Prince Khaled bin Talal is a ‘private’ Saudi prince insofar as he belongs to the royal family and is heir to all the perks and privileges but holds no official position. Yet, he is the direct grandson of King Abdul Aziz, founder of the Kingdom. So, it becomes first-rate sophistry to overlook Talal’s outrageous remark that he would offer 1 million dollars to anyone who ‘captured’ an Israeli soldier.
Of course, there isn’t going to be any retribution for what he said - not even a rap on the knuckle. Herein lies a huge contradiction - the Saudi conundrum. Israel is America’s number 1 ally in the Middle East and Barack Obama is going to stop US funding for UNESCO simply for the crime the international community committed by electing Palestine as a member. Yet, no matter Israelis hopping mad, Obama will overlook Talal’s ‘crime’.
The grim reality is that such Talals are the main source of funding for militants who masquerade as ‘jihadis’ - be it in Afghanistan or Iraq or even in Syria. They serve a purpose for the Wahhabi establishment to distance itself from the ‘crime’ and plead helplessness. Why is Obama chary of them?
Oil is one good reason. Second, the labyrinthine US-Saudi connections over Saudi petrodollars. Saudis keep a lot of their money in the US banks. They just purchased 60 billion dollars worth US arms. (By the way, this is the same Talal, yes, the brother of the Saudi billlionaire-businessman Prince Alwaleel bin Talal.) So long as the Saudis keep generously bribing the US elites and key establishment figures through kickbacks or diamond rings or what not, Obama can’t raise a little finger against them. How soon it became ‘business-as-usual’ between the two pals after the murderous 9/11 attacks! Oh, what about all those 3000-odd American souls who perished in Ground Zero? Amen.
This is what makes the US’ ‘war on terror’ a macabre joke. The Saudis and other wealthy Arabs patronise the ‘jihadis’ who kill the Americans who still shamelessly fawn over the Saudis, while the ‘jihadi’ attacks give the US the perfect excuse to wage wars in pursuit of its geopolitical agenda in faraway lands and the resultant insecurities give the alibi to sell even more weapons to the Saudis who don’t know how to use them but are experts in the art of paying kickbacks to the American elites.
This cynical nexus may break only if the Arab Apring someday reaches Saudi Arabia, which the US establishment, of course, will do everything within its capability to prevent. The most sickening part is that by now the Saudis would have used the ‘back channel’ to assure the Israelis not to take Talal’s threat too seriously.
Posted in Politics.
– November 1, 2011