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Commentary on the Saudi Situation

Since 9/11, the terms of our relationship with Saudi Arabia have been defined by the Saudis, not by the U.S.

To gain their support in the ‘War on Terror,’ one of the first post-9/11 compromises America made with the Saudis was to redact the 28 pages in the 9/11 Commission Report, thus shielding and/or exonerating them from any involvement or responsibility.

A second compromise we made with our Wahabbi partners in peace was to ignore their decades-long role in the funding and support of thousands of pro-Jihad Madrassas throughout the Eastern Hemisphere.

Nor should we overlook Saudi Arabia’s ongoing support of Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood family member and Globally Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997. On July 16, 2015, King Salman of Saudi Arabia met with top Hamas leaders, including Qatar resident and political leader Khaled Meshal, thus publicly revealing his willingness to work with known Islamist terrorist organizations.

According to the Saudi royal family, the meeting reflected King Salman’s determination to rally the Arab world against Iran, as Iran becomes empowered by its “deal with Western powers to lift economic sanctions in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.”

So, as a consequence of the Iran Deal, we are now seeing a revived Saudi-Sunni-Hamas alliance

The one-sided quid pro quo arrangement between America and Saudi Arabia is remarkably similar to the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ between Turkey and Europe (and the West), to overlook the Armenian Genocide, for the sake of peace, and political and economic stability.

In fact, President Obama reinforced this point on April 19, 2016, when he stated: “A country with a modern and large economy like Saudi Arabia would not benefit from a destabilized global financial market, and neither would the United States.”

To reiterate this response, Josh Earnest, Assistant to the President and Press Secretary in the White House Office of Communications, stressed that the administration’s concerns about the pending Congressional legislation (allowing U.S. citizens to sue the Saudi government for their possible part in 9/11), were not just about Saudi Arabia.

On April 15, 2016 (‘Tax Day’), he said “The concern that we have is simply this: It could put the United States and our taxpayers and our service members and our diplomats at significant risk if other countries were to adopt a similar law,” he said.

More ominously, Mr. Earnest asserted that “The whole notion of sovereign immunity is at stake.” If we pause and explore what this revealing statement actually means, we might easily come to the conclusion that no country on earth will ever be held accountable for supporting terrorist attacks and/or regional wars, simply because one country’s terrorist is another country’s freedom fighter.

Ironically, the first reaction by the Saudis to the pending legislation and simultaneous possible release of the redacted 28 pages was to threaten the U.S. with an economic assault.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, personally informed Washington in March 2016 that “Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.”

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the administration has been aggressively lobbying against the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) bill, which is sponsored by a bipartisan group of 16 US senators who are attempting to curtail the ability of countries to invoke sovereign immunity in lawsuits accusing them of supporting terrorism.

Specifically, this effort is move designed to clear the way for U.S. citizens seek legal remedy for  Saudi Arabia’s alleged complicity in the 9/11 terror attacks.

As cited here, on Thursday, April 14, 2016, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) reintroduced JASTA, which is the third time the bill has been submitted since 2011. The Senate passed it last December, but it stalled in the House.

There is hope that the time has finally come for Congress to approve it. The latest version is co-sponsored by 14 other senators, including Al Franken (D-MN), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

Finally, the families of 9/11 victims remain infuriated by the Obama administration, which has consistently sided with the kingdom and thwarted efforts to discover the truth about the role Saudi officials may have played in the attacks 15 years ago.

“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center, and who is part of a group of victims’ family members pushing for the legislation.

At least 14 members of the House also agree with Ms. Kleinberg. On January 13, 2016, they introduced House Resolution 588, entitled Condemning and Censuring President Barack Obama, which “Censures and condemns President Barack Obama for having willfully disregarded the President’s constitutional responsibilities as Commander in Chief of the United States through his continued failed lack of foreign affairs strategy, failure to follow the advice of military and intelligence advisors, and failed national security policy.”

To conclude, President Obama landed in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, April 20, in the midst of a swirling storm of controversy and confusing, contradictory policies and allegiances. The world will be watching, and many questions will need to be answered.

First, the Saudis will want to know: Is Obama a friend of the Sunni world, or of the Shia world? “It is a concerning factor for us if America pulls back,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, an outspoken member of the Saudi royal family, a former head of intelligence and a former ambassador to the United States. “America has changed, we have changed and definitely we need to realign and readjust our understandings of each other.”

Second, Americans will want to know: Will he put the interests of American citizens first, who deserve to know the truth about any possible Saudi involvement (enablement) in 9/11, or will he compromise for the sake of ‘peace and stability’?

And, third, analysts and members of Congress will want to know: What price will President Obama agree to pay Saudi Arabia for their help in the war against ISIS, and/or to continue harboring former Guantanamo Bay detainees?

We should all carefully note the statements Obama makes in Saudi Arabia, and the outcome(s) of the decisions he will have to make.

Will he call Saudi Arabia’s bluff (about economic consequences), or will he continue appeasing the Guardian Of The Holy Places; Islam and Muslims?

The next three days will have a major effect on the course our two countries will take (along with the rest of the world) in the weeks, months and years ahead.