Monday, January 18, 2016

The meaning of Western experts' anti-Saudi campaign

Saudi security forces
The House of Saud’s sectarian venom spreads across Middle East.The ruling family, having incited Sunni-Shia conflict, will not be able to control it.” The ideological campaign to demonize Saudi Arabia by highlighting elements of its behavior that could also be easily and legitimately noted in Iran’s case continues. And of course, all of this is happening by accident. Yeah. One fine morning, a bunch of pundits, academics and government officials from all over the world just decided that it’s time to speak ill of the would-be dead, if they had their way. And no, human rights and concerns for regional stability are not the issue here, because, had these being the issue, the same people would have been condemning Iran as vehemently as they do Saudi. As I repeatedly noted earlier, and will continue to remind, it’s all about a misguided vision for the future of the region that is completely divorced from its actual realities, but looks some neat on paper.

But that’s not all. Powerful lobbies, supported one way or another by Iran, seem to be involved. The following is a case in point as to how: Podemos: Spain's anti-corruption party ‘received illicit funding from Iran.’The El Confidencial news website claims the party received more than €5m through a Spanish TV station operated by an Iranian businessman and financed by the government in Tehran.

To summarize: the hypocrisy involved in attacking Saudi Arabia but not Iran, for similar behavior, is an indication of the presence of an agenda. For both powers are guilty of practicing and encouraging sectarian tendencies, both powers are known major human rights abusers, both powers support global terrorism, both powers employs PR firms and lobbyists to work on their behalf in the West (albeit Iran has developed more of an edge in this regard over the last two decades due to its success in cultivating sympathetic members of the its large expat community), both powers foster blatantly racist impressions of the other, and of others in general (those who confuse hospitality and kindness to strangers for which both Persians and Arabs, among other peoples of the East, are known, for some latent embrace of human equality at some inner level are morons), so, how can either of these powers pave the way for regional stability without a major change in outlook and governing ethos in both countries, and without the kind of American leadership that focuses on changing the troubling behavior exhibited by both. And yet, realists are not opting for evenhandedness here. No. Rather, they advocate closer relations with one side (Iran) at expense of the other, irrespective of the price others in the region (Syrian, Iraqis, Lebanese, Yemenis, etc.) have to pay for this change in polarization. They celebrate the one and demonize the other while predicting, and encouraging, in fact, its destruction, knowing fully well that a Saudi implosion will have dangerous repercussions all over the region.

Personally, I don't want to see more states fail, and I definitely don’t want to see a country as pivotal as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey or Egypt collapse. Rather than accept the inevitability of any of this, I prefer that we try to prevent it. But this goal cannot be achieved by rewarding the very rogue behavior that brought us to this point. You cannot reward the very attitude you want to see change. But this is exactly what the realists have done and are still doing. They think that what they have just achieved is a diplomatic triumph not a disastrous capitulation. But, contrary to what they hope and claim, the policies advanced by realists are not compensating for the blunders of turn-of-the-century neocons; rather, they are amplifying and adding to them, as witnessed by the fact that we have far more violence and chaos in the region today than there was eight years ago. But such an objective criterion for measuring progress is not what the “realists” use to assess their accomplishment. Rather, they think that their vindication will come tomorrow. For now, millions in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere will have to endure the misery and havoc of their triumphant diplomacy. 

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