Monday, March 9, 2020









OBAMA AND HIS SAUDIS PAYMASTERS… Did he serve them well?
Malia, Michelle, Barack and the College Admissions Scandal

Michelle was the next to attend Harvard, in her case Harvard Law School. “Told by counselors that her SAT scores and her grades weren’t good enough for an Ivy League school,” writes Christopher Andersen in Barack and Michelle, “Michelle applied to Princeton and Harvard anyway.”


Barack Obama’s back door, however, was unique to him. Before prosecutors send some of the dimmer Hollywood stars to the slammer for their dimness, they might want to ask just how much influence a Saudi billionaire peddled to get Obama into Harvard.

“Of course, one of the main reasons the nation is now “divided, resentful and angry” is because race-baiting, Islamist, class warrior Barack Hussein Obama was president for eight long years." MATTHEW VADUM

MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman

Ben Hubbard. Random House/Duggan, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-1-9848-2382-3
Journalist Hubbard debuts with an incisive portrait of modern Saudi Arabia and 34-year-old crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, better known by his initials MBS. Though much about MBS’s early years remains unknown, Hubbard details his close relationship with his father, the governor of Riyadh, following the untimely deaths of two of MBS’s older half-brothers, and his willingness to threaten with violence those who don’t fall in line. After his father’s ascension to the throne in 2015, MBS took control of the royal court and became minister of defense. He implemented ambitious social and economic reforms, including rolling back the kingdom’s ban on women drivers, and courted Western investors with plans to build a $500 billion “smart city” near the Red Sea. He also declared war on the Houthi rebels in Yemen, escalated tensions with Iran and Qatar, detained hundreds of ministers and royal family members in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in a move billed as an anti-corruption push, and empowered underlings to aggressively silence dissidents—a campaign that led to the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Turkish consulate in 2018, severely damaging MBS’s international reputation. Hubbard enriches the narrative with informed discussions of Saudi history and culture, illuminating the kingdom’s complex blend of religious fundamentalism and technological ambition. This deeply researched and vividly written account provides essential insight into a figure poised to lead the region for the next half century. (Mar.)

Pollak: Everything Joe Biden Said About Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Actually Describes Barack Obama’s

Johannes Eisele / AFP Getty
12 Jul 20193

Everything former vice president Joe Biden said about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech on Thursday actually applies to the policy that Biden carried out together with former President Barack Obama — and not Trump.

In his speech, at City University of New York, Biden called Trump an “extreme” threat to the country’s national security. No one has yet taken Biden to task for describing the sitting commander-in-chief in such alarmist terms.
But that wasn’t even the most bizarre aspect of Biden’s speech. He said the main problem in Trump’s foreign policy was … Charlottesville, Virginia. Biden went on to recite a version of the debunked “very fine people” hoax, claiming that Trump had drawn a “moral equivalence between those who promoted hate and those who opposed it.” That, he said, was a threat to America’s mission of standing for democratic values in the world.
But in fact, Trump specifically condemned the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville on multiple occasions. The entire premise of Biden’s speech was a lie.
Biden went on to claim that Trump’s foreign policy rejects democratic values and favors the rise of authoritarianism worldwide. He cited Trump’s warmth to Russian president Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. And he claimed that Trump has undermined America’s alliances with democracies in favor of flattery from dictators.
Apparently Biden forgot that Obama literally bowed to the Saudi king; that he abandoned the pro-democracy protests during the Green Revolution in Iran; that he pushed for a “reset” with Russia and abandoned our Czech and Polish allies on missile defense; that he promised Putin he would be even more “flexible” after he won re-election; that he tried to normalize relations with the Cuban dictatorship without securing any democratic reforms there; that he gave the store away to the communist dictatorship in China; and that he abandoned Israel, a betrayal in which Biden himself played a direct and shameful role, condemning Israel for building apartments in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Trump praises dictators as a negotiating tactic; Obama praised them because he, too, thought America was a problem.
One of the few times the Obama administration embraced democratic change was during the Arab Spring, when “democracy” meant the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood — which had no interest in freedom, only in power.
In 2008, the Obama campaign cast Biden as a foreign policy guru, though he had been wrong on almost every foreign policy issue in his career. On Thursday, he mostly ignored his own record.
Astonishingly, Biden claimed credit for Trump’s success in crushing the so-called “Islamic State,” saying he worked with Obama “to craft the military and diplomatic campaign that ultimately defeated ISIS.” In fact, Biden was complicit in the rise of ISIS. He was Obama’s point man on Iraq when the U.S. suddenly pulled out of the country, leaving a vacuum that ISIS filled. He did not object when Obama called the terror group “junior varsity.”
Biden offered nothing new in terms of solutions to current foreign policy challenges. He claimed that the Iran nuclear deal had been a success — on the very day Iran was reportedto have been cheating all along. He said the U.S. should re-enter the deal once Iran did, offering no idea how to ensure that it did so. On North Korea, Biden promised he would “empower our negotiators,” whatever that means.
He said that he would get “tough” with China, which Trump is already doing (and which Biden previously suggested he would not do). And on immigration, he ridiculed the very idea of borders — literally: “I respect no borders.”
And this is the best Democrats have on foreign policy.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

