How the U.S.-Saudi Joint Venture Funds and Fuels Terrorism Against the U.S.

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are more than allies, they’re equal partners in a joint venture to maximize returns from the Arab state’s natural resources. This much is obvious, but once you understand and acknowledge that, you understand why the U.S. will never win the war on terror, or a “War against Islam,” as some less sophisticated U.S. propagandists have framed it.

Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas has made the Saudi monarchy the third wealthiest on the planet. King Abdullah and his some 25,000 princes, who are each paid a living allowance of $35,000 per month, are given unfettered access to the country’s black gold courtesy of the U.S. military industrial complex and Saudi Arabia’s radical Islamic clerics. While the U.S. doles out weapons and surveillance systems to the monarchy, the clerics dole out the most extreme interpretation of Islam to the Saudi people.

In short, without support of both the U.S. government and the radical clerics, the House of Saud is no more than a house built on sand. For the monarchy to survive, it must simultaneously patron both the U.S., and those who wish to attack the U.S., and that’s why we are trapped in a forever war – or at least until we have no further interest in Saudi Arabia – that is the day after the last drop of oil is pumped and barreled.

Established as a nation in 1932, the kingdom was weaved together like a fragilely stitched umbrella of disparate Arab tribes. In 1938, oil was discovered, and that’s when the downpour of bad tidings started seep through. The clerics wanted Saudi Arabia to remain a living diorama of the 7th century – somewhat like a quasi-Disney version of Muhammad’s era. But the discovery of oil was a game changer, and the wheels that windfall put in motion are still spinning out of control today. 

Overnight, the discovery of black gold turned the monarchy into a major business enterprise, and like the CEO of any conglomerate knows, you need international partners. The Saudi’s partner of choice was then and remains today the United States. The oil business not only brought in U.S. mega corporations Standard Oil and Texaco, it also brought in U.S. contractors – defense and civilian. It was American engineering and influence that turned the monarchs into instant billionaires.

The partnership also made America rich. In fact, the biggest military construction ever undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid Military City.

With sudden extraordinary wealth, the monarchs no longer wanted to live like 7th century nomadic Bedouin. They wanted mansions, luxury cars, Rolex watches, and U.S. college education for their kids, and, according to revealed governmental cables, the best nightclubs, hookers, and drugs money can buy.

Instead of seeing a perpetual reenactment of Muhammad’s time, the clerics saw a ruling elite that was enriching themselves at the expense of the Saudi people, while the country was looking less and less like an Islamic fundamentalist’s fantasyland.

Tensions between the clerics and the monarchy reached boiling point on the morning of November 20, 1979. When 500 mostly Saudi militants seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca during the hajj. No one knew it at the time, but this was the genesis for al-Qaeda. The militants held the Grand Mosque for two weeks, and they made their demands clear: the monarchy should step down, U.S. and European corporations should be kicked out, and oil supplies to the West cut off.

The siege came to an end when French Special Forces were deployed to the Grand Mosque to exterminate the militants. The siege made the monarchs realize they had a tenuous grip on the country, so to prevent any potential future chance of being disposed and isolated from their cash cow, King Fahd put in place a two-pronged strategy:

  1. Bribe the clerics with billions of dollars.
  2. Bring in even more American influence – namely the U.S. military machine and U.S. manufactured weapons.

Buying off clerical support, and, at the same time, buying $4.5 billion worth of U.S. arms every year, which represents 10 percent of the nation’s GDP, while enriching their own greedy desires, has left the country as an economic basket case. In a country where more than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 30, the unemployment rate for young Saudi males is nearly 40 percent, while the average Saudi households are poorer today than they were 20 years ago. According to figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 1.5 million of the 2 million new jobs created in the last four years went to non-Saudis.

The billions doled out to the clerics are being used to build radical Madrassas within Saudi Arabia and abroad. With so many young unemployed and impoverished Saudi males schooled in both radical fundamentalism and the geo-political forces (U.S. – Saudi partnership) that keep them poor and their futures bleak, anti-Western terrorists are born.

To ward off internal terrorist attacks, which are steadily on the rise, the Saudi monarchy has not only had to allocate an ever-increasing amount of cash to the clerics, but it must also prove its anti-U.S. bona fides. Thus why the worst keep secret in D.C. is that several of the Saudi princes provided the financial support for the 9/11 attacks. U.S. lawmakers who were given access to the twenty-eight classified pages of the joint congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks have admitted that these pages “tell the story of Saudi officials meeting with and even funding two of the 9/11 hijackers when they first arrived in the U.S.” That 17 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals is no coincidence.

But this is our “closest Arab ally in the Middle East.” A country that provides America with 25 percent of its oil needs, keeps the dollar afloat by keeping oil pegged to U.S. currency, enriches the U.S. military industrial complex, but at the same time radicalizes and funds anti-Western terrorists, so that its rulers may continue to plunder the Saudi nation of its natural resources unimpeded by its downtrodden underclass.

The Saudi – U.S. joint venture is why terrorism against the West will never be defeated. Instead of blaming Islam for acts of violence carried out against us, it’s time to confront the ugly truth: anti-Western motivated terrorism is the cost of doing business.

CJ Werleman is an opinion writer, author of God Hates You. Hate Him Back, and Koran Curious. He's the host of 'Foreign Object.' Follow him on twitter: @cjwerleman


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