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Mohammed Bin Salman's Ill-Advised Ventures Have Weakened Saudi Arabia
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SD Mattis meets with Deputy Crown Price of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud

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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) of Saudi Arabia is the undoubted Middle East man of the year, but his great impact stems more from his failures than his successes. He is accused of being Machiavellian in clearing his way to the throne by the elimination of opponents inside and outside the royal family. But, when it comes to Saudi Arabia’s position in the world, his miscalculations remind one less of the cunning manoeuvres of Machiavelli and more of the pratfalls of Inspector Clouseau.

Again and again, the impulsive and mercurial young prince has embarked on ventures abroad that achieve the exact opposite of what he intended. When his father became king in early 2015, he gave support to a rebel offensive in Syria that achieved some success but provoked full-scale Russian military intervention, which in turn led to the victory of President Bashar al-Assad. At about the same time, MbS launched Saudi armed intervention, mostly through airstrikes, in the civil war in Yemen. The action was code-named Operation Decisive Storm, but two and a half years later the war is still going on, has killed 10,000 people and brought at least seven million Yemenis close to starvation.

The Crown Prince is focusing Saudi foreign policy on aggressive opposition to Iran and its regional allies, but the effect of his policies has been to increase Iranian influence. The feud with Qatar, in which Saudi Arabia and the UAE play the leading role, led to a blockade being imposed five months ago which is still going on. The offence of the Qataris was to have given support to al-Qaeda type movements – an accusation that was true enough but could be levelled equally at Saudi Arabia – and to having links with Iran. The net result of the anti-Qatari campaign has been to drive the small but fabulously wealthy state further into the Iranian embrace.

Saudi relations with other countries used to be cautious, conservative and aimed at preserving the status quo. But today its behaviour is zany, unpredictable and often counterproductive: witness the bizarre episode in November when the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was summoned to Riyadh, not allowed to depart and forced to resign his position. The objective of this ill-considered action on the part of Saudi Arabia was apparently to weaken Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon, but has in practice empowered both of them.

What all these Saudi actions have in common is that they are based on a naïve presumption that “a best-case scenario” will inevitably be achieved. There is no “Plan B” and not much of a “Plan A”: Saudi Arabia is simply plugging into conflicts and confrontations it has no idea how to bring to an end.

MbS and his advisers may imagine that it does not matter what Yemenis, Qataris or Lebanese think because President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, are firmly in their corner. “I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing,” tweeted Trump in early November after the round up and confinement of some 200 members of the Saudi elite. “Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years!” Earlier he had tweeted support for the attempt to isolate Qatar as a supporter of “terrorism”.

But Saudi Arabia is learning that support from the White House these days brings fewer advantages than in the past. The attention span of Donald Trump is notoriously short, and his preoccupation is with domestic US politics: his approval does not necessarily mean the approval of other parts of the US government. The State Department and the Pentagon may disapprove of the latest Trump tweet and seek to ignore or circumvent it. Despite his positive tweet, the US did not back the Saudi confrontation with Qatar or the attempt to get Mr Hariri to resign as prime minister of Lebanon.

For its part, the White House is finding out the limitations of Saudi power. MbS was not able to get the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to agree to a US-sponsored peace plan that would have given Israel very much and the Palestinians very little. The idea of a Saudi-Israeli covert alliance against Iran may sound attractive to some Washington think tanks, but does not make much sense on the ground. The assumption that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the promise to move the US embassy there, would have no long-term effects on attitudes in the Middle East is beginning to look shaky.

It is Saudi Arabia – and not its rivals – that is becoming isolated. The political balance of power in the region changed to its disadvantage over the last two years. Some of this predates the elevation of MbS: by 2015 it was becoming clear that a combination of Sunni states led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey was failing to carry out regime change in Damascus. This powerful grouping has fragmented, with Turkey and Qatar moving closer to the Russian-backed Iranian-led axis, which is the dominant power in the northern tier of the Middle East between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean.

If the US and Saudi Arabia wanted to do anything about this new alignment, they have left it too late. Other states in the Middle East are coming to recognise that there are winners and losers, and have no wish to be on the losing side. When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called a meeting this week in Istanbul of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, to which 57 Muslim states belong, to reject and condemn the US decision on Jerusalem, Saudi Arabia only sent a junior representative to this normally moribund organisation. But other state leaders like Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, King Abdullah of Jordan and the emirs of Kuwait and Qatar, among many others, were present. They recognised East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and demanded the US reverse its decision.

ORDER IT NOW

MbS is in the tradition of leaders all over the world who show Machiavellian skills in securing power within their own countries. But their success domestically gives them an exaggerated sense of their own capacity in dealing with foreign affairs, and this can have calamitous consequences. Saddam Hussein was very acute in seizing power in Iraq but ruined his country by starting two wars he could not win.

Mistakes made by powerful leaders are often explained by their own egomania and ignorance, supplemented by flattering but misleading advice from their senior lieutenants. The first steps in foreign intervention are often alluring because a leader can present himself as a national standard bearer, justifying his monopoly of power at home. Such a patriotic posture is a shortcut to popularity, but there is always a political bill to pay if confrontations and wars end in frustration and defeat. MbS has unwisely decided that Saudi Arabia should play a more active and aggressive role at the very moment that its real political and economic strength is ebbing. He is overplaying his hand and making too many enemies.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. But he’s still young. Maybe he’ll learn over the years. Unless he loses his power because of his failures, as happened to Saddam.

