ترامب وأردوغان والمنطقة العازلة في سورية

يناير 16, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– بعد تصريحات للرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب في تفسير قراره بالانسحاب من سورية، تضمّنت قوله إنه يمنح سورية كلها للرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، بكلمات تبلّغها أردوغان على الهاتف في اتصال مع ترامب، نشر محتواها ترامب في تغريدة يقول فيها «لقد قلت لأردوغان إن سورية كلها لك»، جاء مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي جون بولتون إلى المنطقة وأطلق بعد لقاءاته بالمسؤولين الإسرائيليين تصريحات يقول فيها إنه سيبلغ المسؤولين الأتراك والرئيس أردوغان بأن المساس بالأكراد كحلفاء لأميركا ممنوع، فصار الموقف الأميركي عنوانه سورية كلها لأردوغان ما عدا مناطق السيطرة الكردية، وعندما وصل بولتون إلى أنقرة رفض أردوغان استقباله وسمع كلاماً قاسياً مضمونه أن تركيا لا تتلقى التعليمات في ما يخصّ أمنها القومي، وأن واشنطن لا تميز بين الأكراد والمسلحين الذين تدعمهم، فردّ ترامب بأنه إذا مسّت تركيا بالمسلحين الأكراد فسوف يدمر الاقتصاد التركي، ورد الأتراك بأنهم لا يأبهون بالتهديد الأميركي، وتم اتصال هاتفي بين ترامب وأردوغان أعقبه كلام مشترك عن التفاهم على منطقة عازلة تقيمها تركيا على الحدود مع سورية بموافقة ودعم من واشنطن، وبدأت حملة تسويق تركية لنظرية قديمة جديدة عن عزمها إقامة منطقة أمنية عازلة.

– هذا السياق يقول إن ما أمامنا هو أقل من أن نصدقه كخطط سياسية وعملياتية بين دولة عالمية عظمى هي أميركا ودولة إقليمية كبرى هي تركيا، فالانتقال بتغريدات على تويتر واتصالات هاتفية من قبل الرئيس الأميركي بمواقف تراوحت من «قلت له سورية كلها لك» إلى «إياك والمساس بالأكراد» إلى «سأدمّر الاقتصاد التركي» إلى «ندعم إقامة منطقة عازلة» لا يدلّ على خفة الرئيس الأميركي فقط، بل وعلى خفة الرئيس التركي أيضاً، وشعورهما معاً بالعجز والضعف حاجتهما لـ»البهورات» الإعلامية لصناعة قوة ليس بين يدَيْ كل منهما، ولم تكن بيدهما معاً يوم كانا معاً، والذاكرة ليست ببعيدة عن المواقف التي شكّل محورها في بحث جدي أميركي تركي في مشروع المنطقة العازلة، وكيف كانت الحسابات المشتركة لمصادر القوة الأميركية والتركية تؤدي لصرف النظر عن المخاطرة بتحويل هذه الأمنية مشروعاً واقعياً.

– يريد ترامب منا أن نقتنع أنه قادر على تقديم المساندة لأردوغان لإقامة المنطقة العازلة وهو ينسحب من سورية، بعدما لم يكن قادراً على ذلك وقواته موجودة في سورية. ويريد أردوغان منا أن نقتنع بأنه قادر على إقامة المنطقة العازلة بعدما هرب من معركة حلب وترك جماعته تُهزم، واستدار إلى تفاهمات أستانة، باحثاً عن الرضا الروسي والإيراني تفادياً للمواجهة التي يخشاها، وهو لم يكن قادراً على إقامتها يوم تحدّى روسيا وأسقط طائرتها وكان في ذروة قيادته للجماعات المسلحة التي كانت يومها تسيطر على نصف سورية، إلا إذا كانت الخفة قد بلغت به حدّ التوهم أنه بعد فشله في تنفيذ تعهداته في إدلب قادر على عرض المقايضة بين تغطية العملية العسكرية التي باتت قدراً حتمياً هناك، على يد الجيش السوري، بالحصول على ما يسمّيه جائزة ترضية بالدخول إلى بعض القرى الحدودية السورية، وهو لم يفهم بعد أن التفاهم السوري الروسي الإيراني قائم على ركيزة على تراجع عنها هي، انسحاب جميع القوات التي لا تربطها تفاهمات قانونية مع الدولة السورية وعدم المساومة على السيادة السورية ووحدة التراب السوري في ظلها.

