Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 22, 2013

Prince Bandar's New Hissy Fit

When the Saudis rejected their just won UN Security Council seat I, like others, asked Why and "What is their plan?".

I still don't get it. The new additional hissy fit the Saudis are throwing today towards the U.S. in the Wall Street Journal and via Reuters makes no sense either.

From the WSJ piece:

Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief told European diplomats this weekend that he plans to scale back cooperating with the U.S. to arm and train Syrian rebels in protest of Washington's policy in the region, participants in the meeting said.
...
In Washington in recent days, Saudi officials have privately complained to U.S. lawmakers that they increasingly feel cut out of U.S. decision-making on Syria and Iran. A senior American official described the king as "angry."

Another senior U.S. official added: "Our interests increasingly don't align."

From Reuters:
Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that Washington had failed to act effectively on the Syria crisis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said.
...
"The shift away from the U.S. is a major one," the source close to Saudi policy said. "Saudi doesn't want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent."
...
"Prince Bandar told diplomats that he plans to limit interaction with the U.S.," the source close to Saudi policy said. "This happens after the U.S. failed to take any effective action on Syria and Palestine.

Prince Bandar, who was ambassador to U.S. for 22 years and now runs the campaign against Syria, is leading this move. One wonders if the foreign minister and King Abdullah fully agree with it. Threatening to change the 80+ year old relations with the U.S. is quite offensive and the Saudis seem to believe that the U.S. has no choice but to follow their way.

They are wrong in this.

Reuters suggest that changes could come in Saudi arms purchases, in their oil sales or in their investment in U.S. government bonds. But these threats are not credible. The Saudis just ordered more ammunition for a cool $10 billion and their oil sales are fungible. There are also few other safe assets to invest in.

Prince Bandar and his media shills suggest that the Saudis could go rogue over Syria where Bandar's project to get rid of Assad has failed despite him spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the mercenary Jihadists. But what else but paying more can Bandar actually do? The Saudi's military logistics are run by unreliable foreigners. The Saudi army has good equipment but zero expeditionary capability.

There are also no other partners that could prop up the Saudi family regime. While Bandar suggests that France may be a candidate, that country does no longer have the serious military capability to support such a colonial scheme. The Chinese may well be willing to sell arms to the Saudis but, as I wrote:
China will deliver but will be smart enough to not interfere in Gulf politics like the U.S. is doing day by day.

Bandar will also know that the open U.S. attack on Syria, which he demands, will not come as the U.S. public and the U.S. congress are overwhelmingly against it. Washington has no interest in a longterm broken Syria that is run by Saudi supported Al Qaeda types.

Saudi Arabia does not have the means to seriously pressure the United States. It also does not have a strategic alternative to staying in the U.S. realm. In the end the relation is a protection racket. The Saudis pay the U.S. military industrial complex for not getting attacked by it. Throwing hissy fits in such position is senseless nonsense.

The only thing that this Saudi strategy may achieve is a faster reconciliation between Washington and Tehran. Should the U.S. sympathies move to the eastern side of the Persian Gulf Saudi Arabia could soon become the target of new animosities.

Posted by b on October 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

Comments

Is this just the more public side of the Saudi-Israeli faction voicing its displeasure? Have the Zionist focus groups shown that Bibi is no longer an effective spokesmodel? We need a new rollout, stat.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Oct 22, 2013 12:20:38 PM | 1

It is very odd. Plus Bandar includes Palestine in the mix. That can't sit well with certain factions.

Posted by: dh | Oct 22, 2013 12:46:35 PM | 2

Good analysis but I beg to differ. Bandar cannot carry out his "rouge" approach with the full public support of the US. As we all know, the US cannot internally sell the idea of supporting the Jihadis trying to unseat Assad. The US and its allies are fully aware that there is not such thing as "carefully vetted secular" force that could fight Assad.

Therefore, the only force with a chance of winning against Assad is the extremist of the extremist Jihadis. This is the only option available to Bandar and his supporters. There is no other option or card that they have. The battle is clear.

So in my opinion, this is just a stunt for pubic consumption. Langley and Bandar share the same objectives and the same tactics. No rift there at all.

Posted by: MikeA | Oct 22, 2013 1:09:52 PM | 3

You are correct this is a protection racket, the Saudis need the protection of the Godfather, careful Bandar or you will end up sleeping with the fishes. In my opinion that scenario could not happen to a nicer man.

Posted by: harrylaw | Oct 22, 2013 2:18:00 PM | 4

It is strange and hard to interpret. Based on Kerry's statements (no participation by Iran in Geneva II, no spot for Assad in any transitional government) prior to today's "London 11" meeting there is no difference between U.S. and Saudi policy goals for Geneva II (except that the U.S. would prefer not to have a caliphate in the Levant).

Maybe the Saudi tantrums are its way of trying to make sure that the West keeps toeing the "No Assad in any future Syrian government" line. But who else guarantees the chemical weapons convention?

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Oct 22, 2013 2:39:10 PM | 5

I love this guy and the house of saud and I thought the teaparty people were crazy.

1. I wonder if they could toe to toe with Syria?
2. I thought Putin said if they got in the way then Russia would take out the horror/whore house of saud. I truly doubt the saud would stand much of a chance.
3. Just smoke and mirrors while Amerika figures out a new false flag event to convince the sheeple in Amerika we have to give the Syrian people freedom.

Then again what do I know besides nothing.

Posted by: jo6pac | Oct 22, 2013 2:44:13 PM | 6

I agree with 'b'. I cannot understand what SA is trying to do. They are just making a fool of themselves. SA is owned by USA. Without US guaranteeing their security SA will be NOTHING. This situation is similar to a farm chicken getting angry with the farmer and threatening him that unless he puts a nice and fancy fence around the henhouse it would no longer give him the eggs it has laid!

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Oct 22, 2013 3:10:56 PM | 7

Power struggle within the group of princes in Saudi. That was obvious with the withdrawal from the UNSC. Bandar's action threatening decline of relations with the US, may be to get support from the US, to bolster his policy, though I am not entirely convinced. After all he is supposed to have threatened Putin over Sochi. Going off the rails a bit?

Posted by: alexno | Oct 22, 2013 3:50:03 PM | 8

Let's assume, the Ghouta Sarin attack was a cooperation between Turkey's spooks and Saudi Arabia's, and it was an attempt to force the US into a war, where most of the Obama administration clearly did not want to go.

And of course the US knew or someone proved it to them.

That would explain the attacks on Erdogan's security guy and Bandar's strange behaviour, no?

Posted by: somebody | Oct 22, 2013 3:54:23 PM | 9

@dh - "Bandar includes Palestine in the mix. That can't sit well with certain factions."

indeed, it's as if they were trying to blackmail the Us announcing that they'll go their way, leading the anti-Iranian jihad in Middle East, and therefore also indirectly threatening Israel; and maybe it isn't a bluff, rather a game of roles with Israel

it sounds as if they feel the Us needs SA more than SA needs them; and maybe some outside player is fanning the flames, too; for example, Erdogan, and even Netanyahu;

SA, Erdogan and Israel are the big losers in a Us-Russia-Iran rapproachment

Posted by: claudio | Oct 22, 2013 3:59:53 PM | 10

it is yet another symptom of the disintegration of the empire.As is the continuous turnaround of Kerry.They have lost in Syria,lost credibility and standing in the world,lost face and lost the Game. Having said that I agree with somebody.

Posted by: Nobody | Oct 22, 2013 4:05:22 PM | 11

There are a couple of things that SA could do to really, really pressure the US and, indeed, they are starting (with china). Primarily, ending the petrodollar scheme and starting to accept all kinds of payments for oil. SA has the relative weight (as well as having the capacity to pressure rest of GCC)in OPEC to change the petrodollar regime. This would be catastrophic to the US.

