Is Saudi Arabia the Middle East’s Next Failed State?

Ibn Khaldun—the famous Tunisian historian, geographer and social theorist—believed that decadence leads to collapse for Muslim dynasties. Such a scenario may be playing out with the Saudis, reports Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

Reports are growing that Muhammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s hyperactive crown prince, is losing his grip. His economic reform program has stalled since his father, King Salman, nixed plans to privatize 5 percent of Saudi Aramco. The Saudi war in Yemen, which the prince launched in March 2015, is more of a quagmire than ever while the kingdom’s sword rattling with Iran is making the region increasingly jumpy.

Heavy gunfire in Riyadh last April sparked rumors that MBS, as he’s known, had been killed in a palace coup. In May, an exiled Saudi prince urged top members of the royal family to oust him and put an end to his “irrational, erratic, and stupid” rule. Recently, Bruce Riedel, an ex-CIA analyst who heads up the Brookings Institution’s Intelligence Project, reported that the prince is so afraid for his life that he’s taken to spending nights on his yacht in the Red Sea port of Jeddah.  

A statue of Ibn Khaldun in Tunis, Tunisia. (Kassus / Wikimedia)

Channeling Ibn Khaldun

What does it all mean? The person to ask is Ibn Khaldun, the famous Tunisian historian, geographer, and social theorist. You might have trouble getting him on the phone, though, since he died in 1406. But he’s still the single best guide to the deepening Saudi crisis.  

If you do somehow channel him, the message might be grim. In a nutshell, it’s that if MBS goes, he’ll likely take the Al-Saud with him, and that the people waiting in the wings will not be the “moderates” beloved of Washington, but ISIS and al-Qaida. A modern state bristling with shopping malls, superhighways, and high-tech weaponry thus will succumb to a ragtag militia riding Toyota pickups and waving AK-47s.

Ibn Khaldun, a member of an upper-class Spanish-Muslim family that fled to North Africa after the fall of Seville in 1248, was one of the most remarkable personalities of the late Middle Ages on either side of the Christian-Muslim divide. He wrote The Muqaddimah, a book-length prologue to his six-volume world history, which British historian Arnold Toynbee praised “as undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever yet been created by any mind in any time or place.” The anthropologist Ernest Gellner described Khaldun as a forerunner of modern sociology. The Muqaddimah, a strange blend of faith, fatalism, and science, is best known for its musings on the subject of the urban-nomadic conflict and the process by which dynasties rise and decay.

As Ibn Khaldun put it:

[T]he life of a dynasty does not as a rule extend beyond three generations. The first generation retains the desert qualities, desert toughness, and desert strategy. … They are sharp and greatly feared.  People submit to them. … [T]he second generation changes from the desert attitude to sedentary culture, from privation to luxury and plenty, from a state in which everybody shared in the glory to one in which one man claims all the glory for himself while the others are too lazy to strive for glory. …  The third generation … has completely forgotten the period of desert life and toughness, as if it never existed…. Luxury reaches its peak among them, because they are so much given to a life of prosperity and ease.

Decadence leads to collapse as fierce nomadic fundamentalists gather in the desert and prepare to mete out punishment to the city dwellers for their religious laxity. “[A] new purge of the faith is required,” summed up Friedrich Engels, who evidently read Ibn Khaldun, “a new Mahdi [i.e., redeemer] arises, and the game starts again from the beginning.”

It’s a recurrent cycle that has held true for a remarkable number of Muslim dynasties from the seventh century on.

Evidence of Instability

The big question now is whether the pattern will hold true for the Saudis.  

The answer so far is that it will. Events are proceeding on course. Ibn Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state, by allying himself with Wahhabism, the local version of Islamic ultra-fundamentalism, embodied Ibn Khaldun’s concept of a ruthless desert warrior who uses religion to mobilize his fellow tribesman and battle his way to the throne in 1932. Once Saud took power, he proved to be a tough and cagey politician who put down rebellion and expertly played Britain and America off against one another to solidify his throne.

But the half-dozen sons who followed were different. The first, Saud, was a heavy spender who brought the kingdom to the brink of bankruptcy. The second, Faisal was an autocrat who was so out of his depth that he believed Zionism somehow begat communism. Khalid, who took power in 1975, was an absentee monarch who was gripped by paralysis when hundreds of rebels took over Mecca’s Grand Mosque in November 1979 and had to be rescued by French commandos flown in specially for the occasion. Fahd, who succeeded to the throne in 1982, was obese, diabetic, and a heavy smoker who ultimately fell victim to a massive stroke.  Abdullah, his successor, also was sickly and obese, while Salman, who assumed the throne in 2015 at age 79, has suffered at least one stroke and is said to exhibit “mild dementia.” A video of the king landing in Moscow in 2017 shows a doddering old man who can barely descend a staircase.

Muhammad bin Salman and Ash Carter in 2016. (Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley / Department of Defense)

The upshot is a group study in decrepitude. MBS, who all but took over the throne in 2015, meanwhile personifies all the foolishness and decadence that Ibn Khaldun attributed to the third generation. He’s more energetic than his father. But as one would expect of someone who has spent his entire life cosseted amid fantastic wealth, he’s headstrong, impractical, and immature. Appointed minister of defense by his father at the ripe old age of 29, he declared war on Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s neighbor to the south, two months later and then disappeared on a luxury vacation in the Maldives where a frantic Ashton Carter, Barack Obama’s secretary of defense, was unable to reach him for days.

A year later, MBS unveiled Vision 2030 a grandiose development plan aimed at bringing Saudi Arabia into the 21st century by diversifying the economy, loosening the grip of the ultra-intolerant Wahhabiyya,and putting an end to the country’s dual addiction to oil revenue and cheap foreign labor. In a country in which young men routinely wait years for a comfortable government sinecure to open up, the goal was to rejigger the incentives to encourage them to take private-sector jobs instead.  

It hasn’t worked. In a rare moment of candor, a pro-government newspaper recently reported that thousands of employers are evading government hiring quotas by paying Saudi workers not to show up. “Employers say young Saudi men and women are lazy and are not interested in working,” it said, “and accuse Saudi youth of preferring to stay at home rather than to take a low-paying job that does not befit the social status of a Saudi job seeker.”

