DimWit Politics

Saudi Arabia Could be the Next Iran

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Saudi Arabia Could be the Next Iran

Saudi Arabia Could be the Next Iran
October 18
19:33 2018

At the moment, Saudi Arabia is a “yuge” problem for the White House and for America. As baseball great Yogi Berra famously said, it is déjà vu all over again.

Saudi Arabia is one of the more stable nations in a region of the world where stability is a rare commodity – but it is not entirely secure. The Sunni kingdom is our most important Arab ally in the Middle East. If the House of Saud falls, the United States suffers a tremendous national security setback – as does Israel.

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Yes, Saudi Arabia is an oppressive and often ruthless dictatorship, but it is an ally, none the less. Should the insurgent elements within Saudi Arabia successfully overthrow the current government, the kingdom will immediately become an ally of Iran, Russia and the region’s major terrorist organizations.

We have seen this movie before — a few decades ago. In fact, what happened back in the 1980s is one of the reasons the Middle East is the mess it is today – and why there is so much anti-American hostility in the region.

Back then, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi sat on the Peacock Throne on Tehran. He was an oppressive and often brutal dictator, but he was a staunch ally of the United States. The political left at the time condemned not only the Shah, but the United States for sharing a diplomatic bed with such a regime.

As is usually the case, the left – mostly within the Democratic Party – put faux moral issues ahead of the strategic interests of the United States – which was founded on the real ethical issues of American Exceptionalism. The Shah had to go – and Democrat President Jimmy Carter was just the guy to grease the skids.

When unrest developed in Iran – stirred up by the Sayyid Ruhollah Mussavi Khomeini, better know in the west as Ayatollah Khomeini – Carter stood down rather than come to the aide of the Shah. In 1979, revolution swept the Shah out of power and Khomeini returned from exile in Paris to seize control of the government.

In one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in American history, we facilitated the replacement of a brutal ally with an even more brutal enemy. Kohmeini immediately took American hostages and began his Islamic terrorist campaign to take control of the entire Middle East.

To understand the magnitude of the blunder, we have to remember that prior to the fall of Iran, the Middle East was composed mostly of stable west-leaning nations. Egypt, Lebanon and Syria were beautiful countries that thrived on tourism.

I personally recall my neighbor – who was a Canadian diplomat. He was about to be reassigned to Lebanon, and he was thrilled. It was considered a plum posting. Unfortunately, his assignment was canceled when a civil war commenced. Today, Lebanon remains a slow rolling disaster. Much of what we see in the Middle East today stemmed from that takeover of Iran by anti-American Islamic extremists.

The calls and cries now emanating from the left-wing activists, the old guard diplomatic establishmentarians and the elitist media regarding Saudi Arabia have a frighteningly familiar ring.

The apparent murder of political activist and part-time writer for the Washington Post is unfortunate at two levels. If it is as described, it is a contemptible violation of law and morality. As the facts are established, they will have to be addressed by the United States and the rest of the civilized world.

Whatever the response, consequences or punishment is deemed necessary, we MUST NOT allow this situation to result in the Kingdom falling into the hands of insurgent Islamic, pro-Iran extremists. That possibility is not as remote as we would like to believe.

Many on the left believe that replacing the Saudi King would be a positive move. They see it as an opportunity to reform the nation. But that not the likely outcome. There are powerful groups within Saudi Arabia eager to ignite an Islamic fundamentalist uprising. There are primarily composed of the Shi’ia and Wahhabi (also called Salifi) communities. As far back as 1996, CNN featured a headline the presaged our current problem. It read, “Anti-U.S. sentiments grow in Saudi Arabia.”

If the House of Saud falls, there is virtually no chance that a successor government would be friendly to the west – especially the United States. It would remove a strategic counterbalance to the ambitions of Iran and replace it with a powerful alliance with close ties to Russia and China. It would mean that the conflict between our ally, Saudi Arabia, will be won by our mortal enemy, Iran.

Saudi Arabia is critical to the United States not only as a trade partner or a purchaser (and user) of American military equipment, it is critical in maintaining a free flow of oil, the strength of the U.S. dollar and the entire Arab’s world relationship with Israel. We strategically rely on military bases in Saudi Arabia to support of operations throughout the Middle East.

It is popular among the left to note that the terrorists who took down the World Trade towers in New York, were Saudis – including the mastermind Osama Bin Laden. What is not fairly explained is that they came from the insurgent factions within the kingdom, not from the throne. These dissidents within the kingdom were the money and motivating force behind Al-Qaeda.

In a surrender to dangerous partisan superficiality, Democrat politicians and their left-wing allies in the press claim that the reason President Trump has not brought the hammer down on the House of Saud is because of his and Jared Kushner’s pecuniary interests. They would have you believe that Trump sets the policies alone in the Oval Office. In fact, our strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia is the work of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary James Mattis, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen,

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Advisor John Bolton and others.

The reluctance to allow the House of Saud to fall has nothing to do with any past personal business dealings with Saudis. It has to do with the United States’ national security interests of the highest level. Trump’s initial visit to Riyadh and Tel Aviv was a diplomatic masterstroke. It reversed the policies of the Obama administration – policies there were naively and dangerously accommodating to Iran.

As we did with Stalin in World War II, we must continue to encourage democratic reforms throughout the world while making pragmatic essential alliances with nations that do not live up to our standards.

So, there it ‘tis.



About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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