Trump’s Saudi Best Friends Are A Major Threat To Regional Stability

Donald Trump,Foreign Policy,Iran,Islam,Middle East

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have enlisted the West in “a proxy Sunni-Shia religious war,” Riyadh’s ultimate aim. The scary part: Donald Trump seems perfectly willing to partake.

Via Doug Bandow at Forbes.com:

Wealthy and pampered Saudi Arabia and the UAE, along with their satellites, particularly Bahrain and Egypt, whose loyalty has been purchased with abundant cash and military support, have declared diplomatic war on Qatar. They blame the latter for supporting terrorism, but almost certainly more important to them, dictatorships all, is the desire to silence criticism of their own crimes.

Doha supports opposition groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the chief target of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s brutal rule in Egypt, and TV channel Al Jazeera, which speaks ill of most of the oppressive Gulf regimes. Qatar also maintains civil relations with Iran …

… Indeed, under Saudi Arabia’s ruthless new Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman—who apparently has put his cousin and ousted predecessor under palace arrest—Riyadh has become the major threat to regional stability. Although U.S. officials blame Tehran for destabilizing the Gulf, it is the Saudi royals who supported radical insurgents in Syria, launched an aggressive war against Yemen, and sent troops to support Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy against the oppressed Shia majority. If the House of Saud ever loses its hold on power, the crash will be heard around the world.

At one level there isn’t much to choose between the assorted Gulf kingdoms. They are monarchies in a world which mostly abandoned that ancient form of government a century ago. They are largely dictatorships. Kuwait is the freest, with an elected assembly and robust media; otherwise the picture is bleak. Most sit atop sizeable energy reserves and hire foreigners to do their dirty work. Including Americans to defend them.

Saudi Arabia is the Gulf colossus and usually takes the lead. But Qatar, with the largest natural gas reserves in the world—and consequently the world’s wealthiest nation—long has followed a very different foreign policy. This rankled Riyadh’s royals, who were used to being obeyed. Worse was Doha’s creation of Al Jazeera, which promoted the Arab Spring and has attained wide viewership in a region where the media is highly controlled. (Confession: I’ve appeared on the channel.) Egypt’s al-Sisi, who in 2013 ousted a democratically elected president from the Muslim Brotherhood and imposed a reign of terror to crush all opposition, most objects to Qatar’s support for the MB. …


A stupid title for what is a good analysis. READ: “Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates Should Put Own Houses In Order Before Accusing Qatar.”