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Re Saudi Arabia: I have previously referred to reports regarding the deathof the Saudi Crown Prince, MbS, as a result of the AQ attack on his palace onApril 21. Now, pictures are circulating of his funeral.
There is so far no official announcement, but that means nothing.
My own hunch is that these reports may well be true. How long can theSaudis (and the Western media) conceal what has happened?
If he was killed in the April 21 incident that would explain why the women activists have now been targeted.
Agree. There is also the report that he was not at the Graduation Ceremony of the King AbdulAziz Military College on May 19. (As Defence Minister, he would have been expected to attend).
I have been following the story. A few things. Yes, I have seen the pictures of the funeral and his actual corpse prepared for burial under #mbs at twitter. The pictures are not the best. The size of the corpse and the nose and receding hairline along with the cheekbones and body size could definitely be MBS along with the eyes.
Second, I believe the trip by our Secretary of State was in response to the incident of April 21st. My hunch is the Crown Prince was gravely wounded and later perished at a Military Hospital.
Third, the night of the incident a twitter user named CivMilAir tracked the Royal Medevac jet leaving the airport near the gunfire and documented the airplane turning off its transponder. There was speculation concerning whether or not it was the Crown Prince that night on that thread. There was even push back from other twitter users based in Saudi Arabia. Even one demanding to know how this twitter user obtained this information.
Fourth, the recent trip of the Lebanon Prime Minister being called to Saudi Arabia when his schedule indicated no such trip.
Fifth, the outrage at the German Government and the reports from German businesses that the door to trade has been slammed shut this past month. I attribute this to the one and only exile prince from the Royal family, Saudi Prince Khaled Bin Farhan. living in Europe. He was granted asylum by Germany. There were 3 other exiles but they have been tricked or kidnapped back to Saudi Arabia. This Prince was advocating for the removal of the Crown Prince as recently as March 23, 2018.
And he asserted that he receives emails and other forms of communications from disaffected family members and the security services desiring for a change to be made.
Sixth, I noticed this week in the news that Crown Prince "MBS" has consolidated his control further this week by taking operational control of the construction and cyber security industries in the country. 35% of the Bin Laden group was basically stolen. I watched an interview of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after his release from detention and he was clearly shaken. He was playing a confidence game where everything would go back to normal and mention how the Bin Laden group was back working on his projects. Then this? 35% gone overnight. Cyber security crack down or internet crackdown coming in Saudi Arabia?
Seventh, there is no way that MBS approved the recent arrest of the feminist. Not after his carefully cultured PR campaign in the United States.
Eight, where's Waldo?
Finally, here is what I find so fascinating. The KIng of Saudi Arabia is reported to have dementia. Unfortunately, I have a great deal of experience with this dreadful disease. My stepfather. 16 years.
There is no King in charge of Saudi Arabia. In fact, if MBS was killed like I believe there is no legitimate line to the next ruler.
Survival of the Fittest.
Here is my speculation. Al-Qaeda will be the cover story. Crown Prince MBS was killed by members of the Royal Family and other powerful individuals he made enemies with in his short rule.
The Royal family members who supported MBS are furious at Germany for the above stated reasons and lashing out in all directions. Threatening to invade Qatar if Russia provides them the S-400. I believe even President Trump's bizarre threat to put huge tariffs on German luxury automobiles because the German public doesn't want to buy crappy American cars like the Chevy Impala is his frustration over one of his essential architects on the plan to change regime's in Iran being eliminated.
A lot of torture and indiscriminate arrest is going on at this very moment in Saudi Arabia. The family appears split and trust lost. Time will tell.
Thank you for that excellent rundown of events. I tend to agree with your "speculation".
It would appear that there's no one in charge in SA at the moment. One can now expect a period of confusion, and lots of infighting between various factions trying to assert dominance, or just survive.
Considering MbS's policies, I think his exit is better for the Middle East. His tilt of SA policy towards the US and Israel is likely to be reversed.