House Votes to 'Enhance the Border Security' of Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia--Not the USA

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has voted to fund efforts to "enhance the border security" of Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia while moving to deny all funding to build walls, fencing or any other structures to enhance the border security of the United States.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants have their priorities.
To them, borders on the other side of the world are more important than our own.
On June 19, the House approved a massive spending bill. In an act of legislative polygamy, it "married" the appropriations bill for the Department of Defense to the appropriations bills for the Department of State, the Department of Energy, and the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated this monstrosity would cost taxpayers $984.7 billion in fiscal 2020.
Yet there is one thing this bill would forbid the Trump administration from spending one penny to accomplish.
On page 304 (of 650), it says: "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act or any prior Department of Defense appropriations Acts may be used to construct a wall, fence, border barriers, or border security infrastructure along the southern land border of the United States."
A month later, the House Appropriations Committee sent the full House a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security.
This bill — so far — is unmarried and would cost taxpayers $63.8 billion.
President Trump had requested that it include $5 billion to use in constructing barriers at the border.
How much did the committee give him?
"No funding is provided in the bill for new physical barriers along the southwest border," said the committee report.
It also said, "The recommendation provides no funding for additional Border Patrol Agents."
Thus, the Democrat-controlled House is advancing discretionary appropriations bills that would spend more than $1 trillion in one year but provide zero dollars to build physical barriers to stop illegal aliens, human traffickers and drug smugglers from crossing our southern border.
Yet that does not mean the Democrat-controlled House is not planning to spend some money to enhance border security.
It just depends where the border is.
In that 650-page spending bill that prohibits Defense Department money from being used to defend the southern border of the United States, there is a section that creates a $1.295 billion fund for use by the secretary of defense.
"For the 'Counter-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Train and Equip Fund', $1,295,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2021," says the bill. "Provided, That such funds shall be available to the secretary of defense in coordination with the Secretary of State, to provide assistance, including training; equipment; logistics support, supplies, and services; stipends; infrastructure repair and renovation; and sustainment, to foreign security forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals participating, or preparing to participate in activities to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and their affiliated or associated groups."
"Provided further," says the bill, "That these funds may be used in such amounts as the Secretary of Defense may determine to enhance the border security of nations adjacent to conflict areas including Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia resulting from actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria."
So, the secretary of defense could take a chunk of this $1.295 billion and give it to the government of Egypt to secure its border with post-Gadhafi Libya, where ISIS is active.
And he could give a chunk to Tunisia to secure its border with Libya.
Or he could give some American tax dollars to unnamed "irregular forces, groups, or individuals" who, someplace in this world, are "preparing to participate in activities" to counter ISIS, or at least groups that are "affiliated or associated" with ISIS.
But according to the House appropriations bills, President Trump cannot spend a penny to build structures at our own border to secure our own territory and our own people.
By contrast, the Republican-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a Homeland Security spending bill that does include $5 billion to build "pedestrian fencing" — to stop people on foot and in vehicles from crossing our southern border. Also, that committee's defense spending bill does not prohibit the president from using defense money to build barriers to defend our own border.
It even includes a larger fund ($1.8 billion) than the House bill that, among other things, can be used "for enhanced border security" not only in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia but also in Oman.
We are now more than a month into fiscal 2020. The government is running on a continuing resolution that expires Nov. 21.
President Trump should deliver a simple message to Speaker Pelosi: He is not going to sign a spending bill that funds border security in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia but not California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
He should put America first — even if Pelosi will shut down the government trying to stop him.
(Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of

