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The US-Related Saudi Predicament

US House Members and Senators are increasingly approached by panicky leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait, who have always considered the US global leadership and unilateral national security action to be their life insurance policy. These leaders are concerned about the adverse ripple effects of the lowered US global profile on their own survival. Moreover, they consider the US engagement with Iran their worst nightmare. They are puzzled by the US lack of awareness that a retreat from the trenches of Islamic terrorism bolsters the presence of terrorists’ sleeper cells on the US mainland.

Riyadh is aware that Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Arab oil-producing Gulf states – and not Israel – would be the prime target for a nuclear Iran, ravaging the supply and price of oil, which would devastate the economy of the US and the Free World. The Saudis know that – unlike North Korea – Iran is driven by an imperialistic vision, encompassing the Persian Gulf as the first stage and then the Sunni Muslim countries.

Riyadh is convinced that a nuclear Iran could trigger a collapse of the pro-US Gulf regimes, by blackmailing and further fueling subversion in the Gulf States, including the Shiite-populated Saudi oil-rich province of Hasa.

Riyadh is mindful of the impact of a nuclear Iran on the intensification of Islamic terrorism, which haunts every pro-US Arab regime in the Middle East.

Eyad Abu Shakra, the managing editor of the Saudi royal family-controlled, prestigious London-based daily, Asharq al Awsat, wrote on October 17, 2013 about “the rapid decline of the US on the stage of world politics: Washington’s rhetoric was initially loud, talking of ‘red-lines.’ However, neither Bashar Al-Assad nor Vladimir Putin and his counterpart in Beijing cared much about this…. America remains strong, despite the narrow-mindedness of its politicians…. Obama is haggling in the regional bazaar as if he were a petty retail trader, not the head of a massive international conglomerate….”

Amir Taheri, a globally-respected Asharq al Awsat columnist, warned on October 4, 2013: “Today, Americans are advised that they may not be safe in more than 40 countries. The Obama retreat could sharply increase that number. The US needs and deserves something better than a ‘Fortress America’ strategy…. Bully powers may seize the opportunity provided by the US retreat.… The Khomeini regime’s heightened activism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon is yet one more example….”

Riyadh is concerned that the US may ignore President Rouhani’s – and other Iranian leaders’ – track record of masterful dissimulations, deception, concealment and non-compliance.

Amir Taheri, who is intimately networked with Saudi leadership, wrote on October 11, 2013: “For more than three decades, the Mullahs and their associates have used [an] arsenal of deception against foreign powers and internal adversaries…. One [example] is taqiyya which means hiding one’s true faith in order to deceive others in a hostile environment. Another term is kitman which means keeping an adversary guessing by playing one’s hand close to the chest. A third is do-pahlu which means an utterance that could have two opposite meanings at the same time. The closest equivalent in English is double-talk…. In New York, Rouhani tried to seduce the Americans with smiles and sweet words….”

Riyadh knows that a nuclear Iran would generate a tailwind for the Arab Tsunami, which does not provide a transition to democracy, but to exacerbated violence. It recognizes that the Middle East zero-sumgame is not between democracy and tyranny, but between tyrannical military-backed regimes on the one hand and tyrannical anti-US Islamic, terrorist, rogue regimes on the other hand. Riyadh is cognizant of the fact that a nuclear Iran would tilt the Middle East balance, decisively, in favor of anti-US rogue regimes at the expense of military-backed regimes.

The well-connected Saudi managing editor, Eyad Abu Shakra, wrote on October 3, 2013 on “American regional blunders: Washington accepting Iran as a partner in the project of hegemony in the Middle East, including its full control over Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, in exchange for Iran’s developing its nuclear capabilities [supposedly] for peaceful purposes only, rather than production of nuclear weapons….”

Riyadh dreads the devastating non-conventional arms race, in the Middle East and beyond, which would follow a nuclear Iran.

Amir Taheri noted on Oct. 19, 2013: “There is consensus that if Iran were to build a nuclear arsenal, it could trigger a regional arms race with incalculable consequences. Over the past two decades, the UN Security Council has unanimously passed six resolutions to force Iran to abandon activities that could lead to a nuclear arsenal. Iran has ignored the resolutions but managed to buy time through dilatory tactics and “talks-about-talks….”

Riyadh is concerned that 28 years of unilateral and multilateral US-led sanctions, accompanied by diplomatic pressure and cyber sabotage, have failed to deter Iran’s pursuit of nuclear capabilities; 60 years of sanctions on North Korea have produced a nuclear rogue regime; the US focus on sanctions and engagement has provided Teheran with more time to obtain nuclear capabilities; sanctions have devastated Iran’s economy, but have not made a dent on Iran’s nuclearization; and, it was the military optionand not sanctions – which forced Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait and the granting of independence to the former provinces of Yugoslavia.


