Oops, 7 Days. Hey look I don't update on weekends.

US: Actually Saudi Arabia is the real source of trouble

Well this is good news I think that they are finally being realistic about part of what's going on:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/usiraqsaudidiplomacy

"Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries are not doing all they can to help us in Iraq"


See, that's really telling them! Gloves are off!
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 30th, 2007 7:48am
OK kiddies, what country were the majority of the 9-11 terrorists from?

And which country did we invade?

Bonus question: How are the two connected?
Permalink xampl 
July 30th, 2007 8:18am
>How are the two connected?
Via a long unguarded border.
Permalink Peter 
July 30th, 2007 8:52am
Saudi Arabian citizens could get visas to the US, Iraqis could not, back in 2001. Not sure if that's still the case today.
Permalink Full name 
July 30th, 2007 8:55am
The US has been trying to engineer a split between the Sunni and Shia regimes. Unfortunately Saudi hasn't been going along with the US game so now they are starting to apply pressure.

King Abdullah said the American invasion was unjustified and the Americans should get out. Naturally the neo cons are not amused.

The Saudi government has in fact done a marvellous job of containing Al-Qaeeda and capturing those members within Saudi. What it can't do however is keep the border permanently guarded (though it is building an immense wall) and even if it could it still wouldn't stop people going in via Jordan or Syria.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
July 30th, 2007 10:52am
So let's sell $20 billion in military hardware. I gave my local crack dealer a tank because he was a trouble source.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 30th, 2007 11:13am
I can only wonder how long after the sale of arms to SA before some of them end up in the hands of Sunni insurgents in Iraq and/or in the hands of Hamas soldiers.
Permalink Full name 
July 30th, 2007 2:33pm
">How are the two connected?
Via a long unguarded border."

ROTFL!
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 30th, 2007 3:26pm
"The US has been trying to engineer a split between the Sunni and Shia regimes."

Right, because those two groups have always got along fabulously before.

???
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 30th, 2007 3:27pm
>The US has been trying to engineer a split between the Sunni and Shia regimes [1].
All of the muslim countries are controlled by Sunnis except for 2: Iran and Iraq. In the Sunni-controlled countries, they are most often shut out of power. In KSA [2], the sunnis live mostly in the northern and eastern regions (where most of the oil it located), and are treated as barely muslims.

>When the people have protested - peacefully they claim - the riot police have come in with tear gas, truncheons and rubber bullets.

>When I told a senior government minister, Hassan Fakhro, about the riots in Malkiya, he expressed surprise. And he denied it was evidence of discrimination against the Shia.

>But many among the Sunni elite believe Iran is behind the unrest.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/crossing_continents/6908274.stm

To try to fool the US/UK public, as well as to rationalize the discrimination in the muslim world, any case of "uppity" shiites will automagically be blamed on Iran. Whether those uppity shiites are located in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Bahrain, or any other location.

>I can only wonder how long after the sale of arms to SA before some of them end up in the hands of Sunni insurgents in Iraq and/or in the hands of Hamas soldiers.

Well, today's wall street urinal has an interesting article on that point:

>When the Islamist group Hamas conquered [3] the Gaza Strip in June it seized an intelligence-and-military infrastructure created with U.S. help by the security chiefs of the Palestinian territory's former ruler.

>According to current and former Israeli intelligence officials, former U.S. intelligence personnel and Palestinian officials, Hamas has increased its inventory of arms since the takeover of Gaza and picked up technical expertise -- such as espionage techniques -- that could assist the group in its fight against Israel or Washington's Palestinian allies, the Fatah movement [4] founded by Yasser Arafat.

>Hamas leaders say they acquired thousands of paper files, computer records, videos, photographs and audio recordings containing valuable and potentially embarrassing intelligence information gathered by Fatah. For more than a decade, Fatah operated a vast intelligence network in Gaza established under the tutelage of the Central Intelligence Agency.