US sends 3,000 more troops to defend Saudi monarchy


The Pentagon confirmed Friday that 3,000 more US troops are being deployed to Saudi Arabia to defend the blood-soaked monarchy led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and prepare for war against Iran.
The deployment includes two fighter squadrons, one Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW), two more Patriot missile batteries, and one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
According to a Pentagon statement Friday, the US Secretary of Defense phoned Crown Prince bin Salman (who also holds the post of Saudi minister of defense) to inform him of the coming reinforcements, which he said were meant “to assure and enhance the defense of Saudi Arabia.”
The Pentagon also acknowledged that the latest escalation brings the number of additional troops sent into the Persian Gulf region since May to 14,000. They have been accompanied by an armada of US warships and a B-52-led bomber task force. The Pentagon has also announced that an aircraft carrier-led battle group will remain in the Persian Gulf.
US soldiers deployed in the Middle East (U.S. Army by 1st Lt. Jesse Glenn)
While initiated as a supposed response to unspecified threats from Iran, the US buildup in the Persian Gulf region has constituted from its outset a military provocation and preparation for a war of aggression. This military buildup has accompanied Washington’s so-called “maximum pressure” campaign of sweeping economic sanctions that are tantamount to a state of war. The aim, as the Trump administration has stated publicly, is to drive Iranian oil exports down to zero. By depriving Iran of its principal source of export income, Washington hopes to starve the Iranian people into submission and pave the way to regime change, bringing to power a US puppet regime in Tehran.
The latest military buildup was announced in the immediate aftermath of an attack on an Iranian tanker in the Red Sea, about 60 miles from the Saudi port of Jeddah.
The National Iranian Tanker Co. reported that its oil tanker, the Sabiti, was struck twice by explosives early Friday morning, leaving two holes in the vessel and causing a brief oil spill into the Red Sea.
While Iranian state news media blamed the damage on missile attacks, a spokesman for the company told the Wall Street Journal that the company was not sure of the cause.
Some security analysts have suggested that the fairly minor damage to the vessel could have been caused by limpet mines. Such mines were apparently used last June when two tankers—one Japanese and one Norwegian-owned—were hit by explosions in the Sea of Oman. At the time, Washington blamed the attacks on Iran, without providing any evidence. Tehran denied the charge, saying that it sent teams to rescue crew member of the damaged tankers.
The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) quoted an unnamed Iranian government official as stating that the Iranian tanker had been the victim of a “terrorist attack.”
“Examination of the details and perpetrators of this dangerous action continues and will be announced after reaching the result,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
The National Iranian Tanker Co. issued a statement saying that there was no evidence that Saudi Arabia was behind the attack.
The incident raised the specter of an escalating tanker war that could disrupt shipping through the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 percent of the world’s oil supply flows. News of the attack sent crude oil prices spiking by 2 percent.
In addition to the June attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman, in July British commandos, acting on a request from Washington, stormed an Iranian super tanker, the Grace 1, in waters off the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. In apparent retaliation, Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized the British-flagged Stena Impero for what Tehran charged were violations of international maritime regulations as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz. Both tankers were subsequently released.
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement charging that the Iranian super tanker, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, had offloaded its oil in Syria in violation of European Union sanctions and a pledge made by Tehran to the UK at the time of the vessel’s release. He demanded provocatively that “EU members should condemn this action, uphold the rule of law, and hold Iran accountable.”

The Trump administration, which in May of last year unilaterally and illegally abrogated the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and the major powers has been pressuring the European signatories to the deal—Germany, France and the UK—to follow suit.
While the respective governments of the three countries have insisted that they still support the nuclear agreement, they have repeatedly bowed to Washington’s war drive, while failing to take any significant actions to counter the effects of the US “maximum pressure” campaign and deliver to Tehran the sanctions relief and economic normalization that it was promised in exchange for curtailing its nuclear program.
Most recently, the three European governments backed Washington in blaming Iran for a September 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities that temporarily shut down half of the kingdom’s oil production and sent crude prices spiraling by 20 percent—again without providing a shred of proof.
Washington is seeking to topple the Iranian regime or bully it into accepting complete subordination to US imperialist predatory interests in the energy-rich and geostrategically vital Middle East.
The US sanctions regime and military buildup have placed the entire region on a hair trigger for the outbreak of a catastrophic war that could engulf not only the Middle East, but the entire planet.
All of the regimes involved in the escalating conflict are gripped by crises that make the drive to war all the more explosive.
The impact of the sanctions on Iran’s economy has been devastating. It is estimated that oil exports last month fell to just 400,000 barrels per day (b/d), compared to 1.95 million b/d in September 2018. Left with little means of combating spiraling inflation and growing unemployment, Iran’s bourgeois-clerical regime is caught between intense pressure from imperialism on the one hand, and the growth of social opposition among Iranian workers and poor on the other.
The Saudi monarchy is confronting the debacle of its four-year-old and near genocidal war against the people of Yemen, made possible by the weapons and logistical aid provided by Washington, even as Prince bin Salman remains a global pariah for his ordering of the grisly assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year in Istanbul.
Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, incapable of forming a new government after two elections and confronting criminal indictments, has grown increasingly concerned over the apparent lack of appetite by the Persian Gulf Sunni monarchies for military confrontation with Iran and Washington’s failure to carry out military strikes after the downing of its drone in June and the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities last month. Clearly, Tel Aviv, which has cast Iran as its strategic enemy, would have a motive for attacking Iranian tankers in the hopes of provoking a response that could lead to US military action.
And then there is Trump. He has proclaimed his determination to halt the “endless wars” in the Middle East and provoked a political firestorm by pulling back a relative handful of US troops in Syria, allowing Turkey to launch a long-planned attack on the Pentagon’s erstwhile proxy force, the Kurdish-dominated YPG militia.
Faced with an escalating political crisis and growing social tensions within the US, along with an impeachment investigation by the Democrats in Congress that is focused entirely on the national security concerns of the CIA and the Pentagon, he has ample motive for launching a new war.
While the Democrats’ exclusive focus on Trump’s failure to pursue a sufficiently bellicose policy against Russia and prosecute the war for regime change in Syria has allowed the US president to absurdly posture as an opponent of war, the reality is that he has overseen a staggering increase in military spending designed to prepare for “great power” confrontations, particularly with China.
Meanwhile, whatever his political pretense, Trump has done nothing to end any of the wars in the Middle East. While he has ordered US troops to pull back, allowing the Turkish invasion, none of them have been withdrawn from Syria.

With the latest buildup of US forces in Saudi Arabia, Washington is preparing, behind the backs of the working class, to launch a catastrophic military conflict with Iran. The most urgent task posed by these developments is the building of a global antiwar movement led by the working class. This movement must be armed with a socialist and internationalist program to unify working people in the United States, Europe and the Middle East in a common struggle against imperialist war and its source, the capitalist system.

Why is the Swamp Keeper and his family of parasites up their ar$es??



JOHN DEAN: Not so far. This has been right by the letter of the special counsel’s charter. He’s released the document. What I’m looking for is relief and understanding that there’s no witting or unwitting likelihood that the President is an agent of Russia. That’s when I’ll feel comfortable, and no evidence even hints at that. We don’t have that yet. We’re still in the process of unfolding the report to look at it. And its, as I say, if [Attornery General William Barr] honors his word, we’ll know more soon.

“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and 

Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy 

approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This 

is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---


PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES DONALD TRUMP: Pathological liar, swindler, con man, huckster, golfing cheat, charity foundation fraudster, tax evader, adulterer, porn whore chaser and servant of the Saudis dictators

VISUALIZE REVOLUTION!.... We know where they live!
“Underwood is a Democrat and is seeking millions of dollars in penalties. She wants Trump and his eldest children barred from running other charities.”

