tv Cross Talk RT January 3, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm EST
hello and welcome to all things considered on. what is the fate of the house of saud gets a list of complaints against washington riyadh's well known protector is long and getting longer the saudis are furious over western dealings with iran disappointed that obama didn't bomb syria and determined to export its radical form of islam and one of its only real friends in the region is israel given all of this can the house of saud afford what it calls an independent foreign policy. to cross-talk saudi arabia i'm joined by my guest brian becker in washington he is the national coordinator of the answer coalition and in nashville we cross to mark levine he is a senior fellow with the truman national security project and a radio show host or a gentleman cross-talk roles in fact i mean you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it brian is it time for washington to tell saudi arabia to pound sand. well i think it's been long established that the u.s.
government considers the saudi government to be an indispensable ally not its only ally and perhaps now not its principal ally but certainly an important one ronald reagan made it clear more than thirty years ago that there would be quote no revolution in saudi arabia because the us was just absolutely determined to keep the absoluteness monarch in power there not because they care so much about what's going on inside of saudi arabia but because they consider it to be essential as the main oil export or in the world in a geo strategic ally but of course the saudi government has other things to worry about principally it's a it's a it's an unstable regime in the way saudi society has been organized it's a distorted society and it fears revolutions either from a secular opposition or more importantly from an islamic opposition and so in that sense the saudi government is always pursuing a foreign policy and
a domestic policy based on sort of existential fear that the regimes days although it seemed to nip it in a while ago could in fact be numbered and it's a good point mark the days are numbered for the house of saud are they a good bet for washington thirty years ago i understand i agree with brian i mean unfortunately that was the reality there but a lot of lot of things have changed in the last thirty years a lot of things have changed the last two years i would argue that the arab world when the most unstable areas of the world saudi arabia is one of the most stable and look at almost any other arab country name it libya market is it is stable and . stable because of tyranny is that it stability. well actually there's less tyranny in saudi arabia than other countries look i'm not saying that saudi arabia some free and open place their treatment of women obviously is terrible there but compared to syria where hundreds of thousands of being massacred by iran and hezbollah and the syrian government and al qaeda moving
in and iraq in libya in tunisia yes saudi arabia is that beacon of stability compared to all the other in stable places they're ok brian if i go back to you but i mean. syria is unstable because of saudi arabia and it's exporting its jihad oh yes other oil that is so well documented none of the money go to brian but it's so well documented right now and it's one of the reasons why i'm doing this program is because the u.s. is supporting people that are against his own national interest brian first and we'll go to a mark go ahead. you know mark's comments are are somewhat laughable i would say remember when jimmy carter stood next to the shah of iran in one nine hundred seventy seven and said shah you are an island of stability in a sea of turmoil and the us premised its foreign policy based on being connected to join with the with the shah a time that was two years before the government was overthrown by a popular people's revolution of course saudi arabia has formant its civil war in
syria it had a principle a fundamental. desire to overthrow the assad government to create a sunni a sunni government that would be backed by the saw saudi regime it did this in concert with the with got our and others it functioned as a proxy of course for the united states and western and western interests who had said assad must go but saudi arabia had its own independent national interests or perceived national interests or the interests of the monarchy the drove it to carry out civil war the blood of the syrian people is on the hands of the saudi government does so to say that there are. this kind of just crazy mad massacre going to last long arabia ok more easy mark go ahead this is crazy talk we're going to be fair play more night states for the holocaust look at the syrian government has been massacring hundreds of thousands that since randoms that's when i went on
your show many times peter. three or four years ago i came on your show it was a peaceful revolution the syrian government mow them down in the streets they take out innocent men women and children shoot them down they don't know any humanitarian. mark what's the role of the saudis then i'll tell you the ball go ahead there's been a long time battle between shia and sunni muslims that's existed for a thousand years and exists in the iran iraq war saudi arabia is leading the sunni's iran is leading the shias in syria of course you have a sunni majority country ruled by it. iranian backed months already why he's killing washington d.c. involved in all who it is coming out of the back and should washington be backing the seiko you want friends go ahead go ahead mark they should they should be backing the peaceful rebels there because and doing it through a no fly zone by the way not through arms because right now it's all going to end up frankly you know why you don't have any light there brian jump in here know why
it's an act of war moreover i mean if i. am such good stuff. for each other brian let's be real let's be real if i could a no fly zone means you have to carry out the you through the u.s. and nato air forces the ability to destroy the syrian air defenses no fly zone means the u.s. would unlike what it's doing right now which is preparing for another round of negotiations be doing what the saudis wanted them to do less summer which is to further take that step towards a full scale military engagement with the syrian government and with its allies a no fly zone is not a peaceful alternative to war it's a step towards war it's an active step towards war this saudi look at rhino's about the hostility people closer to fire because of the nerves go. to the leaders all right jennifer let's stay with saudi arabia here mark and mark i'm going to go to mark now you know mark ok i'll take what you're saying at face value you know the
