Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Princelessness

"Khashoggi Picked the Wrong Prince" (Angry Arab):
"I also should say that for many years he continued, and he became a spokesperson for Prince Turki when he became ambassador in Washington, DC. And he got to be close to Western journalists because he was the man to go to. When they wanted to travel to Saudi Arabia, they wanted to interview this prince, that king, the crown prince, he was the fixer for them in that regard and that’s how they got to know him. And then, he attached himself to another prince, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who got in trouble with the new crown prince. That’s where his troubles started. He did not bet on democracy in Saudi Arabia, he bet on the wrong princes.

There princes he bet on fell out of favor, Prince Turki, as well as Prince Al-Waleed, later who wound up in Ritz in Riyadh last year. And for that reason, he had no prince. According to his own testimony, in an article that was written by David Ignatius who was close to him, he tried to be an advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but he wouldn’t take him as an advisor because he always was suspicious about his Islamist past, the fact that he was a member and later close to the Muslim Brotherhood. So, he became – spoke the language of democracy upon leaving the country.

The reason why they wanted to go after him, it had nothing do with his courage or anything like that. It’s because he was so central in the ruling media and political establishment, that his departure from the kingdom was not seen as dissent. He was not a dissenter, he was not a dissident. He never saw himself as one, or even an opposition figure. He spoke of himself as somebody who believed that the crown prince was doing the right thing but going about it the wrong way. I basically believe that he was seen by the government as a defector, that one of their own left the country and joined the enemies rank. And he was also having an audience with Western audiences from Washington DC, from one of the major mainstream newspapers. That was highly embarrassing to the ruling family."
and:
". . . the thing is that the government of Saudi Arabia has changed in the last two years in a major way. For much of the history, since 1953 and the death of the founder, Saudi Arabia, even though it’s a despotic monarchy, is ruled by a collective leadership like the Politburo of the former Soviet Union. You have the royal family, and then you have the senior princes. Those are the ones with whom the king would consult on every matter. For that reason, as sinister and reactionary as Saudi policy was all these decades, but it was a result of a consensus within the royal family. For that, it exhibited signs of caution, reservation and deception always, because they were doing something in secrecy, and in public they were saying something entirely opposite.

Under the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, government has changed. There is no collective leadership. For the first time in the history of the monarchy, we have a sole, undisputed despot who does not allow not only dissent, but advisers. Everybody has to be yes-men, and of course all of them are men, around him. He subordinated all the princes, he ended all the factions representing different princes. So previously, no matter who was king, Jamal Khashoggi was able to move between the princes, to have one patron one day, another patron of another day. That always worked because they were part of the senior princes’ set-up.

Now, there is no set-up like that. All the other princes, even his own half-brother, is under house arrest. This guy doesn’t want to allow anybody to share government, he makes all the decisions. And in fact, we can say that was his death knell. Maybe this is why this is going to change the course of his history. I mean, he will most likely stay in power, but I would argue that his best days are behind him. He will never be as powerful as he has been for the last two years, because now he knows he cannot trust his own instincts. When he ruled entirely based on his instincts, he presumably made the decision to get rid of this guy. He did not think the repercussions were going to be big enough.

And I still argue he’s going to get away with it, and there’s not going to be a price to pay by Western countries, by Turkey or by the United States. I feel they are working on a cover-up story as we speak. But because he had no advisers, he made these decisions. And he is not somebody who is knowledgeable about the world. He does not know about foreign policy as much, and he calculated wrongly. And he is now in very awkward, embarrassing positions, and for that, he will be weaker than ever. And most likely, he will be compelled to bring in other princes, not to share power but at least to be around him when he contemplates making decisions."
"The latest (but likely not last) social media purge".  There aren't any 'norms', and the idea that there are things they wouldn't do for moral or even practical business reasons is simply incorrect.  We have to get over it and realize that it is open season on everybody not in the 0.1%, or anybody who might pose the tiniest possible threat to the status of the 0.1%.

Here's another one, giving people voting choices, and then requiring a do-over when people vote 'wrong', or just ignoring the vote results entirely:  "‘Disappointed’ US wants Macedonia to approve name change despite failed referendum".

"Amnesty Slams US-Led Coalition’s Denials Of Deaths In Raqqa".  The hypocrisy is staggering with a constant steam of claims about atrocities supposedly committed by Russia or Syria when the Assholians pull this kind of mass murder/war crime/crimes against humanity in the same war!

"Ukraine’s Neighbors Are Marching Out of Step" (Savitsky).  All of Ukraine's neighbors have big, legitimate beefs with it, almost all grounded in Ukraine's neo-Nazi supremacism.

"Dirty role of International NGOs in Pakistan" (Raja).

"Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage" (McPhee).  Using your spy agency to spy for private commercial gain, all justified on the basis of 'national security', and then shamelessly going after a whistle blower, a classic tale of our time.

"“Porcine Plague” epidemic in Belgium: trigger is Pentagon experiments in Georgia" (Voltaire Network).

"Afghanistan: The Doha Meeting is a Farce, There is Nothing to Discuss But The Unconditional Withdrawal of Occupying Forces From Afghanistan." (Mohmand). The author is described as 'Former Representative of the Afghan Freedom Fighters for North America during the 1980s'.

"Meet Ten Corporate Giants Helping Israel Massacre Gaza Protesters" (Catron).

"Malaysia to Repeal Death Penalty and Sedition Law" (Paddock).  Dr Mohamad!

"First legal weed sold in Canada at Newfoundland shops".  "Federal ministers to announce plan to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions".

"Saudis Admit Journalist Khashoggi Died During Botched Assassination Attempt".  Satire = Official Story!
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