Russia Won’t Kowtow to Israel, U.S.

Putin has given Syria advanced anti-missile technology capable of shooting down Israeli aircraft, despite protests from Tel Aviv and D.C., and Turkey has signed a deal to purchase updated Russian missiles.

By Richard Walker

Russia has shown it will not allow Tel Aviv and Washington to determine who gets its advanced missile systems, probably the world’s most potent in destroying enemy planes and missiles at distances not achieved by competing NATO systems.

Much to the anger of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Russia has supplied Syria’s military with upgraded versions of the S-300 capable of shooting down Israeli aircraft. The move upset Netanyahu’s friends in Washington and came in the wake of a Russian plane being shot down over Syria after it was mistaken for an Israeli fighter that was illegally operating in Syrian airspace.

Russia had an arrangement with Israel that it would give notice if it intended to send fighters or bombers to attack targets in Syria, but Israel broke the deal.

Israel has also had to sit by as Iran has deployed the S-300 system despite opposition from Washington.

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In a further sign that Russia was not going to be restricted in the sale of its missile systems, in July 2018, Turkey, much to NATO’s consternation, signed a deal with Russia to buy its upgraded S-400 missiles. The Turks responded to criticism of the move, pointing out that for 10 years they had been trying to buy a missile shield from allies, meaning the U.S., and had been turned down.

What worries NATO’s chief is that the S-400 will not integrate with NATO’s missile shield, which includes the U.S. Patriot system. More importantly, Turkey is due to take possession of a consignment of F-35s, America’s most lethal attack aircraft. Security experts fear this will give Turkey the opportunity to test the Russian systems against the capabilities of the F-35. It might enable Russia and other nations with the S-300s and S-400s to make adjustments to them so they will be more effective against F-35s presently being used by the Israeli Air Force.

Quite simply, if Turkish technicians linked the computers in an S-400 battery to the F-35’s sensors, they could pull out data, allowing them to observe how the F-35 evades radar of the kind used by S-300s and S-400s.

China has recognized the value of deploying the S-400 because of its range, which is twice the range of the U.S. Patriot system. It will likely position its S-400s in the South China Sea for use in  any eventual clash with the U.S. Navy and Air Force. While the S-400 is often defined as a defensive missile shield, it offers an offensive capability, permitting it to identify and eliminate stationary targets at 200 miles. Its radar has a surface surveillance capability of 350 miles. The Patriot’s strike range is less than half that of the S-400, and its radar does not reach anywhere near the 350-mile mark.

Just when it seemed that the spread of the S-400 had ended with China making a $2.5 billion purchase of it, India stepped in on Sept. 28 with $5.4 billion to ink a deal with Moscow for five S-400 batteries with 40 launchers and 1,000 missiles. The announcement of the move by New Delhi angered Washington and drew a swift response from President Donald Trump that India would “find out sooner than you think” about his response.

Get Out of CashRussia was quick to point out that it would not be dictated to by Washington. The Russian ambassador to India, Nickolay Kudashev, said, responding to Trump, “India is much too large to depend or be afraid of somebody.” He also hinted that more deals with India were in the pipeline.

Amit Cowshish, a former financial advisor to India’s Ministry of Defense, told Sputnik News that any sanctions by Washington against India would be a setback to developing U.S.-India relations. Without spelling it out, he was warning Washington that its hopes of having India as an ally should war break out in the South China Sea would be dashed, as would India’s cooperation with Washington over security in the Indian Ocean.

While there is much talk of the S-400 system, those looking for a more potent missile system are eyeing the S500, which China and India are likely to purchase. It has the capability to take down military satellites in space, as well as act as a shield against ballistic missiles.

In Western defense circles there are critics who feel that threatening Russia and countries that buy weapons from it is a sign of Washington’s weakness because it cannot control an arms industry in which it is only one of the major players. At least in missile design, it appears Russia has the edge.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.




Man ‘Sailing for Palestine’ Back Home

Minnesota sailor trying to call attention to plight of Palestinians sees his journey cut short due to vessel damage caused by gale-force winds.

By Dave Gahary

Nabil Amra, 43, the Palestinian-American who quit his job to set off on a 30,000-nautical mile, nine-month race on July 1, is back home in Minneapolis, Minn. after his boat was damaged in some rough seas. Prior to embarking on this race, Amra was a successful currency trader, and quit his job to draw attention to Mideast issues. This reporter interviewed Amra for the May 21 & 28 edition of this newspaper in preparation for his trip and sat down with him again recently for a wrap-up on what happened.

AFP Podcast
Dave Gahary talks with Minnesotan Nabil Amra, a Palestinian-American sailor, about his recent adventure and disappointment on the high seas.

Amra began by making mention of the support he received, especially from readers of this newspaper.

“I want to thank you and many of your listeners and those who subscribe to the publication,” he said. “They sent me letters—which I brought on board—and donations, and just great words of encouragement, and I can’t thank you enough for that. Especially in dark times, it’s nice to go back to an encouraging letter from someone who I’ve never met before but has similar interests and thoughts. So that support has been fantastic.”

Amra started off gangbusters but ran into some rough seas.

“I was one of 19 starters and was in 11th place around the Canary Islands,” he explained.

The Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago located 62 miles west of Morocco, has long been considered a bridge between the four continents of Europe, Africa, South America, and North America.

Kingdom Identity

During some gale-force winds about two weeks on the water, Amra ran into trouble.

“Eventually my self-steering gear broke, a big weld on it that I had no way of trying to rectify,” he said. “I was maybe 150 miles past the islands but the wind was straight up the rear right behind me. I had a grim choice: Do you continue 900 miles to the Cape Verde islands?”

Cape Verde, an island country spanning 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean, lies around 350 miles west of Africa.

“So, I had to make my way back to the Canary Islands in the face of the katabatic winds coming off the volcano,” he added.

Katabatic winds carry high-density air from a higher elevation down a slope from gravity and can move down elevated slopes at hurricane speeds.

“It was a brutal three-day journey back to the islands to seek repairs,” he explained, “and when I got there I realized I was essentially unrepairable. So, that was the end of my race.”

Amra doesn’t believe sabotage was involved because “the same breakage happened to two other boats in the same gear in the same spot,” though he told this writer that the boats “were unattended for periods of time.”

Get Out of CashWhile the race is still going and barely half over, with eight people left, it’s uncertain whether anyone will finish. The leader right now “is the oldest man in the race, 73-year-old Frenchman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede.”

“The gap between first and second has opened up to a couple of thousand miles,” explained Amra. “He’s in a completely different weather system.”

AFP asked Amra if, now that he’s out of the race, he could get his job back.

“I visited the old office,” he said. “I was amazed at how quickly I was replaced, on one hand, and on the other, I kind of had my thoughts that after a venture like this, the chances of going back to the bank in that capacity were probably going to be diminished.”

“I feel as though this was something that had to be done,” he said.

It’s a safe bet that Amra will be back in the race, or some kind of race, in the future.

Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.




Report Says Saudis Used Twitter Employee as Spy

The Saudi crown continues its online propaganda war against dissidents.

By S. T. Patrick

Still politically shaken by the recent murder of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and his kingdom now have to contend with a New York Times report claiming that the Saudi government was grooming young Saudi men to lace Twitter with propagandistic tweets supporting the ruling royal family. Ali Alzabarah, then a Twitter employee, was fired from his position in December 2015 after company administrators were informed by Western officials that he was using the social media platform to spy on Saudi dissidents.

