Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Turning a Blind Eye on Human Rights Abuse

by Oui Sat Oct 13th, 2018 at 02:17:44 AM EST

In aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi regime, the Vision 2030 wealth fund may be in for some delay. Let's see who are those persons led by $$$ signs in their eyes instead of the human rights issues of monarchs and dictators in the Middle East. Oil wealth and elites are not by definition the kindest of persons with empathy for critical voices in their kingdom. Fighting the Shia in Iraq, Syria, Bahrain and the ugly war in Yemen. Getting away with it by cozying up to the major suppliers of sophisticated war machines supplied by the US, UK, France and on a smaller scale by a few others. Even The Netherlands supplied once again lethal tools used in the war in Yemen.  On the wrong side of history, yet getting away with it due to impunity by breaches of International Law and the Geneva Conventions. The 21st century has turned just as ugly as the 20th century proved to be. After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the 9/11 attacks, the western war machine has gained a lot more speed. No protests on the horizon that endure beyond one or two weeks. Am surprised the black clouds gathered at all over the Arabian desert. Crown Prince Salman is truly writing history as another Arab leader with qualities of a potentate ruler. Some of us were not fooled ...

Saudi summit in crisis as Khashoggi case prompts mass withdrawals

The president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, said he would not be attending, and the Financial Times, Bloomberg, CNN and CNBC have withdrawn as media sponsors.

Continued below the fold ...

The New York Times withdrew its sponsorship of the event on Wednesday, starting a domino effect of withdrawals around the globe. In a short statement, the Financial Times' chief communications officer, Fiona McDonnell, said the newspaper would not be a partner of the conference while Khashoggi's disappearance remained unexplained.

Media figures to pull out of the conference include Arianna Huffington, who runs the health firm Thrive Global, Patrick Soon-Shiong, the owner of the LA Times, and the CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin. The Viacom chief executive, Bob Bakish, and Uber's chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, have also confirmed they will not attend.

Sir Richard Branson has halted discussions with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund about a planned $1bn (£760m) investment in Virgin's space companies. He has also suspended his participation in two advisory boards.

Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, is listed as a speaker at the conference. Jihad Azour, head of the IMF's Middle East department, would not say if she would attend. "Like most of the people here and everywhere, we are waiting to have more information on this recent development," Azour said.

The Economist's editor-in-chief, Zanny Minton Beddoes, has withdrawn from the FII. An editorial in the latest issue contained a rebuke to Bin Salman, stating: "His brutish handling of even mild critics is overshadowing more admirable policies, which include curbing the religious police, letting women drive and encouraging them to work.

"As his regime starts to resemble an Arab nationalist dictatorship - socially liberal but centralised, paranoid and built on fear - his promise of a new, tolerant Saudi Arabia is receding."

Of course Trump will stand by his business partners to the very end as he has shown throughout his life of cozying up to the wealth of crooks and dirty money investments.

In the shadow of his father King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ...

    "My primary goal is to be an exemplary and leasing nation in all
    aspects, and I will work with you in achieving this endeavour ..."

[Source: Vision 2030]

Saudi history the House of Saud - the great King Faisal assassinated in 1975.

Saudi Palace Coup As Sudairis Consolidate Power
Bahrain, Saddam's Guards and Saudi Military a Sunni Front

Yours truly: Thomas L. Friedman

Praying for Jamal Khashoggi

Attention: Saudi Prince in a Hurry | NY Times Opinion - Nov. 7, 2017 |

To understand the upheaval that is taking place in Saudi Arabia today, you have to start with the most important political fact about that country: The dominant shaping political force there for the past four decades has not been Islamism, fundamentalism, liberalism, capitalism or ISISism.

It has been Alzheimer's.

The country's current king is 81 years old. He replaced a king who died at 90, who replaced a king who died at 84. It's not that none of them introduced reforms. It's that at a time when the world has been experiencing so much high-speed change in technology, education and globalization, these successive Saudi monarchs thought that reforming their country at 10 miles an hour was fast enough -- and high oil prices covered for that slow pace.

It doesn't work anymore. Some 70 percent of Saudi Arabia is under age 30, and roughly 25 percent of them are unemployed. In addition, 200,000 more are studying abroad, and about 35,000 of them -- men and women - are coming home every year with degrees, looking for meaningful work, not to mention something fun to do other than going to the mosque or the mall. The system desperately needs to create more jobs outside the oil sector, where Saudi income is no longer what it once was, and the government can't keep eating its savings to buy stability.

That's the backdrop for this week's daring, but reckless, power play by the 32-year-old son of King Salman -- Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known by his initials M.B.S. I've interviewed M.B.S. twice. He is a young man in a hurry. I've found his passion for reform authentic, his support from the youth in his country significant and his case for making radical change in Saudi Arabia compelling.  

So Thomas, Saudi problem you defined to be Alzheimer's ... what seems to be your ailment?  Too troubled by $$$ dollar signs to fog your clarity of vision?

Saudi Arabia's Arab Spring, at Last | NY Times Opinion - Nov. 23, 2017 |

From my diaries ...

NYT Interview On Foreign Policy: Hogwash Mr. President!
Obama Got It Wrong On Strength Islamic State
'Israel is Holocaust obsessed, Militaristic and Xenophobic' (July 30, 2007)

America has adopted Israel policies in the Middle East including how to invade and occupy Iraq with terror, deprivation, torture and urban warfare with great harm to society and the civilian population. A decade later we are all Israelis! Xenophobic and Islamophobes ... Fear Inc.

Signs of Fascism in a Post-Democratic State

Another comment about Thomas Friedman ...

Apartheid: Mock Memo to Thomas Friedman - 2001

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sat Oct 13th, 2018 at 04:40:23 AM EST
News reports suggest Saudi Arabia about to change story on disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi and claim accidental death after a "botched interrogation" by "rogue agents". The Western Military Industrial Complex will smile and continue delivery of most lethal war weaponry to the Sunni Gulf States.

Riyadh, Arab allies threaten retaliation, but is their bark worse than their bite? | France24 |

When Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - known by his initials, MbS - visited Britain and the US earlier this year, the pre-trip barrage of billboards, media interviews and pro-Saudi news coverage was so intense, wags promptly dubbed the young heir to the Saudi throne, "the prince of PR".

But in the stunned days following the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi PR machinery was noticeably slow off the blocks as accusations of Riyadh's responsibility for the dissident journalist's suspected murder began to mount.

That changed by Monday, October 15, when the oil-rich Gulf kingdom launched a concerted pushback following a weekend that saw the riyal fall to a two-year low and a growing list of top CEOs pulling out of an upcoming Saudi investment conference nicknamed "Davos in the Desert".

The opening salvos were fired on the front pages of Saudi English-language newspapers, with Monday's edition of the "Saudi Gazette" proclaiming, "Enough is Enough" with a banner headline followed by the subhead, "Kingdom rejects threats to undermine it, vows to respond with tougher action." The "Arab News" daily echoed the tough line, promising, "Saudi Arabia will not be bullied: Arab, Muslim countries stand by Kingdom against false allegations and intimidation."

The headlines followed a statement released Sunday that noted, "The Kingdom appreciates the brothers' stand in the face of the campaign of false allegations and falsehoods."

The term "Arab brothers" is frequently derided across a region riddled by diplomatic spats and betrayals - including a failure to put up a muscular, united front on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the chronic lack of unity within the 22-member Arab League.

Saudi Oil Threat in Khashoggi Disappearance Seen as a Bluff | Foreign Policy |
Saudi Arabia: Is this the end of MbS's honeymoon? | BBC News |

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Oct 16th, 2018 at 07:13:48 AM EST
A self created PR problem ...

The Guardian view on Saudi Arabia: in need of new leadership | The Guardian OpEd |

Khashoggi's body, say the Turks, was carved up with a bone saw and smuggled out in a black Mercedes van. No wonder executives are pulling out of the kingdom's annual "Davos in the Desert" shindig. Investors have also fled the Saudi stock market. The crown prince's sobriquet MbS now sees him darkly mocked as Mr Bone Saw.

In Britain and America leading lawmakers say it may be time for sanctions. In response the Saudis have threatened to weaponise their vast oil reserves and buy arms from Moscow.

Saudi Arabia Breaks 45-Year Taboo With Veiled Threat to Use Oil as a Weapon | Bloomberg |
Saudi Arabia commits to meeting India's oil demand; keen to invest in downstream

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Oct 17th, 2018 at 12:46:30 AM EST
Evidence suggests crown prince ordered Khashoggi killing, says ex-MI6 chief | The Guardian |

A former head of MI6 has said all the evidence suggests Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and that the theory that rogue elements in the Saudi military were responsible was "blatant fiction".

Sir John Sawers told the BBC his assessment was based on conversations with senior Whitehall sources and his knowledge of the Turkish intelligence services.

Sawers, who was head of the British secret intelligence service until 2014, also claimed that the crown prince would only have acted if he believed he had licence from the White House to behave as he wished.

"I think President Trump and his ministerial team are waking up to just how dangerous it is to have people acting with a sense that they have impunity in their relationship with the United States," Sawers said.

"If it is proven, and it looks very likely to be the case, that [Prince Mohammed] ordered the killing of the journalist it is a step too far - one that the UK, the EU and the US are going to have to respond to."

UK warns of 'consequences´ if missing Saudi journalist was murdered

The British are master in whitewashing, ally America executes blatant injustices in warfare with IMPUNITY. What does one expect where "humanity" across the globe is headed? The US military have left its boot imprints across the globe from the Americas to Africa, Middle East and South-East Asia.

These boots are now marching towards the European frontier with Russia ... and all nations and its people remain silent! I will not. Any boots marching reminds me of the German military marching onward from one invasion and occupation to another nation in the Second World War. Never again!

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri Oct 19th, 2018 at 04:38:26 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]