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Who’s the Real Troublemaker in the Middle East?


Who’s the Real Troublemaker in the Middle East?

Medea Benjamin

Except for maybe the Affordable Care Act, nothing gets Republican politicians fired up like Iran.


The axis of evil in the Middle East. AMERIKA, ISRAEL AND SAUDI ARABIA.


"Let’s not forget that 15 of the 19 hijackers who carried out the 9/11 attacks were Saudis, as well as Osama bin Laden himself." yes lets not forget !


That's probably the only factually incorrect component of Ms. Benjamin's otherwise sterling essay.

The arms sales are 100% diabolical. What is more schizophrenic than a national policy ruled by the military-industrial complex? While it sells the worst regimes in the world the weapons that enable them to bully their people (and others) into submission... that is when they are not starting up internecine bloody border skirmishes, it argues that its central premise and purpose is peace-making (and/or spreading "Democracy").

THAT is the definition of schizophrenia!


People either don't know, or don't realize Saudi Arabia is wholly owned and operated by the House of Saud. The nation, the government, and the military, are parts of the family business. Yep, they sell boatloads of oil, yep, they buy boatloads of weaponry. Their allies, mostly the US, will gladly trade weapons systems for petroleum products, while downplaying (ignoring) the Saudi exports such as their extremely strict form of Islam; the madrassas most of the hard right describes are supported, in a large part, by the Saudis. Saudi Arabia pretty much does what it wants, with no static from the Western petroleum addicts. Most people - low info voters/Congress members - also don't seem to understand that Iranians aren't Arabs. There are hundreds of years of conflict between the Saudis and either the civil/secular a well as the religious elements of Iran. Now that diplomacy has been shown to work, religious conservatives on all sides don't want to lose any muscle.


Bravo Medea Benjamin! As Congress deliberates whether to pass the Iran nuclear deal, thanks for bringing some much-needed balance and perspective to the problems that plague the Middle East.


Congress knows, they just won't do anything about it. Great article, btw.


Right on Medea!!! Such a succinct round-up of the realpolitik behind our bloody friendship and business partnership with the Saudis--despite their royals current funding of terror in Yemen, and killing thousands in the Twin Towers. Americans should be questioning and outraged at this support and profit-making from a nation that is doing really bad things--as bad as our government's killing by drone, all over. (Or keeping others in solitary for years, or poisoning our environment for corporate and stock-holder profit, our children's legacy and life be damned. Sorry...I am angry. It's time for a change, isn't it?


Right, plane hits building and it comes down in a free-fall. LOL!

PS: Can't stand the Saudis, but unlike Israel they don't take money from us to occupy and oppress Palestinians.


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Is it really fair to call it treachery when all their evil deeds are done with a wink and a nod from Uncle Sam?


Hillary is not likely to change the status quo with the House of Saud or Israel, but will approve a deal with Iran. What would Bernie or Trump do in these cases?


Another outstanding article by Medea Benjamin. She's the real thing.


Prince Bandar bin Sultan, former head of Saudi intelligence until a little while ago gave the former head of Britain's MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, in a conversation a few years ago the impression that being a Shia would be dangerous in the near future. It appears that future has arrived, at least according to Dearlove's recollection of the comment, and what is written in an article in the Independent: Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country.

Also mentioned in the article, reminiscent of our own naiveté in enabling mujahideen in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, it appears Prince Bandar may have unleashed ISIS by giving them early support in the early stages of the Syrian civil war.

The US has turned the other way with regards to Saudi Arabia because of oil and the geopolitics of oil. All the more reason for a Manhattan Project-style effort to turn to alternatives. One can dream.


Oh shucks, the answer to the headline question? The US, hands down ..... now if we would only put our arms down ...


Best op-ed comes from the rightwing conservative. I have yet to see a bolder write up by any progressive writer.
Check it out.


The Saudis are certainly the principal sponsors and exporters of primitive Wahhabist Islam, spreading it far and wide and tarring the image of Sharia law which is actually diverse and regionally adapted to host cultures with Islamic majorities - some 57 countries altogether, almost none of which perform public beheadings and other such insanities. The Arab countries we have destroyed (Iraq & Libya) and almost destroyed (Syria) were all modern, secular, socialist states with equal educational and occupational opportunities for women, well-developed public services, and high standards of living. The US under heavy Israeli pressure destroyed Iraq, the US and tagalong NATO destroyed Libya, and the US under Saudi influence and Saudi funding, aided by Israel, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey have ganged up on Syria using externally recruited mercenaries and violent, fanatic Wahhabists. For international aggression, the US and Israel lead the list. For internal atrocities, Israel and the Saudis lead the list. But no aggression in the region happens without permission and enabling by the Great American Puppeteer. And all are following Israel's 1982 Oded Yinon plan to fragment Arab states to emasculate them as functioning nations.

Iran has invaded nobody in over 200 years and is a threat only (1) to Israel by providing Hezbollah with weapons to protect Lebanon from Israeli attacks, and (2) to the US as a supplier of energy resources east instead of west, which it threatens as a prospective member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization challenging world economic control by the Bretton Woods institutional cabal. Nobody in Washington or Tel Aviv actually perceives Iran as a military threat with or without nukes, or cares about their internal politics or human rights practices. Our friendships with Israel and the Saudis demonstrate how much the US cares about human rights anywhere else, and we obviously care nothing about those of our own serial victims.

As for the 15 alleged Saudi hijackers, I'm surprised Medea actually believes that most fanciful of all 911 conspiracy theories - the one floated by the US government and dutifully endorsed by its kangaroo court, which has been systematically shredded by engineers, physicists, airline pilots, demolition experts, financial and other investigators, and published for a decade in the peer-reviewed Journal of 911 Studies as well as numerous well-documented books. Although some data points are still missing, it's been pretty well figured out through painstaking research who really did it, how and why.


No, but they use American weapons in Yemen, don't they?

Few people seem to notice that the Saudi family seems to be the only group of Arabs (or Muslims) in the middle east that Israel never has any problems with?


I assumed the article was talking about the US. This is a bad time to be putting down Iranian democracy, while we are working so hard to support the Treaty.

Lets compare their democracy to ours...theirs has an important input from religious authorities. That disturbs our sentiment in the US. OURS is heavily influenced, some would say controlled, by the wealth of billionaires
and the Israel lobby. Is that better?

We are in a glass house. The US is IN the Middle East as much as if we lived there. The US, not the dependent Saudi regime, is the greatest source of trouble in the whole WORLD.


When you look at the problems in the Middle East pre 9/11 and those of today I would say that the nation stirring the pot and causing most of the grief is The good ol' USof A. Our leadership has been totally unsuccessful in bringing any semblance of effective government to a region fraught with dictators and religious zealots. We are incapable of bringing peace to this troubled region because all we have used diplomatically is the stick and the carrot.