Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Prince Turki Wants Saudi Nukes To Counter Israel’s Thermonuclear Arsenal and Iran....

Prince Turki Wants Saudi Nukes To Counter Israel’s Thermonuclear Arsenal and Iran....

Saudi Arabia wants nukes. Iran, where people can vote, no nukes. Saudi, where 13th century laws are in force, nukes okay.....LOL


Former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal said Saudi Arabia 'must look at all options, including obtaining nuclear weapons' to protect itselfFormer Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal said Saudi Arabia ‘must look at all options, including obtaining nuclear weapons’ to protect itself

Saudi Arabia may have to arm itself with nuclear weapons to counter threats from Iran and Israel, a former Saudi intelligence chief said yesterday.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, who is still influential despite no longer holding public office, said the move may be necessary ‘as a duty to our country and people’.

He noted that Israel is widely assumed to have a nuclear arsenal and that Iran, Riyadh’s arch-rival in the Middle East, is believed by many to be developing such weaponry.

‘If our efforts, and the efforts of the world community, fail to convince Israel to shed its weapons of mass destruction and to prevent Iran from obtaining similar weapons, we must, as a duty to our country and people, look into all options we are given, including obtaining these weapons ourselves,’ he told a conference in Riyadh on Monday.

The remarks were covered in the Saudi press today.

Prince Turki has previously argued for a nuclear-free Middle East, but is now also pushing the idea that the conservative Islamic kingdom might enter an atomic arms race if Iran, its bitterest regional rival, became a nuclear power....

Saudi nuclear option...?

Dec. 7, 2011

Afghanistan expects U.S. aid to flow without interruption for six more years following the final U.S. troop withdrawal at the end of 2014 -- three years hence. Nothing is less certain.

By itself, the U.S.-trained and -fielded Afghan army will require $5 billion-$7 billion a year in U.S. support to field an army of 350,000 in a country the size of France. Nothing is less certain.

With major defense cuts in the works, the Pentagon will have insufficient funds to maintain current force levels in the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and U.S. Air Force. It certainly won't have the wherewithal to fight a two-front war as it did in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defense budget supplementals throughout the first decade of the 21st century doubled the real costs of defense in a two-war configuration. Taxpayers didn't feel any pain as the real cost of $1.5 trillion ($1 trillion for Iraq, $500 billion for Afghanistan and counting) was simply added to the national debt. Thus, de facto war tax supplementals were never an issue.

Two or three trillion dollars worth of urgent infrastructure work in the United States was postponed to fight these wars. Meanwhile, Western Europe, the Persian Gulf countries, from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman, and China forged ahead of the United States with infrastructure modernization.

In the United States, no one felt the financial pain of belt-tightening for war. The families of the killed-in-action and wounded-in-action are the principal victims on both sides of the two conflicts. The U.S. taxpayer will be paying for paralyzed and handicapped (mentally and physically) war veterans through the end of the 21st century.

At this week's Bonn international conference on the future of Afghanistan (boycotted by key player Pakistan to protest the NATO raid that killed 24 Pak soldiers), Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai said his country would need roughly $10 billion a year in 2015 through 2020, or a little less than half the country's annual gross national product.

This year, Afghanistan received $15.7 billion -- 90 percent of its public spending -- from the U.S. and other NATO donors. After 10 years of NATO and other allied intervention, the country still ranks among the most corrupt in the world.

By the time the United States pulls out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014, the army now being trained by U.S. and other NATO personnel will number 352,000. Without yearly infusions of Western aid, the Afghan army would become easy pickings for Taliban recruitment.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Bonn conference that "the entire region has a stake in Afghanistan's future and much to lose if the country again becomes a source of terrorism and instability."

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said last week that only the big players in the Afghan neighborhood could act as the guardians of a peaceful settlement.

Iran attended the conference and pledged to support an Afghan-led reconciliation process provided all foreign bases were closed by the end of 2014, when U.S. troops are scheduled to leave. In addition to Iran, Kissinger says that to guarantee an international settlement, China, Russia, India and, of course, Pakistan should be included.

U.S. officials and think-tank scholars recently back from Pakistan say the country is deeply divided between hatred and contempt for America. Pro-American sentiment doesn't exist in any quarter of Pakistani public opinion.

The latest U.S. intelligence shows that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is closer to 200 weapons than the 60 commonly accepted.

There is also deepening concern about the direction Saudi Arabia is taking as it is increasingly skeptical of U.S. power and the direction of U.S. foreign policy.

Prince Turki Al Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence and a former ambassador to the United States, says Saudi Arabia cannot stand still if Iran develops a nuclear capability.

On Tuesday, Turki signaled a new Saudi nuclear option: "If our efforts, and the efforts of the world community, fail to convince Israel to shed its weapons of mass destruction and to prevent Iran from obtaining similar weapons, we must as a duty to our country and people, look into all options we are given, including obtaining these weapons ourselves."

It isn't inconceivable that Pakistan would sell one or several nuclear warheads to Saudi Arabia. This was first discussed in 2006 when Saudi King Abdallah and an entourage of some 200 in two Boeing 747s flew into Islamabad for 24 hours.

If a Saudi nuclear option should materialize, Turkey wouldn't and couldn't stand still for non-nuclear status.

High diplomacy and a deft diplomatic touch are urgently required before U.S.-Pak relations spin out of control. Democratic and Republican congressmen and women and GOP presidential candidates have been piling on the outrage as it becomes increasingly evident that 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by a NATO helicopter attack after erroneous coordinates had been transmitted from the Pakistani side.

Pakistani commentators are reminding their readers and viewers that when U.S. President George W. Bush, immediately after 9/11, had demanded unconditional Pak cooperation, including open air space and the use of its territory as a staging base for an offensive against Afghanistan to root out al-Qaida, he had threatened to attack Pakistan if it didn't comply.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said that Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had threatened by phone to "bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age."

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail in Islamabad. Pakistan is still a key player in any Afghan war denouement.

Saudi Arabian State Terror

By Stephen Lendman

Annually, the State Department publishes human rights reports for over 190 countries. Its latest April 8, 2011 Saudi Arabia assessment discusses “significant human rights abuses and the inability of citizens to change its absolute monarchal rule. Abuses include: ”torture and physical abuse; poor prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention; denial of fair and public trials and lack of due process in the judicial system; political prisoners; restrictions on civil liberties such as freedom of speech (including the Internet); assembly, association, movement, and severe restrictions on religious freedom; and corruption and lack of transparency.” Also mentioned were inequality and violence against women, human trafficking, no labor rights, discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, sect and ethnicity, and violations of children’s rights. Saudi’s absolute monarchal rule is despotic, lawless and brutal. It’s a police state practicing state terrorism internally and regionally. It’s also Washington’s main Middle East ally after Israel. In early December, Amnesty International (AI) published a report on the kingdom titled, “Saudi Arabia: Repression in the Name of Security.” Largely unnoticed in the West like the State Department’s April assessment, major media scoundrels suppressed its ugly findings. AI quoted Khaled al-Johani addressing reporters in Riyadh on the March 11, 2011 “Day of Rage,” saying: ”I am here to say we need democracy. We need freedom. We need to speak freely. We need no one to stop us from expressing our opinions.” Shortly afterward he was arrested and charged with “communicating with the foreign media.” He’s now held incommunicado in Saudi’s notoriously repressive prison system. On March 5, Press TV reported the arrest and detention of senior Saudi cleric Sheikh Tawfiq al-Amer. At issue was his call for constitutional monarchal rule. On March 23, Press TV reported 100 Shia protesters arrested after participating in anti-government demonstrations for political reforms and immediate political prisoner releases. More recently on December 5, Press TV reported large anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province and another one on December 9 in Awamiyah, an Eastern Persian Gulf village. Last April, Saudi’s Interior Ministry said 5,831 people were arrested for being associated with a “deviant group,” allegedly Al Qaeda. About 600 were sentenced. Another 600 awaited trials. Unsubstantiated terrorist related charges assures long, repressive prison terms. A more recent high-profile case involved 16 men, including nine prominent reformists. They were sentenced to up to 30 years for allegedly trying to seize power by financing terrorism with laundered money. Their charges and trial had no legitimacy whatever. They were victimized for advocating political change and human rights. AI said Saudi authorities “launched a new wave of repression in the name of security.” Human rights protesters have been brutally oppressed. At the same time, a new anti-terror law exacerbates the absence of civil and human rights. Last June, AI got a leaked copy. Provisions in it include: prosecuting peaceful dissent as terrorism and “harming the reputation of the state or its position;” a minimum of 10 years imprisonment for anyone questioning the integrity of the king or crown prince; authorities will have carte blanche power to detain alleged security suspects indefinitely without charge or trial; and terrorism’s definition is expanded to include endangering “national unity” and/or questioning the integrity of the king or regime. Overall, abusive practices will be legalized, including an anything goes policy of crushing dissent. Saudi Arabia’s Repressive Government Saudi state power rests solely with the king and ruling Al Saud family. He especially wields absolute power to rule despotically. The nation’s Constitution affords ordinary citizens and other residents no rights. Women are especially marginalized and denied. The Constitution gives sole power to the ruling monarchy. Saudi Basic Law, adopted in 1992, declared the kingdom a monarchy ruled by the sons and grandsons of King Abd Al Aziz Al Saud. It also proclaimed Sharia (Islamic) law supreme. Political parties and national elections are prohibited. Saudi kings appoint a Council of Ministers, including a prime minister, first and second deputies, 20 ministers, various advisors, and heads of major autonomous organizations. Thirteen provinces comprise the kingdom. The ruling monarch appoints their governors. They’re either princes or close royal family relatives. In 1993, ministers became subject to four-year term limitations. In 1997, a Consultative Council was expanded from 60 to 90 members. Legislation is by Council of Ministers resolution, subject to royal approval. Democracy is a dirty word. Saudi’s 27 million residents have no rights whatever. The media are severely constrained. Anyone dissenting is subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, including political critics, bloggers, academics, foreign nationals, and others. On September 25, King Abdullah said women, beginning in 2015, will be allowed to run in municipal elections, and be appointed to the Shura Council monarchal advisory body. Nonetheless, they’re severely restricted. They can’t travel, drive, engage in paid work or higher education. They also can’t marry without male custodian permission. Rage Bubbling Up Against the Regime Perhaps mindful of other regional protests, Saudis have begun rallying publicly for change. They demand human rights be respected. They want social and political reforms, including free, open and fair elections. They also want political prisoners released. In response, severe crackdowns followed. Hundreds of peaceful protesters were arrested and detained without trial. Others were charged with “vague security-related and other offenses. (AI) considers many of (them) prisoners of conscience, held solely for peacefully expressing their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.” In recent years, thousands have been detained on security grounds and remain imprisoned under horrific conditions. Victims include clerics, alleged Al Qaeda members, anyone with alleged connections or sympathies, and others suspected of anti-regime sentiment or its ties to Washington and other Western states. Everyone arrested for security reasons faces torture and other forms of abuse. It’s commonplace “because interrogators know that they can commit their crimes without fear of punishment.” Abuse is also encouraged by the “ready acceptance by courts of ‘confessions’ forced (from) detainees (by) beatings, electric shocks, and other forms of torture and ill-treatment.” Many detainees are untried. Others brought to court face grossly unfair proceedings, including secret ones with no right of appeal. Since established in October 2008, Saudi’s Specialized Criminal Court hears them. Victims are mostly human rights defenders, political reform activists, members of religious minorities, and many others guilty of no internationally recognized offense. In the past, sporadic political violence occurred against state institutions, oil installations and Western nationals. Severe crackdowns followed. AI’s report focused mainly on 2011 developments. Philip Luther, AI’s Middle East/North Africa director said: ”Peaceful protesters and supporters of political reform in the country have been targeted for arrest in an attempt to stamp out the kinds of call for reform that have echoed across the region.” Many arrested are charged with “disrupting order.” Some are forced to sign pledges to never again protest. In addition, they’re forbidden to travel. Others face secret kangaroo proceedings. Those affected are guilty by accusation. A Final Comment Washington has close ties to despotic regional regimes, including Saudi Arabia. It uses them advantageously to advance its Greater Middle East project for unchallenged dominance. Wars are waged to replace independent regimes with client ones. Saudi and other regional governments rule despotically. They’re also US proxies when called on, including against Gaddafi’s Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria. As a result, they’re rewarded for partnering with Washington’s worst crimes. Who said it didn’t pay! Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.