– الحقيقة الثابتة التي أكدها الموقف السوري من تصريحات أردوغان هي أن حلف المهزومين لن يحصل في زمن الضعف على ما فشل في الحصول عليه في ذروة زمن القوة، وأن الدولة السورية مستعدّة لكل الاحتمالات بما فيها إطلاق النار إذا اقتضى الأمر ذلك لمنع المساس بسيادتها ووحدتها، وأن لتصريحاته الحمقاء فائدة واحدة هي إقناع القيادات الكردية بطبيعة حليفهم الأميركي، وأحادية خيار وضع أوراقهم كلها في عهدة دولتهم السورية كضامن وحيد لأمن الأرض والشعب في سورية.

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بومبيو يوزّع شيكات بدون رصيد

يناير 11, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– المهمة التي جاء بها وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو إلى المنطقة واضحة كما نظيرتها زيارة شريكه مستشار الأمن القومي جون بولتون، فقد خلف قرار الانسحاب من سورية زلزالاً في المنطقة عنوانه الهرولة إلى دمشق، وحفلت الصحف والمواقع الأميركية بالتحليلات التي تقول إن صورة الرئيس السوري يرفع شارة النصر باتت قريبة وإن الخطير هو أن حلفاء واشنطن الذين قاتلوه سيعودون إليه تائبين بمسكون بيده وهو يعلن النصر على حرب هم من خاضها ضدّه ومن موّلها، وأن «إسرائيل» حليفة كل هؤلاء لا مكان لها في دمشق رغم العروض الكثيرة، وأن كل ما حولها سيكون قاتماً، وخياراتها محدودة، وهي عاجزة عن الحرب ومرفوضة في السلم، وها هي تنتظر الساعة التي ستبقى فيها وحيدة ومحاصرة، فكانت الجولة المزدوجة محاولة لتغيير الصورة، لكن دون أن يحمل الموفدان بأيديهم ما يغيّر الصورة، فقط حملوا وعوداً هي بمثابة شيكات موعودة بالصرف، تحت شعار ثقوا بأن أميركا لن تترككم، وهي لم تنهزم.

– فشل بولتون على الجبهة التركية الكردية، كان واضحاً لأن الأكراد والأتراك لا يتعاملون بالشيكات، ولا يتاجرون إلا بالمال النقدي، ولذلك سأل الأكراد بولتون من سيضمن بغيابكم عدم مهاجمتنا من الأتراك، فما كان عنده من جواب سوى الدعوة لانتظار لقائه مع الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، وعندما سأله الأتراك من سيضمن عدم قيام الأكراد بتأمين بنية تحتية لمن يستهدف الأمن التركي قال لهم إن عليهم أن ينتظروا لقاءه بالرئيس التركي، فطار اللقاء وعاد بولتون ومعه شيكاته التي لم يقبضها منه أحد.