Saudi Arabia has engaged in a major public relations push worldwide since bin Salman’s ascension, but the 2010 Arab Spring’s effect on recent events should not be discounted. The House of Saud has been at the forefront of Middle Eastern governments proactively combating dissension and criticism online.

Twitter finds itself in a conundrum regarding propaganda. It can clamp down on “bots” that troll genuine tweets, yet it must be more delicate when punishing or banning humans with genuine beliefs—or even state-sponsored beliefs. The latent criticism Twitter has received since the Alex Jones ban has forced some to question the political persuasions and intentions of the social media giant.

Saudi Arabia had advertised the propaganda positions on Twitter, but it was not until a respondent was contacted and interviewed that the true nature of the position was revealed. The chief of the operation was Saud al-Qahtani, a top advisor to bin Salman, who was fired by the crown prince after the kingdom acknowledged the death of Khashoggi. Al-Qahtani had overseen the formation of a troll farm in Riyadh, whose sole purpose it was to sing the praises of royal policy and decry dissent. The move to recruit Alzabarah and others like him was an attempt to move within the walls of the social media companies rather than operating on the same playing field as the average user.

Al-Qahtani had served as a legal and media advisor to bin Salman. In 2017, he launched the hashtag #TheBlacklist, which urged Saudis to add the names of Qatar sympathizers to the list. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain had severed diplomatic ties with Qatar. Al-Qahtani warned that anyone conspiring against any of the four countries opposing Qatar would be unable to escape trial.

Get Out of Cash“The New Arab” website has compared Al-Qahtani to a political hatchet man, stating that his main objectives were “whipping the country’s journalists into submission, promising to smite the enemies of his masters, and peddling fake news.”

When the Democratic Party blamed Russian interference on Facebook for the 2016 loss of Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump, social media companies were faced with the new problem of platform abuse levied in the name of state-sponsored manipulation. Forced between the libertarian perspective of free speech absolutism and the tendency of moderns to over-control dialogue, big tech faced an ideological problem that soon became very real with the death of Saudi royal critic Khashoggi.

Big tech is ill-equipped to deal with the complex machinations of foreign influence, both subtle and overt. Many of the most prominent decision-makers are young men and women who rode their tech genius to silicon stardom. Now they will face off with domestic and foreign political operators from nations the U.S. still labels as allies.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




Reporter’s Murder Heralds Dollar’s Dive?

Are we looking at the dethroning of the dollar and establishment of a new international currency regime? Kevin Barrett explains U.S. trade sanctions are forcing countries to find end runs around the dollar, with help from the EU, and that by precipitating the collapse of Saudi Arabia, the Khashoggi affair could help ensure that the coming currency transition happens sooner rather than later.

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

The premeditated torture-murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and its pathetically inept coverup, has unfolded like a murder mystery . . . or rather, a suspense drama. What happened and who did it is not exactly a mystery. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has played his cards perfectly, baiting the Saudis into proffering a ludicrous series of cover stories. As President Donald Trump aptly put it, this has got to be “the worst cover-up ever.”

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stands exposed not just as a psychopathic killer but also as a pathological liar, a megalomaniacal narcissist, and a grossly incompetent fool. Those of us who have been paying attention already knew that. But bin Salman has been protected until now by the billions of dollars he can throw around on a whim. Like the proverbial naked emperor strutting around in his birthday suit, bin Salman (or his PR team) has managed to hoodwink much of the world into ignoring what should be plainly obvious to all: This guy has no business managing a desert camel-burger fast-food franchise, much less a modern nation.

Bin Salman’s reign has been blighted by a series of disastrous initiatives—“crazy ideas that just might work” but never do. In 2015 he attacked Yemen, assuring President Barack Obama that it would be over in less than two weeks. Since then, 130 Yemeni children have been dying each day as the Saudis bomb hospitals, refugee centers, school buses, power and water infrastructure, and other civilian targets without making any military headway.

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In 2017 bin Salman blockaded Qatar and was about to invade when the Turks quickly dissuaded him by establishing an “instant military base” there. Bin Salman’s war on Qatar, like his war on Yemen, has achieved none of its objectives.

Also in 2017, bin Salman kidnapped Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and forced him to broadcast a statement announcing his resignation—which Hariri quickly rescinded after international pressure forced bin Salman to release his victim. The thousands of Saudi citizens bin Salman has arrested, and in many cases robbed and tortured, have not been so lucky.

Bin Salman’s extravagant nuttiness is exemplified by his plan to build a vast entertainment park called Neom on the Red Sea coast. Populated by female robots in bikinis, this “stately pleasure dome” sounds like a drug-fueled dream, lending credence to rumors that bin Salman is addicted to designer amphetamines.

So the Khashoggi affair has underlined the all-too-obvious: Bin Salman is driving Saudi Arabia into moral and fiscal bankruptcy. By undermining bin Salman’s leadership, Erdogan’s orchestrated unraveling of the Khashoggi coverup will transform the geopolitical realities of the Middle East just as the Saudi-based petrodollar global currency regime begins to unravel.

Since the early 1970s, Saudi Arabia has propped up the U.S. dollar as de facto global reserve currency, by recycling its oil money into dollars and insisting that oil sales happen only in greenbacks. That currency regime, engineered by Henry Kissinger as an alternative to the gold standard, is about to end. U.S. trade sanctions against Iran, Russia, China, Turkey, and other nations have forced those countries to find end runs around the dollar. Even the EU is creating a “special payments entity” to help non-U.S. companies trade with Iran. The cumulative effect of these and other nations’ attempts to devise new methods of trading outside of dollars—at a time of skyrocketing U.S. debt and shrinking U.S. share of global GDP—will lead to the dethroning of the dollar and establishment of a new international currency regime.

Get Out of CashBy precipitating the collapse of “Saudi” Arabia, the Khashoggi affair could help ensure that the coming currency transition happens sooner rather than later. Bin Salman’s wild and desperate acts have been driven by his knowledge that his nation is heading for bankruptcy, and that the days of the petrodollar and the “special relationship” with the U.S. are nearly over. Ironically, he is hastening the very disaster he fears.

Erdogan’s takedown of bin Salman via the Khashoggi scandal has just thrown a huge roadblock in the path of the Saudi-Israeli plan to trick the U.S. into attacking Iran. Trump should read the writing on the wall and take this opportunity to dump the Saudis and Israelis. He should announce that from now on, the U.S. will follow George Washington’s policy of neutrality, pursuing American interests without getting caught up in entangling alliances.

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions.




Western Leaders Remain Silent on Brazen Crimes of MBS Regime

President Trump is clearly not being served well by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who relies on Israeli PM Netanyahu for direction and has apparently developed a closeness to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “who has shown a tendency to be impetuous, ruthless, and power crazy.” Former U.S. presidents and European leaders, however, remain silent on the outrages of the Saudi regime, including its murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

By Richard Walker

Blaming President Donald Trump and his administration for the Saudi murder of a journalist, and for war crimes in Yemen by the Saudis and their Arab allies, is a distortion of the truth and excuses many of the real culprits, who include former presidents and European leaders who have been strangely silent.

In the midst of a tightly contested midterm election cycle, it has become somewhat fashionable on the left to direct all condemnation of Saudi transgressions at Trump. While he must share some blame for his unquestioned support for the Saudis and their Arab allies, it may well be that his biggest mistake was placing his rich son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in charge of his Middle East policy. Kushner relies on his family friend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for advice about the Middle East.

Kushner has also formed a special bond with the young Saudi leader, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, who has shown a tendency to be impetuous, ruthless, and power crazy. Kushner is known to have had private late-night discussions with MBS, and some observers have remarked that they formed a special bond as the sons of rich men. The underlying problem is that neither has any history of political or foreign policy achievement, and Kushner in particular has only worked in the real estate business in New York. He has no serious knowledge of the Middle East, making him vulnerable to outside influence, in particular to Netanyahu and the Saudis, who share a desire to encourage America to go to war with Iran. Therefore, Trump has not been well served by Kushner.

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What is clear about the blame game over the premeditated Saudi murder of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the war crimes the Saudi military has been committing in Yemen with Western weaponry, is that the royal princes in Riyadh feel empowered to do whatever they like, believing they will face no consequences from their Western allies. Their immunity from punishment for excessive use of violence, including their questioned support for al Qaeda, ISIS, and the al-Nusra Front, is not rooted in Trump’s arrival in the White House. On the contrary, it can be forcefully argued with considerable evidence that Trump inherited a Western political marriage with the Saudis that was consummated over decades by his predecessors and by the leaders of Britain and France.

These relationships have always been about the oil the Saudis are sitting on and the money they have pumped into the accounts of influencers and lobbyists in Washington, Paris, and London. There have been convenient arguments forged in Western capitals that the Saudis are critical to Western security and to our Middle East policies. No one pointed out that, like the Israelis, the Saudis have their own agenda for the Middle East and exploit Western politicians to achieve it. Even when the Saudis spread Wahhabism, their vicious form of Islam, across the globe and helped to bring about al Qaeda and the 9/11 atrocities they were shielded from blame.

Get Out of CashTheir familiar tactic is to buy weapons, especially American ones, but not exclusively. The French and the British have received enormous sums of money from selling them advanced missiles, while assisting them on the battlefield and in targeting Yemen.

Presidents Barack Obama and George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair have had little or nothing to say lately about the Saudis. They are content to let all criticism be fired at Trump, yet they were the leaders who cemented the Saudi political marriage, even after it became clear the Saudis had blood on their hands when it came to the 9/11 attacks.

The Saudis have learned how to deflect criticism. When they are in the crosshairs of a media blitz they simply funnel tens of millions of dollars to lobbyists.

They are sitting on an arsenal most nations only dream of and use their most advanced missiles to kill women and children in famine-ravaged Yemen. One wonders why the killing of a journalist got so much attention as compared to the relatively unreported war crimes they have committed in Yemen.

When the Saudis were threatened with being shamed as child-killers in Yemen they used financial blackmail against the UN. Money has always provided their political power.

One reason the Saudis have felt more emboldened of late to kill Khashoggi, continue their bombing of civilians in Yemen, and recruit al Qaeda fighters is their alliance with Israel, which reaches deep in Washington.

Netanyahu sees the Saudis as an ideal foil against Iran, and the Saudis regard Israel as a big influencer, which undoubtedly it is since Netanyahu has the ear of Kushner and therefore of Trump.

If the Saudis are to be reined in before MBS starts a war with Iran, Trump may have to take a tougher line with Riyadh and remove Kushner from the role of Middle East policymaker.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.




Elites Regretting Saudi Love Fest?

Recent behavior of the psychopathic Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman has advocates questioning U.S. support, both from government and from the entertainment industry.

By Richard Walker

Elites in Hollywood, and in the board rooms of Silicon Valley and big media outfits in New York and Washington, will have difficulty explaining their love affair with the Saudis after reports that they kidnapped, tortured, murdered, and dismembered Kamal Khashoggi, a journalist and a permanent U.S. resident.

Khashoggi, who lived in Virginia, vanished after he entered the Saudi embassy in Istanbul on Oct. 2. As a critic of the new Saudi regime led by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, Khashoggi refused to call himself a dissident.

He went to the embassy to get documents for his impending marriage, and it is now believed the Saudis lured him there with the aim of seizing him. Turkish intelligence, which monitors foreign embassies, later posted footage of him entering the building. There was no evidence he ever left it alive.

The Turks released photos of what they called a 15-man Saudi assassination team that also entered the embassy. The team had a recognized forensic expert and someone reportedly carrying a bone saw. This led the Turks to claim that Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside the building and his remains transferred to two private planes that flew into Istanbul that day and later left for Saudi Arabia. It was a classic hit and a tactic they have been using against Saudi dissidents in other countries.

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To the astonishment of the Turks, the Saudis declared that Khashoggi left the embassy unharmed, but refused to provide video footage. They complained that their video cameras had been out of operation. Their excuse was dismissed as pure fantasy by most intelligence experts since the Saudis are very security conscious at all diplomatic facilities. In all foreign installations, non-functioning cameras trigger a top-level security alert, but that did not happen at the Istanbul embassy. The Saudis even told Khashoggi’s future wife, who had waited outside the embassy for him for three hours, that he must have passed by her without her knowing.

A few media outlets speculated that the 15-man hit team, which Turkish intelligence said included several known Saudi special forces operatives, probably intended to kidnap and rendition Khashoggi to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, but something went terribly wrong and they killed him. Turkish intelligence dismissed that theory as a wild attempt by pro-Saudi elements to deflect from the evidence.

A question lurking in the background of the abduction is what American intelligence knew. Reports indicate the CIA knew in advance about the threat to Khashoggi. If Jared Kushner, the Mideast point man, was alerted to the threat, he had a duty to warn and protect Khashoggi, who was a U.S. resident.

So what does all of this mean in terms of what we know about Saudi Arabia and its young, impetuous leader, MBS? During a two-week East to West Coast tour in March this year, he had everyone eating out of his hand. He met Hollywood moguls, the titans of Silicon Valley, and the big names in media and politics in New York and Washington. Most of all, he spent time with Trump and Kushner, and CBS’s “60 Minutes” broadcast an upbeat profile of him.

Get Out of CashLost in the euphoria of his visit was a warning AFP referenced in November 2017 that MBS needed watching because he was impetuous and capable of destabilizing the Middle East. This assessment was first made in 2015 when he was Saudi defense minister. It came from the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence agency. The warning was ignored in Washington, Paris, and London where Saudi money has always bought silence and blind loyalty.

What was even more shocking about the American elites who met him in March 2018 is that they had to know that months earlier he invited Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Riyadh, had him arrested, and forced him to resign and make crazy claims about Lebanon in a television broadcast. The West intervened, and Hariri was eventually released. MBS then detained many of his own princes in a hotel and forced them to hand over their riches. He threatened to invade Qatar, but that was averted after American generals convinced the White House that Qatar was a valuable ally. Despite pleas from EU nations, he continued to expand his war in Yemen, slaughtering thousands of women and children and bombing food supplies and food production in the famine torn country.

Since taking over the Saudi kingdom, he has been emboldened by his personal relationship with Kushner, who has met with him privately but has never recorded what transpired at their meetings. He threatened Qatar after a meeting with Kushner, who has established links between MBS and his family friend, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Khashoggi affair may be a bridge too far for Western leaders, though Trump seems to be running cover for MBS, claiming that a rogue group of Saudis likely killed the journalist. It will, however, be fascinating to see if the elites in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and New York who bought into the MBS charm offensive now have any regrets.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.




The Saudis Keep Changing Their Story on the Murder of Khashoggi. What Should We Do?

“Washington’s continued relationship with Saudi Arabia . . . is a partnership that is in no way beneficial to Americans or the U.S. national interest,” writes Dr. Paul. And it’s certainly not beneficial to the thousands of people in Yemen being slaughtered by Saudi Arabia. We must heed the foreign policy guidelines set forth by George Washington and end our “entangling alliances” with all foreign nations.

By Ron Paul

The Saudi version of the disappearance and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi seems to change every day or so. The latest is the Saudi government claim that the opposition journalist was killed in a “botched interrogation” at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Or was it a fist-fight? What is laughable is that the Saudi king has placed Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a prime suspect, in charge of the investigation of Khashoggi’s murder!

Though the official story keeps changing, what is unlikely to change is Washington’s continued relationship with Saudi Arabia. It is a partnership that is in no way beneficial to Americans or the U.S. national interest.

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President Trump has promised “severe punishment” if the Saudi government is found to have been involved in Khashoggi’s murder, but he also took off the table any reduction in arms sales to prop up the murderous Saudi war on Yemen. It’s all about jobs, said President Trump. So the Saudi killing of thousands in Yemen can go on. Some murders are more important than others, obviously.

The killing of Khashoggi puts the Trump Administration in a difficult situation. President Trump views Iran as designated enemy number one. Next month the U.S. administration intends to impose a new round of sanctions designed to make it impossible for Iran to sell its oil on the international market. To keep U.S. fuel prices from spiking over this move Trump is relying on other countries, especially Saudi Arabia, to pump more and make up the difference. But the Saudis have threatened $400-a-barrel oil if President Trump follows through with his promise of “severe punishment” over the killing of Khashoggi.

The Saudis have also threatened to look for friendship in Moscow or even Tehran if Washington insists on “punishing” the regime in Riyadh. For a superpower, the U.S. doesn’t seem to have many options.

What the whole mess reveals is just how wise our founding fathers were to warn us against entangling alliances. For too many decades the U.S. has been in an unhealthy relationship with the Saudi kingdom, providing the Saudis with a U.S. security guarantee in exchange for “cheap” oil and the laundering of oil profits through the U.S. military-industrial complex by the purchase of billions of dollars in weapons.

Get Out of Cash

This entangling relationship with Saudi Arabia should end. It is unfortunate that the tens of thousands of civilians dead from Yemen to Syria due to Saudi aggression don’t matter as much as the murder of one establishment journalist like Khashoggi, but as one Clinton flack once said, we should not let this current crisis go to waste.

This is not about demanding that the Saudis change their ways, reform their society on the lines of a liberal democracy, or allow more women to drive. The problem with our relationship with Saudi Arabia is not about Saudi Arabia. It is about us. The United States should not be in the business of selling security guarantees overseas to the highest bidder. We are constantly told that the U.S. military guarantees our own safety, and so it should be.

No, this is about returning to a foreign policy that seeks friendship and trade with all nations who seek the same, but that heeds the warning of George Washington in his Farewell Address that “a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.” If we care about the United States we must heed this warning. No more passionate attachments overseas. Friendship and trade over all.

Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.

Copyright © 2018 by RonPaul Institute.



Soros Agenda Clear in Europe

The network of organizations run by George Soros is working tirelessly to flood the European continent with migrants. Hungary’s “Stop Soros” laws aim to thwart his efforts.

By John Friend

The Open Society Foundations (OSF), the subversive globalist organization headed by infamous international plutocrat George Soros, aims to undermine the sovereignty of nation-states around the world. Recently, it was learned that the global group filed applications challenging laws passed in Hungary that target individuals and civic groups working with refugees and asylum seekers to undermine immigration reform measures enacted by the Hungarian government.

OSF supports and finances a number of groups and organizations operating in Hungary that have become targets of the laws, passed in the aftermath of the sweeping electoral victory of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party earlier this year for the third straight time, as reported on by this newspaper.

Orban, who is increasingly demonized in the Western press as a racist, xenophobic autocrat, is a long-time critic of the European Union, non-European immigration into Hungary, refugee resettlement, and the prevailing liberal order, which he views as an assault on the people, traditions, and culture of Hungary specifically and of Europe more generally. Orban has correctly described the activists that OSF supports as “being paid by Soros to ‘transform Hungary into an immigrant country,’ ” which the populist prime minister and his ruling party are seeking to prevent.

Kingdom Identity

In late August, OSF filed legal challenges to the Hungarian laws at both the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France and Hungary’s Constitutional Court.

“The government has undermined judicial independence, tamed the media, and now seeks to silence civil society groups, which are among the last critical public voices left in Hungary,” the organization said in a statement. Other globalist organizations and media outlets have also lambasted the commonsense measures enacted by Orban’s Hungary.

“The Hungarian government has fabricated a narrative of lies to blind people to the truth: that these laws were designed to intimidate independent civil society groups, in another step towards silencing all dissent,” OSF president Patrick Gaspard hysterically stated.

The “Stop Soros” legislation, a series of laws passed in June, threatens with up to a year of jail time “anyone who helps refugees who are not entitled to protection apply for asylum, or helps illegal migrants gain status to stay in Hungary.”

Refugee scams have become a major problem throughout the Western world, as desperate and opportunistic Third World immigrants—often with the active assistance of subversive civic groups and NGOs—lie and embellish their immigration documents to ensure they meet certain conditions for permanent or temporary political asylum.

Soros-Not Easy Being God
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In July the Hungarian Parliament also voted to levy a 25% special tax against non-governmental organizations “supporting or positively portraying migration” by providing financial or material support to groups promoting migration.

OSF attorney Daniela Ikawa said the measures breach EU conventions on freedom of speech and association, and expose “a broad range of legitimate activities to the risk of criminal prosecution.”

“The tax law is so broadly written that the Hungarian government could target virtually all funding for rights groups and civil society even if a small portion of the funding goes to migration,” James Goldston, the director of OSF’s legal team, told the international press following the announcement of the legal challenge.

The Hungarian government has defiantly stood by its prime minister and the laws that have been enacted to combat subversive and hostile organizations operating on Hungarian territory.

Popular British publication The Independentreports a Hungarian government spokesman stated: “The government stands by the Stop Soros package of laws . . . as the legislation serves the will of the Hungarian people and the security of Hungary and Europe. The Soros organization attacks the Stop Soros package with all possible means, as the legislation stands in the way of illegal immigration. The aim of George Soros and organizations supported by him is to flood Europe with migrants.”

John Friend is a freelance author based in California.




Trump to UN: America Before Globalism

In speaking to the UN late last month, President Trump emphasized the right of nations to be proud of their heritage and take control of their destiny. “We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

By John Friend

President Donald Trump’s second address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 26 was used as yet another opportunity for the populist businessman turned president to blast globalism and reaffirm his commitment to put America first. The speech echoed many of the themes that got Trump elected and ones which he has long been championing: an emphasis on placing the interests of the American people and workers first and foremost in any foreign or domestic policy consideration, a rejection of globalism, and an affirmation of national sovereignty, among other important topics.

Trump began the speech by trumpeting his administration’s accomplishments, which he argued amounted to “more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” which drew a mixed reaction from those in attendance. The president praised his administration’s handling of the U.S. economy, which he argues is “booming like never before,” and highlighted the success of the stock market, the return of U.S. manufacturing and industrial jobs, and the reduction in the unemployment rate, especially for minorities.

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The president then moved on to focus on his concept of “patriotism over globalism,” noting that the representatives in the room are each “the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history, and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition, and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on Earth,” emphasizing the right of each unique nation to be proud of its heritage and to take control of its destiny.

“That is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination,” the president continued. “I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

The president commented later in his speech that “America is governed by Americans,” and went on to denounce globalism. “We reject the ideology of globalism and accept the doctrine of patriotism,” he boldly declared.

He would later defend his decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council. He added that the U.S. will “provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court [ICC]” at the Hague.

“As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority,” President Trump defiantly stated. “The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.”

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Throughout the speech, Trump repeatedly emphasized his America-first stance while underscoring his administration’s respect for the sovereignty of other nations and their desires to pursue their own unique political and economic interests.

In typical fashion, Trump declared that America “will not be taken advantage of any longer,” referring to the disastrous free-trade deals negotiated by previous U.S. administrations that have had serious repercussions for American workers and corporations, particularly in manufacturing and industrial production. He then highlighted the recent trade agreements his administration has negotiated, which include deals with Mexico and Korea, as well as increasing sanctions on Chinese-produced goods that are exported to the United States. Tariffs have been increased on other countries, too, which represent a concerted effort by the Trump administration to protect its citizens from the ravages of unfettered and entirely unfair so-called free trade, a longstanding principal of the post-WWII global economic order.

“We will no longer tolerate such abuse,” the president declared. “We will not allow our workers to be victimized, our companies to be cheated, and our wealth to be plundered and transferred. America will never apologize for protecting its citizens.”

Get Out of CashDespite his strong rejection of globalism and open desire to place the interests of the American people and nation first, the president totally embraced discredited and false neoconservative positions on Iran and the Israel-Palestine conflict, demonstrating the strong influence that Israeli partisans and Zionist sympathizers have in the Trump administration. During the speech, the president hysterically denounced the Iranian government for purportedly fomenting chaos and destruction in the region—critiques that any honest observer of Middle Eastern affairs knows full well apply to America and Israel’s aggressive and criminal actions taken in the region over the course of the past two decades.

“Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death, and destruction,” Trump stated during the speech. “They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations.” In reality, it is not Iran but America and its Western allies that have sown “chaos, death, and destruction” in the region—all at the behest of the state of Israel.

Despite the tired neoconservative rhetoric, the president’s speech was clearly a strong and forceful denunciation of the ideology of globalism and the New World Order agenda, and an open and proud embrace of patriotism and national sovereignty.

John Friend is a freelance author based in California.




White Farmers Say ‘Da’ to Putin’s Asylum Offer

With the South African government intent on giving all of the nation’s farmland to blacks and white farmers being slaughtered in heinous, horrible violence, Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened his nation’s doors to South Africa’s white population. Now, about 15,000 Boers are planning to take advantage of Putin’s offer and take sanctuary in greener—and safer—pasture in an agricultural grassland region of Russia.

By Dave Gahary

For many South African farmers, who have witnessed their country descend from a first-rate economic marvel to a country now barely registering on the Human Development Index—with an unemployment rate approaching 60%—enough is enough. A good number of these hard-working folk have pulled up stakes and headed to the Russian grasslands between Ukraine and Kazakhstan, where more than 65% of the land is dedicated to agriculture.

A large part of the exodus has been brought on by South Africa’s government, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who “has pledged to return the lands owned by white farmers since the 1600s to the black citizens of the country.” The South African government “is planning to put an end to what it calls the legacy of apartheid, where most of South Africa’s land is still in the hands of its minority white population.”

Ever since blacks supplanted whites in South Africa’s governing structure, the country has been on a downward tear, with regular rolling electricity blackouts and the world’s highest murder rate, as well as one of the highest rates of rape on the planet. Sadly, children make up a large percentage of rape victims in South Africa, believed to be a result of a myth that having sex with a virgin female cures a man of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; if a woman is raped, there is a 25% chance her attacker had AIDS. Although signs are posted throughout the country explaining that raping children will not cure AIDS, this heinous crime continues to increase.

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Carjackings and kidnapping are now an everyday occurrence with which the white minority has had to contend since blacks took over. A notable part of the obscene murder rate in South Africa is the assault on white farmers.

Last year this newspaper interviewed 47-year-old South African Simon Roche (pronounced “rosh”), who along with his group Suidlanders (pronounced “sightlahnders”), believe their country is on the verge of complete collapse, and they need to prepare for a civil war between blacks and whites.

Roche explained to this reporter that while around 80% of South Africa’s 55 million inhabitants are black, and while whites comprise a mere 8.1% of that total, the murder rate is “something like 1,370% greater than the murder rate of all Americans, regardless of what race they are and by which race they are murdered.”

Roche highlighted how stark the South African murder rate is for this reporter by noting that, as of a year ago, “Over 74,000 white people have been murdered by black people since the beginning of this new South African ‘rainbow nation’ multiracial democracy.”

Many of those brutally murdered have been farmers—which is why they are heeding Russia’s offer—although you wouldn’t know it if you relied on the fake news media’s reporting on this tragedy. All of the corrupt media refers to the targeted murders as a “conspiracy theory” dreamed up by white nationalists and that “farm attacks are part of a broader crime problem in South Africa, and do not have a racial motivation.”

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An Aug. 22 tweet this year from President Donald Trump helped to shine the light on this fake news media blackout. He wrote, “I have asked Secretary of State [Pompeo] to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the slaughter of farmers.”

This past July, a few weeks before Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Johannesburg for an economic summit, a group of 30 South African farm families visited Russia, claiming they face “violent attacks and death threats at home,” making the case for the more than 15,000 Boers who are planning to move there.

Putin’s government made it easier for South Africans to visit his country when, this past April, they “scrapped tourist visa requirements . . . meaning all planned visits by South Africans are no longer reviewed in advance.” Currently, fewer than 10,000 South Africans live in Russia.

Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.




Are the British Spying at EU Brexit Negotiations?

The EU official in charge of negotiations with Britain for its exit from the EU—commonly referred to as Brexit—suspects Britain is spying on the negotiations. While the British contingent has denied the allegations, it would not be surprising to learn it’s true. “The Brits have much to lose. Their economic, diplomatic, and strategic futures are on the line in this monumental shift back to independence.”

By S.T. Patrick

When the United Kingdom received sensitive documents within hours of them having been presented to EU officials last month, the EU became concerned. Soon after, the EU charged that the British secret service was spying on the continuing Brexit negotiations in Brussels.

Brexit has been the scandal du jour that has dominated recent British media in a way that Russiagate has consumed the American press. Brexit is a merging of the words “Britain” and “exit,” meaning the UK leaving the European Union. In June 2016, UK voters decided by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1% that they would leave the European Union. England and Wales supported Brexit, while Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU. The total vote favored leaving, which the UK will do on March 29, 2019.

There are issues regarding leaving, as there are in any divorce. The UK will have outstanding bills due to the EU. There is a dispute about the Northern Ireland border. It has yet to be decided how UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and how EU citizens in the UK will be classified. The disputes have been the subject of talks in Belgium, where some of the EU’s official buildings are located.

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When Martin Selmayr, the most senior EU official in Brussels, became suspicious that British secret services were spying on the negotiations, he began demanding hard copies of documents rather than emails. The British contingent has denied the insinuation that their positions in the negotiations have been assisted by spying.

If the Brexit negotiations were subject to espionage, it would not be an unwarranted surprise.

