The Saudis Push Hard for Another War

by Philip Giraldi
October 31, 2013

There is considerable hypocrisy among America’s so-called friends who are urging the Barack Obama Administration to do something about Syria. We in the antiwar community have been focusing on the role of the Israel Lobby in urging an attack on Syria as a stepping stone to another much bigger war with Iran after doing everything possible to make sure that peace talks with both countries fail but Israel is not alone. Saudi Arabia, which clandestinely supported the generals in Cairo prior to their coup that replaced Prime Minister Mohamed Morsi, has also been working assiduously behind the scenes to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. Riyadh has become so frustrated by American inaction that it has begun to openly criticize the White House, turning down a U.S. brokered seat on the United Nations Security Council after informing Washington that it would make up for any shortfall in US aid to Egypt. Its former and current intelligence chiefs have recently gone public in expressing their incomprehension of US foreign policy and have made clear that they will increase their own efforts to support the Syrian rebels, even if that means inadvertently supporting groups connected to al-Qaeda. Turki al-Faisal, former head of Saudi intelligence, went so far as to express his “high level of disappointment in the US government’s dealings.”

One might reasonably ask why two American client states consider themselves sufficiently entitled to demand US military action in a situation in which no American vital interest is at stake. The answer would be that they both fear Iran, though for different reasons, and, knowing that their own resources are incapable of doing the job, would like the United States to take care of their problem for them. They frame their case for war in various ways to make it palatable to the Barack Obama White House and the American public, both repeatedly emphasizing the danger of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. Israel also cites the humanitarian crisis on its border and the threat of Syria’s remaining weapons of mass destruction while Saudi Arabia adds its own perspective that the Hezbollah-Syria-Iran axis threatens to destabilize the entire region. Both nations are also considerably upset over Washington’s failure to support the military regime in Cairo as they considered the elected government of Mohamed Morsi dangerous to their own security, Riyadh because an elected Arab government could fuel copycat demands for democracy in Saudi Arabia and Israel because the Morsi regime was developing friendly ties with Hamas in Gaza.

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