How Israeli/Saudi ‘Alliance’ Plays Trump

As novices to the world of Mideast intrigue, President Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner are being led by Israel and Saudi Arabia into a dangerous confrontation with Iran, explains former British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

By Alastair Crooke
The Israeli web site Debka, though not always reliable in some respects, nonetheless, occasionally, can give useful glimpses into the Israeli calculus: Here it is expressing somewhat unusual enthusiasm, even open rapture, about a recent political event:

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive to the Murabba Palace, escorted by Saudi King Salman, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to attend a banquet in their honor. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

“The Saudi king’s decision to elevate his son Mohammed bin Salman … is not merely the internal affair of the royal hierarchy, but a game-changing international event. The king’s son is ready to step into his allotted place in a new US-Arab-Israeli alliance established by President Trump in May, along with the UAE, Egyptian and Israeli leaders that will seek to dominate Middle East affairs. Israel will be accepted in a regional lineup for the first time alongside the strongest Sunni Arab nations who all share similar objectives, especially the aim to stop Iran” [emphasis added].

“A game-changing international event”? Why exactly are these Israelis so excited; why should the elevation of bin Salman, known by the initials MbS, be such a game-changer? Is there here something new? And how come the dismissal of Prince Nayef, whom MbS replaced as crown prince and who was a Western favorite, barely ruffled a leaf in protest?

On the face of it, not much has changed. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s (and his father’s) obsession with Iran is well known. The Israeli PM (like his father before him) believes that Iran is the precursor to a new Jewish holocaust.

It was not always like this however: the Ben Gurion doctrine of courting regional minorities to Israel’s side (including Iran), was only “flipped” when the Israeli Labour Party won parliamentary elections in 1992.

In short, Iran’s subsequent identification with Satan by the Israeli government effectively was a domestic Israeli political need of the electoral moment: switching from the Arabs as “enemy” – in order for Rabin to make peace – required, in public terms, that Iran become the “far enemy” – the new existential threat to “plucky little” Israel’s survival, vice the now peace-partnering Arabs.

Netanyahu however, is a true “believer” (in Iran’s murderous intentions), and tried to corner President Obama into destroying Iran, by threatening America that either you do it (bomb Iran) – or, Israel shall (which effectively amounted to making America “do it” anyway). Obama demurred, and avoided Bibi’s binary threat to him of “war or war” by rather unenthusiastically negotiating a JCPOA with Iran – and thus re-balancing the region.

A New Strategic Situation

So what has changed? Iran has just re-elected President Hassan Rouhani who upholds the JCPOA and who actively engages with the West, and does not exude any clear and present danger to Israel, or the region (ISIS and al-Qaeda apart). “Nothing to see here”: aside from some jostling with U.S. partner forces for future influence in Syria.

Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner, and his wife, Assistant to the President Ivanka Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus arrive at the Murabba Palace, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Clearly however, Debka does espy something new in the strategic situation. And they may be right. Ostensibly, on the surface, things may look the same, but two dynamics seem to be conflating that may account for official Israel’s high excitement. (It is not just Debka that is on a high – several senior intelligence and security officials at the recent Herzaliyia security conference, were also selling the imminent strategic change meme.)

One of the two conflating dynamics which might help us understand the enigma of Israeli satisfaction is this: a well-known Arab journalist wrote recently of a dinner held some months ago in the Gulf (with prominent Gulf guests), at which an unnamed former Arab Prime Minister was quizzed about MbS’ prospects of becoming king. What he said shocked the gathering. Some expressed their incredulity.

He said bluntly: if MbS wanted to come to the throne, he would need America’s blessings. He would need to offer them something that no one had offered before – that no one had dared to offer before. And what was that, the journalist asked the former PM that MbS must offer: “He must recognize Israel. If he does that, the U.S. will support him. They’ll even crown him themselves.”

In one of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, Holmes’s solution to a particular mystery rested on “the dog did that did not bark in the night.” Holmes’s point was why had the dog not barked when its nature is to bark.

