The Iran-Saudi Assassination “Hoax?” http://mideastshuffle.com/2011/10/12/the-iran-saudi-assassination-hoax/
My immediate thoughts? Ah. So this is how Washington intends to overrule objections to its $120 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Arab dictatorships of the Persian Gulf.Forget Hollywood. If I channeled the worst of Washington’s Mideast policymakers, past and present – say, a John Bolton and a Dennis Ross – I could have written this story myself. A modern-day Wag the Dog if you will – the 1997 Dustin Hoffman/Robert De Niro black comedy in which a Hollywood producer helps Washington fabricate a war-on-celluloid in order to divert attention from a presidential sex scandal.
It so happens that I am in the midst of writing a revealing piece about a US military effort to test narratives about what unites and divides Arabs and Iranians. (Watch my blog for this in the next few days)The most interesting aspect of this military-sponsored exercise is the timing – it took place less than three months after the onset of the Arab revolts that swept the Mideast.Very quickly after the uprisings began, it became obvious that Iran stood to gain a geopolitical advantage if pro-US despots fell and Arab populations turned against the status quo which has long favored Washington goals: Israeli regional hegemony, unfettered access to cheap oil,
the marginalization of political Islam…and now, the sale of hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons to the US’s remaining autocratic allies.It also very quickly became apparent that selling the $120 billion worth of armaments – half of which are intended for the Saudis (Saudi Arabia: $67 billion, UAE: $35-40 billion, Oman: $12 billion, Kuwait: $7 billion) – to repressive regimes was going to be extremely difficult in the face of our public stances on democracy and human rights.Weapons sales would be particularly hard to defend in the case of Saudi Arabia, by far the most repressive regime in the wider Middle East and North Africa, and ironically, America’s closest Arab ally.