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9/11 – A Cheap Magic Trick

How false flag attacks are manufactured by the world's elite.

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Tag: Saudi involvement

By Bob Graham and Dan Christensen
Special to the Tampa Bay Times
July 10, 2017 3:34pm

Sixteen years is a long time to expect the American public to wait to know who was behind 9/11, the most significant act of terror in modern U.S. history. Unfortunately, the wait continues because of the resistance of federal agencies to openness, the over-classification of information and the weakness of the Freedom of Information Act.

Vast numbers of investigative and intelligence documents related to 9/11 remain classified. The FBI alone has acknowledged it has tens of thousands of pages of 9/11 reports that it refuses to make public. To make matters worse, agencies withholding information tell what are essentially lies to make their actions seem as acceptable as possible.

For example, the FBI repeatedly has said its investigation of a Saudi family who moved abruptly out of their Sarasota home two weeks before 9/11 — leaving behind their cars, clothes, furniture and other belongings — found no connections to the attacks. Yet statements in the FBI’s own files that were never disclosed to Congress or the 9/11 Commission say the opposite — that the Sarasota Saudis had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.”

Trust in government today is near historic lows. Recent polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center found that only 20 percent of Americans trust Washington to do what’s right. When the people think government isn’t listening to them, or giving them the respect of knowing what it is doing, it feeds into that undercurrent and denies the public the opportunity to be part of the discussion about what we should be doing.

Last summer’s release of the long-hidden “28 pages” from Congress’ Joint Inquiry into 9/11 and FBI records obtained by Florida Bulldog amid ongoing FOIA litigation indicate that much about Saudi Arabia’s role in supporting the 9/11 hijackers remains classified. If the public knew the role the kingdom played in 9/11, would the United States be selling them $350 billion in sophisticated military equipment?

The Freedom of Information Act is intended to be how classified materials are unearthed. But as it is currently written and has been generally interpreted by the courts, most recently by Miami federal Judge Cecilia Altonaga in Florida Bulldog’s lawsuit against the FBI, the frequently trivial concerns of agencies trump the fundamental democratic principle that Americans deserve to know what their government is doing in their name.

The problem is illustrated by Altonaga’s June 29 order denying the public access to an FBI PowerPoint titled “Overview of the 9/11 Investigation.” The judge agreed with the FBI that much information, including classified pages about who funded the attacks, was exempt from FOIA disclosure because it might disclose law enforcement “techniques and procedures,” even though the overview doesn’t discuss those techniques and procedures. Altonaga ruled without holding a trial at which agents could be cross-examined in open court on the facts that supported the FBI’s claims.

For instance, the FBI withheld a photo taken by a security camera around the time of the attacks in 2001. The FBI argued, and the judge agreed, that the camera’s location could be deduced by viewing that photographic evidence. It is a trivialization of FOIA to use its exemptions to protect the location of a security camera 16 years ago.

The “techniques and procedures” exemption should not be used as a rationale for the nondisclosure of the image in the photograph. The camera didn’t give the American government information to avoid 9/11. Why are we covering up for this failed system 16 years later?

The classification process today is driven by the agency that’s trying to withhold the information. No disinterested third party is involved that would be free from the motivation of burying ineptitude, or worse, by the agency holding the material.

The government hasn’t always had such a tightfisted approach to records. During the Civil War, amid Northern discontent as the war grew increasingly bloody, President Abraham Lincoln instituted a policy that every diplomatic message received or sent would regularly be made public. Lincoln believed such extreme openness was needed so people could see how the Union was conducting foreign policy, particularly whether Spain, France or England were going to recognize the Confederacy as a sovereign nation, a potentially crippling blow.

Acting in the face of extreme crisis, Lincoln demonstrated an early belief in the value of open records to keep the public informed and supportive. The president, the FBI and other agencies would be wise to follow President Lincoln’s example. Congress would be wise to reform FOIA so it serves its intended purpose.

Bob Graham was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and co-chairman of Congress’s Joint Inquiry into the terrorist attacks. He served as Florida’s governor from 1979-87. Dan Christensen is an award-winning investigative reporter and the founder and editor of Florida Bulldog, a nonprofit news organization. They wrote this exclusively for the Tampa Bay Times.

July 7, 2017
Paul Craig Roberts

The backdrops to the Putin/Trump meeting are the aspirations of Israel and the neoconservatives. It is these aspirations that drive US foreign policy.

