King Abdullah is being eulogized in the most unrealistic ways possible, from CNN designating him as a “reformer” to Chuck Hagel calling him “a powerful voice for tolerance, moderation and peace — in the Islamic world and across the globe.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin takes the cake, however, by proclaiming that “his smart policy contributed greatly to Middle East stability.” None of these characterizations are true in any way, as Abdullah’s main legacy isn’t one of reform, tolerance, and regional stability, but of destruction, hate, and regional instability. Every contemporary Mideast problem except for the Israel-Palestine issue can be directly traced back to the deceased despot, and in the wake of his death, it’s worth revisiting the legacy of regional chaos that he leaves behind.
The Method Behind The Madness
Before highlighting the chaos that Abdullah unleashed all across the Mideast, it’s necessary to explore the three primary reasons why he decided to do this in the first place:
Abdullah saw a valuable opportunity to promote his Kingdom’s extreme perversion of Islam, the terrorist ideology of Wahhabism, in the aftermath of the US’ War on Iraq in 2003. Although not officially the King until 2005, he had ruled as regent for nearly a decade prior, thereby meaning that Abdullah’s vision was set into motion around the mid-1990s. This gave him the much-needed time to hone Wahhabist institutions and individuals for more effective destabilizing export abroad, which is precisely what began to happen when terrorists took over the anti-US resistance movement in Iraq. The extreme elements that hijacked the movement started focusing more on inciting a sectarian war (previously dormant for centuries) than on battling the American occupiers, which is exactly what Saudi Arabia wanted as part of its pan-regional grand strategy.
The US is Saudi Arabia’s chief ally, hence why Riyadh had an interest in deflecting attacks against its occupation forces and back toward the resistance itself. However, a more sinister strategy was also at play here, and that was the creation of the so-called ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’ as a weaponized ideological force against Iran. The Saudis identify the Islamic Republic as being their eternal enemy, and although this was never an objectively foregone conclusion, what is important to emphasize here is that Saudi decision makers hold this mistaken belief and accordingly shape their foreign policy around it.
They have a paranoid idea that majority-Shia Iran wants to harness its influence among its related believers to exert political influence wherever they reside, including in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. Thus, Abdullah figured that the Saudis could ‘strike first’ by manufacturing an artificial ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’ in order to ‘justify’ repressions against the Shia in Saudi Arabia and prevent them from attaining power as ‘Iranian proxies’ in Iraq and Bahrain sometime in the future. In countries such as Yemen and Syria where Shia and Shia-affiliated sects constitute an influential minority, the policy was aimed at inciting religious hatred against them in the hopes that they could be eventually relegated to social and political obscurity. Abdullah’s plan was obviously long-term, but given the intensity of the sectarian war that he launched in Iraq and the lessons his intelligence forces gleaned from such activity, his was able to see demonstrable ‘results’ a couple years later after the ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions. Wahhabism flared throughout the Mideast and Shia communities everywhere found themselves in fear of violent sectarian-led attacks. For the Saudis, this was mission accomplished.
The second driving force behind Abdullah’s reign of terror across the Mideast was to spread the influence of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a Saudi-led regional grouping that operates as a multifaceted integrational platform that coordinates military, political, and economic policies. Abdullah’s ambition was to use it as a vehicle for creating regional satellite states, either formally integrated into the organization (such as Bahrain) or living under its military shadow (as it envisioned Yemen to be). Pertaining to Syria and Iraq, Abdullah sought to make them submissive to the GCC’s dictates, in that Syria was unsuccessfully bullied into allowing a gas pipeline to transit its territory (and its subsequent refusal is credited with initiating the war) and Iraq was targeted for trilateral fragmentation so that it could never rival the Saudis again.
Lead From Behind:
Finally, the US understood the regional value that Abdullah’s goals could have for its global grand strategy, and therefore threw all of its weight behind his destabilizing activities. The American vision for adapting to the multipolar world is to delegate zones of regional responsibility to its close allies (or group thereof), and Saudi Arabia is the Lead From Behind partner for the Gulf. The US wants to use the Saudis and their GCC minions as military proxies for any future conflict with Iran, hence why it and its NATO allies are arming them to the teeth. The US seems to have also fallen for Abdullah’s scam of the ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’ and his paranoid fears of Iranian interference via this ‘mechanism’, which explains its blind support for the dead ruler’s actions in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Yemen. Instead of the US directly confronting Iran, it simply outsources this responsibility to Saudi Arabia and the GCC, which share the same delusional belief as the US and Israel have about a hidden Iranian hand guiding all sorts of Mideast mischief.