It is common knowledge that the U.S. has been firmly committed to Prince Nayef succeeding King Salman. The authoritative Saudi insider and blogger Muhtahidd has tweeted that the U.S. sent messages last year to MbS warning that he should not seek to supplant Nayef. In July 2016,

Mujtahidd tweeted that Secretary of State John Kerry had told MbS that Nayef continuing as Crown Prince was a “red line” for the U.S.
Why then did the U.S. “dog” not bark on the night that MbS seized the succession, just before dawn? We have heard not one tiny growl on Nayef’s behalf. In fact, a trawl through Mutahhid’s early tweets lays it all bare … if one bothers to connect the dots.

A Kingmaker

The main actor in this drama is Mohammad bin Zayed (MbZ), the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, who according to Mutjtahidd recognized MbS’ ambition from early on, and saw in him an instrument by which MbZ could gain personal influence through becoming kingmaker in Saudi Arabia. From the outset MbZ apparently urged MbS to obtain America’s support for him becoming king – via the channel of Israeli full support.

President Trump shakes the hand of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman on May 20, 2017. (Screenshot from

In tweets from May 2, 2016, Mujtahhid describes MbZ’s advice to bin Salman: first, seize the succession to the throne before King Salman dies; second, gain U.S. favor by moving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia away from religious values – away from values that reinforce an Islamic identity, and third, expand ties with Israel.

Mujtahidd developed the third element in his tweets – ties to Israel – by saying that it began “shyly” as a lead-in to direct contacts. Senior Saudis were to be encouraged to participate in debates with Israelis (i.e. appearing on Israeli TV channels), while highlighting a common interest in combatting Iran and fighting “terrorism.”

MbZ was also reported by Mujtahidd as advising MbS to please Israel by supporting President Sisi of Egypt (with whom the Israelis have a close relationship) – and finally, Mujtahidd reports MbS (again in July last) that Netanyahu had met with MbS at Aqaba, three months earlier.

All of Mujtahidd’s points made over a year or more have been borne out in practice: The Saudi succession has been seized before the king has died; MbS has paraded his “opposition to religion” and Vision 2030 has emphasized a more secular, liberal economic identity for Saudi Arabia; Sisi has been supported (in spite of political differences); and Saudi ties to Israel have become incrementally more visible.

Mujtahidd is clear: There is no “big bang” shock recognition of Israel planned, but a continuing incrementalism (Israeli use of Saudi airspace, institution of telephone links, etc.).

On the one hand, Israel may be seeing the ambition and opportunism of two young men (MbZ and Mbs), but what “bakes the cake” for Israel, is the background, long-term dynamic of the declining legitimacy the Gulf “system” of monarchical, non-representational rule — a vulnerability exacerbated by financial tightening: an austerity that promises to limit Saudi ability to buy out popular disaffection.

This – the declining standing of Sunni authority and the leadership of Islam which the Saudis claim to be theirs and theirs alone – is what MbS and MbZ wish to reverse. Qatar was the first victim of their insistence on complete obedience.

Crosscurrents of Change

It was the “Arab Awakening” that initially fanned secular alienation with the absolute nature of the monarchial system, but then the Muslim Brotherhood doctrine of the Umma (the whole community of Muslims bound together by ties of religion) as sovereign, undermined it further, but from the Islamic stance. A left and a right punch. Also, the revisionist history of the first Islamic State, presented by ISIS, shreds Saudi’s religious credentials completely.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, on their arrival to Ben Gurion International Airport, May 22, 2017, in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

This is the combination that may be provoking such Israeli excitement: The ambition and opportunism of two young crown princes, coupled by their desire to restore Sunni authority (and the obedience of subordinate states) by mobilizing the Sunni world in a “jihad” against Iran and “terrorism,” must be music to some Israeli ears.

And this is the rabbit hole down which President Trump has fallen. It matters little whether the primary motive for Trump’s Riyadh fiesta was pecuniary, or whether it was triggered by son-in-law Jared Kushner’s ambitions. Either way, Trump has embraced pushback against Iran (and seemingly, regime change, as Rex Tillerson has implied). In fact, Trump seems to be surrounding himself more and more with anti-Iranian advisers. He seems to like the notion of leading an alliance of the U.S., Israel and the two Crown Princes pushing back against Iran and its “terrorism.”

