Reprinted from RT
Barack Obama Meet Saudi Arabia's New King Salman after death of King Abdullah
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No one in Western corporate media will tell you why US President Barack Obama is hitting Riyadh with a high-powered delegation to "pay his respects" to the new House of Saud potentate, King Salman.
Talk about a who's who -- including CIA head John Brennan; General Lloyd Austin, head of US Centcom; Secretary of State John Kerry; leading House Democrat Nancy Pelosi; and even senile Senator John "Bomb Iran" McCain.
It must have been heart wrenching for most in this crowd to skip a visit to the Taj Mahal in India so they would be part of the last-minute, "unscheduled" stop in Riyadh.
This is how the astonishing mediocrity that doubles as US Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, spun it; "Principally, I think this is to mark this transition in leadership and to pay respects to the family and to the people of Saudi Arabia, but I'm sure that while we're there they'll touch on some of the leading issues where we cooperate very closely with Saudi Arabia."
The White House and the Pentagon did not bother to "pay their respects" in person to the people of France after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. The House of Saud -- "our" top bastards in the Persian Gulf -- is of course much more valuable.
And yet, Air Force One, we got a problem. High-level US financial sources assure this correspondent the trip is all about Obama shoring up the new King's support for their financial/economic war on Russia as the House of Saud is starting to have second thoughts. The Saudi role in this war has been to come up with the oil price shock -- which is hurting not only Russia but also Iran and Venezuela, among others. Besides, the US puppet theoretically in charge in Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has just visited Saudi Arabia.
Russia is not Iran -- with all due respect to Iran. If the House of Saud really believes they are talking to the head of a superpower rather than a ventriloquist's puppet -- which is Obama's role -- they are effectively doomed. Nothing Obama says means a thing. The real "Masters of the Universe" who run the "Empire of Chaos" want the House of Saud to do most of their dirty work against Russia; and in a later stage they will take care of the "towel heads" -- as the saying goes in Washington -- over their development of nuclear missiles with Pakistan. And especially because the Saudi-launched oil price war is bound to destroy the US oil industry -- against US national interests.
The House of Saud has absolutely nothing to gain from this undeclared financial/economic war on Russia. The Saudis have already "lost" Yemen and Iraq. Bahrain is held by mercenary troops containing the alienation of the Shia majority. They are freaking out with the possibility of ultimate "enemy" Iran reaching a nuclear deal with His Master's Voice. They are desperate that "Assad won't go." They want every Muslim Brotherhood in sight -- or the vicinity -- jailed or beheaded. They fear any Arab Spring-style stirrings as worse than the plague. And then there's the fake Caliphate of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh threatening to go all the way to Mecca and Medina. The House of Saud is effectively surrounded.The suicide roadmap
Meanwhile, as the tempest approaches, all is smiles -- amid a silent family bloodbath. The powerful Sudairi clan has exacted their "revenge" as King Abdullah's corpse was still warm. King Salman, almost 80, and with Alzheimer's about to turn him into mush, took no time to appoint his nephew Mohammed bin Naif as deputy crown prince. And just in case nepotism was not evident enough, he also appointed his son Prince Mohammed bin Salman as defense minister. Mohammed bin Naif is a Pentagon/CIA darling; the House of Saud's head of counterterrorism.
So yes, this is a desert version of Giuseppe di Lampedusa's classic The Leopard; Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga com'è bisogna che tutto cambi ("things must change, in order that they can stay the same.") But the juicier bit is that this seems to apply much more to the House of Saud nowadays than to the "Empire of Chaos."
Apparently, the game of thrones at "our" bastard's abode leads to everything staying the same; they remain "our" privileged bastard. The Pentagon even came up with the lovely idea of having the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sponsor an essay competition to honor late King Abdullah.
So shell out your essays lavishing the King for the no-holds-barred repression of the Shia minority in oil-rich eastern Saudi Arabia. Praise him for the sentencing of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr -- a popular Shia cleric and outspoken political dissident; he should be beheaded, Daesh-style, just because he led a non-violent movement committed to promoting Shia rights, women's rights, and democratic reform in Saudi Arabia (even Human Rights Watch has admitted that Saudi Arabian Shias "face systematic discrimination in religion, education, justice, and employment.")
Honor the late King for the thousands of political prisoners; "terrorism" charges against women who dare to drive; the 25 percent of the population living under the poverty line; and last but not least, for facilitating the expansion of al-Qaeda in Iraq, who turned into ISIS. The Pentagon will love you for that.
All that desert storm of Saudi cash spent on global Wahhabi proselytizing and indoctrinating -- and I've seen this from the Maghreb to Java -- has been such a powerful legacy; a medieval, toxic "religion" (nothing to do with legitimate Islam) that will keep destroying lives and communities and breeding fanatics till Kingdom Come. Hail the King for that -- on behalf of the Pentagon. And forget about reading any of this on Arab corporate media -- which is totally controlled by the House of Saud.
The House of Saud "reforming"? Away from that nefarious, barbarian Salafi religious establishment? That's the joke of the millennium. Everything will stay the same.
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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)