From 1979 to 1989, the Soviet Union was involved in a long, drawn out war in Afghanistan which came to be known as “Russia’s Vietnam.”  At the time, the US was backing anti Russian forces in the country.  Those forces – collectively known as the Mujahideen – were fighting against the pro-Soviet Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

One of the main leaders of the Mujahideen was Osama Bin Laden – originally from a wealthy Saudi Arabian family – and were ultimately successful in toppling the government.  They didn’t, however, form a new government right away, and ultimately the Pakistan and Saudi-backed Taliban were able to seize control.  These radical groups backed Bin Laden’s attack on the US in September 11, prompting the US to enter a near-decade-long war in the country.

Unfortunately, it seems that neither Russia nor the US has learned much from history, and the geopolitical conflicts of the Cold War have shifted almost entirely to the Middle East.  Russia’s control over Europe’s oil supply gives the country a substantial amount of influence in that region, but the oil comes from the Middle East, making it the strategically relevant region of the 21st century.

The difference between the Middle East and the former battleground of Eastern Europe, though, is that in the 1940s, Eastern Europe had no strong regional powers.  The empires which had previously dominated the region had disintegrated, and no one had replaced them.  The Middle East, however, does have its own strong regional players.

The Saudis and Iranians are vying for control over the Middle East, and each support different sets of regional forces.  The Saudis are allied with the USA, while Iran is backed by Russia and China; the Saudis support Al Qaida, and Iran supports Hezbollah.  The Saudis support the rebel forces – much as they did in Afghanistan – while Iran’s alliance is with Syria’s current leader, Bashar Hafez al-Assad.


It’s in this context that recent reports of Saudi-Russian negotiations have emerged.  In a recent meeting with Vladimir Putin, Prince Bandar bin Sultan tried to urge the Russian President to withhold support from Assad’s regime.  The Saudi Prince and intelligence leader reportedly offered Putin a multi-billion dollar arms deal, as well as guaranteed continued control over Europe’s oil supply.

Russia declined, but Russian and Lebanese reports have detailed other alleged incentives from Saudi Arabia.  Russia’s relationship with Syria gives it a warm-water naval base on the Mediterranean, and Bandar promised to safeguard that even if Assad is removed from power.  He also issued threats, according to those sources, including threatening the Russian Olympics next year.

“The Chechen groups which threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he said, adding that “We use them in the face of the Syrian regime, but they have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”  He said this to assuage any potential Russian concerns over helping the Chechen terrorists who have killed so many Russian civilians.

It’s worth noting that, as America backs the Saudis, and they back Al Qaida and the Chechen terrorists, through its relationship with the House of Saud, America is actually helping to fund terrorism against both Russia and itself.  The moral implications are far greater than any inaction in Syria.  Involvement in Syria will support Saudi Arabia more than it does anyone else in the region, or indeed the world.  The Russians have every right to be skeptical of the Saudis, just as the US has every right to be skeptical of Iran.

Unlike Eastern Europe, the Russian-American geopolitical games in the Middle East will have no positive impact on the region or its people.  Both countries are acting as mere pawns for regional empires with no moral conviction in their relations with other nations, or even toward their own citizens.  To support either is shortsighted and actively detrimental, and could easily lead to more of the long, drawn out conflicts both Russia and America have experienced in the region.

The following two tabs change content below.
Profile photo of Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook is a writer and a political activist. He has interviewed many politicians including Rand Paul, Walter Jones, Bob Graham, Trey Gowdy and thought leaders who shape U.S. policy. He is a host of 'Beer and Politcs' on Truth In Media. If you have any tips please email him at Find him on Twitter @RealJoshuaCook

Reality Check: Donald Trump May Be RIGHT on Birthright Citizenship!

Enter to win $500 of Gold or Silver from Anthem Vault!

Enter below or CLICK HERE for more details.

"Like" Ben Swann on Facebook

    Great article, shared!

  • Kevin Merck

    The same people who’ve been suppressing technology in order to keep us chained to the gas pump are insisting that we risk WWIII to keep us in cheap oil.
    These same people are demanding huge tax increases to pay for “global warming” that, (if it exists) was caused by suppressing new technology that would have vastly decreased our dependence on oil.
    These criminals cause the problems, create ‘solutions’ purported to deal with the problems, which further exacerbate the situation.
    Stop playing the game. Find ways to stop giving them your money. Stop feeding the beast that will eventually destroy life on earth.

    • jeff

      BINGO! They create problems and show up on your door step with a money making solution. Research the start of Pharmaceutical companies it’s the same thing. They create disease and illness and sell you a fix. Money makes the world go round and your government will sell out 100% of the time to make more for themselves.

  • jac

    Interesting article on the geopolitics of the Syrian issue. There’s another issue further complicating matters… the US is committed to preventing Iran from regaining its former Persian Empire, which with a continued Al Assad regime means Iranian influence from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush. Power of this magnitude could transform Iran from a mere regional force to a much larger problem. The US, not matter who sits in the oval office, will never allow that. From the US perspective, Middle East instability is preferable to any one country, in this case Iran, from becoming too powerful. There’s another angle to ousting Al Assad for the US, it cuts into Russian influence in the Levant, as well as Iranian. Thus, in an odd way, US involvement in Syria is another type of war by proxy on Russia, and Iran, Russia’s ally. At the same time, the US doesn’t want the rebels to win either, so the strategy will probably be to project enough military force to damage Al Assad’s regime, without removing it. Thus, civil war and instability in the region will continue, with a nod of approval from the House of Saud. Ugly as it is, this is how the US maintains its status as the world’s only superpower.

    • LocalHero

      If you think the US is the “world’s only superpower”, you’re delusional. The fact is, the terrorist state of Isra-hell pulls the strings of the US, thus they are a superpower and try crossing Russia and see how fast the US fleet sinks to the bottom of the Persian Gulf and you will see the evidence of another superpower as well.

      • jac

        Being a superpower doesn’t mean having unlimited power. But the simple fact is the US Navy controls all the world’s sea lanes, and thus international trade. Russia, China, Iran are strong regional powers, but no single nation or coalition of nations can yet challenge the US. That’s not a fantasy or opinion, it’s the hard reality. Not to realize that is what’s delusional.

        • Keg

          No coalition of nations can challenge the US?

          You sir, are the delusional one.

          • jac

            Nevertheless, the fact remains they cannot and will not for several decades to come. Rest assured, if they could, they would. The US is free to engage in global commerce, wage war and
            intervene in any region it chooses, and no one can do anything to stop
            them. It is an immense empire with unparalleled geopolitical power, and it taxes its citizens into bankruptcy to finance its global ambitions, and through wars like the one in Syria now being contemplated. That’s why websites like this are so vital. Citizens must be informed, educated and alert. We’re not looking for other nations to help us. That only leads to more tyranny. Only we can help ourselves by becoming informed and actively involved in some positive way. But deluding oneself about present realities doesn’t help.

          • Keg

            A coalition of nations such as Russia, China, Iran, Syria, DPRK–if a coalition like that ever came together–they could challenge the US. However, a coalition like this would never come to fruition. The London Bankers would not let it happen, and the US military is their muscle.

            However, do not delude yourself into the US empire is invincible. The Romans did that too. I agree with all your points, but am stating that “some coalition” down the road could easily defeat us, in time.

  • tim

    When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

  • srmmedia

    So the Saudi Prince promises to help fight terrorism but then hints at the fact that He can order the Chechens Not to Attack the Olympics in Sochi if Putin complies with their demands? I wish Putin would have pulled out a gun and shot that fucker right there on the spot. Russia unlike the US is actually trying to fight terrorism not make deals with it.

  • Mom442

    Has everyone forgotten that nearly all of the alleged conspirators of 9-11-01 were Saudis?

    • Catstop Thespam

      inside job for sure. theres no doubting it now.

  • John
  • Robert Zraick

    I would only comment that Iran today is our enemy because of what we did to them 50 years ago. It is now run as a theocracy by religious extremists, but it was our action ousting an elected president and putting in power a dictator which eventually had the consequences we see today.

