By: Finian Cunningham
If Saudi rulers had more brains, they might be formidably dangerous. Even with lackluster intelligence assets, they are already causing enough havoc and bloodshed across the Middle East and North Africa regions, pouring millions - of - dollars - worth of weaponry into Al Qaeda and other Takfiri networks that are destroying once proud civilizations in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Libya through nihilistic sectarianism.And if the Saudi paymasters of terrorism could have it all their way, they would salivate at the chance of extending this destruction to Iran - the Shia power that they fear as their nemesis. Fortunately, the Saudi rulers’ agenda of covert terrorism - an agenda that serves its Western masters - is not well concealed. This is because “Saudi state intelligence” is something of an oxymoron and leaves a trail of self-incriminating clues wherever it goes. This uncovering of the real authors of regional violence and their motives curtails the plotters and will lead eventually to their downfall through their own damnation. Take the latest disclosure that the Saudis tried to bribe Russia into abandoning its long-time ally, Syria. Given their own venal form of feudal rule, the Saudis seem to think that everyone else can be bought at a price. Apparently, Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan dangled a $15-billion arms deal in front of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin if the latter would jettison his country’s strategic alliance with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. From past Saudi arms deals with British Premier Margaret Thatcher, involving multi-million-dollar bribery, kickbacks and other corruption, it is a fair bet that Prince Bandar also gave a nod and a wink for personal funds to be arranged for President Putin. To his credit though, Putin reportedly rebuffed any such treachery with the Saudis. But what is significant here is that the disclosure of this sleazy business - thanks to Saudi unintelligence - represents a fatal gaffe for the whole Western-coordinated conspiracy against Syria. For the past two years, the US, Britain and France have sedulously contrived a narrative that they are supporting “a pro-democracy uprising” in Syria. In this “noble endeavor”, the purportedly law-abiding and human-rights-upholding Western states are ostensibly supporting “freedom-loving rebels” out of the sheer goodness of their hearts. In one fell-swoop, however, the Saudi gaffe-machine has blown a giant hole in the Western narrative over Syria. This is not the first time that the Saudi loose cannon has swung around on its Western patrons. A few months back, a Saudi “thinker” close to the House of Saud let it slip to the media that a top concern motivating Riyadh’s interference in Syria was to neutralize the regional influence of Iran. In the meeting between Prince Bandar and Vladimir Putin, the Saudi spy chief went on to say that “whatever regime comes after” Assad will be “completely” in Saudi hands. So, there you have it. It’s not about supporting democracy in Syria. It’s about installing a regime in Damascus that will be under the boot of Riyadh, which in turn, means that any such regime will be under the geopolitical control of Washington and its allies, and thus aligned in the imperialist axis of antagonism against Tehran. Of course, astute observers are already aware of the Western criminal conspiracy against Syria, and we should know this anyway from the preposterous notion that feudal-style Persian Gulf dictators are claiming to champion the cause of democracy in Syria. Nevertheless, it is valuable when this conspiracy is exposed and admitted to by the co-conspirators themselves. Western political leaders, diplomats and media tend to be more savvy in the art of sophistry and deception. We can analyze and identify their criminal agenda, but it is rare to uncover an admission. But the reliably hapless Saudi rulers have done just that in their bribery attempt with Russia’s Putin. Not only that, but in the same encounter Prince Bandar revealed much more about the criminal collusion against Syria. Another sweetener offered to Putin by the Saudis was that “Saudi Arabia would not sign any contracts damaging Russian interests by allowing [Persian] Gulf countries to transport gas across Syria to Europe”. Prince Bandar, in his zeal to grease Putin’s hand, inadvertently tells the world of a major strategic reason why the Persian Gulf monarchs are so keenly sponsoring criminal regime change in Syria. Apart from isolating Iran, there is evidently an important oil and gas incentive. It’s worth reading Bandar’s words again: “Saudi Arabia would not sign any contracts damaging Russian interests by allowing [Persian] Gulf countries to transport its gas across Syria to Europe”. It has been speculated before that the Persian Gulf oil and gas sheikhdoms want to obviate the narrow Strait of Hormuz on the eastern side of the Gulf through which most of their hydrocarbons are transported - some 17 million barrels of crude every day or nearly 20 per cent of the world’s daily total. Safe passage through the Strait is the gift of Iran, which controls most of the territorial waters. The Persian Gulf Arab dictators and their Western patrons know that if Iran is antagonized too far, then this maritime lifeline can be cut off and with that the petrodollar capitalist world economy will be sunk. Because of this strategic vulnerability, it seems that the Saudis, Qataris and Emiratis want an alternative oil and gas supply route out of the Persian Gulf, to the North West. Syria’s land offers a prime route for this Arab oil and gas to the Mediterranean and thence to the vast market of Europe. This would get the House of Saud and its cronies off the hook with regard to dependency on Iranian goodwill; and, further, the newfound geopolitical freedom would allow these adversaries to adopt an even more bellicose line towards Tehran - something that Washington and its allies would gladly approve of. Prince Bandar’s admission in his meeting with Putin, held at the end of July, attests to this plan of the Persian Gulf sheikdoms breaking out of the Straits of Hormuz straitjacket via the Levantine territory of Syria. For the Arab monarchs to achieve that, they have to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad - a close ally of both Russia and Iran. That goal, by Bandar’s own admission, is one more explanation for why the Arab dictators have funneled at least $100 million to the mercenaries fighting in Syria to topple Assad. The latest expenditure was reportedly $50 million, spent by Saudi Arabia to buy weapons from Israel for supply to the militants. Most of those weapons are going to the Al Qaeda groups, such as Al Nusrah Front and Islamic State of Iraq and Shams. Moreover, when Putin repudiated the Saudi bribery, it is reported that Prince Bandar then told Russian officials “the only option left in Syria is a military one - and that they should forget about the Geneva-2 international peace conference because the opposition would not attend”. In other words, the Saudis are self-incriminating by openly declaring more state terrorism on behalf of the Western regime change plot against President Assad. In this way, the Western propaganda façade over Syria is exploded more than ever by Saudi “intelligence”. The agenda is driven solely by geopolitics and oil and gas resources, involving state-sponsored terrorism to achieve these ends. In a word, it is criminal, and the criminals have just openly confessed. In the war of information and truth over the conflict in Syria and the region, the Western co-conspirators just shot themselves in the foot. Clearly, having more money than brains can have a major downside.