The Brits have much to lose. Their economic, diplomatic, and strategic futures are on the line in this monumental shift back to independence.

The EU would surely like to guarantee that the United Kingdom will be an example to the other 27 nations within the European Union. If the UK brexits and thrives, it could then encourage similar considerations by other nations struggling within the confines and burdens of the EU. The EU delegation, led by chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, is determined to ensure that the break will illustrate the need for a strong union throughout Europe.

When negotiations began, officials questioned the UK’s positions and strategies toward Brexit. Talk leaked that the Brits didn’t seem prepared for such a colossal move. Tom McTague of the Washington, D.C. news daily Politico described Britain’s perceived lack of preparedness.

“Britain is simultaneously the land of the smartest operators and a bunch of idiots being marched toward a cliff edge,” McTague wrote.

Anti-globalist commentators view the EU attitude and McTague’s assessment as metaphorically resembling the overly controlling parent who tells the 22-year-old that they should not leave home because they are destined to fail without further parenting. The parent tallies up the favors given to the child, and then stops all aid in an effort to prove that leaving equals destitution.

The British are determined to succeed on their own, as they once did mightily and proudly.

Both sides have stated that they would like to reach a Brexit agreement by the end of October. If not, a “No Deal Brexit” may occur in May. The EU, and those who oppose Brexit, have used the media to outline a laundry list of frightful consequences that would befall the UK if Brexit occurs without a beneficial deal in place.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbin says it will be a “national disaster” if Brexit occurs without an agreement, but Prime Minister Theresa May has repeated that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

Liberal Democrat politician Jonathan Fryer recently claimed that there was a “mole in the system” that was aiding Britain in the Brexit talks. Fryer absolutely believes that the spying allegations in Brussels are true.

“I think it’s quite a credible story,” Fryer told RT UK. “We don’t only spy on our so-called enemies; we also spy on our friends, though, of course, will deny it, and intelligence services are staying mum on this.”

While British officials have denied it, it has been rumored that British diplomats have been taking their own printers into EU buildings, fearing that house printers have been hacked to record all documents. Former Brexit Secretary David Davis was also said to have used a snoop-proof briefcase. Tensions are high on both sides, no matter how calm the public remarks have been.

Is there a 007 penetrating the gothic complexes of Europe’s most powerful offices? It seems a bit Ian Fleming, until you consider what is on the line for the UK. It is more inconceivable that they wouldn’t have every department of every government arm working toward a beneficial Brexit, the new starting line of Britain’s future.

S. T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




Coup in Venezuela Invites Possible Global Cold War

Russia and China have a huge financial stake in Venezuela because both sell the country weapons, meaning U.S. threats of supporting a military coup in Venezuela could create a Latin American Cold War.

By Richard Walker

Should President Donald Trump and prominent members of Congress continue to advocate for a military coup in Venezuela, it could see a return to a Cold War in Latin America, a region in which countries have always shared divided loyalties to East and West.

According to foreign policy expert Brian Fonseca, should the U.S. continue to push for overthrowing the Venezuelan government, the West could see a bigger Chinese and Russian footprint in Latin America. These two superpowers have close ties to the Venezuelan military and sell it weapons. They would be thrilled if Venezuela’s relations with Washington reached a point of no return because Moscow and Beijing would pursue an opportunity to purchase majority stakes in Venezuela’s oil reserves that are among the world’s largest.

Venezuela also has large deposits of natural resources that China would be keen to develop, in keeping with China’s growing economic role in the world. China has been busy for the past two decades establishing relations with nations across Latin America and Africa, especially those that have massive energy and fossil fuel reserves. A classic example is that, in 2015, in the out-of-the-way country Mozambique, China began cutting large tracts of forest for the timber it desperately needs for its ever-expanding infrastructure. When it discovered that the same area held large deposits of gemstones, it bought mining rights and began exploiting them, too.

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Fonseca has warned Washington figures that flirting with the prospect of backing the overthrow of the government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela is playing with fire, endangering America’s foreign policy in its own backyard. It could even result in a major national security blunder.

Big oil companies Chevron and Halliburton that have stakes in Venezuela’s oil industry have privately appealed to the White House to avoid plunging Venezuela into total chaos by pursuing tougher financial sanctions against the government. They have also cautioned that intervention in support of a military coup could be disastrous for Washington’s relations throughout the region.

Those warnings have not deterred Trump from floating the possibility of supporting a coup by the Venezuelan military. He received backing for his views from U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

There is also evidence that some former Venezuelan military figures have met members of the Trump administration.

The promotion of regime change in Congress and the White House is a dangerous trend that ignores the failed history of U.S.-led coups. After 1947, with the emergence of the CIA, Washington decided it now had the ideal tool to change regimes it did not like or that American corporations felt threatened their energy domination. The first coup the CIA launched was in Iran in 1953 when U.S. agents overthrew a democratically elected government because Iran was seeking to stop exploitation by foreign oil corporations, mostly British, by nationalizing Iran’s oil for the benefit of its people. Other coups followed in the Congo and South Vietnam, but Latin America became the major target of nine coup-led interventions by the CIA. The Agency used tactics that became all too familiar of arming and training insurgents. It encouraged assassinations, bombings, kidnapping, and the secret torture and elimination of perceived enemies.

George Bush and Dick Cheney meddled in Venezuela and in other Latin American nations, and so, too, did Barack Obama who pursued what became known as the soft power strategy. Obama advocated using less CIA paramilitary input in favor of exploiting and financing opposition groups by funneling money to them, using Washington-run aid organizations. Bribes were also paid to political figures and disgruntled military officers. At the same time, fake stories were fed into the media of the target nation.

It is a fact that Venezuela, like many Latin American nations, has existed for decades with serious levels of corruption. But of much more significance is the reality that its economy has relied for too long on oil exports. Knowing this, in 2014, the Saudis, under pressure from Israel and Washington, flooded the international oil markets with cheap oil, crushing the price of oil to the detriment of the Venezuelan economy. The effects were devastating and long term. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Washington saw it as punishment for Venezuela’s closeness to Iran and its attacks on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. It may well be that some oil corporations were also pushing for the Saudi move, hoping it would lead to Venezuela’s collapse, giving them control of its energy resources.

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Venezuela is now collapsing financially, and U.S. sanctions could push it over the edge into the arms of Beijing and Moscow. It is generally not reported that 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the country in the past three years.

Too many figures in Congress promote regime change, ignorant of the terrible effects of failed CIA-led coups in the past. Even those regimes in Latin America that do not support the Venezuelan leadership have raw memories of past U.S. interventions in countries like Chile and the failed 2002 CIA-led coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. In that coup tens of millions of dollars were secretly funneled to opposition groups and disaffected members of the country’s military. That is probably what has been happening again in the past couple of years.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.


RELATED, FROM RON PAUL . . .

D.C.’s Hypocritical Attack on Maduro

If our leaders really cared about the people of Venezuela, they would lift the sanctions.

By Dr. Ron Paul

Last week we witnessed the horrible spectacle of Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, joining a protest outside the UN building and calling for the people of Venezuela to overthrow their government.

“We are going to fight for Venezuela,” she shouted through a megaphone. “We are going to continue doing it until [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro is gone.”

This is the neocon mindset: that somehow the U.S. has the authority to tell the rest of the world how to live and who may hold political power regardless of elections.

After more than a year of Washington being crippled by evidence-free claims that the Russians have influenced our elections, we have a senior U.S. administration official openly calling for the overturning of elections overseas.

