Category Archives: News

Snyder: ‘The Thinning’ Continues – US Birth Rate Slumps To Another All-Time Low

Authored by Michael Snyder via The American Dream blog,

The elite have worked very hard to slow down birth rates all over the world, and their efforts appear to be working.

Just as we have witnessed in so many other countries, the birth rate in the United States continues to fall.  In fact, it just plunged to yet another new all-time record low. 

So why would the elite want this to happen?  Well, they believe that climate change is the greatest threat that our planet is facing, and they also believe that humans are the primary driver of climate change, and so they are convinced that if they can get people to have fewer babies they are actually “saving the world”.  And according to the most recent CDC numbers, they have made a tremendous amount of progress in accomplishing that mission

US birth rates have plummeted to historic lows, new CDC figures reveal.

Since 2007, fertility rates have plummeted 18 percent in large cities, 16 percent in mid-sized counties, and 12 percent in rural areas.

As expected, the average age that women have their first child continues to climb – now at 24.5 years old in rural counties and 27.5 in metropolitan areas.

In addition, new numbers from the United Nations Population Fund show that 40 percent of all births in the United States now occur outside of marriage

An increasing number of births happen outside of marriage, signaling cultural and economic shifts that are here to stay, according to a new report from the United Nations.

Forty percent of all births in the U.S. now occur outside of wedlock, up from 10 percent in 1970, according to an annual report released on Wednesday by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the largest international provider of sexual and reproductive health services. That number is even higher in the European Union.

The traditional family has been one of the primary targets for the elite for a very long time, and we have been witnessing a cultural shift that is absolutely breathtaking.

If you can believe it, the number of married couples with children in the U.S. just reached a 56-year low

The number of married couples in the United States who have children under 18 hit a 56-year low in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2017, according to Census Bureau table FM-1, there were 23,651,000 married-couple families in this country with children under 18. The last time there were fewer than that was 1961, when there were 23,514,000.

But of course the overall U.S. population was much, much smaller back in 1961.

And so if we look at the numbers on a percentage basis, we find that the percentage of U.S. adults that are married with children has declined by almost half

In 1961, when there were 23,514,000 married couple families with children under 18, the total population of the United States was 183,691,481. So, there was one married couple with kids for every 7.8 people in the country.

In 2017, when there were 23,651,000 married couples with children under 18, the total population of the United States was 325,719,178. So, there was one married couple with kids for every 13.77 people in the country.

These numbers tell us more about the true state of our society than just about any other numbers that I have shared with my readers.

Just like most of the other nations on the planet, the United States is being fundamentally transformed, and that transformation is being conducted according to a blueprint that has been created by the global elite.  The globalists are evil on a level that is hard to describe, and many of us in the alternative media are working extremely hard to expose their true agenda.

Sadly, many in the western world have willingly embraced their agenda.  Just recently, the Daily Mail published a glowing article in which they glamorized women that had chosen to never have children in order to fight climate change.  One 32-year-old woman stated that she has “a maternal instinct” but insisted that she will never change her mind because “humans are the greatest single driver of climate change”

Humans are the greatest single driver of climate change and greenhouse gas contributions, of deforestation and the acidity of the oceans,’ she explains earnestly.

‘The only thing that will fix these problems is to have fewer people on the planet. I don’t see it’s justified to make more people than we already have. Yes, I have a maternal instinct, but I will never change my mind.

So she will never know the joy of being a mother because she is so committed to helping the globalists fulfill their agenda.

That is incredibly sad.

And at the end of that recent article, the Daily Mail gave the UN population reduction goals a shameless plug

And, the United Nations argues, if every family had an average of half a child less in the future than currently predicted, there will be one billion fewer humans than it expects by 2050, and four billion fewer by the end of the century.

The globalists have been using the United Nations as one of the main vehicles for promoting this agenda for many years.  The United Nations Population Fund is one of the most insidious organizations on the entire planet, and yet most Americans don’t even know that it exists.

