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Saudi Arabia May be in for a Nasty Shock
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Foreign leaders visiting King Salman of Saudi Arabia have noticed that there is a large flower display positioned just in front of where the 80-year-old monarch sits. On closer investigation, the visitors realised that the purpose of the flowers is to conceal a computer which acts as a teleprompter, enabling the King to appear capable of carrying on a coherent conversation about important issues.

One visiting US delegation meeting with King Salman recently observed a different method of convincing visitors – or at least television viewers watching the encounter – that he can deal with the escalating crises facing Saudi Arabia. The king did not look at the group but at a giant television screen hanging from the ceiling of the room on which was appearing prompts. Simon Henderson, the Saudi expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who tells the story, writes that off to one side in the room was an aide who “furiously hammered talking points into a keyboard”.

Of course, King Salman is not the only world leader past or present whose inability to cope has been artfully concealed by aides and courtiers. But eyewitness accounts of his incapacity does put in perspective the claim by the White House that President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia and two hour meeting with the king on 20 April was “cordial” and cleared the air after a troubled period in Saudi-US relations.

It is hardly a secret that real authority is shifting to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and his son, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. But the power vacuum does help explain the bizarre and self-destructive nature of present-day Saudi foreign policy that suddenly shifted from cautious use of Saudi Arabia’s vast oil wealth to further its aims, while always keeping its options open, to a militarised and confrontational pursuit of foreign policy objectives.

It is not exactly that the Saudi’s priorities have changed, but that the means being used to achieve them are far riskier than in the past. Since King Salman succeeded to the throne, Saudi Arabia has escalated its involvement in the war in Syria and engaged directly in an air war in Yemen. Both ventures have failed: greater support for armed opposition to President Bashar al-Assad in Syria early last year allowed the rebels to advance, but also provoked direct Russian military intervention, making Assad very difficult to displace. Bombing Yemen has not forced the Houthi opposition out of the capital Sanaa and, where the Houthis have retreated, there is chaos which al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has used to set up their own mini-state on the south coast of Yemen.


The Saudi leaders are more or less openly saying that they are waiting for the departure of President Obama from the White House to resume their status of most favoured ally of the US. The permanently anti-Saudi bias of the present administration, though usually verbal rather than operational, came across clearly in the interviews with Mr Obama and his top officials in the Atlantic by Jeffrey Goldberg. He says that “in the White House these days, one occasionally hears Obama’s National Security Officials pointedly reminding visitors that the large majority of 9/11 hijackers were not Iranian, but Saudi”.

But the Saudis are making a mistake in imagining that hostility to them will dissipate once Mr Obama leaves office. There is renewed pressure for the release of the unpublished 28 pages in the official Congressional 9/11 report on possible Saudi official complicity in the attacks, with CBS’s influential and widely watched 60 Minutes devoting a segment to it, thereby putting it back on the political agenda. “Saudi Arabia legitimises Islamic extremism and intolerance around the world,” states an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. “”If you want to stop bombings in Brussels or San Bernardino, then turn off the spigots of incitement from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.” Not only is there a growing anti-Saudi mood in the US, but it is one of the few political developments common to both parties.

In reality, the missing 28 pages in the 9/11 report on possible high level Saudi involvement may not be as categorical or as damaging to the Kingdom as the fact of their continued non-publication. The secrets that Saudi Arabia has most interest in hiding may be rather different, and relate to allegations that between 1995 and 2001, two senior Saudi princes spent hundreds of millions of state funds paying off Osama bin Laden not to make attacks within Saudi Arabia, but leaving him free to do whatever he wanted in the rest of the world.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: 9/11, Saudi Arabia 
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  1. KA says:

    By turning off the spigot Saudi will do an immense favor to the countries around the world. But it will also deprive the instruments West has been using for over last hundred years to further its interests both within and outside Arab,N Africa and Cacasus and S Asia.

    Chances are that Saudis will be told to control ,manage and restrict these Jihadists to the places US wants to

  2. Renoman says:

    It’s becoming very difficult to hide in this World and pretty well everyone sees the Saudis as the Crude, backward manipulating assholes that they are. The tide has turned, the President knows it and there shall be no return. I suspect Israel is on that list as well.

  3. Rehmat says:

    In case you didn’t know Mr. Cockburn – it’s called ‘royal bickering’ which are common in the ‘royals and military dictators’ around the world.

    Saudi ‘royal’s’ give a damn who resides in the White House because it’s the US administration that needs Saudi ‘royals’ money to run American military industrial complex and protect the Zionist entity from the emerging those Jew-hating Islamists.

    Lately, Jewish Lobby is trying to pin 9/11 on Saudi ‘royals’ but Obama is taking Riyadh side because he is afraid to lose America’s best Muslim poodle regime.

    On April 15, 2016, The Jew York Times, reported that Saudi ‘royals’ have told Zionist-occupied Obama administration and Congress that it will sell off $750 billion worth of American assets held by the Kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. According to Mark Mazzetti, the warning was delivered in person last month by Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir.

    Congressman Stephen Lynch, who is known for his support for US military intervention in Muslim countries, has urged Obama administration and fellow lawmakers to ignore Saudi threat, saying, “let’s face the bluff”.

    The 9/11 bill is sponsored by two allies of Netanyahu and AIPAC, Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn and Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer (a Zionist Jew). Both have made aliya on several occasions to the Zionist entity to prove their subservience to a foreign government.

    • Replies: @No Second Israel
    , @Art
  4. @Rehmat

    {Lately, Jewish Lobby is trying to pin 9/11 on Saudi ‘royals’ but Obama is taking Riyadh side because he is afraid to lose America’s best Muslim poodle regime.}

    This is NOT the reason. The reason is that 9/11 was False Flag Operation designed by Bush and neocons + Israel and cooperation of Saudis to back their fake story. If they go against Saudi
    Arabia, then Saudis will EXPOSE USG and Israel’s PLOT against Muslims. There are plenty of evidence where who did the 9/11 terror act to go after Muslims pushing for “the world government”, a zionist project, and to erect ‘greater Israel’ according to Oded Yinon Strategy. Remember: 7 countries in 5 years.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
  5. In reality, the missing 28 pages in the 9/11 report on possible high level Saudi involvement may not be as categorical or as damaging to the Kingdom as the fact of their continued non-publication.

    Exactly. Twelve years after the 9/11 commission, where those 28 pages were first classified, why are we suddenly hearing about them again right now? Is it to deflect attention away from Israel and get rid of an ailing Gulf monarchy which is of no further use to Washington and Tel Aviv?

    Truth be told, I was never all that interested in what was in those 28 pages redacted from the report; that was always easy to guess. What I really want to know is: what pertinent information never made it into that report to begin with?

    • Agree: Carroll Price
    • Replies: @KA
  6. And again the US is losing its crediblity.

    Where are the “Values of the West”, Freedom,Democracy,Human Rights, Truth ???

    It is again a Double-Standard-Game of the US, a “selected truthfinding”,speaking with a splitted tongue.

    Who serves who?
    Does the Politics serve the People?
    Which role has the (embedded) Media?
    Which role has the “Big Money” and the Puppet-Players in the background?

    Sleep on People of the US!

    It was only a Terror-Attack.Your Gouvernment is hiding the Truth.Because a big direct/indirect supporter of militant-political Islamism is one of your “friends” and owns $ 750 Billion and buys your weapons and has a “special-relationship”.So the Truth has to be hidden.

    An other State with a “special relationship” did attack the USS Liberty.The Truth has to be hidden for the American People too.Because of “Security” – Security from the Establishment.

    Was it really a Secret with the Attack on Pearl Harbour or was it wellcomed attack to change the mind of the American People who did opposite the War against Germany?
    US did prefer to fight Germany first and the Attacker Japan second.

    In the case of the Saudis it reminds me on a quote of an American President.As there were complains about Human Rights abuses of the President of Nicaragua Somoza he did answer: “Maybe he is a S.O.B. – But he is OUR (!!!) S.O.B.”

    Truth-hiding or Truth-finding.It is only a matter of Credibility and Justice.

    • Replies: @Realist
  7. Art says:

    Lately, Jewish Lobby is trying to pin 9/11 on Saudi ‘royals’ but Obama is taking Riyadh side because he is afraid to lose America’s best Muslim poodle regime.

    Whoever is playing with fire – undoubtedly the Saudis know the real truth of 9/11.

    Hmm – what could go wrong? What would a real trial reveal?

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  8. I’d like to think so, but it is an election year and money talks … we have the finest government that money can buy, and the Saudis still have a very appreciable cash flow.

  9. robt says:

    Should be amusing: King Salman and Obama both reading from and dependent on Teleprompters.
    Remember when leaders could speak coherently and spontaeously in paragraphs? The only person I can think of offhand who can do this is Nigel Farage. Naturally, he is disparaged.

