Now that the dust has settled somewhat on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, it will be of use to us to begin to parse out what the event and its resulting outcry will mean for the world at large. It turns out that this was no small event, but rather a catalyst for long-term changes in the region and international relations. What has become apparent since that fateful day on October 2nd is that this was not an isolated incident, that it was premeditated, had been planned weeks in advance and that it is playing a significant role in the changing dynamics of international relations.
The latter could possibly become a real problem for the Trump administration, for oil prices and for the world economy if events get out of hand. Another thing that has become apparent is that the Saudis and Americans are trying their best to whitewash the event in order to prevent a larger fallout, both in relations between the two states and with regard to their larger joint plans in the Middle East, especially regarding Iran. Given the current trends of evolving events, the attempt at the sequestration and demise of Iranian influence in the region by the Saudis, Israelis and the US looks doomed to fail. We’ll address that a little later.
So, what do we now know about what happened to Khashoggi, the darling of the US mainstream media and critic of MbS? Apparently the Turks have audio of the demise of Jamal, which is pretty harrowing if it happened as described, but as yet there is no evidence of the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s corpus. It is doubtful that his body will ever be found. Apparently it was flushed down the drains. A cover-up team was reportedly sent to Istanbul from Saudi Arabia on the 11th to be certain there was no trace. The Saudis had used Israeli software to track him, having bugged his phone. It is said that the British knew of the plot to kill him weeks in advance and warned the Saudis against it, but to little avail. The Brits have a keen interest in what happens in the Middle East, as evidenced by their support for the Saudis in their war against Yemen and their participation in missile strikes against Syria in the past. The Americans knew about it, too, yet said nothing. The Saudis for their part have now admitted that Khashoggi was killed, but they keep trying to float various versions of what happened, hoping to avoid implicating MbS and the king, but so far the world is not buying their stories. But now, a dissident Saudi prince has stated that the king ordered the murder of Khashoggi, and that MbS carried out the order. Over all the time since Khashoggi was killed the Turks have been leaking little details
The murder of Khashoggi was not so much about outrage over a killed journalist or freedom of speech as it was a sort of cold war incident between the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood, represented by Turkey and Qatar, and for which Khashoggi was an advocate. Hence, Khashoggi’s residence in Turkey and his Turkish fiancé. The Saudis maintain that a Muslim country must by rights be ruled by a monarchy, whereas the Muslim Brotherhood holds no such view, and instead was formed by Muslim professionals who advocated for Muslim republicanism, such as we see in Iran and Indonesia. The latter is one of the reasons why there is such enmity between Iran and the Saudis.
This is where it gets a bit interesting with regard to our Mr. Khashoggi. According to a recent statement by Alexander Downer, ex-Australian Foreign Minister, Khashoggi was apparently much more than a simple journalist and Saudi insider. He was up to mischief with the help of the CIA, at least in the eyes of the Saudis. Being an advocate for the Muslim Brotherhood, he was also a CIA intelligence asset and was in the process of setting up a center in Turkey to promote the Muslim Brotherhood – democracy, Muslim style. The Saudis had offered him nine million dollars to come back to live in silence and peace in Saudi Arabia, unhindered, but he refused, being a sworn opponent of MbS. The man was no fool, at least not then. It was a different story when he walked into the Saudi embassy. It was also rumored that he was getting ready to write his memoirs, or that he had unpublished memoirs.
All this, coupled with the stories that MI6 and American intelligence sources knew of the plot to kill him, yet said nothing to him, point to something more interesting than the story of a journalist’s murder causing such outrage: That the CIA and MI6 were aiming at regime change in Saudi Arabia, and that Jamal was a pawn in their game. To the Saudis, the man had to be silenced somehow. Hence, when the Saudis eliminated him, there was an immediate media uproar in the US, reflecting the loss of a prized asset. Many of the media pundits in the US are actually connected in one way or another with the intelligence community in the US.
So, if all this is true, where does it leave things? The Trump administration and the Saudis simply want this episode to die away, and quickly. The Saudis are in damage control. MbS is now claiming there has been an assassination attempt against him, and more such ‘revelations’ may well follow, as he attempts to garner sympathy and deflect attention. The Trump administration wants MbS in power, and so does Israel. It is highly likely it will stay that way. There is too much at stake in terms of money, jobs, regional and big power politics. The story is already dying out in the media. Saudi Arabia is key to Trump’s and Israel’s plans in the Middle East, and MbS has been groomed as the man to head the kingdom in those plans. Trump and Netanyahu pretty much seem to walk in lock step. It is doubtful that the factions in Washington who want regime change in the Saudi kingdom will let up on their efforts after this setback, though. Nor will Erdogan. He and his intelligence services have been pretty skillful in the way they have been leaking their intelligence about the whole affair.
We can probably expect to see the spilling of blood and/or the loss of blood-relations in the Saudi kingdom. In the first of next year the directed Mars/Node midpoint (chart) will be conjunct the Saudi Saturn. At the same time, we see some quite powerful transits (chart) to key points in the Saudi chart. Consider the Saudi sunset chart (bigger):
I use the sunset chart for Saudi Arabia. For the Saudis, their day starts at sunset, not at midnight, and I have found the chart to be quite descriptive and indicative. There is a key structure in that chart that unlocks much of what happens in the Saudi Kingdom. That is the midpoint structure involving a square between Uranus and Pluto, with the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction square the midpoint and semisquare to Pluto and sesquisquare to Uranus, forming a triangle. Thus, there is unusual power to the configuration when it is activated. MbS was named Crown Prince when Saturn activated that triangle/midpoint (chart). The directed Sun was opposite the Saudi Moon then. When the Saudi ‘intervention’ in Yemen was undertaken in 2015 (chart) there was a solar arc of Mars to Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, with Neptune making the same aspects by transit. When MbS had all those Saudi princes and business leaders rounded up for their vacation at the Ritz Carleton in Riyadh (chart), Saturn made a solar arc to those same planets, and also was transiting opposite the Saudi Moon. And on 2 Oct 18 (chart), Mars had just made a solar arc to Saturn, along with the nodal axis, and transiting Uranus was square to the Saudi Mars. So, Mars and Saturn, along with the aforementioned midpoint structure, were all activated.
Mars and Saturn are in opposition in the Saudi chart, and transiting Uranus had also just come within orb of the Mars/Saturn midpoint on its retrograde transit. Khashoggi was one of the most significant blunders in recent Saudi history. Uranus will be conjunct that midpoint through March of next year. Given all this, we might not be at all surprised to eventually find out that Khashoggi was deliberately thrown to the lions as part of a wider plan to attempt the exact sort of regime change mentioned before. One of the interpretations of Uranus to that Mars/Saturn midpoint is “intervention of a Higher Power”. You can take from that what you will.
Just to round out the astrology, the houses the planets rule in the Saudi chart are revealing, too. The Moon rules the 4th house of opposition parties. When the princes and businessmen were rounded up, Saturn was transiting opposite the Saudi Moon. Saturn rules the sitting government (10th house). Pluto rules the 8th house of international banking, insurance and ‘other people’s money’. Uranus rules the 12th house of secret enemies of the state and state institutions. Jupiter rules the 9th house of international trade and relations. Neptune co-rules the 12th house with Uranus. With the midpoint structure of Jupiter/Uranus/Neptune/Pluto we have a very powerful set of factors that can point both to the extremes of influence abroad that the Saudis can have through their wealth, and also to powerful enemies from abroad, too. And lastly with respect to Mars, it rules the 1st house, which is the public mood within the kingdom, aside from militarism in general which Mars also rules, and with Saturn opposing Mars in the Saudi chart we see the repressive nature the Saudi regime exercises over its people.
