Thursday, January 2, 2014

Calling Prince Bandar: Russia’s Pre-Olympic Terrorism Problem


With the recent spate of terrorist bombings threatening to undermine Russian President Vladimir Putin's international showcase Sochi Winter Olympics it would be advisable for the Russian leader to arrange an urgent sit down with Prince Bandar bin Sultan aka Bandar Bush. It has been reported that during the summer when the Saudi intelligence chief and former ambassador to the United States in order to obtain Putin's backing for the preempted attack on Syria issued a guarantee of safety from terrorism for the international sports festival. The leaked diplomatic reports of the then secret meeting stated that Bandar allegedly told Putin that “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us”. He also reportedly offered up a huge oil deal that was extremely favorable to the Russians. Putin became furious over the House of Saud's extortion and rejected the offer/implied threat.

According to a piece in Consortium News entitled The Russian-Saudi Showdown at Sochi:

I was told by a source close to the Russian government that this mix of overt inducements and implied threats infuriated Putin who barely kept his anger in check through the end of the meeting with Bandar. Putin viewed Bandar’s offer to protect the Sochi Olympics as something akin to a Mafia don shaking down a shopkeeper for protection money by saying, “nice little business you got here, I’d hate to see anything happen to it.”

Putin then redoubled his support for the Syrian government in response to Bandar’s blend of bribes and warnings. The source said Russia also issued its own thinly veiled threats against the Saudis. The Saudis may have substantial “soft power” – with their oil and money – but Russia has its own formidable “hard power,” including a huge military, the source said.

Months later the bombs started going off in the city of Volgograd triggering a wave of fear, dread and the inevitable crackdown by Putin as he has unleashed the full power of the authoritarian state for a huge crackdown and has vowed to "annihilate" those responsible for the attacks. While it has yet to be determined who actually is responsible for blowing up a railway station and a bus as well as killing at least 34 people and maiming more - it is as mysterious as who really gassed those civilians in Ghouta - it would be hard to blame Putin for not ordering his military to enter the target coordinates for the Saudi royal palace in Riyadh into hundreds of missiles.

In addition to threatening the winter games and spoiling Putin's recent public relations offensive the bombs resonate as a political message in that Volgograd was formerly known as Stalingrad, the site of one of the bloodiest battles in human history as well as Russia's greatest triumph. It was in this very city that the Nazi war machine was delivered a devastating blow from which it never recovered as after bombings reduced the place to rubble and civilians engaged the German army in savage hand to hand guerrilla warfare. Then the full fury of the Russian winter set in and Stalin's armies were able to encircle and subsequently destroy the invaders delivering a humiliating defeat to Hitler that he never recovered from. This is going to become very, very personal to Putin, especially if the bombings continue.

The corrupt American state media is doing its part in fear-mongering and spreading disinformation in a not at all subtle attempt to embarrass Putin and undermine the Olympics. In the trademark Orwellian establishment of villains someone named Doku Umarov, the ‘Emir of Caucasus' is being blamed. This conjures up memories of the first days after those attacks on September 11, 2001 'the day that changed everything' when the media trotted out Emanuel Goldstein Osama bin Laden and the one eyed Mullah Omar to whip up the sheep into a nationalistic frenzy and justify launching a war of choice on Iran, a country that posed no threat to the U.S. and had zero to do with the attacks despite the incessant brainwashing. Fox News of course leads the pack with "Russian terror attacks could be chilling prelude to Olympic violence, say experts" - very likely the same paid think tank spinners and military flacks. Considering that Fox doesn't have the broadcast rights the network will continue to exploit the bombings to undermine Putin and of course find some way to blame everything on Obama, probably due to his backing out of his end of the deal to bomb Damascus over the ginned up gas attacks.

The Obama administration, while offering "security" help to Russia to help protect the Sochi games has to be more than a bit delighted behind the scenes at the prospect of embarrassing Putin. Obama already threw an ugly tantrum over the Russian leader's offer of temporary amnesty to former government contractor turned NSA leaker Edward Snowden and he would likely relish the prospect of offering up his crackerjack fascists at the NSA to assist with mass surveillance. If this is the case it would probably be a cover for going after Snowden and either rendering him for torture and life in a CIA black site prison or a drone strike.

As for the Saudis, one of the largest supporters of terrorism in the world there assuredly will be some serious payback in their future if Putin ever is able to find a link to the attacks after his meeting with Bandar Bush. You can say one thing about Russia is that it is NOT America where the country where fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers hailed from yet somehow remained a trusted ally.