Jamal Khashoggi: What Saudi Deception Reveals About Those Responsible For His Murder

All warfare is based on deception. — Sun Tzu

An act of deception started World War II. With no legitimate excuse to invade Poland, the Germans staged a fake Polish takeover of a real German radio station. They murdered a German farmer, dressed him in a Polish uniform, and left his body at the entrance of the station as “proof” of Polish aggression. This “evidence” was then used as an excuse to invade Poland.

With the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the world may be staring at a situation that is not too dissimilar.

It was recently reported that deception tactics were used in the planned and coordinated murder of Jamal Khashoggi. According to the New York Times:

“Saudi Arabia sent to Istanbul a man who looked like the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and then dispatched the look-alike in Mr. Khashoggi’s clothes to walk around the city and create a misleading trail of surveillance camera images, a Saudi official confirmed on Monday….

The use of a “body double” suggests a premeditated plan to make Mr. Khashoggi disappear, through death or abduction, and to cover it up — possibly contradicting Saudi insistence that his death was the accidental result of an altercation. Turkish officials have said that the Saudi team, who left Turkey hours after they arrived, was sent to Istanbul to kill Mr. Khashoggi.”

Why would Saudi Arabia try to use murder and deception to provoke the United States into taking action against them? The answer may lie in their political alliances.

“Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder and crush him.” — Sun Tzu

The dominant narrative being promoted by the main stream media suggests that the Saudis viewed Khashoggi’s reporting as a threat. He had written that the solution to the United States’ military inefficacy in Saudi Arabia could be found in an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudis view this group as a terrorist organization. And so as an extension of their increasingly authoritarian leadership, the execution of the journalist was ordered and implemented.

So the story goes.

But this story suggests an underlying strategy. While the media is ready to amount the murder of Khashoggi to little more than retribution from Saudi Royalty, this is likely a drastic miscalculation.

Saudi Arabia knows that the murder of an American Journalist would garner attention from the international community. Strategically leaking information of the murder through Turkey proved to be an effective tactic to instigate a global media response.

Bait taken.

Likely responses from the United States and its allies in Europe fall into two categories: military and economic. Militarily, there is little to no threat that the West would launch an attack on Saudi Arabi in response to the murder of an American journalist. Economically, though, there is more at stake.

Murdering Jamal Khashoggi places Saudi Arabia in danger of losing multimillion-dollar deals, including arms deals in America, Germany, Britain and France. They also stand to be hit with sanctions from the United States and European governments. And that might just be what they are looking for.

According to a CNN Business report released last week:

“Saudi Arabia said last week it would retaliate against any economic sanctions or political pressure. And a leading Saudi media commentator raised the possibility of cutting oil supply.

Oil markets have so far largely shrugged off that suggestion but traders are on edge because supplies could run tight when Iranian exports are hit by US sanctions again next month.

Saudi Arabia has previously said it is willing, along with Russia, to plug that gap. And it has already ramped up production in recent months to make up for reduced output by other OPEC countries such as Venezuela and Libya.”

While the government of Saudi Arabi is currently rejecting the idea that they would implement an oil embargo in response to US sanctions and the dismantling of arms agreements with Western nations, they are still in a very strong position to retaliate should their position change on the matter. Their current position, though, is that they hope to settle the Khashoggi matter politically, rather than through economic warfare.

They also said that Khashoggi was killed in a fist fight.

With European nations initiating a counter-response to the murder of the Washington Post journalist, Saudi Arabia may just be getting exactly what it wants: A strategically positioned entry into the (Cold) War between China and the United States.

“To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” — Sun Tzu

Germany would not have been able to invade Poland without an alliance with the Soviet Union. If the Soviet Red Army had sided with the Western Alliance, they would have been sent into Poland to squash the takeover. They could have also been used to enter Germany and contain their forces.

Hitler reasoned that if the Soviets were brought over to his side, he could avoid intervention from the Red Army and increase his military capabilities through this alliance. The Soviets benefitted by avoiding a two-front war (their military was already engaged with Japanese forces) and through the Nazi’s promise to help the Soviets gain territories back that had been lost during World War I.

The Russian-German alliance was solidified with the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact just a week before the fake takeover in Gliwice — and the murder of a German farmer named Franciszek Honiok.

What to the murders of Jamal Khashoggi and a German farmer have in common? They both use deception tactics that give insights to larger strategic efforts and alliances.

The death of Francisczek Honiok would not have been strategically effective without the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

Similarly, the death of Jamal Khashoggi points to the existence of a larger political, economic and military alliance that is deploying strategic deception in efforts to realign the global battlefield. In other words, Jamal Khashoggi’s death was staged in order to advance the goals of not only Saudi Arabia, but a larger intergovernmental ally (or networks of allies) that is working with them.

Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in an attempt to push the West into a war that it can’t win. But — it’s not their War.

I will give propagandistic cause for the release of the war, whether convincing or not. The winner is not asked later whether he said the truth or not. — Adolf Hitler

Hitler needed an excuse to invade Poland. It was part of his plan to expand his territory, solidify alliances with the Soviet Union, and dismantle the policy that held the global alliance together after World War I — the Treaty of Versailles. There was no valid excuse for him to do so, so he fabricated one himself.

