UI – Part 252 – Saudi Arabia – Prince Bandar – Syria – Egypt
What comes to mind when you hear the word Saudi Arabia? Oil? Sheiks? Harems? Islam? Sunni? Mecca? Haji? Muhammad? Wahhab? Medina? Desert? Sand? Camels? Probably all that and more.
Saudi is a desert Nation located on the Red Sea, to the West, with the Persian Gulf on the East. Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates between the southeastern areas of SA and the Persian Gulf. Yemen is to the South, Oman to the South-Southeast, Jordan to the Northwest. Yemen and Oman separate SA from the Arabian Gulf. Iraq dominates the Northeast corner with Kuwait sharing a small portion of the northeast, at the bottom of Iraq, between Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Egypt is to the West on the opposite side of the Red Sea. Thus SA is positioned rather centrally in the Arab/Persian Middle-East.
SA is a monarchy, the Al Saud family dominant in the area for several hundred years. It became a Nation in 1932. As we all know its primary export is crude oil. Other than oil Saudi Arabia has little to offer, except for the wealth and financial strength it has derived as a major exporter of this commodity. The only other export, as it were, is Wahhabism along with construction dollars for mosques, many of which have been built in the USA.
Wahhabism may be the most extreme form of Islam. Within the borders of SA Sharia Law as determined by the religion of Islam, as interpreted by Abdul Wahhab (in the 1700’s), and the Al Saud family, regulate methods of governance and how people live (dictatorial regulation). Mosque and State are one; it is a Theocracy. However, the ideology of Islam may be strictly enforced by the country’s Islamic Police (Mabahith), yet, there are within the compounds or large homes of many of the ruling class private quarters where almost anything goes – gambling, drinking alcohol, sexual exploits and more. Hypocritical practices are more common, almost a norm, much more so outside the country, but inside as well.
For years a Prince was the ambassador to the United States for SA (from 1983 to 2005). In 2005, he was named as secretary-general of the National Security Council. He lived a comfortable lifestyle in the U.S enjoying an immense estate in Aspen for many, many years. He was Westernized, except when on SA soil. He was called back to SA in 2006 or so and today
Prince Bandar bin Sultan al Saud is the Intelligence Chief of this totalitarian dictatorship. He is considered by many Middle-East experts one of the most dangerous persons in the ME. Where is the danger? It is from SA as its interests are to be the dominant leader in the ME, a Sunni Nation (not Shiite, as is Iran). Bandar is the watchdog and negotiator-perpetrator-instigator of actions as necessary to insure the future strength of SA in the ME continues. The contest for dominance is between Iran – Shiite, and Saudi Arabia – Sunni.
To understand SA, just know a little about what goes on inside its borders, and the extent to which those outside its borders, such as America, look the other way, or simply ignore conditions, human rights abuses, lack of religious freedom, and the extreme nature of the ideology they endorse. Allah is the puppet master of Saudi Arabia, the Al Saud’s and Wahhabist scholars attached to the strings. Saudi imprisons dissenters with great regularity, often in secret prisons, and their status, condition or existence, is accompanied with uncertainty. Treaties that agree how people should be treated have not been signed by SA, thus their methods remain disguised and brutal. Torture is as they deem fit. Insult Islam, as determined by family or religious (ideological) self-righteous purists, or the Islamic Police, and be incarcerated for years with hundreds of lashes to boot – as is the case for blogger Raif Badawi (a Saudi).
Woman have little freedom, don black full length Burka’s outdoors, their eyes only to be seen, although some seem to have prison bars of lace hiding their eyes. They cannot be alone and must have permission to travel. Their children are the property of the husband, in case of divorce, but remain theirs to raise and care for. Quranic principles as to woman, their legal rights, are strictly adhered to. It is the Law. Women cannot drive (it may be the only country that restricts women from driving). In 2015 women will be able to vote and hold office for the first time. A saying by the Saudi’s is ‘it’s the culture, not the religion,’ is a typical excuse for turning to Allah as the cover for the actions, dictates, and laws devised by men.