Abdullah’s Hit List
While the story of Pandora’s Box may only be a legend, Abdullah’s Mideast application of it is most certainly not. The former King opened the gates of hell when he unleashed his sectarian war on the masses in an attempt to transform his country into the region’s unrivaled hegemon. Thus, the following should be read as Abdullah’s ‘hit list’:
Abdullah took personal offense to President Assad’s refusal to betray his Iranian allies and kowtow to the Gulf Monarchies, and thus targeted him for elimination. Of course, the US was also planning President Assad’s removal even before then, but this gave Abdullah an even greater reason to work with them to bring his sectarian plans into play in the Levant. He had intended for Syria to be a peripheral satellite of the GCC, but President Assad’s loyalty to his Iranian partners frightened the King and brought about hallucinations of a ‘Shia alliance’ aimed against his country’s interests. Abdullah wasn’t apt enough to identify it for what it properly was – the Axis of Resistance – but instead, given his fixation with Iran, he only saw a sectarian element to it that he became obsessed with destroying. Since Iraq stood between the two and happened to be run by Maliki (a Shiite) at the time, the Saudis instinctively began plans for sucking them into the oncoming destabilization by restarting the sectarian civil war that previously devastated the country.
For a while, it seemed like Iraq would successfully resist the Saudi-inspired destabilization that was ravaging Syria, since Maliki’s strong arm kept everything together between his country’s Sunni and Shia citizens. However, that was not to last, as ISIL began its massive surge across the Syrian border and into Iraq last summer, whereby it acquired unimaginable territorial conquests in an extremely short period of time. This was the final aspect of Abdullah’s northern-directed foreign policy, since he ultimately succeeded in having the Wahhabist militants destabilize Iraq and reignite the sectarian war, which in turn led to Maliki’s soft-coup removal from power and the country’s de-facto fragmentation into three identity-dominated entities.
This small island country was actually Abdullah’s first geopolitical victim, since he ordered the Saudi military to intervene there upon the urgent request of its monarchy. The Shiite majority had been rising up against the Sunni-minority royals and demanding democratic representation and more rights, in a scenario that Abdullah could not refrain from viewing in sectarian (read: ‘Iranian conspiracy’) terms. Nonetheless, Abdullah wasn’t successful in putting down the people’s resistance to their rulers (despite dozens of deaths and hundreds of torture allegations), which still continues to this day amidst an ever-stringent crackdown on the opposition.
Finally, Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbor wasn’t spared from Abdullah’s militant ambitions, although it experienced them in a different way. Given that Yemen is the geopolitical Achilles’ heel of the Kingdom, large-scale destabilization there poses the high risk of spilling over the border and boomeranging back into Saudi Arabia, hence Abdullah’s reluctance for all-out conflict there on par with Syria. Also, the government there was favorably affiliated with the Saudis and comfortably kept under their thumb. However, Abdullah’s obsession over sectarianism meant that he continued to view the Shiite Houthis in the north as proxy agents of Iranian influence, and he was paranoid that if they were able to create a more inclusive and democratic government, then Saudi Arabia might be left with a hostile state on its borders.
When the Houthis rebelled against President Hadi’s GCC-approved plan to arbitrarily federalize the country into six units and dilute their already miniscule representation, the government was forced to concede to a UN-mediated power-sharing agreement. The thing is, that was all just a time-buying ploy, whereby the Saudis sought to retain their man in Sanaa while finding a way to slowly destroy the Houthis. When they finally ordered Hadi to backtrack on the agreement and carry out a pro-Saudi coup, everything disastrously fell to pieces and Riyadh’s agent in Yemen stepped down from the presidency. This left the Houthis as the only real political force still active in the country, which in turn exacerbated Saudi Arabia’s fears of an Iranian conspiracy. Yemen is now on the cusp of a greater conflict, as the Kingdom, convinced of a hidden Iranian hand behind its monstrously failed coup attempt, desperately contemplates its next power move along its vulnerable and exposed southern border.
