The Saudi-US Crisis Will Pass

U.S.-Saudi ties have withstood crises in the past and will withstand this one, says As’ad AbuKhalil.

Washington and Riyadh Have Had Worse

Crises and Will Survive Khashoggi Murder

By As`ad AbuKhalil
Special to Consortium News

Nobody in Washington, Republican or Democrat, welcomes the crisis in U.S.–Saudi relations prompted by the murder in Istanbul of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi defector, on October 2. Maintaining good relations with the Saudi royal family has been a high bipartisan priority since President Franklin D. Roosevelt and King  Abdul Aziz ibn Saud made their Faustian bargain in 1945:  The U.S. would shield the Saudi kingdom’s tyranny from criticism in exchange for a share of oil revenues and Riyadh’s political loyalty (and American arms sales).

The relationship has continued this way in the decades since—and will still do so. The U.S. has covered up a long history of Saudi crimes and conspiracies; during the Cold War it used the Saudis to spread extremist jihadi ideologies to counter secular Arabs that tilted towards Moscow. More recently, the Saudi regime was not freelancing when it cultivated the likes of Osama bin Laden: He was part of a Saudi-U.S.-Pakistani effort to recruit, arm, and finance fanatical Muslims from around the world to undermine the progressive secular regime in Afghanistan.

If history is any guide, it is highly likely that Washington and Riyadh are collaborating behind the scenes to cover up the truth of the Khashoggi case and preserve the relationship as it has been for the past 85 years.

Beside the current crisis, there have been other dust-ups in the history of U.S.-Saudi relations. The 1973 oil crisis was the most serious, and it nearly undermined the alliance.  Back then the Saudi regime couldn’t ignore the rising tide of Arab sentiment against U.S. intervention on the side of Israel in the 1973 war.

King Faisal was adamant in discussions with Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s secretary of state and national security adviser, that Israel should withdraw from occupied Arab territories in return for lifting the oil embargo. Contrary to his public statements, Faisal hadn’t rejected Israel’s occupation of Palestine since the 1948 war.  Reflecting in part the king’s deep anti-Semitism, Faisal only refused to recognize Jewish religious rights in Jerusalem.

Faisal at the White House, 1971. (Public domain)

When reminded of the significance of the Wailing Wall (Buraq Wall for Muslims), he recommended construction of a new wall where Jews “could weep.” But Faisal’s firm stance didn’t last long: New U.S. arms sales were enough to make him abandon his insistence that Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories was a necessary condition for the restoration of oil sales to the West.

Another crisis arose with the broadcast of the movie “Death of a Princess” in 1980. The British-made film was based on a true story about the beheading of a Saudi princess who fell in love with a commoner. After the movie was shown in Britain, the Saudi government did not want U.S. television stations to broadcast it. The American oil lobby put enormous pressure on PBS stations around the country not to air it. Very few stations did, and the bilateral relationship was secured. 

There were other crises in the relationship in the 1980s between the Saudi government and Congress: Under pressure from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Congress opposed arms sales to Saudi Arabia, even as administrations (Democratic and Republican) favored them. AIPAC dropped its objections to weapons sales after the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the establishment of secret contacts between Israel and Gulf countries.

This is the background from which to view the current, relatively minor crisis in comparison. The Khasshogi killing wouldn’t have amounted to much if the U.S. mainstream media didn’t make a strong case against the Saudi royal family (while suddenly discovering the Saudis’ war on Yemen), and if the Turkish government hadn’t leaked so many gruesome details about the murder in the Saudi’s Istanbul consulate.

Trump’s Waffles

The Trump administration—in line with successive U.S. administrations–—first tried to minimize the significance of the crime.  President Donald Trump typically reminded Americans of the value of arms sales to the Saudi kingdom. But his subsequent statements were inconsistent: First he’d mention $10 billion in arms sales and then he’d promise to sanction the regime. He even uncharacteristically, for a U.S. president, pledged to let Congress decide on sanctions once an investigation is completed. (Which of several investigations he didn’t say.)

