First program: Medea Benjamin – The Saudi-U.S. Sinister Alliance
The Saudi-U.S. relationship takes crucial shape in 1945 when FDR meets with Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, the king of Saudi Arabia, on a U.S. destroyer in the Suez Canal. The essence of the get together was to insure Saudi’s vast oil reserves would be the special preserve of U.S. oil companies. In return Washington would guarantee the security of the kingdom. The agreement has generated a windfall of profits for the oil cartel. Politically it has had sinister consequences. The U.S. has basically ignored the repressive and feudalistic order within the kingdom as well as for its support of Wahhabi extremist fundamentalists around the world. Saudi Arabia is a veritable gold mine for U.S. arms merchants and with those weapons Riyadh has committed major war crimes in neighboring Yemen. With friends like these, as the saying goes, who needs enemies?
Second program: Richard Falk – U.S. Special Relationships in the Middle East
U.S. policy in the Middle East has for decades pivoted on two countries: Saudi Arabia and Israel. Washington is the guarantor of both states. They are heavily armed by the Pentagon. Saudi Arabia, aggressively promoting its own brand of fundamental Islam, Wahabism, has supported extremist groups starting in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980s. Today, rich Saudis stoke sectarianism in Syria and Iraq. Saudi armies invade Bahrain. Its air force bombs Yemen. As for Israel, it occupies a privileged position in Washington’s worldview. No matter the administration, Democrat or Republican, no other country has received as much diplomatic, military and financial support. The Palestinians? Sorry, you’re not special. Palestinians have always been marginal to the geopolitical concerns of U.S. policymakers. They are invited to so-called peace processes, which may lead to Bantustans with a few casinos and malls.
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