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Saudi Arabia is Destabilizing the World


#1

Saudi Arabia is Destabilizing the World

Stephen Kinzer

Just a few months ago, the governor of Indonesia’s largest city, Jakarta, seemed headed for easy re-election despite the fact that he is a Christian in a mostly Muslim country. Suddenly everything went violently wrong. Using the pretext of an offhand remark the governor made about the Koran, masses of enraged Muslims took to the streets to denounce him. In short order he lost the election, was arrested, charged with blasphemy, and sentenced to two years in prison.


#2

With Trump empowering fascists, autocrats and radical Christianity, his love affair with the Saudi regime is a match made in heaven.


#3

Thanks for the heads-up!


#5

Thanks for that since Reich Wing policy deprecates seem to be about a billion dollars a dozen.


#6

Right you are Joe!

The United States of America is the Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the world today through Empire, sales of weaponry to terrorist countries, and Regime Change, to name a few examples.


#7

"Saudi Arabia’s success in reshaping Indonesia shows the importance of the global battle over ideas. Many in Washington consider spending for cultural and other “soft power” projects to be wasteful. The Saudis feel differently. They pour money and resources into promoting their world view. We should do the same"
NO! We should NOT export fundamental Christianity , profit driven healthcare, profits before people, neoliberal policies anywhere else. It's bad enough that we have to deal with them.


#8

Actually, the USA is the largest terrorist organization in the world today. Just ask the people of Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.


#9

As long as Saudi Arabia has control over world oil prices and sides with Israel against Iran and Hezbollah--their Shiia enemies, the US will sell them arms, and ignore the fact that they're the number one funder of radical Islam.

That's both halves of the duopoly, too, in case some D-Party apologists want to whine...but...pragmatism.


#10

Yes, just as in the Vietnam War, the USA is the "problem"!


#11

Mr. Kinder should write a piece about Saudi Arabia's future role in the world! It'd be a fascinating read. What is the Saudi Arabia of the future going to be like? Twenty years from now, they will be downsizing on oil or rather oversizing their foreign investments to replace expected losses in oil revenues.

There lies the rub! Trump and his Oligarchs certainly want the world to freeze in place and continue using fossil fuels as do the Saudis, Russians and Indonesians ( a real coinkydense that ) as do other oil supply countries. However as things are going, twenty years is a very long period of increased global warming!here at the end of oil, things are moving fast!

What will be the Saudis' plan for their future? Is it conceivable that they intend to try and keep the world on fossil fuels by virtue of destabilizing the world and offering themselves to the west as a single point stable supply country and a Muslim military equivalent of Israel. Presently Iran is in the way as the Saudi competitor. Turkey's job is to look west and become the European Muslim power node while the Saudis look east and south. A heavily militarized Saudis Arabia will be even harder to deal with. A situation very similar to Israel's role in the Mid East.

But in any case, exactly what role is Saudi Arabia aiming for as oil use rapidly sees its last days? My guess is that the Saudis do not intend for oil to see its last days. In a destabilized world... who will be able to tell the Saudis what to do? They seemingly want to emulate Israel's military primacy (and already admire Israel's independence from interference.). A larger military for Saudi Arabia means more strenuous efforts to maintain the peace With Iran by the west giving the Saudis bargaining chips etc.

Israel and Saudi Arabia... a matched set? They might even pair up against Iran!


#12

Kinzer sez: "The Saudis ... pour money and resources into promoting their world view. We should do the same."

"We" already do. The promotional materials just happen to be ballistic, explosive and/or incendiary.


#13

Indonesia is an importer of oil, about 1/2 million barrels a day. Even though they have about 10 billion barrels in known reserves, lack of capital and no updating of extraction and refinery capacity, has caused this situation. Who really knows what hasn't been fully examined or explored yet, either.
Sounds like they need lots of money, right? A huge loan would sure help, really kick start things, so to speak. Now, who could supply that money and upgraded tech, in exchange for certain demands being met? Reactionary religious demands and a change in cultural and political direction, perhaps? Another friendly Wahhabist Oiligarchy sure fits the description and provides the quickest remedy.
And, if the Saudi princes need to, they'll show Indonesia how to market that gift from Allah, too.
Why, I'd bet they'd be glad to take over the whole operation. No problema! It's all good, dude! Along with they're good buddies like BP, Exxon and ________ ( place your favorite investment houses, private security forces and hedge funds here ).
Since Indonesia is so far away and sounds dangerously exotic, who'll care if there's a soft coup, their gov't is flipped and their vital institutions are turned into propaganda centers for radical Wahhabist ideology? The people who need lots of energy? The people who are hungry?
And, more control of the world energy sources in the hands of extremists on a mission; gee, what could possibly go wrong? Especially, since there are no nuclear weapons or massive military arsenals in the area and everyone thinks like Rodney King. Ya know, " can't we all just get along? ":wink:
Donald Trump: " I sure hope you two ( Indonesia and Qatar ) can see why it's important to get with the Saudi Arabian program on this Wahhabist spreading thing, ok? It'll be a great deal, trust me.
And, then we can also get rid of all that fake news from Al Jazeera, too. Which will really help me make America great again. Like I said, it's a win-win. So, hopefully you two get my drift. "