And this agenda is increasingly invading popular culture.  For example, YouTube is releasing a new big budget original movie entitled “The Thinning: New World Order” (yes, that is the actual title) that is all about population control.  If you have not seen it yet, you can view the trailer for this new film right here

Most ordinary people don’t give too much thought to population issues, but for the elite this is like a religion.

They are absolutely obsessed with reducing the human population of this planet, and they are quite determined to find a way to get that done one way or another.

LA Competes For California’s Most Disgusting City As “Typhus Zone” Underscores Skid Row Squalor

San Francisco’s poo and needle-filled streets have competition for the state’s most squalid, as LA’s skid row – home to over 4,000 transients, is now a “typhus zone,” according to NBC News.

Mark Ralston / AFP – Getty 

Situated among wholesale fish distributors and produce warehouses, skid row spans approximately 54 square blocks in downtown Los Angeles – and has become a breeding ground for rats and other vermin, which have contributed to Los Angeles County’s typhus outbreak which began this summer. 

Uneaten food is dumped on the street — a salad platter was recently splattered on the asphalt — and discarded clothing piles up only to be swirled into rats’ nests.

Those rats, experts say, are likely contributing to the growing number of typhus infections cropping up on skid row and other parts of the region. The disease is spread by fleas, which are carried by rats, opossums and pets.

You have constant activity that serves as a breeding ground for rats,” said Estela Lopez, executive director of the Central City East Association, a business improvement district that overlaps skid row. –NBC News

Typhus infections can cause high fever, headache, chills – and in rare or untreated cases, meningitis and death. It is contracted when the “feces from infected flease are rubbed into cuts or scrapes in trhe skin or rubbed into the eyes,” according to the county health department. 

We’re deploying every available resource to help control and stop this outbreak,” said a spokesman for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Alex Comisar. “The city and county have formed a dedicated task force … and we’re putting new funding into intensifying cleanups in the affected area so that we can keep our streets and sidewalks safe for everyone.”

So far this year, as many as 92 cases of typhus have been reported – including 20 in Pasadena and a possible 18 cases in Long Beach, according to the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, which added that five cases are still under investigation. LA sees an average of 60 cases per year, which is double the rate of recent years, according to the LA County Health Department. 

“With increased rat density, diseases like typhus are very likely to occur,” according to Dr. Lee W. Riley – an infectious disease specialist at the UC Berkeley. 

Will China Win The Artificial Intelligence Race?

Authored by Mathew Maavak via ActivistPost.com,

Two Artificial Intelligence-driven Internet paradigms may emerge in the near future. One will be based on logic, smart enterprises and human merit while the other may morph into an Orwellian control tool. Even former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has foreseen a bifurcation of the Internet by 2028 and China’s eventual triumph in the AI race by 2030.

In the meantime, the US seems more interested in deflecting the smart questions of today than in building the smart factories of tomorrow.  Nothing embodies this better than the recent attempt by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) to create an AI-based filter to “stamp out fake-news outlets before the stories spread too widely.”

But what exactly constitutes fake news? Does it include media-colluded lies over Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction in 2002? Or the egregiously fraudulent Nurse Nayirah testimony a decade earlier? Will the binary logic of “either you are with us or against us” be used to certify news sources?

According to US President Donald J. Trump, fake news is a 24/7 specialty of the CNN, Washington Post and just about every other US mainstream media. The author agrees with Trump on this note. As a futurist, he relies heavily on credible news sources.  The CNN and WaPo, therefore, rarely feature on the trusted list. At the same time, the author squarely blames Trump for the ongoing US-China trade war. This raises several questions: How will MIT’s AI filtration system treat editorial divergences in the same publication? Will they all be feathered and tarred as “fake news” once a threshold – 150 articles according to the new system – is crossed? How will it evaluate analytical gems in the unregulated alternative media and open source fora? Will social media evidences, planted and generated by a critical mass of trolls, be machine-aggregated to determine true news?

It is also disturbing to note that this digital commissariat is being partly developed by Qatar – a nation that has been routinely singled out for its human rights abuses, use of slave labour, rampant anti-Semitism, runaway fake news  and support of jihadi terrorism. While Qatar and the US media have incessantly accused Syria of wielding chemical weapons, experts from MIT and the UN have adduced otherwise. How will such contradictory reports be treated in the future as more Gulf Arab money pour into MIT and its cohort research institutions?

