Rushdie the latest victim of oil-rich billionaires at war

Novelist Salman Rushdie

According to the BBC:

Salman Rushdie is on a ventilator and unable to speak after being stabbed on stage in the US, his agent says.

Andrew Wylie said that the author, 75, may lose one eye after the attack at an event in New York state.

Mr Rushdie went into hiding with police protection in the UK in 1988 after Iran’s top leader called for his murder over his novel, The Satanic Verses, which some Muslims deemed blasphemous.

Police detained a suspect named as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey.

New York State Police said the suspect ran onto the stage and attacked Mr Rushdie and an interviewer at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state.

Mr Rushdie was stabbed at least once in the neck and in the abdomen, authorities said. He was taken to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, by helicopter.

“Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” his agent said.

No motive or charges have yet been confirmed by police, who are in the process of obtaining search warrants to examine a backpack and electronic devices found at the centre.

Police told a news conference that staff and audience members had pinned the attacker to the ground where he was arrested. A doctor in the audience gave Mr Rushdie first aid.

Some information about the alleged assassin, Hadi Matar: he is linked to Iranian extremism, born in the US of Lebanese descent and was living in NJ.

He had a fake ID in the name of Hassan Mughniyah. Mughniyah was killed by a car bomb in Damascus in 2008.

Mughniyah was a close ally of Qasem Soleimani, who commanded the Quds force, a sub-branch of the Iranian revolutionary Guard. Soleimani was killed by a US drone in Iraq in 2020 on orders from then US President Donald Trump. Investigators found photos showing Qasem Soleimani on Hadi Matar’s mobile phone.

Soleimani’s death was a significant loss for Iran and for Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Lebanon has been at the forefront of a very long running war between the Wahhabi monarchy of Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite revolutionary Iran. Both states want to impose their version of Islamic Sharia law on Muslims and everyone else on the planet. They fight this war via their official and unofficial militias. In Lebanon, Saudi supports Sunni militias (mostly) in Tripoli. Iran supports Hezbollah and is allied with Syrian Alawites.

Saudi has long tried to weaken Iran-backed Hezbollah. This led to an odd incident where Saudi royals sort-of-kidnapped long-time Saudi ally Lebanese Prime minister Saad Hariri in order to pressure Hariri to oust Hezbollah from Lebanon. This was followed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE calling its citizens to withdraw themselves and their money from Lebanon.

Despite Saudi support of 9/11 and their links to many terrorist attacks around the world, our government and diplomatic corps believe that we & the KSA are allies. Iran believes this too.

Our assassination of a Saudi/Al Qaida militia leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was a signal to Iran that there’s trouble in the US / Saudi alliance. They would see this as a good time to strike against us.

That’s NOT to say that the assassination of Ayman al-Zawahiri or Soleimani was a bad thing. A show of weakness invites more attacks, not fewer. The fact that we did not name Saudi as being responsible for the 9/11 attacks or punish them in any way left American allies vulnerable to Saudi-funded Salafist attacks for decades.

But when we do strike back, we need to acknowledge that there will be a response. The horrific attack against Rushdie is proof — we should have been paying more attention to protecting possible targets in this long-running war between oil-rich billionaires.