What is Syria about? Why is Washington so focused on overthrowing the elected president of Syria? What explains the sudden 21st century appearance of “the Muslim threat”? How is Washington’s preoccupation with “the Muslim threat” consistent with Washington’s wars against Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad, leaders who suppressed jihadism? What explains the sudden appearance of “the Russian threat” which has been hyped into dangerous Russophobia without any basis in fact?

The Muslim threat, the Russian threat, and the lies used to destroy Iraq, Libya, and parts of Syria are all orchestrations to serve Israeli and neoconservative aspirations.

The Israel Lobby in the United States, perhaps most strongly represented in Commentary, The Weekly Standard and The New York Times, used the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon to urge US President George W. Bush to begin “a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from Power in Iraq.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century
See also: http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/iraqwar.shtml

Saddam Hussein was a secular leader whose job was to sit on the animosities of the Sunni and Shia and maintain a non-violent political stability in Iraq. He, Assad, and Gaddafi suppressed the extremism that leads to jihadism. Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, and under his rule Iraq constituted a ZERO threat to the US. He had been a faithful vassal and attacked Iran for Washington, which had hopes of using Iraq to overthrow the Iranian government.

Removing secular leaders is what unleashes jihadism. Washington unleashed Muslim terrorism by regime change that murdered secular leaders and left countries in chaos.

Fomenting chaos in Iraq was the beginning for spreading chaos into Syria and then Iran. Syria and Iran support Hezbollah, the militia in southern Lebanon that has twice driven out the Israeli Army sent in to occupy southern Lebanon so that Israel could appropriate the water resources.

The neoconservatives’ wars against the Middle East serve to remove the governments that provide military and financial support to Hezbollah. By spreading jihadism closer to the Russian Federation, these wars coincide perfectly with the US neoconservative policy of US World Hegemony. As expressed by Paul Wolfowitz, US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

Israel wants Syria and Iran to join Iraq and Libya in American-induced chaos so that Israel can steal the water in southern Lebanon. If Syria and Iran are in chaos like Iraq and Libya, Hezbollah will not have the military and financial support to withstand the Israeli military.

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By Daniel Larison
June 30, 2017
The American Conservative

Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky also judge Mohammed bin Salman’s record to be very poor:

But one thing is already stunningly clear when it comes to his handling of foreign policy: In two short years, as the deputy crown prince and defense minister, MBS has driven the Kingdom into a series of royal blunders in Yemen, Qatar and Iran, and he has likely over promised what Saudi Arabia is able and willing to do on the Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking front. Far from demonstrating judgment and experience, he’s proven to be reckless and impulsive, with little sense of how to link tactics and strategy. And sadly, he’s managed to implicate and drag the new Trump administration into some of these misadventures, too.

Miller and Sokolsky are right about MBS’ shoddy record, but their warning to the Trump administration is very likely too late. They urge the administration to rethink its position before “its Middle East policy becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia,” but I fear that that already happened at the Riyadh summit. Unfortunately, some top U.S. officials are only just now realizing it and don’t know how to stop it. There could be some belated efforts to undo this, but Trump isn’t interested. He doesn’t seem to see anything wrong with identifying the U.S. so closely with the Saudis, and he doesn’t see their recklessness and destructive behavior for what they are. Since he is impulsive, careless, and has poor judgment, it isn’t surprising that he has such an affinity for the aging Saudi despot and his favorite incompetent son. On top of all that, MBS is a short-sighted, foolish hard-liner on Iran, and as far as we can tell Trump is much the same, so we should expect them to be on the same page.

There’s no question that every foreign policy initiative associated with MBS has “turned into a hot mess,” but this has been obvious in Yemen for the last two years. If no one in the Trump administration noticed that before, what is going to make them realize it now? The authors are also right that Trump’s decision “to side with Saudi Arabia in its conflict with Qatar and in Yemen is akin to pouring gasoline on a fire,” but until very recently uncritical backing of the Saudis in their regional adventurism enjoyed broad bipartisan support that helped make it possible for things to get this bad. There were very few in Washington who thought that pouring gasoline on the fire was the wrong thing to do, and for more than two years the U.S. poured a lot of gas on the fire in Yemen that has been consuming thousands of lives and putting millions at risk of starvation.

