Prince Bandar and the Zionist Lobby: Maneuvering Obama into a Prolonged Syrian War
by Franklin Lamb on 30 Aug 2013 1 Comment

Tehran: The Bandar-Zionist lobby collaboration is currently the cocktail party talk of many in Washington, and given the three decades of mutual cooperation which started during Prince Bandar’s long tenure as Saudi ambassador in Washington, it is not in reality a case of strange bedfellows.


Based in Washington, but with a palace out west and up north, Bandar developed almost familial relationships with five presidents and their key advisers. In the 1980s he became deeply involved in the Iran-Contra scandal in Nicaragua, and in 2003 his voice was among the shrillest urging the United States to invade Iraq. And it was his intelligence agency that first alerted Western allies to the alleged use of sarin gas by the Syrian regime in February. Bandar has reportedly for months been focused exclusively on garnering international support, including arms and training, for Syrian rebel factions in pursuit of the eventual toppling of President Bashar al-Assad.

Reportedly, the Saudi-Zionist discretely coordinated effort, confirmed by Congressional staffers working on the US House Foreign Affairs Committee as well and the US Senate Foreign Relations committee is being led by Bandar protégé, Adel A. al-Jubeir, the current Saudi ambassador. It is also being facilitated by Bahrain ambassador Houda Ezra Ebrahimis Nonoo, the first Jewish person, and third woman, to be appointed ambassador of Bahrain. Long known, for having myriad contacts at AIPAC HQ, and as an ardent Zionist, Houda Nonoo has attended lobby functions while advising  associates that the “Arabs must forget about the so-called Liberation of Palestine. It will never happen.”

The Bandar project has set its sights on achieving American involvement in its third, and also hopefully its forth (the Islamic Republic), war in this region in just over one decade. It is labeled the ‘surgical strike project,’ according to one Congressional staffer, and as of 8/26/13 its organizers are blitzing US Congressional offices with “fact sheets” making arguments in favor of an immediate sustained air assault, an effort being helped along by the anguished cries of Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and their ilk.

The lobby’s missive details why the project will succeed, and why also it will turn out to be a political plus for Obama, who increasingly is being accused of dithering by this same team. Bandar is arguing that Syrian threats to retaliate against Israel are only political posturing because Syria has never, and will never, launch a war against Israel - for the reason that it has no military capacity to do so, that Israel could level Damascus and the Baathist regime knows this well.  

In addition, the Prince and his partners insist that Iran will do nothing but complain because it has too much to lose. Iran will not response other than verbally and has no history of attacking the US or Israel and would not risk the unpredictable consequences of a military response by the Republic Guards or even some of its backed militia in Iraq or Syria. Sources in Tehran have reported otherwise to this observer.

Hezbollah, it is claimed, will not act without orders from Tehran, which has instructed it to maintain its heavy weapons in moth balls until the coming ‘big war’ with Israel. It is widely agreed that if Israel attacks Iran, the region will ignite with Hezbollah playing an important role in targeting occupied Palestine.

McClain, a former pilot in Vietnam, is even pushing “weapons to be employed” list, which includes advising the White House and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on how to do their jobs. Congressional sources report that there is tension between McCain and the Pentagon because the Senator is implying that the Pentagon doesn’t know its job or what assets it has available and how to use them.

The Saudi official acknowledges that a military strike is a game changer, especially for Russia, but this does not mean Russia will stand up to the US militarily, as the losses in this case would be severe. The end result? Russia will lose its bargaining chips, which could have bought them the consensus they need, political as well as economic. All this is reportedly acceptable to the Prince and the lobby.

The timing of such an attack, according to knowledgeable sources in Damascus and Washington, would probably last no more than two days and would involve sea-launched cruise missiles and long-range bombers. As for striking military targets not directly related to Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, the matter hinges on three factors: completion of an intelligence report assessing Syrian government culpability for the chemical attack; continuing consultation with allies and Congress; and the Department of State’s International Law Bureau’s preparation of a justification of the whole enterprise under international law. One of the most common phases being uttered by AIPAC to congressional offices this week are the words, “Assad’s massive use of chemical weapons”.