It’s not a stretch to believe the Trump administration has been working covertly with the Saudis to come up with a coverup story. The Saudi’s multiple explanations have been unconvincing from the start. The intent of CIA Director Gina Haspel’s trip to Istanbul seemed to be to shield the Saudi regime from the murder and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s involvement. Haspel may have been behind Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan’s surprising reluctance to reveal “the naked truth,” as he’d promised.

The U.S. almost certainly wanted the Turkish government’s raw intelligence to better advise the Saudis on the coverup. After Haspel’s meeting with Trump upon her return the Saudis admitted it was premeditated murder.

The U.S. likely mediated between Erdogan and MbS, given the animosity between the Turks and Saudis. Outlines of a deal are emerging. The Saudis now refer to their former occupiers as “sisterly Turkey,” though bin Salmon previously included it in the region’s “axis of evil.” Official Saudi rhetoric has also changed towards Qatar, which the Saudis and their allies have blockaded since last year. MbS and Adel Jubeir, his foreign minister, have made conciliatory statements about Doha in the last few days, something unthinkable a month ago.

Western and Turkish media keeps the Khassoghi story alive. But AIPAC, UAE and Israeli pressure has been exerted on the U.S. not to abandon bin Salman. For Israel, he is the opportunity of a lifetime: a rising Saudi prince in line to be king who is unburdened by political or religious attachment to ditch the Palestinians and continue his hostility toward Iran.

It is to Washington’s advantage that MbS has been weakened. He might now abandon his proclivity for adventurism and become a more traditional Saudi despot deferring to DC on key decisions. But that should make him also be more cautious about confronting Iran and endorsing Trump’s “deal of the century” for the Palestinians. The U.S. is still capable, though, of maneuvering to replace him if he becomes no longer useful, despite Saudi threats to align itself with China and Russia, or quit its embrace of Israel. 

The relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia has survived previous crises. It will survive this one.

As’ad AbuKhalil is a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. He is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (1998), Bin Laden, Islam and America’s New “War on Terrorism” (2002), and The Battle for Saudi Arabia (2004). He also runs the popular blog The Angry Arab News Service.

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71 comments for “The Saudi-US Crisis Will Pass

  1. Yahweh
    November 8, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    As I have stated before, the relationship between USA and Saudi Arabia is window dressing. The future of Saudi energy is with Russia. The USA is totally headed for the curtain call “third world nation” financially. The borrowing window will close on the nation along with the unsecured debt of the citizens of said country…..For the USA it will be world war of death by debt. No escape ! The days of see it buy it are over for the average USA citizen.

  2. Dunderhead
    November 7, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    In this particular case I have to respectfully disagree with mr. AbuKhalil, I really do believe this is the beginning of the end of the Saudi’s. First off the wars in Syria and Yemen are only going badly they will both personal initiatives of MBS the blowback from these strategic blunders are going to be difficult at best to keep from boiling over. And then there’s all of those jihadists, I doubt even the psychopathic neocons would care to have these folks wandering around the west, one of their stated goals has always been the overthrow of Saudi, this might just be their opportunity. Iran is the clear winner in the power game that has been going on Iraq Lebanon and Syria. Iran being an ancient stable and pragmatic State will almost undoubtedly opt for diplomacy over opened confrontation, if bin Selman has a self protective bone in his body he will parlay with the Iranians. Besides all of that MBS is the weakest member in the triumphant, even he has to realize the Washington goons are not going to tolerate this many missteps, the Saudi’s have been useful but that game is almost up at least away things appear at the moment.

    • Deniz
      November 8, 2018 at 10:35 am

      The Saudis are untouchable as long as they price oil in USD, the entire fiat financial system depends on it. Did MbS overstep and is there now a changing of the gaurd? Perhaps, but dont expect anything to change,

      You do realize you are relying on Erdogan, a man that has been at the center of the bloody war in Syria for what is currently being pedaled as the truth. I need evidence, not newspaper articles written by politicians and unnamed intelligence sources.

  3. MBH
    November 6, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    This new font is awful, makes the text really hard to read. Maybe it looks cool stylistically, but it doesn’t do your readers any favours.

    • Ray Raven
      November 7, 2018 at 3:07 am

      Seconded.

    • paula pataye
      November 7, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      MBH

      agreed. not a type to read smoothly. do not need “artisticness”. CN, one of the best sites for real news and comment. maybe i am a modern luddite, but CN’s previous type reads ‘smoother’.
      hopefully CN will return to the previous type.

      thank you CN for your quality reporting, and of course, the quality comments of your readers.

      p. pataye, modoc county, ca. home of non-evolved folks in california. highest rightwing voting in CA.

    • November 7, 2018 at 11:47 pm

      no this shall not pass and go unnoticed. Yemeni children are dead, in Milwaukee here 47 people died of overdose, and let me tell you those are white people all you trump people. I give a crap about fonts, or printing, the real story is in your own community. Easier to live on an armchair, than actually doing an action..

  4. nondimenticare
    November 6, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Even those old enough to miss the noisy clatter of an old newsroom feel no nostalgia for the look of the old typewriter typeface. Younger people don’t get the allusion because they don’t know what a typewriter is. And no one can read it comfortably on a screen, especially a hand-held one. It’s an interesting idea historically but not practically.
    Not on topic specifically, but generally it is, because I want to draw people to this website.

  5. Rondo
    November 6, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Yes….awful font. Speaking as a book designer.

    • jess garcia
      November 7, 2018 at 11:50 pm

      I am such book lover, but fonts can be helpful or turn off others

  6. vinnieoh
    November 6, 2018 at 9:13 am

    I have appreciated Mr. AbuKhalil’s informative writing since the in-your-face messaging through assassination by whomever in the KSA, but I have to ask:

    What frigging Saudi-US CRISIS?

    Now, does anyone here really believe that the US will suddenly abandon a program of hegemonic consolidation of the last 30 years? Or that the decrepit monarchies of the gulf region will suddenly leap into the 21st century? Those DC pols that feel some moral disgust at the KSA messaging system will be taken to a back room and have it ‘splained to them.

    The real crisis is between the powerless inhabitants of this nation and our corrupt political system. There is no Saudi-US crisis. And I can’t wait to hear the mournful howling of all the blue dogs that will be kenneled soon in DC. Follow the money: like 2006, the big money in today’s horse race went to D’s because that is where the big money believes the voting will go. 2006 redux. The best government money can buy.

  7. Will
    November 5, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    especially since they were pretty clearly partners in assisting the 9/11 attcks to occur

    • CJ
      November 10, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      Thumbs up. The fact that the Saudi involvement in 9/11 was initially redacted from the report, then once it was finally released, no U.S. government official not named Bob Graham wanted to touch it with a 10 foot pole, tells the world all we need to know about the U.S./Saudi “special relationship”.

  8. November 5, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    I don’t mean to sound callous, but I never heard of this Khassoghi guy until he died.

    What I have heard is Osama bin Laden was Saudi and so are the rest of these Al Qaeda Taliban Daesh Wasabi terrorists!

    Saudi Arabia Financed the Killers of the American Troops I Commanded

    • Deniz
      November 5, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      According to Sibel Edmonds, none of her contacts in the Turkish Government have heard the torture tape and they don’t believe it exists. She also asks a very good question, if MbS wanted to kill the guy, why do it in a rival’s Embassy?

      Skripal redux?

    • O Society
      November 5, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Craig Murray – who was the chief debunker of the Skripal Novichok scam – says this Saudi murder is legit. He says many folks in the intel community have seen the evidence.

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/10/khashoggi-erdogan-and-the-truth/

      • Deniz
        November 5, 2018 at 8:57 pm

        I agree that Murray is a credible source, but he also states that he has not seen the video himself and is mostly relying on what he has been told by the intelligence community. (who has been known to lie from time to time).

        • O Society
          November 6, 2018 at 10:31 am

          Understood. I haven’t seen anything. Evidence of anything, be it Russiagate, Novichok, or Caravans is not needed in the US.

          All you need is a knee jerk reaction, a hot take, anger and fear. The majority of Americans have no clue what “critical thinking” means, much less how to do it.

