THE ROVING EYE
Fear and Loathing in the House of Saud
By Pepe Escobar
April 21, 2011
Early last week, US President Barack Obama sent a
letter to Saudi King Abdullah, delivered in person in
This happened less than a week after Pentagon head
Robert Gates spent a full 90 minutes face to face with the king.
These two moves represented the final seal of approval
of a deal struck between
before the voting of UN Security Council resolution
1973 (see Exposed
Times Online). Essentially, the Obama administration
will not say a word about how the House of Saud
conducts its ruthless repression of pro-democracy
''humanitarian'' operations. No R2P (''responsibility
to protect''). No no-fly or no-drive zones.
Progressives of the world take note
counter-revolution against the Great 2011 Arab Revolt
is now official.
Those 'pretty influential guys'
The wealthy, truculent clan posing as a perpetual
absolute monarchy that goes by the name House of Saud
wins on all fronts.
Last month's ''Day of Rage'' inside the kingdom was
ruthlessly preempted - with the (literal) threat that
protesters would have their fingers cut off.
With the price of crude reaching stratospheric levels,
and with Saudi refusal to increase production, it's a
no brainer for
dollars in pocket change to appease its subjects with
some extra 60,000 ''security'' jobs and 500,000 low-
King Abdullah also recently ''received a verbal
message'' from the emir of
Khalifa, on the thriving ''bilateral issues'' - as in
deploying their ''security'' advisers.
The House of Saud's violent reaction to the peaceful
Gulf''. But most of all it was dictated by an absolute
would reduce the king to a figurehead; a nefarious
example to the Saudi neighbors.
Yet as much as real tensions between Iranian Shi'ites
and Arab Shi'ites may persist, the Saudi reaction will
end up uniting all Shi'ites, and turning
start with. When Sunnis in
majority, the result was
destruction by the neo-cons. When the same happens in
it. (As much as there's been plenty of spinning to the
contrary, the Pentagon's Gates knew
started on Sunday night).
Last week, in a
qualified the emir of
''pretty influential guy''. He praised him as ''a big
booster, big promoter of democracy all throughout the
open mike, and CBS News was listening; so he added,
''he himself is not reforming significantly. There's no
big move towards democracy in
of the reason is that the per capita income of
$145,000 a year. That will dampen a lot of conflict.''
Translation; who cares whether these ''pretty
influential guys'' in the Gulf reform or not as long as
they remain our allies?
The Saudi war of terror
Way back in 1965, the opposition in
(by the colonial British press) of Arab nationalism
(the nightmare of assorted colonialists and also US
imperial designs). Now, it is accused (by the al-
Khalifas and House of Saud) of sectarianism.
The House of Saud has predictably terrorized the
majority-Shi'ite democracy movement in
fear, loathing and - what else - sectarianism, the
ultimate pillar of its medieval Wahhabi ideology. For
intolerant Wahhabis, Shi'ites are as heretical as
Christians. Shi'ite holy sites in
demolished under the supervision of Saudi troops.
Bahrainis via twitter are stressing Saudis are using
''Israeli tactics'', demolishing ''unauthorized'' mosques.
Once again, this may only lead to a total
radicalization of the Sunni-Shi'ite divide across the
Arab world. Everyone who followed the Bush
when al-Qaeda blew up the revered Shi'ite shrine of al-
Askari in Samarra, in 2006, that was the start of a
horrible sectarian war that killed tens of thousands of
people and sent hundreds of thousands into exile.
The House of Saud (as well as the
that ''pillar of stability'' fell, the other (Saudi)
would also be in danger. For all its bluster, the House
of Saud's actions are essentially moved by fear. In
recent years it has lost power in
consists in supporting ultra-reactionary regimes. The
people? Let them eat kebab - if that. Their last
bastion of power is the Gulf - crammed with political
midgets such as
thrust, The House of Saud could reduce all these to the
status of mere provinces.
Not yet. As the House of Saud developed its counter-
revolutionary strategy, the Saudi-Israeli alliance
morphed into a Saudi-Qatari alliance.
destabilized via the tribal factor - the Saudis had
attempted it before - but now they needed a close ally.
And that, unfortunately, explains Qatar-based al-
Jazeera's meek coverage of the repression in
It took only a few days for the House of Saud to force
the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to toe the new hard
in the Gulf; sectarianism is the way to go; our
to blame for everything. The ''Persian conspiracy'' is
the key theme being deployed by the hefty Saudi
propaganda machine especially in
Israeli hawks, not surprisingly, love it. There's
plenty of flower power - or downright lunatic -
rhetoric in the Israeli press about a ''strategic
alliance'' between Tel Aviv and
the one between the Soviet Union and the
And guess what - Obama is to blame for it. Without this
strategic alliance, according to the Israeli narrative,
the whole Gulf will fall ''victim of a nuclear
and the Obama administration won't lift a finger to
save anybody. Obama is vilified as someone who ''only
confronts and abandons allies'', while emboldening
of the Loony Tunes.
Shallow grave or bust
Trying to understand the stakes, Rupert Murdoch's Wall
Street Journal got it all backwards, blaring there's a
new Cold War between
you get when you regurgitate PR by ''Saudi officials''.
It's the House of Saud incendiary manipulation of
sectarianism which is angering Shi'ites everywhere -
not only Iranians; that may turn the Islamic Republic
into the only substantial defender of all Shi'ites
against Wahhabi medievalism.
It's the House of Saud counter-revolution against the
Great 2011 Arab Revolt - condoned by the
All this while the ''traditional security arrangement''
of Saud is not stabilizing global oil prices; by
refusing to increase production, it will let it reach
$160 a barrel-levels quite soon. And meanwhile the
White House/Pentagon keeps protecting that medieval
bunch that were the first to recognize the Taliban in
the mid-1990s, and whose billionaires finance jihadis
all across the world.
The Gulf political midgets are now in the process of
being homogenized - and kept under a leash - by House
of Saud force. Those Gulf kings and emirs may preserve
their golden thrones - for now. But expect plenty of
cultural and religious violence ahead; plenty of nasty
tribalism and sectarian wars, with no possible
political evolution and no possible development of a
modern civil society. No surprise; fear and loathing
are embedded in this reactionary House - an axis of
multiple evils in itself that should only deserve a
shallow grave in the desert sands.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan
Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble
Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues
during the surge. His latest book is Obama does
Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at email@example.com.