Saudi military officer murders United States colleagues


This 6 December 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Federal agents are investigating the motive behind a shooting at a US naval base in Florida. A Saudi national who was being trained there opened fire in a classroom and killed three people. He was one of nearly 200 foreign nationals on a training course.

From the New York Times in the USA, 6 December 2019:

A member of the Saudi Air Force armed with a handgun fatally shot three people and injured eight others on Friday morning during a bloody rampage in a classroom building at the prestigious Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., where he was training to become a pilot.

That Saudi military officer was training there to become a pilot in the bloody war of the Saudi regime on the people of Yemen. A war supported by President Trump of the USA, President Macron of France, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, etc.

The authorities, led by the F.B.I., were investigating to determine the gunman’s motive and whether the shooting was an act of terrorism.

If mass killers are white and non-Muslim, then often the NATO countries establishment claims that they are not terrorists, just ‘mentally ill‘ ‘lone wolves‘. While, if a killer is a Muslim, then one often hears instantly that he is a terrorist, part of a Muslim worldwide terrorist conspiracy, never mind that he may be obviously mentally ill, a drug addict, etc. In this case, though that Saudi military officer very probably was a Muslim, the authorities do not call him a terrorist instantly. Because of the warm friendship between Donald Trump and the Saudi bone saw killer crown prince?

By Bill Van Auken in the USA, 7 December 2019:

An attack carried out by a Saudi air force pilot early Friday morning at the US Navy’s sprawling Pensacola, Florida Naval Air Station left at least four dead, including the shooter, and another eight wounded. …

He was identified by NBC News as Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. …

The mass shooting at the base in Pensacola was the second such incident at a US Navy facility in the space of barely 48 hours. On Wednesday, a 22-year-old sailor from Texas, identified as Gabriel Antonio Romero, opened fire at Pearl Harbor’s naval shipyard in Hawaii, killing two civilian workers and wounding a third, before shooting himself to death. …

US President Donald Trump struck a decidedly different tone, declining to answer if the attack was linked to terrorism. Instead, he cited a condolence call from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. …

Given Trump’s demonization of Muslims, it is hard to imagine such a response if the shooter had come from any other country in the Middle East than Saudi Arabia, whose monarchical dictatorship serves a lynchpin for US imperialist policy in the region and, in particular, for its drive for regime change in Iran.

With its vast oil wealth, the Saudi monarchy has also acted in US interest in stabilizing the global oil market, while its military contracts have been the source of multi-billion-dollar profits for Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and other US arms manufacturers. The shooting in Pensacola also came just one day after Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil monopoly ARAMCO staged the biggest initial public offering ever, with some $25.6 billion going for shares in the company.

Trump’s reaction to the Pensacola shooting was in line with his response to the grisly October 2018 assassination of dissident journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Then he cited $450 billion in arms contracts, Saudi collaboration against Iran and its having been “very responsive to my requests to keep oil prices at reasonable levels” as justification for turning a blind eye to the international crime. …

According to US Defense Department reports, some 1,753 Saudi military personnel were trained at US military facilities in 2018 at a cost of $120,903,786. For fiscal year 2019, it was projected that 3,150 Saudi military personnel would receive training in the US.

Friday’s shooting is not the first time that an act of terrorism by a Saudi national has been linked to the Pensacola Naval Air Base.

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington, in which 15 of the 19 men involved in the hijacking of three passenger planes were Saudis, a report in Newsweek magazine stated that Saeed Alghamdi was one of three hijackers who had taken flight training at the Pensacola Navy Air Station. It was also reported that three of the hijackers had listed Pensacola Naval Air Station as their address on their Florida driver’s licenses.

The Pentagon responded by stating that, while the hijackers had “similar names to foreign alumni of US military courses”, discrepancies in birth dates and other biographical information indicated that they were not the same people. A public affairs officer at Pensacola said that the base had trained more than 1,600 people with the first name Saeed, spelled in various ways, and more than 200 with the surname Alghamdi.