Not Made-in-America

The future of US artificial intelligence and its emerging technologies is overwhelmingly dependent on foreign talent drawn from Asia and Eastern Europe.  This is unsurprising as 44 million US citizens are currently saddled with a staggering $1.53 trillion in student loans – with a projected 40 percent default rate by 2023.

The US student loan bubble is expanding in tandem with the rising un-employability of young Americans. Fake news overload naturally leads to pervasive intellectual stupefaction.  US policy-makers will ignore this ominous trend, just as they ignore the perennial national slide in global indices that measure the quality of life, education and human capital yields. Can the human mind – incessantly subjected to politicized fairy tales and violent belief systems – be capable of continual innovation?  It is of course easier to blame an external bogeyman over a purely internal malaise. Herein lies the utility of fake news; one that will be filtered by a digital nanny and policed by thousands of ideologically-biased fact-checkers.  Funded, of course, by the US deep state!

Somehow no known form of intelligence – artificial or otherwise – has impressed US policy-makers on the national security dimensions of the immigrant-citizen digital divide. High-achieving immigrant communities, for example, may be targeted by irate citizens during a period of intense economic distress, precipitating a reverse brain-drain to their countries of origin.

Even otherwise, the children of highly-skilled naturalized immigrants face a variety of discriminatory practises when they come of age. The most notorious of this is the “Asia fail” intake regimen at vaunted US universities where, smart second-generation Asian Americans are routinely sacrificed on the altars of artificial diversity and multiculturalism.  In future, a digital panopticon may selectively reject meritorious applicants based on “inappropriate” social media posts made a lifetime ago.  Any litigation-unearthed bias in the admissions process can be blamed on a technical glitch. Or on the Russians!

Forget about merit! The prevalent imperative is to develop next-generation rubber-stampers for the privileged 0.1%.

Divergent Futures

Just like the Internet, the middle classes of a US-led Greater Eurabia and a China-led world may have separate trajectories by 2030.  With China experiencing a middle class boom and record numbers of STEM graduates, AI is poised to boost the quantity and quality of a new generation of digital scientists.

At the same time, the search algorithms of Google, YouTube, Facebook and its cohorts are making it harder for individuals to access critical open source data and analyses.  The convenient pretext here is “fake news” and the need to protect society from misleading information.  Why think… when a state-led AI Commissar can do the thinking for you? Ironically, the West routinely charges China for this very practise. How is it possible then for China to develop rapidly and become a leader in AI?  In the core Asian societies, the art of “constructive criticism” incentivises erudition, knowledge and a face-saving approach.  Knowledge is also unfettered by ideology or provenance.

The US, on the other hand, is hopelessly trying to find a balance between its ideological dictates, visceral populism and next-generation knowledge. Talent and AI are sacrificed in the process. According to Google’s Eric Schmidt, “Iran… produces some of the smartest and top computer scientists in the world. I want them here. I want them working for Alphabet and Google. It’s crazy not to let these people in.”

It is even crazier to think that a smart society can be moulded by AI-mediated claptrap and news filters.  This is why China will win the AI race, and Asia will prevail in the Internet of Ideas (IoI).

The Next Flu Explosion: Rise In Obesity And Diabetes Will Exacerbate Future Pandemics

Scientists involved in a new study published this month in the research journal, Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, have sounded the alarm over their ability to contain future flu pandemics in relation to the rise of obesity especially in the West today. 

The study finds that growth rates in obesity and diabetes, along with populations which are increasingly resistant to antibiotics, could turn even a mild flu outbreak into an explosive global pandemic

Image source: Getty via ABC News

One of the authors of the study, Dr Kirsty Short, virologist at the University of Queensland, told The Telegraph of the link between obesity and spread of dangerous diseases: “There’s been an incredible rate of increase of diabetes and obesity even in my lifetime.” She explained“This has significant implications on infectious diseases and the spread of infectious disease.”

