Iranian General Soleimani Was on a Peace Mission with Saudi Arabia When He Was Killed by US Military on Orders from the White House
Ron Paul says it is highly unlikely that Iran was planning an attack on the US before this assassination, because the country literally is surrounded by US military bases. Trump followed the urging of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Marco Rubio, and Mike Pence when he made the decision to kill the Iranian general. Vice President Pence claimed that Soleimani was responsible for 9/11, and no one mentioned the absurdity of such a statement. When Trump ordered the assassination of General Soleimani, he said he was protecting the US from “imminent attacks” on US facilities and personnel. However, it is now known that Trump was told by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi that the Iranian general was on his way to Iraq seeking peaceful relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Since the assassination, Iraq’s parliament has voted to expel all US troops from the country, Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has sworn to exact a “severe revenge” on Soleimani’s killers, and Trump has threatened to target Iranian ‘cultural’ sites, which are religious institutions. [This is not going to end well for anyone, including Americans.] -GEG
Desperate to justify the US drone assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that Washington had made an “intelligence-based assessment” that Soleimani was “actively planning in the region” to attack American interests before he was killed.
President Donald Trump justified his fateful decision to kill the Iranian general in even more explicit language, declaring that Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US diplomatic facilities and personnel across the Middle East.
“We took action last night to stop a war,” Trump claimed. “We did not take action to start a war.”
A Saudi National, Mohammed Alshamrani, Shot 3 Americans to Death While Training at Pensacola Naval Air Station
Florida: On Friday morning, Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, shot and killed three Americans and injured eight others with a locally purchased 9 mm hand gun at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. He was killed by sheriffs. He was reported to be a student of aviation receiving US military training at the base. Mainstream news reported that he had hosted a dinner party the night before the attack to watch mass-shooting videos. Six Saudi nationals were also arrested, including three who were seen filming the shooting. -GEG
Approximately 1,500 pilots are enrolled in the Naval training program – with Saudis having attended courses at the Pensacola site since the 1970s. According to the report, as many as 20 students from the Islamic Republic are in any given class – with many of them belonging to the Royal Family. Three of the Saudis blamed for the 9/11 hijacking attacks were Saudi nationals with the Pensacola military base shown on their driver’s licenses as their address.
Mohammed Alshamrani allegedly posted tweets that read, “O American people, I’m not against you for just being American, I don’t hate you for your freedoms, I hate you because every day you supporting, funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also against humanity. I’m against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil. What I see from America is the supporting of Israel which is an invasion of Muslim countrie, I see invasion of many countries by it’s troops, I see Guantanamo Bay. I see cruise missiles, cluster bombs and UAV.” [A UAV is Unmanned Arial Vehicle or drone]
“Given the recent attacks at two military installations, the Commander, U.S. Northern Command has directed all DoD [Defense Department] installations, facilities and units within the U.S. Northern Command area of responsibility to immediately assess force protection measures and implement increased random security measures appropriate for their facilities,” Lt. Cmdr. Michael Hatfield told Fox News.
Meanwhile, the FBI is searching for missing Saudi nationals linked to the shooting. The agency’s Jacksonville office confirmed that the shooter was Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, a 2nd Lt. in the Royal Saudi Air Force and a student naval flight officer of Naval Aviation Schools Command when he killed three people and injured 12 after opening fire.
BREAKING NEWS: US Marshals helping track down as many as 10 Saudi nat’ls who have gone missing since Fri’s terrorist attack on Pensacola air station, as fed investigators suspect the AWOL Saudi enrollees may be tied to Saudi terror cell that infiltrated US Navy installation in FL
US to Send Warplanes and 3,000 Troops to Saudi Arabia to Confront Iran Following an Attack on an Iranian Tanker
Last Friday, Iran’s National Oil Company reported that explosions ignited a fire on one of its tankers that was 60 miles from the Saudi port city of Jiddah. Iran has not stated who they suspect is the culprit. Following the news of the attack against Iran, the US announced that it will send 3,000 ground troops and two squadrons of fighter jets to Saudi Arabia to “confront” Iran. The rapid announcement of this deployment by the Pentagon suggests they were prepared for an incident like this. -GEG
Though the timing of this seems fairly obviously linked to the missile incident, Pentagon officials made no mention that it even happened, instead citing last month’s drone attack on Saudi oil refineries, which Yemen’s Houthis claimed credit for but the US blamed on Iran.
