Friday, October 12, 2018

That doesn't help us

"Khashoggi Burial Negotiations Commence - Saudis Will Cough Up Billions To Settle The Case" (Moon).

"Mohammed Bin Salman: The Character Behind the Caricatures" (Korybko).

"Turks Had Saudi Consulate Bugged With Audio: Khashoggi Death Chronology Details Leaked" (Durden).

"‘Sweep it under the rug’: Fears grow Trump won't confront Saudis over journalist's disappearance" (Toosi).

So Erdoğan and Trump are both using this as part of the usual grifting, probably both personally and on behalf of their respective military contractors.

Trump (part of The Clarification, the kind of standard operating procedure that other Presidents wouldn't say out loud):
"We’ll have to see what happens. A lot of work is being done on that, and we’re going to have to see what happens. I don’t like stopping massive amounts of money that’s being poured into our country on — I know they’re talking about different kinds of sanctions, but they’re spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs, like jobs and others, for this country.

I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States. Because you know what they’re going to do? They’re going to take that money and spend it in Russia or China, or someplace else. So I think there are other ways. If it turns out to be as bad as it might be, there are certainly other ways of handling the situation.

But I will tell you, upfront, right now, and I’ll say it in front of senators: They’re spending $110 billion purchasing military equipment and other things. If we don’t sell it to them, they’ll say, “Well, thank you very much. We’ll buy it from Russia.” Or “Thank you very much. We’ll buy it from China.” That doesn’t help us — not when it comes to jobs and not when it comes to our companies losing out on that work.

But there are other things we can do. Let’s find out what the problem is first. Okay?"
It is amusing that some Clintonistas are criticizing Trump's approach, based on vague allegations of personal corruption, when Killary has been much more obviously personally bribed by the Saudis, and certainly would have squashed even the slightest attempts at reining in MbS.  We seem to be in the process of being set up for a story that the murder was an accidental act by some 'rogue' Saudi intelligence officials.  That favor, one that could be reconsidered at any time based on 'new evidence', can then be used as an inducement for return favors from MbS.

MbS has an obvious and well documented propensity to make rash, momentous, and stupid decisions, and at some point the Saudi royals will have to decide whether they can afford to keep him in charge.  Unfortunately, in the short term, there is still so much money sloshing around that just about anything can be covered with a pile of it, and this very action demonstrates a ruthlessness which will keep most people cowed.
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