Dr. Short continued, “But because chronic diseases have risen in frequency in such a short period of time, we’re only starting to appreciate all of the consequences.”

Reflecting on the now century old Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918, which infected a third of the global population and is estimated to have killed between 50 and 100 million people, she said of the next big outbreak, “we know that there will be one”.

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic occurred as WWI was winding down. Historical photo via AP

“As our population is ageing and chronic diseases are becoming so prevalent, that could turn even a mild pandemic into a chronic one,” Dr. Short concluded.

Though modern medicine and vaccines are better prepared to mitigate the impact of a major outbreak than in 1918, issues like obesity and diabetes more broadly present in society will likely provide a significant hindrance to prevention and treatment, scientists fear, as these conditions could alter the body’s immune response, leading to greater rates of hospitalization and even death. 

You will find more infographics at Statista

Disturbingly, scientists have predicted that if something on the scale of the Spanish flu were to occur today, it could result in a death toll as high as 147 million people worldwide, according to estimates

Commenting on the widely observable fact that flu vaccines often fail each year – a trend that seems to be worsening, another author of the new study noted: “There is a lot to be concerned about,” said Dr van de Sandt commenting on the most recent study.

“We know more, but there’s still a lot to look into – and we still don’t have a vaccine to protect against all the strains of influenza. Developing one is the next big step, but we’re not even close at the moment to getting a vaccine onto the market,” Dr van de Sandt explained.

Meanwhile, nearly all recent studies of American obesity suggest the trend of increasingly overweight Americans will only continue, with one “Fat Forecast” from a half-decade ago predicting that a whopping 42% of Americans will be obese by 2030.

Escobar: What Sanctions On Russia And China Really Mean

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

The Pentagon may not be advocating total war against both Russia and China – as it has been interpreted in some quarters …

A crucial Pentagon report on the US defense industrial base and “supply chain resiliency” bluntly accuses China of “military expansion” and “a strategy of economic aggression,” mostly because Beijing is the only source for “a number of chemical products used in munitions and missiles.”

Russia is mentioned only once, but in a crucial paragraph: as a – what else – “threat,” alongside China, for the US defense industry.

The Pentagon, in this report, may not be advocating total war against both Russia and China – as it was interpreted in some quarters. What it does is configure the trade war against China as even more incandescent, while laying bare the true motivations behind the sanctioning of Russia.

The US Department of Commerce has imposed restrictions on 12 Russian corporations that are deemed to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the US.” In practice, this means that American corporations cannot export dual-use products to any of the sanctioned Russian companies.

There are very clear reasons behind these sanctions – and they are not related to national security. It’s all about “free market” competition.

At the heart of the storm is the Irkut MC-21 narrow-body passenger jet – the first in the world with a capacity of more than 130 passengers to have composite-based wings.

AeroComposit is responsible for the development of these composite wings. The estimated share of composites in the overall design is 40%.

The MC-21’s PD-14 engine – which is unable to power combat jets – will be manufactured by Aviadvigatel. Until now MC-21s had Pratt & Whitney engines. The PD-14 is the first new engine 100% made in Russia since the break up of the USSR.

Aviation experts are sure that an MC-21 equipped with a PD-14 easily beats the competition; the Airbus A320 and the Boeing-737.

Then there’s the PD-35 engine – which Aviadvigatel is developing specifically to equip an already announced Russia-China wide-body twinjet airliner to be built by the joint venture China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corp Ltd (CRAIC), launched in May 2017 in Shanghai.

Aviation experts are convinced this is the only project anywhere in the world capable of challenging the decades-long monopoly of Boeing and Airbus.

Will these sanctions prevent Russia from perfecting the MC-21 and investing in the new airliner? Hardly. Top military analyst Andrei Martyanov convincingly makes the case that these sanctions are at best “laughable,” considering how “makers of avionics and aggregates” for the ultra-sophisticated Su-35 and Su-57 fighter jets would have no problem replacing Western parts on commercial jets.

