From The Globe and Mail on January 13: Some of Canada’s allies are growing increasingly skittish about selling arms to Saudi Arabia – and have been blocking weapons sales to Riyadh or publicly investigating whether these deals are appropriate with a country notorious for human-rights abuses.
The current issue of the German publication IPG [Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft), published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, contained an article under the heading “Let’s put an end to Saudi-bashing!” [Schluss mit dem Saudi-Bashing!]. It makes these points about the Saudi perspective:
Since the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, social and political structures in the Middle East – particularly Syria, Libya and Yemen – are disintegrating and the dangers for the stability and security of Saudi Arabia have increased. Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia may follow.
With the support of Iran, non-state entities like Hezbollah and the Huthi rebels, which don’t observe international law, increase their influence.
Nothing robs the monarchs of the Gulf states of their sleep as much as a region which sinks into chaos.
For some years, Saudi Arabia has fought against the stream to prevent further destabilization. In 2003, Saudi Arabia warned the U.S. against invading Iraq.
As to Syria, Saudi Arabia tried to persuade Assad at the beginning of the hostilities to listen to the peaceful protests and make concessions to prevent escalation.
Today, Riyadh is convinced that no solution to the conflict is possible with Assad in power.
For ISIS, the conquest of Saudi Arabia is the ultimate aim, to gain control over the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, to complete the establishment of its caliphate.
Far more Europeans have joined ISIS than Saudis. No Saudis are among ISIS leaders.
Several terrorist attacks have been prevented in Europe as a result of information passed on by Saudi intelligence.
The Western media are wrong: it is not the policy of Saudi Arabia to support jihadist terrorists.
Another grave danger is the growing influence of Iran whose support of terror organization is a major factor in the destabilization of the region.
As to the internal situation, Saudi Arabia is at present engaged in a major transformation of its institutions.