Moon of Alabama, The Saudis Demand Total Surrender, but Qatar Will Not Fold
(Why am I reminded of Ambassador, April Glaspie telling Saddam Hussein that it was sorta' OK with America if he invaded Kuwait? The House of Saud is sick, and it is only sustained by massive spending on social welfare to keep the people calm. If the cash-hungry Saudis think they can take Qatari natural gas, and further isolate Iran at the same time, by quickly and easily invading and annexing Qatar, that could be really good bait for a trap. Qatar is pro-Muslim-Brotherhood. Turkey has a Muslim Brotherhood regime. I initially misunderstood the implication of Turkey approving troop deployment to Qatar. It would mean Turkey fighting a war with Saudi Arabia. Consider that the war in Syria is being fought over access to Europe for competing natural gas pipelines to the same Pars gas field, tapped by Iran on one side and Qatar on the other side. So what if Iran and Qatar align and cut out Saudi Arabia? Can a gas pipeline to Europe be built? Might Syria and Russia negotiate this? Turkey would like it.)
"We are not ready to surrender , and we will never compromise the independence of our foreign policy." Qatari Foreign Minister welcomes Turkish troops and Persian food:
Best available details and insights regarding the Turkish-Qatari military defense pact are here. Turkish interests are divergent from Saudi interests. ("Advantage Turkey", sez I.)
Iran is prepared to supply Qatar with food, after Gulf (un)Cooperation Council states institute embargo.
"Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have accused Saudi Arabia of masterminding the deadly attacks in Tehran on Wednesday, a claim which Riyadh has denied. Islamic State previously claimed responsibility for the attacks which killed at least 12 people."
Saudi support in the region may be fairly shallow...
The U.A.E. joined Saudi Arabia in cutting off air, sea and land links with Qatar on Monday, accusing the gas-rich sheikhdom of supporting extremist groups. But the U.A.E., which depends on imported gas to generate half its electricity, avoided shutting down the pipeline supplying it from Qatar. Without this energy artery, Dubai’s glittering skyscrapers would go dark for lack of power.
"With Gulf tensions still rising, and culminating with last night's report on Arabia CNN that Qatar has put its armed forces on the highest military preparedness level, the small nation may be preparing to unveil its "Eastern pivot": moments ago Russia's RIA news agency reported that the Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani will Visit Moscow on Saturday where he will hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov."
Pepe Escobar has a very good wrap here, presenting Donald Trump as sort of April Glaspie to Saudi ruling chumps, and all of the detailed intrigues and weird personalities on this ship of fools. Rex Tillerson and General James Mattis know Qatar very well. They are the US players to watch.
Anniversary today, Thanks Colleen
On June 8, 1967, in the midst of the Six Day War, a state of the art intelligence ship controlled by the National Security Agency was sitting near Egypt in international waters when it was attacked by unmarked Israeli aircraft who strafed its decks and dropped napalm. An unmarked Israeli naval vessel torpedoed its target five times. For seventy-five minutes Israel pummeled the unarmed U.S.S. Liberty and when it was over 34 Americans were dead and 172 wounded which amounted to two-thirds of the ship’s crew. Israel owned up to the attack but claimed it was an accident, that the ship was mistaken for an Egyptian vessel. -
Dwight Eisenhower appears rattled, clearly aware of the threat, as he speaks to the press in the immediate aftermath of JFK's assassination. Please notice how the citizens of the country are not portrayed as a mindless mass, but as able and resourceful individuals, who will not be tricked or misled. I miss this kind of politics. Thanks Eleni.
Regarding US relations with Russia: “The president's been clear to me: do not let what's happened over here in the political realm prevent you from the work that you need to do on this relationship and he's been quite clear with me... that we might make progress,” Tillerson said during a visit to New Zealand.
Reality Winner's leak of NSA documents is a nothing-burger, but she's still going to prison, martyred for the deep-state and neoliberals. Scott Ritter follows the e-trail.
Hey Intercept; Something is very wrong with Reality Winner and the NSA Leak:
Trump-Comey dirty-dancing update. He said, she said, but not exactly... Now what do you really mean by that?
Expatriate Brit in France, John Ward looks at how the UK election has (rightly) turned into an inspection of the hidden means of the British spy services and their hired help.
North Korea fired what appeared to be several land-to-ship missiles off its east coast on Thursday, South Korea's military said, a day after the South postponed full deployment of a controversial U.S. anti-missile system designed to deter a North Korean attack. (Hey, the news forgot to report that carriers Carl Vinson and Ronald Reagan were removed from the Sea of Japan shortly before these missiles got tested. Do you think Russia and China shared anti-ship missile technology with North Korea?)
Pentagon says the US can now shoot down ICBMs (some of them, not too many at a time, please...)
How subsidies for electric cars are increasing CO2 emissions. (This article does not even talk about the vastly increased embedded-energy in costly, heavy electric vehicles, due to all of that mining and refining of lithium for batteries and neodymium for motors.)