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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

De-funding terrorism

In May, President Trump made his first foreign trip. The first stop was Saudi Arabia. He brought along Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. They sword-danced with the Saudis.

No one in the press seemed curious enough to find out why they sword danced.

Six months later, we know why.

The sword dance celebrated an agreement between the Trump administration and the House of Saud.

President Trump then flew directly to Israel, breaking a protocol that no longer mattered.

Yes, the Saudis still don't recognize the state of Israel but the military the Saudis are setting up is a clone of the Israeli Defense Forces. I would not be surprised if somehow they buy war matériel from Israel.

The old ways of the 20th century are dead. After 70 years of throwing everything they had at Israel and losing, Arabs decided the fight is not worth it.

Actually, they decided this after the Yom Kippur War in 1973, choosing instead to finance terrorism.

That is ending.

This weekend's purge of princes is about ending the funding of terrorism.

From New Yorker:
With the tacit support of President Trump, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his powerful son launched an unprecedented purge of their own family over the weekend. The major targets were royal brethren who controlled money, the media, or the military. Among the dozens arrested were eleven senior princes, several current or former ministers, the owners of three major television stations, the head of the most important military branch, and one of the wealthiest men in the world, who has been a major shareholder in Citibank, Twentieth Century Fox, Apple, Twitter, and Lyft.
“It’s the equivalent of waking up to find Warren Buffett and the heads of ABC, CBS and NBC have been arrested,” a former U.S. official told me. “It has all the appearances of a coup d’état. Saudi Arabia is rapidly becoming another country. The kingdom has never been this unstable.”
The purge sent shockwaves of fear through the kingdom — one of the world’s two largest producers and exporters of oil — as well as the Middle East, global financial markets, and the international community. The arrests continued on Monday, with no indication when the crackdown might end.
Both critics and supporters believe that the purge’s mastermind is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has had a meteoric rise since he was appointed by his father to be defense minister, at the age of twenty-nine, in 2015.
Money laundering is a euphemism for funding terrorism.

The American press bills this as a concentration of power for the crown prince, but it looks like this is about ending the war on terrorists once and for all.

The New Yorker also reported:
The Trump Administration has heavily courted the House of Saud; Trump’s first foreign trip was to Saudi Arabia. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, made an unannounced trip to the desert kingdom in late October — his third this year. Officially, the focus was the Middle East peace process, but he has developed a close relationship with the Saudi Crown Prince. (Both are in their thirties.) The royal family’s close ties to the Trump Administration have evidently made the king and his son feel comfortable about taking tough actions against their own people.
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is working closely with an American Jew. I'll let that sink in on you.

Carolyn Glick of the Jerusalem Post wrote this:
There can be little doubt that there was coordination between the Saudi regime and the Trump administration regarding Saturday’s actions. The timing of the administration’s release last week of most of the files US special forces seized during their 2011 raid of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was likely not a coincidence.
The files, which the Obama administration refused to release, make clear that Obama’s two chief pretensions – that al-Qaida was a spent force by the time US forces killed bin Laden, and that Iran was interested in moderating its behavior were both untrue. The documents showed that al-Qaida’s operations remained a significant worldwide threat to US interests.
And perhaps more significantly, they showed that Iran was al-Qaida’s chief state sponsor. Much of al-Qaida’s leadership, including bin Laden’s sons, operated from Iran. The notion – touted by Obama and his administration – that Shi’ite Iranians and Sunni terrorists from al-Qaida and other groups were incapable of cooperating was demonstrated to be an utter fiction by the documents.
Their publication now, as Saudi Arabia takes more determined steps to slash its support for radical Islamists, and separate itself from Wahhabist Islam, draws a clear distinction between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Given Saudi Arabia’s record, and the kingdom’s 70-year alliance with Wahhabist clerics, it is hard to know whether Mohammed’s move signals an irrevocable breach between the House of Saud and the Wahhabists.
But the direction is clear. With Hariri’s removal from Lebanon, the lines between the forces of jihad and terrorism led by Iran, and the forces that oppose them are clearer than ever before. And the necessity of acting against the former and helping the latter has similarly never been more obvious.
The Bush-Obama approach to terrorism was not working, and the Saudis were as horrified as anyone. We elected Trump one year ago, and now the House of Saud is cracking down.