The US had already sent troops and defensive missiles to the Saudi kingdom over the refineries. Defense Secretary Mark Esper claimed the move was based on a “heightened threat” from Iran.
Tensions are certainly higher, even if the Iranian threat is almost always overstated. Having an oil tanker hit with missiles would certainly have this effect on tensions. The rapid announcement of this deployment by the Pentagon suggests they weren’t exactly taken by surprise at this incident with the oil tanker. Read full article here…
Trump Puts ‘Highest Sanctions Ever’ On Iran, Sends Troops And Air And Missile Defense to Saudi Arabia
The Trump administration is maxing out sanctions on Iran and also sending US troops and air and missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia even though both chambers of congress voted to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia earlier this year. The sanctions are not only targeting Iran but every country which does business with Iran. The US announced it would send additional troops along with enhanced air and missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in response to the attack on Saudi oil facilities, which the US has blamed on Iran. In 2018, Trump stated that he stands by the Saudis is because they provide a counterbalance to Iran and “without them, Israel would be in a lot more trouble.”
President Donald Trump on Friday shared details of his administration’s newest sanctions on Iran, targeting the Islamic Republic’s national bank over Tehran’s alleged involvement in a series of drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities last weekend.
Trump claimed they would be the “highest sanctions ever imposed on a country,” telling reporters in the Oval Office that the penalties would go “right to the top” of the Iranian government.
“You will be seeing certain things happening but a very major factor is what we did,” Trump said during a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “The highest sanctions ever imposed on a country. We’ve never done it to this level.”
The latest sanctions layer on top of a slew of other penalties the Trump administration has imposed and reimposed as a result of Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and other world powers. The existing sanctions have already targeted Iran’s oil exports, its metal and mining industries and its ability to receive financing from international banks. Tehran has repeatedly likened the sanctions to “economic warfare.”
The new sanctions will affect “the last remaining source of funds for both the central bank of Iran, as well as the national development fund — which is their sovereign wealth fund,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Friday. “This is very big — we’ve now cut off all source of funds to Iran.”
Iran’s hospitals are experiencing a shortage of medicine and medical supplies.
It’s a perilous example of an economic crisis that’s worsened since the Trump administration reimposed economic sanctions on the country. https://t.co/N4wJthIWkF
Attacks on Saudi Arabia’s Oil Resources Blamed on Iran, NeoCons Ready for War
Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil processing facility, the largest refinery in the world, and the Khurais oil field, were attacked. The Houthis have claimed responsibility but, since Iran is a ally of the Houthis and since the drones used in the attack may have come from Iran, the Saudis are putting the blame on Iran. Some observers suspect a false flag attack; earlier this year, there were two questionable claimed attacks against oil tankers that were blamed on Iran (see here and here). The NeoCons and WarHawks in Washington are calling for war. -GEG
Following the early morning attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil processing facility—the largest oil processing plant in the world—and a similar drone attack at the Khurais oil field on Saturday, the neocon senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, has called for attacking Iran.
It is now time for the U.S. to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries if they continue their provocations or increase nuclear enrichment.
Although the Houthis claimed responsibility for the crippling attack, there is little evidence who is actually responsible. It is just as likely the Saudis did this to 1) ramp up hostilities against their arch enemy, Shia Iran, 2) jack up the price of oil, and 3) in the process make the impending Aramco IPO more lucrative.
In addition, the Saudis fear the end of the illegal war on the people of Yemen negotiated by the US:
According to Reuters reports the drone attacks will impact up to 5 million bpd of oil production, which suggests that the price of oil—already severely depressed by the recent news that John Bolton is out, making de-escalation with Iran far more likely—is set to soar when trading reopens late on Sunday, just what the upcoming Aramco IPO desperately needs, which in turn has prompted some to wonder if the “Yemen” attack on Saudi Arabia wasn’t in fact orchestrated by Saudi interests. (Emphasis mine.)