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    • Replies: @5371
    I don't see him keeping power for almost thirty years, as Saddam did. Even three would be a stretch.
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  2. Svigor says:

    The only hope someone as cloistered as a Saudi crown prince can have of being an effective ruler is either by being an extraordinary person (very curious, love learning for its own sake, etc), or be at least moderately intelligent, and listen to consensus.

    For its part, the White House is finding out the limitations of Saudi power. MbS was not able to get the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to agree to a US-sponsored peace plan that would have given Israel very much and the Palestinians very little.

    Lies and Jew-hatred. Everyone knows that despite their infamous sharpness in business dealings, the world’s longest history of legalism, a completely self-centered and ethnocentric culture, and their longstanding abuse of the Palestinians, every…single…deal the Jews try to sign with the Palestinians heavily favors the Palestinians, and the only reason the Palestinians won’t sign is because they’re psychotic Jew-haters.

    The idea of a Saudi-Israeli covert alliance against Iran may sound attractive to some Washington think tanks, but does not make much sense on the ground. The assumption that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the promise to move the US embassy there, would have no long-term effects on attitudes in the Middle East is beginning to look shaky.

    Hey, you skipped the part where you did anything to support the idea that a Zionist-Saudi alliance doesn’t make sense.

    K, let’s all wait for Art Deco to come in and spew some Hasbara then tell us he’s not a Zhid.

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  3. Avery says:

    {Mohammed Bin Salman’s Ill-Advised Ventures Have Weakened Saudi Arabia}

    GREAT news.
    Hopefully the evil, cannibalistic terrorism spreading so-called ‘kingdom’ of desert nomads will continue on its path of self destruction, and disappear as a functioning state.

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  4. 5371 says:
    @reiner Tor
    But he's still young. Maybe he'll learn over the years. Unless he loses his power because of his failures, as happened to Saddam.

    I don’t see him keeping power for almost thirty years, as Saddam did. Even three would be a stretch.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Z-man
    Three years, that's about right. He's an idiot savant looking spoiled brat who is ass backwards on most of his moves. Somebody close will take him out!
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  5. Tammy says:

    Once more a Saudi Firster was detained in KSA. This time the owner of Arab Bank, a Jordanian with dual Jordan and KSA citizenship. Saad Hariri a Lebanese was the first one who was dual Lebanon and KSA citizens and who lost his diplomatic immunity in KSA.

    I wonder if the Israel Firster who are dual citizens are now sweating?

    Wonder, if Netanyahu is still an USA citizen?

    Happy days are coming back…. :)

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  6. Jake says:

    “Saudi relations with other countries used to be cautious, conservative and aimed at preserving the status quo. But today its behaviour is zany, unpredictable and often counterproductive:”

    Saudis allied with Israelis, backed by the wealth and might of the US? Guaranteed to bring out the worst in Saudis (which is bad enough at base) and Israelis and Americans.

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  7. cbrown says:

    Machiavellian skills really ? I’d see 6 months ahead if this was true. MBS just made a show that they are a de facto Mafia not a businessman to the whole world. I’d bet he just quashed a lot of efforts and money spent on raising the racing horses of the saud monarch and in turn destroyed some serious connection that were vital but aren’t readily available to them. Just how potent money they thought it would be ? Sure all is businesses and it will work so long you can pay the right person. The problem is where to find the right person.

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  8. Joe Hide says:

    Come on Cockburn, look at the Big Picture, not the little one. This the old fallacy of looking at the trees and not seeing the forest. What is happening in Saudi Arabia is a piece of the much bigger puzzle being put together over years, decades, and maybe generations. The psychopaths at the top of the power pyramid have been engaged in this hidden global game for generations, it’s always been part of their longterm strategy. Very recently Highly intelligent, realistic, morally and ethically centered, and practically oriented individuals, have also formed secret powerful groups to arrive at beneficial goals for humanity. These truly Good Guys have learned that the criminal, murderous, lecherous, degenerate, deviate, psychopaths in positions of great power are irredeemable and should be eliminated where possible. What you see in Saudi Arabia is merely a tree, not the forest. Just the same, to the author, keep writing but research the subject much much more before you put pen to paper, as you do have apersuasive and talented style.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ghost Who Walks
    Great response! Based upon this and some of your other comments read just now, I have bookmarked your comment page, as I rarely have time to peruse this entire site
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  9. I am going to come to the defence here.

    1. We have been screaming about the unintended consequences of Saudi giving to charities since 2004.

    2. We removed the buffer of Iraq from Iranian ambitions (as unclear as it may be debated) creating issues not only for Saudi Arabia, but others in the region as well.

    3. We are the ones who have been fomenting destabilization all throughout the region some of whom would have been allies of the Saudis in some common cause.

    4. No one is escaping the negative consequences of our Iraq invasion.

    5. We have been complaining about rogue and irresponsible wealthy Muslims ad naseum.

    Now when someone steps up the plate to meet the challenges many caused by the US – our first complaint is not astute counsel but rather a series of articles highlighting failure. I would not contend that I support every choice. But I think we should at least take a wait and see perspective.
    he is operating in a region rife with intrigue and ambitions, not to mention — Muslims bent on spreading Islam as one would expect a muslim to do. Frankly I am not sure how one governs in the arena of the middle east – especially now – it’s a region in major shift.

    I think there are more effective choices concerning Yemen and Qatar. But figuring out what the choices are is not going to be easy. And harder still perhaps is implementing them.

    As for backfire — we are just not in a position to judge, at the moment.

    Anyone hoping that another major state collapses in that region is probably miscalculating the value of instability.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    Who the fukc is this "We"?
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  10. The Saudis are the U.S. and ISISRAELS puppet, they do what the Zionist neocons tell them to do, which is to be the Zionist agent provocateur in the Mideast.

