• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Objectives and Impact of the Failing War in Yemen,

E-mail Print PDF

Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, CDHR, Washington DC

September 15, 2016

Objectives and Impact of the Failing War in Yemen, Blaming America and Honor Killings

CDHR’s Analysis and Commentaries

At What Price Supporting Saudis’ Invasion and Destruction of Yemen?

CDHR Commentary: Motivated to restore US relations with Iran for many reasons, including taking charge of executing American polices in the Arab World directly instead of going through the Saudis, the Obama Administration negotiated a controversial nuclear deal with Iran as a pre-requisite to normalization of US/Iranian relations. Having been accused throughout his Administrations of lacking understanding of and clear direction in the Middle East, President Obama wanted to prove to his domestic critics and staunch opponents of the nuclear deal with Iran that his Administration can initiate and implement pragmatic foreign policies, even when he understands that the outcome is not risk free, but is more desirable than the alternative: war with Iran.

Furthermore, the regional tumult and Iran’s rising influence in the Middle East, prompted the US, its allies and other major powers to reach out to the Iranian theocracy, hypothetically mitigating many of the dangerous threats facing the region and the international community. This shift of global attitude toward Iran shook the foundation of the Saudi autocracy.

Through sheer force and application of a ruthless religious doctrine, the Saudi monarchs created and ruled a compliant society for decades, thus presenting themselves and their high-handedly ruled desert kingdom as a bastion of stability, guardians of Western interests and most fit to mediate conflicts (many of which they create) in the Middle East. For many decades, the Saudi rulers, with unwavering support and protection from Western powers, made sure that their regional competitors were crushed, neutralized or rendered incapable of providing the services the Saudis could deliver. Given this history, the Saudi rulers dreaded losing their regional and global favored position to Iran, reacting with anger and defiance to the proposed nuclear deal. Accordingly, they tried to sabotage the US/Iran nuclear agreement in order to prevent any US/Iran rapprochement.

Saudi opposition to the Iran nuclear deal put President Obama’s Administration in a vulnerable position: either to have the Saudis side with his adamant domestic opponents to the nuclear deal or to yield to the Saudis’ extorting demands to support their catastrophic invasion of Yemen in return for approving the US/Iran agreement. Tragically, the Administration’s determination to conclude an agreement with Iran caused it to overlook the risks and consequences of its endorsement of and provision of material and intelligence support for the Saudis’ invasion of Yemen.

Yemen, with a population of 26 million unruly poverty-stricken tribesmen, occupies a vital trade and strategic security location. It shares rugged long borders with southern Saudi Arabia and Oman, both of which have close ties to the US and its western allies. Yemen sits between Saudi Arabia, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Most importantly, Yemen is located along the narrowest stretch of the Red Sea, known as the Strait of Bab Al-Mandeb, through which most of the oil from the Gulf Arab states and Iran is exported to international markets. Yemen is only a short boat ride from Somalia, home to one of the deadliest Wahhabi-inspired terrorist groups, Al-Shabab, which controls most of Somalia and is notoriously known for attacking neighboring African countries and for hijacking ships for ransom. Yemen is also the ancestral homeland of Osama Bin Laden, the founder and financier of Al-Qaeda, which is the most evident beneficiary of the Saudi invasion of Yemen. Prior to the Saudi invasion in March 2015, Yemen was isolated and uninvolved in any of the Shi’a/Sunni conflicts raging in the Arab World.

The Saudi invasion and US support for it will have far-reaching and enduring costly consequences for Yemen, its neighbors and the international community, specifically the US. The costly and unnecessary Saudi invasion of Yemen includes: the pulverization of Yemen’s meager infrastructure and underdeveloped economy; thousands of its citizens, mostly civilians, have been killed, maimed, starved and/or displaced; Yemenis have been turned against each other as they never were before--Sunnis v. Zaidis/Houthis, North v. South and tribe v. tribe. Given the catastrophic destruction of their ancient country, most Yemenis feel they have nothing to lose. Their unbearable domestic conditions created by the war will likely lead millions of Yemenis to intensify violence against each other, to seek revenge against neighboring countries and to join Al-Qaeda and ISIS, which are already gaining swaths of territory and increased membership in Yemen as a result of the Saudi invasion.

Potential regional and global consequences of the Saudi invasion of Yemen include attacks on Saudis’ oil installations and disruptions of shipments through Bab Al-Mandab, which could create economic havoc worldwide.

Finally, despite US, European and Saudi officials’ rhetoric of weakening ISIS and other terrorist groups, one of the major consequences of the Saudi invasion and destruction of Yemen will likely result not in weakening terrorist groups, but in increasing their memberships and expanding their violent activities.  It begs the question as to why the Obama Administration endorsed a war whose predictable consequences include amplified terror attacks on the voiceless Saudi people, the US and on other democratic societies.

Saudi Oligarchy: Endangering a Strategic Region and Sacrificing its Large Minority Population

CDHR Commentary: Nestled in the shadows of the mountain chain that demarcates the more than one thousand mile Saudi/Yemeni border, the isolated approximately 6oo thousand Ismailis living in the ancient (3,000 years of thriving Jewish/Christian civilizations before Islam) and agriculturally rich Najran region have become victims of their government’s injudicious invasion of Yemen 18 months ago.  Due to Najran’s border-sharing with north Yemen (the Houthi’s region), the Yemenis are intimately familiar with mountain crossings into and from southern Saudi Arabia. This geographic reality and the formidable terrain render the area nearly impossible to defend. Most of the frequent attacks on the Najran region are carried out by individuals and small groups using mostly rocket propelled grenades and other light arms.

While the Yemenis’ intended targets are the Saudi military installations in and around Najran, many of their deadly projectiles miss their targets and inflict death and destruction on civilians. The Saudi war planners must have known and expected that the Yemenis would respond to the destruction of their impoverished country with a vengeance wherever and whenever they could. The planners knew that Najran would be a main target.

Given this reality, it’s safe to assume that the planners of the invasion of Yemen factored heavy shelling of Najran into their strategic calculation, in the hope of achieving two objectives:

To prove to the maltreated Ismailis of Najran that their government will defend them, thus winning the Ismailis’ goodwill and support for a war for which they are paying a heavy price.

To turn the Ismailis against the Yemenis, especially the Houthis with whom they share cultural and tribal ties and the Shi’a offshoot religious orientation.

By creating an environment of enduring hostility between the oppressed people of Najran (due to their religious orientation) and the minority Houthis of Yemen, the Saudi rulers hope to engender a lasting enmity toward Iran, which is supporting the Houthis and whom the Saudis and other Gulf rulers blame for inciting their Shi’a citizens to revolt.

Although strategically useful for the Saudi government’s purposes, the heavy toll the people of Najran pay for their government’s ongoing war in Yemen seldom makes it to national or foreign media. This is partially due to the Saudi government’s censorship of the news and partially due to the Najran region’s geographic and religious isolation. Additionally, most Saudis and other Sunni Muslims consider the Ismailis heretics, who are enemies of the state’s official Wahhabi-based religion, thus not only unworthy of equality or protection, but physically dispensable. This tragic and dangerous attitude is publicly reiterated and reinforced by the Saudi government’s powerbase, the religious establishment.

While the recipients of the Saudi-led and -purchased coalition’s onslaught are the poverty stricken Yemenis, Saudi citizens, specifically the Ismailis of Najran, are paying a heavy price in human and material terms. The Saudis’ objective in amassing the deadly Arab military coalition is not only to dissuade the Yemenis from allying themselves with Iran, as they claim, but to create lasting instability in Yemen, which the Saudis could use to justify their intended occupation of the oil rich and strategic regions of southern Yemen, e.g., Marib and the Bab Al-Mandab waterway.

This strategy is a trademark of external and internal Saudi/Wahhabi survival skills. Description of the Saudis as “Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters” is quite apt. They create hostile and destabilizing situations that they can use to keep their potential enemies or presumed friends mired in internal conflicts, as exemplified by the current struggles in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Pakistan. Subsequently, they maneuver to make themselves indispensable to solving the crisis they created. Domestically, the Saudi rulers use the same tactics to suppress their citizens in the name of stability and security. This is a tactic that pays dividends internally, as many Saudis credit their ruthless regime for preventing domestic turmoil like that occurring in many parts of the Arab World.

Similar tactics, using the threat of extremism and terrorism, are being directed at the West. The question is, how long can the Saudi regime continue to use these deadly, destabilising and blackmailing tactics before they are dealt a crippling blow in response to their lethal doctrine and military adventures?

Don’t Blame America for Muslim’s Indoctrination

CDHR Commentary: The only people that poisoned Muslim minds and turned them against each other and against non-Muslims are the theocratic and autocratic Muslim governments, their severely censored mainstream media, their zealot clerics and their pre-modern institutions. Muslims, from cradle to grave,  are trained into rejecting  and spitting on the American democratic values, lifestyle, dress code, foods and into trampling on women's, religious minorities' and non-Muslims' rights.

It does not make any difference what America does, most Muslims will continue to accuse it of every social, political and economic ills that have plagued their societies long before America existed.

The story teller of this exaggerated piece ought to be promoting American empowering democratic values when she visits and dines with absolute Muslim dictators so that the 1.5 billion disenfranchised Muslims can decide for themselves and be the authors of their destiny.

Honor Killings: Murdering Muslim Women Continues

CDHR Commentary: Murdering women for sex before and/or out of marriage continues in all Muslim and Arab lands. In this case, this aspiring 28 year old British citizen was lured to visit her family in Pakistan, then was tortured, raped and suffocated by her family for leaving one brand of Islam (Sunni) and embracing another (Shi'a.)

Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus do not get their heads detached from their bodies for condemning and leaving their beliefs or indulging in human and social activities they desire.

Murdering and marginalizing Muslim women for choosing the lifestyle that suits their social, economic, religious, political and natural needs and desires is an issue that women, regardless of race, status, religion or ethnicity ought to highlight, condemn and pressure their governments and businesses to impose sanctions against and declare countries that continue to employee this savage practice (honor killings) global pariahs.

Women continue to suffer (some more than others) from lack of job opportunities and economic disparity. Improving women’s conditions in any part of the world benefits all women worldwide.

Your contributions to CDHR’s efforts to address tough issues, invoke thought-provoking discourse and suggest peaceful solutions are crucial. We need to continue our educational outreach worldwide. CDHR is a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt educational organization.

Please go to our website www.cdhr.info and click on donate.

Or send checks to this address:

Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, CDHR

1050 17 St. NW, Suite 1000

Washington, DC 20036





Yemen Quicksand, Impact of Extremism, Saudi Haters

E-mail Print PDF

Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, CDHR, Washington DC

August 16, 2016

Yemen Quicksand, Impact of Extremism, Saudi Haters

CDHR’s Analysis and Commentaries

The Saudis Should Have Known That Yemen is a Quicksand

CDHR Commentary: Having failed to terrorize the impoverished 26 million Yemenis into submitting to the Saudi rulers’ military and financial might, the Saudis seem to have reverted to their original but equally doomed plan: dividing Yemen, which they tried to do in the past. Partitioning Yemen into two countries, as proposed here, and linking the South (Aden, which controls the Bab Al-Mandab Red Sea shipping jugular) to the GCC alliance is a recipe for continued death and destruction, not only in Yemen, but along the Saudis’ 1,100 miles mile southern border. Dividing or colonizing Yemen in one form or another is not new, nor should the plan come as a surprise, given the Saudi oligarchs’ historical obsession with Yemen and practices of instigating and sustaining conflicts in other Arab states. This is one way of manipulating their disenfranchised population; creating mayhem in other Arab countries to divert the people’s attention from focusing on their stark and repressive domestic political, economic, religious and social conditions.

The Saudi oligarchs should have learned from their calamitous mistakes in the past. In 1990, they allied themselves with the very same people they are fighting now, the Houthis and former President Saleh, to force a union between the north and the former British protectorate in the south (Aden) under President Saleh’s administration. In 1994, the Saudi rulers discovered that a united Yemen was more of a threat to them; consequently, they “encouraged” dividing Yemen again into two states (South and North) in the hope of weakening former President Saleh (whom they detested for his support of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait 1990-1) and in the hope of adding the strategically located South to their sphere of influence. They failed unceremoniously, as Saleh dealt a crushing defeat against the south.

An attempt to divide Yemen by foreign invaders will fail because the majority of Yemenis are exceedingly territorial nationalists, thus, will fight to the death to defend the territorial integrity of their impoverished country. Dividing Yemen into two countries, as this analyst proposes, would create “…a Yemen in the north with the situation as it is now; left to face its fate by the Iranians, Houthis, and Saleh.” This action is a stark invalidation of the Saudis’ claim that their overriding reason for invading Yemen is to deny Iran influence in any part of Yemen, let alone handing north Yemen to former President Saleh, the Houthis and Iran. If this were to happen, Iran and its proxies (as the Saudis label them) will be in a strategic position to inflict death and destruction on the Saudi agriculturally rich regions (Najran, Jazan and most of Asir), which the Yemenis consider part of Yemen.

The more logical and enduring solution for the current dreadful situation in Yemen lies in uniting the country, rebuilding its infrastructure and investing in its dilapidated economy. Rebuilding and stabilising a united Yemen will not only diminish the Yemenis’ dependence on and need for Iran and other foreign invaders, but will likely dissuade impoverished young and displaced Yemenis from joining Al-Qaeda and ISIS, which are the primary beneficiaries of the catastrophic Saudi invasion of Yemen.

Detesting Saudi Arabia has Nothing to do With Its Wealth

CDHR Commentary: Attributing abomination (hatred) of Saudi Arabia in the media to envy by its haters is a gross exaggeration, if not claptrap all together. According to this Saudi/Brazilian reporter, “There is so much hate directed at the Kingdom that it becomes alarming and tiring at the same time to have to constantly defend our country from the criticisms that come mostly from those who hate and envy us for our blessings of wealth which come from our natural resources.”

Countries, like people, are not hated or loved because of their monetary worth. They are judged by what they do. With due respect, this reporter is parroting the Saudi oligarchy’s deflecting defense of its draconian domestic policies, exportation of its lethal Wahhabi doctrine and financing of extremism and terrorism worldwide.

As has been abundantly documented by the Saudi regime’s allies and enemies, “Saudi Arabia is the world’s last absolute monarchy” and is a major source of extremism and terrorism.

Saudi Arabia is ruled by autocratic and theocratic absolute dynasties which have total control over every aspect of people’s lives, livelihood, education and beliefs. The regime is known for its gross violations of human rights, religious intolerance and rejection of modernity and its enabling values.

These are the real reasons Saudi Arabia is increasingly becoming a target of negative global attention, not because of its petrodollars.

Devastating Impact of Saudi/Salafi Institutionalized Obstacles to Human Development

CDHR Commentary: Despite its wealth and exposure to outside ancient and modern peoples and cultures for centuries, Saudi society remains among the least developed in the world. This is NOT due to lack of good genes or that the Saudi people are innately unable to explore, learn, create and decide for themselves. The primary reason for the underdevelopment of Saudi society is the state’s imposed, institutionalized and enforced Salafi taboos (“Haram, un-Islamic, Bid’ah”) created by the Saudi/Wahhabi alliance nearly 300 years ago.

Through their Salafist mindset (adherence to the 6th century social structure and way of life as practiced when Islam was established more than 14 centuries ago), the Saudi/Wahhabi autocratic and theocratic ruling elites regulate what their disenfranchised population is allowed to see, learn and think. However, the autocratic Saudi ruling elites are losing control over the population due to the arrival of the uncontrollable social media.

Recently, the state edicts (fatwas) issuer, Dar Al-Ifta, “…republished {the} 2001 edict to address illegal downloads of Pokémon Go,” arguing that “… the game carried symbols of ‘deviant’ religions and organisations, such as ‘international Zionism’ and Israel, Christian crosses, freemasonry, and symbols from Japan’s native Shinto religion.”  It’s no secret that the Saudi people are indoctrinated from cradle to grave to demonize other beliefs, their adherents and symbols. In addition to denigrating other peoples, their religions and cultures, the Saudi authorities continue to vilify and censor any creative means that stimulate people’s imaginations.

One might think that the purpose of reissuing the 2001 fatwa is to protect the population from potential harm that Pokemon Go might cause to its users. In reality, this is one of the damaging tactics the Saudi regime uses to limit the mental stimulation of its people, discouraging them from exploring and developing their potentials, without which full human development cannot be achieved.

Other detrimental tactics the Saudi regime uses to maintain control over its population’s minds and development include stark gender segregation, internal social divisions and isolation, and prohibition of all forms of creative and challenging public musical, theatrical, dancing and acrobatic entertainment and performances. Until this day, the system continues to ban creative social interactions, emphasizing instead the country’s historical sectarian and cultural traditions.

By segregating people along gender lines, specifically, but also along religious and tribal lines, the Saudi government controls social interactions through which people (under normal circumstances) learn to relate to and tolerate “The Other,” exchange ideas and to develop social, survival and competitive skills that are necessary for human development.

