A Case Against Saudi Arabia: the War in Yemen, the Iranian Angle and the Israeli Meddling
In academia where I come from, we're in constant pursuit of undisputable facts which lead us to truth, the kind of self-evident truth that our founding fathers wrote so much about. And as the gospels teach us, truth shall set us free: Free from constant lies, exaggerations, distortions, distractions, deceptions, diversions, and manipulations - basically all the specialties of our mainstream media in this country, especially when it comes to sensitive Middle Eastern affairs. Many of you have heard former New York Senator Patrick Moynihan’s famous saying: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but no one is entitled to their own facts.” This applies to everyone, of course, but apparently our current president thinks he’s above it.
Throughout this paper, I will be using the Hegelian dialectic back and forth. Within Hegelianism the word dialectic has the specialized meaning of a contradiction between ideas that serve as the determining factor in their relationship. Dialectic comprises three stages of development: first, a thesis or statement of an idea, which gives rise to a second step, a reaction or antithesis that contradicts or negates the thesis, and third, the synthesis, a statement through which the differences between the two points are resolved. To put it in layman's terms, Hegelian dialectic can be summed up as problem, reaction, solution.
This essay will also take into consideration the recent Saudis’ unbelievably cruel and savage-like act of beheading [and quartering] of Washington Post Journalist Jamal Khashoggi as well as Saudi Arabia’s crimes in their imposed war on Yemen and the tremendous tension that exists with Iran, not just in Yemen, but also in Syria and Iraq. So far, the Khashoggi killing has been murder without impunity. From the mass media perspective, my colleagues and I are doing all we can to keep this story alive on various global news outlets. We are committed that until there is a reckoning with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salmon, aka MBS, we will keep the Khashoggi story alive. Throughout my work, I have always reiterated that ISIS was [or is] Saudi Arabia without an embassy. Their methods are identical. Having said that, “what’s the real reason behind Western media and the CIA turning against MBS? We believe “the problem with MBS isn’t that he is a mass murdering war criminal which he is. It’s also that he’s too independent for Washington’s liking.” (www.rt.com, Dec. 15, 2018) Washington has become too used to having obedient client and vassal states in the Middle East whereby any deviation or independency from Washington’s imposed policies calls for a regime change. This has been the case with Iran for the past 40 years. Some argue that the pugnaciousness of MBS’s role in the murder of Khashoggi should call for his downfall. But so far, we have not seen any solid effort in this matter beyond war of words. Could something be in the works in the Saudi dossier?
On a positive note, as of December 12, 2018, the US Senate voted to end the US support for the Saudi war in Yemen. It seems our senators finally found their backbone to be in charge of our foreign policy, as is their constitutional responsibility, by bravely defying President Trump’s call to back Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. And two days later, on December 14, a cease fire was announced by the two warring sides in Yemen, as in, the Yemeni government forces and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. This was followed by President Trump’s announcement that there will be a US withdrawal from Syria – a momentous change in US foreign policy in what is left of the war-torn Syria. However, the timing of this withdrawal remains unclear and ambiguous. Look at what can be accomplished when we pick up the mantle of leadership [alongside our European partners] to actually do good in the world instead of spreading terrorism, chaos, and anarchy. Of course, the Saudi response is unclear so far. But we have always had the human rights leverage over them which we’re now fully taking advantage of in the context of humanitarian as well as our geopolitical and national interest. That’s why the Khashoggi narrative remains instrumental in this equation.
As far as the Iranians, frankly with all their internal politico-economic problems as well as Trump’s last round of sanctions implemented in early November, they have bankrupted themselves in Yemen during the past four years, especially now that the price of oil has fallen below $60 per barrel, a repeated calculated move to reduce the Iranian, Russian, and Venezuelan oil revenues, even at a time when the winter season is upon us when oil consumption increases, particularly for the European market of 741 million consumers. This oil revenue reduction for the Iranians is at a time when they are already cash strapped. As such, they are no longer in a place to support their proxies in Yemen, i.e. the Shia Houthi rebels and that’s one of the factors why this ceasefire is finally being agreed upon. Whatever resources the Iranians have at their disposal, which is not much these days due to their severe internal economic issues further enhanced by Trump’s sanctions, they’re reallocating to the Lebanese Hezbollah in order to protect their spheres of influence and military positions in Syria which have been bombarded by Israeli F-16 jets on several occasions during the past few months. According to Michael Bachner of The Times of Israel, Iran operates 10 military bases in Syria with two key facilities near the border with Israel. Naturally, Israel sees these moves as an existential crisis. Iranian military advisors have trained 20,000 Syrian militias, making it a ‘true muscle”, according to New York Times.
Shifting back to Syria momentarily, we are all familiar with ISIS’s barbaric ways of spreading terror across the Middle East, North Africa, and even Europe which have out-trumped, no puns intended, even Al-Qaida itself, which Washington and her NATO allies have euphemistically called, ‘the Syrian opposition” or “Syrian rebels” or Al-Nustra, or Al-Sham this or Al-Sham that. The word “Sham” is the Arabic name for where today’s Syria is located. To be clear, these terrorist groups are neither Syrian nor a legitimate opposition. They’re savage religious anarchists.
Allow me to continue with an immemorial quotation by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. which goes as follows:
“There is nothing in this world more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscious stupidity.”
Unfortunately, we don’t have to dig back too far [in our contemporary history] to conclude that these attributes accurately explain the mindset of the current occupier of the White House who at best is a fake populist and a rabble-rousing demagogue. If you recall from several months ago, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used much more colorful language than I just did in describing the president. And he was our chief diplomat. It goes without saying.
Let me go right to the heart of the matter. I will start with Iran. If you want to delve deep into the political psyche of most Iranians, and by that I am not referring to the monarchist Iranian expats in Los Angeles, Washington, London or Paris who by the way refer to themselves as “Persians” instead of the correct term, “Iranian” in order to confuse their audience and distance themselves from the 1979 Iranian Revolution in which they lost big time, then you need to understand the deep schisms that exists within these people. The ring leader of these antiquated monarchist expats is a character named Reza Pahlavi, their so-called “Crown Prince”. Interestingly, he recently sold himself out to the Saudis for an amount, somewhere between $100 to $300 million, to destabilize Iran, a big chunk of which is dedicated to psychological warfare carried 24/ 7 through their fake news TV channels, aimed directly towards, for most part, the historically illiterate and attention deficit disordered Generation Y as well as the Millennials in Iran itself. That is their target audience. In concordance, during George W. Bush’s presidency, US Congress approved a $100 million budget (of our hard-earned tax dollars) to these subverting expat groups. Since the advent of Trumpism and the tremendous amount of Zionist influence in his dysfunctional administration, we can only imagine how much black op funds have been dedicated to these corrosive expat groups whom by the way get their on-the-ground operational support and terrorist penetration within Iran mostly from Israel, implemented vis-à-vis an expat terrorist group called MKO or MEK, short for Mujahedineh Khalq Organization.
With such destabilizing efforts, President Trump has successfully managed to further alienate the Iranians, even the nouveau rich, neo-liberal, bourgeoisie of North Tehran who for the time being are in charge of the Iranian executive and legislative branch. President Trump’s harsh stance on Iran, the most recent incident being his ill-advised speech at the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly), this past September, followed by more negative comments in early November 2018 as he set into motion phase two of his draconian sanctions against Iran. All these have stifled any hope of discussion between US and Iran, but instead have driven the Iranians further and further into the arms of the Chinese which is rapidly becoming a future long-term strategic economic and military adversary to United States.
The Iranians, for most part, see Donald Trump as the quintessential embodiment of ugly imperialism, a dangerously sincere and stupid demagogue, whose out-of-closet Zionism and Iranophobia has been unmatched by any of his predecessors in our contemporary history.
Let there be no mistake. I am specifically distinguishing between Donald Trump who opportunistically rode the grass root wave of what was left of the Tea Party Movement [on the right] as well as the 99% Anti-Wall Street Movement [on the left], verses a widespread global populist movement in the US, UK (with its Brexit), Hungry, Poland, Austria, Holland, Philippines, Brazil, and more to follow. Many element in these populist movements are completely legitimate verses parts of it which are organized by various Zionist racist groups who are now ironically working [from behind the scenes] with traditional European extremist groups whose goal have always been to start a race war. On the other side, we have extremist Wahhabi Muslims in Europe who have not only refused to assimilate within the greater European host cultures but instead want to raise their black Jihadi death flags, figuratively speaking, above their imposing, noise polluting minarets in various European cities, from small, medium to large. From behind the scenes, the Zionists are actually encouraging and fueling [covertly] from this awful Jihadi reality in Europe today. One of the many Zionists’ schemes has always been to terrify the European Jews to migrate to Palestine in order to confiscate and steal more lands from the impoverished indigenous Palestinians particularly in the occupied West Bank. This migration pattern is now in full swing and my colleagues and I are forecasting an increase to this configuration.
Let me be clear here. We must distinguish between an extremist, misogynist, barbaric, backward-minded, death cult within Islam called Wahhabism/ Salafism propagated by terrorist-sponsoring nations like Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar, verses a compassionate, modern, updated version of Islam which offers adaptable and socio-politico-economic solutions. I dare not necessarily call these “solutions” adaptable for the west, since we have our own deeply cherished cultural norms, values, and belief systems. No toleration should ever be granted to the imposition of ideas, especially religious beliefs, by anyone towards anyone. This is the root cause of many sociological problems that currently exist in Europe sustained by the extremist Islamist immigrants who refuse to assimilate. As a result, his catch 22 mechanism serves to fuel traditional racist sentiments deeply embedded in some European mindsets.
Back to Islam, in psy ops, if you want to kill a positively revolutionary, compassionate, modern, updated version of Islam, what you have to do is create [or support an already existing] false, barbaric, parallel version in order to confuse the masses. Then you paint them all with the same brush with the ultimate aim that the two opposing ideologies, one constructive and the other destructive, would eventually destroy each other in what they’re lead to misperceive as an existential crisis. Now, what I just stated is one of the most devious psychological warfare tactics. In the mid-20th century, this was put into full practice by the British Brigadier General Frank Kitson during the Mau-Mau uprisings in Kenya from 1952 to 1960. In military intelligence psy ops, we apply these tactics in the theatres of warfare that are characterized as low-intensity conflict (LIC). In the pursuing aftermath of our invasion and occupation of both Afghanistan [in 2001] and Iraq [in 2003], we widely applied these methods, implemented and carried out by our CIA operatives deeply embedded within Iraq to foment all sorts of geo-sectarianism: Shia against Sunni, Sunni against Christian, Christian against Sunni, and so forth and so on. The Israelis are experts in these divide and conquer strategies. Look at what they have accomplished within Palestine itself: PLO against Hamas.
Now, let’s narrow this down and focus on Saudi Arabia and their atrocities in Yemen, which the Saudis falsely characterize as LIC (Low Intensity Conflict). The alleged opposing powers are Iran, the Lebanese Hezbollah, Syria, Iraq, interestingly Qatar (which supposedly provides financial, intelligence, and media support) along with the extra regional ally North Korea. These nations characterize the war in Yemen as a military campaign of genocide, fully supported by many western countries which happen to sell hundreds of billions of dollars of armament to Saudi Arabia and her nine-country coalition partners which consists of UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal, Sudan, and again interestingly Qatar which seems to play both sides of the fence.
Since 2015, Saudi Arabia and the aforementioned countries have been involved in a horrific civil war in Yemen. Most people don’t know much about this war because the mainstream media, not until very recently, has intentionally not covered it. Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal’s investment firm, The Kingdom Holding Company, holds a 7% stake in 21st Century Fox, the parent company of the Fox News Group which includes the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network. This is considered to be a sizable chunk that may carry clout and influence in the editorial rooms of Fox News.
But we, the United States, have been fully involved in supporting the Saudi coalition in bombing Yemen, one of the poorest counties on the planet and in fact the poorest Arab country. There are about 17 million Yemenis who live on the edge of starvation. In 2018, they suffered an epidemic of cholera. Over a million people are suffering from this, and thousands have died. According to UN figures, close to 15,000 have died as a result of this war. Yemen is so impoverished that even when there is no war, they live on the very edge of survival. The pictures are heart-rending - pictures of small children with their bellies so swollen because they don’t have enough protein that the fluid literally drains from their blood system into their bellies. And to top it off, our tax dollars have been supporting this illegal war.
Upon elected president, Donald Trump’s first state visit was to Saudi Arabia followed by Israel. In that state visit, a 10-year $110 billion weapons contract was signed between US and Saudi Arabia, making the Saudis the third military spender after US and China and actually surpassing Russia! This is absolutely impertinent. But if we withdraw our military support from the Saudis, their air force will be shut down in a matter of months, that is, if we stopped funding them. As President Trump recently pointed out, the Saudis wouldn’t last without our support for more than two weeks. This, of course, is very remnant of President Trump’s short-sighted mafia diplomacy.
But why is Saudi Arabia’s grip on the West so strong? After all, aren’t we supposed to be a defender of “human rights” around the world? Why is there such hesitation to cut ties with Saudi Arabia? Well, the Saudi so-called “royals” are the richest family on Earth. Estimated to compromise around 15,000 members with the majority of power and wealth possessed by a group of 2,000 of them, their estimated wealth is around $1.4 trillion and they’re in charge of approximately 25% of the world’s oil reserves. That buys you a lot of palaces but more importantly, a lot of influence and leverage.
Since October 2, 2018 when the Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered, US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin publicly backed out from attending the Saudi’s Davos in Desert conference. This was followed by Ford’s CEO among some other big names to follow. But this was more-or-less a hollow PR effort since many investors from US, France, India and China expressed willingness to attend this Saudi conference.
To put it in perspective, according to US Energy Information Administration, in 2017 Saudi Arabia produced 12 million barrels of oil per day! That’s almost 13% of the world’s oil production. If they reduce that by 3 million barrels per day which is nothing for them, the global oil price would jump to $100 per barrel. This would throw the global markets into chaos. This, of course, would never happen since Washington would never sign off on that order.
But still, the unscrupulous politicians in Washington who believe in our continuous support of Saudi Arabia claim the Saudis have been a great ally. These voices have admitted that they are at ease with Saudi Arabia not being a democratic state nor having a representative government and that we know their so-called “Crown Prince” Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) is a thug and a murderer and that the Saudis regularly execute, crucify, behead, and even tear people into pieces (literally) as was the case with Khashoggi.
As far as this Saudi Crown Prince MBS, there are rumors he may never wear the crown because of his direct involvement in Khashoggi’s killing. Incidentally, we have intelligence reports that suggest President Trump’s price tag to save MBS is $450 billion. But for the time being, he’s still on the throne. That’s a hard cry from earlier this year when he was being hailed as a “great reformer”. He has allowed their women to finally drive. Well, congratulations! The automobile was invented in 1885/ 1886 by Karl Benz in Germany. After 130 years, their women can drive. What can we do with such fast-paced advancement! Also, people in Saudi Arabia can now go to see American movies, not that there’s anything special about the regular filth that comes out from Hollywood. Again, movies were invented by us in 1897/ 1898. So it only took them 120 years to catch up with the civilized world. But more concerning to us is the fact that soulless billionaire techies in Silicon Valley have been lining up just to meet this MBS and so was Jarred Kushner by the way. In fact, Saudi relations with the White House have never been friendlier.
But now that MBS is suspected as ordering the hit on Khashoggi, something the Saudi have continued to deny, many western weapons selling countries to Saudi Arabia are changing their tune. This was President Trump’s statement: “They had a very bad original concept. It was carried out poorly and the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups.” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, formerly a staunch supporter of Saudi Arabia and a major Iranophobe, is now part of a chorus calling on MBS to step down. I quote, “This guy has got to go. Saudi Arabia, if you’re listening, there are a lot of good people you could choose. But MBS has tainted your country and tainted himself.” Former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan recently stated that an insurrection is possible and that MBS is watching his back. He said, “When MBS recently visited Houston, Texas, at a large banquet, he had two food tasters with him and perhaps for good reason.”
In public, MBS has been keeping up a powerful show. At his recent “Davos in the Desert” conference, where many big names cancelled their appearance, still $50 billion worth of deals were struck. In another PR coup, MBS even managed to get Khashoggi’s son to shake hands with him on camera. So for now, MBS is holding on but his fate is yet to be seen. Personally, I think it’s highly unlikely that he would be replaced in the short term. But I think it’s quite likely that there will be behind the scenes efforts to curb MBS’s zeal and make sure he’s less impetuous in going on with his activities. In the longer term, I think there could be some forced changes. There’s amble precedent among the Saudis for this alternative. In the 1960s, their ruler at that time, King Saud, was removed by other members of the royal family because it was felt that he wasn’t sticking to the program, not to mention his alcoholism. But in this case, MBS’s Alzheimer-ridden father King Salman has assigned all the authority on his son. And for this king to backtrack now, especially after he sacked several MBS’s most senior advisors, there is a lot of face involved. But if the king were to replace MBS with another prince, it could change a lot of equations. That we are sure of.
Here is an extreme hypothetical example for the sake of the argument: If the Saudi monarchy falls and is replaced by an Islamic Republic, think of the consequences for the world’s biggest oil exporter. Many analysts believe that would disrupt the current situation in the Middle East dramatically. We don’t think that would happen, but using the game theory, those are the kinds of alternatives that you could envision if the Saudi monarchy were jeopardized to the extent that it could fall. Does that mean we could never stand up to these people and not send them a message that they have gone too far? Sure we can. But there would be consequences in the short term in the oil markets. For example, our imports from Saudi Arabia could come from somewhere else. After all, we only import 9% of our oil from them. Nevertheless, it is Trump Administration’s goal to keep the oil prices down for internal political reasons, even at the expense of domestic oil producers. As such, we are going to lean on Saudi Arabia to keep the oil prices down and keep the production up, not to curtail it. That in turn gives some leverage to Saudi Arabia to continue being our ally.
The Saudi supporters in Washington are also hardcore Zionists. They claim that we need MBS to be a balancing force against Iran and that if we don’t combat the Iranians in every little misbegotten civil war in the Middle East, they’re going to take over. These claims are total fabrications and exaggerated lies of none other than the long-time Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a thug and a murderer in his own rite, a man whose rabble-rousing provocations in the mid 1990s resulted in the assassination of Yitzhak Robin, a former Israeli general and the 5th prime minister of Israel whose peace efforts with the Palestinians pretty much ended with his assassination on November 4th, 1995 by a fanatic Jew. And let’s not forget, Netanyahu has been a longtime chummy friend of President Trump.
But here is the point that we should debate on: Who is more evil? The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, aka the IRGC, and the Iranian clerical establishment OR the backward-minded Wahabi Saudis? If you actually look at it objectively, Saudi Arabia has spent over $100 billion teaching hatred of Christians, Hindus, and Jews all around the world.
Iran on the other hand has the largest population of Jews outside of Israel, around 25,000 people, with their own member of parliament and 13 synagogues in Tehran alone. Before the 1979 Revolution, there were over 100,000 Jews living in Iran. Yes, Iran is sternly anti-Zionist as most sober-minded and reasonable people are. But based on my own personal understanding of these people, the Iranians, during my qualitative as well as quantitative research during the past 20 years, in addition to my frequent academic visits there, their policy-makers whom I consult on a regular basis, are inherently not “anti-Semitic” per se, compared to the Wahabi and Salafist Muslims in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. But the mainstream media hardly touches upon this fact and instead portrays the Iranians as public enemy number one.
On the same token, the Iranian leadership cadre has a long way to go in enhancing and polishing their public image when it comes to United States. Frankly, the “Death to America” chant has got to go! It does not serve the national interest of Iran. But the Iranian grievances against us are valid, not just going back to 1953 when we toppled their democratically elected government under Prime Minister Mossadeq, but as recent as President Trump’s outrageous reneging of the JCPOA, better known as the Iranian nuclear deal, a multilateral internationally endorsed agreement between Iran and six global superpowers. This endeavor took 20 years to finalize but took seconds for President Trump to wreck. Incidentally, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been on record [for 20 years] that Iran is six months away from having a nuclear weapon, a ridiculous false claim that just about all Israeli intelligence agencies have refuted time after time. How he still has any credibility is simply beyond us.
But back to the Saudi Arabia, where does all their oil money go? According to their own Ministry of Finance as well as Forbes and Statista, in 2017 they spent more than $78 billion on arms, coming from US and other Western countries. Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, MBS is attempting to crack down on all potential opposition and criticism. But because of vast economic interests, Western governments are ignoring our morals and values. So we engage in this unscrupulous bait and switch diplomacy.
The Saudis, on the other hand, have opened tens of thousands of madrasas. The Haqqani Network that has actually killed our soldiers in Afghanistan are supplied with money by the Saudis. The Taliban have also received much Saudi funds. There was a CIA report that a certain Saudi “royal” dropped off a check for $267 million to the Taliban at one point. So we are fighting these people and we are arming these people at the same time. I’m referring to Taliban. It’s basic logic that we should not be arming our enemies. And it’s not just one side, as in the Republican Party. The other side, the Democratic Party, has admitted this as well. Hillary Clinton said in a diplomatic cable [leaked by Wikileaks] that “Saudi Arabia is the most significant source of funding to Wahhabi Jihadi terrorists around the world.”