All you need to know is that Mr. Media Roadshow decided overnight to shun video cameras, and not come out for Pompeo. The guy is dead as a door knob. He made way too many enemies during the forced corporate retreat he hosted at the Ritz.
This is news to me. How big do you think the resulting power struggle would be if MbS was killed or incapacitated? I can envision outcomes that range from 2nd page news all the way up to Archduke Ferdinand grade but I don't have any feel for the probabilities.
If true, would it cause you to see the events of the last month in the region in a different light?
With MBS dead, how will Saudi react to MBS's previous Israel's right to exist scenario, along with Jerusalem being declared Israel's capital and the embassy move by DT?
How much longer will the Saudi and international press be able to remain silent on this?
Who do you think will now ascend the Saudi throne as heir apparent?
FB Ali , sir , it is so hard to get info in the AQ Attack that allegedly mortally wound MBS.. as for the shooting reported as a wayward drone , i recall this video (anyone can confirm the skyline if this is saudi city near palace ?) , the gunfire last for long time , far too long to be guards firing on a drone.
myself , i think the attack succeed in wounding and ultimately kill the prince , otherwise why no public appearance at all ? ( if i recall , muslim have to be buried no more than 24 hours after death so that's why i assume he was wounded at first and the medical team failed to keep him alive)
do you think this is the 'blowback' from the massive shakedown that the prince did to his seniors ?
America is acting stupid as usual. It is becoming a rule now.The US did not win WWII the provided material and little else (Apologies to the servicemen who gave their life, eternal respect from a former soldier, your sacrifice is not forgotten) but neither are the 22 million Russians Who died in the great War. Largely forgotten by the MSM. 22 million. It is an unnatural figure, that most Americans cant even comprehend, its a figure that is offensive!!
Yanks fok off, you have never seen blood on your soil, but you will, it is just a matter of time, inequalities growing and all, you will. And we will do nothing. You brought 75 years of destruction on us, ordinary people, enjoy your palms.Written as a former NATO officer.
Obama disgraced our country by refusing to participate in the commemoration of VE day on the 70th anniversary thereof in 2015.
Let's also not forget the 20 million Chinese who died as civilians and soldiers in WWII.
There were always more Japanese troops tied down in the Chinese quagmire than fighting the US and British.
Has DT done a single thing that has helped Israel? I would say no. In Assad's interview with RT he pointed out that the "opposition" first attacked Syria's air defenses at the beginning of the "civil war". Hillary wanted a "no-fly zone" over Syria. All that's missing is Victoria Nuland.
Your post vividly depicts how isolated Israel has become. I reiterate DT has done nothing to help Israel and everything to harm it. One is permitted to ask what's going on.
The Israelis are quite pleased with him, but then, it is true that they are short sighted fools.
I concur, its just a matter of time before Israel collapses. I have no idea exactly when this will happen or what will be the 'tripping point' but I am sure the greater world, including the USA, will not be affected to much. My best guess is 50 years from now.
Presumptuous hyperbole many may say, but I get my consolation from a lifetime working in the world of control systems (electrical engineering).I also offer no disrespect to others who have actually worked at the pointy end of this conflict and offer the following only for discussion and to get it off my chest.
As I see it, Israel and (the present) USA are now locked in a positive feedback cycle. That's in the control system sense of the term,not as ' well done buddy'. Positive feedback is used (albeit carefully) to increase the gain of an amplifier embedded in some part of a system. By system I mean 'a collection of things that are (or can be) synchronised' and amplifier 'a transfer scheme where something small is made bigger'. The increased gain does not come for free however, The 'transfer response' becomes highly non-linear and this non linearity tends to drive the amplifier to saturation or limiting. This may still be OK however as long as the overall transfer scheme is linear. If it is not, the system can be prone to highly non linear behavior such as oscillation, runaway, shutdown or catastrophic failure.
To put this in the above context; USA is the battery that is coupled to the amplifier (Israel). So there several points of failure; the battery, the coupling and the amplifier. If any one part fails, its not likely that recovery is possible especially in the short term.
