn’t try to stop what went down … Powers that be, deep state across USA – Nato – Israel, seem to have let this thing happen, and lined up major media and Erdogan to drip out the gory details.

    What can explain this, is that it is just one more phase of implementing the February 1982 plan published by Israeli government advisor Oded Yinon, recommending that all countries in Israel’s neighbourhood be hobbled and damaged so they cannot challenge Israel’s local hegemony, sponsored in turn by USA-Nato and the Western oligarchy, who use leading Israelis and Jews as a primary mafia. Saudi Arabia imagined Israel was their ‘ally’, so got blindsided here.

    For all his failings and murderous thuggishness, Prince MbS of Saudi Arabia had a plan to modernise Saudi Arabia, diversify its economy, and make it stronger. Per Oded Yinon principles, Israel would want Saudi Arabia taken down some notches. War in Yemen might be encouraged in part for the same reason, slowly sabotaging Saudi.

    The Oded Yinon type thinking is also rather reflected in the famous ‘Map of the New Middle East’ published by Lt Col. Ralph Peters in 2006, showing, amidst other balkanised countries, several new nations in place what had been Saudi Arabia, a smaller Iran, etc:

    The Oded Yinon plan also explains why Israel and friends are ‘supporting the Muslim Brotherhood’ to help take down Saudi Arabia – as they supported it in the Syrian rebellion – but they decided to oppose it in Egypt where it constituted a threat due to Egypt’s size and proximity, a little ‘too much democracy’ there.

    Egypt was brought under control by installing a military strongman, General and now President Al-Sisi, whose mother was a Moroccan Jew with family ties to the Israeli government. Syria has been also effectively balkanised – a Turkish area of control, a US area of control with the Kurds, Russia there to keep a lid on some things – as well as devastated and substantially destroyed. Iran remains under threat but is heavily suffering under economic sanctions, manipulations to destory its currency, and externally-sponsored insurgency.

    So, Saudi Arabia was the current big target for Israel, seeking to put a crimp into MbS and his modernisations. The horrific plan to murder Khashoggi may have been ‘suggested’, or just simply allowed to happen by the Israeli-tied intel agencies who knew about it in advance … and the trap was set for Turkey’s Erdogan to make his splash, Erdogan eager on his part to diminish his crude Saudi rivals for respect as Sunni Muslim leader.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Anon
  15. On television, speaking about Khashoggi, 56-year-old Saudi Arabian foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir – reported to be gay by his ex-wife – often looks like a European white guy when wearing the traditional Saudi keffiyeh head-dress. Very fluent in English, he holds degrees from USA North Texas and Georgetown universities, and so can seem like some Westerner they borrowed, although with head uncovered, al-Jubeir does look more Arab:

    In Britain, al-Jubeir’s ex-wife Farah al-Fayez, filed for divorce against al-Jubeir in Britain, saying he was apparently a homosexual involved with young men and wild parties in ladyboy-capital Thailand. She said:

    The discovery that you have a homosexual and mendacious husband can throw your whole world into a tailspin … Adel has finally admitted it himself … Everything was below the radar until I found incontrovertible evidence indicating that Adel has his coterie of homosexual friends in Thailand

    This Foreign Minister is possibly another example of wicked Saudi double standards, with Saudi leaders being able to indulge in various sexual escapades, gay or straight, especially when travelling – Whilst ordinary residents of Saudi Arabia suffer immensely cruel floggings or beheadings for doing the same things.

    And the story goes to show, that even from Saudi Arabia, the wife in a hijab is ready to ‘Me Too’ with some pretty strong accusations

  16. utu says:
    @German_reader

    why are you all so keen on selling weapons to those horrible Saudis

    They are being groomed for the mutual slaughter with Iranians. Saudi Arabia, country of 33 millions, has the third highest military budged in the world ahead of Russia. In 2015 they spent almost twice as much as in 2010. They are the mercenary of the Empire and accepted by Israel meaning that any threat or blowback to Israel is not anticipated. They are the ones with other Gulf states who do financing of all military and destabilization adventures including all kinds of terrorist Al-Qaeda’s and Daesh’s. W/o their money Syria and probably Libya would not have happened. The question is whether Saudi family has a choice? Probably not because they could be taken down and rolled up in 24 hours if Washington and Israel decided it. And within the family there is another factions willing to do what the US wants. They have only one leverage on the US which is that the US would not want popular democratic/populist uprising happen there. Stability of oil supplies, oil price control and the assurance that exchange is in the US dollars might be the most important factor for the US supremacy. To survive Saudis must be as useful as much as they can. Paying all these billions for modern weapons is just an extortion. They will not be able to use the most modern weapons because they do not have enough personnel and most likely America retains the secret security codes w/o which the thing will not fire or not fly.

    I am glad that some Europeans including Merkel make an issue of Khashoggi case. We need to have some standards even if we often end up being hypocritical because even then ‘hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.’ W/o virtues and belief in them we are beasts.

    Do not be surprised about Karlin. He is pretty evil. Yet I still hope it is mostly a pose from which he will grow out once he sees a bigger picture or at least when he recognizes that it pays to put up a different front. Now in his mind he still thinks he is ‘anti-virtue signaling’ to the thugs who can make or break your career in the USSR 2.0.

    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Yevardian
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  17. Yemen is like Saudi Arabia without oil, and even before the Saudi war, you had Sunni Islamists (Al Qaeda) and Shia Islamists (Houthi) both making trouble and claiming territory in Yemen.

    At the start of 2016, a little less than a year after the war was launched, SA executed the Shia sheikh al-Nimr and several dozen Al Qaeda members. To me that’s SA trying to avoid a similar fate.

    By one count, MBS has four fiascos so far – the Yemen war, the Hariri episode, the Aramco IPO, and now the Khashoggi assassination. Nonetheless, I think a lot of Saudis will stand by him, just as many Turks stand by Erdogan.

    Saddam used to be the Saudis’ bulwark against Iran. Then it was America, directly occupying Iraq. But once Obama showed he would deal with Iran – that’s when the Saudis’ own strongman materialized.

    For now, both Turkey and Iran, despite their differences in Syria, are geopolitically aligned with the east. They are potential sponsors of Sunni and Shia subversives in SA.

    There’s a real possibility that SA itself will ‘look east’, and with MBS remaining in charge. Xi has been to SA, two years ago. Putin has kept the door open. Quite a while back, Nasrallah addressed the Saudi royals and said, the region is changing, you can join and stay in power, or resist and get swept away.

