There will be myriad effects from the decision last week by the OPEC+ oil producers – led by Saudi Arabia and Russia – to cut production and increase the price of oil.
None of them are good. The energy supply and price squeeze in a Europe already bracing for brutal days and nights as winter approaches will be tightened. Inflation gets a boost – and the central banks will keep raising interest rates. Russia will reap revenues to ease the vice of Western sanctions imposed to punish Putin and his regime for the war in Ukraine. Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC partners will enjoy more money from petrol tanks flowing into their banks.
The OPEC+ decision also signals a deeper entente between Russia and Saudi Arabia: calculated strategic scheming by Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and the effective leader of the country.
Sports figures the world over should be soul wary about a regime that uses cash to conceal the bodies of protesters thrown into prison, activists tormented and disappeared, and murdered journalists. But Riyadh have their number, cunningly seductive, and aware of perennial weakness. With its vast sovereign wealth fund, the Kingdom is willing to splash out, and sports figures are willing to be bought. They know the harlot’s score.
Reinforcing US hegemonyOn the campaign trail, Biden pledged that as president he would make the Saudi kingdom a “pariah” for the killing of Khashoggi. He also said he would not sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia.But it appears that the benefits of thawing of relations outweigh such promises.The unnamed senior White House official who briefed media said that while the administration imposed the so-called “Khashoggi ban” on more than 70 Saudi individuals and entities, rekindling ties is critical.“While we recalibrate relations, we’re not seeking to rupture relations, because Saudi Arabia has been a strategic partner of the United States for eight decades,” the official said Tuesday.Saudi Arabia is also the United States’ largest arms customer, accounting for a quarter of US weapons sold world
Successive Australian Governments support Israel and Saudi Arabia. Why is it our governments blindly the support thes governments who terrorize their own citizens,and neighbors? Governments who readily assassinate those they believe opposes them? Governments that spy on us kidnap and even imprison Australians and committ crimes pretending to be us? Meanwhile, we support still support them in their crimes.Are we not who we claim to be?
In December 2018, while on a family holiday to Kuwait, Mohammed decided to make her bid for freedom in what would become her world-famous escape. This is where her book begins, with the frightening first steps of trying to seize her own passport from her brother.
So you need our Oil……. Dictators are all the same but their supporters Israel, US, and Australia seem not to be as consistent. They pick and choose which dictatator they favor.
Saudi Arabia on Saturday put 81 people to death in the largest mass execution in the kingdom modern history. The number put to death surpassed that of the January 1980 mass execution of those convicted of the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, which saw 63 people beheaded.
The CEO of Amnesty International UK, Sacha Desmukh, described the deal as “an extremely bitter blow for human rights.” Great football clubs, she claimed, were “being used to sportswash human rights abuse.” Saudi Arabia had undertaken this move as part of an “aggressive move into sport as a vehicle for image-management and PR plain for all to see.”
The eagerness to tag the Saudi government with 9/11 comes from many quarters. The victims want someone rich to sue for damages. Rivals for influence in Washington like the Israelis and the Turks and their lobbies in DC have an interest in taking the Saudis down a peg. The Saudis are widely disliked because of their brand of Wahhabi fundamentalism. Islamophobia plays into it. That you have someone like Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman at the helm of the kingdom now probably hurts after the CIA leaked their conclusion that he was behind the murder of dissident Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But the case against the Saudi government of being involved in 9/11 is non-existent.
The lingering questions beg for answers, families of 9/11 victims say. Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband was killed in the attacks, said in an interview that the families are fighting not just the Saudis, but their own government, which she said appears more intent on protecting an important foreign ally than aiding the victims’ families. “We’re fed up. We want accountability and transparency,” Breitweiser said. “I want to know why the Department of Justice is protecting the Saudi kingdom. I’m being robbed of justice for the murder of my husband. It’s just a cover-up, I’m sorry to say.”
Despite copious evidence of Saudi complicity in the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration and its successors have spent twenty years shielding the country’s elite from accountability while making war on an ever-growing list of other Middle East countries.
The pickle Australian policy makers find themselves in lies in the obligations of the Arms Trade Treaty, which insists on a ban on exports of weapons to countries where evidence can be shown of use against civilians. The Saudi-led campaign in Yemen against the Houthis, featuring a true orgy of civilian-targeted destruction, qualifies. But Yemen hardly qualifies as a humanitarian disaster in Australian political discourse (distant places have a certain ethical irrelevance to the plodders in Canberra). To make sure her bases are covered, Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, in reference not to the war in Yemen but the killing of Khashoggi, suggested that, “All options are on the table”. It is already clear what option Canberra prefers: ignore the complicity of the House of Saud, and keep the procession of defence contracts going.
“The moments when Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and murdered were recorded in the Apple Watch’s memory,” the paper said, adding that the watch had synched with his iPhone, which his fiancee was carrying outside the consulate
The obvious solution to this problem, of instability, extremism and climate change emanating from Riyadh, is electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels. They should be adopted as quickly as humanly possible.Cambridge Econometrics concluded that Europe could make its energy supplies secure by “decarbonization,” that is, getting off gasoline/ petrol, coal and natural gas. Transport & Environment, reporting on the study, added, “A shift to electric vehicles would lead to a 1% increase in EU GDP, create up to 2 million new jobs and reduce emissions from cars and vans 83% by 2050, according to the study.”
The Saudis step deeper into trouble almost by the week. Swamped in their ridiculous war in Yemen, they are now reeling from an extraordinary statement issued by around two hundred Sunni Muslim clerics who effectively referred to the Wahhabi belief – practiced in Saudi Arabia – as “a dangerous deformation” of Sunni Islam.
Iran is seriously mistrusted by Israel and America. North Korea protects its nuclear secrets and is ruled by an erratic, vicious man. Vladimir Putin’s territorial ambitions alarm democratic nations. The newest peril, Isis, the wild child of Islamists, has shocked the whole world. But top of this list should be Saudi Arabia – degenerate, malignant, pitiless, powerful and as dangerous as any of those listed above.
For Saudi Arabia to break its “addiction” to oil sounds a bit like the Catholic Church trying to end its addiction to Christianity. It is not only the world’s largest oil exporter; it also sits on the world’s largest oil reserves. But this was indeed what the man overseeing the Saudi economy, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, proposed in the Vision 2030 plan, launched last week.
Just like his adventure in Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s young Deputy Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman got it all wrong this week. It’s not Saudi Arabia which suffers from “oil addiction”, it’s we who are addicted. The unique Saudi drug – a cocktail of wealth, arrogance and infantile Puritanism – is far more dangerous, since it depends on the arithmetic (or myth) of its 716 billion barrels of oil reserves.
When President Barack Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for a meeting of Gulf leaders, he was greeted at the airport by the governor of Riyadh, instead of the Saudi king. Unlike his previous visits, Obama’s arrival was not broadcast on Saudi state television with its usual pomp and circumstance.
Until now the US didn’t seem to be ready to exert the necessary pressure on the Saudis to stop the export of the Wahhabist takfiri ideology which Saudi Arabia tries to spread through madrasas, says Middle East expert Ali Rizk.
Mohammed al-Nimr, the son of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, executed in Saudi Arabia in the beginning of the year, has told RT how his father fought for the rights of “all the people” while having been allegedly tortured after his arrest by Riyadh.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, released an incendiary cartoon comparing Saudi Arabia to Islamic State, after Riyadh carried out a death sentence against opposition Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
Set up as a modern Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr’s death needs to be seen as a harbinger of war – a ploy that would allow for an all-out war against the new Axis of Resistance against imperialism. Forget sectarianism!
Dead at age 90, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was praised by President Obama “as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.” But analysts accuse him of turning the Syrian uprising into a proxy war with Iran, and U.S. diplomatic cables identified the country as the world’s largest funder of militant Islamist groups.
“Democracy Now!” discusses Abdullah with Toby Jones, director of Middle Eastern studies at Rutgers University and the author of “Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia.”