  • CMJO

    I would like it if you actually told the full story behind Chechens and their country. You sound like the MSM on this.

  • James Neuhaus

    The second paragraph on Afghan history is incorrect. The actual truth does not clash the rest of the essay, but it enables the questioning the veracity of the piece as a whole.

    After the Soviet Backed Khalq party was ousted a new national government formed under Burhanuddin Rabbani. This government was internationally recognized, though it was little more than a confederation of warlords. Multiple factions broke off and began fighting over the capital, Kabul. The writ of the national government never extended beyond the lands held by the warlords within the government. It was from the lawlessness that the Taliban arose in Qandahar (allegedly with the aid of the ISI).

    It was during 1996, the final year of the Rabbani government, that then anti-government Islamist Abdur Rasul Sayyaf allegedly invited Usama bin Laden to come to Afghanistan due to his expulsion from Sudan. The two had ties from when UBL operated aid camps in the FATA during the war against the Soviets.

    Sayyaf joined with the Taliban’s government, the Islamic Emirate of Afganistan, and was named the governments Tribal Affairs Minister. He later had a falling out with the Taliban, though not over ideology, he remains a hard-line Salafist to this day where he draws a paycheck in Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament, the Wolesi Jirga.

    There has not been any indication of collusion between al Qaeda and the Taliban in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks, though al Qaeda did show their appreciation for their hosts by conducting a suicide attack on 9/9/2001, killing the leader of the Taliban’s main opposition group, Ahmed Shah Masoud.

    The Taliban had similar Salafist ideologies as al Qaeda, though their primary reason for providing sanctuary was due to tribal custom. The Taliban were a predominantly Pashtun movement, and were bound by the Pashtun code of Pashtunwali. In particular the custom of “pana” required them to provide sanctuary for any person or group who sought it. Revoking that right required serious deliberation by local elders. Furthermore, they were obligated by “melmastia” to provide aid and comfort for their guests, regardless of their opinion of them.

  • Jonathan Schreiber

    The US Government has no qualms over being allied with Saudi Arabia because of their ties to Al Qaida. The US helped to create Al Qaida, we gave Bin Ladin and his troops military training and weapons to help them in getting Russia out of Afghanistan.

    I have no doubt they have been a military asset ever since. Being that most American’s know nothing of real history in general made it easy to use them as scapegoats for the 9-11 bombings. This should be completely evident to anyone with a brain now that again the US is pushing to fund and lend military aid to Al Qaida and the rebels in Syria. Why would the US Government ever even CONSIDER, putting money, weapons, or ANYTHING for that matter into the hands of a group that supposedly were completely behind the perpetration of 9-11??

    Syria’s leader is no fool, he knows that the US and its allies military power more than dwarf’s his own. Why would he provoke them by using chemical weapons on civilians, especially children? It does however seem totally plausible that if the US Government wanted to bolster support for military action against Syria that they would use children being killed by chemical weapons to do so. Almost everything on mainstream media these days is nothing but a soap opera whose soul purpose is to deceive and distract the American people.

    Most American’s will say ideas like this are crazy, but the US Government has a long history, almost a tradition, of either staging or in some cases completely making up events to justify going to war, and the public swallows it hook, line, and sinker EVERY time! Of course most American’s have no idea about most of these lies because they are not taught to us in school…. EVER! So as one generation passes the new never hears about the scandals of the old, so they don’t have any reason to believe they need to keep up their guard against such things.

    One of the biggest truth’s about history is the age old saying, “Those that fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it.” I would be willing to guarantee that at least 75% of American’s have no idea what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin, or Iran Contra, or Watergate, etc. etc. etc.

    The indiscretions continue forward and backwards throughout history. Why anyone with any semblance of intelligence would begin to believe things like this don’t happen anymore I will never understand, but if I had to make a guess it would be because they never knew things like this had happened in the first place.

  • SmartE

    “Saudis support Al Qaida” –> False statement.
    “Saudi Prince threatening the Russian Olympics next year” —> Source is not credible.