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U.S. Officials Voice Frustrations With Saudis, Citing Role in Iraq - New York Times

On July 19, 2007, we asked if there was a GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY TO HIDE THE REAL ENEMY? Now we find that even the left-leaning New York Times is also beginning to question our government's handling of Saudi Arabia which continues, either directly or indirectly to provide support to those who are killing our United States troops.

Specifically, the newspaper took note of...

"Officials in Washington have long resisted blaming Saudi Arabia for the chaos and sectarian strife in Iraq, choosing instead to pin blame on Iran and Syria. Even now, military officials rarely talk publicly about the role of Saudi fighters among the insurgents in Iraq."

The accounts of American concerns came from interviews with several senior administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they believed that openly criticizing Saudi Arabia would further alienate the Saudi royal family at a time when the United States is still trying to enlist Saudi support for Mr. Maliki and the Iraqi government, and for other American foreign policy goals in the Middle East, including an Arab-Israeli peace plan.

"The Bush administration’s frustration with the Saudi government has increased in recent months because it appears that Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to undermine the Maliki government and to pursue a different course in Iraq from what the administration has charted. Saudi Arabia has also stymied a number of other American foreign policy initiatives, including a hoped-for Saudi embrace of Israel."

"Of course, the Saudi government has hardly masked its intention to prop up Sunni groups in Iraq and has for the past two years explicitly told senior Bush administration officials of the need to counterbalance the influence Iran has there. Last fall, King Abdullah warned Vice President Dick Cheney that Saudi Arabia might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq’s Shiites if the United States pulled its troops out of Iraq, American and Arab diplomats said."

"Saudi Arabia months ago made a pitch to enlist other Persian Gulf countries to take a direct role in supporting Sunni tribal groups in Iraq, said one former American ambassador with close ties to officials in the Middle East."

"Even as American frustration at Saudi Arabia grows, American military officials are still cautious about publicly detailing the extent of the flow of foreign fighters going to Iraq from Saudi Arabia." 

"The American officials in Iraq also say that the majority of suicide bombers in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia and that about 40 percent of all foreign fighters are Saudi. Officials said that while most of the foreign fighters came to Iraq to become suicide bombers, others arrived as bomb makers, snipers, logisticians and financiers."

Which should come as no surprise to Americans who realize that fifteen out of the nineteen aircraft hijackers who perpetrated 9/11 were of Saudi birth as is Osama bin Laden (D--Afghanistan/Pakistan).

BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE...

Many historians believe that much of the Mid-East terrorism is due to the overt or covert support of the Saudis as they pay tribute to terrorists to avoid attacks against the Saudi Royal Family which may result in the overthrow of the Saudi government. As is the apparent Saudi policy of pointing at external entities such as Israel to distract their citizens from the chaos and corruption of  that apparently points back at the Saudi Royals.  It seems to be an official policy to turn a blind eye to the behavior of the younger members of the Royal family as long as their escapades occur outside the Kingdom and their is plausible deniability -- by claiming these stories are lies planted by enemies of the regime.  Again, quoting from the New York Times...

"...Saudi Arabia is concerned that these young men could acquire insurgency training in Iraq and then return home to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia — similar to the Saudis who turned against their homeland after fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980s. "

While many people in the United States point to some mythical oil conspiracy involving Saudi Arabia and the Bush family, the truth may be far different. In fact, in a longer historical view, the Saudi's probably view George Bush as a transient political occupant of the Office of the Presidency -- and possibly an "ineffective" one at that. According to the New York Times...

"The Bush administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has deteriorated steadily since the United States invasion of Iraq, culminating in April when, bitingly, King Abdullah, during a speech before Arab heads of state in Riyadh, condemned the American invasion of Iraq as “an illegal foreign occupation.”

"A month before that, King Abdullah effectively torpedoed a high-profile meeting between Israelis and Palestinians, planned by Ms. Rice, by brokering a power-sharing agreement between the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and the militant Islamic group Hamas that did not require Hamas to recognize Israel. While that agreement eventually fell apart, the Bush administration, on both occasions, was caught off guard and became infuriated."

"But Saudi officials have not been too happy with President Bush, either, and the plummeting of America’s image in the Muslim world has led King Abdullah to strive to set a more independent course."

Reference: U.S. Officials Voice Frustrations With Saudis, Citing Role in Iraq - New York Times

Far from projecting a warm and welcoming presence, Wikipedia notes that "Human rights in Saudi Arabia are generally considered to be minimal to non-existent."

"Under the authoritarian rule of the Saudi royal family, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has enforced strict sharia religious laws under a doctrine of Wahabism.  Many western freedoms as described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights do not exist; it is alleged that capital punishment and other penalties are often given to suspected criminals without due process. Saudi Arabia has also come under fire for its oppression of religious and political minorities, torture of prisoners, and attitude toward foreign expatriates, homosexuality, and women. Although major human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have repeatedly expressed concern about the states of human rights in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom denies that any human rights abuses take place. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has ratified the International Convention against Torture in October 1997 according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Israeli citizens and travelers with Israeli stamps on their passports are forbidden to enter the country. It has been stated that Jews of any nationality are not allowed visas."

Which brings us to the Saudi export of radical Islam through their establishment of foreign mosques which often preach a virulent form of Wahabism. This single fact could explain in-country attacks from a nation's own citizens after having been radicalized at local mosques.

WHICH POSES A DILEMMA: DO WE DO A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL OVER OIL?

Obviously, the United States does require the oil that is produced by Saudi Arabia who is said to possess the world's largest proven oil reserves yet discovered as well as the largest production capacity.

So far, President George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, along with the unsung nameless diplomats and negotiators have successfully walked through the Middle Eastern minefield. Democrats notwithstanding, one cannot help but note that the Bush Administration has achieved a degree of unacknowledged success in pursuing America's interests in the gulf.   

But our future is uncertain and our dependence on foreign oil to support our economy is going to prove to be one of the great challenges of our times. The main question remains, are we prepared to do a deal with the devil over oil? Will the United States ever hold Saudi Arabia responsible, as well as the other nations, that continue to roil emotions and fortunes in the Mideast? I thank my lucky stars that I am not responsible for the outcome of this national defense situation.

What can YOU do?

About the power struggles in the Mideast -- Nothing. These people have been fighting among themselves since the seventh century and will continue to do so without provocation. Golda Mier, esteemed Prime Minister of Israel, famously said: "Even if you remove the State of Israel from the region, they will continue to fight each other." "When their Mothers care more for their children than they do their religion, then there will be peace. I can forgive them for killing our children. What I cannot forgive is making us kill their children."

You can support the current Administration and help end some of the divisiveness which emboldens our enemies. If, and when, the Administration should change, you should support them also.

You can urge your elected officials to ignore the demands of the energy lobby and other special interests who do not want the United States to be totally energy independent and seek out solutions which can significantly reduce the influence of  foreign interests on the national stage.

You can also urge your elected officials to ignore the shrill strident demands of the so-called environmental  movement which has been infected with socialists, communists and anarchists who have a distinct anti-American agenda and who have extended their influence deep into the democrat party.

You can support law enforcement efforts to route out those who would harm our nation or its citizens.

Know your neighbor and be vigilant. Be aware of those who do not seem to fit in or act in a strange manner. Join your Neighborhood Watch program or convey your suspicions to the proper authorities.

-- steve

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