Wed Feb 17th, 2021 at 11:34:28 AM EST
Middle East policy back on the drawing table ... Trump's envoy Jared Kushner close friendship with MBS and family friend Bibi Netanyahu will be recalibrated ... in no diplomatic terms, the Biden team sanctions MBS on human rights issues.
'Saved his ass': Trump reportedly boasted he shielded MBS after Khashoggi murder | Times of Israel - Sept. 11, 2020 |
In upcoming book, journalist Bob Woodward says US president bragged about protecting Saudi crown prince from Congress after killing of critic in 2018
In an echo of the infamous 2018 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which the US leader appeared to accept his denials of election meddling, Trump noted that Prince Mohammed denied involvement.
"He will always say that he didn't do it," Trump was quoted as telling Woodward.
"He says that to everybody, and frankly I'm happy that he says that. But he will say that to you, he will say that to Congress, and he will say that to everybody. He's never said he did it," Trump said.
As he has said publicly, Trump defended his stance by pointing to the major oil producer's purchases of US goods, including weapons.
"He says very strongly that he didn't do it," Trump was quoted as telling Woodward. "Bob, they spent $400 billion over a fairly short period of time."
Al Qaeda: Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri attempted to kill Saudi anti-terrorism chief Prince Mohammed bin Nayef - 2009
Biden's Victory Spells Trouble for Saudi Ruler | Wilson Center |
Trump helped the crown prince, or MBS as he is commonly called, to best his rivals for succession to the Saudi throne in June 2017. Plus, the President boosted his standing internationally by making Riyadh his first trip abroad after he entered the White House. It was Trump who bragged in an interview with Bob Woodward for his latest book, Rage that he had "saved his ass" from the ire of Congress after the CIA concluded MBS had indeed ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Trump called it a "rogue operation" and refused to implicate the crown or give Congress a formal U.S. assessment of responsibility for the brutal murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. Nor has Trump criticized MBS for locking up scores of Saudi activists, including women activists still held in prison for demanding the right to drive long before he decreed it himself.
Biden has already forewarned MBS of a 180-degree shift in the White House's attitude toward him and the Saudi kingdom. He issued a statement on the second anniversary of Khashoggi's death in which he promised, "to reassess our relationship with the kingdom, end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen and make sure America does not check its values at the door to sell arms or buy oil." He added, "I will defend the rights of activists, political dissidents, and journalists around the world to speak their minds freely without fear of persecution and violence. Jamal's death will not be in vain."
Salman Hit Squad Murdered Khashoggi [Update-5]
Saudi Billions to Remake Damaged Image - Propaganda
From my earlier post ...
US Breaking With 35 Years ME Policy | Oct. 2013 |
Obama and Kerry have broken with 35 year policy of doing Israel and Saudi's bidding in the Levant. The major shifts in the region are quite impressive. The US decision not to do a bombing raid on Syria was crucial. I have long advocated Iran would be a better long-term ally to the West than the House of Saud. The policy decisions of the last 60 days have opened this opportunity.
The Bush years and the decision to invade Iraq was the moment the bald eagle lost its feathers and the Saudi King was confronted with a Shia majority government as northern neighbour. Saudi Arabia changed policy and began overt funding and supplying arms to the Sunnis in Iraq. In Lebanon and Syria the Gulf states were already heavily involved with investments and meddling in domestic politics.
Wahhabi teachings in mosques intensified the Sunni/Shia divide to undermine the Assad regime. In Lebanon the House of Saud was split in support for Rafiq Hariri (King Fahd) and Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal (crown prince Abdullah).
Saudi King Abdullah: “… no other option but WAR” by Oui @BooMan in July 25, 2006
Dark Prince Bandar was sacked as US Ambassador in 2005, reasons unknown to me. He has made a come-back to lead the jihadists in the Syrian civil/sectarian war. Saudi Prince Bandar reportedly threatened Russia with terror activities during the Sochi games, so nothing new here to see by threatening the Levant and counter US policy.
Saudi Crown Prince Consolidates Power at Home While Preparing for More Conflict Abroad |Lawfare Blog - Nov. 17. 2017 |
One can only speculate what intelligence is known to President Biden and his NSC team about Saudi Arabia turmoil inside the Kingdom - House of Saud - and the events happening across the Levant and in the Gulf region.
King Salman back at the Office ...
From the diaries ...
Salman Offered Candidate Trump Assassination Program on Iran | Nov. 13, 2018 |
Salman Building a New Alliance with Israel and US | Jan. 27, 2018 |
House of Saud - US Alliance Has Broken the Middle East | Apr. 10, 2018 |
UAE Hired US Mercenaries for Assassinations in Yemen | Dec. 25, 2018 |
Historic event ...
Makkah Siege of 1979 - Turning Point in Saudi Arabia