The West considers Saudis terror-funding allowable

An outstanding Irish journalist says the West does nothing in the face of the Saudis funding the Sunni terrorist groups, since they don’t want to “offend a close ally” and the terrorists target Shia Muslims.

Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for the Independent, wrote yesterday in an article published on The Independent that the donors in Saudi Arabia have notoriously played a pivotal role in creating and maintaining Sunni jihadist groups over the past 30 years.

He added that the US and its allies have showed “astonishing restraint when it comes to pressuring Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies to turn off the financial tap that keeps the jihadists in business.”

Referring to the no more veiled Saudis’ support for Sunni jihadists around the world, Cockburn raised the question, “Why did the US and its European allies treat Saudi Arabia with such restraint when the kingdom was so central to al-Qa'ida and other even more sectarian Sunni jihadist organisations?”

“An obvious explanation is that the US, Britain and others did not want to offend a close ally and that the Saudi royal family had judiciously used its money to buy its way into the international ruling class,” he explained.

The Irish journalist added that another “compelling reason” for the Western powers’ straggling in denouncing Saudi Arabia and the Sunni rulers of the Gulf for their spread of bigotry and religious hate is that al-Qaida “have always held two very different views about who is their main opponent.”

“For Osama bin Laden the chief enemy was the Americans, but for the great majority of Sunni jihadists, including the al-Qa'ida franchises in Iraq and Syria, the target is the Shia. It is the Shia who have been dying in their thousands in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and even in countries where there are few of them to kill, such as Egypt.”

He raised the question, suppose a hundredth part of this merciless onslaught had been directed against Western targets rather than against Shia Muslims, would the Americans and the British be so accommodating to the Saudis, Kuwaitis and Emiratis?