07 December 2010

The roots of blowback - the Saudis support terror and the U.S. supports the Saudis

"Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." So claimed Hillary Clinton in a secret (now, due to WikiLeaks, not so secret) paper issued in December, 2009. She goes on to add, "Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups." It would appear that in the U.S. war on terror, Saudi Arabia is the main paymaster of the enemy.

One wonders why, then, does the United States sell massive amounts of arms to the paymaster of al-Qaida and associates? Saudi Arabia is the Americans' top customer for military equipment. The U.S. administration is currently pursuing the biggest arms sale in the country's history, worth $60-billion, to this selfsame sponsor of terror.

Isn't this madness? Don't you have to be insane to strengthen the very power that funds, indoctrinates and encourages your enemies? Perhaps, but what if that power has oodles of oil and is more than willing to sell you as much as you want, say over a million barrels a day? And what if you had a serious balance of payments deficit and you desperately needed to put some of the billions of dollars you were spending on oil back in your pocket? Well, it would still be crazy, but an addiction to oil, like any other addiction, can drive you to do crazy things.

The Americans have engaged in this folly in the Middle East before. Back in the 1950s, they helped depose a democratically-elected government in Iran in order to imose a dictator, Shah Reza Pahlavi, who was more amenable to their oil interests. This blew up in their face when the people of Iran turned on the the Shah, overthrew his regime, and installed a government that has never forgotten the American insult and causes the U.S. grief up to this very day. This was where the expression "blowback" originated as a spook term for unintended consequences.

Saudi Arabia is, like Iran, ruled by a ruthless dictatorship generously supported by the United States. Like any dictatorship, it could disintegrate in a moment, leaving the country, armed to the teeth, in the hands of God knows who, quite possibly Wahabi extremists. And they, like the Iranians, may not easily forget who befriended their oppressor. Blowback redux.

1 comment:

  1. The Americans have a Saudi collapse very much in mind. The fighters they're selling the Saudis have the software tweaked so that they can be easily destroyed in combat with Israeli jets.