Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's Not 1985

One of the things that often surprises me in seeing how people assess U.S. relations with states like Germany or Turkey is the extent to which they are still operating on 1980s assumptions. Saudi Arabia also falls into this category as well.

Saudi Arabia is joining the club of states around the world which are hedging their bets on the United States. And while there is certainly a great deal of overlap between Saudi and American interests, we can and no longer should assume that Washington's agenda is automatically Riyadh's agenda.

Eurasia Group analyst Rochdi Younsi pointed out some interesting facts from the ongoing Arab summit:

"King Abdullah’s keynote address labeling the situation in Iraq as an 'illegitimate foreign occupation' coincided with reports that he also declined an invitation to a 17 April state dinner that US President George Bush was to offer in his honor. ... [A]nti-US sentiment in Saudi Arabia and throughout the region remains on the rise, and King Abdullah cannot afford going against his public opinion. As a result, while Saudi back-channel diplomacy toward the US will continue to be active under Prince Bandar’s leadership, the king will likely avoid highly-publicized social events that may project agreement with President Bush’s policies.

"US-Saudi relations are likely to face new challenges in the near and medium term, mainly because of the two-track strategy that the kingdom has been pursuing. Such diplomacy will consist of maintaining a strategic alliance with the US while at the same time spearheading individual initiatives on regional matters, including the situation in Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq and Iran. ... Although princes from both sides of the dilemma fear the emergence of Iran as a major regional power, they also realize that Saudi Arabia will have to coexist with its Iranian rival and that compromise with Tehran should be sought. Consequently, the Saudi government is likely to oppose any military strike against Iran, while at the same time advocating strict containment of Iranian military capabilities."

Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal has endorsed Iran's bid to become an observer of the Arab League: "Given the importance and key role of the Islamic Republic of Iran and in order to further strengthen cooperation between Tehran and the Arab League, we voice our full support for Iran's membership in the League with observer status."

And Syria is trumpeting its role as a bridge between the Arab world and Iran.

Seems to confirm what Ray Takeyh and I noted in the Financial Times on February 15th: "[T]he region's Sunni powerhouses are much less inclined to support US efforts and, in fact, may obstruct them."

Someone caught unpreparaed --

"The Bush administration Thursday expressed surprise, and said it was seeking clarification, over remarks by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at the Arab League summit that the United States role in Iraq was an "illegal foreign occupation.""
Is it not obvious that the regional powers, (none of whom were EVER "good friends" of America) are hedging their bets on the socalled hypersuperiority of America, and entering into all sorts of unknown unknown arrangements with nations and organizations that are clearly expressly enemies of America.

All the world is realigning to combat, or defend against, and countermine American hegemony.

The fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government created a world where America is actually perceived, ( and with good reason, well justified evidence, and with almost global unanimity) as the great Satan.

The fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government ruthlessly and deceptively perpetuated the insane delusions and predatory imperialist machinations of the Pax Americana neverendingwar and empire agenda, and the way of the gun.

Now America must confront the global rejection of, or resistance to, this facsist delusional insanity - and hazard and burden the terrible costs of the Bush governments wayward misadventures, and wanton profiteering in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the failing prosecution of the socalled neverendingwaronterror for decades.

America idoitically followed these facsists criminals, profiteers, and madmeninto the abyss, and now we must all confront the unknown unknown uncertainties, furies, and mass murdering monsters the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government created.

"Deliver us from evil!"
It does appear that our Arab psuedo-allies are recognizing the limits of ties with the U.S. Intra-regional threats quite rationally should trunp extra regional threats. For all our posturing we simply are not in a geo-political position to care enough about the real interests of our Arab friends. I actually just made a post about this. Check it out.
Intriguing commentary travis.

No sane leadership could or would (for reasons of self preservation more than any noble objectives) "maintain their political ties to the eratic and unconstrained behavior of our admistration."

Subtract the Bush governments fascist disinformation, propaganda, and partisan pimping of hollow promises and visionary soothsaying, - and what the entire world must confront now is conflicting tyrants, despots, religous fanatics, and ruthless oligarchs battling each other in overt and covert ways for relative control of oil, and energy resources.

There are no more laws.
There are no more good nations operating in good faith for the betterment of their own people or mankind.
There are no more rules of engagement, or constraints in the prosecution of military force to achieve political and economic ends.

Perhaps these contructs never existed. But I reject the notion that prior to Bush governments' ruthless mangling, dismemberment, perversion, and betrayal of the Constitution, and the rule of law, - that America did not hold the standard of leader of the free world, and defender of democracy and freedom in the international arena, and particularly on the various "streets" in the international arena.

Now - America is the evil empire. America is the imperalist predatory occupier and slaughter of countless thousands on innocent people for the singular and exclusive profits of America's fascist leadership.

America is perverting and re-defining the essential concept and constructs of democracy.

America is operating tyannically above, beyond, outside, and in total disdain of our own laws, and every international legal precedent.

This is the unholy legacy of the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government.

The rest of the civilized, and notso civilized world is realigning in ways overt and covert, known and unknown unknown to reject, resist, and strike out against the predatory imperialism, fascist policies, and hegemony of the America.

Iran, (the victor in Iraq) is calling America's hypersuperior bluff.

The Saudi's are backing terrorist oranizations, and nations that support those terrorist organizations with total disregard to America's best interests in order to countermand the emerging regional dominance of Shi'a Iran.

Add to this nightmare, - the grim fact the 20% of the worlds oil flows through the Gulf of Hurmoz, and that Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran are the major oil suppliers to the entire world, - and the obvious, easily predictable outcomes are more the disturbing.

$200.00 a barrel oil. A global economic crash approaching depressionlike impacts, and all the unknown unknown, but certainly horrific political and MILITARY responses and reprecussions, - and the apocalyptic armegeddon like scenarios all the world religous prophets have warned about, and predicted, - are disturbingly close to imaginable, if not exeedingly more probable.

We are living in a world where the civilized nations and governments are forced to operate and live by the way of the gun.

There are no laws,
There are no rules,
It is kill or be killed,
and woe to the innocent people who will surely suffer for the evils, insanity, and unadulterated greed of our socalled leaders.

"Deliver us from evil!"
I don't see this context the same way you do.

I think King Abdullah's comments should be interpreted as representing a groundswell of antagonism against what they percieve our lack of sufficient anti-Shiism in Iraq. Basically,they want a Sunni authoritarian put back on top in that state.

That certainly represents a divergence of interests with the U.S., but I don't see it as an larger divergence than the historical norm.

I don't see it as hedging against the U.S. in a general sense. Who would they turn to instead? Osama?

If China begins to support the Sauds instead as they have done in Zimbabwe, I might reconsider. Until then, we remain irreplacable to these regimes.

we can and no longer should assume that Washington's agenda is automatically Riyadh's agenda.

This must be where we differ. I find it hard to imagine that anyone has considered this to be true since 9/12/2001. I don't look back at Saudi Arabia's history and ever see us having two identical agendas.
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