      • Dunderhead
        November 7, 2018 at 10:34 pm

        With all the scrubbing of comments that goes on on this site and yet they allowed backside licking propagandists like yourself free reign, I doubt much of what you say or pedal has much value beyond this echo chamber.

    • jess garcia
      November 6, 2018 at 12:54 am

      say what? How old are you? The Carter Doctrine is what in your opinion? Also, you must have never read the Washington Post. I get it, if you only read one or two or three sources that align with your ideology, why would you read anything else. catch a clue, read other articles that might challenge your thinking. I never heard of Ye. I mean Yeze, , I mean Kanye, I mean Kanye West, Never heard of Journalists who got killed.

    • jess garcia
      November 6, 2018 at 12:58 am

      O society, read my post below. Just because you never heard of someone does mean that person did not exist. think about that

      • O Society
        November 6, 2018 at 10:41 am

        I didn’t say this Kashoggi fellow doesn’t exist or more clearly, the pieces of what’s left of him don’t exist.

        I said nobody heard of this guy until he died.

        There are millions in Yemen the US and Saudi are jointly starving to death and infecting with cholera. Diarrhea till you die.

        What are their names? Why is this one guy in Turkey I never heard of so important but the thousands of kids the US & Saudi murder daily so irrelevant?

        https://fair.org/home/action-alert-its-been-over-a-year-since-msnbc-has-mentioned-us-war-in-yemen/

        • Deniz
          November 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm

          Most likely because Kashoggi career has very little to do with journalism.

          Perhaps Mr. Lauria can give us some perspective on whether or not he feels that the US would consider breaking relations with Saudia Arabia if some unfortunate circumstance were to happen to him.

        • O Society
          November 6, 2018 at 2:47 pm

          Sounds to me like Khashoggi was a rich friend of Osama bin Laden. I fail to see why I am supposed to shed tears for him. I mean, I am against dismemmberment and murder and so on. Of anyone. Why this guy? I’m supposed to cry for bin Laden too? How about when they kill MbS? Should I cry then?

          https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/khashoggi-latest-saudi-arabia-murder-yemen-consulate-istanbul-turkey-mecca-a8600886.html

          • Deniz
            November 6, 2018 at 5:39 pm

            “Khashoggi was a rich friend of Osama bin Laden”

            I really miss Robert Parry.

          • O Society
            November 6, 2018 at 6:47 pm

            They lied about Kashogghi and they lied about Osama bin Laden too. Let me know when someone tells the truth. In the meantime, I got not much sympathy for any of these gangster clowns.

            https://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n10/seymour-m-hersh/the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden

  9. mike k
    November 5, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    No comments yet??

    • mike k
      November 5, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Until I post a comment, like the brief question above, there are no comments coming up on the page, When I post something, the whole series of comments appears. What gives? I can’t read the other comments until I post something.

      • laguerre
        November 7, 2018 at 10:25 am

        Maybe you need to click on Show Comments.

  10. Joe Tedesky
    November 5, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    I’m not trying to make trouble, but is it me or is the Consortium having technical difficulties?

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 5, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      That’s weird when I posted this there were no comments, as the comments had disappeared from an earlier post. Now after posting my previous comment there are 12 comments not including this one. Hope this comment helps to bring attention to whatever the problem is with this site. Again I’m not trying to create an issue, just curious to what is happening here at the Consortium.

      • Joe Tedesky
        November 5, 2018 at 4:33 pm

        Once again when I came to this article it said there were no comments, but when I entered a comment the other comments suddenly then appeared. Just thought I’d mention this so it may help to solve the apparent IT problem this site is having.

        • Consortiumnews.com
          November 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm

          We are having technical difficulties and are addressing it. We have to shut some things down for maintainance.

          • Joe Tedesky
            November 5, 2018 at 7:13 pm

            bless you

        • Joe Tedesky
          November 5, 2018 at 7:12 pm

          no problem this time

  11. November 5, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    The only surprise so far in the matter of the Khashoggi murder is that we haven’t yet heard Rachel Maddow breathlessly report that anonymous government sources have told her that “Putin’s passport” was found just outside the murder scene.

    One imagines that the Saudi’s could learn a thing or two from our dear friends in the U.K. about such matters. The poor Skripnals after all have essentially simply been “disappeared” by the U.K. intelligence services and State, and of course no one in Western governance or media have seemed to so much as notice much less protest the blatant illegality of British actions.

  12. Jeff Harrison
    November 5, 2018 at 12:36 pm

  13. Don Bacon
    November 5, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Absolutely correct. The US is still committed to the Carter Doctrine “the United States will use military force, if necessary, to defend its national interests in the Persian Gulf” and the anti-Iran Gulf countries most especially Saudi Arabia are a key part of that. The death of one man is not consequential in that regard.

  14. ThomasGilroy
    November 5, 2018 at 11:17 am

    “……….He was part of a Saudi-U.S.-Pakistani effort to recruit, arm, and finance fanatical Muslims from around the world to undermine the progressive secular regime in Afghanistan………”

    Simply put, this seems to justify the invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR (Russia), murdering the (current) President and installing one favorable to the Kremlin. Over a million people died and millions took refuge in Pakistan. This was all because the Kremlin believed that Afghanistan was in their Sphere of influence (like Ukraine). It was these Pakistan refugees of the war in Afghanistan that later became the bulk of the Taliban. Effectively, the USSR (Russia) created the brutal Taliban. The collapse of the Soviet empire show-cased the failure of socialist policies. There was nothing progressive about it.

    • John Wright
      November 5, 2018 at 11:07 pm

      Mr. Gilroy –

      You need to do some research on Operation Cyclone. Brzezinski convinced Carter to begin funding the Afghan mujaheddin SIX MONTHS BEFORE the Soviets invaded. The Soviets knew what was happening and knew they had to try and stop it, thus they “invaded”.

      Brzezinski publicly bragged about his role in this massive human catastrophe on more than one occasion.

      While the Afghan government in 1979 was far from perfect, it was a modernizing force and many women worked as doctors, lawyers and teachers during that era.

      Thus, the U.S. is directly responsible for nearly 40 years of carnage in Afghanistan. NATO forces have occupied the country for 17 years now and opium and heroin production is still very high. What does that tell you?

      Many of these same U.S. funded mujaheddin (aka Arab-Afghans) then morphed into al Qaeda and then ISIS and have been used from the Balkans to North Africa to Central Asia and western China to sow chaos and destabilize sovereign governments. These are clearly western-funded mercenaries.

      If you want an important and unique view into what was really going on in the pre-September 11th period, I highly recommend reading Peter Lance’s “Triple Cross” as it is a real eye opener. You might also look into Operation Gladio as it is now intersecting with Operation Cyclone in Turkey.

      As for the Ukraine, Crimea has been considered a Russian/Soviet port for a very long time and the Ukrainians had an understanding with the Russians. For the U.S. to attempt to deny Russia its only warm water port would be like China moving into Mexico and then seizing the U.S. Naval bases in San Diego. How do you think the U.S. would react to that?

      The Soviet Union was not socialist, it was state capitalist. The failure of its state capitalist system was due, in large part, to restrictions to external markets and investment capital along with being forced to compete in an insane arms race with the U.S.A. The lack of many basic freedoms also contributed to the Soviet demise, as loss of basic rights and freedoms is now leading the U.S. into political decline.

      Very soon I think we will all witness the collapse and failure of the U.S. financial capitalist system, as it is teetering on an impossible to service Everest of debt right now and many major global players are seriously undermining the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Why do you think so many major countries are repatriating their gold reserves?

      There is a lot going on below the surface level and great change coming.

      Be well.

      • KiwiAntz
        November 6, 2018 at 2:18 am

        Great comments John, much appreciated your concise information.

      • Skip Scott
        November 6, 2018 at 9:28 am

        Excellent response. Afghanistan was the USSR’s Vietnam, and Brezezinski bragged about setting the trap. Kabul was known as “the Paris of Asia” before the Taliban gained control. I would consider that “progressive” by comparison. It is quite a stretch to claim that creation of the Taliban was the USSR’s fault, since one of their historic concerns has been the rise of fundamental Islam near their borders. To fault the USSR for claiming a “sphere of influence” is laughable, considering the USA’s claim of a GLOBAL sphere of influence.