saudis are trying to protect civilians but they've backed saddam in a war against iran where almost estimates say up to a million people so you're saying that the syrian syrian blood is more valuable than iranian blood that's what you're saying because it doesn't make any sense to me what i'm saying what i'm saying is the saudis and the iranians are in a battle it's the old sunni shia battle you've got egypt and turkey involved as well if you run gets nuclear weapons saudi arabia will get nuclear weapons in turkey will get nuclear weapons and egypt will get nuclear weapons then iraq will get nuclear weapons alqaeda will get nuclear weapons the entire regime will get nuclear weapons the whole air. well look this is a battle for head germany there's no question about it ok saudis can maybe that's true because the but maybe if i go wrong if i could go to brian maybe it would be better if the united states had a good relationship with iran and get rid of the drop this authoritarian tyrannical regime called saudi arabia maybe it be a better bet the u.s. government right now by engaging even in the first step of negotiations with the
iranian government over its nuclear program or really about the unfreezing in a modest way of some of the sanctions not most of them against iran it raises the specter both for israel and for the saudi government and that there could be in fact a shift in u.s. policy towards the middle east the specter of peace between the united states and iran is something that creates who are is inside the the bedrooms of the saudi royal family because they realize if there was any sort of or a rapprochement detente or accommodation between the u.s. and in the islamic republic of iran the government and set of for instance constantly and endlessly seen it only from the from the vantage point of regime change if there was some sort of an accommodation it would mean the saudi monarchy is role from the vantage point of u.s. geo strategic geo strategic interests would would be less necessary in saudi arabia could start to drop out of the equation not fully that's what the israelis fear as
well they see constant war tension the threat of war is being very useful for them because it means they're more important for the empire more important for the empires hold on this resource rich and strategically part of the world ok mark go ahead mark go right which i writ i wish that people would stop playing risk we parted like in some geo political game where you put an army here and you put an army there i support the iranian people who are against the regime i support the syrian people who are against the regime i support the saudi arabian people i think that each people needs a right to have their own destiny and not be for. by these tyrannical powers look the iranian government is dead no way relationship to the iranian people the persian people are some of those pro-american pro israeli people in the middle east that's not the problem the problem if you were here iraq and go gee this hezbollah that's supporting the terrorism throughout and look at the saudi regime has its own tyranny women in saudi arabia are not treated well either and there's virtually no democracy in the middle east except turkey ok i understand all right that end of
the day mark you brought up you brought it up chris i just have to you brought up the term risk obvious reference to the game but if i go to brian that's exactly what saudi arabia is playing in the region it's playing risk with its money in supporting kind of crazy groups go ahead ryan. and also when the and mark forgot to mention that when the people of bahrain against rose up for edinburgh proceed against the royal monarchy which house and host the fifth fleet of the of the pentagon of the saudis moved in in the saudis moved in with brutal force with its with its army and i want you to ever hit so. many saudi isn't me. mark at the end of the day people have the individual self determination whether she or sunni and a majority shia country like bahrain should be shia a majority sunni country like syria should well sunni and maybe glee if it weren't the political game going on there should arabia ok brother run for
a minute let me go to praise him for the primary go ahead go ahead before the break go ahead i'm marked on mark's promise that america should be a christian nation and a white nation because it's the majority nation i mean that's completely american. short of a basic tenet of democracy or freedom all right gentlemen i'm going to jump in here this is going to go to charlotte bring out again and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on saudi arabia state with our. leave. the piece of legislation was terrible to
industry specifically mentioned in the constitution and. that's because a free and open process is critical to our democracy correct albus. in fact the single biggest threat facing our nation today is the corporate takeover of our government and out across a cynical we've been hijacked lying handful of trans national corporations that will profit by destroying what our founding fathers once told just my job market and on this show we reveal the big picture of what's actually going on in the world we go beyond identifying the problem for trucks rational debate and a real discussion critical issues facing america to find ready to join the movement then welcome to the big picture. when the new will come up in
but if i go back to you in the beginning of the program i mentioned that the saudi arabia is given these signs and signals that it may want to pursue its own independent foreign policy whatever that may be i mean without the united states and without israel even though they publicly they're not allies but in many ways in many ways they actually are allies i mean what can that mean for saudi arabia because i would agree with mark on one point here is that it sees everything through this sectarian division and this is what's and this is one of the things i'm critical of washington is getting involved in something like that because the united states has just dropped brought in as some kind of a mercenary army to settle conflicts on the ground first brian then we go to mark. yes let's let's first look at saudi foreign policy based not on the shiite sunni division even though that's a factor the fundamental power of their foreign policy is based on their own estimation of what the regime needs in order to stay in power it is
