The Coming Saudi Crack-up?

Exclusive: President Obama, like generations of Western leaders, has coddled the oil-rich Saudi monarchy by tolerating its reactionary politics, its financing of radical Islam and its military support for Sunni jihadist terrorism. But the spoiled Saudi leaders may finally be going too far, as Daniel Lazare describes.

By Daniel Lazare

Is the Saudi monarchy coming apart at the seams? Scholars and journalists have long predicted the kingdom’s demise, but this time the forecasts may finally prove correct.

The reason is an unprecedented avalanche of problems pouring down on Saudi Arabia since 79-year-old Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud assumed the throne last January. A hardliner in contrast to his vaguely reformist predecessor Abdullah, Salman lost no time in letting the world know that a new sheriff was in town. He upped the number of public executions, which, at 151, are now running at nearly double last year’s rate.

King Salman greets the President and First Lady during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

King Salman greets the President and First Lady during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

After meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he promised to intensify efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by increasing aid to Al Nusra, Al Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate. A few weeks later, he assembled a coalition of nine Sunni Arab states to launch nightly bombing raids on Yemen, quickly reducing one of the poorest countries in the Middle East to ruin.

People certainly took notice. But if Salman thought such actions would win him respect, he was wrong. Instead, the result has been a steady drum beat of negative publicity as the world awakes to the fact that, with its public beheadings and barbaric treatment of women, the Islamic state headed by the House of Saud is little different from the Islamic State headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northern Syria and Iraq.

Topping the kingdom’s list of woes is the economy. With its stubbornly high unemployment rate and growing wealth gap between the rich and poor, Saudi Arabia has long been the sick man of the Persian Gulf. Even though planners have been talking about economic diversification since the 1970s, the kingdom was actually more dependent on oil as of 2013 than 40 years earlier.

“Saudization” of the workforce is another mantra, yet the labor market remains polarized between a private sector dominated by foreign guest workers, mainly from South Asia, and a public sector filled with Saudi “sofa men” who spend their days lounging about in government offices.

Riyadh wishes that young people would take jobs in hotels, oil refineries and the like, but most prefer to wait for a high-paid government sinecure to open up which is one reason why the jobless rate among young people is as high as 29 percent.

Oil Price Crash

Given this combination of oil dependence and joblessness, a two-thirds drop in the price of crude since mid-2014 couldn’t be more painful. But what makes it even more frightening is the growing realization that, with softening demand due to the global slowdown and growing over-supply due to the fracking revolution, low prices will be a fact of life for years to come.

This prospect does not bode well for a country dependent on oil for 91 percent of its foreign revenue, one that is currently burning through its foreign reserves at the rate of $10 billion a month

The news on the political front is almost as dire. Every week seems to bring a fresh new scandal. First, liberal blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to a thousand lashes for the crime of speaking his mind. Then Karl Andree, a 74-year-old British grandfather, was sentenced to 350 for the crime of having a bottle of wine in his car.

Three Saudi Shi‘ite youths Ali al-Nimr, Abdallah al-Zaher and Dawood al-Marhoon have been sentenced to death for participating in Arab Spring protests while still in their teens. A kangaroo court has imposed a death sentence in the case of Ali’s uncle, a Shi‘ite religious leader named Nimr al-Nimr, convicted of inciting sectarian strife (i.e. opposing flagrant Wahhabist discrimination and oppression).

Yet another religious court has sentenced a 35-year-old artist and poet named Ashraf Fayadh to death for the crime of atheism and apostasy.

All of which is generating widening waves of anger and disgust. But perhaps the final straw was Salman’s offer to build and staff 200 Wahhabi mosques for Syrian refugees fleeing chaos that his policies have helped create. The offer brought an unusual counter-blast from German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

“We have to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over,” Gabriel told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag. “Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia. Many Islamists who are a threat to public safety come from these communities in Germany.”

The last thing Germany needs, in other words, is hundreds of Saudi-financed mullahs preaching sectarianism and jihad.

Then there is the military front or fronts in Yemen, Iraq and Syria, where the situation grows worse by the day. Like all wars of aggression, the Saudi-led air assault on Shi‘ite Houthi rebels in Yemen was supposed to be short and sweet.

