Strange Twists in the Hariri Mystery

French President Macron has invited Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Paris, a possible opportunity to determine whether Hariri’s sudden resignation, announced in Saudi Arabia, was coerced, as Dennis J Bernstein reports.

By Dennis J Bernstein

The strange case of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his surprise resignation, delivered in Saudi Arabia, has developed international overtones with rumors about his possible kidnapping by the Saudis and France extending an invitation for him to come to Paris before possibly returning to Lebanon.

Saad Hariri of Lebanon in Washington. July 2017. (Wikipedia)

Because of concerns that his resignation may have been extracted by the Saudis under duress, the Lebanese government has refused to accept it unless he tenders it in person. In an interview last Sunday, Hariri looked harried and nervous. At one point the camera caught a man holding up some kind of sign behind the interviewer, as if he was trying to direct Hariri’s comments.

I spoke again to Beirut-based political activist and environmentalist Rania Masri on Nov. 13 about the Hariri case. Masri is an Arab-American academic, an expert in the workings of the Lebanese government, and has been doing regular translations of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Facebook.

Dennis Bernstein: Let’s start with your response to the latest developments.  The prime minister says he would like to return to Lebanon.

Rania Masri: Yesterday there was an interview conducted in Saudi Arabia.  Saudi individuals were present during the interview.  When you look at what Hariri actually said at this interview, it appears that the Saudi plan so far has not been successful.  We have Hariri saying he wants to return to Lebanon, he is not sure when that will be, and that he will proceed with the resignation when he is here unless things change.  So he left the door open for possibly not resigning.

As to why this is happening, you have to look at the events of the last two weeks.  Saturday, [November 4], Saad Hariri read a statement that many of us believe was written by the Saudis.  The Lebanese president and speaker of the house reject that statement of resignation because it was given while he was abroad.  There is an almost total consensus that Hariri has been held captive since Friday.

During this time, it has become very apparent that Saudi Arabia has been in discussions with the US and Israeli governments and has been encouraging the Israeli government to attack Lebanon.  The Lebanese president believes that he has gotten word that the Saudis and the Israelis are actually discussing something akin to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.  We are not talking about a war such as what occurred in 2006 but the possibility of an invasion like the one that took place in 1982.

So the political rhetoric has been escalated by the Saudis.  They have basically declared war on Lebanon.  The Saudi plan was to threaten Lebanon with military destruction and hope that the Lebanese would rise up against Hezbollah, leading to a civil war.  That plan has completely failed.

Dennis Bernstein: What has been Hezbollah’s response to these extraordinary developments?

Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah.

Rania Masri: [Secretary General of Hezbollah] Hassan Nasrallah gave two talks this week concerning the resignation and the need for national unity.  In the second talk he spoke to the contents of the resignation letter and responded to these Saudi threats. Nasrallah believes that Saudi Arabia has asked Israel to attack Lebanon and is willing to support this effort with millions of dollars.  We know from statements from the Saudi ministries that the Saudi government has declared war on all of Lebanon, not just Hezbollah.

Hezbollah condemns Saudi intervention in Lebanon.  They consider it an insult that the Lebanese prime minister is being held against his will and they call for his return to Lebanon.  If he wants to resign, he should do so from the presidential palace.  Hezbollah considers the declared resignation to be unconstitutional, illegal and illegitimate, because it was not voluntary.

Nasrallah has continued to call for de-escalation.  He points out that Saudi Arabia has seen all of its actions in the region fail–whether it be in Yemen, in Bahrain, in Syria, or in Iraq.  Nasrallah believes that, as a result of this, Saudi Arabia is now venting its anger against Lebanon.  He also points out that if Saudi Arabia really wants to, it can find ways to punish Hezbollah directly instead of attacking the entire country.

Dennis Bernstein: What role do you see the United States playing here?

Rania Masri: I have to say that I don’t know what the US position is.  The Saudis recognize that they have not achieved the level of support they would like.  It is not really clear what the next step will be by the United States.  What is clear is that the Israeli press is not enthusiastic about launching a war against Lebanon to fulfill Saudi aims.

Dennis Bernstein: Is all of this driven by what appears to be the profound failure of the Saudis in Syria?

Saudi defense minister, Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud

Rania Masri: There are several issues at play.  Historically, the Saudi government has always sought to create enemies, very much in the way the US government has.  The de facto ruler in the country, Mohammed bin Salman, has proven himself to be a strategic failure.  In Syria all they have managed to do is cause massive death and destruction through their support of ISIS and through their support for the destruction of Damascus and for regime change there.

