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comings and goings « Previous | |Next »
May 22, 2003

Few are the accounts of the role played by Saudi Arabia in the regional dynamics of the Middle East that can be found in the Australian press. What we do get is some sense of Washington and Jerusalem shaping the Middle East as being the main strategic game.

But what of Saudi Arabia? Where is it situated in this? Is it going to be shaped along with Iraq, Iran and Syria?

We do get snippets about Riyadh's pressure on the US to withdraw its troops from Saudi soil and the attempts by the Saudi ruling class to prevent an Islamic eruption within their territory. These strategies are explained in terms of aimed at reducing the Osama bin Laden threat.

And we know that what the Saudi's fear/dread most is that the US attack on, and occupation of, Iraq will lead to the Middle East igniting with all-consuming Islamic flames. But we don't take this concern about the fragility of the region seriously as we see the Middle East through American eyes. Yet the Arab governments in the region are very vulnerable to the rise of militant Islam and internal subversion.

We don't really know that it is American allies (ie., the Saudi's ) who are supporting terrorists to provoke Israel---not just the "rogue states" Iran or Syria. The Saudi's are doing this to force Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians.

What looms over the Middle East is the threat of regional war. With weapons sof mass destruction possessed by some Arab states the cessation of hostilities with the Palestinians by Israel now needs to be located within the threat and dynamics of regional war. The only way for Washington and Israel to counter this threat ---and ease the threat to Israel's existence---is to reshape the Middle East---Saudi Arabi, Iran and Syria.

Hence the democratic domino strategy advocated by the Bush administration. Democratic Arab states lessen the threat to Israel.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:10 PM | | Comments (0)