Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Saudis Slam Obama

In diplomatic parlance it was nothing less than a punch in the face for the president of the United States delivered by a prominent member of the House of Saud.

Mohammed Bin Nawaf Bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the Saudi ambassador to Britain, wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which he rebukes America for not militarily intervening in Syria and Iran and warns that Saudi Arabia, despite its history to the contrary, will go it alone if need be.

Saudi Arabia has enormous responsibilities within the region, as the cradle of Islam and one of the Arab world’s most significant political powers. We have global responsibilities — economic and political — as the world’s de facto central banker for energy. And we have a humanitarian responsibility to do what we can to end the suffering in Syria.
We will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners. Nothing is ruled out in our pursuit of sustainable peace and stability in the Arab World as King Abdullah — then Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince — showed with his leadership of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Saudi Arabia will continue on this new track for as long as proves necessary. We expected to be standing shoulder to shoulder with our friends and partners who have previously talked so much about the importance of moral values in foreign policy. But this year, for all their talk of “red lines,” when it counted, our partners have seemed all too ready to concede our safety and risk our region’s stability.
Ooh, ouch, burn!  For a country that has been an exporter of Sunni terrorism (anyone remember that outfit, al Qaeda?), the Saudi royals can become pretty sanctimonious when it suits them.  They can also be astonishingly self-serving.
Washington needs to be leery of Saudi pressure lest it be drawn into a massive Holy war between Sunni and Shiite Islam.


Anonymous said...

The House of Saud seems pretty angry recently, especially since the Western attack against Syria didn't happen. The Israeli's too.

In spite of huge sums of money and injecting a mercenary army of considerable size in Syria, all they are accomplishing at the moment is attrition. Not sure how their recruiting is going given the onset of winter and it being clear the non Sunni's now have significant outside help as well.

Damn sad situation from a humanitarian pov.

Although Canadian MSM largely ignores the story unless they have a hot rumor about Assad government atrocities, there are a few recent articles from various sources which indicate things are not going especially well in Syria for the overly wealthy Princes.

Their expressions of angst, bring their history of military involvements to mind, and I can't recall any other than swatting flies with a sledge hammer. Given the overall circumstances, would they follow the enemy of my enemy is my friend traditional approach? Would they roll those dice? Are they too Conservative for that? Too fearful of long term consequences to go that far?

Some recent articles;





Purple library guy said...

Nothing is ruled out in the pursuit of peace--particularly making war. And if they have to get serious about slaughter, it will be all everyone else's fault for being intransigent and not doing what they're told.

Wow, it's annoying for the Americans in this exact context, but on the other hand they must be so proud! Their little totalitarian desert protege is all grown up and talking like a proper imperialist!

Mark said...

Keep in mind though, The House of Saud's interest is less than humanitarian. (As was the US's interest.)

The Western media portrays the Muslim world as being one big homogenous entity, but there are many different Muslim denominations, all of which disagree with the others, sometimes violently.

Sectarian violence between Muslims is the reason there is still no peace in Iraq; it's why Afghanistan has been in a constant state of civil war since the Soviets got kicked to the curb.

The US has been trying to bring down the Syrian government for years, (obviously long before the chemical attack occurred,) because the Syrian government is the main ally of the Iranian government. The House of Saud wants to bring down the Syrian government because they're the wrong type of Muslim.

Anonymous said...


I fear I will run out of tears before I run out of empathy for the innocents.

If there is a God, then may he damn those who would turn a blind eye to the suffering they cause for consumerism.

The Mound of Sound said...

I've read the Syrian Free Army is spending more effort fighting back al Qaeda than it is the Assad forces. The Saudis financed these extremists but now reject any responsibility for them.

Several months ago Prince Bandar cajoled Putin to abandon Assad, claiming if he did the Saudis would guarantee there would be no al Qaeda attack on the Russian Olympics.

Purple library guy said...

I expect Putin replied that if there was no al Quaeda attack on the Russian Olympics, he would guarantee that Prince Bandar wouldn't have any unfortunate encounters with Polonium.
Really, who'd Bandar think he was fucking with? Putin is not a nice man and I don't think he takes threats well.

e.a.f. said...

if the Saudi's are unhappy about the Americans not plunging into another war, get over it. The Americans have spent enough money, bodies, and minds on wars in other countries. it isn't as if Saudi has been picking up the cost. They haven't been doing all that much to help wounded vets returning to the U.S.A.

if the Saudi's want a war they can DAMM well go and do it themselves. Canada was in Iraq and Afghanistan. what did we get. Large expenses on equipment, dead men and women. Injuired men and women who are not being supported by the government which sent them to war. The money spent on these wars would have been better spent in Canada on health, education, housing, building infrasture, etc. if the Saudi's think a country should interfer with the Syrian war I'm all for them having a go at it. See how long they last. The Saudi's have had the west do their fighting for them so long, I would be most surprised if they were even able to mount an army to fight in another country. They would most likely have to hire foreign soliders.

We saw how well the war in Iraq went. The people of Iraq are worse off today than prior to the wars. some may argue, they are free of saddam. However, given all the bombing and killing there are many who would just as soon go back to the old system,prior to the war. At least they had some degree of safety.

as to Israel, well they have always been able to fight their own wars rather well. They could possibly give other countries lessons on how to fight a war. If Israel truly thought it was in danger the missles would have already bombed the opponents to dust. No, Canada, the U.S.A., and western europe should take a pass on Syria. They do however have a humanitarian responsibility to aid the refugees. However, given Saudi is so concerned, let them pick up the tab this time for the humanitarian aid. perhaps they could lend a few doctors to doctors without borders and such.

the Saudi's want a great deal but give little. They have a lot of money from selling oil Now they can spend it on war. The other countries are running out of money. Saudi Arabia, get with the agenda and do some of the fighting yourselves.