Saudi Regime Not Strong Enough to Wage War against Lebanon: US Pundit

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A former US army psychological warfare officer and counter-terrorism analyst based in San Francisco ruled out the possibility of “a serious military-political regime change operation” by Saudi Arabia against Lebanon, saying Riyadh is not strong enough to wage such a war.

Saudi Regime Not Strong Enough to Wage War against Lebanon: US Pundit

“If there is an actual military aggression planned…, this would be a show and a bluff, but not a serious military-political regime change operation,” Scott Bennett said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.

“The reason is Saudi Arabia is not strong enough to wage such a war because it would naturally trigger a larger conflict with Iran, Syria, Russia, and China,” he added. 

Bennett is a US Army Special Operations Officer (11th Psychological Operations Battalion, Civil Affairs-Psychological Operations Command), and a global psychological warfare-counterterrorism analyst, formerly with defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. He received a Direct Commission as an Officer, held a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI) security clearance, and worked in the highest levels of international counterterrorism in Washington DC and MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. He has developed and managed psychological warfare theories, products, and operations for US Special Operations Command, US Central Command, the State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and other government agencies.

The full text of the interview is as follows:

Tasnim: Recently, there has been an exodus of nationals of some Arab states from Lebanon. The exodus comes in response to the call from the foreign ministries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE to their respective citizens who are in Lebanon to return to their countries and to avoid travel to Lebanon. Is there any possibility of an impending war against Lebanon?

Bennett: All international conflict consists of four (4) dimensions:  military, economic, diplomatic, and informational.  In other words, a nation engaged in war against another seeks to degrade, damage, and dominate its opponent through military attacks (troops, tanks, ships, etc.), economic attacks (sanctions, trade, resources, etc.), diplomatic attacks (United Nations sanctions, international criminal court complaints, International Monetary Fund legal attacks, etc.), and informational attacks (propaganda/psychological warfare, media stories, documentaries, etc.).

The first stage of war, “informational”, occurs when communications are sent out to disrupt and divide the population of the target nation.  So, in this case, it seems the Saudi Arabian official channels like Al Arabiya are trying to frighten people in Lebanon, and intimidate the government of Lebanon, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran with the threat of a larger conflict.  However, this most likely is all bluff and smoke and posturing.

If there is an actual military aggression planned, the scenario will be that the Israeli Zionist government and Saudi Crown Prince will initiate a short-term “flash” conflict against Lebanon in the next 3-6 months a vain attempt to strengthen their image and influence in Lebanon, and thwart the influence of Iran and Syria.  This would be a show and a bluff, but not a serious military-political regime change operation.  The reason is Saudi Arabia is not strong enough to wage such a war because it would naturally trigger a larger conflict with Iran, Syria, Russia, and China.  Another reason for a short-term conflict would be to boost the price of oil, which is an immediate geopolitical goal of Saudi Arabia because of the danger of an economic collapse in Saudi Arabia and resulting social unrest and revolution.

Tasnim: As you know, Lebanon's former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, announced his resignation in a televised statement from Riyadh on November 4, citing many reasons, including the security situation in Lebanon. He also said he sensed a plot being hatched against his life. Hariri blamed interference in Lebanon by Iran and Hezbollah Resistance Movement for his decision to quit, an allegation the two have repeatedly denied. What is your assessment of the developments? Do not you think that the resignation was part a Saudi-Israeli plot to hit Iran and Hezbollah?

Bennett: Prime Minister Hariri is the first casualty of the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon started by the warmongering rogue Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Despite the flamboyant theatrics of the Saudi Arabian propaganda ministers desperately trying to spin the situation, the truth is that Prime Minister Hariri was most likely lured back to Saudi Arabia by Prince Mohammad bin Salman himself, then illegally taken into “protective custody”, most likely psychologically tortured, and then coerced to say he resigned from his position as part of a larger entrapment launched by Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

As part of his takeover and ascension to the Saudi throne, Prince Mohammad bin Salman had planned on June 21, 2017 to arrest, torture, and eliminate his competitors for the throne (his fellow princes and family) by organizing a technology conference in Saudi Arabia, where all kinds of wealth, investments, and promises for a brilliant future would be presented.  The trap succeeded.

It is interesting that on the evening of Hariri’s announcement, Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) initiated an extraordinary anti-corruption raid, leading to the arrests of 11 Saudi princes, four ministers, and many businessmen.