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June 7, 2017
Pepe Escobar
SputnikNews.com

US President Donald Trump could not possibly have predicted the game-changing after-effects of his triumphal sword dance in Riyadh.

Or could he?

The fact is the House of Saud went amok, in a flash, going after Qatar and bombing from the inside that glorious Arab NATO project – call it NATOGCC — sworn with pomp over a glowing orb.

An excited Trump tweeted three times his approval for Riyadh going after Doha.

Trump and NATOGCC had equaled Daesh and Iran as “terrorists”. The House of Saud went one up — and denounced Qatar for top terror financing, which equals Don Corleone hurling Mafioso accusations against Tony Soprano.

But then, in an unexpected plot twist, Daesh, handily, graphically, underlined the cosmic stupidity of the whole charade – staging, or at least claiming to stage a terror attack against the Parliament and the Imam Khomeini shrine in Tehran.

The current Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, now “guilty” for not blaming Iran as the root of all evils in the Arab peninsula, might even be following the steps of his own father, Hamad, who invented modern Qatar and deposed himself – under Saudi pressure – in favor of his son in 2013.

We can’t forget that Bandar bin Sultan, a.k.a. Bandar Bush, notorious former top assembler/weaponizer of jihadis, and frustrated “liberator of Syria”, had famously described Qatar in the past as “300 people and a TV station”.

So what is really going on in this noxious petrodollar swamp?

The Israel-UAE connection

Let’s cut to the chase and establish that this nasty inter-GCC cannibalization has nothing to do with the Global War on Terror (GWOT).

Among massive disinformation crossfire, a trail of evidence points to a concerted strategy elaborated by the Israeli lobby (via the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, founded, among others, by nefarious casino schemer Sheldon Adelson, and very close to Bibi Netanyahu); US neocon/Ziocon/neoliberalcon elements; and the UAE ambassador in Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba.

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May 16, 2017
The Middle East Media Research Institute

On April 28, 2016, the London-based Saudi daily Al-Hayat published an exceptionally harsh article on this topic by Saudi legal expert Katib Al-Shammari, who argued that the U.S. itself had planned and carried out 9/11, while placing the blame on a shifting series of others – first Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, then Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, and now Saudi Arabia. He wrote that American threats to reveal documents that supposedly point to Saudi involvement in 9/11 are part of standard U.S. policy of exposing archival documents to use as leverage against various countries – which he calls “victory by means of archives.”

“September 11 is one of winning cards in the American archives, because all the wise people in the world who are experts on American policy and who analyze the images and the videos [of 9/11] agree unanimously that what happened in the [Twin] Towers was a purely American action, planned and carried out within the U.S. Proof of this is the sequence of continuous explosions that dramatically ripped through both buildings… Expert structural engineers demolished them with explosives, while the planes crashing [into them] only gave the green light for the detonation – they were not the reason for the collapse. But the U.S. still spreads blame in all directions. [This policy] can be dubbed ‘victory by means of archives.’”

“On September 11, the U.S. attained several victories at the same time, that [even] the hawks [who were at that time] in the White House could not have imagined. Some of them can be enumerated as follows:

“1. The U.S. created, in public opinion, an obscure enemy – terrorism – which became what American presidents blamed for all their mistakes, and also became the sole motivation for any dirty operation that American politicians and military figures desire to carry out in any country. [The] terrorism [label] was applied to Muslims, and specifically to Saudi Arabia.

“2. Utilizing this incident [9/11], the U.S. launched a new age of global armament. Everyone wanted to acquire all kinds of weapons to defend themselves and at the same time battle the obscure enemy, terrorism – [even though] up to this very moment we do not know the essence of this terrorism of which the U.S. speaks, except [to say that] that it is Islamic…

“3. The U.S. made the American people choose from two bad options: either live peacefully [but] remain exposed to the danger of death [by terrorism] at any moment, or starve in safety, because [the country’s budget will be spent on sending] the Marines even as far as Mars to defend you.

“Lo and behold, today, we see these archives revealed before us: A New York court accuses the Iranian regime of responsibility for 9/11, and we [also] see a bill [in Congress] accusing Saudi Arabia of being behind it [sic]. This is after the previous Iraqi regime was accused of being behind it. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban were also blamed for it, and we do not know who [will be blamed] tomorrow! But [whoever it is], we will not be surprised at all, since this is the essence of how the American archives, that are civilized and respect freedoms and democracy, operate.

