Two weeks ago in my piece, "What the Media Won't Tell You About What's Really Going On In Egypt", I let you in on the fact that the chief of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar, spent 4 hours closeted with none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 31st.
As I revealed back then, part of the conversation involved Saudi client Egypt and Egypt's General al-Sissi finding a new arms supplier and best friend in the Kremlin in response to President Obama's threats.
Putin would sell Egypt arms in a heartbeat and would love nothing better than to get another warm water Mediterranean port for the Russian navy.
But more was discussed than just that. The Saudis are fed up with President Obama and his clueless, duplicitous antics, especially his dithering on Iran and his shilling and enablement of the Muslim Brotherhood at every turn. And they're willing to discuss a deal for the Russians to become what members of the Mob refer to in these situations as 'a new sponsor.'
Let me briefly reiterate our relationship with the Saudis and the other GCE countries to spell out what this is important before we get to the grim details.
The Arabs sell us oil, which they make sure that OPEC continues to delineate in US dollars. They also spin a certain amount of that money back at us in the form of buying our debt, rewarding U.S. politicians who see things their way with lucrative business opportunities, investments in businesses and funds owned by influential Americans, the funding of presidential libraries and foundations, six figure speaking fees and honorariums, anything you can imagine. More importantly, by making sure that oil continues to be traded in dollars, they import a certain amount of our inflation, which they cover to some extent as necessary by raising wholesale prices on crude...but not too much, just enough to keep everyone happy and keep certain politicians doing their best sabotaging energy creation here in America unless in involves green energy scams never intended to work in the first place run by well connected political donors, or electric cars that are ultimately powered by oil, which is what powers the plants where most of the electricity to power them comes from.
In exchange, we protect them militarily, sell them arms and look after their interests,including the promotion of Wahhabi Islam here in America.
Needless to say, OPEC members like Putin, the Iranians and Obama's late unlamented BFF Hugo Chavez screamed bloody murder about this for years because they were getting nothing but a financial loss out of this arrangement.
What the Saudis are discussing with Putin is changing this arrangement, if a few deal points can be worked out.
The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir has a piece worth reading that they're representing as a basic rundown on what went what on. Some of it appears to be fairly accurate, at least in terms of the subjects that were discussed, especially in light of a few details I'm aware of but some of it is also highly unlikely, which we'll get to. You have to keep in mind that As-Safir is a Lebanese paper and thus a paper that exists as part of the Iran/Syria/Hezbollah bloc...which colors their coverage.A free press and the Muslim world don't exactly go together.
Here's the main, most important part, and the part I would say is 100% accurate:
The Saudis are offering to partner with Russia in essentially controlling the price and supply of a lot of the world's energy. The article doesn't say this, but it's obvious that the Saudis are asking, essentially, for Russia to sponsor them as members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a group long time members of Joshua's Army may recall me mentioning.
The SCO is basically a partnership which was founded five years ago under Chinese leadership to foster regional security and economic cooperation.China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan make up the group, and Iran, Pakistan, Mongolia and India all have observer status.
The six member states control 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a quarter of the world's people. With observer states included, its members account for half of the earth's population. It also offers an alternative bloc to western democracy and to using the U.S. dollar as reserve currency for energy dealing (they're working on putting together a gas cartel) and other joint development projects.
Turkey has been banging on the SCO's door for quite a while, and Tayyipp Erdogan would happily leave NATO and sell out its secrets to get into this club .
The Saudis joining the SCO would give the group more stability and coverage, control over a huge part of the world's energy, and of course, the prices. And it would end the use of the U.S. dollar as the currency used in energy trading, with some interesting results on our currency, at least until we got our own act together energy independence-wise.
Syria and Iran were almost definitely on the agenda.
As-Safir says that Prince Bandar told Putin that he had spoken with the Americans before the visit, and they pledged to commit to any deal the Saudis and Russians made on a diplomatic solution to Syria. This is almost definitely not true, since Putin would have laughed at it and Bandar knows it.
Putin has not trusted President Obama for quite some time,but especially since the two of them first started to attempt to work out a diplomatic solution on Syria and Putin found out that President Obama sent 1,200 Marines to the Jordanian border via the USS Kearsage without telling him.
The article quotes Putin as saying, "During the Geneva I Conference, we agreed with the Americans on a package of understandings, and they agreed that the Syrian regime will be part of any settlement. Later on, they decided to renege on Geneva I."
It further quotes Putin as saying “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters."
I doubt Putin said that, but I wouldn't be surprised if Bandar and Putin discussed the outlines of a diplomatic arrangement between them that would leave Assad in power in exchange, perhaps, for arms deals with the Saudis and Russian help with the Iranians, since the Saudis know by now President Obama will do nothing to stop Iran from going nuclear.
However, if President Obama hits Syria, any tentative arrangement Bandar and Putin might have come to might well be history,or at least postponed.
As-Safir says that when Bandar mentioned Iran's nuclear program as a problem, Putin replied, “We support the Iranian quest to obtain nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. And we helped them develop their facilities in this direction. Of course, we will resume negotiations with them as part of the 5P+1 group. I will meet with President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the Central Asia summit and we will discuss a lot of bilateral, regional and international issues. We will inform him that Russia is completely opposed to the UN Security Council imposing new sanctions on Iran. We believe that the sanctions imposed against Iran and Iranians are unfair and that we will not repeat the experience again.”
The dialog on Iran and Syria are almost certainly fabricated to a large extent.
Putin has been violating the sanctions since day one, and Russia has a veto on the UN Security Council even if our Dear Leader decided to actually impose real sanctions. He could care less about them except as a talking point at the UN. The conversation with Putin over Iran probably dealt more with what safeguards the Russians could put in place to stop the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons and threatening the GCE countries...if Russia in fact became the Saudi's new sponsors.
Bottom line, the Russians and Saudis are now considering serious cooperation on energy and perhaps even on arms sales, and studying the mechanics of what concrete proposals were advanced.
Syria and Iran likely still remain issues that are problematic but are still under discussion. Could Russia and Putin finesse this by working as a mediator to end the Sunni-Shi'ite war in the Middle East and provide certain guarantees to the Saudis? With the leverage Putin has on Iran and Assad's Syria, anything's possible. And the idea of collaborating with the Saudis on the energy trade would be a powerful incentive for Putin.
Of course, if that happens, America's influence in the region will be over.