Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

A detailed analysis of the recent seemingly pro-Israel remarks by the Saudi leader

Link here. The analysis takes a close look at what Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman really said about Israel’s right to exist, and found that, while much of what he said was hopeful, it was couched in enough vagueness that no one should celebrate too wildly.

In short, Muhammad said nothing revolutionary. He bore no glad tidings of a strategic shift in the Saudi Islam or in the manner that the Saudis relate to the world, including the Jews.

Which brings us back to the main question. What did we learn from this interview? The most significant thing that came out of the interview is that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is very keen to cooperate with the US and with Israel in everything related to defeating what he refers to as the “triangle of evil.”

The three sides of his triangle are Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the terrorist groups the Muslim Brotherhood has spawned, including al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

Saudi Arabia is still an Islamic country run by the corrupt and violent Arabian culture. As noted elsewhere in the article,

The problem is that Muhammad’s regime is built on shaky foundations. Muhammad instigated a blood feud with powerful forces within his family when he carried out a string of arrests last year. Among those arrested were several prominent princes.

Rhode [a Middle East expert] explains that the Saudi ruling clan divvied up the organs of government among branches of the family. For instance, one branch controls the Defense Ministry, another controls the Education Ministry, and so on down the line.

“In the Islamic world, humiliation is worse than death,” Rhode notes. “When Muhammad arrested the other princes, he humiliated them,” Rhode says. “And they will never forgive him. They will wait for the day they can exact revenge for their humiliation even if it only comes when their great-grandchildren have succeeded them.”

We cannot trust them very much, but we can take advantage of their internal conflicts to push them in a more reasonable direction.

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The Vegas Massacre Exposé: What Really Happened?

Link here. The article reviews the state of the investigation and notes the endless numbers of issues with it, from contradictory public statements to mysterious police actions to questionable events. The author raises good questions, and shines a light on a story that reeks of corruption and dishonesty, at the highest levels of the FBI and federal government.

There are those who will immediately begin speculating wild conspiracy theories. The story doesn’t require crazy theories, only simple but harsh ones, as noted by the author, linking the Las Vegas massacre to ISIS and some ISIS-allied Saudi power-brokers who have since been defanged by the Saudi government, all with the covert approval of the Trump administration, which also agreed to keep those Saudi links to ISIS and the Las Vegas massacre secret in order to help that friendly Saudi government.

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Palestinian condemnation, from a Saudi Arabian

Link here. The story is about a Saudi Arabian video blogger who posted a two minute rant condemning the Palestinians as forcefully as can be imagined.

“You are the ugliest page in our history – like a bad memory that we’d like to forget. We want to tear this page out of [our history] and get rid of it completely, now and forever.

We’ve had to sacrifice having ties with Israel – the most advanced country in the Middle East because of you and your problems and your use of our religion, language, and the fact that you’re Arabs. [emphasis mine]

This quote is only a small part of the rant. I highlight it specifically because it reveals a recognition in Saudi Arabia of the reality that Israel is a far better ally for the Saudis than the Palestinians. For an Arab to say kind words about Israel in a public forum is quite astonishing, considering the history of the past sixty years. Furthermore, this blogger would not be saying it if he did not know that his government approves. There is no free speech in Saudi Arabia.

This is one more indication that a major shift is about to occur in the Middle East, with certain countries possibly abandoning the Palestinians as their leadership is presently constituted, two corrupt terrorist organizations with no interest in living in peace with their neighbors.

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How the Purge in Saudi Arabia might link to the Democratic computers in Congress

This essay is going to outline some interesting associations that appear to exist between a number of very unconnected news stories in the past few months, links that might help explain how recent events in Saudi Arabia might have something to do with the U.S. Congress and car dealerships in the U.S. and Africa.

First of all I want to emphasize that I really have no idea if the associations I am going to note even exist. I am no expert on foreign policy, other than being a very well-read follower of the news. However, my skills as a historian have often allowed me to spot connections between disparate events that further research very frequently confirms as true. In this regard I think it very worthwhile to reveal what I have noticed, and let the chips fall where they may.

