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It's not easy, being green

Reader comment on item: Making Sense of the Saudi-Iranian Crisis

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jan 16, 2016 at 03:37

Turkey has aligned itself, after some hesitation, with the Saudis in this dispute; so I am tempted to compare the contest between Turkey and friends, on the one hand, and Russia and friends, on the other, with the newer Saudi vs. Iran confrontation. What's more, the "NATO vs Russia" contest brought about by Turkey's downing a Russian warplane can be compared with the still pending Russia vs. NATO dispute over the Ukraine.

For one, such as me, trying to map these things out, the recently formed "Sunni Alliance", led by Saudi Arabia, makes it easy to color in the countries. Pakistan's recent proclamation that it will "wipe Iran off the face of the earth" if they mess with the Saudis, makes the lines even clearer -- or so it seems at first glance.

The first marring of this neat picture comes from the US President, who pays lip service to the Saudis (barely) because of our many big-dollar dealings with them; but who at the same time is panting after Iran like a dog about to rollin something in the grass. In this behavior, he is closely followed by likewise panting and drooling leaders throughout the industrialized West, seeing nothing but the prospect of making money once Obama OKs the lifting of sanctions against Iran.

There you have the Russians closely in bed with Iran and Hizbullah in Syria, getting a powerful boost in the Western press, as some sort of saviors of humanity (and of international corporations). Memories are quickly fading, of their annexation of Crimea. In fact, the Germans and other Eurozone powers have been hankering to get the Nord Stream II pipeline built, which will supply those countries with cheap natural gas while, unfortunately, pulling the carpet out from under their supposed friends in the Ukraine. In this rush to courtship, the Eastern European countries such as Poland and Hungary are also being left in the dust, who have been concerned about Russian aggression right next door. It may be no coincidence, that these countries also differ sharply with the Germans, et al, concerning accepting Islamic migrants: The Germans want the Poles and Hungarians to take them in; but the latter see the folly of this. Why do the Germans do this? Because Muslims are just so good for business, even thought they have "rude spots" of raping and killing middle- and lower- class citizens in their own countries.

Israel, of course, has been cooperating with the Russians (and by implication, also with their arch-enemies, the Iranians); because it's pretty tough to stand against the US, the Russians, the Germans and most of the world when the only people standing "with" you are the Sunni Arabs who have sworn for decades to wipe Israel off the map. Now King Abdullah has gone over to the Russians as well, leaving his Syrian Sunni allies in the lurch as he coordinates with Putin while the Russians and Iranians are crushing resistance in Dara'a.

At the moment in the Saudi-Iranian contest, Sunni countries across the globe are having the same problem that the muppet Kermit the Frog had, namely, that "It's not easy being green".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbCI68eSNsA

I expect that the Saudis are in this thing for the long haul, though. The Russians and Iranians are having their day; but things will change, and the Saud dynasty has a long memory. One fact will not go away, which works squarely against the Tehran-Moscow axis: There are about 1.3 billion Sunnis in the world; and with the Turks and Egyptians in financial and diplomatic trouble at the moment, and Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia preferring to sit on the sidelines they can turn only to Saudi Arabia and its radical spawn for leadership.

I will also note that Turkey's absence from center stage is temporary. They could break forth and replace ISIL as the dominant force in NW Iraq and E. Syria. Russia, meanwhile, has plenty of problems of its own; and it has been hedging its bets in the Middle East. Besides coordinating with the Israelis and Jordanians, they are lavishing the Egyptians with military equipment and much-needed nuclear reactors. At some point, the Iranians might get miffed by this sort of behavior; and we could see a re-alignment in the region. If that realignment finds Turkey and Iran on the same side, this will set the stage for Ezekiel 38-39.

Concerning Turkey's moves in this direction, I note that their tanks have just lobbed some 500 shells into Syria and Iraq -- presumably against ISIL, but more probably as a message against the Syrian Kurds to remind them not to be impertinent because of their newly found Russian and American friends.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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