• Wahhabi

    From BOB KLAHN@1:123/140 to EARL CROASMUN on Thu Jan 17 15:27:18 2036

    Returning to the subject of Wahhabi.



    Zakaria: The Saudis Are Mad? Tough!

    Why we shouldn't care that the world's most irresponsible
    country is displeased at the U.S. By Fareed Zakaria Monday,
    Nov. 11, 2013

    America's middle east policies are failing, we are told, and
    the best evidence is that Saudi Arabia is furious. Dick Cheney,
    John McCain and Lindsey Graham have all sounded the alarm about
    Riyadh's recent rejection of a seat on the U.N. Security
    Council. But whatever one thinks of the Obama Administration's
    handling of the region, surely the last measure of American
    foreign policy should be how it is received by the House of

    If there were a prize for Most Irresponsible Foreign Policy it
    would surely be awarded to Saudi Arabia. It is the nation most
    responsible for the rise of Islamic radicalism and militancy
    around the world. Over the past four decades, the kingdom's
    immense oil wealth has been used to underwrite the export of an
    extreme, intolerant and violent version of Islam preached by its
    Wahhabi clerics.

    Go anywhere in the world--from Germany to Indonesia--and you'll
    find Islamic centers flush with Saudi money, spouting
    intolerance and hate. In 2007, Stuart Levey, then a top Treasury
    official, told ABC News, "If I could snap my fingers and cut off
    the fun ding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia." When
    confronted with the evidence, Saudi officials often claim these
    funds flow from private individuals and foundations and the
    government has no control over them. But many of the
    foundations were set up by the government or key members of the
    royal family, and none could operate in defiance of national
    policy; the country is an absolute monarchy. In a December 2009
    cable, leaked by WikiLeaks in 2010, then Secretary of State
    Hillary Clinton confirmed tha t Saudi Arabia remained a
    "critical financial base" for terrorism and that Riyadh "has
    taken only limited action" to stop the flow of funds to the
    Taliban and other such groups.

    Saudi Arabia was one of only three countries in the world to
    recognize and support the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan
    until the 9/11 attacks. It is also a major player in Pakistan,
    now home to most of the world's deadliest terrorists. The
    country's former Law Minister Iqbal Haider told Deutsche Welle,
    the German news agency, in August 2012, "Whether they are the
    Taliban or Lashkar-e-Taiba, their ideology is Saudi Wahhabi
    without an iota of doubt." He added that there was no doubt
    Saudi Arabia was s upporting Wahhabi groups throughout his

    Ever since al-Qaeda attacked Riyadh directly in 2003, the
    Saudis have stamped down on terrorism at home. But they have not
    ended support for Wahhabi clerics, centers, madrasahs and
    militants abroad. During the Iraq War, much of the support for
    Sunni milit ants came from Saudi sources. That pattern continues
    in Syria today.

    Saudi Arabia's objections to the Obama Administration's
    policies toward Syria and Iran are not framed by humanitarian
    concerns for the people of those countries. They are rooted in a
    pervasive anti-Shi'ite ideology. Riyadh has long treated all
    other versi ons and sects of Islam as heresy and condoned the
    oppression of those groups. A 2009 report from Human Rights
    Watch details the ways in which the Saudi government, clerics,
    religious police and schools systematically discriminate
    against the local Shi'ite population, including arrests,
    beatings and, on occasion, the use of live ammunition. (And not
    just the Shi'ites. In March 2012, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti
    issued a fatwa declaring that it was "necessary to destroy all
    the churches in the Arabian Peninsu la.")

    The regime fears that any kind of empowerment of the Shi'ites
    anywhere could embolden the 15% of Saudi Arabia's population
    that is Shi'ite--and happens to live in the part of the country
    where most of its oil reserves can be found. That's why the
    Saudis s ent troops into neighboring Bahrain during the Arab
    Spring of 2011, to crush the Shi'ite majority's uprising.

    Saudi royals have been rattled by the events in their region
    and beyond. They sense that the discontent that launched the
    Arab Spring is not absent in their own populace. They fear the
    rehabilitation of Iran. They also know that the U.S. might very
    soon f ind itself entirely independent of Middle Eastern oil.

    Given these trends, it is possible that Saudi Arabia worries
    that a seat on the U.N. Security Council might constrain it
    from having freedom of action. Or that the position could shine
    a light on some of its more unorthodox activities. Or that it
    could fo rce Riyadh to vote on issues it would rather ignore. It
    is also possible that the Saudis acted in a sudden fit of pique.
    After all, they had spent years lobbying for the seat. Whatever
    the reason, let's concede that, yes, Saudi Arabia is angry with
    the U. S. But are we sure that's a sign Washington is doing
    something wrong?

    TO READ MORE BY FAREED, GO TO time.com/zakaria

    BOB KLAHN bob.klahn@bex.net http://home.toltbbs.com/bobklahn

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