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22 May 2017

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eakens

They'll need a lot of tanks and aircraft if the pot stirring occurs when 4M people flood Mecca during Hajj.

ancient archer

Col,

I think there is a qualitative difference between Israel and any other country in regards to their influence on the USG. Israel controls the individual decision makers (senators, congressmen, etc) or enough of them to make a difference. The others, including the Saudis, seem to want to buy control through one-off deals for arms. The Saudis, in this instance are dealing with the institutional USG, which to me is impersonal, and hence the level of influence is lower than that of the Izzies who has senators/congressmen at its beck and call thru AIPAC and its control of the MSM.

More interesting is the thought that Trump wants to play these tactical allies (Saudis and Israel) against each other by giving so much importance to the arabs. Everyone knows that whatever influence is bought through these one off payments will last until the money is spent - and then maybe not even till then.

Serge

How about that scene with the orb at the opening of the James Bond villain anti terror center?
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DAY5yVTUAAECF6i.jpg
The James Bond villain HQ in question:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v0U1MG6hm2o

What a setup. The optics couldn't be worse

Haralambos

Dear Keith Harbaugh,

I can only surmise that you do not recall the 1970s. The Munich hostage crisis in 1972 was one, and the Entebbe hostage crisis was another. The oil crises of the 1970s threw US policy into supporting Iran which was one of our closest allies/clients under the Shah as well as the Saudis if my aging brain recall this. The hostage crisis from 1978-79 to 1980 leading up to President Reagan's election was another as were the later Irangate and the war between Iran and Iraq during that period over many years.

This was at the height of the Cold War.

Fred

Col.,

"Did you notice that in the picture they have him dancing with the servants?"

That doesn't say much for the knowledge and skills of the professionals in the State Department nor do I think he'll be happy to have been slighted this way once he finds out.

Brunswick

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/static.theintercept.com/amp/as-trump-travels-to-saudi-arabia-the-kingdoms-d-c-lobbying-surge-is-paying-off.html

Thirdeye

I'm willing to be optimistic and predict that competition between AIPAC and Saudi interests for influence in the US will get extremely dirty. KSA has the money, AIPAC has the insider connections and the IO capabilities. They can do some major damage to each other and it may spill over to the Borg.

different clue

Kooshy,

If the al-Sisi government and the Egyptian Nation can survive upcoming geo-physical and ecological/ food-security pressures over the next couple of decades, then a carefully Sisi-selected and guided post-Sisi government may be able to guide Egyptian society's move into some of the modernity I think you speak of.

Whereas the Erdogan government and its post-Erdogan successors will throw Turkey down the staircase one stair at a time till Turkey is all the way in the basement of neo-utter-primitivity.

pano

In my view, this was largely a response to the Iran deal Obama had achieved. This is in a sense the anti-Iran deal.

I also believe that the Saudis and others are afraid of the consequences of JASTA. Nowhere did Trump accuse the houses of Saud and Thani (among others) of supporting terror, specifically ISIS, when they obviously have, but Trump did accuse Iran of supporting terror. And Assad was described in the worst terms. This is a very different response and stands in contrast to some of the attitude of candidate Trump.

Razor_Edge

Interesting to watch that video. I notice that the uniformed security people, in what surely should be a sterile indoor area, are watching carefully for any threat. It suggests to me that there is not complete confidence that insiders are not a threat. Shades of the attack on Sadat that killed him. I recall that especially because the Irish Defence Minister of the time was on the reviewing stand beside Sadat and took shrapnel to the face during the attack.

different clue

Croesus,

Bridge of Horns would be so far from anything in Africa or Asia or Europe of any economic value that I wonder who would be incentivized to build many hundreds of miles of road/railroad through trackless wastes full of nothing of value just to get to it.

I doubt it would be any answer or any attractor of people away from the Chinese One Belt One Road Co-Prosperity Sphere.

different clue

Keith Harbaugh,

Legacy-hostility for Iran's seizing the Embassy and holding the Americans hostage, and also legacy hostility for Islamic Revolutionary Iran's perceived part in various bombings against American service-people. If Iran is considered to blame for killing American soldiers in Iraq at times, that would be a more recent source of legacy-hostility.

