Al Qaeda’s Next Target After Syria is Bahrain – Then Saudi Arabia
When Bush went to Saudi Arabia and promised protection from Saddam’s forces prior to Operation Desert Storm, the House of Saud accepted.
Osama bin Laden told the Saudi king not to accept the US offer and warned the US was merely using an invasion by Iraq as a pretext for occupation of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi king, seeing all the US weapons and machines thought he could count on the US to help him maintain his throne against all opposition, of which Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda forces surely qualified.
After the US waged war during Operation Desert Storm while still leaving Saddam in power, and then using Desert Storm as a ruse to occupy Saudi Arabia and Iraq, bin Laden became enraged, especially after his offer to secure Saudi Arabia was rebuffed and he was dismissed by the Saudi king. Bin Laden assured the Saudi Royal Family that he and his forces could defeat any threat by Saddam and pointed to their success against the Soviet invaders in Afghanistan. King Fahd refused this proposal and told bin Laden that his services were not needed. Upon being told this, bin Laden took his Saudi jihadists with him who had already fought the Russians in Afghanistan and began building his organization. After the US occupation of Saudi Arabia, bin Laden decided to attack the US and the seeds for 9/11 were sown.
The US government’s occupation of the Middle East and US’s desire to engage in acts of war against Iraq by carrying out a decade long embargo that killed 500,000 Iraqi children due to their inability to get basic medicines like antibiotics led to jihadi training camps in the Kurdish north of Iraq where ironically these militants were protected from Saddam by a US no-fly zone. Then camps opened in Afghanistan and in tribal regions of Pakistan.
During this time Saddam, even being a Sunni himself, accurately recognized the al Qaeda threat to his dictatorship and promised to kill every al Qaeda operative he could get his hands on. He was viewed as a great enemy of Osama bin Laden and his Baathist party was viewed as an apostate government worthy of mass execution.
The genius in Osama bin Laden’s attack on the US was in getting the US to believe that it had been handed the gift of a false pretext for war against Saddam. Many were surprised that an attack by an enemy of Saddam’s would be used as a pretext to invading Iraq. Not only was bin Laden Saddam’s enemy, but Iraq was a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. The US was excited about the pretext bin Laden had given it for war with Iraq and felt that this was merely a tactical blunder by bin Laden that the US could exploit. But, bin Laden’s plan against the US was strategic, not tactical.
The US reasoned that with bin Laden being a Sunni, he would never have given the US the pretext to overthrow Saddam and allow the US to hand over Iraq to Shiites if he had understood the ability of the US to establish a Shiite government. The US was also supremely confident it could buy off enough Iraqi politicians and ensure enough instability to maintain a permanent presence in Iraq. Instead, Iran gained immeasurably in influence as most of the Shiite government for Iraq had been sheltered in Iran during Saddam’s rule. These Shiites were closely connected to Iran, had received money from Iran both for themselves and for the Iraqi government and the nation as a whole. Iran used money to buy the implementation of Iranian foreign policy. Their foreign policy objectives were to get the US out of Iraq and ensure a government in Iraq that would not allow the US to use Iraq as a base of operations against Iran. In this the Iranians were successful.
Not only did Iran get the Iraqis to throw the US out of Iraq, but it then persuaded the Iraqis to keep in place all oil contracts that had been negotiated with the EU under Saddam to remain in effect thereby effectively barring the US oil companies from gaining any Iraqi oil deals after the US spent a trillion dollars attacking, invading and occupying Iraq.
The Saudis now had a problem of what to do to with all the al Qaeda fighters Iraq had expelled. They fought in Libya and demonstrated they could engage in sustained low-intensity warfare until Gadaffi ran out of money and his forces suffered sufficient attrition by NATO air strikes, but the House of Saud is under constant pressure to try to play off these militants that clearly present a danger to the corrupt Saudi monarchy and its expanding list of relatives who all live off of oil revenue to the exclusion of the great majority of Saudi subjects.
What Americans don’t know is that the House of Saud has two armed forces, one is under-equipped and manned by the general Saudi population and led by the Saudi Royal Family, the other is one made up of direct descendants to the House of Saud, is well-armed and trained, and is led by American retired generals who serve as military advisors and the command and control element for the Saudi army.
So, now we have the House of Saud sitting in a sea of oil while it has given matches to its al Qaeda militants hoping it can pacify forces that are growing more and more powerful, demanding and independent. These forces will eventually assert their will and have already questioned the Saudi monarchy’s legitimacy and adherence to radical Islam. The Saud’s have been able to keep these forces at bay by running a welfare state that distributes oil wealth and is brutally authoritarian and oppressive while ensuring its militants are being used as an expeditionary force that receives ample sustainment from petroldollar Saudis hold from US debt. While the US may have killed bin Laden, it is assured the US has not heard the last of this al Qaeda organization the US claims to have crushed as its strength can now be seen in Syria.
During the US’s Global War on Terror its government had told its citizens that the main objective was to prevent a Middle East caliphate from being established, but now the US has handed Libya and now Syria to al Qaeda. This is the base of operations from which al Qaeda can be sustained. It would now be impossible for the US to oppose the jihadi fighters in Libya or Syria and the US has now made its deal with forces it only now marginally influences via its Saudi benefactor that supports its petroldollar recycling schemes. Eventually the House of Said will lose its influence with al Qaeda as Libya and Syria become their new support base and base of operation. When this happens, al Qaeda will directly challenge Bahrain and will draw Saudi Arabia into confrontation with it. It should be noted that the Sunni sect is seen to loathe the form of Islam whereby status is bestowed by virtue of bloodline. The Sunni sect demands that reverence be earned through deed. The House of Saud has attempted to get Saudis to buy into the Christian concept of the Divine Right of Kings, albeit with an Islamic twist. This doctrine is antithetical to Sunni Islam and will be challenged by the Sunni militants who will view themselves as the rightful leaders of Islam after having won these jihadi battles across the Middle East.
Then, all the plans of the US and Israeli Zionists, and the rule of monarchies established across Sunni Islam will be thwarted and the monarchies will be targeted for dissolution. No amount of US power will stop this tide and we will see the true rise of Islam, and I don’t mean the corrupted Saudi version of it. Then, the monarchies occupying Islam will vanish from the pages of history and the US will be at the mercy of Islam. At this point Pakistan will fall and Islam will have a nuclear arsenal. Once the Middle East is under Islamic control, then nuclear weapons will proliferate to challenge US and Israeli domination. Then we will see if the US wants to engage in nuclear standoffs with radical Islam in the way it engaged in standoffs with the former Soviet Union. At this point Iranian Shiites will not only want, but also need nuclear weapons.
This chaos is as sure to come as the rising sun or the collapse of the US economy. Our elites will then collude with the Sunni caliphate just as they had colluded with the Saudis before. Then, the US will have to decide if it is going to continue to cater to Israeli interests or that of the Sunnis who will then have a large conventional military and nuclear forces at their disposal. At that point Israel will face the same Sunni fighters Syria now faces and it will no longer have unlimited US support. If one thinks Sunni Islam will accept second fiddle to Israeli interests, one would be a fool. It is assured the US will eventually go with the Sunnis as it will be unable to stem the tide of militant Islam it had unwisely unleashed and thought it could control. Control is an illusionary thing that is being confused with the fact that two groups currently have the same short-term interests. What the US needs to consider is that Sunni long-term interests are incompatible with theirs and the long-term will eventually become the present. Then, all of Sunni Islam will be able to stand as one against US and Israeli interests and the US will be forced to begin catering to Shiites as they then try to balance Sunni power.
As these times come to pass everyone will realize it would have been better to not have meddled by destabilizing governments, but by then hindsight will be 20/20 and the course of history will have already been set. Then, we will listen to the next crop of corrupt politicians try to lead us into battle as they profit from war. Finally, history will realize that Ahmadinejad was a moderate but miss the days when they were able to brand him as a radical. If the US thinks Ahmadinejad is a radical, they haven’t seen radicalism until they have seen al Qaeda control a couple of countries.
May you live in interesting times.
Joseph Zrnchik, a retired US Army officer and military analyst, is a classical liberal, advocate of international law and an adherent to Austrian economic theory. He has written a book "Assange and Government in a Wikileaks World" along with hundreds of articles and essays. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.