Oh China, you’re so ‘malign’

Even before the Pentagon report, it was clear that the Trump administration’s number one goal in relation to China was to ultimately cut off extended US corporate supply chains and re-implant them – along with tens of thousands of jobs – back into the US.

This radical reorganization of global capitalism may not be exactly appealing for US multinationals because they would lose all the cost-benefit advantages that seduced them to delocalize to China in the first place. And the lost advantages won’t be offset by more corporate tax breaks.

It gets worse – from the point to view of global trade: for Trump administration hawks, the re-industrialization of the US presupposes Chinese industrial stagnation. That explains to a large extent the all-out demonization of the high-tech Made in China 2025 drive in all its aspects.

And this flows in parallel to demonizing Russia. Thus we have US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke threatening no less than a blockade of Russian energy flows: “The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade … to make sure that their energy does not go to market.”

The commercial and industrial demonization of China reached a paroxysm with Vice-President Mike Pence accusing China of “reckless harassment,” trying to “malign” Trump’s credibility and even being the top US election meddler, displacing Russia. That’s hardly attuned to a commercial strategy whose main goal should be to create US jobs.

President Xi Jinping and his advisers are not necessarily averse to making a few trade concessions. But that becomes impossible, from Beijing’s point of view, when China is sanctioned because it is buying Russian weapons systems.

Beijing also can read some extra writing on the trade wall, an inevitable consequence of Pence’s accusations; Magnitsky-style sanctioning of Russian individuals and businesses may soon be extended to the Chinese.

After all, Pence said Russia’s alleged interference in US affairs paled in comparison with China’s “malign” actions.

China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, in his interview with Fox News, strove for his diplomatic best: “It would be hard to imagine that one-fifth of the global population could develop and prosper, not by relying mainly on their own efforts, but by stealing or forcing some transfer of technology from others … That’s impossible. The Chinese people are as hard-working and diligent as anybody on earth.”

That is something that will be validated once again in Brussels this week at the biennial ASEM – Asia Europe – summit, first held in 1996. The theme of this year’s summit is “Europe and Asia: global partners and global challenges.” At the top of the agenda is trade, investment and connectivity – at least between Europe and Asia.

Washington’s offensive on China should not be interpreted under the optics of “fair trade,” but rather as a strategy for containing China technologically, which touches upon the absolutely crucial theme: to prevent China from developing the connectivity supporting the extended supply chains which are at the heart of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

We don’t need no peer competitors

A glaring giveaway that these overlapping sanctions on Russia and China are all about the good old Brzezinski fear of Eurasia being dominated by the emergence of “peer competitors” was recently offered by Wess Mitchell, the US State Department Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs – the same post previously held by Victoria “F*ck the EU” Nuland.

This is the original Mitchell testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And this is the redacted, sanitized State Department version.

A crucial phrase in the middle of the second paragraph simply disappeared: “It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers.”

That’s all the geopolitics Beijing and Moscow need to know. Not that they didn’t know it already.

Swiss Banks Curb China Travel After UBS Banker Arrested

Two major Swiss banks imposed restrictions on staff travel to China after a UBS employee was detained in the country, underscoring the challenges of doing business in a country which is a mecca for banks eager to capture and manage (for a generous fee) the fastest growing fortunes in the world, yet are challenged by a regime that tramples over civil rights.

According to Bloomberg, UBS asked some bankers not to travel to China after the incident, with fellow Swiss bank Julius Baer also imposing a travel ban while Credit Suisse said that so far there was no travel ban in place. The travel restrictions have only affected those bankers who help manage money for clients and haven’t been imposed on the securities unit.

It was unclear under what circumstances the Singapore-based employee was detained and whether the person has been released.

As part of Beijing’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign, government clampdowns and unexplained absences have unsettled executives with operations in China, where even the president Interpol recently disappeared abruptly as a result of a bizarre detention. As reported previously, Meng Hongwei was reported missing this month after being taken into custody upon his arrival from France.