You may ask yourself what is this Wahhabism that I keep mentioning. Let’s take a few minutes to go over that. Wahhabism is an extremist doctrine [originally hosted within Sunni Islam in the Arabian Peninsula] and a religious movement founded by an 18th century puritanical preacher named Ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Rooted deeply in an extreme hatred and suspicion of the West, Wahhabism has been variously described by all other sects of Islam (Shia and Sunni) as “extremist, harsh, intolerant, and fundamentalist.” Today, Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab's teachings are the official, state-sponsored religion in Saudi Arabia. With the help of funding from Saudi oil exports, the movement underwent an explosive growth beginning in the 1970s and now has worldwide influence. However, the majority of Sunni and Shia Muslims around the world disagree with the interpretations of Wahhabism, and many Muslim scholars vehemently denounce it as a vile and repulsive perversion of Islam. These scholars, including those from the highly-respected Al-Azhar University (in Egypt), renowned as Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university with over 2 million students in various campuses, regularly denounce Wahhabism with forceful terms such as a “Satanic cult”. Wahhabism has been accused, rightly so, of being a source of global terrorism, directly inspiring the ideology of ISIS and for causing disunity within Muslim communities by labelling the Muslims who disagree with the Wahhabi definition of Islam as apostates and even justifies their killing, especially when it comes to the minority Shia Muslims.
Now, let’s talk about how it’s like to live in Saudi Arabia? You might ask Barrick Al-Nimr who was arrested at 17 at a peaceful protest. He is still in jail, scheduled to be executed - beheaded to be exact. They have very horrific and barbaric methods of executing people in Saudi Arabia by chopping off people’s heads followed by crucifixion, sometimes upside down with the blood gushing out of the headless body. That’s what they do to people in that barbaric, barren, desert backwater where unfortunately the black gold seems to flow endlessly, as in oil. They behead minors. But we buy their oil and we provide security for them. Today in Saudi Arabia, there are 3,000 people imprisoned in their gulags who have not gotten any trial, at least 3,000 that we know of. The unofficial number is much higher by all estimates. There are at least 1,000 people who have been in Saudi prisons for three years without trial. Again, the unofficial number is much higher. And yet we continue to call Saudi Arabia an ally. But they fiercely oppose Iran so that’s one of the justifications for the Zionist hawks in our House of Representative, Senate, and now the White House who have sold their souls to a foreign power, Israel, who for all practical means and purposes, if not downright control, exert tremendous leverage over our foreign policy in the Middle East vis-à-vis Israeli lobbies such as AIPAC, JDL, and a long list of think-tanks in Washington who are sternly pro-Israel. But believe it or not, the largest pro-Israeli lobby is a Zionist evangelical so-called “Christian” group called CUFI which stands for Christians United for Israel, lead by an abominable and outlandish preacher named John Hagee, based in San Antonio, Texas, who apparently used to be a weekly guest at the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House during the Neocon-on-steroids administration of George W. Bush. We’re approximating that this character’s involvement with the Trump Administration could be exponentially more expansive even at the height of the George W. Bush’s Neocon administration.
How could this Israeli hijacking [and subcontracting] of our country’s foreign policy in the Middle East have happened during these past several decades – more-or-less since the inception of the usurping State of Israel? But a more important question is why do we always have to pick sides in the Middle East? If it wasn’t for their tremendous oil and natural gas reserves and the price of oil skyrocketing which would collapse the global economy in case of a regional conflict, would we have sent our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, even some of my own students, to this meat-grinder called the Middle East which has become a house of cards thanks to our reckless and unwise foreign misadventures? If that foreign oil reliance, or “addiction to oil” that President George W. Bush correctly stated in one of his state of the union speeches wasn’t the case, a flexible and versatile short-term protectionist policy would have been in our national interest. The justification, of course, has always been that we have to do it in order to avoid any disruption to the flow of oil which in and out of itself has always been abhorrent and offensive to me. But let’s face it, as senior analysts and expert academics, we aren’t naïve by any stretch of imagination that for the time being [and in the decades to come] we couldn’t live without oil no matter how much advancement we would make in the field of clean energy. As such, THERE WILL BE BLOOD in the years to come which incidentally happens to be the name of a 2007 Berlin International Movie festival and Oscar-awarded movie inspired by Upton Sinclair's novel called Oil, a commentary on the nature of predatory capitalism and greed.
At any rate, the hopeful news is that the deck of cards are now changing to our advantage as was always the case since the Rockefellers first discovered oil in the fields of Western Pennsylvania in the 19th century. But many people, outside our various closed circles of energy experts, have never known is the fact that our policy since the very discovery of oil was to make sure other countries’ oil supplies would diminish which would in turn make us the largest exporter of oil in the world again which is a phenomenon that is slowly manifesting. This is not a conspiracy theory. It’s a conspiracy fact. However, as of now, the aforementioned conditions have not been fully realized. But the process of the tide turning to our advantage has started. We are now somewhat independent of the Saudi oil but we still have a way to go.
Yes, it is true that according to the US Energy Information Administration, in 2017 we imported approximately 10.14 million barrels per day of petroleum from 84 countries. Crude oil accounted for about 79% of U.S. gross petroleum imports in 2017 and non-crude petroleum accounted for about 21% of gross petroleum imports. But at the same time in 2017, we exported about 6.38 million barrels per day to 186 countries, of which about 18% was crude oil and 82% was non-crude petroleum. The resulting net imports (imports minus exports) of petroleum were about 3.77 million barrels per day. There are strong indications that this gap will widen to our advantage in the years to come if we play our cards right. In the case of China, for example, even with all the current trade disputes between US and China, we are now exporting oil to them after a 42-year old absence. Nevertheless, the top five source countries for our petroleum imports in 2017 remain to be Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Canada and Mexico are our strategic allies but there is a consensus in Washington that our reliance on Saudi and Venezuelan oil should slowly diminish. The case of Iraq is unique. That’s an entire paper unto itself. But part of the reason why we import from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela is to deprive those exports to China, a clear and present danger to our global economic dominance which in my opinion we must maintain at all cost, but not at the expense of our domestic labor force or foreign military adventurism. As Donald Trump correctly mentioned [in one of the 2016 presidential debates when he pointed his finger at Hillary Clinton], our foolish escapades in Afghanistan an Iraq have cost us $6 trillion with nothing to show for.
