SAUDI LOBBY in Washington – NCUSAR

28 02 2014

Unlike the Israelis the Saudis have no powerful grassroots lobby.  They do however have a considerable lobby made up of military-industrial corporations, high-priced behind-the-scenes agents, and for the general public a kind of rag-tag team of p.r. guys masquerading as think-tanks and academics as well as publications and journalists.

Many  of these are hired guns, a few are true-believers and die-hard Arabists who long-ago allowed personally beneficial self-deception to substitute for independent thought and principles. This little highly inbred group in Washington has very little following outside their own circles, but like the Wizard of Oz they continually keep projecting their voices in order to claim influence and receive their yearly allowances.

The incestuous groups include The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Council for the National Interest and associated IRmep, If Americans Knew, and something called the National Council on U.S. Arab Relations (NCUSAR).

This later group is headed up by a former academic who when denied tenure years ago at SAIS realized there was much money and glory in becoming a professional p.r. flack for the Saudis, and in more recent years for the Saudi-created Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Here for example are a few choice paragraphs from John Duke Anthony’s most recent faux-academic article in advance of President Obama’s upcoming visit to Riyadh (self-published and widely distributed by his own organization):

“On the negative side, many chafe at the continued unwillingness of the United States, in concert with Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries, to do whatever is necessary to bring down the Syrian regime. Only thus, many contend, could Iran’s ability to foment and sustain the civil strife in Iraq and the domestic dissension in Bahrain, other GCC countries, and beyond be weakened.”

“But in Arabia and the Gulf, the narrative of an America suspected of intending to pivot from the world’s most vital region to one of considerably less importance is cause for concern from one end of the GCC region to the other. The very idea that the GCC countries’ paramount protector for the past four decades might possibly divert its focus strikes many in the GCC region as incredulous, particularly in light of the fact that for the past 27 years the US has sent tens of thousands of armed forces to Arabia in support of regional security, defense, and stability but not once to Asia.”