    The Saudis have helped the U.S. and ISISRAEL create and finance ISIS aka AL CIADA and for this the Saudis can rot in hell, and by the way the reason for the attack on Yemen is that the Saudis oil reserves are diminishing and so the Saudis figured they would take Yemens oil.

    The main creators of ISIS aka AL CIADA are the U.S. and ISISRAEL and BRITAIN ie the CIA and the MOSSAD and MI6.

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  11. TG says:

    I am no fan of the Saudi government, but when you claim that their policies are responsible for the misery in Yemen, you are incorrect.

    The problem with Yemen is that the country has very little in the way of water, but an explosive birth rate (and half of what little water they do have is used to grow the addictive drug “khat”). They have run out of water – and no, this was not ‘global warming’ as the rainfall has, long term, trended exactly as it always does, and the aquifers were being drained even when rainfall was good.

    The misadventures of the Saudis served only to make the rubble bounce. I mean look at Bangladesh, nobody is bombing them, but there is so much misery that about half the children are growing up stunted. Life in Nazi slave labor camps was not worse.

    Yes Virginia, Malthus was right. He’s always been right. He never predicted a global catastrophe. When people have more children than they can afford to support, this produces not wealth (how can it, really?) but crushing misery. And the big villain here is not the crown prince of Saudi Arabia – unpleasant though he may be – but those academics and journalists that aggressively censor any mention of a sustained high fertility rate as anything other than an unalloyed good.

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  12. Z-man says:
    @5371
    I don't see him keeping power for almost thirty years, as Saddam did. Even three would be a stretch.

    Three years, that’s about right. He’s an idiot savant looking spoiled brat who is ass backwards on most of his moves. Somebody close will take him out!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Thing is, Saudi regime was rotten through and through before MbS, remains rotten under his rule, and will remain rotten when some other jerk kicks him out and establishes himself at the helm.
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  13. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    The irony is that Saudis, before MbS and during his dominance, are making exactly the same suicidal blunders as the US. No enemy could have damaged the US and its positions in the world more than its Presidents and the Congress in the last 17 years. The same is true for KSA, with the same mistakes being made: undermining the financial system of the country, global over-reach that forces all opposition to unite, crazy military expenses, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Antiwar7
    Good point. Profoundly true.

    It seems from the idea that one can control everything, and that ones knows what to do if one could.
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  14. Art says:

    Sorry, but these people dressed in 14 century robes and garb, cannot be taken seriously. They look like play-people feigning a furious grandeur.

    Without their petrochemicals – they would be laughed at by everyone – including their own kind.

    They should not be respected because they are religious – they are old world tribalist thugs hiding behind a religion. They use and abuse their people – holding them back from modernity.

    Think Peace — Art

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  15. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Z-man
    Three years, that's about right. He's an idiot savant looking spoiled brat who is ass backwards on most of his moves. Somebody close will take him out!

    Thing is, Saudi regime was rotten through and through before MbS, remains rotten under his rule, and will remain rotten when some other jerk kicks him out and establishes himself at the helm.

    Read More
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  16. neutral says:

    It does not matter how smart Saudi Arabia is with their foreign policy now, they became allies with Israel, that means Saudi Arabia can never claim to be a power working for the interests of Islam. MBS is a marked man, no matter how many purges he undertakes in his army, or even if he just hires Pakistani soldiers, if he has Muslims fighting in his army he will always be carrying the risk of being assassinated by somebody who has seen him cross the red line and become pro jewish.

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  17. Svigor says:

    I don’t really understand the constant hopes that the Saudi regime will fall. How is that any different from cheering Bush’s disastrous regime change in Iraq? How will the fallout be any better in Arabia than it was in Iraq, Libya, etc?

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @cbrown
    It's not that there's a constant hope it's just they'd fall in the near future and fortunately it will balance the geopolitical power in the future. Their fallout aren't going to be as bad unless the people pulling their string persistent in keeping them in power.
    , @neutral
    It will be better because it means Israel loses an ally, also with the Saudis gone Egypt will also be unable to keep their population in check. The fall of the Saudis means that Israel will be surrounded by regimes that oppose it, like South Africa having having hostile states all around your borders already puts you closer to deaths door.
    , @Bill Jones
    Unlike Saddam, the Saudi thugs have established a network of terrorist Mosques throughout the West.
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  18. cbrown says:
    @Svigor
    I don't really understand the constant hopes that the Saudi regime will fall. How is that any different from cheering Bush's disastrous regime change in Iraq? How will the fallout be any better in Arabia than it was in Iraq, Libya, etc?

    It’s not that there’s a constant hope it’s just they’d fall in the near future and fortunately it will balance the geopolitical power in the future. Their fallout aren’t going to be as bad unless the people pulling their string persistent in keeping them in power.

    Read More
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  19. neutral says:
    @Svigor
    I don't really understand the constant hopes that the Saudi regime will fall. How is that any different from cheering Bush's disastrous regime change in Iraq? How will the fallout be any better in Arabia than it was in Iraq, Libya, etc?

    It will be better because it means Israel loses an ally, also with the Saudis gone Egypt will also be unable to keep their population in check. The fall of the Saudis means that Israel will be surrounded by regimes that oppose it, like South Africa having having hostile states all around your borders already puts you closer to deaths door.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    South Africa was never in danger from their hostile neighbors . They committed suicide .

    Egypt cannot control its own territory let alone start wars , ditto for Syria and Lebanon. Jordan is a client state of Israel and lacks a functioning army.

