U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shakes fingers with then- Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, May 20, 2017, at the Royal Court Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo Shealah Craighead)
James Stavridis wrote a predictably hawkish column calling for U.S.-Israeli cooperation towards Iran, however I used to be most struck by this sentence about the Saudis:
With a dynamic younger chief in Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the kingdom is assertively appearing in Yemen and Syria, exerting affect in Lebanon, and customarily confronting Iran from the Arabian Gulf to the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Saudis may hardly ask for extra obsequious and dishonest spin than this. Instead of precisely describing the crown prince as the bungling incompetent that he has confirmed himself to be in international coverage, he’s praised as “dynamic” regardless of failing to realize any of his targets overseas. Stavridis whitewashes the destabilizing and damaging function the Saudis have had in each Yemen and Syria, fails to say that they’re “exerting influence in Lebanon” by detaining its prime minister in a clumsy, unsuccessful bid to control the nation’s politics, and even renames the Persian Gulf to cater to their preferences. Needless to say, if Iran have been inflicting the worst famine in many years and creating the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, Stavridis wouldn’t be lauding them for “assertively acting” in the nation affected by their disastrous insurance policies. He does so for the Saudis with none qualification. It is telling that main Iran hawks can not actually describe what the Saudis are doing in the area. If they did, they’d not have the ability to justify these actions or the shut U.S. relationship with Riyadh that helps make their menacing conduct attainable.