Large pockets of German nationalists were living in Poland when the West redrew the country’s borders around them after the first World War. Hitler was using the plight of ethnic Germans as a foundation to claim Polish land. He vowed to ‘liberate” these Germans from their Polish confines, and after securing support from the Soviet Union, the Nazi leader was ready to make his move.

The specifics of what would go on to be known as the Gleiwitz Incident would not be revealed until they were released during the Nuremburg Trials. But nonetheless, it was this stage act of deception that became the first strategic maneuver of the second World War. And it was a German farmer named Franciszek Honiok that would become the War’s first casualty.

Gleiwitz Incident

Franciszek Honiok was forty-three, unmarried and a Polish sympathizer. He was living in the Salesian village of Polonia when the SS arrested him on August 30, 1939. Unbeknownst to him, he was a vital component of a staged attack on a Gliwice radio station.

In 1939, Hitler and Nazi Germany’s top strategists launched a multi-staged false flag operation with the goals of giving off the illusion of Polish aggression against Germany and providing an excuse for the Nazis to invade. It was called Operation Himmler.

The first phase of this deceptive operation involved flooding national and international media channels with propaganda about Polish attacks on ethnic Germans in Poland’s borders. The operation escalated when the Nazis carried out attacks on German buildings near the Polish Border — while dressed in Polish uniforms.

Many of these attacks were carried out by prisoners at concentration camps under the orders of the Germans. These prisoners dressed up as the Polish and forced to carry out attacks on German soil were referred to as “canned meat.”

The codename for the Gleiwitz Incident was “Grossmutter gestorben.” In English, this translates as “Grandmother died”. This component of Operation Himmler involved the staged takeover of a German radio stations. Honiok was the “can of meat” chosen to serve as proof of Polish aggression.

The team of fake Polish soldiers stormed the radio station on the evening of August 31, 1939. They were met with no resistance form the handful of employees working at the tower, and the Nazis were able to quickly implement the next phase of the plan.

The Gleiwitz Incident’s purpose went above and beyond the other staged attacks implemented under Operation Himmler. This specific operation was designed to broadcast news of a Polish takeover to the world.

Karl Hornack, one of the SS members that participated in the raid on the Gliwice radio station-, was chosen for this assignment specifically because he spoke Polish. He was given orders that once the takeover of the building was complete, he was to announce over the airwaves that the Polish had seized the German radio station. And that’s just what he did.

After taking over the building and firing a few gunshots off into the air, Hornack took to the microphone and announced, “Uwage! Tu Gliwice. Rozglosnia znajduje sie w rekach Polskich.’’ (Attention! This is Gliwice. The broadcasting station is in Polish hands.)

As they left the radio station, the members of the SS executed the last part of the plan. They shot Franciszek Honiok in the head and left his body on the stairs at the entrance of the building wearing a Polish uniform.

The line was cast and the media immediately took the bait.

Within moments, every German media outlet was broadcasting news of the invasion. It spread throughout Europe soon after. The BBC, for example, announced:

“There have been reports of an attack on a radio station in Gliwice, which is just across the Polish border in Germany.

The German News Agency reports the attack came at about 8pm this evening when the Poles forced their way into the studio and began broadcasting a statement in Polish. Within a quarter of an hour, say reports, the Poles were overpowered by German police who opened fire on them. Several of the Poles were reported killed but the numbers are not yet known.”

The next day, Adolf Hitler used this false attack as an excuse to invade Poland. Hitler calculated that the Europeans would not be able to respond quick enough to stop him. And he was correct.

With support from the Soviet Union, Hitler was able to invade Poland and hold it. This how a series of faked attacks, the murder of Franciszek Honiok, and the media’s response to coordinated military deception brought the world to war for the second time.

“…the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.” — Sun Tzu

The nation that is openly engaging in strategic efforts to unseat the United States as the world’s leading economic superpower, dismantle the Western alliances between the United States and Europe, and enter a new era as the economic, political, and military leader of the Eastern led empire is China.

Many have argued that the US is already in the early stages of a Cold War with China. Mainstream news outlets such as CNN, the Washington Post, and NBC have reported that the economic freeze between the two nations has already begun. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported equated a speech given by Mike Pence to the Iron Curtain speech given by Churchill at the onset of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. And Steve Bannon asserted that the War had begun in a statement made in July.

China is in the final stages of executing a series of long-term strategies geared at not only placing them ahead of all Western economic superpowers — but also dismantling the alliances and authority that have stabilized the Western economic leaders since the end of World War II. (I will be reporting on this strategy more in the upcoming weeks.)

The Obama Administration took a position that the rise of China could prove beneficial to both the Communist nation and the United States. Opting for collaboration over confrontation, the United States maintained an outwardly congenial relationship with China guided by “win-win” economic interactions.

Trump’s Make America Great Again strategy represents a dramatic shift in strategy.

Trump has openly and aggressively pursued economic combat with the nation boasting the world’s second largest economy — and China has been more than happy to respond in kind.

