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Curtain Up, Light the Lights... It’s Saudi Showtime!

Robin Alexander

Posted on October 16, 2018 17:59

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Senator Ben Sasse (R) was interviewed on CNN this morning (he has a new book coming out) and expressed the perfect amount of outrage regarding Khashoggi's death, which is now being reported as a “botched interrogation” (Reuters). Let me be the first to state that whatever so-called repercussions are discussed in the loftiest of terms, they won’t amount to a sand dune for two reasons: arms deals and the petrodollar.

Instead of a planned murder and dismemberment, we may just have an unplanned murder and dismemberment on our hands – I mean on Saudi hands. Wait! This may be just what we need to lessen that divisiveness everybody’s talking about!

The well-spoken Nebraskan Senator expressed the need for proper U.S. repercussions against Riyadh as a result of these findings, even as he echoed the usual bit about how they “stabilize the region.”  Kudos to Senator Sasse for delivering all his lines – well, perfectly. He struck just the right chords for a book sale or presidential run.

Let me be the first to state that whatever so-called “repercussions” are discussed in the loftiest of terms, they won’t amount to a sand dune for two reasons: arms deals and the petrodollar.

As I explained last week, after the collapse of the global gold standard in the 1970s, the U.S. struck a deal with Riyadh which standardized the oil prices in dollar terms. Somehow, this ensures the U.S. lots of good stuff such as “financing deficits by issuing dollar-denominated assets at low rates.” And we are very serious about protecting this standard, as Qaddafi knew well.

There are conflicting stories about the size of the arms deal struck by Trump with the Saudis on that first visit abroad (when I almost thought the gold standard was back in vogue). But this is not only about Trump. According to Forbes, the Saudis purchased $13.2 bn in arms from Washington between 2014 and 2017.

Always remember that the bottom line is the bottom line. Okay, fair. They get dead Houthi rebels in Yemen along with thousands of dead civilians causing just the right amount of terror, and we get military-industrial jobs and huge profits for shareholders and executives.

Spain canceled a deal to sell 400 laser-guided bombs to Riyadh because they feared the weapons might be used in Yemen where it is thought some 50,000 people have been killed, most recently 40 children on a school bus. The war crimes in Yemen include airstrikes on civilian targets, torture, and rape. The citizenry that’s left is literally starving. But hey, when you’re the world’s leading imperialist, you’ve got responsibilities.

Then there are the atrocities Saudi Arabia commits on a regular basis. Human Rights Watch reports the arbitrary arrest of peaceful human rights activists who serve “long prison sentences for criticizing authorities or advocating political rights reforms.”

In 2017, SA carried out 146 executions, 59 for non-violent drug crimes. (Texas was way behind with only 23 that year). We’ve all heard about the persecution and death of homosexuals, and we all know about the suppression of Saudi women. Amnesty International’s most recent report corroborates this. Do you hear a sound? Wait, I’m still listening.

During these next few days, we will witness plenty of grandiose political performances. Then we’ll go back to sleep, happy with how practically perfect we are on the stage. I mean the world stage.

Robin Alexander

Posted on October 16, 2018 17:59

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Source: ABQJournal

MADRID — Spain said Tuesday it has canceled the delivery of 400 laser-guided bombs purchased by Saudi Arabia, amid fears...

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