In recent weeks one nation after another is falling over themselves, literally, to join the turkey shoot known, erroneously, as the war in Syria, ostensibly against the Islamic State or Daesh. The most wanted but most feared question is where will this war frenzy lead, and how can it be stopped short of dragging the entire planet into a world war of destruction?
On September 30, responding to a formal invitation or plea from the duly-elected President of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Russian Federation began what was an initially highly effective bombing campaign in support of the Syrian Government Army.
On 13 November following the terror attacks claimed by ISIS in Paris, the French President proclaimed France was “at war” and immediately sent her one and only aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, to Syria to join the battle. Then on December 4, the German Parliament approved sending 1,200 German soldiers and six Tornado jets to “help” France. Reports out of Germany say the Germans will not work with Russia or the Assad regime, but with CentCom command in Florida and coalition headquarters, not in Damascus, but in Kuwait. The same week the UK Parliament approved sending British planes and forces to “fight ISIS” in Syria. Again we can be sure it’s not to help Russia’s cause in cooperation with the Syrian Army of Assad to restore sovereignty to Syria.
Then Turkey’s hot-head President Recep Erdoğan, fresh from his criminal, premeditated downing of the Russian SU-24 in Syria, orders Turkish tanks into the oil-rich Mosul region of Iraq against the vehement protests of the Iraqi government. And added to this chaos, the United States claims that its planes have been surgically bombing ISIS sites for more than a year, yet the result has been only to expand the territories controlled by ISIS and other terror groups.
If we take a minute to step back and reflect, we can readily realize the world is literally going berzerk, with Syria as merely the ignition to a far uglier situation which has the potential to destroy our lovely, peaceful planet.
Something major missing
In recent weeks I have been increasingly unsatisfied by the general explanations about who is actually pulling the strings in the entire Middle East plot or, more precisely, plots, to the point of reexamining my earlier views on the role of Saudi Arabia. Since the June, 2015 surprise meeting in St Petersburg between Russian President Putin and Saudi Defense Minister Prince Salman, the Saudi monarchy gave a carefully cultivated impression of rapprochement with former arch-enemy Russia, even discussing purchase of up to $10 billion in Russian military equipment and nuclear plants, and possible “face time” for Putin with the Saudi King Salman.
The long procession of Arab leaders going to Moscow and Sochi in recent months to meet President Putin gave the impression of a modern version of the walk to Canossa in1077 of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV to Pope Gregory VII at Canossa Castle, to beg revocation of Henry’s ex-communication. This time it looked like it was the Gulf Arab monarchs in the role of Henry IV, and Vladimir Putin in the role of the Pope. Or so it seemed. I at least believed that at the time. Like many global political events, that, too, was soaked in deception and lies.
What is now emerging, especially clear since the Turkish deliberate ambush of the Russian SU-24 jet inside Syrian airspace, is that Russia is not fighting a war against merely ISIS terrorists, nor against the ISIS backers in Turkey. Russia is taking on, perhaps unknowingly, a vastly more dangerous plot. Behind that plot is the hidden role of Saudi Arabia and its new monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, together with his son, the Defense Minister, Prince Salman.
Saudi ‘impulsive intervention policy’
German media has widely reported a leaked German BND intelligence estimate. The BND is Germany’s version of the CIA. The BND report, among other things, concentrates on the rising role of the King’s son, 30-year-old Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Referring to the child prince’s important role the BND states, “The current cautious diplomatic stance of senior members of the Saudi royal family will be replaced by an impulsive intervention policy.”
Prince Salman is Defense Minister and led the Kingdom, beginning last March, into a mad war, code-named by Salman as “Operation Decisive Storm,” in neighboring Yemen. Saudis headed a coalition of Arab states that includes Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. The Prince is also head of the Saudi Economic Council which he created.
The new King, Salman, is not the benign sweet guy his PR staff try to paint him.
As my soon-to-be-released book, The Lost Hegemon: Whom the gods would destroy, documents in detail, ever since CIA Cairo Station Chief Miles Copeland organized the transfer of the Muslim Brotherhood, banned in Egypt for an alleged assassination attempt against Nasser, to Saudi Arabia in the early 1950’s, there has existed a perverse marriage of the Saudi monarchy and radical “Islamic” terrorist organizations. As described by John Loftus, a former US Justice Department official, by the joining of Egypt’s Muslim Brothers and Saudi strict Islam, “they combined the doctrines of Nazism with this weird Islamic cult, Wahhabism.”
Allen Dulles’ CIA secretly persuaded the Saudi monarchy in 1954 to help rebuild the banned Muslim Brotherhood, thereby creating a fusion of the Brotherhood with Saudi ultra-fundamentalist Wahhabi Islam and, of course, backed by the vast Saudi oil riches. The CIA planned to use the Saudi Muslim Brothers to wield a weapon across the entire Muslim world against feared Soviet incursions. A fanatical young terrorist named Osama bin Laden was later to arise out of this marriage in Hell between the Brotherhood and Wahhabite Saudi Islam.
King Salman was in the middle of creating Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda as it was later dubbed in the media. His involvement goes back to the late 1970’s when he, as Governor of Riyadh, was named head of major conservative Saudi charities later discovered financing Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Bosnia. Salman worked intimately as the financial funding conduit for what became Al Qaeda together with bin Laden’s Saudi intelligence “handler,” then-head of Saudi Intelligence, Prince Turki Al-Faisal and the Saudi-financed Muslim World League.
King Salman in those days headed the Saudi High Commission for Relief to Bosnia-Herzegovina, a key front for al-Qaeda in the Balkans in the 1990s. According to a United Nations investigation, Salman in the 1990s transferred more than $120 million from commission accounts under his control — as well as his own personal accounts — to the Third World Relief Agency, an al-Qaida front and the main pipeline for illegal weapons shipments to al-Qaida fighters in the Balkans. Osama bin Laden was directly involved in those operations of Salman.
During the US invasion of Iraq in 2003-4, Al Qaeda entered that country, headed by Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who had pledged allegiance to bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, creating Al Qaeda in Iraq, later calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq, the Saudi-financed forerunner of ISIS. A declassified Pentagon DIA document shows that in August 2012, the DIA knew that the US-backed Syrian insurgency was dominated by Islamist militant groups including “the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda in Iraq.” According to author Gerald Posner, Salman’s son, Ahmed bin Salman, who died in 2002, also had ties to al-Qaida.
A Saudi Oil Imperium
If we look at the emergence of Al Qaeda in Iraq and its transformation into the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), it all traces back to the Saudi operations going back to the late 1970’s involving now-King Salman, Saudi Osama bin Laden, together with Saudi intelligence head, Prince Turki Al-Faisal.
Washington and the CIA worked intimately with this Saudi network, bringing bin Laden and other key Saudis into Pakistan to train with the Pakistani ISI intelligence, creating what became the Afghan Mujahideen. The Mujahideen were created by Saudi, Pakistani and US intelligence to defeat the Soviet Red Army in the 1980’s Afghanistan war, the CIA’s “Operation Cyclone.” Cyclone was Zbigniew Brzezinski’s plan to lure Moscow into an Afghan “Bear Trap” and give the Soviet Union what he called their “Vietnam.”
The so-called ISIS today in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Al Qaeda Al-Nusra Front in Syria and various other Jihad terror splinter gangs under attack from Russia and the Damascus government of Assad, all have their origins in Saudi Arabia and the activities of King Salman.
Has the King undergone a Saul-to-Paul conversion to a pacific world view since becoming King, and his son, Prince Salman as well? Despite signals in recent months that the Saudis have ceased financing the anti-Assad terror organizations in Syria, the reality is the opposite.