a fragile regime it is an absolute it's monarchy it has been in power for eighty years and has never had an election one third of all the people in saudi arabia are migrants the saudi population is dependent on migrant labor for work that makes the regime completely unstable in its core in its essence in terms of its domestic policy in spite of its oil wealth so what it did over the long term was function as a proxy as a client for the united states in the recent years after the onset of the so-called arab spring the saudi arabia's did pursue a more independent aggressive foreign policy trying to carry out regime change against others in the middle east but even when it did so it did so with the united states not against the united states it's the united states and the saudis had the same goal in syria which was to overthrow the assad government now you see because
of a possible shift in that way the united states is approaching the middle east but saudi arabia fears isolation they really cannot carry out in independent foreign policy because of their regimes that limited strength endure ability it fears an islamic revolution or a secular revolution it fears isolation and now it's now it looks as if it's primarily the ally of israel i mean you can't look for a worst outcome for a regime in the arab world mark replied to that because it does look like you tell of the axis now developing and there's been lots of sound and fury that they could collectively could attack iran if the united states and western powers continue their dialogue with iran go ahead. well first of all i want to say i agree with the first part of what brian had to say with regard to the fact that yes the third is migrant workers yes they're paying off people with oil wealth but the idea that saudi arabia is somehow a client state of the united states i completely disagree with they have independent interests that often coincide with the united states and saudi arabia
can pursue an independent foreign policy if iran for example were to get nuclear weapons saudi arabia would have nuclear weapons probably within a month because of their alliance with pakistan that many people think that pakistan got their nuclear weapons because of saudi money so if there is a nuclear arms race we will be right there after iran it's one of the reasons why i support the current iran deal because i think it is the best chance we have to prevent this nuclear arms race from happening but please don't pretend that saudi arabia somehow is an independent or somehow if the united a client state or a very important place has a provision in the interest of the fact of their joining with israel tells you that they're doing what they need to do to survive not because they like israel but because the enemy of my enemy is my friend ok brian this has nothing to do with a nuclear iran does it it has it what it's all about is a detente possible detente with to run in the in the outside world the stop isolating it this is the worst nightmare for saudi arabia and israel since it's
already been mentioned it's not about a nuclear weapon this is a fiction. it's all about celebratory but i don't think it's the drug. markets that the specter ahead it's not the specter of a nuclear armed iran it's the specter of a peaceful accommodation between the u.s. and iran and that's the main danger for the saudi government that's how they perceive it the iranian government does not have a nuclear weapon the iranian government has a has is the most inspected society and has i.a.e.a. inspectors in there every day it has now said that it won't enrich uranium is an agreement percent meaning that it could be possible for it to acquire a nuclear weapon in other words there's nothing and iran has not initially to agree with any of its neighbors so it's not a nuclear armed iran and it's not an aggressive iran it's really the possibility of a kind of the not serious saudi learner it's not aggressive war go ahead go ahead
mark if to say that iran is not aggressive war when they're arming hezbollah which is right i haven't. been there longer hamas mark in markets is going to end because of israel's actions in lebanon hezbollah came into being ok we go around and around on this here ok let's stay with saudi arabia here brian what is the best case scenario about the future of the house of saud because a lot of people would tend to agree with you it's a very unstable regime it has a lot of money and i would agree with mark in less than a month they can buy a nuclear weapon do you how do you feel about riyadh having a nuclear weapon i'm more afraid of that than iran having a go go ahead go ahead brian. i don't think they i don't think they can get a nuclear weapon i don't think even though the saudis help finance the pakistan nuclear arms project it's not like the pakistan military is going to say oh and here's your bomb by the way i just don't see that happening i think the i think the best case scenario for the saudi family royal family is there is no best case there
i think they can look back in history and see luis the sixteenth or the shah of iran all the other monarchs. to finally end up in the dustbin of history and they know it they know that their days are numbered and so all of this attempted appearance of a of a of a missions all of this power of of projecting an independent policy underneath it all in spite of its vast wealth in spite of its vast military it's a fragile regime it can be toppled i think it will be toppled there are men all head to head now every government. every government the middle east except turkey and israel because they're democracies every single other government is fragile you look at a fairly stable country like jordan it is fragile as well hope for saudi arabia's would become a constitutional monarchy more like jordan but saudi arabia has lots of work to do you're absolutely right its citizens have power but its workers are not their citizens women have very few rights in saudi arabia i'm not defending the saudi regime and i'm not saying that they're stable i'm saying they're more stable than
virtually every other regime the middle east and that's not a couple of the saudi arabia it's really an insult to all the instability in the middle east because of this conflict because of the sun as you see i don't because of the teacher should ok brian jump in. you know the saudi society is rotting from within there's twelve percent unemployment amongst the city on earth the young people who have graduated. who million migrants have been to two million migrants have been deported in the last year the society is now rife with with the extreme racism society says i know is that it's true that it's lost its moorings that it has no ability but the saudi government has no solution because the only solution would include the liquidation of the monarchy which the monarchy won't do for me obviously is in isolation ok my point is this i might disagree with anything you're saying got your number where i don't want to waste time on it and i want to question i want to mark a question ok i mean obviously i think all three of us can agree on one thing is that the so-called values of the of the royal family of saudi arabia have nothing
to do with anything that any of us would find in common whatsoever ok but there is a commonality there mark you know and it's called american arms they love saudi arabia don't think and this is one of the things that the saudis are threatening the americans they the arms makers in the u.s. have a lot of influence in washington this is what's keeping it together at least for now what do you think. saudi arabia does like american arms they the egyptian dictatorship of mubarak certainly liked american arms there's no question about it yes bahrain does as well we do arm dictators in the middle east i don't think anyone disputes that my point is that saudi arabia is less dangerous than virtually all the other special places saudi arabia tell us that it's only a cold up on the verge of the people in syria that's really cold comfort to the people in syria you know but syria yelling saudi arabia for syria that's really silly i mean when the people of syria rose up nonviolently remote down by their government and tanks and mortars remember syria doesn't allow the red cross to go
in because they're matching people day and night saudi arabia is that many bad things but anything else here mark trying to go i said out of broccoli and i'll tell you one of the bad things that saudi arabia does it sends its young people with tickets on airplanes and money in their pocket and they go across the border with the essence of the turks this is what they're doing for the syrian people this is the export of saudi ideology in violence mark ok brian when sorry when i die in my fiance is go ahead all right so so the saudi the i mean if you look at the past thirty five years the saudi royal family has been a funnel through which oil money but also cia money has gone to the most reactionary forces in south central asia in afghanistan with osama bin laden in pakistan and then to the same al qaeda forces in syria the saudi royal family of course does pursue its own policy it has its own networks of support that very very
reactionary they're very reactionary towards workers towards unions towards now this is for your lungs that people equate with freedom here here's the thing and in the case of saudi arabia by the way mark says mark says the saudis are less of a threat the question is to whom certainly not to the syrians if you go to saudi arabia mark if you go there you'll see wanted posters for migrant workers up in a while you allow me to let you raid. by the saudi royal family it's very threatening it's very frightening so if you're a society that's based on and slave women ok it's most unfair i ism and australia and right ok mark go ahead mark i'm going to ask you some a question i'm going to ask what are we going to give you the last word of the program because we're almost out of time and one of you the last word so you prefer to have a cozy relationship with saudi arabia and not have a detente with iran going forty five prefer neither saudi arabia and iran are both dictatorial regimes they both armed terrorist they're both engaged in this sunni shia battle and they're both destroying people's throughout the middle east i think
the people themselves should decide that's why i support the syrian rebels and the bahraini rebels and throughout the middle east i support their spring because i think there is a third way but tween the two horrors of iran and saudi arabia ok mark let's keep in mind that people in iran go to elections on a regular basis and there's a plurality you know they don't they're not allowed to vote for you there are a lot of times you just want to thank you my name is one she didn't and then denies bill and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t.c. you next on remember cross samples.
why is the price of gold so high. demand global demand do you think oldest money. know the value of the only place we have to live of the water that we need to survive it's not compared to bill i mean gold we're not going to eat gold we're not going to bait with gold. we're not going to drink what clearly what amal is and is in a desperate economic situation absolutely right what we're wrong to do is say therefore any kind of economic development from the outside is going to be a benefit their only purpose is to extract as much money as possible to feed into the global financial system. with me or a part of the geo political economic system that's extremely exploited or.
first of all is a question where the mining should even be carried out altogether can it be done in a way which doesn't destroy people's lives resources environment will you know those are pretty serious questions mining is not a what a moment problem it's happening in asia in africa and south america in central america in mexico and it's even happening in canada and the united states. and i think a society that i think corporation kind of can. do and say i think. about money and i'm actually sick for politicians write the laws and wait for tax breaks.
here just to let. that. also me goes i'm out of a martin this is breaking the set so much the duck dynasty controversy that the mainstream media is trumpeting there's actually a positive news to report a panel appointed by obama just released its recommendations to scale back the n.s.a. and the document they recommended forty six changes to add transparency accountability the agency but most importantly they suggest scaling back its authority to snoop into every aspect of our lives so time the pop the champagne o o's right not so fast this is only good news if obama actually decides to embrace the advice and here's the cold hard truth even if the recommendations are adopted it's not going to prevent mass or.