>Close ties between Hamas and the governments of Iran and Syria also mean that intelligence-and-spying techniques could be shared with the main Middle East rivals of the Bush administration. As the White House prepares to lead an international effort to bolster Fatah's security apparatus in the West Bank, the losses in Gaza stand as an example of how efforts to help Fatah can backfire.

>The compromised intelligence Hamas says it now has ranges widely. The group alleges it has videos used in a sexual-blackmail operation run by Washington's allies inside Fatah's security apparatus. But the group also says it has uncovered detailed evidence of Fatah-controlled spying operations carried out in Arab and Muslim countries for the benefit of the U.S. and other foreign governments. Hamas also alleges that Fatah intelligence operatives cooperated with Israeli intelligence officials to target Islamist leaders for assassination.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118575064310581669.html?mod=mostpop

When our previous beloved dictator [5] in the region was deposed, similar reconstructions of intelligence and fascist control organizations [6] were taken over by the rebels. We've propped up KSA and Egypt in a manner similar to how Iran was propped up, and I don't have a lot of confidence in their stability except at gunpoint. Egyptian presidents only leave office feet-first, and the latest crook managed to "pass" [7] a referendum that outlaws all political parties except the one in power.

Notes:

1 - The distinction between Sunni and Shia would more accurately be described as a difference in interpreting "the word of god" and the lineage of who is entitled to adjudicate "the word of god"; and is analogous to the distinction between Catholic and Protestant. In the UK, it is forbidden for a Catholic to ascend to the throne, or for one who is married to the throne to remain on the line of succession. Folks listed as "skipped" are ineligible mostly because they are Catholics or married to one (39 on that list are listed as "legitimated" meaning they were "bastards" in the legal sense: parents unwed at time of birth).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Settlement_1701
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_of_succession_to_the_British_Throne
2 - the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Also known as "the magic kingdom" because like Disney, KSA is surprisingly devoid of logic and reason while being held together by religous fanatics.
3 - Fatah lost the elections and chose not to leave office/power. So they're really engaging in a coup/treason. I've pointed out in the past that the Arab world doesn't have a precedence for leaving office when your time is up. The legend of Cincinatus was made popular by Geo Washington, and that became the standard in the US, although I believe that bush/cheney will concoct some atrocity to cancel the 2008 elections and remain in power forever.
4 - The more correct name for Fatah is Palestine Liberation Organization. It still has the destruction of Israel clause in their charter.
5 - Shah Reza Pahlavi.
6 - Such as SAVAK.
7 - Independant election observers state that the turnout for the referendum was 7-8%. There are reports that government workers were offered approx $100 to vote *for* the change.
Permalink Peter 
July 30th, 2007 7:55pm
"The US has been trying to engineer a split between the Sunni and Shia regimes."

Huh? While the US's hands weren't clean, Iran and Iraq did a pretty good job of butchering themselves.

Stephen, why do you apologize for these guys? I'm not saying that you have to like Israel, but these guys are some of the worst people on the planet.
Permalink LeftWingPharisee 
July 30th, 2007 9:27pm
----"In KSA [2], the sunnis live mostly in the northern and eastern regions (where most of the oil it located), and are treated as barely muslims."-----

I presume you mean the Shias and not the Sunnis. The Shias are generally kept out of the armed forces but are over-represented in the oil and related industries - mainly because as you say they live where those industries are.

I teach in the best university in Saudi Arabia and the Shias are something like 50% of the number of students (I can't say exactly because nobody bothers that much about the difference). Hardly being treated as second class citizens, and no comparison with the way the Israelis treat Arabs or Palestinians.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
July 31st, 2007 3:49am
>I presume you mean the Shias and not the Sunnis.
Yeah. Had a browser malfunction and had to retype all that over again.
Permalink Peter 
July 31st, 2007 8:52am
"Hardly being treated as second class citizens, and no comparison with the way the Israelis treat Arabs or Palestinians."

Huh? What about the Philipinos, Indians, etc.?
Permalink  
July 31st, 2007 6:10pm

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