“The nature of the U.S. is that it cannot exist without an enemy… [For example,] after a period during which it did not fight anyone [i.e. following World War II], the U.S. created a new kind of war – the Cold War… Then, when the Soviet era ended, after we Muslims helped the religions and fought Communism on their [the Americans’] behalf, they began to see Muslims as their new enemy! The U.S. saw a need for creating a new enemy – and planned, organized, and carried this out [i.e. blamed Muslims for terrorism]. This will never end until it [the U.S.] accomplishes the goals it has set for itself.

“So why not let these achievements be credited to the American administration, while insurance companies pay for the damages, whether domestic or foreign? This, my dear Arab and Muslim, is the policy of the American archives.”

Source

“I’m not an engineer or an architect or a physicist, but I’m pretty sure a 100-plus-story building doesn’t fall apart like that.” Rachel Colton

One of the Many Signs in the Crowd: ‘Science does not Take Sides’

By Mark Oliver
May 3, 2017
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Rachel Colton organized a coalition of 9/11 Truth volunteers to attend the recent March for Science. “Why?” you may be asking. Because she believes that scientists can — and do — help uncover the truth behind 9/11 — especially the cause of World Trade Center Building 7’s collapse.

“A building will not descend at free-fall acceleration unless the structure underneath has been removed” by demolition explosives, maintains Colton, who represented Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth at the Washington, D.C., march on April 22nd — Earth Day.

While holding an AE911Truth sign and passing out flyers with fellow volunteers, Colton attracted a good deal of attention, had a number of memorable conversations, and read the signs held by other attendees of the event.

She shares her observations here:

“A common sign at the march said, ‘Science does not take sides.’ I found this interesting, because there are several controversial issues in science — vaccines, climate change, 9/11. The problem seems to be that the research is not unbiased. The individuals and groups behind the research have an agenda that’s driven by power or money or something else.”

“Another sign said, ‘Science is not a liberal conspiracy.’ As a 9/11 activist, I cringe at the word ‘conspiracy.’ It’s used to discount alternative theories without considering the evidence behind them. I have taken that word out of my vocabulary.”

“A man stopped to talk to us and said that we were ‘on to something,’ but mostly he wanted to talk about who planned the attacks of 9/11. He said that we [AE911Truth] would have to be the ones to do an investigation. Then he mentioned [New York City Mayor Rudy] Giuliani having foreknowledge and Building 7 being evacuated.”

“A man who claimed to be a structural engineer said he was unhappy with us. ‘They already studied the collapses,’ he said, referring to NIST. He continued, ‘It was the planes [striking the Twin Towers] and the ensuing fires [that caused the collapses].’ I asked him about Building 7, pointing out that NIST won’t release its data and that the building was in free fall for 2.5 seconds of its 7-second collapse. When I pressed him to explain this, he dodged the question. I told him if he was interested in learning more about Building 7, he could go to our website.”

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April 24, 2017
Paul Craig Roberts

The events on September 11, 2001, changed the world. It was the excuse for the US government to launch military attacks on seven Middle Eastern countries, causing civilian casualties in the millions and sending waves of Muslim refugees into the Western world. The US government wasted trillions of dollars destroying countries and murdering women and children, while public infrastructure in the US deteriorated, Americans’ homes were foreclosed, and American health needs went unattended. 9/11 was also the excuse for the destruction of the protection that the US Constitution provided to ensure the liberty of the American citizen. Today no American has the protection of the civil liberty that the Constitution guarantees.

On September 11, 2001, when a neighbor called and told me to turn on the TV, I stopped what I was doing and turned on the TV. What I saw was the two World Trade Center Towers blowing up. I had often enjoyed lunch in the rooftop restaurant in one of the towers across the street from my Wall Street Journal office.

A miniscule by comparison frail aluminum airliner hit one massive steel tower and then another aluminum airliner hit the other. There were some plumes of orange outside the buildings. Then approximately after one hour, less in one case, more in the other, the two towers exploded floor by floor as they fell into their own footprint.

This was precisely the way the news anchors described what I was seeing. “It looks exactly like a controlled demolition,” the news anchors reported. And indeed it did. As a Georgia Tech student I had witnessed a controlled demolition, and that is what I saw on television, just as that was what the news anchors saw.

Later that day Larry Silverstein who owned, or held the lease on, the World Trade Center, explained on TV that the free fall collapse in the late afternoon of the third WTC skyscraper, Building 7, into its own footprint was a conscious decision to “pull” the building. Pull is the term used by controlled demolition to describe a building wired with explosives to be destroyed. Building 7 had not been hit by an airliner, and suffered only minor and very limited office fires. Silverstein’s statement was afterwards corrected by authorities to mean that the firemen were pulled from the building. However, many videos show the firemen already out of the building with the fireman stating that the building was going to be brought down.

As there is no doubt whatsoever that Building 7 was wired for demolition, the question is why?

Because Americans are an insouciant and trusting people and confident of the inherent goodness of their country, years passed before even experts noticed that the official story stood in total contraction to known laws of physics, was in total contraction to how buildings collapse from asymmetrical damage, and could not have collapsed due to being hit by airliners as the buildings met all code requirements for withstanding airliner collusions. Many did not even know that the third skyscraper, Building 7, had collapsed.

Professor Steven E. Jones, a professor of physics at BYU, was among the first to see that the official story was pure fantasy. His reward for speaking out was to have his tenure contract bought out by BYU, many believe under orders from the federal government backed up with the threat that all federal support of science at BYU would be terminated unless Stephen Jones was.

Cynthia McKinney, a black woman who represented a Georgia congressional district in the US House of Representatives was either much brighter or much braver than her white colleagues. She raised obvious questions about 9/11, questions begging to be asked, and lost her seat.

Approximately five years after 9/11, San Francisco architect Richard Gage noticed that the three WTC buildings did not fall down in any way consistent with the official explanation. He formed Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, currently about 3,000 members. This group includes high rise architects and structural engineers who actually are experienced in the construction of skyscrapers. In other words, they are people who know what they are talking about.

These 3,000 experts have said that the official explanation of the collapse of three skyscrapers stands in contradiction to known laws of physics, architecture, and structural engineering

In other words, the official explanation is totally impossible. Only an uneducated and ignorant public can believe the official 9/11 story. The US population fits this description.

A&E for 9/11 Truth is gradually gaining assent from architects and engineers. It is very difficult for an architect or engineer to support the truth, because the American population, which includes patriotic construction companies, whose employees fly American flags on their trucks, don’t want to hire architects and engineers who are “enemies of America aligned with Arab terrorists.” In America, if you tell the truth, you are in great danger of losing your customers and even your life.

Think now about physicists. How many physics faculties do you know that are not dependent on federal grants, usually for military-related work? The same for chemistry. Any physics professor who challenged the official story of 9/11 with the obvious fact that the story contravenes known laws of physics would endanger not only his own career but the careers of his entire department.

Truth in America is extremely costly to express. It comes at a high cost that hardly any can afford.

Our masters know this, and thus they can dispense with truth at will. Moreover, any expert courageous enough to speak the truth is easily branded a “conspiracy theorist.”

Who comes to his defense? Not his colleagues. They want rid of him as quickly as possible. Truth is a threat to their careers. They can’t afford to be associated with truth. In America, truth is a career-killing word.

In America, truth is becoming a synonym for “Russian agent.” Only Russian Agents tell the truth, which must mean that truth is an enemy of America. Lists are being prepared of websites that speak truth to power and thus are seditious. In the United States today people can lie at will without consequence, but it is deadly to tell the truth.

Support A&E for 9/11 Truth. These are heroic people. 9/11 was the manufactured excuse for the neoconservatives’ 16 years of war crimes against millions of Muslims peoples, remnants of which now seek refuge in Europe.

Neoconservatives are a tiny number of people. No more than a dozen are of any consequence. Yet they have used America to murder millions. And now they are fomenting war with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. The world would never survive such a war.

Are Americans so insouciant that they will stand aside while a dozen neoconservative Zionists destroy the world?

March 21, 2017
Via Miami Herald
By Carol Rosenberg


GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba

The man serving life in a federal penitentiary as the “20th hijacker” in the Sept. 11 attacks wants to testify at the 9/11 trial and has written the military judge offering his services.

“I am willing to fully testify on the 9/11 case,” Zacarias Moussaoui wrote in broken English in January, “even if I was charge on the death penalty case as it incriminate me.” It is handwritten and signed “Slave of Allah.”

He also signs it “Enemy Combatant,” which he is not. Moussaoui, 48, is a convict serving life at the SuperMax prison in Florence, Colorado. He pleaded guilty in 2005 in a federal court in Virginia to six conspiracy charges related to the 9/11 attacks.