Also, SA controls (as bandar told putin recently) most of these jihadi groups. It could point them to places where the US would not like. This would be a suicidal move though, unless they get prior security coverage by, say, Russia? Weird things, but weird things is the tale of the age.

Posted by: y | Oct 22, 2013 4:35:16 PM | 12

Why do people always say "this would be catastrophic for the US" ? Maybe it would be for the banksters, the derivative runners and their lackeys. I say let catastrophe come for them so the rest of us can get on with life, liberty and the pursuit of almost anything else than playing ponzi scheming war monger of the world.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Oct 22, 2013 4:53:14 PM | 13

b: "In the end the relation is a protection racket. The Saudis pay the U.S. military industrial complex for not getting attacked by U.S. military forces."

Exactly so. In which case threatening the standover merchant isn't the smartest play, unless you have already arranged to have Someone Bigger And Meaner standing behind you when you do utter those threats.

Which SA hasn't done....

Odd behaviour indeed.

Posted by: Johnboy | Oct 22, 2013 5:05:21 PM | 14

ok, so summing up what others have said this could be a possible scenario:

- Bandar schemes to obtain a seat for SA in the UNSC;
- the Saudi king, with US support, decides to refuse the seat which would be used for advancing the sectarian strategy they now oppose
- Bandar goes into a fit and, probably supported by Edogan and Netanyahu, declares SA will proceed anyways with his strategy; Israel, not Russia, would be the "security shield" (or rather, a lobbying power that would thwart any Us punishment) that gives Bandar such confidence

so the question is: who is really in command in SA?

Posted by: claudio | Oct 22, 2013 5:33:51 PM | 15

The Saudi scheme (and bribery) to obtain the UNSC seat was put in motion years ago, before their role in the Syrian proxy war began.

Then they decided to knock off Assad, with the connivance of the US, Qatar and other players. After their regime change in Qatar and the full takeover of the Syria portfolio, they were all in and demanded that the US be all in with them.

Their false flag chemical weapons attack failed to push the US into the overt attack on Syria that Bandar demanded. What we're seeing now is the petulance associated with sleazy Bandar Bush not getting his way.

As a UNSC member, the Saudis might be forced into a negotiated settlement in Syria. Worse, their obvious role might become far more exposed to the public at large. Exposed as hypocrites, they'd have less freedom of action. Hence the rejection of the UNSC seat, so they can continue the proxy war with less interference.

The US, meanwhile, has caved to Putin on Syria and is pulling back from the brink. No US attack on Syria means that Bandar is pouting and shaking his fist. He'll continue to do so, in the hopes of forcing the US to complete their dirty work.

No doubt there will be further dirty tricks to come. The succession battle within SA is also part of the mix. Bandar will never be king, due to having the wrong mother. So his actions are probably also aimed at clarifying who is part of his faction and who is not, so that one from his gang is put on the throne.

The Palestine comments are strictly posturing, for domestic Saudi consumption. An attempt to fool the Saudi populace into the idea that the Saudi-Israeli alliance doesn't exist.

As a side note, I look forward to the day the revolution comes to Saudi Arabia. I suspect we'll see the dictator and his henchmen strung up from the nearest lamp posts.

Posted by: Drexel Putnam | Oct 22, 2013 6:06:29 PM | 16

#9somebody;Do you really think Obomba was gun shy about Syria?My take was he was frothing at the mouth until the overwhelming domestic opposition made the political scum realize their 14 election prospects for the democrats would take a big hit.These people worship power,and money(and of course Israel),that's it.
And Bandar is pissed we didn't back him in Syria,and his extra curricular activities were exposed.Why do these idoits(sic)let their idiotic religious divide(almost totally driven by Sunnis) keep them at the mercy of the oil men,CIA,and American and Israeli duplicity?And does he want America to finally investigate the fact that the majority (totality) of the 9-11 attackers were either SA or Yemeni,and with the tribal animosities displayed by these people,leads to the very likely SA funding of said act,or of course their new found cohorts Israel might have had a false flag hand.(And yeah,Bandar was probably trying to obfuscate that relationship with Zion re the Palestinians).But of course,our intrepid MSM will get right on it unless they get the word from Terror Central to nix.

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 22, 2013 6:42:25 PM | 17

'Saudi doesn't want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent.'

LOL

America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier by Robert Vitalis is a good read that describes how the history of the Saud dynasty is largely the history of the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO): ‘a King who thinks like an oil company and an oil company that thinks like a King’.

Posted by: Watson | Oct 22, 2013 7:20:07 PM | 18

@10 claudio quote "SA, Erdogan and Israel are the big losers in a Us-Russia-Iran rapproachment" why do you include turkey in this mix?

@12 - i am curious why SA doesn't drop the us$ and price their oil in different currencies as well.. perhaps there is indeed some internal conflict developing in SA.

@13 - indeed, but at this point a catastrophe for the banking system is a catastrophe for the us since they bought into the ponzi scheme a long time ago.

Posted by: james | Oct 22, 2013 7:41:35 PM | 19

"i am curious why SA doesn't drop the us$ and price their oil in different currencies as well.. perhaps there is indeed some internal conflict developing in SA."

Or perhaps they noticed the decidedly odd coincidence that every Middle East dictator who has attempted to do that has ended up with a rope around his neck or a knife up his nether regions.

The record is pretty clear: ditch the petrodollar = your regime is toast, and you are a dead man.

Posted by: Johnboy | Oct 22, 2013 8:23:46 PM | 20

17) It took him more than a week to come out with his position, with Kerry close to ridiculing his indecision. Kerry himself bordered on the ridiculous threatening a strong response and at the same time promising something incredibly small not meant to unseat Assad. They clearly improvised, there was no plan. To plan it like that would have been very high risk as this was not an unprovable negative (there is no way Iraq could prove not to have weapons of mass destruction) but an act whose perpetrators can be found. As is, if any of the parties involved has proof, it has the potential for blackmail threatening any credibility Obama has left.

Erdogan and Saudi Arabia want to remove Assad, the US (and presumably Israel) want him to remain but weak. The BBC now picks up on Turkey bussing Jihadis/Al Nusra across the border - Al Nusra have been designed as "terrorist" by the US, both Erdogan and Saudi Arabia denounce US policy, Western media attacks Turkey's and Saudi Arabia's intelligence chiefs - there clearly has been a fall out.

That does not mean the CIA was not in on it, it just means Turkey and Saudi Arabia get the blame for things having gone wrong.


Posted by: somebody | Oct 22, 2013 9:18:24 PM | 21

Yeah "b", there's summit going on internally in the kingdom. Dont know if you saw this a few years back http://xymphora.blogspot.ca/2007/09/it-was-about-oil.html . . . . interesting take on things.

Posted by: NoSUserName | Oct 22, 2013 9:20:55 PM | 22

12) I am not sure the end of the petrodollar would be catastrophic for "the US" if it is done slowly and it will be done slowly if at all. The devaluation would make US products very competitive.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 22, 2013 9:28:22 PM | 23

The nice thing about Bandar's hissy fit is that it confirms, despite all the tough talk, that he's just as big a cry-baby as Obama...

When the going gets tough, the 'tough' start ... crying.
And wallowing in self-pity like their 'friends' the 'Israelis'.
If Bandar thinks he's in a jam now, it's nothing compared to the blowback if a bomb goes off in Sochi.

The regime-change alliance is collapsing faster than the speed of light. Russian defense experts have been in Tehran helping the Iranians to decide whether they'll destroy 25%, 50%,or 100% of 'Israel' if Iran is attacked.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 22, 2013 10:07:59 PM | 24

i am curious why SA doesn't drop the us$ and price their oil in different currencies as well.. perhaps there is indeed some internal conflict developing in SA.

LOL. Very funny. At least it would give a boost to the economy - or at least Raytheon stock.