For all residents, political freedom, social freedom, economic freedom are very limited. Yet the international community, to include America, rarely challenges the repressive policies of this Nation. Yet they use their money, a sizable percentage of their oil dollars, to establish footholds throughout the world. They build the mosques and prepare the texts, provide the scholars and educate those who enjoy their largesse in the ways of Islam-Wahhabist-style. For SA there is little they are asked to account for in the way they conduct their activities.
SA – Syria – Bandar
Some believe Bandar may be behind a deceptive plan to have America become more militarily involved in the struggle in Syria and the removal of Assad. He may have had the chemical weapons planted and used by Al Qaeda affiliates for a devious purpose, blaming Assad and his regime for the atrocities caused. He has been traveling from Lebanon to Jordan and elsewhere in negotiations to gain their cooperation against Syria and its Shiite influenced and financed leadership. It is an anti-Iran activity.
Neither Russia nor America knows what it would do with Syria. There is little to offer there. Russia may be involved for no apparent rational except to complicate matters for America, at the same time strategizing on how to re-establish their position as a world power. Syria has no resources or industrial supplies that meet worldwide needs, only chaos among many different cultures and Peoples. It may be nothing more than a chess board on which to play military games. From the Middle East Forum website on Sept 16, they noted Syria as, “a Petri dish for Jihadist movements.” See more. But SA is interested, as with Egypt, in maintaining its total influence over the area – from a Sunni perspective. Even Islamists, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, that may promote the development of an Islamic Ideal City-State and Wahhabism, if in doing so usurp SA’s position, are subject to being reduced in stature by SA. That was the cause for the removal of Morsi in Egypt.
More from the MEF (www.meforum.org) Blog-Posting, “American commentators reacted with surprise and in some cases dismay to Russia’s emergence as the arbiter of the Syria crisis. In fact, Russia’s emerging role in the region was already evident when the chief of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar, flew to Moscow during the first week of August (2013) to meet with Putin. The Russians and Saudis announced that they would collaborate to stabilize the new military government in Egypt, in direct opposition to the Obama administration. In effect Russia offered to sell Egypt any weapons that the United States declined to sell, while Saudi Arabia offered to pay for them.”[i]
SA – America
America has a close relationship with Saudi Arabia. But is it a good one? Oil is denominated in dollars due to that relationship. In the 70’s the United States offered military protection for Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, and in return the Saudi’s would price their oil sales exclusively in United States dollars (in other words, the Saudis were to refuse all other currencies, except the U.S. dollar, as payment for their oil exports)[ii]. Is that necessary? Would it be if the USA became more energy independent and found little need for Saudi oil, or any Middle-East oil for that matter. What would happen if oil were sold in Chinese Yuan? It probably will never happen as it would require the Chinese to allow their currency to float. However on Sept 6, 2012 China announced they would support their currency for use in buying oil. Read more. But the Euro, that is another matter. How would that impact world oil prices, and the price of a barrel of oil when converted into dollars? There has been talk of a composite of currencies to become the new Petro-currency.
No More ME Oil – What if?
What would occur in the Middle-East if demand for Middle-East oil diminished greatly. Certainly their lifestyle might change. What else can they produce? What can they do? In fact they use outside contractors mostly to produce their oil and serve their needs. Many believe the Islamists have a warped desire to return to life in the 7th Century when Muhammad lived. His life was spent primarily within the boundaries of Saudi Arabia today. Without the ability to export oil, demand significantly diminished, or the capability or desire to produce ag products or industrial goods, leaving it all up to the Will of Allah, the Saudi’s, except for those who have hidden much wealth outside the Country, might find the Bedouin culture and living standards to their liking. Many might leave and adopt Western life full-time, even converting if necessary to a faith that encourages individuals to make something of themselves, being reliant on God, yet self-reliant as well, being productive and useful to their fellow-man
Oil & Quran
Beware of those bearing oil and a Quran. They are hell-bent on changing the world and making it all for Allah. Yet I contend the end result would be an apocalypse resulting from the inability of Muslims to unite as one. Also God would have something to say about it. For it is only from the unity of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit that Truth be known, a relationship with God, our Creator, made possible and an assured life eternal be available to those who believe in the saving Grace of Christ.
Grace and Peace.
[ii] Goto Wikipedia: Petrodollar Warfare.