The US and Saudis at odds over Iraq

NY Times:

During a high-level meeting in Riyadh in January, Saudi officials confronted a top American envoy with documents that seemed to suggest that Iraq’s prime minister could not be trusted.

One purported to be an early alert from the prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, to the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr warning him to lie low during the coming American troop increase, which was aimed in part at Mr. Sadr’s militia. Another document purported to offer proof that Mr. Maliki was an agent of Iran.

The American envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, immediately protested to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, contending that the documents were forged. But, said administration officials who provided an account of the exchange, the Saudis remained skeptical, adding to the deep rift between America’s most powerful Sunni Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, and its Shiite-run neighbor, Iraq.

Now, Bush administration officials are voicing increasing anger at what they say has been Saudi Arabia’s counterproductive role in the Iraq war. They say that beyond regarding Mr. Maliki as an Iranian agent, the Saudis have offered financial support to Sunni groups in Iraq. Of an estimated 60 to 80 foreign fighters who enter Iraq each month, American military and intelligence officials say that nearly half are coming from Saudi Arabia and that the Saudis have not done enough to stem the flow.


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.

American military and intelligence officials have been critical of Saudi efforts to stanch the flow of fighters into Iraq, although they stress that the Saudi government does not endorse the idea of fighters from Saudi Arabia going to Iraq.

It is a good dumping ground for Saudis who could be causing trouble at home. What is not said in the article, because it is the NY Times and they never think of things like this, is the role that the Democrat bug out strategy is playing in the Saudi attitude. If the Saudis see the US pulling out, they see the Sunnis at the mercy of the Shia in Iraq and they want to be in a position to stop a genocide. At the same time they would be playing into the hands of al Qaeda which would love to see the Sunni Arab states step in and continue the Chaos they have been trying to foment. If it were clear that the US was going to stay and help establish a stable government that would be fair with all parties, they would be less inclined to intervene.

The NY Times needs to understand just how pernicious their Editorial Board policy and that of the Democrats is in the region. That comprehension is unlikely to cross their minds as they continue to make the Bush administration the duty scape goat for all that goes wrong. Being a liberal and and a Democrat means never having to take responsibility for the consequences of your policies.


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