In light of all the preceding, the Khashoggi incident was a signal of larger changes, of shifting alliances in the Middle East, few of which will favor Israel or the US, and which are only pushing the Asian nations closer together. It will also eventually spell the democratization of the Middle East. Monarchy of the form we see in the Arab states is a form of rulership that is dying out. There are no monarchies of the sort we see there outside of that region. Europe gave up monarchies long ago. And while it is true that we do have aristocracies in the West, those too are set to go the way of the dinosaurs. Once the Saudi Kingdom becomes an Arabian Peninsula democracy – or falls under the control of another extremist form of government – it will signal one of the biggest changes and challenges for the United States in recent memory, because the US relies on Saudi dollars-for-oil payments and arms sales for its defense industry.
The Saudis are the biggest single purchasers of US armaments in the world, with a scheduled order of over 400 billion dollars over the next ten year period. That’s a lot of jobs in the US, and political suicide for US politicians who stand against the Saudis regarding this whole sad affair. US citizens little realize the extreme power the Saudis hold over US politics. But although it might be painful in the interim, one of the best things that could happen for security and peace in this world is for the Saudis and Americans to part ways. Yes, I know – jobs lost, financial chaos for a time, high energy costs, etc.
Just to give an indication of how the wind is blowing with changing relations, the following events have taken place since Oct 2:
- The Saudis have purchased the Russian S-300 missile system, over the objections of the US, preferring that over the THAAD system of the US.
- The Germans and French have gone against US interests and sided with the Russians and Syrians in the Astana peace process
- Arab states are beginning to normalize relations with Damascus
- A ceasefire in the Yemen war to take effect (hopefully) by the end of November, coupled to peace negotiations
- Israel rushing to normalize relationships with Arab states
The scene has already started to play out as envisioned by M.K. Bhadrakumar in our first Khashoggi post. So, things are changing quickly and it appears the writing is on the wall for the greater plans envisioned by the West for the Middle East just a few short years ago
And just to put this in perspective, there have been three key events that have thrown the proverbial wrench in the plans of the US and Western partners:
- US announces the creation of a 30,000-strong border force in the northern Syrian border consisting largely of Kurdish YPG forces. The Turks vowed to crush it. The YPG is seen as a terrorist group in Turkey and the action was seen as a direct snub by the US of the Turks, further souring Turkish/US relations. (15 Jan)
- Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which among other things stipulates that no foreign military force could establish bases in the countries that border the Caspian. This particularly riled NATO forces. It also ensures safe transit of Iranian oil to Russia, Iran being a signatory to the agreement. (12 Aug)
- The Khashoggi incident (2 Oct), which by deduction exposed the plans of the intelligence services in the US/UK to overthrow the Saudi regime, a suspicion not lost on the Saudis. Hence, the Saudis are now looking over their shoulders at the West as they increasingly look to the East. Also of note, but which we will have to leave for another discussion, was the resignation of Nikki Haley from her post as US ambassador to the UN 6 days later.
These all took place when transiting Saturn was almost exactly opposite the US Venus, the latter ruling the sitting administration in the US, as discussed in the last post. What we have with all this points to the Saudis withdrawing their financial support for US efforts in Syria, with Europe no in open defiance of Washington regarding Syria and Iran. The Iranians will still be able to sell their oil and do trade with Russia and other nations via Russia, if not directly. Iran will suffer some in the interim, but US efforts at destabilization and regime change there will ultimately fail. With Israel seeking to normalize relations with Arab states, we see the fear that is driving the Israelis now that this has unfolded, now that the Syrians have proper air defenses and the Turks are further cementing relations with Iran. Jamal’s death was not in vain, then. It has served a larger purpose in that it will eventually bring greater peace and stability to the region, and perhaps even someday fulfill his dream of a democratized republic in what was once known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Wishful thinking? Dreaming? Time will tell. But if the pace of change in the shifting sands of the Middle East are any indication, that might not be so far-fetched after all.
Featured pic from Washington Post