Saudi Arabia Is the Centerpiece of US Mideast Foreign Policy, Says Analyst

Saudi Arabia has been the centerpiece of the American Empire’s foreign policy in the Middle East region, according to Daniel Patrick Welch, an American writer and political analyst.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia warned against threats to punish it over the October 2 assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Istanbul consulate, saying oil could hit $200 “or even double that figure.”

On Monday, US President Donald Trump, who had threatened “severe punishment” if it turned out Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, backtracked on his statement, suggesting the kingdom might not be responsible for the fate of Khashoggi.

 Trump told reporters at the White House that "rogue killers," and not Saudi officials, may have gotten to Khashoggi.

“Of course, this would be laughable if it wasn’t so predictable and cynical. I mean the kingdom of Saudi Arabia says that they’re going to retaliate and oil can go to $200 a barrel and immediately Trump says, ‘Oh they must be some rouge killers. It couldn’t been our dear friends, the Saudis,’” Welch said. 

“But, it shows the fight for what it is. You have either opposition, so-called opposition of politicians in Washington, any sort of cry from the human rights crowd trying to say, ‘Oh, well we have to do something. This is outrageous. All this stuff,’” he added.

“What did they think was going to happen? KSA has been the centerpiece of the Empire’s foreign policy in the region forever. This is their forward base since Carter sold AWACs, or Reagan, I don’t know,” the analyst said, referring to the sale of AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) surveillance planes (pictured below) to Saudi Arabia by the administration of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

“I don’t remember it anymore because it never changes,” Welch added.

“The people who thought that either Trump, the new regime you know, was going to present some sort of anti-imperialist or anti-war sentiment was just totally wishful thinking. He’s constantly saber rattling against Iran, against China,” the commentator said. 

“On the other hand anyone who thinks that resistance to this is voting for the war-mongering Democrats who all voted for this war budget – the $600-700 billion war budget which doesn’t count the interest on the military debt and all that,” he said.

“I mean this is strangling, or keeping afloat -- depending on your perspective – the US economy. It is the absolute driver of everything that makes any difference in Washington which therefore is around the world the world. This is the US’s never-ending war policy," he added.

'US has had the same president for 40 years'

“So there really is no escape from this duopoly that doesn’t involve countering the system itself -- the system of imperialism, the system of constant war, and the economic basis on which it depends,” he noted.

“The House of Saud has been linked at the hip with the president going back to Bushes and before. So the real problem is that the US has had the same president for 40 years. Not that this one president is worse than any other, of course,” he observed.      

“Successively, I’d say that every president is worse than the previous one because we’re watching this in end stage capitalist crisis, and the horrific choices that the US is going to make to sustain its domination around the world. And those are dangerous no matter who is in power. But of course the focus now is on the Trump regime, and it’s just a sickening show to watch,” the commentator concluded.

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