I presume that it is but once again we have a situation here where it seems to me that the Sunni, Shia divide to the extent that it exists is being exacerbated and exploited by the United States and Zionist forces certainly as they attempt to sow discord in the region and divisiveness in the region for their own purposes, is a wonderful diversionary devise that it being employed here and has proven thus far to be somewhat effective, frankly."The United States along with Israel have partnered with Saudi Arabia to spread division among Muslims in the Middle East, a prominent political analyst tells Press TV. This comes as anti-government protests have intensified in Saudi Arabia since November 2011, while Amnesty International has called on Saudi authorities to stop using excessive force against pro-democracy demonstrators. Press TV has conducted an interview with Mark Dankof, a political analyst from San Antonio, to further discuss the issue. Dankof is joined by Kevin Barrett, an author and Islamic studies expert, from Madison, and Ali Al Ahmad, director of IGA, from Washington. The following is a rough transcription of the interview. Press TV: Let’s zoom in on that statement that [previous guest speaker] Ali Al Ahmad made there, Mark Dankof, a shifting of the regional balance and perhaps less support of the United States and some of the Western countries of Saudi Arabia. First of all, how likely is that? Dankof: It hasn’t proven very likely up to now, certainly. I mean, the United States has obviously been a major political supporter of the Saudi monarchy. What they have both been up to in Syria is proof positive of this. This is especially striking to me is to see the complete lack of Western coverage of what is going on in Bahrain vis-à-vis what has been covered in Syria, and the particular spin that the United States media has given to this situation in Syria. It’s clear that the US commitment, supposedly, to ‘one person, one vote’ applies in some situations but not in others according to what the United States perceives its own geo-strategic political interest to be. I think this would explain certainly why the Bahrain situation is getting one brand of treatment or non-treatment in the American media, why there’s been virtually complete silence from the American government regarding what’s going on in that situation in recent months as opposed, again, to the direct involvement of the American State Department, the American intelligence community, NATO and Saudi and the [Persian] Gulf states in exacerbating the situation in Syria. Again, it’s another question of realpolitik and it seems to me that the United States, given its history with the Saudi regime, is quite likely to continue its political support of that government right up to whatever the crisis tipping point proves to be.
Have we reached that tipping point yet? I don’t really know. But at some point there will be a tipping point and then we’re likely to see a complete panic switch being pulled in Washington in regard to what may prove to be a complete unraveling of a series of American political alliances in the [Persian] Gulf if the Saudi regime at some point beings to teeter much less fall.Press TV: Let’s talk about that sectarian card that keeps being played and pushed on the agenda that Saudi Arabia has, Mark Dankof. Both the media and the regime there are portraying the protests as sectarian in nature. There’s group, it’s a political youth group, the Eastern Province Revolution, who has said all the Saudis want is seeking to establish an electoral ruling system, a representative government, and this is not a Sunni or Shia idea but the means to dignity and equality. Isn’t that the case? Isn’t that what’s at the heart of the frustration of Saudis? Dankof: I presume that it is but once again we have a situation here where it seems to me that the Sunni, Shia divide to the extent that it exists is being exacerbated and exploited by the United States and Zionist forces certainly as they attempt to sow discord in the region and divisiveness in the region for their own purposes, is a wonderful diversionary devise that it being employed here and has proven thus far to be somewhat effective, frankly. I know when I was in Durban, South Africa, some weeks ago speaking on Al-Ansaar radio and speaking to the folks at Channel Islam International, to some extent this whole business arouse with the Sunni, Shia divide, what was going on in Syria, what was going on in Bahrain.
I simply said as an outsider to Islam who happens to be a Christian clergyman, that it seems to me that somehow, someway a real key to a much better situation in the Islamic world is for there to be some kind of a rapprochement between Sunni and Shia and an understanding as to what their mutual interest truly is, if there’s going to be any unified political opposition to what we can fairly say is the Zionist, imperialist, military industrial complex, multi-national oil consortium network that has been operating in the Middle East for many, many decades.I think Kevin Barrett has put his finger on the pulse of something significant here, how this rapprochement takes place, how the Arab world, generally, and the Islamic world, generally, can come to some type of an understanding as to what needs to happen to avoid this constant temptation for outsiders to intervene remains to be seen. I don’t really have, as an outsider to Islam, any insight of what can produce this kind of mutual understanding and dialogue. But clearly, if it were to take place, it would make it much more difficult for some of these nefarious outside forces to continue exploiting situations in the way that they have very, very effectively in these last 100 years and, of course, Syria is just the latest example in this. Press TV: Americans, perhaps, are all aware of all of these different ingredients in Saudi Arabia, but they have a hold on the military of Saudi Arabia including the arms sales that they’ve done. We understand that fighter jets there can’t even be touched by these Saudi pilots or even repaired because it’s the Americans that have the know-how. So, is that the give-and-take that America sees in this? Dankof: I don’t think there’s any question about it and I think Kevin Barrett has alluded to some of this. When you start looking at this complex network of arms dealers, banking interests, oil consortiums and Zionists, this explains a rather symbiotic relationship between the American power elite and the Saudi monarchy. The great irony here is that if the Saudi monarchy ever departs this earth in terms of political existence, that the resulting earthquake, regionally, in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa and in the Persian Gulf may well produce a similar political earthquake in the United States where in fact the American empire may crash-land because of petro-dollar politics, and the American empire may once again be reclaimed by the rest of us who actually believe in the old American republic. GMA/JR