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The Saudis Are a Regional Menace

Tensions are rising [1] over the continued absence of the Lebanese Prime Minister from Lebanon:

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia had detained Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, the first time he had said so publicly, and called it an act of aggression against Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia’s heavy-handed interference in Lebanon is just the most recent in a series of clumsy attempts to intimidate and bully other countries in the region. The campaign against Qatar that began earlier this year was a crude attempt to force their neighbor into abandoning its relatively independent foreign policy, and it predictably failed and inspired Qatar to be even less willing to fall in line. Two and a half years of cruelly pummeling and starving Yemen have created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, but the war has brought the coalition no closer to its goal of subduing that country and installing their preferred puppet government. Snatching Hariri has likewise blown up in their faces.

We are seeing a pattern of destabilizing, destructive behavior from the Saudis in the last few years that confirms that the kingdom is a regional menace and a threat to peace and stability. The U.S. has enabled or encouraged much of this behavior, and as long as the Saudis believe that they can act without suffering damage to the relationship with Washington they will likely continue to create new crises and headaches. It is long past time that the U.S. downgraded its noxious relationship with Riyadh for the sake of our interests and for the sake of the entire region.

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9 Comments To "The Saudis Are a Regional Menace"

#1 Comment By Where We’re Headed On November 15, 2017 @ 8:46 am

“It is long past time that the U.S. downgraded its noxious relationship with Riyadh for the sake of our interests and for the sake of the entire region.”

Yes. But I fear we’ll do the opposite.

Those in the press who were seduced by MBS’s “moderate Arab” smoke-blowing better wake the hell up.

There’s nothing remotely “perplexing” about the bloody messes he is making, either at home or regionally. These are obvious attempts to consolidate personal power and gin up war with Iran. In the latter effort he is warmly supported by Israel’s Netanyahu, who has been calling for war against Iran for many years, and now by Jared Kushner, Netanyahu’s boy in the Trump White House. MBS seems to calculate that with the Israelis controlling American Middle East policy via Kushner, it won’t be too difficult to pull America into a shooting war with Iran, i.e. that if any American president would be stupid and reckless enough to order up war on Iran (for Israel and Saudi Arabia), it would be Trump, as advised by his son-in-law.

So now’s the time. The stars have aligned. The right people are in control in Riyadh, Tel Aviv, and Washington. All that’s missing is the casus belli, which should be no problem for the kind of people who found incontrovertible evidence of WMDs in Iraq. But the window of opportunity is closing fast. November of 2018 may already be too late.

The rest of us must hope that real, unbought Americans in our government will work to stop it from happening.

#2 Comment By Christian Chuba On November 15, 2017 @ 9:27 am

Unfortunately, Iran is now the scapegoat for all things bad in the M.E.
The Saudis orchestrate chaos and disruption in Lebanon? Blame it on Hezbollah and Iran.

The Saudis destroy Yemen? Blame it on Iran and even mention Hezbollah (no evidence whatsoever, accusations suffice)

The Kurds secede from Iraq and are forced to withdraw from Kirkuk? (you know who)

Civil war in Syria funded by the Saudis, Gulf States, U.S. and Turkey? (Iran and Hezbollah and Russians)

The Saudis can count on the U.S. to give them 100% cover for anything they want to do.
Nikki Haley, ‘isn’t it amazing how you see Iran in everywhere there is chaos in the M.E.?’

I find it amazing that so many in the U.S. flak for this Medieval kingdom against our interests, against international law, and more importantly against basic human decency.

The Saudis can count one the U.S. to back up every single

#3 Comment By liberal On November 15, 2017 @ 10:10 am

The Saudis Are a Regional Menace

+1000

#4 Comment By Joe F On November 15, 2017 @ 1:05 pm

Forgive my cynicism, but I smell some sort of quid pro quo from Kushner’s unannounced visit and Trump’s dopey tweet about Aramco being listed on NYSE. Kushner gave the Trump blessing for Hariri and the purge by MBS, the question is what did the Saudis offer in return for that blessing? The true cynic in me thinks Kushner is trying to get funds for 666 5th Ave, which he will lose to Roth if he can’t find the money. He has already tried to snuggle up with the Russians (VEB) the Chinese (Anbang) Qatar and even Talweed, so I can totally believe he would ask MBS for funds in return for Trump’s blessing for the purge and detention of Hariri

#5 Comment By Tony On November 15, 2017 @ 1:18 pm

I am sure they hate us because of our freedom!!

#6 Comment By mojrim On November 15, 2017 @ 2:35 pm

@Joe F has nailed it. The clan occupying the white house is motivated only by puerile and short-sighted self interest.

#7 Comment By GaryH On November 15, 2017 @ 3:03 pm

The title of this short article is something of an understatement.

#8 Comment By mdudu On November 16, 2017 @ 10:51 am

Is it too unrealistic to imagine the day when the US embraces in a grand alliance the only two countries in the middle east that are even vaguely democratic: Israel and Iran?

They are our most natural allies as opposed to the root of all chaos in the muslim world that is the House of Saud’s devil’s bargain with wahhabism. You look at any extremist Islamic ideology in the world and you can trace it back to Saudi funded instruction of some kind.

#9 Comment By Al Franken On November 16, 2017 @ 2:45 pm

Why isn’t this on a continuous loop on CNN:

“The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.

A convoy included some of IS’s most notorious members and – despite reassurances – dozens of foreign fighters. Some of those have spread out across Syria, even making it as far as Turkey.”

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