THE IMPLODING HOUSE OF SAUD. Part IV.
By Ghassan Kadi
4 October 2014
In a series of short articles, the rise and current dilemma of the Al-Saud legacy will be very briefly exposed from an angle that focuses on the trilateral relationship between the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Islamic fundamentalists. These articles are meant to shed some light on this subject in an attempt to make it easier for non-Arabs in particular to relate to the history of this triangle, how it was formed, shaped and how it reshaped itself over the last few decades and how it ended up where it is right now.
It is hoped that some myths will be dispelled and that readers will be better able to understand the complexity and unpredictability of today’s events.
The Bandar Blunder:
Bandar thought that he had the perfect plan and the right personnel to execute it. With his position as the head of the Saudi Intelligence, the bottomless Saudi funds and the regional support of the GCC (mainly Qatar), Turkey and Israel, needless to mention the depth he can get from the muscle power of America, should need be, his plot to topple the Syrian government looked like an easy task.
Once again, and this cannot be over emphasized, the Anti-Syrian Cocktail was made up of many elements; each with its own agenda, and only united by their hatred to secular Syria and President Assad. To say and to promote the concept of an American umbrella that fully controls each and every player is a very simplistic manner of understanding the nature of what created the coalition and what ended up getting it undone.
This new cocktail was much more complex in its makeup than its trilateral predecessor that fought the Soviets in Afghanistan. The new coalition included over and above the nations mentioned above, a virtually countless number of Jihadi organizations. In reality, all of those Jihadis were very similar, often swapping sides, only divided by who sponsors them; some loyal to Al-Saud and others to Al-Thani of Qatar.
The Americans wanted to control the wealth of the region and to bolster the security of Israel.
The Saudis wanted to secure the survival of the House of Saud. They regarded Iran, Syria and Hezbollah as a threat. Only able to think along sectarian lines, the Saudis were not able to understand the nature of the Axis of Resistance. They perceived it as an anti-Sunni coalition.
The fighters to make it happen were the Jihadis of different descriptions and names. They were promised the state of Syria to run as they please under Shria Law.
The Israelis wanted secure borders with both Syria and Lebanon. They wanted to topple the Syrian government and cut off the supply lines to Hezbollah as a first step towards crashing both major elements of the Axis of Resistance.
Turkey was beginning to make its regional moves after a slumber that lasted virtually for a whole century. PM Erdogan had his own dreams of restoring Turkey’s former glory as a regional power and usurper.
The coalition was joined by even little rival groups within Lebanon such as Hariri’s so-called 14th of March Coalition. They had a score to settle with both Syria and Hezbollah. They opened up the borders with Syria and formed a continuous line of supply of both fighters and ammunition into Syria. Their objective was to rid Lebanon from Hezbollah and to establish a pro-Western Lebanon.
None of the above members of this freaky Anti-Syrian Cocktail was actually Syrian.
When the war on Syria took a turn after the Syrian Army’s victory in Qusayr, Bandar began to get desperate. He wanted to achieve a military win at any cost. He met with Putin and tried to bribe him and when bribery failed, he threatened him with turning on the Chechen Jihadists and disturbing the Sochi Winter Olympics. Putin remained unfazed. He then resorted to the fabrication of the East Ghouta alleged chemical attack as a last resort to send the US crashing Damascus. Russia intervened and drew red lines and prevented the US from such a military gamble.
Before too long, Bandar’s plan failed and Bandar lost not only his cool, but also his dreams and stature. What was brewing on the horizon however was a monster that neither he nor the Americans anticipated.
The Jihadis who were looking for the prize of ruling Syria have suddenly realized that Bandar was not the man to deliver it. They felt that they were misled and abandoned by not only Bandar, but by the entire Al-Saud. To add oil to fire, when the Saudi royals realized the dismay of the Jihadis, they had to take measures to prevent them from entering Saudi Arabia. This further alienated the Jihadis from the Saudi crown.
These developments did not only impact on the relationship between the crown and the Jihadis, but it also had serious repercussions on Saudi soil.
In the next chapter, we shall look at the rise of ISIS.