When I read this New York Times op-ed piece shared by Mr. H.B., I was floored, for the Times, as one of the USA's so-called newspapers of record and of the establishment, seems to be corroborating my high octane speculation that the (out)house of Saud may indeed be "on the menu," by which I mean that the usual behind-closed-doors-discussions are being had in the corridors of western power about what is to be done with (or to) the odious regime of Riyadh, and its well-known, though quiet, sponsorship of terrorist groups. Consider this article carefully:
A few quotations from the article should suffice to argue this point:
It is rare for an American president to skewer a friendly government publicly. But that’s what President Obama did last week in presenting a well-considered analysis of troubles in the relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Obama has long regarded Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab countries as repressive societies whose strict interpretation of Islam contributes to extremism. In a blunt and lengthy discussion with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic, Mr. Obama included the Saudis among other “free rider” allies that ask the United States to fight their battles for them and “exploit American ‘muscle’ for their own narrow and sectarian ends.”
The idea that Mr. Obama's analysis is "well-considered" and that the (out)house of Saud is a "free rider" exploiting American military muscle for sectarian ends is about as close an admission of the failure of American foreign policy in the region since 9/11 as one can come, for of course, the "Bush doctrine" with its denunciation of terrorism and its promise to seek out and destroy any state sponsor of terrorism made one very significant exception with respect to the desert kingdom, rendering the whole "war on terrori" a rather hypocritical moot point.
Then there's this:
The Saudis promptly fired back. Writing in the Arab News, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief, argued that Mr. Obama does not appreciate all his government has done, including sharing intelligence in the fight against terrorism. But the fact is, this decades-long partnership, born of antipathy to the Soviet Union and an American reliance on Saudi oil, is growing increasingly brittle.
Whatever the wishful thinking of Prince Turki might be, the fact remains that Germany, France, Jordan, Egypt, Russia, Israel, and even the Taliban(!) attempted to warn the USA of the impending 9/11 attacks. Notably lacking in the list of "warners" was Saudi Arabia, unless, of course, such warnings were issued via unofficial channels via the close contacts between the Bush family and the (out)house of Saud. That possibility is, of course, almost too horrible to contemplate, for it raises the stakes considerably on the various interpretations of 9/11 within the 9/11 "truth movement."
But the real stunners in the Times' op-ed piece are the final three paragraphs:
As far back as 2002, Mr. Obama, in a speech, referred to Saudi Arabia and Egypt as America’s “so called” allies and said they needed to stop suppressing dissent and tolerating corruption and inequality. More recently, according to Mr. Goldberg’s article, Mr. Obama has also asserted that there can be no comprehensive solution to Islamist terrorism until Islam comes to terms with the modern world. Unfortunately, the Saudi royal family, now in the hands of a shaky new leadership team, and with the Saudi economy stressed by falling oil prices, shows no serious interest in enlightened renewal.
Mr. Obama has now forced a behind-the-scenes conversation about the Saudi-American relationship into the open. Is there anything Washington can do to encourage transformative reforms? Apart from expressing critical views, even Mr. Obama, who will visit Saudi Arabia for a meeting with Gulf leaders next month, has felt a need to maintain the alliance largely along traditional lines.
There is little time left in the president’s term to rethink how the United States and Saudi Arabia can move forward together. That task will largely belong to his successor.(Emphasis added)
There it is in black and white: the N.Y. Times is suggesting that there are such behind closed doors discussions, and those discussions are apparently admitting what has long been publicly known: the regime in Riyadh is not only medieval, murderous, odious, but malodorous, and that Mr. Obama's successor will have to take on the problem, which means that a "solution" has already been discussed.
So what's my high octane speculation? We've seen the quick Russian withdrawal from Syria, and Russian moves to pledge support for a permanent Japanese seat on the UN security council. We've also seen the Obama administration negotiate with Iran to bring an end to Iranian sanctions. While the latter deal has been roundly denounced in certain American domestic political circles, in the long term, the arrangement makes sense, for nor stabilization of the region can occur if Iran is not heard, and if there is no direct contact between Washington and Tehran. And the strategy of UN sanctions, and of US covert sponsorship of "Islamic" organizations, can just as easily be applied to Riyadh, and can just as easily shift from Suni organizations like ISIS to Shia organizations like Hezbollah.
Time will tell if such strong actions are taken, but the mere fact that Mr. Obama gave the interview means, in my opinion, that the Powers That Be gave him the green light to put the subject on the table for discussion and to bring it out into the light.
And that, in my opinion, means that Riyadh is on the menu. But Mr. Obama has also addressed Tehran in a kind of backhanded way as well, by pointing out that it's time to "come ot terms with the modern world."
I don't often agree with Mr. Obama, as readers here know, but in this case, I have to give him due credit for stating what everyone with a mind and conscience has been thinking, and for addressing directly the egregious hypocrisy of left-over policies from the dreadful Bush family.
See you on the flip side...