Sunday :: Oct 16, 2005

Pumping Up The Gas Crisis

by pessimist

Never before in the history of this nation have energy prices risen so high. There are many tangible reasons for this, but there just might be an additional reason why it is rising so fast - a reason that didn't bring about this sort of price increase in the past. This reason should scare the Jeebus out of your Hummvee-owning, flag-waing Red Stater: George wants to pick a fight with the Saudis:

George Bush told Tony Blair shortly before the invasion of Iraq that he intended to target other countries, including Saudi Arabia, which, he implied, planned to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Bush said he "wanted to go beyond Iraq in dealing with WMD proliferation, mentioning in particular Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan," according to a note of a telephone conversation between the two men on January 30 2003.

The note is quoted in the US edition, published next week, of Lawless World, America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules, by the British international lawyer Philippe Sands. The memo was drawn up by one of the prime minister's foreign policy advisers in Downing Street and passed to the Foreign Office, according to Mr Sands.

One has to wonder why this news is coming out now.

The Guardian published information in the past which supports this contention that the Saudis were seeking nukes:

In September 2003, the Guardian reported that Saudi Arabia had embarked on a strategic review that included acquiring nuclear weapons. Until then, the assumption in Washington was that Saudi Arabia was content to remain under the US nuclear umbrella despite the worsening relationship between Riyadh and Washington. Despite hard evidence that Pakistan was deeply involved in exporting nuclear technology, the Bush administration embraced President Pervez Musharraf as an ally against al-Qaida. Washington's relations with Saudi Arabia remain cool.

A cursory Google search turns up some interesting things:

Saudi Arabia's nuclear gambit
Nov 7, 2003

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are now reported to have arranged a deal by which Pakistan will provide Saudi Arabia with nuclear technology in return for cheap oil. The US-based Defense and Foreign Affairs Daily even goes so far as to say that Pakistan will station nuclear weapons on Saudi territory. These weapons will be fitted to a new generation of Chinese-supplied long-range missiles with a reach of 4,000 to 5,000 kilometers.

Remember - Mussharef is an ally in the war against terror, and China holds a major portion of King George's debt to fight that war! But why would the Saudis want such weapons?

In the Saudi case there is evidently growing disengagement with Washington due to the "war on terrorism" and the war on Iraq. These events have created an atmosphere where Saudi elites evidently feel less inclined to rely on American protection in the face of regional threats, specifically the likelihood of an Iranian nuclear weapon. They also see no pressure from Washington being directed against Israel's nuclear arsenal, even though there is no sign or even consideration of an attack on Saudi Arabia.

If one were to stop here, one could say that - in a sense - the Saudis had a bad case of 'nukuler' penis envy. But remember the initial linked article that claims that George was ready to make war against the Saudis at least by January of 2003 - ten months before this report in the Asia Times. Certainly, through captive resources embedded deep within Bu$hCo through the international oil industry, the Saudis would have heard about this plan and seen fit to take steps to defend themselves as they had seen North Korea do. They just might have felt the need for such a defense:

They also clearly resent the evidence of a Saudi connection to al-Qaeda and accusations against them of less than wholehearted cooperation with Washington and other Western capitals in efforts to break up al-Qaeda and its source of financing.

Think paper trail here for a moment. The Saudis promote Wahhabism as a means by which they can maintain power over an increasingly restive population. Wahhabism is the militant Muslim version of the Crusade For Christ, both of which seek to convert the heathen masses through a heavy and oppressive proslytizing campaign which implies (if not overtly threatens) a Hobson's Choice of conversion or death. Wahhabism and Saudi oil money made the Muhajadeen a potent guerilla force in Afghanistan during the Russian Occupation, and there is no reason to believe that Muslim Fundamentalism isn't dreaming of an Islamic Christmas in the form of Islam ruling the world just like our own Christian lunatics do. There is just one thing standing in their way - the military might of the United States.

This concern isn't fresh as of 2003. No, indeed! Something along these lines has been in the Saudi play book for some time now:

In 1988, Saudi bought from China intermediate-range missiles capable of reaching any part of the Middle East with a nuclear warhead.

[In 1999], Saudi Arabia sent a defence team to Pakistan to tour its secret nuclear facilities and to be briefed by Abdul Qader Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb.

Could this be why the US backed off on going after Khan when it became known that he aided the North Koreans? That the Saudis still needed him to provide nukes to Riyadh?

Some experts imply this:

David Albright, director of the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington thinktank, said he doubted whether the Saudis would try to build a nuclear bomb, preferring instead to try to buy a nuclear warhead. They would be the first of the world's eight or nine nuclear powers to have bought rather than built the bomb.

"There has always been worries that the Saudis would go down this path if provoked," said Mr Albright. "There is growing US hostility which could lead to the removal of the US umbrella ... They've got to be nervous."

Nervousness leads to rapid action, and that could explain why The Washington Times reported in October of 2003 that Saudi Arabia acquired nukes from Pakistan - the payoff for the investment of Saudi money in Pakistan's research since 1975 [More here].

The Iranians - rivals to Saudi power in the Persian Gulf - tried to point out by November 2004 that the Saudis already had nukes, something the US was attempting to deny to Teheran by that time. But the US would lamely point to a bland denial of such possession by the Saudi Embassy as definitive proof that the Iranians were lying. US sources would also point to studies that indicated the Saudis had no developmental program - a stance which ignored the reality that the Saudis had assisted Pakistan in order to provide themselves with plausible deniability while they provided themselves with nuclear deterrence.

But the world community is on to this even if Bu$hCo isn't. Just like Scooter Libby communicated a plan to attempt to thwart Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the Plame leak (which, ironically enough had to have affected CIA intelligence-gathering on this specific nuclear proliferation), as recently as July 2005 Mussharef discussed with the Saudis plans to hinder the investigative revelations of extensive Saudi-Pakistani cooperation.

It is clear to me that the royal family of 'Uncle Bandar Bu$h' has been playing the US for chumps for a long time, getting us to do their dirty work of keeping Iran in check while they become the dominant power in the Gulf.

But the Bu$h (mi$)Admini$tration frightens no one anymore. Just as the Saudis have turned to the Chinese for strategic coverage, so have the Iranians turned to Russia. For every missile provided to Riyadh by the Chinese, Russia has so supplied Teheran. No amount of US protesting Russian support for Iran is going to outweigh the Iranian view that Washington is allied with Riyadh against them, and they will make whatever alliances they feel necessary for their defense. They can see that their future path doesn't coincide with that of the United States. This is a common view in South Asia.

Considering that incompetence and self-delusion are the norm for Bu$hCo, those who can see reality know what the score is, and the game is in the late innings with an empty bull pen and no muscle left on the bench. It is a game we are bound to lose if we continue to play it.

The time to make the necessary changes is now. But the leadership is lacking, which is forcing We The People to take the necessary steps.

It has already begun in the form of reduced sales of large trucks and SUVs by the American automakers in favor of smaller foreign makes, and hybrid technology is rapidly making strides that should have been made decades ago (before Ronald Reagan and the Republicans wiped out the subsidies).

The United States can leave the Middle East to the EU. Our attention needs to be directed to a more pressing problem than that of policing the world's oil supply for our sole benefit.

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pessimist :: 2:44 AM :: Comments (7) :: TrackBack (2) :: Digg It!