– في القاهرة وجد بومبيو فرصة توزيع شيكاته، فقال إن حكومته لن تسمح لإيران بالبقاء في سورية، ولم يسأله أحد كيف تفعلون ذلك بعد انسحابكم وقد فشلتم فيه قبل الانسحاب، وكان أول شيك بدون رصيد، وتابع أن حكومته ستمنع حزب الله من الاحتفاظ بترسانة صاروخية تهدد «إسرائيل»، ولم يسأله الحاضرون كيف سيحقق ذلك، وقد فشل بتحقيقه وهو يملك قوة في المنطقة وسيفعله بعد سحبها، وكان شك ثانٍ بدون رصيد. واضاف أن حكومته ستضمن تفوق «إسرائيل» عسكرياً، ولم يقل كيف وقد وضعت واشنطن بتصرف «إسرائيل» آخر جديد ترسانتها العسكرية وفشلت «إسرائيل» في اختبارات القوة مع لبنان وسورية وغزة، وكان شك ثالث بدون رصيد. وتابع بومبيو أن حكومته لن تسمح لإيران أن تستمر في التمدّد بنفوذها في المنطقة، وهم يرون تسوية اليمن تتقدم ويثبت فيها من قالوا عنهم مصدر النفوذ الإيراني كشركاء في مستقبل اليمن، شك رابع بدون رصيد. وتابع بومبيو توزيع شيكاته، والسامعون يعلمون أنها دون رصيد، ويعلمون أنهم سيسدونها من حساباتهم لاحقاً، لأن الرصيد الوحيد الذي تدفع منه واشنطن هو رصيد جماعاتها العرب.

– يرحل بومبيو وقد حقق نجاحاً وحيداً هو إحراج مصر بموقف سلبي من سورية وهي لم تكد ترمّم ما تسبّب به ارتضاؤها السير وفق الروزنامة الأميركية، وهو لم يمنح مصر لا شراكة في الحلّ في اليمن ولا دوراً في التسوية السورية وقد فوّض الدور لتركيا، التي تصفها مصر بالخطر الأول على الأمن القومي العربي.

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Bolton Vows Securing “Israel” after US withdrawal from Syria

Local Editor

US President Donald Trump’s National Security adviser John Bolton said Sunday during a visit to the “Israeli”-occupied territories that the American withdrawal from Syria must be done with the protection of allies “assured” while touting the alliance between the United States and “Israel.”

“We’re going to be discussing the president’s decision to withdraw, but to do so from northeast Syria in a way that makes sure that “Daesh” [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again,” Bolton said when meeting Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in occupied al-Quds.

Bolton later tweeted following a visit to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem that ties between “Israel” and the United States were “unbreakable.”

Trump’s announcement on December 19 that the US would immediately withdraw its troops from Syria led to concerns among allies, and he has since spoken of “slowly” sending troops home “over a period of time”.

“Israel” is especially worried over Iran’s expansion in Syria.

Bolton told journalists travelling with him earlier in the day that conditions such as guarantees on the safety of Kurdish allies must be met before American troops are withdrawn from Syria, NBC News reported.

Bolton also said all 2,000 US forces may not be withdrawn, according to the report, adding that the withdrawal would take place in northeastern Syria, while some forces could remain to the south at the al-Tanf garrison as part of efforts to counter “Iran’s presence.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

israeli official: israeli (apartheid state) prime minister controls the United States

Israeli official: Israeli prime minister controls the United States

Days of Palestine | January 3, 2019

The Israeli official said that Netanyahu recognised during a meeting with US Secretary of State that Israel influence US policy.

Senior Israeli official revealed on Wednesday that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is controlling the United States of America, Israeli media reported.

This came as the senior Israeli official had revealed information about Netanyahu’s visit to Brazil, mainly his meeting with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Describing the domination of the Israeli agenda over the US affairs, the senior Israeli official said that Pompeo granted Netanyahu “seven out of eight” of his requirements.

He also said that Netanyahu came out of the meeting with Pompeo feeling that the Israeli occupation state has the ability to influence the US policy.

The senior Israeli officials said that the US and Israel are now working on plans that make US the protector of the Israeli occupation state.