The Saudis Behind Erdoğan
Much attention of late is given, understandably, to the Turkish dictatorship of the thug, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This is especially so since his Air Force deliberately shot down the Russian SU-24 jet over Syrian territory, an act of war. What few look at are the ties of Erdoğan and his AKP to the Saudi monarchy.
According to a well-informed Turkish political source I spoke with in 2014, who had been involved in attempts to broker a peace between Assad and Erdoğan, Erdoğan’s first Presidential election campaign in August 2014 was “greased” by a gift of $ 10 billion from the Saudis. After his victory in buying the presidential election, Erdoğan and his hand-picked Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu opened the doors wide to establish secret training centers for what was to be called ISIS. Under supervision of Hakan Fidan, Erdoğan’s hand-picked head of the Secret Services (MIT), Turkey organized camps for training ISIS and other terrorists in Turkey and also to provide their supplies in Syria. The financing for the Turkish ISIS operation was arranged apparently by a close personal friend of Erdoğan named Yasin al-Qadi, a Saudi banker close to the Saudi Royal House, member of the Muslim Brotherhood, financier of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda since Afghanistan in the 1980’s. x
Erdoğan’s US-sanctioned and Saudi-financed terrorist training camps have brought an estimated 200,000 mercenary terrorists from all over the world, transited by Turkey in order to wage “jihad” in Syria.
But that jihad, it is now clear, is not about Allah but about Moola—money. The Saudi monarchy is determined to control the oil fields of Iraq and of Syria using ISIS to do it. They clearly want to control the entire world oil market, first bankrupting the recent challenge from US shale oil producers, then by controlling through Turkey the oil flows of Iraq and Syria.
Saudi TOW missiles to ISIS
In May 2014, the MIT transferred to ISIS terrorists in Syria, by special train, a quantity of heavy weapons and new Toyota pick-ups offered by Saudi Arabia.
Now a detailed investigation of the Turkish shoot down of the Russian SU-24 jet reveals that the Turkish F-16 jet that shot down the jet was supported by two AWACS reconnaissance planes that enabled the Turkish F-16 exact hit, a very difficult if not impossible feat against a jet as agile as the SU-24. One of the AWACS planes was a Boeing AWACS E-3A of the Saudi Arabian air force which took off from the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia airbase.
Then, as a Russian rescue helicopter rushed to the scene of the SU-24 crash, Saudi TOW anti-aircraft missiles shot the Russian helicopter down. The Saudis had sent 500 of the highly-effective TOW missiles to anti-Assad terror groups in Syria on October 9.
What we have, then, is not an isolated Russian war against ISIS in Syria. What lies behind ISIS is not just Erdoğan’s criminal regime, but far more significant, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and her Wahhabite allies Kuwait, UAE, Qatar.
In the true sense, ISIS is simply a “Saudi army in disguise.”
If we strip away the phony religious cover, what emerges is a Saudi move to grab some of the world’s largest oil reserves, those of the Sunni parts of Iraq, and of Syria, using the criminal Turkish regime in the role of thug to do the rough work, like a bouncer in a brothel. If Moscow is not conscious of this larger dimension, she runs the risk of getting caught in a deadly “bear trap” which will more and more remind them of Afghanistan in the 1980’s.
What stinks in Saudi Arabia ain’t the camel dung. It’s the monarchy of King Salman and his hot-headed son, Prince Salman. For decades they have financed terrorism under a fake religious disguise, to advance their private plutocratic agenda. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with money and oil. A look at the ISIS map from Iraq to Syria shows that they precisely targeted the oil riches of those two sovereign states. Saudi control of that oil wealth via their ISIS agents, along with her clear plan to take out the US shale oil competition, or so Riyadh reckons, would make the Saudi monarchy a vastly richer state, one, perhaps because of that money, finally respected by white western rich men and their society. That is clearly bovine thinking.
Don’t bet on that Salman.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.