Friday, November 24, 2017

A View of the Political Aspect of Islam!

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Bill Warner, PhD: Totalitarian Islam
Published on Aug 16, 2016
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Dr. Bill Warner Exposes Islamic master Plan
The Alex Jones Channel
Published on Jun 7, 2016
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Bill Warner, PhD: Bigot, Racist, Hater, Islamophobe
Political Islam
Published on May 25, 2016
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Islam and Politics: Crash Course World History 216
CrashCourse
Published on Nov 14, 2014
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Totalitarianism 101: The Islamic State’s Offline Propaganda Strategy
By Charlie Winter 
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Editor's Note: The Islamic State produces potent propaganda, inspiring tens of thousands of Muslims to travel to Syria to fight and encouraging other Muslims to launch attacks in their home countries. The propagandists also try to brainwash those unfortunate enough to be under the group’s thumb. Charlie Winter of Georgia State University explores the Islamic State’s internal propaganda mechanisms, offering an in-depth description of its media machine and the dangerous messages it churns out.
In the last few years, the Islamic State has expended a staggering amount of energy in pursuit of a position at the top of the global jihadist food chain. 
Given its sustained control over of huge tracts of land in Iraq and Syria, declaration of a transnational caliphate, and wide-ranging assaults against civilians from Paris to Jakarta, some would say it has achieved this with remarkable efficiency. However, being at the top of the food chain comes with consequences and, in recent months at least, things have not been going the Islamic State’s way: its leaders are being killed, injured or captured at a rate of knots, its financial infrastructure is being decoded and undermined, and foreign fighters are facing more obstacles than ever before.
Though it is safe to say that the Islamic State is not going anywhere anytime soon, its future prospects are no longer burning so bright.
Unless, that is, one looks at its propaganda. Indeed, according to its official media, life is good in the Islamic State’s caliphate: flowers are blooming, industry is booming, and the conquest of Rome is (still) looming. Yes, there may have been “tactical retreats” from areas that were once strongholds, but these were just to facilitate offensives elsewhere. And, yes, airstrikes have been destroying infrastructure and killing soldiers (and, it is claimed, civilians) on a daily basis, but the “security services” are on top of this, identifying and eradicating “spies” in droves, with typical gory fanfare. All this talk of lost territory and dwindling finances, the official line goes, is just “Crusader”-coalition agitprop – times are tough, but that is because the Islamic State is at war, not because it is losing.
Outside its heartlands, it is easy for most to see through such claims. Coupled with the fact that its propaganda has become increasingly more difficult to access online, the mainstream media view on the organization’s trajectory has shifted. Now, for the most part, the common conception is not that the caliphate is in ascendancy, but that it is on a downward – albeit dangerous – trajectory.
In these places – its propaganda narrative more pervasive – the situation is borne of an offline media strategy that has, for a long time, been almost totally obscured by the world’s fixation on its online equivalent.
In the territories that the Islamic State holds dear, though, the story is very different. In these places – its propaganda narrative more pervasive – the situation is borne of an offline media strategy that has, for a long time, been almost totally obscured by the world’s fixation on its online equivalent. 
The strategy revolves around two mechanisms: the proliferation of Islamic State-friendly legacy media and the eradication of free access to information.
In pursuit of the first, the offline repertoire of the Islamic State has become formidable indeed. While its propagandists may now be facing resistance on the Internet, they seem to have been flourishing offline in the caliphate heartlands. Night and day, the al-Bayan Radio station broadcasts its programs on FM frequencies from central Libya to eastern Iraq, with programs ranging from news bulletins and “history lessons” to on-air fatwas and call-in medical clinics. The formerly-annual al-Naba’ newsletter has metamorphosed into a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, complete with exclusive interviews, opinion pieces, and infographics. The al-Himma Library’s theological tracts are delivered to fighters and civilians alike by hand, and photographic and video reports are more ubiquitous than ever.
This hyperactive proliferation strategy has been in large part facilitated by the humble-sounding “media point,” an Islamic State experiment that began – according to a recent special feature in al-Naba’ – as a single aluminum shack in Manbij, Syria, but that has since come to be a fundamental pillar of the organization’s public relations that, to borrow from John Cantile's most recent script, "works to expose the lies and propaganda that the Western media continues to peddle." At once publishing houses and open-air cinemas, “media points” are a place where literature can be downloaded and dispensed, USB sticks stocked up with images of utopia, military momentum and gore, and videos projected back-to-back before audiences of dozens. Sometimes mobile, they enable the Islamic State to extend its reach, infiltrate its message into remote regions with no online infrastructure, and sustain a constant information presence in population centers. What’s more, the implementation of the “media point” project shows no signs of abating: in Nineveh Province, an Islamic State media official interviewed by al-Naba’ claimed there are more than 60 of them, with the 'Amaq news agency adding that there are 25 in the city of Mosul alone.
While its propagandists may now be facing resistance on the Internet, they seem to have been flourishing offline in the caliphate heartlands.
All this proactivity has been complemented by Islamic State’s gradualist censorship policy. The Internet, while still technically accessible, is, in many places, now only available under the watchful gaze of the Islamic State’s intelligence services (even for foreign fighters). Satellite dishes, which were recently renounced as “the enemy within” due to their alleged ability to “corrupt and dilute religion,” have been subjected to a caliphate-wide banning order, and competing radio stations are being muscled off airwaves by the expanding al-Bayan network. In short, in areas where its political and military control is most absolute, the group is doing all it can to suffocate other channels of information and seize an information monopoly.
The application of this offline media strategy has been far from homogenous – for example, it does not seem to have taken root anywhere outside of Islamic State strongholds in Syria, Iraq and, to a lesser degree, Libya. Whatever the case, though, in the regions where it is being implemented, the implications are troubling. Regardless of whether or not the myths being peddled are believed, the constant cranking of the media machine has the effect of buoying morale among supporters and entrenching despair among potential dissenters. Conspiracy theories run amok as understanding of the coalition’s aims and tactical progress is drowned out by the unrelenting torrent of Islamic State media.
This is totalitarianism at work, pure and not-so-simple. In much the same way as Hitler and Stalin’s propagandists did, the Islamic State’s media team is seeking to exact control over its audience by making the message of expansion and utopia the only constant. With that in mind, while there is some cause for optimism in the fight against al-Baghdadi’s bastardization of the Islamic caliphate, this optimism must remain restrained. Beating the Islamic State militarily solves but one piece of the ever more complicated puzzle.
Correction: This article was updated after incorrectly referring to FM frequencies as "shortwave."
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Thursday, November 23, 2017

What Next? Millennials Want To Euthanize The Elderly!

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Euthanasia - a new pathway to Elder Abuse
REALdignityTas
Published on Oct 6, 2013
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The Petition for "Mandatory Euthanasia" for Senior Citizens Under Obama Care!
Mark Dice
Published on Jul 29, 2013
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First it starts with little things like voting, then on to bigger things like euthanasia!
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Should older people lose the right to vote?
Some have argued that disenfranchising the elderly would allow younger people to make decisions about their future, but is it really that simple?
Daniel Munro
July 4, 2017
REUTERS/Mark Blinch
In Christopher Buckley’s satirical novel, Boomsday, a Generation X blogger and emerging PR star suggests that to deal with the social and economic strain of a large and aging Boomer population, the government should offer people incentives to commit suicide by the age of 70. In addition to being offered perks like free Botox and no estate taxes, those who opt to “voluntarily transition” to death after retirement are to be treated as patriots and heroes on par with veterans. Resistance to the proposal is understandably intense and widespread. But the novel does provoke an important question: What should democracies do when the interests of the elderly appear to be at odds with the interests of younger generations?
One proposal mooted in philosophy circles over the past few decades is to disenfranchise the elderly—that is, eliminate the right to vote at age 70 or some other appropriate upper threshold. The idea is that once citizens reach a certain age, they will be less concerned with our social, political, and economic future than younger generations and much less likely to bear the long-term consequences of political decisions and policies. In that case, their votes ought to be discounted, or eliminated altogether, to ensure that the future is shaped by those who have a real stake in how it turns out. But would disenfranchising older citizens be fair?
Consider two principles of political legitimacy and the way they appear to unravel in the context of intergenerational justice. The affected interests 
principle holds that those whose interests are affected by political decisions ought to have a say in those decisions. One is a free citizen, the argument goes, only to the extent that one has opportunities to shape the laws and policies to which one will be subject. Without those opportunities, we face a democratic deficit. A second principle—political equality—holds that those who participate and are affected ought to have an equal say in the selection of decision-makers and policies. This is the ideal that the notion of one-person-one-vote is intended to meet.
In the context of intergenerational politics, these principles come under pressure. Decisions made by older generations will affect the interests of younger and unborn generations, but those younger generations will themselves have less or no say. Moreover, as some argue, older citizens have greater incentives to deplete natural resources, underinvest in infrastructure, accumulate public debt and ignore the environment. Polls of top political issues show that concern for the environment and education declines with age. Grandma votes against carbon taxes and recycling programs, and Grandpa votes against education spending? So take away their right to vote and let younger people make decisions about the future.
But before disenfranchising older citizens, consider some objections. In the first place, a policy to disenfranchise the elderly rests on some questionable assumptions. Although evidence suggests that seniors sometimes vote in ways that discount the future, younger citizens also vote in self-interested ways that can lead to costs being passed on to future citizens. Support for free university and college tuition, for example, serves younger citizens’ interests but, if financed through debt, effectively passes the costs to future citizens. Similarly, parents who support lower taxes so they can pay for childcare might be as much of a threat to long-term infrastructure investments as seniors voting for more spending on long-term care. For almost every reasonable policy preference, a case can be made that it imposes costs on future generations—even if only an opportunity cost.
Moreover, a proposal to disenfranchise the elderly rests on a rather narrow view of what the right to vote represents. Although voting is a mechanism for expressing policy and leadership preferences, it is also a central means by which democracies recognize the moral and political equality of citizens. Disenfranchising the elderly might eliminate one source of short-term thinking in politics, but would also reduce politicians’ and policy-makers’ incentives to address the legitimate needs and interests of older citizens. So long as older citizens are still living citizens, a fair and legitimate democracy must continue to recognize their political equality and provide them with means to influence decisions that will affect their interests.
Frustration with the policy preferences and omissions of older citizens is a long-standing complaint of younger citizens. Future generations will no doubt continue to shake their heads at many aspects of the world they inherit. The challenge for living, and especially older, generations, is to vote and engage in politics in ways that go beyond self-interest. The challenge is to recognize that although future generations cannot impose costs on past generations, future citizens can and will judge those who lived before them and will have the final say over how we and previous generations will be remembered.
Dan Munro is a Visiting Scholar and Director of Policy Projects in the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School for Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Listen to The Ethics Lab on Ottawa Today with Mark Sutcliffe, Thursdays at 11 EST. @dk_munro
