Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 29, 2006

The Gorilla Steps In And Offers A Deal

A mouthpiece for the Saudi leadership, Nawaf Obaid, has placed an unofficial announcement of official Saudi intervention in Iraq in the Washington Post - and the Saudi 800 pound gorilla offers a deal: Stepping Into Iraq.

To get attention Obaid starts off with a serious blast against Bush 43:

In February 2003, a month before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, warned President Bush that he would be "solving one problem and creating five more" if he removed Saddam Hussein by force. Had Bush heeded his advice, Iraq would not now be on the brink of full-blown civil war and disintegration.

One hopes he won't make the same mistake again by ignoring the counsel of Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who said in a speech last month that "since America came into Iraq uninvited, it should not leave Iraq uninvited."
[...]

Now the Saudis fear the U.S. will leave Iraq and in effect deliver it to Iranian influence. They will not sit still over this and warn against any withdrawal at all. The warning is not primarily directed at Bush (see the intro paragraph above). But it is definitly intended to impress especially Democrats who are supporting the voters demand of a phased withdrawal.

Just a few months ago it was unthinkable that President Bush would prematurely withdraw a significant number of American troops from Iraq. But it seems possible today, and therefore the Saudi leadership is preparing to substantially revise its Iraq policy. Options now include providing Sunni military leaders (primarily ex-Baathist members of the former Iraqi officer corps, who make up the backbone of the insurgency) with the same types of assistance -- funding, arms and logistical support -- that Iran has been giving to Shiite armed groups for years.

The ongoing civil war in Iraq would escalate into Saudi/Iranian proxy war.

Next there is this paragraph which I first thought to be a bit weird:

Another possibility includes the establishment of new Sunni brigades to combat the Iranian-backed militias. Finally, Abdullah may decide to strangle Iranian funding of the militias through oil policy. If Saudi Arabia boosted production and cut the price of oil in half, the kingdom could still finance its current spending. But it would be devastating to Iran, which is facing economic difficulties even with today's high prices. The result would be to limit Tehran's ability to continue funneling hundreds of millions each year to Shiite militias in Iraq and elsewhere.

Can one threaten the U.S. with lower oil prices?

Definitely not - so this paragraph is the carrot for keeping the U.S. troops in harms way. Saudi financed Sunni brigades could take over Anbar, relief the U.S. there and defend Sunni Iraqis. Meanwhile the U.S. troops shall buffer and fight against Iran influenced Shia Iraqi. The U.S. would be payed for this with lower prices at the pump (that is - if the Saudis really can pump that much.)

That is the offer, and now again the threat:

There is reason to believe that the Bush administration, despite domestic pressure, will heed Saudi Arabia's advice. [...] But if a phased troop withdrawal does begin, the violence will escalate dramatically.

In this case, remaining on the sidelines would be unacceptable to Saudi Arabia. To turn a blind eye to the massacre of Iraqi Sunnis would be to abandon the principles upon which the kingdom was founded. It would undermine Saudi Arabia's credibility in the Sunni world and would be a capitulation to Iran's militarist actions in the region.

To be sure, Saudi engagement in Iraq carries great risks -- it could spark a regional war. So be it: The consequences of inaction are far worse.

The Saudis do have a lot of expensive modern military equipment, but their manpower lacks and their performance in the field is dubious. A serious engagement with Iran would have uncertain results for them. Their own eastern Shia minority would probably try to have a violent say in this too, endangering the oil production.

The threat for a regional war might thereby be a bit of bluster. But the spice must flow and even an uncertain threat of a bigger regional war that would endanger that flow should be enough to get Wall Street thinking.

One could interpret the Saudi argument as a demand to attack Iran, and the neocons will definitly use this in that way, but I doubt that the Saudis really want a Sunni/Neocon Entente.

The Saudi demand is only to stop Shia expension right where it is. This requires, in their view, permanent stationed U.S. troops in Iraq as a tripwire and guarantee that any Iranian expension attempt will have to face a serious U.S. response.

The deal they offer is juicy enough to be swallowed by Baker/Hamilton and any "centrist" Democrat.

But the deal may not be enough for the Neocons. As Professor Cutler explained in two recommanded Znet pieces (1, 2) the Neocon grand strategy has three phases.

  • Empower Iraqi Shia and split them from Iranian Shia, especially over the wilayat al-faqih -- the rule of the jurisprudent, which is supported by Ayatollahs in Iran but not accepted by Sistani in Najaf, Iraq.
  • This will lead to a new, U.S. friendly center of Shia realm in Iraq, and help to roll back Iran as the Shia state and its influence in the Middle East
  • Split off the Saudi Shia minority (and the Saudi oil which conviniently lies is in the same area) and thereby roll back Saudi influence.

