17.04.2020 Author: Tony Cartalucci

Oil Profits for Protection: US Extorts Saudi Arabia

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Legislation circulating in the US Congress threatens to withdraw military support from Saudi Arabia.

This is not because Saudi Arabia is an absolute dictatorship which still severs heads off in public. It is not because Saudi Arabia arms and funds some of the worst terrorist organizations on Earth – including Al Qaeda, its Syrian franchise Tahrir al-Sham – previously known as Jabhat Al Nusra, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

And it’s not even because of Saudi Arabia’s years of committing war crimes in neighboring Yemen.

These are all aspects of modern Saudi Arabia the US has in fact aided and abetted.

Instead, US representatives are threatening to withdraw US military support from Saudi Arabia for allegedly lowering energy prices by flooding markets with Saudi oil.

Reuters in its article, “Bill would remove US troops from Saudi Arabia in 30 days,” would claim:

A Republican US senator introduced legislation on Thursday to remove American troops from Saudi Arabia, adding pressure on the kingdom to tighten its oil taps to reverse the crude price drop that has hurt domestic energy companies.

The threat of yanking out military support from Saudi Arabia undermines decades of propaganda attempting to justify US military support for the Saudi regime.

According to the US State Department’s own website under a section titled, “US Relations With Saudi Arabia,” the US supports Saudi Arabia because (emphasis added):

The United States and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in preserving the stability, security, and prosperity of the Gulf region and consult closely on a wide range of regional and global issues.  Saudi Arabia plays an important role in working toward a peaceful and prosperous future for the region and is a strong partner in security and counterterrorism efforts and in military, diplomatic, and financial cooperation.  Its forces works closely with US military and law enforcement bodies to safeguard both countries’ national security interests.

If anything the US State Department says about US-Saudi relations is true – “preserving the stability, security, and prosperity of the Gulf region” must surely come first and foremost – especially ahead of something as trivial as oil profits for America’s domestic shale industry.

Of course, very little the US State Department says is ever true. US ties with Saudi Arabia have helped drive precisely the opposite of stability, security, and prosperity for both the Persian Gulf region as well as the wider Middle East and even as far as North Africa and Central Asia – with both nations playing leading roles in destabilizing and destroying nations, fueling extremism, separatism, and terrorism, and even engaging in direct military aggression.

Because of the dubious nature of US-Saudi ties and the true agenda of money and power that defines them – there should be little surprise that at moments of opportunity, these two “allies” draw geopolitical and economic daggers against one another.

The US threatening to withdraw military support from Saudi Arabia would leave Riyadh particularly vulnerable in the many proxy wars it wages on Washington’s behalf against Iran, Syria, Yemen, and beyond. Of course – the ultimate loser would be Washington itself – which would be further isolating itself in a region increasingly slipping out from under its control.

The US finds itself trying to prioritize its various rackets – its domestic shale gas industry versus its protection rackets abroad, versus its profitable and endless wars, versus maintaining a collection of obedient client regimes around the globe.

But by threatening Saudi Arabia – whether the threat is empty or not – Washington once again reveals to the world that it maintains an international order exclusively serving special interests – using platitudes like “preserving the stability, security, and prosperity of the Gulf region” as an increasingly tenuous facade behind which it advances its self-serving agenda.

Saudi Arabia – despite its many, many sins and from a realist point of view – must begin seriously thinking about a major overhaul of its economic, political, diplomatic, and military alignment within the region and world. As multipolarism moves forward and the tired unipolar order Riyadh belongs to – subordinated to Washington – continues to fade, the threats Riyadh faces will increase as will the cost of being an American “ally.”

When Washington begins turning the screws on Riyadh, it does however open a window of opportunity for nations like Russia and China who are looking to improve and expand ties with Saudi Arabia and lead it toward a more constructive role upon the international stage.

It also opens a window of opportunity for nations like Iran – who are perceived as enemies of Saudi Arabia – but who would benefit greatly from a Saudi Arabia that no longer serves US interests and instead truly seeks to preserve “the stability, security, and prosperity” of the region – side-by-side with other nations that actually are located there – not a nation located oceans and continents away.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.


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