Clumsy US disinfo on Saudi Arabia?

Several people have sent me a copy of this article in today’s London Times, in which journo Hugh Tomlinson breathlessly “reports” that,

    Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.

It’s crazy. The substance of this is intrinsically non-credible.
So what sources did Tomlinson mention? Two kinds (which might actually be one and the same source?):

    * “a US defence source in the area” and
    * “Sources in Saudi Arabia”

All these source (or all this one source) is/are un-named, and Tomlinson does nothing further to identify them. Naturally.
Just in case anyone might be inclined to take the report seriously, they might want to read this recent piece by the NYT’s David Sanger.
Sanger was trying to figure out what options the Obama administration might be considering the event of the almost-certain “failure” of the latest U.N. sanctions resolution to stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear technology program (routinely described in the western MSM as a nuclear weapons program.)
He writes,

    There is a Plan B — actually, a Plan B, C, and D — parts of which are already unfolding across the Persian Gulf. The administration does not talk about them much, at least publicly, but they include old-style military containment and an operation known informally at the C.I.A. as the Braindrain Project to lure away Iran’s nuclear talent. By all accounts, Mr. Obama has ramped up a Bush-era covert program to undermine Iran’s nuclear weapons infrastructure, and he has made quiet diplomatic use of Israel’s lurking threat to take military action if diplomacy and pressure fail.

Bingo. But hey, what can you expect from a Rupert Murdoch rag?

7 thoughts on “Clumsy US disinfo on Saudi Arabia?

  1. alexno

    Yeah, I think it’s clear that article is part of the war-mongering fiction that emerges from time to time in the Times.
    The London Times is not always like that, but there is a strand of their reporting that is pure fiction. Usually it is the Israeli reporter Uzi Mahnaimi who signs this stuff. And it is obvious that the material is coming straight from some Israeli government agency.
    Here it looks to me like they’ve just got another journo, Tomlinson, to sign. In order to give greater credibility. But it is still the same stuff, intended to provoke a war against Iran.
    For that reason, I think the source is more likely Israel than the US.
    But there’s still the same failure to think out the implications of what they’re saying. Saudi, of course, would be putting its regime at risk, if they did what’s being suggested. The Shi’a population of the Eastern Province is large (a quarter of the Saudi population?). Get them worked up, and the regime is in trouble. I wouldn’t risk it just for Israel, if I were them.

  2. chrism

    By the way this Saudi Arabia authorization of the use of their air space for Israeli attack on Iran was also reported in Alarabia and PressTV.
    We would not knot if this is true or not until the war start; however, in my opinion, David Sanger (NYT reporter)’s piece neither confirm nor reject the above claim.

  3. Frank al Irlandi

    Helena
    There have been a number of unconfirmed reports over the last few years of Israeli aircraft in Saudi airspace.
    I wonder if you should look a little closer at the piece and start to combine it with things like this from the delightful Caroline Glick, Deputy Editor of Jerusalem Post and last weeks report of nuclear armed Israeli submarines passing into the Indian Ocean.
    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=178167
    Caroline’s mention of Obama applying pressure on the Israelis to give up their nuclear weapons makes me wonder if the Israelis see themselves as being in a “Use it or Lose it” dilemma.
    I wonder if the esteemed Caroline’s suggestion of appointing a straw man to talk to anyone who disagrees with her point of view while they get on with planning and implementing Armageddon indicates that the Israeli Government has decided to go it alone, and leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces afterwards.
    This would be consistent with an Israeli Government assessment that there is little time left before their government falls.
    A previous piece by the good Caroline disagrees with Anthony Cordesman’s view that Israel is becoming more trouble than it is worth, where she states that Israel is the only US Ally defending freedom against Bolshevik Hordes/ Islamists/ Orcs or whatever the Terror of the Moment is.
    I agree with Tony Judt about anachronistic thinking.
    This however doesn’t help us avoid disaster.

  4. Frank al Irlandi

    Helena
    Jerusalem Times reporting of the Saudi denial is less than credible.
    There have been a number of unconfirmed reports over the last few years of Israeli aircraft in Saudi airspace.
    I wonder if you should look a little closer at the piece and start to combine it with things like this from the delightful Caroline Glick, Deputy Editor of Jerusalem Post and last weeks report of nuclear armed Israeli submarines passing into the Indian Ocean.
    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=178167
    Caroline’s mention of Obama applying pressure on the Israelis to give up their nuclear weapons makes me wonder if the Israelis see themselves as being in a “Use it or Lose it” dilemma.
    I wonder if the esteemed Caroline’s suggestion of appointing a straw man to talk to anyone who disagrees with her point of view while they get on with planning and implementing Armageddon indicates that the Israeli Government has decided to go it alone, and leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces afterwards.
    This would be consistent with an Israeli Government assessment that there is little time left before their government falls.
    A previous piece by the good Caroline disagrees with Anthony Cordesman’s view that Israel is becoming more trouble than it is worth, where she states that Israel is the only US Ally defending freedom against Bolshevik Hordes/ Islamists/ Orcs or whatever the Terror of the Moment is.
    I agree with Tony Judt about anachronistic thinking.
    This however doesn’t help us avoid disaster.

  5. Issay

    “Saudi Arabia yesterday denied a report in the British media that it will allow Israeli jets to use its airspace if Tel Aviv decides to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.
    “Saudi Arabia has followed the false and slanderous allegations in some British media that it would let Israel attack Iran via its airspace,” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted a foreign ministry official as saying. The kingdom “rejects violating its sovereignty or the use of its airspace or territories by anyone to attack any country”, he said. Saudi and US defence officials were quoted in a report in The Times as saying that Riyadh will allow Israeli jets to fly over the kingdom. ”

  6. Salah

    This all garbage that Times or New york times and other western media propaganda twisting all ways like these matter.
    We saw with WMD of Iraq and their skills in twisting the facts, the invasion of Iraq seen as liberation of 20 millions of Iraqis while they killing them bombing with White phosphor with all banned weaponry, we sow and US top official prized the the looting, we saw how they value human being with Abu Grab torturing camp and other place which far from the tyrant regime with his mincing or Acid bath so on so forth.
    See this Ass* with his face.
    Or take a look to this were that area heavily boobed during the invasion followed by massive US military operation which cause severe human rights abuses Very Human very caring oh yah!!!
    This your media Helenna
    Oh let remind you with seven or nine doubles of the tyrant just like cat, or those secrets tunnels that western media talking about.
    All above these the stories that pages of those western media print and published for years tell the how much truth in it?
    If Israeli need to hit Iran why goes to Saudis? US control all Airways over Iraq why Saudis not US helping these terrestrial states.

  7. epppie

    Sigh. It never ceases to amaze me the way liberal alternapundits come back around to stooging for the Dems no matter what. Obama’s intention of war towards Iran is every bit as clear as Bush’s intention of war towards Iraq was, but the liberals chose to see through Bush’s lies; when it comes to a Dem, they CHOOSE not to.
    OF COURSE, posing Sanger against the London Times is meaningless, as both are notoriously unreliable. POSSIBLY one could argue that the Times insinuates a narrative for Israel while Sanger insinuates a narrative for the Obama Regime, so one could read opposing regime narratives into an opposition between LT and Sanger. But the most obvious way to interprete such a difference of narrative would be to suggest that the Obama Regime is intent on having plausible deniability, however thin, when Israel attacks Iran. It’s not plausible to continue to suggest that Israel wants war but Obama doesn’t. The Iran-Turkey-Brazil deal was the PERFECT opportunity for Obama to take the offramp from a confrontation certain to lead to war, if that’s what he wanted to do. Not only did he not do that, he pretty much spit right in Turkey’s and Brazil’s faces. And this is so obvious that it’s silly to have to repeat it.
    It would be much more fruitful, at this point (and long since, really) to discuss why Obama wants war with Iran, and how he intends to bring it about and what the rippling consequences may be, but I guess liberal alternapundits won’t get around to that until the latest version of Shock and Awe TeleWar hits Tehran – and I suspect that even then liberal alternapundits will try to work the narrative that Obama really didn’t want war but was forced into it by the bad Iran hardliners, and the bad Israel hardliners, and the neocons and war party in the US, and so on.
    Nothing is ever Obama’s fault. Obama never has any bad intentions. Give him time. He’s doing his best. On and on the liberal alternapundits drone, no matter what happens. The myth of Obama the Secret Peacemaker must be maintained no matter what.
    As for Saudi Arabia, most likely they have indeed made a deal with Israel. It’s clear that Saudi Arabia and Egypt consider Iran a mortal threat, but the reason for that, of course, has exactly nothing to do with nuclear weapons, and everything to do with the fact that Iran is a far more democratic place than either of those countries, which – of course – says more negative things about our ‘friends in the middle east’, the socalled ‘moderate’ regimes, than it says positive things about Captain Crackdown and the Mullahs.
    The reason that the US is loading Saudi Arabia up with anti-missile batteries that likely won’t work is undoubtedly to try to reassure them that they’ll be defended from payback when they let Israel through to attack Iran. There’s no other reason for them to need defending against Iran, other than their willing cooperation with an attack on Iran.
    That doesn’t mean that the Times story wasn’t intended to stoke the fires of war and possibly even to stampede Iran into providing a pretext. Propaganda can walk and chew gum. Isn’t that amazing.

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