Meanwhile, the corporate media, as should be expected, is placing the blame indirectly on Iran. From the beginning of the Saudi campaign to bomb the daylights out of Yemen, creating one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent memory, the corporate media has stated as an indisputable fact the Houthis are an Iranian proxy doing the bidding of the mullahs in Tehran.
The attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias against the two Aramco pumping stations proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran’s regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region, and not to protect the people of Yemen as the Houthis falsely claim.
On the contrary, the Iranians have very little to do with supporting the Houthis, a fact rarely mentioned because it conflicts with the narrative that fallaciously states Iran is the most vicious terror state in the world (that designation is better suited for the United States and Israel).
Thomas Juneau, the assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and an analyst with Canada’s Department of National Defense, wrote for The Washington Post in 2016, “Tehran’s support for the Houthis is limited, and its influence in Yemen is marginal. It is simply inaccurate to claim that the Houthis are Iranian proxies.”
Breaking News: Drone strikes set 2 major oil refineries ablaze deep in Saudi Arabia. Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are supported by Iran, claimed responsibility.https://t.co/N8qk7MOdE9
Iran’s assistance “remains limited and far from sufficient to make more than a marginal difference to the balance of forces in Yemen, a country awash with weapons. There is, therefore, no supporting evidence to the claim that Iran has bought itself any significant measure of influence over Houthi decision-making.”
9/11 Whistleblower Michael Springmann Revealed that 14 Out of 19 Hijacker Visas Came out of One Office in the US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
J. Michael Springmann, who worked for the State Department, issued visas from 1987 to 1989 from the US Jeddah consulate in Saudi Arabia. He says his job was threatened when he refused to issue visas to suspicious characters. He later learned that the Jeddah consulate was being used by the CIA to issue visas to associates of Osama bin Laden who was creating the predecessor to al-Qaeda – for training in the US against the Soviet Union. The US Jeddah consulate had a history of issuing visas to terrorists at the request of the CIA, and Jeddah was the same office that issued 14 out of 19 of the visas that were used by the alleged hijackers on 9/11. -GEG
In the days after September 11th, 2001, while the toxic dust was still settling on Lower Manhattan, details began to emerge about the terrorists who had allegedly hijacked the fateful 9/11 flights. Names and pictures were released to the public and broadcast around the world. Ziad Jarrah. Hani Hanjour. Marwan al-Shehhi. Mohamed Atta. Even before the official story had begun to coalesce, the foreign faces and unfamiliar names flashing across the screens seared themselves into the consciousness of a traumatized public and left little doubt: This attack was the work of Muslim terrorists.
But at the same time, information began to come out that created problems for this narrative. Reports of these devout Muslim fundamentalists drinking alcohol and partying in strip clubs. Revelations that two of the suspects had been allowed into the US after being identified as Al Qaeda agents. Confirmation that these same agents lived with an FBI asset while in the US. And even the testimony of a senior military intelligence official that a counter-terror program had been specifically warned not to investigate Mohamed Atta in the lead-up to 9/11.
WYATT ANDREWS: According to Congressman Kurt Weldon, it was a secret Pentagon intelligence unit code named Able Danger that knew a year before 9/11 that lead hijacker Mohamed Atta was in the United States and connected to Al Qaeda.
CONGRESSMAN KURT WELDON: And as you can see, they identified Mohamed Atta’s cell.
ANDREWS: In the summer of 2000, he says, the Pentagon’s special ops command had identified two terrorist cells inside the US, and knew of the connection between Atta and three other men who became hijackers. When the agents recommended telling the FBI, Weldon says Clinton administration lawyers said “No,” because Atta was in the country legally and could not be targeted by military intelligence.
WELDON: And their recommendation to bring the FBI in, to take that cell out, which was ignored, and they were told you can’t do that.
ANDREWS: So a year before 9/11 they had their picture—they had the picture of Mohamed Atta—
But of the many bizarre pieces of the alleged 9/11 hijacker puzzle, none gets closer to the heart of the mystery than the seemingly innocuous revelation that 14 of the alleged hijackers’ visas to enter the United States had been issued at the same office: the US consulate in Jeddah. That so many of the visas were issued from a single office may seem like a minor footnote at first glance, but it is not. In fact, the Jeddah consulate is not just another US consular office. It has a history of issuing visas to terrorists at the request of the CIA.