Opinion: Trump And Pompeo Have Enabled A Saudi Cover-Up Of The Khashoggi Killing

October 2, 201911:45 AM ET
In the weeks following the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump spent more time praising Saudi Arabia as a very important ally than he did reacting to the killing.
Hasan Jamali/AP
Aaron David Miller (@aarondmiller2) is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former State Department Middle East analyst, adviser and negotiator in Republican and Democratic administrations. He is the author most recently of the End of Greatness: Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President.
Richard Sokolsky, a nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, worked in the State Department for six different administrations and was a member of the secretary of state's Office of Policy Planning from 2005 to 2015.

It has been a year since Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul where he was slain and dismembered. There is still no objective or comprehensive Saudi or American accounting of what occurred, let alone any real accountability.
The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's admission in a recent CBS interview that he takes "full responsibility," while denying foreknowledge of the killing or that he ordered it, sweeps under the rug the lengths to which the Saudis have gone to obscure the truth about their involvement in the killing and cover-up.
The Saudi campaign of obfuscation, denial and cover-up would never have gotten off the ground had it not been for the Trump administration's support over the past year. The president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not only refused to distance themselves from the crown prince, known by his initials MBS, but also actively worked to relegitimize him. The Saudis killed Khashoggi but Trump acquiesced in the cover-up and worked hard to protect the U.S.-Saudi relationship and soften the crown prince's pariah status. In short, without Trump, the attempted makeover — such as it is — would not have been possible.
The Saudis killed Khashoggi but Trump acquiesced in the cover-up and worked hard to protect the U.S.-Saudi relationship and soften the crown prince's pariah status.
Weak administration response
The administration's weak and feckless response to Khashoggi's killing was foreshadowed a year before it occurred. In May 2017, in an unusual break with precedent, Trump visited Saudi Arabia on his inaugural presidential trip; gave his son-in-law the authority to manage the MBS file, which he did with the utmost secrecy; and made it unmistakably clear that Saudi money, oil, arm purchases and support for the administration's anti-Iranian and pro-Israeli policies would elevate the U.S.-Saudi "special relationship" to a new level.
Predictably, therefore, the administration's reaction to Khashoggi's killing was shaped by a desire to manage the damage and preserve the relationship. In the weeks following Khashoggi's death, Trump spent more time praising Saudi Arabia as a very important ally, especially as a purchaser of U.S. weapons and goods, than he did reacting to the killing. Trump vowed to get to the bottom of the Khashoggi killing but focused more on defending the crown prince, saying this was another example of being "guilty before being proven innocent."
Those pledges to investigate and impose accountability would continue to remain hollow. Over the past year, Trump and Pompeo have neither criticized nor repudiated Saudi actions that have harmed American interests in the Middle East. Two months after Khashoggi's death, the administration, in what Pompeo described as an "initial step," imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi individuals implicated in the killing. But no others have been forthcoming, and the visa restrictions that were imposed are meaningless because none of the sanctioned Saudis would be foolish enough to seek entry into the United States.
What's more, the administration virtually ignored a congressional resolution imposing sanctions on the Saudis for human rights abuses and vetoed another bipartisan resolution that would have ended U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia's inhumane military campaign in Yemen.
The Saudis opened a trial in January of 11 men implicated in the killing, but the proceedings have been slow and secretive, leading the United Nations' top human rights expert to declare that "the trial underway in Saudi Arabia will not deliver credible accountability." Despite accusations that the crown prince's key adviser Saud al-Qahtani was involved in the killing, he's still advising MBS, has not stood trial and will likely escape punishment. A year later, there are still no reports of convictions or serious punishment.
Legitimizing Mohammed bin Salman
The Trump administration has not only given the crown prince a pass on the Khashoggi killing, but it has also worked assiduously to remove his pariah status and rehabilitate his global image. Barely two months after the 2018 slaying, Trump was exchanging pleasantries with the crown prince at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires and holding out prospects of spending more time with him. Then this past June, at the G-20 in Osaka, Japan, Trump sang his praises while dodging questions about the killing. "It's an honor to be with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, a friend of mine, a man who has really done things in the last five years in terms of opening up Saudi Arabia," Trump said.
And you can bet that when Saudi Arabia hosts the G-20, scheduled to be held in its capital of Riyadh in November 2020, the Trump administration will be smiling as its rehab project takes another step in its desired direction.
What the U.S. should have done
Trump has failed to impose any serious costs or constraints on Saudi Arabia for the killing of a U.S. newspaper columnist who resided in Virginia or for the kingdom's aggressive policies, from Yemen to Qatar. In the wake of the Khashoggi killing, the administration should have made it unmistakably clear, both publicly and privately, that it expected a comprehensive and credible accounting and investigation. It should have suspended high-level contacts and arms sales with the kingdom for a period of time. And to make the point, the administration should have supported at least one congressional resolution taking the Saudis to task, in addition to triggering the Magnitsky Act, which would have required a U.S. investigation; a report to Congress; and sanctions if warranted.
Back to business as usual
The dark stain of the crown prince's apparent involvement in Khashoggi's death will not fade easily. But for Trump and Pompeo, it pales before the great expectations they still maintain for the kingdom to confront and contain their common enemy, Iran, as well as support the White House's plan for Middle East peace, defeat jihadists in the region and keep the oil spigot open.
Most of these goals are illusory. Saudi Arabia is a weak, fearful and unreliable ally. The kingdom has introduced significant social and cultural reforms but has imposed new levels of repression and authoritarianism. Its reckless policies toward Yemen and Qatar have expanded, not contracted, opportunities for Iran, while the Saudi military has demonstrated that, even after spending billions to buy America's most sophisticated weapons, it still can't defend itself without American help.
Meanwhile, recent attacks on critical Saudi oil facilities that the U.S. blames on Iran have helped rally more American and international support for the kingdom.
When it comes to the U.S.-Saudi relationship and the kingdom's callous reaction to Khashoggi's killing, the president and his secretary of state have been derelict in their duty: They have not only failed to advance American strategic interests but also undermined America's values in the process.