Will the US heed the Saudi concern and learn from history by avoiding – rather than repeating– past mistakes?


The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb

The Abraham Accords – the US, Arab interests and Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believe that the expansion of the Abraham Accords, the enhancement of Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation and the conclusion of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace accord are preconditioned upon major Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Is such a belief consistent with Middle East reality?

Arab interests

*The signing of the Abraham Accords, and the role played by Saudi Arabia as a critical engine of the accords, were driven by the national security, economic and diplomatic interests of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan.

*The Arab interest in peace accords with Israel was not triggered by the realization that the Jewish State was genuinely seeking peaceful-coexistence, nor by a departure from the fundamental tenets of Islam. It was motivated by the assessment that critical concerns of the respective Arab countries would be effectively-served by Israel’s advanced military (Qualitative Military Edge), technological and diplomatic capabilities in the face of mutual and lethal enemies, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Saudi Arabia and the six Arab peace partners of Israel (including Egypt and Jordan) are aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which occasionally releases explosive lava – domestically and/or regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the 1,400-year-old stormy intra-Arab/Muslim relations, and recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2011 and still rages.

They wish to minimize the impact of rogue regimes, and therefore are apprehensive about the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, in view of the rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record, which has transformed Palestinians into an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude.

*They are anxious about the erosion of the US posture of deterrence, which is their most critical component of national security, and alarmed about the 43-year-old US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ terroristic, drug trafficking and ballistic capabilities. They are also concerned about the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terrorist entity with religious, educational, welfare and political branches. And, they are aware of the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), the European vacillation, and the vulnerability of all other Arab countries.

Israel’s role

*Saudi Arabia and the Arab partners to peace accords with Israel feel the machetes of the Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood at their throats. They consider Israel as the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.  They view Israel as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East, and appreciate Israel’s proven posture of deterrence; flexing its military muscles against Iran’s Ayatollahs in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself and against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism. They respect Israel’s unique counter-terrorism intelligence and training capabilities, and its game-changing military and counter-terrorism battle tactics and technologies.

*The Arab view of Israel as a reliable partner on “a rainy day” has been bolstered by Israel’s willingness to defy US pressure, when it comes to Israel’s most critical national security and historic credos (e.g., Iran, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria).  In addition, Saudi Arabia and Israel’s peace-partners aim to leverage Israel’s good-standing among most Americans – and therefore among most Senators and House Representatives – as a venue to enhance their military, commercial and diplomatic ties with the US.

*Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy.

Thus, they consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*The Abraham Accords – as well as Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – and the unprecedented expansion of defense and commercial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, demonstrate that critical Arab national security interests may supersede fundamental tenets of Islam, such as the 1,400-year-old rejection of any “infidel” sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.”  Moreover, critical national security interests may lead to a dramatic moderation of the (Arab) education system, which is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and policies.

Thus, contrary to the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates has uprooted hate-education curriculum, replacing it with pro-Israel/Jewish curriculum.

Abraham Accords’ durability

*The success of the Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by the US State Department. The latter has produced a litany of failed peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue, while the Abraham accords bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto, and focusing on Arab interests. Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of the individual Arab countries and the Middle East at-large.

*The Abraham Accord have yielded initial and unprecedented signs of moderation, modernity and peaceful coexistence, which requires the US to support the respective pro-US Arab regimes, rather than pressuring them (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the UAE).

*However, one should not ignore the grave threats to the durability of the accords, posed by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East (as related to intra-Arab relations!).  These inherent threats would be dramatically alleviated by a resolute US support.

*A major threat to the Abraham Accord is the tenuous nature of most Arab regimes in the Middle East, which yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969), Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Regional stability, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River (bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record). It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transforming Jordan into another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; triggering a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula; yielding a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US.

*While Middle East reality defines policies and accords as variable components of national security, the topography and geography of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the reality of the non-Western Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have secured its survival, and have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*The more durable the Abraham Accords and the more robust Israel’s posture of deterrence, the more stable the pro-US Arab regimes and the Middle East at-large; the more deterred are anti-US rogue regimes; the less potent are Middle Eastern epicenters of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking; the more bolstered is the US global posture and the weaker is the posture of the US’ enemies and adversaries.

*Would the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Would they cut off their nose to spite their face?

The fact that these Arab regimes concluded the Abraham Accords without preconditioning it upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and that they limit their support of the Palestinians to talk, rather than walk, provides an answer to these three questions.

Support Appreciated






The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb