November 3, 2013

Update On Syria: Saudi Arabia's Scattered Army of Executioners And Vandalists Faces Defeat

BHO: Never bow to a tyrant. Especially a tyrant who will meet his fate very soon. A better man would have not even offered his hand for a handshake. But America is led by lesser men, by the likes of Rumsfelds and Obamas of the world who shake hands with tyrants when's it convenient, and then seek their ouster when it's not. Shame on any nation that produces such men and raises them to high office time after time.

An excerpt from, "Unifying Syria’s Rebels: Saudi Arabia Joins the Fray" by Yezid Sayigh, Carnegie Middle East Center, October 28, 2013:
According to Saudi insiders, training involving some 5,000 rebels had already been under way in Jordan for several months with the aid of Pakistani, French, and U.S. instructors, although well-connected Jordanian sources suggest a much lower number. In any case, little can be expected from the defectors, who chose to leave Syria and have remained in isolated officers’ camps in exile ever since. This may have influenced the thinking of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, Director General of the Saudi Intelligence Agency Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, and Deputy Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, to whom the Syria file has been transferred. Notably hawkish on Syria, their plan is to build a rebel army of 40,000–50,000 at a cost of “several billion dollars,” according to insiders. 

The plan appears to have been discussed, at least in general outline, by the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, who met French President Fran├žois Hollande on September 13. This resulted in an agreement “to step up international support for the democratic opposition to allow it to cope with attacks from the regime.” A high-level Saudi delegation visited Paris a month later to negotiate contracts for arming and equipping both the Free Syrian Army and the new national army.
Following what it regards as the “defection” of the U.S. administration from the coalition of countries willing to support the Syrian opposition militarily, Saudi Arabia has turned to Pakistan to provide training for the new army. But this may prove difficult, given the major national security challenges facing the Pakistani armed forces ahead of the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan and the uncertainty of the country’s civil-military relationship during the selection of a new chief of general staff. Sources with good access to the Pakistani Ministry of Defense and military intelligence services confirm that the armed forces were already reluctant or unable to meet a previous Saudi request to provide special forces training to the Syrian rebels. They regard the scale of the new Saudi proposal as unmanageable.
An excerpt from, "It's Time For Washington To Tell Saudi Arabia To Pound Sand" by Doug Bandow, Forbes, October 29, 2013:
The Saudis support radical rebels in Syria who may be as interested in killing Americans as in killing Bashar al-Assad’s soldiers.  Yet Joshua Landis at the University of Oklahoma surmised that the Saudis worried about increased pressure “to stop subsidizing Salafist militias in Syria” if they joined the Security Council: “Saudi Arabia doesn’t want to reign [the radical rebels] in.”

Indeed, the Saudis always have gone their own way with little concern for U.S. interests.  Saudi security analyst Mustafa Alani told the Wall Street Journal:  “We are learning from our enemies now how to treat the United States.”  Actually, they pioneered that sort of treatment.

Riyadh was one of the few governments, joined by another American “ally,” Pakistan, to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.  The royals made little effort to curb funding for al-Qaeda until the latter was foolish enough to challenge the House of Saud—for being corrupt, libertine hypocrites.  Only then did Riyadh act ruthlessly to dispatch terrorists who were America’s enemies as well.  For all the sweet nothings U.S. officials have whispered in the ears of leading Saudis, Riyadh always has been a leading “frenemy” of America.

Almost alone, the U.S. military-industrial complex has benefited from the bilateral relationship, but subsidizing munitions makers shouldn’t be the purpose of American foreign policy.  If the only way to get Riyadh to buy U.S. weapons is to encourage tyranny and start wars, Washington should say no thanks.