        I did a bit of research and found this very detailed history of that period in Afghanistan from the CIA. It’s worth the read, if you are interested.

        https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/predicting-the-soviet-invasion-of-afghanistan-the-intelligence-communitys-record/predicting-the-soviet-invasion-of-afghanistan-the-intelligence-communitys-record.html

      • November 7, 2018 at 12:57 pm

        “While the Afghan government in 1979 was far from perfect, it was a modernizing force and many women worked as doctors, lawyers and teachers during that era.”

        Importantly, the governments that followed the “onset of the influence of the liberal democratic West (LDW)” followed the pattern of corruption, incompetence and infighting. The ability of LDW to create something positive, lesser corruption, more competence, more solidarity, is just not there. I thought that there was a window of opportunity to improve economy, education and services after Taliban and thus boost the popularity of the government and further decrease the following of the Taliban. This pattern can be observed also in Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Syria (the “opposition” exhibited few positive abilities to govern).

    • CitizenOne
      November 5, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      Indeed the role of the Soviets in Afghanistan in creating the Taliban is not much reported on since it is ancient history compared to the “crisis of the minute” which the media engages in like some victim of amnesia where it cannot connect historical threads to current affairs. The media literally has no perspective beyond the clatter and banging going on about what just happened weeks ago.

      This article provides some context for the historical alliance between the Saudi Kingdom and the USA citing examples from the past. The article does a so-so job of investigating the behind the scenes reasons for the Khasshogi murder news blitz in the USA Media but it is not obligated to do so given the historical perspective it presents.

      Trump ‘s statements on the Khasshogi killing reveal the true alliance with the USA and Saudi Arabia which is all about preserving the alliance based on oil and weapons trade and support for the current and past alliances based on these same things. Trump is a neophyte who is coming to terms (with lots of public statements on Twitter) with the real reasons that Saudi Arabia and The United States have lots of mutually agreed upon reasons for the alliance. It is all about oil and guns.

      The USA views any moderate in the kingdom as an ally as long as the balance of oil production and the weapons trade industry satisfies their mutual goals.

      I agree that the current blow over Khasshogi will pass since it just a fly spec on the windshield of the juggernaut industries of weapons trade and oil supply.

      There is perhaps a deeper give and take between Saudi Arabia and Washington which has given the government and Trump reason for bravado and sabre rattling over the Khasshogi killing. The US is now the largest producer of Natural Gas in the World. It is also poised on becoming a huge supplier of crude oil as well via pipelines from Canada. No doubt this places much pressure on the Kingdom which has but one export product.

      At a time when global greenhouse concerns face us all the natural gas industry is poised to be a huge future growth market. Confirmed reserves of the USA continue to climb as deeper deposits of shale oil and gas are discovered underneath the already exploited reserves of the Marcellus Shale deposits are uncovered revealing huge and vast amounts of untapped fossil fuel deposits.

      The prospects of lower foreign oil demand in America based on the USA proven reserves give the upper hand to the USA in dictating the price of oil globally. What better time to dictate terms to Saudi Arabia with plenty of sensational alarm bells broadcasted by the US media over the killing of Khasshogi.

      This is a temporary advantage because the practice of fracking can be generally applied to predict future petroleum resources availability in formerly unprofitable fossil fuel fields all around the Planet. So the US must leverage what it can now or have a lesser impact in the future.

      The US Media has always been a tool of the government and the giant oil corporations for advancing their agenda. The nonstop coverage of the Khasshogi case reveals their hand.

      Whether it is Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela or any place on the Planet (The Arctic) that oil interests have a goal of cashing in on, one cannot underestimate the influence of the global petroleum corporations over governments and the fate of nations.

      • Don Bacon
        November 6, 2018 at 12:00 pm

        The role of the Soviets in Afghanistan in creating the Taliban is not much reported because the US did. In 1979, under President Carter, the U.S. decided to fund troops to fight against the Soviet Union. These troops were called the Mujahedeen, which evolved into the Taliban.
        “What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?” — Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s security advisor.

        • Deniz
          November 7, 2018 at 1:09 pm

          Don is on track, but it goes back much earlier than the late 70s. Hitler indoctrinated disenfranchised Turkic regions in Russia to create factions within the Soviet Union. Later, during the cold war, when the CIA was seeking a means to destabilize Russia, the turned to the Muslim Brotherhood, which they further radicalized. The MBs militant factions became the Mujahedeen, Al-Qaeda, etc. Now they use the MB to radicalize Middle East. The last thing the US and the Crown are interested in is a stable, secular, uncorrupted, democratic Muslim country because that would cut into their oil profits (i.e. Mosaddegh). The radicalization of the Muslim world is a very deliberate US/British strategy, why else would the British have installed the Saud?

          • Leroy Campbell
            November 8, 2018 at 11:07 am

            That story is told in “A Mosque in Munich” by former WSJ reporter Ian Johnson.

    • Don Bacon
      November 6, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      “. . . invasion of Afghanistan. . .the Kremlin believed that Afghanistan was in their Sphere of influence (like Ukraine).”

      Ukraine was a Russia ally until the US-fomented coup in Kiev by neo-Nazis which threatened ethnic Russians in Ukraine, leading to Russia’s actions to protect them, which don’t include an invasion of Ukraine nor any belief that current-day Ukraine is in Russia’s sphere of influence. Ukraine is a mess, thanks to the US (again), which nobody should want.

  15. chucknobomb
    November 5, 2018 at 10:01 am

    What does AIPAC want? “Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran” Vote D or R? They are bought and paid for. Educate…Wage Peace… BDS Free Assange and others. Peace…

  16. Skip Scott
    November 5, 2018 at 9:12 am

    I wish more people understood that the US opposes secular leaders in that part of the world, and actually supports Islamic extremism. It is contrary to our fundamental values as Americans, yet it has been our policy for decades. Our MSM propaganda machine works overtime to keep this contradiction in our so-called “War on Terror” from the minds of the sheeple, and uses vague terms like “vital National Security interests” to gloss over our hypocrisy.

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 5, 2018 at 10:39 am

      Hey Skip more Americans should read this….

      https://www.truthdig.com/articles/what-keeps-washington-indefinitely-in-bed-with-riyadh/

      In fact before President Trump gets anymore deeply sorrowful about losing the 110 billion dollar arms sale to the Saudi’s he should hear what Major Danny Sjursen has to say. I would suggest that all of you read my provided link. And after you do then question to just who is honoring our military.

      Take care Skip Joe

      • Skip Scott
        November 5, 2018 at 11:02 am

        Good article Joe, thanks for the link. As for honoring our military, I think it is time for us to honor peace activists instead. I wonder how much of what Major Sjursen states in his article was known to him while he was over there? He speaks of generals going through the “revolving door” of the armaments industry. Should we honor them too? I think not. I think the way to honor our troops is to bring them home. We don’t need foreign bases to protect our homeland, and our regime change wars bring nothing but heartache, death, and destruction wherever they are waged. The welfare of our youth and their right to a decent education is my vital “National Security” interest. Let’s make America moral to make it great.

        • Joe Tedesky
          November 5, 2018 at 2:32 pm

          Your right Skip. I think if anything America abuses it’s military troops. I once heard Chalmers Johnson make a great case for why and how America could downsize it’s global military footprint, but who besides me was even listening. Same old, same old, and no ones the better for it. I hope my grandchildren can straighten out this mess we are leaving them.

        • Joe Tedesky
          November 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm

          Skip to learn more about Major Danny Sjursen read his history lessons… same place I linked you to for the linked article I left here… hit his name.

          • Gregory Herr
            November 6, 2018 at 9:47 pm

            Thanks for linking his articles Joe. Here is a recent interview:

            https://scotthorton.org/interviews/10-20-18-danny-sjursen-on-the-war-in-afghanistan/

          • Joe Tedesky
            November 6, 2018 at 11:41 pm

            Gregory thank you so much for the Scott Horton Major Danny Sjursen interview. It sure beats the hell out of listening to Fareed interview pundits from the CFR or WaPo.

            I would recommend listeners hear the interview towards the end where Major Danny speaks of career regrets, and how impossible it is to change our military from the inside.

            Again Gregory thanks for the link it was well appreciated. Joe

          • Gregory Herr
            November 7, 2018 at 8:15 pm

            Most welcome, Joe.

        • Joe Tedesky
          November 5, 2018 at 7:37 pm

          Skip after reading over your original comment… Yes! I agree we should praise peace.

          Case in point; look at the U.S. Statues adorning our Nation’s malls then look towards the North to Quebec …. do your own search & (maybe it’s me) but our homegrown statues have swords & rifles in their statues hands while Quebec has outstretched arms … (it’s me on this one I know) but I’m afraid we in the USA honor war way too much, far & way too much! In mass we are useless to the populace enhancement that we are all in support. The optic’s are truly not in our pacifistic favor, but yet we must turn up the volume… Peace!

          Let’s celebrate peace advocates & people of advancement in mankind. That’s what you opened this conversation with, and I though we should end on your original thought. It was a good one. Joe

          • Skip Scott
            November 6, 2018 at 9:36 am

            Thanks Joe. I know I’ve posted this before, but it’s one of my favorites from Greg Brown.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK0-bOdXIHs

            It’s probably especially relevant this election day.

          • Joe Tedesky
            November 6, 2018 at 11:02 am

            I noticed that Greg Brown was singing of how he wants his country back long before Obama & the Tea Party came along (2003). It’s interesting that Brown was on to ‘wanting his country back’ before the racial connotation along with the economic aspect was introduced into the mix of confusion.

            http://www.gregbrown.org/gbrepts.html

            As an amateur history student when I hear citizens proclaiming of how they want their country back I can’t help but wonder to what phase of American history would they want to return to. I personally would pick 1954 for middle class wealth equality, but that would set back a lot of civil rights for people of color. So that’s not good. Maybe the summer of 1963, but who even knows of how JFK almost secured a peace with Khrushchev through back channeled negotiations? Oh well, I just want what we all want, and that’s a lasting peace.

            At least you Skip bring some joy to our comment board here with Greg Brown strumming his folk guitar. Joe

          • Skip Scott
            November 6, 2018 at 11:53 am

            Joe-

            I’m only guessing, but I think Greg Brown’s song is a reaction to the rise of gluttonous “consumerism” and the re-emergence of blind “patriotism” that occurred at the dawn of the cocaine and disco era, and the end of the hippies and the peace movement. “Give Peace a Chance” got drowned out by ‘Murica and “USA USA USA!!”
            “The big, big flag over the big, big mall…” I think Greg is bemoaning what could have been had the Peace Movement of the ’60’s had more legs.

          • Joe Tedesky
            November 6, 2018 at 2:47 pm

            I think you are right Greg. That’s why I mentioned it. I didn’t want people to think Greg Brown was a Tea Partier.

        • Sam F
          November 6, 2018 at 10:05 pm

          Yes, an excellent article that all should read. Sjursen writes very well indeed and has an excellent grasp of the defects of the militarized US foreign policy.

          • Joe Tedesky
            November 6, 2018 at 11:42 pm

            I’m glad you enjoyed it Sam. Joe

  17. November 5, 2018 at 8:43 am

    That’s right. Trump will just double down and pretend everything is OK. It’s the American Way.

    This Too Shall Pass: Nothing is Going to Change With US – Saudi Relations No Matter Whom They Murder

  18. mike k
    November 5, 2018 at 8:38 am

    As long as their is hope of more loot and power, the US and Saudi Mafias will find a way to sort of be allies, until a time comes to really stab each other in the back.

  19. Anne Jaclard
    November 5, 2018 at 2:22 am

    It is worth noting that the US government perhaps never forgave King Faisal for that brief flash of independence and sympathy for Palestine. One year after the end of the Oil Embargo, he was assassinated. It is widely believed by people in the Arab world (including Arafat) believed that it was the work of the USA. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2535788?seq=3#metadata_info_tab_contents

  20. Jeff Harrison
    November 5, 2018 at 12:56 am

    Disgusting.

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