Unfortunately, there are still too many voices in Washington who believe we need the Saudis to combat Iran if need be. But what has Iran done wrong in the region? Has Iran attacked any country in the past 250 years, a record that matches some Scandinavian countries that carry a lot of clout at the UN specifically for that very reason? Did Iran support Saddam Hussein? Did Iran use chemical weapons against its neighbor? Did Iran support Taliban, Al-Qaida, ISIS, and Al-Nusra? Did Iran try to strangulate Qatar? Did Iran imprison the prime minister of another country, i.e. the bizarre incident when MBS detained Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon? Is Iran bombing the hell out of the Yemenis? What has Iran done in the region and sphere of influence that they need to change? Did Iran pay Saddam Hussein $80 billion to use chemical weapons against its neighbor during a bitter eight years war? No, they did neither of these. They defended themselves, as is their right to do, going all the way back to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, if you may. But Iran wants to be an independent, non-conformist, sovereign nation and not fall into the traps of the IMF liberal globalist new world order. But that, in and out of itself, is a deviation in the eyes of the Western globalists.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and its GCC coalition spend eight times more on military than Iran. What happens every time we send a dollar to Saudi Arabia? We push the Iranians closer to Russia and China for armament which not only alienates the reasonable-minded Iranians further away from us, but also allows the Russians and Chinese to use Iran as a pawn and a proxy which further complicates an already complicated situation. As such, there is a diabolic highly profitable regional arms race that is fueled by the largest outside powers with their proxies. And these days, most conflicts in the Middle East have morphed into proxy wars with no end at sight, perpetual wars, if you may. Perhaps that was the intent all along. This same arms race is one of the financial reasons why the war in Yemen has gone on since 2015. The leverage against this war could not out-match the lucrative profits that are made in this arms race.
With billions of dollars spent by the Saudis financing terrorism around the world, we still have misguided policy-makers in Washington [and elsewhere] who only think in terms of creating jobs in the military industrial complex. I, for one, don’t believe in creating even one job if it involves selling arms to people who pretend to be our ally but in fact are our enemy. They loathe everything about our culture, our norms, our values, our beliefs, and our Christian foundation. We don’t sell arms to China. But why is it that we sell arms to Saudi Arabia? But if we stop, who is ready to fill the vacuum? The early 2018 state visit by the Saudi King Salman and MBS to Russia where billions of dollars of weapons contracts were signed speaks volumes. This has all the stenches of a massive arms race, one that could trigger WWIII if things get out of hand.
Let’s refocus on Yemen again. Even those who advocated for war are now admitting there is no military solution. Case and point: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Not too long ago, this Neocon lackey finally admitted there is no military solution in Yemen and that Saudi Arabia should cease the bombing. The now former Secretary of Defense General Mattis also said the same thing. Mind you, this is the same man who just resigned as a result of President Trump’s changing policy in Syria [for the better] because like so many of his colleagues, he believes in none-ending perpetual wars. But the Saudis didn’t get the signal. We told them there can be no military solution. We told them to quit bombing civilian areas but they were still at it. Since Secretary of State Pompeo told them several weeks ago to cease and desist from bombing civilian areas, the Saudis and their GCC partners went ahead and dropped 280 bombs on Hodeida! What did this mean? They were laughing at us! That’s what it means.
The time has come to send the Saudis a much stronger message. I believe a temporary halt in sending them arms would deliver this message. That’s a message of strength. Many policy-makers in Washington expound that we must have peace through strength and that we need to have a strong military. Both of these assertions are correct. But what about having a strong foreign policy, guided by the Senate, that affirms we aren’t going to be pushed around by a bunch of two-bit dictators in the Middle East who lead us astray to reject and betray our moral values by sending arms to the Saudis and other GCC partners to wage their war in Yemen, where civilians are being killed by the thousands. As I mentioned earlier, 17 million people in Yemen live on the edge of starvation. 17 million! The city where the humanitarian aid comes through, Hodeida, was blockaded for the longest by the Saudis. Nothing was getting through. They have starved an entire nation and nothing was being done to stop it. Why? 1) Because of a profitable arms race and, 2) An exaggerated Iranophobia fueled by both Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The question we should all be asking is this: Is the war in Yemen in our national security interest? I think the answer is indisputably no! To those who say we must combat Iran, I say Iran is already being combated by Saudi Arabia. But Iran is not a threat to come across the ocean to give us a visit. But guess who has? Remember 9/11? Remember where the 15 out of the 19 hijackers came from, that is, if you go by the official story? Remember the 28 pages in the 9/11 report that they didn’t let the American people read for over a decade? You can now read those documents and the implication is that Saudi Arabia was involved in 9/11, perhaps in the financing, perhaps in the planning. US Senate actually voted overwhelmingly to allow the American descendants of those who died on 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia because of the implication in those 28-pages demonstrated the Saudis were involved.