Bonus – The Hitman:
Last but not least, Abdullah, following the template of his American advisors, also sought to outsource some of his country’s regional activity to a degree, ergo the creation of ISIL. Although they deny it, the Saudis created it and were absolutely instrumental in helping the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization come to power. So important has ISIL been to achieving Saudi objectives in Syria and Iraq that it can even be said to function as the ‘hitman’ taking out the members of Abdullah’s ‘hit list’. However, just like with any mercenary gunman, the Wahhbist Frankenstein might finally be turning on its masters, which would present an ironic twist of fate for Abdullah’s lasting legacy.
As the mainstream media shamelessly ‘mourns’ Abdullah’s passing, millions of his victims across the Mideast are celebrating the death of what they rightfully view to have been the world’s number one terrorist. Never before in modern times has one man had such a wide-ranging effect of death and destruction across the region. Bush’s War on Iraq may have been indirectly responsible ending the lives of between half a million to one million Iraqis, but one needs to be reminded that most of the violent deaths that occurred weren’t perpetrated by Americans (although that definitely doesn’t excuse them), but by anti-government/occupation forces and ‘unknown actors’ (read: Saudi-supported sectarian terrorists).
The salient point is that Abdullah’s brainchild, the artificial ‘Sunni-Shia rivalry’, cooked up in order to advance his Kingdom’s Wahhabism, spread the GCC’s power, and (as he saw it) supposedly contain and rollback Iran, has resulted in countless deaths that the mainstream media never attributed to him, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of casualties and millions of displaced people due to the Saudi-sponsored War on Syria. This weaponized ideology doesn’t seem set to stop killing for quite some time (if at all), and since it has already proven the capability to outlive its creator, it should deservedly be attributed as Abdullah’s actual legacy.
Originally published on 2015-01-24
About the author: Andrew Korybko is the political analyst and journalist for Sputnik who currently lives and studies in Moscow, exclusively for ORIENTAL REVIEW.
Source: Oriental Review
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
Aleppo has become synonymous with destruction and “Syrian state-generated” violence among those whose perception of the situation in the war-torn nation is contained within the prism of mainstream media narratives.
The NATO-aligned media maintains a tight grip on information coming out of this beleaguered city, ensuring that whatever comes out is tailored to meet State Department requirements and advocacy for regime change. The propaganda mill churns out familiar tales of chemical weapons, siege, starvation, and bombs targeting civilians–all of which are attributed to the Syrian government and military, with little variation on this theme.
The purpose of this photo essay and my ...
ISIS is Born in IraqThe origins of ISIS are buried beneath the rubble of the US occupation.It was out of this crucible of war and invasion that the original grievances were born, leading analysts to conclude that "the basic causes of the birth of ISIS" were the United States' "destructive interventions in the Middle East and the war in Iraq."1The framework underlying this being the exacerbation of Sunni-Shia tensions in the aftermath of the invasion, which previously have been inflamed through various other foreign interferences. These were highlighted by the sectarian brutality of the post-invasion Iraqi government, which then continued ...
For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of ‘enemy countries’ to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow.
This imperial quest to overthrow ‘enemy countries’ operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations: the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a ‘regime change’ operation.
The criteria for determining an ‘enemy country’ and its place on the list of priority targets in the US quest for greater global dominance, as well as its vulnerability to a ‘successfully’ regime change will be the focus of this essay.
We will conclude by discussing the realistic perspectives of future imperial ...
Government propaganda and NGO misinformation have coloured the story of the war on Syria from its inception. Stepping in to set the record straight, Dr. Tim Anderson explores the real beginnings of the conflict, the players behind it, and their agenda in his new book, “The Dirty War on Syria: Washington, Regime Change and Resistance.”
The Dirty War on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. In seeking ‘regime change’ the big powers sought to hide their hand, using proxy armies of ‘Islamists’, demonising the Syrian Government and constantly accusing it of atrocities. In ...
It was in 1916, in the midst of World War I, that Britain and France (pitted against the Germans, Austrians and Ottoman Turks) made their infamous Sykes-Picot agreement. In grand imperial style, they used this agreement to divide up the Middle East between them. It was a daring move, considering that the war was at a stalemate and the two allies did not know if they were going to win the struggle. Nonetheless, they went ahead with the agreement and in doing so made a number of decisions that continue to shape the region to this day.Besides bringing traditional European imperialism ...
