While we wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s possible to find a ‘silver lining’ in the San Bernardino massacre, the fact that Tashfeen Malik’s connection to Saudi Arabia has focused the world’s attention on Riyadh’s role in promoting Sunni extremism means the tragedy will at least serve a kind of utilitarian purpose.
As we and others have documented extensively, Saudi Arabia’s promotion of Wahhabism makes the kingdom the number one state sponsor of terror almost by default (Erdogan’s support for ISIS notwithstanding). Despite the best efforts of quite a few commentators and analysts who this year have drawn attention to the fact that the ideology espoused and promulgated by the Saudis is really no different than that promoted by ISIS, the Western public is still largely in the dark – we know this because if the US electorate were truly in tune to what’s going on, voters would stage a popular revolt before they’d allow King Salman to parade into Washington in a fleet of Mercedes on the way to commandeering the entire Four Seasons for a two day stay.
As Kamel Daoud, a columnist for Quotidien d’Oran, and the author of ‘The Meursault Investigation’ put it in a New York Times op-ed in November, Saudi Arabia is simply ‘an ISIS that made it.’ Here’s an excerpt from that piece:
Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other. This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 01/02/2016.