Indeed, four weeks after the campaign began last March, Riyadh issued a “Mission Accomplished” message declaring that it had “successfully eliminated the threat to the security of Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries” by destroying Shi‘ite Houthi rebels’ heavy weaponry and ballistic missiles. But some of those missiles must still have remained in place since the coalition resumed bombing just a few days later.

Destroying Yemen

The result has been a growing humanitarian disaster that Western governments are doing their best to ignore. “Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years,” Peter Maurer, head of the International Red Cross, said after visiting the country in August. Since then, deaths have reached 5,700, nearly half of them civilian, food and water systems have broken down, while 2.3 million people have been displaced and another 120,000 have been forced to flee abroad.

Yet with the war turning into a classic quagmire, no end is in sight. Poorly trained Saudi troops have “proven to be no match for the battle-hardened Houthis.” While they’ve succeeded in clearing Houthi fighters out of the southern port city of Aden, the rebels still control the northern part of the country, including the capital of Sana’a, and are besieging Taiz, located roughly midway in between.

The Saudi-led coalition is meanwhile breaking apart. David Ottoway, the Washington Post’s longtime Middle East correspondent, notes that the Saudis have quarreled with their United Arab Emirate allies over whether to support the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. As a consequence, the UAE has halved its troop strength to 2,000 and has sent in hundreds of Colombian mercenaries in their place.

The Saudi-backed government of ousted President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is also falling asunder as Vice President Khaled Bahah, seen as more amenable to compromise with the Houthis, moves to establish his own power base.

Much of this is the fault of Muhammad bin Salman, the king’s favorite son by his third wife, whom he named chief of court and minister of defense immediately after taking office. Officially 35, Muhammad may actually be as young as 29, which, if true, would make him the youngest defense minister in the world. A graduate of King Saud University in Riyadh, he is entirely a product of a closed and narrow educational system that emphasizes the Qur’an and Hadiths over science and analysis and imbues students with hostility toward Christians, Jews, Shi‘ites and foreigners in general.

All of which is all too evident in Bin Salman’s handling of the war. Since Vietnam, one military conflict after another has demonstrated that air power rarely works without ground forces doing the hard work of rooting out the enemy. But not only is Saudi Arabia short of “grunts” willing to sacrifice their lives in behalf of a greedy and over-sized royal family, it was understandably reluctant to send troops into a rugged terrain that highly motivated Houthi fighters know like the back of their hand.

Hence Saudi Arabia resisted putting “boots on the ground” for months, thereby allowing the Houthis to dig in all the more securely. Although the’ ostensible goal was to prevent the Houthis from taking power, the Saudis’ real aim was to humiliate Iran, which they see as the mastermind behind the uprising, and show the U.S. that the kingdom was capable of stepping out on its own.

But instead the Saudies have done neither. Not only does Iran remain unscathed, but the longer the Houthis hold out, the clearer it becomes that the Saudis are unable to prevail in their own backyard. It’s as if the U.S. had gotten hopelessly bogged down after invading Mexico.

Backing Jihadists in Syria

The proxy war in northern Syria and Iraq is at the same time not going much better. The Saudis thought they had Assad on the run after channeling U.S.-made TOW missiles to the rebels last spring, but Russian intervention is altering the equation. Thanks to Russian bombardment of ISIS, Al Qaeda and other rebel groups, Assad was able to announce in late November that his troops were advancing on “nearly every front,” while, in mid-December, government forces racked up a significant victory by capturing an air base nine or ten miles east of Damascus that had been in anti-government hands since 2012.

Saudi options are limited in response. The kingdom could funnel still more aid to the anti-Assad forces. But if it does, it knows that much of the weaponry will wind up in the hands of ISIS (also known as ISIL, Islamic State and Daesh), with whom relations, for the moment, could not be more hostile.

With Saudi mullahs calling on Muslims to support “the holy warriors of Syria because if they are defeated, God forbid, it will be the turn of one Sunni country after another,” it could encourage rebels, many of whom are Chechen, to launch a retaliatory assault on Russia, as Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan reportedly threatened to do in 2013.

But this would mean risking a Russian counter-attack that could prove devastating. Instead of demonstrating their military and strategic independence, the Saudis have wound up more reliant on an all-forgiving U.S. than ever.