    On a site filled to the brim with full of shit comments , yours takes the cake
    . Bravo.
    , @reiner Tor
    So you think it will be better because it will be worse for Israel? I don’t like Israel much, especially not their lobbies, but I don’t think their fall would be good for us in any way. Netanyahu is a bigger friend of European peoples than the vast majority of European politicians anyway.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. @Joe Hide
    Come on Cockburn, look at the Big Picture, not the little one. This the old fallacy of looking at the trees and not seeing the forest. What is happening in Saudi Arabia is a piece of the much bigger puzzle being put together over years, decades, and maybe generations. The psychopaths at the top of the power pyramid have been engaged in this hidden global game for generations, it's always been part of their longterm strategy. Very recently Highly intelligent, realistic, morally and ethically centered, and practically oriented individuals, have also formed secret powerful groups to arrive at beneficial goals for humanity. These truly Good Guys have learned that the criminal, murderous, lecherous, degenerate, deviate, psychopaths in positions of great power are irredeemable and should be eliminated where possible. What you see in Saudi Arabia is merely a tree, not the forest. Just the same, to the author, keep writing but research the subject much much more before you put pen to paper, as you do have apersuasive and talented style.

    Great response! Based upon this and some of your other comments read just now, I have bookmarked your comment page, as I rarely have time to peruse this entire site

    Read More
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  21. Mr. Coburn spent the entirety of the Cold War defending Communist transgressions, and playing up the inevitability of good (the Communists) overcoming evil (the non-Communists). In fact, for a good chunk of the Syrian Civil War, he maintained that the Syrian government would fall to the rebels. Whatever crystal ball he’s using, I’d suggest betting the other way.

    Read More
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  22. someone says:

    Another Junior Gaddafi that is going to ruin his entire nation while intoxicated with NYT or other Western media coverage. He talks of corruption after spending 1.1 Billion dollars on a yacht and a painting.
    Netenyahu is much the same. He has weakened Israel immensely by playing the scary wolf.

    Read More
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  23. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @neutral
    It will be better because it means Israel loses an ally, also with the Saudis gone Egypt will also be unable to keep their population in check. The fall of the Saudis means that Israel will be surrounded by regimes that oppose it, like South Africa having having hostile states all around your borders already puts you closer to deaths door.

    South Africa was never in danger from their hostile neighbors . They committed suicide .

    Egypt cannot control its own territory let alone start wars , ditto for Syria and Lebanon. Jordan is a client state of Israel and lacks a functioning army.

    On a site filled to the brim with full of shit comments , yours takes the cake
    . Bravo.

    Read More
    • LOL: Clyde
    • Replies: @renfro
    Jordon is a client state of the US idiot, not of Israel ....Israel is a 'welfare client' of the US.
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  24. H. S. says:

    Megrahi petition again on Scottish Parliament Justice Committee agenda :

    Justice for Megrahi’s petition (PE1370) calling on the Scottish Government to set up an independent inquiry into the conviction of Abdelbaset Megrahi features on the agenda for the meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee to be held on Tuesday 19 December 2017 at 10.00 in Holyrood Committee Room 2. The agenda and accompanying papers can be accessed from:

    http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/justice-committee.aspx

    The two documents submitted by Justice for Megrahi for this meeting appear among the papers as Annexe A and Annexe B.

    Read More
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  25. Bill Jones says: • Website
    @Svigor
    I don't really understand the constant hopes that the Saudi regime will fall. How is that any different from cheering Bush's disastrous regime change in Iraq? How will the fallout be any better in Arabia than it was in Iraq, Libya, etc?

    Unlike Saddam, the Saudi thugs have established a network of terrorist Mosques throughout the West.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. Bill Jones says: • Website
    @EliteCommInc.
    I am going to come to the defence here.

    1. We have been screaming about the unintended consequences of Saudi giving to charities since 2004.

    2. We removed the buffer of Iraq from Iranian ambitions (as unclear as it may be debated) creating issues not only for Saudi Arabia, but others in the region as well.

    3. We are the ones who have been fomenting destabilization all throughout the region some of whom would have been allies of the Saudis in some common cause.

    4. No one is escaping the negative consequences of our Iraq invasion.

    5. We have been complaining about rogue and irresponsible wealthy Muslims ad naseum.


    Now when someone steps up the plate to meet the challenges many caused by the US - our first complaint is not astute counsel but rather a series of articles highlighting failure. I would not contend that I support every choice. But I think we should at least take a wait and see perspective.
    he is operating in a region rife with intrigue and ambitions, not to mention -- Muslims bent on spreading Islam as one would expect a muslim to do. Frankly I am not sure how one governs in the arena of the middle east - especially now - it's a region in major shift.

    I think there are more effective choices concerning Yemen and Qatar. But figuring out what the choices are is not going to be easy. And harder still perhaps is implementing them.



    As for backfire -- we are just not in a position to judge, at the moment.


    Anyone hoping that another major state collapses in that region is probably miscalculating the value of instability.

    Who the fukc is this “We”?

    Read More
    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    We -- is reference to the US. And being citizens of the same, while we can separate ourselves from peculiar policy choices we may disagree with ---

    in the general it is a collective we.


    Now

    the US has decried Saudi charities in relation to terrorists

    the US did invade Iraq without cause

    the US has destabilized that region of the world

    we have sought mechanisms by which to sue Saudi Arabians in response to what we have called their support of terrorism --- I don't buy much of the contention, but entities representing US interests have and millions agree.
    _______________________


    Special note: I am an advocate of free speech. But I would appreciate the self censorship of suggestive language in comments to me, unless I invite the same in similar use.


