Historic New Harpers Article Exposes Who Controls America

by Eric Zuesse

There can be little doubt now: America’s decades-long catastrophic failures to make significant progress in eliminating even a single one of the numerous jihadist groups around the world is due to the American government’s secret under-the-table crucial ongoing assistance to those groups, and this American-government support has intentionally encouraged recent terrorist events especially in Syria, Libya, and other countries that had been allied with Russia — but which might be flipped ‘our’ way, by those jihadists.  In such countries (America’s ‘enemies’), the U.S. government calls the jihadist groups ‘pro-democracy’ ‘moderates’. But in Christian, Jewish, and Shiite-Muslim dominant countries, they’re instead called “terrorists,” which is what they actually are.  George Orwell called such linguistic tricks for fooling any nation’s mass of suckers “Newspeak,” but America’s version is more sophisticated than his fictional one was.  And so is America’s version of Orwell’s “Big Brother” more sophisticated than his — and now we know what it actually is, because of this:

The great investigative journalist Andrew Cockburn, in the January 2016 issue of Harpers Magazine, has come forth with what may be the best public-affairs article I’ve ever seen, because he has interviewed key individuals in the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies, some of whom  he even identifies by name (i.e., they’re retired), and all of whom provide different details of the very same stunning huge story, a story that I have been reporting only in bits and pieces over the past year, but for which Cockburn offers an astounding amount of fuller and entirely new documentation — it blows everything else away.

To boil it all down to the essence: The fundamentalist-Sunni royal family of the Sauds have bought the highest levels of the U.S. government in order to control U.S. foreign policies, especially the ongoing wars to take down the governments of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and ultimately (they hope) of Russia itself, which latter nation has allied itself instead with Shiia countries.  The controlling entities behind American foreign policies since at least the late 1970s have been the Saud family and the Sauds’ subordinate Arabic aristocracies in Qatar (the al-Thanis), Kuwait (the al-Sabahs), Turkey (the Tuktik Erdoğans, a new royalty), and UAE (its six royal families: the main one, the al-Nahyans in Abu Dhabi; the other five: the al-Maktoums in Dubai, al-Qasimis in Sharjah, al-Nuaimis in Ajman, al-Mualla Ums in Quwain, and al-Sharqis in Fujairah).  Other Saudi-dominated nations — though they’re not oil-rich (more like Turkey in this regard) — are Pakistan and Afghanistan.

On December 15th, the Sauds formed their own Sunni-Islamic version of the American aristocracy’s NATO; and, though it shares one existing member with the 28-member NATO military alliance, which is Turkey, the other 34+ nations in it are, like the Sauds’ Kingdom itself, ruled by Wahhabist-Salafist leaders, and are likewise vigorously against both Russia and Shiite-led countries — just as NATO itself also is.

Cockburn mentions by name only the al-Sauds, but he documents the cooperation of the other kingdoms in the ringleading Sauds’ fundamentalist-Sunni plan, for, essentially, a Saud Caliphate, which dream had actually started when Muhammad Ibn Saud and Muhammad Ibn Wahhab in the year 1744 swore their mutual oaths to one-another that started Saudi Arabia: Saud’s descendants would be authorized by Wahhab’s clerics as approved by God to rule, in return for which the Sauds would impose upon their subjects the Wahhabist-Salafist version of Islam and would allow the Wahhabist clerics to make the country’s laws, with the approval of (and enforcement by) the Sauds.  It’s the traditional deal between a nation’s aristocrats and its clergy, but superpowered in the Sauds’ case with ‘god’s’ gift of oil, and America’s commitment of weapons (which is an endless boon to America’s weapons industry).

