The Saudi factor

I was looking at the Asia Times today. There is a fascinating piece by Brian M. Downing on Saudi Arabia’s meddling in the affairs of Bahrain, Yemen and Pakistan, and what they might expect to gain from the money being spent on various terrorist groups, madrassas, and other groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I never see this sort of thing in US news, and its information Americans ought to have – those besides the government officials directly involved.

Pair it with Pepe Escobar’s latest and you have a recipe for something that is very unsettling to anyone interested in democracy. There has been something really appealing about the struggles of the Muslim young for dignity and greater freedom that we in the west feel impelled to support. Unfortunately, the Saudis do not seem to see it that way. They instead see it as a threat their royal existences, which of course, it is. The fact that they are using Pakistani and other fighter-terrorists to inforce their vew of the world in Bahrain and elsewhere does nothing but suppress those very hopes.

We have little or no influence  left, if we ever had any with the Saudi royal family.  There is not a lot that we can do even though they and we are working at cross purposes.  Their fear of Iran and our fear of terrorism are making even more unstable places of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  We all say we want stability in the region, but what do we mean, exactly and what is the price to be paid and by whom?  Right now, it looks as though the young of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan will be paying with their hopes and dreams and in many cases their lives.  No one knows when or how it will all end.  What looked hopeful for Egypt and Tunisia may be only an illusion as those now in power begin to concentrate their grips on the State.  The history of their region is not in their favor.

Posted on June 2, 2011, in US Foreign Policy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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