German teachers union shows support for Kurdish hunger strikers

While Western governments continue their silence in the face of the hunger strikes launched by DTK Co-chair and HDP Hakkari MP Leyla Guven to demand an end to the isolation imposed upon More »

Egypt stages referendum to institutionalize General Sisi’s dictatorship

by Bill Van Auken Egypt’s military-dominated dictatorship is rushing ahead with a referendum this weekend on constitutional amendments that would effectively make Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi dictator for life, while institutionalizing the More »

Former Peruvian President Alan Garcia dies after shooting himself

Former Peruvian President Alan Garcia died on Wednesday in a hospital in Lima, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra confirmed on Twitter. Vizcarra said that he was “consternated” by Garcia’s death, and sent his More »

Fierce clashes erupt in northern Aleppo between Turkish-backed rebels and Kurdish forces

A series of intense clashes broke out in the northern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate on April 11, after the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) attacked the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) More »

Julian Assange has been arrested for US extradition; the time to act is now

by Caitlin Johnstone WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested and taken into custody by the London’s Metropolitan police, just as WikiLeaks warned days ago was about to happen. Assange’s lawyer Jen More »

 

Saudi Arabia | Stop the whitewashing of the murderous Saudi Kingdom, lackey of imperialism!

It has finally been admitted that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Istanbul consulate of Saudi Arabia, where he was last seen entering. The announcement was made by the Saudi Press Agency, based on the declaration of Saudi officials. This confession of Saudi Arabia seeks to put the blame of this murder on some intelligence agents. 18 Saudi suspects are mentioned. There is no doubt that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who controls the whole military and intelligence apparatus and who eliminates his opponents by any means possible, is the instigator of this crime. And now they have found the way to cover up for him: “King Salman has ordered the restructuring of the intelligence agency.” And who will lead the committee in charge of this restructuring? Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman himself!   

Saudi Arabia | Jamal Khashoggi’s murder is another test for the West. Will it fail that one too?

by Yehia Hamed

Western diplomacy is facing a new challenge from the Middle East. This time that challenge comes from one of its anchors in the region, Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom was always considered a partner and strategic ally, and the connections with Western Europe and United States have always been strong. The policy towards the kingdom has always been stable. Strong diplomatic relations were buttressed by tens of think tanks and research groups.

Saudi Arabia | Saudi Arabia to turn Qatar into island by digging new canal

A high-ranking Saudi official says his country is seriously considering constructing a canal that would turn tiny neighbor Qatar into an island, amid the the ongoing Saudi-led diplomatic and trade boycott against the energy-rich Persian Gulf kingdom.

“As a citizen, I am impatiently waiting for the details of the implementation of the East Salwa island project. This great and historic project will change the region’s geography,” Saud al-Qahtani, a senior adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wrote on his Twitter page on Friday.

Saudi Arabia | Saudi Arabia: this ‘Night of the Long Knives’ is a panic-fueled move

Yesterday 4th of November the ruling Salman clan in Saudi Arabia executed a Night of the Long Knives cleansing the state of all potential competition. The Saudi King Salman and his son Clown Prince Mohammad bin Salman initiated a large arrest wave and purge of high ranking princes and officials. Part of this internal coup was the confiscation of huge financial estates to the advantage of the Salman clan.

The earlier forced resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is probably related to the last night’s events. The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahoo endorsed the resignation. This guarantees that Hariri will never again be accepted in a leading role in Lebanon.
In Saudi Arabia eleven princes, including sons of the deceased King Abdullah, more than thirty former and acting ministers as well as the heads of three major TV stations were taken into custody or put under house arrest. The National Guard Commander Prince Mitieb Bin Abdullah was relieved from his post and replaced with Prince Khalid Bin Abdulaziz al Muqrin. The National Guard was the last intelligence and security power center held by the Abdullah branch of the al-Saud family.
An earlier purge in July had dethroned the former Crown Prince Nayaf and replaced him with the young Mohammad Bin-Salman. Then the Nayef branch of the al-Saud family was removed from all power centers. The Abdullah branch followed yesterday. The purged officials were replaced with stooges of the ruling Salman clan.
The Salman branch of the current king and clown prince has now eliminated all of potential internal competition. This goes against the consensus model that had been the foundation of the Saudi family rule over the last century. Tens of thousands of clans and people depended on the patronage of the removed princes and officials. They will not just sit back as their fortunes evaporate.
One effect of the purges will be the concentration of Saudi wealth in the hands of the Salmans.
 One of the arrested persons is the allegedly sixth richest man of the world, Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal (video). He has (had?) an estimated net-worth between $18 and $32 billion. Al-Waleed had publicly clashed with U.S. President Donald Trump. (Al-Waleed is (was?) the largest shareholder of Citygroup which selected Barack Obama’s cabinet before receiving a huge government bailout.) Another casualty is Bakr bin Laden, brother of Osama Bin Laden, chairman of the Saudi Binladin Group and fifth richest man of the country.
Official pretext for the purge are corruption allegations going back to 2009. This financial subterfuge will allow the ruling Salmans to confiscate the wealth of the accused. The total haul of this raid will amount to dozens of billions of dollars. A new anti-corruption committee was installed under Clown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. It has dictatorial powers and can freeze and confiscate whatever financial assets it deems worth its attention:

