THE IMPLODING HOUSE OF SAUD. Part II
By Ghassan Kadi. 1 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 Uneasy Alliance:
It is rather simplistic and naïve to see the Saudis and their Jihadists as pawns who will unconditionally take orders from their American masters, as some insist to describe them.
Like all alliances that are based on plotters of unwholesome intentions brought together by certain common interests, the Americans, Saudis and Jihadists “look united but their hearts are far apart”, as the Quran describes them (Surat 59, Verse 14).
What disunited this ever-changing alliance and continues to disunite it is perhaps much stronger than what keeps it together, and this is why this union had to reshape and reinvent itself over the years and decades in order to weather the ravages of change.
To begin with, the Americans never liked the Saudis. They regard them as volatile fools and savages who happen to be oil-rich. And even though the American foreign policy is virtually shameless, their strong “friendship” and alliance with the Saudis has always been an embarrassment. After all, Saudi Arabia is a country that has laws that virtually do not give women any respect and civil rights, a country that bans Christianity at all levels, and one that is most remote from democracy.
Historically however, Americans are used to such allies. They befriend despots at ease for as long as their strategic needs are met, and on that note, they are strategically at great dis-ease because the Saudis managed to keep one big secret away from the Americans; and that is the estimate of the Saudi oil reserve. The Americans suspect that the Saudi oil reserve is much less than the declared Saudi approximate estimate, and this makes the Americans very uncomfortable, to put it mildly.
Even before September 11, many Americans were shouting slogans such as “with allies like the Saudis, who needs enemies?”
After September 11, the American alliance with the Saudis became subject to greater domestic criticism. It was clear to see that many of the hijackers were Saudis and the flow of the funds that supported them pointed towards Saudi Arabia.
On the other side, The Saudis knew well that deep inside, Americans hate their guts and that they rob them and take advantage of their wealth in the meanest way feasible. They also regard the Americans as “Infidel Crusaders” and in more ways than one, they reciprocate similar passions towards the Americans as American do towards them, but then again, they both need each other.
The differences were laid to rest because of America’s thirst for oil and the Saudi paranoia about security and the survival of the House of Saud.
The duo would have been better able to manage their differences had it not been for the third party in that marriage; the Jihadists.
The First Divorce:
From the early days of the trilateral alliance, the Jihadists did not fully trust the Saudis, but the Saudi kept up the Muslim rhetoric and reinforcing that the two parties are united by Islam. The victory over the Soviets in Afghanistan was seen as one of divine intervention.
The alliance faced is first serious breaking point in the events leading up to Operation Desert Storm. When the Saudi monarch allowed the “Infidel Crusaders” (as seen by Bin Laden) to lay foot on the holy land of Arabia, that heralded the making of an irreconcilable divorce between the Saudi Royals on one hand, and Osama Bin Laden on the other hand.
The consequences of this event were extremely serious, and were also mirrored internally by the extreme Wahhabists who saw in the move of the crown an act of treason to Islam. As a result, dissent within Saudi Arabia grew stronger, including dissent amongst the new class of educated youths who are opposed to the Al-Saud oligarchy and squandering of wealth.
When Bin Laden failed to convince his Saudi partners not to invite the “Crusaders” into Arabia in the first place, and later on failed to convince them to ask them to leave after the completion of Operation Desert Storm, Bin Laden declared divorce with the Saudi royals and went solo, using his own funds to finance Al-Qaeda.
He declared war on America and Saudi Arabia and Al-Qaeda cells were uncovered all over the kingdom and many heads were severed. Most of this took event in a hush-hush way, because the last thing that Al-Saud wanted to see reported in the media is news of domestic dissent. That said, news of explosions that rocked the kingdom for an extended period of time could not be hidden from the eyes of world media.
Suddenly, but also expectedly, the group of Jihadists who were initially brought into prominence by the funds of Saudi Arabia, Brzezinski’s brain and American military expertise, declared mutiny on its backers and turned from being a reluctant ally into a highly charged foe.
The events leading up to September 11 and the subsequent American invasion of Afghanistan were the result of that divorce, and this is fact.
A lot has been said and written about September 11 and many conspiracy theories have been proposed. This is not an attempt to dispel them, but fact remains that the alliance of Al-Qaeda and the USA broke up as the latter went solo and embarked on the journey of seeking its own objectives. After all, Jihadists are highly indoctrinated individuals, and people do not undertake suicide missions if and when they are missionaries and/or paid pawns.
After the breakup of the American-Saudi-Bin Laden (ie Al-Qaeda) alliance, for any similar alliance to come to exist, it had to be totally rebirthed from scratch and the lines had to be redrawn from square one.
In the next chapter, we shall look at the birth of ISIS and the major subsequent turning points leading up to the current situation in Iraq and Syria.