We also know that there has been strong collaboration of Israel during the process.  When we look at the military record of Saudi Arabia in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria, we know that they are capable of great destruction.  But they are not capable of transformation and change.  I believe that this is an attempt on the part of the Saudis to vent their frustration and anger at numerous political failures and to achieve what has long been both a Saudi and Israeli goal, which is the destruction of the resistance movement in Lebanon.

Dennis Bernstein: I understand that the Saudi government has asked all of its citizens to leave Lebanon.  What are your worst fears at this point?

Rania Masri: Yes, the Saudi and the Bahraini and the Kuwaiti governments have asked their citizens to leave the country.  We know that they have directly intervened to force our prime minister to resign and to impose a new prime minister on Lebanon.  This they have failed to do.  They are also working to pressure the Gulf states and other countries to sanction Lebanon.

And there is open talk of a Saudi/Israeli attack on Lebanon.  Personally, I don’t think that is likely.  There are other options.  They could instigate terrorist acts in the country, as they did in Syria.  But the stronger and more unified the country and the leadership is, the harder it will be for the Saudi government to cause disunity and civil tension.

Dennis Bernstein: Are people following all of this closely in Lebanon?

Rania Masri: We have gone through so many wars and attacks over the past twenty years that we suffer from a kind of fatigue.  However, we have regular conversations among friends as to whether there will be another war and, if so, what it will look like.  At the same time, many people in the country feel strengthened by the military prowess and the resolve of Hezbollah.  Many feel that, if we did not have Hezbollah, the likelihood of an Israeli attack would be much higher.

It is really critical for people in the United States to understand that the Trump administration and the American Congress has continued to support this apartheid regime in Israel which has consistently issued threats against Lebanon.  The US government has continued to strengthen its relationship with the Saudi Arabian government despite the ongoing war crimes the Saudis have been committing in Yemen.  Regardless of what happens in Lebanon, it is necessary for the US government to reevaluate its ties with the Saudi Arabian government or, at the very least, to stop the massive arm sales.

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom. You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net.

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32 comments for “Strange Twists in the Hariri Mystery

  1. Zachary Smith
    November 17, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    U.S. officials have become increasingly concerned that American military aid to the Lebanese army is arming the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah, which has been amassing a large cache of advanced arms on Israel’s border, according to multiple current and former U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

    Following the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who fled the country and disclosed that Hezbollah controls the entirety of Lebanon, the U.S. government has continued its support for the Lebanese military, which multiple sources say has long been under the thumb of Hezbollah militants.

    That’s an Israeli propaganda site whining about the US giving small amounts of money and weapons to the Lebanese army. Just off the top of my head, I’d say that this was a long-term effort to build up the Army to someday challenge Hezbollah – or with even better luck, to start a civil war. I’m guessing Holy Israel is worried that in the event they attack Lebanon again, the Army might do the unthinkable – fire those artillery rounds and Hellfire missiles at God’s Favorite Thieves and Murderers. So they’re telling their pet poodles in the Congress to agitate for it to stop.

  2. SteveK9
    November 17, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    I know it would be a catastrophe, but sometimes I think how nice it would be if Iran kicked the hell out of Saudi Arabia.

  3. mike k
    November 17, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    It is very hard to establish peace in the Mideast while the gang of three – Israel, Saudis, and USA – are busy starting wars everywhere they can. Those behind this are truly evil people who are determined enemies of peace.

    • Paul G.
      November 26, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      The basic divide and conquer theory at work; except that everybody local suffer while the outsiders instigate chaos. Glad Hillary is not around to orchestrate this ongoing train wreck. Trumpenfuhrer may not be bright-or consistent-enough to facilitate this mess effectively.

  4. Nostradamus
    November 17, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Now what are the chances of Hariri getting assassinated by Mossad in Paris to perpetuate the Saudi/ Iran Proxy War?

    • Seer
      November 17, 2017 at 10:38 pm

      I think that it wouldn’t do anything but more of what has happened already, and that’s that there’s a greater unification of the Lebanese. Hezbolla didn’t flinch: this was meant to get them to react, which would then be the signal for the Saudis/Israelis/US to jump in. The “plan” was total crap. The Saudis got snookered into holding the steaming turd. Consider this the beginning of the end to overt Saudi actions.