As I have documented previously, the bookkeeper for Al Qaeda, who also was their traveling bagman personally collecting in cash each one of the many multi-million-dollar donations to al-Qaeda, has testified in stunning detail, and under oath (not merely as the interviewee of some journalist), regarding the identities of the chief funders of al-Qaeda; and, he said, to summarize, that, “Without the money of the — of the Saudi you will have nothing”.   Even Hillary Clinton, in a much quoted 2009 wikileaked cable telling America’s Ambassadors what to say to the Islamic-nation rulers (quoted from also by Cockburn), mentioned this Saudi problem, when she addressed the issue indirectly to the Sauds, via the U.S. Saudi Ambassador:

While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) takes seriously the threat of terrorism within Saudi Arabia, it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.  Due in part to intense focus by the USG over the last several years, Saudi Arabia has begun to make important progress on this front and has responded to terrorist financing concerns raised by the United States through proactively investigating and detaining financial facilitators of concern.  Still, donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide. … In contrast to its increasingly aggressive efforts to disrupt al-Qa’ida’s access to funding from Saudi sources, Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT-groups that are also aligned with al-Qa’ida and focused on undermining stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

So: we know that al-Qaeda was an operation financed chiefly by the Saud family not only pre-9/11, but until at least 2009.

She went on to request, almost to plead with them:

We would like to stress our interest in broadening and deepening this dialogue and information exchange as we still lack detailed information on the ultimate sources of terrorist financing emanating from the Kingdom.

No sanctions against them were threatened: a subordinate doesn’t threaten his (or her) master.

She also requested their:

cutting off the flow of funds from Saudi Arabia to foreign religious, charitable, and educational organizations that propagate violent extremist ideologies to vulnerable populations. 

She went on also to mention, regarding Kuwait (whose Sabah family are ruling there only because the Sauds want them to):

the specific activities of terrorist financiers in country, Kuwaiti charities financing terrorism abroad, and Kuwait’s lack of a comprehensive anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime. … Al-Qa’ida and other groups continue to exploit Kuwait both as a source of funds and as a key transit point. … A particular point of difference between the U.S. and Kuwait concerns Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS). In June 2008 the USG domestically designated all RIHS offices RIHS under Executive Order 13224 for providing financial and material support to al-Qa’ida and UN 1267-listed al-Qa’ida affiliates, including Lashkar e-Tayyiba, Jemaah Islamiyah, and Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya.

To Kuwait’s Sabahs themselves, she said:

We remain concerned that the continued absence of counterterrorism legislation criminalizing terrorist financing will continue to prevent effective counterterrorist efforts.

She noted regarding Qatar:

Qatar has adopted a largely passive approach to cooperating with the U.S. against terrorist financing. Qatar’s overall level of CT cooperation with the U.S. is considered the worst in the region.

However, she said nothing at all to the rulers, the Thanis, themselves.

To UAE’s Nahyans, she concluded by saying:

We urge your government to strengthen its regulatory and enforcement regime to interdict cash couriers transiting major airports. 

To Pakistan’s rulers, she said:

We urge your government to support the international community’s efforts to combat terrorist financing. … We urge your government to comply with UN and domestic legal obligations to enforce sanctions on the Pakistan-based, UN-proscribed NGOs al Rashid Trust and al Akhtar Trust, and all successor organizations that continue to funnel money and provide other forms of support to the Taliban and LeT. … We emphasize that social services provided by NGO extremist organizations, such as Jamaat-ud Dawa (JUD) challenge the legitimacy of your government to provide for its people.

The clergy in all of those countries are mainly Wahhabist in ideology, which outside Saudi Arabia is instead called Salafist. This is the fundamentalist wing of Sunni Islam, and it is rabidly anti-Shiite.  It dominates not only Arabia but also Pakistan and Afghanistan; it’s the jihadist wing of Islam, the wing that promotes restoring the “Caliphate” or the Islamic Empire.

Secretary of State Clinton had nothing to say in this cable to Shiite-dominant countries, such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria, nor to Bahrain, which is Sunni-ruled by the Salafist al-Khalifa family, who continue to rule their majority-Shiite population only because in 2011, U.S. weapons and Saudi soldiers slaughtered opponents of the regime.  Here was the never-telecast U.S. news-report about that, and here is an interview with its reporter, who was fired and blackballed from U.S. media for having tried to report it. (A youtube news-medium, Vice News, wasn’t as corrupt: they allowed their report to run.)

So, it’s remarkable that Andrew Cockburn is able to get his extraordinarily honest article published in a mainstream American news-medium. Perhaps Harpers  Magazine is suddenly testing the limits of what the U.S. aristocracy will tolerate to be published. But whatever the reason is, it’s to be welcomed, and applauded.

