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Monday, 13 November 2017


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Shakespearean maybe, but the Bard never had to contend with Saudi women's newly gained right to drive cars! That will be revolutionary! I don't know if Iranian women are allowed to drive, but if not and they see Saudi women doing it...well, there could be trouble.

Didn't I read somewhere that Saudi ladies who want to drive need the permission of a male relative. I can't see Mrs BoE taking to that idea!

I doubt there's much need to conjure up Iran as a foreign foe, Given that the Saudis have been fighting Iranian proxies in the Yemen for some time.

Saudi Arabia gave in to international pressure today and announced the coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen will open air and seaports to help prevent famine.

Ya mean, Bob, that really they're all heart?


"Apparently claims are being made that 'MbS' is determined to bring down the religious autocracy which has gripped Saudi Arabia since - well - since forever, I guess."

Reportedly (and I must add, "according to my sources" (usually reliable) 80+ mutawwain officials were "detained" beginning June 9th - President Trump, perhaps purely coincidentally addressed Arab leaders in Riyadh May 21st.


Further reports: "[I]mages taken between January and October 2017 that show the construction of a military base eight miles south of Damascus. According to an unidentified Western intelligence source "the facility is a permanent Iranian base."

"The main features in the images are a series of 12 large garages on one side of the facility and six buildings that appear to be housing for personnel on the opposite side. These buildings are not newly constructed, but probably have been refurbished. Several new buildings have been constructed. No gun emplacements, security fences or other security measures are apparent.

"If it proves to be an Iranian facility, it would guarantee heightened tension with Israel and would usher in another dimension of conflict in Syria. It probably will be added to the Israelis’ target list whatever its purpose. More on this as information becomes available."


More as further information is developed ...

JK, it sounds like a slow boil in Syria if that facility is or can be Iranian occupied. Why would the Iranians establish something so blatant and easily targeted by the Israelis I wonder?

Of one thing I am certain, in this uncertain situation, JK, and that is that *your* sources are infinitely more reliable than mine! However, I do rely on you to advise soonest when the missiles are flying!

"'MbS' is determined to bring down the religious autocracy which has gripped Saudi Arabia since - well - since forever, I guess.  Of course, and here the irony is delicious, he will do so by autocratic means! "

MbS is sounding more and more like an Arab Oliver Cromwell day by day.

And what democratic, liberal, tolerant state was ever formed by anything other than military violence, the most authoritarian of authoritarianisms?

Except, perhaps, irony of ironies, the EU. As far as I can see it has not lifted a finger to deliberately harm so much as a fly in the making of it. I think that's a completely unique instance of "non-violent state birth".

Not including the 2000 years of unequalled violence, death, and destruction that went before it, of course.

Perhaps that's what will make the EU the door through which the rest of the world will follow to a brighter future? When "rest of world" has marked up the millions, nay billions, in the ledger of death, and let that seep into the collective culture and worldview sustained without respite for 2 millennia, they might follow with a bloodless confederation?


In a word Whitewall;


"Why would the Iranians establish something so blatant and easily targeted by the Israelis I wonder?"

Part of the calculus Whitewall - you're aware there's an S-400 system now emplaced in Syria? Too, Turkey (*our *ally & the EU's for that matter) just got its own S-400 system?

Now of course too David, as mine and Whitewall's Establishment has its "Agenda" quite apart from mine & [maybe] Whitewall's; ever since the election Whitewall's and my media have but one narrative on its mind to wit:

Trump Trump Trump Trumpity Trumpity Trump. Trumpity Trump!

There's very little else where "proper" investigative investments can be profitably exerted so - *what's maybe/likely* to happen is gonna catch alot of the US' news-audience quite unprepared resulting in more

That damned Trump has got "us" in WWIII! quite unannounced.

As if.

I'm not exactly sure what Merkel's Fourth Reich has got to do with any of this Lawrence, but setting that aside, I really hope that MbS's bodyguards have got their shit together. I have a nasty suspicion that he will be finding out the hard way before too long.

I genuinely hope I am wrong...

David, all heart? Nah. They just want to be sure they can get more cool gear like the missile defense system that was so handy for Riyadh.

I too Richard "genuinely hope" but as I noted some number of David's posts back - "power consolidation or, coup-prevention." But actually I came back on this thread to address


"Saudi Arabia gave in to international pressure today and announced the coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen will open air and seaports to help prevent famine."

Could be Bob there's more afoot with that than, what might (in a parallel universe from US media) otherwise be available:

"A shipment of 15,000 tons of Indian wheat aid to Afghanistan arrived on Saturday [the] shipment left India’s western port of Kandla on 29 October and reached Chabahar on 1 November. It was then transported by trucks to Zaranj, in the Afghan province of Nimruz. From there, it will travel to Delaram to join the Afghan Ring Road for distribution.

"A total of seven shipments are planned to deliver 110,000 tons of wheat in stages between now and the end of January. A second wheat shipment already is at Chabahar. “With the opening of Chabahar port, Afghanistan will no longer be dependent on Karachi port,” said Nimruz Governor Mohammad Samiullah.

"India has committed $500 million to develop the sea route, which will allow traders in landlocked Afghanistan to bypass Pakistani restrictions on shipments via Pakistan’s Karachi port. The sea route also is much more secure than the Pakistani roads.

"India tried for many years to create a transit corridor to Afghanistan that used Pakistani roads. Last year it tried to send a shipment of wheat to Afghanistan overland via the border crossing at Torkham, but Pakistani officials objected. India has promised 1.1 million tons of wheat as a gift to Afghanistan, of which 700,000 tons have now been delivered."


Now of course there's a genuine/significant "risk/obstacle" that any such Indian humanitarian food shipments are gonna run afoul of the recent Chicom-Paki Economic Corridor plans - machinations.

I suppose Bob, CNN can be depended on to further illuminate yourself and me on whatever significance India's doings have to do with Saudi Arabia's?

Beardy, but damnably good looking with it. Only 32, a baby, must be acutely dangerous. Personally, and only if pushed, I'd probably prefer an alternative world in which the males are routinely clean shaven and the females flaunt luxuriantly unashamed underarm hair. Ain't going to happen, I know, but still. It would probably be better.

It's not exactly a 'strategic' observation, but it's oddly important and timely to me; I was only yesterday trying to source decent quality new tea towels as my existing stock is becoming, in all truth, a bit shameful and frankly crap.

Those on offer in Sainsbury's and Tesco are rubbish, inadequate and, worst of all, pathetically little things. Don't people take any pride in burnishing their valued bibelots and rubbing their prized yet dust-prone and oft-ignored knick-knacks any more? I know I do! When I can be bothered.

I think the towels from Lakeland sound more like it, but I just don't want to pay the delivery charge sight unseen and then have to be in when they don't actually deliver. Now I know just where to go, so thanks for that... I think. Actually green, if they do it, would go better with my kitchen, but whatever, not one to make a fuss, me...

Yup Busteically,

Dara's the place you want to shop.

I'm guessing about 26 days from now would be a propitious time to pack your lunch.

Have fun!

JK, don't hold your breath waiting for CNN, or any other TV outlet, to cover anything in detail on-air except sensational stuff like pedophile Senate candidates and so on.

What's happening in India-Saudi relations has a lot to do with choosing sides in the region and trying to shape the economics of a post-oil world:


"What's happening in India-Saudi relations has a lot to do with choosing sides ..."

Yup. But you might wanna get your trusty ol' World Atlas down off the shelf and check where the cities I mentioned in my 21:03 comment are located. I purposely excised any mentions of where that new "transport hub" to Afghanistan transits - figuring that a person (most likely guess who?) would be pointing out 'the new Saudi/Indian strategic partnership' which almost precisely mirrors that year's 'new Saudi/Qatari strategic partnership' - and we see how that's gone!

Of course the Saudis being almost totally and absolutely dependent on foreign workers to keep the streets clean, do the distasteful household chores, dig the ditches, run the data centers, is complicated by the sheer number of Indian and Filipino [some preferred others] workers required.

Too Bob, where a "particular type of dirty-work" is concerned, yes and especially on that concern - check out which nations are providing the combatants doing that dirty work in, for instance, Yemen.

The Prince has certainly got his work cut out for him - I wish him the best of luck. He'll need it.

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