Saudi Arabia is a US colony. It owes its existence to the British Empire, and it owes its continued existence to the United States. This is not widely known. Folks just assume that Saudi Arabia was always there, they got lucky with oil, and now we’re stuck with them. That’s not how it went at all. It’s probably worth documenting this claim in a longer blog post than normal. It’s a bit too complex to wrap into this video.
The Saud family, and its nasty relationship with religious extremism does go back a ways. I document this relationship at length in the essay, which I recommend you buy. They managed to put together a pretty impressive, if briefly lived state in the late 1700s and early 1800s. They held Mecca and Medina briefly, from 1802 to 1818. They were booted out of there by an Ottoman Egyptian Army. The Saud family then managed to put together another chunk of land based around Riyadh, but by the 1890s they were refugees, forced to seek shelter in Kuwait. If you’d picked a family ca. 1910 to end up the most powerful (and possibly richest) of the last royal families standing it certainly wouldn’t have been the Sauds.
Which is where the British empire stepped in. In 1915 the British were fighting World War I against the Ottoman Empire, among others. They were looking to support any Arab leader they could against the Ottomans, who had controlled the Middle East since the 1500s. Have you seen Lawrence of Arabia? That’s about the British support given to the Hashemite family, that had ruled Mecca for hundreds of years. The Arab Revolt that made Lawrence a celebrity was led by Faisal of the Hashemites. This was all lovely, stuck it to the Ottomans, and turned Faisal into a somewhat internationally respected figure.
This presented the British with a problem when the war ended in 1918. They had Faisal, a well respected, charismatic leader, with established connections to the Arab urban centers, and some modernizing instincts. Faisal had a pan-Arab mindset, and envisioned a unified, powerful and developing Arab state, stretching from his family’s territory in Mecca and Medina as far as Damascus and Baghdad, and maybe beyond. This was more or less what he had been promised during the War, and he went to the Paris Peace conference to press his case.
But the British didn’t want that. They wanted the territory for themselves. They got it, establishing “Mandates” in Palestine and Iraq. The Brits got Baghdad and Jerusalem, and the French got Damascus, establishing what became the ill-fated state of Syria. Arabia, or rather all the unimportant and desert bits of Arabia were left to the Hashemites. But not just the Hashemites. The British continued to support the Sauds, with cash subsidies, and a ton of surplus munitions from the war. It depends who you read, but many sources maintain that the British subsidies were the only thing keeping the dirt poor and enthusiastically anti-modern Saudi army going.
If you were the British who would you rather support as a neighbor? A charismatic descendant of the prophet, experienced in international diplomacy? Or a bunch of desert whackos? The desert whackos looked a lot less threatening. The British continued to support both families, but it’s unlikely that they were all that disturbed when the Sauds came screaming out of the desert and took Mecca and Medina in 1925. This conquest was accompanied by strikingly ISIS like destruction of ‘idolatrous’ Muslim heritage sites and massacres of non-combatants. The British didn’t lift a finger to help the Hashemites reclaim their historic lands. They felt a bit bad though, so they made Faisal King of Iraq. In May 1953 his descendants were massacred, and the monarchy was ended in one of Iraq’s many brutal changes of government. King Abdullah II of Jordan is the last ruling member of the Hashemite dynasty, descended from one of Faisal’s brothers. The Sauds got Mecca and Medina, the de facto leadership of Sunni Islam, and extraordinary oil wealth. The Hashemites got that really cool set from the climax of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
The British catch a lot of flack for their mishandling of the Israel-Palestine issue, but if you ask me, their creation of Saudi Arabia is a lot more unforgivable.
I will leave detailed discussion of the US-Saudi relationship to my essay: “Everybody’s Lying About Islam” available now on the Amazon Kindle. Suffice it to say, that were it not for the United States, Saudi Arabia would have been replaced by a more rational and modern country long ago.
Video Transcript after the jump…
Ladies and Gentlemen, Saudi Arabia is a United States Colony. On the surface this may seem ridiculous. Saudi Arabia doesn’t look very American, and it pushes a very anti-American ideology. But a colony is what it is. And I’m not talking colony in a Neo-Colonial or Post-Colonial, they’ve got a lot of Mcdonald’s franchises sense either. I mean colony in a full throttle 19th century imperialist sense.
You’ve heard of the British Empire right? That Empire’s most important component was British India, which included modern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma. They managed to control all of this territory with a tiny amount of British soldiers. They used a lot of strategies to do this, but one of the most important was client kingdoms. All of this territory was controlled by Britain, but a ton of it was controlled in the form of client kingdoms, with their own courts and even their own armies. Everybody knew they weren’t really independent, but the polite fiction was carefully preserved. This allowed the inhabitants of these kingdoms to preserve some self-respect, and it kept the territories out of the hands of more powerful British enemies.
This is exactly the role that Saudi Arabia plays today. When people question why Saudi Arabia gets away with what they get away with the standard answers always point to Saudi power. We’re told that it’s the oil, or the amount of money that the Saudis pour back into the US economy. But it’s really Saudi weakness that makes them useful. The country’s silly ideology, and infinitely corruptible ruling family makes it the perfect client kingdom. Its dozens of universities teach religion rather than nationalism and useful skills. The Saudi military barely knows how to use all the weapons it buys.
Saudi Arabia has been a client kingdom for its entire modern existence. It was born because the British preferred them to the more powerful Ottomans and Persians. It has survived because the US preferred it to the Arab nationalists and Communists. It’s a lot easier to keep a king and his family happy than it is to keep a real country happy. KINGS LIKE MONEY. PEOPLE LIKE RESPECT. Saudi Arabia survived 9-11 because it successfully convinced the US government that Iran presented a greater threat.
That’s true to a degree. But 15 years of following the Saudi path has made Iran much more powerful. It has also created ISIS and a range of other nasty organizations that carry out international terrorism in the name of Saudi ideology.
Saudi Arabia is a client kingdom we no longer need. The negatives have outweighed the positives since the 1990s. Communism hasn’t been a real threat for almost three decades. Arab nationalism is essentially dead and Iran is only an enemy when we’re actively invading them or their direct neighbors. Whoever ends up ruling the middle east will be happy to sell us their oil. Actually, given the world’s declining appetite for fossil fuels, they’ll be desperate to sell us their oil. Saudi Arabia is a US colony. It’s not worth the cost. It’s time to let it go.
Thanks for watching, please subscribe. If you want to know more about the topic of this video and so much more, check out my essay Everybody’s Lying About Islam, available on the Amazon Kindle and as an Audiobook. Thanks.