Bandar has reportedly agreed that Israel can call the shots, but that the air assault will be led by the US and involve roughly two dozen US allies, including Turkey, the UK and France. The German weekly ‘Focus” reported on 8/26/13 that the IDF’s 8200 intelligence unit bugged the Syrian leadership during the chemical weapons attack last week and that Israel ‘sold” the incriminating information to the White House.

Arriving in Washington on 8/26/13 was an Israeli group that included Maj. Gen. (res) Amos Gilad, director of the Political-Security Staff in the Defense Ministry; Maj. Gen. Nimrod Shefer, director of Planning Branch; and Brigadier Gen. Ital Brun, director of the Research Department. After some intense discussions, the shared some of their tapes with US officials.


The Bandar/AIPAC arguments being pushed by this delegation, and being spread around Capitol Hill under the guise of “Israel sharing its sterling intelligence,” can be summarized as follows:

The US must avoid half measures to pursue a limited punitive response to the CW use; what is needed is a sustained Bosnia style bombing campaign until Bashar al-Assad is removed from office; and that the use of the CW affords President Obama an undeserved opportunity to correct his errant Middle East policies. 

As Israel’s agent, Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) is telling anyone who is willing to listen, “Obama’s deep reluctance to engage in Syria is clear to all. This hesitancy is part of his policy to wind down US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and his championing of the idea of “nation building at home.” It is not understandable and to the millions of Americans who see Syria as a heaven-sent contest between radical Shiites and radical Sunnis, it is unwise and inappropriate”.

As the Saudis are currently spinning it, the Obama administration is in a faceoff with Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its Iranian sponsors who believe they can put a stake through the heart of US power and prestige in the region by testing the president’s “red line” on the use of chemical weapons (CW). Also WINEP is arguing in a memo just issued, “For Assad, large-scale use of CW serves multiple ends -- it demoralizes the rebels, underscores the impotence of their external financiers and suppliers, and confirms to Assad’s own patrons that he is committed to fight to the bitter end. For the Iranians, Assad’s CW use makes Syria -- not Iran’s nuclear facilities -- the battlefield to test American resolve.”

For Bandar and his Zionist collaborators, the key issue is not whether Obama authorizes the use of American force as a response to Syria’s use of CW. Rather, the key imperative is that the US use whatever force is necessary to achieve regime change and to choose the next regime, assuring in the process that it will be friendly to Israel.

WINEP and AIPAC argue that if US military action is designed to only punish Assad for violating the international norm on CW, it will merely have the effect of defining for the Syrian leader the acceptable tools for mass killing - delineating perhaps only the maximum tolerable quantities of CW to use at any given time - and will have little impact on the outcome of the Syrian conflict; in fact, it might just embolden Assad and his allies.

Bandar has told Congressional friends, some of whom he has known for decades, that if American military action is undertaken, it must be designed to alter the balance of power between the various rebel groups and the Syrian/Iranian/Hezbollah alliance. This will require a wholesale change in US on-the-ground strategy to supply and train well-vetted opposition militias.

For Israel and its agents, the worst possible outcome would be a victory by the Assad/ Iranian/ Hezbollah axis - something which a fiery but brief barrage of cruise missiles could in fact make more, rather than less, likely. A global power thousands of miles away cannot calibrate stalemate to ensure that neither party wins; the US has to assess the most negative outcomes and use our assets to prevent them.

The Bandar-Zionist project is still not irreversible. The Pentagon and especially Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, are very concerned and have threatened to resign in protest, for they realize that there is a grave risk that the Syrian response will lead to a clash with one of its neighbors, a US ally. Any scenario is possible from the moment that the first missile leaves American ships in the eastern Mediterranean.

Sources in Iran and Syria have advised this observer that they expect the US bombing to commence within 72 hours.

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Iran and Syria; his email is; courtesy Franklin Lamb

User Comments Post a Comment

Back to Top