When Britain's Prince Charles danced to Riyadh's tune this week, it was as a warm-up act to an extremely juicy deal for Europe's leading arms supplier. The House of Saud is stockpiling weapons, and its storm-stirrer-in-chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, aka Bandar Bush, remains on the loose. Every which way one looks at it, major Saudi-provoked mayhem lies ahead.
... Every each way one looks at it, expect major House of Saud-provoked mayhem ahead. Even in Tehran, they are worried about Saudi sanity - as the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei knows all there is to know about the cosmic paranoia, aging King Abdullah (89) riding into the sunset, the fierce succession war to follow, and, meanwhile, Bandar Bush's warmongering offensive.
... Which brings us back to perspicacious Charles of Arabia. He could not have failed to notice there is a direct continuum from medieval Wahhabism and one Osama bin Laden. Until recently, every leadership of every hardcore Islamist gang on the planet shared three traits: they studied in Saudi Arabia; they were financed by Saudi sources (public or private); and they reached their "maturity" in Afghanistan. Now the jihadi landscape is more diversified. So it's up to Bandar Bush to regiment the new jihadi Google generation into "Islamic Fronts".
... For the House of Saud, though, the agenda always remains the same: demonize Iran; be the dutiful errand boys of the hyperpower and lesser Western "powers"; and buy weapons in droves. No wonder Charles of Arabia happily danced to their tune; after all, these jolly old chaps are "our" gold-medal bastards.
- Pepe Escobar (Feb 21, '14)
Gulf's collaborative colonialism here to stay<<
Today's oil-producing Middle East countries are, in reality, little changed from a century ago, with colonialism merely morphing into collaboration between their fabulously wealthy rulers and former colonial masters. The result is a dearth of legitimate institutions and economies that are unsustainable and unstable.
- Hossein Askari (Feb 21, '14)
A sectarian cloak for Middle East wars<<
A perpetual religious conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran is forwarded as the Middle East's greatest source of instability. However, the clash is not driven primarily by a Sunni-Shi'ite divide or even Arab-Persian ethnic differences. The conflict is informed by two radically different models of government - each laying claim to Islamic legitimacy - and two very different visions of regional order. - Frederic Wehrey (Feb 21, '14)