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The US Should Avoid Saudi Arabia and Build Peace in the Middle East

September 17, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

US President Donald Trump appears prepared to go to war for Saudi Arabia, the most tyrannical and aggressive state in the Middle East.

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Instead of sacrificing American lives and wealth to protect the Saudi royal family, the administration should end its economic assault on Iran and pressure Riyadh to halt its murderous campaign against Yemen. Only then will there be any hope of bringing peace and stability to the Middle East.

Over the weekend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities suffered significant damage in an attack which halved Riyadh’s oil output, accounting for five percent of global production. Yemeni insurgents claimed responsibility, but the Trump administration blamed Iran—without offering any supporting evidence.

Washington’s claim cannot be taken on faith: a succession of administrations lied to justify intervening in dubious wars, including Vietnam, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Iraq. Former president George W Bush’s shameful deceptions are most recent, but his father’s administration issued a series of false claims after a US naval cruiser shot down a civilian Iranian airliner in Iranian airspace in 1988.

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Even if Tehran was responsible for the oil strike, the US has no cause for war. Saudi Arabia, not America, was attacked. The kingdom is not a treaty ally; US military personnel have not signed up as bodyguards for the Saudi royals. Nor is there a good policy reason to underwrite the defence of a regime which actively promotes extremism, shares virtually no Western values, and routinely undermines American interests.

Higher oil prices are not a good reason for war. The costs of any conflict are likely to run far higher, especially considering the blood to be shed. A wealthy nation such as the US can adapt to higher energy bills.

Washington should always treat military action as a last resort, to be used only in the face of compelling circumstances, which are not evident today. In fact, the importance of Middle Eastern oil has steadily declined. The …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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