Another human development inhibitor is the regime’s emphasis on historical sectarian and cultural values. By reinforcing the values of the ancient past, the government denies large segments of society the population the opportunities of benefiting from modernity and its unprecedented contributions to human development, especially in the fields of natural sciences and technologies.

However, the most effective inhibiter of human development is the Saudi government’s constant threats and application of punishment (flogging, beheading or lengthy imprisonment) for those who step beyond the borders of the authorities’ constrictive set of acceptable behaviors.

All of these human development-impeding practices are designed to keep people from thinking beyond the perimeters of what Islam and desert culture permit, as interpreted by the cult-like Saudi/Wahhabi system. The consequences are devastating.

Saudi Arabia remains among the least advanced countries in the fields of modern sciences and technologies. The Saudis rely almost exclusively on importing virtually all goods and services. But ominously, the country’s economy depends on imported expatriate workers from street sweepers and ditch diggers to doctors, nurses, engineers and science educators.

As a result of the historical Saudi/Wahhabi ruling dynasties’ anti-human development policies, the majority of the population is unable to fully develop socially and intellectually; perturbingly, as the country is entering into an unprecedented era of economic, political and security uncertainties and is in desperate need of a coherent and well-equipped society to sustain it, none exists. The country continues to suffer from shortages of a technologically qualified workforce, domestic production of goods, services and sources of income to substitute for declining oil revenues.

Furthermore, many young Saudis are violently turning on the system that indoctrinated them to reject modernity and to embrace a toxic doctrine and dated desert traditions, two major contributing factors to the current social, security and economic fiasco in which the state is mired.

Impact of Extremism on Saudi Children and Women

CDHR Commentary: It should not have come as a surprise that Saudi children kill their parents for not being ISIS-like Muslims or that Saudi women join ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Wretchedly, these acts are the results of marginalizing Saudi women and an extension of the way male children are indoctrinated at homes, schools and mosques. Children are constantly reminded of the purity and supremacy of Sunni Islam and its superlative values.

If there were four phrases to describe the Saudi socialization process, they would be submission to authority, fear of the unknown, belittling of women and intolerance of differences, especially religious. This process starts in infancy when children are trained to obey their parents from cradle to grave. This includes kissing parents’ hands, foreheads, knees and, in some cases, feet. As offspring grow older, they are instructed and expected to extend such “imposed submission” to teachers, clerics and mostly to the rulers, the king and his ruling family (Walat El’mer, Masters of Destiny.)

Teaching young boys to obey blindly creates generations of unthinking youth, who end up being easy targets for and predisposed to evil actors’ commands, including convincing young men to butcher their mothers and fathers (in the name of religion), as this well-informed and highly respected Saudi commentator underscored.

Inculcating collective disparagement of women as part of the Saudi socialization process results in a life-long stigmatization. For example, women are denied the right to basic modern survival mobility, the right to drive. Furthermore, women are believed to be and treated as unfit to think for themselves and to be the authors of their destiny. Assuming that the current social, religious and political practices will change soon will be a mistake despite misleading promises made by some officials, like Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the designated economic and social reformer.

Given the 1744 contract between the ancestors of the current Saudi and Wahhabi ruling families, it is implausible that corrective measures will be put in place in time to avoid a dangerous escalation of extremism and its costly impact on Saudi society and the international community. This is due to the Saudi government’s historical strategy of balancing between its main source of legitimacy and powerbase, the Salafi religious establishment, which wants to hold onto the 7th century way of life (the era of “pure Islam”) and the population, the majority of which is under the age of 30 and is the highest per capita user of YouTube and other modern technologies.

In recent decades, the Saudi ruling family has been able to maintain a balance between Salafism and modernity; however, popular demands for more freedom, transparency and equality are making the balance harder to sustain. Given this reality, the regime will likely support the zealot religious establishment which gives it legitimacy.

The question is how long can or will the international community, especially Western democracies, continue to tolerate the Saudi doctrine which is considered the supreme breeder of extremism and terrorism? Western societies are likely to implode if they continue to be targeted by Muslim terrorists, most of whom are inspired by Saudi Wahhabi Islam.

