Bowing to the King: What Lies Beneath US-Saudi Friendship?

© AP Photo / Carolyn KasterPresident Barack Obama and new Saudi Arabian King, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, are photographed as they shake hands in a bilateral meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015
President Barack Obama and new Saudi Arabian King, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, are photographed as they shake hands in a bilateral meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 - Sputnik International
The King of Saudi Arabia is one of the richest people in the world, and one of the most influential political figures in the Middle East, according to American historian and journalist Eric Zuesse, adding that maybe that is why US President Obama usually bows so deeply to the Saudi King.

The House of Saud is by far the world's richest family and the largest buyers of US weapons; Washington has long been wooing the Saudi royalty, turning a blind eye to Riyadh's funding of Islamist terrorists or the beheading of innocents and peaceful Muslim clerics.

"The King of Saudi Arabia is by far the world's richest person, with a net worth well over a trillion dollars; and, when his (Aramco's) 260 billion barrels of oil reserves were valued at $100 per barrel, his net worth was over $15 trillion. The King has total control over the world's largest (in terms of dollar-value) company: Aramco," US historian and journalist Eric Zuesse notes in his recent piece for Strategic Culture Foundation.

Iranian security protect Saudi Arabia's embassy in Tehran, Iran, while a group of demonstrators gathered to protest execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The House of Saud is preaching the strictest sectarian form of Islam — Wahhabism (Salafism) — the form also adopted by al-Qaeda and Daesh (Islamic State/ISIL). It is no secret that Riyadh is funding its co-religionists and encouraging them to fight against Shiites and other "apostates." In this context, Washington's substantial arms deliveries to the Gulf kingdom play directly into the hands of the House of Saud.

"It's a good business for the owners of US 'defense' contractors… If the Sauds weren't buying lots of that hardware, then some very wealthy Americans would be significantly less wealthy than they now are. It's mutually beneficial. (Though not beneficial for the people those bombs and bullets are killing and maiming)," Zuesse adds.

The US-Saudi cooperation has evolved into a close symbiosis. It is hardly surprising that Washington refused to condemn the Saudi monarch for executing Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. Furthermore, there are voices speaking in defense of Saudi Arabia and slamming Iran.

"Saudi Arabia is our ally, despite the fact that they don't always behave in a way that we condone… I take the Iranian condemnation with a huge grain of salt… This [in Iran] is a regime that tortures citizens routinely, that thinks nothing of executions, that still holds four Americans in jail," US Republican candidate Carly Fiorina said as quoted by Zuesse.

US President Barack Obama speaks with King Salman (L) of Saudi Arabia during their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC on September 4, 2015 - Sputnik International
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What lies beneath Washington's "sympathy" for the brutal Saudi regime? Photos show clearly that US President Obama bows deeply before the Saudi King.

"When the US President meets the Saudi King, it's not the US leader who has control over the two holiest sites in the world's second-largest and fastest-growing religion, Mecca and Medina. It's not the US President in whose general direction more than a billion people around the world ritually bow several times a day," the American journalist notes.

Washington needs Saudi Arabia as a loyal ally in the Middle East and the White House's commitment to the promotion of democracy obviously pales into insignificance when compared with business profits gained due to the US-Saudi alliance.

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