Sunday, December 03, 2006

Reality according to the Saudis (revisited)

By Michael J.W. Stickings

A few days ago, as I posted here, an advisor to the Saudi government, Nawaf Obaid, wrote in The Washington Post that Saudi Arabia would intervene "to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis" if the U.S. left Iraq.

But "Saudi Arabia said there was no truth in an article by a Saudi security adviser suggesting the kingdom would back Iraq's Sunnis in the event of a wider sectarian conflict," according to Gulfnews, which also quotes an "official source" as saying that Obaid "does not represent any official body in Saudi Arabia. What he published only represents his personal opinion and does not in any manner at all represent the policy or positions of the kingdom."

Which could just be spin, of course. Obaid's "opinion" may be more "official" than the Saudis want us to believe. Or perhaps not. Regardless, we'll likely find out when the U.S. withdraws from Iraq and the ongoing sectarian slaughter, not to mention Iran's involvement in Iraq in support of the Shiites, tempts the Saudis to act.

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