The Jasta Controversy: Is There a Longer-Term Agenda?

JFIF;CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80 C   %# , #&')*)-0-(0%()(C   ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( " }!1AQa"q2#BR$3br %&'()*456789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz w!1AQaq"2B #3Rbr $4%&'()*56789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz ?\R䆲9N)qE-юh(;ъ&)iGO4 J\R(sK:Sip=)לӱNqJ.)q@ƑKK\Pb \QLQZ\RPF)h7SE!p \RъAKZ\P1bbQ@ K\Q@(C P)@P)Rn)iq@b;()qKH"tH1J!RbRC RSAzbP)h(R((R:PbSE Er@QKP+sKN'S@Sǽ@ ;ӀF3O4q؍A(( (f m-(.3@bb(.)q@ .)أ1ⴠPqKqb Kn(8 Z7bҎs@qE7Rp.G4 6.嶋'לcYXBb?6X;6oORGbWx_tlG9U`gw 9>ֳ% ,YU=XaU*_S+C!.)@bSE7b n)@F)Qޝ1@(E((.(%.(bR^8byf"Y݂.ۂ[Ϧ3V2dЊ4bP!)E.) R▊(e-.) @8.)hRKH;@ \RF(R(.)h E4)qF(i20rs]g-?PP)ؠ @&)qN4P1(SF(b)RƊ1N(?Pq@SJ4 b\R 4\RQNBbS@qK\R bR❊1@ .1NgڂcU #9v8\g?mɯ1~SMҴi'@v?O P=Eogk&wwb$m8<~uXi,_Y\^2F?wnOҶt6г%@G^ :},0&q6}\[4wrWI7ſR@W3s xGkUr$-`GY:mZwڔPZ(26z Q~5Y%tݦ_hXsa#wX/3C^p@*AS E|x[Hˈb-t1ƞ&v֪$ASҽ $7Nl)@Ӂ 1NLP)@)qJ1;pbRJ6.)q@ \R(1N X*lR;(zO P"f#ڲaJu_1Sb{;s ob4x4!(S)iqF=iP0P1)h.)K\qF(QK)(c;❊1HNъp90)E(WQ!S\RO1cqF)ǥ;b .)qKivv9@7Q%Kh8 1@ .)ؠ n(?@ K1HF)QLQ\R⁈5=wA՟T| xק\]!M$5puߧ?a=6,h4qp`xF}Oҵ-Dnp= sp2 4[^dnkZ.[9?Z}.LM3 #r@G,ZiIVo>0-6bn8G84)THRH`I,= *R9e9r}MG՟PK\RKQF(R.)p(bb)b F)G 1Eb )qF)KFMIȲk66o)G.cp@+HnKgm\ A+Go)H}^]\Y!`m'Az tv-mnaϨ)6֦DC1= G1I*з!A ~-n?i0[eڎۏ*^쎟OF"[~t8QcӬGʰEKjHzm\QSPbZ(LR)@1)qJ.(R.(-1Hb )Q@ -.)q@ SI@ QG 1P)q^r@)qphإ :)@h.( iإ.=)R @7bP)f)qN.(.)RKP(1Iޞ(bPq.)RbNCqE?P~bEQv(b=UkVҤ՝EO`=x?h=ˬPDۀI5|cw=In#8+UTta躲= &c,kP;Tں|=qgn".{FxAPCF|Äh?mMI=z"dgMgGIUnݏ25]&L)' #ʾ7mYW2)l3>:#]JKJHquf;M79s6if2ʱ:NNݳawouJ^^BQbRQZ&(q@ QLP.)@%;b(1J---jlNBMp佂KC&N=kC?6&9bm뎣+GÝ+H<<( 9?@}+a$-s $i9{1* yR==,x2=GjΛd4u˺Q==.m(dGi^=%Ze®5"-ös]+kgB,V?u:ul{^[3*/-%]c5cuOIii6ڹh-9ry][6I[!aىUII+cn{8j@DY1Brm_֗q1h~x ZMJϹ8Μ=l<7&ms-ՙqʥ=@ø^}JGNv+Fqzz}]_WךͶMПZʛp)ګk))K,EeRBy}垗u3xNg)\0+prOo異`NU >ty؊^Zlbhs4b\PP9iج;_ \"i ^[z<9tQ9+7dmS- F)أ6\P1F)b08iڥfG#=ݵ)&݋*rM|wMeia Fʻ]AY+B;cW 6$9c^uzGúo[U#MɌy8A$BKq37d1L߹u֗Y<{`;RS_mVWPR6s:sJ]ĽKVckجdPLsp3\8*ji{!ȩRS{j;Ռ4j-u)PR`xUƈTVȨxE~_rk#+G(+hVvf5(¦R[:v$.}8S_*xoZoΑv1t#) e{w>'iEkӵes!cOvӬա(m;QqVb\QJ)%LRRP1E.(1J)hR1F)أ m.=hKz@gb@)qKi@!1F)Ԫ(b( P1N@m.)qK1SIh)i@&(;bSK@ .){R )qJ4 RF)أҹ4b1@ 1NSN @XybE@5>+q\\㑟3眀~iúl3St;ڼ^+|=<&%"LI'4KPUsszT@:mi"CP{ 6X<¹k?a&AӥtDnyް9F[v9VS?i?y)#:~q#5 "E$V $F Cj_izfUod+WrÙ"OƸa>Fc w-m'匜d{tuB')AnߧOy5*p%2쐍>i0ŭ?sqWjf:ne]1 ϱ|3B _D6Վ IdmM䒽 +,#ය,|BdC~T.Jc#Ez*-+M,){Q<(^h ~(@_؆gr#Xy>NvC6;{m?Z@Tƚpn IBaqk$&twDsF{M&+cR@.9 1N1rk^,Ul?ٶGleO:=Ӿ.xOxEͫ^^?u8(1`}qԃھvo2+Vf ~r#f3I~G\ݟʯhKkm` V~UQvѓ(TW  $kv(iOHو=Uex$6dIv *vʏr W3Eg(+3HMmplok]KMlMWVJ2?Z9`wFxQ]L>Xz:޼Zw[:q:gtMlȍ~ڎxOUKKh\IK2 gӽz.o1ƶܥʆIٙӪүtKscY#*+# -ؘ;O@I?Rkk.V8vbfCqF)إ ڴ)P8]3dT^,-94g$OSbtHn Kc 9ռ#ԵM1otȒ@"~g*T9Wi>/m`YGd4#Ě-s$!k@ ǧ⹝g_gvXFYowQ 7 mQH^=s#e=O:֮Kkg:_ݩk| u A|Ĝ񪥄QcRZ+^:j~Da?Qקza9@UTE 0@({(FyQDϚBbSl`4Qv(&(bm-.