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MENA Mashup: Bandar Bush, Code Pink, and Friends of Syria

I’ve been absent too long, pups! My apologies…!

There has been a slew of foreign f*ckery afoot and a whole bunch of it leads up to the House of Saud’s stoop…

Saudi Arabia warns of shift away from U.S. over Syria, Iran

* Riyadh signals anger over U.S. policy in Middle East

* Source says shift could affect arms, oil trade

* Prince Bandar set to end cooperation over Syria war

* In Washington, Saudi prince assails Obama’s Mideast moves

…Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that the United States had failed to act effectively against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said.

“The shift away from the U.S. is a major one,” the source close to Saudi policy said. “Saudi doesn’t want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent.” {…}

The growing breach between the United States and Saudi Arabia was also on display in Washington, where another senior Saudi prince criticized Obama’s Middle East policies, accusing him of “dithering” on Syria and Israeli-Palestinian peace.

In unusually blunt public remarks, Prince Turki al-Faisal called Obama’s policies in Syria “lamentable” and ridiculed a U.S.-Russian deal to eliminate Assad’s chemical weapons. He suggested it was a ruse to let Obama avoid military action in Syria.

“The current charade of international control over Bashar’s chemical arsenal would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious. And designed not only to give Mr. Obama an opportunity to back down (from military strikes), but also to help Assad to butcher his people,” said Prince Turki, a member of the Saudi royal family and former director of Saudi intelligence…

As the ever-intrepid, Pepe Escobar wrote today…

The self-beheading House of Saud

…As much as the House of Saud is completely paranoid regarding the Obama administration’s latest moves, throwing a fit will not change the way the geopolitical winds are blowing. Iran’s geopolitical ascent is inevitable. A Syrian solution is on the horizon. No one wants batshit crazy jihadis roaming free from Syria to Iraq to the wider Middle East.

The Saudi spin about creating “a new security arrangement for the Arab world” is a joke – as depicted by Saudi-financed shills such as this.

The bottom line is that an angry, fearful House of Saud does not have what it takes to confront benign protector Washington. Throwing a fit – as in crying to attract attention – is for geopolitical babies. Without the US – or “the West” – who’s gonna run the Saudi energy industry? PhD-deprived camels? And who’s gonna sell (and maintain) those savory weapons? Who’s going to defend them for smashing the true spirit of the Arab Spring, across the GCC and beyond?

Perennial Foreign Minister Prince Saud is gravely ill. He will be replaced by a recently appointed deputy prime minister.

Guess who?

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the king’s son. Instead of a “principled” stance against “double standards”, the House of Saud move at the UN feels more like nepotism.

Emptywheel delved further into Bandar’s perfidy today…

Did Chuck Hagel Cut Off Poor Bandar?

So, in the second anecdote, we have a European diplomat revealing that “the Pentagon” refused to share targeting information about our planned strikes in Syria. It’s a smart decision, mind you, but I wonder whether something specific precipitated that, particularly given the allegations Bandar was engaging in disinformation and worse. Withholding such information from him, for example, would have prevented him from ensuring a few bombing runs led to further involvement.

Then there’s the first incident, in which the Saudis were shocked that the US hadn’t included protecting its Eastern Province in any war plan for Syria. Again, it’s a lot easier to sow a full-blown war in Syria if you know you’re protected from Syria’s sponsors at home.

But I do think Saudi Arabia’s oil industry would have been the most logical countarattack for Syria and its allies, though probably using hacks rather than bombs.

Moreover, this gets to the expectations of the Technical Cooperation Agreement, in which the Saudis keep funneling us dollars and we protect its most vulnerable parts. Certainly, the Saudi threat to bring its weapons dollars elsewhere sure seems like a threat to discontinue it.

Still, this, too, was partly about sharing intelligence.

Has someone decided that the Saudis have been misusing the intelligence we’ve shared with them?

To be sure, folks…

Training of Syrian insurgents steps up in Saudi Arabia

Free Syrian Army (FSA) units are receiving intensive training from US Marine Corps personnel in Saudi Arabia, a senior FSA source has told IHS Jane’s .

The source said the United States and Saudi Arabia have agreed to train around 1,500 insurgents. The programme began a few months ago and most of the personnel will be trained by the end of 2013.

The courses last for 100 days and include fighting in built up areas (FIBUA). The most recent intake that arrived from Jordan on 13 October consists of around 40% from insurgent groups operating inside Syria, with the rest recruited from refugees in neighbouring countries.

Now, here’s another excellent post today from b @ MOA…

Prince Bandar’s New Hissy Fit

When the Saudis rejected their just won UN Security Council seat I, like others, asked Why and “What is their plan?”.

I still don’t get it. The new additional hissy fit the Saudis are throwing today towards the U.S. in the Wall Street Journal and via Reuters makes no sense either. {…}

Prince Bandar and his media shills suggest that the Saudis could go rogue over Syria where Bandar’s project to get rid of Assad has failed despite him spending hundreds of millions of dollars to the mercenary Jihadists. But what else but paying more can Bandar actually do? The Saudi’s military logistics are run by unreliable foreigners. The Saudi army has good equipment but is has zero expeditionary capability.
The are also no other partners that could prop up the Saudi family regime. While Bandar suggests that France may be a candidate that country does no longer have the serious military capability to support such a colonial scheme. The Chinese may well be willing to sell arms to the Saudis but, as I wrote:

China will deliver but will be smart enough to not interfere in Gulf politics like U.S. is doing day by day.

Bandar will also know that the open U.S. attack on Syria, which he demands, will not come as the U.S. public and the U.S. congress are overwhelmingly against it. Washington has no interest in a longterm broken Syria that is run by Saudi supported Al Qaeda types.
Saudi Arabia does not have the mean to seriously pressure the United States. It also does not have a strategic alternative to staying in the U.S. realm. In the end the relation is a protection racket. The Saudis pay the U.S. military industrial complex for not getting attacked by U.S. military forces. Throwing hissy fits in such position is senseless nonsense.

The only thing that this Saudi strategy may achieve is a faster reconciliation of U.S. with Tehran. Should the U.S. sympathies move to the eastern side of the Persian Gulf Saudi Arabia could soon become the target of new animosities.

Meanwhile, talk about your gratitude from those ‘friends’… ‘Liars, all of them’: Syrian rebels slam US, Gulf states following intl peace efforts

Let’s not forget that the Saudi Wahabbists still want nothing to do with the SNC and/or the ‘moderate’ Friends of Syria… Syrian rebels reject SNC

In summing up… Medea Benjamin and Code Pink have drawn the wrath of Abe Foxman and the ADL…

In compiling the list, ADL considered various criteria, including the groups’ ability to organize, sponsor and endorse Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel; their sponsorship of and participation in anti-Israel rallies, panel discussions or conferences; and their ability to pursue anti-Israel policy initiatives and lobbying efforts against Israel. Information on each of the groups, as well as a description of their tactics, is available in the full report on the League’s web site.

In addition to their national impact and influence, many of the groups included in the list are known to employ rhetoric that is extremely hostile to Israel, Zionists and/or Jews.

Examples of this include:

Allegations that Israel or Jews control the U.S. government or the media;

Offensive parallels to the Holocaust by comparing Israeli leaders to Nazis or describing Gaza as the “new Auschwitz;”

Calls for the dismantlement of the state of Israel;

Expressions of support for terrorist groups that seek Israel’s destruction.

“The list represents the worst of the worst anti-Israel groups,” said Mr. Foxman. “They lob any and every accusation against Israel, including charges of Nazi-like crimes, ‘apartheid’ policies, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and genocide. Their accusations are rarely, if ever, balanced with an acknowledgement of Israel’s repeated efforts to make peace with the Palestinians, or the legitimate terrorism concerns faced by Israeli citizens.”

You Go, Girls…!

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