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (lawepw / Wikimedia)

Some 800,000 foreign workers have left the country while capital is fleeing in the wake of last November’s mass roundup in which hundreds of princes and businessmen were herded into the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton and forced to turn over billions in assets. Foreign direct investment has plummeted from $7.5 billion to $1.4 billion since 2016 while a series of super-splashy development projects are in jeopardy now that Saudi Aramco privatization, which MBS was counting on as a revenue source, is on hold.  

While granting women permission to drive, MBS has imprisoned women’s rights advocates, threatened a dissident cleric and five Shiite activists with the death penalty, and cracked down on satirical postings on social media.  He preaches austerity and hard work, yet plunked down $500 million for his yacht, $450 million for a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and $300 million for a French chateau. The hypocrisy is so thick that it’s almost as if he wants to be overthrown.  

Fundamental Enemies

As for the lean and hungry fundamentalists whom Ibn Khaldun said would administer the final blow, there’s no doubt who fits that bill: ISIS and al- Qaida. Both are fierce, warlike, and pious, both inveigh against a Saudi regime drowning in corruption, and both would like nothing more than to parade about with the crown prince’s head on a pike.  

In May, al-Qaida denounced Saudi religious reforms as “heretical” and urged clerics to rise up against a “moderate, open Islam, which all onlookers know is American Islam.”

In July, Islamic State took credit for an attack on a Saudi security checkpoint that claimed the life of a security officer and a foreign resident.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2004.

In August, ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi accused Saudi Arabia of “trying to secularize its inhabitants and ultimately destroy Islam.”  

These are fighting words. Both groups meanwhile enjoy extensive support inside the kingdom. Prior to the attack on the World Trade Center, wealthy Saudis, including members of the royal family, helped fund al-Qaida to the tune of $30 million a year, according to Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan’s 2011 best seller, The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden.

In 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confided in a diplomatic memo that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” More than three thousand Saudis have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join up with al-Qaida, ISIS and other Islamist forces. Once they return home, such jihadis might constitute a fifth column threatening the royal family as well. A crumbling royal family could fall like a ripe date into their outstretched palm.

Could Saudi Arabia become the Middle East’s next failed state? 

Washington is filled with so-called Middle East experts contributing to one disaster after another. Could it be that the best Mideast hand worth listening to is a North African scholar who died more than six centuries ago?

Daniel Lazare is the author of The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics.  He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at Daniellazare.com.

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85 comments for “Is Saudi Arabia the Middle East’s Next Failed State?

  1. Will
    October 14, 2018 at 9:43 am

    what to make of Trumpkin’s deep relationship with the Kingdom? https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/saudi-record-trump-biz-bail-outs

    anyone know what’s become of the 9/11 survivor’s law suite against the kingdom? https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/analysis-911-lawsuit-looms-over-saudi-arabias-economic-and-political-plans-1232597998

    Interesting bit about the republican FBI guy and Bush sycophant Mueller’s role in destroying evidence linking the Kingdom in the attacks, but he couldn’t get it all.

    https://harpers.org/archive/2017/10/crime-and-punishment-4/2/

  2. October 10, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Uh, Zionists did begat Communism.

  3. October 8, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    $1250 millions spent by the H.H.Prince on useless things,when inside & outside enemies are active to destabilize KSA, in the wake of mad-reforms ,flight of 8 lacs workers from Saudia, flight of ‘youngsters ‘ to Syria & Iraq as reported in above article (Daniel Lazare) has shaken the fabric of this dynasty-country. This is high timeto economize expenses in all Muslim countries specially the Mid East . The wealth must be conserved, seriously to avoid bad-days.we must abide by true islamic values & practices, & reduce expenditure leave the luxurious rather more than luxury practices, before it is too late, . The KSA rulers-They are the ‘Khadmaen Hermaen”, and all muslims of the world look to them. The recent speech of mr. Trump, must be carefully wetted, and pondered, They must see the writing on the wall, and amend the financial policies, foreign policies, not to let outsiders(Americans) to dictate them. Else they will lead them to disaster. The policy with Yemen, & Iran need to be revised & changed on the basis of peaceful brother-hood co-existence, through talks, & diplomacy in consultation with one or two true Islamic leaders . The differences/enmity between two countries will provide chance/opportunity. To The anti-Islamic Forces/powers to take advantage & flare up the. Situation, worsen the things to point of no return. These diplomatic – differences are being ‘aired” by the anti Islamic “quarters” , so that they damage/destroy The remaining Muslim countries. All the Muslim-Leaders Must wake up, open their mental avenues , unite themselves, carve out steps to advise each other, tell the world nations, to realize that Muslim world is not against any nation, country, religion at all..Rather, we believe in all religions their prophets & respect them,. Similarly they should respect our religion & prophet, even if they do not bring faith. Islam teaches peaceful co existence, respect of all religions.??

  4. Procopius
    October 7, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    ISIS and Al Qaeda are American creations and allies. Why would Washington not want them to take over KSA? Historically, the American State Department has preferred bloody-handed tyrants to more moderate, democratic regimes.

  5. Paora
    October 7, 2018 at 6:37 am

    Damn I’ve been attributing this theory to Engels for years, apologies to Ibn Khaldun! Perhaps he forgot where he read it and decided to claim it rather than risk repeating Marx’s ‘first as tragedy then as farce’ Hegel quote that no one has ever managed to track down in Hegel’s works.. Interesting proto-Historical Materialism anyway.

  6. Zhu
    October 7, 2018 at 12:29 am

    Personally, I suspect the US is as likely to dissolve into chaos & civil syrife as Saudi Arabia. The present Military-Industrial State has been in effect about 3 generations & it isn’t benefitting the majority much. So far, poor people have been distracted with team politics & blaming each other for their woes, but that can’t work forever.

  7. October 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    My limited study suggests the Ottoman Empire collapsed not through any loss of propriety but because the British Royal Navy sank its maritime defences whilst British businessmen demanded trade at the same low export rate as other Muslims. In fact the Sultan was particular to ensure his acts were in accordance with the social rules of Asia.

  8. Dunderhead
    October 6, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Brilliant critique of the I’m going Saudi fiasco. I personally wonder if Saudi could end up the next neocon target of choice, one should not give too much credit to our homegrown spooks but this is how Brezinski took down the Soviets, getting CIA Caeda to do the same to Saudi would tie up a lot of loose ends, not to spin off into crazy conspiracy theories, lol. On the other hand the authors critique really reminds one of the the later books in the Dune series, one has to wonder if Frank Herbert was tapping similar source material. Anyway, Great job Daniel!

