Voltaire Network

The Grand Saudi Reversal

While for the past 35 years Saudi Arabia has supported all the jihadist movements to the most extremist, Riyadh seems suddenly to have changed policy. Threatened in its very existence by a possible attack from the Islamic Emirate, Saudi Arabia has given the signal for the destruction of the organization. But contrary to appearances, the EIS remains supported by Turkey and Israel who sell their looted oil.

| Damascus (Syria)
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In this photograph released by the Islamic Emirate, we see one of its fighters armed with a French Famas while Paris denies any contact with this organization. In reality, France has armed the Free Syrian Army with instructions to donate two-thirds of its equipment to the Al-Nosra Front (that is to say, Al Qaeda in Syria), as evidenced by a document provided by Syria to the Security Council of the UN. Subsequently several units of Al-Nosra rallied with their weapons to the Islamic Emirate. Moreover, contrary to official statements, the commander of the Islamic Emirate, the current caliph Ibrahim, combined his duties with those of a member of the staff of the Free Syrian Army.

Preliminary: the EIS is a Western creation

The unanimity of the Security Council against the Islamic Emirate (EIS) and the passage of the 2170 resolution are only a facade attitude. This cannot induce us to forget the state support provided the EIS and which it still has.

To take only the recent events in Iraq, everyone has observed that EIS fighters entered the country in columns of brand new Toyota and armed with Ukrainian materials, also new. With this equipment they seized the US weapons of the Iraqi Army. Also, everyone was amazed that the EIS had civil administrators instantly capable of taking over the management of the conquered territories and communications specialists that promote its activities on the Internet and on television; personnel obviously trained at Fort Bragg.

Although US censorship has forbidden any review, we know from the British news agency Reuters that, in January 2014, a secret session of Congress voted financing and arming the Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front, and Al-Nosra Front of the Islamic Emirate until September 30, 2014 [1]. A few days later, Al-Arabiya boasted that Prince Abdul Rahman was the real leader of the Islamic Emirate. [2] Then, on February 6, the US Secretary of Homeland Security brought together major European Interior Ministers in Poland asking them to maintain European jihadists in the Levant by prohibiting their return to their countries of origin, so the EIS would be numerous enough to attack Iraq. [3] Finally, in mid-February, a two-day seminar at the US National Security Council was attended by heads of allied secret services involved in Syria, definitely to prepare the EIS offensive in Iraq. [4]

(Report of August 2012 on the alleged religious fanaticism of the "democratic opposition")

It is extremely shocking to observe the international media suddenly denounce the crimes of the jihadists even though they proceeded without interruption for three years. There is nothing new in public butcheries and crucifixions: for example, the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr, in February 2012, had established a "religious court" which condemned to death by slaughtering more than 150 people without raising any Western response nor at the United Nations [5]. In May 2013, the commander of the Al-Farouk Brigade of the Free Syrian Army (the famous "moderate") aired a video in which he cut a Syrian soldier and ate his heart. At the time, the West continued to portray the jihadists as the "moderate opposition", desperately fighting for "democracy". The BBC even gave the floor to the cannibal in order that he justify himself.

There is no doubt that the difference established by Laurent Fabius between "moderate" jihadists (the Free Syrian Army and the Frente Al-Nosra-that is to say Al-Qaïda- until early 2013) and "extremist" jihadists (the Al-Nosra Front from 2013 and the EIS) is a pure artifice of communication. The case of Caliph Ibrahim is illuminating: in May 2013, during the visit of John McCain to the ASL, he was both a member of the "moderate" staff and leader of the "extremist" faction [6]. Identically, a letter from General Salim Idriss, Chief of Staff of the ASL, dated January 17, 2014, certified that France and Turkey were delivering ammunition to the ASL (one third) and to Al Qaeda (two thirds) via the ASL. Presented by the Syrian ambassador to the Security Council, Bashar Jaafari, the authenticity of the document has not been disputed by the French delegation. [7]

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John McCain and the chiefs of the Free Syrian Army. In the left foreground, Ibrahim al-Badri, with which the Senator is talking. Next to him, Brigadier General Salim Idris (with glasses).