      • Annie
        November 17, 2017 at 11:41 pm

        Hezbollah isn’t going to initiate this war, but you’re being rather optimistic if you don’t think there is a real possibility a war will not break out in Lebanon. We have an agenda and Lebanon and Iran are on our hit list. Remember the Project for a New American Century? The following countries were on our hit list, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Libya were all listed, also Lebanon, Somalia and Sudan. So far only Iran and Lebanon have escaped our good intentions.

        • Seer
          November 18, 2017 at 11:56 am

          The war has already been initiated. But, yes, and we seem in agreement, Hezbollah isn’t going to fall for getting sucked in to what is a trap.

          The thing to keep in mind, and I cannot stress this enough, is that Russia is pretty much in the region for good. Actions against Lebanon cannot occur without pulling Syria into any such conflict. The Russians know that things in Lebanon will spill over into Syria. And, given the connections between Hezbollah and Iran any direct attack on Hezbollah will pull in Iran (much like attacks on Syria pulled in Russia). One could argue whether this is the plan by the neocons, but plans don’t always succeed. Saudis aren’t going to be able to do the heavy lifting. That only leaves Israel. And, as seems the case at this point, Israel doesn’t appear willing to initiate what could end up being the war for all the marbles (w/o total commitment by the US- I doubt that there would be sufficient support by the US population, which is why Israel has been working so hard to infiltrate US media outlets and government [“alternate media” has been the last protective shield against full take-over of “hearts and minds”]).

          PNAC failed to consider Russia. What else did it fail to consider? Syria, as we know, wasn’t pulled off (and won’t be); and Syria is huge, big enough that it will likely totally derail any hopes of executing the plan. I’m also thinking that an error in judgment was made with Turkey. Turkey could flip: seems that they and Russia have somewhat mended their relationship (Putin was smart in not retaliating against the shoot-down of its plane).

          • Curious
            November 18, 2017 at 9:45 pm

            Seer,
            I agree with your comment, but as a clarification, Putin did retaliate economically by pulling the Russian tourists out, combined with a food embargo. That move crashed a lot businesses and it was remarkable to see the empty beaches in Turkey. He also put the S-400 in Syria and said effectively “let Erdogen try that move again”
            I also wonder about Turkey flipping. With the recent decision by Erdogen to pull his troops out of another of the NATO excercises (too many to count) in Norway because he was on the ‘enemies Chart’, combined with the coup-non-coup attempt (by operation Gladio types, or a displaced rival in the US,or NATO itself?), there is a lot to understand. And admittedly I don’t understand the dynamics. That Erdogen wants buy the S-400s and eventual S-500s from Russia seems to have already ticked off the NATO people. They are wondering about his 100 plane order for the eventual sometimes-flying-underpowered-albatross-money-pit-of-a-software-debacle known as the F35s and how the S-400s can’t integrate with this flying nightmare, I would think perhaps NATO is nevertheless putting pressure on Erdogen to ‘play along’.
            With so much going on why does the US still have 50 some odd nukes sitting at Incirlik resting until they get re-fused by the stupid ex-President Nobel prize winning decision maker?
            I realize this was a rather wordy way of saying I agree, but until our news media starts to clarify the intricacies surrounding Turkey we have to just keep fishing for information. Even when they do try to clarify these dynamics, it will undoubtably be wrong or agenda driven anonymous gossip.

  5. Annie
    November 17, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    When I was reading the article Jane Goodall’s book came to mind, My Life with Chimpanzees. In her book, one particular chimp named Mike was low man on the totem pole until he got himself a few kerosene cans and started running around clashing them together, making lots of noise, intimidating others higher up, even alpha chimp, although he initially put up some resistance, he ultimately came to groom Mike. Mike got to be the leader of the pack. Ruthlessness is the name of the game, and as Machiavelli said, better to be feared then loved. Prince Mohammad bin Salman, feeling low man on the totem pole, after Saudi Arabia’s losses is saber rattling trying to become alpha chimp again. The same could be said of Israel and the US, since their agenda to overthrow Syria, and Obama’s Iran deal dealt them a blow. Unfortunately these alpha states now have bombs, and missiles to insure they remain on top, and man is more ruthless then any chimp. Israel did say that a war with Lebanon would not be a war restricted to Hezbollah, but a war on all of the people of Lebanon. Oh, ruthlessness.

