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What Booman said

DCblogger's picture

Yes, you heard me right, What Booman said. It seems that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is "rapid" action.

Yes

Seriously

Because the entire House of Saud is a bunch of rotten cowards incapable of fighting their own wars.

Seriously, our relationship with Saudi Arabia is warped. Bob Graham wrote the book on this, in fact he wrote two: Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America's War on Terror and Keys to the Kingdom.

UPDATE - in addiiton to everything else, King Abdullah is a child abuser.

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BruceMcF's picture
Submitted by BruceMcF on

... notion that next after Iraq and Syria comes Europe and North America ...

... is really, seriously hoping that nobody looks at a map. Among the various countries that foolishly created the "Islamic State" ...

... it seems like corrupt, behind-closed-doors hedonist Saudi Arabia is more likely to be next. Which would kind of show the flaw in the "give money to radical thugs to keep them on our side" policy. Its similar to the policy as saw Rome get sacked.

Submitted by lambert on

That seems to be Abdullah's message to us.

Of course, the Saudi royals have everything to fear from an actual Wahabbist (spelling?) movement, such as the one that brought them to power in the first place.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I think it is a little more nuanced than that.

The House of Saud is the titular head and primary funding source of the Wahabist sect worldwide. The sheikdom of Saud, prior to WWI, is where Wahabism initially came from. Everywhere else in the Ottoman Empire they were considered a particularly virulent cancer...It really wasn't a movement per se that brought them to power; Lawrence of Arabia specifically chose them to help liberate the Arabian peninsula province from the Ottomans, and governing it was the Brits reward in the Treaty of Versailles for their help (Also, too, there was the easy access to their oil reserves...). Ultimately their usefulness as a potent mercenary force was the same reason that we exported them to Afghanistan.

They are just vicious. Always have been. And quid pro quos are always at the heart of their policies. Wahabism, like Christian fundamentalism, always allows a wide range of corruption as long as it is perpetrated by "one's own side".

I think what they really fear is a Shia rebellion in the North...where they pump and ship their crude. With Iran (and their Shia fighters in Iraq) right across the strait, it is a fight that they could not win.

That is why we gave them nukes, and why It will be the House of Saud that ultimately starts the war with Iran. They have always been a useful proxy.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

..."That is why we gave them nukes, and why It will be the House of Saud that ultimately starts the war with Iran."

Huh? To whom did we *give* nukes? And I'll need some substantiation of your answer.
I do not for one minute think we gave nukes to any second party (that includes Israel).

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

Why is Bush helping Saudi Arabia build nukes?
Wall Street Journal
Edward Markey
June 10, 2008

The Israeli's, purportedly, stole the technology while we gave it to Iran. Under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty those with the technology have every right to develop it right up to the point of building the bomb. This is why we have been so hypocritical wrt Iran; they have a legal right to experiment with the stuff, and now so does Saudi Arabia.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...generation; it's in the NPT.
But that technology has nothing to do with building a bomb.
The Israelis were given heavy water by the UK. And handed the blue prints for a bomb (by whom I'm not sure).
And we didn't give Iran the technology to build a bomb; just nuclear electricity generation.
You are all balled up in mis-information and confusion.
Saud building nukes? Total bullshit.
Whatever you're smoking; I don't want any thank you...

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

Not really.

The infrastructure necessary to build and to operate nuclear power plants is also necessary to build bombs; that is where the enrichment facilities can be found. If one has the ability to enrich, as is necessary to generate power, one is only one A.Q. Khan away from the bomb.

That is given someone is interested in an elegant and expensive solution. If one is interested in generating dirty bombs, as would be the case with the fundie types that this would prolly be laundered through, it is even easier.

Not sure what you are getting so upset about. This has happened more times than I can count and it usually follows the same patterns.

Submitted by lambert on

... and here's his article in the Wall Street Journal:

Last month, while the American people were becoming the personal ATMs of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Saudi Arabia signing away an even more valuable gift: nuclear technology. In a ceremony little-noticed in this country, Ms. Rice volunteered the U.S. to assist Saudi Arabia in developing nuclear reactors, training nuclear engineers, and constructing nuclear infrastructure. While oil breaks records at $130 per barrel or more, the American consumer is footing the bill for Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions.

While the NPT does allow nuclear power, nuclear engineering is nuclear engineering, and at least enrichment and materials handling are common to both cases. Possibly that's why nuclear programs have been, in the past, a casus belli for Israel.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

Too true. IIRC, that was the reason that Israel bombed Syrian nuclear installations twice.

No one knows better than those who have been there.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...have any idea what is involved with building a nuke. The cascading centrifuges alone are extremely complex. And having nuclear power plants (reactors) does not mean enrichment capabilities when the U.S. or other nuclear powers are supplying the fuel.
Iran, for example, doesn't trust the U.S. to supply it fuel (rightfully so) without conditions and potential blackmail. So, they insisted on their rightful ability to enrich to fuel grade.
The difficulty should be apparent when considering North Korea's first failure at a successful atomic bomb test.
And this was with the help of Khan (Pakistani). It's still doubtful they have a fully working nuclear weapon.
The casing, trigger, explosives, timing, and precision machining capabilities are immense technological hurdles to overcome. Haven't even broached costs...

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

Well, that didn't sound snotty at all.

I can do that too.

I assume that you have the intellectual ability to recognize that assymetrical warfare of the type that is generally embraced by the jihadist groups under discussion do not require attitudes conducive to the creation of perfectly shiny glass parking lots on the other side of the world, and North Korea did not actually need to produce an efficient bomb, much less one with an advanced delivery vehicle, to achieve the recognition and deterrence value that Kim Jong Il so desperately desired? Think suitcase dirty bomb in the hands of Al Qaeda and or lobbing even a comparatively defective bomb over the DMZ or the Straits of Hormuz, as the case may be. North Korea's "first failure at a successful atomic bomb test" would have been more than sufficient to render Seoul uninhabited, as would a dirty bomb in Teheran. The first North Korean bomb that they tested was critiqued for its' yield, not for its' failure to explode. As "failures" go, it was a pretty ominous one.

Further, Fukushima and Chernobyl should have effectually confirmed for you that there really is not ultimately much difference between a bomb (however efficient) and a power facility; both can be deadly in the wrong hands, weaponized or not. Israel recognized that potential and bombed presumed Syrian nuclear facilities twice based upon this rationale.

The technological and financial hurdles, as you put them, have been surmounted before, as India, Pakistan, Russia, China and, potentially, Israel have readily proven. It would be foolhardy to think that they cannot be overcome again, especially in the hands of an organization as well financed as Saudi Arabia faced with the ongoing specter of a Shia rebellion to the North.

That was my initial point, after all. If they want nuclear weaponry they can now easily make their way toward production of them. We gave them the technology and the political cover under the NPT. If you don't believe me, then question Markey, snottily, for a while. I believe he made the same point.

The hard part is the ability to enrich unmolested. That and time, as with North Korea right now, is what we gave the House of Saud and, by extension, their Wahabist foot soldiers. That should be cause for concern, not jibes from the cheap seats.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

For whomsoever may be interested, there is a fascinating two part column on HuffPo's WorldPost by Alastair Cooke called the "The Middle East Time Bomb" which I would highly recommend for anyone's consideration. It really gets to the heart of the ME'ern clusterfuck we are seeing right now and how intervention in that part of the world is not for those without an interest in or a deep knowledge of their religious history.