Imagine if President Vladimir Putin’s national security advisor had grabbed a megaphone in New York and called for the people of the United States to overthrow their government by force.

At the UN, Maduro accused the Western media of hyping up the crisis in his country to push the cause for another “humanitarian intervention.”

Some may laugh at such a claim, but recent history shows that interventionists lie to push regime change, and the media goes right along with the lies.

Remember the lies about Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi giving Viagra to his troops to help them rape their way through Libya? Remember the “babies thrown from incubators” and “mobile chemical labs” in Iraq? Judging from past practice, there is probably some truth in Maduro’s claims.

We know socialism does not work. It is an economic system based on the use of force rather than economic freedom of choice. But while many Americans seem to be in a panic over the failures of socialism in Venezuela, they don’t seem all that concerned that right here at home Trump just signed a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill that delivers socialism on a scale that Venezuelans couldn’t even imagine. In fact, this one spending bill is three times Venezuela’s entire gross domestic product.

Did I miss all the Americans protesting this warfare-welfare state socialism?

Why all the neocon and humanitarian-interventionist “concern” for the people of Venezuela? One clue might be the fact that Venezuela happens to be sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves. More even than Saudi Arabia. There are plenty of countries pursuing dumb economic policies that result in plenty of suffering, but Nikki and the neocons are nowhere to be found when it comes to “concern” for these people. Might it be a bit about this oil?

Don’t believe this feigned interest in helping the Venezuelan people. If Washington really cared about Venezuelans they would not be plotting regime change for the country, considering that each such “liberation” elsewhere has ended with the people being worse off than before.

No, if Washington—and the rest of us—really cared about Venezuelans we would demand an end to the terrible U.S. economic sanctions on the country—which only make a bad situation worse—and would push for far more engagement and trade.

And maybe we’d even lead by example, by opposing the real, existing socialism here at home before seeking socialist monsters to slay abroad.

Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.




World Teeters on Brink of War

Russia responded to recent Israeli attacks on Syria by accusing Israel of responsibility for the loss of 15 Russian servicemen. Philip Giraldi cautions, “The downing of the Russian plane through Israeli contrivance created a situation that could easily have escalated into a war involving Moscow and Washington.”

By John Friend

The Russian Ministry of Defense has publicly accused Israel of being culpable for the downing of a Russian military aircraft in Syria on the evening of Monday, Sept. 17, resulting in the death of 15 Russian service members. The tragic international incident has received scant media coverage in the West but has many serious observers of Middle Eastern affairs wondering if Israel—blindly supported and financed by the United States—is on the verge of provoking WWIII with its blatant military aggression, utter disdain for international law, and outrageous arrogance.

The downed Russian aircraft, a Soviet-era Ilyushin IL-20 surveillance and control plane, was on a reconnaissance mission near the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria on the evening of Sept. 17, when four Israeli F-16 fighter jets—compliments of the Pentagon—left Israeli airspace and flew over the Mediterranean Sea to carry out an unprovoked attack on various Syrian targets, essentially using the larger Russian aircraft as cover for their assault.

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In yet another blatant and criminal act of military aggression against her neighbors in the region, the Israeli F-16s launched several precision-guided missiles at a number of industrial and military targets in the western Syrian province of Latakia, warning their Russian counterparts less than one minute prior to launching the illegal and extremely risky attack. Russian military commanders immediately ordered the IL-20 back to the Khmeimim air base, but Syrian air defense systems mistakenly targeted the Russian aircraft and its 15 crew members, which the Russians have argued the Israelis were using as cover for their attack on Syrian targets.

“The Israeli jets saw the Russian Ilyushin IL-20 and used it as a shield against the anti-aircraft missiles, while they carried on maneuvering in the region,” Major General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, stated in the aftermath of the incident.

“We believe that the blame for the Russian IL-20 aircraft tragedy lies entirely with the Israeli Air Force,” Konashenkov continued. “The military leadership of Israel either has no appreciation for the level of relations with Russia or has no control over individual commands or commanding officers who understood that their actions would lead to tragedy.”

Ultimately the “misleading information” provided just moments before the attack on Syrian targets by the Israeli F-16s “did not allow the Russian IL-20 airplane to move timely to a safe area,” the Russians concluded.

“This is an extremely ungrateful response to all that has been done by the Russian Federation for Israel and the Israeli people recently,” Konashenkov lamented.

The incident has soured relations between Israel and Russia and has prompted the Russian government to provide upgrades to the Syrian air defense system, further strengthening military and political ties between the embattled Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, a major nemesis in the eyes of the Israelis and their sympathizers in Washington, D.C., and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

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Earlier this week, Russia announced it had transferred new anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, including four S-300 launchers, a sophisticated anti-aircraft missile system that will “significantly increase the Syrian army’s capabilities,” according to the Russian military. In a telephone conversation late last month with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that “the actions of the Israeli Air Force were the main cause” of the downing of the Russian aircraft, and that “Russia’s decisions to bolster the combat capabilities of Syrian air defenses are appropriate at this juncture and primarily intended to thwart any potential threat to the lives of the Russian military service members fulfilling the tasks of combating international terrorism,” the Kremlin stated.

In the wake of the tragic incident, many are concerned about a potential escalation of conflict in the region and the possibility of a broader war involving major superpowers—Russia and the United States—breaking out due to the risky and criminal actions of the Israelis.

“Israel does risky things like attacking its neighbors because it knows it will pay no price due to Washington’s support,” Philip Giraldi, executive director of the Council for the National Interest, recently argued in an op-ed released just after the tragedy. “The downing of the Russian plane through Israeli contrivance created a situation that could easily have escalated into a war involving Moscow and Washington.”

John Friend is a freelance author based in California.




With Friends Like These

Why is the U.S. still supporting the Saudi regime, which has evidently just murdered a Washington Post journalist. As Buchanan notes, “Any U.S.-backed “Arab NATO” to face down Iran, with Riyadh as central pillar, would appear dead.”

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Was Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and then his body cut up with a bone saw and flown to Riyadh in Gulfstream jets owned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

So contend the Turks, who have video from the consulate, photos of 15 Saudi agents who flew into Istanbul that day, Oct. 2, and the identity numbers of the planes.

Supporting the thesis of either a murder in the consulate or a “rendition,” a kidnaping gone horribly bad, is a Post story that U.S. intel intercepted Saudi planning, ordered by the prince, to lure Khashoggi from his suburban D.C. home back to Saudi Arabia. And for what beneficent purpose?

If these charges are not refuted by Riyadh, there will likely be, and should be, as John Bolton said in another context, “hell to pay.”

And the collateral diplomatic damage looks to be massive.

Kingdom Identity

Any U.S.-backed “Arab NATO” to face down Iran, with Riyadh as central pillar, would appear dead. Continued U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen would now be in question.

The special relationship the crown prince and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have established could be history.

Congress could cancel U.S. arms sales to the kingdom that keep thousands of U.S. defense workers employed, and impose sanctions on the prince who is heir apparent to the throne of his 82-year-old father, King Salman.

Today, the Saudi prince has become toxic, and his ascension to the Saudi throne seems less inevitable than two weeks ago. Yet, well before Khashoggi’s disappearance in the consulate, Crown Prince Mohammed’s behavior had seemed wildly erratic.

Along with the UAE, he charged Qatar with supporting terrorism, severed relations, and threatened to build a ditch to sever Qatar from the Arabian Peninsula. To protest criticism of his country’s human rights record by Canada’s foreign minister, he cut all ties to Ottawa.

