« The West and Ukraine − and the wars within (FB Ali) | Main | Hardly a Whimper of Resistance by Richard Sale »

14 May 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Norbert M Salamon

And Saudi Arabia has invited the Iranian FM at the FM's convenience, LOL


Well, to paraphrase Bertold Brecht, if the people are not for democracy, they should be gotten rid of.


Interesting article in The National, which is remarkable in what it only hints at:

"Saudi’s Prince Bandar did not fail Syria: the West lost its nerve
There is truth in the suggestion that Saudi’s policy, and that of Qatar and Turkey, was opportunistic and uncoordinated. But it was in the beginning a genuine attempt to help the rebels and save Syria from destruction.

Again and again critics of any interventionist strategy have criticised the form of the strategy, without offering anything better, anything that would not consign Syrians to be slaughtered and their country ravaged while the representatives of the Assad regime talk in circles in the hotels of Geneva.

It is reasonable to criticise the policy that Prince Bandar spearheaded as wrong or right for a different era or another war. But to imagine that he, or Saudi Arabia, alone are responsible for the sectarian nature of the conflict today is to forget that theirs was meant to be only part of a strategy."

... which, quite obviously, from the onset had as a pillar a US/allied bombing campaign as was the case in Libya.


William Fitzgerald


Your post begs the question, how does helping the rebels save Syria from destruction? The said rebels are on the path of destroying Syria in order to change it into something that most Syrians don't want, as far as I can tell.



The proponents of helping the rebels will certainly say that helping the rebels does save Syria from destruction. But I'm probably with you thinking that they are wrong.


Off topic because it concerns the neighbouring country, Israel - but I couldn't believe my eyes when I read it in the Jerusalem Post:

"US denies reported 'anti-Israel tirade' by top Mideast peace envoy"


"According to the report, which appeared Friday in The Washington Free Beacon, Indyk was heard unleashing a “nasty” tirade against Israel at a Washington bar during a night out with staff members.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that Indyk made the remarks at the bar of a Ritz Carlton hotel shortly after delivering an address to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy."

His tone was nasty? And better still, Indyk - anti-Israel? Another self-hating Jew? Perhaps even anti-semitic?

They are speaking of Martin Indyk, also called 'Israel's lawyer', a self described Zionist, who iirc calls the Israelis 'his people', the founder of JINSA, the 'think tank' that is supposed to give AIPACS overt partisanship the veneer of academic respectability. Indyk, who apparently has worked for Likud prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, and could for all practical purposes be Israeli, hadn't he been granted an express US citizenship ten days before he started working for Clinton. Indyk's security clearance was once revoked (and must now have been reinstated) while he was ambassador to Israel, because he raised CI concerns.




In short: Indyk is a pro-Israeli partisan if there ever was one. I couldn't think up an unlikelier candidate for an 'anti Israeli tirade'.

So, apparently Indyk said nasty things like: The Israelis didn't want a peace deal with the Pals, deliberately wrecked the talks by announcing another few hundred settlements, and now blame the US for being angry about it and the Palestinans for still not having surrendered and walked out to Jordan.

Because it can't have been anything that Bibi did. That's why, obviously, it was that bad, nasty man Indyk unjustifiably blaming Israel even though everybody should finally have understood that Israel is angelic and everybody else is demonic, and that that's all there is to know about the Middle East.

This story indicates two things to me:
(a) the disconnect of Israeli self perception and reality,
(b) the increasing ridiculousness of their Hasbara,
(c) what jackasses Bibi and his crew must have been to piss that guy off, and
(d) that even being Israel's partisan lawyer isn't enough to satisfy Bibi.


Correction, Indyk, founded WINEP, not JINSA.


"There is truth in the suggestion that Saudi’s policy, and that of Qatar and Turkey, was opportunistic and uncoordinated."

No, not at all. It is a long-term policy, parallel to American interests. Saudis and Gulfis have been supporting al-Qa'ida in Mesopotamia since early in the American occupation of Iraq, partly to defend the Sunni community and partly to get at the Shi'a. The policy in Syria is an outgrowth; the support was happening long before the start in Syria.

I omit the definite article from "Saudis and Gulfis" deliberately, because in principle the support is probably coming from the private funds of Saudis and Gulfis, rather than the state. Though you can ask the question whether the private wealth of Saudi or Gulfi princes is really different from that of the state. It is the ancient tradition that wealthy private individuals fund the defence of Islam, and I should think they at least started from there. The event that sticks in my mind is that in the 9th century, the mother of the the Caliph al-Mutawakkil funded a house of jihadis in Tarsus (today in Turkey), as a charitable act, in order to fight the Byzantines. But personal funding by the elite was common in medieval times.

It may be that under Bandar bin Sultan things evolved to become state policy and funding, and it is that which has now failed.

It is hard to know, as the real sources of funding will never be revealed. The visceral hatred of Saudi and Gulfi princes for the Shi'a is very clear. How can you expect otherwise, when in Bahrain and Saudi, the Shi'a are sitting on the oil-fields, the source of wealth?



"It is a long-term policy, parallel to American interests." Rubbish. It IS a long term policy but it is not in any way parallel to American interests even if the idiot neocons like it. Your self satisfied French academic ignorance of the United States is showing. pl

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad