Democrats & Liberals Archives

Let Saudi Arabia Do It

There is a civil war going on between Shi’ites and Sunnis in Iraq, and U.S. is stuck in the middle. We are trying to get the majority Shi’ites to be nice to the minority Sunnis. It will never happen because the Shi’ites remember well how they were treated when Saddam Hussein and his Sunni bretheren were in power. Now that the famous Shi’ite shrine in Samarra was bombed a second time, the civil war will definitely go on.

The Golden Mosque in Samarra is one of the four holiest Shi'ite shrines. Yesterday it was devasted by twin explosions. What a horrible development.

Some time back, Saudi officials told American leaders that they would not stand by and see the Sunnis in Iraq obliterated in a civil war. I don't know if this specific incident is their handiwork. But the Saudis are definitely in Iraq fighting in defense of their Sunni bretheren. Raymond J. Learsy tells it the way it is:

One could argue that much of what has happened and is happening in Iraq is in large measure due to Saudi influence on our government and its policies, starting with the fifteen Saudis on those four planes, as well as the vast amount of petrodollars they are able to bandy about. Perhaps it is time to take King Abdullah at his word and give him our rusted keys to Iraq and let him use his petrodollars to set things straight.

Why should U.S. fight for the interests of Sunnis against the interests of the Shi'ites? This is what we are doing there. Were we to leave, we believe the Shi'ites would slaughter the Sunnis. So we stay and defend the defenseless Sunnis.

But the Sunnis are not defenseless. Saudi Arabia is already helping them. Why don't we leave Iraq and allow Saudi Arabia to take over America's part of the job? This would make Saudi Arabia happy and U.S. happy.

Once we leave, Saudi Arabia will increase its forces and fight as long it can. When Saudi Arabia gets tired of fighting, it will try to bring about a cease fire. This they will not be able to do without Iran, which champions the Shi'ites. Sooner or later Saudi Arabia and Iran will reach some kind of accommodation within the world of Islam.

Americans are not needed in Iraq. Let Saudi Arabia do it.

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 14, 2007 5:22 PM
Comments
Comment #223206

The Administration line about the terrorist following us home if we left Iraq just might be a crock. Why would they wait? Our borders and ports are wide open. Here America sits all fat and happy obsessing over a hotel heiress doing jail time. Or how the Sopranos could have ended better. All while our armed forces are being used up in the desert.

Our troops patroling the mean streets of Baghdad and getting killed or maimed by IED’s doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me as a military strategy. Regrouping and rebuilding does.

Posted by: bigkenzombie at June 14, 2007 6:41 PM
Comment #223210

I have read a few proposals, nothing mainstream (unfortunately) that suggested developing a coalition of Mideast countries (NOT Western European or the U.S.) and slowly turning over control of Iraq to them to rebuild or fight over as they please. Obviously, the proposals are more in-depth, but that is basic idea.

As a nitpick on my part, Paul wrote:

We are trying to get the majority Shi’ites to be nice to the minority Sunnis. It will never happen because the Shi’ites remember well how they were treated when Saddam Hussein and his Sunni bretheren were in power.

It’s far more complicated then simply memories of when Saddam was in power. The Sunnis and Shi’ites have been killing each other for over 1000 years! There is more going on here then “current politics.”

The Sunni and Shia (Shi’ite) split occurred immediately following the death of Muhammad. The Sunni accepted the first three successors to Muhammad and the Shia only recognized the fourth onward. Wars were fought, martyrs were created, and subtle differences developed over time.

Today many differences exist ranging from how leaders are selected to what laws are observed, to how many times a day a Muslim prays, etc…And every Muslim (at least in the Middle East) is taught their religious history and why their beliefs are superior.

I guess the point of my long, off-topic history lesson, is that to look at the Middle East and only consider 20th Century conflict is to miss the larger picture. The Middle East has been in conflict with each other and occasionally the Pope for over 1000 years. It was idiotic of the current Administration to think they could “alter” or “end” the current conflict, particularly through force, and it’s stupid to continue to remain in Iraq under false pretenses with impossible goals.

Posted by: Peter at June 14, 2007 8:05 PM
Comment #223213

Yeah, you’d think someones nearest neighbors would be involved in such a way as to diminish any overreaching catastrophe.

Like a real super-power would never allow a neighboring countries poor to languish to the point that it created an international immigration problem, eh?

No need for governmental intervention………the goodness of mankind will see us all through.

Now to find a good man—-or woman!

Posted by: KansasDem at June 14, 2007 9:56 PM
Comment #223219

Even if the Saudis were willing or able to take on such a role (which I seriously doubt), putting more of the Middle East in the hands of the sponsors of Wahhabiism can’t be a good idea.

