Saudi Arabia secretly provided al Qaeda the support it needed to carry out the attacks of September 11, 2001. Though Washington will not acknowledge this, it did release evidence in 2016 that suggests it’s true when considered along with other factors. For 15 years Washington sat on evidence linking then Saudi Ambassador Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud to the terrorists, refusing to either consider further this intelligence acquired from British Intelligence within a week of the attacks or inform the public it had and deemed it insubstantial. It had always been a possibility, the Pentagon having repeatedly warned our political leaders it couldn’t rule out the possibility that Saudi aided the terrorists in a bid to ensure it got the chance to rule the Middle East, so it damn sure would have changed the conversation we were having at the time.
This was a real concern for many of us who worked the terrorist problem represented by Osama bin Laden in the 90’s. Saudi Arabia had been promised, years earlier, it could earn the opportunity by helping us push the Soviets out and then aiding us with the regime changes deemed necessary to ensure the new order established wouldn’t be tested by strongmen like Saddam Hussein. We worried Saudi never forgot that promise and was determined to make it a reality by secretly supporting the terrorists who could force upon us a war that might push Washington in that direction.
Washington isn’t savvy enough to seriously consider things like this today. It barely avoided war with Iran in 2018, when an unknown entity attacked a Japanese tanker in the Gulf of Oman. I always believed it likely Saudi Arabia set the terrorists responsible to the task. The Saudis were then starving Yemen in an effort to win the there, and trying to convince us they hadn’t dismembered a reporter lured away from the United States. In other words, demonstrating they possessed the depravity to be expected of a nation that might carry out false flag attacks to get what it wants.
I consider this now because we can’t be sure who ordered the latest attack on Israel. False flag attacks are often carried out by nations that desire the demise of an adversary. Nazi Germany was not alone in this. It is a tactic that’s been used throughout history. The movement responsible for ensuring Israel became a state knew treachery. Followers weren’t deluded. Instead, they were repeatedly reminded that the Jewish people faced it in the Middle East and everywhere else they roamed thereafter. It was fighting for survival, the world having confirmed that was necessary by grudgingly admitting they were abused in Nazi Germany.
Our ancestors didn’t fight for the Jew, but for America. They entered the war after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Before that, not even the threat posed by Nazi submarines patrolling Atlantic shipping lanes could force war. Stories of Jewish detainment, torture, and mass murder moved through the United States, but didn’t provoke war. This is part of the reason European Jews risked everything to carve a state from the Palestine Mandate, though the British didn’t make it easy.
The Palestine Mandate was the result of a centuries long effort to conquer the Ottoman. Russia and Britain fought it, often coming to blows themselves as they wrestled for purchase. The Middle East was a prize both desired. The nations there now were established by the British so that trade in and out of the region could be controlled and the Arabs who helped them win it controlled. They were put off by a promise repeated in every British holding, the promise that one day the people there would earn their autonomy.
The Arab were not yet ready to lead. They had been oppressed by the Ottoman too long. I suppose we could say the same of the Jew. The Middle East is a terribly unforgiving place. Terrorism has been a reality there for centuries, if not millennia. Local leaders use it to instill fear and to ensure foreign powers struggle to acquire a foothold even in territory not well governed. Even the Jewish population there has been accused of it. The British labelled several groups thusly after they attacked outposts tasked with limiting Jewish migration into the Palestine Mandate.
Iran certainly uses terrorism too. I won’t suggest it doesn’t, but I will suggest we don’t know who is responsible for the recent attacks on Israel because the above is true. Intelligence is prized by military leaders worth their salt, because it ensures our actions aren’t manipulated by hidden forces. They know wars aren’t led by men in the field, but by those who strategize far away from it, where motives we may not be aware of are at work.
That’s as true of us as it is of any modern nation. Political interests, the concerns of industries affected, and the desires of current or future allies are considered there. The heads of our militaries don’t act on their own, don’t mobilize resources without the expressed permission of political leaders. This is true for all but a few nations today. They are led by dictators. One of these nations has shown us it’s willing to use terrorism to get what it wants. That’s Saudi Arabia.
It’s likely behind the terrorist attacks carried out in Israel. The war with Iran it has long desired may have driven it to support the terrorists responsible. Given the evidence we now have, suggesting it helped the terrorists responsible for the attacks of 9/11, we can’t simply dismiss that possibility. It’s tempting to assume we could avoid further harm by protecting that relationship. But, there’s no guarantee it hasn’t already done us significant harm and that we wouldn’t be exposing ourselves to more in doing so.
We once had leaders who thought like this. They saw us through the Cold War. The Marine and Naval Officers I got to know through the Naval War College in 1999 wanted the same. They wanted it to illuminate the path ahead. I hope I live to see their dreams fulfilled. It’s time we stopped playing the fool.
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