Given such incompetence, it was startling to see Muhammad bin Salman behaving yet again like a bull in a china shop last week when he announced that the Saudis had assembled a 34-nation coalition to fight terrorism. After two supposed members Pakistan and Malaysia announced that this was the first they had heard of it, questions began raining down.

Since Shi‘ite-majority Iran and Iraq were conspicuously absent from the list, was the real purpose to fight terrorism or to push a Sunni sectarian agenda? Considering the draconian “anti-terrorism” law that Salman pushed through last March banning everything from atheism to “sowing discord in society,” was the real goal to fight groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda or to ban dissent against the monarch in general?

It’s not hard to see why the Saudi defense chief is now known as “Muhammad the reckless” and why rumblings of a palace coup are beginning to be heard. All too aware of the role that the 1980s oil collapse played in tipping the Soviet Union over the edge, the Saudis, according to one foreign analyst, are determined to avoid anything smacking of perestroika and glasnost:

“The Saudis are obsessed with it, that if they liberalize a little, the whole thing will come apart,” the analyst said. Rather than loosening, they are determined to tighten up all the more even if it means pushing the contradictions to the breaking point.

The West is afraid to push too hard for the same reason. All too aware that the Saudi opposition to the monarchy is dominated by hard-line Islamists rather than nice house-broken liberals, the West’s greatest nightmare is of a failed oil giant sitting on top of 20 percent of the world’s proven reserves as Al Qaeda and ISIS run riot in the streets.

“Get rid of the House of Saud,” observed a senior UK diplomat, “and you will be screaming for them to come back within six months.” After years of feeding the Saudi monster, Western leaders are afraid to stop for fear of making things even worse.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

21 comments for “The Coming Saudi Crack-up?

  1. Fred
    December 25, 2015 at 01:53

    America preaches freedom and democracy while in bed with that Saudi scum. Americans might not be capable of seeing the hypocrisy but the rest of the world is.

    • JohnZ
      December 25, 2015 at 10:35

      Yes, in general most Americans cannot see Washedupton’s hypocrisy but……more Americans are now opening their eyes and thanks to websites such as this and Veterans Today, http://www.veteranstoday.com/
      Still more people need to be awakened from their brainwashed state.

    • Larry
      December 28, 2015 at 18:29

      Your link is to an apocalyptic pile of exaggerations and paranoid delusions, at least the ‘articles’ that aren’t outright complete fabrications. Your credibility is shot.

      And yes I understand Washington’s hypocrisy is legion and out of control and harmful to most people in the world’s detriment.

  2. Omar
    December 24, 2015 at 13:22

    Marvellous post!
    Only various statements need some explanation :
    You are saying that “euros” didn´t know what democracy means, while Abu-Bakr and his friends did. In 7th century. What about Athenians in 5th BCE? Just 1200 years before?

    You are saying that mohhamed didn´t preach hatred… So, while slaughtering that poor jewish tribe that didn´t support him enough, what he preached? To kill them softly?

    And for the end (I will not even try to comment on science/religion relation)
    You have mentioned couple of times some similarities between Islam and mormonism, but you didn´t notice the biggest one : Both religions were started by delusional ,or deceiving(or both together) individuals, and were accepted by millions of morons. If you think that all complexity of life and universe can be explained by Koran and hadithes, you are moron too.

    • Evangelista
      December 28, 2015 at 22:46

      Omar,

      First, I made an error in writing that Shi’i discount the‭ “‬first four‭” ‘‬Kalifa‭’.‭ ‬They discount (as ‘regents’) the first three, before Ali, who was‭ ‬elected‭ ‬the fourth‭ ‘‬Kalifa‭’‬, the first Shia recognized ‘blood-prince’.‭ Ali, alas, blew his turn, falling back on the ‘easy’, and too common, ‘solution’ to deal with some dissidents, killing a bunch, then expecting the rest to therefore fall into line (G.W. Bush, the Neo-Cons and Obama with his drone-program, amongst a plethora of others through history have done the same, with always the same results). Instead, an angry survivor killed Ali. Al A, we may presume, recognized this human tendency and knew what He was doing when He maneuvered (we can presume again) the original Abu Bakr, moderate and intelligent enough to exercise moderation in dealing with the post-Mohammed breaking up of the ‘Umma’, to be first ‘regent’ and deal with that ‘fitnah’ (error) and ‘ridah’ (apostasy), to keep the ‘Umma’ together, instead of blowing it apart as Ali’s method would have done.

