The White House And The Arabian Crown

In nineteen thirty-two, after a long struggle against the Al Rasheed tribe which started in the eighteen seventies, thanks to the help of the Ikhwans, Abdul’Aziz Ibn Saud finally seized power over the Sands of the Arabian Peninsula and founded a kingdom that bares his tribe’s name : The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s main income used to be a tax that Muslim pilgrims used to pay on their way to Holy Mecca but soon oil was discovered in the coastal plains of Al Ghawar on the Persian Gulf. Since the oilfield’s size was tremendous, countries began flowing in the palace of Abdul’Aziz in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh asking to be awarded a geographic concession for the exploitation of the oilfield. While great industrialized nations’ representatives were still negotiating with Ibn Saud, such as France, Great Britain, Germany or Japan, the Americans were the first to put money on the table without further discussion so they were awarded the so much desired concession and the Arabian American Oil Company (or Aramco) was created. As the Ulemas, or Religious Scholars in Arabic, were extremely conservative and against the presence of any non-Muslim on Saudi land, the Americans began building hermetic domiciliary complexes hosting their technical and administrative staff on duty in Saudi Arabia where they could lead their western way of life without interfering with the current Islamic Law outside these complexes’ walls. An unofficial but obvious agreement was signed between The Arabian Crown and The White House : The Americans would offer protection to the Saudi Crown in exchange for oil. As a result, the first US military base was opened in Dhahran. Although a balance was established, event after event the presence of westerners, especially Americans, became first undesired, then rejected to finally be fought against. The first event that brought the Saudis to be against this presence on their soil was the assassination of The King Faysal Ibn Abdul’Aziz Ibn Saud in 1975. The fact is that by agreeing to the US exclusive presence on their soil the Saudis have sort of signed a “pact with devil” like we say ; if the Americans agreed to protect the Saudi Crown they would never agree losing it as one of their precious allies in the Middle-East and that is what almost happened with King Faysal. In fact, King Faysal began internal and external policies that did not please some people in the Saudi Court and the Americans as well. His internal policy consisted in a financial purification of national public accounts which would have resulted in a tremendous decrease of the earnings of the members of The Royal Family as these people used to enjoy opulence and splendour while the condition of the Saudi People was getting worse so you can imagine the state of mind of some princes who did not want to tuck up their sleeves and get to work while they could have petrodollars flooding in their bank account every month without lifting a single finger. The external policy that did not please the Americans this time occurred in two parts, the first one is a long term policy consisting of an Islamic Alliance Policy (strengthening ties with Muslim countries such as Pakistan etc.) crippling as such US hegemony on the Muslim countries non-tied with the USSR, the second one is a nowadays extremely popular measure in the entire Muslim World that King Faysal took in 1973 which is cutting out the oil deliveries to the US after they backed israel in the war that opposed it to the Arab Countries making him as such the first Muslim Leader to actually succeed into opposing and hurting the US in their might as the embargo’s consequence was the 1973 Economic Crisis. Becoming more and more rebel against US hegemony over his country, more and more popular not only in his own country but abroad in all the Muslim World, he was finally assassinated in 1975. Although the official version declares that the man who killed him avenged the death of his brother by a Saudi police officer who Faysal refused to trial as he was only doing his job when the tragedy occurred, what really happened remains unclear but the Arab and Muslim Street blame the Americans and some “traitors” in the Saudi Royal Family for what happened. The second event that made the Saudis more doubtful about an American presence on their soil is the Gulf War Of 1991. That year, the Armies of The Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded The Kingdom Of Kuwait, Osama Ben Laden offered to bring back his Mujahideen (or Fighters in Arabic) from Afghanistan, where they were fighting the Soviet invasion in the eighties, in order to protect the Arabian Peninsula from the advance of the Iraqi Armies then to take back Kuwait but his offer has been rejected by the Saudis who preferred to rely on their “oil for protection” agreement with the USA and as such called on Washington to bring troops in Saudi Arabia to protect it from Saddam’ Army. As a result Ben Laden went down in the streets to condemn The Saudi Crown, The USA and their “godless alliance”. Given the doubtful mood of the Saudi street towards a foreign military presence on their soil, some became hostile to this presence and joined Ben Laden which resulted in the creation, within the Kingdom, of a strong armed opposition force to non-Muslim presence at once, military or civilian.

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