The Shi’a — pilloried by the Sunni Establishment as discontents, rejectionists and revolutionaries — have over a thousand-year history. Language changes, but the Shi’a as (false) innovators, apostates, heretics – and now “terrorists” – are as old as Islam. Terrible persecutions have ensued over the centuries. And Shi’a Islam is no insignificant 10 percent minority — in the Arab heartland, it is more like 60-40 percent. In the northern crescent, it is some 100 million Shi’i to 30 million Sunnis. And Sh’ism is undergoing a profound revival.

What interest of America will be served by intruding into these ancient animosities? MbS, MbZ and Netanyahu may be American “allies,” but their interests are not America’s. The former might be happy for America to spill its blood in fighting their fights. But why should Trump want to do that?

Alastair Crooke is a former British diplomat who was a senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy. He is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum.

53 comments for “How Israeli/Saudi ‘Alliance’ Plays Trump

  1. July 4, 2017 at 04:16

    The Saudi Israel alliance is old news to those who Muhtahiddhave been attentive. They both prop up all the terror in the M. E.

  2. Michael Kenny
    July 3, 2017 at 10:24

    What Mr Crooke doesn’t explain is why a confrontation with Iran would be “dangerous”. He also leaves out of consideration that America’s foreign policy interests have been subordinated to Israel’s for at least the last 50 years.

  3. July 3, 2017 at 02:30

    You know, so many of you article writers try to push the notion that Trump is an idiot and a pushover. NOTHING could be further from the truth. Trump is smart! And he’s calculating. He set up for a positive response from those he’s negotiating with.
    But that’s OK. Go ahead, keep Trump bashing, it isn’t good for negotiations for too many people to know too much about them.

  4. mark
    July 2, 2017 at 20:08

    Trump may well engage in a crazy war of aggression against Iran. But if he does it will be the final nail in the coffin of American power.

  5. Cal
    July 1, 2017 at 22:07

    Get ready……from reading the Arab newspapers it appears everyone is lined up against Qatar and Iran…..and.the zios and neos are going for a BIG CONFLAGATION this time…their hyena droppings are every where.

    Asharq Al-Awsat

    *Mohammad Bin Zayed receives John McCain

    *Qatar Shut Out of Banks in Britain

    ‘Reuters reported that Lloyds Banking Group has stopped on Friday trading Qatari riyals and that the currency was no longer available for sale or buy-back at its high-street banks.
    The agency quoted a spokeswoman for the bank as saying that a “third-party supplier” that carries out its foreign exchange service had ceased trading in the currency from June 21.”
    (like to know who that 3rd party supplier is.)

    * Israel says UN force presence in Lebanon is

    A trifecta for Israel if they can take out Lebanon also…with no UN witnesses.

  6. As1991
    July 1, 2017 at 21:59

    I see. So, Mujtahid is reliable source of news. It is an anonymous account and not an informed source. It should not be taken as an evidence.

    • July 4, 2017 at 05:11

      Muhtahidd is a plant. You wait and see.

  7. Cal
    July 1, 2017 at 20:32

    ”But why should Trump want to do that?”>>>>>

    Because Trump is a dumb honking mule pulling the plow for the US Zionist Fifth Column he has surrounded himself with.

    Why he is willing to be their mule is another question… blackmail? stupidity?

  8. July 1, 2017 at 17:48

    Interesting article below:
    Make No Mistake, We Are Already at War in Syria
    Trump’s anti-war promises were just glib campaign rhetoric.
    By PHILIP GIRALDI • June 30, 2017

  9. Realist
    July 1, 2017 at 16:50

    Granted, Trump is being misled by the Saudis and the Israelis and the result might be a war that wipes out civilisation, but isn’t the entire Congress just as gung-ho for Armageddon as the White House? And wouldn’t Hillary Clinton already have delivered on nuclear annihilation if she had been elected? I could never see Vladimir Putin being able to manipulate or reason with Clinton who was out to prove she could best any man when it came to a fight, but perhaps he has the skills to massage Trump’s ego to mitigate this confrontation between our nuclear-armed nations. I dunno, suggest to Trump how Reaganesque he looks and how the history books can paint him as the American leader who avoided catastrophe by choosing peace and cooperation over war and confrontation. Trump likes making deals. Putin should have a bunch of economic development deals, linked to de-escalation of tensions along the lines of conflict, in his hip pocket to offer Trump. I’d still much rather have Trump trying to converse with Putin than Mrs. Clinton trying to intimidate the guy.