Posted by: DM | Oct 22, 2013 10:43:54 PM | 25

I think all this has a lot to do with the succession battle in SA. I suspect the King is too ill or weak to control things and the princelings are each pushing their own pet agendas trying to set up factions that'll support their branch of the family in the succession battle.

This tiff with the US is Bandar forcing the issue. Such an open breach with the USA is not at all the standard Saudi way of handling such matters.

Posted by: FB Ali | Oct 22, 2013 10:45:00 PM | 26

Editor of al-Akhbar offers a theory which is plausible because it relies on the very characteristic political-bargaining mentality: "Saudi Arabia may reluctantly consent to supporting the Geneva II conference on Syria in November, but at a cost: Riyadh wants to impose a Lebanese government of its own liking in order to get Hezbollah out of Syria."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 22, 2013 10:56:23 PM | 27

"The record is pretty clear: ditch the petrodollar = your regime is toast, and you are a dead man."

Posted by: Johnboy@ 20:

Yep! As long as the US can use the Fed to create all the dollars the empire needs, this will remain true.

Posted by: ben | Oct 23, 2013 12:00:03 AM | 28

Coming soon to a theatre near you

“Bandar Bush the Prince of Al Qaeda”

Posted by: kooshy | Oct 23, 2013 12:22:48 AM | 29

'b'
Bandar seem to forget that the last time a senior Saudi sort of thumbed his nose at the US, he was promptly assassinated by a nephew who resided long in the US. King Faisal was immediately replaced by Prince Fahd (King Khaled was a figure, who also died mysteriously in his sleep) ...

Posted by: GPC | Oct 23, 2013 12:57:23 AM | 30

new saudi dictator dirty tricks: dictating Lebanon
'Saudi Arabia may reluctantly consent to supporting the Geneva II conference on Syria in November – but at a cost: Riyadh wants to impose a Lebanese government of its own liking in order to get Hezbollah out of Syria.'
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/saudi-price-peace-lebanese-government-our-choice

the concept of sovereignty seems foreign to saudi thinking as to western

Posted by: brian | Oct 23, 2013 2:33:30 AM | 31

@james #19

"why do you include turkey in this mix?" I include Erdogan, not Turkey

Posted by: claudio | Oct 23, 2013 2:33:56 AM | 32

@ Drexel Putnam | Oct 22, 2013 6:06:29 PM | 16

I entirely agree with your observations. And certainly, KSA oppose to even being seen as part of the 'solution' in Syria - a political solution which they are against. A seat at the UNSC would actually curtail their present influence in Syria.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Oct 23, 2013 5:41:27 AM | 33

Hissy fit?
Or theatre?
Smart money goes with theatre

b-"Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief told European diplomats this weekend that he plans to scale back cooperating with the U.S."
Janes was just reporting that the US and SA are training fighter in Jordan

Janes-

"Free Syrian Army (FSA) units are receiving intensive training from US Marine Corps personnel in Saudi Arabia, a senior FSA source has told IHS Jane's "

Therefore SA and the US are continuing on their course
Claims of US non involvement/cooperation simply give a perception of US "clean hands" - not true
Also allow the US to look/appear like an 'honest broker' prior to Geneva II
Also not true

SA going rogue? Is that some kind of bad joke?
SA/US/Israel are all on the same page. Regime change.
How can anyone go rogue when the goal is all the same?

"The only thing that this Saudi strategy may achieve is a faster reconciliation of U.S. with Tehran"

Since reconciliation is not a desired outcome by any party (except for Iran, maybe?)

The US. SA. Or Israel. Or Turkey, for that matter
It should be clear that this Saudi strategy has to be about something else entirely

Here is a thought I have as to the rejection of the seat
from my place. Having to do with avoidance of a potential uprising/overthrow in the Saudi fiefdom. Or trouble on the home front?

As stated at my place a few days back:

I suspect Saudi Arabia rejected the seat to 'save face'? Or to save their own hides?

How could they condemn Syrian actions with the usual lies and spin without looking like complete liars and double talkers? Their strident condemnations of the Syrian government might just cause the Saudi citizens to take up arms against their own truly despicable, tyrannical and repressive government!


Somebody @ 9

'Let's assume, the Ghouta Sarin attack was a cooperation between Turkey's spooks and Saudi Arabia's, and it was an attempt to force the US into a war, where most of the Obama administration clearly did not want to go."

Let's assume the Ghouta alleged Sarin attack was coordinated between Saudi Arabia and Israel, Turkey not so much.

Israel provided the US with all the necessary "intelligence" regarding Ghouta, therefore Israel was involved in Ghouta

Force the US into war?!
Who needs to force the US into war? The US has been involved all along in war on Syria. How is it they would need forcing?
That claim seems absurd

Let's say that SA and Israel undertook Ghouta to present a pretext to justify the long lusted for attack based on Obama's absurd 'red line'

When Obama said "red line" for chemicals one had to know that chemical weapons were going to be the justification for attack
SA and Israel simply colluded to provide the means for the desired end

Posted by: Penny | Oct 23, 2013 8:39:58 AM | 34

I agree it is a stunt for public consumption. According to Jane's Defense Weekly:
Free Syrian Army (FSA) units are receiving intensive training from US Marine Corps personnel in Saudi Arabia, a senior FSA source has told IHS Jane's. The source said the United States and Saudi Arabia have agreed to train around 1,500 insurgents. The programme began a few months ago and most of the personnel will be trained by the end of 2013.

Posted by: Maracatu | Oct 23, 2013 8:56:20 AM | 35

I agree it is a stunt for public consumption- Maracatu | Oct 23, 2013 8:56:20 AM | 35

Noting the very public wailing and moaning by SA
So out of character for the Saudis who are usually more covert

Posted by: Penny | Oct 23, 2013 9:45:38 AM | 36

What is interesting about the al akhbar story is that there is nothing new about it: the Hariri March 14th movement represents Saudi commitment to installing a government of its choice committed to disarming Hezbollah. During the last elections it invested billions to win seats for the pro-US, pro-zionist, pro-Saudi coalition. Hariri, like his father is a slave of the Saud family, a creature of the oil and gas tyrants.
As to Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, this strikes me as being greatly exaggerated. The idea that Hezbollah is the only force in the Arab world capable of defeating Bandar's mercenaries is all part of the mythology promoted by the State Department and its stooges: Hezbollah is, indeed, a model fighting militia highly motivated and extraordinarily disciplined but it is not a large force and has neither the capacity nor the desire to engage in expeditions into Syria. Most of the fighting for the Syrian regime (there is that dreaded word again!) is done by the army and native militias. Every battle they win suggests that Badar does enjoy considerably more support than the "rebels" who are largely foreign mercenaries.
The discussion on this thread seems pretty comprehensive to me, there is general agreement that Bandar is in a critical position, caught between US refusal to launch missile attacks, in co-ordination with a ground offensive under his direction, and the reality that the end of the King's life is approaching, and there is a very good chance that his successor will begin his reign by cutting down his rivals.
After all, in one respect, Bandar's security policies have been a dramatic failure: Bahrain and the Gulf province, with all its oil are ready to explode. The attempt to crush resistance last year did not succeed. If it does the Saud family could be looking for jobs at a time of very high unemployment.

By the way,Penny:
"...Force the US into war?!
Who needs to force the US into war? The US has been involved all along in war on Syria. How is it they would need forcing?
That claim seems absurd."

"somebody's" claim seems reasonable enough to me: there is a real difference between US involvement in the terrorism in Syria and an outright "shock and awe", followed by who knows what escalation, Tomahawk attack of the sort which was recently deterred.
It could be that the war that Obama did not launch, and Congress did not back, and the House of Commons would not support, will turn out to be a key turning point in contemporary history. An event of much greater importance than the killing of Ghadaffi or even the conquest of Iraq.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 23, 2013 10:22:27 AM | 37

Things were going the Saudis' way until Putin stepped in and flexed some Russian muscle and put the whole attack scenario on hold.