If we take a look at our history of involvement in the Middle East, President Trump to his credit actually got this one right when he declared the Iraq War was a mistake, that it was a geopolitical blunder of immeasurable proportions. This scenario keeps repeating over and over in the Middle East where we go in and topple a secular strongman dictator [who has a horrible human rights record] with the pretext that we’re bringing “freedom” and “democracy”. What have we sowed and reaped from that? Inadvertently [or maybe avertedly] we create chaos in an already chaotic situation and even decades later, say in Afghanistan, we still have chaos. We brought chaos to Iraq. He brought chaos to Syria. We brought chaos to Yemen. We brought chaos to Libya. The case can be made that nothing was really improved by our foreign adventurism and that things have actually gotten worse. Much worse. Out of the chaos came terrorism. In the name of fighting terrorism, we have exponentially created more terrorists. Terrorists love chaos where there is a vacuum. Terrorists love a vacuum. The result: terrorism grows and thrives and becomes more organized. My fear in Yemen is that if the war isn’t completely stopped, Al-Qaeda of Yemen might come back and become a dominant player.
Where did ISIS come from? Experts got that wrong when they conjectured that ISIS came from Iraq. ISIS grew and fostered in Syria, specifically from the town of Raqqa in northern Syria strategically located next to the Euphrates River, relatively close to the Turkish border. They were trained by Mossad and others in the special operations camps of Jordan in 2012. Some say Jordan is the Special Forces/ Special Operation capital of the world. ISIS was launched in Raqqa and from there it spread into Iraq like the Bubonic plague. The Iraqis were incompetent to stop them. Had it not been for the assistance that Iranian military advisors provided followed by the Iranian Quds Force operatives and the 65th Nohed Airborne Brigade Iranian commandos, ISIS would have reached Baghdad and that already war-torn country would have gone to hell in a hand basket. One could even argue that 20 years after the end of the horrific Iran-Iraq War in 1988, the Iranians finally had their victory and for the first time since the ancient Iranian Achamenid Dynasty of 2500 years ago, the Iranians now have access to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea vis-à-vis Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Some call this the Shia Crescent. Now, add Yemen into the mix and you nearly have the ancient map of the Iranian Sassanid Dynasty which ruled the Middle East for over 400 years, from 224 AD to 651 AD to be exact. Incidentally, the Sassanid Iranian Empire were the only empire that the Romans could never defeat in order to have direct access to India and China, although the Silk Road was always functional. Globalization has always been there. But I digress.
But I digress. Back to ISIS and other savage terrorist groups, they only grew further in the chaos of Syria because of our weak foreign policy. On top of it, who did we supply weapons to in Syria, in yet another delusional effort to get rid of another Arab strongman, in this case President Basher Assad? We supplied the so-called “Syrian rebels” or the “Syrian opposition” which more-or-less morphed into more terrorists in the region. There was another leaked post from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to John Podesta (Counsel to President Obama) stating, “we have got to do something about Saudi Arabia and Qatar because they’re indiscriminatingly supplying arms to Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria.” So once again we got involved in this policy of lesser than the two evil and guess what? Evil is still evil. What has happened is that we have drugged ourselves into everybody’s war without resolution. The unavoidable [and inconvenient] truth is that the inhabitants of these lands have been killing each other for a thousand years. At the height of our imperialistic hubris, we foolishly assume that siding with the Wahhabis and Salafists against the Shiites is going to bring these wars into a conclusion. Nothing could be further from reality.
I think the American people’s frustration with the savagery of Saudi Arabia is growing. I think those of us who don’t stick our heads in the snow and pretend everything is peachy must demand our politicians to send a loud and clear and unambiguous message to Saudi Arabia. Some are proposing sanctions. But first we have to start with an arms cut, not just to Saudi Arabia, but also to its nine-member alliance and in particular the GCC group which as I mentioned earlier is a military, political, and economic alliance of six countries in the Arabian Peninsula: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Going further along in applying the three-fold Hegelian dialectic method of problem, reaction, solution, let’s talk about the fact that Iran has in fact been sending strong public signals that it’s actually open to resolving this crisis with Saudi Arabia before it gets out of hand.
As political analyst Darius Shahtahmasebi reported on November 22, 2018 for RT:
Various statements from President Trump on "Standing with Saudi Arabia" have been an outright condemnation of Iran and a total free pass for Saudi Arabia. Iran is falsely being blamed by the Israelis and the Saudis for almost every issue in the Middle East, including the war in Yemen, as outrageous as this may seem. The US-made and supplied bombs raining down on Yemeni school buses, is simply because of Iran. This hypocrisy is simply incredible! This false Zionist-concocted narrative claims that not only is Iran responsible for the bloodshed in Yemen but that Iran helped Bashar Assad in Syria to kill "millions of his own citizens." This is pure propaganda. Estimates of deaths in the Syrian Civil War, per opposition activist groups, vary between 367,965 and 560,000. In April 2016, the UN and Arab League Envoy to Syria put out an estimate of 400,000 that had died in the war. Interestingly, RFE/ RL, i.e. Radio CIA stationed in Prague, Czech Republic, reported that in 2016 millions of dollars were given to certain “think-tanks” in Washington to produce false reports against Iran.
It is curious enough that first, in a statement about Saudi Arabia, the term "world's leading sponsor of terror" is not gifted to the prime sponsors of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Second, the fact that Trump himself put that term in inverted commas seems to suggest that even he doesn't quite believe that one to be true.
Remember, Saudi Arabia is the country that Trump, before becoming president, once accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks. I wasn't aware of this until reading the statement, but according to the White House, Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave. That's right, Iran's non-presence in Yemen must be removed in order for Saudi Arabia to cease blowing up children, hospitals, factories, food trucks, schools, agricultural land, strategic ports, and relinquish its complete stranglehold over the country.