  10. Kowalski
    July 1, 2017 at 16:39

    I don’t understand the part about how Israel went from friendly relations with Iran to hostile relations. What. Is the point that Israel just has to be in an antagonistic relationship with an “enemy” at all times and relations with the Arabs were getting friendlier? I don’t get it.

    • Cal
      July 1, 2017 at 22:11

      You don’t understand Israel and the zionist….everyone is their enemy….everyone.

      • Kowalski
        July 2, 2017 at 00:41

        No Cal. I do understand Israel and the zionist. In a general sense. I get it. I get the persecution complex, the eternal victim BS, I get it. What I’m asking for, if Abe or someone like that is feeling generous, is an explication of how Iran was turned into Israel’s “enemy” for political reasons. I would like a point-by-point explanation, and if it checks out, then that’s something I’ve learned and that I can use in arguments with hasbrats. Capiche?

        • Cal
          July 2, 2017 at 05:38

          Yea but no time now for a long history.

          Short story is Iran and Israel had a sort of cold peace . Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel.
          After the 1953 coup d’état in Iran when the US installed the US puppet Shah, relations between the two countries got closer.
          But after the 1979 Revolution, which deposed the Shah Iran severed all diplomatic and commercial ties with Israel.
          Israel had been getting oil from Iran during the Shah’s reign.. still owes Iran as matter of fact for oil supplied.
          Anyway after Iran severed commercial ties with Israel it got put on Israel’s hit list.
          During the time Israel traded with Iran Saudi was Israel’s avowed enemy—-now its reversed.
          I am sure Iran saw the handwriting on the wall and today’s Israel-Saudi agenda coming—-Saudi and Israel both fearing Iran’s political influence in the region—Israel wanting to be the hegemon of the ME (with its nukes) and Saudi also ‘wanting to continue’ to be the top dog.

          If Israel is successful in their original ‘Clean Break Plan’—which called for toppling Iraq, Syria and Iran—then they will go back to trying to topple the Saudi Throne. Maybe they will kill each other off—-we can always hope.

          • FobosDeimos
            July 2, 2017 at 10:40

            You forget the very close, thogh not so in the open, alliance between Israel and Iran during the eight years of the Irak-Iran war. With Israeli advisors working in Tehran until 1988, and with Israel supplying arms too. At the same time, the Americans supported their CIA asset Saddam. I think that once Saddam failed to win the war he himself had launched, the Isarelis turned against Iran, simply because they could not “tolerate” the presence of an indepedent, strong power in the ME. Probably the Labor government in 1992 was the first one to state openly that position, after the end of the Irak-Iran war.

          • Kowalski
            July 4, 2017 at 16:36

            many thanks

  11. July 1, 2017 at 15:25

    I believe what we are seeing is, “ Heinous hypocrites…” in positions of power, that are using their countries military as hit men in illegal wars. Iraq, Libya, Syria are just some examples. Now Iran appears to be next on their illegal agenda. Much more info at link below:

  12. Andrew Dabrowski
    July 1, 2017 at 14:31

    Can we now put aside this nonsense that a secret cabal of deep government is using Russian election hacking as a pretext to depose the rightfully crowned President? Such a cabal may or may not exist, and the hacking may or may not have occurred, but clearly the former has no motive to use the latter to attack Trump – he’s one of them.

    The attacks on Trump are happening because that is the way the politics game is played now – taking the high road is no longer a viable option.

  13. Abe
    July 1, 2017 at 14:23

    Trump’s purported deviation from US foreign policy orthodoxy was a propaganda scam engineered by the Israel Lobby from the very beginning.

    Trump received the “Liberty Award” for his contributions to US-Israel relations at a 3 February 2015 gala hosted by The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news.

    “We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent.”
    VIDEO minutes 2:15-8:06

    After the event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, which raised speculation about a Trump bid for the presidency. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

    Hints of Trump’s break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel’s commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel’s undivided capital, were all stage-managed for the campaign.