Syria is being bombed as part of a “counter-terrorism campaign” allegedly against the Islamic State, an elusive “outside enemy” based in Raqqa, Northern Syria.
While the ISIL is said to be “threatening the Western World”, the evidence confirms that the Islamic State is supported and financed by the Western military alliance, together with Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. Amply documented, Al Qaeda and its various affiliates including the Islamic State Caliphate Project are creations of Western intelligence.
Moreover, whatever the justification, the bombing of a sovereign country is an illegal and criminal act under international law. It constitutes a war of ...
In early January 2020, Serbian media reported the sensational news that recently declassified British Ministry of Defense files contained important new evidence suggesting that the official account of what happened in Srebrenica was unfounded.As from time to time has been the case, Western sources have again disclosed some information about Srebrenica in July 1995, which until recently was kept confidential and therefore not available to the public. The source of this particular batch of documents is the UK Department of Defense. The documents that have finally been declassified contains very interesting assessments and reports that take on even greater significance ...
The origin of jihadism is prohibited from being reported truthfully — this truth is prohibited by all of the Establishment ‘press,’ including almost all ‘alternative news’ sites — in the West, because it challenges all of the “sensitive” buttons (all of the bigotries, to put the matter in plain terms); and, though this fact (the Establishment’s bigotries, and its hypocrisy to preserve and protect their bigotries even while condemning those of other people) will prevent almost all of the news-media that I send this to from publishing it, nothing prevents me from writing it; so, here it is (in whatever ...
In the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush stated in no uncertain terms that “State sponsors of terrorism” would be considered as “terrorists”.
“We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.
But there is always an “Exception that the Proves the Rule” and that is George W. Bush himself.
When George W. Bush respectfully kisses King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, does this mean that Dubya could–by some stretch of the imagination– be considered a “suspected terrorist”, who should never have been elected president of the United States of America?
The answer ...
Bombardment (or other military invasion) of a country that has not invaded nor threatened to invade the attacking country(s) is “aggression” under international law, and is the chief crime that the Nazis were hanged for at Nuremberg after World War II.
The U.S. and its allies have routinely committed aggression, in places such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. A particular instance of it, to be discussed here, could be especially prosecutable, because the alleged ‘cause’ for the invasion could turn out to have been a provable lie, an intentional fabrication which had been concocted by the perpetrators so as to ...
It is apparent given the timelines and the lack of time given to verifying the validity of accusations concerning the gas attack in Homs, Syria, that plans had already been coordinated for such an attack. Watching the mainstream media the viewer receives the impression from the wording of the announcers reports and questions for the “experts” that the matter was already decided in favour of the U.S. military strike on the airbase. I see pictures of Colin Powell at the UN holding up glossy photos of supposed chemical weapons manufacturing plants.
It demonstrates to a high degree how easily manipulated Trump ...
Twenty-first century slave markets. Human beings sold for a few hundred dollars. Massive protests throughout the world.
The American and British media have awakened to the grim reality in Libya, where African refugees are for sale in open-air slave markets. Yet a crucial detail in this scandal has been downplayed or even ignored in many corporate media reports: the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in bringing slavery to the North African nation.
In March 2011, NATO launched a war in Libya expressly aimed at toppling the government of longtime leader Muammar Qadhafi. The US and its allies flew some 26,000 sorties ...
The United States the use of force against the sovereign state of Syria is a prima facie violation of international law. It is an act of aggression against the UN Member State in violation of the Charter of the United Nations. It therefore gives Syria the right to react in self-defense or a legal justification for the use of force and it gives any other United Nations Member State the right to act in collective self-defense and to support Syrian action against the US This is the basic understanding of the international legal consequences of the United States use of ...
Originally, there were four parties involved in the Afghan conflict which are mainly responsible for the debacle in the Af-Pak region. Firstly, the former Soviet Union which invaded Afghanistan in December 1979. Secondly, Pakistan’s security agencies which nurtured the Afghan so-called “mujahideen” (freedom fighters) on the behest of Washington.Thirdly, Saudi Arabia and the rest of oil-rich Gulf states which generously funded the jihadists to promote their Wahhabi-Salafi ideology. And last but not the least, the Western capitals which funded, provided weapons and internationally legitimized the erstwhile ‘freedom fighters’ to use them against a competing ideology, global communism, which posed a ...