From the Saudi Gazette:
The newly announced laws against terrorism and its funding include the death penalty.
The new laws state that individuals defaming and publicly insulting the King and the Crown Prince will be sentenced to 5 to 10 years of imprisonment.
Terrorists conducting terror attacks while carrying arms and explosives will face 10 to 30 years in prison.
Terrorists establishing a terrorist cell or leading one will face 10 to 25 years in prison.
Et cetera, et cetera.

Shorter: Hunting season has begun. Wahhabist clerics are an endangered species.

And the people who funded them will wind up in prison, in exile, or dead.


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  1. I really like the way this is leaning. Lebanon will be a key player. We will see what will happen to Hezbollah there since the Iranian missile over Saudi kinda pissed em off.

  2. the writing has been on the wall for a long time now. Israel isn't going anywhere, and the arab and muslim world knows it well.SA also knows Israel won't permit Iran to defeat it the new alliance is Egypt, Israel and SA. Jordan is going to disappear through civil war.Israel will absorb it rather than have a palestinian state on its eastern border.

    Muslims see how they are perceived around the world and the Saudis don't like it. They are chagrined that lowly Jews have turned a land devoid of natural resources into a high tech power. One could almost say the saudi prince's trip to Israel was a modern day trip to Cannosa. Lebanon will lose its land below the Litani if it attacks Israel. and it will have to attack Israel before its Iranian funding dries up.

  3. “It’s the equivalent of waking up to find Warren Buffett and the heads of ABC, CBS and NBC have been arrested,”

    Now yer talkin'.

  4. Interesting - and prescient:

    Sword Dance, in Arabic, Ardah. The term 'ardah' is thought to derive from the Arabic verb ard meaning 'to show' or 'to parade'. It was so named because its purpose was to publicly display the fighting strength of a tribe and boost morale before an armed engagement. Although there are regional variations of the particular rendition of ardah, the purpose it serves is nearly identical throughout the Arabian Peninsula."

    We live in interesting times. - Elric

  5. Dems and lefties hardest hit...

  6. I don't suppose we could get Salman to grab George Soros too, can we?

    1. Maybe we could put a "bug" in Israel's ear about that.

  7. And coincidently Trump was in Asia while this was going on.

    -Mikey NTH

    1. We do not see the whole picture. We do not need to. Trump does, and that is all that matters
      Of course, the press still does not get Nixon in China. He went not to befriend the Chinese but to warn the USSR.

    2. I was thinking "this is going on, and he is over here and not back home. Do his domestic foes with recorders follow him to the koi ponds of Asia or do they look at something significant in the Cockpit of the World?"

      They followed him to the koi ponds.

      -Mikey NTH

  8. The House of Saud has been the victim of it's own success and policies. A suicide bomber stuffed explosives up his butt and tried to kill part of the royal family.

    Why in the world it has taken this long for them to actually do anything is beyond me.

    1. They could say the same about us.

  9. Trump gets a sword dance.

    Hillary and Merkel would've had a pillow fight.

  10. We got rid of our Terror-funder, too. Although it takes a while to feel the effects--Obama funded that Iranian ballistic missile the Houthis aimed at Riyadh's airport.

    The Saudis are responding to real American leadership. Great news and another triumph for the president.

  11. Wait, I was told by The Overlords that SA was on the brink of implosion. This commentary simply cannot be true, Big D.

    Kevin Spacey

  12. Mr. Surber, you see things most people can't. I cannot imagine your fellow reporters admired you for it.

    1. It's true that our gracious host has extremely clear vision, and a gift of expressing himself clearly as well.

      However, I think that there are any number of reporters who also see what Mr. Surber does; the difference is that they don't want anyone else to see it, and will obfuscate to the best of their ability!

      Or as IowaHawk put it, "Journalism is about covering stories, with a pillow, until they stop moving."

  13. Mr. Surber;

    In your article you state that "but it looks like this is about ending the war on terrorists once and for all."

    Did you mean to say "...ending the funding of terrorists..."?

    1. Hmm. I meant we are winning the war finally. No money, no terror

  14. Preferably the funders of Islamic terrorism will end up DEAD!

  15. Very interesting article Mr. Surber. I see this as a game of dominoes - those falling in SA now are connected to corruption here in the USA. Jared Kushner goes to the KSA and the following week the arrests begin. Alwaleed - big Hillary/Podesta contact cooling his jets at the Riyadh Ritz prison. 31 sealed indictments in the Mueller investigation.

    We do not see the whole picture and we don't even know where all the players are in this game, but I do sense this is a time where all those who pray - should - and for President and country.