  9. October 6, 2018 at 9:53 am

    The Saudi terrorists view the Trump administration as their golden ticket to paradise, and rightly so:

    https://opensociet.org/2018/10/06/the-saudi-lobby-juggernaut/

  10. Juan P. Zenter
    October 6, 2018 at 8:58 am

    By contrast, Iran shucked off their useless royals in the 1979 revolution. Today, Iran is politically unified, an industrial power, and is generally capable of self-defense. It would be a terrible thing for the US to attack Iran and suffer a collapse of the Saudi state at the same time. In that scenario, you can kiss the petro-dollar goodbye and say hello to a new oil crisis.

    In a rational world, the US would hedge their bets in the Middle East by maintaining a working relationship with Iran and even buying oil from them. However, this conflicts with the desire to rid the world of Israel’s potential enemies, so it’s not going to happen.

  11. October 6, 2018 at 12:21 am

    To say the least, it is a rather naive and more of a pseudo-intellectual argument crafted as satire that would appeal to those who believe nothing but the disinformation that has been spread around rather too successfully by the Global MSM especially by the Western MSM. Quite remarkable to note the few lines that outline how Ibn-Saud battled his way to the throne, without the slightest mention of the great eagerness on part of the Throne of England to see the Sauds hold dominion essentially upon the land of Hejaz for multi pronged purposes and for many decades to come if not centuries. And equally amusing is how the accusation made by the ISIS Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is mentioned… as if no one on planet earth has yet discovered the secret nurturing of these fundamentalist proxies by the Zionist Deep State at work in Washington and the City of London in perfect cohesion with KSA itself. Come on… don’t deliver half truths… if you have the courage, face it all and let people know the whole truth… otherwise just forget it, don’t even bother to mention it… definitely an interesting subject however a far less than accurate approach to discuss and analyze it. Washington and the City of London needs the Saudi Royals for now… it would be a while before they are good for no purpose to their Western allies… the West needs someone as morally depraved as them to fulfill its fast evaporating dream of a uni-polar world.

    • Dunderhead
      October 6, 2018 at 7:25 pm

      Zara Ali, while I agree with practically everything you have mentioned, an article does have to be a reasonable length before it becomes a novella, to describe everything you just spoke of and do any justice to it would probably take something like 700 pages minimum and seeing as you know the story and I assume speak Arabic as well as English, perhaps you should get cracking on that or at least recommend a book or two, just saying, anyway peace man.

    • Tiu
      October 7, 2018 at 5:19 am

      The article could be described as a glib overview, although the central theme of the degeneration of inherited power is, I believe valid. I completely agree with Zara regarding the insufficient description of the crowning of the Saud dynasty, which would never have happened without the British royal family and their transnational business partners, the French and to a lesser degree the Russian Czar (I’m putting Woodrow Wilson in the British camp as he was their puppet via the takeover of US banking prior to WW1).
      WW1 is the crucible from which all 20th century events have flowed, and that monstrous event seems to have been engineered primarily by the British royal family and their transnational business partners, especially Edward VII despite the fact he died in 1910.
      The Saud’s, Al Bagdadi’s etc are probably not the ones controlling events in this one. It’s not called “The Grand Chess Board” for nothing.

  12. bilcrandall
    October 5, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Surely the Saudi government is corrupt enough to fall in most circumstances that one might imagine. But the empire is distributed. The royal family long employed the Bush’s, clearly an outside sign of deeper ties throughout the US deep state, presumably including its connections in international crime and finance.

    That’s no guarantee against betrayal, but it seems unlikely that the Western powers would let Saudi Arabia stop exporting oil. Anything that might be called a “collapse” is likely to come more in the nature of one or another coup. The larger system including Israel and particularly the United States would have to stagger severely to let autocratic control of Arabia drop.

  13. KiwiAntz
    October 5, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    The US will never allow Saudi Arabia to fall?? The US made a devils deal with Saudi Arabia & guaranteed to Militarily protect them, in exchange for its acceptance of the US Petrodollar system! So America will support this Walhabi bunch of Headchopping, sadistic, Terrorist funding lunatics who funded the 9/11 attacks, ISIS & Al Quada until they’re drained every last drop from that demented Country! Also, if the House of Saul collapses then that’s the endgame for the American Petrodollar system & it’s Worlds reserve currency status! Trump recently boasted at one of his most recent rallies that Saudi Arabia wouldn’t last a day without the protection of the US Military? That may be true, but America wouldn’t last long if the Saudi Arabia collapses, because if the US Petro system was to end, America’s ability to endlessly print worthless, counterfeit, fiat dollars using its exorbitant privilege as the Worlds reserve currency based entirely on the Petrodollar recycling method of oil for dollars, means it’s collateral advantage as a store of value, would be over! As the most indebted Nation on Earth, America’s ability to print its way out of trouble through Quantative Easing, would result in economic collapse once the Petro collapses! So to conclude, Saudi Arabia is the one Country that the regime change, COUPS R US, American Govt will never allow to FALL!

    • Dunderhead
      October 6, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Never underestimate neocon hubris.

    • Zhu
      October 7, 2018 at 1:10 am

      The US establishment would betray the Saud dynasty in the blink of an eye, as it did Diem in S. Vietnam, if there were an acceptable alternative. Would-be successors would find US elites easy to manipulate.

  14. Theo
    October 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Good piece.Thank you.Decadence brought down the last Muslim Caliphate in Southern Spain.But aren’t western countries also threatened by their decadence?That applies to Europe.Millions of people come to Europe.Most of them Muslims.And not all of them are peace loving.They have their plans.And the Europeans are whining and scratching their heads helplessly.Most Europeans ,even the politicians hadn’t realized what was happening around them.They were too busy to enjoy their wealth and didn’t care.The poor people were too tired to care.

  15. didi
    October 5, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Only Oman (12%) shows a larger percentage of its GDP for military expenses than Saudi Arabia (10%). Ours is currently near 3%.

  16. October 5, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Hard to believe that this country so chock full of foreign nationals could topple… Maybe start to lean as some leadership problems manifest….

    MBS is the head, if it were severed all bets off…
    The U.S. three letter Boyz must be very busy on this tippy canoe MBS….

