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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/25/13

The Dark Side of Saudi Petro-dollars

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Did you know that the Syrian government has agreed to send peace envoys to Geneva?  According to Robert Parry at Consortium News, the problem is that the rebels have refused to negotiate. Some rebel groups are insisting on a long list of unacceptable preconditions. On the surface, according to Parry, "The real problem seems to be how divided the Syrian opposition is, with schisms from pro-democracy moderates to violent jihadists including some who film themselves eating the internal organs of dead Syrian soldiers and executing defenseless captives. " But the underlying problem is actually, "... the obstruction from al-Qaeda-connected jihadists who are beholden for their military and financial support to Saudi Arabia and other oil sheikdoms operating under Saudi Arabia's political/diplomatic wing." Consortiumnew -  http://j.mp/1gWqrfv

SaudiPetro
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by Think Progress

Photo: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2010/01/13/76933/foreign-oil-tea/

The scope and depravity of Saudi sponsored violence in the world is enormous and yet hard to spot. It surfaced on July 31st in Moscow when Prince Bandar in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, offered to protect next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi from terrorist attack if Russia agreed to end support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The offer by Bandar came with inducements as well. What amounted to a diplomatic shake down angered Putin, who believes that Saudi oil money is already helping to finance Chechnyan terrorist that target innocent Russian civilians. http://j.mp/14DEu7w

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Saudi oil money seems to turn up in many places where terrorist violence stains the ground with blood from innocent civilians. In a recent piece in the Vancouver Sun, Jonathan Manthrope wrote:  "The ultimate responsibility for recent atrocities like the Boston Marathon bombing and the butchering last week of an off-duty British soldier is very clear. It belongs to Saudi Arabia. Over more than two decades, Saudi Arabia has lavished around $100 billion or more on the worldwide promotion of the violent, intolerant and crudely puritanical Wahhabist sect of Islam that the ruling royal family espouses. http://j.mp/1b26280

Saudi Arabian petro dollars are bankrolling global terrorism, but the actual funding transactions within the country are complex, filled with shadowy connections and courtyard intrigue. The following diplomatic cable obtained and released by Wikileaks provide a glimpse of the inside game:

:... one leaked cable sent by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in December 2009 noted that "it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority." It adds: "Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide" -- running into millions of dollars. "Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT-groups that are also aligned with al-Qaeda," the cable from Clinton says."  CNN - http://j.mp/1fy6RIP

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The record of Saudi funded global terrorism is clear even if it isn't well publicized in the mainstream press. The strategic importance of Saudi Arabia for US interests in the region is hard to overstate. And then there are the political connections between Prince Bandar and moneyed interests here and abroad, including a long friendship with the Bush family. The Syrian sponsored news organizations portrays the Bush family connection in an extreme and self-serving conspiratorial way. http://j.mp/14DHhgM

But it doesn't take a conspiratorial mentality to see that Saudi Arabia is complicit in supporting global terrorism. They are dealing from both sides of the deck. Even so the Saudi's receive special treatment from the US and our allies. It is time for a clear-eyed reassessment of our relationships. If we want the global bloodshed to end and diplomacy to succeed in the world, the Saudi regime must terminate it's financial support for global terror.

 

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Brian Lynch is a retired social worker who worked in the areas of adult mental health and child protection for many years. His work brought him into direct contact with all the major social issues of the day and many of our basic social (more...)
 

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