The end state of the Neocons desired outcome is expressed in Ralph Peters map (click on the "next" button under the image and then the image) with Saudi Arabia split into three smaller states.

That is definitly not a favored solution for the absolute kingdom in Saudi Arabia. So while the Saudis feared phase one, but supported to a certain degree phase two by taking an anti-Iranian side in the war on Lebanon, they will most probably fight any decisive move further into the direction of phase three, i.e. an attack on Iran.

For the Saudis, the current situation is bad, but unable to reverse it, they are now willing to pay quite a price to freeze it as it is and to stop the development before it gets even worth.

The carrot is on the table. Cheep oil and loyal Sunni brigades if the U.S. stays in Iraq. The stick is there too: If the U.S. retreats it is all out war across the Persian Gulf which would certainly bring the oil-flow and the world economy to a halt.

So what choice will the U.S. establishment and public take?

Posted by b on November 29, 2006 at 14:38 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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i can hardly wait to see the beautiful children of america's fine families forced to make tough choices.

What choices? Start a draft, and it's the blacks, browns and white trash that get sucked in. The beautiful children have and will continue to have their weasel ways out.

Make no mistake. A draft will be enormously unfair, no matter how "fair" the DINOcrats proclaim it. It's as sure as your Congress can be bought, and it surely can.

Posted by: kelley b. | Dec 1 2006 1:37 utc | 101

compare berkeley 71 to berkeley today. at the very least force students to consider merits of war.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 1 2006 1:46 utc | 102

As I see it, the US occupation is fueling the fire by trying to divide and rule and has been doing so for a while now.

Yes, when the US troops leave it will get worse. But as long as US troops stays it will also get worse. Eventually the troops will be pulled out, as the war was lost a long time ago. The longer they stayed the worse the situation will be.

And are you arguing a humanitarian occupation of Darfur now?

I have a hard time seeing how you can argue that the armed forces of the capitalism will do good things and stop the chaos. I think that the left hand knows what the right hand did when it created the chaos in the first place.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Dec 1 2006 2:20 utc | 103

Oh, 103 was directed at slothrops 84 & 85.

And an addendum:

Or are you just being sarcastic?

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Dec 1 2006 2:22 utc | 104

@ kelley b. (#101)

"Make no mistake. A draft will be enormously unfair, no matter how "fair" the DINOcrats proclaim it. It's as sure as your Congress can be bought, and it surely can."

I'll see your charge and raise the ante. The mere suggestion of a compulsory military conscription at this time implies elitism, exceptionalism and privilege since nobody who is not already de factoexempted from this kind of duty is calling for its reinstatement.

See how quickly and loudly those who can or will not make sacrifices themselves begin crowing about how it is imperative that others do. To add insult to insult, they'll call you a hypocrite if you don't take up their slack.

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 1 2006 4:06 utc | 105

I don't understand how people who know but a smidgen about ME can seriously advance notions on whether xUS should stay, leave, or something in between. Much less get into arguments defending such minimally informed positions.

Posted by: jj | Dec 1 2006 4:18 utc | 106

skod

i agree the u.s. has spent effort to drive wedges between competing groups, and there is ample evidence a kind of partition was favored. but it is obvious the sectarian conflict was inevitable, given the barbarity of the war. the answer to this, the default position of the left, seems to be: the status quo whereby shia arabs and kurds are suppressed and humiliated by a tyrrant is preferred. failing to unwind history, the default view is: we'll do nothing because the "iraqis" can find their own way through history, or, no hope anyway, let god sort it out. this, to me, is as irresponsible as it is cowardly.

of course, any response from the west is contradicted by the cynical history of "orientalism" and capitalist ripoff; the frankenstein as history allegory writ large. it's all a drag. but walking away or wishing for destruction as some here do seems to me, well, vile.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 1 2006 4:22 utc | 107

I don't understand how people who know but a smidgen about ME can seriously advance notions on whether xUS should stay, leave, or something in between. Much less get into arguments defending such minimally informed positions.

No jj, neither can I understand it, but then I've only spent most of my adult life alternating between Lebanon and Iraq (mostly Lebanon) with a brief interlude on the Iranian side of the Shatt.