“China’s deep into an anti-corruption drive as well as effort to deleverage the economy,” said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “

China has been a major new market for financial firms such as UBS as the share of world’s wealthy has soared in the region. UBS estimates a new billionaire is minted in China every two days and Credit Suisse this week said China’s total wealth has risen 1,300 percent this century to $51.9 trillion, more than double the rate of any other nation. The number of High Net Worth individuals in Asia-Pac recently surpassed that of North America, and at 6.2 million was the highest of any geographic region in the world.

Taking advantage of foreign interest in its capital, China has thrown open its financial markets to foreign firms, a move that has given global companies unprecedented access to the world’s second-biggest economy, even as crackdowns on foreign professionals have been on the rise.

As for UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager has a long history in China and, according to Bloomberg, claims to have been the first Swiss-based bank to establish a presence in the Asia Pacific region in 1964. The Swiss lender is in talks to acquire a majority stake in its Chinese securities joint venture. UBS is also the largest wealth manager in Asia, with total assets under management of $383 billion at the end of last year.

It now remains to be seen if the detained UBS banker was actually guilty of a crime, and if not, whether the Zurich-based bank will forget all about the incident in hopes of further profit upside, or if it will demand fair treatment for its employees at the risk of angering local authorities and having its charter removed for making a big fuss. Considering that UBS has yet to officially confirm this incident ever took place – a UBS spokesman declined to comment on the ban and detention – and Bloomberg had to report about it using “anonymous sources”, it is pretty clear which way the bank is leaning.

“Mohammad bin Salman Must Go,” But US-Saudi Ties Are Here To Stay

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Mohammad bin Salman is fully aware of the Western elite’s understanding of its own values. While he may be given a pass to bomb Yemen and kill thousands of innocent civilians, he should know better than to dare touch a Washington Post columnist – “one of ours”, as one MSNBC host said. Did he not realize there would be consequences?

As more information came out, many analysts began to confront the most obvious question. Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime? How could MBS betray Trump this way, not anticipating that the Democrats and the mainstream media would jump all over Trump’s friendship with him? Could he be so foolish as to place in jeopardy foreign investments planned at the Davos in the Desert conference on October 23? The answer to that question is apparently: yes, he could.

The only rational explanation for this behavior is that MBS thought he could get away with it. Remember that we are talking about someone who had Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon, kidnapped and carried off to the Kingdom, with his whereabouts unknown for days but with very little reaction from the mainstream media or Western politicians. It is possible that in this instance, MBS simply misjudged the level of Khashoggi’s popularity amongst neoliberals of the Washington establishment, provoking an unexpected response. Furthermore, the thesis that the Saudis understood that they had some kind of green light from Trump is not to be totally dismissed. Such a backlash is what you get from having a big mouthpraise your friends too much, and tweet all the time.

The rapidity with which the US media, and especially dozens of Republican and Democratic senators, attacked Saudi Arabia, blaming it for the atrocious crime, is rather unusual. After all, the Saudi elites have been inclined to behave in such a manner over the last 40 years. But it also highlights the ongoing inconsistency and double standards: nothing is said about Yemen, but the Kingdom is currently under the strongest censure for allegedly offing a journalist.

As I had already pointed out in my previous article, Khashoggi was clearly part of a faction opposed to the current ruling royal family in Saudi Arabia, headed by MBS. To understand this Saudi golden boy of the US mainstream media as well as military-industrial-spying complex, we have to go back to Mohammed bin Nayef. Bin Nayef has been under house arrest for almost two years, immediately purged by MBS as soon as he assumed power as crown prince. Bin Nayef has for decades been the CIA’s go-to man in Riyadh, helping the CIA & Co. pretend to “fight” al Qaeda in the Kingdom while using al Qaeda as a tool to inflict damage on US geopolitical adversaries.

The removal of bin Nayef by MBS was greeted with anger by a part of the US establishment close to Washington think tanks and the CIA and was never fully digested. MBS and his father, King Salman, needed to consolidate power around the throne at the time, and bin Nayef was certainly part of the faction opposing MBS, as was Khashoggi.

Naturally, these antipathies were set aside by the CIA, think tanks and neoliberals in the media due to to the importance of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US, especially vis-a-vis the US Petrodollar. MBS even undertook a tour in the US to help smooth the relationship with the West, being hailed as a new reformer, if you can believe that.

