So many questions, so few answers so far

NORTH CAROLINA, Oct. 23 (MNA) – It’s a bit of an imaginative stretch, if not a preposterous one, but there may be some reason to think that the murder of Jamal Khashoggi might set the stage for positive changes.

No question, for example, that there have been significant decisions made by some power brokers not to attend the so-called “Davos in the Desert” conclave in Saudi Arabia, and some of Washington’s warmongers seem to be turning against Muhammad bin Salman somewhat.

Whether the outrage against the current “leader” in Arabia is fake remains to be seen, because the Saudis do have the capacity to make life difficult for the West, if not the entire world, even by cutting down marginal oil sales to fill the presumed gap that may be coming if the US is successful in halting the sales of Iranian oil into the markets after sanctions against Iran are ratcheted up on November 4th.

Much higher prices for oil could threaten an economic recession, particularly in the US, which is the sole economy at the moment that’s at least claimed to be performing quite well. If the US were to fall in to recession, and if the equity market were to tank, Trump and the GOP would be in huge trouble politically since he’s owned the markets, claiming they have performed well since he became POTUS because of his tax cuts (primarily benefitting the already wealthy) and deregulation moves.
 The US middle class continues to be eviscerated by high debt levels, stagnant wages and GOP threats to cut cherished and long-established social programs like Social Security and Medicare to staunch the coming budget deficits which are headed well over a trillion dollars annually over the next decade at least.

 In fact, cutting the budget for the US military, a budget which is extremely wasteful, would be by far the best course of action ahead. Consider, for example, that Russia alone, with a defense budget less than a tenth of that of the US has the military capacity and armaments to lay waste to the US if, as Putin recently said at Valdai, Russia were ever directly attacked by the US.

At any rate, the perception is growing that MBS has gone too far too many times, that he is little but a thug, and some of his moves before the Khashoggi murder did not have US approval. The blockade of Qatar was a case in point. Trump and son in law Jared Kushner and the Neocons around Trump have been trying to enhance the alliances with the Saudis and the Israelis, which allegedly languished under Obama.

Trump has enjoyed some victories. Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed for the US Supreme Court. The Mueller investigations over Russian political collusion appears to have turned up almost nothing of substance. And Trump could well come out of the mid-term Congressional elections smelling like a stinking, hybrid rose whose odor is so strong, even as a rose, that it’s repellent.
 If the Democrats don’t win a majority in the House of Representatives come November 6th, it is possible Trump on his crew of GOP aligned gangsters will have little to no opposition to do whatever they want. I reckon the question is whether Trump will be forced turn his back on MBS. It’s likely, because Trump’s supporters don’t seem to have much affection for MBS, and anything that staunches Saudi influence in the US media and over US foreign policies is not a bad development.

 MBS does not fact have many friends now, not even within the Saud family, since he imprisoned a number of them in the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh for a time and also stripped some of them of a portion of their assets as he consolidated his power. It’s possible the Saudi regime cannot survive, but who can replace them one has to also wonder. But here methinks are the real questions:

Might Trump at least moderate his attempts to take down Iran’s Islamic Republic if he moves away from the Saudis and MBS? Was the resignation of toxic and ignorant Nikki Haley from the U.N. post somehow pushed by Trump himself, or was it because Haley realized she had compromised herself by taking liberties with her expense account and enjoying some excessive personal advantages given her position?

 And what about Defense Secretary James Mattis being called by Trump a “Democrat” of sorts recently? Mattis has been supporting the US presence in countries like Syria and Afghanistan. Might Trump be thinking of changing his Cabinet and augmenting his control of foreign policy away from Zionist influence and the Neocons like John Bolton? Who knows, but it’s possible that when Trump catered to Neocons and Zionists he did so with some reluctance, realizing that he needed their support at a time when many GOP members in Congress did not offer him much support and considered him unfit for high office.

 Consider that if the House of Representatives manages to retain a GOP majority next month, Trump’s power and control of the GOP and future policies will be mightily strengthened. He may feel freer to chart an independent course, especially with respect to foreign policy. It’s important to remember that when he was campaigning in 2016 he was talking about reducing US military adventurism overseas, and I know for a fact that many who voted for him in opposition to bellicose Hillary Clinton did so because they were sick and tired of the US bullying its way around the planet and all the insane spending on the military rather than on domestic needs.

Of course, all this may be wishful thinking on steroids by those in and outside the US who strongly lament what’s become of the US since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, if not well before. Like the Israelis and the Saudis, the US really has few friends now, even in Europe, and what country or individual can long manage, or even want to, without friends? Islam, in any event, has been sullied by the Saudis and their control of Makkah and Medina, and one heartening suggestion recently was that both these Muslim holy cities be reconstituted as something like the Vatican for Muslims worldwide.


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