by Karin McQuillan
Individuals who have even visited Israel, or who observe Judaism, or who carry a Bible are banned from Saudi Arabia. Yet Saudi Arabia's Israel-hating King Abdullah just flew in an Israeli scientist to have dinner with him, to enjoy some royal hospitality, accept a medal and the $200,000 "Arab Nobel Prize." It's a not-so-subtle message to President Obama: the unthinkable can happen, so don't assume the Saudis won't join with Israel to bomb Iran.
Obama's new Iran policy moves the Mid-East closer to war over oil and religion -- Sunni Saudis versus Shia Iranians. There is no more strategic commodity than Gulf oil to the entire world economy. American national security stakes could not be higher. Iran's end game, some say more than an attack on Israel, is to seize the Saudi oil fields. There is a Shiite majority in the oil province that the Saudi Princes fear could be turned by Iran. The Saudis no longer see the U.S. as an ally in stabilizing the Middle East. We have become a force for chaos. The UK Telegraph:
Chris Skrebowski, editor of Petroleum Review, said the great unknown is how Saudi Arabia will react to a move deemed treachery in Riyadh... The great question is whether they can live with this deal, or whether it is intolerable," he said.
Mr Skrebowski said the Middle East is a tinder box, in the grip of a Sunni-Shia civil war comparable in ideological ferocity to the clash between Catholics and Protestants in early 17th Century Europe. Saudi Arabia has already shown how far it will go to protect its interests, helping to overthrow Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
The Saudis are signaling that they will unleash a pre-emptive war in the Middle East in response to Obama's nuclear capitulation to Iran. These signals are an effort to change Obama's decision to prop up the mullahs and green light their nuclear program. Can the Saudi threats become real? It's a wild card our President is willing to play.
The Saudis are allowing leaks on a deal to get nuclear weapons from Pakistan. Larry Bell in Forbes:
Pakistan is rumored to have recently delivered Shaheen mobile ballistic missiles (a version of the U.S. two-stage Pershing I, with a range of more than 450 miles) to Saudi Arabia, minus warheads. Mark Urban, the diplomatic and defense editor of BBC's "Newsnight", told a senior NATO decision maker earlier this year that "Nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery."
The Saudis are not so secretly negotiating with the Israelis. This goes beyond allowing the use of Saudi air space, to active support in a bombing raid on Iran. Bell again:
A diplomatic contact told the London Sunday Times that "The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs" to counter the unresolved nuclear threat, noting that their relations with the U.S. had been breached by Obama's overtures to Iran.
This new cooperation represents a major policy realignment given the fact that satellite images show a new Saudi CSS-2 missile base capable of deploying A-bombs with launch rails pointing towards both Iran and Israel. According to the Times, Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and Sunni royal rulers of Saudi Arabia are even developing joint contingency plans for a possible attack on Tehran's nuclear program.
There is also talk by the Saudis of using oil prices to punish America for Obama's betrayal.
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UK ...Ambassador Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, who was speaking to the British Times, called the Obama administration's "rush" to embrace Tehran "incomprehensible."
"We are not going to sit idly by and receive a threat there and not think seriously how we can best defend our country and our region," Prince Mohammed, who is Saudi King Abdullah's nephew, said. "Let's just leave it there, all options are available," he added, referring to possible defense plans made in response to Iran developing its nuclear capability.
The Saudis have collected a long grievance list of things our President has done to destabilize their neighborhood. Their power rests uneasy, and maintaining it requires constant work. Our President is the grand saboteur.
- They are still shocked and enraged that we forced Mubarak out of Egypt and pressured the military to let the Muslim Brotherhood take over. The Saudis helped depose the Brotherhood and fix Obama's mess. It has cost the Saudis upwards of $5 billion dollars in aid to the new transition government.
- The Saudis are angry that we pushed out another ally, Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh, creating turmoil on Saudi Arabia's southern border and a stronghold for al Qaeda.
- We invited violent radicals to our embassy in Bahrain; the Saudis had to dispatch troops to stop the uprising there.
Richard Miniter in Forbes:
Obama's move made no sense to the Saudis. Bahrain is home to some 15,000 American soldiers, sailors and Marines. Why would the U.S. endanger Americans and Arab allies for the sake of militants supported by its most fevered enemy?
The tone with which this question is asked -- a mixture of exasperation, regret and anger -- itself is telling. This is the tone you hear as long-term relationships die.
When Obama breached his own "red line" on chemical weapons in Syria and claimed that he had never drawn any red lines, undercutting Saudi support for the Syrian rebels, America's credibility collapsed.
In a very public protest, the Saudi king rejected a seat on the U.N. Security Council, which the kingdom's diplomats had spent months lobbying for. This was a warning shot in diplomatic terms. Obama ignored it.
With his concessions to Iran's nuclear program, President Obama has betrayed both Israel and Saudi Arabia, our two most important allies in protecting the world's oil supply. In contrast to President Bush's close cooperation with our Middle East allies, Obama did not consult them on the Iran deal, nor was their safety considered. One result is certain: our influence in the region is diminished. Other results, more dire, to follow.
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