The playground version: The neocons and Netanyahu think they're playing Trump, who in turn thinks he's use them. MbS wanted to be one of the cool kids and tried to get in on the action and might have gotten himself dead in the process. All the while Putin and the SCO crew wait and play for time as they tangle each other up into an ever larger mess of their own making hoping to avoid, or minimize, whatever conflict is necessary to get them all to accept the coming multi-polar world order.
Perhaps in the future when they make a movie about this period it will be called "A Deal Too Far".
Equally telling is that we were not even joined by the Solomon Islands, which to me indicates that the US is not even bothering to try.
Russian AD has gotten really good advertising in Syria, but somehow, whereas the US THAAD did not even try to shoot down Kim's missile. I suppose that is what happens when supporting US industries is from fact-free marketing and strong-arming sales "or else" rather than having the best. Sad. very sad.
In Hillary's defense, by this point she probably would have had a brain aneurism or tumor or whatever was causing the neurological ticks she exhibited and we would be stuck with her vice president, whose name I cant recall (and dont care) and the same neocons in the cabinet.
La plus sa change
THAAD - as far as I managed to understand - does not have the reach to hit a ballistic missile at peak orbit point - instead needs to hit it either at launch or descent. Sort of being a little brother when your brothers are throwing a ball back and forth over you. In the case you are referring to the North Korean missile was near peak height over Japan, falling into the sea east of of Japan while the SAM assets were west of Japan I think.
Thanks for the info. In that case, the THAAD seems pretty useless (but phenomenally profitable and expensive).
This video in this tweet is so amusing , please please please let me save face:
Heh, why would they save your money?
I will assume that English is not your mother tongue and that you do not understand what "irony" is.
An Indian perspective
'Realising CAATSA’s potential for damaging relations with key partners like India, Secretary of Defence James Mattis has been campaigning for a national security waiver from CAATSA for key allies, including in recent testimony before the US Congress. However, Democratic Congresspersons are virulently opposed to any waiver that might allow Mr Trump’s administration to bypass CAATSA. The Republicans might be more open to the notion of a waiver for a small handful of countries, but they do not want to give Mr Trump a free hand on Russia either.'
On the domestic scene I have no problems wwith the DT agenda and hope to see a lot more federal judges appointed by him.
I think he is giving the Protestant Churches in USA what they had wanted.
"We have become Cyrus (the Great)", they are likely thinking and exulting.
Babak, there are a lot of different flavors of Protestant out there. Over 20,000, last I checked.
"Protestants" can be anything from mild-mannered Amish pacifists, to zealots who insist that Israel is incapable of doing wrong, to evangelicals who try to be Jews, to fanatics who make the Taliban look like moderates, to people so unassuming and gentle that they make the Bahai'i look like the Taliban by comparison.
And they can be found at all points in between.
What you seem to have in mind is one particular segment of Protestantism, typically fundamentalists and evangelicals. But even in that class, not all fundamentalist or evangelicals support apartheid Israel.
As a practicing Protestant, I just want to say that when I attend church and church discussion groups, I have NEVER talked politics--domestic or foreign. We have sincere discussions of our religious beliefs in regard to Biblical passages and their meaning for our everyday lives.
I am not quite sure what you have against Protestants. There are so very many denominations of them, and since the Ecumenical Movement, we also enjoy good relationships with our local Catholic congregations.
Maybe you are prejudiced against us for some personal reason.
We attend church to worship. I still can recite the Ten Commandments by heart. Would you like me to type out the Fourth Commandment?
The only time any topic addresses a place outside our community or the U.S. it is usually about the chosen MISSION we support in an African nation for orphans.