      The first four ‘Kalifa’ constitute what Islam defines‭ ‬“Rashidun‭” “‬the inspired and guided‭” ‬by Mohammed,‭ ‬the‭ ‘‬Kalifa‭’ ‬who were immediate followers of Mohammed and so were personal instructed by and could assert direction from Mohammed,‭ ‬himself.‭ ‬Abu Bakr’s reasonable methods in pulling the‭ Islamic ‘‬Umma‭’ ‬back together established Fundamental Islamic definitions for apostasy,‭ ‬schisming,‭ ‬blaspheming and so forth,‭ ‬and provided Fundamental examples of methods in dealing with occurrences of those and similar appearances of differences that can be argued controlling, meaning having establlished precedent that harsher actions violate, making the harsher actions of sectarians, puritans, fanatics, etc. ‘non-islamic’.‭ In all Theological situations actions by believers ‬cannot be addressed in terms not of the Theology in discussion.

      To your specific points, Omar, in regard to democratic methods, election, etc., I referenced only the use. I did not mean to suggest democracy was invented by the Islamic ‘Umma’ after Mohammed. It does appear to have been correctly used, and produced a successful result.

      About the slaughter of the (adult males of) the Jewish Quraysai tribe, Mohammed did not kill them ‘softly’, he killed them ‘delliberately’, as a capital punishment for violating oath. The inviolability of oath, what we today call ‘the law of contract’, was of prime importance in Arabic culture before Mohammed and Islam: When Mohammed made his ‘peaceful assault’ Haj on Mecca, bypassing the Meccan defenses fielded against his pilgrim group through being conducted around by Bedouins, who the Meccans could not imagine helping anyone, he was counting on the oath-defined ‘no-violence’ zone traditional around the Kaba shrine, which no one violated whatever the enmity between them and the pilgrim next to them might be. Mohammed appears to have logically extended the same inviolability of oath to his ‘Umma’: Once any group was accepted into the ‘family’, whether as a member or as an ‘associate’ (a ‘Muslim’ or a ‘Dhimmi’) the group had ‘contracted’. The Quraisai jews contracted, then violated their contract, the sentence for violation was men to the sword, women and children to auction. A lawyer might have argued the Judaic Scripture in Genesis, where Abram, and then Abraham, and then Isaac pimped their wives to Pharaoh and Abimilech, and jacob’s dealings with Laban, and his and his mother swindling of Esau to suggest the offenders did not know better, but it appears they did not have a lawyer, and Mohammed might have pointed to the three repetitions of the pimping and suggested that HE would have stopped that business at the first instance…

      On science and religion, science is physicality-confined, while religion is metaphysically-confined, for which as soon as a scientist starts to gas about religion (except in the religion’s metaphysical context) he is out of his field. For a related context example, think of someone telling the story of the Little Train Who Could saying “I think I can, I think I can.” as it pulled its heavy load up the hill, and a ‘scientist’ chiming in with “Come On! Trains can’t talk!” That is pretty much what ‘scientists’ sound like when they try to demand physical laws to apply in the metaphisical domains of religions. Sciences and religions have different purposes and serve different ends and needs of peoples.

      The foundings of Mormonism and Islam are actually opposite, not similar. Mohammed appears to have been sincere in his belief and his effort to overcome the factionalism that had made feuding, vengeance, mistrust and suspicion key elements of the culture of Arabia. The need for a ‘cease-fire’ zone around the common monument kaba pretty much defines the problem he applied to al A to suggest a solution to. Thus, Mohammed was more like Jesus of Nazareth than Joseph Smith (or Paul of Tarsus). The difference between Mohammed and Jesus was that Mohammed founded a religion, while jesus did not: Judeo-Christianity was founded by Paul. Jesus, for his non-violence and turning the other cheek set himself, and any who attempted (and attempt) to follow his example an impossible-to-survive bar: Any attempting are going to fail and fall away, or get whacked. Mohammed was more practical. Paul was an opportunist, he saw an opportunity to make Gentiles Jews, and Jews Jesuses (he imagined Jesus “an older brother” to himself and fellow Jews, and he perceived Jesus, his letters show, quite different from the Gospels’ depictions). Paul was swallowed up by his own ‘good idea’, being sucked in by his success, becoming offended by Jews rejecting his idea and him.

