According to some reports, summer, the head of the Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar offered Russian President Putin a deal: if Russia abandons Syria, Saudi Arabia will ensure the protection of the Olympic games in Sochi from Islamic terrorists. They say that Putin has angrily rejected the proposal. Now, writes Robert parry, after two terrorist attacks in Russia, the next move by Putin.
Then I was even told that Putin warned Saudi Arabia of potentially severe consequences — suggesting military response — if after a warning Bandar followed by real attacks, such as those that occurred in Volgograd.
Of course, always hard to track the traces of specific terrorist attacks to their source, in addition, many terrorists operate with a high degree of autonomy. But Putin has put a fair share of its prestige on the success of the Sochi games, and he risks losing face if it would give the impression that Bandar has carried out a terrorist plan intended to disrupt the Olympic games, and Putin was powerless to stop him.
I was told that a mixture of lucrative offers and threats from Bandar angered Putin, who barely restrained anger throughout the meeting with Bandar. The President of Russia has considered the proposal of Bandar something offers the protection of Game, similar to tactics of the mafia, when the mafia don says to a shopkeeper, which intends to shake down for "protection", — "nice little business you got here. It would be sad if anything happened."
In response to this mixture of bribes and threats from Bandar Putin has redoubled support for the Syrian government. The source said that Russia also sent a portion of his veiled threats against the Saudis. The Saudis may have substantial "soft power" like oil and money, but Russia has a formidable "hard power", which includes a powerful army, the source says.
For many years, Bandar has considered the problem of terrorism from the point of view of situational ethics, well-proven from the time when Saudi Arabia and the Reagan administration teamed up to pump in billions of dollars to the Afghan Mujahideen and their Arab jihadist allies fighting Soviet troops in the 1980s.
Directed against the Soviets efforts in Afghanistan has brought fame to the Saudi Osama bin Laden and the terrorists who later consolidated under the global brand of al-Qaida.
At the time of the 9/11 attacks on new York and Washington, Bandar was the Saudi Ambassador in the US, and was so close to the Bush family that he earned the nickname "Bandar Bush". Bandar was also close to bin Laden's family. After the attacks on Bandar even admitted that he met with bin Laden, who thanked Bandar for help in financing the Afghan Jihad project.
Now, as head of Saudi intelligence, Bandar seems to have returned in the power game of geopolitics, organizing the sending of arms to the most brutal Syrian rebels and Arab mercenaries inside Syria, while simultaneously pursuing a policy of carrot and stick against certain foreign leaders. This technique may have failed in the case of Putin, however, has brought success in building the French behind Saudi Arabian opposition in the negotiations on the agreement with Iran on its nuclear program.
Being repressive monarchy, preaching the ultra-conservative Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam, Saudi Arabia persistently opposes democratic reforms of the Arab spring, and the growing influence of Shiite Islam, which now stretches from Iran, through Iraq and Syria, to Hezbollah enclaves in Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia supported the military coup in Egypt that overthrew the elected government of Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim brotherhood. Saudi Arabia also stepped up assistance to the Sunni rebels in Syria seeking to overthrow the Assad dynasty, which professes alavizm, which is an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
The commonality of interests between Saudi Arabia and Israel has created a de facto Alliance between the Saudi monarchy and the Jewish government of Israel. Even being historically enemies, Israel and Saudi Arabia are currently on the same side, supporting the military regime in Egypt, considering Iran as the main enemy, and wishing that in Syria defeated the rebels.
Quicksand interests in the middle East also prompted the United States and Russia closer together, with the former rivals in the cold war share a common interest in resolving the confusion prevailing in the region. President Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama collaborated in reaching a preliminary nuclear deal with Iran, and convince Assad to abandon his chemical weapons. Also, they both insist on peace talks on Syria.
Now, however, the Islamist terrorist attacks have created new challenges — the threat of sabotage of the Olympic games in Sochi. If Putin believes that behind these explosions are the Saudis that they are the equivalent of the burning of shops don after its owner rejected the proposal to "protect" the Russian question answer suddenly may be an important issue.
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