The Saudi pilots being trained at Pensacola and other US bases have been deployed for the most part in the near-genocidal, four-year-old Saudi war against Yemen. The US-backed war has created the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in what was already the poorest country in the Arab world. Air strikes and other combat operations carried out by Saudi-led coalition forces with US support have caused the deaths of some 80,000 people.

The New York Times report continues:

A United States military official identified the suspect, who was killed by a sheriff’s deputy during the attack, as Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. He was one of hundreds of military trainees at the base, which is considered the home of naval aviation.

Six other Saudi nationals were detained for questioning near the scene of the shooting, including three who were seen filming the entire incident, according to a person briefed on the initial stages of the investigation.

The gunman was using a locally purchased Glock 45 9-millimeter handgun with an extended magazine and had four to six other magazines in his possession when he was taken down by a sheriff’s deputy, the person said.

The shooting, the second at a Navy base this week, sent service members scrambling to lock the doors of their barracks or flee the base altogether.

The attack by a foreign national inside an American military installation raised questions about the vetting process for international students who are cleared by the Department of Defense and is likely to complicate military cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

What was Saudi regime role in 9/11 attacks?


This 12 November 2019 video from the USA is called [Democratic party presidential candidate] Tulsi [Gabbard] Demands Info On Saudi Involvement In 911 Attacks.

Netflix helps Saudi autocracy’s censorship


This 9 November 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Netflix BOWS To Saudi Arabia Pressure

Netflix bows to Saudi Arabia pressure canceling an episode of ‘Patriot Act’. John Iadarola and Ryan Grim break it down on The Damage Report.

Saudi Arabia’s Children Are Learning From Anti-Semitic Textbooks … According to a State Department-funded study, assorted religious schools have adopted Saudi state textbooks in a variety of countries around the world. These texts were even adopted at one point in territory controlled by ISIS. … we found that the kingdom’s 2018-2019 curriculum still encouraged hatred or violence against Jews, Christians, Shi’ite Muslims, women, gay men: here.

Trump sends 3,000 soldiers to defend Saudi dictatorship


This 15 October 2018 United States MSNBC TV video says about itself:

President Trump says the king of Saudi Arabia denies any involvement in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Kashoggi. But the president’s acceptance of the king’s denial is wrapped up in a long financial history with the country. Ali Velshi takes a closer look at the president’s connections with Saudi Arabia.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

US sends 3,000 more troops to defend Saudi monarchy

12 October 2019

The Pentagon confirmed Friday that 3,000 more US troops are being deployed to Saudi Arabia to defend the blood-soaked monarchy led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and prepare for war against Iran.

The deployment includes two fighter squadrons, one Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW), two more Patriot missile batteries, and one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).

According to a Pentagon statement Friday, the US Secretary of Defense phoned Crown Prince bin Salman (who also holds the post of Saudi minister of defense) to inform him of the coming reinforcements, which he said were meant “to assure and enhance the defense of Saudi Arabia”.

The Pentagon also acknowledged that the latest escalation brings the number of additional troops sent into the Persian Gulf region since May to 14,000. They have been accompanied by an armada of US warships and a B-52-led bomber task force. The Pentagon has also announced that an aircraft carrier-led battle group will remain in the Persian Gulf.

While initiated as a supposed response to unspecified threats from Iran, the US buildup in the Persian Gulf region has constituted from its outset a military provocation and preparation for a war of aggression. This military buildup has accompanied Washington’s so-called “maximum pressure” campaign of sweeping economic sanctions that are tantamount to a state of war. The aim, as the Trump administration has stated publicly, is to drive Iranian oil exports down to zero. By depriving Iran of its principal source of export income, Washington hopes to starve the Iranian people into submission and pave the way to regime change, bringing to power a US puppet regime in Tehran.

The latest military buildup was announced in the immediate aftermath of an attack on an Iranian tanker in the Red Sea, about 60 miles from the Saudi port of Jeddah.