I'd be prepared to wager a considerable portion of my anatomy that the failed exponents of a failed ideology who post the sort of pseudo-scientific genteelly racist crap that's in the some of the comments above have never been there, can neither speak nor read a word of Arabic, and haven't got even the remotest idea of the intricate mosaic that goes to make up the culture and (just like their ideological soul mates now referred to as neocons) regard the inhabitants of the entire as pawns to be manipulated in service of their failed ideology.

I'm quite looking forward to my next trip - I'll be dealing with real people as opposed to theoretical constructs. Real people who finally have a chance to kick seven shades of green shit out of the latest western colonial empire to afflict them and are doing so with gusto. Not that western ideologists will notice, heaven forfend that brown people manage to achieve freedom on their own terms.

In my more optimistic moments I like to imagine some of those who write such garbage taking up the study of phrenology at least that way they'd be doing something suitable to their level.

Posted by: markfromireland | Dec 1 2006 8:30 utc | 108

the effort of the expat to avoid self-loathing often requires pretentious descriptions of his privileged travels to exotic places. for every te lawrence, l. durrell, k. blixen, et al. is yet another collapse of critique offered as indisputably sensitive experience among the natives. the worst colonialism, because behind every ethnography is yet another positivism dissembling what the world is "really like."

ho fucking hum.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 1 2006 16:39 utc | 109

heaven forfend that brown people manage to achieve freedom on their own terms.

this is just orientalism pure and simple, finding a delusional coherency in the aims of "brown people." i have fewer rich experiences perambulating beyond the territories, but last i looked, the people out there are busy deconstructing sovereignties and solidarities with ak47s and mosque-bombings. why, what with all the particularized mayhem among the "brown people," i can see why the fantasy of the west's destruction has become a universalized goal among our fortunate travelers. i think i'll trade in my books of german enlightenment and the works of habermas for the poems of cioran, and i'll read machiavelli "the wrong way" as alabama says.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 1 2006 17:05 utc | 110

Slothrop, that comment is way over the line in its nastiness. Please, for the sake of this community, stop levelling personal attacks that have no value whatsoever except to deliberately introduce disharmony, discomfort, and discord. As someone who has spent considerable time abroad myself, I take real exception to your scathing characterization in this post. You've now royally insulted me as well as your intended target.

Cease and desist.

Posted by: Bea | Dec 1 2006 17:08 utc | 111

I was referring to #109 in my post, sorry.

Posted by: Bea | Dec 1 2006 17:09 utc | 112

as if i "attacked"?

wha?

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 1 2006 17:16 utc | 113

this is just orientalism pure and simple, finding a delusional coherency in the aims of "brown people."
the "brown people in Iraq & their Arab brothers gave the world its first written script as well as a myriad of other developments like algebra & algorithms. Also, the absence of just a single piece of knowledge or information can make any coherency look delusional.

i have fewer rich experiences perambulating beyond the territories, but last i looked, the people out there are busy deconstructing sovereignties and solidarities with ak47s and mosque-bombings.

deconstructing a sovereignty is not necessarily a bad thing especially if it produces a better sovereignity i.e 1776. Bombing mosques is definitely a bad thing. If the deconstructers are all bombing mosques, these "brown people" must be really really bad folks.

Posted by: | Dec 1 2006 22:24 utc | 114

lookit, the view of rgiap and its apprentice versions here is: "they" possess a kind of solidarity or potential for solidarity any self-described leftist should admire. I suppose the template would be the vietnamese and algerian insurgencies (viet cong or algerian fln). we've gone over this ground before, but there is little correspondance between iraq and these other struggles for liberation. the situation is much too volatile to dismiss with the untenable belief parties to the hobbesian chaos will work things out when left alone. this view is a dangerous generalization decried, oddly enough, by rgiap's old polemics aimed at the religious whores of AQ. there's no "they" there.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 1 2006 23:05 utc | 115

what is happening, this day in iraq in particular & in the middle east in general ought to be a lesson to the empire, any empire

the time is done where the people of this & that country can be treated as if they were worthless. where their history, their legends, their myths, their constructions & their concrete experience are besmirched, demonised & destroyed as they were in the horrific sack of baghdad museums, libraries, galleries & archeological sites

that time is gone

the disinherited of this earth have had the horror but also the privilege of witnessing the naked greed & violence of an empire in a way that has never been possible before in part because other empires have quickly absorbed their crimes as patrimoine - of the perpetrator trying to get away with horrific acts under the mantle of 'good works', 'civilisation' or 'of bringing democracy' & painting themselves as victims

the empire whose armies are directly responsible for the deaths of nearly 5 million people in south east asia - vietnam, indonesia, phillipines can no longer masquerade their massacres as singular acts - they are as inherent to the ideology of the american empire as its obsession with oil

what we are witnessing in iraq is my lai upon my lai with common murder taking the place of what in another time would have been a dishonour to the armies of an empire. now they drown in them. there exists only one precedent - the einsatzgruppen or the 'special action' or the 'killing actions' - the vernichtung - by the german armies in the east. the einsatzgruppen went in to do murder & they knew it from the bottom of their black boots to their ridiculous opera-bouffe hats - they were commencing that all nations have learnt from - but none so eagerly as the united states.