      Joseph Smith was somewhat similar to Paul, but started from further out in the field. Smith, with a couple of buddies, knocked out a mock-epic that they appear to have figured would appeal to Bible-readers and so sell. He appears to have attempted to ride the wave when readers began beliving his mock-epic not mock, while his buddies got cold feet and dropped out. The wave went bigger and bigger and Joseph Smith got swallowed up in it, himself, even as Paul of Tarsus got swallowed up in his “Jewification” of the Gentile Christ myth manipulation (the God-father of the God-Christ was the God worshiped by Jews, for which a jewish human manifestation of the God caught on).

      The ways religions begin, including sects and cults, is interesting and the ways they swallow up their originators, especially when the originators are charlatans or cynics, is often amusing. When they do so it is proof of the fundamental fact that religions are the properties of their believers, not their founders. Islam, and Mormonism, did not become successes because of the ways they were founded, they became successes because they provided community to their adopters, bodies of fellow-believers who recognized that for their fellow-beliefs they could trust their fellow-believers and work and build with them. you will find the same factors producing the same results in the histories of islam and of Mormonism, and Judaism and Judeo-Christianity, also Buddhism, Shinto, Dao, Hinduism, nationalisms and on and on. Where a cohesing belief makes common trust possible people cohese and cooperate and build. Where factioning and fractioning occur, people divide and fight and things go apart.

      See? I can explain everything without even touching the Hadiths and Qur’an!

  3. WG
    December 24, 2015 at 04:16

    I think you downplay the seriousness of $30/barrel oil on the Saudi state. Current Saudi reserves would only last for 2 years with sustained 30/barrel prices. Borrowing of 50% of their GDP in combination with all of their reserves would push this out to about 3.5 years.

    So within one year they will have to start borrowing 100’s of billions of dollars on the bond market. I believe they recently sold 10-15 billion in bonds.

    Another year of war in Yemen with $30 oil and Saudi Arabia will be in a perilous situation.

  4. WG
    December 23, 2015 at 12:42

    The original Saudi plan to oversupply the oil market and damage higher cost producers in the US and Canada (shale/tar sand) appears to be slipping out of their control. At the same they hoped it would give them leverage against Russia to force them to give up Syria. This was all generally working to plan when oil was $45-50 barrel but it’s a whole different ball game when it’s headed to $30 or even lower.

    The coming global recession and commodity glut is setting up a scenario where even if the Saudi’s drastically reduce production there is enough slack in the market that prices are going to remain low for at least a few years.

    A similar event happened with oil prices in the 80’s which cemented the saudi’s as the worlds swing producer. Now it seems just as likely the Russians will take that role as the Saudis, with Iran poised to be another potential spoiler with the sanctions regime ending soon.

    I can’t help but be reminded of the Hunt for Red October when one of the subs hunting Sean Connery removes the safety on their torpedos. Instead of sinking Red October they end up sinking themselves. “You arrogant ass! You’ve killed us!”

  5. MEexpert
    December 23, 2015 at 11:37

    Release the redacted 28 pages of the 9/11 report.

    Interestingly, the recent bill passed by the House to prevent people coming from Iran, Iraq, and Syria to enter the United States does not include Saudi Arabia. So far no terrorist has come from Iran, Iraq, and Syria. ALL the terrorists have come from Saudi Arabia yet the House does not include them in this ban. Is this a new version “Rob Peter (Iran) to pay Paul (Saudi Arabia)?

    • JohnZ
      December 25, 2015 at 10:31

      You’re forgetting isrealhell.
      You know, the ones behind9/11.
      The ones caught driving explosive laden trucks on the streets of New York, planning to blow up the George Washington bridge.
      The ones behind all the flase flags.
      Yeah…those terrorists.