“My take is he would like to be in the spotlight and is bored in solitary,” former Moussaoui defense attorney Edward MacMahon said after reviewing a filing for the Miami Herald. “ ‘Slave of Allah’ is how he signs all of his filings.”

A review of filings on the Pentagon’s war-court website shows Moussaoui has at least three times written Army Col. James L. Pohl, the judge in the Sept. 11 mass-murder case with no trial date.

The first docketed letter arrived at war-court judiciary headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, on Nov. 12, 2015 in an envelope from the U.S. penitentiary. It had a Purple Heart postage stamp.

Read more

Pepe Escobar
March 24, 2017
Sputnik News.com


Iraqi, US and Spanish soldiers participate in a training mission outside Baghdad, Iraq © AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed

James Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Emerging Threats at NATO – now that’s a lovely title – recently gave a talk at a private club in London on the Islamic State/Daesh. Shea, as many will remember, made his name as NATO’s spokesman during the NATO war on Yugoslavia in 1999.

After his talk Shea engaged in a debate with a source I very much treasure. The source later gave me the lowdown.

According to Saudi intelligence, Daesh was invented by the US government – in Camp Bacca, near the Kuwait border, as many will remember — to essentially finish off the Shiite-majority Nouri al-Maliki government in Baghdad.

Military Training in Iraq Fails, Militants Stronger, US Officials Say
It didn’t happen this way, of course. Then, years later, in the summer of 2014, Daesh routed the Iraqi Army on its way to conquer Mosul. The Iraqi Army fled. Daesh operatives then annexed ultra-modern weapons that took US instructors from six to twelve months to train the Iraqis in and…surprise! Daesh incorporated the weapons in their arsenals in 24 hours.

In the end, Shea frankly admitted to the source that Gen David Petraeus, conductor of the much-lauded 2007 surge, had trained these Sunnis now part of Daesh in Anbar province in Iraq.

Saudi intelligence still maintains that these Iraqi Sunnis were not US-trained – as Shea confirmed – because the Shiites in power in Baghdad didn’t allow it. Not true. The fact is the Daesh core – most of them former commanders and soldiers in Saddam Hussein’s army — is indeed a US-trained militia.

True to form, at the end of the debate, Shea went on to blame Russia for absolutely everything that’s happening today – including Daesh terror.

Read more

By Daniel Larison
February 28, 2017
The American Conservative

Steven Cook comes to a strange conclusion about the future of the U.S.-Saudi relationship:

It is not that the U.S. shouldn’t walk away from Saudi Arabia because it is a major oil producer and a partner in the fight against terrorism, or because the bilateral relationship has benefited Washington. The larger issue is that if Saudi Arabia is left to its own devices, it will sow more chaos in the Middle East.

Cook does a very good job summing up the enormous harm that the Saudis have done in recent years and the incompetence of their more meddlesome foreign policy, but I’m not buying the conclusion that we have to maintain the current relationship with them so that they don’t cause even more trouble. The Saudis are at best a liability for the U.S. at this point, and thanks to the wrecking of Yemen that our government has supported for the last two years I think it is fair to say that they have become a regional menace. That has occurred while the U.S. has been lavishing them with more arms than at any previous point in the relationship. It seems reasonable to assume that there is a connection there. If the Saudis had not had U.S. arms and assistance over the last two years, they and their allies would have been able to cause much less harm than they have, and the coalition likely would have had to come to terms with their enemies in Yemen instead of continuing their war.

Washington’s ongoing commitment to “reassuring” the Saudis has been a nightmare for Yemen and has done nothing to make the U.S. or the region more secure, so it isn’t enough to say that the Saudis would become even more destructive if the U.S. reduced or eliminated its support for them. That might be true, or it might not, but we know right now that the current arrangement of enabling their destructive behavior is indefensible. Keeping the relationship as it is might prevent worse evils if there were any evidence that the U.S. acts as a restraining influence on the Saudis, but in practice it has been just the opposite. We have given the Saudis the means to attack one of their neighbors, and our government has backed them to the hilt as they did so. There might have been a time when supporting the Saudis seemed the least bad option for the U.S., but now this relationship is noxious, it makes the U.S. complicit in their war crimes, and it undeniably contributes to regional instability. It is very unlikely that this relationship will be ended, but it definitely ought to be.

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