    Appreciate it
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  27. @neutral
    It will be better because it means Israel loses an ally, also with the Saudis gone Egypt will also be unable to keep their population in check. The fall of the Saudis means that Israel will be surrounded by regimes that oppose it, like South Africa having having hostile states all around your borders already puts you closer to deaths door.

    So you think it will be better because it will be worse for Israel? I don’t like Israel much, especially not their lobbies, but I don’t think their fall would be good for us in any way. Netanyahu is a bigger friend of European peoples than the vast majority of European politicians anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @renfro

    Netanyahu is a bigger friend of European peoples than the vast majority of European politicians anyway
     
    .


    That's one of the dumbest remarks I've seen....you got to be a hasbara kid.
    , @Art
    Netanyahu is a bigger friend of European peoples than the vast majority of European politicians anyway.

    Please - Netanyahu is a Jew - he has no Gentile friends - only people he can manipulate.

    Anyone who thinks that Netanyahu wants peace is a fool.

    Zionist Israel sees the world as its enemy.

    Stay resolute - Ziomism will go away.

    Think Peace --- Art
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  28. @Bill Jones
    Who the fukc is this "We"?

    We — is reference to the US. And being citizens of the same, while we can separate ourselves from peculiar policy choices we may disagree with —

    in the general it is a collective we.

    Now

    the US has decried Saudi charities in relation to terrorists

    the US did invade Iraq without cause

    the US has destabilized that region of the world

    we have sought mechanisms by which to sue Saudi Arabians in response to what we have called their support of terrorism — I don’t buy much of the contention, but entities representing US interests have and millions agree.
    _______________________

    Special note: I am an advocate of free speech. But I would appreciate the self censorship of suggestive language in comments to me, unless I invite the same in similar use.

    Appreciate it

    Read More
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  29. renfro says:
    @anon
    South Africa was never in danger from their hostile neighbors . They committed suicide .

    Egypt cannot control its own territory let alone start wars , ditto for Syria and Lebanon. Jordan is a client state of Israel and lacks a functioning army.

    On a site filled to the brim with full of shit comments , yours takes the cake
    . Bravo.

    Jordon is a client state of the US idiot, not of Israel ….Israel is a ‘welfare client’ of the US.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Hey happy guy !!!
    Jordan is a client state of both Israel and USA . Where does Jordans water come from ? Who defends Jordan ?

    The royal family of Jordan spends more time in Paris than they do in Amman . Jordan occupies 78% of Palestine . I glad you agree with the rest of my post tho. I like to make common ground with happy people like you !!!!!

    Merry xmas early happy guy !!!
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  30. renfro says:
    @reiner Tor
    So you think it will be better because it will be worse for Israel? I don’t like Israel much, especially not their lobbies, but I don’t think their fall would be good for us in any way. Netanyahu is a bigger friend of European peoples than the vast majority of European politicians anyway.

    Netanyahu is a bigger friend of European peoples than the vast majority of European politicians anyway

    .

    That’s one of the dumbest remarks I’ve seen….you got to be a hasbara kid.

    Read More
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  31. Art says:
    @reiner Tor
    So you think it will be better because it will be worse for Israel? I don’t like Israel much, especially not their lobbies, but I don’t think their fall would be good for us in any way. Netanyahu is a bigger friend of European peoples than the vast majority of European politicians anyway.

    Netanyahu is a bigger friend of European peoples than the vast majority of European politicians anyway.

    Please – Netanyahu is a Jew – he has no Gentile friends – only people he can manipulate.

    Anyone who thinks that Netanyahu wants peace is a fool.

    Zionist Israel sees the world as its enemy.

    Stay resolute – Ziomism will go away.

    Think Peace — Art

    Read More
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  32. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @renfro
    Jordon is a client state of the US idiot, not of Israel ....Israel is a 'welfare client' of the US.

    Hey happy guy !!!
    Jordan is a client state of both Israel and USA . Where does Jordans water come from ? Who defends Jordan ?

    The royal family of Jordan spends more time in Paris than they do in Amman . Jordan occupies 78% of Palestine . I glad you agree with the rest of my post tho. I like to make common ground with happy people like you !!!!!

    Merry xmas early happy guy !!!

    Read More
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  33. Antiwar7 says:
    @Anon
    The irony is that Saudis, before MbS and during his dominance, are making exactly the same suicidal blunders as the US. No enemy could have damaged the US and its positions in the world more than its Presidents and the Congress in the last 17 years. The same is true for KSA, with the same mistakes being made: undermining the financial system of the country, global over-reach that forces all opposition to unite, crazy military expenses, etc.

    Good point. Profoundly true.

    It seems from the idea that one can control everything, and that ones knows what to do if one could.

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  34. MEexpert says:

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) of Saudi Arabia is the undoubted Middle East man of the year, but his great impact stems more from his failures than his successes.

    A “man of the year” title implies something positive. Man of the year for failures is an oxymoron.

    He is accused of being Machiavellian in clearing his way to the throne by the elimination of opponents inside and outside the royal family.

    For which he should be thankful to the US and Israeli intelligence agencies. Thanks to our network of intelligence gathering around the world, we were able to supply him with names of all those people who may have been plotting some palace revolt.

    The Crown Prince is focusing Saudi foreign policy on aggressive opposition to Iran and its regional allies, but the effect of his policies has been to increase Iranian influence.