    • Larry
      December 28, 2015 at 18:23

      Where’s the link to the GW Bridge story, JohnZ? I really would like to read a legit source about it if there is one. And don’t pawn off some infowars nonsense. Infowars is the biggest false flag of all. Don’t be taken in by that overfed loud-mouthed mini-me Himmler.

  6. Peter Loeb
    December 23, 2015 at 07:46

    ARABIAN (GOOD)NIGHT?

    Daniel Lazare’s analysis in “The Coming Saudi Crack-Up”
    provides an excellent assessment of Saudi Arabia as of
    this date.

    Is there an implicit assumption that if the Saud regime
    in Saudi Arabia were suddenly to disappear we would
    be better thereby? The role of Israel is mentioned
    while the role and specifics of the USA policy (defense
    expenditures etc.) did not even get honorable mention.

    Many thanks for an inciteful and timely article to
    Daniel Lazare. I would suggest some re-writing to
    include the factors mentioned before further
    printing.

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  7. Abe
    December 23, 2015 at 03:40

    The redrawing and partition of the Middle East from the Eastern Mediterranean shores of Lebanon and Syria to Anatolia (Asia Minor), Arabia, the Persian Gulf, and the Iranian Plateau responds to broad economic, strategic and military objectives, which are part of a longstanding Anglo-American and Israeli agenda in the region.

    The Middle East has been conditioned by outside forces into a powder keg that is ready to explode with the right trigger, possibly the launching of Anglo-American and/or Israeli air raids against Iran and Syria. A wider war in the Middle East could result in redrawn borders that are strategically advantageous to Anglo-American interests and Israel.

    […] The Eastern Mediterranean has been successfully militarized by NATO. Syria and Iran continue to be demonized by the Western media, with a view to justifying a military agenda. In turn, the Western media has fed, on a daily basis, incorrect and biased notions that the populations of Iraq cannot co-exist and that the conflict is not a war of occupation but a “civil war” characterised by domestic strife between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.

    Attempts at intentionally creating animosity between the different ethno-cultural and religious groups of the Middle East have been systematic. In fact, they are part of a carefully designed covert intelligence agenda.

    Even more ominous, many Middle Eastern governments, such as that of Saudi Arabia, are assisting Washington in fomenting divisions between Middle Eastern populations. The ultimate objective is to weaken the resistance movement against foreign occupation through a “divide and conquer strategy” which serves Anglo-American and Israeli interests in the broader region.

    Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”
    By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/plans-for-redrawing-the-middle-east-the-project-for-a-new-middle-east

  8. Richard Braverman
    December 23, 2015 at 03:31

    You are absolutely correct, “the Islamic state headed by the House of Saud is little different from the Islamic State headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi”. Both are owned and operated by the US, Israel and Great Britain.

  9. Joe Tedesky
    December 23, 2015 at 02:12

    I have said this before, of how the Al Saud family must be having a going out of business sale. You know, before the dollar turns out to be only what it is, paper. The Al Saud’s are selling off oil like their ‘all must go inventory’, purchasing vast amounts of weapons, and finally on their way out ‘crap on’ the competition (your neighbors). It’s classic going out of business maneuver, and why not? With the amount of wealth the Al Saud’s have, they don’t need a country. Country’s only hold a rich person down. Why, with all the rebel rumble of the citizens…plus, they can still own bodyguards, hey even an army. They are so rich, that they could afford to black market victims in, to chop off some heads, if they get bored. Seriously, the Al Saud’s should get out of Dodge, and go enjoy life.

  10. dahoit
    December 22, 2015 at 19:14

    The Saudis use their influence to keep the price of oil low to hurt Russia for US.
    That makes them untouchable for the moment.
    Not to defend the headchoppers,but how many private executions were in the USA last year?Or do they privately do it also?(SA)
    And it is quite obvious,since 9-11,the cone of silence by the MSM regarding them.Israels best buds.
    1+1=?

  11. Zachary Smith
    December 22, 2015 at 18:50

    Instead of demonstrating their military and strategic independence, the Saudis have wound up more reliant on an all-forgiving U.S. than ever.

