Despite indicating that his administration may attack Iran over a drone strike on Saudi oil facilities by Houthi rebels, President Trump once ridiculed the idea of offering Saudi Arabia U.S. protection without Riyadh paying for it.
Following Saturday’s drone strike, which took out 5% of the world’s oil supply, Trump tweeted that the White House was “waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed.”
Despite Tehran’s denial, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo blamed Iran for the attack.
Trump’s willingness to use U.S. forces to defend the interests of Saudi Arabia is at odds with his position in the run up to his presidential campaign, when he repeatedly questioned why America should be defending Saudi Arabia in return for nothing.
“We are getting ready to protect Saudi Arabia against Iran & others-sending ships. How much are they going to pay us toward this protection,” he tweeted in April 2015.
We are getting ready to protect Saudi Arabia against Iran & others-sending ships. How much are they going to pay us toward this protection.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2015
In another tweet two months later, Trump remarked, “Saudi Arabia should be paying the United States many billions of dollars for our defense of them. Without us, gone!”
Saudi Arabia should be paying the United States many billions of dollars for our defense of them. Without us, gone! @AlWaleedbinT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2015
Back in 2014, Trump also accused Saudi Arabia of funding ISIS.
"@kevinb____: @realDonaldTrump Saudi Arabia is already paying ISIS"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2014
Trump campaigned on a platform of not getting America entangled in more pointless, costly Middle Eastern quagmires.
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Zero-Tolerance: Chinese Lockdown Protests Intensify In Rare Display Of Defiance
Protests in China over President Xi Jinping’s zero-tolerance Covid-19 measures have intensified – expanding from Beijing and the far western Xinjiang region to several other major cities, including Wuhan, Shanghai, and the eastern city of Nanjing, according to video and photos circulating on social media.
The weekend protests followed Friday demonstrations in Urumqi, the capitol of Xinjiang, after a deadly fire killed residents who were locked inside following lockdowns which have lasted more than 100 days. Officials have reported 10 deaths in the fire, however citizens have reported up to 40 who perished.
The protests are a rare display from a typically compliant citizenry, who know that crackdowns on dissent have intensified over the past decade. As the Wall Street Journal notes, ” Having protests over the same issue break out in multiple Chinese cities is almost unheard of, outside of nationalist outpourings, such as anti-Japanese protests.”
Since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, the ruling party has allowed some local demonstrations, but made it a priority to prevent nationwide protests.
On Saturday, videos circulating on social media showed crowds gathering on a street in central Shanghai calling for a lifting of lockdowns. The videos were verified by Storyful, a social-media research company owned by News Corp, parent company of The Wall Street Journal. -WSJ
Protests are calling for Xi Jinping to step down
During Saturday evening demonstrations in Shanghai – the largest city in the country, people were openly heard shouting anti-government slogans such as “Xi Jinping, step down!” and “Communist party, step down!” the BBC reports.
Demonstrators held blank white banners and lit candles to honor the victims in the Urumqi fire.
One Shanghai protester told the BBC that he felt “shocked and a bit excited” at so many people in the streets – saying it was the first such large-scale demonstration of dissent. A woman told the BBC that police said they feel “the same as you” about the protests, but “they wear their uniforms so they’re doing their job.”
As the Epoch Times notes; At Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University, dozens of people held a peaceful protest against COVID-19 restrictions, according to images and videos posted on social media.
In one video, which Reuters was unable to verify, a Tsinghua university student called on a cheering crowd to speak out. “If we don’t dare to speak out because we are scared of being smeared, our people will be disappointed in us. As a Tsinghua university student, I will regret it for all my life.”
One student who saw the Tsinghua protest described to Reuters feeling taken aback by the protest at one of China’s most elite universities, and Xi’s alma mater.
“People there were very passionate, the sight of it was impressive,” the student said, declining to be named given the sensitivity of the matter.
According to the report, “analysts say the government appears to have drastically underestimated growing discontent towards the zero-Covid approach, a policy inextricably linked to Xi Jinping who recently pledged there would be no swerving from it.”
In other areas of the country witnesses gave accounts of police violence, with one protesters telling AP (so who knows if it’s true) that one of his friends had been beaten by police, while two others were pepper sprayed.
The BBC saw police officers, private security guards and plain-clothed police officers on the streets, confronting protesters who assembled for a second day.
Demonstrators who led anti-government chants were taken away, and punched or pushed up against a police car in some cases.
Photos and videos have also emerged online that showed students launching their own protests at universities in Beijing and Nanjing on Saturday. -BBC
On Sunday, hundreds of people were seen demonstrating in Wuhan, where the Covid-19 pandemic began.
And of course, Taylor Lorenz is cheering China’s zero-covid policy.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
CIA Seeking To Recruit Russians “Disgusted” By Putin’s War
The Central Intelligence Agency is seeking to tap Russians as potential spies who are “disgusted” with Putin’s war in Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported this week, as part of a new push to bolster its ranks of Russian assets.
The CIA’s deputy director of intelligence David Marlowe, who has been in the post since June 2021, said in a rare speech at George Mason University’s Hayden Center that the CIA is “looking around the world” for Russian who are unhappy with the invasion of Ukraine. It was Marlowe’s first public appearance while at post as deputy director.
This is “because we’re open for business,” he underscored. The attempt to gain dependable assets is said to include military officers and even oligarchs who are angry at being impacted by Russia’s extreme economic and political isolation on the world stage.
Offering his assessment on how the war is going for the Russians, Marlowe described, “Putin was at his best moment the day before he invaded.” Speaking of the potential for the Russian leader to put pressure on neighboring Ukraine and NATO before the decision to invade, Marlowe added: “He squandered every single bit of that.”
At that point before the February 24 incursion, President Putin had “all the power that he is ever going to have,” according to the CIA #2 official.
Some international publications dubbed Marlowe’s speech, which happened last week but was first revealed on Tuesday, a “recruitment pitch”.
“And so, for the director of operations, we’re looking around the world for Russians who are as disgusted with that as we are because we’re open for business,” Marlowe spelled out.
As The Moscow Times wrote:
Despite wondering aloud if Marlowe’s comments were just an example of “CIA bravado,” The Wall Street Journal noted that the continuing war in Ukraine had unleashed an “intensified spy war” in Europe.
Starting months ago it was widely reported that the CIA had set up a portal on the dark web for disgruntled Russians with government information or access wishing to make contact.
Below: the full video of the David Marlowe panel…
“We are providing Russian-language instructions on how to safely contact CIA — via our Dark Web site or a reputable VPN — for those who feel compelled to reach us because of the Russian government’s unjust war,” a CIA official told CBS News back in May.
At the time the CIA in the rare public disclosure indicated it is hoping that Russians, including soldiers and civilian officials, would utilize the encrypted methods to submit sensitive information to the US.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Anger As Spanish Government CELEBRATES Communist Party With Commemorative Postage Stamp
Spain is currently governed by a coalition of socialists and far left extremists
The extreme leftist Spanish government has drawn the rage of many in the country after it announced a commemorative postage stamp marking the centenary of the Communist Party.
The stamp, featuring the notorious hammer and sickle imagery, is to be launched by the state controlled Correos on November 14, with 135,000 limited edition copies with a postal value of 0.75 euros.
The move has enraged many citizens, who have directed anger at Socialist Spanish leader Pedro Sánchez, with some pointing out that the Correos is currently headed up by Sánchez’s former Chief of staff.
It is estimated that Communism has resulted in more than 100 million deaths throughout its relatively short history.
Other victims of Communism are appalled by the move:
Others noted how Spain’s communist party has a history of cosy ties with the Soviet regime, involvement in war crimes during the Spanish Civil War, and has even expressed support for modern Communist dictatorships in Cuba, China, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Spain’s current government is a coalition between Sánchez’s Socialist Worker’s Party and the extreme far left Podemos party.
The government was heavily criticised during the pandemic for instituting draconian mask, lockdown and vaccine passport policies.
A huge scandal also emerged when the elite of the Spanish business world as well as sports figures and celebrities were caught buying fake vaccine certificates in an attempt to maintain access to social freedom without taking the vaccines.
The Spanish government has also recently moved to institute energy restrictions in the name of battling climate change:
The country also finds itself in the midst of its own migrant crisis, with the leftist government routinely charged with leaving the borders wide open.
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