Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
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. 

October 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Middle East, Not Russia, Will Prove Trump’s Downfall
Ipek S. Burnett
The Assault on The New Colossus: Trump’s Threat to Close the U.S.-Mexican Border
Mary Troy Johnston
The War on Terror is the Reign of Terror
Maximilian Werner
The Rhetoric and Reality of Death by Grizzly
David Macaray
Teamsters, Hells Angels, and Self-Determination
Jeffrey Sommers
“No People, Big Problem”: Democracy and Its Discontents In Latvia
Dean Baker
Looking for the Next Crisis: the Not Very Scary World of CLOs
Binoy Kampmark
Leaking for Change: ASIO, Jakarta, and Australia’s Jerusalem Problem
Chris Wright
The Necessity of “Lesser-Evil” Voting
Muhammad Othman
Daunting Challenge for Activists: The Cook Customer “Connection”
Don Fitz
A Debate for Auditor: What the Papers Wouldn’t Say
October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Suyapa Portillo Villeda
An Illegitimate, US-Backed Regime is Fueling the Honduran Refugee Crisis
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail