July 23, 2012

King Abdullah Circling All Of His Chariots

Deep within the Saudi Kingdom lie the political blueprints of a spectacular offensive against democratic forces in the Gulf region and North Africa. Evidence of this plot is dispersed far and wide, but the latest proof has surfaced courtesy of Riyadh itself, where Prince Saud Al-Faisal just announced the Extraordinary Conference of Islamic Solidarity at the behest of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. The summit is penciled in for August 14-15, the prophetic "Blessed Night" (Lailatul Qadr'), with Mecca serving as a dramatic backdrop.

Saudi Arabia's King and Foreign Minister may have cooked up their most potent counterrevolutionary plot yet. 

Given no other details to analyze, observers are left to piece together the monarchy's probable thought-process. The Associated Press quotes one political analyst, Al-Yaum columnist Abdullah Al Shammri, to piece together a strategic explanation, but the truth is largely inferred by the Saudi conception of "Islamic diplomacy." Al Shammri claims that "everybody in the Arab world is getting more Islamist" and Riyadh doesn't want to "lose this chance" to "open the door" - even in "our house." More bluntly, the King and his royal family want to reassert their dominance amid a period of independent thinking, manipulate Islamic energies in the region and quell internal protests.

Immediate reactions to the "Extraordinary Conference of Islamic Solidarity" center around the urgency of Syria's revolution and Bashar al-Assad's ruthless crackdown. Beyond the material support that Riyadh is supplying to Syrian oppositional units, King Abdullah has also announced a national fund-raising campaign "to support our brothers in Syria," a development that stands to gain from the conference's venue. Having lost Mubarak's version of Egypt, Syria has ascended to Saudis' main priority as Riyadh attempts to inflict a counterstrike on Tehran. Gaining the upper hand, either through military means or influencing a political transition, would slow the Kingdom's blood-loss and reorient strategic boundaries in the region. By positioning the Kingdom as a defender of Islam and all Muslims, Saudi Arabia intends to mask the sectarian and totalitarian nature of its regional agenda. 

However Riyadh is preparing to fry every revolutionary fish at once. In May, Prince al-Faisal would don his Foreign Ministry hat at the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) 14th Consultative Summit to accelerate the bloc's unionization. The Prince was forced to cool his hand after several states balked at his pace, telling reporters that the GCC's leadership "expects the issue to take time," but his objective shined through: “I am hoping that the six countries will unite in the next meeting." Days later, the media adviser of Bahraini King Hamad Isa bin Al-Khalifa announced that an "extraordinary" GCC summit would be held in the "coming months." 

Two summits in one summer would be "extraordinarily" counterrevolutionary. 

The list of secondary targets beyond Syria feel endless. At the top sit Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain's democratic movements, each vigorously assaulted by GCC's collective actions but refusing to quit. Media reports suggest that Riyadh hopes to capitalize on the Muslim Brotherhood's rise to power in Egypt, along with the Islamic coalition that took Tunisia's election, as if either forgot that Saudi Arabia plays a counterrevolutionary role. Riyadh did everything possible to salvage Hosni Mubarak, then sent Bahrain's King to powwow with Egypt's generals and float the idea of GCC membership.

Tunisia's request to extradite Zine El Abidine Ben Ali went ignored. 

The Kingdom also forcibly stamped a GCC-sponsored "transition" on Yemen, a non-GCC member, and presumably hopes to absorb it in the future. Many Yemenis reject this move as unrepresentative of their national interests. Bahrain's mad dash under the GCC umbrella is ridiculed by its opposition as a sign of weakness, but the kingdoms possess every intention of crushing the uprising into submission. Key states experiencing minor unrest, such as Algeria and Morocco, are also targeted for sustained counterrevolution as part of a wider effort to preempt new outbreaks in the region. Thus reality stands opposite of the Kingdom's expressed goal to develop "unity" in the Muslim Umma. Far from "fragmentation," the Arab revolutionary wave has spread a new sense of unity amongst Arabs and filled the gaps between Islam and democracy. 

What's standing in the way of unity is the Kingdom of the Two Holy Mosques. Wrapped head to toe in the language of Islamic liberation - as if covering revolution with a Burqa - King Abdullah's regime aims to divide the Muslim world against a proliferating awareness of self-determination and free expression.


  1. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/07/2012722115041482686.html
    This got my attention when I first saw this.
    It will be interesting to see what they are up to.
    The KSA Sunni proxy war in Syria is coming to a head now.
    Once Israel starts getting involved then it must be close to show time.

  2. James Gundun, you are a harbinger of the future. Just like the US adminstration's lack of understanding of the revolutions sweeping the Middle East, The Saudi Royal Family is doing the dance of death! Thee steps backward and one to the side.

  3. Like an elephant, KSA's totalitarian hegemony can only be tranquilized with the most powerful internal protests that the Kingdom has ever experienced. Riyadh will continue steaming forward with its counterrevolution in Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere until another force stops it. Given its relations with Western, Gulf and African countries, the region's local populations are the only existing force capable of resisting. This international struggle for independence could be longer than any struggle at the state level.

    However KSA's inner circles are visibly sweating out the region's developments, and a full decade of revolution could produce all kinds of unpredictable effects. At some point the Kingdom will begin to feel true pressure from the inside and outside, if not already.

    I don't expect near-term war with Iran, but Syria is visibly inching closer to some kind of regional outbreak. All kinds of sources predict that Lebanon could be the likelier battleground for another Israeli war.

  4. I agree that Lebanon is the target.
    It is the logical choice for Israel.

    With Islamists, A/Q, or what ever it is that they want to call them being in Syria.
    M/B in Egypt.
    Israel will have their hands full.
    Two sayings come to mind.
    The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.
    Do not wish for something you may not like once you get it.