The only scientific study that has yet been done of whether or not the U.S. is a democracy or an oligarchy found that it’s an oligarchy; and now the international extension of that oligarchy, if not its chief figures (if America’s aristocracy actually is subordinate to the Sauds), can be more clearly understood.  But, perhaps, one can safely say that the alliance between the U.S. aristocracy and the Saudi royals is emerging as a global dictatorship, a dictatorial type of world government.  Because, clearly: those two aristocracies have been, to a large extent, ruling the world together for several decades now.  From their perspective, jihadists themselves are a weapon, not merely a political nuisance.

This is a more realistic explanation of America’s decades-long catastrophic failures to make significant progress in eliminating even a single one of the numerous jihadist groups around the world: that’s how things have been planned to be.  It’s not just ‘intelligence errors’ or ‘not being tough enough.’  Those ‘explanations’ are just cover-stories, propaganda, PR from the aristocrats. It’s skillful ‘crowd control’: keeping the people in their ‘proper’ places.

Following America’s presidential campaign ‘debates’ in this light enables a viewer to understand better the pressures upon each one of the candidates — and upon the moderators who ask the questions, and who don’t ask the follow-up questions that will expose the lies in the answers.  It’s not merely a contest between the candidates; it is all part of a collective war by the aristocracy against the public, to keep them in their ‘proper’ places.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity


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Eric in Chicago
Eric in Chicago
Jan 12, 2016 5:44 AM

Does it really take such machination to explain the mess? The world is dependent upon extractive industries because concentrated, portable energy sources like oil, coal and gas make modern conveniences possible. There is resistance to switching away from them because (a) the renewables technology is only now getting on-par, and (b) with concentrated energy sources comes concentrated wealth and the attraction of sociopaths with organizational skills and the desire to have it all. The leaders dependent upon the oil put up with all sorts of crap from the leaders sitting on top of the oil and vice versa. Or more to the point, the leaders make their own people put up with the crap from the other side’s big players, because as long as the party continues, they get to dip into the river of money and power. I would be more interested to hear — I can guess — what would happen if we seriously went renewable electric, and the despots found themselves sitting on a bunch of goo that couldn’t compete with what we can get without their shenanigans.

Jan 7, 2016 7:56 AM

The Sauds are clients. They are an integral part of the power elite, yes. But at the end of the day their power is at the whim of Washington and London.

Patrick Cockburn has limited insight at best.

BPatman (@bpatmann)
BPatman (@bpatmann)
Jan 5, 2016 3:45 PM

Maybe if Carter had not abandoned the Shaw of Iran, things would be completely different (i.e., much better) now.

Jan 6, 2016 8:11 AM

So you are saying that the most brutal and hated dictator of his time, the Shah, would have made things better? Where is the world does that come from?

Jan 6, 2016 7:33 PM
Reply to  ldog

He was the most brutal ruler of Iran (certainly not the world) until the Islamic Revolution, which then proved itself far, far more brutal than the shah’s regime ever was.

Jan 4, 2016 12:03 AM

fwiw, the cockburn article in question is not listed on the cover, despite the cover story being “letters from a french jihadi.”

also, searched the .pdf of the article for “israel,” “jewish,” and “netanyahu;” nothing.

certainly agree that any discussion of the middle east, esp. where US concerns are referenced, w/o mention of israel strikes me as quite odd.

that might even suggest they could be party to the sources’ bent and accessibility?

Dec 24, 2015 1:06 AM

Did this guy learn his journalistic skills whilst in Mossad?

I’ve never heard such rubbish before. It’s so obviously false that I can only assume it’s a warning to the Saudis that they could be stitched up like the others if they leave the Petrodollar protection racket, or stop their oil price war with Russia or who knows what?

Dec 21, 2015 11:00 PM

“…but, perhaps, one can safely say that the alliance between the U.S. aristocracy and the Saudi royals is emerging as a global dictatorship, a dictatorial type of world government.”

There’re a few angles: Queen, Pope, President.

The Middles East.

Puzzle Pieces…

Dec 21, 2015 12:38 AM

I would say he held his punches well as there is not one mention of israel and the crazies there . This is what i call a fluff piece not met for the well read . tc all .

