SHAFAQNA – While the powerful and dizzying rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to exert undeniable political traction in Western capitals, in view of its ability to wield both vital natural resources and financial incentives in the face of hungry capitalists, Riyadh propensity of late to venture a leading and military aggressive power in the Middle East has proved trying, even for US officials.
And if many were those willing to look the other way while the kingdom would indulge in the spreading, propping and abating of terror, since it fitted within their own narrative of military and humanitarian interventionism in the Greater Middle East, goodwill is increasingly running low this 2016 – so much so that experts, among whom Scott Bennett a former US Special Op. officer, have postulated that a major shift is in the cards.
As it stands, or rather, as it strains, America and Saudi Arabia could be heading for a rather messy political divorce – one which might see expose the very terror connections and funding nexus, Western powers have tried so very hard to keep under wrap for the sake of financial advancement.
In other words, those terror dealings Western governments have long been aware of when it comes to the likes of Saudi Arabia could soon be exposed and exploited to rationalize a “clean break” from the kingdom, and the forging of new alliances.
Too much of a political liability, the Kingdom’s wealth no longer suffices – like Icarus, the House of Saud ventured too close to the sun … we all know how the story ends!
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not have problems with other creeds or sects,” then Prince (now King) Salman claimed in a conversation with outgoing US Ambassador James C. Oberwetter in March 2007. Salman went on to stress: “Terrorism and fanaticism have done more harm to Islam than anything else.” This is the party line of the House of Saud—that, in the words of its last king, Abdullah, Saudi Arabia stands “in the face of those trying to hijack Islam and present it to the world as a religion of extremism, hatred, and terrorism.”
Meant as reassuring Such statements fly in the face of cold hard reality – something the Saudi regime has bene keen to ply to its will, as one would bend a piece of metal. Only if money can buy you loyalties and at times, allow for lies to be passed on as a reflection of the truth, realities will always eventually pierce through the thick blanket of propaganda and all so comfortable public ignorance.
Such statements ring hollow indeed in the face of evidence that the roots and spread of violent so-called Sunni jihad lead back to Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabi-centered clerical establishment. When even in the words of its most “respected” and “established” clergymanadmits in fact that Wahhabism and Daesh (aka ISIL) share in the same dogmatic markers and ideology, how much more covering-up can anyone master?
As Professor Jamsheed Choksy noted in an interview last May 2015: “The Saudi kingdom’s inseparability from the Wahhabi form of Sunni Islam, first espoused in 1744 and the fundamental creed of Saudi Arabia since its modern founding in 1932, has ensured that fundamentalism shapes domestic and foreign policies. Saudi Arabia is not the only source of resources for jihadism—public and private entities in Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and more recently Turkey have also been linked to collection and transfer of funds supporting terror groups. But the Saudis have been the most persistent source of support for global jihad by spreading Wahhabism abroad to radicalize foreign Muslims and then giving financial support to their violent struggles in countries as far-flung as Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya.”
Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey too can be added to the list of Wahhabi Saudi Arabia’s “hit-list” … yet few have bothered to appreciate the sheer breadth of Riyadh’s folie des grandeurs in the region, as it evidently set out to carve itself a grand Wahhabi Empire, one to which all would yield and kneel to.
At last Western officials are speaking up. And though they are still few and far in between, the anti-Saudi, anti-Wahhabi train has nevertheless left the station – not a moment too soon!
“No one has a particularly credible long term strategy [for the Middle East] because it would involve facing some very uncomfortable truths — about the nature of the fight ahead of us, and imperfections of one of our most important allies in the Middle East,” said US Senator Chris Murphy in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York this January.
Alluding of course to Riyadh’s terror connections, the Senator went on: “For all the positive aspects of our alliance with Saudi Arabia, there is another side to Saudi Arabia” that America doesn’t often see, Murphy said. “And it is a side that we can no longer afford to ignore as our fight against Islamic extremism becomes more focused and more complicated.”
Commenting on Senator Murphy, the Huffington Post could not help but admit that, “Murphy’s frank and measured critique is one of the most high-profile of its kind, evidence in itself that questioning the relationship between Washington and Riyadh is becoming less of a political heresy.”
I would say that it is a massive understatement! Over the span of a few decades the US went from protecting its own financial and political interests in the MidEast by backing the House of Saud, to becoming Riyadh’s private mercenary force and political guard-dog.
As Senator Murphy noted America’s leniency towards Saudi Arabia, or one might call it selective blindness, has been overwhelming self-defeating as far as national security is concerned – allowing for Wahhabism to rise and spread unfettered poses inherent dangers.
It has required the US to largely ignore the Saudis’ decades long funding for fundamentalist thinking in the Muslim world – a mindset experts say makes communities more vulnerable to recruitment by militant groups like Daesh. “Less-well-funded governments and other strains of Islam can hardly keep up with the tsunami of money behind this export of intolerance,” Murphy said, noting that the monarchy in Saudi Arabia relies heavily on its alliance with hardliners known as Wahhabis. “It is important to note the vicious terrorist groups that Americans knows by name are Sunni in derivation, [rather than Shiite, the sect of Islam most common in Iran], and greatly influenced by Wahhabi, Salafist teachings,” he said, citing an ultra-conservative form of Sunni Islam.
And then came US Senator Dick Black, who, in an interview with RT completely blew the whistle on the kingdom by noting: “I believe that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the two greatest dangers to world peace … It is Saudi Arabia, through the Wahhabist doctrine, that is spreading terrorism across the globe. It’s not Iran, it’s not Syria or any other country.”
Senator Black took his analysis one step further when he accused US political family of profiteering from terror by allowing al-Saud to fund their odious fundamentalism.
“The US has been so in bed with the Saudi Arabians for so long. The Bush family – Herbert Walker Bush, George Bush, Jeb Bush – all of them have been closely tied with the dictatorship of Saudi Arabia,”he said.“The same thing with the Clintons – Bill, Hillary – very closely tied to the money from Saudi Arabia. And because of this Saudi Arabia has been able to do the most outrageous things,”said Black.
“We tend to condemn various secular nations in the Middle East because they do don’t do this quite right, or that quite right. And yet we overlook the absolute barbarity of the Saudi Kingdom, their absolute dictatorship,” he added.
Has midnight struck on the Wahhabist kingdom?
By Catherine Shakdam – This article was published first in the American Herald Tribune.