Monday, July 24, 2006

Saudis Want U.S. To Restrain Israel

So much for the talking point that the other major Middle East countries are tacitly backing the U.S. approach of sitting back and letting Israel settle the score with Hezbollah.

Over the past couple of days, much has been made of the silence of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia on the issue of the Israeli overreaction against Lebanon.

Administration apologists pointed to the Sunni/Shia schism as the reason why our less than democratic "friends" in the region have not objected, even diplomatically, to the pain being inflicted upon their fellow Muslims.

Yesterday, our important "ally" Saudi Arabia made their opinion known at the highest level:

The Saudi foreign minister personally urged President Bush yesterday to intervene to stop the violence in Lebanon, the most direct sign of mounting frustration among key Arab states with what they see as a hands-off U.S. posture toward Israeli strikes against Hezbollah.

In an Oval Office meeting yesterday afternoon, Prince Saud al-Faisal said, he delivered a letter to Bush from Saudi King Abdullah asking for U.S. help in arranging an immediate cease-fire, a stance U.S. officials have repeatedly rejected on the grounds that it is premature. U.S. officials would not comment directly on the request, saying only that the two sides discussed the humanitarian situation, reconstruction and how to end the violence.

This morning's detour by Secretary of State Rice to Beirut was likely motivated, at least in part, by a new found wish to appear more evenhanded in our diplomatic approach to the crisis.

The Saudi request for a cease-fire promised to further complicate an already difficult diplomatic mission for Rice, who departed for meetings in Israel and Italy last night after joining Bush in conferring with the Saudi delegation. The United States had been hoping to enlist moderate Arab allies in an effort to pressure Syria and Iran to rein in Hezbollah, but the Saudi move yesterday seemed to cloud that initiative. (...)

One senior European diplomat said the Saudis were also concerned that the package they expect the United States to present to European and Arab allies in Rome this week will be too heavily anti-Iran and anti-Syria.

Also, Jordan is said to be concerned about the mostly Shiite refugees from the Iraq war who now reside in their nation. There are approximately a million Iraqis in Jordan who probably are not too happy with the events in Lebanon. Jordan does not want to appear to be overly acquiescent towards the accommodating attitude being shown by the U.S. toward Israel.

A major potential threat at this juncture is the Shiite majority in occupied Iraq. If Ayatollah Sistani decides that the suffering of his Shiite brothers in Lebanon has reached an intolerable point, he can easily turn his amenable followers against the U.S. occupation. If the vulnerable American logistical lines from Kuwait were to be disrupted by the Shiites who dominate the South of Iraq, the U.S. endeavor there would be brought to a rapid (unsuccessful) conclusion.

12 Comments:

Blogger Meatball One said...

Hasn't Israel always wanted to take down the Saudis and see the Arab dog's OPEC smashed to smithereens? I've always thought the Israelis hated the power that oil brought their genetic brethren. If the Saudis want this ongoing mess stopped then it they probably perceive it as a threat to their interests...and I thus assume it is a threat per dogged design. The NeoCons ain't out for the count yet.

Go racist pig Nazis, Go.

7/24/2006 11:27 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

Israel has never been too fond of the Saudi funding of arab nationalist and radical Muslim causes.

It is in the Saudis' interest to snuff out this conflagration before it spreads regionally to a point in which the Princes' hold on the Kingdom becomes even shakier than it is currently. They probably called in some chits with the recalcitrant Bush administration.

I never count out the Neo-Cons. Like a bad penny, you know.

7/24/2006 12:32 PM  
Blogger R. Rodgers said...

Good for the Saudis, at least someone in the world see the insanity of the Bush Policy (or lack thereof). Hopefully they will encourage us to seek a cease fire, so we can come to our senses and begin a dialogue that will reduce tensions in the area.

7/24/2006 1:25 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

R Rodgers:

The pressure for a cease fire is increasing now to the point that something resembling one will probably be drafted in Rome on Wednesday.

When the warring parties finally get around to implementing such a thing is another question entirely.

7/24/2006 1:39 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Anyways, I see this Israeli adventurism as both a pretext provider for a hit on Iran and most importantly, I see it as an attempt to soften up the Hizzy so their is some modicum of damage control when Iran is hit. Better to hit Hizzy now and further neuterize the occupied territories as they will be an immediate threat to Israel when Iran is hit. Israel is fortressing its flanks for bigger things to come. Or so I believe.