Basically I agree with Babak EXCEPT he should be saying the southern "born again Christian" type churches.Im a life long Catholic..,southerner and have Middle Eastern roots..…...These people are very pro Israel and the useful idiots of the neocons.Ive known these types all my life.They were 99% for both middle eastern wars....There would not have been one peep out of them if the Israelis had killed 4000 Gazan children who were throwing rocks into the desert while Israeli snipers killed them.Those Gazan on the border a few weeks ago have continuous roots in that area for practically since the beginning of time.Most of the snipers a very short time.In1900 the percent of Jews in the current state of Greater Israel was less than 15..Phil Cattar
i agree with the assesment , most christians (real christian) wont be so blind to support israeli govt policies because deep in their soul the Holy Spirit would nudge them toward the killing of human beings inflicted in he name of israeli govt.
do christians support the jewish revolt against rome ? no. Jesus specifically told his followers to flee jerusalem in times of trouble..
I would not be surprised to learn that among snipers were American Jews who had gone out to Israel to join IDF - quite common, I understand.
Why would I care one whit about the so-called "Ten Commandments"?
In any case, I have come to rely on my good friend, Mr. Google, for all such queries.
I feel sorry for you that you have chosen such an unreliable and often biased source.
Rob, thank you for your comment. I often forget that the church I grew up in and the ones I've attended throughout my long life are not exactly like other of the more fundamentalist churches in which the pastors have little Biblical training other than what they give themselves. And, you are right, of course, about Hollywood, a place that seems often to hate Christianity also, as do many of our current colleges and universities.
I came back to the blog just now because I had just heard the most marvelous sermon by a visiting female pastor on Hagar and Ishmael. Basically, the sermon lesson was that God is God. God gave a promise to Sara and Issac and God gave a similar promise to Hagar and Ishmael. God's promise is to all of us.
I have always wanted a good lesson about Hagar and Ishmael. I have an MA in English and American Literature and Linguistic theory. I have always loved Melville's works. I am one of the few who actually read through all of Moby-Dick and loved the novel. The ending has always hunted me: "Call me Ishmael."
I am sure there have been many poorly trained preachers who have not presented the actual story of Hagar and Ishmael in Genesis charitably. But I have hope that these newer pastors will provide the world a more loving and generous concept of the God of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible, if you will) and of Christianity.
I should correct my comment. I do know that Cyrus the Great is mentioned in the context of ending the Babylonian captivity. I'm sure that his granting Jerusalem to the Jews is what you are referring to. But, I stand by my comment that we do not in any way compare ourselves to Cyrus the Great.
Cyrus the Great did not grant Jerusalem to Jews; he enabled them to go back and build their temple.
Good to know.
Many in Iran identify Cyrus the Great with the Zul Qarneyn in the Quran, who was a Prophet of God.
I read long ago that Zul Qarneyn was purported to be Iskander.
In the Medieval Romances, such as the Book of Alexander by Nizami, that identification was made. The character of Alexander of Macedon was amalgamated with that of Zul Qarneyn.
Last century, after the recovery of the history of Persian Empire, some began identifying Cyrus the Great with the Owner of Two Horns, specially after a bas relief in Persepolis of a man identified as Cyrus the Great.
It is difficult to be certain since the Nobatian kings also donned a diadem of two horns, as did Rostam (with his mace in the shape of a bull's head).
It all might have been due to a Cult of the Bull, from Catal Hyuk to Egypt to Crete.
An amusing tragicomedy, if they really do think that they are modern day Cyrus. The Great King laid down laws and built institutions. The modern crazies destroy institutions and treat existing "laws" as mere scraps of paper.
I am a Protestant. I am not sure why you are so angry with Protestant churches. You don't seem to understand the diversity of the Protestant churches or understand the origins of the various denominations.. Is there a particular denomination you dislike? Do you know the differences between the many Protestant denominations? Do you know anything about each or their origins? Or are you just angry that many Christians feel closer to the Jewish people than to the people of Muslim countries?
And have you heard about the fairly recent ecumenical movement? Most Protestant churches in communities around this country exist in harmony with the Catholic churches.
Members attend church to listen and learn as the minister discusses passages from our Bible. We attend discussion groups--about the meaning of Bible passages in order to deepen our faith. My particular church runs the county food bank to help poorer families put food on the table for their children.