At the very Ritz Carlton hotel where the conference was held, Prince bin Salman expelled the guests and transformed the hotel into a prison, and arrested on “corruption charges” 11 Saudi princes, four ministers and many businessmen.  Several of these princes were killed, one of which was a close friend of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri.  Mohammad bin Salman then tried to make a deal with his prisoners, promising to pardon their corruption and close their files and release them in exchange for their sworn loyalty and allegiance to him as the new King of Saudi Arabia.  In fact, the official Saudi news Al Arabiya even tweeted a photograph of Mohammad bin Salman with a caption stating he was “the new King”.

Tasnim: A week after his shock resignation, the Saudi-allied Hariri rejected claims that he is being held in the kingdom against his will. He said he was "free" and will be returning to Beirut "very soon" in his first interview to his own TV station from Saudi Arabia. Now he is in France, what do you think about his remarks?

Bennett: Saudi Arabia is a political regime in rapid disintegration and chaos, and is acting out of desperation and fear.  In understanding the situation, we need to analyze the actions and mindset of the Saudi-Israeli-US alliance and agenda.

Judging by his facial expressions, breathing, swallowing, and body posture, Hariri was terrified for his life, and fully aware that if he doesn’t not say and do everything “suggested” to him by his Saudi captors, the best he can hope for his a quick “accidental” death, and the worst is a slow, agonizing, horrifically repulsive death the Saudi torturers can imagine.

This past summer, it was clear that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was positioning himself to take over the kingdom, and setting up traps for his family competitors.  President Donald Trump visited Riyadh and made comments to suggest that the US policy was to stand with and protect the Saudi regime and use them as a pawn in the US-Israel-Saudi conflict against Syria and Iran.  President Trump also began to aggressively label Iran as the main terrorist sponsor, which is either incredibly naïve or deceitful, given the overwhelming evidence proving Saudi Arabia is, in fact, the leading sponsor of violent regime change and terrorism in the region, such as in the nations of Libya, Syria, and Iraq.

Now we also see that the Israeli government is offering Saudi Arabia intelligence on Iran, in an obvious preparation for some kind of joint Israeli-Saudi-US operation against Syria and Iran.  The danger in this blunder would be that Russia, Iran, and China would weigh in on the side of Syria, and simultaneously launch internal attacks inside Saudi Arabia as a counter-coup against Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Additionally, we see that the United States military in Syria has allowed large groups of people, many of whom are suspected ISIS-Al Nusra terrorists, who had been found in the city of Raqqa, to leave the area in convoys—possibly returning them to Turkey, Europe, and other areas.  US Col. Ryan Dillon, of the Joint Task Force, stated at a press conference that out of the people leaving Raqqa, four were detained, and 296 were allowed to leave Raqqa. This clearly one of the greatest blunders or acts of betrayal since the U.S. entered Syria—for they are setting up future wars with fighters that could have been eliminated, but instead were rescued by the U.S. under the false flag of “refugees”.

Let us never forget that Prince Mohammad bin Salman in his younger years proclaimed a desire to raise an army and “liberate parts of Persia” from the Shiite, using his own mercenary Wahhabi mercenary force—trained by the American and British CIA and MI6 (intelligence services). The fact that Prince Mohammad bin Salman has constantly had his eyes toward Iran in some fanatical bloodthirsty desire for “war” cloaked in a Wahhabi insanity, should symbolize the danger all nations face with such a madman sitting in the political throne of Saudi Arabia.

We also see the intensification of the Saudi policy of regime change and domination of the region through its war against Yemen, the strangling of Qatar, and its continual financing of the ISIS-Al Nusra mercenary wars in Syria and Iraq.  All of these factors are rapidly turning the world against the Saudi government, and leading to act out of fear and desperation for what inevitably will result from this insanity, arrogance, or blindness by the Saudi regime.

It is hoped the people of Saudi Arabia will rise up to overthrow such a tyrannical dictatorship abusing both the people of the Arabian Peninsula and its neighbors, but upon overthrowing Prince Mohammad bin Salman, introduce a new Saudi government—perhaps a coalition of groups and tribes--that ends the violence against Qatar, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran, and bases its foreign policy and economic resources on peace and tolerance into the region.

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