(&( J)ii(K@KZ@sJjv(.s v(+Kv1&)qJ-&)@.)q@bSm;bb&)qJ.(RSъhm 3m(PR❊1Hm;SP+ޠt =y+ED'кtI(-kWQnlGDZ9?gkb$K. bZN6닉V4<vG7%B1xr5[xȟQKhP/՗?޼Z1h:d>¶(UϘ}KgoJWmvJDyՁ\pi{՟1;Dc[n\IEn/m IćӒg4bE(0 O^}{jPÂQWIX:ʧ5fpPB@f=.axh'dNT%}:[ׇͨ:TbWp bq@ .)qK@7`.*+KYE3ʒ@gĝHj^1.9]P\P@?{M<+)B>RHp<=*G`"NF0#+ɛ{ؤ{>p=M)^y7^iG4LRJzS> z5j:|8Wб٘ۅ1Zn/8_ݡzE$ ǃ޹kf:\t#ƖIFϧ&}T`>o0Y9#K|B 2 2͕lW<c*|s'(pZ! brNh)qNPqKڗbRюh(b-.)1E(a)@ iSE!(bP.)@ksn)E;bLQNhQ@ba(.(s@Xn(.( Q1KO/R⋎j9b1@#ƌUFI=5,>s8LrF;>VvuapXW[H#`wR 6(P=**ɸ&̪Fm.qH?F)أn+ʼd9D`pX!Wru5JڔNiՎpf5SIJ5 /QD{!ϝ99zzW|@P)]yCI"Nkϡ]b\O%4/#NK1$PVbz)T_2|wkc-4ݳ)0? L0*핬nG;U(c\n xDvTXdu? ߤo5p970y/Os ؕNX2:;^ dS>ptCCsO 5r0 *[ 8*\*MGր+ ǃV8g~ Hyjvp6Oͤ06"_n GpOϽHʫxuEoIF=j8M#RQVL?q[x0I b=~Sw rO~W~?YLbBU? ی; G߄4kO=jC%w ñ`G'k b?ִGpl.t};öN @}&faux])L&>d,|sJS#6FFk~'x̐O7O6W!2UYA r?ןk0Vv9Ĩ1{?JWjjsꉕ[GSOR\GR>G('ܟJqU4K]Oq |O®(%&K\R⨁S_d/'DLHf;==e5ғ.?r,6FHg]8%Wrߝqc*Y(xX]Kz!c*Ç`;I/.>폙4_YMb-ė`yw]6:|:mH?P{c.r=H- _h9p'&dPx! $wcfdVs K"G WUT#wҤ6y}A$w42M3_._1oAR }NHu62F@VE`OIy$V˵ USc ؼ`8:omeL"_1{|~m\6c9 Jr P3\Yi1V=x~2Jؓ!$䞴2xB1>ps_Hx|Y>?E#hWѤW}1RN1[\mba\PڟZ6.;v( )أQv(E8 \R b1@▗(4¥(V64S@ P1Kv❊\PqF) b\S(; .!1F)R⋀R❊1HSF(\PqF)إ [F'fnRj.뙢zfG ?Z ִxyu13˖9UdZl֌v$MD7zVc /)6@`, :p:@Tdܣ(sm@b$gb3ӡ]U 8d&wxZ}Reo7k᥉13o+UÁv^;y~ͧY\I4଀q@AḬĶ bUWי̏s/*m>'([,z3J?__4O]PÌz41.]6knum}lҼ׵]׺eĸlt gޕ#4{c[[IW*Ȉ0szW4{TQ|ԧbh} !5 _ \p?3NuCqH)dPd)-:VBG4TuR?[MtݣcAM}k?g)=SVin>?+1^kj:]}fƁF)iqZXf)qN-a:RQ~(a>Qqf(?%7SE :>k$C<*KYke8%r*{ f, @zbhL)L\?Z嫉:N$G1Otdr08 th8 \P0(*ga SKw \R⋀RҁEh(˲'\,VmKOYmfz)AU;C졿K'($%Ip71'o5 )OcI"*)P+JL4* N}>Sx8Hǘsҳx+XJ>m,w@@$@ 'qQ3;GZii<&Dn +dr=kS8]07!#usg,얍({Fy׊Xp m8^iu;LG2?jW*0I!(Y`01Ҵ6Z,wR4ϹLsڹ=+d$Oԇi@`Dn:ЏjZ3c7P#>c)ݜ}:W&O`)Z];|Xy~8ҥԩ%J0OsxʲOM?3Te܁y<ZRXO].lӌ|q-|k|&,c[v3׎EQXlhĮJiEd5VkBe?­\(k|2ԴCia*A~sj7mĦY_nc׎es}Sgs9E80vsA nF(zt%LJXRP éc"Ornz"k fk8/#h 9mQ6q>+3x3V>c ,NׯMcnߛH&I<~C\8rNi=h\HkXȗ 8jnm̊JLc[ye*ץ:O")3qsX -LM4E,CJ09{}kդXhlyYj1ힸ;qzT:Y'Rwڼv7>sC25<[, z4rNԗ6e$X<$2:ש Nf1;r3 r(Ca ֤#] w7KNńQ$ \}LV^FrZ"՞o4P^Mg9U^Fl:uܒhS)!NǟLu%ġ2Ww?w \]bXq*Hvڝݯ*-.G֝ ?)LBAV?J)WsZwR[v>{2+^T1$,y*?~&CH=2HA/ku/ ~ߖo-2*ʻcya,Q u9:1uUO%P^Ok4uf@ p 0s^1Q\BLU5a^3Vkf@r ȣ=eU]v+1I,VI m*ڻ9GXad$#p~3k˳Gq=f9>*֖Kn=[UYXg%2YO|c'ڹN m&{,GB[67٣8MŞe>R20:bgYEݠbјԟ,|J9 bz wՀ(?SN1I֗$?}Px@a>n"L>xFEڨ'mOg^|'[꘯)<-&׬Wtvq" $JbW}2Cy ;Z:n6n m@ =Z|]s$Y ?Vw+Kɘ{OlRkY''8v޽t),țm$v5VmެԨ p9XYc_Qs"! 뀭wpHf?O/Y: *Ȳ919:K8O*hX\,Յ+AF09rztMA4W8KG*GeωbI 9Tf\EaE},\fծbXͼGs3" ֪IbF-?ΜA;XJ2j5#R!ϳT٤~'5볧U {*Z~1Ϸ); QoҋsmڝX,b=wD wpJ0V*  'xee=vArO[6u@1zדH\">3[8-[ZCurʠhuf{5E3wZVL7*u#8Zia8`1p~JMHatȄ HLkK[ʒVscL*O$-s¹MZ٤0D+oGu',h08S)Ӎz~lm5;?>ìY3>}+ε 5֪EkyN:{p0JoURI\vgZq ?)2S];$m躅mmx-yo*  IkUim,. 'O川''JVe/mCi|gFfԓJ*Ǘ|OcQbǭz#3&sKyPRեuOil3r+G $0 {֧4}mqߐ1c^֗Ne]ׂ~S*-۵gY77e-2(h~'jo }8tc(R׿/KnxK#>H<x?/N=u>Z\IrMeČ&# O#Ϡw\,q|H7`=w`BY^ -3yۂpc>w>{-X׍w vssc=$Cՙ䎙c~xj}Ay%Eڮ/;`9m.݋k[i /'y:-?QhH`B33zgǰ❤YC,ob`zиxwNGX$?"Gp0bbBМVxťΐ\\#gaǠoN┣i~FSqțhvFVr z湈EisԡʺmĽXh^U ׿Z̆x,^gq@luKq& |fDԠ ]DVep##,ŰOS׎Oj5]9"*U M*Mg֐.덢HGkɝ+qgN^h^9$w8F!fUH$eH M']W_ @1фse|Wmǝ?U\V)b)b IONchbPh;b^;+Kå41F#bR7` =潓3i ށRa5rzRb0yirFbS`)qJ){RsJ.=)V b Ҹ{VmFY# ?JqY' 3#3:d2N# vX\t!&>T$*wJeǣin*}p}itY\,F`?SAt#$a3Xr*Ybh1ϾMXnJ]1W,AOI4gZ5ir =neI&ټn۴zrqol\I 8__W^A 5K sQ[%oF^B v5P6grL)cW`N=p*DXw#TsׯhLAAc)ROS^^^+XaF3Vǧ% (hQ#><˅cUhF<>8"])|7kV;(dB8}q5oef*ObGi4[x6%A>Gk&ݰ#=OM SJmIKz%/ccW=M!HFxtnQKTcX^#d2H_8 ?qRL4-5bS_TInhfer?I&wWe%0rpi[Eڡ~\qQAEX%#QC'vr6s{?Ϻk#S5t9֫eđF)&'j[s:7ˑJEky]`gIX`$8ӥI; #6ʱצkOiY ]G^WN1nѼj00aAѧ$ N$lAw!ZBA aPgޭcJ0F*72t vήYTzօ;wS,wٱ[asY?)9څzwb }>y`|r\"rC9ZORvLvMba ql4; c:Tw uZK9# q#޲nӤ2]y*Nxqgjֵy/{k9: l9[Kmsk3[.~RRT\038;Zfj#|GRz`&e!b:`zWICw$;aZ+.*yc8NRAXևL3mN\CZƓs֘i!,q886{*[\Y=²fOF;\qa@aGh*!"tgwj^w@PVc,wB9[°Yisy\U*~` `g~\hGk76a-FE˵ N|EV%X{ER vgzӃ\<Ն@kBDsgG'<܎aHۛ7ONùXfkpc.LCPw;qV%8}*O|qǽsROUgvcb67A1Rs lu{ohzXm~ȑ\$HVS@߯j7[)VYb|jb1*Eeҋ9Va7|+;CN$Vٴ j#&+šM."JuHf+NYCDPI&@?*v[Eӥ'vb諸Tt149W'=rrzlz%SJZa?>})r>cR>^7zf3q@lI;5g zm)U'nL>clm~x~6֫/٫fxF34(,-kbǜ1N .)hW=) Ud`&: UyYh#imUyCRUћIHjf+U+aQw3M3Co~ ;W/e`Q_YQyDMt(AV  l[اxl2);`iE" u -%-`\,J( ^6IB}q\ avFf _Y;6O¸1r;0Ѳbu'^A8lh4*sŪ\\F')}=Z.TI8Ǯk3{kr %/b>Lƥh(8 k:=f+[Kc 3V&MLDx {(vu\% p=*bx:(jpΫ:"Xdz ]N#iCo΢MrTSop7O8\tQXcwűrPZߴ0v極ˠ(y$rfcmY"/\C0 V zJO\k`t5BFq2Th`Z-U#8ӍZI'SG!ګxHGQagY?yH?xd )['~cL+JRn*ö7dz"A8\u c޳4q,B.TpĜ*(:Z"ް=֯k;Yi^DsAHN{ Vo %.RWOo|CĚvmz-i46O1Ys?it,,BrZ-I`fL 4c{?&;>n|Gg_>f#eLjxv,nn8E,(wC;rqEGsp,,y"LRN'N$dчdN6F;R}ƧHs]&d1)iWo\׶RqIHŃ9׽y&U5vv\<'h`ʘ'q$qoius B(`N3iI\gxO7UV`8?$ΌĖ7Q$2*@k![G`,\UqFk79x!ލzK:?iw)qkേ$W={w}.Ö%IkYbxENCmڹ  5LԮ.&I 9LAGjjl,\j :דJ_4vE$AeqV<&I1rwPZeHZG<4!9郓ۧ==jljȯV6e|U1 ܁\^ 68X b FT`k]E{ZL=3E!X4Hq=*MGY[&0tS sϾrH|~9x<җPxxG!# :gʱUb<KM PLhPθVe$X0mZ /)9·=r1`ux4k {8n"]xʕG pǰO~ |c[e<Ɛ.0rIs>JUւ33}좲%H;Uv qpqnTfo>{3⍻?^'jsyO+kyo̬0W_bpGaNѴE4dapy#<6 jymhvᜌ@8_;1!bLe=|I+~5Y5 v(tJP1\iCk3A)fl2x:jLfo;Q0[>'E#  ǹ ##;ӺeB'H7_|8 ׊ƌҚϵ=)PqS !3;ͺ(ɞF 鸓*cXt<:Gĝ ,f8dStM Nɟ\Z@-lHcX%< =qKv( b(XLP)hqؕ'eTv㰪آ,&k=5-ҫb">vHdR{&vm8)Ax"W][W_a$Wmf2dGԡR}9_wSѰȮ<?2,+qJI)ؤU%-Rq)ؤ wRRpR)E  IoX6Ұ 0HbB.Q- R y3*G+!9P~n[2SJ"?Im<ďD?JRW?cʋRlhb|9Sп 5n y1cfCx#vК9V9ktE|ɽX@"'#\Z$wdH6=C utV4Vf#ߏy]ħRJ+ ~cZC ڴXYu"^]jD$W!A3qJ4%#+Ԍ`9c+GӮ7@#N@늺FDnR8\K_"TȈP6Zܲ}<;\iU\WotJB?ҍ; 33MçG :/^E5HQA9Sox@* *+b[b7?s TcnM"D-'rYt(p9Zdn|&m#Ōrï;{6mc)H4w9r\68HÇ̥8=1%Y ݎJ>&ca¹o]iz=b0I⟌$>:b" +Ч}WSQ6l{j y\aZKIS𭓦TeҿcB |EOi8]j]8n5qJ_ԉp:t,O~_Tɝ_0$}F2Ĝ՘IWaOw޼KֵCgcPyC1K>8-;z߉77`y#XFiڞw+8g8=r}+ĺ֤k!|6{EvW4Eu/jK';?*YCZ'+m+?#M:H"!_ȸu*Fwz؊~e}2kvI^\UejrH3!]  $t8szR$3K/Pyt_|#kYGuJDbb~傅~*jz}etme]0Hr?+b.ܹHo<ОvO#:22F\ *:qZBtr~fv+4r_€#=u  m;NK7i cUo5F>dH`9 =^kYm9h uirq|Ԟ^g΃KN N} Šd~jgLJ _GG~uz38]'*qHuV#kr^?®+S:Qv(msqF)bS)\vb.\vZ)\,&)1N`.HH&FWO) oR4w }'״0xï͡dQa{yFJx̗_braco#<չ%(ZR Ҋ`(斚4.+4T76SIU r35wg2;0=gx%FYcN9E@C&:hҪHq#O^XymݞVE3M3T9f˝r:Dn r3,H%I/˼DzS9^s/ vW9 YjKe M\QR<[V㨸bv!?+-=LKK.I 9~ß-ؕ$[ժv ts<-kӎ*4IYTgVW>|^,gL>c}kg<^I?Jq%2d-~8I],FgW|z]U g5 dfҝ@)j {?f}s)+E$m|wio=64#EN6lY3:k9x;Vxt{8EqpALvcP¾*m~TK0RM5`](4ӽ[frDvN0F0=nʍ˕T8vOm|C#0$%8 #]ӵoy@v{ߌjicU־ Twz!4=6xRcsK!Ug?|x]̱G__|%񝝸?K$<*Kva N\XXJQGچE/Qҫ; {t * ΛNHUB^y HYAs̗"1F=j6 31sԃJΤbvᴹMq\M.w0 pW%8>W)!+J0%PYZyܵh7zqynvdr2A#YdUՋ&鼅 ߁GZjvF!y_g͑9@8t~|9eޢbn2d9FzqHpbik[ #|E;+ ̈́6I= b]]Epb˹ T瞕WV|Cg{YOQD)\7-v]zK^PLYJY ¥j⥣EX|Ku,e$bOn@8ȭ_z$رj6V(YY&8 #@QԖ'ln^}U[fk1S7; t5.t)ȸ*?;ջCh{{-ͫfQc,2qUmt]B|Ɍ@gOjs}w!Tq{}6<ܾݒ \9wZEtCI6nVwRbZ4Vn8Scws ]0b1W\w/E}xmgS9Rqf{0Fztzf#9sZsXؚImC=~vy[<jn>AG8"xneU+"1VSuYjrE58eR=k?Ch/UaML!dxauҖ2ږe}*3OZ=]ds*H[5ٴ|ƾ#+e5E_5 'O:ɨ9q;TҊ(s;%QpQE\JZ( F)i(( E-% RJQH~5j;W٫r⭻@Ƨ!~F]qnHdW cR;2~F}|m{Necشmq?9IJtP_3C5O-?u;s7YA  *_<5'qvhyg5g,!ISk |w' Z"wHTF;)k}>*0iA$K@fis@k?Ҭ @@rk*eSH 4h2Oe\[3\oarUa߭`qYf=xםk+jLPHďzͼ Qn#h'v쨤@xA3\׉g&RFy$~BElKZD>&x<{VyiPGºn]{֯JR5"¬y(sW%cBظVВnn6#8Ma#gcJ-cQhcy㍼ϚPq϶*VK\ɦp#+$R{,՟Ieq;Ha" [ҭ6bx|?j(NWJL˵2H#)G]Zji|=կ[{ϷHehء<05MrWUIdFd:y'9SKKc ا\*~%iŽ8C]ŠoEwg 6Ӱw`y_͊NQsWR[AU8dA%g{TzvqbW!0^8??C]D |Pof-oa Oߦ ,K؃j8IJEw2,rZ$9nCCYɢZ_>[rȒ@nON~d'ۨCI[{DMqUS^1tQqqTK(8q'4խ]{YgNȸEt ʥ8=,x?@Z7\C,vPyN< f޹-lj5p$1tש|;k.u;RfF%xܒZrn&ԗTm #ܳ2{qꢹssl 4ܯo.,乼8-]$Tz\<mo黽T[+XNSo;}Yn_,\z rUM絥̓8hp$p~T'TWdrԷ-^<7[0s+L FBG^5q>,ŧ1@O'FSqU 7CeLV'M˧˪V>!rO@}k|Gؙt:%X{gr5Ny{dh3Nm60#2v9'p zi8NjoNoxYҖ5' 9cY_W9_.^-ŸgT4FiJ0ih(%f<7_,m$lBq_ķ1Y<_Ex'P60D+RgJ{m4g'ͶS~Tj[XX>nM{#HM7lt~Ы$ ʭx?NqŽdziin<:l$5E$1:{W>"3gܤh~"hPCߛJ" Վ ڼlE7]K nG#jax 6+ F3VamoPAVwQ$g&zu$i9H;BnSdq{ס[5-`a&XvG$v$VD/9_(7 99Om)0HO?t)<0 )IiD(3%lOZ[w;Hv?#zH-bhcjmx9mI'Cـ;F7kȓfH,3yyTg$8S\ѥ(ǚ붟]ΓElCq}xe#1Zc>^p NX]=mFGM?Ufz[i>Y8q5+@(kψTX@dgMPY\)`KuOR6Hn2ֺ LZFT40~ CW9]#{?+A5f[gfMԯVZ(1<8"6^KX%ԱHFISIj # b9*OFN؂bH77br] >πlm>h.atvlqK% Syv' +WDCBvLv-7-5Җ 18U[TvȿZ*xu3}J1. \uSV&n>in\_]0_ o%3ǰW?йc1[j2 fSGQIhks(}h-RXZ)I=+kdDվqE)1Eé 4f +5GE9uc6x$vW:A!/)Vr=:4QgzRni4ϛ'Sޯ`ųC<ϸ*_'-ᇌ5=vP`{+9x`IlOOixƲx->}"M:K7n UtmN@J/Je'$?z" "+<kh)RI8>Ǐʵl>|Ju +[0]";S֖\ȱC;`8V;'(}$I+ą\>N6?Zp^u7vnA&?>O&:eȄ'"#jzpYKY%QIX? jCwKqk:NqrEd[|/Үu+}p۱EFL6|z\[|Z0iRt?κ [lZ{$Gn23w6Mif=KÏm$w2ˮ! ֶ<:wIf&cRJ}۱c7ş ?jvygIndqZěۏ^O=YPp xJI}~!X]X9x_AZ B?e.́923_Q$D5ZxSlFe2OPgxH4ao4 2PМg]+K␜gn+7?2qaw~N#ɔ+7FצZ. WΊ$p# ~Y3O35zk۽>{ = i;ybC7rN3k4:N AYu;w4J6*G,y _7|=Ac`Am xsy?ZhG%/}zL[E?~V*OOu_ }FᆴQ+Z=Aڹ>ٮ~?_YZjVs=` 1;*T| l_Sk4o$[R.C{z !Ğ3CM3xLմɞk:rss/5?D'3r|RzF&3P϶'`FH`;Wh4"zmiS$lrpEoBQO"58u?x-Ֆ}"wN{zW?t{'ZOGu#\đ9x¹'j!NW_aMd 4F8nyG%x0'}`\ad!O eq1sr{J6Kc+jlJrwPK&/剷V9O_A[KVWFqֻ|Y& 1ImpW;F2A9kͭ\L<{# |EG?/em-22T3 u'WL gg^Q$z=BN}FIf8XwSǧ^̈%be)QnAf!FXn蕆ŭnģ :7Uw8?J5IKgB<ɜ2)bzc3n' wdS \#oL2:] GXV1K,Av7n'殕ğ`xu$kd[6$P{Hy xU9=z[0' ^ JvJrFƣa,K:%[ySo(`ΌrF~ǡ򆱎ݯVHl O=w(af뚎w#FRV1ɍ[fӯOٖXwH n#:v JlQ Uݴ'89=oCcE 4?l2eczNN 3@1O+ YpF9<NQJ@HRoI4j c#$gV}ı d)'i$=X'X-1DY = e9%^b%ƞ7+*1 cn/0]Ve.s lUR0z~sELΥ~ή^s~U*Z1:qxlB!\1>R1+Q[j7^qYJNA8? w:Dss9WaB73]1-QH;SȍVB}2ku?֚J0KABѩہTN9BM?̽۹DQ X rEyK F -#!bRW*p8#r$]Xhޚg&"V=4(Iaק >F+4m"xyW`DׁmGjި\rpIv2gъt˙#.яV Ʋ f9e81xc+}U૶A)e5^\|JP{3 fݚMZM;$ZdVq8Ǟ vK`~w|D x?HN&Hu [ϡ6+epU\_$jTƲF '^#v? |F>+a)׭z #k MJ-S"VaCj+|˽7S[_Nr6YWo%kP>X C&^>n1)FwdduWh了pw ʽ',-6S-r\=9<+ْz[1I 0ɱ's=9{MV; -;Cw닔lNpAI:ߴe弱hm:4\!P5- Z\^ENNm̹oZni`r8{n;XhR A3N^}jh,8;1f\Hϧ^bR*̂__OQQC*ܱ{H S2N8gGrPCBErGqmF>{O [  =Sǭr:fsgyn ΪO5/6۸d{E0Hو<@OR1+8 VspʐY\<\6YZɧ=Csn(W G͏lsz=܎#'ql:/gcRQn775&~u+;Vv䁑U~{9Lr(prcz+)W?~U%(WwS3sCfɖm0xW)x.iZɗPmߺq,,(t8^+ӝmi|O0gp>^}z-.g;ٔ@z~qvewe[J` 1o,=069x'2ݺ`q8VrJ Ba90?Oq=D<"P?}Nb#3f#eEyw>yЙn+/VFy$l>8 TWW%봱|eA̹l=׃ړ&rl~c$ܤK91=@?~yƗ-aG%;rzsּ 's 4>aq aIpT}1S[k" KpFH$GLRx+8OnI xk_iWfUX"ݕAeʎc>cp)?}s춝pr 3i}NII ˱Eu+yӕ$G/-ܐҥ_h~w\gyΊm~ֲ -$I#1o%k1m$%d3=-]YM$sQF\L =rqV1Gk4d$LjѮj#Xr'0:wexʹ1ׯãM| IJY}F;2䱯nG}rkЧ]6#2ݨ)E?5< ƅ.fccl'{0޵XӊL`TE/,VOcqk< MmA0 ţdqs܊4*0ew0·Q`cn~րOEՓNdgV''+8Ŋ k&aujo${p:A3IJ/f':4lG;Yގ3G}#ҷ|uGnWI9yj.P;n@+ãnxN*]H&1RpL.zTZX촑]>zYG@/_x]?sOmqmmGk$U*ug/cqGEGldX"|KihF{(R&),@)oAz`w6txK-.d6lɌ``.#Fz-b/7d4h/ek琬-318џj8}tx/òIe渹IC#یqv`=e3)鑚)mR{H&rwPkT&;$#bbE&oMy+f73\|=+:l338I U5}u~mP}Hm=YK5 *SFއٕ Ƚz SI#n8& nEtOO,WҦV|T‚OQd>|r4|w#wԗWrq9f>tҦ i{erף̷r Nz1#j -U` 9 biR'a3꣺ ɐ81D}F?7 mS Ӝg.9I7cG¶w77X['"v+9]sw}#:o%mt+Il+~,Ohǡw5(u7k巸lC3Cr@ s¤;5X/$K4oE\;'PwI$7,&V ;?`]K>#vvv<WW'?I".d@aTA]#z<;;wv/5!@_q,I;[N>NN1/M4~whL4-wbD0m۱ e]*`y܅\8m௷n:ZDz23 6mYG+WnuRͣ,Em#yzd;__A-EӢ,ۂ,~;!Oqߟ²xa2;(рn piLgpʲ(NÏNmB^M<]st=bEV}4[g]y$zw*z~(Dz=s?]llb3#B9Sz4"onR[i[zGls1I/G=6SSpvq;H 1 ʏONoII6es'FN=?E)˱Anu$ge2yu4h^3Oq92JA#:JdvZ? u (9|bb0)FEN vu*H'Eb(?zgoι_^D Eb>nO>)sI} XN@bs1XdgDHb1}vDž59fsd%67om.l-HیSZE{=f -Q7W/a{Itvw#3 @8֠k ZD+YO=ʻoe*NUKl]Daa*2FАXW:ĸiޫiZ؍t$V֔s ( .| Uavdx 1}8R_xgImg 1v,=pV(KԬs=?J{cZ%Sx'iI?gn0qi Ž]ƊJkJ~5kwM;G4QA(IA9c+̶\7m~`c``zu_K~!A-@*r%F:rGO_ƶv`is\s,D;G}} F#JNF_״/D4/9 [17R U9zOa-By!X`Bۑz"e&jһG:&ğjҬEE]󌎧,kGޗb@^ڎp^#}1٪1^մ_KuT~5]gE -" E1B1㎮F}5(ǠҼ5قm7:3~gS⫈RO/lCUK RVԘ!M6, ]vz%ŶcwƟi;\ny-Qlw\$[٪r]ht7>LVhL6'# sÚx B/Ю%A4(hX Xĺ琱`Z ;s~(Y1>ntk۸v0ܤ_4QK眜``~gN3IknΰS {9 c}Yu-tsjIEj{rS$~Y? l5豥ͮ~q!/Pӕ=;sڍ;(u]m%YDd#s[ddG_MH$k׊wzuL46h5Y62'uyҡ߆KYcpIֺAM_ ه/M`E)BCSOଘRwh ~kso= _5I{dq׫?-|bD341e8¼h^#KU~}iĞ vcN/Zǣ)MЧMX]$T(3kľ."6M$m젟};t/bzVaP&+= lkXas'T|c? Bw[c$׳}5y1iżL`jX?5g]vu2k yOmAھn+<;s,֍#Jb+в`":ښ(M; xW7vˎ-Gb͌woaKshe8@7]sKF'L8S:ngWԗ Ee5vf^#9F\Ǖvk2HH-L5j?3 12M11SZd|E4~! _k2={-%FݡKaS7ƨY;դ,^D9 ^򺎪 _/OҟܣP{ ȸOKNŪr^Oq q·"DR>kzK֦PsfyA#g̿kxIyϬ}{x8 s~%0^C^xy [bt+?r xn?uK7ۛ9?JƐKhBKDu#X~"BuZ͸gQx2?MSKA7p]'įizjcn%wqθGXutQ,5`?cզ}=CVKtQ!2k[ M.2}*;[ficԐ)\39tdshOf/+/"NlG% s]75/Ο{Q怯lc{'U87ZmV:!$ }\p?0Mx !7%&w1񅫒$cݮ?@Z/&RC)ܬz'lzMo3Sۊҷw)}=1qKq ΡsCRZL<Чoc'hjVōUĬF`=~ !ݵaߞȏS;E-)DX씞l?nS'&e*8B=HvZRO~k =v~ r]RD>벥U|ͽDN7wzsY67ԝĆB2N 1i{='H.&!y |ŏpGCPai?j7+cNF *xOu (0P~\^B $R17ROv$S gXkԺu QVQW洘7_$fj+g 1V9+6Gѵ ;2 69݃߷_ t :H~\ [{/ނL3~Зڄ3t+EG2]JO41JE g}QRl&_&6q3,g5=zKZ~GS&a"H߈ROTI΍C'/d*koZDg5{|[o3xrC$wv9^&et4kp!+ ?=q`fӥgPrN;8T).IE튐orjml^URgq]^`Ql 0rM2EqIn  +On4+5& XT (%H3]O:۝>7WHʤ%zاf>l״KMRd7l$8#8jI eO%I2JҬtM"NӮ;{ueYn9&kN덧ݤJjڛ`}'؏9&-4jr5&%#o9dOK|1p:Үv1\D=3-_$⻀Gg 2U.+J^Cžy7GdZ'c89\R( vU4 H$;5KUбhPõ/RԬq9YgN[9žFY%#C!4 CwDD Q %JoNޖ={?%ݸ#+oM~`o\1P=c Yʧ]Xqҳ]?isPJ2xq?/j[/8)}u3S c!r=㴹|3z1cdO@;sA 3UnO]sE _J@Hs Qo/>f^\w'2$T̐W Mս@N@n\緜U4zΒ폵ʪOP$R_w}#g^9˗&ݞz&㉾[n5>叁"+#W;g8;񎋦k$ԭu9Xia@d:׿ Vs~E8kf6jIXcĮBn*HBYm^ky]] &)M_`dOzܬ\O6#*3Ic}뚐?>*՞#[qMZD jc8G#GB<1!"@|n\X{; $\?lٷ9ُ [AeL52xVͺj MҼwY T*vfg$[o$hocӓl`yR:%Gh8dpW9RFy <{'~v=Kl7$g1ǥ/cԘ$g-y;OgPAVDyD`893Rj}M|4TV1-;>CY?k˚xq8ۜ>Ԭpwgߚ^)T]O7R@\F"?֟W-ȉȌ;02>M3H$I֗}{Ecxw߭ck㢋8]:re*/q٘^)ɦyÜvҞu-QO=1`h<-C53XYNpK3“"zF ,KN:&fnAT0+G=բSКӂ)Hb hTך^][X5Bk]<%t=Ǜ<0 ˥ 񽊑VTnh`sS+ƾY՘B⇈:1ˌH_Z"nG^Tm i7#S眺x=@w,1ԐUlwDg?xGY:y|4*gi>ZҩJKQhR俞YtKݙ#, 'j!S慈17 w;GoL.8,CrZI>Q^z_U(e҄h$:f^WE.izu8]MAjz\#R2csO T(6LNR:Z폆!g\^~Xw:ާ  ܱ_̎\M;:Ede)s;OXC3ށԓ?hGD[, 㷭Z! /;8=}h9rf}9+ IFW<=F ")B0&lb<@}8j䃥exܑ{+5ˎ~i6+^ڦ "OyC<#8-4Y3, ؉#sfGJ,{Hq ,Aہ´Y 夺OGXe ̻鴮U~?T(4\ )%v\y)gry;>Wܗ+";˙'xU~>Y6a׎zҽB+u gt[?gUr\+j;c=BJB?վ$n#`Gh{kum! 6kY/eX' }+፲3I@}k'JQ~A#5:?M#u׮UytBTa B ጝq׊imzXm*9Ԋ#*7{f%\_Ii *dp:V꺄/Ny?ʲHGͅ23cY{^N<^~蛵K*^G57unŅ6H#.a15 j P2z_N<)Nhj[sUOk:|`c1)gsCr:Au#F.<}z^ʘDu|NVQygoVt kԺ_ݵe]&ԳBPqMEqǀq9P+[6 "<ķ5zQkǻq Zda*}&z7$ohsLg]˥9k#O,z۪uIDRڿ|VQ)A&Ӄ#@NgѴya>4uyjRZ?ց?5S|)"eU~G'&VwqGdrbq@> u{3y;?Ni#!etÓGC8$#i=|]̜lThF۫8,9.eׅţ)|^՘6ۛy_,:v­7mɵâ?,*/uИSiviRpo}UkeF&À?eKj3WAdpqUc8T+->X<i`1Ebj3=8jQ7J(FrIȻ7ARPefWCaw=J× VD13TZYIN1E8o4s1z] E `'[9+&N\g<#y +qU| VKMvE9=ݺ6מ%aK kn2 aX1)6H[|8OIo%0~A=!v_NĚ,@rQv32 c  *:>Qbs|W1\>}#5ϋ4:,v>RXkrXۯ9b=:k1mb;Uyi dw<'(9Q |9 zSn͐EraV;T֩^#Ђd)? Rvo1'NI*AsIi$0ǽS]sV/MsupJl4G}w)N$LurϪNQN{e+H @{S䐓Ki}?RQIa3 kE0\o& $D*T/S|:y eG?Ld/m8%T{-fo#GFR$G p=(conݟG߻1I/5FP+x۹P{5$70d܊lFM$o7eRNUdzs/=n][ް\DcW]g\yՙ>c=XҸ$1?^*jʌ<4:"ic9f94V0CAr:-پ9 }thʴ#''>TLl{x\scCL8 9C&&G:#ndއ犒\&Tcl2l~|UgGɟQHQc QS U3;08{Kuzv+þbǰ֣$m9'JQOjOT1Fɴ #.1J$`NvQl=|æsAPG BH >u ܲE'UE)ʶ1Ұ5eS\v8w(LޖK{XR^uok29J/3.(p̈́.}5rKT*0!ɭD)RJ1G#NqNlSCdŽ=e"Il UkMՄnFU+~Tȑ> ޢ󕌟+9O\%bL@9sǷj|˨]#\4{sRtU#-'CKֺZ^p [j,K$F'>ԿdwwۦGllY WEi GϕnΑ4C48>vsYRa崧rJ pr>l~9K0\̬Acp).JA2rR2 wE,g_4}>{Ky@1, =>zO-"h y7dur81.MOX7'қO'+ޕDrq|bMW9,{˩\m~^Okwx$H ?vö F&9ZڡiWٱ1sVZ)Rfb9VZc7ahh{]/1q {1A6?Lv7$ʚ4|ϟG4Xd- o{lr1ig #3PGi: .fB|wqUдrvȞ!5Ǹzy.y89r o\xEe%s Y.>b\yXNX9ߺ&,:[iT2Gn[-ҘԷUON ]o@dU1zU|?Z1qSu`DQ4;GF̹93R tB֙-Xeb;'؍ 4+2(CHlWȡ>ۿjxGg:[KsZiI#,:mؓO &xLchIXۘ RKtY`SVv!X=sUt>X?yǥTY;cNr)?ޓr? 44AL{mk [pAꧨ>,ư$%$yl3v<ګľTJm5rxc? `ݘܕnI# [p@});jʽy,!~V3R4 qIk#bUm|K#(r .]/psp_B̠z4` ѤF2oA!/gXGԳyqbh;FN݅~崼DፑKr{z\[#X;8f?wM*@3K /߿赺^2# َb8b1+gO g&4e<`j( eV1:M >捻DnSF$BH֞%o4j-E8 1GiAՔ`y.n&PJɧvj-ck٣暼6 ZɀѰQrj }D;n$BI9wJLU,1UU.8蔏h8mJr c?OZh1!I#?Z3,F(ac1HYqpP ~k˷cT.G+8D؈(FAE+oB)n9h Til\,y3֬]7r{{g֫I$˃ }M$[/"j7-*$&ݿ:ӭccxK'8 &TO2_+Ȯoۙd>vv@?J{Oz֌O"'TnXd8 OX+jm^ (M we[kIG[jxxF@^ѻuA֡r3M&Ww`qP;#Jr6[#璌GQ& Ҩ}'f$!VVle#NxD1c~(EsfyFA3719lJ\BVeQqlk>dOn{8i#ZY0(ja҉Cz?A\AwnUahtUO[kh{i#N9s*ݷ!v)l6%Q ޣ7CRI "b6;]Hn+9P4712z^@tԩ>pX1%HirxpeЂ;枞7ٿ٭-c;;' vNpҹ!Y2:D~9p~a3wZ:f8WAej?1M<…&t.rbjg'zr\vrP5苢iYcPryB[&q4R!0 R`*l?qIgZx0gcB Z,3hԜҪ%䯔\ar9J\PjԤi`~5%m @d>\Ⳕm<9^†2*ݧ.P>T⻧p{S|l c",bONoW1+R-> *á RnإuҸNm8kYx-WR4k&#HMpZ/6+#%ƫʋSAeytWD1ս:++kUHy} NXzVكEmerLP7F;2(ZqJF1/j`j崒IHAC}hXPX9F`rjnf1 l2>.)2І d9Ea\Uڗ`? mZIF\uSVǭ @To쁼,0z&AM8qU.d!JM6;?P-9V[19 be.n\UaR9z{b.sSE@r3NXT0WzW-]VN$WVӉN abO\_iOi+2@gPԕdfD.p =ē@G,h[۽̶c 1]X\HaX$pUWV81&SpC!Dpin{a,-OrVXً3Ҥ-0;ܨ Gu2(ʣrM;K$"bLj**j8 `@E{ti$G6A5i2уq}iipĀGZ&II<繥=&D[?5 ZL]}\=p@9hW#ԗE.#*3wZjBظ+SRCH"ᛠ{ûU؀=*Ė<*~/֑-L& GqaY1ievW9R B9 2-BݞS$Lv֮AF]'9-ƣδF۶Dt<]AP1VP+G$}*V{< :l=*UUi/VARxqHu!$0)<\YDRCFV2|SXs x6[ާ$l>vE\KMPgxY#I..}hD-#(HI\ʸR~@ z8e/$?M=:Y/|&y`S%դqpkWM6m4v<NJa UJJ/7זjZ0GU:7y:yJx'8^S/,p[#Ԟ݊Z.NY =vkkơ yi>CGGjoBFގK!oWHc]˂?J|e+(i-ǎ#+Sr\p2ssCՐjʨ~Eqs]= B'$R6`ˑ1hвGZ<Բ"p8Ymx&$~h /4;]qޔ4bkÓJ,,s\'-oo ־y 8jqw^MMZ'mّ#cM\lb(xJ92*WAދ!ndU'>X.] IdCf,唏[Zna$o ;/8jOD RkmˌSc Syaާcu1.,QW9oj1+&W>яKs$ 5BСh3chnxOV cV d %ćwv][""^g'JRvkNVF8Cqjʱ")'Q-.G%Xw8!J{Έǵ+hzQmdhLJC9'R*0M獝1 =*0JɟGӊ 1\SbD mqFx79R([XO0ٜK 0>%[\ `}o#8n񞝩_H]ZFasRKfc>s[P A42F7;QXTiwbiwp9%ݵ́ m\+ؗOKn#F\#{cڣhLHҷ 1QOtpH*qSGe@2I^Q{1-ĒyaqP<2++X;7 {S&@w0ƣ{*v$k%/4Z6>B'SB)N|SzZy`Xi Ks4\<9 jDhK1y"t^ qv*lF8m7nNυ`GKOڱ{5ر[ rnJ²1-n-,$#/,R_5ZHNf\^^t7pF*]C::YaFffc%2‘du?m.^_TsƓ M)f<㟥t X*sF$9N'AT␪Hz]˨@Wzު5T~IBĴ6yHmM K ECOLqx. $Uy/ F< QEEGкkrPlWc6zѓ@,!c Y=b63E7̭o-.3qoSZEI=c0ŻY1vxa(ڋ2;v3t4QDޣ7Lnju;؞4Kkdu(зveS(0O?723֊(ڹ.MEuk/lCD0 Ed5RHP7aҠq"lO*(lj*=:UŽU@m=+D]̡(rUl#sp>QAj<`Oڒ9anQHv$!POUŮ94Q@%q6W޵6sH?0cȢ- ~XEsKo iEE>D.y>QE jqdEp*h2 Q`,qiDEv" <M(d>ScRqEs2H=pk񞈥&e$}(PI1|ZI奢&@Trk]kf)8"b'ڦTPv0OTr"au2;<Z%egt7J 󢊇R$K.NS-uWXN(ʖ3i4sjox)Htm4QRL#{h-X1+NYA~E(!YISj4 B>QRp"؏[=>u%G(w*H6Xv",EP PK8P13eǨRC%Dt@уc*MS@gVtcp*c\嵰02񢊗,ۙ;' 2 +| -Y;>9TQUk j6;Pi}(qe) yؑ  LQEKу
Warning: fopen(https://newsweekme.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/R1_1-780x439.jpg): failed to open stream: HTTP wrapper does not support writeable connections in /home/newsweekme/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-image-editor.php on line 428

