The Saudi Threat Against Qatar

Saudi Arabia has reportedly threatened to attack Qatar if they purchase an air defense system from Russia:

Saudi Arabia has threatened military action against Qatar if it goes ahead and acquires Russia’s top of the range S-400 air defence missile system, Le Monde daily reported.

Citing information it had obtained, Le Monde said Friday that Riyadh had written to French President Emmanuel Macron asking him to intervene to prevent the deal going ahead and to help preserve regional stability.

The Russian response has been to dismiss the Saudi threats as irrelevant, and it appears that the sale will go ahead. The Saudi threats may be empty, but after a year of unsuccessfully bullying Qatar with their blockade they may be willing to follow through on them. The fact that the Saudis are willing to threaten another country with an illegal attack like this underscores just how reckless and destabilizing Saudi Arabia has become in the last few years. The Saudis and their allies have already devastated neighboring Yemen over the last three years, and now they threaten to use force against another neighbor without the slightest justification. U.S. indulgence has helped to encourage the Saudis to become this regional menace, so it is up to the U.S. to end its support for this reckless client .

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US hits 5 Iranians with sanctions for aiding Yemen rebels

The Treasury announced Tuesday that it was blacklisting the five for providing the Houthi rebels with technical expertise that has allowed them to launch missiles into neighboring Saudi Arabia. All five are members of or are affiliated with Iran’s Islamic …

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U.S. Military Will Leave Syria Base in Deal with Russia, Reports Say

The U.S. has reportedly considered abandoning one of its most significant military installations in Syria as it prepared to enter into talks with Russia and Jordan over a deteriorating security situation in the war-torn country’s restive south. The report, which first surfaced Sunday in Saudi Arabian newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, came as Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Tuesday that Moscow “supported the idea of holding a trilateral meeting at a level convenient for our partners,” according to the state-run RIA Novosti.

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The Saudi Arabian Government Just Purchased This Home, A Piece Of American History, For $43M

When Steve Case, the ultra-wealthy co-founder of AOL, heard that the Saudi Arabian government was interested in his Virginia mansion, he got excited. Because it had a $43,000,000 price tag, Case was eager to sell it off to the highest bidder. Despite the mansion being a beacon of American history, he sold it off to a foreign government because they offered the right amount of cash.

Case’s former property was once the residence of Jackie Kennedy when she was a teenager after her mother remarried.

It is called the Merrywood estate, which is located in McLean, Virginia. Case listed it for sale for $49.5 million but sold it for a bargain to the Saudi government for $43 million.

The property was built back in 1919. It housed Jackie Kennedy Onassis when she was a teenager. But in 2005, Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, purchased it for $24.5 million. In a little more than a decade, he has nearly doubled his investment on the property, which is considered part of American history.

The mansion is humongous. It contains 13 bathrooms and nine bedrooms. You can enjoy a game on the tennis court on the estate or a dip in the luxury pool.

The deal closed last week. And it has just become the most expensive deal ever recorded in the Washington, D.C. area. And now the piece of history is owned by the Middle Eastern country’s government.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis moved to the mansion when she was twelve-years-old. Her mother had remarried Standard Oil heir Hugh D. Auchincloss Jr.

The Saudi government plans to use the estate when delegates visit the United States to discuss politics. The governmental spokeswoman said:

“The Saudi government understands the historical significance of the Merrywood home and has tremendous respect for its place in American history.”

Twelve years after Case bought the property with his wife Jean in 2005, he listed it for $49.5 million with Mark C. Lowham of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty and Juliana E. May of JLL, reports the Daily Mail.

“We enjoyed living in Merrywood for the past 13 years, and we hope the new owner will appreciate the property as much as we did,” the couple said in a statement.

Case and his wife sold the property because the no longer need such a large estate. With their children out of the home, they decided to downsize despite their massive wealth. They will move to a farm in Warrenton, which used to be their weekend home. They also have an apartment in Washington, D.C.

Case came to his wealth after founding America Online (AOL) with computer programmer Marc Seriff. Case was chairman and CEO of AOL Time Warner until he resigned in 2003. Now he is a chief executive at the investment firm Revolution. Meanwhile, his wife Jean serves as the chairman of the National Geographic Society.

The mansion is 23,000 square feet and in the Georgian style. It is just eight miles from the nation’s capital. For foreign dignitaries, the mansion offers a quick ride over to D.C. for meetings.

What do you think about this piece of twentieth-century American history?

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Oil and gas geopolitics: No shelter from the coming storm

There could be widespread ramifications from US energy independence and looming US sanctions on Iran and Russia; states in Central Asia could be hit hard, as well as serious possible impacts on global oil production and the West. Russia and Saudi Arabia are in deep debate on whether to raise OPEC and non-OPEC oil production by 1 million barrels a day to offset the drastic plunge in Venezuela’s production plus possible shortfalls when new US sanctions on Iran kick in in November. The problem is that even a production raise would not be enough, according to Credit Suisse; only 500,000 barrels a day would be added to the global market. Oil has spiked as high as $80 a barrel – unheard of since 2014. A production spike could certainly halt the trend. At the same time, key supply players would rather keep crude futures at $70-$80 a barrel. But the price could even hit $100 before the end of the year, depending on the impact that US sanctions have.

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Qatar Orders Contraband Saudi Products Off Store Shelves

Qatar directed shopkeepers to clear their stores of contraband goods from Saudi Arabia and other neighboring countries, the latest salvo in the economic battle among former Middle East allies that shows no signs of easing.

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