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The Arab Tyrants Manual (podcast)


william.scherk

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Readers will have seen this week one tyrant near the end of his reign -- Mugabe in Zimbabwe, who will likely be impeached next month -- and may have speculated on what the ruckus in Saudia Arabia portends for the family autocracy there (setting aside humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen).

I've been following the activist Iyad el-Baghdadi for quite a while on Twitter. He was jailed and expelled from Saudi Arabia and found refuge in Norway, after having become a stinging thorn in the side of autocrats throughout the Arab world.  As he added entries to his "Arab Tyrants Manual" his relative fame/notoriety/danger grew. Readers here may be interested to know of his self-identification as an "Islamic Libertarian."

Long story short, he has launched a new project that I like the looks of ... he is wicked smart, incisive, funny and informed. Here we get a close look at Saudi Arabia's failures as a regime. Not as much zany fun as an hour with Loren Lockman, but hey.

Here's the Soundcloud embed:

Here I add a striking video that depicts the relentless economic development of the alternative Saudi Arabia, the jewel of the Emirates, Dubai. 

 

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'Over in Saudi Arabia, they have already started to clean house on corruption'

Saudi Arabia is a complete authoritarian dictatorship, let it be known.  Any talk of ''reform" is coloured by pinko-tinted glasses.  For example:

-- as for Comrade Mugabe, my timeline was wrong. As most readers who read in and out of their silos may know, he submitted his resignation to the Zimbabwean parliament -- under assurance he and his wife would not be charged or pursued for corruption.

Say goodbye to the old boss, say hello to the new boss. Nothing has changed yet ...

The Arab Tyrants club does not celebrate Thanksgiving, but if they did, they certainly would appreciate that America has fuck-all to say about tyranny when the tyranny is a military ally. 

Gentlemen (and ladies auxiliary), load your language!

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Regarding Yemen, one of its long-time (former) rulers was assassinated today ... the wily Ali Abdullah Saleh. He tried to break his alliance with one of the factions in the gruesome war, and was shot to death in his car. It is believed he was killed by the Houthis, the Iranian-allied Shia-based militia.

DQOatd7XcAARdPq.jpg

Only Tunisia emerged intact and democratic from the so-called Arab Spring ... Saudi Arabia still shelters its former dictator, Ben Ali.

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For those who enjoyed the first Arab Tyrants podcast, here is the fourth, a very useful look at the context of Legitimacy.

 

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Which nearly a hundred-year old African 'elder statesmen' can still produce a surprise? Well ...

On 11/23/2017 at 2:49 PM, william.scherk said:

-- as for Comrade Mugabe, my timeline was wrong. As most readers who read in and out of their silos may know, he submitted his resignation to the Zimbabwean parliament -- under assurance he and his wife would not be charged or pursued for corruption.

Say goodbye to the old boss, say hello to the new boss. Nothing has changed yet ...

It's Mr Mugabe, with one of the weirdest headlines from Faye Knuze today:

Ousted leader Mugabe backs opposition on eve of Zimbabwe election

zimbabwe-elections.jpg

-- the click bait is that Mugabe gives his reasons (squalid) in the first paragraph. The principle principle is Me, Mine, and Megalomania.

Edited by william.scherk
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The "reforms" of the Saudi crown prince seems to include the disappearance of a notable critic, journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  He went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and has not been seen since. The Turkish government believes that Khashoggi was murdered therein and his body disposed of.

Reform!

 

Edited by william.scherk
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9 hours ago, Jonathan said:

Trump should send in the A-Team: Obama, Kerry and Turdeau!

J

Jonathan,

And Hillary Clinton can do the cheerleading. "We came. We saw. He died." haw haw haw haw haw...

:) 

btw - Did a crater open up in the middle of my house and I not notice? I looked at the screen a few seconds ago and thought I saw William referencing Infowars seriously. He wasn't mocking Alex Jones. He was treating Alex as a real source worthy of consideration.

I'm afraid to look again. I mean, I might be losing my mind for real.

What if I saw that again? (shudder...)

:) 

Michael

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9 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jonathan,

And Hillary Clinton can do the cheerleading. "We came. We saw. He died." haw haw haw haw haw...

:) 

btw - Did a crater open up in the middle of my house and I not notice? I looked at the screen a few seconds ago and thought I saw William referencing Infowars seriously. He wasn't mocking Alex Jones. He was treating Alex as a real source worthy of consideration.

I'm afraid to look again. I mean, I might be losing my mind for real.

What if I saw that again? (shudder...)

:) 

Michael

Dang, I missed that the first time around. If it's at Infowars, it can't be true. So, therefore the Kashoggi thing is all just a lunatic right wing conspiracy theory. Whew! I'm happy to learn that the killing and dismemberment never happened.

Hmmm. But where is Kashoggi? What happened to him? Maybe he slipped and bumped his head, and wandered off with amnesia. I bet something like that happened. Just a simple, obvious, harmless explanation.

Okay, back to Muh Russians.

J

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President Trump  has words for Saudi Arabia.

The hoopla hooples ...

Spoiler
RELATED:
i26.jpgshare.png Associated Press:20 minutes ago
Newspaper says Turkey has audio of Saudi writer's slaying  —  ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish officials have an audio recording of the alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi from the Apple Watch he wore when he walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago, a pro-government Turkish newspaper reported Saturday.
i146.jpgshare.png Brad Reed / Raw Story:
Trump Jr. promotes tweet smearing missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a secret terrorist ally  —  Donald Trump Jr. on Friday promoted a tweet from Federalist founder Sean Davis that smeared missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as an ally of the late terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
i128.jpgshare.png Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Trump Jr. Boosts Smear Tying Missing Journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Islamic Terrorism  —  The president's son, along with conservative media, are using Jamal Khashoggi's interviews with Osama bin Laden to imply he supported Islamic terror.  —  Donald Trump Jr. on Friday promoted …
share.png Ben Rhodes / The Atlantic:   A Fatal Abandonment of American Leadership25 minutes ago

 

Edited by william.scherk
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OMG, what would Robert Francis O'Roarke do? He's SOOOO presidential! Or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? I'm getting a thrill up my leg! They'd save us and know how to make things right. We need serious grownup thinkers like them instead of infantile Trump. Please, someone in the press, ask Beto and She Guevara what should be done about the Saudis.

J

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"Contains upsetting scenes ... "

Yes, the Saudi military is bombing the fuck out of Yemen, contributing to a disaster for civilians. So, what else is new?  Well, the Crown Prince is under a lot of pressure to explain Khashoggi's disappearance.

What does Mr Thompson say?  Basically, it could have been anybody who disappeared the guy, even "rogue" killers. 

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Yeah. Cause and effect, and the sting of unintended consequences.

Suggestions, Billy? What should be done? What course should be taken?

J

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Iyad is lit with fury.  I don't know what will come out of his reporting, but this adds a suggestion of responsibility ...

A savage kind of graphic:

Dpk8KnOW0AEKPcy.jpg

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What the media aren’t telling you about Jamal Khashoggi

The dissident’s fate says a lot about Saudi Arabia and the rise of the mobster state

https://spectator.us/2018/10/jamal-khashoggi/

"...In truth, Khashoggi never had much time for western-style pluralistic democracy. In the 1970s he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, which exists to rid the Islamic world of western influence. He was a political Islamist until the end, recently praising the Muslim Brotherhood in the Washington Post. He championed the ‘moderate’ Islamist opposition in Syria, whose crimes against humanity are a matter of record. Khashoggi frequently sugarcoated his Islamist beliefs with constant references to freedom and democracy. But he never hid that he was in favour of a Muslim Brotherhood arc throughout the Middle East. His recurring plea to bin Salman in his columns was to embrace not western-style democracy, but the rise of political Islam which the Arab Spring had inadvertently given rise to. For Khashoggi, secularism was the enemy...

...The West has been fawning over bin Salman. But how now to overlook what seems to be a brazen Mafia-style murder? ‘I don’t like hearing about it,’ Donald Trump said. ‘Nobody knows anything about it, but there’s some pretty bad stories going around. I do not like it.’ Well, there are plenty more stories where that came from, stories about a ruthless prince whose opponents have a habit of disappearing. The fate of Khashoggi is the latest sign of what’s really happening inside Saudi Arabia. For how much longer will our leaders look the other way?"

