Saudi Arabia is in dire trouble today as the outcry over recent executions mounts. The execution of Shia Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr in the most brutal day of executions in the country in three decades has now sparked violence across the region. If Saudi Arabia is destabilized, the Middle East could easily turn into a bloodbath of biblical proportions. This begs the big question, “What is really behind these apparently symbolic executions?”
In October of last year al-Nimr was sentenced to death by the so-called Specialized Criminal Court after he allegedly sought foreign aid for his causes in Saudi Arabia, and for “disobeying” the rulers of the country. However, al-Nimr was a peaceful dissenter over the entire course of his fight for Shia rights and a democratic Saudi Arabia. It was during the 2011-2012 protests that al-Nimr instructed protesters to face police bullets with what he called “the roar of the word”, instead of resorting to violence. It seems significant here to point out, al-Nimr was executed along with 46 other prisoners, some of whom were obvious terrorists. The implication from the Saudi government could not be clearer. Amnesty International put it best proclaiming the death sentence; “part of a campaign by the authorities in Saudi Arabia to crush all dissent, including those defending the rights of the Kingdom’s Shi’a Muslim community.”
No Time for Martyrs
The peaceful cleric’s death has shaken the Shia populations across the region today, and especially in Iran where protestors set fire to the Saudi embassy. Now the house of Saud has severed ties with Tehran altogether, and al-Nimr has taken on martyr status in the hours since his execution. As for the Saudi regime, an iron fisted crackdown seems imminent as even al-Nimr’s brother, Mohammad al-Nimr was arrested for simply “tweeting” information about the death sentence. Saudi Arabia’s top cleric, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh poured salt into the Shia population’s wounds by proclaiming the executions “mercy to the prisoners”, saying “their deaths would prevent them committing more crimes.” As to the Shia cleric’s attitude and strategies for dissent, this WikiLeaks cable concerning a secret meeting he had with US diplomats at his home reveal an ideological warrior, not a revolutionary in the typical sense. Saudi Arabia has carried out more than 150 executions over the last year, more than at any time in the last two decades.
Iran is the main regional rival of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, and has been since the fall of the Shah back in the 1970s. Iran’s isolation since the revolution there has largely benefitted the house of Saud and those aligned with Saudi interests abroad, especially the United States and Britain. For the reader who is unfamiliar, Saudi Arabia is 90% Sunni Muslim and Iran is likewise 90% Shia Muslim, but the sectarian divide has been less acute than the political one for decades now. It is this most recent Sunni-Shia sore that has festered with the infestation of outside interests of late. Sheikh Nimr’s long history of Shia rights activism now sits in contrast to a Saudi government that is clearly on the road to extreme measures not simply internally, but toward perceived threats in the region and the world. The Saudi leadership faces multiple security challenges at home and abroad. Significant economic pressures now exist, and the Syria-Iraq situation has become a PR nightmare for the house of Saud given allegations of the government’s support of terrorists-rebels there. Logic suggests, there’s a lot more to the al-Nimr execution than a crackdown on dissent too. What is really behind this seemingly maniacal incendiary moment? If stability and peace are anyone’s goals, this is no time for creating martyrs. Al-Nimr’s execution does demonstrate unequivocally the “no tolerance” position of the ruling family toward any dissent, but it also sends an even more disturbing message. The Saudi definition of terrorism pointing to anyone not within more conservative Wahhabist power base of that regime seems poignant today. The Shia community in the east cannot be feeling secure at this moment.
In the Shadow of Machiavelli
The best clue as to “who stands behind” this new Saudi-Iran crisis comes to us from the Washington Post. For anyone still unaware, this Amazon owned media outlet is the perfect barometer of what is NOT true in the world of international affairs these days. Using “reverse news” psychology here, the article by Karen DeYoung tells us all we need to know about al-Nimr’s execution. If you will allow me this quote:
“Obama administration officials expressed deep concern Sunday that the abrupt escalation of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran could have repercussions extending to the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the diplomatic efforts to end Syria’s civil war, and wider efforts to bring stability to the Middle East.”
Citing unnamed officials in Barack Obama’s administration has become the guiding principle of corporate media in America these last few years, and the Washington Post misdirects have never been more transparent than today. This piece is misleading, supportive of Saudi and US disruption in the region, and anti-Iranian to the extreme. The author continues using another source who is a “authorized to convey Saudi thinking on the condition of anonymity,” if you can imagine such a conveyance. According to the WP, Saudi Arabia is framed as the only nation “doing something”, and I quote:
“Tehran has thumbed its nose at the West again and again, continuing to sponsor terrorism and launch ballistic missiles and no one is doing anything about it.”
Then BAM! Steve Bezos’ newspaper barks the real intent of this propaganda bit bringing Russia into the fray with:
“ Iran, along with Russia, is the leading backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a member of a minority Shiite sect, and Riyadh views the civil war as part of Iran’s fight for sectarian dominance.”
As I type this from our offices in Germany, US F-15 and F-16 fighters fly overhead in a continuous stream from the US air base at Spangdahlem Air Base. I mention this only because 2 years ago we seldom if ever heard fighter aircraft overhead. These days even locals wonder if the flyovers have a purpose beyond intimidation, or at least some residents have expressed this to me personally. The current undeclared war of resolve, it bears witnessing and a focus on all these events in the Middle East. My point being, Riyadh’s actions of the last few days are part of an overall western strategy of unrest. If the Washington Post tells you Obama’s White House is worried over something, you can count on the Washington having been part of the cause of the event. In this case we see the “never say die” war against Assad and Russia in the works. It is a crazy bit of irony that WP’s editor Karen DeYoung was once quoted as saying; “We are inevitably the mouthpiece for whatever administration is in power.“
Meanwhile, at the newspaper (The Wall Street Journal) owned by billionaire Rupert Murdoch (who has energy investments in the region) we have another indicative report, or should I say “counter indicative?” Jay Solomon reports on the weeping sadness of Barack Obama that his non-existent peace plan for Syria may be derailed by Riyhad’s decision to sever ties with Iran. Within this report the “real” mission of the Saudis, and Washington’s current administration is revealed. I’ll rely on another quite to clue the reader. Referring to the John Kerry brokered “plan” the Wall Street Journal writer inadvertently betrays the Obama administration with:
“Under the deal, Iran in the coming months is set to receive as much as $100 billion in frozen oil revenues, which could be used to support its proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.”
To sum up here, the goal all along has been misdirect from Obama’s team. The Iran deal, the parlaying at various peace accords, all the State Department’s efforts have been designed to frame the United States as peace loving, with the teddy bear John Kerry as a sort of Mother Teresa of détente. Has anyone noticed yet how every deal the man makes goes south in the end? Now Iran coming out of decades of useless sanctions is on the rocks, as was planned so it appears. The WSJ piece further implicates (by inaccuracy) the White House’s Machiavellian strategies with.
“ As the conflict deepened over the weekend, with Saudi Arabia officially severing ties with Iran, U.S. officials expressed skepticism over how much influence Washington had in heading off a conflict based on centuries-old religious divisions.”
It is with this, and with the ad nauseam with which mainstream media parrots State Department rhetoric we find the true backers of terrorism and strife in the Middle East. The statement misleads readers into believing the situation in the Middle East is “out of the control” of Obama and Washington, when the reverse is absolutely true. The story goes on to plant the seed of military support for Saudi Arabia should the situation escalate, which it is certain to with the help of the lame duck Obama.
When all is said and done, Nimr Baqr al-Nimr was a man of peaceful advocacy for the people of his belief and his region of Saudi Arabia. There is literally no proof to the contrary, yet he was summarily executed by a regime notorious for beheading its citizens. The Unites States of America has not only backed this regime, but has aligned herself in an auspicious manner over the years essentially using the Saudis as a vassal for regional control. This section of a WikiLeaks cable damns the Saudis for helping create the mess in Syria and elsewhere:
“The USG engages regularly with the Saudi Government on terrorist financing. The establishment in 2008 of a Treasury attache office presence in Riyadh contributes to robust interaction and information sharing on the issue. Despite this presence, however, more needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan. In contrast to its increasingly aggressive efforts to disrupt al-Qa’ida’s access to funding from Saudi sources, Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT-groups that are also aligned with al-Qa’ida and focused on undermining stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Revelations Verse 19:11
The cable is from the US State Department to various offices of the Saudi government, that of the UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar. This cable, along with dozens of other revelations about the backers of terror in the world, leaves no room for ambiguity. But what’s far more disturbing is the way Washington, London and to a lesser extent Brussels are portraying current unrest as some type of religious war. The Christian-Jew-Muslim aspects of these crises are being used to hide the real cause of corporate governments supplanting rights and freedoms. This is a larger argument, but the correct one at this stage. What the world suffers from now is a hell bent effort by the godless of the world (elite bankers) to once again spark crusades for the purposes of strategy and profit. Most people reading this fully understand this, even though the exact culprits may be obscure.
The summary of this story is fairly easy to parlay. Saudi Arabia just made a play for the neocons in Washington, the bankers in London, and for the Tel Aviv instigators who have so far remained in the shadows in all this. They created a martyr who may well serve their utterly evil needs, to set the world on fire one more time. Let me leave you with the most damning quote I have yet found. It is from WikiLeaks, and implicates the Obama and previous US administrations:
“WikiLeaks cables (see below) show that the US has been tracking, and exploiting, the rise of ISIS since 2006, when the organisation first appeared in Iraq as a direct result of the Bush-Blair invasion. Like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS are the mutations of a western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great remove in distance and culture. Their culpability is unmentionable in “our” societies.”
Make no mistake here, America and Britain created this mess in the world, with the help of profiting allies like Saudi Arabia. The WikiLeaks revelations tell of former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas’ statements on this too. What he revealed is that Britain basically made plans for the Syria disaster years ago. What we are witnessing is a last ditch effort to counter Vladimir Putin’s play in the region, and to either win a new Syria partitioning, or else burn the deserts in total. This is a world war in the making, and the man on the pale horse seems evident now, the leader of the faithful and true. God help us all.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.