Look for Iran to gain a bigger advantage in the MENA region with the implicit approval of the Ruskies.
Obama was made to look like a rank amateur, not yet sure if that was by design or due to incompetence.

I guess we'll know in the fullness of time...

Posted by: Cynthia | Oct 23, 2013 10:33:57 AM | 38

"Saudi Arabia does not have the means to seriously pressure the United States." I disagree. Think terrorist attacks, like the ones the Saudis support in Chechnya. I expect Zionist support for this as well, since Israel has the same grievances with US policy.

With Al Qaeda back in business, it will be interesting to watch if neocons pivot from their anti-Sunni campaign to once again being anti-Islam.

Warmongers will breathe a sigh of relief, since they will have events to cite to support massive US militarization.

Posted by: JohnH | Oct 23, 2013 11:04:24 AM | 39

With Al Qaeda back in business, it will be interesting to watch if neocons pivot from their anti-Sunni campaign to once again being anti-Islam... Posted by: JohnH | Oct 23, 2013 11:04:24 AM | 39
AQ have never been out of business. By common consent, ISI (Islamic State of Iraq) is AQI (Al-Qaeda in Iraq). This, AFAIK, is non controversial. What would be controversial would be to say that Bandar was funding them. As for the neocons, I don't understand what you're saying. Do you mean anti-Shi'a?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 23, 2013 11:20:16 AM | 40

@Cynthia - "Things were going the Saudis' way until Putin stepped in and flexed some Russian muscle and put the whole attack scenario on hold." let's not forget that this happened after Assad demontrated he could hold his own; the Ghouta provocation was staged, imo, precisely because Assad was clearly gaining the upper hand and some more forceful action was in order; that's where the Russians stepped in; so things weren't really going the Saudis' way, they were already quite frustrated by events on the ground, and by the Us being choosy on which groups to arm

Posted by: claudio | Oct 23, 2013 11:22:16 AM | 41

Posted by: bevin | Oct 23, 2013 10:22:27 AM | 37


"somebody's" claim seems reasonable enough to me: there is a real difference between US involvement in the terrorism in Syria and an outright "shock and awe", followed by who knows what escalation, Tomahawk attack of the sort which was recently deterred.

Tell that to all the dead Syrians
And their families

Tell them there is a difference to be killed, raped, maimed etc
via destabilization killing vs tomahawk killing.

Killing slowly vs killing quickly ends up with the same result

Posted by: Penny | Oct 23, 2013 11:47:16 AM | 42

Well, it is a public spat which incidentially has the advantage of Saudi Arabia being able to continue to support Jihadis and the US pretending that they don't.

The allegations against Turkey's security chief also leave Turkey holding the bag with the US insisting to have nothing to do with it.

There will also have to be an explanation when "the opposition" does not turn up in Geneva in November. Or "a" opposition turns up but is not able to stop the fighting.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 23, 2013 12:01:55 PM | 43

Penny, the point that I was making was very simple: bad as the current situation is in Syria, and we are all agreed that it is dire, it is not as bad as it would have been if the US had launched missile attacks, in co-ordination with ground offensives from the forces trained, led and armed by the US and based in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
Such a development would have paved the way for a full invasion of Syria and the installation of a puppet regime.
To simplify it: life in Iraq was bad under sanctions and repeated yterrorist actions and air attacks by the US but it became much worse after the invasion

As to telling dead people how killing works I will leave that to you.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 23, 2013 12:09:34 PM | 44

Not to mention the unknown what well armed Jihadis would do should the funding stop. Would they continue to fight the Syrian army to try to get funding? Not likely. Would they turn to blackmail? Possible.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 23, 2013 12:11:40 PM | 45

someody@43,

The global community needs to grow a backbone and brazenly tell the US that funding Christian-killing, Sharia-law enacting Al-Qaeda to enrich Qatari and Saudi Royalty is wrong!

Posted by: Cynthia | Oct 23, 2013 12:42:44 PM | 46

bevin: seriously, quantifying how bad things could be?

Warfare is warfare: One can break it down into categories, but, it is all warfare
All warfare involves terror, killing and depravity etc
No matter the delivery.

Your differentiating it seems callous and absurd

If you felt some bizarre need to defend "somebody" you might have picked some other manner? I don't know what?

Somebody's claim was fallacious for a couple of reasons and I pointed it out
That's it

Somebody: 'Let's assume, the Ghouta Sarin attack was a cooperation between Turkey's spooks and Saudi Arabia's, and it was an attempt to force the US into a war, where most of the Obama administration clearly did not want to go."

To consider Ghouta an attempt to force the US into war would be suggesting that the US is not already involved, which we know they are

And would also suggest to us that SA and Israel undertook the alleged attack in Ghouta without the foreknowledge or approval of the US.

Which would not be the case.

The alleged attack in Ghouta was a coordinated effort. And the US propaganda machine was primed and ready to pump.


Posted by: Penny | Oct 23, 2013 1:12:03 PM | 47


Bevin 'As to telling dead people how killing works I will leave that to you. "

Exactly my point Bevin, dead is dead.

Quoting you her Bevin"

"there is a real difference between US involvement in the terrorism in Syria and an outright "shock and awe"

Not to the dead, there is no difference to the dead.

Posted by: Penny | Oct 23, 2013 1:28:43 PM | 48

Penny, if your emotions prevent you from making comparisons, whether quantitative or qualitative, then you are not studying the situation, certainly not learning from it, you are merely reacting to it.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 23, 2013 2:06:41 PM | 49

@Penny -

To consider Ghouta an attempt to force the US into war would be suggesting that the US is not already involved, which we know they are
well, it wasn't involved enough, since Assad was winning

Your differentiating it seems callous and absurd
moral condemnation isn't a substitute for analysis of motivations, aims, forces at play, etc, and there's nothing callous in trying to understand what's going on and why

When Obama said "red line" for chemicals one had to know that chemical weapons were going to be the justification for attack
SA and Israel simply colluded to provide the means for the desired end
but it didn't happen; why? only because of Putin? Obama went in retreat mode since he got news of Congress opposition


Posted by: claudio | Oct 23, 2013 4:27:44 PM | 50

"The only thing that this Saudi strategy may achieve is a faster reconciliation between Washington and Tehran.Should the U.S. sympathies move to the eastern side of the Persian Gulf Saudi Arabia could soon become the target of new animosities."
"Saudi Arabia does not have the means to seriously pressure the United States. It also does not have a strategic alternative to staying in the U.S. realm. In the end the relation is a protection racket. The Saudis pay the U.S. military industrial complex for not getting attacked by it. Throwing hissy fits in such position is senseless nonsense"

Nobody noticed but recently KSA-foreignminister Faisal spoke to the Iranian American Community and there you have the saudi stance about Iran which is very interesting and worth reading.It is also to consider that despite being a regional rival and a major source of pain Iran can give al saud a big leverege against US and vis versa _IF_ they can sattle the long ethnic feuds between arabs and persians and stick together.But these are wet dreams of Faisal and some elite saudi arab intelectuals.
Evidtent is that KSA is badly pissed of with the US and hell bent on doing something about the loosing of (Irak Egypt Tunesia Libanon now Syria and maybe some gulf state`s) =loosing a lot of prestige+assets+wealth+domestic stability.
So I think Saudis are very well aware of the things that might happen to them(they have been financing things like that the past 4 decades)so they will try a lot to pretend that the kingdom is seriously able to put some pressure on the US.But this is going to be a walk on shaky ground because I think this 3-Men must go and this seems to be decided.And history shows this kind of "proconsuls" tend not to go alone to hell.
http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/P1-BN479A_USTUR_G_20131009191513.jpg
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303643304579107373585228330

Posted by: Some1 | Oct 23, 2013 6:07:11 PM | 51

@ 50.
Your embedded link (Faisal spoke to the Iranian American Community) didn't work. A Google search turned up this, which seems to be a transcript of his Oct 15 address.
http://www.niacouncil.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=9894

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 23, 2013 11:47:41 PM | 52

Faisal's speech (to the American-Iranian (exile) Club) couldn't have been more anti-Iran if Bibi and Obama had written the script.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 24, 2013 12:23:35 AM | 53

Posted by: claudio | Oct 23, 2013 4:27:44 PM | 49

"well, it wasn't involved enough, since Assad was winning"

In whose opinion was the US not involved enough?

I am quite sure the Syrians think the Americans are involved plenty since they are the ones being maimed, killed, raped, held captive etc.
And the Russians seem to think the American are involved aplenty.
As do the Iranians
And many others

"but it didn't happen; why? only because of Putin?"

I would agree with that.

As to the rest I already clarified the absurd callousness of differentiating death in one manner or the other.

bevin- "there is a real difference between US involvement in the terrorism in Syria and an outright "shock and awe"

Me: Not to the dead, there is no difference to the dead"

And that is my opinion. But, not just that it's a fact.
To the dead. And there are so many of them, does it matter if they died via destabilization terrorism or mass bombing

Posted by: Penny | Oct 24, 2013 7:16:46 AM | 54

Penny? Is the time you waste here called Grandstanding, Showboating, or Hair-splitting?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 24, 2013 8:36:59 AM | 55

@penny - I really don't understand what point you are trying to make;

"well, it wasn't involved enough, since Assad was winning"

In whose opinion was the US not involved enough?

I am quite sure the Syrians think the Americans are involved plenty


of course the Us were too much involved, for the Syrians and for the totality of MoA commentators; but for those who wanted topple Assad, they weren't enough; it seems obvious, and not callous in any possible sense of the word, since no one here thinks that "limited" involvement was a good thing; but I'm sure Assad himself agrees that limited involvement is better than bombing Libya-style, otherwise he wouldn't have dismantled his CW

Posted by: claudio | Oct 24, 2013 10:00:03 AM | 56

@Hoarsewhisperer thank you for the NIA-link.
IMO Faisal did his best to adress the Iranians as an Arab and not a Zionist or US-pupet.You should know that
-some 30% of this audience is on the Saudi paychek just google "Nourizadeh".
-They all love Persia and hate Iran (if you know what I mean)
-Faisal seems to belive they are as scared as he is about US-Iran-relations.
-Faisal would prefear a Persian Khalifat then a shia one.
-He shares the view of most anti regime iranians that the mullahs. are Arabs and as an arab leader he prefers to poke the ethnik fire rather then the religios fire.
This shows how desperet the house of saud is and gives us a hint how pissed of they are with the amerikans.And I gess he is hinting to more overt meddling in iranian politics.

"Khomeini wore the black turban that signified his pride in his long and noble Arab lineage. Khamenei, Khatemi, and even Nasrallah wear it also. But the Iranian leadership’s meddling in Arab countries is backfiring. Arabs will not be forced to wear a political suit tailored in Washington, London, or Paris.They also reject even the fanciest garb cut by the most skillful tailor in Tehran."
The last sentense is very important and directed at the regime folks and agents in the audience and means Arabs are Arabs and will stay Arabs.

"King Abdullah, with the support of all Muslim countries, including Iran, launched the formation of the Center for Dialogue Among Islamic Schools of Thought, in Riyadh. That is where Iran’s contribution can make a difference in establishing its credibility with its Muslim peers.
In conclusion,the door is still open to bargain for influence in the ummah.

Posted by: Some1 | Oct 24, 2013 10:24:04 AM | 57

Claudio: You are the person who said the US was not involved enough,
not me, I think they are involved a plenty.

I asked you in whose opinion and you responded,thanks that is terrific!

Clarification is what I am after and you did that, thanks

All this other stuff is nonsense:

I expressed an opinion, my own, regarding a statement made by 'somebody'

Bevin had to jump in and spout some absurd rhetoric, I don't know why, but I assume she does. At least I hope so?

I clarified and clarified what I was saying.

But I will reiterate:

Somebody was just spouting the 'official narrative line'
Go back and look at what somebody said
paraphrasing: other countries are pushing poor beleaguered Obama into a war he wants no part of
That is nonsense
Since I don't buy the official line I challenged the narrative presented by 'somebody'
that is it.

Since Bevin has a personal axe to grind she played her rescue role to "bad Penny"

bevin had taken her childishness so far as to tell me previously she wasn't going to talk to me anymore- And we see how well she stuck to a choice she proclaimed for herself?
Really?


Posted by: Penny | Oct 24, 2013 10:25:49 AM | 58

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 24, 2013 8:36:59 AM | 54

No it was participation, just like everyone else
Until bevin took her axe out and whet her stone
As you did too

Is the time you are wasting here called building strawmen
name calling, labeling??
Or some other nonsense?
How about transference?


Posted by: Penny | Oct 24, 2013 10:31:12 AM | 59

Some1 | Oct 24, 2013 10:24:04 AM | 56

You're welcome. You made Faisal's address sound interesting and hopeful so I was interested to read it but the link, although it lit up, behaved like plain text. I hadn't read it when I posted the link and posted my opinion when I had. Clearly, you are more familiar with several ME subtleties than I if you found positive aspects. As a starting point in correcting my ignorance, I'd be grateful for a brief explanation of the difference between a Persian and an Iranian.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 24, 2013 12:00:06 PM | 60

@Penny

Claudio: You are the person who said the US was not involved enough,
not me, I think they are involved a plenty.

you must be kidding! the US was not involved enough for those who wanted to topple Assad, not for me! are you really equivocating or is it some kind of provocation?

Posted by: claudio | Oct 24, 2013 12:00:52 PM | 61

Penny | Oct 24, 2013 10:31:12 AM | 58.

Thanks for the supercilious response (admirable consistency).
building strawmen Pot calls kettle black?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 24, 2013 12:20:23 PM | 62

Hoarsewhisperer?

Whatever axe you have to grind? It's all your own.
When I come here, I never address you unless addressed by you.
Anyone can read through the comments and see that to be the case.
It all there.

Since, you and bevin have some 'big issue' with my comments?
Issues that truly are all your own, just, pass them by.
It is that simple.
And I will pass you and bevin by in kind.
See how easy that is?

Posted by: Penny | Oct 24, 2013 12:40:23 PM | 63

I left a comment about this earlier, but it vanished somewhere. What I said was this: if you remain on the level of emotional reactions, you'll never learn anything. I can confirm that it is not easy to acquire the sanguine attitude; I spend three or four hours every morning blogging stories which all either contain, imply or presuppose considerable death counts, and always afterwards I feel a horrid sense of dread, which takes an hour or two to wear off. But nevertheless I continue to approach these stories in as technically-minded a way as I can: I look for the necessary lies behind the killing, and try to nail these lies down as firmly as possible and spell them out for what they are. I believe that doing this contributes to eventually making the killing impossible, because it exposes the real reasons for it. This is why I disagree, incidentally, with whoever it is who is saying that "deniability" is no longer of any importance. I believe it is of crucial importance: if our masters cannot maintain it, they cannot function at all. As, I hope, we shall see.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 24, 2013 12:59:25 PM | 64

@Hoarsewhisperer
I dont think that there is a difference because they share the same passport and so the same nationality(iranian)
but there is a big difference between calling this country persia or iran in a political or diplomatic arena.For me it just metters when talking about ethnic,religios and geografic topics.but here is a brief explanation of the difference between Persia and Iran.And i bet you wont find an iranian who can explain it but:

In 1935 the Iranian government requested those countries which it had diplomatic relations with, to call Persia "Iran," which is the name of the country in Persian.
The suggestion for the change is said to have come from the Iranian ambassador to Germany, who came under the influence of the Nazis. At the time Germany was in the grip of racial fever and cultivated good relations with nations of "Aryan" blood. It is said that some German friends of the ambassador persuaded him that, as with the advent of Reza Shah, Persia had turned a new leaf in its history and had freed itself from the pernicious influences of Britain and Russia, whose interventions in Persian affairs had practically crippled the country under the Qajars, it was only fitting that the country be called by its own name, "Iran." This would not only signal a new beginning and bring home to the world the new era in Iranian history, but would also signify the Aryan race of its population, as "Iran" is a cognate of "Aryan" and derived from it.
The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent out a circular to all foreign embassies in Tehran, requesting that the country thenceforth be called "Iran." Diplomatic courtesy obliged, and by and by the name "Iran" began to appear in official correspondence and news items.
At first "Iran" sounded alien (for non-Iranians), and many failed to recognize its connection with Persia. Some (Westerners) thought that it was perhaps one of the new countries like Iraq and Jordan carved out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, or a country in Africa or Southeast Asia that had just been granted independence; and not a few confused it with Iraq, itself a recent entity.
As time passed and as a number of events, like the Allied invasion of Iran in 1941 and the nationalization of the oil industry under Prime Minster Dr Mohammad Mosaddeq, put the country in the headlines, the name "Iran" became generally accepted, and "Persia" fell into comparative disuse, though more slowly in Britain than in the United States.[published in Iranian Studies, Vol. XXII, No.1, 1989]

Posted by: some1 | Oct 24, 2013 1:55:52 PM | 65

But more practically, you have the fact that ethnic Persians are just one group among many other ethnicities which reside in what is now called 'Iran'. In older times, the ethnic Persians probably took pride in being the hegemonic group within the larger area, but modern political ethics require something a bit more inclusive - and indeed modern Iran is not hegemonised, if that is the right word, by the ethnic Persians. As is well known, the supreme leader himself is an ethnic Azeri.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 24, 2013 2:29:41 PM | 66

@Rowan Berkeley
you are absolutely right modern Iran is not ethnically hegemonised.But there are still alot of prejudices among the ethnicities which reside in what is now called 'Iran' and the so called ENEMY seems to know better then the iranians.But I gess the mullahs think that shiism is as good as nationalism to keep the etnhic groups together (learned from their british masters) and that proofed to be true as long as there was/is an extern enemy,but what if there is no real ENEMY left in lets say 15 years?

Posted by: some1 | Oct 24, 2013 2:53:27 PM | 67

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/10/saudi-turki-syria-us-reaction.html
Al-Monitor: You stated in your speech that one of the rationales for the King and his policies in Syria is the concern about Iranian influence there. Do you feel that the kingdom may be dismissing the prospects of a thaw in relations with Iran under Rouhani too soon? Shouldn’t it be tested more?

Prince Turki: That was exactly what I said in my speech, and what I said was, King Abdullah congratulated Rouhani when he was elected President and expressed hope for cooperation. Rouhani himself has been very positive on the kingdom, so there is this rhetorical engagement between the two countries, but it is up to the Iranians to show that their sweet and sensible talk is going to be translated into action.
When and if that happens, then there is a chance for the situation between, not just the kingdom and Iran, but also between Iran and the rest of the world to improve.
I will give you an example. King Abdullah was the one who engineered, if you like, with then President Rafsanjani back in 1994 or 1995, the removal of any bad spirits between the kingdom and Iran and the renewal of diplomatic relations, which had been cut during Khomeini’s time because of the Iranian efforts to influence the pilgrimage demonstrations and at one point, to occupy the Great Mosque
So, the king also welcomed the election of Mohammad Khatami [as president of Iran in 1997]. And Khatami, if you remember, paid an official visit to the kingdom back in the late nineties and toured the kingdom. Rafsanjani himself, when he left the presidency, actually asked to spend one month in the kingdom, and he came and he toured ten cities [there], and you know had hopefully a nice time.
[Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, when he was elected [president in 2005], he came for the Islamic summit conference in 2005, in January, that was held at the call of King Abdullah. And King Abdullah talked to him about issues like nuclear proliferation, Iranian interference at that time in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Bahrain etc., the issue of the islands and so on. Alas, no visible signs that he [Ahmadinejad] did anything to improve those issues. And before Ahmadinejad left office, last year, in Ramadan, Holiest month of the year for Muslims, the King also called for another conference, Islamic conference, in Mecca where Ahmadinejad came, representing Iran. And the whole purpose of that conference was to improve relations between the Shia and the Sunni. And all the Islamic countries, 57 of them, agreed that there would be a center set up in the second holiest city, in Medina al-Munawarrah, to look into the issue of how we can improve relations between Sunni and Shia. I see by your expression that you may have not known about these things.
Well, these are the things I refer to when I said that people are not listening to us. There are things that we say and that we do that people ignore. And then, when something comes like denying the seat or not accepting the seat, everybody is surprised and taken aback and shocked. It doesn’t come from thin air. We never act impulsively. It’s a hallmark of Saudi character. We were patient for a long time, but when we need to take action, we take it quickly. So, these are the efforts that we were making with Iran. A quote by Prince Saud during Ahmadinejad’s term, this was I think going back to 2009 perhaps, we had a visit by the then foreign minister of Iran [Manouchehr Mottaki].
And in answer to a question about relations between Saudi Arabia, Prince Saud, in front of the minister, responded by saying we welcome improved relations with Iran, and we urge Iran, in its dealings with the Arab world, to deal with the representative governments of the Arab world, not the super government groups that foment trouble and mayhem of the Arab countries. And so, this is where the kingdom has been. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t deal with us and then go and support somebody who wants to overturn us. And this is what they’ve been doing in Lebanon, this is what they’ve been doing in Syria, this is what they’re doing in Bahrain, and what they’re doing in Iraq etc. so this is how we deal with Iran. Above board, across the table, in public and without any inhibitions: when we have views on how they conduct themselves, to tell them those views. Thank you very much.

WAPO:http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/10/23/the-u-s-saudi-crackup-hits-a-dramatic-tipping-point/
What should worry the Obama administration is that Saudi concern about U.S. policy in the Middle East is shared by the four other traditional U.S. allies in the region: Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Israel. They argue (mostly privately) that Obama has shredded U.S. influence by dumping President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, backing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, opposing the coup that toppled Morsi, vacillating in its Syria policy, and now embarking on negotiations with Iran — all without consulting close Arab allies.
Saudi King Abdullah privately voiced his frustration with U.S. policy in a lunch in Riyadh Monday with King Abdullah of Jordan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the U.A.E., according to a knowledgeable Arab official. The Saudi monarch “is convinced the U.S. is unreliable,” this official said. “I don’t see a genuine desire to fix it” on either side, he added.When Secretary of State John Kerry was in the region a few weeks ago, he asked to visit Bandar. The Saudi prince is said to have responded that he was on his way out of the kingdom, but that Kerry could meet him at the airport. This response struck U.S. officials as high-handed.
Saudi Arabia obviously wants attention,..."

Posted by: some1 | Oct 24, 2013 5:55:53 PM | 68

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-king-abdullah-s-warning-on-interference-1.1244164
Saudi King Abdullah’s (warning) on interference

“We are all one nation(Arabs),living in glory as long as we are united (no sectarian interference),We have the same concerns and the same hopes and there is no glory unless we adhere to our creed and uphold the moral values ordered by God Almighty. Islam is our way to understand the others and engage in a dialogue with them. It is also our way to understand the freedom of religions, cultures and beliefs with no coercion towards anyone.”(Its not our foult its yours)

“We do not allow anyone regardless of who he is to undermine the sovereignty of our countries or interfere in our domestic or foreign affairs. Let the whole world be aware that we respect them and appreciate their contributions to humanity throughout history(Persians AKA Iran). However, there is no option for anyone trying to fret, according to his narrow or interests. We are a nation keen on the safety and integrity of its religion and countries(Arabs are dying in Arab Lands) and on dealing with others on a peer-to-peer basis.“(after asskick in Syria we prefer to engage you directly)

The brackets are my interpretations of course.

Posted by: some1 | Oct 24, 2013 6:46:56 PM | 69

Turkey is out of the picture for the forseeable future, neo-Ottamanism is dead for the time being which must suit the saudis immensely since it was the growth of Wahabism, which emphasised the need for Islamic purity, that later peversions of Islam were rooted in the malign influence of non-Arabs and which by 1815 which first cracked the foundations of the Ottoman empire. The Wahabi uprising against the Ottomans was beaten by fellow Arabs in the mercenary employ of Egypt under direction of the Turks.
Worse the al-Saud's totally missed out because it was eventually Britain & France who swooped in to pick up the choice cuts of the dismembered empire.

Bandar has never underestimated his talents & it wouldn't be the least suprising if he actually believed that Saudi Arabia can be the next HQ for what Bandar would claim was 'The Caliphate' but was in fact merely an old empire with a new name.

The al-Sauds may temporarily align with the zionist invaders just has they have had temporary alliances with england & amerika, but they don't appear to see any of those opponents a real threat in their long game of dominating the ME.
There is always going to come a time when Saudi turns on the ersatz state of israel because even setting aside Wahabi loathing of non-Arabic interference in the ME, at which the al-Sauds are expert, disgust at the illegal invasion occupation and genocide which the zionists are conducting is the one issue that all arabs can fundamentally agree on.
Sending out the Palestine dog-whistle pricks up the ears of all soon to be subjects of the al-Sauds and gets them moving in a common direction towards unification. Or so Bandar believes.

The major fly in the ointment which isn't a dilettante just passing through, is the oldest enemy, Persia/Iran.
Bandar undoubtedly sees Iran as it's major long term opponent in his plans for al-Sauds to rule the ME, even if Iran has no particular interest in running an empire again.

I don't believe they do. Once is enough seems to be the rule of thumb with imperialism - at least major world domination style imperialism. Internal opposition from citizens who know their history appears to bring undone all attempts to turn back the clock. The englanders may get a few thin slices of the africa pie, but much more than that will get their own citizens upset as well as provoking the former colonies. The same goes for Turkey. Italy invaded Libya & Ethiopia at the height of Mussolini's fantasy of Rome redux, but Italians rightly baulked at the thought of a 'new Roman Empire'.

Why? because as amerikans are currently learning, running an empire is a two way street, the thugs of empire or grunts as amerikans prefer to call em, eventually come home and inflict their violence on the empire's own citizens. Generally much worse damage than the victims of empire manage although they can cause a fair amount of blowback as well.
Living in an empire is great for the elites, but for normal non-sociopathic individuals it makes life worse, not better.

So Iran likely has no designs on re-invigorating the Persian Empire, what Iran wants though, is the one thing they are never likely to get.

They want to get back the money amerika stole from them. amerika won't do it, it is simply too large a sum to pay back. Even in the 1970's when the amerikan economy wasn't overloaded with debt & in hock to Chinese paper, amerika dismissed partial repayment out of hand.

Even if amerika had the means to repay the vast sums pillaged out of Iran, they won't do this - ever, to a certain extent because amerikan policymakers are in the back-pockets of the banksters who would have to pay the money back, but chiefly because the post world war 2 US economy was founded on the belief that Iranian oil belonged to amerika as just payment for aiding Russia in WW2.
Forget about the fact that it wasn't Russia's oil to give away, a deal is a deal especially when going back on it would destroy both the federal reserve and the empire.

Who knows if Bandar recognises this and is just laying it on to remind amerika that doing as he says won't prematurely destroy amerika.
One thing is for sure though, Bandar has decided that the amerikan backdown over Syria signals something much bigger, that the empire is in decline and this time al-Sauds won't make the same mistake as last time and be gazumped by interlopers.
Bandar is manouvering for the long game with an end that puts Saudi in charge of the ME.

We may see that plan as impractical, even impossible if only because Saudi lacks the population to draw its 'thugs for empire' from and the alternative, slow growth of the empire to provide a source of new recruits at every expansion is unlikely to succeed, that sort of strategy may once have worked but it relies too heavily upon slow response & imperfect communication between potential targets.

Bandar may even believe that the drone tactic of destruction without boots on the ground is a goer. He's wrong, but still maybe that is what he thinks, or perhaps he has an alternative, but he is one Saudi national who has never been constrained by someone else's notion of what is achievable. First time around back about 1810 when the whitefellas were too busy fighting among themselves over Bonaparte, the Saudi plans were quashed by Muhammad Ali Pasha's mercenary army. A force which was raised in Egypt - maybe Bandar plans on doing the same. After all the current Egyptian regime is unlikely to ever regain it's Mubarak era power and is plainly doomed long term.

Bandar spent 22 years in amerika up close, watching the most corrupt & brutal regime the world has yet known coming up smelling like roses every time, copping kisses on the ass from all & sundry, whilst Saudi Arabia's unquestioning loyalty to that awful bunch was treated with disrespect & disdain.
The crimes of the Saudi ruling elite may be terrible, but they pale into insignificance when measured against the daily butcher's bill which emanates from the amerikan empire.
The regular humiliations the Saudi administration suffers in western media are enough to crank up a normal human, Bandar a staunch nationalist, is far from ordinary, and he has probably correctly concluded than respect isn't earned from western hypocrites through being fair and reasonable, respect is given out to the cruelest, shittiest & most unjust player on the paddock.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Oct 24, 2013 7:42:37 PM | 70

Maybe the thought of women ... driving cars! Iis pushing him over the edge.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/autos/saudi-arabia-issues-warning-in-advance-of-women-s-driving-protest-1.1509832

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 24, 2013 11:22:12 PM | 71

Posted by: some1 | Oct 24, 2013 1:55:52 PM | 65

Thanks, that satisfies my query.
And thanks also to RB and Debs for the extra background info.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 25, 2013 12:11:07 AM | 72

Penny | Oct 24, 2013 12:40:23 PM | 63

I wasn't sure what it was that annoyed me, but it was probably your supercilious (let me hold court + quote myself) grandstanding. I notice that P.F.Y.T no longer appears in Xymphora's blogroll. One has to do something outrageously silly to get removed (or banned) at Xymphora. So try to extract some wisdom from that (good housekeeping) experience and peaceful co-existence will become a definite possibility.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 25, 2013 12:35:08 AM | 73

60) Of course the US alliance with Saudi Arabia is unnatural in the belief systems on the ground, and of course the "Saudi liberal alliance", the backbone of the Egyptian military dictatorship, is only possible with liberals getting paid. The Saudi monarchy will cant religious harmony as long as the US and Europe can be paid to close their eyes without blinking and will protect their monarchy should their religious interpretation come back to bite them.
Canting an anti-Western stance and having a public spat might very well be due to Saudis realizing that Western (or anybody's) soldiers will not protect Saudi monarchy should religion take over.

From 2007 - Congressional Research Paper

Current U.S. Policy and Legislation In light of allegations against Wahhabism, some critics have called for a reevaluation of the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, although others maintain that U.S. economic and security interests require continued and close ties with the Saudis.