The U.S. Military is Sending Thousands of Troops and Even B-1 Bombers into Saudi Arabia (To Counter Iran)

The National InterestNovember 3, 2019
On October 6, around fifty U.S. commandos in northeastern Syria tasked with hunting down ISIS forces were withdrawn from territory near the Turkish border controlled by the Kurdish-Arab SDF faction.
The U.S. withdrawal was a prerequisite for a Turkish attack against the SDF which subsequently took place. The remaining hundreds of U.S. forces elsewhere in northeastern Syria were endangered in the crossfire and had to be withdrawn a few days later.
The U.S. withdrawal was post-hoc justified on the basis that they were no longer needed in the Middle East and it was time to “bring the troops home.” 
But in the weeks since, the United States has deployed over 3,000 more troops to the Middle East—including hundreds of National Guardsmen in Syria, and thousands of soldiers and airmen deployed to Saudi Arabia.
While a companion article looks at the deployment of a mechanized battalion to defend an oil field in southeastern Syria, this second part looks at the rapid buildup of U.S. forces in the wealthy Kingdom in response to intensifying clashes with Iran following the United State’s withdrawal from a nuclear deal with Tehran.
Return to the Kingdom
The deployments to Saudi Arabia marks a dramatic turn around from sixteen years earlier in 2003, when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld pulled out thousands of U.S. troops. Their presence had long been cited as a factor radicalizing Muslims across the planet who objected to the presence of foreign troops so close to the holy city of Mecca.
Apparently, these concerns have since faded, despite political headwinds from a U.S. Congress angered by Saudi Arabia’s grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul.
The buildup has been prompted by Iranian harassment of shipping in the Persian Gulf, the shootdown of U.S. surveillance drone over the Persian Gulf in June, and a drone and missile attack on Saudi oil refineries in September that was almost certainly of Iranian origin but which Yemeni rebels took credit for.
First, following the loss of drones in June, that the Defense Department announced it was doubling troop deployment to the Kingdom from 500 to 1,000 personnel.