    “All-forgiving” is right. Saudi Arabia seems to be as untouchable as Israel in the US. The Saudis were up to their ears in the 9/11 attacks, but who has been sued and lost lawsuits? Iran, of course. Like Iraq, Iran was not a bit involved, but the Powers That Be in the US will allow wars – and lawsuits – against these Axis Of Evil countries to go forward.

    This December I read of yet another court case..

    Federal Judge George Daniels announced in open court in New York City yesterday, in a case filed by families of 9/11 victims, that he was going to be signing an order within 24 hours stating Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda are responsible for the 9/11 attacks. More specifically, the judge found that Iran has provided material support to al Qaeda for the 9/11 attacks.

    http://cis.org/kephart/iran-hezbollah-911-lawsuit

    Nary a word about Saudi Arabia on that page.

    • Abbybwood
      December 22, 2015 at 22:20

      Let’s see the “evidence” shall we?

      Today I happened upon a very interesting video talk by the State Department Visa person who whistleblowed about the CIA MAKING him give Visas to terrorists prior to 9/11:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ut2vKqnCpE

  12. Abe
    December 22, 2015 at 17:21

    A Four-Dimensional Chess Board

    The key players in this cesspool of deception and betrayal on almost every side consist of four broad groupings, each with its own divergent goals.

    The first group is the ultra-conservative Wahhabite Sunni Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under King Salman and his influential, erratic Defense Minister and son, 31-year-old Prince Salman; President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s war-ready Turkish regime, with the key role being played by his MIT intelligence head, Hakan Fidan; DAESH, or the mis-named Islamic State (IS), which is nothing but a thinly disguised extension of Wahhabite Saudi Arabia, financed by Saudi and Qatari money and backed and trained by Fidan’s MIT. They are recently being joined by the newly-announced 34-state Saudi-created “Islamic Coalition Against Terror,” based in Riyadh.

    The second group consists of the Bashar al-Assad legitimate Syrian government, and the Syrian Army and other Syrian forces loyal to him; Shi’ite Iran; the 60% Shi’ite Iraq besieged by the same IS. Since September 30 Putin’s Russia has been a surprise added factor with a daring campaign of military backing for Assad. The second group also includes to varying degrees Assad allies Iran and Iraq, including the Teheran-backed Shi’ite Hezbollah, in fighting DAESH and other anti-regime terror groups in Syria. Since Russia’s entry on September 30 at the behest of the legitimate Syrian President Assad, the fortunes of Damascus have dramatically improved on the ground.

    There then comes Netanyahu’s Israel, gleefully deceiving everyone, as it moves its own agenda in Syria. Netanyahu has recently made public strategic alliances with both Saudi Arabia’s Salman and with Turkey’s Erdoğan. Add to that Israel’s recent discovery of “huge” oil reserves in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights being illegally claimed by them, discovered we are told by the Israeli affiliate of a little-known spooky New Jersey oil company, Genie Energy, on whose board sits Dick Cheney, Jacob Lord Rothschild and former CIA head James Woolsey.

    The fourth group is for the moment playing the most sly, deceptive role of all. It is led by Washington, and using the French, British and German entry into active military actions in Syria. Washington is preparing a devastating trap that will catch the foolish Saudis and their Turkish and other Wahhabite allies in a devastating defeat in Syria and Iraq that will no doubt then be proclaimed as “victory over terrorism” and “victory for the Syrian people.”

    Pour it all together, shake vigorously, and you have the ingredients for the most explosive world war cocktail since 1945.

    Erdoğan, Salman and the Coming ‘Sunni’ War for Oil
    F. William Engdahl
    http://journal-neo.org/2015/12/22/erdogan-salman-and-the-coming-sunni-war-for-oil/

  13. F. G. Sanford
    December 22, 2015 at 17:06

    I can’t help but wonder what revenge would look like in a country where the despised leadership amputates, flogs, beheads and crucifies its victims. Probably like how George Carlin described Mayan human sacrifice: “Now, THAT’s theater!”

  14. Robert
    December 22, 2015 at 16:07

    You are just as ‘way out’ as the people you are describing. Extremism starts with aggressive thoughts and words!

    • Larry
      December 28, 2015 at 18:17

      Right, Robert, just stay in your airless little bubble of denial and wishful thinking. At least that way you won’t directly cause any trouble.

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