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4 reasons why Saudi Arabia may cease to exist

Saudi Arabia’s wealth and arrogance are build on a oil-black house of cards.

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Saudi Arabia considers itself as the leading nation of the Arab world and at times the entire Muslim world. Most Arabs and most Muslims do not agree. Saudi Arabia is indeed a country that many Arabs hate and many Muslims have grown to reject because of the extreme and intolerant religion called Wahhabism which is practised in the Kingdom. Wahhabism bares little resembles to the peaceful, brotherly religion that is mainstream Islam.

In spite of its wealth, Saudi Arabia might not be around forever. Here’s why

1. Oil Dependency 

Oil prices continue their downward spiral. Just days ago Brent Crude prices hit their lowest level since OPEC agreed to cut production in March of 2017.

Even then, the cut benefited Iraq and Iran more than Saudi. With non-OPEC states like Russia becoming world energy producers and the United States moving further towards regaining energy independence, oil is unlikely to have another price boom.

Even at this early stage, Saudi society has felt the economic pinch. Last year Saudi Arabia contemplated introducing a first ever income tax on citizens. The outcry forced Riyadh to step back but new taxation on foreigners was introduced.

Saudi Arabia’s wealthy economy is almost entirely dependent on oil sales. Without oil, the otherwise resource poor country with an extremely regressive education system has nothing to offer the world and consequently nothing to offer its own people. The desert Kingdom is furthermore a cultural wasteland.

Ever since the oil price boom of 1973, Saudi Arabia has relied on effectively buying off its wealthy classes in order to create the veneer of stability.  Beneath the illusion of stability there are people who could easily grow rapidly discontented if the black gold of the desert kingdom were to dry up.

When the oil loses its value, Saudi Arabia loses its economy. It would become Yemen with much more debt.

2. Growing Isolation in the Arab World 

Although deeply compromised, Iraq is dominated politically by Iran leading Shi’a Arabs. Saudi Arabia’s funding of the ISIS and al-Qaeda militants that have ravaged Iraq has made Saudi increasingly hated in Iraq. This is especially the case in the southern Shi’a provinces of Iraq in places like Basra.

READ MORE: Wahhabi terrorism: the Saudi route to conquest

Syria’s secular Republic has come under direct attack by the same Saudi funded militants that ravaged much of Iraq and as a result, the vast majority of Syrians loathe the Saudi regime.

Consider Saudi Arabia’s proxy war in Yemen. No other Arab country has come to Saudi’s aid. It is only non-Arab states like Britain and America who are involved on Saudi Arabia’s side. The contempt with which Saudi Arabia has treated its follow Arabs is not unnoticed even in countries like Jordan and Egypt. If a wider war were to break out against Iran, for example and Saudi Arabia, even fellow Sunni Arab states would likely not get involved.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia threatens war on Iran. Iran offers strong response

3. Iran would destroy Saudi Arabia In A War 

Saudi Arabia’s recent threats against Iran are not only foolish but they border on the insane. Iran’s military is vastly superior to that of Saudi Arabia.

Iran has a fully professional large, highly trained, loyal and increasingly well armed fighting force. Saudi Arabia has an expensively armed force of pilots who can barely fly their  American air craft and Saudi soldiers are often the butt of jokes throughout the Arab world for good reason. They are essentially regional mercenaries, tin-pot generals and the odd non-Arab soldier of fortune. Likewise, Saudi Arabia’s military  has almost no real combat experiences while many of Iran’s military top brass were battle hardened in the Iran-Iraq war. Younger Iranian soldiers have gained valuable experience fighting terrorism in Syria.

Were America to get involved in a war between Saudi Arabia and, Iran it would likely spiral into a world-war, and America doesn’t seem to have the stomach for this. America’s backing off of threats against North Korea is one such example of America’s bark being increasingly bigger than its bite.

Russia on the other hand would not likely abandon Iran which is becoming an increasingly closer partner to Russia. Russia would continue to arm and offer support to Iran during any war against Saudi Arabia.

Some suggest that in a Saudi war with Iran, Erdogan’s Turkey would join up with the extremist Sunnis in Saudi. Again this is unlikely. Erdogan has a great deal on his plate and he isn’t handling it very well. Using Turkish forces to bolster jihdaists in parts of Syria is a much smaller effort than what would be required to fight a war with Iran.

Because Turkey has a conscripted army, such a war would be extremely unpopular. Erdgoan would likely be overthrown if he attempted to force Turkish conscripts to fight Iran for the sake of a distant Arab kingdom.

If the Saudis are stupid enough to provoke Iran, The Islamic Republic would likely obliterate the Whhabi Kingdom and many Arabs would quietly cheer, some would openly celebrate. If such an event resulted in the overthrow of the Turkish regime, many Turks would also be quite happy.

It is wise to remember too that Saudi Arabia is not a state known to history. There is no ancient or even modern basis for a Saudi state.

The house of al-Saud was a small desert tribe who only attained statehood because in the 1920s Britain switched allegiances from its former Hashemite allies in the Kingdom of Hejaz to the house of Saud who with British assistance took over much of the Arabian peninsula and formed Saudi Arabia in 1932.

Iran by contrast is one of the most ancient countries and civilisations in the world. The Saudis do not know what they are up against neither historically, culturally nor militarily.

READ MORE: 5 ways the Middle East has been radically changed since 1990

4. Silent Internal Sectarian Problems 

Although hardly reported in the west, Saudi Arabia is home to around 3 million Shia’s Muslims. They face high levels of discrimination in housing, education and employment in addition to severe religious persecution.

The treatment of Saudi’s Shi’a minority is simply appalling. It is a human rights disaster that the world shuts up about because the Saudi money is doing much of the proverbial talking.

Last year, Saudi Arabia executed a revered Shi’a cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. The move caused great discord throughout the Islamic world.

Instances such as this are not as isolated as many pretend to believe. If Saudi Arabia continues to lose money and power, an internal revolution in one of the most repressive and intolerant states in the world is a real possibility.

It is wise to remember that the so called Ottoman period of decline lasted for centuries. Powerful states rarely fall overnight, but even so, the Ottoman Empire was a far different king of state than Saudi Arabia and frankly the events of the 21st century move even quicker than those in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

A young child  born today may live to see the day when Saudi Arabia is on the map only in antique markets.

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It’s Back to the Iran-Contra Days Under Trump

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Wayne Madsen, via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Showing that he is adopting the neoconservative playbook every day he remains in office, Donald Trump handed the neocons a major win when he appointed Iran-contra scandal felon Elliott Abrams as his special envoy on Venezuela. Abrams pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information on the secret sale of US weapons for cash to help illegally supply weapons to the Nicaraguan right-wing contras, who were battling against the government of President Daniel Ortega. Abrams would have headed to a federal prison, but President George H. W. Bush, an unindicted co-conspirator in the scandal, issued pardons to Abrams and his five fellow conspirators – former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and former Central Intelligence Agency officials Alan Fiers, Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, and Clair George – on Christmas Eve 1991, during the final weeks of Bush’s lame duck administration.

Abrams escaped being charged with more serious crimes by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh because he cut a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors. Trump, who has made no secret of his disdain for cooperating federal witnesses, would have normally called Abrams a “rat,” a gangster term meaning informant. The man who helped engineer the pardons for Abrams and his five convicted friends was none other than Bush’s Attorney General, William Barr, who has just been sworn in as Trump’s Attorney General. Trump, who is always decrying the presence of the “deep state” that thwarts his very move, has become the chief guardian of that entity.

During a recent hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, newly-minted congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, reminded her colleagues and the world about the sordid background of Abrams.

Omar zeroed in on Abrams’s criminal history:

“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”

Abrams, as is the nature of neocons, refused to respond to Omar and cited her comments as “personal attacks.”

Abrams’s and his fellow criminals’ use of mercenaries and “death squads” to conduct secret wars in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala during the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s has made a re-entrance under Trump. Abrams was brought on board by neocons like National Security Adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to oversee a US military build-up in Colombia, said to be 5000 US troops, to support Venezuelan paramilitary and military efforts to topple President Nicolas Maduro. Abrams and Bolton are also believed to have retained the services of another unindicted conspirator in the Iran-contra affair, Michael Ledeen, a colleague of the disgraced and convicted former Trump National Security Adviser, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Ledeen and Flynn co-authored a book titled, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies.” The book contains nothing more than the standard neocon tripe one might expect from the likes of Ledeen.

An official investigation of the Iran-contra scandal by the late Republican Senator John Tower of Texas concluded that Abrams’s and Ledeen’s friend, Iranian-Jewish middleman Manucher Ghorbanifar, a long-time Mossad asset and well-known prevaricator, was extremely instrumental in establishing the back-channel arms deals with Iran. Ghorbanifar has long been on the CIA “burn list” as an untrustworthy charlatan, along with others in the Middle East of similar sketchy credentials, including the Iraq’s Ahmad Chalabi, Syria’s Farid “Frank” Ghadry, and Lebanon’s Samir “Sami” Geagea. These individuals, however, were warmly embraced by neocons like Abrams and his associates.

Abrams, whose links with Israeli intelligence has always been a point of consternation with US counter-intelligence officials, is part of an old cabal of right-wing anti-Soviet Democrats who coalesced around Senator Henry Jackson in the 1970s. Along with Abrams, this group of war hawks included Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Abram Shulsky, and Paul Wolfowitz. Later, this group would have its fingerprints on major US foreign policy debacles, ranging from Nicaragua and Grenada to Lebanon, Iraq, and Libya. Later, in December 2000, these neocons managed to convince president-elect George W. Bush of the need to “democratize” the Middle East. That policy would later bring not democracy but disaster to the Arab Middle East and North Africa.

