Bow or Bobble Respectful Heads for King Who Lopped Them Off
Saudi Arabia King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz is dead. He was 90 years old. According to Bill Van Auken in "Saudi king’s death threatens to deepen US crisis in Middle East" Abdullah was “the head of one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies.” Van Auken also labels it a “theocratic dictatorship.”
This is a significant event in the mainstream corporate media as well as among the heads of state of the western imperialist nations.
Abdullah’s half brother Fahd had had a debilitating stroke in 1995 and Abdullah took over the Saudi governance and then when Fahd died in 2005 Abdullah became king. Abdullah has supported COUNTER-revolution in the Middle East and US oil interests for two decades. Saudi Arabia is the number one producer of crude oil and the location of the second largest petroleum reserves in the world according to Van Auken.
So who has shown up for the passing of King Abdullah? A few notables:
US Vice President Joe Biden
French President François Hollande
Britain’s Prince Charles
Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan
Van Auken regards the tributes of “Western government officials and the corporate media” as “nothing short of obscene.”
Barack Obama: "a leader" who “had the courage of his convictions.” ... “One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the US-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry: “a proponent of peace,”
VAN AUKEN REMINDS THAT LAST YEAR THE KING ABDULLAH REGIME BEHEADED 87 PEOPLE. IN SOME CASES, THEIR HEADLESS CORPSES WERE PUBLICLY CRUCIFIED AFTER DEAD! WHAT WERE THE CRIMES DESERVING OF BEHEADINGS? SORCERY, ADULTERY, DRUG POSSESSION, POLITICAL OPPOSITON TO THE MONARCHY
Washington Post: “a master politician” who “gained a reputation as a reformer without changing his country’s power structure,” ... “popular with his subjects.” [SAYS WHO?]
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin: “contributed greatly to Middle East stability.”
The New York Times: “earned a reputation as a cautious reformer” ... “in some ways, a force of moderation.”
VAN AUKEN WONDERS IF IT WAS THIS “MODERATION” THAT POSTPONED A SECOND ROUND OF 50 OF 1,000 LASHES TO SAUDI BLOGGER RAIF BADAWI. BADAWI HAS A 10-YEAR JAIL TERM. HIS CRIME? “ADOPTING LIBERAL THOUGHT” AND “INSULTING ISLAM.”
The Faustian bargain between the US and Saudi Arabia is based on predatory policies for oil, money and power. The US promises military protection of Saudi Arabia for positive advantage from SA’s domination of world oil. In 1973 Nixon made a deal with Sauid Arabia for US military defense and weaponry if oil sales and weapons deals be advantageous for the US and done in US dollars, “petrodollars”. By the way, Saudi Arabia has the fourth largest arms budget in the world.
Saudi Arabia's dictatorial monarchy also encouraged the growth of Wahhabi Islamic religious ideology. This proved helpful at important times in using these ruthless fundamentalists to counter regional socialist and secular movements of the people.
King Abdullah supported Hosni Mubarak against the 2011 Egyptian revolution. King Abdullah suppored Egyptian General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in 2013. King Abdullah sent troops into Bahrain to CRUSH mass protests in 2011.
Salman bin Abdulaziz, the new king, is 79 and in poor healh. Crown prince Mugrin bin Abdul Aziz is 69 and his successor.
Right now trouble is brewing for Saudi Arabia and its western imperialist “pals.” The Yemen government that SA and US supported has collapsed due to a revolt of the Houthis. The Houthis are allies of Iran.
Saudi Arabia has long bankrolled and armed Islamist rebels that have morphed into “ISIS”. ISIS has overrun both Iraq and Syria. Though Saudi Arabia has been a “patron” of the jihadists there are signs these jihadists more and more will be turning on Saudi Arabia.
The Saudis arranged with DC to weaken Iran and Russia by letting oil prices fall. Saudi Arabia is having to endure low revenue now due to this which will mean little money to enhance the welfare of the 40% Saudi Arabians presently living below the poverty line.
Relations between the US and Saudi Arabia have been troubled since Obama backed off on bombing Syria in 2013 and began a modest negotiation with Iran.
King Abdullah had demanded that the US launch a military intervention against Iran to “cut the head off the snake.”
According to Van Auken, there are thousands of princes and princesses along with their “entourages." These factions will fight among themselves and impact how contracts are delegated to oil and weapons contractors and other transnational corporations.
Our amoral US government is obsequious to both amoral Israel and amoral Saudi Arabia.
We global citizens will watch from a range of endangered seats the continuing and massive exhibitions of hypocrisy, greed, violence, violations of domestic and international laws by Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and too many other of the seemingly doom-bent, game-playing, anti-humanity global players.
[cross-posted on open salon]