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Let Saudi Arabia Go Alone!

Saudi ArabiaOn December 17, 2013, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Great Britain published an Op-Ed in the New York Times [1] accusing the West of not having confronted Syria and Iran head-on. An ambassador is traditionally the mouthpiece of his government. But the political rhetoric he used suggests that he also acted therein as megaphones of the Neocons or the US military, which are critical of Obama’s allegedly soft policy towards Syria and Iran.

Facially, the Saudis are concerned about the stability and security of the region. For the outside observer it seems bizarre that the last feudal and most fundamentalist Islamic regimes under the sun should complain about the alleged dangers, which the Assad regime and its supporter, Iran, pose to the Middle Eastern region. The Saudis were, after all, the first, after the US and Israel, who applauded the Egyptian military coup against the only democratic elected government of Egypt. This should tell something about the close cooperation between Western democracies and authoritarian and fundamentalist regimes.

The Saudi ambassador has the gall to accuse Iran of not only supporting an “evil regime” in Syria but financing and training “militias in Iraq, terrorists in Lebanon and militants in Yemen and Bahrain”. These allegations lack any basis. Not content to level these accusations, he added: “The West has allowed one regime to survive and the other to continue its program for uranium enrichment, with all the consequent dangers of weaponization.” Are not the Saudis the one that finance not only fundamentalist movements all over the world but also the terrorist groups in Syria?

In reality, the Saudis are not so much concerned about the “stability of the region”, as the ambassador pretends, but rather to secure their own fundamentalist regime. By his rhetoric, he tries to intimidate not only the Islamic world by insisting that the Saudi regime is the “cradle of Islam” but also the West by referring to Saudi Arabia’s role as “de facto central banker for energy”. Do the Saudis fear that the “national interest” of the US could switch to Iran?  From the geopolitical standpoint, such a change would make much sense. 

The Saudi ambassador ridicules the United Nations Security Council, calling it a “talking shop”. The Saudis have, it will be recalled, rejected their seat in the UN Security Council to which they have been elected by the UN General assembly. It's not clear what motivates Saudi Arabia to reject a seat in the Council to which most member states aspire.

At the end of the article, it becomes apparent in whose name this ambassador speaks when he uses the excuse of lack of support of the West because of the involvement of Al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups in Syria, as an example of Western inaction to topple the Assad regime. Even president Obama's "red lines" are dismissed as cheap talk. At least now, the neoconservative handwriting of this article seems so evident that the Saudi ambassador should now give the public the real name of the author of article.

Incidentally, the headline of the article is as ludicrous: The Saudis know that threatening to “go it alone” will be rightly seen as a bluff. The Saudi military has no experience in warfare and is entirely dependent on weaponry and spare parts, mostly from the West. The article is far more an attempt to secure the interests of the military-industrial complex, which thrives on international tension and conflicts.


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