FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Osama Phones Home

Osama bin Laden has an awful lot of friends in Saudi Arabia. In the mosque, among the disenchanted youth, among the security forces, even–and this is what the West declines to discuss–within the royal family.

Saudi ambassadors routinely dismiss these facts as “unfounded”, but Sunday’s attack in the capital, Riyadh, is part of a growing insurrection against Bin Laden’s enemies in the House of Saud.

Whether or not the bombers were Saudi security force members–they were certainly wearing Saudi military uniforms–the Riyadh Government’s own “war on terror” is now provoking bombings, gun battles and killings almost every day in the kingdom.

The enemies of the House of Saud want to make the kingdom ungovernable–just as America’s enemies in Iraq want to make its occupation ineffective. Iraqis are still the principal victims of the bombings in Baghdad, just as Saudis were the principal victims on Sunday.

Clearly, after years of procrastination, the Saudi authorities are passing on some of their own intelligence to the US. For once, the latest warning from Washington–that al Qaeda’s next attack was moving from the “theoretical” to the “operational” stage was spot on the mark.

But the Saudi royal family–that part still desperate for US assistance–provided plenty of reasons during the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq for their Arab enemies to attack them.

For although they publicly said the US would not use Saudi military facilities during the war, they allowed the Americans to direct 2700 air sorties a day from the Prince Sultan Air Base–far more damagingly, they gave secret permission for 200 US aircraft at the base to fly 700 combat missions over Iraq daily.

The Jordanians suspect the bombing of their embassy in Baghdad was retaliation for a secret military operation in which 26 US F/A-18 fighter bombers flew missions from a Jordanian air base to bomb Iraqi air force facilities possibly able to fire missiles at Israel.

So, Crown Prince Abdullah, the effective ruler of Saudi Arabia, must be feeling some frightening winds blowing across the Saudi desert. For Bin Laden’s aim to destroy the royal family is shared by the American right wing.

When Laurent Murawiec, friend of the then US defence policy board chairman Richard Perle, gave his odd but damning assessment of Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the US and the “Kernel of Evil”, he might have been Bin Laden spokesman.

Murawiec, who works with the Rand corporation and has been an executive editor of Executive Intelligence Revue presented a slide show to the Pentagon last year with titles that included “taking ‘Saudi’ out of Arabia”.

He claimed that since 1745, 58 per cent of all Saudi rulers had met a violent demise, that other Arabs consider Saudis “lazy, overbearing, dishonest, corrupt” and that they are “active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheer leader.”

A suspicion persists in Washington that the Saudi royal family is still trying to compromise with the country’s religious hierarchy and its al Qaeda enemies. And Bin Laden’s messages are still laced with venom for the House of Saud. Indeed, his original aim is to do what Murawiec demanded: to take the “Saudi” out of Arabia.

Could the Americans sit back and watch al Qaeda take over the nation’s oil wells? There are those in the House of Saud who fear that now the US is in Iraq, it can–in the event of a revolution–just seize the oil fields in northern Saudi Arabia, leaving Riyadh and other cities to whichever Arabian ruler takes control.

ROBERT FISK is a reporter for The Independent and author of Pity the Nation. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch’s hot new book, The Politics of Anti-Semitism.

 

More articles by:

Robert Fisk writes for the Independent, where this column originally appeared. 

August 16, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
“Don’t Be Stupid, Be a Smarty”: Why Anti-Authoritarian Doctors Are So Rare
W. T. Whitney
New Facebook Alliance Endangers Access to News about Latin America
Sam Husseini
The Trump-Media Logrolling
Ramzy Baroud
Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break the Siege
Larry Atkins
Why Parkland Students, Not Trump, Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize
William Hartung
Donald Trump, Gunrunner for Hire
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Morality Tales in US Public Life?
Yves Engler
Will Trudeau Stand Up to Mohammad bin Salman?
Vijay Prashad
Samir Amin: Death of a Marxist
Binoy Kampmark
Boris Johnson and the Exploding Burka
Eric Toussaint
Nicaragua: The Evolution of the Government of President Daniel Ortega Since 2007 
Adolf Alzuphar
Days of Sagebrush, Nights of Jasmine in LA
Robert J. Burrowes
A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival
August 15, 2018
Jason Hirthler
Russiagate and the Men with Glass Eyes
Paul Street
Omarosa’s Book Tour vs. Forty More Murdered Yemeni Children
Charles Pierson
Is Bankruptcy in Your Future?
George Ochenski
The Absolute Futility of ‘Global Dominance’ in the 21st Century
Gary Olson
Are We Governed by Secondary Psychopaths
Fred Guerin
On News, Fake News and Donald Trump
Arshad Khan
A Rip Van Winkle President Sleeps as Proof of Man’s Hand in Climate Change Multiplies and Disasters Strike
P. Sainath
The Unsung Heroism of Hausabai
Georgina Downs
Landmark Glyphosate Cancer Ruling Sets a Precedent for All Those Affected by Crop Poisons
Rev. William Alberts
United We Kneel, Divided We Stand
Chris Gilbert
How to Reactivate Chavismo
Kim C. Domenico
A Coffeehouse Hallucination: The Anti-American Dream Dream
August 14, 2018
Daniel Falcone
On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky
Karl Grossman
Turning Space Into a War Zone
Jonah Raskin
“Fuck Wine Grapes, Fuck Wines”: the Coming Napafication of the World
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Bites Big Business
Alberto Zuppi - Cesar Chelala
Argentina at a Crossroads
Chris Wright
On “Bullshit Jobs”
Rosita A. Sweetman
Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland
Binoy Kampmark
Authoritarian Revocations: Australia, Terrorism and Citizenship
Sara Johnson
The Incredible Benefits of Sagebrush and Juniper in the West
Martin Billheimer
White & Red Aunts, Capital Gains and Anarchy
Walter Clemens
Enough Already! Donald J. Trump Resignation Speech
August 13, 2018
Michael Colby
Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation
John Davis
California: Waging War on Wildfire
Alex Strauss
Chasing Shadows: Socialism Won’t Go Away Because It is Capitalism’s Antithesis 
Kathy Kelly
U.S. is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
Fran Shor
The Distemper of White Spite
Chad Hanson
We Know How to Protect Homes From Wildfires. Logging Isn’t the Way to Do It
Faisal Khan
Nawaz Sharif: Has Pakistan’s Houdini Finally Met his End?
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Versus Journalism: the Travails of Fourth Estate
Wim Laven
Honestly Looking at Family Values
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail