Lesson of the day; don’t piss off a spoilt, insufferable Saudi Prince on a fool’s mission to bring about regime change in Syria; lest he’ll literally blow the whole damned world up to kingdom come.
Meet the man behind every terrorist-bombing breaking-news from the Middle East nowadays; he is the man who is elbows deep in the bloody “Balkanization” of Iraq, subsequent “Iraqization” of Lebanon, current ”Lebanonization” of Syria… and the intended “Syrianization” of Egypt. He’s the guy in one famous picture you see sitting casually on a sofa’s arm in the oval office looking down on Georg W. Bush, probably plotting together the then impending rape of Iraq. Usually if his name is mentioned, it is most commonly in connection with stirring a sectarian mini-civil war or enabling an American invasion somewhere in the region. Saudi spy chief Bandar Ben Sultan a.k.a. Bandar Bush.
You can tell that Prince Bandar has been quite busy ever since his appointment as head of the Saudi Intelligence Agency in the summer of 2012 (though to use the term ‘intelligence’ in the same sentence with the man who threatened to torpedo the upcoming Sochi winter Olympics with terrorist attacks if Moscow didn’t jump on board with Riyadh regarding Syria- is the mother of all contradictions); a quick scan over the news headlines of the past year or so is enough to know that not only does Bandar Bush take his new post seriously; but he does it with such a reckless abandon and more alarmingly, with a chronic dependency on Islamic extremist groups of the Al-Qaeda variety which, for all intents and purposes, have always been one of Saudi Arabia’s main calling cards in advancing its vile excuse for a foreign policy since the 1980s (a colleague of mine once hit the nail on the head when he remarked that; ‘Al Qaida is nothing more than Saudi Arabia’s secret army’).
Terrorist attacks have double-timed their callous, sectarian pace in Iraq this year with last October being the deadliest month with more than 1,000 civilian deaths resulting from car blasts and suicide attacks which have become a daily reality for most Iraqis to the extent where their occurrence is not deemed news-worthy anymore.
Syria -where the bitter rub is for the house of Saud these days- has become a popular destination for a slew of brainwashed, trigger-happy Jihadi fighters eager to meet their maker and claim the lives of hundreds of people in the process; terrorist networks metastasized remarkably in the war-torn country ever since Riyadh took complete hold over the “Syrian Revolution” dossier from Doha and showered these fanatic groups with an endless stream of cash, weapons, logistical support, unprecedented diplomatic clout and ideological guidance. In short; Syria metamorphosed -into an even bleaker version of late 1980s-early 1990s Afghanistan thanks to Saudi petro-dollars and heavy sectarian indoctrinations on a scale rarely seen against Shiites and Alawites (of course the Saudis are going to resort to sectarianism; it’s the only weapon in their god-forsaken armory. How else were they going to effectively mobilize and steer hordes of Islamic militants and new recruits towards holy Jihad on Syrian soil?).
Like flies on meat, these crazed Jihadi groups and Takfiri fighters started pouring into Lebanon in their hundreds, it was neither a mere spell-over of the Syrian war nor a result of sheer coincidence; bringing Al-Qaeda and its affiliates into Lebanon was a deliberate, calculated move by the Saudi-American-Israeli axis and its silly coterie of the Lebanese pro-western March 14th movement, with the sole objective of weakening Hizbollah (regardless of the party’s military involvement in Syria, contrary to what is being constantly purported in the mainstream media) by hitting the Lebanese resistance where it hurts most: its public base of supporters.
Of course in the twisted mind of this Axis and its regional implantations that could only mean one thing: targeting predominantly Shiite areas inside Lebanon in a flamboyant attempt to: a) instigate a sectarian armed conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in Lebanon, and b) turn the Lebanese people against Hizbollah and strong-arm the party’s political leadership into making concessions that would downsize its growing regional role and leave it but a declawed lion, thus rockets and mortars started falling on the town of Hermel and other mostly Shiite-populated villages all along the Syrian-Lebanese border courtesy of Syrian opposition military groups, it wasn’t long before these sporadic attacks morphed into more sophisticated, large-scale car-bombings reminiscent of Al Qaida’s own handiwork in Iraq, in the heart of Hezbollah’s strongholds in the Southern Suburb of Beirut, one of which claimed the lives of 27 and wounded more than 300 last August.
The dual bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut last week which left 23 dead including the Iranian cultural attachÃ©, fits in an entirely different bracket; it marked the first time in this litany of Saudi-sponsored terrorism that suicide bombers were used in a meticulously planned terrorist attack directly targeting official Iranian interests in Lebanon; the fact that a couple of 21-year-olds so indoctrinated and filled with hatred towards fellow Muslims that they strapped themselves with explosives and drove kamikaze-style towards the Iranian embassy with hopes of martyrdom is indicative of how rotten the fruits borne out of over 10 years’ worth of Saudi Arabia’s unrelenting sectarian incitement and hysterical anti-Shia propaganda have become; transforming a sizable portion of today’s youth into sectarian-time-bombs waiting to go off; what comes next is anybody’s guess.
This is what the Arab world has come to cope with; higher (and more lethal) degrees of Saudi Arabia’s political insanity, and with the newly signed Iranian nuclear deal and Geneva II conference looming in the distance practically obituarizing the Kingdom’s failed attempts at overthrowing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, things could only get worse; Saudi Arabia has become so completely unhinged from reality (and humanity) that it might decide to go for broke on the Iraqi-Syrian-Lebanese front; upping the ante in its confrontational escapades against the “Shiite threat” and leaving a scorched path of countless of civilian deaths in its wake from Iraq to Lebanon under the destructive captaincy of Bandar Ben Sultan.
Even though Prince Bandar is the current face of Saudi Arabia’s madness; he is by no means ploughing a lone furrow here in his aggressive no-holds-barred-type of approach towards Syria, Hizbollah and Iran, this is in fact a matter of official policy for Saudi Arabia -endorsed by the entire upper echelons of power in the Kingdom- supposedly to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region; a policy that has unleashed this unstoppable freight train of terrorism and sectarian hatred that is steering the entire Arab World on a bound-collision course, Prince Bandar was entrusted with overseeing and implementing this sorry-mess-of-a-policy because of the intimate network of connections that he enjoys in Washington (thanks to his 22 year-service as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States) and all the clout and power that the Saudis were hoping he could wield on some American politicians and western policy-makers to rally the west into heavily arming the Syrian opposition and/or bombing Syria all together; but these are different times, and it would appear that Bandar’s “charms” do not have as much of a hold over Obama as they once did over the Bush clan.
While the entire world heaved a collective sigh of relief after the Iran nuclear deal, two of America’s ardent regional allies were left stomping around like spoilt children, throwing hissy fits over the U.S’s sudden “about-face”, the coming days will see greater cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel; working together in an ironclad alliance to swing the region’s pendulum back in favor of missile diplomacy and military interventions, with Al-Qaida at their disposal. Let that mental image sink in for a second; Israel’s intelligence capabilities, Saudi Arabia’s petro-dollars and Al-Qaeda’s explosive ideology. The worst is yet to come.
Ahmad Barqawi, a Jordanian freelance columnist & writer based in Amman, he has done several studies, statistical analysis and researches on economic and social development in Jordan