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Defending Democracy to the Last Drop of Oil
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Poor President Barack Obama flew to Saudi Arabia this past week but its ruler, King Salman, was too busy to greet him at Riyadh’s airport.

This snub was seen across the Arab world as a huge insult and violation of traditional desert hospitality. Obama should have refused to deplane and flown home.

Alas, he did not. Obama went to kow-tow to the new Saudi monarch and his hot-headed son, Crown Prince Muhammed bin Nayef. They are furious that Obama has refused to attack Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Syria’s Assad regime.

They are also angry as hornets that the US may allow relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi royal family, which is widely suspected of being involved in the attack.

Interestingly, survivors of the 34 American sailors killed aboard the USS Liberty when it was attacked by Israeli warplanes in 1967, have been denied any legal recourse.

The Saudis, who are also petrified of Iran, threw a fit, threatening to pull $750 billion of investments from the US. Other leaders of the Gulf sheikdoms sided with the Saudis but rather more discreetly.

Ignoring the stinging snub he had just suffered, Obama assured the Saudis and Gulf monarchs that the US would defend them against all military threats – in effect, reasserting their role as western protectorates. So much for promoting democracy.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have been de facto US-British-French protectorates since the end of World War II. They sell the western powers oil at rock bottom prices and buy fabulous amounts of arms from these powers in exchange for the west protecting the ruling families.

As Libya’s late Muammar Kadaffi once told me, “the Saudis and Gulf emirates are very rich families paying the west for protection and living behind high walls.”

Kadaffi’s overthrow and murder was aided by the western powers, notably France, and the oil sheiks. Kadaffi constantly denounced the Saudis and their Gulf neighbors as robbers, traitors to the Arab cause, and puppets of the west.

Many Arabs and Iranians agreed with Kadaffi. While Islam commands all Muslims to share their wealth with the needy and aid fellow Muslims in distress, the Saudis spent untold billions in casinos, palaces and European hookers while millions of Muslims starved. The Saudis spent even more billions for western high-tech arms they cannot use.

During the dreadful war in Bosnia, 1992-1995, the Saudis, who arrogate to themselves the title of ‘Defenders of Islam” and its holy places, averted their eyes as hundreds of thousands of Bosnians were massacred, raped, driven from their homes by Serbs, and mosques blown up.

The Saudi dynasty has clung to power through lavish social spending and cutting off the heads of dissidents, who are routinely framed with charges of drug dealing. The Saudis have one of the world’s worst human rights records.


Saudi’s royals are afraid of their own military, so keep it feeble and inept aside from the air force. They rely on the National Guard, a Bedouin tribal forces also known as the White Army. In the past, Pakistan was paid to keep 40,000 troops in Saudi to protect the royal family. These soldiers are long gone, but the Saudis are pressing impoverished Pakistan to return its military contingent.

The US-backed and supplied Saudi war against dirt-poor Yemen has shown its military to be incompetent and heedless of civilian casualties. The Saudis run the risk of becoming stuck in a protracted guerilla war in Yemen’s wild mountains.

The US, Britain and France maintain discreet military bases in the kingdom and Gulf coast. The US Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain, where a pro-democracy uprising was recently crushed by rented Pakistani police and troops. Reports say 30,000 Pakistani troops may be stationed in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Earlier this month, the Saudis and Egypt’s military junta announced they would build a bridge across the narrow Strait of Tiran (leading to the Red Sea) to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The clear purpose of a large bridge in this remote, desolate region is to facilitate the passage of Egyptian troops and armor into Saudi Arabia to protect the Saudis. Egypt now relies on Saudi cash to stay afloat.

But Saudi Arabia’s seemingly endless supply of money is now threatened by the precipitous drop in world oil prices. Riyadh just announced it will seek $10 billion in loans from abroad to offset a budget shortfall. This is unprecedented and leads many to wonder if the days of free-spending Saudis are over. Add rumors of a bitter power-struggle in the 6,000-member royal family and growing internal dissent and uber-reactionary Saudi Arabia may become the Mideast’s newest hotspot.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Saudi Arabia 
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  1. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Actually the USA gets very little of its oil from the middle east. And why defend these rotten kingdoms? Whoever is in charge of them, they would still have to sell their oil abroad. What else does the Arab world have to sell? They need foreign markets for their oil at least as much as foreign countries need to have petrol. As for “pulling out” 750 billion of investments in the USA, that would be no mean feat. They would have to sell all these assets to somebody else, at fire sale prices. Nor are Arab currency markets particularly liquid. I also doubt “hundreds of thousands” of Bosnians were “massacred” in 1992-95.

    • Replies: @Lemurmaniac
    , @KA
    , @Avery
  2. A nice sideswipe at the Serbs. Good to know the author tows on the Party Line of the Essential Narrative.

    • Agree: Romanian
    • Replies: @Antiwar7
  3. @anon

    It’s the petrodollar that’s the real attraction

  4. Romanian says:

    They sell the western powers oil at rock bottom prices

    They charged as much as the market would bear. Look at all the wailing and the gnashing of teeth because their God given right to sell oil at 100 dollars a barrel is no more. They were rich when oil was at 20 dollars as well, but the last few years have been a literal orgy of spending.

    The dig at the Serbs was also a bit gauche. Will we fault the Saudis for switching to a more stealthy form of Islamic conquest than reasserting themselves in the Balkans and aiming for the walls of Vienna? The Muslim enclaves in the Balkans and the dynamics that got the Serbs purged from Kosovo were a product of those earlier policies. Saudi involvement in Bosnia would have really heated things up, and I doubt that it would have been to the favor of the Bosniaks.

  5. KA says:

    US might get or might not get even 0% oil from gulf . But the Europe ,China,Japan,India do . Controlling oil of Middle East means controlling those countries .

    That’s why US is interested.

    • Replies: @Historian
  6. Avery says:

    {I also doubt “hundreds of thousands” of Bosnians were “massacred” in 1992-95.}

    Margolis actually didn’t say that: he very cleverly conflated other things to give the false impression that Serbs had allegedly massacred “hundreds of thousands”.
    The idea was for people to think that, just like you did.

    This is what Margolis wrote:
    { as hundreds of thousands of Bosnians were massacred, raped, driven from their homes by Serbs, and mosques blown up.}

    Margolis’s late wife was Muslim Albanian.
    No problem, but Margolis never discloses his personal pro-Muslim bias when he rags on Serbs and Christians.

    Mosques blown up? Apparently KLA Islamist terrorists never blew up any Churches, nor did they massacre Christian Serbs: Right?

    And how did Muslims end up in the Balkans?
    Muslim Ottoman Turks invaded Christian Balkans and massacred 100s of 1,000s of indigenous Christians. And forcibly Islamized those the Islamist invaders did not exterminate.

    But you’ll never hear anti-Christian Islamophile Margolis mention it.

    btw: about Saudis and the Balkans. The Wahhabist reptiles financed the Islamist criminals of the day, who invaded the Balkans from all over Islamistan, and massacred 1,000s of Christians.
    You can find the pics of Muslim murderers with severed heads of Serbs all over the web.

    But Margolis only sheds crocodile tears for his Muslim kin.

    • Replies: @Rehmat
    , @Antiwar7
  7. Historian says:

    Saudi Arabia’s top export destinations:

    7.6% China
    7.5% United States
    7.0% Japan
    5.4% South Korea
    5.3% India

    I say we wash our hands of the mess and let the Asians deal with it. Saudi Arabia is on the continent of Asia, anyway.

  8. Rehmat says:

    Yes – Eric Margolis is very smart like his Albanian mother. He never questioned the Holocaust narrative like David Cole, but did claim that Stalin and his Jewish executioners murdered 7 million Ukrainian Christian and thousands of Tartar Muslims.

    In the good-old days, as a war reporter for The Toronto Sun, he used to call Israel a colonial power – but he lost his job and shunned by Canadian TVs under Canadian Jewish Congress vicious campaign against him – Margolis has dropped his views about Israel, Holocaust and Jewish supremacism.

    In 2013, Margolis instead of calling Israel an ‘apartheid state’ – he called Israel-occupied Australia an ‘apartheid state’.

    “As I’ve long written, Australia has always been an apartheid state. It’s just that few noticed. While South Africa was blasted for trying to maintain white rule, Australia always kept a white-only immigration policy, accepting only small numbers of Asians. Seen any black Australians lately aside from its aboriginals?,” Margolis said.

    • Replies: @anon
  9. mtn cur says:

    Despite the glut of domestic petro, U.S. military remains based atop mid east oil to defend the past investments of the vampire class and to save jillions on shipping petro to our friends in India and China. A million here and a million there and pretty soon you have enough to rationalize bombing somebody else for their own good. Insider tip: Selling home water treatment systems for regions where fracking is popular.

  10. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Immigration is only a privilege, not a right. Australia is entirely within it rights in picking and choosing whatever, if any, immigrants it wants. As for “black Australians” the recent flood of Sudanese who have moved there have caused all kinds of trouble.

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  11. Antiwar7 says:

    “Hundreds of thousands of Bosnians were massacred, raped, driven from their homes by Serbs”? What a lie! It’s disappointing that Margolis either doesn’t know better or is willfully lying, because:

    1) The official figure on the total dead is now 105,000, including soldiers and civilians, and including all sides, including the Fikret Abdic Muslims killed by the Alija Izetbegovic Muslims.

    2) The Saudis didn’t stand idly by. They paid for lots of weapons shipped to the Bosnian Muslim nationalists, and supplied many fighters, though not officially.

    3) The “mass” rapes never held up to scrutiny.

    4) The Croats and Bosnian (and Herzegovinian) Croats killed and displaced lots of Muslims (and Serbs), too. Who do you think destroyed the famous Old Mostar bridge? It was the Croats.

    What’s up with Margolis? Some things he says are true, though some are false. Does he have an agenda?

  12. Antiwar7 says:

    Good points. Margolis clearly was trying to conflate “massacred” with expelled, as you stated.

    I had no idea he has family ties to one of the local belligerents in the Balkans. That explains a lot.

  13. Rehmat says:

    “Immigration is only a privilege, not a right.”

    Tell that to the five unwanted Jews from Europe, dude.

    What about thousands of Blacks, both Christians and Jews being sold out to Uganda and other countries by the Zionist regime.

    In Israel, hatred toward Black people is based on the color of skin and not on being non-Jewish. Take for example, Ethiopian Falasha Jews, who were flown into Israel from Ethiopia and Sudan over 20 years ago with great fanfare – as a “Jewish humanitarian” gesture, are now being treated like untouchable in the Zionist entity.

    In 2012, Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that as soon as Ethiopian Jewish black women arrive in Israel, the government had them injected with a birth control shot without their knowledge or consent. On January 27, 2013, Ha’aretz reported that Israeli government acknowledged for the first time that its Health Department was involved in the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera. There are more than 80,000 Ethiopian Israeli citizens.

    • Replies: @anon
  14. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Don’t know what your problem is dude, although I bet you are an immigrant yourself. I say that immigration to Australia and elsewhere is not a right but a privilege that can be suspended at any time. It’s kind of like driving. You seem to have a serious issue with Jews and Israel. That is not my bag. I see no parallel between what I said in response to Margolis comments about Australia and what you are saying here. Amazing how you and Margolis conflate things that have no connection to anything else.

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