Blain: "Are We Backing The Wrong Country In The Saudi-Iran Race" | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Blain: "Are We Backing The Wrong Country In The Saudi-Iran Race"

A digression: Saudi vs Iran?

I had a number of comments about Monday’s porridge on the significance of Qatar pulling out of Opec, and what next for Saudi. What is the relevance for markets they asked?

That’s interesting question. Donald Trump recently told us that his successful negotiations and personal relationship with Mohammed bin Salman attracted planned investment of $450 bln into the US, including $110 bln in defence orders, from Saudi Arabia. He warned all that could be undone if we don’t turn a blind eye to the Khashoggi murder.

Do these numbers stack up? Not remotely. The $110 bln Trump says will be spent with US defence contractors boils down to a mere $14.5 bln in actual signed defence deals. The $450 bln number is Fake News. There is also British Aerospace’s $12.5 bln deal to sell Saudi 48 Typhoon fighters. It’s not a deal either. It’s a statement of intent BAE has been trying to firm up for years. It could be renounced anytime especially if the Saudi’s decide the West is not deferential enough and continue their pivot to Russia to buy much cheaper (but pretty darn effective) MIGs!

It doesn’t really matter what the Saudis buy. They proved unprepared and less than competent in their war against Yemen’s Houthi insurgents. Cheap MIGs drop just as murderous bombs on civilians as expensive Typhoons.

Saudi is probably already spending more with the Russians – the UK’s Spectator magazine speculates they have struck a deal to buy Russia’s very effective S-400 anti-aircraft missiles. To defend themselves from what? Of course, we sell Saudi the most modern fighters because they need them to defend themselves against the Iranians. It should be noted, after years of sanctions, Iran flys F4 Phantoms built in the 1960s and some Russian Su-22s from the 1990s.

But shoring up Saudi is a direct way to combat the Iranians…

Why is that important? Oh yes, President Trump, and his son-in-law, don’t like Iran and have renounced all the agreements with them on the basis they are bad people. After all, the Iranians embarrassed America in 1979, hate the West and sponsor Shia terror? And Shia terror is much worse than Sunni Terror – apparently. Confused? The Shia’s are the ones behind Hezbollah and the Houthi’s - considered Iranian stooges. The Sunnis are the Wahabi maniacs who killed thousands in the Twin Towers atrocity, (the terrorists were largely Saudi citizens), and have spawned ISIS, Boko Haram etc. That the Saudi state is effectively and formally tied to Wahhabism to support the Royal Family isn’t apparently an issue for the West.

While no single US senator or congressman has ever been elected on the basis of their support for Saudi, the importance of the pro-Israel vote (which is anti-Iran) is quite properly important for many representatives. But, in recent months the scale of revulsion and questioning of supporting Saudi has reached a level where Trump looks like he’s increasingly standing alone in his support for MbS.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If Americans were permitted to travel there, I would love to tour Iran.

The art; the music; the continuity of history; the push the country is making toward educating both their young men, and their young women, encourages me to think that given time and space, it could be absolutely thriving state, and a great trading partner for the world

Unfortunately, Netanyahu's usual dystopian, hubristic view of Iran means only one thing; it must be destroyed in a horrendous war, but that the costs of such a war will only be American blood, and American money.

It is more than a little disconcerting to me, that President Trump's two best friends in the Middle East, are Prince bin Salman, the Saudi Butcher of Yemen, and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, the Israeli Butcher of Gaza.