#14

Religion has been the quick and dirty guide for making a way through life for many. The lure of power and alignment with something capable of providing absolution has been the reason that people change their world view. It is often matter of convenience and survival. This is used in Nepal by Christian organizations from the US. the 700 club was ejaculating bibles the day Nepal declared itself a Non-Hindu, open state. Muslims had already been supplying destitute and hungry and slim Himalayans an alternative ideology based on Saudi money. Mumbai, which the author states in his article, has been an experimental lab for the Wahhabis for generations.

The poison of cliquish, regressive and deceptive ideology infused insidiously into a simple populace is the way to control masses.

When you ascribe to an ideology that has violence as the answer at its root, why are we surprised when we get violence?

Wake up to the elements, and dump religion. Money is not the only reason that this toxic message is being to ascribed in so many parts of the world. There is the seduction of world power and self empowerment, sometimes through the glory of suicide, a celebration for the destitute and desperately hungry.

The socialist systems in Europe leave less room for such systems to invade the minds of the hopeless. Yes we are too many people on this planet, but de-fanging one poisonous mechanism for the glorification of another readily available one (holywoodized capitalism) is just lighting another fire on this burning planet.


#15

More than Trump and/or Putin?   Interesting . . .

Exactly what Betsy DeVos and her Funny-Dementalist allies have in mind for Amerika: destroy our public schools, dumb down & brainwash the masses, and establish a "Christian" theocracy.


#16

Very enlightening article! Thank you Mr. Kinzer, for more information on Indonesia than we would ever get from cable "news", and for helping us understand better the dark side of our great friends the Saudis.


#17

Well given we are going to spend money to influence the world to our interests, I'm sure the rest of the world would be much happier to receive soft power rather than hard power. True, there will be a load of indoctrination from our side too, but there will be (e.g. if we were funding schools) basic language math and science too - sounds a lot better than bombs.

I skimmed the story http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/03/06/does-humanitarian-aid-improve-americas-image/ to understand what is concluded overall about the US aid to Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake. I recall stories from small villages that had US doctors participating in this aid and in these villages, people had a much more positive view of the US than they had before. They say the effect doesn't last forever of course and overall our current reputation in Pakistan is now pretty bad. I don't know what the right solution is - at the moment setting up schools that are known to be associated with the US might just make them targets. But I'd sure as heck would rather politicians and even the military spend their time studying how to use soft power more effectively than their current lousy strategies.


#18

Well given we are going to spend money to influence the world to our
interests, I'm sure the rest of the world would be much happier to receive
soft power rather than hard power. True, there will be a load of
indoctrination from our side too, but there will be (e.g. if we were
funding schools) basic language math and science too - sounds a lot better
than bombs.

I skimmed the story http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/
03/06/does-humanitarian-aid-improve-americas-image/ to understand what is
concluded overall about the US aid to Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake. I
recall stories from small villages that had US doctors participating in
this aid and in these villages, people had a much more positive view of the
US than they had before. They say the effect doesn't last forever of course
and overall our current reputation in Pakistan is now pretty bad. I don't
know what the right solution is - at the moment setting up schools that are
known to be associated with the US might just make them targets. But I'd
sure as heck would rather politicians and even the military spend their
time studying how to use soft power more effectively than their current
lousy strategies.


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#19

I personally know people...christian friends...who went to Ethiopia to
"help" the gov't (they r devout christians and met often with the pres &
first lady there). Though their own daughter is a lesbian they applauded
the Ethiopians laws which puts LGBTQ people in jail....or death. Look at
what "we" will be exporting to Saudi
Arabia over the next ten years(I'll give u a hint: weapons)


#20

Wonderful how we pick friends. Saudi Arabia and Israel. With friend like these who needs enemies.


#21

Yes, true, with the active help of the United States.