The history of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine is continued with Ilan Pappe’s recent work, The Biggest Prison on Earth. For those who have read Pappe’s earlier histories, it is clear the original Zionists recognized the existence of the Palestinian population and the resistance most likely to rise from it. Also recognized are the actions taken throughout the occupation and settlement that the Jewish settlers were intent on marginalizing, displacing, and cleansing as much of Palestine as they could of its residents.
The revelation in this continuation of the history is the high degree to which these policies were officially planned ...
The United States government is guilty of war crimes. This is the stark conclusion reached by the independent international commission of inquiry established by the United Nations in 2011 to investigate human rights violations stemming from the protracted US-backed war for regime change in Syria.
The Pentagon’s relentless bombing campaign in and around the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the so-called “capital” of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has inflicted a “staggering loss of civilian life,” while forcing over 160,000 civilians to flee their homes, Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the UN’s commission of inquiry, said on Wednesday.
US warplanes ...
The current Greek population in Turkey is estimated at fewer than 2,000. But this population decline was not due to natural causes; the Greek community has become nearly extinct due to many state-sponsored attacks and pressure.
The largest attacks took place during the last years of the Ottoman Empire with pogroms and discrimination continuing until the present day.
In 2007, the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) announced that “the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks.”
The destruction of Greek heritage and institutions, including schools, continued ...
Autism as the political driving forceAs a matter of very historical fact, Kosovo-Metochia’s ethnic Albanians never accepted the state of Yugoslavia as their own state, nor did they ever recognize the country of Serbia as their homeland. Nevertheless, two important points have to be noticed in regard to this phenomenon. As it is quite known, it is the common feature of the highlanders in general. The Yugoslav and Albanian Dinaric highlanders, in fact, never historically accepted fully any kind of state as their own, for which they would feel any sincere responsibility. It concerns, for instance, the Montenegrins regarding the ...
The European Parliament has asked yesterday (25 October) for an immediate embargo on the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, hence sanctioning the Kingdom of rogue Saudi Arabia which is joining the United States and Israel as the main purveyor of crime throughout the Middle East and the world. France still said they will apply sanctions only if it is proven that Riyadh was indeed involved in the killing of the controversial Saudi journalist. Madame Merkel at least days ago said that Germany would no longer supply the Saudis with arms – as a result of the heinous crime committed ...
"Evicted five centuries ago by crusading Christians, the Arabs are back in Spain, using their oil dollars to buy land that was seized from their ancestors by the sword". — James M. Markham, The New York Times, 1981. The Madrid daily ABC wrote that 800 mosques in Spain are out of control. The Spanish daily La Razon charged that Gulf donors, such as Qatar, were a source of Spain's Islamization. The Saudis also launched a new Spanish television channel, Córdoba TV, as did Iran. They dream of, and work to, regain the "lost Caliphate" of Spain. Some Islamists do ...
Journey to Aleppo: Exposing the Truth Buried under NATO Propaganda
The Origins and Ultimate Purpose of ISIS
America’s Enemies, Who’s on the List?
Video: The Dirty War on Syria – Prof. Tim Anderson on GRTV
The Criminalization of Parliamentary Democracy
New British Documents about Srebrenica
George W. Bush and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: Is Kissing a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” a “Terrorist Act”?
Did U.S. and Allies Commit War Crime by Bombing Syria on April 14th?
“The Civilized World” Strikes Again: Donald Trump, a Complete Puppet of the Military Industrial Complex
Media Erase NATO Role in Bringing Slave Markets to Libya
Why the United States’ Use of Force Against Syria Violates International Law
CIA Was Aiding “Jihadists” before Soviets Invaded Afghanistan
A Book Review: “The Biggest Prison on Earth – A History of the Occupied Territories”
Washington’s War Crimes in Syria
Greeks in Turkey on the Verge of Extinction
How Kosovo’s Albanians Destroyed ex-Yugoslavia
Khashoggi vs. 50,000 Slaughtered Yemeni Children: Europe has no Morals, no Ethics no Nothing
A New Islamic Occupation of Iberian Peninsula?