  6. backwardsevolution
    November 18, 2017 at 2:16 am

    I don’t believe that the Saudi prince is trying to escalate anything. I think he took out the Saudi crooks (the family princes) who were paying for ISIS, siding with Israel, bombing Yemen and padding the Clinton coffers.

    The article I posted on the last thread I think speaks to what is really going on:

    “On Monday, the kingdom announced that the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen would begin reopening airports and seaports in the Arab world’s poorest country, days after closing them over a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh.

    The move came just hours after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who shocked the nation by announcing his resignation from the Saudi capital on Nov. 4, gave an interview in which he backed off his strident condemnation of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah, saying he would return to the country within days to seek a settlement with the Shiite militants, his rivals in his coalition government.

    The two developments suggest that Saudi Arabia’s bullish young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, may be trying to pedal back from the abyss of a severe regional escalation.”

    Harari is a Sunni, and apparently he’s now saying that he will return to Lebanon and start seeking a settlement with the Shiites. Harari was Prime Minister of Lebanon from November, 2009 to June, 2011. He then lived overseas until August, 2014, and was then made Prime Minister again in November of 2016.

    “On 12 December 2012, Syria issued a warrant for the arrest of Hariri, Future bloc deputy Okab Sakr and Free Syrian Army official Louay Almokdad on charges of arming and providing financial support for Syrian opposition groups. Hariri released a statement in response, describing Bashar Assad as a “monster”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saad_Hariri

    I think Harari had been working with the Saudi crooks (the ones now under house arrest), Israel and the U.S. to stir up trouble. He’s now going to make peace (or attempt to) with Hezbollah.

    This is a de-escalation. Stopping the war in Syria, stopping the war in Yemen, stopping the threat of war with Iran. This is what I see the new Saudi prince doing.

    • John
      November 19, 2017 at 1:23 am

      Wow that’s a rather unique perspective. I hope you’re right but I doubt it, pessimist that I am.

      • Drogon
        November 20, 2017 at 4:53 pm

        You’re right to be pessimistic, John. Unfortunately, backwardsevolution is well-known for being an uncritical apologist for policies of the Trump administration. Apparently he’s either unaware or unwilling to admit that Donald Trump has openly supported the hard-line policies of Benjamin Netanyahu and opposed the Iran nuclear deal for years.

  7. godenich
    November 18, 2017 at 4:23 am

    “Regardless of what happens in Lebanon, it is necessary for the US government to reevaluate its ties with the Saudi Arabian government or, at the very least, to stop the massive arm sales.”

    Edmund Burke[1] and Smedley Butler[2] hit the nail on the head. As long as there is a source of profit for any business and government[3,4] , there will remain “High Priests of War” [5]. The business transactions for the Louisiana Purchase between Thomas Jefferson, Lord Cromer (Barings Bank) and Napoleon in 1803 may have added a bit of suspense to a CS Forester novel. The 2005 Hollywood movie “Lord of War” is an intriguing flick.

    [1] William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, Wikipedia
    [2] War is a Racket by Smedley Butler, 1935
    [3] The Income Tax by Edwin RA Seligman, 1911
    [4] Origins of the Income Tax by Mares & Queralt, 2015
    [5] Zaharoff, High Priest of War by Guiles Davenport, 1934

  8. geeyp
    November 18, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Rania Masia : “…..the Saudi Gov. has always sought to create enemies, very much in the way the US gov. has.” How do you like that statement? How does it make you feel? Truth and nothing else. And then we have Hariri ….. Who are his cohorts? Is Netanyahu an intimate? Not worth considering? Or did he just pull a Palin? Some spell it rouge …….I spell it rogue.

  9. backwardsevolution
    November 18, 2017 at 8:58 am

    “Qatar’s foreign minister said the tiny emirate has U.S. backing to resolve the ongoing crisis with a Saudi-led alliance, but the country is also prepared should its Gulf Arab neighbors make military moves. The Trump administration is encouraging all sides to end the dispute and has offered to host talks at the Camp David presidential retreat, but only Qatar has agreed to the dialogue, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani said Friday.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-17/qatar-says-it-has-u-s-backing-in-lingering-crisis-with-saudis

  10. backwardsevolution
    November 18, 2017 at 9:01 am

    “Hariri, 47, hasn’t returned to Lebanon since his shock resignation announcement from Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4, which sparked fears of an escalating regional conflict between the kingdom and Iran. The Saudi government has denied accusations it was holding Hariri against his will. The kingdom recalled its ambassador to Germany in response to comments made by Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

    Hariri weighed in on the spat, suggesting that Gabriel has accused the kingdom of holding him hostage. “To say that I am held up in Saudi Arabia and not allowed to leave the country is a lie. I am on the way to the airport, Mr. Sigmar Gabriel,” he said on Twitter.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-18/hariri-arrives-in-paris-with-family-amid-saudi-iran-tensions

    Harari has said he will return to Lebanon by Wednesday.