the 'wars' of the american empire have been less like battles than enlarged killing operations masking the common murder with the ragged dress of ideology. & as with the nazis in the east - you cannot kill them all from the air or from insiude tanks - you must get down on the ground & do your killing, on the streets, schools & houses

fallujah was perhaps the most elaborate opening of this process, of the widening of killing actions into broader fronts - & using as they had done in other countries & zespecially those of latin america suborning their so called local 'allies' to participate in this festival of murder

as it was with the ensatzgruppen - the ukranian, the byleorussian - all the countries of the baltic worked eagerly along with their nazi ' brothers to exterminate the jewish enemy - so much so that the baltic became 'juden-frei' very quickly indeed. in instances like the festival of murder known to the world as babi yar whyich took three days of public celebration to do the deed. well when the deed was done - well these allies also ended up on the piles & pyramids of human flesh that was intrinsic to the notion of 'fascism' - of the 'master race'

the u s empire has with the connivance & unfortunately the supremacy of its culture - muredered swathes upon swathes of south & latin american peoples until the earth was deeply stained with their blood & this was all done - for 'their benefit', to protect them as kissinger once sd "from their own stupidity"

the murder that we see before our eyes in iraq is the continuation of a public policy that has been a consistent strategy & means for american foreign policy

perhaps like wild bill donovan & james jesus angleton - they imagined themselves aristocrats - deigning to change govts & to muder people wholesal in the interests of a 'free world' - well now there are no aristocrats - there are just thugs & criminals like the horrific bolton or the evil negroponte or the scheming james baker - these are small time criminals - i suppose - the analogy would be as if the ernst rohm wing had won on the night of the long knives

& let me tell you when i see karl rove - he reminds me of no one as much as he remind me of ernst rohm, the swagger, the bullying barking that he calls talking - they both look like sacs of pus covered in the worse suits that any tailor could construct

the imperatives of this empire are so vulgar that i imagine the aristos of the genesis of these policies, the angletons, the brothers dulles - even they would be deeply ashamed of the crudity of both method & means of the current crew

therein lies the gift for the disinherited & the constant gift that will keep on giving in the coming years
- that of the empire being unable to conceal either its murderous intentions nor the incompetence of its methods

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 1 2006 23:16 utc | 116

i have a question for our erstwhile cosmopolitans and polyglot peripatetics (yoohoo, you over there with the milion frequent flyer miles): if the the u.s. succeeds to defend, accidently or not, shia and kurdish sovereignties, then the u.s. sucks anyways?

i don't for a minute doubt a "change of course" in u.s. "policy" might mean defending sunni dictators. it's the realist thing to do. or bomb iran, which is evil madness.

just askin.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 1 2006 23:19 utc | 117

i disagree w/ nothing you say so well, except to point out your usual error of ommission: europe. it's an ignominious history constructed by criminals who "bark" in other languages besides english.

here & now is the problem. and iraq is a peculiar calamity unsolved by reference to latvia circa 1940.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 1 2006 23:31 utc | 118

on the contrary, slothrop, that was my point, that what is happening in iraq is a continuation in extremis of the 'killing/special actions' of the einsatzgruppen, that the battle on the ground represent an enlargement of that particular practice - than it does 'war' in any generic sense - & if you are to be truthful - all the military interventions of the empire resemble not military strategy in any formal sense - but rather it represents - what became fully fleshed (& i mean that in every sense of each word) in vietnam, indonesia & latin america - the militarisation of genocide

in the instance of the einsatzgruppen - they served in annexe to the army & under other orders, orders that were political & whose end was murder, mass murder

in indonesia, when those aristocrats of murder arranged the death of nearly 1 million indonesian - they did so in the same way that the 'masterminds' of the einsatzgruppen - wirth, best, kaltenbrunner did - they did so informed by orders at the highest level of their government. they rendered murder quite distinct from what might be described as the actions of a standing army - in brief they systematised mass murder & they created the technological & industrial means for doing so. the same is equally true in vietnam - where no 'military' engagement was ever won by the u s but on the other hand they streamlined the kind of methodology that was to become current in latin america & africa

everything the israeli state has become so excellent in exceeding the depth of their masters. & it is no accident that the brothers dulles & especially angleton privileged their relation with the security military apparatus in israel