  17. October 5, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Our government thinks we are too stupid to notice the United States and Saudi Arabia are in bed together, and “this is why the aliens won’t talk to us.”

  18. October 5, 2018 at 7:57 am

    This article leaves or one significant little fact: Saudi Barbaria’s deliberate and systematic encouragement of al Qaeda and ISIS abroad while suppressing them at home. The original kingdom of al Saud dates back to 1744, when the cleric Ibn Wahb was expelled from his tribe and took shelter with the Said tribe. He made a bargain with the power hungry chieftain, al Saud: he would give him religious cover for a war of conquest in return for religious control of the resulting kingdom. Al Saud agreed, and Ibn Wahb then came up with doctrines that were startling by then Islamic standards, such as permitting jihad against fellow Muslims and the doctrine of takfir (declaring a fellow Muslim an apostate) which had been strongly discouraged by no less than the Prophet Muhammad himself. The new Wahhabi creed gave Al Saud the cover he needed to destroy neighbouring tribes, and then attack Iraq, where he massacred Shia in Basra. The then colonial power in Iraq, the Ottoman Empire, was less than impressed and sent its army to destroy the Wahhabis, which it did; but the creed merely retreated to Arabia until it revived in the early 1900s. During WWI, the British and French, as is well known, encouraged Arab uprisings against the Ottomans, and the by now resurgent al Saud tribe took full advantage of the situation. Once in power, of course, like many an empire before it, it had to control the very fundamentalists who had brought it to power. Some could be bought off, but the Ikhwanis, the sword arm of Wahhabis, got so out of control that they were about to invade Jordan and had to be crushed with British airpower and all but open Saudi support. This was less than popular with the Ikhwanis, not surprisingly, but they could do nothing about it for many years except fume as the royal family grew fat and corrupt and decadent.

    Then in 1979 two very important things happened. First, the Amerikastani Empire began arming, training and funding jihad in Afghanistan against the socialist and secular Afghan government and its Soviet backers. The second was that the Ikhwanis, having gathered strength, stormed the Grand Mosque in Mecca, something that Amerikastani propaganda still sometimes tries to blame on (Shia, anti-Wahhabi) Iran.

    The Saudi Barbarian monarchy immediately saw both the danger and a great opportunity. It could channel the hatred and violence of the Ikhwanis abroad, against the Soviets, instead of facing their wrath. And from that moment on it began assiduously exporting jihad and Wahhabism, in order, above all, to protect itself and its decadent, corruption soaked, lifestyle. It does not seem to have occurred to it what would happen if the Ikhwanis (under their new Nantes, al Qaeda and now ISIS) were *both* defeated *and* not destroyed. It’s one thing to send young men boiling with religious fervour to fight in faraway lands, hopefully to be killed there while destroying secular regimes that might grow up to be an alternative power centre in the Muslim world. It’s quite another when those defeated jihadis come home, raging at their “betrayal”, and seeing with new eyes the corrupt decadence of the royal scum who had sent them off to die.

    This is the moment that is at hand. That it coincides with a lost war in Yemen, the supreme incompetence of Muhammad bin Salman, and the brewing socioeconomic disaster of unemployment in Saudi Barbaria is just fortuitous. The only thing bin Salman can depend on is Western support; he will claim that since the only alternative to him is ISIS, Amerikastan and its British colony have no choice but to back him to the hilt, no matter what he does. This is already clear in the Western aiding of the Yemeni genocide.

    It won’t last, of course. Bin Salman has made too many enemies, too soon, from his fellow princes to business houses to Qatar, which has its own pet stable of terrorists, to of course the Ikhwanis. His yatch may soon be bearing him off to exile

    If he’s lucky to live that long, that is.

  19. October 5, 2018 at 3:09 am

    After eleven years in Saudi Arabia, I can certainly testify to the lack of a Saudi work ethic. And a lot of that goes back to Ibn Saud himself. His many wives and many, many children, plus his own lavish indulgence of them helped to create a kingdom of indigents. With wealth that has been wasted over the years, Saudi Arabia might have created a vibrant modern state that would havee economically reformed and enriched the entire Arab world.

    The end of Saudi Arabia might happen as Ibn Khaldun suggested, but it might as easily be brought about by disgruntled military men.

    Every member of the House of Saud should have etched in his memory 14 July 1958.

  20. October 5, 2018 at 12:28 am

    Is Saudi Arabia the Middle East’s Next Failed State? God I Hope so and the sooner the better. They define the term ‘regime’.

  21. Gerry L Forbes
    October 4, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    The decadence of the country is baked into its very name. Saudi Arabia, like Tudor England or Bourbon France should be a designation left to historians to distinguish it from other eras of that nation. This might seem like a minor quibble until you see the citizens of the country referred to as Saudis instead of Arabians. I doubt the Shia people living there are pleased by this. Only the ruling family or the regime as a whole should be called Saudis, For instance, it wasn’t Arabians but Saudis who got into a diplomatic row with Canada.

    And why has nobody picked up on the implications of that action? Consider how many countries (zero?) came to Canada’s defence
    even after the Saudis tweeted a picture of a jumbo jet flying toward the CN Tower (quickly deleted, probably at the insistence of the Americans although I doubt anyone is going to take credit for that). Where do they suddenly get the balls to lash out at a G7 nation? I’m guessing that this is an indication of the effectiveness of sanctions on Russia, Iran and Venezuela (or Imperial threats against those countries that don’t respect the sanctions) and the ineffectiveness of decades of “reducing our reliance on fossil fuels”. No major country can afford to get the same treatment as Canada but nobody in the media picks up on this. Instead, a serious geopolitical indicator is treated like a celebrity spat.

    At least some on the fringes doubt the Deep State Media’s assertion that Arabia still has the largest “proven reserves” of oil. Apparently the Saudis have nearly doubled the number of oil wells in production in recent years which could be a sign of depletion. So, too, could be the invasion of Yemen whose fossil fuels haven’t been exploited to the same degree. They had better hurry though since a recent prediction claims that due to global warming the Arabian Peninsula will be uninhabitable by 2035 (since these estimates are always lowballed I think it will probably be closer to 2025. Oman has already experienced multiple overnight low temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius). When that happens expect the Saudis to be welcomed with open arms while the Arabians are left to fend for themselves.

    • robjira
      October 5, 2018 at 1:09 am

      Excellent post.

  22. Franco Sol
    October 4, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Yes, clear, there will be more bloodshed than in Syria, prediction well known for decades…
    Same prediction regarding Syria before, and still they don’t understand.

  23. johnmichael2
    October 4, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Wouldn’t it be sweet if the Trumpkin would have to beg on his knees to Iran to help defeat ISIS and AlQueda should they wind up in control in Saudi Arabia.

    • Franco sol
      October 4, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      Jerusalem for the jews with special status for al Aqsa, Meca back to real supervisers, Shia Islam.

      • tom hussey
        October 5, 2018 at 3:15 am

        Jerusalem for the Palestinians, who have occupied he land far longer than the late-coming Jews, who would be conferred special status, along with the Christians.

    • Neil S
      October 5, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Iran does not control ISIS/Al-Qaeda; the U.S. does, with support from Israel and Saudi Arabia. That’s why we never seemed to be able to “defeat” them in Syria. Because the American people were adamantly opposed to sending American troops into another war, we used ISIS/Al-Qaeda as a proxy army. This is proven by emails and cables published by Wikileaks, and articles in the Israeli daily paper Haaretz, about Israel treating ISIS wounded at a hospital in the Golan Heights.

      In 1973, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger promised King Faisal that as long as Saudi Arabia sold its oil in U.S. Dollars only, the U.S.will guarantee the security of the royal family. So, if and when events spin so out of control for MBS that an overthrow of the royal family by S.A. rebels is inevitable, then IMO the U.S. will send in ISIS/Al-Qaeda pre-emptively to overthrow the family, thereby maintaining U.S. influence over Saudi Arabia.

  24. Maxim Gorki
    October 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia… future United States of Israel. And Iran of course, and maybe the US, or maybe the whole world. Why not? Think big!

  25. Toxik
    October 4, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Western governments won’t allow the House of Saud to fall, not while there is oil underneath. Once that dries, no one will come to help

  26. John Wright
    October 4, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Interesting narrative.

    An alternate narrative is that the Saudi insiders know that their oil fields are about to crash, so the easy money days are over and chaos will soon wash across the peninsula. [The Saudis have pushed their fields very hard for years without increasing production measurably, you can only do this for so long before the fields crash and production slows enormously or even stops without extremely expensive techniques and technology. Quite some time ago the Iranian oil minister admitted that their fields were poised to crash and said the same of the Saudi fields. ]

    Thus, MBS seizes power, secures as much as he can, turns it into real assets (when the Saudi fields crash, so will the US dollar) and prepares his exit under the cover of moderation and busting corruption. This is an end game battle being waged over massive wealth at the of an era.

    The US will also see a massive shock, of course. Why else was the clown Trump installed but to distract, provide cover and take the blame for the fall of the American empire?

    U.S. billionaires have moved most of their wealth out of the country so they will be relatively unaffected. Their loyalty is to the global financial system, not the hard-working American people who will be left with a sacked country and a near worthless dollar.

    Will Americans allow themselves to be whipped up into a frenzy and use their massive arsenal in an attempt to reclaim their empire?

    Or, will we see the largest auction of military hardware on earth to pay off the massive U.S. debt?

    While there is still time to stop this train wreck, Americans have never been so divided against themselves, so that it is unlikely.

    A possible preemptive scenario would be another false-flag on the U.S. (cyber attack, possibly?), blamed on China, whipping the U.S. into a frenzy and answered with a massive attack, possibly using space-based weapons (just where have all those unaccounted for trillions the DoD has “misplaced” gone?).

    In any case, the global ponzi scam that’s attached to the petrodollar has run its course and needs to be reset as the oil age is coming to a close. Whether China takes on the role of global policeman and the Yuan becomes the new global currency or the neocon dream of an additional “American Century” is pursued by an insane group of sociopaths, time will tell and we shouldn’t have long to wait.

    Work for peace, plant veggies and learn Mandarin is my advice.

    • Random Soul
      October 4, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      Good response & I’m glad to see I’m not the only one thinking in these terms. I had a chuckle when reading your advice because it is verbatim what I’ve been telling those around me.

    • Zhu
      October 6, 2018 at 3:14 am

      I think it unlikely PR China will try to replace the US as “world policeman.” China’s been around a long time. The usual thing is to sell Chinese manufactures to all comers.

      • John Wright
        October 11, 2018 at 3:06 pm

        Zhu –

        I think the leaders of the PR China have been trying to walk the international financial tightrope for some time. My hope is that they will continue to maintain control over their currency, but there may come a time when a few men in the PR China make a very bad choice and step into the existing fraudulent global finance game, as the US did in 1913, and then they will be at the mercy of forces beyond their control (but those leaders will be very well rewarded in the short term).

        The PR China, Russia, Germany and a few other countries could change the whole paradigm, if they act in a coordinated manner. But there will be much pain in the change, needed pain, as the USA has been living well beyond its means for a very long time now.

        I don’t think we’ll have long to wait, as I write this it looks like the sell off has begun.

        Whatever happens, let’s hope that cooler, peaceful-minded heads prevail.

        Be well .

    • October 9, 2018 at 3:43 am

      @ JW
      Bravassimo
      Well said and totally concur with your sage advice
      PACE E AMORE FRUTTA E VERDURRA

  27. backwardsevolution
    October 4, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Saudi Arabia’s oil provided vast sums of money, and their population took off because of it. It always happens – people have more children when times are good.

    “The total population in Saudi Arabia was estimated at 32.6 million people in 2017, according to the latest census figures. Looking back, in the year of 1960, Saudi Arabia had a population of 4.0 million people.”

    It should have stayed at that low number.

    I agree with others that ISIS is Western-made, but the leaders of Saudi Arabia do actually fear the mullahs, the religious leaders, who can stir up the people very quickly. So in order to keep their riches, the leaders pay off the mullahs (lots of money for building mosques all over the world), and the mullahs, through organizations like ISIS, have a standing army of religious fanatics at their disposal.

    • Procopius
      October 7, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      It’s been interesting that the biggest financier of ISIS has been rich Saudis, because the one thing that distinguishes ISIS from Wahhabiya has been their refusal to swear obedience to the Saud family. MSB has been using fighters from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, allying with that organization, which seems to have (temporarily?) stopped attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It was also interesting that before the destruction of al Ma’jalah in Yemen in December 2009 AQAP was a handful of guys shouting on street corners. Since then many people pointed out that every action by the Obama administration increased the membership and geographical spread of AQAP until the Houthi became their most effective enemy. That’s when MBS decided he needed to go to war with the Houthi.

  28. Sifting
    October 4, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    An exposé of manufactured societal change and destruction is presented in interview with Micheal Ricktenwald (communist turned libertarian) and Glenn Beck (GOP conservative turned libertarian) here:
    https://youtu.be/MZ-3EHfxKdU
    Long but very worthwhile!

  29. Mohamed Ahmed
    October 4, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Remember Trump proudly saying: “We engineered putting our man on the top in Saudi Arabia”. This is the guy.

  30. flashlight joe
    October 4, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    It would help if you did not use the phrase “failed state” as it is a propaganda phrase, as in, we didn’t destroy them – they failed.

  31. October 4, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    “If MBS goes, he’ll likely take the Al-Saud with him, and that the people waiting in the wings will not be the “moderates” beloved of Washington, but ISIS and al-Qaida.”

    Hoisted on their own petard.

  32. Joe
    October 4, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Hay Mr. MBS
    Look around you in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and even the mighty Saddam Hussein so wise up or you will be like them .

    • Mokhtar Kamel
      October 4, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      I wish it were that easy. These people simply don’t look around, and if they do, they don’t see>

  33. shen
    October 4, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    There’s something wrong or typo with the writer’s math. In earlier paragraph said Ibn Khaldun the famous Tunisian historian and….died in 1406. In the next 2 paragraph said Ibn Khaldun, a member of an upper-class Spanish-Muslim family that fled to North Africa after the fall of Seville in 1248, so Ibn Khadun must lived 156 years plus the age that he was at time to fled to the North Africa. Is it possible for someone to live over 156 years? May be I’m missing something.

    • LarcoMarco
      October 4, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      Well, it would seem that the family that fled to North Africa after the fall of Seville in 1248 was comprised of Ibn Khaldun’s ancestors…

    • Zenobia van Dongen
      October 5, 2018 at 7:46 am

      His ancestors fled Seville.
      By the way, the Saud-Wahhabi alliance dates from the 18th century, not the 20th, as Lazaree claims.

    • Salim
      October 5, 2018 at 10:15 am

      His family fled Spain, not himself.

    • olaba a. b.
      October 5, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      Yes you are indeed missing something. He is descended from the family that fled, not that he himself fled!

  34. October 4, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Ibn Khaldun perspective was formed by the experience of Muslim Spain that went through several dynasties that came from the “desert” and each dynastic decline was weakening, so they have fallen to the Christian hill folk who survived the initial Muslim conquests in the mountains in the Spanish north, primarily Asturia and Navarre. Asiatic dynasties of nomadic descent had similar fate. However, dynasties that did not practice unlimited personal rule and had a wider ruling class with some modicum of meritocratic selection could flourish over a number of centuries, like Ottomans, Hapsburgs and descendants of Hugo Capet like Valois and Bourbon.

    Given where younger Gulfie princes were educated and their circles of Western friends, the decadence is to some degree imported from the West. Collecting a bunch of slogans and deluding themselves that somehow they form a policy and having no regard for the obnoxious consequences became the modus of operandi at the pinnacle of Western elite.

  35. Zahid mirza
    October 4, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    I agree

  36. Uncle Bob
    October 4, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Apparently, this article was in production before the US Senate advanced Saudi guided-munitions sale, 53-47..yesterday

  37. Jeff Harrison
    October 4, 2018 at 11:12 am

    The United States spent many years creating and/or supporting many autocratic states, especially in the Middle East and N. Africa. The problem with autocratic states is that they are brittle. When they go, they shatter because they have no actual support from the people. And nobody knows how to run the country, a role theretofore reserved for the autocrat.

    I’ve not heard of Ibn Khaldun before but he certainly sounds like he knew what he was talking about. In the present day, things aren’t looking up for the US. We had relied on two of our reliable autocrats, the Shah of Iran and the house of Saud, to keep control of the Middle East whilst we coddled Israel. The Iranians revolted because too many of them were dirt poor. The richer ones left the provinces and went to the cities where they sold pickled eggs and garlic or roast corn for a toman or so along the side of the road. It was Islam that united the people of Iran to overthrow their oppressors (the Shah and the US) and expose the US for what it is – a cynical oppressor only interested in its own aggrandizement. If Saudi goes, I don’t doubt but that Islam will get another boost, a boost that I doubt either Israel or the US will like. But, no, I doubt Saudi will be a failed state. Power is spread out enough that there will be continuity in the state.

    • Broompilot
      October 4, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      Saudi Arabia is a colonial power. There are regions that may not be all that loyal anyway. That close to Yemen may be one of them, and where some of the hijackers hailed from. And when you consider how difficult it has been for them to muster ground troops, they may have few citizens loyal enough to fight a ground war.

    • October 6, 2018 at 12:26 am

      “If Saudi goes, I don’t doubt but that Islam will get another boost, a boost that I doubt either Israel or the US will like.”
      You know Jeff I am not sure if that was an intuitive remark, but I can tell you this you are 110% right. And I am not saying this because I am a Muslim and that pleases me, I am saying this with good unbiased rationale :)

      • October 9, 2018 at 3:51 am

        @Zara
        Pan arabism is the greatest threat to all the anglo-zionist/Troskyist/Globalist Fascist/corporatist.

  38. October 4, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I like some of the collection of anecdotes.

    As for the Ibn Khaldun theme, it might equally have been taken from other historical figures.

    It is an ongoing theme because it clearly has a lot of truth in it.

    Not everyone would agree with the number of generations required, but the general pattern has been established.

    We even see this with powerful family dynasties, families which are not the rulers of countries but are captains of industry and commerce.

    When we get to the threat of ISIS or al Qaeda, I disagree with the author.

    The vision of these outfits offered here is just one more iteration of the official American narrative.

    ISIS has never, not once, attacked the very targets that would come most naturally to them were they indeed what America and its allies claim.

    Those targets are Israel and its interests and the corrupt Saudi Princes and their interests.

    No, instead this supposedly wild-eyed jihadi outfit busies themselves with people who are Israel’s enemies for the most part.

    The government of Syria and the previous administration in Iraq.

    Suddenly a few years back, these guys show up riding around in the desert in brand new Toyota pick-up trucks waving AK-47s.

    Who bought the trucks? Who supplied the weapons? Who paid their salaries and bought their food?

    When they went to first attack some Iraqi tanks – an impossible task with pick-up trucks, no matter how many you claim to behead to scare people – the tank operators simply fled they were supposedly so scared, clearly having been paid off, by likely the Saudis. So that gave ISIS some serious weapons, and away they went from there.

    When ISIS turned towards Iraq’s capital, the head of government that both the US and Israel disliked, fled. Later they turned back to Syria to complete their real task of helping foreign interests to topple the government and maybe divide the country.

    A good deal of American and British bombing of ISIS a few years back was anything but. They were almost providing them with an air force in their attacks on Syrian infrastructure. Later, at various places, Americans really did bomb them, reflecting some combination of their having exceeded their brief and the disposable nature of such rag-tag mercenaries. There is no honor or much loyalty in such dirty schemes.

    Supplies of limited amounts of poison gas agents were also supplied to some of these guys. There was an incident, a discovery which was quickly covered up, at the Turkish border once, the transshipment point. We know from the incomparable Sy Hersh, Hillary Clinton was involved in a scheme to take small amounts from the murdered Qadhafi’s stocks and have them shipped to these guys in Syria. The idea was to give Obama his “red line” excuse to bomb the crap out of Syria as he had Libya. Only some clever Russian diplomacy stopped him.

    The whole business at Benghazi, the truth always having been suppressed, was about a scheme to collect weapons and cutthroats shipped from chaotic horror of Libya into Syria to create more of the same.

    Saudi Arabia and its associates, have a little “club” which includes the United States, Israel, Britain, and France. Turkey was also part of the group originally. They are responsible for the terror and war in Syria. All the hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of desperate refugees.

    Time and again, the Syrian government has unearthed weapons caches of Israeli-made and American-made armaments as it advances and captures areas.

    As they have for other terror outfits, such as al Nusra, an outgrowth of al Qaeda. Israel has been observed many times actually treating al Nusra fighters at hospitals in Israel near the border.

    Britain and the United States financially supported the White Helmets, a phony NGO operation closely associated with al Nusra. We know they are associated both from some hard-working independent journalists and Russian military sources. Moreover, Israel recently busied itself with extracting a bunch of them, along with, it so happens, a group of other mysterious operators.

    The United States has been observed several times transshipping leaders of some of these groups from areas that were falling to Syrian government forces.

    We actually have photos of John McCain, America’s premier promoter of war and terror in the Middle East, talking with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Even what we know of his biography is mysterious, his having once been a prisoner of the US.

    No, I don’t think these outfits are any threat to Saudi Arabia.

    And now that Israel and Saudi Arabia are virtually covert allies, sharing many interests in the region, this is even more so. The main interest of both these governments is protecting their privileged positions in the region. Both are, in a sense, outsiders, the Saudi Royal family having no great long history and being viewed by many as occupying opportunists, not all that different to Israel’s circumstances.

    • Realist
      October 4, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Wonderful summation of Washington’s goals and machinations in “Greater Israel.”

      • Dave P.
        October 5, 2018 at 1:47 pm

        I agree.

      • Zhu
        October 7, 2018 at 1:16 am

        The US supports Israel because of 1) our cowboys & indians mythology & 2) Dispensationalism. 10s of millions of US voters want a Jewish state, because it will bring back Jesus sometime soon. It sounds absurd, if you don’t share the presuppositions. If you do it’s no loonier than Marxism.

        • Procopius
          October 7, 2018 at 9:58 pm

          I think you overestimate the number of voters who want a Jewish state, but it’s true that Israeli agents exert a lot more influence in American elections than the Russian intelligence services. I believe the dominionists are a tiny fringe group of the Evangelicals. The Zionists have been glorified and idolized since 1948, and a great many Americans have been persuaded that “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.” Never mind that it’s not true, they don’t have time to inform themselves about the outside world because they have to work too many hours in order to survive. Well, to be fair, most of them are more prosperous than that, but just are incurious and have the attention span of fruit flies.

    • October 4, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      There is too much money in Saudi Arabia to push them away from the table. They will survive. Sure there will be incidents but Saudi is deep in development and will become more liberal as they embrace more technology and infrastructure development.

      Saudi Arabia offered first citizenship to a robot—> http://globalproject.is/forum/showthread.php?t=3070&highlight=saudi+arabia

      Moving away from the petrodollar can benefit Saudi Arabia—> http://globalproject.is/forum/showthread.php?t=3087&highlight=saudi+arabia

      Global Megacity 33x larger than NY to be built in Saudi Arabia—> http://globalproject.is/forum/showthread.php?t=3068&highlight=saudi+arabia

    • Guy St Hilaire
      October 4, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      Well said John and very knowledgeable at that. “a group of other mysterious operators.” We can only guess who they were but we have a pretty good idea of who they were.

    • Viv bar
      October 5, 2018 at 9:09 am

      Finally someone who really understands the Middle East but try yo convince your average joe, practically impossible for them to believe.

  39. Bob Van Noy
    October 4, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Many thanks Daniel Lazare and Joe Lauria for this piece. Finally we’re focusing on the actual source of many of our (Americas) problems. Of course the more we know about the internal dynamics of Saudi Arabia the better. Thanks too for Sally Snyder’s link where we learn something about Yemen and its geographical significance.

    It’s absurd that this conversation is so raw at this point in our long Wars, but because of the internal “dynamics” American Politics, this is where we are, so thanks for the accurate focus.

    I’m finding excellent clarity reading “Bush And Cheney How They Ruined America And The World” by David Ray Griffin. I’ll provide a link but how about a Consortiumnews interview?

    https://www.amazon.com/Bush-Cheney-Ruined-America-World/dp/1566560616/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538657904&sr=1-1&keywords=bush+and+cheney+how+they+ruined+america+and+the+world

    • The Idiot
      October 5, 2018 at 2:21 am

      Finally we’re focusing on the actual source of many of our (Americas) problems.

      The source of American’s problems is, wait for it, America. The doctrine of American Exceptionalism has brainwashed generations of citizens to believe America’s problems are caused by nefarious foreign actors when in reality almost all of our problems are caused by our attempts to subjugate the entire world to our will.