Nowadays,the relationship between Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Washington is based on the strong friendship between Trump and MBS and Trump and Netanyahu. Furthermore, the strengthened link between Trump and MBS, facilitated by son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is close to Israel, served to create a new alliance, perhaps even hinting at the possibility of an Arab NATO. Israel is eager to see more Saudi and US engagement against Iran in the region, and the Saudis similarly praise Israel and the US for being engaged in a fight against Iranian influence in the region. In this way, Trump can please his Israeli friends and see Saudi money pour in as investments.

These agreements have led to a series of disasters in the Middle East that go against the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US. Israel’s recklessness has led to the deployment of a wide range of Russian state-of-the-art weapons to Syria, preventing Israel and the US from acting as freely as before. The disastrous Saudi war in Yemen, the almost diplomatic break with Canada, the kidnapping of the prime minister of Lebanon, and now the Khashoggi affair, have further weakened and isolated Saudi Arabia, MBS, and therefore Trump. The US is no longer able to influence events on the ground in Syria, and so the initial plans of Israel and Saudi Arabia have foundered, after having devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to arm and train terrorists to overthrow Assad.

The Khashoggi affair plays into this situation, exacerbating the war between elites in the US as their strategies in the Middle East continue to fail. The neoliberal mainstream media immediately used the Khashoggi story to pressure Trump into taking a firm stance against one of his last friends and financiers, trying to further isolate him as the midterms approach. Many in the US deep state are convinced – as they were convinced that Clinton would win the presidency – that the House and Senate will end up in Democratic hands in the November elections, paving the way for Trump’s impeachment and for Mike Pence to become president. Pence, a prominent figure of the evangelical right, would be the perfect president for Israel, placing Tel Aviv in the driving seat of US foreign policy as never before. In this scenario, it would certainly be preferable for certain parts of the elite to have a different figure at the helm in Saudi Arabia, seeing as MBS appears to be an unstable leader. Possibly they would prefer someone tied to the US secret services – someone like Mohammed bin Nayef. For these reasons, Democrats, some Republicans and the mainstream media have gone all out against MBS and Trump.

Turkey seems to be using the situation to further widen the fracture between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Since Doha is paying the bills for Erdogan these days, with the Turkish lira at a low, it is essentially the Al Thani family running the PR show in the Turkish media. It looks like the Qatari media are paying back with interests all the negative media they received from the Saudis over the past year. Despite this, neither Ankara nor Riyadh is intent on any kind escalation, both knowing that any suffering on their part is a boon for their enemies.

An interesting aspect related to the Khashoggi affair concerns the sources of the news about the investigation, all anonymous and coming from Turkish police or from people linked to the top echelons of the Turkish state. Knowing the odd state of relations between Ankara and Riyadh, and especially between Turkish ally Qatar and Saudi Arabia, all this news coming from one source should at least be taken with a grain of salt. What is certain is that the Turks had immediate knowledge of the matter regarding who, what, where, when and why. This means that they must have bugged the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, allowing the MIT, Turkey’s intelligence service, to know in real time what was happening to Khashoggi. The story concerning the Apple watch appears to be an attempt by the Turks to thrown off the scent Saudis who may be scratching their heads wondering how the Turks came to have such intimate knowledge of what transpired in their consulate.

For Turkey, the Khashoggi affair could be the occasion for a rapprochement with the US, following a deterioration in relations in the last two years. Turkey has few friends left, and after being cornered by Russia and Iran in Astana with regards to Syria,  it also has to deal with the tensions between Riyadh and Qatar as well as balance its relations with Iran and Israel. Erdogan would like to exploit this event as much as possible, and the release of Pastor Brunson seems to indicate Ankara’s willingness to extend an olive branch to Washington.

Russia, Syria and Iran have everything to benefit from this ongoing internal quarrel between elements within Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Qatar and the US. Whatever the outcome of the Khashoggi affair, Moscow, Tehran and Damascus can only benefit from any deterioration of relations between these countries.