The National Iranian Tanker Co. reported that its oil tanker, the Sabiti, was struck twice by explosives early Friday morning, leaving two holes in the vessel and causing a brief oil spill into the Red Sea.

While Iranian state news media blamed the damage on missile attacks, a spokesman for the company told the Wall Street Journal that the company was not sure of the cause.

Some security analysts have suggested that the fairly minor damage to the vessel could have been caused by limpet mines. Such mines were apparently used last June when two tankers—one Japanese and one Norwegian-owned—were hit by explosions in the Sea of Oman. At the time, Washington blamed the attacks on Iran, without providing any evidence. Tehran denied the charge, saying that it sent teams to rescue crew members of the damaged tankers.

The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) quoted an unnamed Iranian government official as stating that the Iranian tanker had been the victim of a “terrorist attack.”

The incident raised the specter of an escalating tanker war that could disrupt shipping through the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 percent of the world’s oil supply flows. News of the attack sent crude oil prices spiking by 2 percent.

In addition to the June attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman, in July British commandos, acting on a request from Washington, stormed an Iranian super tanker, the Grace 1, in waters off the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. In apparent retaliation, Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized the British-flagged Stena Impero for what Tehran charged were violations of international maritime regulations as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz. Both tankers were subsequently released.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement charging that the Iranian super tanker, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, had offloaded its oil in Syria in violation of European Union sanctions and a pledge made by Tehran to the UK at the time of the vessel’s release. He demanded provocatively that “EU members should condemn this action, uphold the rule of law, and hold Iran accountable.”

The Trump administration, which in May of last year unilaterally and illegally abrogated the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and the major powers has been pressuring the European signatories to the deal—Germany, France and the UK—to follow suit.

While the respective governments of the three countries have insisted that they still support the nuclear agreement, they have repeatedly bowed to Washington’s war drive, while failing to take any significant actions to counter the effects of the US “maximum pressure” campaign and deliver to Tehran the sanctions relief and economic normalization that it was promised in exchange for curtailing its nuclear program.

Most recently, the three European governments backed Washington in blaming Iran for a September 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities that temporarily shut down half of the kingdom’s oil production and sent crude prices spiraling by 20 percent—again without providing a shred of proof.

Washington is seeking to topple the Iranian regime or bully it into accepting complete subordination to US imperialist predatory interests in the energy-rich and geostrategically vital Middle East.

The US sanctions regime and military buildup have placed the entire region on a hair trigger for the outbreak of a catastrophic war that could engulf not only the Middle East, but the entire planet.

All of the regimes involved in the escalating conflict are gripped by crises that make the drive to war all the more explosive.

The impact of the sanctions on Iran’s economy has been devastating. It is estimated that oil exports last month fell to just 400,000 barrels per day (b/d), compared to 1.95 million b/d in September 2018. Left with little means of combating spiraling inflation and growing unemployment, Iran’s bourgeois-clerical regime is caught between intense pressure from imperialism on the one hand, and the growth of social opposition among Iranian workers and poor on the other.

The Saudi monarchy is confronting the debacle of its four-year-old and near genocidal war against the people of Yemen, made possible by the weapons and logistical aid provided by Washington, even as Prince bin Salman remains a global pariah for his ordering of the grisly assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year in Istanbul.

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, incapable of forming a new government after two elections and confronting criminal indictments, has grown increasingly concerned over the apparent lack of appetite by the Persian Gulf Sunni monarchies for military confrontation with Iran and Washington’s failure to carry out military strikes after the downing of its drone in June and the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities last month. Clearly, Tel Aviv, which has cast Iran as its strategic enemy, would have a motive for attacking Iranian tankers in the hopes of provoking a response that could lead to US military action.

And then there is Trump. He has proclaimed his determination to halt the “endless wars” in the Middle East and provoked a political firestorm by pulling back a relative handful of US troops in Syria, allowing Turkey to launch a long-planned attack on the Pentagon’s erstwhile proxy force, the Kurdish-dominated YPG militia.

