Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Saudi Arabia coercing U.S. to remain in Iraq indefinitely

This is why you don't go around invading other countries just because you want to. You might not be able to leave when you want to.

Until now Saudi officials have promised their counterparts in the United States that they would refrain from aiding Iraq’s Sunni insurgency. But that pledge holds only as long as the United States remains in Iraq.

The Saudis have been wary of supporting Sunnis in Iraq because their insurgency there has been led by extremists of Al Qaeda, who are opposed to the kingdom’s monarchy. But if Iraq’s sectarian war worsened, the Saudis would line up with Sunni tribal leaders.

The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who told his staff on Monday that he was resigning his post, recently fired Nawaf Obaid, a consultant who wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post two weeks ago contending that “one of the first consequences” of an American pullout of Iraq would “be massive Saudi intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis.”

Mr. Obaid also suggested that Saudi Arabia could cut world oil prices in half by raising its production, a move that he said “would be devastating to Iran, which is facing economic difficulties even with today’s high oil prices.” The Saudi government disavowed Mr. Obaid’s column, and Prince Turki canceled his contract.

But Arab diplomats said Tuesday that Mr. Obaid’s column reflected the view of the Saudi government, which has made clear its opposition to an American pullout from Iraq.
In fact, according to the Times, that was the reason for Dick Cheney's trip to Saudi Arabia a few weeks back. King Abdullah summoned the Vice-president of the United States to Riyadh to make it clear, face to face, that the U.S. had better not be thinking about getting out of Iraq. Imagine that. Dick Cheney has all but said he will refuse to testify before congress if and when he is ever called to appear before them, but he took Air Force 2 on a flight overseas so that he could get marching orders directly from a foreign leader.

The King of Saudi Arabia is, in effect, the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military, and it is not apparent that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have any problem with that.

How do you like your president's war now, Republicans?