  18. Talha says:
    @Brabantian

    Erdogan eager on his part to diminish his crude Saudi rivals for respect as Sunni Muslim leader.

    Honestly, that’s not difficult – most Muslims can’t stand the Saudis – to be more popular than them is a given. The only thing they have going for them is their money. King Faisal was probably the last monarch that actually got some respect in the Muslim street.

    That map looks crazy and the Saudis will try to never let that happen – that Arab Shiah state is sitting right on top of or next to all the major oil fields:

    Peace.

  19. Anon[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @Brabantian

    Hey Talha, no Durand line!

    Is this actually real (yes, I know it’s really on globalresearch)? It shows Israel at “pre-1967 borders”, which seems … interesting.

    Also, why on Earth is Afghanistan labeled red? It just doubled itself.

  20. @John Gruskos

    Nobody really cares about this in America except journalists as far as I can tell. His name sounds like some stupid brand of organic cereal and snack cakes:

    The Saudis are indeed barbarians, but as Karlin pointed out they at least paid us. More than can be said for our great “ally” Israel.

    German_reader and Reiner Tor have pointed out to me before that the trade (cash for ignoring war crimes) isn’t worth it. We’ll see. I don’t think anyone really cares.

    As for MbS, I thought the guy was nuts as soon as he came to power. His grand strategy is to simultaneously conduct an extremely aggressive foreign policy while throwing a trillion dollars on white elephant technology projects in what amounts to the greatest heist (by Western corporations) of all time.

    I expect Saudi Arabia to be fuckhoused by the end of the next decade. Bankruptcy, civil war, collapse, or some other kind of horrible fate. This also colors my view of these arms sales–best to get while the getting’s good.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Nznz
  21. Jayce says:

    There’s a real possibility that SA itself will ‘look east’, and with MBS remaining in charge. Xi has been to SA, two years ago. Putin has kept the door open.

    This is my real fear about the fallout from this fiasco. We might be this close to getting inundated with takes from the alt-media and “Russophiles” about how, turns out, Saudi Arabia is actually awesome.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Daniel Chieh
  22. Talha says:
    @Jayce

    Then we’d know how sincere they really were…

    Peace.

  23. Talha says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Are you suggesting investing in, say, Raytheon for the next decade?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @bb.
  24. Nznz says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    How is investing in fintech or nuclear or solar/wind power a bad idea since the world will not use fossil fuels forever? Or investing in Lithium mines?

  25. Excal says:
    @German_reader

    One of the primary currents in Near Eastern politics is the vacuum left after the implosion of the Ottoman Empire. The Saudis have been trying to assume that power since they took control of Arabia.

    The Saudis have never managed this for a few reasons. One is another great current of Near Eastern politics: the Sunni-Shia divide. Though the Saudis, being Sunni, are in the majority, the Shia tend to take themselves more seriously and have never let the Sunni have things all their own way. In fact, they probably make up considerably more of Saudi Arabia itself than the Saudi government will ever admit.

    Another is the status of the Saudis as usurpers. Arabs have long memories for this sort of thing, and the Saudis have many enemies. The Saudis have only retained their power because they have retained the oil wells, and used them shrewdly.

    The Saudis spent a great part of their power on what is, for many Arabs, an unsavoury place: the West, particularly the English and American powers who invented the global oil industry. Thence the Saudis and the Anglos got themselves locked into a terrible embrace which neither can afford to break: the Anglos learnt their lesson in the 1970s with the OPEC crisis; the Saudis learnt it during the various Iran and Iraqi crises.

    When that forced alliance finally breaks down, as it must, it is really anyone’s guess what will happen. It has been suggested that the Saudis may before long discover that they can find better customers to their east. The world will invert on the day the Saudis realise they no longer need the Western powers — or on the day the West decides it no longer needs the Saudis. My bet is on the former before the latter.

  26. @Jayce

    But how can retarded people be awesome?

  27. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    The one clever thing Turkey has done is dribble out details of the killing piecemeal, so the Saudis come up with a story to fit an initial set of details, and then Turkey publicizes details hat contradict it.

  28. Yevardian says:
    @utu

    They are being groomed for the mutual slaughter with Iranians.

    Please, Iranians are not that stupid.

    • Replies: @utu
  29. utu says:
    @Yevardian

    Did they get much wiser since the war with Iraq?

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  30. @Talha

    Not the religious tourism, their attempts to attract Western leisure travel with Sharm-el-Sheik and Dubai type resorts.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/saudi-arabia-issue-tourist-visa/

    • Replies: @Talha
  31. Mitleser says:

    I assume that they care so much because a) he was one of them (American establishment media) b) he can be used to bash the Trump administration.

    No sane President is going to virtue signal that away like the Germans recently did with the two howitzers or whatever irrelevant crap they were planning to sell to the Saudis.

    AFAIK this arms export to Saudi-Barbaria was only suspended. It could be resumed later.

  32. @utu

    The guys who *hire* mercenaries to do most of their fighting are the real mercenaries? They can’t use complex American weapons because almost half a million troops isnt enough to man them? Are you in some kind of competition with anonymous coward to be as wrong as humanly possible?

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Dmitry
  33. bb. says:
    @Talha

    if I may,
    depends on your preferences. For me, mos def. They seem a little expensive at the moment, but who doesn’t. Their dividend is rising constantly and they have a solid CEO. They have an almost perfectly balanced revenue stream divided between Missile Systems, Space and Airborne Systems, Intelligence, Information and Services, Integrated Defense Systems (20-30% from each). Debt is falling while revenues rise. The missiles will be the main value generator in the upcoming decade, but who knows, maybe the space industry will finally start to multiply? (I don’t think so) Looks as solid as you can get.

    • Replies: @Talha
  34. Nznz says: • Website

    What if the Byzantines won Yarmouk instead?

  35. Yevardian says:
    @utu

    Iraq invaded Iran first, and the Khomeini at the time had good reason to believe that a large proportion of the Iraqi Shi’ite population had very tenuous loyalty to Saddam. It is also far from the international pariah that it was in the 1970′s, if not for their abysmal birthrate, I would feel quite confident in predicting their regional hegemony. The Iranian leadership today is quite different from the zealots that overthrew the Shah. Iran was on the verge of invading Afghanistan in 2001, but they held back. Saudi Arabia is doing quite a good job of destroying itself besides, if they Mullahs simply wait it out they can make a client state of the country as they have Iraq.

