Saudi Arabia plays a huge role in today’s chaotic and crisis-riddled geo-policy. It’s a country that simply does not get enough attention in the press outside oil revenues. Here is a partial remedy to this unfair situation. Here’s a look at one of a major practitioner of global chaos.
As the World Burns
Athens is on fire. People in Japan are dropping like flies. In Laos, excessive rains have caused major floods and have collapsed a major dam. Sweden is on fire and firefighters from nine European countries cannot put it out. Much of the northern hemisphere is being subjected to a devastating and record-breaking heat wave. And in North Africa, a weather station recorded 51 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature ever recorded on the continent. Meanwhile, back in the United States, Californians caused power outages by turning on their air conditioners all at the same time in order to “fix” their blistering heat frustration. And this morning in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia editors of the Saudi Gazette published “Could global warming actually be hot air?”
But then Prince Mohammed bin Salman has the Saudi Aramco IPO coming up, and the Saudis don’t need any more devaluating press and delays.
Pumping Out Terror
Saudi Arabia is one of the key nations supporting western proxy wars in the Middle East. Most experts on the Syria catastrophe now readily admit the involvement of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, and The Iranians and other regional players contend that Saudi Arabia of funding hardline Sunni militants, including Isis. The legendary Robert Fisk, one of the few to have ever interviewed Osama bin Laden, reports this week for the Independent:
“I don’t think either Nato or the EU has the slightest interest in chasing the provenance of weapons in the hands of Islamist fighters in Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East.”
Harvard research fellow Garikai Chengu (read this) says the United States and Saudi Arabia are in bed together creating division among Arab states in order to minimize the influence of Iran in the region. A quote from a recent article by Chengu reveals to us the truth of U.S. Israeli and Saudi involvement in creating ISIS and fomenting regional wars.
“The two most powerful groups in the U.S. foreign policy establishment are the Israel lobby, which directs U.S. Middle East policy, and the Military-Industrial-Complex.”
Along with the United Kingdom, Qatar, France, Turkey, Jordan, and several EU players these supposedly peaceful nations have unleashed hell in Syria, and across Europe by extension. For Saudi Arabia’s part in all this bloodletting I turn to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown of the Independent to encapsulate:
“Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain: planners to financiers, cadres to foot soldiers, ideologists to cheerleaders.”
When President Trump bragged about the “huge” weapons, deal with the Saudis, peace groups worldwide accused the United States of fuelling the kingdom’s illegal war on Yemen.
Tops in Inhumanity
When Saudi Arabia was appointed the chair of the UN Human Rights Council, a choice America cheered for, the world of human rights experts threw up their lunch in the washroom. The same country that executes somebody every other day and that beheads people for daring to protest, is now sitting at the head of the humanity’s fairness table. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s article brings to light the plight of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, a Saudi who was a child when he protested against Arab Spring, and a man who will soon to be beheaded then crucified for his protest. Now get this.
Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was condemned to prison, torture, beheading, and crucifixion for allegedly encouraging pro-democracy protests using his BlackBerry.
There are hundreds of such cases, but I’ll let you digest this one. More sinister and damnable is the Saudi regime’s war on the people of Yemen. The kingdom’s war on Yemen is one of, horror and immutable hatred and evil. The recent UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) condemnation of Saudi air strikes on civilian water systems in Yemen is but one example of this war of attrition.
On its face, the war launched by Saudi Arabia and its allies in 2015 was supposed to be about support of Yemen’s former Riyadh-friendly government and against the Houthi fighters. Saudi Arabia has imposed a total blockade on Yemen. Desperately needed food and medicines have been almost totally cut off from the import-dependent country as the U.S. turns a blind eye. UNICEF and many other humanitarian agencies have condemned the carnage in Yemen, but the Saudi coalition continues. In an interesting bit of irony, I just thought of, the people of the Donbass region of Ukraine are hammered relentlessly by artillery and mortar fire from the U.S. supported side of that conflict. I wonder if Russia should ask Trump for financial support to reinstate Ukraine’s previous leader? Sorry, it had to be said.
Evil is as Evil Does
How does one measure evil? Noted political philosopher Thomas Hobbes reasoned that the words ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are synonyms of ‘desired’ and ‘hated.’ Or in other words, we adjudicate good and evil based on what we want. Hobbes’ definitions really do simplify our understanding of the global mess we are in. President Trump and all the liars in Washington want cheap oil, a hegemony based on confounding the rest of the world, and billions in their personal bank accounts (if possible). Peace on Earth, you see, is just the lip service Miss America contestants utter to sound sweet. Not even the average American citizen wants any kind of peace, let’s just spell it out. Saudi Arabia is evil, and America is by proxy, this is my assessment based on the fact I do want world peace.
Let’s look at this whole “evil” aspect in another way. Suppose, for instance, that instead of utterly destroying Syria to get at Assad, that we utterly destroy Saudi Arabia and dethrone its king? What a coalition of like-minded “world peace” striving nations invade Saudi Arabia, freeze the royal assets globally, and turn the country back over to its people? No seriously. Bounce the ramifications about in your head. What if we treated Iran and Syria as we do the Saudis? What are the barriers there? What would the consequences be? Has anybody ever reasoned in this way? I am pretty sure the average Iranian is about the same as the average Saudi or Syrian.
If we can fund terrorists to overthrow Libyan or Syrian leaders to achieve a global objective, we can choose the alternatives too. If the world is screwed up because of our past policies, then why do we continue them? The answer is really simple. American policies toward Saudi Arabia have served the purposes of the dealmakers who created the policies. So.
If you believe that a nation that chops off the heads of young dissidents and then crucifies their dead bodies in public is good, then I have no words for you. However, if you believe that the excesses and excentricity of Saudi princes are a blight on the Saudi people and all humanity, there may be hope in the world. Rulers that build towers in the sand to honor and embellish themselves – well, we’ve seen our fair share of tyrants in history. We witnessed trillions and trillions in oil revenues over the decades were pumped out of Saudi Arabia, and the best the people of the region can hope for is more killing and strife. When judging the actions of nations, it is important to consider the actions of each of us as individuals. What is evil, after all?
“The battleline between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”