  11. fudmier
    November 18, 2017 at 9:24 am

    I-propaganda (Zsmith), (GOT,MK), (Mossad elimination,Nostradamus), Snookered Saudi, Seer), Chimp over humanoid, Annie), (Trojan Harari, backwardsevolution), (Palin Maneuvers, Geeyp), (reevaluation, Godenich), are responses to the FRACLNG PRICE CRISIS (FPC)..
    1) assume control of ME oil [Misty turmoil wars]], and/or 2) shut in ME oil[MBS, SA economy no longer depends on oil],and/or 3) eliminate by war uncontrolled, oil price competition (RILYS:Russia, Iran, Lebanon, Yemen LNG capable ports, Syria) and/or 4) same as 1 in Africa (Lebanon, Niger, Sudan, every OIL where) and/or 5) Venezuela <==all to save the wall street (mostly people’s retirement savings) bilked investors into the Israeli Mafia owned USA oil by frac lng business. Low global oil prices(<$40/bbl) decimates frac/LNG markets, frac production packaged as LNG allows to transport by ship to global markets; suggest FRACLNG promoters, wall street and Israeli owners are worried. I think the FRACLNG PRICE CRISIS[FPC] can explain Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump Foreign policy without exception. I invite challenge to this theory.. thanks

    • Seer
      November 18, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      I agree that the fracking industry is “stabilized” with higher oil prices, BUT… while prices CAN be manipulated it still comes down to the tail of the market- consumption end. The world is still in an economic turn-down; the ONLY reason it doesn’t appear that way to many is because of the finger-in-the-dike that is the post 2008 financial magic (shoving “bad” loans into the closet, ignoring true mark-to-market etc.). They can try to make another run at pushing up prices but there just isn’t enough consumer support to hold it up. And consider that increasing fuel prices means less money available for other things: figure this will further impair exports of other goods (except, perhaps, weapons exports). Keep in mind that we’re talking global economy here, EU is extremely fragile (not having the luxury of having the world’s reserve currency [which can be used to cloak massive deficit spending]). ALWAYS, low cost producers win out in the long-run; it will, in the case of Russia and Venezuela, require general populations having to really gut it out: I believe that the Russians understand that this is actually war time, not sure if the Venezuelans understand this [though, for sure, they have to realize that the US has always been trying to subvert their government(s)- which is, of course, war. Iranians, because they’ve been used to sanctions, and reduced oil revenues, are accustomed to such pressures. Saudi Arabia, however, though it’s been trough some market turmoil, won’t likely survive another market hit. The US has been planning for instability in Saudi Arabia for some time; this is why the war in Iraq and the push for war against Iran: control the next largest pools of oil- if Saudi oil becomes disrupted then the entire world’s markets will go wholly unstable; at such a point if not under total control by the West, Iraqi and Iranian oil could dominate to the extent that the USD would collapse (for sure it would collapse as the world’s reserve currency).

      • evelync
        November 19, 2017 at 2:02 pm

        I won’t be around to see it but the ingenuity and drive of the Elon Musks and Richard Bransons will eventually put an end to their nasty oil wars and their violence and corruption along with it.

        The sun, as long as it continues to have controlled explosions, has more energy than any of us will ever need and harnessing/storing it is getting easier and easier and cheaper and cheaper.
        That’s the race between those willing to blow up the planet to feed their greed and those trying to save it (and making a few bucks on the side).

        The warmer the planet and her oceans get, the wilder the storms – wind is nice too….

