Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and de-facto leader Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) has given an interview in the New York Times, in which he compared Iran’s spiritual and supreme leader Grand Ayatollah, Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei to former Austro-German fascist leader Adolf Hitler.
MBS told the New York Times,
“(Iran’s) supreme leader is the new Hitler of the Middle East. But we’ve learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East”.
This statement is of course not only a total lie, but a gravely insulting one. No attempts to contextualise this inane and disgusting remark could ever mitigate the slander against the peace loving Iranian people and its globally respected leader.
What is important however, is to contextualise the crude remarks in terms of Muhammad bin Salman’s intended audience, the readers of the New York Times.
The New York Times and its readers who share the general worldview of its editors are deeply anti-Iranian. The almost uniformly pro-Zionist mainstream media outlets in the United States, including the New York Times, tend to parrot Israeli authored anti-Iranian rhetoric as robustly as do mainstream US political leaders.
While the US deep state is both pro-Zionist, pro-Saudi and anti-Iranian, the ordinary MSM reader/viewer in the US has generally more agnostic views on Saudi Arabia. Because Saudi is a Wahhabi society, there is a tendency among many American liberals to refrain from supporting the Saudi regime as much as the politicians they vote for do–people like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Because of this, the MBS interview is clearly meant to be part of a charm offensive to win over liberals in the United States in order to complete the missing piece of the anti-Iranian, pro-Zionist, pro-Saudi triangle which shapes contemporary US policies on the Middle East.
MBS has cleverly made a statement which exploits America’s uniquely insular narrative about the Second World War. While the United States entered the war only in the last weeks of 1941 and while the Soviet Union did the vast majority of the fighting against Hitler’s fascist axis, the general public in the US tend to the think that the US uniformly won the war against Hitler on behalf of its ‘friends’ Britain and France, while the Soviet Union’s heroic contribution is rarely mentioned let alone acknowledged.
Furthermore, the US public’s view of the war has been shaped by the simplistic narrative that France and Britain, in “appeasing “Germany during the 1930s, are responsible for a naive policy which ‘heroic America’ had to later correct.
In reality, almost every European country had pacts with Germany prior to 1939, including Poland. Poland signed one of the first peace treaties with Hitler in Europe in 1934, a decision that many Poles came to regret as they suffered greatly under German occupation.
Furthermore, because of the influx of European Jews into the United States in the early 20th century, US audiences are deeply informed about the experience of European Jewry during the 1930s and 1940s, but because the Cold War followed almost immediately after the end of the Great Patriotic War (Second World War), hardly anything is known among the average American, about the Soviet experience in fighting fascism and being killed by fascists in the process. Over 27 million Soviets died during the war, although this is rarely if ever discussed in the United States outside of small academic circles.
By contrast, Israel itself is well aware of the Soviet experience in the war and consequently holds ceremonies on the 9th of May, in-line with Soviet and Russian tradition.
No such thing occurs in the United States whose public still tend to the think that it was FDR and Eisenhower who ultimately ‘defeated Hitler’ when if there are any two people one can point to as the penultimate slayers of fascist Germany, this would be Soviet leader Josef Stalin and Red Army General Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov.
MBS appears to understand what Americans are generally lacking when it comes to a complete history of the Second World War era and he has exploited this by painting Iran’s Supreme Leader as the “new Hitler” which “weak” countries try to appease but which mighty America must fight. In this sense, MBS is laying the groundwork for American liberals to accept the almost inevitable formalisation of relations between Tel Aviv and Riyadh and from the Saudi prospective, what better way than to paint Iran is an ‘aggressor’ against mutual victims Saudi Arabia and Israel, even when the reality is that Iran is the victim of both Saudi and Israeli aggression and provocations.
This shameless tactic has been used by many US politicians before, even when their proverbial ‘new Hitler’ of the day is a committed anti-fascist fighting against neo-fascists and terrorists. The most infamous example of this is when the US called Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević the ‘new Hitler’, in spite of the fact that Yugoslavia fought harder against fascist Germany than any power after the USSR and of course sheltered many would-be victims of fascism in the process.
MBS therefore has become something many Saudi rulers have only attempted to be: he has become an American politician trying to ingratiate his country to a US audience who know they hate Iran and support Israel, but are more agnostic about Saudi Arabia. MBS is trying to change that using the same rhetoric George W. Bush used to ‘change the regime’ in Iraq, in 2003.