The Bush administration has praised Saudi counter-terrorism cooperation, and President Bush has praised Islam and denounced groups that have "hijacked a great religion."15

9/11 Commission
The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the "9/11 Commission") claims that "Islamist terrorism" finds inspiration in "a long tradition of extreme intolerance" that flows "through the founders of Wahhabism," the Muslim Brotherhood, and prominent Salafi thinkers. The report further details the education and activities of some 9/11 hijackers in the Al Qassim province of Saudi Arabia, which the report describes as "the very heart of the strict Wahhabi movement in Saudi Arabia." According to the Commission, some Saudi "Wahhabi- funded organizations," such as the now-defunct Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, "have been exploited by extremists to further their goal of violent jihad against non-Muslims."16 Due in part to these findings, the Commission recommended a frank discussion of the relationship between the United States and its "problematic ally," Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi ambassador praising the Persia of pre-Islamic times to Iranian monarchist exiles, claiming Islam for Arabs to finally lecture Iranian "Arab" clerics is a sick joke. In Islam, Shiite or Sunni or whatever, clerics have a life of their own, but in the end are chosen by their congregation whilst the legitimacy of rulers is based on religion.

It is a complex system. As long as any power in the Middle East can come up with, manipulate and use for political ends "their brand" of Islam, Islam will be no unifying force.


Posted by: somebody | Oct 25, 2013 2:30:34 AM | 74

“Political Islam” is the umbrella term for fundamentalism in both Shiite and Sunni Islam.Looking deeper and more carefully at regional affairs, you can see that conflicts among the different versions of “political Islam” are being presented as religious conflicts. While a large number of Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the Middle East do not think of themselves as participants in the current religious conflicts, various political interpretations of Islam have turned the region into a scene of war. The point worth noting is that these different approaches have very similar ideological structures as well as joint historical roots. Understanding this fact can change one’s outlook toward conflicts in the Middle East.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/10/radicalism-political-islam-roots-sunni-shiite-fundamentalist.html#ixzz2iikDCLI2


Posted by: Some1 | Oct 25, 2013 4:35:04 AM | 75

Spoiled KSA kid got a fit when it discovered the USKing was really naked
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-251013.html
"...if Bandar wants to shift away from the alliance with the US, where does he think he could shift to? Most definitely not China, which has a very serious "Islamic problem" on its hands in its western provinces; not the EU, which is faithfully committed to its colonial status in the US empire..."

Where else than Egypt could they look for slave-workers AND hardcore Wahhabized-without-even-noticing-it believers at the same time? how long will Egypt accept to take the risk of becoming the next spot of the hot proxy-war between Iran and KSA, after Lebanon, Iraq and Syria?

The whole justification about refusing to give the speech and to take the UNSC seat is rather odd. Forget about Palestine, of which everyone know exactly how little it represents in KSA's strategies, they just admit for once that their whole anger is about the "West" not attacking Syria and not getting them rid of Iran influence.
(Ref to the links posted above by Some1:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/10/23/the-u-s-saudi-crackup-hits-a-dramatic-tipping-point/
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/10/saudi-turki-syria-us-reaction.html
In this one, Turki al Faisal goes as far as accusing Lebanon and Syria, i. e. probably Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Asad in Syria of trying "to overturn us" !!)

Posted by: Mina | Oct 25, 2013 7:48:33 AM | 76

Spotted by the Angry Arab yesterday but no one linked it here yet
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/24/us-israel-saudi-diplomacy-idUSBRE99N0NO20131024?
The honeymoon is official!

Posted by: Mina | Oct 25, 2013 8:48:30 AM | 77

Bandar's "fit" and "hissy fit" are now all other the place. Congrats B!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-paul/decline-of-saudi-arabian_b_4158660.html
"There is something oddly satisfying about seeing the Al Sa'ud monarchy of Saudi Arabia throwing an international hissy fit."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-05-251013.html
"So far, a House of Saud devoured by a vicious succession battle, as well as angry, fearful and paralyzed by fast evolving geopolitics, offers no evidence it would let escape the mongrel "special relationship" with the US. It's just throwing a fit."

Posted by: Mina | Oct 25, 2013 9:12:35 AM | 78

Penny | Oct 24, 2013 12:40:23 PM | 63
I notice that P.F.Y.T no longer appears in Xymphora's blogroll. One has to do something outrageously silly to get removed (or banned) at Xymphora. So try to extract some wisdom from that (good housekeeping) experience and peaceful co-existence will become a definite possibility.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 25, 2013 12:35:08 AM | 73

Wow, is that how you pass judgement? Whether I am in Xymphora's blogroll or not? Who is Xymphora? God? Are you kidding me?
Josh Landis and Desmog blog are in the blogroll there making me very happy to not be listed alongside PR firms and disinfo agents.
I am copacetic with my wisdom.
You should check yours

Posted by: Penny | Oct 25, 2013 5:44:53 PM | 79

btw Hoarsewhisperer thanks for at least acknowledging you have the personal axe to grind.

"I wasn't sure what it was that annoyed me, but it was probably your supercilious (let me hold court + quote myself) grandstanding"

All your own problem. And one you need to deal with

Posted by: Penny | Oct 25, 2013 5:50:55 PM | 80

"supercilious"

obviously ol hoarsey hasn't looked in a mirror for quite some time

Posted by: foff | Oct 26, 2013 12:54:22 AM | 81

Horse latitudes.

:-)

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 26, 2013 2:51:13 AM | 82

Good analysis. In the international context however, two counyries feel rebuke: Saudi Arabia by US and France by Russia. See A. Pushkov commenting that France was not mentionned at international level as it had a negligible role. This is a king of statement France will never forget although it is quite true that its diplomacy had ridiculed itself. No wonder then if Bandar is turning to France. He knows this French aiming at fulfilling "la gloire de la patrie" for sure. Moreover, Hollande looks for anynone that can help the country out of its debt. French army could be well financed by Saudis.On top part of FSA is closely linked to French DCRI army branch. Close to the Tlass family whose daughter was married to a Saudi businessman (Kashoggi if I racall right). Members have deserted Damascus. So all is here to keep in check Geneva Convention. On top, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius is a dual national, taking orders from Tel Haviv. So expect the link Saudis-Israel-France to tighten and set the worst they can in Syria and Middle East.

Posted by: Sierrasverdes1 | Oct 26, 2013 12:33:00 PM | 83

~83: it would be very much worthwhile remembering which Arab countries were French colonies and which British. You can even see it in the spelling, to this day: in the ex-French colonies, Arab names are transliterated into French phonetic spelling, and whenever you see 'ou' in a name, you know you are looking at a Francophone country, as in 'Abou' instead of 'Abu'.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 26, 2013 2:05:21 PM | 84

Commander of Iran’s Border Guard Force General Hossein Zolfaqari confirmed that 14 border guards have been killed in clashes with terrorists in the Southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan early Saturday morning

Is R2P coming to Iran

Posted by: hans | Oct 27, 2013 4:08:02 AM | 85

Isn't Prince Bandar the one who told Sec. of State James Baker that his brother was really "anti-American" prior to the Gulf War? (Yes, the old days, the 1990's.)

I think Bandar knows how the recent arms export reform will empower his most unsavory neighbors (and take a cut from his market). Not to mention, of course, the Obama administration's subtle rapprochement with Iran...

Prince Bandar feels lonely and left out of the embassy parties. It's tough to be a moderate Wahabbist; similar to being a Hayekian Stalinist- the center does not hold.

Posted by: Alina | Oct 31, 2013 11:14:20 PM | 86

#69 a week ago Faisal to Iran :
We are a nation keen on the safety and integrity of its religion and countries(Arabs are dying in Arab Lands) and on dealing with others on a peer-to-peer basis.“

Now Al Monitor

"The Iranian government and the Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps in particular are paying a price with the lives of Iranian soldiers inside Iranian territory for their support of Bashar al-Assad ".

I guess KSA wanted to show some muscles and let "AQ" knock on the Iranian door.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/10/sp-iran-saudi-salafists-javedanfar.html

Posted by: Some1 | Nov 1, 2013 5:14:39 AM | 87

The comments to this entry are closed.

 

Site Meter