JASTA LI’L CLOSER: The U.S. Senate passed legislation in May allowing families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for damages. The Congress is set to vote on the bill this month. A ‘yes’ vote means a showdown with the White House, which has threatened to veto it.

 

BY Dr. Habib Al Mulla

It was an event future historians may well regard as something of a watershed—but not solely for the obvious issues now being discussed by the media, argued over by lawyers, and scrutinized by national security experts.

On May 17, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which clears the way for lawsuits against foreign governments that provide tangible support to terrorists who cause injury or death in the U.S.

The unanimity leaves no doubt as to the intensity of the public sentiment; not surprisingly, Democrat Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton is on board as well, saying she supports JASTA.

And as JASTA heads for the vote by U.S. legislators, the president maintains his threat to veto it. The political battle lines are thus drawn across branches of the U.S. government; those that aren’t based on ideology.

But, despite the widespread support, legal and political contingencies becloud the picture. Critics maintain that JASTA opens the door wide to retaliation by foreign countries where very different standards of law apply.

While that is the broader concern in the U.S., the immediate debate centers on Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are not mentioned by name in the bill but they are alleged to have colluded in the 9/11 attacks, despite the 28-page document which clears the Saudi Kingdom of such a liaison. And even though Saudi Arabia is cleared of having a direct hand in the string of deadly terrorist attacks on U.S. soil some 15 years ago, the obvious direct target of JASTA remains the Kingdom.

In fact, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir has already warned that Saudi Arabia will sell off $750 billion in U.S. Treasury notes if JASTA is endorsed by U.S. legislators as law. That may just be posturing, since most economists agree that such a move would hurt the Saudis more than the U.S.

Idle or not, Al Jubeir’s threat underscores how dramatically the geopolitical sands have shifted.

To understand what’s going on beneath the turbid surfaces, we need to understand the greater picture, including the historical context of the U.S.-Saudi relations as well as the fundamental policy revision toward which the Obama administration has been steadily and inexorably moving.

Those relations date back to the understanding reached by the founding King Ibn Saud and President Franklin Roosevelt, when the U.S. committed itself to ensure Saudi Arabia’s security in exchange for an unimpeded flow of oil. Since then, differences over Israel have occasionally strained the bond—especially when Saudi Arabia’s late King Faisal imposed an oil embargo in the 1970s—but the fundamental agreement held its ground for the rest of the 20th century.

Then the world changed, and U.S. President Barack Obama capped on those changes.

Instinctively, Obama has been far more interested in the Pacific Rim as his main policy playground, managing the threat that China represents while leveraging economic and strategic assets that its ascendancy offers. At the same time, new energy opportunities, such as domestic oil and shale, encouraged the U.S.’s tilt toward Asia.

The Israeli-Palestinian struggle seems rather simple compared to the mélange of conflicting and dangerous interests that now roil the Middle East, especially with the rise of Daesh and the war in Syria, which Obama saw a quagmire into which he had no intention of sinking.

At the same time, to at least contain the regional conflagration, the Obama administration decided on a whole new tool: Iran. That nation, with its sizable middle class, could—regardless of the venomous hostilities that have strained its western relations since the Shah’s times—comprise half a bilateral axis.

For the U.S., this partner purportedly counter-balances the Russians and the Turks while providing crucial resources in the fight against terrorism. Whatever the arguable virtues or vices of the Iran treaty, there can be no doubt that a reduced role for Saudi Arabia was one of its inevitable results.

In the meantime, crystal-ball gazing is always a dubious exercise; all the more so in the Middle East. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state just prior to the Iranian rapprochement. If elected, her vision as president may be different than Obama’s. Regardless, Saudi dominance in the energy market seems permanently reduced. It is in that sense that we are well-advised to read the tea leaves a little more carefully if we want a clearer sense of what JASTA is about.

The White House has not denied that Al Qaeda received funding from the Saudis, or that the Saudi assistance against terrorism has been inadequate. All in all, the White House seems loath to over-commit and is instead playing a cautious game; Obama’s opposition to JASTA may be cosmetic, a way to proffer assurances of continuing official friendship and hopefully minimizing negative impacts of an inevitably vitiated U.S.-Saudi relationship.

To be sure, the marriage itself will continue; both sides have too much at stake for outright rupture. But if adopted, then JASTA will formally end what has been a very long honeymoon.

At day’s end, JASTA abets Obama’s own long-range objectives, ironic as it may seem. It will be interesting to see what happens if the possibility somehow arises that Congress won’t be able to override a presidential veto. Obama might then decide to play it safe and find a graceful way to just sign the bill once it lands on his desk.

Social Streams

Comments

comments

Facebook Comments

Website Comments

  1. Kathleen Owens
    Reply

    The 28 pages did not clear Saudi Arabia -quite the contrary! It mentions Saudi government and/or officials tied to the attacks over 45 times. More than 20 Saudi agents or officials are implicated and they were either not interviewed, escaped back to Saudi Arabia, or were found to be lying, or were deported back to Saudi Arabia before any investigation was completed. The myth that they were exonerated is a product of Saudi loyalist/sympathizer/lobbyist propaganda. Didn’t Newsweek bother to read them?

Post a comment