An international force to establish a buffer zone would play nicely into Israel's attempt to buttress themselves from a hit on Iran.

7/24/2006 2:22 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

It's interesting to see how many an entrenched opinion is shifting, if ever so slightly in some Caucasion loci, against Israel.

WHat's bad is that Israel doesn't seem to be able to soften the enemies on their flank enuff to feel safe when Iran gets whacked. But again, a beleaguered Israel can be spun to further pretext an attack.

This prepwork for Iran is much slicker than for Iraq. I like it.

BTW, I agree, it's in the Saudi interest to snuff out the Hizzies and their likes. But get it wrong and it blowsback. And indeed it does seem to be going somewhat askew from how it must've been presented per Power Point presentation. Damn Power Point.

7/24/2006 2:43 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Meatball One:

You are likely correct about the Israeli motivation.

However, I think that the robust attack on Hezbollah and Lebanon itself may have been done at least in part to inflame Iran into doing something hasty that could be spun into a (somewhat) valid casus belli by the USA.

An international buffer zone would have to be pretty large to prevent Hezbollah from resuming rocket attacks upon their enemy. Anyway, Israel is currently having a hard time clearing Hezbollah-held territory. What are the odds that Hizzy will turn over their turf to an international force?

7/24/2006 2:45 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

...per Power Point presentation...

I read somewhere that Cheney gave the green light for the Israeli overreaction to pretext to Netanyahu and Sharansky at the Aspen Institute meeting a couple of weeks ago.

They must have had a heck of a Power Point presentation.

7/24/2006 3:05 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

the old honey trap eh? Sucker Iran into the pincer? Hmm, well that might not be such a wild idea since they're spinning a solid connection between Iran and Hizzy in lieu of Iran actually doing squat diddy.

Odds of Hizzy lettin' the UN wankers in? Well they're already in Lebbyland and haven't done much in curtailing Hizzy's growth and rocket caching.

Uscch, the UN pussies can't do dick there unless the US is prepared to do dick. All this buffer zone yackity yack is just showboat talk to hide the fact that this ain't a counterattack conflict but one long in the planning and part of an agenda that breaths deep continuity of purpose.

The ol' charade-parade to keep the talking heads on CNN stocked with enough material to play act as international conflict mediators instead of just being sticking to the chores inherent the 3rd rate journalist hacks they are, albeit with impressive hairlines framing incredidble hairdos with Paul Mitchellesque sheen.

That CNN Clancy fool-dude, is he for real?! Did he get tagged to bring retarded emotion a la O'Reilley to the table?

BTW, have you heard of the body parts of twin tower workers still being found atop the rooftops of buildings in the ground zero area. Isn't that odd? I mean scalps shooting out from the collapsing buildings...shooting out hundred's of yards? Ussch, I'm digressing.

7/24/2006 5:50 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

I can't really begin to envision what type of international force will get the job. But UNIFIL's 1900 or so troops ain't gonna be up to the job. They are an observer force, but as you point out, they haven't done a very good job observin' the Hezbollah build up.

I can imagine that CNN is putting on a real show. I have blissfully missed all cable coverage.

Re: the Towers. I had heard that report, but I have basically ignored all the noise vis a vis the wreckage since the federal government claimed that no CVRs or FDRs were found. And NYFD personnel said that at least 3 of the 4 were recovered.

7/24/2006 6:53 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

However, I think that the robust attack on Hezbollah and Lebanon itself may have been done at least in part to inflame Iran

OK, it's like this. I think that hypothesis is bullshit. But it still remains a highly probable scenario. But again, the furthest Im willing to stretch is to admit that the Hizzy snatch is an act of Pally solidarity. But Dude, even that concession is a stretch of my credibilities.

But again...I define myself solely per contraposition EFFWIT and my ol' BBQ buddy W.

I shit u not.

We really should meet up an wrestle. How 'bout Menton. The fare is on me...as long as it is Biz Clazz.

7/25/2006 9:20 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

However, I think that the robust attack on Hezbollah and Lebanon itself may have been done at least in part to inflame Iran

By inflame, I didn't mean that the Izzy/U.S. side meant to provoke a military response. Some undiplomatic (or even kooky) sentiments from Ahmadinejad or one of the mullahs would really help any propaganda program designed to paint Iran as dangerously belligerent.

7/26/2006 8:37 AM  

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