    Cheap theatrics notwithstanding, the Zionist Power Configuration continues to enjoy front-door access to the White House and unconditional support from Trump.

    Trump’s national security appointees are part of Official Washington’s “we-love-Israel” group think, also known as “the Establishment,” dramatically increasing the likelihood of yet another Mideast war waged on behalf of Israel.

    Instead of speaking euphemistically about “Iran-haters” or talking generally about “hawks”, it’s time to accurately identify these characters as “Israel Lobby money-lovers” and “pro-Israel warmongers”.

    After we establish accurate terminology and clear perspective, we can address Israel’s arsenal of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, including its supply of Sarin nerve gas. That nasty stuff gets around, you know.

    • Cal
      July 1, 2017 at 21:50


  14. Abe
    July 1, 2017 at 13:31

    “In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone ‘play-crazy’ — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon. However, the ‘play-crazy’ gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a ‘puppet’ and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all.

    “Psycho-babble masquerading as political analysis is usually useless, but Trump is a babbler who is acting psycho. Hillary Clinton gives the impression of being more disciplined than Trump, but is nevertheless criminally insane, a howling homicidal fiend who would have issued an unacceptable ultimatum to the leaders of Syria and Russia long before hitting the 100-day mark in her presidency. The world might have been a cold cinder by now, had Hillary been allowed to return to the White House. The planet’s epitaph would read: Humans evolved, Clinton became president, everybody died.

    “There is no good way out of terminal crisis for U.S. imperialism, other than to surrender to the verdict of history – which, for the imperialist, is an unthinkable horror that drives them to risk suicide while routinely murdering millions. ‘Better dead than Red’ remains the imperialist maxim, even though their antagonists are mainly capitalists, these days. It is actually quite logical that the heads of both imperial parties are bonkers, and that the politician considered by millions to be the ‘progressive’ alternative is also an imperialist pig — the only kind of animal that is allowed on this farm.

    “Donald Trump was always pretty dumb, but there was a time less than a year ago when he was sufficiently in control of his meager faculties to understand, in a twisted ‘cracker’ kind of way, that Barack Obama was ‘the founder of ISIS’ and his co-founder is Hillary Clinton. That’s an essentially correct statement, in that President Obama and his secretary of state unleashed such a torrent of weapons and money to favored jihadists that the emergence of ISIS, impatient to establish a caliphate on captured territory, was both inevitable and predicted. […]

    “Most of the world knows full well that the U.S. and western Europe have grown dependent on Islamic jihadists to buttress imperial interests in the Muslim world.”

    Trump Competes With Hillary in U.S. War of Lies and Terror Against Syria
    By Glen Ford

  15. F. G. Sanford
    July 1, 2017 at 13:02

    I keep thinking there must be an historical analogy for the scenario depicted herein. It would have to be something like the Trojan horse or the rape of the Sabine women, but those don’t really work. Has anybody ever seen that video of – I think it was Nasser back in the fifties – making jokes about how anybody in their right mind could consider the ridiculous proposition of making women wear the headscarf? The audience laughed hysterically…but here we are. Come on, is there anything so mutable as Middle Eastern loyalties, alliances or policies? And now, we’re talking about two countries ideologically informed by bronze age cultism. One is completely and anachronistically medieval. The other was the victim of the most notorious medieval pogrom: The Inquisition. Obviously, the Israelis are either hopelessly naive or motivated by completely nefarious ambitions. The latter seems more likely.

    MbS plans to “recognize Israel”? Let’s see how far that gets. The King bumped his nephew, who by all accounts is reasonably well educated. He placed his son, who is a bumbling incompetent, in succession to the “throne”. Does anybody see a three-d chess move there? Any notion that MbS has a plan for secularization of the regime or diversification of the economy had better take a closer look. Things have only gotten worse. In fact, the most likely outcome here is a pike with an MbS head on it.

    The “far enemy” is still Israel, and if push comes to shove, I’d be surprised if Sunnis would side with them in a suicide pact against the Shia. But you never know. The desert sand can absorb a lot of blood. That pejorative old adage, “They brought it on themselves”, may yet survive to find a context in which it is irrefutably true.

