Saudi Tensions Rising – Lebanon in the Cross

The escalation of events in Saudi Arabia spawn not just their ongoing wars against Yemen and Syria, not just a purging of corrupt royals, and not just a growing disconcert with Iran and by default, Lebanon and Hezbollah, but the Saudi’s are losing money, lots of money, and their proxy wars need funds to survive.

With a nearly 100% concentration on oil, the economy has been on a rocket launched downward spiral and gaining warp speed with each devastating decision. Unemployment is rife, education is sorely inadequate, and the youth have no skills. They have no innovation, no manufacturing, no art, no culture, and tourism is abysmal given Sharia Law, a lot of sand but no beaches.

The cost to ‘sustain’ the Royal family is over $10 billion annually, only 30% of the population own their own homes, and unless there is another country taken out of the oil purge, Saudi Arabia has no hope of recovering.

What to do? What to do? Purge the corruption, demand the return of 70% of their wealth, infuse that money into more weapons, and take out Iran and Lebanon. Experts claim the cost of oil would rise five fold, if that were to happen.  A win for Saudi Arabia…

Mohammed bin Salman, the newly crowned Prince and potential King next week, at 33 is young, ambitious, and a gambler.   The old ways have not raised a dime, and drastic measures are sometimes the only rule a ruler can manipulate.   Perhaps he sees a last ditch effort to purge the Middle East of Shi’a as his duly ordained proxy. Hezbollah is Shia. Iran is Shia. Yemen – was Shia.   Any Syria was an ally of those Shia countries.

But the plan didn’t quite work out.  ISIS did not solve the problem, and instead exasperated the jittery Fall of the Middle East. The US sanction hit on Russia backfired. Brazil and Venezuela joined forces with the BRICS, and radical decisions were required. The aged King at 81, was not pro-active enough, and so, enter the mental equivalent of McCain – bomb ‘em all to Hell!   And the Middle East is – imploding.

But Saudi Arabia has fewer and fewer allies in the Middle East, Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, Qatar, Houthis, Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Azerbaijan are all Shia aligned. ISIS, Al Qaeda, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Turkey, Algeria and Tunisia are predominantly Sunni.

It is the Sunni vs Shite, with the remaining oil wealth at the central core.  Russia diversified – quickly.  The Middle East spent and spent and spent…  It’s like the guy mowing his lawn with a mower 40 years old, the blades are rusted, it has 3 wheels, it blows leaky gas exhaust all over creation – but it ‘used to work’ – so by golly…

A recent UK commissioned gathering headed by Macron (groan) has rightly concluded that any involvement by outsiders would be a declaration of World War.   Russia sides with the Shi’a, and to date, the US and Europe have sided with Sunni’s. Add to the fray that a majority of the population in Lebanon identify as Christian, and any Saudi aggression could most easily fracture our very tenuous hand on the red button all out global self annihilation.

As it is, the UN, the US, and Europe have turned a blind eye to the atrocities created in Syria and Yemen for the purpose of a failed coup initiated on behalf of the Saudis. The recent abduction by the Saudis of Hariri, the PM of Lebanon, has been quietly purged from the media, and a non-topic of our government. He is a scared Sunni feeling like he might get caught in the middle of a civil war initiated by Saudi Arabia and is looking out for his own scared skin.  It would appear that Macron is trying to assure him protection when the Saudis bomb Beirut.   “Dig a bomb shelter – quickly…”

Will Lebanon be the next victim?  Will they become the next Syria and Yemen?

Saad Hariri, of Lebanese and Iraqi descent, was schooled at Georgetown University in DC and later served with his father in Saudi Arabia, until his assassination in 2005.  Initially the assassination was attributed to Assad, then to Hezbollah, and then to a Saudi/Israel collusion.  Hariri is Sunni, serving in a dominant Christian/Shi’a country (80%). How he could have won the election is up for debate… But based on the fact that there was only a 20% voter turnout amidst allegations of fraud and corruption may have created a weighted electoral win given the religious percentages.   (Ya think?)

Given the Saudi/Israel connection, it is fair to presume that a second assassination may have been a consideration.

The Middle East is now facing rising tensions, shifting of sides, aging royals, a sagging deficit, and a centuries old desire to once and for all eliminate, purge, create genocide – of the ‘other’ sect, ie, Shi’a.  As such, their wealth, which is infused by tourism and oil, is quickly diminishing setting the stage for a return to abject poverty in a society that does not look and prepare for the future.

But having a Sunni Prime Minister in Lebanon is about as logical as having a Sunni President in the US…  Hariri knows this – but he also knows he is expendable and his Saudi ties are worthless when the brick hits the fan…

 

Sunni Shi’a Riff – Next World War?

An unprecedented influx of Muslim refugees precedes a widening rift between Shi’a and Sunni states in the Middle East.

It’s hard not to think the timing was orchestrated.  What did the Sauds think the reaction would be after they brutally executed-beheaded a Shi’a holy man? Did they really think there would be no repercussion? I don’t think anyone is that stupid… and the only viable alternative to stupid is – ‘orchestrated’.

What would be the purpose if it was orchestrated?

Certainly it puts all of Europe on a very high alert as their Muslim population of both sects has risen exponentially. While the last actual population census was done in 2010 and estimated the total European contingent to be in excess of 44 million, the last five years we have seen unprecedented exodus from the Middle East and Africa into Europe. But more surprising is that upwards of 62% of all Muslims reside in Asia, the Middle East only accounts for about 20%, and Africa about 15%.

Pakistan and Indonesia account for the largest Shi’a populations. How they will respond to this division will determine whether this riff explodes.

That being said, if the Middle East were to implode into an all out sectarian war, what side would we take? What would happen to the ‘other’ side’s civilian population in foreign countries? Would the violence extend worldwide as Shunnis took to fighting Shi’a – everywhere?

Worldwide, the Sunni population is approximately 80% and the Shi’a about 20%. However, in the US, the Sunni population is 56%, a large disproportionate percentage despite our brackish affiliation with Saudi Arabia and Sunnis.

Iran in a Nutshell: The last time Iran was a world power was in the early 18th century.  Prior to that their empire reigned in the 7th century when they were ruled by the Sasanians whose language was Aramaic and religion was a mixture of Babylonian, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist. This Empire was defeated by Islam in a war that began in 633 and eventually ended in about 651 AD.  The surviving Sasonian’s converted to Islam or fled to other countries, but were always considered inferior, of a lesser quality. Conquered by the Mongols and later the Tamirs, it was not until the fifteen hundreds that Safavids rose to form the Safavid Empire of Iran before being defeated in 1722.

They were later conquered by Russia, the Ottoman Empire and finally the British in the early 1900’s who sought their oil. In 1941 the Soviets, British and Commonwealth nations invaded Iran for the purpose of confiscating their oil. In 1946, the Soviets were expelled by the British and Commonwealthers who then revoked their portion of the oil and continued their reign over the country.

In 1953, the US and UK organized a coup to depose the Prime Minister of Iran, Musaddeq, executed the Foreign Minister, and propped up the Shah. The 1979 Revolution returned Iran to its Shi’a roots, nationalized the oil from the British and US, and returned the country to it’s fundamental religious societal economy.

And while the media continues to pummel us with the ‘threat of Iran terrorism’, let’s not forget that al-Qaeda, ISIS, al-Nusra, Hamas, The Muslim Brotherhood, and al-Shabaab are all Sunni… The terrorist organization that is Shi’a is the militant group known as Hezbollah.

Formed by Iran clerics in 1982, Hezbollah was created to battle the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon. Since then, their military aggression has grown, and their warring targets include Israel and the Saudi Arabia.  Their main focus is feeling oppressed as a minority.  The European Union, New Zealand and the UK do not classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Their ideology desires the end of Israel as they see Zionism as a conspiracy for a One World Order and supreme domination.

So what would a complete implosion of war between Shi’as and Sunnis look like? Given the mass amounts of weapons sold over the course of the last decade by the US, Europe, and Russia – the countries most prolific include; Turkey, UAE, India, Afghanistan, China and of course – Saudi Arabia which took the world’s lead in 2014. Iran is not even making the list.

Paying attention to the details instead of the media propaganda is now a necessity. Who are friends? Who are foes? And who can we Trust?