A year ago on this website I predicted that the Democrats were going to, at some point, use the Saudi assassination of Jamal Khashoqji as a political tool to bring down Trump. Well, that time has come. Al-Jazeera is gloating over these possibilities, not so much from a hatred of Trump as it is their desire to see the Saudis take some hits. The Democrats, along with some help from un-informed, and mis-informed Republicans, are also licking their chops.
For good measure the Dems are throwing in the alleged Saudi involvement in 9/11 hoping that one or the other will stick. Trump’s sin in all of this? His very warm relations with the Saudis, including the Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS). Trump’s relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) royal family also plays into the renewed push on 9/11-related material. According to an article on www.aljazeera.net of 04 March 2020, the Dems want to accuse the Trump administration for “cover up” on the Khashoqji affair so as to aid the KSA and MBS>
Al-Jazeera added that bi-partisan effort has emerged from both houses of Congress to demand that the Trump administration release everything it knows about the Khashoqji assassination—even those elements that are classified Top Secret and above.
Who, besides the DC swamp is pushing this effort? Turkey, Qatar, al-Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Washington Post and the rest of the left-wing media (all of whom are big Iran supporters, and Iran is the number one reason why the U.S. has cozied up to the KSA—that and encouraging warmer Saudi-Israeli relations). Coincidentally, Khadijah Jankez, Khashoqji’s fiancé (and a suspected high-level Turkish intelligence operative and member of Erdogan’s inner circle) just happened to be in Washington at this time to help push for the declassification of all materials related to the Khashoqji affair.
And, you know what? The Dems and their allies just might be successful at this. Maybe not in terms of getting Trump removed from office, but at the very least this issue (his close association and friendship with the “murderers” of “Journalist” Khashoqji, and the regime that “plotted” 9/11, according to truther mythology) will be used, very successfully, to throw mud at Trump all the way from now until the Nov. elections, and maybe even for the next four years.
According to the al-Jazeera article the Dems are also planning to use Trump’s weapons sales to the KSA, and the KSA alleged atrocities in Yemen as part of the accusations against Trump.
ANALYSIS: According to neutral on-the ground observers, it is the Iranian-supported Houthie rebels, and not the Saudis, that are committing the atrocities in Yemen. If Iran, and its puppets the Houthies, were to gain complete control of Yemen, Iran would control both the bab al-mandeb straits, and the straits of Hormuz, two of the world’s most important choke points through which most Middle East oil passes, it would be a tragedy to the whole planet beyond imagining.
The Democrat’s reversal of the truth demonstrates their unconstrained support for the terrorism-supporting, America-hating Iranian regime. This is one of a piece with their condemnation of Trump’s elimination of the American-killing terrorist Qasim Solaimani.
Sadly, all of this (Trump’s upcoming problems with the KSA/Khashoqji issues) could have easily been avoided were it not for a pair of politically strategic mistakes—one by the KSA, and one by Trump.
As for the Khashoqji issue, of course it was an intentional political assassination, the orders of which were given at the highest level, meaning MBS. And, there is no doubt that U.S. Intelligence has data that could confirm that—if MBS ever used any sort of phone, or internet connection, to convey his wishes to his subordinates.
The strategic mistake made by the Saudis was in initially trying to pretend it didn’t happen, then to claim it was an “accident,” then to admit that he really was killed in the KSA consulate in Istanbul, but it was because Khashoqji was resisting arrest, then finally, they agreed to “investigate” the case and bring those responsible to justice. Well, okay, a handful of individuals had to fall on the sword for MBS, so that the KSA could put the issue behind them. But now, in the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential elections the issue has bubbled up again like the creature from the black lagoon.
Had the Saudis come out right from the beginning and admitted that they took out Khashoqji, and listed the reasons: Close friend of Usama bin Laden, de facto head of the Saudi branch of the MB, spreading pro-MB and anti-Saudi propaganda in the U.S., and throughout the world, through his arrangement with the Washington Post, and Turkish intelligence and media, and, according to Saudi intelligence analysis, was preparing to take part in a Turkish-run plot to stage a coup and replace the KSA government with an MB government along the lines of what was done in Egypt in 2011-2012.
The strategic mistake that Trump made was in not declaring the MB to be a terrorist organization like seven other countries have done (one of whom is Saudi Arabia, which, again gives them the right to take out Khashoqji due to his MB membership). Had Trump declared the MB to be a terrorist organization when he had the chance and Republicans ruled both houses, he would, like the Saudis, be able to justify the Assassination of Khashoqji due to the latter’s association with a declared terrorist organization.
