Posts Tagged ‘Sunni’

G20 meets in Turkey today – but will Saudi and Turkish (and EU) support for ISIS be confronted?

November 15, 2015

The agenda of the G20 meeting starting in Turkey today will be dominated by Paris – and so it should.

The G20 is made up of 19 countries and the EU: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the European Union.

129 people died in Paris on Friday night and another 90 are still in critical condition. At least two of the terrorists had posed as refugees passing through Turkey and Greece just about a month ago. One more has now been identified as a known, 29 year old, “radicalised” French citizen.

The G20 is intended primarily as an economic forum, but Paris and Syria and ISIS can be expected to dominate. But I am not sure that any discussions about ISIS will be open enough or sufficiently meaningful in addressing root causes. To do that the agenda would have to include,

  1. the tacit support for ISIS from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and
  2. the funding and growth of ISIS caused by the EU and US support of anti-Assad  rebels, and
  3. the misguided “multiculturalism” in the EU which – among other things – allows Saudi funded, radicalising mosques and madrassas all across Europe, and
  4. the EU “soft” policies which have now probably allowed at least hundreds of terrorists to be sneaked into Europe as “refugees”.

Both Saudi Arabia and Turkey are members of the G20, but their support for ISIS, not officially perhaps, but indirectly and by inaction and by default, will not, I think, be confronted directly. Turkey is a Nato member and is “protected” from criticism of its excesses. Criticism of Saudi Arabia is always muted from those countries dependent on oil imports or defence exports.

A great deal of ISIS financing is from private Saudi sources but surely not without the knowledge of the Saudi authorities. The official Saudi support is ostensibly for groups of Sunni rebels who are opposed to Assad and who are also said to be opposed – sometimes very mildly – to ISIS. Moreover some of these groups are no more than conduits to ISIS and al Qaida. Saudi Arabia’s primary aim seems to be to support anti-Shia groups and opposition to ISIS is only secondary. If ISIS was the only Sunni group available to oppose the Shia forces then Saudi Arabia would make sure they were supported.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.”

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the other Sunni Gulf States, all want the Shia to be wiped off the face of the Earth and if that means supporting the murderous psychopaths of ISIS – well, the end justifies the means.

In the case of Turkey, it is also an overwhelming desire to prevent any Kurdish state which rules their actions. Turkish hatred of a Kurdistan is on a par with the Saudi hatred of the Shia. They are also against terrorism, provided that the Kurds are first defined as terrorists. And ISIS, as an enemy of their Kurdish enemies, is often their friend. Turkey sees Kurdish successes in Northern Iraq and parts of Syria as ominous and are quite happy to bomb Kurds in or close to Turkey, even if it helps ISIS to gain territory.

Greater Kurdistan dreams map from Jon Davis via Quora

Greater Kurdistan dreams map from Jon Davis via Quora

Turkey will not take actions against ISIS if there is any chance that Kurds may gain an advantage.

I don’t expect the G20 meeting to get more than empty statements from Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Obama will order a few more air strikes. The EU is now a dithering and fractured entity. In fact the EU is now part of the problem and European countries (France, UK, Germany …) will need to act independently to oppose and attack the growth of ISIS. The G20 meeting in Antalya will get no commitments

  1. from Turkey to attack ISIS even if it helps the Kurds, or
  2. from Saudi Arabia to shut off all private funding for ISIS, or
  3. even to withdraw official Saudi support from Sunni groups who “leak” funds to ISIS, or
  4. from the EU to stop the funding from the Middle East of radicalising mosques and madrassas in Europe, or
  5. from the EU to winnow out the terrorists and criminals from among the influx of “refugees”

Sunni Muslims across the world need to pay more than lip-service to opposing the barbarism of ISIS. The Shia are already opposed to all things Sunni. But far too many Sunnis – by inaction – allow their own fanatics to prosper. They allow their fanatic imams to continue preaching their brand of hatred. They turn a blind eye to their radicalised sons and daughters. They too harbour dreams of the establishment of a new Islamic (Sunni, of course) Caliphate and have secret sympathies for the objectives of those “fighting” or murdering for this dream.

I am afraid that Sunnis anywhere (and for me that means all over Europe and the Middle East, Africa and even India, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia) who do not declare themselves – by word and action – to be against the Islamic Caliphate must be taken to be supporters of, and sympathisers with, ISIS.

Saudi Arabia gets away with it again — but why?

October 21, 2015

That Saudi Arabia uses barbaric, medieval methods within Saudi Arabia is almost a cliche. But why they command an almost fawning behaviour by other countries can only be partly explained by the power of their money. Values, it seems, are subverted by Saudi oil money.

Without financing from parties in Saudi Arabia, ISIS could not sustain itself. The madrassas and mosques where feeble-minded, muslim kids are radicalised in Europe and in Asia, are financed to a large extent from Saudi Arabia. The 9/11 terrorists were mainly Saudis. Bin Laden was Saudi.

Dissolute and decadent Saudi and Gulf tourists run riot in Europe, driving recklessly, drinking heavily, cooking, littering and smoking shisha in public parks. All with an impunity as if they had a de facto diplomatic immunity – which of course they seem to have. Even the Saudi King and an entourage of 1,000 were allowed to take over a whole beach in France in spite of local protests. The French acquiesced to the King’s demand that female police officers be removed.

Saudi Arabia would collapse without its expat workers and foreign labour. Their medieval treatment of foreigners is a scandal but is tolerated because they pay well. How on earth did Saudi Arabia get elected as the Chair of UN Human Rights Council Panel?

In the last few weeks the arrogant and decadent behaviour of the Saudis at home and abroad has been on show.

  1. The incompetence of the Saudi authorities led to the death of at least 2177 people at the Hajj stampede, not the 769 that Saudi Arabia admits to (as if that was not bad enough).
  2. Two Nepali women working as maids for a Saudi diplomat were were held captive by his family and used for “entertainment” for their Saudi friends. They were starved and sexually abused by them and other Saudi guests. When the girls were eventually released and the diplomat charged, he just claimed immunity and was whisked back to Saudi Arabia.
  3. The US authorities allowed a Saudi prince to flee rape charges even though he had no immunity. Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud was arrested but fled while on bail. “Arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, sexual assault and battery, a Saudi prince has also recently been accused of attacking at least three women and holding them captive for several days. Immediately upon posting bail, the prince reportedly emptied his $37 million mansion and fled the country on a private jet to avoid civil litigation and criminal charges. …. Although the prince is a royal member of the House of Saud, the U.S. State Department eventually confirmed that Al-Saud does not have any diplomatic immunity”.

Is it just oil money that leads the US and European governments to put up with the atrocious behaviour that would lead to calls for regime change in other countries? Of course the US sees Saudi as a balance for Iran in the region. But if the US is serious about its so-called war on terror, the sources of most of the financing of islamic terror organisations lie in Saudi Arabia. King Salman is showing signs of dementia and the country is actually being run by his son – but not very competently. Mohammed bin Salman is just 29 and has never had experience of being anything more than an aide. The incompetence on show has led to one of the grandsons of the founder of Saudi Arabia making public his concerns about the way the country is being run.

A senior Saudi prince has launched an unprecedented call for change in the country’s leadership, as it faces its biggest challenge in years in the form of war, plummeting oil prices and criticism of its management of Mecca, scene of last week’s hajj tragedy. 

The prince, one of the grandsons of the state’s founder, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud,  ……. (but) who is not named for security reasons, wrote two letters earlier this month calling for the king to be removed.

And all of Europe and the US continue to indulge them. Low oil prices for the next decade will – perhaps – reduce some of the Saudi excesses, but there is something more than just oil money at play.

I suspect it is the delusion in US and Europe that they can manage the inevitable restructuring of nations in the Middle East that must come. At some time Iraq has to split three-ways between Sunni, Shia and Kurd. And now it looks inevitable that Syria must also split in some similar manner, with a Sunni part of Syria perhaps merged with a Sunni part of Iraq.

Ralph Peters’ scenario for the Middle East


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