That said, it is clear that the attitude of some NATO powers and GCC changed in August 2014 to pass from secret support to massive and ongoing support to outright hostility. Why?

The Brzezinki doctrine of jihadism

One must go back 35 years to understand the importance of the transformation that Saudi Arabia-and perhaps the United States-are in the process of undergoing. Since 1979, Washington, at the instigation of the National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, decided to support political Islam against Soviet influence, reviving the policy adopted in Egypt to support the Muslim Brotherhood against Nasser.

Brzezinski decided to launch a major "Islamic revolution" from Afghanistan (then governed by the Communist regime of Muhammad Taraki) and Iran (where he himself organized the return of Imam Ruhollah Khomeini. Subsequently, this Islamic revolution was to spread throughout the Arab world and take with them the nationalist movements associated with the USSR.

The operation in Afghanistan was an unexpected success: the jihadists of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL) [8] recruited Muslims and, led by the anti-Communist billionaire Osama Bin Laden Brothers, launched a terrorist campaign that led the government to appeal to the Soviets. The Red Army entered Afghanistan and was bogged down there for five years, accelerating the fall of the USSR.

The operation in Iran was rather a disaster: Brzezinski was amazed to find that Khomeini was not the man he was told - an old Ayatollah trying to recover his estates confiscated by the Shah -, but a genuine anti-imperialist. Considering a little later that the word "Islamist" held not at all the same meaning for all, he decided to distinguish good Sunnis (collaborators) from the poor Shiites (anti-imperialist) and entrust the management of the former to Saudi Arabia.

Finally, considering the renewal of the alliance between Washington and Saud, President Carter announced, during his speech on the State of the Union on January 23, 1980, that henceforth access to Gulf oil was a goal related to US national security.

Since then, jihadists were tasked with all the low blows against the Soviets (and Russians) and against nationalist or recalcitrant Arab regimes. The period running from the accusation against the jihadists of plotting and carrying out the attacks of Sept. 11 until the announcement of the alleged death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan (2001-11) complicated matters. The idea was both to deny any relationship with jihadists and to use them as a pretext for interventions. Things have returned to clarity in 2011 with the formal collaboration between the jihadists and NATO in Libya and Syria.

The Saudi August 2014 shift

For 35 years, Saudi Arabia has financed and armed all political Muslims as long as (1) they were Sunnis, (2) they afirmed the business model of the United States as consistent with Islam and (3 ) that in the event their country had signed an agreement with Israel it would not be questioned.

For 35 years, the vast majority of Sunnis turned a blind eye to the collusion between the jihadists and imperialism. It expressed solidarity with all they have done and all that was attributed to them. Finally, it legitimized Wahhabism as an authentic form of Islam despite the destruction of holy sites in Saudi Arabia.

Observing the "Arab Spring" with surprise, not having been privy to its preparation, Saudi Arabia worried about the role given by Washington to Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood. Riyadh was soon competing with Doha in sponsoring jihadists in Libya and especially in Syria.

Also, King Abdullah saved the Egyptian economy when General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, having become President of Egypt, sent him (and also the UAE) a complete copy of the police records of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, in the context of the fight against the Brotherhood, General Al-Sissi discovered and transmitted in February 2014 the Brotherhood’s detailed plan to seize power in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Within days the plotters were arrested and confessed, while Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates threatened Qatar, the sponsor of the Brothers, with immediate destruction if it did not abandon the Brotherhood.

Riyadh did not take long to discover that the Islamic Emirate was also plagued and was about to attack it after seizing a third of Iraq.

The ideological lock patiently built for 35 years has been pulverized by the UAE and Egypt. On August 11, the grand imam of Al-Azhar University, Ahmad al-Tayyeb, severely condemned the Islamic Emirate and Al-Qaeda. He was followed the next day by the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam [9]

On August 18th and again on the 22nd, with the assistance of Cairo, Abu Dhabi bombed terrorists in Tripoli (Libya). For the first time, two Sunni states allied themselves to attack Sunni extremists in a third Sunni state. Their target was none other than an alliance including Abdelhakim Belhaj, former number three of al Qaeda, appointed military governor of Tripoli by NATO. [10] It seems that this action was undertaken without informing Washington.

On August 19th, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al al-Sheikh, finally decided to call jihadists of the Islamic Emirate and Al Qaeda "Public Enemy #1 of Islam". [11]

The consequences of the Saudi about face

Saudi Arabia’ about face was to be so rapid that regional actors have not had time to adapt and therefore find themselves with contradictory positions depending on issues. Overall, Washington’s allies condemn the Islamic Emirate in Iraq, but not yet in Syria.

More surprisingly, while the Security Council has condemned the Islamic Emirate in its presidential statement of July 28th and in its resolution 2170 of August 15th, it is clear that the jihadist organization still has state support: in violation of the principles recalled or enacted by these texts: Iraqi oil plundered by the EIS transits through Turkey. It is loaded at the port of Ceyhan on oil tankers calling in Israel, then returning to Europe. For now, the names of corporate sponsors are not established, but the responsibility of Turkey and Israel is evident.

For its part, Qatar, which continues to host many Muslim Brotherhood personalities, still denies supporting the Islamic Emirate.

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Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and ... Qatar in Jeddah, August 24, 2014, to deal with the Islamic Emirate. Jordan was represented at this summit.

At coordinated press conferences, Russian and Syrian foreign ministers, Sergey Lavrov and Walid Moallem, called for building an international coalition against terrorism. However, the United States, while preparing ground operations on Syrian territory with the British ("Force Black intervention" [12]), refuses to ally itself with the Syrian Arab Republic and continues to demand the resignation of the elected President Bashar al-Assad.

The clash which has put an end to 35 years of Saudi policy is transforming itself into a confrontation between Riyadh and Ankara. From now on, the Turkish and Syrian Kurdish party, the PKK, which is still considered by Washington and Brussels as a terrorist organization, is supported by the Pentagon against the Islamic Emirate. Indeed, contrary to the misleading presentations of the Atlanticist press, Turkish and Syrian PKK fighters, not Iraqi peshmerga of the Local Government of Kurdistan, have repelled the Islamic Emirate in recent days, with the help of US Aviation.

Provisional conclusion

It is unclear whether the current situation is staged or reality. Does the United States really have the intention of destroying the Islamic Emirate they created and no longer control or will they simply weaken it and keep it as a regional policy tool? Do Ankara and Tel Aviv support the EIS on behalf of or against Washington? Or again, are they playing on internal dissent in the United States? Will the the Saudis, in order to save their monarchy, resort to allying themselves with Iran and Syria, bringing down Israel’s protective buffer?

Translation
Roger Lagassé

[1] “US Congress secretly approves arms deliveries to Syria”, Voltaire Network, 30 January 2014.

[2] “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant led by Prince Abdul Rahman”, Translation Alizée Ville, Voltaire Network, 4 February 2014.

[3] “Syria now a "matter of homeland security" for US and EU”, Translation Alizée Ville, Voltaire Network, 10 February 2014.

[4] “U.S. coordinating secret war against Syria”, Voltaire Network, 21 February 2014.

[5] "The Burial Brigade of Homs: An Executioner for Syria’s Rebels Tells His Story" by Ulrike Putz, Der Spiegel, 29 March 2012.

[6] “John McCain, Conductor of the "Arab Spring" and the Caliph”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 18 August 2014.

[7] “Resolution 2165 and debates (humanitarian aid in Syria)”, Voltaire Network, 14 July 2014.

[8] « La Ligue anti-communiste mondiale, une internationale du crime », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 12 mai 2004.

[9] « Le grand mufti d’Égypte condamne l’État islamique en Irak », Radio Vatican, 13 août.

[10] “How Al Qaeda men came to power in Libya”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 7 September 2011.

[11] « Déclaration du mufti du Royaume sur l’extrémisme », Agence de presse saoudienne, 19 août 2014.

[12] « SAS and US special forces forming hunter killer unit to ’smash Islamic State’ », by Aaron Sharp, The Sunday People (The Mirror), 23 August 2014.

Thierry Meyssan

Thierry Meyssan French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

 
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