We never discuss foreign affairs. The only place outside of the U.S. that my church mentions is the country in Africa in which we support a mission for orphans.
I know there are national organizations and colleges that may be involved in political organizing for various causes that they think support our faith. But for the majority of Christian church goeers, we just attend to deepen our faith. The Fourth Commandment is important to those who attend regularly.
Never once have I heard Cyrus the Great mentioned in my church or in our discussion groups.
I am not angry at Protestanism, I am sharing my opinion regarding the political posture of many Protestant Churches towards Palestine in particular and Islam in general.
An example you ask?
Seventh Day Adventists.
When it comes to Iran's external relations, it is clear to me that the fewer Protestants in a country, the better are the relationships.
Italy, the Vatican, Greece, Armenia, and Georgia, have had normal productive relationships with Iran, until US, or EU3 tell them to cease and desist.
Interesting point. France is largely Catholic, to the extent most French people see themselves as anything, but as far as I can tell France marches in lockstep with Israel's dictates.
She is a divided country; between the Enlightenment anti-Catholics and the cowed Catholics - with 14% of the population being non-Seljuk Muslims with varied degrees of devotion to Islam and almost no tradition of analytical thinking since they hail from regions of Islam in which Reason died over a millennia ago.
Seventh day adventist teaching is what considered as different gospel, mormon teaching too , as both have extra biblical teachings that contradict the gospel. So it is not representation of protestant church.
as a protestant church member i never knew people that overzealously support israeli govt , those kind of people usually belong to the pentacostal / charismatic group who lack correct teaching of the gospel (a visit of their sunday sermon will tell you the shallow depth of their teaching , and the abundance of unproven untranslatable babble of tongues)
Thank you for your comments; I was not aware that the Seventh Day Adventists have extra scriptural materials.
Nevertheless, I have found it curious that the staunchest supporters of the State of Israel are among the Protestant countries; specially the English-Speaking ones - to the extent that their governments have provided Israeli assassins with blank passports.
Many years ago on this forum, David Habakkuk shared with us brief observations about the emergence of a fascination with all things Old Testament among the Protestants of the British Isles during the 19-th century and its influence on Protestant sects afterwards.
I believe you might be referring to the Topological method of interpretation. It actually began earlier than the nineteenth century but was strong during the nineteenth century also when the studies of languages and language relationships (linguistic theories) were in their infancy.
Some of my favorite Christian English writers were masters of Typology in their writing: Donne to name my favorite ("No man is an island).(He was 17th century.) The most common example is this statement: "Through Adam we sinned (fell); throught Christ we are saved (raised).
The Puritans and Pilgrims were also caught up in that sort of Biblical interpretation. *the effort to found the new Canaan, etc.)
Christians have moved away from that way of interpreting the Bible.
As for the Seventh-Day Adventists-- I attended several summers of Bible camp with neighbors who were strict Seventh Day Adventists. And they attended our church's Bible Camp with us. They may have a different take on the ME, but I just never experienced it.
I do understand the events around the founding of the church, but some of the consequential effects that are ideas I did approve of: the vegan diets and the training of physicians as DO's rather than MDs.
I don't eat a vegan diet, though I often wish I had grown up with one so I could have developed the knowledge of how to do it more easily. I do, however, always choose a physician who is a DO over one who is an MD as my primary physician.
Thank you for your edifying comments.
I respectfully recommend the book :Easy Indian Cooking" -
Where the recipe calls for meat, you could try substituting beans or tofu or some such.
indeed , as a christian , we in church meetings wondered why the so called american churces fanatically support israeli govt and blind themselves of the humanity crisis they inflict on palestinian , as if the Jesus commandment to love one another is non existent if it comes to the palestinian people. I think this is uniquely american church problem as i never heard from church leaders in asia that support isrseli govt with fanatical abandon.
i guess this is where the road divides , false christians choose the wide road where they follow preachers who speak of things that pleases their imagination , true christians choose narrow road where they struggle daily to follow Jesus commandment and follow the true gospel and sound doctrine.