HISTORY YET UNWRITTEN: THE SAUDIS AND IRAQ'S OCCUPATION
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in a rare burst of emphatic public diplomacy
, is attempting to forestall any change of course in American policy in Iraq by the Bush administration. This is coupled with the abrupt resignation of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States
, former longserving intelligence chief, Prince Turki bin Faisal. It was Turki who was the Saudi bagman to the Afghan mujahedin and later to the pro-Wahabbi faction of the international Islamist movement.
Turki is the bursar of Sunni jihad and a one-man liason with a dozen foreign intelligence services and Turki's departure from Washington should be seen in that light. In case any of our more provincial members of Congress missed the significance, the KSA regime added the infamous tagline " to spend more time with his family". Kudos to the al-Saud for attempting to speak the language of the natives!
Clearly, the senior princes and King Abdullah are quite exercised over the ISG report. As they should be. Regardless of the content of the report, it represents pressure by the American elite on the Bush administration to change the status quo on Iraq and the House of Saud prefers the misery of the present to the risk of uncertainty.
This begs the question of what role backstage Saudi pressure and patronage of their Sunni co-religionists have played in the debacle that was the Iraqi occupation ? The Saudis were one factor among many the Bush administration had to consider and, naturally, the KSA would be playing to its perceived interests as was Israel, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Jordan, not to mention the European allies. But the drip, drip, drip of compromises to soothe Saudi sensibilities may have added a large weight on the scale toward the state of paralysis in which we find ourselves.
Or not. It will be sometime after 2008 when the memoirs start cranking out and even longer to the distant day when FRUS 2001-2004 is published.