It is worth noting that more than 25 American states have started to consider signing a pledge not to boycott or criticise the Israeli occupation as a requirement for getting a government employment

 

 

US New World Order 2.0. Russia and China Constitute An “Obstacle” Which Undermines Washington’s Imperial Ambitions

Global Research, December 06, 2018
Trump

Addressing the German Marshall Fund (GMF) think tank on Tuesday, Mike Pompeo sought to reinvigorate GHW Bush’s new world order extremism – endless wars of aggression its defining feature, world peace, stability, and mutual cooperation among all nations considered abhorrent notions.

US belligerence following Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution speaks for itself, notably post-9/11. Endless wars rage in multiple theaters against nations threatening no one.

Others are likely planned, Iran a prime target, maybe “fire and fury” against North Korea if denuclearization talks fail as expected over unacceptable US demands and empty promises made to be broken.

US hardliners oppose ending post-WW II hostility toward Pyongyang. Advancing America’s imperium depends on replacing all sovereign independent governments with US vassal ones.

It’s a prescription for endless wars, instability and chaos, serving the nation’s military, industrial, security, media complex.

Russia and China represent the final frontier of resistance against Washington’s imperial aims – why unthinkable nuclear war is ominously possible, a doomsday scenario if ever launched.

Neocon extremists John Bolton and Mike Pompeo run the Trump regime’s geopolitical agenda. DLT abdicated authority to them. Straightaway in office he was co-opted to continue dirty US business as usual, including hostility toward Russia exceeding the worst of Cold War bilateral relations.

In his Tuesday address, Pompeo called for reasserting new world order leadership by whatever it takes to achieve US aims, turning reality on its head, saying:

“We are acting to preserve, protect, and advance an open, just, transparent and free world of sovereign states” – polar opposite what US imperialism is all about, Pompeo adding:

“This project will require actual, not pretend, restoration of the liberal order among nations. It will require an assertive America and leadership from not only my country but of democracies around the world.”

“New liberal order” is code language for US sought unchallenged global dominance, demanding all nations bend to its will, outliers targeted for regime change – forcefully by war if color revolutions, violent coups, political assassinations, and other methods fail.

“(A)ssertive America(n) leadership” is all about pressuring, bullying, bribing, and/or pummeling other nations to subordinate their sovereignty to US interests.

“(D)emocracies” he mentioned are fantasy ones. Real ones serve their people, not a foreign power.

There’s nothing liberal or democratic about the notions Pompeo discussed, just the opposite, a world unsafe and unfit to live it, raping and destroying nations, wanting the resources controled, their people exploited as serfs.

Peace and stability are anathema notions. “(P)rosperity” is for the privileged few alone – at the expense of most others.

Post-WW II, the US transformed Europe, Japan, South Korea, and other nations into virtual US colonies. NATO is all about advancing America’s imperium, notably after Soviet Russia dissolved.

So-called “Western values” are harmful to planet earth and its people. “(F)reedom…human rights…peace and cooperation among states” are abhorrent notions for hardliners like Pompeo and likeminded Trump regime officials.

“(L)eadership…Trump is boldly reasserting” risks unthinkable nuclear war – “American leadership” humanity’s greatest threat.

“Bad actors” refer to Russia, China, Iran, and other nations independent of US control. “…Trump is determined to reverse that,” Pompeo roared, bashing “China’s economic development” because the country is heading toward becoming the world’s dominant economy ahead, surpassing the US, an unthinkable notion for America first adherents like Pompeo, Bolton and Trump.

Iran bashing by Pompeo may be prelude to greater toughness against the country, war a disturbing possibility, a reckless act if initiated, more likely by the Trump regime than any time since its 1979 revolution, ending a generation of US/UK-imposed fascist tyranny – Trump hardliners want reinstituted in the country.

Russia bashing is longstanding US policy – for its sovereign independence, opposition to US imperial wars, and advocacy for multi-world polarity. Pompeo repeated the litany of long ago discredited Big Lies about the country.

Trump is a businessman out of his element on the world stage, a geopolitical know-nothing, a front man for dark forces, repeatedly asserting might over right.

