‘I will teach you my townspeople how to perform a funeral for you have it over a troop of artists – unless one should scour the world – you have the ground sense necessary,’ Tract, a poem by William Carlos Williams. Even after a few weeks have passed, the unexpected visit of the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum still has a lot of people scratching their heads. The news is full of widespread and contradictory theories, while questions abound.
Why had the Saudis accepted an invitation from a country sanctioned by the U. S., its oldest and strongest ally? Had the Saudis chosen to abandon the U. S.? Were the crafty Saudis playing Russia off against the U. S.?
To confound matters more, why was the desert country proposing a $10 billion investment in Russian agriculture and infrastructure? Rattling everyone’s brain was the Saudi proposal to purchase some 16 nuclear plants to be developed by Russia’s state-owned nuclear monopoly, Rosatom, in a deal that, if concluded, could be worth more than $100 billion. Then there was the matter of the Saudis and Russia announcing the formation of an energy partnership between two of the largest global energy producers.
By the time the Forum ended, confusion reigned supreme.
It is still a bit early for all the pieces to neatly fit together but now, after the dust has settled somewhat, a pattern seems to be emerging that may explain the situation.
Most observers believe the Saudis are angry with the U. S. for a host of reasons, foremost amongst them are the nuclear negotiations with Iran, followed by the U. S. decision to keep arms-length distance from the conflicts in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. Yet, few Russian analysts subscribe to the theory that the Saudis are going rogue against the U. S.
Others are playing the endless game of trying to figure out what’s going on in the minds of the Saudi King and the Russian President. It just may be that they’re looking into the wrong minds. It’s more than likely that the real puppeteer pulling all the strings is Obama. There appears to be a well-designed strategy emerging, one that has all the ear-marks of Obama’s audacity, with Putin eagerly signing on.
Strategy usually emerges in response to a problem. In this case, the problem is Obama’s growing skepticism over his adviser’s assurances that the Russian economy would soon collapse after the imposition of sanctions, further assisted by drastically falling energy prices.
U. S. Senator Feinstein, a close ally of the Administration and former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has stated publicly that the tough-minded Russians are not likely to give in, adding that the Obama needs to send someone to talk with Putin. Other Obama supporters have made similar recommendations, including most recently, Hillary Clinton, saying that if she were President, shewould keep close contact with Putin.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 07/20/2015.