US Feuds With Saudis Over Iraq

Apparently, the Saudis believe the Al Maliki government is beholden to Iran:

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. . . . 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.

So the Saudis are fueling the Sunni insurgents, who we are working with to defeat Al Qaida in Iraq in Anbar? And we are upset about that? Hard to figure what the plan is. More.

The Administration seems utterly without even the most remote sense of how ironic this all is:

One senior administration official says he has seen evidence that Saudi Arabia is providing financial support to opponents of Mr. Maliki. He declined to say whether that support was going to Sunni insurgents because, he said, “That would get into disagreements over who is an insurgent and who is not.”

No kidding.

Senior Bush administration officials said the American concerns would be raised next week when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates make a rare joint visit to Jidda, Saudi Arabia. Officials in Washington have long resisted blaming Saudi Arabia for the chaos and sectarian strife in Iraq, choosing instead to pin blame on Iran and Syria. Even now, military officials rarely talk publicly about the role of Saudi fighters among the insurgents in Iraq.

Because playing ostrich has worked out so well.

This part is pure comedy, but tragic to us:

The American officials said they had no doubt that the documents shown to Mr. Khalilzad were forgeries, though the Saudis said they had obtained them from sources in Iraq. “Maliki wouldn’t be stupid enough to put that on a piece of paper,” one senior Bush administration official said.

But would he have been doing these things through other channels? No denyig that possibility,. Who is the stupid one here?

More tragicomedy:

Of course, the Saudi government has hardly masked its intention to prop up Sunni groups in Iraq and has for the past two years explicitly told senior Bush administration officials of the need to counterbalance the influence Iran has there. Last fall, King Abdullah warned Vice President Dick Cheney that Saudi Arabia might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq’s Shiites if the United States pulled its troops out of Iraq, American and Arab diplomats said.

And apparently BEFORE American troops pull out. Is the Bush administration THIS stupid? I know. Stupid question.

And here is another outstanding Bush Administration aciheivement in the foreign policy realm:

The Bush administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has deteriorated steadily since the United States invasion of Iraq, culminating in April when, bitingly, King Abdullah, during a speech before Arab heads of state in Riyadh, condemned the American invasion of Iraq as “an illegal foreign occupation.”

Chalk up another "accomplishment" for the Bush Administration's Iraq Debacle.

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    Looking The Other Way (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 12:44:26 AM EST
    Interesting piece about the Al Rajhi bank and terror funding via Laura Rozen:

    The Journal reports on the US looking the other way on terror financing when it comes to Saudi Arabia.

    A year after the 9/11 attacks, U.S. authorities began to lament the lack of Saudi action in taking down terrorists' financial infrastructure. A November 2002 CIA report said the Saudi government "has made little independent effort to uncover terrorist financiers, investigate individual donors, and tighten the regulation of Islamic charities," largely because of "domestic political considerations."

    Whose domestic political considerations?

    The report advised against a noisy confrontation: "A key factor for continued successful counterterrorism initiatives with the Saudis, whose society is by tradition private, closed, and conservative, will be to ensure that their cooperation with the United States is handled discreetly and kept as much as possible out of the public eye."

    The key to what?

    BushCo and the Saudis...hmmmm.  Wouldn't want to piss them off now, would he? Lot's of history that, er... needs to be handled discreetly and kept as much as possible out of the public eye

    Key to what? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 01:27:45 PM EST
    13 of the 19 suspected 9/11 hijackers were (are?) from Saudi Arabia.

    "When you have a security contract, you know the inner workings of everything." Stratesec, a now-defunct company that had security contracts at the World Trade Center and Dulles International Airport, should be investigated, among others, because of the strange coincidence that President Bush's brother, Marvin P. Bush, and his cousin, Wirt D. Walker III, were principals in the company
    Morgan Reynolds, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Texas A&M University

    See, this is one of those things (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 10:12:16 PM EST
    that David Petraeus' Counterinsurgency manual doesn't address.....this is a Swofford moment when no standard procedure exists and everybody involved has nothing left to do but lose their collective mind.

    It's a depressing mess (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 10:45:44 PM EST
    I can't think of much else to say.