  36. LondonBob says:

    Erdogan is doing God’s work by undermining MbS and MbZ and their getting in to bed with the Israelis to attack Iran.

    That $110bn is contracts already done and ones that won’t materialise.

  37. On a personal level I’m disgusted by Putin’s coddling of MbS. Think about it, Putin refuses to criticise Saudi leader in the vain hope of gaining some future arms sales. It makes Russia look pathetic and craven.

    China should also be able to cash in as well.

    I doubt it: Chinese weaponry is inferior to weaponry, produced in Russia and the West. There are no international buyers for Chinese planes for example. China buys planes and engines from Russia.

  38. utu says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Maybe. Perhaps. So be it if you say so.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  39. LondonBob says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Don’t think Putin should do anything but sit back and watch, improvement in relations with Saudi Arabia is a concrete achievement of his. Erdogan is pushing for the result Russia wants already. Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  40. anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:

    The coalition that is supposed to launch a war against Iran is falling apart. That’s terrible for Russia.

  41. @Mitchell Porter

    There’s a real possibility that SA itself will ‘look east’, and with MBS remaining in charge. Xi has been to SA, two years ago. Putin has kept the door open. Quite a while back, Nasrallah addressed the Saudi royals and said, the region is changing, you can join and stay in power, or resist and get swept away.

    I’ve been wondering if that’s not the real reason for this sudden anti-Saudi campaign eminating from ZATO. After all, KSA has been freely decapitating people openly in the market square since the place was founded generations ago … never bothered TPTB in Washington before. Then, one lone Saudi guy gets whacked somewhere in a foreign country and it’s a humanitarian crisis? Sorry, I just don’t buy that story.

    Interestingly, just a few days after Kashoggi disappeared, it was publicly announced that KSA would be buying a Russian-made air-defense system, the S-400. The question is: why not a US-made one? The only plausible explanation I can come up with is that the Saudis had reason to fear a ZATO airstrike against them in the future–but why? Were they planning on switching sides? This whole thing is getting curiouser and curiouser …

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-russia-missiles/saudi-arabia-agrees-to-buy-russian-s-400-air-defense-system-arabiya-tv-idUSKBN1CA1OD

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  42. Talha says:
    @Ali Choudhury

    Ah OK – good then. Hopefully that place can be kept isolated to religious tourism.

    Though I do like the idea of people being able to see the remnants of Nabatean civilization and what not.

    Wa salaam.

  43. Khashoggi was pale skinned for a Saudi, as was his patron, Turki bin Faisal, generally regarded as one of the most educated Saudi Princes. TbF was for a long time head of the Mukhabarat. It must be said, Saudi operations were conducted more discretely at this time.
    MbS is very much a brown boy. Average Saudi IQ is 84. He doesn’t seem to have any real educational qualifications. Regression to the mean and all that. Or should that be aggression.
    As you say:
    Possibly the biggest idiot is MBS himself, if the rumors that he’s having members of his assassination squad whacked are true.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Tulip
  44. @LondonBob

    Shaming Western governments for befriending a savage is the least he could do.

    Castigating MbS is not a mistake. The dude is clearly unstable and threat to world peace. He is also the linchpin of Israel’s anti-Iran strategy, or so Haaretz says.

  45. @Digital Samizdat

    This Reuters article is one year old…

    • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
  46. Bliss says:

    It is well known how paranoid the Saudi ruling family is of Iran, but not so well known is their growing paranoia of Turkey. The alliance between Turkey and Qatar is driving them nuts.

    Khashoggi was of Turkish origin. His fiancé is Turkish. And he was obviously in cahoots with Erdogan, as proven by the contact number he gave his fiancé before entering the Saudi Embassy.

    It was foolish of him to risk going inside the Saudi embassy. All because he couldn’t wait to get married…

  47. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    What would be pathetic and craven would be supporting the current Western anti-MbS campaign in the vain hope that the Western establishment would lessen their anti-Russian campaign.

    There is nothing wrong with being more indifferent about the death of some guy from Bezos Times than people from the Western establishment who were willing to overlook MbS’s deeds as long as he did not seem to have hit their side.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  48. Mitleser says:
    @Verymuchalive

  49. Anonymous[175] • Disclaimer says:
    @notanon

    Two factions, neolibs and neocons. Wasn’t the conflicted policy over Iran enough for you?

    • Replies: @notanon
  50. @Mitleser

    A real superpower should have an opinion on everything. Especially when an unfriendly country such as KSA does something ugly and bad, it behoves a superpower to speak up.

    Putin’s Russia wants to be treated with respect like a real superpower, but it’s not behaving as such.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  51. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    RF is not a real superpower (and neither does it have the potential to be one) and it should not behave as one.

    KSA is doing bad things all the time.
    Why single out the death of the spoon guy as something that should matter more than others?

    The same Western people who complain about his death continue to support the Syria policy the spoon guy advocated which is more destructive and ugly than what happened to him.

  52. @Mitleser

    The contrast between MbS and Assad couldn’t be more stark. The former some smirking greaseball in mufti, the latter the smartly dressed, serious former eye surgeon. And that’s before the very obvious physical differences.
    I agree with Nicholas Nassim Taleb. Levantine Christians, Druzes and other heterodox Muslims like the Alawites are genetically closer to White Europeans than their fellow Arabic speakers.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Bliss
  53. @Mitleser

    RF is not a real superpower

    There’s no such thing as a “real superpower”. The word ‘superpower’ was invented during the Cold War to confuse the already muddled thinking of NPC’s.

  54. Tulip says:

    The probable here is that the American journo’s are just freaked out that they can be kidnapped and murdered, and secondarily, some kind of anti-Trump messaging.

    The U.S. is allied with Saudi Arabia for geopolitical reasons, not because the Saudi regime is composed of boy scouts. The U.S. will remain allied with Saudi Arabia until those reasons change, or its foreign policy priorities radically shift. It is doubtful that the American journo’s (or their paymasters) support a strategic pivot by the U.S. against useless wars in the Middle East, and accordingly, we need Saudi Arabia more than ever to continue our pointless aggression in the region.

    What would John McCain do? Obviously, condemn the Saudi regime, and then crawl back 9 months later and perform fellatio on the Crown Prince. So will our American journo’s, after the memory wipe 2-3 months from now.

  55. @Mitleser

    RF poses as a superpower. It demands to be treated as such. If you actually listen to what Russian officials are saying, lack of proper respect from the West is common complaint. But would anyone treat RF with respect? When this entity has no integrity or principles, and is too afraid to call out KSA.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  56. Max Payne says:

    Like Israel you don’t really need competence. Just do it, America has your back.

    But to be honest before this whole incident I only knew of one Khashoggi (Adnan Khashoggi).

    So it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t know who the fuck he is….

    Killing underlings and betrayal is a theme in the Middle East. While crushing your minions in the West creates resentment, in that part of the world it’s everyday business.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ain_Jalut#Aftermath

    Even after a “great” battle the aftermath displays nothing but treachery.

    “I know a traitor before he knows himself”
    -Saddam

    With a mentality like that you can expect new positions to open up daily in such an organization. APPLY NOW!

    https://www.rt.com/news/442063-khashoggi-son-salman-meeting/

    I hope you got the message boy. No one is immune. Mafia-style.

  57. Iberiano says:
    @songbird

    Exactly. Of course a video of it exists, because like blowing up an old, tall, or big building, where Hollywood seeks to film for later use in a movie–it’s too useful not to video. It might be useful to have to show others as a matter of persuasion, and/or simply for kicks. Any number of reasons. But one time events like that are documented pretty well–surely by the Saudis even.

  58. Tulip says:
    @Verymuchalive

    Since when does being a despot require a high IQ? I think a brief review of the history of Haiti should disabuse anyone of the notion that despotism requires brains.

    Seizing power by revolutionary means probably necessitates above average brain power, but being the hereditary monarch of a despotic gulf state based on exploitation of natural resources, not so much. Just keep the oil flowing, and pay off your necessary supporters.

    Remember, with a natural resource based economy, you don’t even need a productive economy, so you can just keep your own people in lock-down 24/7. You just have to remember to create duplicate security and intelligence agencies, and play them off each other so you can knock out any rival who is getting too powerful.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  59. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Did post-WWII France pose as a superpower?
    It certainly did demand respect from others, even from the more powerful states.

    When this entity has no integrity or principles, and is too afraid to call out KSA.

    Who has integrity and principles?

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  60. @Mitleser

    Post-WW2 France has been irrelevant in world affairs. They do have a world-class economy hovewer.

    Kudos to Putin for making Russia irrelevant and sanctioned at the same time.

    • Replies: @Anon
  61. Mitleser says:

    Post-WW2 France has been irrelevant in world affairs. They do have a world-class economy hovewer.

    Looking at France from German perspective, the reverse seems to be true.
    They seems to be more relevant in world affairs (or at least used to be) than other European countries, but at the same time, they want other European countries, and especially Germany pay for it.
    Apparently, their “world-class economy” is not sufficiently world-class.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @German_reader
  62. Dmitry says:
    @Mitleser

    France actually has some wars in Africa, but no-one seems to care, and even people like Karlin do report them. What are they even doing in Africa all the time?

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @notanon
  63. Anon[182] • Disclaimer says:
    @Felix Keverich

    France single-handedly pegs the currencies of almost 20 African countries to the Euro, giving them a resemblance of financial stability. At any given time, French Army polices at least 5 such countries, keeping in only regimes that allow tax-free mining and farming by French companies.

    France colonies, which European French pretty much consider foreign countries, provide them with treasures like Tahiti, or the near-Equator launch site in Guyana. It beats the UK empire on usefulness. On a cost-benefit analysis, probably even the American empire. It’s definitely more impressive than South Ossetia, Crimea, Transdniester, and other shithole Novorussias.

    A typical abbreviated EU leadership meeting has 3-4 people in the room, and one of them is always Macron.

    France is uniquely clean of ‘liberating’ Americans, unlike Spain, Italy, Germany, Benelux, UK, and the list goes on.

    As far as I recall, it was the French building ships from the Russians, not the other way around. It was the Russians who came out as butthurt, when the French decided to wipe their behind with those rubles, and instead sell the ships to some other newbies.

    France does not worry about Russia. That’s nice in any country, but it’s particularly impressive for a country that’s so small and so depleted of natural resources. Calling France “irrelevant” is a plain lie.

  64. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Yes, it seems, Saudi buy all this military equipment, mainly as a form of diplomacy. It makes them more popular with rulers of the countries they buy the weapons from.

    Saudi Arabia buys a lot of weapons, not because they’re going to conquer the Middle East. It’s because they want to become allies with elites in the countries they buy weapons from, and it seems direct and successful mechanism for them (while their other idea, of building mosques all over London, etc, is much more slow, and even counter-productive).

    -

    Also remember – Saudi Arabia was interested in buying Tesla in August, and this partly created trouble for Elon Musk.

    • Replies: @utu
  65. @Felix Keverich

    Alright. So the transaction had been in the works for a while–it would be considered controversial, after all. Heres an article from last spring:

    https://www.rt.com/business/406116-russia-saudi-arabia-s400-delivery/

  66. @Mitleser

    They seems to be more relevant in world affairs

    Much of that is wishful thinking on their part imo, the only thing they can do on their own is kick around some natives in Mali or other strange African countries. Sarko played liberator of Libya of course, but iirc a sustained air campaign wouldn’t have been possible without American support.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  67. Talha says:
    @bb.

    Thanks for the financial insights.

    For me, mos def.

    I remember Mos Def…

    Peace.

  68. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    IIRC neither was the Mali campaign which was supported by NATO and certain African countries.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  69. @Mitleser

    They do a lot military interventions in West Africa though which are barely reported in Western media (wasn’t there something in Cote d’Ivoire a few years ago, and also in the Central African republic? I’ve already forgotten…). Unless one specifically looks for it, hard to know what’s going on there. Probably many things which aren’t known to the public. And of course the Americans are active in countries like Niger as well now and even have their own command for Africa.
    I wonder if there’s much rivalry between them and the French, iirc part of the reason why the French supported the genocidaires in Rwanda was fear they’d “lose” it to the “Anglo-Saxons” (which actually happened to some degree, since Rwanda is now part of the Commonwealth, despite never having been a British colony).