    The “Clown Prince” is only following orders from his masters, the US and Israel. First, Israel tried to drag the US into a conflict with Iran. When that failed, Israel used the US influence to get MbS and the other Gulf monarchies to stir up trouble. MbS is a damn fool that the zionist have propped up to do their dirty work. The real culprit in this is not MbS but the Zionists. When Qatar wouldn’t go along with this plan they turned him against that country as well.

    witness the bizarre episode in November when the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was summoned to Riyadh, not allowed to depart and forced to resign his position. The objective of this ill-considered action on the part of Saudi Arabia was apparently to weaken Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon, but has in practice empowered both of them.

    This shows that MbS does not even have a brain of a frog. He does not have any idea of the power of Hezbollah in Lebanon and neither does the author of this article. Saad Hariri cannot even get along with his own brother let alone other politicians. The ploy was so dumb that it failed immediately. Everyone saw it for what it was. Now whatever position Hariri had before is gone. Israel and the US can call Hezbollah “terrorist” organization but terrorists they are not. That is the world’s most complete organization in political, social and military affairs. Even the Sunnis of Lebanon have more faith in Hezbollah than their own people. To get a praise from the enemy (Israel) is a great achievement indeed. A small bunch of terrorists cannot defeat the World’s second most powerful army and put fear into its heart so they have to go to the US to get them to do the dirty work.

    Saddam Hussein was very acute in seizing power in Iraq but ruined his country by starting two wars he could not win.

    Again, the author is peddling the official line. Neither the war with Iran nor the war in Kuwait was started by Saddam on his own. He was pushed into them by his mentor, the US. He was a stooge who played his part very well.

    The Saudis cannot win the war in Yemen on their own. They have all the equipment so why do they need US’ help? They have learnt one thing form their Israeli and US masters and that is to keep at a safe distance. They have been dropping these bombs from a distance without much success. They have not been able to subdue a small band of Houthis in Yemen and they have eyes set on Hezbollah. A small example of the Saudi pilot’s bravery; if a plane was signed off by a Saudi technician, the great Bandar bin Sultan wouldn’t even get on the plane. It had to be signed off by an American tecnician before he would go on board.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    """A small bunch of terrorists cannot defeat the World’s second most powerful army and put fear into its heart so they have to go to the US to get them to do the dirty work."""

    Who is the worlds second most powerful army ? . Russia ? China ?
    When did Hazbola defeat them ?? ₩hat the heck are you talking about ??

    They lost to the 10th or 12th powerful army when the fought Israel. Hezbolah losses 1,500 , Israel losses 160. Nasrallah admitting defeat when he said he would never have authorized the events that caused the conflict if he knew the consequenses beforehand .

    Face facts . Hezbollah needed to team up with : The Russian army, Syrian army and Iranian army and various Shia militias just to defeat ISIS drug addicts . And that took them 5 years of fighting to accomplish that. Let that sink in while you daydream about dadya Vladik.
     
     

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  35. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @MEexpert

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) of Saudi Arabia is the undoubted Middle East man of the year, but his great impact stems more from his failures than his successes.
     
    A "man of the year" title implies something positive. Man of the year for failures is an oxymoron.

    He is accused of being Machiavellian in clearing his way to the throne by the elimination of opponents inside and outside the royal family.
     
    For which he should be thankful to the US and Israeli intelligence agencies. Thanks to our network of intelligence gathering around the world, we were able to supply him with names of all those people who may have been plotting some palace revolt.

    The Crown Prince is focusing Saudi foreign policy on aggressive opposition to Iran and its regional allies, but the effect of his policies has been to increase Iranian influence.
     
    The "Clown Prince" is only following orders from his masters, the US and Israel. First, Israel tried to drag the US into a conflict with Iran. When that failed, Israel used the US influence to get MbS and the other Gulf monarchies to stir up trouble. MbS is a damn fool that the zionist have propped up to do their dirty work. The real culprit in this is not MbS but the Zionists. When Qatar wouldn't go along with this plan they turned him against that country as well.

    witness the bizarre episode in November when the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was summoned to Riyadh, not allowed to depart and forced to resign his position. The objective of this ill-considered action on the part of Saudi Arabia was apparently to weaken Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon, but has in practice empowered both of them.
     
    This shows that MbS does not even have a brain of a frog. He does not have any idea of the power of Hezbollah in Lebanon and neither does the author of this article. Saad Hariri cannot even get along with his own brother let alone other politicians. The ploy was so dumb that it failed immediately. Everyone saw it for what it was. Now whatever position Hariri had before is gone. Israel and the US can call Hezbollah "terrorist" organization but terrorists they are not. That is the world's most complete organization in political, social and military affairs. Even the Sunnis of Lebanon have more faith in Hezbollah than their own people. To get a praise from the enemy (Israel) is a great achievement indeed. A small bunch of terrorists cannot defeat the World's second most powerful army and put fear into its heart so they have to go to the US to get them to do the dirty work.

    Saddam Hussein was very acute in seizing power in Iraq but ruined his country by starting two wars he could not win.
     
    Again, the author is peddling the official line. Neither the war with Iran nor the war in Kuwait was started by Saddam on his own. He was pushed into them by his mentor, the US. He was a stooge who played his part very well.

    The Saudis cannot win the war in Yemen on their own. They have all the equipment so why do they need US' help? They have learnt one thing form their Israeli and US masters and that is to keep at a safe distance. They have been dropping these bombs from a distance without much success. They have not been able to subdue a small band of Houthis in Yemen and they have eyes set on Hezbollah. A small example of the Saudi pilot's bravery; if a plane was signed off by a Saudi technician, the great Bandar bin Sultan wouldn't even get on the plane. It had to be signed off by an American tecnician before he would go on board.