    • Sam F
      July 2, 2017 at 11:56

      Yes, the US oligarchy has long chosen to ally with countries led by their own primitive and greedy fanatics, an historic disgrace.

      Good point about the shakiness of KSA and Israel and any war alliance between them. Israel lost in Lebanon. KSA has very small forces and is unstable, and may get worse as jihadis return from Syria/Iraq. Together they cannot invade or hold territory in Iran, and without the US they are just making enemies. But the US cannot afford a ground war in Iran, not many could be deceived that there was any cause for it but zionist bribery, and most Trump supporters would rebel against such a violation of campaign promises.

      Israel and KSA have just enough aerial forces to make the enemies who will topple them, and no one will miss them. A good reason for the US to stay out of the Mideast altogether.

  16. Aj
    July 1, 2017 at 12:44

    What a load of Crap!

  17. Gregory Herr
    July 1, 2017 at 12:10

    People here may enjoy Ray McGovern’s talk at the National Press Club in 2014 about the idea of Israel being an ally:

    You gotta love the joke about a proposal for Israel to become a 51st state…rejected by Likud because it would mean “we would only have two Senators”.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 1, 2017 at 12:25

      The entire program of which Ray was a part, including speakers such as Gareth Porter, Philip Giraldi, Paul Pillar, and Cynthia McKinney, can be found here:

    • Sam F
      July 1, 2017 at 12:32

      Darn, I had just figured out how to fit just one more star on the flag for Puerto Rico! Perhaps we can just ask PR to become the new Israel, and give the old one to AlQaeda, Isis & co in exchange for Sunni/Shiite peace agreements. Then wait and see whether the Israelis take the lands of the Puerto Ricans.

    • Bart in Virginia
      July 1, 2017 at 16:15

      Shouldn’t that be “two additional Senators”?

  18. delia ruhe
    July 1, 2017 at 11:59

    This is the first I’ve heard of Muhtahidd or Mujtahidd or Mutahhid or Mutjtahidd (have you any more ways of spelling this guy’s name, Mr. Crooke?). Who is he (besides an “authoritative Saudi insider and blogger”)? If he’s an insider, he must be a member of the royal family, or a servant very close to a member.

    • Saadia AlQahtani
      July 4, 2017 at 05:54

      He’s well informed because I am getting the same info from other insiders. Employees and such.

  19. July 1, 2017 at 11:36

    Why is there no article about Supreme Court Racist Decision this week???????????

    • Sam F
      July 1, 2017 at 12:24

      Which one – do you have a link?

  20. July 1, 2017 at 11:35

    However, in my view, Trump wasn’t “played” by the Israeli-Saudi Alliance. He is a fully-fledged member of the establishment that supports such moves.

    Trump is a faux populist just like Obama. Except maybe more a reliable bastard.

    A “Faux populist” leader is the best mask for an inverted totalitarian government.

    Perhaps we should revisit Trump’s association with the Clintons?

    • glitch
      July 1, 2017 at 13:42

      Indeed. And the Clintons’ association with Bushes could use a deep look as well.

    • FobosDeimos
      July 2, 2017 at 10:27

      I agree! Trump lied all the way to the White House in so many fields, that by now it should be clear to everyone how he is not being “played” by anybody. He is what his actions show him to be.

    • July 3, 2017 at 12:36

      Trump would probably find it hard to find Iran on a map…he is most likely “played’ by his son-in-law, who is in turn played by Aipac…but the result is the same. The danger I believe is once control over all the intelligence agencies is consolidated there will be no dissent over any attack…we are already witnessing this in Yemen where we are financing the Saudi’s vicious attacks on a dissident sect.

  21. Sam F
    July 1, 2017 at 11:22

    Indeed, no interests of the US are served by Mideast military intervention:
    1. The interests of scheming zionists and Sunnis are unrelated to those of the US.
    2. Trump’s zionist/Sunni manipulators are the terrorists, falsely attributing terrorism to Iran.
    3. An Israeli attack on Iran in no way obligates the US to join in.

