Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
Two key allies of the United States are the fundamentalist-Sunni governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia — two fundamentalist Sunni countries whose ruling families are (like the U.S. Government) hostile to countries that are ruled by Shiites, particularly Iran and Syria. (In Syria, most Shiites, including the leader Bashar al-Assad, are called Alawites.)
Qatar is owned by the anti-Shiite Thani family; Saudi Arabia is owned by their friends the anti-Shiite Saud family. All of the Arabic royal families are Sunnis who support one-another, and the leading family of them all, and the world’s wealthiest by far, are the Sauds. Here are photos of the royals of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain, relaxing together in 1959. Here a book (p.48) notes that, “Through intermarriage with Al-Thani line, Al-Khalifa [Bahrain’s royals] remain perhaps the second most powerful and influential tribe in Qatar.” And, here was a news-report that CNN refused to air because it showed Saudi soldiers using American tanks against Shiites in Bahrain who were peacefully demonstrating for Shiites to have rights in Bahrain; another report there shows the fired reporter herself, courageously talking about American censorship.
The U.S. Government is trying to shut off Russian oil and gas westward into Europe (that’s one reason why Obama perpetrated a coup in Ukraine to switch Ukraine against Russia and close down Russia’s pipelines through Ukraine to Europe), and replace it with oil and gas northward into Europe from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both of which are top buyers of U.S. weaponry. According to various measures, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela have the most oil (and Saudi oil is the world’s cheapest to extract, so it’s far more valuable); and Russia and Iran have the most gas. Qatar is #3 on gas, and Iran is #4 on oil. So: those are the actual giant players. Syria’s Assad blocks the construction of a Qatari gas-pipeline into Europe, and of a Saudi oil-pipeline into Europe; Europe is by far the world’s largest energy-market. So, there’s a Sunni-versus-Shiite war, between Sunni royals and Shiite governments; and Assad also blocks Obama’s plan to replace Russian oil-and-gas sales with Sunni oil-and-gas sales. Militarily, Sunni nations boost sales of U.S. weaponry, whereas Russia is America’s biggest competitor in the weapons-sales markets, and supplies weapons to Shiite countries. So: it’s U.S. and the Sunni royals, versus Russia and the Shiite leaders. If there will be another world war, those are already the principals in it.
Each of those Sunni royal families owns, within his (and females are their property, so only males own things there) country, key news-media (TV networks, newspapers, etc.), and other means of educating the public to be a subject that the ruling family accepts and approves.
The Thanis own Al Jazeera TV, which broadcasts a Westernized line in English for Western PR, but a more traditional Arabic tribal and Islamic line in their native Arabic, to keep their subjects in line.
Here, on Al Jazeera Arabic, is a debate concerning whether to exterminate Alawites. English subtitles have been added so that Westerners can understand what the Thanis are presenting to their countrymen. The program-host favors extermination of Syria’s Shiites called “Alawites” (especially Assad), but the program’s guest is arguing to the contrary:
Other friends of the Sauds are yet another top buyer of U.S. weapons, the six fundamentalist Sunni royal families of UAE, United Arab Emirates (6 Emirates, or royal rulers), where the royal TV operation is the Middle East Broadcasting Center in Dubai. Here, on that TV network, and again with added English subtitles, is a debate between a Saudi progam-host and a Saudi jihadist:
That Saudi jihadist, interned in a Saudi re-education camp, explains to his Saudi program-host, why he wants to kill Saudis who violate the Quran, more even than he wants to kill foreigners who do. (Wanting to kill non-Saudis is okay to the Saud family, but wanting to kill Saudis isn’t supported by them, unless the killer is a Saud, who is authorized to condemn people to death — for apostasy or any reason.) The program host tries to persuade that jihadist to go to Afghanistan or the U.S. or some other country, to kill non-believers; but the jihadist replies, “What does Allah say? He says kill the close infidel.” The jihadist opens by saying that the grave of the Prophet Muhammad in Saudi Arabia must be destroyed because people go there to worship, and the Quran prohibits idol-worship. The question as to whether Muhammad’s grave is an “idol” isn’t dealt with at all in the Quran; so, some Muslims kill each other over such differences. The jihadists, like any fundamentalist in any faith, always presume the harshest reading of their Scripture, in this case the Quran. The jihadist says that visiting Muhammad’s grave is “shirk,” or a violation of God’s will. The interviewer, who is approved by the ruling family, says that whereas visiting other graves is forbidden, visiting Muhammad’s grave isn’t. The jihadist says that, since his host disagrees with his interpretation, he (at 4:09 on the video) would strangle the host to death if he were in a position where he could.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest buyer of U.S.-made weapons, and, when U.S. Presidents meet the Saudi King, the President of the U.S. bows before him.
That’s just a ritual, designed to display to everyone who is boss, and who is servant.
The Saudi King also organizes the other Sunni heads-of-state. In December 2015, he organized a 34-nation+ new Sunni version of NATO, to conquer Iran. It might produce lots of added arms-sales for America.
The Sauds also have always been anti-Russian, and that’s very important to the U.S. Government, which especially prioritizes defeating Russia, above even defeating the leaderships in Russia’s allies Iran and Syria. Russia possesses nuclear weapons, so the U.S. won’t yet invade Russia. The U.S. and Russia are by far the world’s two largest arms-exporting countries. The competition is no longer between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, because the latter ended in 1991, but the competition — now only against Russia — continues on, in order to gain market-share in armaments, and in international power. So: the U.S. Government calls Russia the most ‘aggressive’ nation in the world. A considerable build-up in the ‘news’ media preceded that demonization campaign. The U.S. President certainly wouldn’t bow to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
King Saud is the world’s wealthiest person, and the Saud dynasty was started before the U.S. even existed: 1744. He buys his weapons mainly from the U.S., but also from UK and France.
The supposed ideological difference between the ‘democratic’ U.S. and the Sunni dictatorships, has no impact upon America’s geostrategic moves. Everything now is business relationships. Ideology has become relevant only for PR purposes, to fool the public.
That’s the reason why the U.S. has no problem with its chief arms-purchaser being a slave nation where women are only property who can be raped with impunity, and where the only issue about genocide is whether its main target is Shias, or else might include also Sunnis and Christians.
The U.S. Government is all-business, now. And America’s business is to defeat Russia; anything else is just PR. Vladimir Putin is to be demonized, rather than to be bowed to; the American people are to accept that the American President can bow to the Saudi King but not to a ‘demon’ such as the popularly elected President of Russia. The American people have to accept it, because they don’t know what’s really happening.
As U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush said in private when his subordinates, at the end of the Cold War against communism, advised him that America’s efforts to defeat Russia were now over and America should welcome Russia as a new ally and possible friend: “To hell with that! We prevailed, they didn’t.” His subordinates followed through on that, and so did every U.S. Administration since, but especially that of Obama. This business isn’t really about cash; it’s about raw conquest. GHW Bush set the tone, and his successors have been tuned to it, consistently: it has emerged as an essential part of the post-Cold-War United States, an empire set upon expansion into what had been Russia. And, increasingly, the gloves are off — it’s brutal, and not only in the Middle East. And it is getting extremely dangerous.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.