[b]Sources say princes want to prevent pro-West, democratic Baghdad
Intelligence sources believe that Saudi Arabia is quietly helping the establishment of al-Qaida in northern Iraq and nearby Syria, according to Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.
Saudi princes are desperate to ensure the status quo and that means keeping Saddam in power, Geostrategy said.
The key Saudi fear is that the United States will create a democratic, pro-Western Iraq. Such a state would win tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment while its neighbors are ignored. At that point, why would Washington need Saudi Arabia?
The sources believe the leak of the Pentagon briefing last month on the future of Saudi Arabia was the clearest U.S. signal to the royal family that Washington is the only real friend Riyadh has. Take away U.S. protection and Saudi Arabia will be eaten by the wolves.
The sources point to another Pentagon briefing – by Max Singer, a longtime consultant to the Pentagon on the Soviet Union. Singer is considered a quiet and taciturn man who brought some cutting-edge strategic thinking to Washington on the post-Cold War era.
Singer's message to the Pentagon was that the United States should support a Shi'ite separatist movement in eastern Saudi Arabia. There, the Shi'ites already comprise a majority of the region, which contains most of the kingdom's oil and natural gas reserves. The Wahabis can keep the empty desert in the west.
This is likely why the Saudis have blocked a decision on the development of natural gas reserves in southeastern Saudi Arabia. Abdullah wants to launch the $30 billion project to explore and produce gas as well as build infrastructure. But the other Saudi princes are concerned that they will never ever see the results of such a gas project should Washington target the royal family.
I say we take over Saudi land as well.
[b]Operation Desrt Glass[/b], it can't come soon enough.
[b]U.S. letter to Arab leaders: 'There will be no turning back' [/b]
LONDON — The United States has warned Arab leaders to prepare public opinion for a change in the Iraqi regime.
Diplomatic sources said the Bush administration has sent letters to the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states in the Middle East. The letters, said to be nearly identical, assert that Washington is determined to topple the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
U.S. officials did not confirm the message, Middle East Newsline reported. But in Washington, U.S. National Security Council Adviser Condoleezza Rice stressed in an interview on Thursday with the British Broadcasting Corp. that the Bush administration has presented a powerful case for toppling Saddam.
"We certainly do not have the luxury of doing nothing," Ms. Rice said. "We believe the case for regime change is very powerful."
The London-based Al Hayat daily reported on Thursday that the text of the letters said Washington was preparing a military strike against Baghdad that would include the use of air force bases in the Middle East.
The letters reported that the United States was deploying soldiers in the region and transporting a range of unspecified weapons for the attack on the Saddam regime.
"There will be no turning back from the military option," Al Hayat quoted the letters as saying.
A U.S. official said the Bush administration has sent envoys to the Middle East to relay the U.S. determination to destroy the Saddam regime.
The official, who did not want to be identified, said the Defense Department has been meeting with Arab analysts and journalists in an effort to sway public opinion against Iraq. The Pentagon has also discussed with Saudi nationals likely Iraqi targets of any U.S. war and distributed satellite photographs of sensitive Iraqi installations, including Saddam's palaces.
[On Wednesday, U.S. Central Command reported that British and U.S. fighter-jets struck two Iraqi anti-aircraft batteries in southern Iraq. A Central Command statement said the allied aircraft used precision-strike weapons.]
At the same time, the United States has urged Arab allies to help Iraqi opposition forces, which were said to have been given a limited military role in the campaign against Saddam. A delegation of Iraqi opposition leaders who visited Washington last week is planning a tour of Arab countries and Iran. The visit is said to have been in coordination with the State Department and the Iraqi National Congress, the largest umbrella opposition group and financed by the United States.
An Iraqi opposition source said the delegation will focus on Saudi Arabia, the most reluctant U.S. ally to support a regime change in Baghdad. The source said Egypt has signalled its readiness to help in any U.S.-led war against Saddam.
Originally Posted By EricTheHun
I think maybe you oughtta get yourself an M-16 ~ Col Hal Moore
Time comes I need one Sir, there'll be plenty of 'em lying on the ground ~ Sgt Maj Plumley