Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cheney's Trip to Saudi Very Important

Although it is fashionable among the mainstream media to trivialize VP Cheney, David Ignatius in the Washington Post has a thoughtful article outlining the serious nature of Cheney's latest jaunt to Riyadh.

As the Ignatius article notes, King Abdullah is very unhappy with Iraq, and has disdain for Nouri Al-Maliki, who is feckless and a virtual pawn in the hands of multiple factions within the Shi'ite community. Thereby, Al-Maliki becomes an unwitting or unwilling asset for Iran within the Iraqi government.

Unfortunately, Allawi whom Ignatius says is Abdullah's candidate for replacing the present PM, carries baggage of his own---not the least of which is that he was [or still is] an asset of the CIA.

But King Abdullah, who had a favorite wife who was Lebanese and who travelled to Beirut often, is as concerned with Iran's aims in Lebanon through its cats-paw Hezbollah, as he is with Iraq. If Hezbollah grasps control in Lebanon, the whole region may erupt in a cataclysm that will make Iraq look pale in comparison.

And the King's obsession with Yemen is no joke. I was told that in 1990 Cheney was told by Prince Bandar to bring aerial reconnaissance photos with him to persuade King Fahd to allow American planes and troops into Saudi territory. When Cheney and Powell met the King, Bandar took the photos with jets on the runway and said they were Iraqi jets in Yemen ready to pounce on Saudi Arabia [Cheney was told to bring generic photos with jets parked at an airport]. This spooked Fahd, who remembered that 40% of the people living in Saudi were of Yemeni origin or descent, and he promptly okayed the US troops into Saudi. Thereby starting a chain of consequences that drove Osama bin Laden around the bend. [The Yemenis are fierce fighters who drove the Egyptians out of their country in the '60s with aid from JFK and the Saudis].

Finally, Syria is a country from which King Abdullah's mother descends with the Shammar tribe living in the Syrian desert. He detests the detestable Boy Assad, but knows that he must sup with the devil to keep the Iranians from completely dominating this not-smart son of a very smart father.

Which in the final analysis, makes the Saudi King an ally with the Israelis, whose dislike of Hezbollah even exceeds King Abdullah's

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