Friday, April 1, 2016

Saudi Arabia V Hiz"B'Allah

Laws yes - Chapter LXIX in the Sunni Shia war.

The original Woman Hater Kingdom turns it's unfun sights to the creepy rocket rich Body Part Collector General, the resistance Posse of Allah 

The Saudis branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization earlier this year and then persuaded their Gulf Cooperation Council allies to do the same on March 2. Then Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef pressed a summit of Arab interior ministers to join in lambasting Hezbollah in Tunis in early March. The Arab League formally agreed to label Hezbollah a terrorist group at a Foreign Ministerial in Cairo later in the month. Only Iraq and Lebanon abstained.

The current Saudi campaign dates to last summer when the Crown Prince's spies captured the mastermind of the Khobar Tower attack. Ahmed Ibrahim al-Mughassil is a Saudi Shiite who masterminded the June 25, 1996, attack on an American military barracks in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Mughassil was detained by the Saudis last August as he was exiting a flight from Tehran to Beirut and was transferred from Lebanon immediately to the kingdom. Nineteen U.S. Air Force personnel were killed at Khobar and 372 were wounded in the attack. The FBI put a $5 million bounty for information leading to his arrest years ago.

Since the Arab League statement listing Hezbollah as terrorists, the Saudis have encouraged their Gulf allies to expel Lebanese emigres accused of having connections to the group. This promises to further polarize the Lebanese community in the Gulf between Shiites and other sects, Sunni and Christian.

Riyadh is likely to start pressing the Europeans to brand Hezbollah as a terror group. The Europeans have long argued that only the military wing of Hezbollah is terrorist and exempted the political party from sanctions. Israel has argued this is a dubious splitting of hairs since the party controls the fighters.

Riyadh has much more clout in Europe than Jerusalem. London and Paris are desperate to keep their lucrative arms sales relationships with Riyadh. They also need Saudi help to fight jihadist terrorism. If Riyadh presses hard, the Europeans will find it difficult to resist.

It's still unclear how far the Kingdom will push its case against Hezbollah. The risk is too much pressure will destabilize Lebanon. The current Saudi leadership is much more risk prone and unpredictable than its predecessors.

King Salman and his top aides want to deliver hard blows to Tehran—and for them, striking Hezbollah is a good way to do it.