Just ask Michael Springmann.
J. Michael Springmann was a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service who joined the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, serving as an economic/commercial officer in Stuttgart from 1977 to 1980 and as a commercial attaché in New Delhi from 1980 to 1982. In 1987, having passed the foreign service exam and gone through an orientation program, Springmann was assigned to the Jeddah consulate in Saudi Arabia.
Whatever he was expecting to find awaiting him in his new office, it’s safe to say that it didn’t take long for Springmann to find that the reality was going to be very different. As he writes in his exposé of his time at the Jeddah consulate, Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World, “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was a mysterious and exotic place, but it was nowhere near as exotic and mysterious as the American consulate general on Palestine Road.”
J. MICHAEL SPRINGMANN: Well, when I got to Saudi Arabia I began hearing all kinds of strange things about the problems my predecessor had made for me. I heard this in fact from Walter Cutler, the American ambassador, just before I left. He spent 45 minutes telling me about all the problems that my predecessor Greta Holtz had created, and I thought, “Gee, she’s going to make my career for me!”
And I get to Jeddah and I’m being requested: “It’s your decision of course, Mike, but we have this problem here with this visa and we have an especially good contact and we’d like to have the person get a visa to come to the United States. Can you do it?” And I’d interview them and I’d give them the visa.
And after a while, these people began to be really strange characters that had no ties to either Saudi Arabia or to their own country and I would refuse them. And I would get a rocket from the Consul General, Jay Freres, who’s dead now, about, “Why didn’t you issue the visa? This guy is a good contact.”
I said, “Well, he couldn’t prove he had any ties either to Saudi Arabia or to his own country that was strong enough to make him return from the United States to Saudi Arabia or to his own country.” There’s no set list of contacts and connections, but it’s things like having a job, having businesses, having property, having family, something that would prevent you from staying in the United States and disappearing into the woodwork.
And it got to the point where it was, “Either issue the visa or you’re not going to work for the State Department anymore.” And as time went by I found out that, of some 20 Americans, there were only three, including myself, that I knew for a certainty to work for the Department of State. The rest worked for the CIA or the National Security Agency.
Eventually reassigned as a political/economic officer in Stuttgart and, finally, as an economic analyst for the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, it took years for Springmann to fully comprehend the story that he had found himself in the middle of during his time at the Jeddah consulate. A key piece of that puzzle was provided when Springmann returned to the US and talked to journalist Joseph Trento, who informed him that the Jeddah office was being used by the CIA to ship in Osama Bin Laden’s associates for training in the US.
SPRINGMANN: So I came across Joe Trento, the journalist, in the middle of all of this, and he said, “Well, what you were doing in Saudi Arabia was issuing visas to the Mujahedin who were being recruited for Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.” And then the penny dropped and my eyes were opened and I said, “Yeah! That explains why they got so ferocious when I said no to these visas and why they stonewalled me when I tried to find out what was going on.”
I was talking formally to people. I talked formally to the Bureau of Consular Affairs when I was in Washington on the advice of the consul for consular affairs in Riyadh. And then I talked to the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs for the House of Representatives. I talked to the Government Accountability Office, which is a watchdog for Congress on the executive branch, and got nowhere. People just didn’t want to talk to me. And I said, “Well, this is really strange.”
And it bears out exactly what Trento had said: that they had an intelligence operation going on. And according to Joe, the reason they didn’t tell people in Jeddah about this was they wanted plausible deniability. They wanted to be at arm’s length from what people were saying and saying, “Well oh, gee. We didn’t know anything about that. He made a mistake. He didn’t get with the program. He didn’t know what was going on. He was violating the law. Put him in jail. Fine him.” Whatever.
Although the idea seems outlandish from a post-9/11 perspective, at the time it was not particularly surprising. The CIA had worked with Osama Bin Laden and other so-called “Mujahedin,” including many Saudis who had been drawn to Afghanistan to fight America’s arch-enemy, the Soviets, during the Afghan War. There were glowing articles framing Bin Laden as an “Anti-Soviet warrior” who was “on the road to peace” in mainstream publications well into the 1990s. And in the weeks after 9/11 it was even reported in the pages of Newsweek that in the late 1980s—precisely at the time that Springmann was stationed at the Jeddah consulate—”the veterans of the [Mujahedin’s] holy war against the Soviets began arriving in the United States—many with passports arranged by the CIA.”
One infamous example of an intelligence agency helping a known terrorist to enter the United States in this period came in the case of Omar Abdel-Rahman, better known as the “Blind Sheik.” In December 1990 it was revealed that the Blind Sheik had “slipped into the United States” despite being on a State Department terrorist watch list. At the time, the State Department insisted “[t]hey made a mistake” by issuing him a tourist visa from the United States Embassy in Khartoum. But three years later, the truth finally came out. As The New York Timesreported in 1993 after a State Department inspector general investigation: “Central Intelligence Agency officers reviewed all seven applications made by Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman to enter the United States between 1986 and 1990 and only once turned him down because of his connections to terrorism.”
In this context, the revelation that Springmann was being directed by the CIA to let Mujahedin into the US for training was not unthinkable or outlandish conspiracy conjecture. On the contrary, it was practically expected.
As Springmann himself admits, if he had simply been informed at the time that the CIA was helping to facilitate such an operation in support of their foreign policy goals against the Soviet Union, he probably would have went along with it.
SPRINGMANN: And you know it goes back to Trento saying, “Well, they wanted somebody—some ‘schlub’ is his word—to be there and take the heat if something went wrong. And at the time I was dumb enough that if they’d explained it to me, “Yes, we’re recruiting the Mujahedin” I would have said, “Well, yeah, OK, this is an important foreign policy goal. I hate those godless communist bastards! So yeah, I’ll go with this.” But they never did.
And it would have saved a lot of effort on my part and saved a lot of embarrassment on their part, because I’ve been writing and talking about this for the last 25 years.
Springmann’s attitude is reflective of much of the American public’s perception of Muslim terrorists in the late 1980s. As tools of US foreign policy—convenient pawns to be wielded on the global chessboard against America’s enemies—they were not regarded as enemies themselves, but embraced as “freedom fighters” and “anti-Communist warriors.”
US Blames Iran for Attacks on Two Oil Tankers, Says Iran Is “Trying to Interrupt the Flow of Oil”
Two oil tankers were reported to have suffered attacks by torpedoes or magnetic mines in the Persian Gulf on Thursday. The damaged tankers belong to Norway and Japan. Iran denied responsibility for the attack. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has noted that it is suspicious that a Japanese-owned vessel would be attacked while Iranian leaders were meeting with the Japanese prime minister in Tehran, and that Iran has nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by provoking the Europeans and Japanese. South Korean and Iranian ships helped rescue all 44 sailors who were aboard the two ships.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier that the US was in possession of “intelligence” suggesting Iran is behind the attack, but he neglected to offer any proof. He claims the attack was part of a campaign to escalate tension in the region and disrupt the flow of the international oil trade. However, critics suspect this was a false flag attack that will lead to another US war in the Middle East and higher oil prices. Ron Paul says sanctions are acts of war and US sanctions against Iran have left the country crippled. Paul blamed neocons for provoking wars in the Middle East and stoking hatred.
Update 7: Ahead of comments to the UN Security Council (which will presumably block any action, with China and Russia backing Iran), unnamed officials are sharing with reporters some of what the US intends to say:
U.S. OFFICIALS ALLEGE IRANIAN ATTACK MEANT TO ESCALATE CONFLICT
OFFICIALS: ATTACK SHOWS IRAN UNINTERESTED IN DIALOGUE WITH U.S.
OFFICIALS: OPTIONS UNDER CONSIDERATION INCLUDE TANKER ESCORTS
Earlier, the Saudis presented a letter to the council claiming
that the Iran-backed Houthis had obtained special weapons training and
were responsible for Wednesday’s attack on Abha airport.