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Euthanasia? Bullfeathers. This is MURDER!
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Euthanasia doctor 'told family of drugged elderly woman to hold her down as she fought not to be killed'
The woman, 74, had dementia and had earlier expressed a desire for euthanasia when she deemed that "the time was right”, although she added "but not now"
By Koen Berghuis
29 September 2017
Paperwork showed that the only way the doctor could complete the injection was by getting family members to help restrain her (stock photo)
euthanasia doctor allegedly told the family of a drugged elderly woman to hold her down as as she fought desperately not to be killed.
The Dutch public prosecutor's office has decided to investigate the case after a college of prosecutors said there is sufficient suspicion the doctor broke the country's euthanasia laws.
It is the first case to be investigated in the Netherlands since the country introduced the euthanasia law 17 years ago.
Since then more than 5,500 people have ended their lives, arguing they were suffering unbearably.
The case, which was first reported in January, caused widespread outrage in the Netherlands and around the world and started a debate regarding whether pensioners with dementia were able to agree to euthanasia.
The woman, 74, had dementia and had earlier expressed a desire for euthanasia when she deemed that "the time was right", although she added "but not now".
As her situation deteriorated, it became difficult for her husband to care for her, and she was placed in a nursing home.
The woman, 74, had dementia and had earlier expressed a desire for euthanasia (stock photo) (Image: Stone Sub)
Medical paperwork showed she often exhibited signs of fear and anger, and would wander around the building at nights.
The nursing home senior doctor was of the opinion that she was suffering intolerably - but that she was no longer in a position where she could confirm that the time was now right for the euthanasia to go ahead.
However, the doctor was of the opinion that the woman's circumstances made it clear that the time was now right.
The doctor secretly placed a soporific in her coffee to calm her, and then had started to give her a lethal injection.
But while injecting the woman, she woke up, and fought the doctor.
The paperwork showed that the only way the doctor could complete the injection was by getting family members to help restrain her.
It also revealed that the patient said several times "I don't want to die" in the days before she was put to death.
The doctor had not spoken to her about what was planned because she did not want to cause unnecessary distress.
Reportedly, the doctor also did not tell her about what was in her coffee as it was also likely to cause further disruptions to the planned euthanasia process.
The case was first referred to the Regional Review Committee, which checks if every euthanasia performed are conducted in accordance with the law.
They have to check if the patient voluntarily asked for euthanasia, suffered unbearably, is in a medical situation and was properly consulted by a doctor.
The Review Committee also checks if the doctor sought other reasonable alternatives first, if at least one other independent doctor was consulted and if the final euthanasia was done so in a medically thorough and careful way.
Considering these demands according to Dutch law, the committee ruled that the doctor "crossed a border" by administrating the first soporific secretly in her coffee.
It also said that after she fought back, the doctor should have halted the euthanasia even though it might have been a purely physical reaction.
As irregularities were found, they decided earlier this year to forward the case to the public prosecutor's office.
Regional Review Committee Chairman Jacob Kohnstamm said earlier: "I am convinced that the doctor acted in good faith, and we would like to see more clarity on how such cases are handled in the future."
Konhstamm added that he did not mind the case going to court "to get judicial clarity over what powers a doctor has when it comes to the euthanasia of patients suffering from severe dementia."
MP Kees van der Staaij of the Christian-conservative Reformed Party (SGP) said it is "good that the public prosecutor's office is taking action" as the "protection of vulnerable life" is at stake.
His party, together with two other Christian parties as well as the Socialist Party (SP), are currently fighting a proposed extension of Dutch euthanasia laws which would give all over-75s the right to assisted suicide even if they are not ill.
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Another elderly person murdered!
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Dutch doctor who drugged elderly euthanasia patient and gave her lethal injection as she fought desperately not to be killed did NOT break the law, panel rules
The medic allegedly put the drug in the woman's coffee
By Hannah Crouch
28th January 2017
A FEMALE Dutch doctor who drugged an elderly euthanasia patient and then gave her a lethal injection despite her fighting not to be killed has been cleared.
The medic allegedly put the drug in the woman's coffee in order to calm her but she later awoke as she was being injected.
The unnamed patient, 80, reportedly suffered from dementia and had earlier expressed a desire for euthanasia when she deemed "the time was right".
As her situation deteriorated she was placed in care home with medical paperwork revealing she often exhibited signs of fear and anger.
A senior doctor at the nursing home was of the opinion that the woman was suffering intolerably and was no longer in a position to confirm when the time was right for euthanasia to go ahead.
The doctor was also of the opinion that the woman's circumstances made it clear the time was right now.
She secretly placed a sleeping pill in the patient's coffee and then gave her a a lethal injection.
The patient woke up while the doctor was trying to administer the injection and began fighting back.
Paperwork, which was given to a Regional Review Committee, showed that the only way the doctor could complete the injection was by getting family members to help restrain the patient.
It was also revealed that the patient said "I don't want to die" several times before she was put to death and the doctor did not speak to her about what was planned as she did not want to cause unnecessary distress.
The patient was also unaware that a sleeping pill was placed in her coffee.
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Elderly Canadians fear euthanasia
One woman's surprising response to legalisation: get a tattoo.
Christine Nagel
September 15, 2016
In June this year, the Canadian Parliament legalised euthanasia and assisted suicide. Not everyone is happy about this, as Christine Nagel explains below.
For years, I warned my children to steer clear of tattoo parlors, and now at 81 years old, I have had to resort to one myself.
Bill C-14 makes it legal for us to play God and to make decisions over life and death ourselves. Assisted suicide is promoted as the most dignified way to treat an aging population--humanely, painlessly and without the need for suffering. Financially, it will become the salvation to our overburdened health care systems.
Our Government and Supreme Court do not of course mention anything about money, but they do warn us that within a few years, seniors will outnumber the rest of the population and will need an army of caregivers to cope with them. That will be costly. Inevitably, euthanasia will become a more "socially acceptable" way to solve this problem, than for example Hitler's "Final Solution".
Obviously, none of this is acceptable to us Christians. We look to Christ on the cross, stripped of his garments, writhing in agony, and covered in blood--hardly a dignified image of God's son.
Yet the meaning of this is central to our faith. Suffering is vital to life and to our growth. What occurs at the end of my life is between God and me. Let no one else dare to interfere.
So to understand this message clearly, read my shoulder!
Christine Nagel    
Calgary, Alberta
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Elderly should be given euthanasia ‘rewards’, say one in 10 Britons
Anti-euthanasia campaigners say poll shows ‘chilling’ attitudes to elderly ahead of Lords assisted dying debate
By John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor
06 Nov 2014
One in 10 British people believe elderly people should be offered a “reward” if they opt for assisted suicide, new polling suggests.
Anti-euthanasia campaigners said the finding was “chilling” evidence of deep-seated prejudice towards older people from a small but significant minority of the population.
They claim that it is proof of the possible dangers of any change in the suicide laws such as the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill which is due to return to Parliament for detailed scrutiny on Friday.
The bill would allow terminally ill patients judged to have no more than six months to live and a “settled intention” to end their lives to be prescribed a lethal dose of drugs if two doctors agree.
Members of the House of Lords are due to consider 175 separate possible amendments to the bill, which was debated by peers in July, aimed at tightening up possible safeguards.
The polling, by ComRes, was commissioned by the disability campaign group “Not Dead Yet” and the anti-assisted suicide alliance, Care Not Killing.
It found that a majority of the public (54 per cent) support assisted dying in principle but that 58 per cent believe it would be impossible to create a system which is be completely safe from abuse by unscrupulous relatives or others which might put pressure on people to end their lives.
Just under half of those polled said they believe hospitals should be allowed to administer fatal drugs to patients considered to have no prospect of recovery.
Respondents were also asked whether they agreed with Martin Amis, the author, that elderly people should be rewarded for ending their lives.
The question was a reference to remarks by Mr Amis in 2010 suggesting that there should be booths on street corners where elderly people could go to end their lives and that they should be given “get a Martini and a medal” for doing so.
Overall 64 per cent disagreed with the idea of rewarding people for ending their lives with 10 per cent in favour and 26 per cent claiming that they did not know.
The poll found that men are more than twice as likely as women to agree with rewarding assisted suicide and support rises to 14 per cent, or in seven, among people aged between their mid-30s and mid-40s.
Seven per cent of the over-65s polled also backed the suggestion.
Dr Peter Saunders, campaign director of Care Not Killing, said: “The most chilling findings of this poll, were the one in 10 who said the elderly should be encouraged to end their lives so they did not become a burden.
“This highlights the frightening undercurrent of deep prejudice that some people harbour towards the older members of our community.
“If there was any doubt about why it is absolutely vital the current legal protections that prohibit assisted suicide and euthanasia are maintained, then this one fact should be proof enough.”
The overall findings indicate that public opinion on assisted dying in Britain is more nuanced than headline poll findings suggest.
Andrew Hawkins, chairman of ComRes, said: “The obvious conclusion is that while the public are broadly sympathetic to the rights-based argument in favour of ending lives at the time of a person’s choice, there is widespread concern about the abuse to which any system is likely to be open.
“These concerns are apparent across three areas – by the medical profession, by unscrupulous relatives, and in terms of pressure to end lives prematurely and on diminishing palliative and other health care resources.”
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Government Attitude Towards Elderly Leads to Euthanasia
TheJohnBirchSociety
Published on Dec 3, 2012
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Also See:

So ... What's With The Millennials?

(Part 1)
10 August 2017
https://arcticcompass.blogspot.ca/2017/08/so-whats-with-millennials.html
and

(Part 2)
21 August 2017

and
(Part 3)
15 October 2017
and

Older White Generation Voted Trump!

12 November 2017
and

The Me-Generation is Growing Up!

13 June 2016
and

The Precarious World of Teenagers!

02 April 2009
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Latest In Saudi Arabia: Torture, Beatings And Transferring Funds To The Government!

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Making Sense of the Middle East - James Corbett on Declare Your Independence
Corbett Report Extras
Published on Nov 22, 2017
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The Saudi Purge is a Global Crisis
corbettreport
Published on Nov 17, 2017
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Is MBS’s supreme anti-corruption committee torturing Ritz detainees?
An 'exclusive' report by a British news outlet says people rounded up by the crown prince are being beaten
By Uwe Parpart
November 23, 2017
The London Daily Mail’s online edition on Thursday published an exclusive report claiming: “American mercenaries are torturing Saudi elite rounded up by new crown prince – and billionaire Prince Alwaleed was hung upside down ‘just to send a message.'”
“They are beating them, torturing them, slapping them, insulting them. They want to break them down,” DailyMail.com quotes its source as saying.
We have no direct-source verification of the specific claims in the Daily Mail piece. However, reports of beatings and torture of Saudi princes, former ministers, and leading businessmen held in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton hotel and the nearby Courtyard Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter on allegations of corruption have been coming to light since at least November 10.
Cross-checking of such reports and independent verification with diplomatic sources by now provides a high degree of confidence that torture has been taking place to extract admissions of guilt and – more important – to extract funds in the billions of dollars. 
The Financial Times has reported that Supreme Committee investigators and interrogators are seeking up to 70% of detainees’ wealth in return for their release.
Among the individuals beaten and tortured and admitted to a hospital on November 6, according to Asia Times’ sources, was Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, son of the late King Abdullah and deposed commander of the SANG (Saudi Arabian National Guard). The New York Times reports that as many as 17 detainees have required medical treatment.
Were “American mercenaries” involved in the “enhanced interrogations”, beatings and torture? The Daily Mail source named “Blackwater” as the private US security firm involved. That’s nonsense. Blackwater no longer exists. The firm’s assets were sold in 2010 to Forte Capital Advisors and Manhattan Strategic Ventures and renamed Academi.
Academi, through its owners Constellis, told the Daily Mail that it had no operations of any kind in Saudi Arabia. That may in fact be true. However, it is a well-documented fact that Blackwater founder Erik Prince, after he sold Blackwater, moved to Abu Dhabi in 2011 and helped develop an 800-man foreign (mainly Colombian and South African) mercenary force for the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ).
Prince has since moved on again and through his firm Frontier Services Group, a Hong Kong-listed company, provides logistics and security services to, inter alia, Chinese state-owned enterprises. But while Prince has moved on, the mercenary troop he helped build did not, and some of those mercenaries are now deployed by the United Arab Emirates to Yemen, where they fight side-by-side with Saudi troops in so-far-unsuccessful efforts to put down the Houthi rebellion.
One can hardly rule out that MBZ, as he is known, has lent some of his mercenaries trained in the art of interrogation to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It is a well-know fact that the 56-year-old Abu Dhabi ruler has for several years been the 32-year old MBS’s principal mentor

But alas, why really must we assume that enhanced interrogation is the exclusive bailiwick of US military or intelligence organs? MBS and his Supreme Committee may well have perfectly capable home-grown practitioners.
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Purged Saudis start paying for freedom
Detained officials, businessmen have already begun transferring funds to government, sources say
By Asia Times Staff
November 23, 2017
A group of Saud Arabian suspects being held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh for alleged corruption has already begun to strike deals with the government, sources say.
Bloomberg is reporting that some of the detainees are signing agreements with authorities to transfer a portion of their personal assets to the Saudi government, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
If true, the report suggests the kingdom is having some success moving the settlement process along quickly. The political upheaval which began with the arrest of royals and other billionaires earlier this month comes at a time when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is trying to attract foreign investment. Economists, however, expect the crackdown to slow already sluggish private investment and weigh on economic growth next year.

Should the settlement process go according to plan, authorities reportedly estimate they could recover between US$50 and US$100 billion from agreements with the detained suspects.
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The inside story of the Saudi night of long knives
Princes, ministers and a billionaire are 'imprisoned' in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton while the Saudi Arabian Army is said to be in an uproar
By Pepe Escobar
November 6, 2017
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Photo: AFP
The House of Saud’s King Salman devises an high-powered “anti-corruption” commission and appoints his son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as chairman.
Right on cue, the commission detains 11 House of Saud princes, four current ministers and dozens of former princes/cabinet secretaries – all charged with corruption. Hefty bank accounts are frozen, private jets are grounded. The high-profile accused lot is “jailed” at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton.
War breaks out within the House of Saud, as Asia Times had anticipated back in July. Rumors have been swirling for months about a coup against MBS in the making. Instead, what just happened is yet another MBS pre-emptive coup.
A top Middle East business/investment source who has been doing deals for decades with the opaque House of Saud offers much-needed perspective: “This is more serious than it appears. The arrest of the two sons of previous King Abdullah, Princes Miteb and Turki, was a fatal mistake. This now endangers the King himself. It was only the regard for the King that protected MBS. There are many left in the army against MBS and they are enraged at the arrest of their commanders.”
To say the Saudi Arabian Army is in uproar is an understatement. “He’d have to arrest the whole army before he could feel secure.”
Prince Miteb until recently was a serious contender to the Saudi throne. But the highest profile among the detainees belongs to billionaire Prince al-Waleed Bin Talal, owner of Kingdom Holdings, major shareholder in Twitter, CitiBank, Four Seasons, Lyft and, until recently, Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp.
Al-Waleed’s arrest ties up with a key angle; total information control. There’s no freedom of information in Saudi Arabia. MBS already controls all the internal media (as well as the appointment of governorships). But then there’s Saudi media at large. MBS aims to “hold the keys to all the large media empires and relocate them to Saudi Arabia.”
So how did we get here?
The secrets behind the purge
The story starts with secret deliberations in 2014 about a possible “removal” of then King Abdullah. But “the dissolution of the royal family would lead to the breaking apart of tribal loyalties and the country splitting into three parts. It would be more difficult to secure the oil, and the broken institutions whatever they were should be maintained to avoid chaos.”
Instead, a decision was reached to get rid of Prince Bandar bin Sultan – then actively coddling Salafi-jihadis in Syria – and replace the control of the security apparatus with Mohammed bin Nayef.
The succession of Abdullah proceeded smoothly. “Power was shared between three main clans: King Salman (and his beloved son Prince Mohammed); the son of Prince Nayef (the other Prince Mohammed), and finally the son of the dead king (Prince Miteb, commander of the National Guard). In practice, Salman let MBS run the show.
And, in practice, blunders also followed. The House of Saud lost its lethal regime-change drive in Syria and is bogged down in an unwinnable war on Yemen, which on top of it prevents MBS from exploiting the Empty Quarter – the desert straddling both nations.
The Saudi Treasury was forced to borrow on the international markets. Austerity ruled – with news of MBS buying a yacht for almost half a billion dollars while lazing about the Cote d’Azur not going down particularly well. Hardcore political repression is epitomized by the decapitation of Shi’ite leader Sheikh Al-Nimr. Not only the Shi’ites in the Eastern province are rebelling but also Sunni provinces in the west.
As the regime’s popularity radically tumbled down, MBS came up with Vision 2030. Theoretically, it was shift away from oil; selling off part of Aramco; and an attempt to bring in new industries. Cooling off dissatisfaction was covered by royal payoffs to key princes to stay loyal and retroactive payments on back wages to the unruly masses.
Yet Vision 2030 cannot possibly work when the majority of productive jobs in Saudi Arabia are held by expats. Bringing in new jobs raises the question of where are the new (skilled) workers to come from.
Throughout these developments, aversion to MBS never ceased to grow; “There are three major royal family groups aligning against the present rulers: the family of former King Abdullah, the family of former King Fahd, and the family of former Crown Prince Nayef.”
Nayef – who replaced Bandar – is close to Washington and extremely popular in Langley due to his counter-terrorism activities. His arrest earlier this year angered the CIA and quite a few factions of the House of Saud – as it was interpreted as MBS forcing his hand in the power struggle.
According to the source, “he might have gotten away with the arrest of CIA favorite Mohammed bin Nayef if he smoothed it over but MBS has now crossed the Rubicon though he is no Caesar. The CIA regards him as totally worthless.”
Some sort of stability could eventually be found in a return to the previous power sharing between the Sudairis (without MBS) and the Chamars (the tribe of deceased King Abdullah). After the death of King Salman, the source would see it as “MBS isolated from power, which would be entrusted to the other Prince Mohammed (the son of Nayef). And Prince Miteb would conserve his position.”
MBS acted exactly to prevent this outcome. The source, though, is adamant; “There will be regime change in the near future, and the only reason that it has not happened already is because the old King is liked among his family. It is possible that there may be a struggle emanating from the military as during the days of King Farouk, and we may have a ruler arise that is not friendly to the United States.”
‘Moderate’ Salafi-jihadis, anyone?
Before the purge, the House of Saud’s incessant spin centered on a $500 billion zone straddling Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, on the Red Sea coast, a sort of Dubai replica to be theoretically completed by 2025, powered by wind and solar energy, and financed by its sovereign wealth fund and proceeds from the Aramco IPO.
In parallel, MBS pulled another rabbit from his hat swearing the future of Saudi Arabia is a matter of “simply reverting to what we followed – a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions.”
In a nutshell: a state that happens to be the private property of a royal family inimical to all principles of freedom of expression and religion, as well as the ideological matrix of all forms of Salafi-jihadism simply cannot metastasize into a “moderate” state just because MBS says so.
Meanwhile, a pile-up of purges, coups and countercoups shall be the norm.
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Also See:

A Little Background And Some Current News On Saudi Arabia!

17 November 2017

and

Surprising News: Coup in Saudi Arabia!

07 November 2017
and

Who Backs ISIS? How and Why!

31 October 2017
and

What is the Secret of the Georgia Guildstones?

30 September 2015
and

Saudi King Abdullahbin Abdulaziz al Saud

25 January 2015
and

What Do You Know About Saudi Arabia?

29 September 2013
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