December 14, 2006

Saudi Arabia's Own Civil War

US denies Saudis threatened to back Iraqi Sunnis:
Bush pointedly went out of his way to state Saudi Arabia was committed to a unity government in Iraq during a meeting with top military brass on next steps in Iraq at the Pentagon.

"It's in their interest they do so. And we're working hard with them to figure out a strategy to help the Maliki government succeed," he said, referring to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

"I'm pleased when the Iraqi leaders go to Saudi Arabia and talk to my friend the king of Saudi Arabia, and talk about how they can work together to achieve stability," he said.
Oh, really? So the Saudis fully support Bush's position (whatever it is today)? Then how to explain this, on top of previous comments: Saudi royal family, government split on Iraq:
The resignation of Prince Turki al-Faisal, after just 15 months as ambassador to Washington, for example, came after Saudi officials concluded he was not succeeding at building strong ties with the United States, a Saudi official said Wednesday...

Turki last week fired a Saudi security consultant, Nawaf Obaid, after Obaid wrote in The Washington Post that "one of the first consequences" of any American troop pullout from Iraq would "be massive Saudi intervention" in Iraq "to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis."

Saudi Arabia denied that Obaid was speaking on its behalf...

But the royal family has been sharply divided over what strategy to adopt toward Iraq, said two Saudis with close ties to the government, speaking anonymously because internal royal deliberations are highly sensitive. Some favor robust support of fellow Sunnis inside Iraq, while others urge caution.

The bottom line has been power struggles and indecision about the best course, both said.

"They have an obsession that Shiites and Iran will control Iraq, but they do not know how to stop that," said one Saudi. The other described what he called total confusion within the government over the best course.
Everywhere you look - Iraq, Dakota, Canberra, Brussels, the WaPo newsroom, the corner store, the local kindergarten - the divisiveness is apparent.

With us or against us. Patriots and ponces. Believers and infidels.

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