Pompeo said earlier that the US was in possession of “intelligence”
suggesting Iran is behind the attack…but he neglected to offer any
* * *
Update 6: And there it is…
The Trump Administration has officially concluded that Iran is
responsible for Thursday’s attacks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said
Thursday during a press briefing.
The secretary of state and longtime Iran hawk said Iran’s
“unprovoked” attacks are part of a campaign to escalate tension in the
region and disrupt the flow of the international oil trade (if we can’t
sell our oil, nobody can, would appear to be the logic). He also said
that Tehran rejected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s outreach for diplomacy.
Here’s an abridged version of Pompeo’s statement, courtesy of CNN:
“It is the assessment by the United States government that the
Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in
the Gulf of Oman today,” Pompeo told reporters at the US State
“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used,
the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar
Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating
in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high
degree of sophistication.”
The US is planning to raise concerns about Iran at the UN Security
Council, Pompeo said, which is planning to meet to discuss the attacks
at 4 pm ET. The US has already presented evidence to the security
council that Iran was behind the last round of tanker attacks. The UN
has been somewhat more measured in its approach to the attacks. UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounced Thursday’s incidents at a
Security Council meeting, saying: “I strongly condemn any attack against civilian incidents,” before adding that “facts must be established and responsibilities clarified.”
He warned that the world can’t afford “a major confrontation” in the Gulf, Al Jazeera.
Trump Declares Fake Emergency to Sell $8 Billion in Arms to Saudi Arabia and UAE
President Trump exploited a loophole by declaring a “national emergency” for the sole reason of circumventing Congressional restrictions on arms sales, as Congress is supposed to get a 30-day notice ahead of any sales, and some members of Congress oppose the Saudi’s war in Yemen and would have moved to block the sale. Instead, Trump is rushing shipments of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, claiming “Iranian malign activity”. In addition, he announced he will station 1,500 troops in the Middle East. [So, once again, a candidate who promises an end to war leads the charge for war after elected. From Wilson to FDR to Bush to Clinton to Obama to Trump. The trick always works.] -GEG
Congress, and particularly the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, seems determined to see the end of the Trump Administration before the 2020 vote. Although House Speaker Pelosi claims she is not seeking impeachment, she’s accusing the president of “covering up” something. However, she won’t say what until she can do more investigating.
But Trump’s opponents on both sides of the Congressional aisle don’t seem so enthusiastic about challenging the president when he actually does abuse his Constitutional authority to pursue a more aggressive policy overseas.
Late last week, for example, President Trump declared a national security “emergency” brought about by unspecified “Iranian malign activity” – a “loophole” allowing him to bypass Congressional review of some $8 billion in US weapons to be sold to Saudi Arabia.
Congress had been reluctant to approve yet more arms sales to Saudi Arabia after the President vetoed a bi-partisan House and Senate-approved bill requiring the US to end its military support for the Saudi war of aggression against Yemen.
What might this new Iran “emergency” be? As with the lead-up to the Iraq war, the Administration claims important secret intelligence — but of course we have to just trust them. From what we have heard from the Administration, it looks pretty flimsy. Rear Admiral Michael Gilday, the director of the Joint Staff, has outright claimed that the so-called “sabotage” of four container ships at port in the UAE is the doing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. But even Abu Dhabi didn’t claim Iranian involvement in the mysterious incident.
Could it have been a false flag?
Admiral Gilday also claims, without providing proof, that the recent firing of a small rocket in the general vicinity of the US Embassy in Iraq is the work of the Iranians. “We believe with a high degree of confidence that this [recent attacks] stems back to the leadership in Iran at the highest levels,” he said.
What would Iran gain by shooting off an insignificant rocket, exposing itself to US massive retaliation with no gain whatsoever? They don’t say.
The Trump Administration has been lacking any coherent foreign policy strategy for some time. It often seems the President is fighting more with his own appointees than with his opponents on Capitol Hill. As soon as he announces that ISIS is defeated and US troops must come home, his employees like National Security Advisor John Bolton “clarify” Trump’s statements to mean that troops are staying. Trump goes to Hanoi to cut a deal with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un and Bolton shows up with a poison pill that blows up the deal.
Bolton announced plans for 120,000 US troops to the Middle East to help push the war on Iran he’s been hocking for 20 or so years. Then we heard it was 10,000. Then 1,500, of which 600 are already there.
Whether Trump is on board or not, his Administration is clearly dragging the US into conflict with Iran. While some Members remind the president that he does not have Constitutional authority to attack Iran without approval, that argument has not been very effective in deterring presidents thus far.
Ron Paul Says Trump Administration Tolerates Saudi Arabia Beheading 37 People Because It’s Good for Business
Saudi Arabia recently executed 37 people, mostly Shiites, for crimes that included participation in a political protest. At least two victims were under 18 at the time of their “crimes.” Ron Paul says that President Trump has spoken of “shared values” with the Saudis, but his real goal is to keep the Saudis as business partners. Trump has argued that we can’t offend the Saudis because we make $450 billion in weapon sales to them – and the US needs their oil. The Saudi war in Yemen has led to the death of 200,000 people, and 60% of the civilians who were killed were under 5 years of age.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Muslim Nations Contributed $600-Million to US Universities to Influence Curriculum
In 1965, the US government funded a program in American schools, under Title VI of the Higher Education Act, to teach Middle Eastern studies. It was sold at the start as a program to prepare intelligence agents and diplomats. However, the program now serves to create curricula in American grade schools, even kindergarten, and it has become a conduit for influencing American youth. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Muslim nations invested $603-million from 2011-2016 in American universities to influence what students learn about the Middle East and Islam. -GEG
A Department of Education program funds colleges to teach about the Arab world, but upcoming payments are going to colleges that have received millions of dollars from Arab countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, data shows.
One critic said that coupling the program with the foreign funding is “a back-door route to Saudi influence.”
Some of the universities employ faculty or have hosted guests who made anti-semitic remarks.
Universities funded by the Department of Education to help shape the way U.S. K-12 schools and colleges portray the Middle East and Israel are simultaneously bankrolled by $600 million tied to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Muslim-majority countries, a Daily Caller News Foundation data analysis found.
One critic called the payments “a back-door route to Saudi influence over America’s K-12 curriculum.”
The Cold War-era Higher Education Act of 1965 created a program called “Title VI” that pays colleges to help students better understand international relations and includes funds earmarked for studying the Middle East. It was intended to help prepare a cadre of intelligence agents and diplomats.
Instead, the money has funded anti-Americanism and anti-semitism in U.S. higher education, according to a November 2014 report by the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. There have been instances where some of the universities hosted or employed anti-semites, with some facing accusations of having ties to terror groups.
US Ally, Saudi Arabia, Is Using Child Mercenaries to Fight in Yemen
Saudi Arabia, allied with the US and United Arab Emirates, is using child mercenary soldiers from Sudan to fight its war in Yemen, claiming that they are battling to rescue Yemen from the Houthis who the Saudis say are backed by Iran.
The Saudis entered Yemen in early 2015 and subsidized 14,000 Sudanese mercenaries to fight, often on the front lines, receiving commands remotely by radio, in places UAE officers do not dare to go. People in Sudan struggle for survival, and males, including children, are paid to fight as mercenaries. Some humanitarian organization estimates now put the total civilian death toll in Yemen at over 70,000.
Over a year ago we reported on the fact that the Saudi-US-UAE coalition in Yemen has been increasingly reliant on foreign mercenaries, including even officers, from Sudan to execute its three-year long ground war against Shia Houthi rebels as coalition jets pounded urban areas from the skies. As this was long before the brutal Jamal Khashoggi killing at the hands of the Saudis, we were among a tiny handful that bothered to cover it — aside from a few Middle East outlets — significantly before western mainstream media suddenly “discovered” the tragedy unfolding in Yemen, a Saudi-driven conflict the UN has belatedly called “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis”.
But Khashoggi’s death and crown prince MbS’ new pariah status means The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and others have finally decided to spotlight Yemen and dig into inconvenient truths of the war at a moment the United States has pledged to greatly lessen its role and as the US Senate is scrutinizing American involvement, including the Pentagon’s recently halting its aerial refueling program to Saudi-UAE jets. What does the latest NYT coverage find? The Saudi coalition — made up of America’s closest Middle East allies — is sending child mercenaries from Darfur to the front lines of the Yemen war.
