Rice Vindicated: She did Unmask Trump, Bannon– but they were meeting UAE

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The United Arab Emirates crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan slipped into the United States on December 15 for a secret meeting with Trump, Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon.

It is unusual for high government officials to visit without letting the White House know. Barack Obama was clearly being frozen out of this meeting. Obama kept insisting that we only have one administration at a time, and was disturbed by the way the Trump circle immediately began pursuing its own foreign policy, not waiting for Jan. 20.

But the National Security Agency has high politicians throughout the world under surveillance, and notices when their cell phones start talking to towers in New York all of a sudden, instead of in Abu Dhabi. So National Security Adviser Susan Rice knew that Sheikh Mohammed was meeting with someone on a surreptitious visit to the US. And she asked the NSA for the identities of the Americans in the meeting. And there they were, Trump, Flynn, Kushner and Bannon. Its like when you hear animals eating garbage in your garage at night and you turn on the light and there are four fat raccoons chowing down on rotten chicken bones.

What was the purpose of this meeting? CNN’s reporting is that the 3-hour conversation ranged over Iran, Yemen and the Mideast peace process. In other words, it was about Iran and Israel.

The UAE felt abandoned by Obama. He put relatively few resources into helping the rebels in Syria,though perhaps a billion dollars (not a large sum for that country).

And he had made that nuclear deal with Iran, which the Arab powers saw as a signal that he was tilting toward Tehran and away from them.

Obama was also increasingly uncomfortable with the Yemen war.

So the UAE, which is a fabulously wealthy if small country (maybe 1.5 mn citizens, 9 million residents) had swung into action to make sure Trump was on their side.

My guess is that they will have urged him to tear up the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal, which he had already pledged to do.

It is despicable for these foreign leaders to connive at getting young American soldiers killed for their own purposes.

The UAE royal family is also close to Erik Prince, who runs mercenaries in the global south. Prince in turn is close to Trump. Trump made his sister Betsy DeVos a cabinet member.

A month later, the UAE used Prince to try to reach out to Russia and get Moscow to abandon Tehran.

So Trump’s hysterical tweet that the Obama administration had put him under surveillance is both true and false. It is false that they bugged his penthouse. It is true that he showed up in their sights, because he kept meeting with persons of interest.

Flynn seems to have liked meetings, and called the Russian embassy a lot in this period, as well. And his company had a big payday from a Turkish crony of president Tayyip Erdogan.

Why, despite their protestations of being afraid of or hating Muslims, you wonder whether they weren’t working for some. And that raises another question, which is whether the UAE came bearing bribes.

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15 Responses

  1. Shame on those Muslim nations for working with these people who either work for Trump, or agrees with his racist policies. While Trump was ranting about banning Muslims from entering the US, nations like Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, were wheeling and dealing with him, and members of his campaign. It is also obvious that the Muslim nations that have properties with his name on buildings and Golf courses, have special privileges, including no ban, and the Trumps, including Ivanka and Eric, make money off those Muslims. Trump’s base must be not very smart to not fathom it all out.

  2. “…Trump, Flynn, Kushner and Bannon. Its like when you hear animals eating garbage in your garage at night and you turn on the light and there are four fat raccoons chowing down on rotten chicken bones.”

    Juan, thank you for that image; I’ll not soon purge it from my brain. The corruption that permeates Reichspräsident Strumpf’s inner circle is a civic cancer, and the media do us a gross disservice by not digging deeper and keeping it in the headlines.

  3. While all this quasi-prurient tracking of the political past occupies the pages, Russia and China are consolidating themselves in distant areas seemingly abandoned by Trump’s two dimensional foreign policy. They are close to devising plans to sort Syria and deal with the DPRK. Meanwhile Israel is hopping about like a cat on the proverbial roof. I wonder how long Tillerson will be able to take it before retiring to the sanity of home and family.

    • The issue is that we don’t like private individuals to be plotting foreign policy with foreign feudal lords. LBJ should have prosecuted private citizen Nixon for doing that in 1968, and Carter should have prosecuted private citizen Reagan for doing it in 1980. I don’t think you’d be at all happy if your shadow Prime Minister were cutting secret war deals with Israel before he’d even become Prime Minister – especially if Israeli money might have been flowing into the election on that basis.

      • It wasn’t intended a value judgement, but the absence of a coherent US foreign policy is giving rise to irreversible changes in the background to these events; complex political arbitration, trading agreements settled in gold and yuan, plans for transcontinental economic connectivity, some with an empty US chair, others without the US altogether.

        • What you describe would be happening with or without pursuit of still-current corruptive actions by Mueller and news media, and they need to be pursued to determine the degree of acquiescence by the administration to foreign interests and its inevitable quid pro quo. So the tracking doesn’t seem at all prurient to me, and the “political past” you mention is NOT AT ALL IN THE PAST BUT CURRENTLY IS RUNNING THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT [into the ground], making your thoughts above most definitely a ‘value judgement’.

    • You’re so right. Future Arabia lead by Mohammed Bin Zayed al Nahyan, smartest one of them all (as he himself strongly believes to be) – Brute MBS manipulated and controlled by UAE runs Saudi Arabia, Dahlan runs Palestinian Bantustan. UAE then makes grand historical peace deal with Israel.

      All other Arab countries fall in line or otherwise end up like Qatar or .. Yemen..

      Otaiba’s and MBZ’s arrogant plans only have one problem: they’re too closely linked to Tump’s success. Subsequently, Trump’s inevitable fall will also be theirs.

  4. “Whether UAE came bearing bribes” ?

    Have we forgotten 100 US$ cash pay to Ivanka’s working fund or whatever her piggy bank is called that came from the UAE when Trump visited Saudi later? And that’s only what is known publicly.

    At this same Dec 15 meeting a long standing ally of the US, Qatar, was given on the plate to UAE and Saudis who were irking to settle long standing grudge with it. US strategic interests in the region sold for cash without informing Pentagon, CIA or NSA…

    • Good point about the devious quid pro quo and the foreign policy realignment/shakedown, LivingInQatar.

  5. I agree with William, Professor Cole – the “raccoons in your garage eating garbage” phrase is so perfect and so funny, I almost wet myself! It perfectly captures the rottenness of Trump and his henchmen. Deserves a re-tweet! Well done! The fact that these sleazeballs were conspiring with an unelected Muslim dictator to overturn a standing U.S. foreign policy before even having the authority to do so is both ironic and horrifying!

  6. Typical Republican tactic – secretly sell out your country for private oligarchical financial and domestic political advantage. Republicans are the enemy of the United States but domestically and in foreign matters.

  7. How could this possibly be a vindication of Susan Rice? On PBS she publicly stated that “she knew nothing about this”, after the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said that “Trump and the people around him may have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals and that their identities may have been disclosed.” Please check Alexander Mercouris article (link to theduran.com). At a minimum, she lied to the American public on TV, regardless of whether one considers this UAE story a legitimate or a bogus excuse.

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