Prince Turki’s Speech in Paris: Pinnacle of Hypocrisy

CDHR Commentary: On July 9, 2016, the former head of the Saudi spy agency (Mukhabarat) and Ambassador to the UK and US, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, told a large number of secular anti-Iranian-theocracy participants at a rally in Paris that the Muslim World supports their cause “both in heart and soul.”  The Saudi royal went on to address the female leader of the rally: ‘And you, Maryam Rajavi, your endeavor to rid your people of the Khomeinist cancer is an historic epic that, like the Shanameh will remain inscribed (in) the annals of History.’ (Interestingly, Shanameh is the epic of Persian Kings, the last of whom was killed when Muslims invaded and conquered Persia.)

It is the highest form of hypocrisy that the Saudi prince (an unofficial spokesman for the Saudi oligarchy) went to Paris to pledge his support for a secular “pro-democracy” organization, led by a woman. It’s worth noting that Prince Turki has never supported Saudi women’s rights, nor has he ever advocated political reforms or defended the rights of the severely oppressed religious minorities in Saudi Arabia.

Prince Turki represents an oligarchical system (his ruling family) that treats women as “perpetual minors” and oppresses large numbers of the population because they don’t embrace the state’s imposed brand of Islam, Wahhabism. Additionally, his ruling family considers all forms of freedom of expression (especially demonstration like the one he praised in Paris) not only as un-Islamic, but as acts of terrorism.

The intent of Prince Turki’s overt support for the Iranian opposition is duplicitous, at best. The Saudi ruling family is hoping to provoke the ruling Persian theocracy into misbehaving militarily, an act the Saudis know will necessitate military intervention by the US and others to protect the production and shipment of oil and in the process, destroy the Mullahs, their military and economic capabilities. If this is indeed the Saudi royals’ objective, they might be in for a gigantic surprise.

Your contributions to CDHR’s efforts to address tough issues, invoke thought-provoking discourse and suggest peaceful solutions are crucial. We need to continue our educational outreach worldwide. CDHR is a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt educational organization.

Please go to our website www.cdhr.info and click on donate.

Or send checks to this address:

Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, CDHR

1050 17 St. NW, Suite 1000

Washington, DC 20036



Saudi Economic Reform

E-mail Print PDF

Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, CDHR, Washington DC

June 21, 2016

Saudi Economic Reform, Uber To Saudi Arabia, How To Defeat ISIS, Who Mutilates Islam

CDHR’s Analysis And Commentaries

The Saudi Economic Plan Won’t Fly Without The US, But At What Price?

CDHR Commentary: It remains to be seen, but after decades of total dependence on an oil-based economy, in a country that has been iron-fistedly controlled by an autocratic royal family, a novice prince (Mohammed Bin Salman, MbS) promises to reform and diversify the Saudi economy. Despite his ambitious approach and his family’s shocked realization that its treasury could implode within 5 years without drastic action to wean the country away from total dependence on dwindling oil revenues, Prince Mohammed might find it difficult, if not impossible, to reform the kingdom’s faltering economy without transforming the current social and political arrangements which grant the ruling family ownership of the country and its resources by birth right.

Despite cautious global enthusiasm about the Saudi economic reform plan (Vision 2030), many experts express reservations that the reforms might hit stumbling blocks, partially due to the absence of provisions for concomitant political and social reforms. Major doubts have been raised about how the plan can succeed without a technologically well-trained native workforce and without integrating sidelined Saudi women into an equal status in business, industry, education and the decision-making processes. Additionally, the original plan (McKinsey Consultants) underscored accountability, transparency and the need for curbing the rampant corruption that permeates all levels of the private and public sectors, especially within the royal family, which controls the national revenues and their dissemination. However, curbing corruption may prove futile, given the deeply rooted bribery practices throughout all levels of the public sector, especially at the top.

Addressing these concerns is critical to reassure the Saudi people that their sacrifices will be worthwhile, and to prove to foreign investors that their investments will not be subjected to the existing discriminatory and shady business regulations and practices. Without instituting verifiable social, political and regulatory reforms, Prince Mohammed and his government will likely prove that the critics are correct.

Given the lack of other reliable and profitable sources of income and uncertain global demands for any proposed Saudi product, it’s likely that oil and its byproducts will remain the main source of Saudi revenues for decades to come. Under this scenario and given the Saudis’ unsuccessful search for an alternative substitute ally, like Russia, the Saudis apparently have concluded that it’s in their best interest to continue their tested relationship with the US and its multinational corporations.