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Mitleser
  70. Talha says:
    @German_reader

    wasn’t there something in Cote d’Ivoire a few years ago, and also in the Central African republic

    If I remember, these kinds of interventions aren’t major – they are mostly the Foreign Legion or some other special forces securing a region or establishing a safety cordon for French citizens that happen to be in the area (either until the instability subsides or they can be evacuated).

    Peace.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  71. songbird says:
    @Mitleser

    One reason it is interesting to speculate about the future of Arabia is because of the all the guest workers.

    They often segregate the poorer workers from the general pop, as well as by sex. Not to mention the internal fertility rates have not collapsed. But Dubai is only something like 15% Arab.

    In some of these places you can see people descended from more recent black slave ancestry – they will favor more blacks. Islam has its own strain of universalism to add to that. And oil has arguably made them soft.

    Right now, it primarily seems to be subcons, but I have seen pictures of black Africans, and these things can change quickly.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  72. LondonBob says:

    The French are delusional, they fought and lost two brutal wars in Algeria and Vietnam attempting to maintain their empire, They continue to persist with their Overseas France which only inundates ‘Metropolitan France’ with more immigration and a bill they can ill afford. Germany is the only country that matters in the EU.

    • Replies: @songbird
  73. @Talha

    I don’t know, I vaguely recall that the French intervened in some civil war, and that some natives were so angry about that they retaliated by raping a few European women.
    Or maybe I’m just imagining that.

    No, I actually didn’t, I checked, that really happened in Cote d’Ivoire in 2004:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/rioters-rape-europeans-as-they-flee-from-ivory-coast-533057.html

    So at least some of the people there seem to regard French interference as a big deal.

    • Replies: @Anon
  74. Anon[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader

    Mob violence in Africa probably needs a rather lower threshold than mob violence in Europe, I would think. And once you have a riot rape is sadly not that unlikely.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  75. anon[328] • Disclaimer says:

    Maybe OT: mail bombs sent to Clintons and Obama, Soros yesterday

    https://nypost.com/2018/10/24/bomb-found-in-mail-sent-to-bill-and-hillary-clintons-home

    False flag? Lone wolf terror? The sixties ( also known as the “years of lead”) are back? Any thoughts from the local conspirologists and terrorism experts?

  76. @Anon

    From the Independent article it sounded more like it was kind of organized by the followers of Cote d’Ivoire’s president at the time. The French had destroyed Cote d’Ivoire’s entire air force shortly before.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @DFH
  77. On the subject of Khashoggi, a very interesting article today by Craig Murray:

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

    In particular it highlights how the “disappearing” of Khashoggi is nothing new at all, it’s just that no one has paid much attention before. In this regard he cites a BBC news article from 2017 (“Saudi Arabia’s Missing Princes”) that seemingly vanished into the memory hole.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/magazine-40926963

    Also, his interpretation (apparently based on inside information) of the visit by CIA Director Gina Haspel to Istanbul as an attempt to blackmail Erdogan to go easy on MBS.

  78. Aslangeo says:
    @Mitchell Porter

    I would add the shake down of the Saudi wealthy at the ritz Carlton last year to Mohamed bonesaws list of errors. The man has been compared to Caligula, the insane roman emperor who gained absolute power at the age of 25.

    My guess is that he will be removed by a coup within the Saudi royal family. He has seriously pissed off and terrified a lot of people. In terms of succession to the throne any grandson of ibn Saud is eligible, which means literally hundreds of people. I am sure that somebody vaguely sane and compliant can be found by the CIA

  79. @utu

    Saudi military incompetence is legendary.

    https://www.quora.com/Assuming-they-didnt-use-nuclear-weapons-could-a-major-power-occupy-Saudi-Arabia/answer/Khalid-Elhassan

    Then you get to the esprit de corps – or lack thereof. I remember members of my unit who had served with US forces in Saudi Arabia discussing the poor quality of the Saudi officer corps. One of the more remarkable incidents involved Saudi officers drilling their men on a parade ground in the hot Saudi day, while the officers were comfortably ensconced in air conditioned offices, watching their men from windows and giving directions and orders via microphones connected to loudspeakers surrounding the parade ground. It is difficult to imagine that men so poorly officered and led would have much confidence and trust in their chain of command, or would give their all and endure the rigors and hardships of war for long.

    In addition to poor leadership, it is hard to imagine Saudi soldiers willing to sacrifice much to protect the notoriously corrupt and venal Saudi royal family: Saudi Royal Welfare Program REVEALED .

    Put it like this, even Saddam’s hapless Iraqi army could have continued past Kuwait and rolled the Saudis if we hadn’t intervened in 1990. So in short, no, you don’t need nukes to conquer Saudi Arabia. Plenty of countries in the Middle East right now could conquer Saudi Arabia absent outside intervention to save the Saudis.

    • Replies: @utu
  80. Anon[414] • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader

    I read the story and the situation seems very involved– CdI government attacks French-secured area (why this area was French-secured I’m not sure the article mentioned), killing a few Frenchmen; France destroys tiny CdI “airforce”; government eggs on riots which are countered by French troops who are apparently in the capital too. The rapes were probably not planned at the beginning (I would guess) because they are always a major PR loss.

    I’m not really sure whether this supports more your or Talha’s interpretation of things.

  81. @anon

    Maybe OT: mail bombs sent to Clintons and Obama, Soros yesterday

    And CNN today. Putin did it.

  82. DFH says:
    @German_reader

    Cote d’Ivoire’s entire air force

    Who knew that Africans were capable of operating and maintaining planes?

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @notanon
  83. @Felix Keverich

    There are no international buyers for Chinese planes for example. China buys planes and engines from Russia.

    China recently appears to have solved their jet engine issue:

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/chinas-may-have-solved-the-one-thing-was-poised-stop-its-24149

    And China sells military equipment that Russia does not provide:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/unable-to-buy-u-s-military-drones-allies-place-orders-with-china-1500301716

  84. songbird says:
    @LondonBob

    That’s how I think this sort of thing happens. Not through a cultivated sense of false-guilt, which is quite secondary, but through the ossified political tentacles of empire.

    It is partly through a sense of grandiosity and partly through networks of relationships which facilitate graft and personal profit. It may be profitable to French individuals but it is not profitable to the French people.

    For instance, you don’t have to get uranium in some African country set on exporting its population. You can get it in the US. You don’t even have to go to one of the freak states. You can mine it in New Hampshire which is part of the Eastern seabord.

