September 21, 2019


U.S. to deploy military forces to Saudi Arabia, UAE after drone attacks on oil sites (Mosheh Gains and Dennis Romero, 9/20/19, NBC News)

Saudi Arabia requested what the secretary described as "extra defensive support," he said, and it will "send a clear message that the United States supports our partners in the region."

The Curse of Osama Bin Laden: Why can't the United States quit Saudi Arabia? (ADAM WEINSTEIN, September 16, 2019, New Republic)

Five years before masterminding the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, Osama bin Laden laid out his strategy in a declaration of jihad "against the Americans occupying the land of the two holiest sites." The aim: "Expel the infidels from the Arabian peninsula." Bin Laden argued that the Saudi regime, whose rule derived from its safeguarding of Islam's holiest sites, had forfeited its legitimacy by ceding so much of its security to the "infidel" Americans.

Two and a half decades later, Bin Laden is dead, the U.S. still has troops patrolling his former safe haven in Afghanistan, and President Donald Trump, once billed as "the dove" in the 2016 election, is as closely tied to the Saudi leadership as perhaps any American chief executive in recent history, which is quite a remarkable statement in itself. He defended ruthless Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman after the de facto ruler's orchestrated murder of a U.S.-based Washington Post journalist; he sidestepped Congress to push through $8 billion in new "emergency" arms deals with the Saudi royals; he ritually and publicly touched the orb of global influence with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz. Now, Trump is mulling military action against Iran in retaliation for a devastating drone attack on one of the Saudi regime's key oil-processing facilities on Saturday.

"Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked," Trump tweeted out of the blue Sunday evening. "There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!"

Call it the curse of Osama bin Laden: The harder an American administration fights against the terrorist's enduring challenge, the harder it becomes to quit Saudi Arabia. Here is an administration not merely ready to defend Saudi soil as if it were a NATO member, but asking the Saudis how to proceed.

W's greatest failure was, likewise, not embracing Iran when it sued for peace and embracing the electoral victories of democratic Islamist parties.  But W believed in democratizing the Middle East, so the problem was a betrayal of his own and American ideals.  This is very on-brand for Donald and his bots, who hate our ideals, hate Islam and prefer that dictatorships repress Muslims.  

Posted by at September 21, 2019 8:03 AM