    • Steven A
      July 2, 2017 at 11:05

      Sam F: I agree with your bullet points, with the following amendment: One should stress that by “Sunnis” you are actually referring to a subset among Sunnis, the “Sunni sectarians” (or “takfiris”). Indeed, this fact may already be implicit in your wording, which specifies “scheming” … Sunnis and …/Sunni “manipulators”, though it isn’t made explicit. The Sunni sectarian attitude is exemplified by the claim that “Shia are apostates, and if you (as a Sunni) don’t agree, you yourself an apostate.” The takfiris are thus enemies of most Sunnis, who are not sectarian in this sense. On the other side of this divide, one has, to cite the Syrian example, the Syrian state (supported by the majority of Syrian Sunnis), Iran and Hezbollah all fighting for Syria’s secular identity.

      • Sam F
        July 2, 2017 at 11:18

        Yes, I intended to not overgeneralize to all Sunnis, only those scheming, and appreciate your emphasis.

  22. July 1, 2017 at 11:20

    Insightful and important analysis.

  23. Joe Tedesky
    July 1, 2017 at 11:08

    While I read this excellent report by Crooke, and took into consideration all of his story’s twists and turns, I think of how all of my fellow Americans who don’t follow the news outside of the MSM bubble, and how they are missing out on learning the details of what our alliances are in this Middle East disaster. I think of how hard it will be to carry on an in depth conversation with my neighbor regarding the Middle East, without my neighbor having full advantage of all of the facts. So even with the small percentage of us who do try and follow the facts as we dig into finding out such things, our nation will still be at odds with a bigger part of our population left to decide what’s right and what’s wrong about our American involvement in the Middle East while this larger part of us knows very little. In other words we Americans are left with a huge information deficit in our majority, and with this glaring obstacle of lowly informed people, then how do we change anything when nobody knows what needs to be changed because they don’t know any better?

    For all practical purposes our nation has no responsible news agencies informing the larger masses of the news, with objective and diverse reporting. There is no discussion on a larger level of country’s involvement with such nations and Middle East regions such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. Most Americans are led to believe that Israel is the vanguard of democracy in the Middle East, and that Saudi Arabia is just a bunch of (excuse the expression) rich ragheads with lots of well needed oil…got to keep the car running ya know. So the question is, how does the American citizen get smart with all of this stuff going on in the Middle East? Answer; they won’t. This in my opinion is proof of the success of keeping the average American stupid to what our country is really up to. This dumbing down of America should come with a piece of paper where one could graduate with a Doctorate of Dumb, and then you could go on to live the American Dream.

    • mike k
      July 1, 2017 at 11:41

      You have it exactly right Joe. The ignorance of the American People is our big problem. I have long had a solution for that, but nobody wants to do it. Small voluntary study groups. I belong to on, but getting new members is a real problem. People just don’t really want to know the truth. As those here know, it takes real work to learn the truth.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 1, 2017 at 12:12

        If I lived near you I would join your news information group just in order to help save my sanity. This need of mine to seek out others who are acquainted with the news as I know it is the very reason I frequent this site.
        Without a well informed public, then tell me how this country can make well informed decisions regarding war and peace, it can’t.

      • mike k
        July 1, 2017 at 12:14

        should read ‘I belong to one.’

      • Cal
        July 1, 2017 at 20:35

        Why do you think that the first thing revolutionaries do is take over all information outlets and the media.

      • iFalk
        July 3, 2017 at 13:39

        If you think its bad for you, try being a female. I never have anyone to talk to about these political and world intrigues. Women are on average below men when it comes to knowing what is going on and being able to carry on a conversation about Middle East strategy, politics, etc (and I don’t mean to be negative about women as many are simply too busy with work and taking care of their homes/family). Men don’t want to talk to women about these things, they want to talk to other men.
        So, it’s nice to have knowledge about what is really going on and the ability to read an article, like this one and many more, and actually understand what they are saying, and who the the people are they are writing about. But, I don’t know what good it really does to “know”.

    • Wake Up
      July 1, 2017 at 15:51

      Except Rt America, Counterpunch, DemocracyNow, TruthDig ect. The actual anti-war left systematically removed from any discussion by fear-mongering propaganda spewed by MSM.

      Despite the fact approval ratings for corporate news media in the United States are at an all time low, somehow Russia-gate slips through the cracks of evidence-less assumptions Americans are needlessly clinging to as a desperate scapegoat to avoid taking responsibility for their problems.

