The Saudi Hate Campaign Backfires

For decades the Saudis have sent out money and missionaries to establish radical West-hating madrassas and mosques all over the world. Many American mosques are controlled by the Saudis, and Saudi-funded Muslim "civil rights" organizations peddle a carefully tailored PR campaign about Muslim victimization to the American sucker media. All this serves the Wahhabi creed, one of the most reactionary movements in Islam. One result of Saudi fundamentalism is Al Qaida, Bin Laden and 9/11.

Next month, during the giant annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, the Saudi campaign to radicalize the Muslim world may come back to bite it in its ample rear. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will travel in from Iran, according to Amir Taheri's Sunday article in the New York Post, and they may stage demonstrations --- or possibly even a coup attempt --- in Saudi Arabia. Ten to twenty percent of the Iranians might be Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's agents, making 20 to 40 thousand disciplined radicals amid the chaotic mobs of the Hajj.

It doesn't take much to start stampedes and riots during the Hajj. The happen routinely, and they could be used to undermine the Saudi regime. Mecca, holy seat of Islam, belongs to the Islamic masses, gathered there in uncontrollable numbers. The claim of legitimacy for Saudi ownership of Arabia rests on guardianship of the holy sites. During the Hajj, Saudi Arabia is essential indefensible.

We don't really know why Ambarassador Sultan Al-Turki shockingly resigned in Washington last week and rushed back to Riyadh. But he was head of Saudi intelligence for years, and he may know something about Iran's plans during the Hajj. Iranian Shiites have a history of staging riots and demonstrations during the pilgrimage, going back to the Khomeini years.

Many Saudi Sunnis hate Persian Shias, and vice versa. Both claim exclusive rights to Mohammed's heritage. That doesn't mean they won't cooperate against the West or Israel. It does mean that the Sunni missionary campaign to convert world-wide Islam has a giant obstacle in its way: Iran's expansionist ambitions, just fifty miles from the long and hard-to-defend Persian Gulf shore of Saudi Arabia.

Iran has 70 million people, three times more than Saudi. Without the US Navy in the Gulf --- there are now four carrier groups --- Saudi Arabia could be overrun in a week. Since Shiites believe they are the true descendants of Mohammed, it also follows that the holy cities of Mecca and Medina must belong to them. They would be happy to pick up Saudi Arabia's oil provinces as icing on the cake. Those provinces are already populated by fellow-Shiites. So Iran's capacity for making mischief during the Hajj is immense.

The Saudi's hate-Israel, hate-the-West campaign has developed a backlash. Saudi stoking of fundamentalist fires inadvertently has empowered Iranian radicals in the Muslim world just as much as Sunni Wahhabis. If Iran's little fanatical ruler Ahmadinejad can control Mecca and Medina, or even just keep the Saudis scared and intimidated, his vaunted new Caliphate comes a step closer.

Soon, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. The Saudis helped pay for the Pakistani nuke program, and Pakistan is in constant danger of being overthrown by Sunni fundamentalists like the Taliban. Pakistan's President Musharraf has survived three assassination attempts so far. The next one might succeed.  In a few years we may have two, three or more radical Muslim regimes with nuclear weapons. It will change the world forever. But they may end up fighting each other as much as the infidel.

James Lewis is a freequent contributor, and blogs at Dangerous Times.
For decades the Saudis have sent out money and missionaries to establish radical West-hating madrassas and mosques all over the world. Many American mosques are controlled by the Saudis, and Saudi-funded Muslim "civil rights" organizations peddle a carefully tailored PR campaign about Muslim victimization to the American sucker media. All this serves the Wahhabi creed, one of the most reactionary movements in Islam. One result of Saudi fundamentalism is Al Qaida, Bin Laden and 9/11.

Next month, during the giant annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, the Saudi campaign to radicalize the Muslim world may come back to bite it in its ample rear. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will travel in from Iran, according to Amir Taheri's Sunday article in the New York Post, and they may stage demonstrations --- or possibly even a coup attempt --- in Saudi Arabia. Ten to twenty percent of the Iranians might be Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's agents, making 20 to 40 thousand disciplined radicals amid the chaotic mobs of the Hajj.

It doesn't take much to start stampedes and riots during the Hajj. The happen routinely, and they could be used to undermine the Saudi regime. Mecca, holy seat of Islam, belongs to the Islamic masses, gathered there in uncontrollable numbers. The claim of legitimacy for Saudi ownership of Arabia rests on guardianship of the holy sites. During the Hajj, Saudi Arabia is essential indefensible.

We don't really know why Ambarassador Sultan Al-Turki shockingly resigned in Washington last week and rushed back to Riyadh. But he was head of Saudi intelligence for years, and he may know something about Iran's plans during the Hajj. Iranian Shiites have a history of staging riots and demonstrations during the pilgrimage, going back to the Khomeini years.

Many Saudi Sunnis hate Persian Shias, and vice versa. Both claim exclusive rights to Mohammed's heritage. That doesn't mean they won't cooperate against the West or Israel. It does mean that the Sunni missionary campaign to convert world-wide Islam has a giant obstacle in its way: Iran's expansionist ambitions, just fifty miles from the long and hard-to-defend Persian Gulf shore of Saudi Arabia.

Iran has 70 million people, three times more than Saudi. Without the US Navy in the Gulf --- there are now four carrier groups --- Saudi Arabia could be overrun in a week. Since Shiites believe they are the true descendants of Mohammed, it also follows that the holy cities of Mecca and Medina must belong to them. They would be happy to pick up Saudi Arabia's oil provinces as icing on the cake. Those provinces are already populated by fellow-Shiites. So Iran's capacity for making mischief during the Hajj is immense.

The Saudi's hate-Israel, hate-the-West campaign has developed a backlash. Saudi stoking of fundamentalist fires inadvertently has empowered Iranian radicals in the Muslim world just as much as Sunni Wahhabis. If Iran's little fanatical ruler Ahmadinejad can control Mecca and Medina, or even just keep the Saudis scared and intimidated, his vaunted new Caliphate comes a step closer.

Soon, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. The Saudis helped pay for the Pakistani nuke program, and Pakistan is in constant danger of being overthrown by Sunni fundamentalists like the Taliban. Pakistan's President Musharraf has survived three assassination attempts so far. The next one might succeed.  In a few years we may have two, three or more radical Muslim regimes with nuclear weapons. It will change the world forever. But they may end up fighting each other as much as the infidel.

James Lewis is a freequent contributor, and blogs at Dangerous Times.