    • godenich
      November 20, 2017 at 4:32 am

      Boosts in alternative energy funding and oil&gas fracking seemed to be a stop-gap government and market reaction to rising oil prices. The threat to the petrodollar in the International Monetary System(BIS,IMF,WB,CBs) and financial markets(Wall Street, City of London, Paris, Frankfurt,..) may explain some of the hullabaloo, i.e. regime change for Saddam Hussein’s Oil for Euros and Muammar Gaddafi’s Oil for Gold Dinars. Increased Saudi oil production stabilized oil prices and helped to bring rogue OPEC members into line, but drove undiversified oil-producing economies, like Venezuela, into debt. That may be part of the US-OPEC Faustian bargain. NATO mission creep, US sanctions, IMF quotas and further fuss over Syrian & Ukraine energy pipelines seems to have strengthened bonds between Russia, China, Iran, Syria and accelerated the implementation of the BRICS IMS. That may be a game-changer for the petrodollar.

  12. Zachary Smith
    November 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    All of this is very complicated, and watching somebody elses’s maneuvers without knowing all the details makes understanding impossible. All a person can do is try to put together the pieces. An article by the Saker provides a lot of “good” stuff to chew on.

    From an Israeli point of view, this is totally unacceptable and the solution is simple: simply force the USA into a war they really don’t want. After all, who cares how many US goyim will die? As for the Iranians, the goal of a Israeli-triggered US attack on Iran would not be to defeat Iran, but only to hurt it, very very badly.

    That’s how they started with Iraq – Bush “pervert” Senior didn’t invade on the first attack, but merely hurt it, very very badly. George “codpiece commander” the Dumber got to finish the job.

    ….Russia has very limited options. Unless Russian personnel are directly attacked, Russia cannot just go to war in a overt and formal way, that would be way too dangerous, especially against the USA. But Russia could immensely (and very rapidly) strengthen Iranian air defense capabilities by deploying her aircraft (A-50, MiG-31s), in Iran or even by flying them in from Russia to conduct surveillance flights. Russia can provide the Iranians with intelligence far beyond anything the Iranians could collect themselves. Likewise, the Russians could quietly deploy some of their electronic warfare systems to key locations in Iran. The US Americans would rapidly detect all this, but Russia would still have a “plausible deniability” on a political level. Finally, the Russians could do for Iran what they have done for Syria and integrate all the Iranian and Russian air defense capabilities into a single network thereby immensely improving the capabilities of the currently rather modest, but rapidly improving, Iranian air defense capabilities.

    Presumably the Russians are giving the Iran situation a lot of thought, for they know very well they’re the ultimate target.

    If I “quote” any more of this the forum nanny will likely censor the post for some indefinite period, for the Saker uses some rather rough language at times.

    On another note, an indication of how serious all of this is becoming is the enlistment of Pakistan on the Saudi side. Not a good situation at all! (link found at naked capitalism)

    h**p://www.atimes.com/article/deep-ties-pakistans-military-helped-saudi-purge/

  13. Zachary Smith
    November 18, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Bret Stephens equates anti-Zionists with white nationalists in the ‘New York Times’

    That’s the neocon NYT for you! Unless I had a cow with diarrhea, I’d turn down a free offer of their rag, for lining the bottom of a bird cage just doesn’t do their output justice. This jackass is one of their prize authors, and not only does he shill for Holy Israel, but is also a Global Warming Denier.

    h**ps://www.desmogblog.com/bret-stephens

    h**p://mondoweiss.net/2017/11/stephens-zionists-nationalists/

    We’re likely to get some kind of early warning about the Zionist intentions for war – if the propaganda trolls start cranking up their output, that’s a very bad sign.

  14. LJ
    November 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    It is easy to research the recent history of Lebanon. Go back to the Civil War, Israeli Occupations, recall Lebanese Druse militias being let into Palestinian refugee camps to murder Palestinian women and children by order of Israeli General Ariel Sharon. Then one can put some of these things in better perspective. One might look into President Reagan sending the USS Missouri to shell entrenched Palestinian Positions which led to a truck bomb attack that killed about 270 marines who were in Lebanon . What were these US Marines supporting? What was their mission? No, Hezbollah did not exist then. Who is a man, General Aoun who was forced into exile now President of Lebanon. Isn’t he the head of the largest Christian Party in Lebanon , the largest political party in Lebanon that is now run by his Son-in -Law Bassil? What were the circumstances that led up to his exile? Whatever happened to the STL and does General Aoun, now President Aoun’s government continue to pay for it? All of this stuff is in the brains of Lebanese and anyone who has been paying attention for the last 30 years. What is happening now is no surprise. The Aoun/Hezbollah Block along with the Shiite party Amal are the majority. They do not support US Policy or Israeli incursions or occupation of their country including the Sheeba Farms area.. The USA does not support Democratic Rule in Lebanon. Saudi Arabia is not the main player here and neither is Israel . The USA calls the shots. The NeoCon plot has failed. Now how far is the USA willing to push things? WE are clearly on the wrong side and have been in the wrong and our foreign policy experiment in the Middle East has been a costly disaster that has created several Humanitarian Crisis at once . Do we want to destroy Lebanon too which just happens to be sheltering 2 million of the refugees that our disasters have already created. What then? Trump did not create this problem. This is the outcome of decades of poor choices by the USA in the Middle East particularly regarding Lebanon and Syria, It is as tough a problem as North Korea in my opinion and has the potential to lead to a worse Humanitarian Crisis. Trump isn’t wise enough to figure this out, Obama< Clinton< Solomon couldn't figure it out. This will require New Thinking and Saudi Arabia does not do new thinking well.

  15. Clif
    November 18, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    I can’t find the article I was hoping about, vaguely, a China/Yuan backed oil deal with Venezuela, but did find this from
    http://www.thedailyeconomist.com/2017/09/its-official-as-another-opec-nation-has.html

    “Venezuela now joins with Iran and Syria for no longer accepting dollars in the sale of oil, and this list of OPEC countries ditching the reserve currency are only expected to increase as China prepares to soon create a new oil contract outside of the Petrodollar.”

    Also just curious about how comparatively little news I’ve seen (no TV) about the KSA activities. With respect to the Russian fairytales, it begs the question of how American Intelligence can hold their tongues. MBS being played?

    Love those articles on Walter Raymond and, reading around, learning about Theodore Shackley (et al.)

    THANK YOU consortiumnews.

  16. November 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    It; seems to me than America sell arms to Saoudi-Arabia which en up in terrorists ‘ hands. That is good for business. This is whole Washington care about. Fucken America is Humanity most Dangerous enemy. Let humans who are not US Citizen embargo that sick country, until its people wake up and clean up the mess…

  17. charles drake
    November 18, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    what does mr bernstein think of the idea that the british set up the house of saud who where donmeh jews.
    would that not make sense from a chatham house point of view a fabian society sick joke for slaughter.
    house of saud and the knesset city of london and washington newyork as one in zion

  18. Clif
    November 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I like how the psyops counterintelligance mimic crazy people to undermine public coherence, makes us all feel like family. HI crazy unlce Sam, Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. Zachary Smith
    November 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I just had an odd thought about the Saad Hariri story. The Saudis have been rounding up billionaires and holding them ransom until those rich guys cough up a huge portion of their wealth. Given that Hariri is a billionaire, might not his “jailing” and then his release be – at least in part – an opportunity for the Saudi Crown Prince to snatch several hundred million dollars?

    It would be a nice “frill” in addition to any geopolitical considerations he and his Israeli helpers had in mind.

    • Super LJ
      November 20, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      Zachary it is hard to deprive a man of his freedom then extort money from him then rely on him to carry out your policies. Unless you can hold his family hostage and send him an ear or a finger every couple weeks. . Saudi Arabia can’t have it’s cake and eat it too. Hariri already lived in exile for about 5 years after his last stint as Prime Minister and only visited Lebanon once before he returned and became Prime Minister. This is unlikely to happen again. The Saudis have bribed him family with Billions . They may have taken a few hundred million or even a few billion back but would that really serve their interests? PS It amazes me tht the press has not covered that Hariri lived in exile for several years well into this decade. This is something new I guess. Fool me once shame on you , Fool me twice shame on me, Fool me 3 times I must like it, Fol me 4 times that’s a lifestyle choice.

      • Zachary Smith
        November 20, 2017 at 5:51 pm

        Perhaps in the case of Hariri they don’t want much of anything out of him except for his residual money. I know next to nothing about the politics of that rat hole, and don’t understand much of what I *might* know.

        Anyhow, here is what a new post at the Moon of Alabama site says.

        Hariri’s two youngest children, 16 and 12 years old, are kept hostage in Saudi Arabia. After the recent trip to Paris his wife also returned to Riyadh. The French President Macron had intervened and Hariri was allowed to leave Saudi Arabia. But Macron failed (intentionally?) to free him from Saudi influence. Hariri’s financial means and his family are under control of the Saudi tyrant. He is not free in any of his political, business and personal decisions.

        h**p://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/11/the-saudi-system-and-why-its-change-may-fail.html#more

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