      But as long as Americans continue to get their news from bs conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones — despite blatant evidence that manufactured narratives spewed by Bannon, Stone, Jones and others contributed significantly to the rise of right-wing populism and consequently handed Trump the presidency — yes, responsible news media will continue to be ignored.

      Russia didn’t steal the election — Elections are rigged through a combination of legitimate voter suppression programs including the nationwide Crosscheck program, the corporate news media’s obsession with ratings (and consequently Trump), DNC corruption, public complacency, and the two party system systematically blacklisting any candidates that even remotely attempted to push narratives that challenged Wall Street or the corporate elite in this country.

    • Wake Up
      July 1, 2017 at 16:08

      “There is no discussion on a larger level of country’s involvement with such nations and Middle East regions such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. Most Americans are led to believe that Israel is the vanguard of democracy in the Middle East, and that Saudi Arabia is just a bunch of (excuse the expression) rich ragheads with lots of well needed oil…got to keep the car running ya know. So the question is, how does the American citizen get smart with all of this stuff going on in the Middle East?”

      Rt America literally reports on all these issues on a weekly basis from an anti-interventionist, anti-imperialist perspective.

      They don’t whitewash the crimes Israel or Saudi Arabia.

      Probably part of the reason why the establishment unleashed their ridiculous propaganda campaign against them, just saying.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 1, 2017 at 19:48

        Thanks for your comment Wake Up. All the alternative sites you have mentioned are worthy of praise, as these sites are our escape from the MSM propaganda mill. Go ahead and trash Jones, Bannon, and Roger Stone all you want, because these guys represent the other side of the counterfeit coin that calls itself the news. Again Wake Up thanks for your response Joe

    • Westrn Insurgent
      July 1, 2017 at 18:54

      Spot on observations Joe. The situation you describe in relation to Americas role in the Middle East (a growing disconnect between people who still think for themselves and the majority that passively consume whatever the MSM throws at them) is happening all over the Western world…from the US and Canada to the UK, France, Germany etc.

      It’s not just about the US and the Middle East, it is about the future of western democracy and how the global order is organized. The stakes could not be higher. The MSM no longer reports “news” it feeds people a narrative that pushes continued globalization and the dissolution of the nation state, utopian multiculturalism and a world run for and by a handful of cosmopolitan “elites” who would be happy to see the rest of us turned into 21st century serfs.

      Russia, China, Syria, Iran etc. are “enemies” because they aren’t prepared to give up their national sovereignty to a bunch of bankers, tech billionaires and other unhinged parasites who feel it is their divine right to rule the entire planet. The Middle Eastern fracas described by Crooke is part of this bigger trend.

      The hard-selling of identity politics, ostensibly about “respect” and “caring” about all people, is mainly about control. Using shame and guilt and anger over legitimate grievances to drive people apart and while we all fight among ourselves they consolidate their power and control over us. That is the plan anyway. I have a feeling it won’t play out quite like the “elites” expect.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 1, 2017 at 19:55

        You are right Westrn Insurgent. Most people are being betrayed by the very institutions we were raised to respect. Some people hang on longer than others towards their paying respect to these institutions, so with that the institutions still have a platform from where to spew their lies. Eventually as the lies continue, and more people wake up to the realization that these institutions have not only left us down, bet that they lied all the way to bankruptcy and war to get us there. When this day of revelation comes it won’t be too soon, since most of the damage has been done already. Thanks for your opinion Westrn Insurgent Joe

    • July 4, 2017 at 23:37

      Joe,…it’s not all stupidity…I believe a good deal of it is willful ignorance, like not wanting to believe another guy’s misfortune wasn’t deserved if you think you might benefit from the results. Many people just want an answer that won;t tax their conscience.

  24. mike k
    July 1, 2017 at 11:05

    These Mideastern Pros are playing Trump for the witless fool he is. The American People, and the World are in for a crazy ride. As if the Mideast is not crazy enough without our meddling and Trump’s egotistical stupidity. American Empire embraces Jewish/Arab Tarbaby! Like the Roman and other Empires, as decline deepens the US leaders and their policies become increasingly irrational and self-destructive….

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