  85. @DFH

    The Rwandans actually did a significant long-range airlift during the Congo war in the late 1990s:

    https://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/20thcentury/articles/kitona.aspx

    Pretty epic, even if one has a low opinion of Africans in general.

    • Replies: @Ali Choudhury
  86. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    And recently Rwanda’s foreign minister was elected to be the new head of France’s Francophonie organisation despite Rwanda’s moves to replace French with English.

    Not only did the French “lose” Rwanda, they got cucked too.

    • Replies: @Matra
    , @for-the-record
  87. Mitleser says:
    @songbird

    Once they lose their heads, it is all over.

    • Replies: @Talha
  88. Talha says:
    @Mitleser

    Oh my Lord – that is a hilarious twitter feed!!!

    Peace.

  89. Matra says:
    @Mitleser

    I thought it funny that this year’s Francophonie was held in that famously French-speaking country of…Armenia. Romania participates as well.

    In the case of Rwanda they’ve apparently reversed or softened – not sure which – some of their plans to replace French with English. That might’ve played a role in the Rwandan getting the top job.

  90. @Mitleser

    despite Rwanda’s moves to replace French with English.

    Which, as far as I can tell, is due to the fact that Kagame, who grew up in Uganda and was part of the [Ugandan] National Resistance Army that overthrew Obote’s government in 1985, is not comfortable speaking French. Indeed, all the interviews I can find with him, even on French television, are in English.

  91. @Tulip

    The point I was making is that low IQ people are much more prone to impulsive, irrational behaviour. As has been demonstrated elsewhere, the Khashoggi murder was worse than a crime, it was a mistake.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  92. @Verymuchalive

    On whim, I’ve been wondering if they really wanted to kill him, why couldn’t they have:

    1) Attached a car bomb to his vehicle

    2) Hosed him down with “random masked gunman”

    or even 3)found someone dedicated enough to suicide-bomb him.

    Any of that would be more deniable than murdering an activist in your own embassy. This is a special level of stupidity. It deserves its own name and title, like a video game achievement: incompetence, major incompetence, and Saudi level of incompetence.

    • Replies: @notanon
    , @Sean
  93. utu says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Thanks. These were my basic assumptions for the comment that they do not have personnel to operate sophisticated weapon systems.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  94. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    mainly as a form of diplomacy

    Yes. And extortion.

  95. @utu

    They are world leaders in flying advanced twin engine jets like F 15 and Tornados into the ground.They have begun showing their expertise with their new Eurofighters as well.

    And most of these crashes are during daytime exercises in clear weather.

    A lot of their pilots are Pakistani mercenaries (Ex PAF).

    But still a Eurofighter armed with a Meteor missile and supported by AWACS should be able to take out Iran’s antiquated F-4s and Mig 29s and some F-14s even if piloted by a Saudi.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  96. @Vishnugupta

    But still a Eurofighter armed with a Meteor missile and supported by AWACS should be able to take out Iran’s antiquated F-4s and Mig 29s and some F-14s even if piloted by a Saudi.

    Probably not.

    https://www.quora.com/Is-Saudi-Arabia-now-equivalent-to-a-1st-rate-military-power/answer/Tom-Watkins-11

    [MORE]

    Sea Story: I was contracted by the Navy to advise on the creation of some computer models of air-to-air combat simulators. I went to Nellis AFB to their NTTR (Nevada Test and Training Range) where their Top Gun (59th TES) training takes place. While I was there, they were training with a few Israeli pilots that had recent experience in the Yom Kippur war. They were going to see what the Israeli pilots could do and the US AF pilots were boosting that they were going to show them “how to really fly”.

    The Israeli pilots were given F-5N Tiger jets which is a small, twin-engine tactical jet used because it had a lot of similar flight characteristics as the current Russian fighters had at that time. This made them ideal for use as “aggressor” or “RED TEAM” aircraft. The Israeli pilots had flown the F-5’s for about two weeks.

    The USAF pilots had F-4 Phantoms which was the mainstay in the Vietnam war. The US pilots – many with Vietnam combat missions in the F-4, all had hundreds of hours in the F-4.

    Just after the exercise briefing, I watched as the senior (Lt.) Israeli pilot went over to the NATOPS (a book of all of the systems, performance charts and capabilities) of the F-4. He flipped through the pages for about 5 minutes and then left.

    They then went out to the range and flew 11 war game exercises pitting the F-5’s against the F-4’s. Two hours later, they returned. The USAF pilots were visibly angry and quiet. When I asked what happened, I was dismissed with a wave of the hand and told to “F**K OFF”.

    The three Israeli pilots were all smiles. The F-5’s had won 10 of the 11 engagements despite flying an unfamiliar aircraft against the significantly larger and more powerful F-4’s flown by very experienced combat veterans.

    I asked what happened of the Israeli pilot and he told me that “it was simple”. It took him 5 minutes looking at the NATOPS of the F-4 to see what its rate of climb, ceiling, weight-to-thrust ratios and stall speeds were. He then compared that to the F-5’s and found that the lighter weight and smaller F-5 could out climb the F-4’s.

    When he got into an exercise dog fight, he would speed up and then climb. The F-4 would follow but would run out of steam before the F-5 did. At that point, the F-4 would fall off and descend. A moment or two later, the F-5 would flip around and chase the F-4 down – on his tail – in perfect firing position – and take out the F-4 with simulated computerized air-to-air weapons. Ten times in a row!

    This is the difference in understanding the STEM and being able to apply it in combat.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
    , @utu
    , @Nznz
  97. Dmitry says:
    @Verymuchalive

    Arabs/Muslims were not native to that region, not more than Spanish people are native to South America. Their native land is Saudi Arabia/Yemen (Arabian Peninsula, after which they are named)

    Arabs invaded and settled Eastern Mediterranean, in early medieval era, after Muhammad, to implant their religion of Islam to that region.

    Arabs surely intermarried with local people to some extent, and the result that there is now physical variation in countries like Syria, where some look more like original inhabitants and some more like Arabs who later settled from Arabian peninsula.

    How people there looked in the Ancient World, is a controversial topic. But it seems that Roman and Greek authors do not notice any physical distinction between themselves, and locals of these territories in that epoch.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @LondonBob
  98. iffen says:
    @Dmitry

    What are they even doing in Africa all the time?

    White man’s burden; just can’t up and lay that sucker down.