He’s “returning the United States to its traditional, central leadership role in the world,” Pompeo roared.

He escalated US militarism and belligerence since taking office, a reckless agenda risking direct confrontation with Russia and China – likely nuclear war if clashes with these nations are initiated.

Pompeo saying “America intends to lead, now and always,” is a prescription for endless wars of aggression – all sovereign independent states on Washington’s target list.

Abandoning international treaties, conventions and bilateral deals is part of the Trump regime’s agenda – reflecting its hostility toward world peace and stability.

US rage for unchallenged global dominance threatens humanity’s survival. Illusory American exceptionalism, the indispensable state, and moral superiority may doom us all.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Is May Scared of Putin? British Showing Double Standards Over Russia

British Prime Minister Theresa May © Getty Images

Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone is an English politician, he served as the Mayor of London between 2000 and 2008. He is also a former MP and a former member of the Labour Party.
Although Saudi Arabia admitted weeks ago that its staff murdered Jamal Khashoggi, the UK hasn’t imposed sanctions on the Riyadh government. In stark contrast, when it comes to sanctioning Russia, London never lacks enthusiasm.

While no punishment has been inflicted on the Saudi government and no diplomats were expelled over the murder of the journalist in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, we have still got Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May demanding action against President Putin’s government because of recent conflict with Ukraine.

Even though it is now nine months since the attempted murder of the Skripals in Salisbury, there has still been no conclusive evidence that President Putin’s government was involved in any way. So why does Britain’s prime minister have such a double standard in how she handles events? She cannot really believe that Russia is going to go to war against the West, but there seems an absolute determination to see the removal of Putin’s government.

To understand this hysteria about Putin we need to look at the history of Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union back in 1991. Once Boris Yeltsin had seized power one of his first actions was to bring in a group of economists from the neo-liberal Institute of Economic Affairs which is based in London.

The result of Yeltsin adopting the neo-liberal economic agenda was effectively the looting of Russia’s economy with devastating effects on the Russian people. There was widespread support from the US government for Yeltsin’s policy with the so-called Wolfowitz Doctrine which spelt out that no nation must ever again be allowed to rise to the stature of the Soviet Union and there should now be a unipolar world under the domination of the United States.

The looting of Russia’s economy was finally stopped and the neo-liberalist economists thrown out when Vladimir Putin was elected president in 2000 and began the reversal of the destruction of Russia’s industries. Putin firmly rejected the Wolfowitz Doctrine which led to several insurgencies in Russia’s Caucasus which Moscow suspected had the backing and instigation of British intelligence.

Although President Trump seems uncertain about what his policy should be towards Russia and China, his vice-president Mike Pence has no doubts. On October 4, Pence made a speech at the Hudson Institute in which he strongly denounced China. The host was Mike Pillsbury, a consultant with the US Department of Defense, who has a long involvement in America’s policy towards China. He said that Pence’s speech represents a “significant influential minority around Trump, but not a government wide position. There is a rising influence in Trump’s administration, by those who wish to provoke conflict with both China and Russia with its members still committed to the neoconservative doctrine of America’s global predominance.

Similar views have been expressed by Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has constantly urged a hard line towards China and Russia. Bolton has opposed Trump’s policy towards North Korea and has been a key player in persuading Trump to get the USA to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which had been agreed between Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987.

READ MORE: Business as usual: US INF pullout will delight arms industry as it threatens to reignite Cold War

To build support for this hostility to Putin’s administration the Western media has been filled with lies about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Up until 2014 there was a good relationship between Putin and the directly-elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. That year Yanukovych announced a delay in reaching an economic agreement with the European Union because he wished to ensure it did not damage Ukraine’s economic relations with its biggest trading partner, Russia.

Almost immediately right-wing demonstrators started protesting in Kiev’s central square. These protests quickly evolved into violent clashes with radical nationalists and paramilitary groups echoing the fascist ideology of Stepan Bandera, chanting Nazi and racist slogans and demanding the ethnic cleansing of Russians from Ukraine.