It may take whatever measures it deems necessary to deal with those involved in public corruption cases and take what it considers to be the right of persons, entities, funds, fixed and movable assets, at home and abroad, return funds to the state treasury and register property and assets in the name of state property.

The events in Lebanon and Riyadh would have been impossible without U.S. approval and support. In late October Trump’s son in law and senior adviser Jared Kushner made an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia. In a tweet yesterday Donald Trump, sworn to the Wahhabi orb, named the price for his consent and cooperation:

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump – 12:49 PM – 4 Nov 2017

Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange. Important to the United States!
A primary listing of Aramco oil conglomerate at the NYSE will give the U.S. government regulatory and legal authority over the most valuable company of the world.
Also last night Yemeni forces fired a medium range missile from north Yemen towards Riyadh airport. The well targeted 1,000 kilometer (660 miles) shot is impressive and unprecedented. The Saudi air-defense near the airport, U.S. Patriot systems manned by contractors, launched four interceptor missiles (video) towards the incoming Yemeni projectile. The Saudis claim that one of the interceptors hit the target. A uprising smoke column was seen from the airport (video). It is not possible to say if it was the result of the original missile or of an interception.
That the Saudi capital can be hit will come as another shock to many Saudis. It discourages investment in Saudi Arabia.
The Yemeni missiles, fired by the original Yemen army under former president Saleh, may have their origin in Iran. But they could also be older ones Yemen had purchased elsewhere decades ago. The Saudis will surely blame Iran without explaining how such missiles could be smuggled through their tight blockade cordon around the resistance held country.
The missile launch is unlikely to be related to the Hariri resignation or to the purge in Riyadh. It takes days for the Yemenis to prepare such a missile and its launch. It is presumably in retaliation for Wednesday’s devastating Saudi air attack on an open market in the northern Saada province of Yemen. According to Yemeni sources more than 60 people were killed. After the missile launch on Riyadh Saudi jets again bombed the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
Since the incapacitated King Salman took the throne in Riyadh his ruthless 32 year old son Mohammad bin Salman has taken control of all branches of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi launched a war on a defenseless Yemen and supported al-Qaeda, ISIS and other “rebels” against the Iraqi and Syrian governments. He split the Gulf Cooperation Council by attacking Qatar. After a stalemate in Yemen and Qatar and losing in Iraq and Syria he has now initiated a war against Hizbullah in Lebanon. None of these bloody initiatives has achieved its aim of weakening the influence of the perceived enemy Iran. All of them helped Iran to consolidate its position.
The financial position of the Saudi state is in disarray. To the applause of the western claque Bin Salman announced the economic, social and religious liberation of Saudi Arabia. But little, if any, of the grand promises have been delivered.
Yesterday’s purge can be perceived as a panic-fueled move. All of Bin Salman’s endeavors have failed. The successful targeting of Riyadh’s airport only underscores this. He is under pressure but unable to deliver. The internal resistance to him is growing.

When Hitler initiated the Night of Long Knives against the socialist part of his party he was on an upward trend of his political power. The country was at peace, its international standing was growing, the economy surged and the majority of the people endorsed him. Bin Salman’s remake of that night comes while his initiatives fail. It is doubtful that the consolidation he seeks will be equally successful.

Saudi Arabia | After Riyadh summit, Sunni unity crumbles

by Sharmine Narwani

The glowing orb stunt should have been a sign that all was not what it seems. Theatrics, in the world of politics, usually suggest an illusion needs to be spun for audiences somewhere.

Saudi Arabia |