Anyone holding these things against Iran might act from this hostility if they were in a position of power.

ex-PFC Chuck

Per Croesus: "Nor did any high-level American represent USA at One Belt One Road Conference May 14. Matt Pottinger, Marine and former journalist that Michael Flynn wanted on his staff, represented USA. Majority of the other 56 nations present were represented by their highest dignitaries . . "

Look on the positive side! At least we sent somebody, unlike 62 years ago when the DullesEisenhower Administration shunned the first non-aligned nation conference in Bandung, Indonesia. Per Wikipedia: " The US security establishment also feared that the Conference would expand China's regional power. . . . . The United States, at the urging of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, shunned the conference and was not officially represented."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandung_Conference

SR Wood

Is part of their demographic problem the sizable number of Shiites in the eastern part of SA where most of the oil is?

Laura

Colonel -- Ah, no, I couldn't have told a servant from a savant--thank you for the tip.

I see what you mean about the money and the projects and they way they can manage their end of the deal.


Laura

iowa steve

The money quote from the cited article:

"He [Trump] should also understand that Saudi Arabia and Israel may be keen to lure the US into war with Iran – but they have no intention of doing much fighting themselves."

DianaLC

I am nervous any time we deal with a ME country. I just don't feel that their sense of honor and honesty is the same as what we think is honorable and honest. It always feels to me that they are crossing their fingers behind their backs as they make deals.

That said, as for the SA students I have had in some of the classes I taught on several campuses in my state, I found them to be intelligent and eager to learn. I taught research writing and so always began with an assignment which forced the students to learn the library databases in order to find their sources.

On one occasion, my SA student that semester asked me after class if he could research whether or not the House of Saud had been good for the country. Without thinking, I said it would be a fine topic for him.

Half way through the semester I would ask them to bring in their note cards, materials, etc. and then I would go over the first draft of the first half of the paper which they had turned in before the conference.

This student turned in an entire paper. He had done everything very well in regard to documentation, outlining, etc. But the paper made no sense to me. He had come to the conclusion that the House of Saud was NOT good for the country. But throughout the draft of the paper only the two paragraphs before the conclusion conclusion provided information negative in regard to the ruling family. The rest of the paper was a report of a lot of Public relations projects that the ruling family had done.

When I confronted the student about this, as usual he kept looking down and not making eye contact--as I am female. Then I realized what was happening. I told him that if ANYONE came to me and asked me for his paper, I would say I didn't have it.

Then he gave me the real paper.

That is the most dramatic incident with a SA student. Several of the others often felt some sadness, especially the women, when it was time to return to SA. The family ties and obligations, however, kept them committed to return.

I wonder, with all the many returned students if there might be a growing displeasure with the severe restrictions in that country for personal choices.


kooshy

Actually the orb worked, King Solomon of SA and President Trump with help of locally paid dictators were able to exercise their exorcism and bring out the demon in Manchester today.

Lemur

The US wants global hegemony and for that you need levers (as many as possible) on the world land island in concert with a powerful navy. Europe, the ME, and Airstrip 2 (Japan) all fulfill the land side of this equation.

Within the specific context of the ME, a policy that is perpetually at odds with the actual US national interest (i.e., what's good for Joe Citizen) should be squarely laid at the feet of certain (((ethnic minority))) who cynically distort culture and politics for their own ends.

kooshy

Thank You colonel, IMO a nuclear pakistan is more dangerous, than all sunni Arabs combined, considering all Saudi bought and schooled ideologue islamists. Sir, IMO it is carry as hell how west prioritizes her day to day economy over her day to day security.

kooshy

Colonel you must mean a IO campaign by Izzes to take over US' FP.

TonyL

> Did you notice that in the picture they have him dancing with the servants? pl

First Obama, now Trump.

LondonBob

I wonder how much of that will be of necessity, the Saudis seem to have stabilised their finances somewhat but the oil price is still a long way off from the frenzied days of 'peak oil' theorising and won't be going much higher for the foreseeable future.

LondonBob

Goes farther back than that, take off another 50 years. Just finished reading a book on the Great War, the authors were criticising the decision of the British government to send troops from the decisive Western front to the Middle East in 1917, in the face of fierce opposition by the military. There were reasons for that, namely the Balfour declaration and the promise of US entry in to the war and the opening up of new sources of finance to fund the war.

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p389_john.html

Confusedponderer

The more amusing part of the saudi arms deal for 136 something billion or so is that iirc a part of it is going to the corporation Northrop Grumman. Well, iirc Mr. Trump owns NG shares, and thus quite likely profit from it. Foreign pooicy at the worse.

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