Dec 19, 2015 12:53 PM

This piece is so absurdly incomplete, one-sided, non-analytical and so full of clearly targeted, one-track quotes that it smacks of a taylor-made press release ordered by a client. But I must congratulate the author for writing such a long piece on the Middle East and America’s role in it without a single mention of Israel. Author should add “contortionist” to his blurb.

Dec 19, 2015 12:10 AM

Reblogged this on Siem Reap Mirror.

Salford Lad
Salford Lad
Dec 18, 2015 10:19 PM

This is just a deflection piece. the real controllers are the Israeli Zionists.The Saudis are just the bagmen with the money.

Dec 18, 2015 9:32 PM

Hmmmm. Well, there are at least two possibilities.

One is: take the Harper’s piece at face value. The Saudis are in charge, the US is the puppet. Harper’s is really going out on a limb and challenging what can be done in the mainstream.

The other is that the Harper’s piece continues a mainstream political process of distancing us from the Saudis, an earlier example of which was the sudden focus on the “28 pages” of the 9/11 Report. Which came not from the subversive alt media but from Congress. From this perspective, the Harper’s piece is not the least bit subversive either, but part of a new official strategy of putting the Saudis on notice that the relationship can be severed.

A form of behavior control, for reasons and towards ends that are not presently clear.

Me I’d lean towards Door #2.

Dec 18, 2015 11:01 PM
Reply to  johnschoneboom

It is Andrew Cockburn article – brother of Patrick and the late great Alexander “counterpunch” Cockburn, he’s usually a lot more trustworthy than most

Patrick toes the line for the Independent but much less so than any other mainstream journo

It’s fascinating to have an entire article about war across the Middle East without so much as a mention of Israel/Palestine though isn’t it?

I’d love to see the peice that Cockburn submitted before Harper’s Eds got to it

Jan 7, 2016 4:33 AM
Reply to  shatnersrug

What Andrew Cockburn says about the various Sunni caliphates bankrolling the most senior levels of the US government is not incompatible with the pro-Israeli lobby insinuating itself into the same levels or those levels that overlap with what the Saudis et al are paying for.

If the Israeli government and the Erdogans, the Sauds and the other royal families of the MENA region find that their interests and desires dovetail together with those of the US, they’ll work together. At other times their interests may diverge away and even oppose each other but they would be comfortable with differences if they are not as important as their commonalities at a particular point in time.

For example, the US is assisting the Saudi war against Yemen by providing arms and equipment to the Saudis (and profiting handsomely from that arrangement) yet at the same time the Saudi determination to destroy the Russian economy by flooding the market for oil and crashing down global oil prices is hurting the oil shale industry in the US (and the Saudis do not want the US oil shale industry to compete with their oil) and their own as well. Likewise israel and Turkey have been drawing closer together in recent times even though IDF commandos killed a number of Turkish citizens when they stormed the Gaza humanitarian aid flotilla in 2010 and Israel has yet to apologise for this.

Jan 7, 2016 1:45 PM
Reply to  Jen

Well said, Jen. However, that’s not quite what Cockburn said. He said that the US was the puppet, and Saudi Arabia the masters. This strikes me as a difficult position to defend, all things considered. But it does not come out of the blue. It comes as highly consistent with a rather recent blame-the-Saudis thread in mainstream discourse (along with the “28 Pages” mini-insurrection in Congress), the purpose of which is presumably to apply leverage — to threaten the end of the special relationship.

To note this political current with some suspicion is not to be defensive about the Saudi regime, quickly may it crumble. I just think it is appropriate to place most responsibility squarely on the parties with most of the power. Blaming 9/11, for example, on the Saudis for their financing, would be an excellent start towards accountability. But a terrible finish.

Dec 18, 2015 11:06 PM
Reply to  johnschoneboom

Here’s some more Andrew Cockburn articles, you can see he doesn’t really pull his punches and counterpunch is one of the most forthright critics of Israel.

I would say that it’s more likely that the subject is too wide for one article

Dec 18, 2015 11:07 PM
Reply to  johnschoneboom

Here’s some more Andrew Cockburn articles, you can see he doesn’t really pull his punches and counterpunch is one of the most forthright critics of Israel.

I would say that it’s more likely that the subject is too wide for one article


Dec 18, 2015 8:37 PM

Very interesting analysis – the murk begins to clear.
Skull and bones piracy is still well and alive, then?