-----

 

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On 10/15/2018 at 3:37 PM, william.scherk said:

Who will be the first to call this "Fake News"? 

?

Um, huh?

Thats the first thing that popped into your head after reading the story?

I can't think of anyone I'd suspect to call it fake news.

Whom did you have in mind?

J

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From the Associated Press interview with the US President:

Quote

AP: We’re hoping to cover a lot of topics today, but before we get started on some other things, we want to talk news of the day first. Obviously, the Saudis and the missing writer. AP is reporting that police searching the consulate found evidence that Jamal Khashoggi was killed there. What did the crown prince tell you today, exactly, and what is your intelligence telling you?

Trump: Well, I just put this out, I guess you saw it. I just have it here. I spoke to the crown prince, so you have that. He said he and his father knew nothing about it. And that was very important. And I spoke to him with Mike Pompeo there. And the crown prince. I spoke to the king yesterday, the crown prince, today wanting to know what was going on, what was happening, and he said very strongly that he and his father knew nothing about it but they are starting a major, they’ve already started a major investigation to find out. And so the answers will be forthcoming.

AP: Did they raise this idea of rogue killers in any of those conversations?

Trump: Well, the concept of it, I guess. Yesterday, when I spoke with the father, not so much today, but when I spoke to the father, it just sounded to me like he felt like he did not do it. He did not know about it and it sounded like, you know, the concept of rogue killers. But I don’t know. I think the investigation will lead to an answer. And they’re going to do a very thorough investigation. I believe they’re working with Turkey.

AP: But he didn’t bring up that? That was something you came up with after the conversation?

Trump: Just the concept of it. No, that was just from my feeling of the conversation with the king, not with the crown prince but with the king.

AP: Do you believe, sir, do you believe the king and the crown prince? I mean do you find them ... do you find them sort of trustworthy here? And there’s been a lot of talk, including from Sen. Graham, who I know is an ally of yours in many ways, that this is the moment that perhaps the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia should be re-evaluated, that things should be done differently going forward. What do you think of that?

Trump: Well, I think we have to find out what happened first. You know, here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh. And he was innocent all the way. So I was unconcerned. So we have to find out what happened and they are doing a very major investigation. So is Turkey. Plus, they’re putting themselves together and doing it. And hopefully they’ll get to an answer as to what happened. But I will say they were very strong in their denial about themselves knowing.

AP: Did they give you any sense of the timetable?

Trump: I would say within a week. That’s my impression. He said two weeks. But they’re going to try and do it in less than a week.

 

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28 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

 

The above reminds me of Clinton supporters. Dindu Nuffin! Any report of Clintons' misdeeds is nothing but fake news from the vast right wing conspiracy.

J

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On 10/15/2018 at 12:13 PM, Jonathan said:

Yeah. Cause and effect, and the sting of unintended consequences.

Suggestions, Billy? What should be done? What course should be taken?

J

No answer? No interest in a discussion?

J

 

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On 10/15/2018 at 11:13 AM, Jonathan said:

Yeah. Cause and effect, and the sting of unintended consequences.

Suggestions, Billy? What should be done? What course should be taken?

J

Sanctions on Canada.

graph-1.jpg

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On 10/15/2018 at 11:13 AM, Jonathan said:

Yeah. Cause and effect, and the sting of unintended consequences.

Suggestions, Billy? What should be done? What course should be taken?

J

Sanctions for the UK.

12207_n.jpg

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Canada, the UK, Billyboy, they never had a problem swapping cash for weapons of mass death with the regime.

Now that Trump has eliminated “here, Barry, the list of your new cabinet” binTalal, and nurtured new, far less evil leadership, Now they all have ethics and their eyes are wide open.

They can all go to hell.

No one is impressed.

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We still don’t know what happened with the mass shooting in Vegas, so please forgive me if I give a zero chance we ever find out who Khashoggi really was or why MBS took him out.

Heres the key fact: When these things happened back when SA was solidly deep state, none of this pearl-clutching occurred, and the military arms sales to SA continued unabated.

You know about this event because SA is not on their side anymore.

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