THE WSJ - 9/26/13:
The Obama administration's handling of overtures on Syria and Iran have outraged regional ally Saudi Arabia, which is signaling it wants to do more to boost the power of armed Sunni rebel groups on the ground in Syria as the U.S. pursues diplomacy.
Saudis fear that Syrian President Basher al-Assad will use the time afforded by U.S.- and U.N.-backed diplomacy on Syria "to impose more killing and to torture its people," Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said Thursday night in New York, in a warning that was overshadowed by the attention paid to the weekend's first public contacts in three decades between the presidents of Iran and the U.S.
Accordingly, Saudi Arabia wants "intensification of political, economic and military support to the Syrian opposition…. to change the balance of powers on the ground" in Syria, Prince Saud said in his remarks to the Friends of Syria group, a coalition of Western and Gulf Arab countries and Turkey that supports the Syria opposition against Mr. Assad. The state-run Saudi Press Agency carried a transcript of his remarks.
The Saudi government has had no public comment so far on the groundbreaking phone call Friday between U.S. President Barack Obama, whose country Saudi Arabia sees as the main military protector of its interests, and new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, whose country Saudi Arabia sees as its main threat.
Asharq al Awsat, one of Saudi Arabia's leading newspapers, led its front page the morning after the phone call with a photo of Mr. Rouhani, bowed over with laughter.1A - REUTERS - 18/22/13:
In unusually blunt public remarks, Prince Turki al-Faisal called Obama's policies in Syria "lamentable" and ridiculed a U.S.-Russian deal to eliminate Assad's chemical weapons. He suggested it was a ruse to let Obama avoid military action in Syria.
"The current charade of international control over Bashar's chemical arsenal would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious. And designed not only to give Mr. Obama an opportunity to back down (from military strikes), but also to help Assad to butcher his people," said Prince Turki, a member of the Saudi royal family and former director of Saudi intelligence.1B - HAARETZ - 3/27/14:
“Why are you abandoning your allies?” fumed Faisal Abbas, editor of Al Arabiya News’ English website, in an op-ed published in Arabic. “You” referred to the United States – and, more specifically, President Barack Obama, who arrives in Saudi Arabia on Friday for a state visit. Abbas, who reflects the prevailing opinions of the Saudi royal court, lists a large number of missteps that he believes characterize the Obama administration. The most important one is the interim deal signed last November with Iran regarding its nuclear program, as well as the present negotiations over a final agreement.
“Has Washington forgotten the long-standing cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the United States in the war on terror?” Abbas asks. “Has it forgotten that it was Iran that destabilized Iraq after the toppling of Saddam Hussein? That it’s rocking Lebanon and Bahrain, that it supports Hezbollah and has captured three islands in the Persian Gulf that belong to the United Arab Emirates? An American strategy that ignores all these to placate Iran, while negotiating over its nuclear ambitions, raises grave concerns.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t have written a more scathing article.1C - THE GUARDIAN - 3/28/14
The US President's flying visit – no more than an evening in the Saudi king's palace – is his first since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, which drove an initial wedge between Washington and Riyadh.
Ever since, relations have tangibly soured on every front, with the US outreach to Iran and ambivalence on Syria particularly irking Saudi leaders who believe arch foe Tehran has been empowered at their expense. So bothered has Riyadh become by what it sees as naive appeasement of Iran, that it now seems ready to project itself regionally without US cover.
"The US has underwritten the regional security order for the past 70 years and it sees now as a good time to disengage?," one senior figure put to the Guardian recently. "We will have to do it all ourselves."2 - RALPH PETERS, TODAY:
This week, oil fell through the price floor of $60 a barrel and gas at my local filling station was $2.26 a gallon.
That’s great news for commuters and almost every business, but wonderfully bad news for our ugliest enemies.
If oil prices remain low through next year, the effect on rogue governments, from the Russian Federation to Venezuela, will go from damaging to devastating.
But Western economies (and China’s) stand to benefit, with cheap oil possibly tickling Europe’s snoozing markets awake. Even most underdeveloped states will get a welcome break.
This price plunge has been driven by Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s dominant power. While it’s true that part of Riyadh’s actions respond to the energy renaissance in North America, the greater motivation is breaking Iran’s will.The Saudis believe they can no longer rely on the US to contain Tehran’s imminent nuclear threat, so they’re out to do what our lukewarm sanctions couldn’t.IN MY OPINION, IT'S NOT THAT THE SAUDIS THINK THEY CAN BREAK IRAN ECONOMICALLY WITH A SERIOUS DROP IN OIL RICES.
IN MY OPINION, THE SAUDIS AND THE GULF STATES, UNDERSTAND THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A RELIABLE AND COURAGEOUS ALLY IN THE USA, (WHICH IS THE CASE SINCE OBAMA HAS BEEN IN OFFICE) - ONLY ISRAEL CAN DESTROY THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR INDUSTRY.
THEIR GREATEST FEAR OF SUCH AN ATTACK WAS WHAT IT WOULD DO TO OIL PRICES AND TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY:
PRICES WOULD TRIPLE FOR SEVERAL MONTHS AFTER AN ATTACK - IN PART JUST BECAUSE OF FEAR, AND ALSO BECAUSE IRAN WOULD MOST LIKELY BE ABLE TO LAUNCH A COUNTER-ATTACK THAT WOULD DEMOLISH A GREAT DEAL OF THE GULF STATES' OIL INFRASTRUCTURE.
THOUGH SOME MIGHT THINK THAT THE HOUSE OF SAUD LIKES ANY HIGH PRICE, THE FACT IS THEY REALLY JUST LIKE THE HIGHEST PRICE THEIR CUSTOMERS CAN AFFORD.
A $300/BARREL PRICE WOULD DESTROY THE GLOBAL ECONOMY.
SO THEY HAVE BEEN STEADILY BRINGING THE RICE DOWN SO THAT AFTER THE IAF ATTACKS - AND AFTER OIL TRIPLES - IT WILL ON;Y REACH $130-150/BARREL FOR A FEW/SEVERAL MONTHS, A PRICE THE GLOBAL ECONOMY CAN LIVE WITH.
SO... IF I WAS IRAN, THEN I'D BE VERY VERY WORRIED. SCARED EVEN THAT AN IAF ATTACK WAS IMMINENT.
MORE SCARED THEN SONY.
PREDICTION: THE IAF WILL ATTACK ON A NEW MOON - PERHAPS THE ONE IN MARCH - 3/20/15...