    “””A small bunch of terrorists cannot defeat the World’s second most powerful army and put fear into its heart so they have to go to the US to get them to do the dirty work.”””

    Who is the worlds second most powerful army ? . Russia ? China ?
    When did Hazbola defeat them ?? ₩hat the heck are you talking about ??

    They lost to the 10th or 12th powerful army when the fought Israel. Hezbolah losses 1,500 , Israel losses 160. Nasrallah admitting defeat when he said he would never have authorized the events that caused the conflict if he knew the consequenses beforehand .

    Face facts . Hezbollah needed to team up with : The Russian army, Syrian army and Iranian army and various Shia militias just to defeat ISIS drug addicts . And that took them 5 years of fighting to accomplish that. Let that sink in while you daydream about dadya Vladik.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MEexpert
    I do not normally communicate with people who hide behind anon, Anon, or anonymous names. You guys are all trolls. Even Unz Review recognizes you as fake, hence the moniker-"disclaimer." You guys never have any consistent position. If Israel won the war, why were there so many investigations on Israeli defeat in the Knesset? If Israel won, then why do the army and the intelligence chiefs keep reminding Netanyahu of the consequences of the next Lebanon war? They shouldn't be worried at all. It should be cake a walk for your Zionists. They only know one way to fight and that is to send missiles or bomb from a distance. They are afraid to shed the "holy" Jewish blood. It is better to sacrifice the goyim blood instead.

    I will not reply to you after that. You are too ignorant.
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  36. MEexpert says:
    @anon
    """A small bunch of terrorists cannot defeat the World’s second most powerful army and put fear into its heart so they have to go to the US to get them to do the dirty work."""

    Who is the worlds second most powerful army ? . Russia ? China ?
    When did Hazbola defeat them ?? ₩hat the heck are you talking about ??

    They lost to the 10th or 12th powerful army when the fought Israel. Hezbolah losses 1,500 , Israel losses 160. Nasrallah admitting defeat when he said he would never have authorized the events that caused the conflict if he knew the consequenses beforehand .

    Face facts . Hezbollah needed to team up with : The Russian army, Syrian army and Iranian army and various Shia militias just to defeat ISIS drug addicts . And that took them 5 years of fighting to accomplish that. Let that sink in while you daydream about dadya Vladik.
     
     

    I do not normally communicate with people who hide behind anon, Anon, or anonymous names. You guys are all trolls. Even Unz Review recognizes you as fake, hence the moniker-”disclaimer.” You guys never have any consistent position. If Israel won the war, why were there so many investigations on Israeli defeat in the Knesset? If Israel won, then why do the army and the intelligence chiefs keep reminding Netanyahu of the consequences of the next Lebanon war? They shouldn’t be worried at all. It should be cake a walk for your Zionists. They only know one way to fight and that is to send missiles or bomb from a distance. They are afraid to shed the “holy” Jewish blood. It is better to sacrifice the goyim blood instead.

    I will not reply to you after that. You are too ignorant.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Hey dork ,you never answered the relevant question : You said hezbola defeated the 2nd most powerful army in the world ( your words) . What army was that ?

    Noticed you are now embarrassed about your comment so you had to concoct a caveat that you no longer communicate with anons to avoid continued humiliation . Not gonna work .

    Also it took hezbola 4 years to defeat ISIS , a roving gang of teenage runaways from Europe and central asian goat boys and drug addicts. Not only that but they needed the combined help of 3 national armies , Russian , Syrian and Iranian plus irregular troops from various shia militias to do the job.

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  37. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @MEexpert
    I do not normally communicate with people who hide behind anon, Anon, or anonymous names. You guys are all trolls. Even Unz Review recognizes you as fake, hence the moniker-"disclaimer." You guys never have any consistent position. If Israel won the war, why were there so many investigations on Israeli defeat in the Knesset? If Israel won, then why do the army and the intelligence chiefs keep reminding Netanyahu of the consequences of the next Lebanon war? They shouldn't be worried at all. It should be cake a walk for your Zionists. They only know one way to fight and that is to send missiles or bomb from a distance. They are afraid to shed the "holy" Jewish blood. It is better to sacrifice the goyim blood instead.

    I will not reply to you after that. You are too ignorant.

    Hey dork ,you never answered the relevant question : You said hezbola defeated the 2nd most powerful army in the world ( your words) . What army was that ?

    Noticed you are now embarrassed about your comment so you had to concoct a caveat that you no longer communicate with anons to avoid continued humiliation . Not gonna work .

    Also it took hezbola 4 years to defeat ISIS , a roving gang of teenage runaways from Europe and central asian goat boys and drug addicts. Not only that but they needed the combined help of 3 national armies , Russian , Syrian and Iranian plus irregular troops from various shia militias to do the job.

    Read More
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  38. Erebus says:

    MbS’ purge, however ham-handed, broke not only the Saudi oligarchs’ piggy banks, but their internal and external power networks.
    I’d venture that that was MbS’ main goal as these were ubiquitous and arguably larger and more effective than the KSA’s official government’s. Neither internal social nor political reform could go forward, nor could its foreign affairs objectives be quickly realigned to reflect the changing geo-political realities with those networks in place.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    MbS’ purge, however ham-handed, broke not only the Saudi oligarchs’ piggy banks, but their internal and external power networks.

    Have not heard any JSM accounts about the status of those Saudi big wigs that where put in the hotel jail.

    What is going on?

    Are they thru shifting funds in the Rothschild banking system?

    Are they still in jail?

    Think Peace --- Art
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  39. Art says:
    @Erebus
    MbS' purge, however ham-handed, broke not only the Saudi oligarchs' piggy banks, but their internal and external power networks.
    I'd venture that that was MbS' main goal as these were ubiquitous and arguably larger and more effective than the KSA's official government's. Neither internal social nor political reform could go forward, nor could its foreign affairs objectives be quickly realigned to reflect the changing geo-political realities with those networks in place.

    MbS’ purge, however ham-handed, broke not only the Saudi oligarchs’ piggy banks, but their internal and external power networks.

    Have not heard any JSM accounts about the status of those Saudi big wigs that where put in the hotel jail.

    What is going on?

    Are they thru shifting funds in the Rothschild banking system?

    Are they still in jail?

    Think Peace — Art

    Read More
    • Replies: @MEexpert

    Are they still in jail?
     
    Haven't you heard? They are all still in the plush "Ritz-Carlton Hotel" in Riyadh. They will be administered forced physical therapy AKA as torture by the Blackwater force members every day until every cent or every rial is extracxted from their hides.
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  40. MEexpert says:
    @Art
    MbS’ purge, however ham-handed, broke not only the Saudi oligarchs’ piggy banks, but their internal and external power networks.

    Have not heard any JSM accounts about the status of those Saudi big wigs that where put in the hotel jail.

    What is going on?

    Are they thru shifting funds in the Rothschild banking system?

    Are they still in jail?

    Think Peace --- Art

    Are they still in jail?

    Haven’t you heard? They are all still in the plush “Ritz-Carlton Hotel” in Riyadh. They will be administered forced physical therapy AKA as torture by the Blackwater force members every day until every cent or every rial is extracxted from their hides.

    Read More
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  41. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    MBS is on record as pointing out that 70% of Saudi Arabia is less than 30 years old, and they, (collectively) are not going to waste the next 30 years dealing with extremist ideas. He also says he wants SA to become a country of moderate Islam instead of an extremist one. He appears to be that rarity, a radical moderate. He’s also the Saudi who has a half-brother who was an astronaut. MBS just bought a Da Vinci, so I suspect he’s sick of traditional Arab culture and thinking, and wants to give it a big shove down the stairs ala Ataturk. A lot of Saudi elites who have lived in foreign countries with much greater freedoms and richer cultures like the UK or the US tend to really hate going back to Saudi Arabia because it’s so dull and constrictive.

    He may be a lot less out of step with young Middle Easterners across the region than you might think. For example, a lot of young Iranians are tired of their own state’s stern religious rule. I wonder more if MBS intends to start a foreign policy of knocking off any seriously religious Middle Eastern state. He’s going to have to assassinate a lot of Imans if he plans to do that.

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  42. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    By the way, has anyone noticed that MBS isn’t married? He’s 32, yet no marriage despite the fact that he ought to be a target of designing Arab women and their families. If the situation is what I think it is, no wonder he wants to get rid of Arab culture. Arabs would hang people like him, so maybe that’s why he went after the Saudi elite first (among other reasons).

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  43. KA says:

    There is a lot of congruence and similarities between Saudis and Evangelical . I can see it here

    Both are corrupts to the core .

    NYT–”The public snubs from Christian leaders are a sign of the deep ideological gulf between American evangelicals like Mr. Pence, whose support for Israel is rooted in biblical prophesy, and the Christian communities that have lived in the area since the time of Jesus himself.
    The conservative evangelical leaders who endorsed Mr. Trump in his run for the White House say they made it clear to him early in the campaign that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was one of their top priorities, right up there with opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
    In multiple meetings at the White House with Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence and their aides, these evangelical advisers said, they repeatedly pressed Mr. Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and to move the American Embassy there, and were promised it would happen. Mr. Pence became a main conduit for these religious leaders.
    “I definitely believe the decision would not have happened without the influence of evangelicals who are in communication with the White House,” said the Rev. Johnnie Moore, an evangelical writer who has become a spokesman for the evangelical advisers to the Trump administration. “It has been an issue of priority for a long time.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/20/world/middleeast/pence-mideast-trip-palestinians-christians.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Total BS
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  44. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Much of the gossip is of Israeli origin, which has an interest in projecting the narrative that Saudi Arabia is conspiring with US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to attack Iran.

    M.K. BHADRAKUMAR http://www.atimes.com/article/saudi-arabia-grip-saturday-night-fever/

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  45. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @KA
    There is a lot of congruence and similarities between Saudis and Evangelical . I can see it here

    Both are corrupts to the core .

    NYT--"The public snubs from Christian leaders are a sign of the deep ideological gulf between American evangelicals like Mr. Pence, whose support for Israel is rooted in biblical prophesy, and the Christian communities that have lived in the area since the time of Jesus himself.
    The conservative evangelical leaders who endorsed Mr. Trump in his run for the White House say they made it clear to him early in the campaign that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was one of their top priorities, right up there with opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
    In multiple meetings at the White House with Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence and their aides, these evangelical advisers said, they repeatedly pressed Mr. Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and to move the American Embassy there, and were promised it would happen. Mr. Pence became a main conduit for these religious leaders.
    “I definitely believe the decision would not have happened without the influence of evangelicals who are in communication with the White House,” said the Rev. Johnnie Moore, an evangelical writer who has become a spokesman for the evangelical advisers to the Trump administration. “It has been an issue of priority for a long time.”



    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/20/world/middleeast/pence-mideast-trip-palestinians-christians.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

    Total BS

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