  99. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    that Roman and Greek authors do not notice any physical distinction between themselves, and

    That said, colouration of Ancient Roman and Greeks themselves, is also controversial topic in this forum:)

  100. Bliss says:
    @Verymuchalive

    I agree with Nicholas Nassim Taleb. Levantine Christians, Druzes and other heterodox Muslims like the Alawites are genetically closer to White Europeans than their fellow Arabic speakers.

    The Levantine arabic speakers are about as Arab racially as the Anatolian turkish speakers are racially Turkic. However the majority of both Levantines and Anatolians are still hopelessly trapped in the religion of the real Arabs (of the Peninsula) and prostrate southwards towards the ancient Arab Temple in Mecca.

    Btw, how do you all reconcile the fact that the Levantines, who are “genetically closer to White Europeans”, have one of the lowest IQs in the Middle East (which itself has an average IQ significantly lower than the world average)?

    • Replies: @iffen
  101. @Daniel Chieh

    I understand your point of view but EF 2000 vs F4 is a bridge too far.

    Also BVR engagements don’t require the sort of quick thinking and intelligence as dog fighting does or rather used too at the time of the incident described in your link.Since the advent of IR missiles with high off boresight engagement capabilities like say the IRIS T or Sidewinder 9X even dog fighting has become greatly simplified than in the ‘Top Gun’ days.

    If it was an Iranian F-16 Block 50/52 or Mirage 2000-5/9 vs Saudi EF 2K I would still place my bets on the Iranians despite the EF 2K being an objectively superior aircraft to the F 16/M 2000 in every way but not if they are flying something as obsolete as an F4.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  102. Everything we learn about that Khashoggi character suggests that he was scum: childhood friend of Osama bib Laden, right-hand man of former head of Saudi Gestapo Turki al-Faisal, Muslim Brotherhood propagandist, etc. The key voices raising hue and cry after his murder are also scum, well-known Israel firsters in the US. The whole story stinks to high Heaven.

    Look on the bright side, though: when scum kills scum, the world becomes a better place. We should sincerely wish both teams success.

  103. iffen says:
    @Bliss

    Honorary whites. I already white-splained this to you.

  104. Bliss says:
    @Mitleser

    Saudi Arabia is browning rapidly

    It was brown to begin with. Ditto for the other nations of the Arabian Peninsula. They are the real Arabs. Yemen in the Deep South of the Arabian Peninsula is the Urheimat of the Arab race.

    The Arab speakers of Egypt, North Africa, Levant were Romans before they became “Arabs” via conquest and conversion.

    • Replies: @Bliss
  105. utu says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I heard about this tactics used during WWII by those who had planes that could climb faster and higher. One thing I never understood is why the one who was climbing up behind did not use the advantage of the fact of being on trail of his opponent and not to shoot him then.

    Anyway I do not think there will be any dogfights.

  106. notanon says:
    @Felix Keverich

    On a personal level I’m disgusted by Putin’s coddling of MbS.

    i have no clear idea what’s going on with this but in most of the options i can come up with Putin’s best plan is to simply sit back and stir.

    (stir being the operative word – any alliance with the Saudis is poison for the other side of the alliance cos it leads to the elites turning a blind eye to saudi funding of jihadist preachers)

  107. notanon says:
    @Anonymous

    maybe

    my view is the media is neolib controlled rather than neocon controlled and yet over the last ten years or so the media have been full-on neocon which implies the neolibs support neocon foreign policy in the middle east for whatever reason (petrodollar? pooty’s attempts to get out from under the banking mafia’s stranglehold on international finance? something else?)

    i don’t see any evidence the US neolibs have a problem with Iran being attacked (although there does seem to be opposition among the EU branch of neolib)

    and in a fight between Turkey and Saudi i’d expect both the neolibs and neocons to back Saudi so dunno.

    i’m probably missing something obvious.

  108. notanon says:
    @Dmitry

    i don’t know if it’s still true but they (or rather their branch of the banking mafia) have some kind of currency arrangement with their old colonies which acts a bit regionally like the US being reserve currency does globally i.e. it subsidizes the French economy to some degree.

    that’s why they were so keen to whack Gaddaffi as he was talking about creating an African currency.

  109. notanon says:
    @anon

    False flag? Lone wolf terror?

    90% / 10%

    The sixties ( also known as the “years of lead”) are back?

    yes – the bad guys are looking for an excuse to repeal the #1A and #2A so a strategy of tension is highly likely

  110. notanon says:
    @DFH

    maintaining planes

    most 3rd world countries can’t even if they have the brains to do so cos corruption – the people in charge sell all the spare parts for cash

    (long term this is actually one of the most important aspects of military recruitment imo)

  111. notanon says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    MbS wanted to watch

    that’s one of the most important aspects imo (and why i assume whoever put him in power is going to replace him soon)

  112. Bliss says:
    @Bliss

    The purest Arabs:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qahtanite

    The terms Qahtanite and Qahtani (Arabic: قَحْطَانِي‎; transliterated: Qahtani) refers to Arabs who originate from the southern region of the Arabian Peninsula, especially from Yemen…….According to Islamic tradition, the Qahtanites are pure Arabs

    Pre-Islamic Qahtani migration out of Arabia: Early Semites who developed civilizations throughout the Ancient Near East gradually relinquished their geopolitical superiority to surrounding cultures and neighboring imperial powers, usually due to either internal turmoil or outside conflict. This climaxed with the arrival of the Chaldeans, and subsequently the rivaling Medes and Persians, during the 7th and 6th centuries BCE respectively. Though the Semites lost geopolitical influence, the Aramaic language emerged as the lingua franca of much of the Near East. However, Aramaic usage declined after the defeat of the Persians and the arrival of the Hellenic armies around 330 BCE.

    After Islam: Between the 7th and the 14th centuries, the Arabs had forged an empire that extended their rule from most of Spain, to western China in the east. During this period of expansionism, the Arabs, including Qahtanite tribes, overspread these lands, intermingling with local native populations while yet maintaining their cultural identity. Although you can find the largest number of Qahtanite Arabs in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, It is not unlikely to find Arabs of Qahtanite descent as far away as Morocco or Iran, and many can trace their heritage with profound accuracy. Among the most famous examples of Qahtanite Arabs are the social scholar Ibn Khaldun who was born in Tunisia to a family that immigrated from Islamic Spain (Al-Andalus), Al Kindi, Ibn al-Baitar.

