Saudi Arabia: Arm The Syrian Opposition

Brit Dee, Contributing Writer

As the West continues to try and topple Syria’s government without resorting to outright military attacks, Saudi Arabia has entered the fray with calls to arm the opposition movement.

At The Friends Of Syria conference held yesterday in Tunisia, at which Hillary Clinton described countries failing to toe the Western line as having “blood on their hands”, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said that he believed arming the Free Syria Army was “an excellent idea”. 

The call comes despite US officials describing the Syrian opposition as “fragmented and often feuding“, and containing terrorists connected to Al Qaeda, who are believed to be behind a series of bombings in Syria in which many civilians have been reported killed.

Arming a fractious and squabbling opposition, containing the very Islamic militants the West has been fighting since 9/11, would serve only to cause further chaos and the deaths of more civilians — civilians our leaders have repeatedly claimed they are trying to protect.

In reality, our Western governments and their allies in the Arab world are, as always, cynically using the suffering of the Syrian people to justify their involvement in a sovereign country’s affairs, such is their determination to oust the Assad government, and thus weaken Iran.

If our leaders were genuinely concerned about the deaths of innocent civilians, they would be condemning in the strongest possible terms violence committed by all participants in the Syrian violence. Instead, crimes against humanity committed by the opposition, such as the torture and executions of Syrian soldiers detailed in a recent UN report and the terrorist bombings by Al Qaeda, pass without comment by the West.

That Saudi Arabia is a close ally of the West, holding court at a conference condemning alleged human rights abuses in Syria, is grimly ironic. Saudi Arabia has an appalling human rights record, with even the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office stating on its homepage that “Saudi Arabia is featured as one of the 26 countries where we have some of the most serious wide-ranging human rights concerns.”

Such concerns go discretely unmentioned when Western leaders and their Saudi counterparts appear together in front of the media, due to the business links between the Saudi monarchy and Western companies — principally relating to the oil trade, Saudi Arabia being the world’s second largest oil exporter. The relationship between the Bush family and the House of Saud is perhaps the most notorious example of such highly questionable business links between the two countries.

As well as remaining tight-lipped about alleged human rights in Saudi Arabia, Western politicians have been remarkably quiet about Saudi connections to Islamist terrorism, most glaringly the country’s role in the 9/11 attacks. 

The public has been sold an official, highly propagandised, account of the 9/11 attacks, which makes it all too easy to forget that 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers were Saudi Arabian.

Osama bin Laden himself was of course Saudi Arabian, and the country has been accused of being the world’s single biggest funder of Islamic extremism. A leaked secret memo written by Hillary Clinton — who yesterday sat down at the Friends Of Syria conference with the Saudi foreign minister to discuss what action to take over Bashar Assad — detailed how the US believes Saudi Arabia to be:
A critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during the Haj and Ramadan.
It is difficult not to employ the overused term “Orwellian” when assessing the actions of our governments. The West is now in partnership with a country it believes to be a principal funder of the terror group we have been fighting for the last decade, discussing arming a group the US believes contains members of that very terror group! 

The Syrian government has consistently claimed that it is trying to combat Al-Qaeda terrorists. Being the latest demonised enemy of the West, Assad’s actions have been portrayed as crimes against humanity — actions which might be tolerated by the West as necessary in the “war on terror” if they they taken place in a country ruled by a pro-Western government.

A Syrian state-run newspaper, Al Thawra, has reacted angrily to Saudi Arabia’s call to arm the opposition, a commentary in the state-run Al Thawra newpaper accusing the country of being “direct partner in shedding more Syrian blood.” The commentary also said that “It’s shameful for the vocabulary of the Saudi speech to reach this level … and to announce so rudely support for terrorists”.

This article first appeared at Resistance Radio  

Brit Dee runs an independent online radio station called Resistance Radio, which broadcasts daily news, views and analysis challenging the lies of our corrupt political and financial leaders, and the controlled corporate media, at  

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