Tuesday, September 3, 2013

BANDAR’S GAMBLE: By Ghassan Kadi Sept 2013

By Ghassan Kadi
September 1, 2013

Bandar is playing a very dangerous gamble and a game that has perhaps a few weeks to either succeed or go down and bring him down with it.

Let us forget about today’s politics for a while and wind back the clock thirty y...ears, the time when the USA created Al Qaida and supported Bin Laden to fight the USSR in Afghanistan. At that time Bandar was instrumental in this creation of Al Qaida, then a US proxy and the Saudi Ambassador in Washington. That was all during the Saudi/Bin Laden honeymoon.

Whether or not the politics and the logistics of supporting Islamic fundamentalists is something that is transparent or fundamentalist by nature, there is little doubt that amongst the ranks of fundamentalists there are many individuals, let alone would-be leaders, who are prepared to pull rank and change alliances if and when they see a diversion from fundamentalist Islam and its agenda. This was what Bin Laden did later on with Al-Saud and he became a very staunch opponent of the Saudi royal family to the extent that back in the early 2000’s, there was a lot of upheaval in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was Al Qaeda-based. There was a huge uproar against the regime and the Saudi royal family. The Islamists were asking for reform and some radical ones were even asking for the removal of the royal family

Love them or hate them, most Islamist fighters are indoctrinated, and they genuinely believe that they are following the commands of God.

Bandar understands well how the mind of fundamentalists operate, and with this knowledge, he set himself two targets; thwarting off the Al Qaeda danger within Saudi Arabia, and building an army of indoctrinated mercenaries. To do this, in the eyes of the Islamists, he had to become the new Osama Bin Laden.

I wasn’t an easy task for Bandar to assume this role, but he played it well, even appearing to be the anti-royal within the ranks of the royals. The removal of Bin Laden from the scene gave Bandar a golden opportunity, after all the Islamists needed a new surrogate financier. This is how he managed to round up Islamist support all the way Tunisia to Chechnya to Malaysia.

Love him or hate him, Bin Laden was a highly indoctrinated man. He had his principles that he lived by and died for. Although Bin Laden put his hands in the hands of the Americans in the early 80’s, his intention was to “use” them to fight the then common enemy, the USR.

On the other hand, Bandar’s rise to power cannot be seen without understanding his close alliances with the USA. Dubbed Bandar Bush, Bandar has close friendships with the Bushes and many neo-cons. His anti-Iran stance is also mirrored by that of his American friends.

Credit must be given to Bandar for being able thus far to find a way for an unholy alliance between arch-enemies; the USA and the Islamists. He has so far been able to promise both of them victory against a common enemy; Iran, setting aside the animosities they for each other.

This is a promise that Bandar wasn’t able to fulfil. He was hoping for an early victory in Syria; a victory that would have appeased both unlikely partners, and before cracks start appearing in this partnership.

As the clock ticks ever towards choosing between Al Qaida/Islamists and America, Bandar is more intense on serving his obsession and fear of Iran at any cost and irrespective of what means he uses.

Before too long, and as the forthcoming war on Syria unfolds and as Bandar’s support for America becomes more evident and, as the American intervention in Syria finds itself at more odds with having to support Islamists in Syria in order for them to choose between their own interests and saving Bandar’s face, Bandar is going to find himself in a very tight spot. He will find himself in a very difficult position trying to be able to continue to convince the indoctrinated Islamists that he is still their new Osama bin Laden.

Regardless of the outcome of the war in Syria, it is only a question of time before Bandar’s current allies, the USA and the Islamists find their interests at odds. The more America gets bogged down in Syria, and the longer the battle for Syria rages, the weaker the Bandar alliance will grow. As it is already, Obama finds himself in an embarrassing situation, to say the least, intending to fight along Al-Qaeda.

When Bandar eventually runs out of tricks to pull and finds himself having to choose between the Islamists and the USA, he will have to take off his Bin Laden cloak and choose the latter because the USA is his “real friend”. He treats the Islamists under his belt as tokens that he possesses, not realizing that the Americans despise his guts, do not consider him a friend, and only see him as a token as well. They regard him as the rich fool who hates their enemies, and they want to use him to do a lot of dirty work they are unable to do themselves.

When Bandar starts to overtly favour the USA against the Islamists, the hand that he once fed will turn around and strangle him. He will find himself unable to control the Islamists within Saudi Arabia who are very anti royal family and who are intent to bring his royal family down. This time around, the conflict between the house of Saud and the Islamists will be much more intense than those of a decade ago. The feud will be further fuelled by Bandar’s let down leaving the Islamists feeling that they have been deceived.

This will be a time of Bandar’s reckoning and for him to reap the fruit of the seed he has planted.
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