US Attorney General Barr invokes “state secrets” to cover up Saudi involvement in 9/11


Last week, it was revealed that the Trump administration has taken extraordinary steps to continue the 18-year cover-up of Saudi government involvement in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
On Thursday, September 12, one day after the 18th anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people, a federal court filing revealed that Attorney General William Barr has asserted the "state secrets" privilege to block the release of an FBI report detailing extensive relations between some of the 19 hijackers and Saudi government officials. Victims of the attacks and their families are pushing for access to the 2007 report as part of a lawsuit against the Saudi government launched in 2003 charging the despotic monarchy with coordinating the mass killings.
Barr declared there was a “reasonable danger” that releasing the report would “risk significant harm to national security.”
The court filing also revealed that the FBI has agreed to turn over to the families’ lawyers the name of a Saudi individual that is redacted in a four-page summary of the FBI report released in 2012. The summary lays out evidence concerning three Saudis who provided money and otherwise assisted two of the hijackers in California in finding housing, obtaining driver’s licenses and other matters.
Government investigations have established that the two people who are named in the FBI summary, Fahad al-Thumairy, a former Saudi consulate official, and Omar al-Bayoumi, suspected by the FBI of being a Saudi intelligence officer, were working in coordination with the Saudi regime. The third person, whose name is redacted, is described in the FBI summary as having assigned the other two to assist the hijackers.
Lawyers for the families last year subpoenaed the FBI for an unredacted copy of the summary based on the contention that the third person was a senior Saudi official. But as part of the court filing, citing the “exceptional nature of the case,” the FBI issued a protective seal to prevent the name of the third Saudi from becoming public. The agency also refused to provide any of the other information requested by the families.
An FBI official said the agency was shielding the name to protect classified information related to “ongoing investigations” and to protect its “sources and methods.”
In fact, the extraordinary measures taken to conceal the role of the Saudi regime in the 9/11 attacks are driven by the need of US imperialism to maintain its reactionary alliance with the Saudi sheiks and continue the false cover story on 9/11 that has served as an ideological pillar for aggression in the Middle East and the buildup of a police-state infrastructure within the US, carried out in the name of fighting a “war on terror.”
The Saudi monarchy has been a key ally of the United States in the Middle East for 70 years, and since 9/11 it has become, alongside Israel, Washington’s most important partner in the region. It has played a central role in the bloody wars for regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, which have killed more than a million people and destroyed entire societies. It is also the world’s biggest purchaser of US arms.
Its intelligence agencies have long worked in the closest collaboration with the CIA and the FBI. The exposure of Saudi complicity in 9/11 immediately implicates sections of the US intelligence establishment in facilitating, it not actively aiding, the terror attacks, and sheds light on the multiple unanswered questions about how 19 men, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals, could carry out such a complex operation.
The 9/11 attacks were eagerly seized upon by the George W. Bush administration, with the support of the Democratic Party and media allies such as the New York Times, to implement longstanding plans to wage aggressive war in the Middle East.
The cover-up of Saudi involvement has been carried out over three administrations, Democratic and Republican alike. It began within hours of the attacks themselves. Eight days after the attacks, at least 13 relatives of Osama bin Laden, accompanied by bodyguards and associates, were allowed to secretly leave the US on a chartered flight. One of the passengers, a nephew of the supposed number one on Washington’s “most wanted” list, had been linked by the FBI to a suspected terrorist organization.
The US association with bin Laden went back decades. Under the CIA’s Operation Cyclone, conducted between 1979 and 1989, the US and Saudi Arabia provided $40 billion worth of financial aid and weapons to the mujahedeen “freedom fighters” waging war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, an operation in which then-US ally bin Laden played a key role. The proxy war in Afghanistan was pivotal in the later creation of Al Qaeda.
In July of 2016, the US government released to the public a 28-page section, suppressed for 14 years, of a joint congressional inquiry into 9/11. The 28-page chapter dealt with the role of the Saudi government and contained abundant and damning evidence of extensive Saudi support for the 9/11 hijackers in the period leading up to the attacks.
Among its revelations were:
▪ Two of the Saudi hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, lived for a time in Los Angeles and San Diego in 2000, where they obtained pilot training. They were given money and lodgings by Omar al-Bayoumi, who worked closely with an emir at the Saudi Defense Ministry. Both were under CIA surveillance while attending an Al Qaeda planning meeting in 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and placed on a “watch list” for FBI monitoring if they came to the United States. Nonetheless they were allowed to enter the US on January 15, 2000.
▪ Al-Bayoumi “received support from a Saudi company affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Defense,” drawing a paycheck for a no-show job. The company also had ties to Osama bin Laden. His allowances jumped almost tenfold after the arrival of al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar. Al-Bayoumi had found an apartment for the two, which they shared with an informant for the San Diego FBI, advancing them a deposit on the first month’s rent.
▪ Al-Bayoumi’s wife received a $1,200 a month stipend from the wife of Prince Bandar, then the Saudi ambassador to the US and later head of Saudi intelligence. The wife of his associate, Osama Bassnan, identified by the FBI as a supporter of bin Laden, received $2,000 a month from Bandar’s wife.
▪ Three of the hijackers stayed at the same Virginia hotel as Saleh al-Hussayen, a Saudi Interior Ministry official, the night before the attacks.
Despite such evidence, and much more, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission appointed by George W. Bush concluded that there was no conclusive evidence that “senior” Saudi officials played a role in the 9/11 attacks. When the 28-page section of the congressional report was released in 2016, Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, denounced all suggestions of Saudi involvement as baseless.
However, former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, said, “There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government.”
Former Democratic Senator Robert Graham, cochair of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, said that there was “a pervasive pattern of covering up the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 by all of the agencies of the federal government, which have access to information that might illuminate Saudi Arabia’s role in 9/11.”
In the lawsuit filed by the families of the victims, he filed an affidavit that stated, “I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia.”
It is significant, but not surprising, that the corporate media has given only the most perfunctory and muted coverage to the moves by the Trump administration to once again suppress the role of the Saudi regime in 9/11, and the Democrats have been completely silent.
One should compare this response to damning evidence of Saudi culpability and US cover-up in relation to an event that took nearly 3,000 lives to the hysteria of the anti-Russia witch hunt led by the Democratic Party, the New York Times and the bulk of the media, based on completely unsubstantiated charges.