  113. @Vishnugupta

    Nah. Centrally its not about dogfights or quick thinking; its about complexity of the systems and a significant tail end of support that all needs to work on a minimal level(and that’s dubious whenever you’re dealing with severe incompetence). A more powerful system in the hands of an idiot is likely just to result in more passenger jets being shot down and weaponry systems wasted on decoys. I don’t really think we’re about to idiot-proof war, in short.

    That said, since they hire mercenaries, this is probably a moot point.

  114. Nznz says: • Website
    @Daniel Chieh

    You must be kidding, unless the pilots were completely retarded they would know about boom and zoom from WW2, and this from is someone whose experience with aircraft is limited to Luftwaffe Commander. Or never engage WVR.

  115. Sean says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/great-delusion-liberal-dreams-and-international-realities-32737?page=0%2C1
    Consider that five hundred years ago the political universe was remarkably heterogeneous; it included city­-states, duchies, empires, principalities, and assorted other political forms. That world has given way to a globe populated almost exclusively by nation­ states.

    State punishment of a traitor must be blatant and costly to show that the country’s vengeance is implacably malevolent. There would be no point in doing it clandestinely as if it was an insurance scam murder. Nation states are sophisticated survival machines which have emergent qualities over and above the calculations and interests of any individual no matter how high ranking, rather like the behavior of termites building their nests. The Saudi leader ordered the murder of Khashoggi without fully understanding what he was doing or why, but who acts in any other way?

    Saudi Arabians, even Khashoggi ‘s son, are not holding it against MbS, because the murder and lying is for reasons of state rather than a selfish motive. Telling the United States of America to mind their own business, as MbS will do in in due course, is going to be very popular among ordinary Saudi Arabians. The 9/11 attack by a network of Saudi Arabians and others who seemed to act obliviously to facilitate it was something similar: the result of a reaction to a foreign army in the homeland. And it got them out, didn’t it? The competence-without-comprehension entity called the nation state is the most satisfying thing to sacrifice lives (including one’s own) for that can survive in this world, and that is why every people wants their own state. The nation-state is the real Invisible Hand.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @iffen
  116. LondonBob says:
    @Dmitry

    Not convinced many Arabs left the Arabian peninsula, I suspect the populations in the Eastern Med are same as they were before. Suspect even less than the minimal impact Anglo-Saxons made on the native British population.

    • Replies: @notanon
  117. iffen says:
    @Sean

    and that is why every people wants their own state.

    How does everyone wanting their own state serve to keep “the” nation state successful and intact?

    Those people that don’t have a state, (but they all want one) have to have some sort of alternative coherence outside the current nation state in which they reside. How (and why) does the nation state produce its own killers?

  118. notanon says:
    @LondonBob

    anglo-saxons had a c. 50% impact – the confusion was caused by people equating particular haplogroups as wholly germanic (I2a) or wholly celtic (R1b)

    when the regions the anglo-saxons came from (like Denmark) were c. 50/50 on those haplogroups

    the main point being all those NW Euro tribes were extremely close genetically to begin with so the autosomal dividing line wasn’t clear to begin with

  119. Molecule says:

    This Khashoggi affair is blowback on steroids … oh what tangled webs we must weave, when we first decide on a necessity to deceive. (misquoted …) Blowback describes an array for the long-term consequences of setting up a Deep State. A Deep State of Public distrust is the only possible consequence, where a perpetual bureaucracy decides that representative democracy requires a culture of secrecy. The resulting culture of anonymity eventually undermines credibility of government. Government then becomes a smokesceen for the Bolshevik agenda.

    There is one person at the center of this whole Khashoggi affair. Yet his name has clearly been removed from all reports. It’s not by accident that he is never mentioned.

    His name is John Brennan.

    An avowed and known Wahabbist. A true believer in radical Islam, in the political profits of regine change operations that are spawned into being by skillful use of terrorism. Known agent of the Muslim Brotherhood, which operates out of CIA-Langley more so than out of London. As CIA Director for 8 yrs, Brennan had access to the dark money and darker personnel, as required to set up a “presidential pickle job” like this Khashoggi affair.

    Prior to his role as Director of CIA in Langley, Brennan was “station chief” for CIA black ops in Riyadh, Brennan had the deepest contacts within Wahabbist and Muslim Brotherhood (MB) elements in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Yemen, etc. Khashoggi was also reportedly MB, but CIA will gladly sacrifice their own, if it furthers “the agenda.” Brennan’s love for the MB agenda is as well known as his hatreds for all things Trump (which is not to give a pass to any of Trump’s many weaknesses) and for the intentions of MBS to tone down Saudi entanglements with CIA regime change operations in the region.

    As to Brennan’s capacity, he was the initial designer, instigator and organizer for the get-Trump Russia-did-it “pee-dosier.”

    Within hours after Comey gave president-elect Trump a fake-FBI briefing on “the dosier,” Brennan had leaked the dosier all over town. Brennan is a master at conceiving and implementing this kind of setup.

    As to the Khashoggi media event, Brennan’s talents, emotionally and spiritually deranged as they are, and his deep-cover CIA contacts with black-ops talents in Riyadh, are at the center of every critical phase of this Khashoggi operation.

    It is a form of media censorship, a form of precautionary blowback, by oblique emphasis of the “political incorrectness” of criticizig the Muslim Brotherhood, Radical Islam, and Wahabbist terrorism, while at the same time pretending to emphasize the political correctness of Khashoggi’s loyalty to CIA mockingbird operations, with cover provided by such as the Washington Post.

    The reported murder of Khashoggi kills two birds with one stone. (IF Khashoggi was in fact murdered — he might be lounging in comfort with protection from the CIA in a guest suite in one of his deceased uncle’s two 110 metre yachts, in the Adriatic or the Caribbean.) This kind of talent is exactly why Brennan was made station chief in Riyadh, and director of operations at Langley. By coordinating the murder of Khashoggi, gruesome as in “made for media,” Brennan and his CIA-Langley and MB-Riyadh loyalists isolates Trump and bin Salman, both of whom were working on a major pivot in Saudi policy, moving away from its current support for Wahabbist terrorism and Muslim Brotherhood regime changes.

    It’s impossible not to see Brennan as the central character, yet the media has him quietly redacted and missing. Brennan alone also holds the keys to all of the critical elements needed, to sabotage Salmon behind his back and punch Trump straight in the face. A dual hit like this requires talents and connections that only Brennan has.

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