As Trump imposes sanctions and ramps up anti-Chinese rhetoric and accusations, the Chinese government has responded with stiff sanctions of their own and a posture that all but invites a trade war with their only remaining global economic competitor. China believes — and many agree — that they have the upper-hand in a one to one battle for economic superiority with the United States.

But they wouldn’t be going to battle alone.

“The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.” — Sun Tzu

After suffering what they call the Century of Humiliation at the hands of the West, China became keenly aware of what was needed to regain composure, enact vengeance and assume leadership on the Western alliance responsible.

Economics is China’s strong suit. They are all but a completely self-sufficient economy on their own. This is the combined result of resources and labor coupled with centuries of nationalism and isolation. Unfortunately, no nationalist entity can avoid the global market.

Attempts by the Western authorities to open the market to China have been aggressively pursued by the west through both political and military action. It was China’s inability to match the West’s military power that ushered them into the Century of Humiliation and ensured that most populous nation on earth would strategically focus on building and bolstering their military capabilities to ensure that never happened again.

Formidable enough on their own, what they lack in strategic efficacy — their allies in Moscow can provide. What they lack in military hardware, they make up for in intelligence and hacking capabilities. This last point is worth reiterating.

While analysts are currently using outdated models based on spending and hardware to gauge the strength of Chinese and American militaries, technological capabilities now play just as important a role in modern warfare. The mainstream media has been focusing on Russia and China’s abilities to hack into our electoral systems, but it is their ability to hack into our military defense mechanisms and intelligence programs that ultimately poses the greatest threat to our existence as a nation.

On the surface, it seems that Trump feels confident that he can engage in an economic Cold War with China because he is operating off of the assumption that we can dominate China with military force should the need arise. On the surface, a German farmer dressed in a Polish uniform also looks like a Polish aggressor.

“Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.” — Sun Tzu

Under the Obama Administration, the Western alliance was strong and the relationship with China was cautiously measured. And this was a problem for Eastern ambition.

To achieve success, the alliance between the United States and Europe needed to be dismantled — and the US needed to pick a fight with China that it couldn’t win. To complicate matters, strategic progress requires that Donald Trump spearhead the former while avoiding responsibility for the latter.

Assuming leadership of the global economy and political hierarchy requires strategic dismantling of current alliances, treaties, and organizations. The relationships between the US and Europe are being effectively severed while the European Union is being disbanded. The United States is pulling out of international global agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement, the Russian nuclear arms treaty, and has reshaped economic policies like NAFTA. And NATO, the World Bank and the UN have all been challenged by eastern military alliances and economic development agreements.

According to Putin, the era of American-led Western dominance is “almost done.” In the same statement, the Russian President claimed that Americans should take some responsibility for responding to the death of Jamal Khashoggi — but only after more information was made available.

The problem here is that there are currently two Americas. America the country and America the vehicle of the Trump Administration.

By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy’s must be divided. — Sun Tzu

Trump could easily apply sanctions to Saudi Arabia and start playing political and economic hardball with Saudi Arabia over the death of Jamal Khashoggi. That would ensure that the Cold War between the East and the West deepened, but it would also risk a stronger alliance between the United States and European nations that were willing to take action against Saudi Arabia. Domestically, the Trump Administration has used a supposed $110 billion arms deal as an excuse not to take action for the murder of a Washington Post journalist. And personally, he and his son-in-law Jared Kushner have close ties with the Saudi royal family.

In order to maintain divisions between the United States and Europe, military exchange agreements between the US and Saudi Arabia, and relationships between the Trump family and Saudi royalty the Eastern Axis would need America to strike back at Saudi Arabia — without Trump.

Enter Congress.

While Trump is prioritizing arms deals and downplaying Saudi Arabia’s role in the murder of Khashoggi, Congress is calling for action against the Middle Eastern country. In conflict with the President, Republicans such as Lindsay Graham, Bob Corker, and Rand Paul are amongst their ranks.

Congress seems to be positioning itself to enact sanctions and penalties on Saudi Arabia in response to Khashoggi’s murder should Trump fail to do so.

By playing Trump and Congress against each other, the Eastern Axis is able to ensure that Trump is able to avoid responsibility for deepening the Cold War between the United States and the Eastern Axis while gaining the opportunity to blame the Swamp for sanctioning Saudi Arabia when the backlash strategies are implemented.

Allowing Trump to avoid imposing sanctions himself would also further confuse the relationships between the Administration and the entities using it to dismantle the United States and the Western Alliance.

Through the use of strategic deception, the widened divisions between the East and the West will allow Saudi Arabia to enter the Cold War on the side of the Chinese government while the US simultaneously distances itself from its European allies and picks a fight with the Eastern Axis that it can’t win either economically or militarily.

Should the Cold War turn hot, these alliances will form the opposing sides battling for superiority in the next World War. And Jamal Khashoggi will be that War’s first casualty.



SIIP is dedicated to designing strategies to counter political obstacles faced by the most brutally targeted communities in the United States

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SIIP is dedicated to designing strategies to counter political obstacles faced by the most brutally targeted communities in the United States