& what is modern america if not the crowd outside the ravine of babi yar calling up the demons of their nature & demanding death, mass death of the other

that is what modern america has become ipsio fact - the celebrator of the death of the other - either in cold complicity or in murderous silence

& that is what i am suggesting the very crudity & transparency of the acts of the empire have made it possible for all the disinherited to see what will happen to them, that there can be no myth of moderation, of 'necessary' killings as the israelis say over & over again

when you are drowning in blood up to your chest - i suppose it is necessary to see something other than the most sordid sense in the scenes of massacres - implicit in every breath of that 'necessity'

what i am suggesting to paraphrase mao tse tung - is that imperialism is a paper tiger - that if you can accept the thesis that the 'military' action of the empire is nothing other than a 'killing' action - then it can be defeated militarily, & iraq evidently so

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 2 2006 0:22 utc | 119

& what is modern america if not the crowd outside the ravine of babi yar calling up the demons of their nature & demanding death, mass death of the other

yeah, you're right. happens here on the left ("I can only hope that the US remains ensnared in Iraq") too. fucking americans say that shit. can you believe it? i have too, in despair. but, it's vile bullshit nonetheless.

i have seen enough of u.s. failures for 6 years to suggest to me u.s. power might devolve upon moral uses because there is no other choice.

oh fuck it. let's leave. maybe we can rebuild the 5th ward.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 0:41 utc | 120

...if the the u.s. succeeds to defend, accidently or not, shia and kurdish sovereignties, then the u.s. sucks anyways?

Now that's the funniest thing I've heard in a day full of inane oddity.

1) there is no way the criminals running this country will pursue the indepence of any kurdish or shia state in Iraq beyond their own greedy interests, or the orders of their Saudi lienholders.

2) the criminal acts of the men who would be our rulers are in no way the responsibility of "this country" any more than the murders ordered by Putin are the responsibility of the Russian people.

Show me a president elected in an honest election, and I'll admit to some responsibility for his actions.

Posted by: kelley b. | Dec 2 2006 2:15 utc | 121

apologies. "independence", not "indepence". amusement is no reason to write sloppy.

Posted by: kelley b. | Dec 2 2006 2:20 utc | 122

you didn't answer the question.

i'm right. the "democracy boy" routine has liberated shia, and for 15 years has carved out a chunk of iraq for a lesser kurdistan.

i don't think there's one, not one, person here who thinks this is a bad outcome of the war.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 2:55 utc | 123

I found my pity, desperately researching
the origins of history, from reed-built communes
by sacred lakes, turning with the first sprocketed
water-driven wheels. I smelled imagination
among bestial hides by the gleam of fat,
seeking in all races a common ingenuity.
I envisaged an Africa flooded with such light
as alchemized the first fields of emmer wheat and barley,
when we savages dyed our pale dead with ochre,
and bordered our temples
with the ceremonial vulva of the conch
in the grey epoch of the obsidian adze.
I sowed the Sahara with rippling cereals,
my charity fertilized these aridities.
d. walcott, from the fortunate traveller

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 3:27 utc | 124

it occured to me, those suckers got authority

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 3:30 utc | 125

and...iva bittova

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 3:53 utc | 126

bummer. those don't link.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 3:54 utc | 127

Not that western ideologists will notice, heaven forfend that brown people manage to achieve freedom on their own terms.

Except for the girls, but they don't count, I guess.

Poor people of Iraq.
Delivered from Baath
for now
To Bremer and the Apaches
and then to Young Sadr and the sharia law
And back to Baath, I guess, after some killing
But the Western Solidarity Tourists cheer
what they call liberation.
And go home to the suburbs of Europe
with souvenirs

Posted by: | Dec 2 2006 3:56 utc | 128

una mas tiempo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPb--BzlEc0>iva bittova

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 4:06 utc | 129

ahhh...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTTSesU9aKY>picture me givin a damn...

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 4:08 utc | 130

bittova is for you rgiap. watch ten times with 8 martinis and a tattered copy of an american tragedy, and your pancreas is cured.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 4:11 utc | 131

for breal, who deserves better http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkl_CbLdBjA>haino

don't know why i like it.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 4:23 utc | 132

and, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ttOpHH-lv8>for citizen k

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 4:25 utc | 133

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnL2aWfWLfY&mode=related&search=>and for ms manners

I wanted: "doom despair and agony on me..."

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 4:32 utc | 134

fuck.

for billmon: where, where the hell is bill, by camper van beethoven.

but youtube isn't cool enough.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 4:34 utc | 135

This just in:


In the 1980s, reports began to surface of a renewed use of leeches in medicine. While they are no longer used for quite as many purposes as previously, they are still extremely useful for one particular circumstance. Their ability to draw off blood in a slow, controlled fashion is invaluable when for some reason there is inadequate drainage of blood from a site. If the arteries are working normally but the veins are not, blood can pool, preventing new blood from entering - eventually leading to tissue death. Leeches can be used to draw off blood, functioning almost like an extra vein to ensure that normal circulation can happen.

I think its called neo-colonialism.

Posted by: anna missed | Dec 2 2006 5:18 utc | 136

i'd do a youtube for you, except you called me a "chauvanist." more stunning art, please.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 5:28 utc | 137

say: "mel gibson's apocalypto," without laughing.

impossible.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 2 2006 5:30 utc | 138

i have only this beautiful performance to share tonite -- miriam makeba, khawuleza

Posted by: b real | Dec 2 2006 6:41 utc | 139

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1dQJUitRBY>NO CARLESS INFERENCES HERE

Posted by: anna missed | Dec 2 2006 8:03 utc | 140

i love mariam makeba. my dance teacher in junior high (we were quite the troop) was from africa and a huge makeba fan. i lived for that class. my first original choreography was to a mariam makeba song, no i cannot remember which song but i remember the performance. i will never forget the performance. i think i first experienced real dance rythm w/mariam. heaven.

This just in:

i beg to differ! a couple years ago the newyorker ran a story about a couple in england who raised leeches. couldn't grow them fast enough. they are the coming rage. apparently they are the best at what they do. blindfold me please.

Posted by: annie | Dec 2 2006 9:34 utc | 141

more miriam

Posted by: annie | Dec 2 2006 9:45 utc | 142

Thanks Sloth, one of my favorite songs at age 13.


Posted by: citizen k | Dec 2 2006 13:17 utc | 143

annie,

the first time I heard Brenda Fassie, she reminded me of Makeba. You may like Brenda too.

Posted by: | Dec 2 2006 14:11 utc | 144

Gorilla, what gorilla?

Saudi denies it may back Sunnis in Iraq

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said there was no truth in an article by a Saudi security adviser suggesting the world's top oil exporter would back Iraq's Muslim Sunnis in the event of a wider sectarian conflict.
...
"There is no basis in truth to the article by the writer Nawaf Obaid in the Washington Post of November 29, 2006," the state Saudi Press Agency quoted an "official source" as saying.
...
Diplomats say it is possible that Saudi Arabia has begun low-level funding of some Sunni tribes in Iraq, but a prominent Saudi tribal figure cast doubt on any large scale funding.

"The Sunni tribes have been asking for money for a number of years from Saudi Arabia and they never got anything because Saudi Arabia was so worried about al Qaeda," said Turki al-Rasheed of the Shamar tribal group that extends into Iraq.

"Those who want Saudi Arabia to intervene are none other than the Americans who are trying to find a quick exit from Iraq. Saudi Arabia will not fight or seriously engage itself in Iraq."

Posted by: b | Dec 2 2006 16:09 utc | 145

thanks #144, i'll check her out, haven't heard of her

Posted by: annie | Dec 2 2006 20:00 utc | 146

Is there a gorilla in the room?

Saudis arrest 139 'sleeper cell' suspects

Saudi security officials said Saturday they foiled a planned terrorist suicide attack and arrested 139 suspected Islamist militants who were in "sleeper cells" believed to be affiliated with al Qaeda.

A senior official in the Saudi Interior Ministry told CNN that the suspects, who are from several Arab nations, were monitored by Saudi security agents for several months. They rounded the men up just before the expected attack was launched.

The suspects, arrested in different areas of Saudi Arabia, were being interrogated Saturday, the official said.

Sounds like a hot time in Riyadh.

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 3 2006 7:33 utc | 147

Last sentence was mine. Blockquoting sloppily. Can't... sentence... properly...

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 3 2006 7:35 utc | 148

getting sloppy

@144 is I too

Posted by: | Dec 3 2006 13:15 utc | 149

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