No-one will be surprised that Britain, the US and EU officials supported the coup, and there is little doubt that Western intelligence agencies had been up to their necks in encouraging these far-right groups ever since the end of WWII.

Nowhere in the Western media do we see honest reporting about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. It is never mentioned that during the WWII, as Russian troops drove the Nazis out of Ukraine, many Ukrainians fought side-by-side with the Nazis against Stalin’s troops. This long-standing conflict has recently erupted following the Kerch Strait crisis.

The Western press constantly repeats the story that Russia has seized three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea and their crews and dismisses Russia’s claim that these ships had illegally entered Russian waters. President Putin pointed out that “it was without a doubt, a provocation. It was organised by the president ahead of the elections. The president is in fifth place ratings-wise and therefore had to do something. It was used as pretext to introduce martial law.”

The Russian newspaper Izvestia cited sources in Ukraine’s leadership saying that they have been trying to persuade the US (unsuccessfully) to open a military base in Ukraine. The report cannot be confirmed but could well be true.

I believe that Ukraine’s President Poroshenko is deliberately talking up the so-called threat from Russia because at the elections in March he seems doomed to lose. But his imposition of martial law in several parts of Ukraine could be used to rig the forthcoming election and he has warned of the risk of full-scale war, claiming to have detected a build up of Russian tanks on the border which overlooks the fact that Moscow moved army units closer to the border four years ago.

The hardliners in Trump’s administration want him to increase his support for NATO and Kiev, while Ukraine itself wishes to become a member of the organization which would mean the frontier of the military alliance coming right up to the border of Russia.

Poroshenko has also claimed that Putin is planning to annex Ukraine. On November 29, he told the German newspaper Bild “Don’t believe Putin’s lies. Putin wants the old Russian empire back. Crimea, Donbass, the whole country… He believes his empire cannot function without Ukraine. He sees us as his colony.

Poroshenko has been pushing for the West to increase economic sanctions against Russia and urged Germany’s Angela Merkel to drop a plan to cooperate with Russia on building a new gas pipeline. Poroshenko warned this would make the EU dependent on Russian energy and reduce Ukraine’s sales to the EU via its existing pipeline.

Given the enfeebled state of Ukraine’s economy it’s hard to see how Russia could benefit by taking it over. Back in August, in my first column for RT, I spelt out the truth about the history of tensions between Russia and Ukraine. From the beginning of the Soviet Union under Lenin, Crimea had never been a part of Ukraine and over ninety percent of its population were Russians. It was only in 1954 that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev changed the boundary to include Crimea in Ukraine.

After the overthrow of Ukraine’s government in 2014 the vast majority of Crimean residents decided to opt out of Ukraine and reunite with the Russia they had been part of for centuries before Khrushchev’s arbitrary decision. The whole of the Western media was screaming that Russia had gone to war to seize Crimea and this led to the US, UK and other European states imposing sanctions against Russia without recognising the right of Crimea’s people of to determine their own future.

Given the number of US satellites that circle the planet, spying around the world, it is surprising that America hasn’t been able to reveal the truth about whether or not Ukraine’s three ships deliberately crossed the boundary into Russian waters on November 25.

As Putin pointed out “Military vessels intruded into Russian territorial waters and did not answer [the border guards]… What were they supposed to do?” he said at a business forum in Moscow. “They would do the same in your country, this is absolutely obvious,” he told a foreign investor. “These territorial waters were always ours even before Crimea joined Russia.

As I wrote in my first article for RT, my generation was lied to all our lives about the so-called threat from the Soviet Union, so don’t be surprised if I don’t always believe what our prime ministers tell us.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Why Bring a Bonesaw to a Kidnapping, Your Highness?

By Fred Hiatt

That is a question the crown prince of Saudi Arabia should be asked at every opportunity.

