The House of Saud is in panic mode. Its policies are unravelling both at home and abroad. Its long standing ally and protector, the US, is no longer as keen to lend a helping hand or ear, as it used to. The Saudis can read the writing on the wall. They see their end coming soon. What will come first: King Abdullah going to his grave--he is 90 years old--or the collapse of the Nejdi clan?
November 20, 2013, 22:21 EST
The past few months have been really bad for the House of Saud. In addition to struggling with internal unrest, sending scores of people to the dungeons for merely asking for human rights and women challenging the regime about driving restrictions, they have had to contend with fast-paced developments abroad.
The first jolt came in Syria. The Saudis have invested heavily by financing, arming and training the rebels fighting against the government of Bashar al-Asad. Many of them are hardcore terrorists.
The Saudi-financed terrorists have failed to dislodge Asad in three years. Further, they have exposed their cannibalistic nature that horrified even their Western backers who probably hate Asad just as much.
The Saudi plot to get the US to bomb Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons in August also failed. The plot was concocted by Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan but Bashar al-Asad played his hand deftly. He agreed, through Russian efforts, to get rid of all his chemical weapons. That is all the US was really looking for in order to protect its favorite country in the region: the Zionist state of Israel.
The Saudis lost another round. The latest blow was delivered when the US and its allies signed an interim deal with Iran over its nuclear program. The Saudis had hoped that US-Iran tensions would be a permanent feature of the Middle East landscape.
While Iran and the US have not solved all their problems, the deal, even though for a six-month period, removes the threat of war and any additional sanctions against Iran. The old men of Araby, with one foot in the grave and a succession battle looming, are beginning to find their options shrinking. Suddenly, they do not feel secure anymore.
The Saudis accuse the Washington warlords of using them and selling them cheaply. It took them a hell of a long time to realize this. The real worry, as Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef has pointed out, is the danger of blowback from fighters returning from Syria. This pits the ruthless and foul-mouthed Bandar in direct conflict with Mohammed bin Nayef. Interesting, Bandar as intelligence chief has to report to Mohammed as interior minister and the former does not like it one bit.
Saudi Arabia has been through this before. Remember Osama bin Laden and the Afghan jihad? The war in Syria is certainly not going to last for 10 years; it will end soon as Asad’s forces continue their mop up operations against the terrorists in areas they have occupied.
The mass murderers that Bandar has nurtured will come to haunt the House of Saud. Once fighters taste blood and lose the inhibition to kill innocent people, they will return to bite the very hand that feeds them. The old men of Araby have reason to be worried.