Thought for the day

"All vets are mentally ill in some way and government should prevent them from owning firearms." -- Diane Feinstein 

Saudi Arabia has already slaughtered 120 prisoners in the first six blood-soaked months of 2022.

In the first half of the year, the Gulf country's execution rate spiked - returning the amount of people put to the sword to pre-Covid levels.

Saudi Arabia has raised concerns about Israel's refusal to join a United Nations nuclear non-proliferation treaty, saying it was an obstacle to achieving peace in the region.

The warning was a rare moment of Saudi criticism of Israel, with Riyadh and other Gulf countries recently working together, along with Israel, to combat Iran's nuclear programme.

Nicolas Pelham has written a very good and thorough article on Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to power and the many excesses, abuses, and crimes he has committed in just a few years. Here he reports on the arbitrary and unexplained detentions of thousands of people:

An adage favored by Claud Cockburn as well as Otto von Bismarck advises "Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied."

Indeed, it should be a clear tenant of political analysis that stated goals are frequently not actual goals. US war planners used rhetorical concerns over non-existent Iraq WMDs as a pretext for invasion. Alleged human rights preoccuations were falsely heralded as the rationale for NATO bombings in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya.

Ever since United States President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, he’s been trying to bring Saudi Arabia back to the political West’s flock. The attempts to do so have escalated significantly after Russia launched its counteroffensive against NATO’s crawling encroachment. Biden made numerous futile attempts to contact Saudi leadership, culminating with a failed visit on July 15.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken by telephone with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, the Kremlin press service said in a statement.

"The present situation on the global oil market was examined in detail. The importance of further coordination within the OPEC+ was stressed. It was noted with satisfaction that the states participating in this format have consistently honored their obligations in order to maintain the right balance and stability on the global energy market," the statement said.

Reports from Iraq say that Baghdad is subtly expanding its diplomatic role from mediating between Iran and Saudi Arabia to arranging Iranian dialogue with Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE as well. This regional diplomatic track has the potential to fill the Middle Eastern vacuum in inclusive regional diplomacy while reducing the scope for the Abraham Accords as a format for regional cooperation.

Filling the regional diplomacy vacuum

Biden Finally ‘decided’ to visit Saudi Arabia, a country he had described as a pariah. Biden’s word constitutes projection as unlikely as it sounds. Biden and his role as the US leader are very close to that of Muhammad Bin Salman (MBS) in Saudi Arabia. Both persons and the countries they represent have more similarities than US neo-liberals would ever admit. Readers here should note the dictatorial stance that Biden and the US have on the world, which is similar to what the house of Saud has on Saudi Arabia.