So let me see if I have this straight: We invaded a country for whatever reason du jour (WMDs, Saddam an evil dictator, 9/11, terrorists, etc.), without the people at the top having the foreknowledge of the history of the area or the difference between various Muslim sects, took out the relatively secular (although admittedly dictator-based) government in favor of a far more Islamic (but democratically elected) government and continued to occupy said country, fighting in some cases FOR the Shia (being assisted by our sworn enemies, Iran) and against the insurgent Sunnis (that our allies, the Saudis, support). Have I got that right?
Anyone else thinking that the people in charge do not know their ass from their elbow? Feel safer in that "War on Terror"?
The U.S. is not the only country crafting the fate of Iraq (The Baker Commission's report is set to be released [tomorrow]). Today Reuters reports that Nawaf Obaid, a security adviser to the Saudi government, writing in the Washington Post said that the Saudi government has plans of their own. Obaid writes that if the U.S. begins to withdraw from Iraq, Saudi Arabia plans to protect the Sunni minority from "Iranian-baked shiite militias." The Saudi options are three-fold, much like those of the Pentagon-- although without all those clever names:
-providing "Sunni military leaders (primarily ex-Baathist members of the former Iraqi officer corps, who make up the backbone of the insurgency) with" funding and arms.
-establishing Sunni brigades
-strangling "Iranian funding of the militias through oil policy."
Throughout the Middle East, there is a well-founded fear that the blood of the escalating violence will spill over into the countries that border Iraq, creating even more instability in the region, so the Saudi's interest in helping out is understandable. Although the influence of neighbors does not come without ulterior motives... Read on...
Meanwhile, David Corn at The Nation wonders how Bush will act when the Baker Report puts him in a corner.