    • Zhu
      October 7, 2018 at 1:19 am

      We Americans are to blame for our own problems, not Russians, Zionists or the Man in the Moon.

  40. mike k
    October 4, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Greed kills.

    • Broompilot
      October 4, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      Simple. Perfect. Exact.

  41. Sally Snyder
    October 4, 2018 at 7:45 am

    As shown in this article, the Saudi royal family has offered forgiveness for war crimes committed in Yemen:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-war-in-yemen-and-saudi-royal-family.html

    Washington’s unconditional support for the Saudi royal family and, by extension, the nation’s religious leadership is nothing less than shameful.

  42. Babyl-on
    October 4, 2018 at 7:01 am

    THERE ARE NO GODS THERE IS LUST FOR POWER

    Those who want power use religion to get people to fight to put them in power. Religion is all about control, control of populations by putting yourself in the place of god. As we see in this example, ruthless people use religion for their own purposes of control and power.

    One of the most important reasons the US has had such a successful run as an empire is because, at the end of WWII the US made an alliance of the three great Western religions. The unholy US empire was never just the US, it was extreme Calvinism joining with Extreme Zionism and extreme Islam.

    “Ownership” of the three great religions allowed the Empire to control (the only law of “god” is obedience) not just national populations but continental populations. With god on his side the family man Obama could slaughter all he wanted to because he was engaged in the biblical slaughter of innocents to appease a vengeful god and rid the world of evil. There is no reason to think he actually believed any of it, (except that he convinces himself he is doing god’s will so he can sleep at night) he just used it to gain and maintain power, not for himself but for the people with vast fortunes closely associated with Calvinism.

    The House of Saud “owns” Islam its doctrine and holy sights, the Zionists “own” the Jewish religion and control its holy sites, German/American Calvinism dominates and is controlled by the elites. This is the empire, at its head the lust for power, religion and god are tools of the powerful.

    • Broompilot
      October 4, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      Justice and morality is what grows religions, at least these, not lust for power. Though at some point that can become a factor. Zionism is not Judaism and Saudi Arabia is not Islam. Calvinism is not Christianity.

      • Broompilot
        October 4, 2018 at 6:51 pm

        … and I should add ‘community’

    • Zhu
      October 7, 2018 at 1:21 am

      Religion is a diverse phenomenon, not necessarily about control, secularists’ stereotypes to the contrary. Humans fight for the samevreasons as chimps: money & power.

    • Zhu
      October 7, 2018 at 1:57 am

      The US has not been in existence 250 years. It’s empire is rather younger, & is clearly decaying. You can’t really call it successful. As for blaming it all on Calvinism, Zionism, Islam, why not break with stereotyping & blame some secular ideology: Marxism, Nationalism …?

  43. backwardsevolution
    October 4, 2018 at 5:52 am

    “Wealthy Saudis, including members of the royal family, helped fund al-Qaida to the tune of $30 million a year.”

    I’m sure they don’t want to fund them, but for their own protection they must. Better to fund them and send them off to fight somewhere than to be overthrown by them.

    “In August, ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi accused Saudi Arabia of ‘trying to secularize its inhabitants and ultimately destroy Islam’.”

    ISIS is probably right about that. The U.S. has been secularized – on purpose. The new religion is Identity Politics. A bunch of factions fighting each other: men/women; gay/straight/trans; Catholic/Jewish/Protestant/Islamic/Atheist; white/black/yellow/red/brown; Mexican/Polish/African/Irish/Russian/Swedish/Italian and every other nationality known to mankind, all hyphenated.

    Now, if I were a member of the elite, what would I rather have in order to maintain my power: a fractured and divided country that’s never going to come together and fight me because they’re too busy fighting among themselves and jockeying for their own position, or one with a common culture and religion? I’m betting that the elite would prefer the former any day of the week.

    The U.S. elite have done a good job of dividing. The population thought the leaders were trying to be benevolent to all the different groups of people when all along they were trying to make sure you never formed a solid mass of dissenters. As the country becomes more and more fractured, the elite will tighten their grip. Of course, they’ll say they have to to maintain the peace. That they will.

    • dfnslblty
      October 4, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Excellent perspective here – potus reigns in the divide/conquer category.

      • MBeaver
        October 5, 2018 at 3:41 pm

        Without the MSM and social media corporations, this wouldnt work. Nor do I see where Trump started this.
        These neoliberal and neoconservative people started it. They started calling people Nazis that arent Nazis, racists that arent racists, homophobes that arent homophobes, etc. And the media strengthened them, as propaganda does. If you see Trump as the problem, you have fallen for the divide and conquer perfectly.

    • Dave P.
      October 5, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      backwardsevolution – Very interesting comments. That is how it is.

  44. Realist
    October 4, 2018 at 5:41 am

    Interesting economic system in that country. It is so awash in petrol-generated wealth that none of its “citizens” (mostly a large in-bred extended family) really want to or have to work, certainly not in the private sector. So all of that is done by foreigners who are paid squat and treated like slaves. To pay them more and give them constitutional or civil rights would ruin it for them that’s already got theirs. Still can’t have too many millionaires in a land of trillions? quadrillions? qunitillions? Else the people lose incentive to do the necessary work. They must be kept down in a land of excess. Wouldn’t surprise me if the plutocrats in America don’t look at it the same way here.

  45. October 4, 2018 at 1:18 am

    Our peeps

    Good thing we have armed them to the teeth.

    • Deschutes
      October 4, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Who ‘armed them to the teeth’? Lockheed Martin and Boeing, who are making a killing selling Saudi Arabia billions of dollars worth of bombs, missiles and the airplane to deliver the goods. Boeing now makes the F-15s for Saudi Arabia that are bombing the Houthis. Lockheed Martin makes all of the ordnance, the bombs and missiles for Saudi Boeing F-15s.

      Lockheed Martin and Boeing are morally and ethically bankrupt for the war crimes they have been accessory to in Yemen by selling to the Saudis, knowing Yemenis would be killed by the thousands as has been reported, for years now massacre after massacre of school buses, Hodeida open markets, hospitals, weddings, schools, etc.

      • October 4, 2018 at 5:33 pm

        The USA is the largest arms dealer on the planet and biggest war machine bar none.War is our “racket”…….we arm em then take em down….Ask Saddam.

        Its a perfect circle of death.

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