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela. They have old scores to settle with Nicaraguan President Ortega. The initiation of “regime change” operations in Nicaragua, supported by the CIA and the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, have been ongoing for more than a year.

The Trump administration has already achieved a regime change victory of sorts in El Salvador. Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, who was expelled from the formerly-ruling left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) party and joined the right-wing GANA party, was recently elected president of El Salvador. Bukele has quickly re-aligned his country’s policies with those of the Trump administration. Bukele has referred to President Maduro of Venezuela as a “dictator.” He has also criticized the former FMLN government’s recognition of China and severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan. It will be interesting to see how a sycophant like Bukele will politically survive as Trump continues to call hapless asylum-seeking migrants from his country, who seek residency in the United States, “rapists, gang monsters, murderers, and drug smugglers.”

Another country heading for a US-installed “banana republic” dictator is Haiti. President Jovenal Moise has seen rioting in the streets of Port-au-Prince as the US State Department removed all “non-essential” personnel from the country. Moise, whose country has received $2 billion in oil relief from Venezuela, to help offset rising fuel prices, has continued to support the Maduro government. However, at the US-run and neo-colonial artifice, the Organization of American States (OAS), Moise’s envoys have been under tremendous pressure to cut ties with Venezuela and recognize the US puppet Juan Guaido as Venezuelan president. Moise’s refusal to do so resulted in armed gangs hitting the streets of Port-au-Prince demanding Moise’s resignation. It is the same neocon “regime change” playbook being used in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

There will be similar attempts to replace pro-Maduro governments in his remaining allies in the region. These include Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Abrams was also brought in as an adviser on Middle East policy in the George W. Bush administration. The carnage of Iraq is a stark testament to his record. In 2005, it was reported that two key Bush White House officials – Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams – gave a “wink and a nod” for the assassinations by Israeli-paid operatives of three key Lebanese political figures seeking a rapprochement with Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah – Member of Parliament Elie Hobeika, former Lebanese Communist Party chief George Hawi, and former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In 2008, a United Nations panel headed by former Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare later concluded Hariri was assassinated by a “criminal network” and not by either Syrian and Lebanese intelligence or Lebanese Hezbollah as proffered by Abrams and his friends in Washington.

Representative Omar was spot on in questioning why Abrams, whose name is as disgraced as his two fellow conspirators – Oliver North and John Poindexter – whose criminal convictions were overturned on appeal, is working for the Trump administration on Venezuela. The answer is that the neocons, who can sense, like raptors, Trump’s political weakness, have filled the vacuum left by top-level vacancies in the administration.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

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Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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Labour MP split is a cheap and final ploy to derail BREXIT (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 179.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss a small group of UK Labour MPs decision to quit the party and sit as Independent MPs in the house of commons.

Their excuse for leaving Labour was directed at leader Jeremy Corbyn for presiding over an “institutionally anti-Semitic” party. The real reason they are leaving Labour is because they are staunch remain MPs and are hoping to derail Brexit.

The seven Labour MPs quitting the party to become ‘The Independent Group’, are Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey.

RT reports that Luciana Berger, the MP for Liverpool Wavertree took to the stage first, to claim that she could not stay in the party any more because it had become “institutionally anti-Semitic.”

Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham, a prominent ‘People’s Vote’ advocate appealed to all MPs, not just Labour, to join their group, as the current parties are part of the problem, not the solution.

He argued that “It is time we dumped this country’s old fashioned politics.” Umunna claimed the UK needed a political party “fit for the hear and now” and the “first step in leaving the tribal politics behind.”

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Via RT

Twitter has been rocked by the sudden departure of seven Labour MPs to form their own Independent Group, with party supporters feverishly debating whether the move is better for the party, or a wake-up call to Jeremy Corbyn.

Former shadow cabinet minister Chuka Umunna along with MPs Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey have all jumped ship in the biggest Labour Party split since 1981, when the so-called “gang of four” left to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

In a press conference, Umunna stated that the established parties “cannot be the change because they have become the problem” arguing that it is “time we dumped this country’s old-fashioned politics.”

Jewish MP Luciana Berger said she was “embarrassed and ashamed” at what the Labour Party had become and criticized her former party for becoming “sickeningly institutionally racist.”

“I am leaving behind a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation. I look forward to a future serving with colleagues who respect each other,” she added.

Reaction to the news online has been a mixture of shock and dismay, to outright derision. Some Labour supporters were quick to delight in the departures, suggesting the party will be stronger without detractors undermining it from within.

Others though said it was time for Jeremy Corbyn to take the criticism seriously.

Meanwhile, some Twitter users commented on Young Labour’s somewhat barbed response to the situation.

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