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03/06/2019

A Case Against Saudi Arabia: the War in Yemen, the Iranian Angle and the Israeli Perspective

A Case Against Saudi Arabia: the War in Yemen, the Iranian Angle and the Israeli Perspective

In academia, we’re in constant pursuit of indisputable 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 the mainstream media in the United States, 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.

This essay will take into consideration the Saudis’ recent unbelievably cruel and savage act of beheading [and quartering] Washington Post Journalist Jamal Khashoggi as well as Saudi Arabia’s crimes in their war on Yemen and the tremendous tension that exists with Iran… not just in regard to Yemen, but also Syria and Iraq. So far, the Khashoggi killing has been a murder with impunity. From a 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 to keep the Khashoggi story alive until Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, aka MBS, faces a reckoning. 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 the 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 clients and vassal states in the Middle East which makes any deviation or independence from Washington’s imposed policies a call 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 result in 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 enough of a backbones to take 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 ceasefire was announced by the two warring sides in Yemen: 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! The Saudi response has been unclear so far. Despite that we have always had the human rights leverage over them, 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 for the Iranians, their internal politico-economic problems coupled with Trump’s last round of sanctions implemented in early November have left them bankrupt in Yemen during the past four years, especially now that the price of oil has fallen below $60 per barrel. This was a calculated move to reduce the Iranian, Russian and Venezuelan oil revenues, despite that 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 comes at a time when they are already cash strapped. Due to this fact, they are no longer in a place to support their proxies in Yemen, i.e. the Shia Houthi rebels, which is one of the factors in the ceasefire finally being agreed upon. Whatever limited resources the Iranians have at their disposal they’re reallocating to Hezbollah in Lebanon in order to protect their sphere of influence and military positions in Syria which have been bombarded by Israeli F-16 jets on several occasions over 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 Israeli border. Naturally, Israel sees Iran’s moves as an existential threat. Iranian military advisors have trained 20,000 Syrian militias, making it a ‘true muscle” in the region, according to New York Times.

Shifting back to Syria momentarily, we are all familiar with ISIS’s barbaric methods of spreading terror across the Middle East, North Africa and even Europe, which have out-trumped, no puns intended, even Al-Qaeda itself, which Washington and its NATO allies have euphemistically called, ‘the Syrian opposition” or “Syrian rebels” or Al-Nusra, or Al-Sham this or 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.

As Martin Luther King Jr once wrote,

“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.

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 here I am not referring to the monarchist Iranian expats in Los Angeles, Washington, London or Paris who refer to themselves as “Persians” 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 ringleader 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 somewhere between $100 to $300 million in order to push destabilization in Iran. A big chunk of the money is dedicated to psychological warfare carried 24/ 7 through their fake news TV channels, aimed directly at the historically illiterate and attention deficit disorder heavy Generation Z as well as Millennials in Iran itself. In concordance, during George W. Bush’s presidency, US Congress approved a $100 million budget (of our hard-earned tax dollars) to these subversive 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 who, by the way, get their on-the-ground operational support 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, which was followed by more negative comments in early November 2018 as he set into motion phase two of his draconian sanctions against Iran. His actions have stifled any hope of discussion between US and Iran, instead driving the Iranians further and further into the arms of the Chinese who are rapidly becoming a future long-term strategic economic and military adversary of the United States.

The Iranians, for the 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 today’s Trump against the 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], alongside side the widespread global populist movement in the US, UK (with its Brexit), Hungry, Poland, Austria, Holland, Philippines, Brazil, and more to follow. Many elements in these populist movements are completely legitimate, but parts of it 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, only partially 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] this awful Jihadi reality in Europe today.

One of the many Zionist schemes has 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, and the 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 tolerance should be granted to the forceful imposition 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, this catch 22 mechanism serves to fuel traditional racist sentiments deeply embedded in some European mindsets.

In regard to Islam, if you want to kill a positively revolutionary, compassionate, modern, updated version of of the religion, 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. This is surely one of the most devious psychological warfare tactics, and one anti-Muslim forces have had no qualms in using. 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, they apply these tactics in theatres of warfare that are characterized as low-intensity conflict (LIC). In the pursuing aftermath of the US’ 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-county 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, 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.

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 the outbreak of the disease, 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 not facing war, they live on the edge of survival. The pictures are heart-rending – small children with their bellies swollen because they don’t have enough protein that the fluid literally drains from their blood system into their stomachs. And to top it off, our tax dollars have been going to support this illegal war.

Upon being 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. As President Trump recently pointed out, the Saudis wouldn’t last without our support for more than two weeks. This, of course, an important part of President Trump’s short-sighted mafia-style “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 comprise 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 of attending the Saudi’s Davos in Desert conference. This was followed by Ford CEO among some other big names doing the same. 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 regardless of the scandal.

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.

Nonethless, 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 Saudi Crown Prince MBS is concerned, 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 far cry from earlier this year when he was being hailed as a “great reformer.” He has allowed Saudi women to finally drive. Well, congratulations! After 130 years, women are being allowed to drive, how will the rest of the world keep up with such fast-paced advancement?! People in Saudi Arabia can also now go to see American movies, not that there’s anything special about the filth that seeps out from Hollywood. Again, only took them 120 years to catch up with the civilized world. But more concerning is the fact that soulless billionaire techies in Silicon Valley have been lining up just to meet this MBS, including Jared Kushner. In fact, Saudi relations with the White House have never been friendlier.

However, since MBS has been suspected of ordering the hit on Khashoggi, something the Saudi have continued to deny, many western weapons selling countries to Saudi Arabia are changing their tune. President Trump said in a 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. Despite cancellations, the“Davos in the Desert” conference saw $50 billion worth of deals being 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 determined. 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 his activities. In the longer term, I think there could be some forced changes. There’s ample precedent among the Saudis for this alternative. In the 1960s,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. 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 would be a lot of losing face involved. But if the king were to replace MBS with another prince, it could certainly change the equation.

 

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. 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 long time chummy friend of President Trump.

The question is: Who is more evil? The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, aka the IRGC, and the Iranian clerical establishment OR the backward-minded Wahhabi Saudis? If you 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 sober-minded and reasonable people should be), but based on my own personal understanding of the Iranian people during my qualitative as well as quantitative research over the past 20 years, in addition to my frequent academic visits there, their policymakers whom I consult on a regular basis, are inherently not “anti-Semitic” per se… particularly in comparison to the Wahhabi 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, Iranian leadership 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.

Returning to Saudi Arabia, one has to ask: 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. Due to its vast economic interests, Western governments are ignoring our morals and values.

The Saudis, on the other hand, have opened tens of thousands of madrasas. The Haqqani Network that has actually killed American 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. We are fighting these people and we are arming these people at the same time. It’s basic logic that we should not be arming our direct enemies. And it’s not just one side, as in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party has admitted to doing 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.”

Today, Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab’s teachings are the official, state-sponsored religion in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabis  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. Despite the fact that they literally behead minors, 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. 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 more importantly, 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 academics, we aren’t naïve enough to think we could live without oil no matter how much advancement we make in the field of clean energy.

At any rate, the good news is that things are now changing in order to maintain the US’ advantage as has been the since the Rockefellers first discovered oil in the fields of Western Pennsylvania in the 19th century. Most people outside our closed circles of energy experts are not aware that our policy since the discovery of oil in the US 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, a policy which is still 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.

It is true that according to the US Energy Information Administration, we imported approximately 10.14 million barrels per day of petroleum from 84 countries in 2017. 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, 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 the current trade disputes between the 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 and would require an entire paper unto itself. 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 indicated (in one of the 2016 presidential debates, pointing toward Hillary Clinton), our foolish escapades in Afghanistan and 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? They have done little aside from defend themselves, as is their right to do, going all the way back to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. But Iran has committed the ultimate crime in the eyes of the IMF liberal globalists: wanting to be an independent, non-conformist, sovereign nation.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and its GCC coalition spend eight times more on their military than Iran does. What happens every time we send a dollar to Saudi Arabia? We push the Iranians closer to Russia and China for armaments which not only alienates reasonable-minded Iranians, but also allows the Russians and Chinese to use Iran as a pawn and a proxy which further complicates an already complicated situation.This has led to a highly profitable regional arms race fueled by the largest powers with their proxies. These days, most conflicts in the Middle East have morphed into proxy wars with no end at sight, perpetual wars… perhaps that was the intention all along. The same arms race is one of the 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, so why is it that we sell arms to Saudi Arabia? But if we stop, who is ready to fill the vacuum? Saudi King Salman and MBS’s visit to Russia in 2018 saw billions of dollars of weapons contracts being signed, which speaks volumes. These sales are so dangerous they could potentially trigger a third World War.

Let’s return our focus to Yemen. Even those who advocated for war are now admitting there is no military solution. Case and point: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Not long ago, this Neocon lacky finally admitted there is no military solution in Yemen and that Saudi Arabia should cease the bombing. Former Secretary of Defense General Mattis 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 never-ending perpetual war. But the Saudis didn’t get the signal. The US told them there can be no military solution and to quit bombing civilian areas but they are 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! This was a deliberate act of defiance meant to ridicule Washington.

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. Many policy-makers in Washington advocate peace through strength and the need to have a strong military, and both 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 to reject and betray our moral values such as in the war in Yemen? 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 the US’ national security interests? The answer is indisputably no. To those who say we must combat Iran, I say they are already being combated by Saudi Arabia, and that any Iranian threat is unlikely to cross the ocean… But who has been such a threat? Remember 9/11? Remember that 15 out of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia? 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, in both the financing and planning. The US Senate 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 things right when he declared the Iraq War was a mistake, and a geopolitical blunder of immeasurable proportions. This scenario keeps repeating over and over in the Middle East where the US goes in and topples a strongman dictator (who admittedly usually has a horrible human rights record) under the pretext that we’re bringing “freedom” and “democracy.” What has the US actually gained from this? Inadvertently or intentionally, Washington creates chaos in an already chaotic situation and even decades later, say in Afghanistan, the problems continue. They brought chaos to Iraq, and it brought chaos to Syria. They brought chaos to Yemen. They brought chaos to Libya. The case can be made that nothing was really improved by their foreign adventurism and that things have actually gotten worse. Much worse. Out of the chaos came terrorism. In the name of fighting terrorism, they have exponentially created more terrorists. Terrorists love chaos where there is a power vacuum they can exploit. The result: terrorism grows and thrives and becomes more organized. My fear in Yemen is that if the war isn’t completely stopped, the 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 up and was 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 handbasket. 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 Achaemenid Dynasty 2500 years ago, the Iranians now have access to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea vis-à-vis Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

ISIS and other savage terrorist groups only grew as a result of the chaos in Syria because of the US’ terrible foreign policy. On top of it, who did they supply weapons to in Syria in yet another delusional effort to get rid of yet another Arab strongman, in this case President Bashar Assad? The US 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, Washington got involved in a policy of lesser evils… as it turns out, however, the lesser evil is still evil. What has happened is that the US’ has dragged themselves into 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.

The American people’s frustration with the savagery of Saudi Arabia is growing. Those of us who don’t stick our heads in the sand and pretend everything is just peachy must demand our politicians send a loud, clear and unambiguous message to Saudi Arabia. Some are proposing sanctions, but the first step is an arms cut, not just to Saudi Arabia, but also to its nine-member alliance and in particular the GCC group.

It is worth noting that Iran has been sending strong public signals that it’s open to resolving the crisis with Saudi Arabia before it gets out of hand.

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, regardless of its flaws, is actually not interested in fighting a war with Saudi Arabia as they have been suggesting? 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 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; nonintervention 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 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 Iran is proposing a framework wherein 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 so unacceptable to Washington that the proposal alone 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. 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.

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.

Alexander Azadgan
A multi-awarded American professor of Strategic Global Management & International Political Economy and a senior geopolitical analyst with Press TV, CCTV (CGTN America), Revolution Radio, Radio Sputnik (English, Persian & Russian desk), Fars News Agency, Tastim News, IRIB, Sahar TV, Balt News, Tehran Times, Mehr News Agency, among others. Professor Azadgan is also the Editor-at-Large with United World International (UWI), the former Editor-at-Large with ImperiaNews.com, and the former Editor-in-Chief with MiddleEastRising.com & LibertyBeacon.com (their Middle Eastern Affairs Desk). Follow him at his YouTube channel  

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