2011 November 24 Thursday
Saudis Support Syria Assad Overthrow As Anti-Iran Move

The more-assertive Saudi role has been clear in its open support for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is Iranís crucial Arab ally. The Saudis were decisive backers of last weekendís Arab League decision to suspend Syriaís membership (though they also supported the organizationís waffling decision Wednesday to send another mediation team to Damascus).

What I find curious here about the Saudi ruling family:

  • The Saudis are so fearful of Iran that they want to undermine Iran's ally Syria.
  • The Saudis are not worried that a popular uprising that overthrows Syria will trigger a similar uprising in Saudi Arabia.
  • The Saudis do not see the US as sufficient or reliable enough to keep them in power. Oddly, American promotion of democracy makes the Saudis see the as a threat even as the Saudis are willing to support the overthrow of Assad's regime.
  • They see their oil revenue stretching far enough into the future to enable to them to scale up military spending and use financial aid in the billions of dollars per years increased exertion of influence in the Middle East. (and I'm skeptical their current level of oil production can be maintained for decades)
  • Why do they think they should almost double the size of their army? Who would invade them? Or is it meant as a tool of domestic control? Or other?
  • Do they seriously count on Pakistan's nukes to deter Iran from blackmailing them? Or what?

One wonders what the Saudis see as the odds of a popular revolt in Iran. Do the Saudis do anything to promote internal opposition to the Iranian government?

What I also wonder: Are the Saudis trying to use their influence to stoke up support in Washington DC for a US military strike against Iran? Are they allying with pro-Israel interests in DC toward this end?

More generally: What's a good way to get a measure of trends in influence-buying in DC and also internationally? Which governments are most buyable for foreign policy purposes by domestic and foreign influence buyers?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 November 24 11:10 AM  MidEast Saudi Arabia

Wolf-Dog said at November 24, 2011 2:14 PM:

The oil-rich Eastern part of Saudi Arabia has a Shiite majority even though the Shiites are a minority in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has every reason to be worried. However, if Assad is overthrown, then the Sunni Islamists will gain power in Syria, similar to the situation in Egypt. Also that many Islamic extremists originated from Saudi Arabia. Classical case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Thus after 2020, when the extremist nations get hundreds of nukes, they will not need missiles, they will be able to smuggle the components peace by peace to Europe and assemble their nukes in safe houses. Then their ultimatum will be simple: convert or evaporate. Pakistan already has a big nuclear industry that can manufacture enough fissile material for hundreds of nukes. 2020 might be the apocalyptic number, not 2012.

The only salvation is to develop alternatives to oil. Surely half the money we lost in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been enough.

Sakhawat Abdi said at November 24, 2011 11:20 PM:

If Saudi Arabia supports western countries and US to overthrow the government of Iran it means that it is the ally of Israel.In this case Saudi Arabia will loose the support of many Muslim countries and the Arab nation. After that there will begin an Arab Autumn.There will be opposition and also some created terrorist groups by the help of western allies. The military forces of Saudi Arabia will crackdown them and they will kill the civilian as well. The Human Right will condemn the killing and Ban Ki-moon will say "I AM SHOKKKKED". The White House will condemn the killing of civilian. After that the variable good friend US will find another more favourite dictator to replace the old friend-King. As a result there not only will be the end of Saudi Kingdom but the end of the name of Saudi Arabia from the map.

Wolf-Dog said at November 25, 2011 6:07 AM:

Saudi Royal Family is not a friend of Israel, but in order to stay in power and keep the oil profits to itself, it is opposed to Iran, which thinks that the Saudi oil fields belong to Persians. (Thousands of years ago Persians did control the regions of Saudi Arabia and Iraq where the oil fields are currently located.) I don't think Saudi Arabia can overthrow the Iranian government, but it will do everything possible to prevent Iran from gaining control of the Saudi oil fields, and "everything" includes buying nukes from Pakistan to discourage Iran from starting a revolution in the oil-rich regions of Saudi Arabia. Israel is not involved in this oil war. If the price of oil goes to $200 per barrel and stays there, Europe is finished. The US still has a lot of oil, and new oil has been discovered in the US, but Europe will be devastated.

Lou Pagnucco said at November 25, 2011 11:36 AM:

Aren't the Saudis just a diversionary prop?

They decided to take out Syria five years ago.

Listen to ex-General Wesley Clark clearly state that in a very brief video:

"4 Star US General Talks The Truth About Iraq Invasion & Future Middle East Conflicts"

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