“The majority of Arab governments are controlled by forces that are part of the wider Atlanticist-Zionist-Wahhabist triangle, particularly those in the Persian Gulf, so it is certainly predictable that they would welcome greater recognition from the Trump administration,” Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of attackthesystem.com, told the Tasnim news agency in an interview.
Keith Preston was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States. He received degrees in Religious Studies, History, and Sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the founder and director of American Revolutionary Vanguard and the chief editor of AttacktheSystem.Com. He has also been a contributor to LewRockwell.Com, Antiwar.Com, Anti-State.Com,Taki’s Magazine, Radix Journal, and AlternativeRight.Com . He is the author of six books, and was awarded the 2008 Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize by the United Kingdom’s Libertarian Alliance. Keith has been a featured speaker at conferences of the National Policy Institute, H. L. Mencken Club, and Anarchapulco. He has been interviewed on numerous radio programs and internet broadcasts, and appeared as a guest analyst on Russia Today, Press TV and the BBC.
The following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: On Saturday, US President Donald Trump opened a nine-day foreign trip in Saudi Arabia. The past four US presidents, when making their first trips abroad, traveled to either Canada or Mexico. Donald Trump, by contrast, travelled to Saudi Arabia. What is your take on Trump’s visit?
Preston: The Trump administration is in the process of sealing a major arms deal with the regime in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis will be purchasing $110 billion in weaponry from American armaments manufacturers, and this will be a major boon to the domestic U.S. armaments industry. The US is also attempting to strengthen the Saudi state in its war efforts in Yemen. The war is a manifestation of the ongoing conflict in the region between the Resistance Block and the Saudi-led Wahhabist block which aspires to hegemony in the Middle East. The triangular relationship between the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel is one that wishes to prevent the ascendency of any force in the region that could potentially challenge the dominance of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf, or Israel’s ongoing expansionist program. The ambition of the United States in attempting to strengthen the Saudi military is to counter the influence of independent regimes in the region that resist U.S. hegemony such as Iran or Syria, and to oppose non-state tendencies which also resist US hegemony such as Hezbollah. The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia with regards to the petroleum industry must also be considered. The current US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is the former CEO of the Exxon Mobil petroleum firm, which is the largest foreign investor in Saudi Arabia.
Tasnim: Trump made a speech for 50 leaders of Muslim countries attending the so-called “Arab Islamic American Summit” during his two-day visit. It seems that Arabs are still excited about Donald Trump, even as the president’s position among his own people continues to collapse. What do you think? Do you believe Trump is looking for more respect abroad?
Preston: The Arab states to which you refer are those states in the Middle East which are part of the wider triangular relationship between the Atlanticist, Zionist, and Wahhabist forces that I previously mentioned. At present, the hegemonic influence of this triangle is being challenged in the region by the actions of the various forces that collectively comprise the Resistance Block, and by the efforts of certain nations within the BRICS axis to assist this challenge. In particular, the United States is opposed to the development of a closer relationship between Iran and Russia, Iran’s support for on the ground forces such as Hezbollah that are resisting the growth of Salafist terrorism in the Middle East, the military assistance that has Russia has given to President Assad of Syria during the course of the civil war in that country, the role of Iran and Syria along with Hezbollah as counter forces to Israeli expansionism, and the ambitions of China to assume a more active role in the economic development in the region, particularly in Afghanistan. The majority of Arab governments are controlled by forces that are part of the wider Atlanticist-Zionist-Wahhabist triangle, particularly those in the Persian Gulf, so it is certainly predictable that they would welcome greater recognition from the Trump administration.
Tasnim: According to a recent article published in the Atlantic, “US strategists have long dreamed of creating an indigenous military coalition in the [Persian] Gulf that could take some of the security burden off the 35,000 US troops stationed there—or perhaps free up some of those 35,000 troops to do jobs elsewhere in, say, the Asia-Pacific region.” Kindly share your thoughts with us.
Preston: A major difficulty that the nations of the Persian Gulf have faced is their failure to maintain effective military forces that are capable of engaging in combat with their rivals in the region. The performance of the Saudi military in the past, for example, has been very lackluster. Rather than seeking to develop their own forces, the states in the Persian Gulf have sought to rely on the support and protection of U.S. military forces that are stationed in the region. This constitutes a major military commitment on the part of the United States. If the Persian Gulf nations such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and others were to develop an effective and competent military coalition of their own, the United States would be able to relocate its own troops to other areas where the US has a perceived interest. The Asia-Pacific region is certainly one of these given the growing dispute over the South China Seas islands, the ongoing conflict with North Korea, and the desire of the U.S. to prevent China from becoming the hegemonic power in the region.
Tasnim: As you know, since March 25, 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to Hadi. According to Yemen’s Legal Center of Rights and Development, the Saudi campaign has claimed the lives of over 12,000 Yemenis and left more than 20,000 others wounded. Media reports suggest that Trump will use his Saudi Arabia trip to announce one of the largest arms sales deals in US history – somewhere in the neighborhood of $98bn to $128bn worth of arms. What’s your take on Saudi military aggression on Yemen and US support for it?
Preston: The Houthi Ansarullah is aligned with Iran, and part of the wider Resistance Block. Therefore, it is obvious that Saudi Arabia would wish to prevent the growth of the Houthi Ansarullah in Yemen as an insurgent political and military force. Iran is Saudi Arabia’s principal rival in the region, and Saudi Arabia certainly does not wish for an Iran-friendly regime to come to power in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is a nation that has one of the worst human rights records in the world, and this is reflected in Saudi Arabia’s war policy in Yemen, which seems to have little concern for the humanitarian consequences of the war or the civilian casualties that are being generated. The United States also has a lengthy history of providing aid to regimes with terrible human rights records, so it is doubtful that the human rights situation in Yemen is of any concern to the United States. Instead, the primary objective the United States is to assist its Saudi ally in the defense of its own hegemony in the Persian Gulf, and to counter the influence of Iran.