The US’ decision to revoke the visas of 21 Saudis who it claims are responsible for dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing and possibly impose Magnitsky Act sanctions against them proves that Saudi Arabia isn’t exactly the “American puppet” that many people had previously thought that it was if Washington is willing to punish its so-called “ally” in such a humiliating way, but this realization also risks shattering the worldview that many in the Alt-Media Community worked for years to reinforce.
Analysis is an art, and just like any other, its practitioners’ final product is rarely perfect. This understanding is more apt than ever when it comes to deciphering the ins and outs of contemporary Saudi geostrategy amidst the paradigm-changing shifts that have thus far characterized the emerging Multipolar World Order. It had hitherto been taken for granted that Saudi Arabia is an “American puppet”, and truth be told, the author himself also firmly believed that it was as recently as a few years ago, and with good reason. Saudi Arabia has a history of siding with the US and behaving as its “cat’s paw” in the region, especially whenever its destabilizing activities can be argued to have had even the most remote anti-Iranian purposes. Saudi Arabia is also extremely close to the US’ top ally “Israel”, so it follows that these three powers are strategically inseparable given their many overlapping interests.
The Kingdom’s Geostrategic Recalculations
That much is certainly true, except that Saudi Arabia has drastically “rebalanced” its foreign policy priorities over the past year and is no longer as solidly in the unipolar camp as it once was. A lot of this has to do with its game-changing rapprochement with Russia and also its newfound Silk Road relations with China, both of which were touched upon in the author’s previous pieces:
These developments were largely suppressed by both the Mainstream Media and its Alt-Media counterparts, each for their own reasons though nevertheless because they both felt uncomfortable. The first-mentioned was uneasy with the pace and scope of the Saudis’ geostrategic shift, while the latter considered it “politically incorrect” because it contradicts the “Resistance’s” (Iran’s) interests.
Now, however, it’s indisputable that the US isn’t on as excellent terms with Saudi Arabia anymore as many had assumed that it would always remain, given how Pompeo announced that 21 Saudis who he claimed were behind the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi will have their visas revoked and might even be subject to infamous Magnitsky Act sanctions that had previously been implemented against Russians. This unprecedented move is meant to signal to the world that there’s a serious rift emerging between the US and Saudi Arabia, or at least elements of the American “deep state” hostile to Trump and the ruling faction of the Wahhabi Kingdom like the author suggested in his previous piece titled “Khashoggi Mystery: Rogue Killers Or Rogue Royals?” About that, it’s increasingly looking like Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) might have been informed of Khashoggi’s interrogation as it was happening but didn’t have advance knowledge of it, nor authorized his assassination.
Moving beyond the unverifiable speculation, the point to focus on in this piece is that the US thought it fitting to humiliate the Saudis by revoking the visas of 21 of them and then threatening the possible imposition of forthcoming Magnitsky Act sanctions. This should leave no doubt as to the US’ displeasure with Saudi Arabia since it wouldn’t have otherwise punished it in such a public manner had it any serious concern for the Kingdom’s sensitivities. This profound lack of respect certainly isn’t lost on Riyadh, which now has more than enough reasons to accelerate its movement towards multipolarity, but just like with its earlier outreaches to Russia and China, it’s very likely that Mainstream Media and Alt-Media will continue to remain in denial about this development. “Old habits die hard”, as the saying goes, and nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to the long-standing presumption that Saudi Arabia will always be an “American puppet”.
Alt-Standards For Alt-Media
The Alt-Media Community is particularly insufferable when it comes to its incessant spewing of this discredited narrative, driven as it mostly is by a desire to virtue signal loyalty to the Saudis’ Iranian enemies who exert disproportionate influence over this informational sphere. Instead of maturely recognizing the reality of what the US’ threatened Magnitsky Act sanctions against Saudi Arabia geostrategically entail, there’s nothing but hypocritical gloating over the fact that the Kingdom is now on the brink of being betrayed by its American “ally”. Not only that, but many of the same folks who vehemently oppose the Saudis’ beheading policy are braying for blood and hoping that heads will literally roll as a result of Khashoggi’s killing. It’s understandable that years of Saudi-led destabilization operations in the Mideast would result in such schadenfreude, but inexplicable that emotions would trump reason when it comes to making accurate political analyses about this situation.
It’s illogical that sincere multipolar supporters would be against the US sanctioning Russia and Iran but support it doing the same to Saudi Arabia because this implies an unstated belief that America is at least partially the “arbiter” of “justice” across the world. The sentiments of the so-called “silent majority” on any given issue rarely have any influence on the course of International Relations so it doesn’t really matter how delusional some people might remain as they celebrate the US’ backstabbing of Saudi Arabia, though it’s nevertheless important to call out blatant hypocrisy for principle’s sake. Furthermore, exposing the alt-standards that Alt-Media applies to certain significant issues such as this one can explain why many of the analyses that emerge from this Community are so inaccurate in reflecting the reality of the situation. Most people will never openly say so, but the reason is largely attributable to “Israel”, though not in the way that some might think.
The Issue Of “Israel’s” Strategic Independence
Perhaps the most important pillar of Alt-Media Dogma is the blind belief that “Israel” and the US are one in the same and that there aren’t ever any strategic disagreements between them whatsoever. Just like with Saudi Arabia and the US, however, this may no longer be the case like it once was, and opening the proverbial can of worms over the Kingdom’s actual closeness or lack thereof nowadays to the US naturally leads to one questioning the true state of American-“Israeli” relations too, which is probably the most “politically incorrect” taboo that there ever could be in the Alt-Media Community. The groupthink that’s been vigorously maintained by generations of gatekeepers in this informational sphere is that “Israel” and the US always see eye-to-eye on everything, and that the rare public disagreements between them such as over the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal during the Obama era are just carefully choreographed perception management operations designed to deceive the world.
For as much as many might want to believe that this is the case for whatever their reasons may be, it isn’t, and “Israel’s” newfound joint protectorate status with the US and Russia over this summer proves it. So too does Russia passively facilitating “Israel’s” 200+ bombings of Syria over the past 18 months before the September mid-air tragedy, prior to which the two were strategic partners due to President Putin’s philo-Semitism and never-ending praise of the self-proclaimed “Jewish State” over his past 18 years in office. In addition, it appears as though last month’s incident off the Syrian coast won’t have any real effect on their relationship after Russian Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov cleared the air on this a few weeks ago. Another powerful point is that “Israel” is poised to join the Silk Road in open defiance of the US, further proving its strategic independence.
Shattering The Alt-Worldview
There will undoubtedly remain some who refuse to recognize these “inconvenient facts” and will continue to concoct the most convoluted conspiracy theories to explain how the US and “Israel” are supposedly working hand-in-hand against Russia & China even though Presidents Putin & Xi appear to be more than eager to play along with this scheme probably due to their mastery of “5D chess”, but such narratives are discredited in the real world because they don’t reflect what’s really happening on the ground. Many in Alt-Media, however, have staked their entire reputations on perpetuating this storyline despite the plethora of evidence against it, but instead of maturely modifying their worldview in light of recent developments and more accurately portraying the paradigm-changing dynamics of the day, they’re instead much more prone to doing everything within their power to distract their audiences from ever thinking about this, ergo the main motivation that they have in covering up the incipient Saudi-American split.
Recognizing the growing strategic and “deep state” divergences between Saudi Arabia and the US would naturally lead to one wondering what’s really going on with “Israel” and the US too, but this is absolutely forbidden by the Alt-Media Community’s gatekeepers because it runs the risk of complicating their oversimplified narrative of Russia being an “anti-Zionist crusader state” and “Israel” functioning as the US’ “puppet” no matter what, neither of which are true. The Alt-Worldview is therefore at risk of being shattered because of this since its gatekeepers never responsibly educated their audience about the nuances of Russia’s “balancing” act, which could have avoided the current crisis that the Community is about to be plunged into as it becomes ever more impossible to sweep all of this under the rug. Unfortunately, like it was earlier remarked, emotions have a tendency of influencing Alt-Media’s analyses more so than reason, which cumulatively led to an outright Alt-Reality being constructed with time.
Saudi Arabia still shares many strategic commonalities with the US and has a documented history of acting as its regional proxy, but the two Great Powers are in the midst of their worst-ever diplomatic disagreement after America revoked the visas of 21 Saudi citizens and humiliatingly threatened to unprecedentedly impose Magnitsky Act sanctions against them. It’s impossible at this point in time to seriously assert that Riyadh and Washington are on the same page with one another in the manner that they previously had been because otherwise the US wouldn’t have disrespected Saudi Arabia in such a high-profile way. Having said that, there are powerful forces in the Alt-Media Community desperate to suppress this realization because of how much it risks undermining their prevailing dogma, especially in the sense that it might get people to question whether “Israel” is really as close to the US as they were led to believe after undeniable proof emerged of its strategic cooperation with Russia and China.
Accepting these geostrategic truths isn’t akin to “whitewashing” Saudi Arabia and “Israel” or “smearing” Russia and China because of their very close relations with the aforementioned pair, but is simply acknowledgment of the state of affairs as they presently exist at this specific moment in the emerging Multipolar World Order. Nor, for that matter, is any of this intended to suppress the activist voices within the Alt-Media Community who feel very strongly about voicing their views on Saudi Arabia and “Israel”, since the purpose of this analysis isn’t to replace one “politically correct” gatekeeping dogma with another, but rather to encourage free thinking within the Community after liberating its members with knowledge about the actual relations between these four players and the US. It’s ultimately up to each and every individual to make normative judgements about this if they so choose, just as it’s their choice whether to remain in denial of these facts or maturely accept them for what they are.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.