This trail must first begin with President Trump’s first foreign policy trip in May as President, going first to Saudi Arabia followed by visits to Israel and Europe.
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Petroglyphs found depicting the earliest leashed dogs?

Archaeologists have found petroglyphs in Saudi Arabia that could be the earliest depiction of dogs being held by leashes.

Carved into a sandstone cliff on the edge of a bygone river in the Arabian Desert, a hunter draws his bow for the kill. He is accompanied by 13 dogs, each with its own coat markings; two animals have lines running from their necks to the man’s waist.

The engravings likely date back more than 8000 years, making them the earliest depictions of dogs, a new study reveals. And those lines are probably leashes, suggesting that humans mastered the art of training and controlling dogs thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

The dating however remains uncertain. The carvings could be much younger.

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Saudi Arabia has launched a military strike against Yemen

Saudi Arabia has launched a military strike against Yemen’s defense ministry.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the attacks were air or missile strikes, but they came following reports that Iran had manufactured the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Shiite rebels toward the Saudi capital a week ago.

Remnants of the missile bore “Iranian markings,” the top US Air Force official in the Mideast said Friday, backing the kingdom’s earlier allegations.

This isn’t that much of a surprise, considering the recent purge in Saudi Arabia as well as the recent reports of both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait warning their citizens to leave Lebanon. The military strike today in Yemen appears to therefore merely be a precursor of a more significant escalation.

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A review of the Saudi purge taking place this week

Link here. The analysis here is the best I’ve seen, and suggests once again that we might be seeing a significant shift taking place within the Arab Middle East.

It is in the context of Saudi Arabia’s reassessment of its interests and realignment of strategic posture in recent years that the dramatic events of the past few days in the kingdom must be seen.

Saturday’s sudden announcement that a new anti-corruption panel headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the near simultaneous announcement of the arrest of more than two dozen royal family members, cabinet ministers and prominent businessmen is predominantly being presented as a power seizure by the crown prince. Amid widespread rumors that King Salman will soon abdicate the throne to his son, it is reasonable for the 32-year-old crown prince to work to neutralize all power centers that could threaten his ascension to the throne.

But there is clearly also something strategically more significant going on. While many of the officials arrested over the weekend threaten Mohammed’s power, they aren’t the only ones that he has purged. In September Mohammed arrested some 30 senior Wahhabist clerics and intellectuals. And Saturday’s arrest of the princes, cabinet ministers and business leaders was followed up by further arrests of senior Wahhabist clerics.

At the same time, Mohammed has been promoting clerics who espouse tolerance for other religions, including Judaism and Christianity. He has removed the Saudi religious police’s power to conduct arrests and he has taken seemingly credible steps to finally lift the kingdom-wide prohibition on women driving.

There’s a lot more, including details about how the Obama administration was dishonestly aiding the wrong side. Read it all

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Saudi minister calls for “toppling” Hezbollah

Intriguing: The Saudi state minister for Gulf affairs has called for the “topplng” of Hezbollah, condemning that organization as “a party of Satan.”

He also said that “The coming developments will definitely be astonishing.”

While there have always been strong differences and hostility among the many Arab nations and movements in the Middle East, rarely have these differences been expressed so publicly and forcefully. Read the whole article. The things this powerful official says could not be said if he did not have the support of his government. I wonder if this indicates some major shifts are about to occur in the Arab world.

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Saudi Arabia gives robot citizenship

As part of a publicity stunt to encourage investment, Saudi Arabia has given citizenship to a new robot, designed to show human emotions by facial expressions.

A humanoid robot took the stage at the Future Investment Initiative yesterday and had an amusing exchange with the host to the delight of hundreds of delegates. Smartphones were held aloft as Sophia, a robot designed by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics, gave a presentation that demonstrated her capacity for human expression.

Sophia made global headlines when she was granted Saudi citizenship, making the kingdom the first country in the world to offer its citizenship to a robot.

Below the fold I have embedded the video of Sophia’s conversation with the host. It is obvious that most of the conversation was scripted. It is also obvious that robots still have a long way to go before their facial expressions appear natural to the human eye.

Posted north of Phoenix as we climb up onto the Colorado Plateau. Just saw the last saguaro in the cacti’s northern range limits.
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Saudi Arabia to invest $1 billion in Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit

Capitalism in space: Saudi Arabia and Virgin have signed a non-binding agreement for Saudi Arabia to invest $1 billion in Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit.

I’m not sure what to make of this press release. The agreement is clearly called “non-binding,” which means Saudi Arabia is not obliged to provide any funds. At the same time, the deal appears to shift power and control of the two Virgin companies to the Arab country, which if successful (a big “if”) would also quickly give Saudi Arabia both a manned and smallsat launching capability.

Why they chose Virgin appears at first baffling, considering that company’s repeated inability to achieve any of its promises. It could be, however, that Richard Branson’s funds are drying up, and that he needed this deal to keep both companies afloat. Saudi Arabia thus saw an opportunity and grabbed it.

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Russia and Saudi Arabia sign space agreement

The new colonial movement: This week Russia and Saudi Arabia signed another in a series of space cooperative agreements.

While specific details about the space exploration agreement are not available, it is the result of high level discussions between senior officials from the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research in Moscow.

…Saudi Arabia, along with its ally and neighbour the United Arab Emirates, has been assiduous in its efforts to cultivate close and substantive ties with the space agencies of leading space powers such as the United States, China, Europe, Russia, India, and Japan.

Over the past several weeks alone it has been reported that the UAE and Russia are in discussions about training and launching Emirati astronauts as Abu Dhabi embarks on its own human space flight programme. In the case of Saudi-Russian cooperation, Saudi Arabia brings much needed financial resources to a struggling space programme, while Russia brings potential technology and science transfers in space launch, planetary sciences, space probe technologies, human space flight, and space mission design, planning, architectures, and operations.

It appears that Saudi Arabia has the cash that Russia needs, and Russia has the expertise, rockets, and space station that Saudi Arabia needs. A deal made in heaven.

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Trump administration eases technology restrictions to Saudi Arabia

The Trump has eased satellite technology restrictions that had been placed on Saudi Arabia and the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

It is believed that the Washington, DC, discussions between the U.S. and the Saudis saw agreements on U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and also on common approaches towards containing Iran. Of particular significance, however, is the agreement by the U.S. to lift export restrictions on strategic technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles and reconnaissance satellites to Saudi Arabia, and potentially to other GCC countries.

It is believed that Saudi Arabia is in the market for two to eight high-resolution reconnaissance satellites over the coming years, and it is known that French companies Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space have partnered together to offer electro-optical reconnaissance satellites similar to the Falcon Eye satellites being built for the United Arab Emirates.

This change will also benefit U.S. satellite makers, giving them a better chance at winning Saudi contracts. At the same time, it makes available to these Middle East Islamic nations some high level technology that could be used against us.

Update: While his administration has quietly widened cooperation with Saudi Arabia, President Trump is publicly complaining that the Arab country takes advantage of the U.S.

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Saudia Arabia and Russia sign space exploration agreement

The competition heats up: Saudia Arabia has signed a deal with Russia to work together to explore space for peaceful purposes.

This deal has less importance to the exploration of space. Instead, it signifies clearly the worsening relations between the U.S. and Saudia Arabia. For decades the Saudis would always turn to the U.S. for such deals. They are now looking elsewhere, having found the U.S. to be an unreliable partner during the Obama administration.

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Death by 1000 lashes for writing a blog post

The religion of peace: The sentence of 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison for a Saudi blogger who wrote some mild criticisms of Saudi Islamic rule has been upheld by that country’s supreme court.

Words fail me when faced with this kind of barbarism. But hey, here in the states we have to deal with some real oppression, like the fact that women in business are sometimes addressed by the phrase “you guys!”.

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