But you’re probably right that if the US left, a vacuum would be left in which extremist Saudi-sponsored Sunnis would duke it out with extremist Iranian-sponsored Shias withoout even the level of inhibition we have now, spreading murder and mayhem through Iraq at an even higher rate than we’re already seeing.

Don’t forget that beside this Saudi-Iranian conflict, we’d also get open war between Turkey and Iraq’s Kurds.

If they all want to kill each other in their own homes, that’s alright with me, but the problem is that with all of these proxy wars going on, there would be a real danger of conflict spreading like wildfire out of Iraq and totally destabilizing the entire Middle East, sucking in one country after another and eventually leading to World War III.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 14, 2007 11:26 PM
Comment #223236

Not to mention LO, a huge spike in the cost of oil, leading to probably drastic economic consequences in the West, including the US, which could possibly see the dollar fall off a cliff. Bush 41 knew in in 91 that toppling Saddam would be the easy part. He also knew, or at least was advised that toppling Saddam would be catastrophic, leading to the kind of madness we see there now. Junior however, who never in his life achieved anything of substance or made any worthwhile contribution to his society, was seduced, or perhaps more accurately used as a useful idiot, by the real power brokers to advance their nefarious ends.

Was it Confucious who warned to be careful what you wished for, cos you must might get it? Well, as Colin Powell said, baby, it’s yours! damned if you get out, and damned if you don’t! I have to say that’s its amusing the see the mighty US armed forces being used by the different factions in Iraq for their own ends, the same factions who will turn on the US forces when they lose their usefulness. See linked article below;

http://tonykaron.com/2007/04/26/why-the-us-cant-leave-iraq/

Isn’t it true that people usually get what they deserve? I wonder if that is true of countries also?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 15, 2007 9:08 AM
Comment #223268

Peter-

Excellent post !

-

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 16, 2007 12:28 AM
Comment #223270

Paul in Euroland, let me know if you’re aware of any political websites with a predominantly Irish audience. Knowing how much people of all countries appreciate such things, I think I’ll go over there and explain Irish history, politics, and government to them. I’ll also tell them everything I think is wrong with their country and their people and toss in for good measure some dire predictions about their future—which I’ve gleefully explain to them is so richly deserved.

Actually, I won’t. It would be extremely rude, not to mention a poor use of my time.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 16, 2007 1:28 AM
Comment #223274

Thank you LO that was nice and overdue.

Posted by: andy at June 16, 2007 3:03 AM
Comment #223277

And I’m Irish.

Posted by: andy at June 16, 2007 3:14 AM
Comment #223283

Paul,

Scholarly journal articles, now YEARS old, have shown the Saudi hand in the “Sunni” insurgency. I commented on this months and months ago and even provided references, but of course, documented facts are often overlooked here because it is easier for the below average (ok…and sometimes the average) intellect to attack rhetoric, opinion, and character.

The Saudi Royal family is walking a political and mortal tight rope with respect to Iraq and the “War on Terror”, just like our other Sunni “ally” Pakistan. The Saudi Royals are rich enough, however, that they do not need to publish a PR smoke screen, bullet-proof vest of a book!

Posted by: Kim-Sue at June 16, 2007 11:13 AM
Comment #223287

LO
As a scholar of Irish history you must be aware that Britain,as the occupying power ,was exporting food under military gard from Ireland during the famine. This is the same Britain that determined the shape of Iraq with a ruler.Many of the problems there can be attributed to the throws of post-colonialism by our great ally and coalition partner.
Euro-Pauls comments are germaine and your sarcasism breaks the fundemental rule of not attacking the messenger in discorse.

Posted by: BillS at June 16, 2007 11:34 AM
Comment #223294

BillS, nobody was personally “attacked,” and bringing up the Irish wasn’t an effort on my part to change the subject to them but to illustrate a point. (I’m part Irish myself and there are something like six times as many people of Irish descent in the US as there in Ireland itself.)

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 16, 2007 2:57 PM
Comment #223304

Paul Siegel-

Thank you for the plethora of information you

provide. Following your posts every day is better


than doing cross word puzzles.

Posted by: -DAVID- at June 16, 2007 7:03 PM
Comment #223349

There is some interesting thought about the possibility that the Islamic fundementalist attack on the west is actually part of the struggle for the throne of Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden is a Saudi.Custodian of the holy places etc. American bases in Saudi Arabia are one of the reasons given by al Queada for 9/11 and these bases and US arms sales to the Sauds are a source of stability to them. They are useing us as pawns. If you look at the big winners in the Iraq war they are clearly big winners.
I read the other day that over the last 30 years America has sent 70 TRILLION dollars to the Mid-East for oil. That is enough to insure that everyone there could have a decent home,education healthcare etc.There should be no poverty. It should be one of the richest most stable regions in the world except for the greed of despots like the Sauds.

Posted by: bills at June 17, 2007 2:54 PM
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