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Arab Spring Spills over to Saudi Arabia

unnamed (1)In American politics, the republicans may be classified as orthodox, fundamentalists or conservative. Probably it has some characteristics of each. But as for as it comes to American national interest there is hardly any difference between any one of them, irrespective who is in the oval office.

The protection of its national or international interests is at the top. It should be the way of every sovereign and respectable nation unless it has accepted surrogacy as its state policy. Unfortunately,  most of the Muslim world are in this “honoured” group. The Arab world, in particular, has been of jugular importance to Americans since long, much-needed oil and Israel security, with a hidden understanding, Israel won’t bother Sheikhs and in return security will be guaranteed.

Once a Russian diplomat told me, it is the American interest-holding Israel back not to run over Saudi and other gulf states. Because Jews will never sell their oil for 30 dollars a barrel as the Arab sheikhs are doing. This is the only ruling species that believes “in easy come easy go”. A historical comment once passed by the sister of Raza Shah Pahlavi in Montecarlo.

The American in general and the republicans, in particular, are extremely worried about the spillover of Arab spring to Saudi Arabia. There is a cruel, inhuman, brutal regime in Saudi. Anyone suspicious is quickly picked up and urgently disposed of. The friendly Saudi dynasty of Roosevelt is as important to the US, as the state of Israel. Both are the cornerstones of Americans foreign policy.

Mr Kofi Annan peace mission expectedly bogged down. The four reasons he gave for the failure of his mission are right in its own place but one might disagree with priority or the order of importance. He is the most respected and learned diplomat but his patience was taxed to the limit.

He squarely blamed the international fraternity for their lack of interest. But in my view, it was not the lack of interest of the major players but was basically a shift of interest. The western powers interest in Syria could hardly match the pyramidal interest of US, lying in Saudi Arabia. Secondly, the western powers are looking at Syria through the prism of Saudi ruling dynasty. The loyalty of time-tested Saud dynasty has no alternative for American. The same is true about the royalty of Kuwait and the sheikh of Dubai for the UK.

If one of the two has to be sacrificed I feel the US will sacrifice Syria without a second thought to save the house of Saud. The most experienced prince Naïf has passed away but everyone of this family has masterly commands to deal with their citizens if they try to be naughty. They have “head masterly” command of authority.

The structure of the dynasty has been very cleverly and craftily woven, with the advice of the second governor general of Pakistan, Mr Ghulam Mohammad Mirza, that the chances dissension are reduced to the minimum.

The royal family is the offspring of 33 wives. It is a huge house of 3000 male members. The family has been divided into four main groups, according to the nobility of maternal blood. In ascending order, they are sahib, Samu, Amir and Malik. Only the last two purists are heir to the crown or eligible for sensitive posts.

The regional and religious discrimination is the undeclared policy of the state. And every possible care is taken that the mischievous are kept away firm the citadel of power. The Najdi are considered more loyal to the Saud house than Hijazi and so is Wahhabi Sunni. Shia is never trusted, even their faith is doubted. The same is true of Iran where the “Momen” are only Shia.

These two fundamentalists states have great influence on the formulation of the foreign policy of US. Added to it, is the security of Israel. It is interesting that all the three parties have a common enemy, Al-Qaeda. The same organisation is enemy no 1 of the west. It smells fishy to see singularity in animosity with diversity in the interest of each party.

This hidden common interest had the devastating effect on the Syrian uprising. Before it was born it was divided into these lines. The Syrian regime is the most vicious and brutal supported by the vested interest of the local affluent class mostly coming from the clan of Asad.

In this murky water, Russians are playing their own game to retain a foothold in the middle east. The local arm supplier like Iran and Saudi are adding fuel to the fire at the cost in human miseries of the Syrians. They are the victims of local fundamentalist and international hegemonists. No one has a sleepless night for poor Syrian but everyone is fighting for its own agenda and interest. It is the second Afghanistan where the local states and regional warlords with the backing of the international imperial designer are determined to fight till last Syrian.

There is no forum where issues of this sort or any other can be raised and discussed just on humanitarian grounds. UNO is an impotent organisation and the presence of veto power has made it irrelevant. It is an international cafeteria where the surrogates are asked to endorse the designs of the Bigs. Occasionally if the endorsement is not forthcoming then the ideology of pre-emptive strike is pursued shamelessly, to protect a nobler cause of international peace and democracy.

The Arab spring is being nipped in the bud. The stakes are high. The demographic distribution of petrol and gas has increased the fear of the west, as most of the reserves of the energy are in Shia enclaves. The west is worried of the autocratic clergy of Iran going nuclear or gaining an upper hand in the affairs of this sensitive area.

More than democracy it is the geostrategic location, the sources of energy and the security of Israel that matters to the self-proclaimed masterminds of world affairs.

Writer: Prof.(Dr) Khurshid Alam

The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at 



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