How Saudis Are Working Obama Over To Attack Syria

27 Aug. (EIRNS)–An AP article
on Aug. 26 shows the role of Saudi intelligence chief
Bandar bin-Sultan in leading the Obama administration, with the
help of some of U.S. legislators, to attack Syria and remove
Bashar al-Assad. Bandar did all that because “he could deliver
what the CIA couldn’t: planeloads of money and arms, and, as one
U.S. diplomat put it, wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout.”
It is evident that the plan was put into motion months ago
when Bandar began “jetting from covert command centers near the
Syrian front lines to the Élysée Palace in Paris and the Kremlin
in Moscow, seeking to undermine the Assad regime,” Arab,
American, and European officials told the authors. The target of
Bandar was the Damascus suburbs as part of the “southern
strategy” of the Saudis for strengthening the rebels in that area
where the chemical weapons have been allegedly used recently.
Bandar, who was involved in the 1980s Contra operation–
drugs for arms–does not visit Washington, but brings in
influential U.S. legislators to Turkey and Saudi Arabia to make
his case. It is his wasta, again.
He is the closest Saudi confidant of the new CIA chief, John
Brennan, who has been in periodic contact by phone with Prince
Bandar, officials told the authors. Bandar found early support
from Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham
of South Carolina. He set up a rare one-on-one meeting for one of
them, then-Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.), with King Abdullah in
Riyadh. Sen. Nelson said he told the king that if regional powers
pulled together with a common strategy, it would be easier for
the U.S. to become a partner.
“In September 2012, Sens. McCain and Graham, who were in
Istanbul, went to a meeting at an opulent hotel suite on the
banks of the Bosporus. Mr. McCain said he made the case to Prince
Bandar that the rebels weren’t getting the kinds of weapons they
needed, and the prince, in turn, described the kingdom’s plans.
The senator said that in succeeding months he saw a ‘dramatic
increase in Saudi involvement, hands-on, by Bandar,'” the article
said.
Also, when U.S. intelligence agencies saw worrisome signs
that Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia, in response to the influx of
Saudi arms, were ramping up support to Assad, Bandar used his
wasta. With the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ready to back
arming the rebels, Bandar turned his attention to skeptics on the
House and Senate intelligence committees. Saudis arranged a trip
for committee leaders, which included Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-
Calif.), to Riyadh, where Prince Bandar laid out the Saudi
strategy. “It was a reunion of sorts,” officials told the
authors.
In Washington Bandar works through Saudi Ambassador to
Washington Adel al-Jubeir, who, according to the article, has
used his access to policy makers, including the President, to
push the message that U.S. inaction would lead to greater Middle
East instability down the road, American officials told the
authors

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