    Friends (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 26, 2007 at 11:46:21 PM EST
    "That would get into disagreements over who is an insurgent and who is not."

    So the Saudis are fueling the Sunni insurgents, who we are working with to defeat Al Qaida in Iraq in Anbar?

    That says it all. We have no business being over there. Time to leave. ASAP

    And what year is this??? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 11:29:34 AM EST
    How many of the 9/11 perpetrators were Saudi?  Where is Osama bin Laden from?  The presence of our military in what nation, near what holiest of Islam's shrines, caused OBL to go insane in the first place?  

    Careful to dig too deeply (none / 0) (#6)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 11:43:13 AM EST
    You never know what you may find. WE don't want to go down the conspiracy road. Collectively, it seems we all want to look the other way in regards to the Saudi/Bush connection.

    It wouldn't be about the oil, would it? Nahh....

    Not Just Oil (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 11:45:20 AM EST
    But a huge money laundering operation that happens to be legal in SA. Remember BCCI?

    Oil, money, power (none / 0) (#8)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 12:05:45 PM EST
    and corruption - it all runs together and when someone has the gall to put the dots together, they're called a conspiracy theorist as pushed aside as a radical or maverick and casually told to be quiet or rick not being taken seriously. Some will even call for apologies for suggesting there is a connection. So, we look the other way and call it a tragic comedy, when it really is corruption at its worst and we don't have the guts to admit how deep it really goes -even with the evidence staring us in the face.

    Unholy alliances (none / 0) (#9)
    by Al on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 12:51:17 PM EST
    It's easy to lose track of who is supposed to be your friend and who is supposed to be the enemy when one's foreign policy is based exclusively on unprincipled opportunistic alliances, and the belief that one is so powerful that diplomacy or negotiation are unnecessary. It's also easy to get confused when one is an incompetent idiot.

    Iran (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 09:50:20 AM EST
    The tiff is over.

    WASHINGTON, July 27 -- The Bush administration is preparing to ask Congress to approve an arms sale package for Saudi Arabia and its neighbors that is expected to eventually total $20 billion at a time when some United States officials contend that the Saudis are playing a counterproductive role in Iraq.

    Some officials??? Of course no names, please.


    And WaPo:

    The Bush administration will announce next week a series of arms deals worth at least $20 billion to Saudi Arabia and five other oil-rich Persian Gulf states as well as new 10-year military aid packages to Israel and Egypt, a move to shore up allies in the Middle East and counter Iran's rising influence, U.S. officials said yesterday.

    The arms deals, which include the sales of a variety of sophisticated weaponry, would be the largest negotiated by this administration. The military assistance agreements would provide $30 billion in new U.S. aid to Israel and $13 billion to Egypt over 10 years, the officials said. Both figures represent significant increases in military support.

    Got to keep the pot boiling. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 10:03:12 AM EST
    Divide and conquer the Middle East.

    After 70 years of broken Western promises regarding Arab independence, it should not be surprising that the West is viewed with suspicion and hostility by the populations (as opposed to some of the political regimes) of the Middle East.

    ...the new order will be far more dangerous than the old, because it will feature an activist U.S. foreign policy without the inhibitions that were formerly imposed by the superpower rivalry. That bodes ill for the people of the Middle East, as well as for the long-suffering American citizens, who will see their taxes continue to rise, their consumer economy increasingly distorted by military spending, and their blood spilled--all in the name of U.S. leadership.

    Sheldon L. Richman, August 16, 1991, A few months after the Gulf War...

    Housecleaner Run Amok? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 10:14:24 AM EST
    Steven R. Hurst and Qassim Abdul-Zahra of the Associated Press get the scoop that relations between Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and US Gen. David Petraeus are so tense that aides to al-Maliki say he has considered asking Washington to pull the general out of Baghdad.

    Juan Cole

    Hard to civilize those Arabs, no? After all the money we spent on them, they seem so ungrateful. How rude.


    Yes, Bush, Petraeus, and the neocons (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 10:33:51 AM EST
    have a problem, don't they?

    "The only thing these sand ni**ers understand is force and I'm about to introduce them to it."