One topic that Hillary is quick to criticize President Trump on is his relationship with Saudia Arabia. It’s ironic given the Clinton Foundation’s refusal to state that they will no longer accept financial donations from The Kingdom as others have.

But the Clinton Foundation, to which donations declined dramatically after Clinton’s 2016 defeat, has taken multi-million dollar contributions from Saudi Arabia in the past and isn’t ruling out continuing to accept them.
The Clinton Foundation accepted between $10 and $25 million from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with donations coming as late as 2014. A now-defunct group named “Friends of Saudi Arabia,” which was reportedly co-founded by a Saudi Prince and often worked as a PR front for the kingdom, also donated between $1 and $5 million.

2008: Hillary Clinton Warned ‘If I Am the President, We Will Attack Iran’ to Defend Israel

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
  8 Jan 2020732
Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned in 2008 that she was prepared to “obliterate” Iran if it produced a nuclear weapon and promised to retaliate if the country launched a nuclear attack on Israel.
Clips of Clinton’s rhetoric resurfaced after social media users protested President Donald Trump’s decision to kill Iranian Quds force commander Qasem Soleimani which resulted in retaliatory airstrikes from Iran on Tuesday night.
The hashtag #IvotedforHillaryClinton trended on Twitter on Wednesday morning, a trend that Clinton participated in with a taunting gif.

But Clinton may have forgotten her own hawkish rhetoric during the 2008 primary.
Ahead of the Pennsylvania Democratic primary that April, Hillary Clinton was asked by Good Morning America what she would do if Israel was attacked by Iran.
“If Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel, what would our response be?” Clinton said in an interview with then-host Chris Cuomo. “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran. That’s what we will do. There is no safe haven.”
She also warned that if Iran developed a nuclear weapon, the United States had the power to “totally obliterate” the country.
“Whatever stage of development they might be in their nuclear weapons program in the next 10 years during which they may foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them,” she said.
She admitted that her comment was “terrible” but said it was important to “deter” Iran from attacking Israel.
“That’s a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic,” she added.
At the time, Sen. Barack Obama criticized Clinton for sounding like a warmonger.
“It’s not the language we need right now, and I think it’s language reflective of George Bush,” Obama said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press afterwards.
After he was elected president, Obama pursued a policy of appeasement with Iran after appointing Clinton as Secretary of State. But Clinton left the administration prior to Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, leaving Secretary of State John Kerry to complete the deal.



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