Faced with an escalating political crisis and growing social tensions within the US, along with an impeachment investigation by the Democrats in Congress that is focused entirely on the national security concerns of the CIA and the Pentagon, he has ample motive for launching a new war.

While the Democrats’ exclusive focus on Trump’s failure to pursue a sufficiently bellicose policy against Russia and prosecute the war for regime change in Syria has allowed the US president to absurdly posture as an opponent of war, the reality is that he has overseen a staggering increase in military spending designed to prepare for “great power” confrontations, particularly with China.

Meanwhile, whatever his political pretense, Trump has done nothing to end any of the wars in the Middle East. While he has ordered US troops to pull back, allowing the Turkish invasion, none of them have been withdrawn from Syria.

With the latest buildup of US forces in Saudi Arabia, Washington is preparing, behind the backs of the working class, to launch a catastrophic military conflict with Iran. The most urgent task posed by these developments is the building of a global antiwar movement led by the working class. This movement must be armed with a socialist and internationalist program to unify working people in the United States, Europe and the Middle East in a common struggle against imperialist war and its source, the capitalist system.

THE US has launched its naval coalition of anti-Iranian forces seeking to police the Persian Gulf. The anti-Iran coalition includes Australia, Bahrain, the UK, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel: here.

‘Journalist Khashoggi murdered, stop Saudi regime’s impunity’


Demonstration outside the Saudi embassy in London, England last October demanding justice after Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi embassy in Turkey on October 2nd 2018

From daily News Line in Britain:

NUJ demand perpetrators of Khashoggi killing are ‘put behind bars’

9th October 2019

ONE year on from the gruesome murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who entered the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey but never came out again, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called for justice.

On Tuesday 2nd October 2018 at 13:14, dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul but that was the last that was seen of him.

It is held that he was brutally murdered by a Saudi hit squad and his body dismembered.

The union said: ‘The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland, and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) were quick to condemn the crime and today, one year on, we renew calls on the international community to launch an independent investigation to ensure all the intellectual and material perpetrators are put behind bars.

‘Twelve months after Khashoggi’s killing, there are plenty of unanswered questions. Where is his body? Who ordered his killing? Who sent up to 15 Saudi men – a hit squad including a forensic expert – to Istanbul? Why did the Saudi authorities, including the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, consistently deny any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate and only acknowledged his murder a few weeks after?

‘No light has been shed on any of these questions. On the contrary, the obscurantism and secrecy of the Saudi inquiry highlights even more the need for a transparent and independent international investigation into the case. There must be no impunity.

‘Since the beginning, the Saudi authorities have given contradictory explanations of what happened. First, they claimed that Khashoggi left the consulate one hour after his arrival. Then they admitted his death saying he was killed by “rogue individuals” who exceeded their responsibilities.

‘So far, the Saudi justice system has arrested 18 people

as fall guys for the crown prince

and five senior officials were fired as part of the investigation. On 3rd January, 11 individuals were sent to trial accused of being connected with the killing. However, the trial took place behind closed doors and details of the defendants’ identities have not been made public.

‘In addition to the secrecy and lack of transparency of the Saudi judicial proceedings, authorities are trying to buy the Khashoggi family’s silence and cover up the truth, The Washington Post has reported.

‘Considering the evident efforts of the Saudi authorities to prevent justice from being done, the IFJ has repeatedly called for an independent international investigation to shed light on this gruesome murder.’

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said: ‘It’s been a year since Khashoggi’s murder and there’s still no justice for those who ordered and executed his murder. We will continue demanding an international and independent investigation on this crime and rejecting any kind of political cover-up of it.

‘If the perpetrators are not held to account, oppressive governments of the world will see it as a green light to commit crimes against journalists with impunity. We won’t allow it.’

According to the IFJ, 95 journalists were killed in 2018 but only one out of 10 killings of journalists is ever resolved.