But what if Iran, despite all its flaws, was not interested in fighting a war with Saudi Arabia? What if we dug a little bit deeper and asked ourselves: is there another way of dealing with the "threat" that Iran poses?
In January of 2018, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote an article that was published in the Financial Times which laid out the country's proposed framework for bringing stability to the Middle East. The article was widely ignored by the rest of the world, even though its implications were potentially life-saving. He wrote:
"The objective of a strong region - as opposed to a quest for hegemony and the exclusion of other actors - is rooted in recognizing the need to respect the interest of all stakeholders. Any domineering effort by one country is not only inappropriate but essentially impossible. Those who insist on following that path create instability. The arms race in our region is an instance of this kind of destructive rivalry: siphoning vital resources into the coffers of arms manufacturers has contributed nothing to achieving peace and security. Militarism has only served to fuel disastrous adventurism."
Dr. Zarif states that the usual modes of forming alliances have become "obsolete" and suggests that security networking to address issues is a much better practice. He proposes that instead of ignoring conflicts of interests, the countries in the region should accept their differences.
He goes on: "The rules of this new order are straightforward: common standards, most significantly the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, such as sovereign equality of nations; refraining from the threat or use of force; peaceful resolution of conflicts; respect for the territorial integrity of all countries; non-intervention in the domestic affairs of all countries; and respect for self-determination within all countries."
Dr. Zarif recommends opening up dialogue and blames a "dialogue deficit" for instability throughout the region. Such a dialogue, he argues, could help other nations understand that all parties have "similar concerns, fears, aspirations and hopes." His eventual vision is that these countries will eventually adopt a "non-aggression pact."
Now, Dr. Zarif did not explicitly state who he was talking about in this proposed path to peace and stability. But what if his intention was to work with Saudi Arabia? Isn’t this something that should be talked about, particularly by the US president when releasing statements stoking the fire of an already volatile region while pitting two major regional players against each other?
In October of 2017, Dr. Zarif was quoted as saying that Iran is willing and ready for rapprochement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, adding that he does not believe the two countries should have the type of relationship they have right now.
In December of 2017, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani further intimated that Iran is willing to resume ties with Saudi Arabia if it halted its military campaign in Yemen.
"We don't have any problem with the country that is our neighbor which unfortunately speaks irrationally. Saudi Arabia, as our neighbor, should stop bombing Yemen from tomorrow, stop bowing to Israel, stand straight and rely on its own", Rouhani stated.
In March of 2018, Dr. Zarif then took his ambiguous article one step further and openly said that Iran is willing to resolve its differences with Saudi Arabia as part of Iran's desire for stability in the region. As Zarif notes, this is not the first time Iran has reached out to the kingdom, yet the Saudis continue to reject Iran's proposed dialogue.
In August of 2018, Dr. Zarif further stated that Iran wants to restore relations with Saudi Arabia as well as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. Surprisingly, Saudi Arabia had just allowed the entry of an Iranian diplomat to head Iran's interests in the Kingdom, a rare move since diplomatic ties had been cut almost two years prior.
In October of 2018, Dr. Zarif again called for Saudi Arabia's cooperation to push back against the "repeated insults" made by the US president at the time. He stated, "This is the reward of the illusion that security could be achieved through external support. We extend our hands to our neighbors, saying: let's build a strong region to stop this arrogant pride."
It is my strong opinion that in its totality, it does appear that Iran is proposing a framework where Middle Eastern countries settle their disputes between themselves without outside interference, whereby the US would be left out completely. Such a suggestion is in itself a form of hubris so unacceptable to Washington that the proposal itself makes the country ripe for a targeted regime change operation. Despite this, Iran has been quite open about its blueprint for a new outlook to the Middle East.
The Iranian president said early in 2018: "We don't need foreigners to guarantee the security of our region. When it comes to regional security arrangements, we are ready to talk to our neighbors and friends, without the presence of foreigners. We are, have been and always will be good neighbors."
In August of 2018, UN experts went even further and stated that Iran might be willing to play a "constructive role" in ending the war in Yemen, something Iran has said it has been wanting to do for years by working with Saudi Arabia.
Conversely, the Saudis and their US counterparts are not so willing to take the Iranians up on their offer. The Saudis always want to "fight the Iranians to the last American," according to former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The Saudis have even openly abandoned the Palestinian cause in an attempt to cozy up to Israel and create a US-backed alliance that can confront Iran in the region. The Saudi Crown Prince MBS also compared Iran's supreme leader to Adolf Hitler, a brazen statement for a man who executes journalists and unarmed children with complete impunity. The kingdom continues to openly work with Al-Qaeda linked groups to prolong the fighting in Yemen, all because its anti-Iran hysteria cannot falter from its position.
Darius Shahtahmasebi ends his report [for RT] by starting that a détente between Saudi Arabia and Iran appears to be a far cry away from happening any time soon. But we cannot continue to pretend we haven't noticed the opportunity that continues to present itself, particularly from the Iranian side. Whether an Iran-Saudi relationship is a positive step or a disastrous one is an important question to ask. But we should at least consider it as an option if it can avoid a potential and unnecessary war between two regional powers, as well as its potential to diffuse an already devastating war which continues to kill thousands of people completely needlessly in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere.
In conclusion, if human history has taught us anything, it’s the fact that there are no permanent allies nor enemies. At the end of each conflict there’s always a political solution, after all the unnecessary bloodletting based on fear and ego which take us further and further away from the nobler side of our characters. Our gallant hope is that men and women of truth, justice, and peace would have the last say and that the cooler heads would prevail. This, in my opinion, is the very essence of true leadership.