As was the case at the beginning of US/Saudi relations in the 1930s and 40s, America continues to be the world’s dominant economic and military power. As a consequence, the Saudi rulers have concluded that they are better off re-engaging the Americans, without whose active economic, technological and military involvement, the Saudi Vision 2030 could fail. Not only will America’s declared support for the reform plan rescue the Saudis from economic collapse, but will ensure the Saudis’ protection from increasing domestic and external threats. Interestingly, some aspects of the proposed Saudi economic plan (Vision 2030) echo elements of the US/Saudi deal that created the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) more than 80 years ago.

In the early rocky stages of the US/Saudi relationship, the world was reeling from the effects of a devastating war and America was emerging as the most economically, militarily and scientifically capable country that could undertake a risky adventure in a remote desert land. In exchange for cash, technical capabilities and military protection, American oil companies were awarded long term concessions in a vast region of Saudi Arabia to explore for, produce and market oil products globally. The lucrative revenues from this profitable and enduring arrangement were divided between the oil companies and the Saudi royal family. This income has provided extravagant lifestyles for the Saudi royals and opened the country to modern means of transportation, communication and interactions with peoples most Saudis never new existed.

Now that the revenues from oil sales have drastically plummeted, the Saudi rulers need to find some other sources of income to maintain royal lifestyles, an acceptable standard of living for their increasingly restless and demanding society, to pay for the costs of wars (as in Yemen), to support extremist groups, and to sustain like-minded autocrats in power.

Despite shopping around, the Saudi rulers know that the United States is the only country that is capable of investing substantially in long term Saudi projects and is willing to defend American investments and citizens, as it has since the beginning of the US-Saudi relationship more than 80 years ago. Securing substantial American investment is said to be the main objective of Prince Mohammed’s current (June 2016) tour of the US. Accompanied by the highest Saudi officials (except the King), including the Saudi Minister of Finance, the Minister of Commerce and Investment, the Minister of Foreign {Affairs}, the Minister of Culture and Information and the Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources, Khalid Al-Falih, Prince Mohammed hopes to convince American investors to buy shares in the Saudi giant oil company, ARAMCO, and to invest in other revenue-producing projects. These long term investments in Saudi Arabia will not only re-entrench American economic interests, but will consequently obligate the US government to protect its citizens and their investments.

The question is, can future US administrations (Democratic or Republican) afford to continue defending a relationship which has been described as “a story of blood, oil & violent fundamentalism?” Given the profitability of the US/Saudi relationship, it’s unlikely that the US government and American businesses will discontinue dealing with the Saudis in the foreseeable future, despite escalating Saudi inspired and financed extremism and frequent terrorist attacks on the US and its democratic allies.

Supported by unfavorable Congressional attitudes and action and by growing European outrage over the Saudi role in exporting extremism and inspiring terror groups, the US government and businesses are in a position to insist on verifiable public commitment from the Saudi rulers that they will transform the institutions that breed and feed extremists and terrorists, whose declared objective is to destroy Western democracy.

San Francisco-Based Uber Goes to Saudi Arabia

CDHR Commentary: The Saudi government is investing $3.5 billion to bring Uber to Saudi Arabia, ostensibly to help stimulate and diversify the Saudi economy in accordance with Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s (MbS) plan to reform the Saudi economy. According to Yasir Al Rumayyan, head of the Saudi fund who will join the Uber board, ‘This ambitious and far-reaching plan {introducing Uber} presents a number of goals, including unlocking strategic sectors such as tourism and entertainment, boosting employment opportunities and women's participation in the workforce, and encouraging entrepreneurship.’

As in Prince Mohammed’s ambitious economic reform plan, this adventure is based on assumptions that are more easily imagined than achieved in a country in the grip of an oligarchical system that re-enforces and relies on archaic tradition and ferocious religious constraints.

This model assumes that the Saudi male population will allow their female relatives to hop into a car driven by a non-related Saudi male. It also assumes that Saudi males will eagerly hasten to drive other Saudis around at all hours, when most Saudis are accustomed to working only a few hours a day, if at all. Additionally, it’s unclear how introducing Uber to Saudi Arabia at a high cost ($3.5 billion) will increase employment for Saudis and increase “women's participation in the workforce,” when major governmental policies and the cultural and religious mindset continue to severely obstruct women’s right to work, drive and become the authors of their destinies. Furthermore, introducing Uber is unlikely to encourage tourism and entertainment under the current suffocating political and social restrictions.

Uber’s operation is based on the culture of a more open society than Saudi Arabia’s, where forbidding political, religious and social taboos work against novelty and progressive public interest.

Defeating ISIS Won’t Eliminate Terrorism, But Defeating Wahhabism Can

CDHR Commentary: While Western powers are mired in fighting diversionary and unwinnable ideological and civil wars in many Arab and Muslim countries thousands of miles away, the Saudi government has been intensely planting and financing its lethal doctrine (Wahhabism) in Kosovo, Europe’s backyard. Ironically, the Saudi success in penetrating Kosovo, as this New York Times’ account amply demonstrates, can partially be attributed to Western powers’ policies and myopic view of the world as it is.

According to a high ranking official in the Serbian Embassy in Washington, DC (related to me in a casual conversation a few years ago), the Clinton Administration was under tremendous pressure from the Saudi regime and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to invade Serbia. As per UN demands, NATO conducted “Operation Deliberate Force” against Serbia in August 1995. The massive bombardment of Belgrade resulted in forcing the Serbian regime to halt its ethnic cleansing and forced it to accept the independence of Kosovo. Once that was achieved, the West effectively exited the fragile newly independent Kosovo, opening the door for the Saudi regime to embark on an unprecedented operation of radicalizing the Kosovars through an enormous infusion of money and extremist imams. While the Western powers saved the Kosovars from the Serbian onslaught, they abandoned them to subjugation by a punishing ideology that poses an unambiguous threat to Western democracy.

This is not the first or only time that the Saudi/Wahhabi collaborators have infiltrated and radicalized other Muslim societies in order to expand their hegemonical influence and intimidate those who pose threats (real or imaginary) to their repressive religious and political domination. As has been thoroughly documented, the Saudi regime has widely employed the same method they have used successfully in Kosovo (that of building schools, mosques and sending radical imams) to infiltrate and radicalize not only large segments of countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia among others, but is using the same technique to infiltrate Muslim communities in Europe, the US, Canada and South America.

The question that must be asked is when will Western governments, societies and businesses realize that their empowering democratic values and lifestyle are being threatened by the deadly Saudi doctrine, which has been  described as the “Fountain Head of Muslim terrorism?” The West should have heeded the warnings offered by powerful and prominent Muslims like the former President of the most populous Muslim country, Abdulrahman Wahid of Indonesia, who said that “Muslims and non-Muslims must unite to defeat the Wahhabi ideology.

Defeating ISIS won’t eliminate terrorism, but routing Wahhabism will go a long way toward eradicating the root causes of extremism and terrorism. ISIS is only a symptom of something bigger and more dangerous.

Who Mutilates Islam More Than Muslim Clerics?

CDHR Commentary: “Islam does not need protection” from anyone other than from the Arab and Muslim governments, their Muftis and other clerics. The overwhelming majority of Muslim clerics interpret and use provisions in Muslim text books to justify their repressive actions against their voiceless populations.

With the unequivocal support of their absolute Arab and Muslim ruling partners, Muslim clerics promote revenge, vindictiveness, intolerance and rejection of non-Muslim. It is not an exaggeration to associate the multitude of social, economic, political and scientific ills and backwardness with the teaching of Muslim clerics throughout Arab and Muslim lands.

Given their amply documented historical dissolute behavior, teachings and actions, Muslim clerics can best be described as men of darkness. They reject modernity and its liberating values, they deny human evolution and consider freedom of choice un-Islamic; therefore, they brand anyone who promotes the individual’s right to choose as blasphemous, a crime punishable by death under the capricious Shariah, Islamic law.

It's up to the repressed and marginalized Muslims, especially the Arab masses, to liberate themselves from the clutches of religious totalitarianism which is created and enforced by men who designate themselves as representatives of God on Earth as well as in Heaven and Hell.

Your contributions to CDHR’s efforts to address tough issues, invoke thought-provoking discourse and suggest peaceful solutions are crucial. We need to continue our educational outreach worldwide. CDHR is a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt educational organization.

Please go to our website www.cdhr.info and click on donate.

Or send checks to this address:

Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, CDHR

1050 17 St. NW, Suite 1000

Washington, DC 20036






Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 04:59

Donate to CDHR

Subscribe to Newsletter