    BTW, selling 750 billion dollars of Treasuries creates demand for dollars to buy them, not a surplus of dollars to ‘crash’ the dollar. Anyway, selling a huge amount of Treasuries also has the effect of lowering the price of the Treasuries, thus raising interest rates, thus positive for the dollar. Double win.
    And if the Fed buys them, they just create the money from thin air, so ? Just add them to their quintupled ‘balance’ sheet of the last five years or so.
    Add to this the fact that China has sold the equivalent amount in recent years. The effect? Dollar up.

  10. KA says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    I am one of those who believe that 911 was done by the hijackers .
    But beyond that I don’t know much and don’t have much trust in the truth furnished by the Government .
    I haven’t read the book by Sy Hersh. I dont know if I should bother to read.

    “Seymour Hersh: The Saudis bribed the Pakistanis not to tell us [that the Pakistani government had Bin Laden] because they didn’t want us interrogating Bin Laden (that’s my best guess), because he would’ve talked to us, probably. My guess is, we don’t know anything really about 9/11. We just don’t know. We don’t know what role was played by whom.”

    I am reminded of the Manhattan Project . I continued for years but nobody knew it while it was continuing .

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Carroll Price
  11. Maldivi says:

    “If you want to stop bombings in Brussels or San Bernardino, then turn off the spigots of incitement from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.”
    No, you need to stop attacking countries in the middle east using false flag such as 9/11. Will those “secret 28 pages” reveal how 2 planes knock down 3 buildings? How building 7 collapsed into its footprint which was controlled demolition? Saudis had nothing to do with it,

  12. Realist says:
    @Scripted Reality

    “And again the US is losing its crediblity.”

    It has none left to lose.

  13. Wally says: • Website

    The Manhattan Project worked with real physics, the USG’s 9/11 conspiracy theory violates laws of physics.
    Real science at

    Thousands of real architect & engineers signed here:

    FAQs here:


    – The government’s laughable & impossible 9/11 conspiracy theory is what drives US / Israeli policies.

    – ‘9/11’ has been an immensely profitable scam for various players in the US and Israel.

    – ‘9/11’ provides excuses for our disastrous & mass murdering foreign policy of both the US & Israel.

    – ‘9/11’ provides excuses for the theft of our constitutional rights.

    – ‘9/11’ provides excuses for the enormous & continuous increase in government power.

    Yet the US govt. cannot change laws of physics, the government’s bizarre conspiracy theory is impossible.

    And it’s an established scientific fact that military grade nano-thermite was used in the 9/11 attack.
    Military grade nano-thermite was found at the WTC by the USGS & Niels Harrit of Univ. of Copenhagen, and 8 more scientists.

    ‘Muslims in caves’ cannot make military grade nano-thermite.

    What Science Says About the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7

  14. @KA

    I am one of those who believe that 911 was done by the hijackers .

    Based on what? I would venture to guess you also “believe” the fake Bin Laden narrative as well. That, or any other fairly tale designed for the purpose of deflecting attention away from Israel’s central role in planning and implementing the 9/11 false-flag attacks. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Replies: @bunga
  15. Rehmat says:

    The US governments will never lift the lid over 9/11 as they have been doing over Pearl Harbor, the bombing of USS Liberty, assassination of JFK, or the Sandy Hook School shooting.

    As the saying goes: “The Mission Accomplished.”

  16. I don’t see how the fall of the house of Saud can be any more catastrophic than what we’ve done to other countries in the reason, and I’d like to know why the hell there’s been a bipartisan policy of systematically destroying secular regimes and establishing new Islamic republics.

    And I still think you 9/11 truthers are stupid. It was a convenient Reichstag Fire but it was not an inside job.

    • Replies: @Max Payne
  17. bunga says:
    @Carroll Price

    What evidence or evidences do you have that the ‘Israelis ” did it?
    Sure we have some “dancing Israelis” and Email messaging ( instant Message Service ) prior to the attack.
    But beyond that anything?

    It seems somebody was in the know .That is all to it.

  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The incompetence, vanity, and ignorance that determines the actions of political leaders is easily mistaken for conspiracy. There is no direction, only the blundering of angry children. As Karl Rave said, while the historians are busy classifying the actors are already striking out in new directions. Policy is now driven by concern for the unknown unknowns. I am sitting in the shade drinking beer as I type this.

  19. @bunga

    See if this helps answers your question. If not, let me know.

  20. Max Payne says:
    @Jon Lester

    Because the House of Saud along with many GCC nations own significant portions of Western corporations. Kuwait and Qatar owns significant percentages of corporations like Mercedes-Benz and Rolls Royce. Saudi Arabia floods Western weapon contractors with cash (the West gives Saudi Arabia money for oil which it pours back into the West for guns). When France had trouble finding another client to buy the Leclerc tank the UAE was the only one willing to pay for its exuberant fees at the time (it doesn’t even need the tank, it did it as a favor). Saudi Arabian boys go to universities in the West and pay international tuition rates and pour money into the local economies. Let’s not forget how many GCC delinquents come over to the US and rent out multi-million dollar homes for massive cocaine parties. Just to refresh your memory:

    Should the centerpiece of the GCC fall all that money which many sectors of Western economy relies on will end up being used for stupid things like the betterment of the region or worse, of the peoples themselves. We can’t have that.

    Like I said before, America (and the West really) is a street hooker up for hire. Whoever can dish out the most cash gets her. Like a good whore you can’t ostracize your client base. The Chinese have known this for a long time and have tipped generously to be able to continue riding. Israelis have perfected it.

    I mean shit…. the US fought a literal war for Kuwait (jump America, jump!). Sure it was an easy war but I don’t see it doing anything for Georgia or the Ukraine or Somalia when it lost portions of its territory. Libya has become an Islamic State citadel and the US just twiddles its thumb waiting for someone to pay it before it acts. No free rides I guess….

    Stop loving money more than dignity and all will be well again.

  21. unit472 says:

    Back on planet earth, Saudi Arabia is just not that important to the US anymore. The price of oil is set by markets not OPEC and oil is not in short supply over the near term. The US can ramp up domestic production at any time by simply imposing an oil import tariff sufficient to guarantee a profit to shale and tar sands producers. We probably should have done this anyway to protect our domestic industry and raise revenue as there is likely to be a spike in oil prices when the current glut swings to shortage.

    When the inevitable happens and oil supplies grow scarce again in a few years due to the lack of capital investment and the depletion of existing oil fields, Saudi Arabia might again become a lot more influential but it will be Europe and Asia who will have to decide just how much support they want to give to this atavistic Kingdom.

  22. {I mean shit…. the US fought a literal war for Kuwait (jump America, jump!). Sure it was an easy war but I don’t see it doing anything for Georgia or the Ukraine or Somalia when it lost portions of its territory. Libya has become an Islamic State citadel and the US just twiddles its thumb waiting for someone to pay it before it acts.}

    How illiterate one can be in order to write such nonsense. Saudi Arabia is a US colony fighting in Yemen against the Muslim population, not for the interest of Saudi Arabia or Muslims worldwide, rather for the expansion of US-Israel geopolitical agenda for world hegemony.
    Saudi Arabia does not benefit by killing Yemenis or Syrians, but as a puppet state is funding US imperialism and Zionism wars against those regional governments that refuse to be a colony of the criminal Zionists and imperialists, by oil money and with Arab BLOOD for the interest of the west. The Saudi heads of state are traitors.
    Majority of the American people are ignorant regarding the history of the Middle East, imperialism and Zionism. These dummies believe the Lies of USG. The western educated people are BRAIN WASHED. To educate yourself, start with the following links.

    • Replies: @Max Payne
  23. ha, the recent rise of 9/11 talk = either usa is trying to force saudi to do something or it is about to be thrown under the bus by usa.

    anyone knows what has changed recently that made saudi arabia useless?

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  24. Max Payne says:
    @No Second Israel

    Saudi Arabia is a US colony fighting

    False. Saudi Arabia is the private fiefdom of the house of Saud.

    Nothing the KSA has to do has to benefit Saudi Arabia. It just needs to benefit the House of Saud. The bombing of Yemen (and Syria) is a very small price to pay to open up exclusive doors in the west for the “royal” family.

    Asides from that I have no idea what exactly makes my state illiterate. Last I checked the US did fight a war for Kuwait, and no it was not for “Kuwaiti freedom”, that too was for the “royal” family of Kuwait.

  25. anyone knows what has changed recently that made saudi arabia useless?

    Unconventional oil extraction in USA and Canada.

  26. @Astuteobservor II

    anyone knows what has changed recently that made saudi arabia useless?

    I’ll give it a shot. My guess is that since the dollar is clearly on its way out as the world’s reserve currency, Saudi Arabia’s days of propping up the US dollar are over. Therefore, they’re being dropped like a used rubber. Russia and Iran are (or soon will be) providing China, India, and any other industrialized nation who wants it, with all the crude they can use, with compensation made in the form of equivalent swaps, or currencies not connected with the US dollar.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  27. @Carroll Price

    Damn, that is a pretty good shot. it makes sense. bravo sir.

    • Agree: Jacques Sheete
  28. @bunga

    Evidence would be nice, but first we start by asking “cui bono.” Then we look for patterns…

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