I warned a year ago on this website that this very issue (Trump’s failure to declare the MB to be a terrorist organization) would come back to bite him in the rear because of the Khashoqji issue. And, so now, the chickens have come home to roost.
Regarding the 9/11 issue, I don’t think that it will stick, but the Dems are going to give it a hail Mary anyway, hoping at the least, that it will add some weight to the upcoming Khashoqji charges. Here are the specifics:
When 9/11 happened every Muslim who wasn’t a Saudi, and every western apologist for Islam, pointed their fingers at the KSA and said they did it.
True, the ring leader of al-Qaeda, Usama bin Laden was a Saudi, and his father became very close to the royal family and essentially built the modern Saudi Arabia. Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were Saudis, and it appears that an official at a Saudi consulate in California may have wittingly or unwittingly aided a couple of the 9/11 plotters when they entered the U.S.
In the meantime, the Saudis said (about the accusations that they did 9/11): “Who, us? No, it was the Muslim Brotherhood.”
So, who is right? To some extent they both are.
I can say categorically that the Saudi Government, as represented by its top three officials at the time, King Fahd, CP ‘Abdullah, and Def.Min. Prince Sultan, had nothing to do with 9/11, and were, in fact, very much very good, close allies of the U.S. There is no way that they would have wanted to pull a stunt like that.
However, I can also say that outside of those top three, there very well could have been lower members of the royal family, and even some having some capacity in the government, such as working in a consulate out in California, that could have been pro al-Qaeda.
Also, the Saudis do have to bear some of the guilt for building mosques all over the world and staffing them with radical Wahhabi preachers, because this has played a role in the rise in fundamentalist terrorism across the world in general.
As for the MB, the Saudis are also correct in casting the blame on them. Usama bin Laden and his best buddy, Jamal Khashoqji, both joined the MB when in High School. Then in college bin Laden came under the influence of a pair of very high MB leaders.
One was Dr. ‘Abdallah Azzam, a leading Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood big shot, who founded the Palestinian MB branch, now called HAMAS. He also founded and headed the Mektab al-khedimat al-khairiyya (MKK) (Office of charitable services).
The other was Muhammad Qutb, brother of Sayyid Qutb, MB leader, close associate of its founder Hasan al-Banna, and considered to be the ideological godfather of all Sunni Arab terrorist groups. Many of Sayyid Qutb’s written works became available to the wider world, including this author and researcher, because Muhammd Qutb was able smuggle this writings out of Egypt and get them published in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
Having grown up in a Wahhabi environment, and then getting a full dose of MB brainwashing and propaganda during high school and college, how could Usama bin Laden miss?
The above-mentioned fifteen hijackers had similar experiences. Here’s why: The KSA came out of the Middle Ages and into the modern world almost overnight. With their sudden windfall in oil profits, they built schools and colleges all over the kingdom to ready their children for the 21st century. Problem is, they didn’t have any educated cadre who could fill the teaching roles in all of those new institutions of learning.
Coincidently, at about the same time the pro-Soviet Socialist dictator of Egypt, Jamal ‘abd al-Nasser, was trying to exterminate the Egyptian MB whom he considered to be a threat to his rule. Those he couldn’t catch, throw in prison, or kill, fled to other countries. Presto! Saudi’s problem of no teachers was solved instantaneously when thousands of highly educated Arabic-speaking Egyptians landed on their doorstep looking for employment.
The Saudis have always claimed that it was these MB teachers and professors that they hired that subverted their youth. There is some truth to that claim, but of course, their own Wahhabism (which is essentially the same as the MB ideology) is also partly to blame for the radicalization of their youth.
Trump will likely survive both the upcoming Khashoqji charge, and the 9/11 thing, but he’ll take a lot of hits for it—which could affect the 2020 election. However, if the Republicans in the Senate and House, and Trump himself, were aware of the above-mentioned facts, they could turn the entire thing around on the Democrats and their media allies, since it is the Dems who support and collude with Iran, and it is the Dems who have historically supported and colluded with the terrorist MB.
It would certainly help, though, if Trump would just come out and declare the MB to be the terrorist organization that it is.
Barry Webb logged a 25-year career as an Arabist for the NSA and other federal entities. He holds a pair of MA degrees in related subject matters, has read the Qur’an front to back in both English and Arabic dozens of times over the last several decades, obtains most of his news from Arabic TV and print mediums, and has taught some school along the way. He is the author of Confessions of an (ex) NSA spy: Why America and its allies are losing the war on terror. His website is www.barrywebbauthor.com currently he is a senior fellow at Americans for Intelligence Reform at www.intelreform.org