Led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudis say they are battling to rescue Yemen from a hostile faction backed by Iran. But to do it, the Saudis have used their vast oil wealth to outsource the war, mainly by hiring what Sudanese soldiers say are tens of thousands of desperate survivors of the conflict in Darfur to fight, many of them children.
At any given time throughout the past almost four years of war (the Saudis entered Yemen in early 2015), some 14,000 Sudanese mercenaries have been fighting alongside pro-Saudi forces, often on the front lines in places their UAE officers won’t dare to go.
For families in war-torn Sudan, the Saudis’ deep pockets and lucrative payment offers to send their young to fight in Yemen has proven irresistible given no other means of survival, according to the story of one such family:
Then, around the end of 2016, Saudi Arabia offered a lifeline: The kingdom would pay as much as $10,000 if Hager joined its forces fighting 1,200 miles away in Yemen.
Hager, 14 at the time, could not find Yemen on a map, and his mother was appalled. He had survived one horrific civil war — how could his parents toss him into another? But the family overruled her.
“Families know that the only way their lives will change is if their sons join the war and bring them back money,” Hager said in an interview last week in the capital, Khartoum, a few days after his 16th birthday.
Noticeably, unlike all prior scant reporting on Yemen, the New York Times actually features Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s name front and center as responsible for such evils and injustice.
The Saudi Arabia government has been outsourcing the ground war in Yemen to Sudanese men and boys from Darfur–turning many into child soldiers–paying impoverished people and directing them by radio so no Saudi soldiers need to be on the ground in Yemen. https://t.co/XcKQaTcJDxpic.twitter.com/2AfRMHuEaC
Most Americans might be forgiven for having no clue what the war in Yemen actually looks like, especially as Western media has spent at least the first three years of the conflict completely ignoring the mass atrocities taking place while white-washing the Saudi coalition’s crimes. Unlike wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, which received near daily coverage as they were at their most intense, and in which many Americans could at least visualize the battlefield and the actors involved through endless photographs and video from on the ground, Yemen’s war has largely been a faceless and nameless conflict as far as major media is concerned.
Aside from mainstream media endlessly demonstrating its collective ignorance of Middle East dynamics, it is also no secret that the oil and gas monarchies allied to the West are rarely subject to media scrutiny or criticism, something infamously demonstrated on an obscene and frighteningly absurd level with Thomas Friedman’s prior fawning and hagiographic interview with Saudi MbS published in the Times.
Secret Alliances and Covert Operations Come to Light Following the Khashoggi Murder
The murder of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, is destabilizing Saudi Arabia as crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is under fire following accusations that he ordered the murder. President Trump supports MBS and the current Saudi regime in order to maintain the $110 billion weapons deal and low oil prices. Israel is anxious to keep MBS in power because Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally against Iran. The CIA appears to oppose MBS. Ron Paul says that the Saudis are bad partners, and America should stop selling weapons to them and stop helping them in their war with Yemen. -GEG
Summary by JW Williams
Trump is supporting the Saudi regime that has been run by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) since 2017 despite accusations that the prince ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime. The Saudis have a secret alliance with Israel because they have a common enemy in Iran, and they are pressuring the US toward war with Iran. The Times of Israelreported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called senior American officials recently to urge that Washington not abandon its support for Prince Salman over the murder, because heh is a strategic partner and a “linchpin” of the alliance against Iran.
Ron Paul criticized a recent statement by President Trump condemning the murder of Khashoggi, because Trump defended the close relationship between the US and the Saudis, saying they are a “great ally in our very important fight against Iran.” Trump deflected away from Saudi murder by instead lambasting Iran, which had nothing to do with the murder of Khashoggi.
Trump rejected the argument that Saudi Arabia is responsible for the bloody civil war and starvation in Yemen, due in part to Saudi blockades.
Meanwhile, the CIA opposes MBS because he has drawn attention to the relationship that the CIA has had with the Saudis who have been described as “both the arsonists and the firefighters” regarding jihadi terrorism.
Ron Paul concluded that the US should stop selling weapons to the Saudis and remove American assistance to them in their war in Yemen.