Last year, he summoned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Riyadh, held him for a week, and forced him to resign his office and blame it on Iranian interference in Lebanon. Released, Hariri returned home to reclaim his office.

A professed reformer, Crown Prince Mohammed opened movie theaters to women and allowed them to drive, and then jailed the social activists who had called for these reforms.

Three years ago, he initiated the war on the Houthis, after the rebels ousted a pro-Saudi president and took over most of the country.

And, since 2015, the crown prince has conducted a savage air war that has brought Houthi missiles down on his own country and capital.

Yemen has become Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam.

That our principal Arab ally in our confrontation with Iran, which could lead to yet another U.S. war, is a regime headed by so unstable a character should raise serious concerns about where it is we are going in the Middle East.

Have we not wars already?

Do we not have enough enemies in the region—Taliban, al Qaida, ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Iran—to be starting another war?

As for our regional allies, consider.

NATO ally Turkey, which is pressing the case against our Saudi allies, leads the world in the number of journalists jailed. Our Egyptian ally, Gen. al-Sissi, came to power in a military coup, and has imprisoned thousands of dissidents of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While we have proclaimed Iran the “world’s greatest state sponsor of terror,” it is Yemen, where Saudi Arabia intervened in 2015, that is regarded as the world’s great human rights catastrophe.

Moreover, Iran is itself suffering from terrorism.

Last month, a military parade in the city of Ahvaz in the southwest was attacked by gunmen who massacred 25 soldiers and civilians in the deadliest terror attack in Iran in a decade.

And like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya, Iran suffers, too, from tribalism, with Arab secessionists in its southwest, Baloch secessionists in its southeast, and Kurd secessionists in its northwest.

The U.S. cannot look aside at a royal Saudi hand in the murder of a U.S.-based journalist in its consulate in Istanbul. But before we separate ourselves from the Riyadh regime, we should ask what is the alternative if the House of Saud should be destabilized or fall?

When Egypt’s King Farouk was overthrown in 1952, we got Nasser.

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When young King Faisal was overthrown in Baghdad in 1958, we eventually got Saddam Hussein. When King Idris in Libya was ousted in 1969, we got Qaddafi. When Haile Selassie was overthrown and murdered in Ethiopia in 1974, we got Col. Mengistu and mass murder. When the Shah was overthrown in Iran in 1979, we got the Ayatollah.

As World War I, when four empires fell, testifies, wars are hell on monarchies. And if a new and larger Middle East war, with Iran, should break out in the Gulf, some of the Arab kings, emirs, and sultans will likely fall.

And when they do, history shows, it is not usually democrats who rise to replace them.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? and Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War, all available from the AFP Online Store.

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Israel, Saudis Continue Slaughter

Bloodthirsty Saudi leader Mohammad bin Salman matches Israel for arrogance and disregard for life, as his regime kills 25 Iranians and Israel kills 15 Russians. Both blame everyone but themselves.

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

In the second half of September 2018, two closely allied Middle Eastern nations—Israel and Saudi Arabia—committed thinly veiled mass slaughters . . . and dug their own graves.

On Sept. 17, Israel, through reckless negligence or worse, knocked a Russian Il-20 out of the sky. Violating their “advance notification” agreement with Russia, Israeli F-16s attacked Syria, drew anti-aircraft fire while scurrying to hide behind the unsuspecting Il-20, then escaped unscathed as 15 Russians met their deaths.

The following week, 25 people were killed and more than 60 wounded in a terrorist attack in Ahvaz, Iran. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif blamed the carnage on “a foreign regime backed by the United States.” He was referring to Saudi Arabia, a close Israeli ally.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia arrogantly refused to accept responsibility for their bloodthirsty acts. Israel blamed its murder of 15 Russians on Syria’s air defenses. Putin called Israel’s bluff by saying: Okay, you’re right. Syria needs better air defenses, so we’re going to sell them our S-300 system and deny you the ability to continue to operate in Syrian airspace.

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Saudi Arabia likewise disavowed responsibility for the terror attack on Ahvaz. This is the same Saudi Arabia whose absolute dictator, Mohammad bin Salman, threatened last year to “take the fight inside Iran,” meaning increase its sponsorship of terror groups like those that carried out the Ahvaz massacre.

The arrogant, murderous liars in Tel Aviv and Riyadh will be getting their comeuppance. Israel is facing strategic disaster thanks to its idiotic murder of the 15 Russian airmen and its even more idiotic refusal to apologize. As Russia installs its S-300 system in Syria, Israel will no longer be able to strike at Hezbollah and Iranian forces in that beleaguered nation.

Today, Hezbollah is already armed with a missile force orders of magnitude beyond what it defeated Israel with in 2006. Hezbollah’s missiles are increasing in quantity (around 130,000) and quality (bigger payload, accuracy, and ability to evade air defenses). They may already be capable of leveling Tel Aviv and the Dimona nuclear facility.

Iraq & Politics of Oil, VoglerBy alienating Russia and giving Hezbollah and Iran free rein in Syria, Israel has shot itself in the foot. All the Zionists had to do was feign sincerity and apologize profusely for causing the deaths of the 15 Russians. Putin would have accepted the apology and taken relatively mild retaliatory measures. But the arrogant Zionists simply cannot accept moral responsibility for their actions—ever. Everything they do, every crime they commit, always has to somehow be somebody else’s fault.

The Saudis are as arrogant as the Zionists and even more inept. The megalomaniacal bin Salman is madly abusing key sectors of Saudi society. He has kidnapped, tortured, and robbed his billionaire cousins. He has imprisoned, brutalized, or bullied much of the Saudi religious establishment. He has also imprisoned and abused the female activists who won Saudi women the right to drive. The crown prince has even planned the beheadings of peaceful activist women. When Canada’s foreign ministry protested, bin Salman’s spokesmen threatened to hit Canada with a 9/11-style attack.

It is one thing to threaten to send planes into Canadian skyscrapers. It is quite another to commit actual mass murders. But that is what the Saudis have done in Ahvaz.

Like the Israelis, the Saudis are going out of their way to make enemies—very angry enemies. Take Iran, a huge nation three times the size of Iraq with advanced homegrown technology, a formidable military, and a population including tens of millions who are eager to lay down their lives for their country if it comes under attack.

The Saudis have also made an arch-enemy of gas-rich, media-savvy Qatar. By blockading and plotting to invade and occupy Qatar—a plan that was blocked when Turkey quickly built a military base there—the Saudis suddenly had two enemies for the price of one.

Lewis Foundation Legal NoticeTurkey, of course, has never thought highly of the British decision to break off the Arabian Peninsula from the Ottoman Empire and hand it to the Ibn Saud crime family, so an intensified Turkish dislike of “Saudi” Arabia could eventually have existential consequences for that artificial and malignant entity.

The Saudis even managed to alienate their handful of bought-and-paid-for Lebanese stooges when they briefly kidnapped Lebanese Prime  Minister Hariri. The kidnapping failed abysmally, like everything else bin Salman does.

And then there is the biggest debacle of all: the Saudi genocide of Yemen, an atrocity comparable to the slow-motion genocide of Palestine.

The Saudis, like the Israelis, are courting catastrophe. When it comes, they will blame everyone but themselves.

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.His book, Truth Jihad: My Epic Struggle Against the 9/11 Big Lie, is on sale now at the AFP Online Store. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.