big kahuna wrote:Put simply, the Saudis are not our friends, never have been our friends and never will be our friends. We have mutual strategic interests, especially when it comes to containing Iran and its just-slightly-more-virulent strain of fundamentalist Shi'a Islam, but that is all.
Saudi Arabia has largely embraced Wahhabist Islam, which is strict and austere and which considers all non-Wahhabis (including non-Wahhabi Muslims) to be heathens and enemies of "true" Islam, meaning Wahhabist Islam. This attitude is bound to lead us into conflict with Saudi Arabia sooner or later, likely once the ruling House of Saud (most of whose members are at least moderately Western-looking in some regards) is overthrown by the ever-growing Wahhabist base and its fanatic clerical leadership. The Saudis have largely kept them placated through lavish funding of their religious schools and other pro-Wahhabist initiatives, but the oil money is becoming a little tight lately and Wahhabi religious leaders are also growing restive and more demanding. Do the math as to what will eventually happen. Iran in 1979 is a likely outcome.
"Fresh evidence submitted in a major 9/11 lawsuit moving forward against the Saudi Arabian government reveals its embassy in Washington may have funded a ‚Äúdry run‚ÄĚ for the hijackings carried out by two Saudi employees, further reinforcing the claim employees and agents of the kingdom directed and aided the 9/11 hijackers and plotters."
Saudi government allegedly funded a ‚Äėdry run‚Äô for 9/11 | New York Post
First, Al Qaeda and the Saudi royal family are mortal enemies; AQ despises the royal family as apostate. Their entire reason for being is to overthrow the Saudi regime and install a new Caliphate. Might there be some disgruntled government employees who sympathize with AQ? Sure, but there is no way in hell that there is the slightest bit of official Saudi cooperation with AQ, none. Secondly, a flight taken two years before 9-11 by a couple of Saudis is somehow a "dry run?" That is a huge stretch and is pretty damn unlikely, given that AQ's operational security regarding the 9-11 operation was extremely tight; very, very few people knew about it. In fact, most of the hijackers didn't know what the whole plan was, only the guys flying the planes.
Saudi Arabia is a bit like Pakistan in regards to whether or not it truly supports terror. Certainly, the king and much of his government (which is mostly run by members of the royal family) would say that they stand in support of the fight against terror, just as the government of Pakistan itself would proclaim.
But both countries have a problem with divided loyalties (in Pakistan's case especially within the dominant ISI, or Inter-Services Intelligence agency, which suffers from a healthy infestation of Taliban supporters). In the Saudis' case, it's easy to see how some members of the royal family in this government agency or an embassy or two -- along with more fundamentalist confederates in those agencies or embassies -- may have been supportive of the aims of Al-Qaeda as regards the 9/11 operation, to the point of supplying fiscal and logistical assistance, even.
Yes, it's true that Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda sought the overthrow of the Saudi royal family -- which is the government of Saudi Arabia -- mostly because bin Laden and his cohort believed the royal family had sold out to the West and allowed nonbelievers into the kingdom and thus, near Mecca, but we also know that some members of the royal family, fundamendalist Wahhabist/Salafist in outlook, were also supportive of Al-Qaeda, and it's these members, collectively addressed as "the Saudi government" in somewhat-breathless news reporting, who are thought to have provided material support to AQ in the run-up to 9/11 ("the planes operation," according to now-Number One, Ayman al-Zawahiri). Given this possibility, that members of the royal family may have aided and abetted the 9/11 operation in some way or another, it's no wonder the Saudis would do whatever they could to keep that belief from becoming official within Western governments and especially within the U.S. government, which has supported the Saudis for decades.
As to Al-Qaeda and the Saudis detesting each other, this is true in the main. But Al-Qaeda and ISIS despise each other -- to the point of carrying on a running blood feud among the two groups -- and recent intelligence says they may be conducting talks aimed at easing cooperation between the organizations in order to better fight their greater enemies, those being the West and the Saudi government. Given this fact, is it so difficult to believe that some within the Saudi government -- members of the royal family who are also AQ supporters who are Wahhabist/Salafist) -- actively attempted to help bin Laden, al-Zawahiri and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the operational planner for 9/11? Al Qaeda's al-Zawahiri to ISIS: We can work together - CNN