“Thank you for granting me an audience, Your Majesty,” everyone should say. “Why bring a bonesaw to a kidnapping?”

President Trump should be similarly interrogated, along with the members of his team who so far seem eager to become accessories after the fact to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Given that the Saudis have reverted to a lie so preposterous that even their own chief prosecutor felt compelled to abandon it weeks ago, the president should be asked: Why are you abetting this crime?

Are we really okay, as a country, with an ally luring a journalist living in Northern Virginia into what should be a diplomatic sanctuary for the purpose of assassination and dismemberment — and then baldly, brazenly, ludicrously lying about it?

Apparently, for Trump, the answer is yes, we’re fine with that. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, fine. National security adviser John Bolton, not concerned.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are you fine with that? Speaker Paul D. Ryan? Will Congress go along with this coverup?

Because that also will be a choice. Congress does have alternatives.

For starters, it could summon CIA Director Gina Haspel, who listened to the tape of Khashoggi’s killing, who knows the truth, who almost certainly knows who ordered Khashoggi’s killing, and ask her: Why bring a bonesaw to a kidnapping?

Recall the sequence of lies that the Saudi regime has presented about this case:

Khashoggi, a Post contributing columnist who would have turned 60 on Oct. 13, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, at his government’s invitation, shortly after noon on Oct. 2 to take care of some minor paperwork. He told his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, that he would be out shortly, and asked her to wait.

She waited — until after midnight. She never saw him again.The regime of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told The Post, told Congress, told the world: Khashoggi left the consulate not long after he entered.

We, too, are concerned.
Khashoggi was our friend.
Why would we harm him?

This was the story told by the crown prince and the crown prince’s younger brother, who happened to be the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Khalid bin Salman.

Where is the videotape of him leaving, they were asked. Our cameras were broken, they said. Where is the paperwork he came to fill out? They did not bother to reply.

No doubt they would have stuck by that story, malfunctioning cameras and all, but evidence got in the way. The Turkish government had photographs of a 15-man hit squad arriving from Saudi Arabia and entering the consulate shortly before Khashoggi. The Turks had audiotape of Khashoggi’s brutal killing, almost as soon as he entered the consulate. They knew that the hit squad included a forensic specialist who arrived with his bonesaw, who put on earphones and listened to music as he dismembered the body.

The Saudis retreated to a new story: No, our friend Jamal had not walked out of the consulate. Yes, they admitted, he had died inside. But he had perished in a brawl, when he tried to grapple with the security team (not a hit squad!) that had been sent to meet him.

That story, too, was too preposterous to sustain — or so we thought — and the Saudi prosecutor abandoned it, coincidentally just as Turkey was playing the audiotape for Haspel. Never mind, they said, there was no brawl; Khashoggi was the victim of a premeditated murder, after all.

Who had premeditated it? They would find out and tell the world, the crown prince himself assured Pompeo, and Pompeo assured us.

But on Thursday, the brawl myth was back. The Saudis announced that Khashoggi’s death was unintentional, that a friendly invitation to return to Saudi Arabia had gone awry.

Why would you need a 15-man team to tender such an invitation?

And even if what you had in mind was “only” a forcible rendition — what you or I would call a kidnapping — why would you need a bonesaw?

Oh, and where is Khashoggi’s body? Turned over to a mysterious “Turkish collaborator,” whom the Saudis are unable or unwilling to identify, even to Turkish police.

Probably no one in the United States government harbors the slightest doubt that the architect of this crime was the crown prince, as the CIA has concluded. His closest henchmen orchestrated the deed, and they would not dare act without his knowledge.

He bets that it won’t matter. He bets that he can feed an already discredited fairy tale to Trump and Pompeo and Bolton, and they will obediently swallow it. So far his bet seems safe.

But that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to go along.

Why bring a bonesaw to a kidnapping, Your Highness?

Source: The Washington Post, Edited by website team

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