Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 10, 2007

Saudis in a Bind

Some thoughts on the wider circumstances of the Palestinian agreement between Hamas and Fatah as brokered by the Saudis.

The background is a new Middle East in which, thanks to the U.S. war on Iraq, Iran has gained a relative better position than before. But the big winner in this war is not Iran at all.

Iraq with Saddam ruling was a serious impediment to Saudi Arabia. They were the ones who feared him when he tried to stop Kuwaiti horizontal drilling into Iraqi oil reservoirs by reincluding them into Iraq.

A neighboring country with a secular and modern atmosphere would have been a dangerous example for the people under the archaic Wahhabi rule of the Saud dynasty.  Iraq united with Kuwait as a potent oil producer had enough capacity to threaten the Saudi role of swing producer within OPEC. That menace is gone and with it the threat to Saudi hegemony.

Unlike the relative win of Iran, the Saudi win, by now unrivaled oil price control, is absolute.

The first time the Saudis put their new power to a test was a few months ago when a partial U.S. retreat from Iraq looked possible. Through a consultant's OpEd in the Washington Post they offered carrots and sticks to Washington.

"Either you stay in Iraq and clean up the mess you have made or we will really step into that game. We can finance the Sunni resistance to kick you and your Shia puppets out. Additionally we may cut some oil production and squeeze your economy. But if you stay in Iraq we might produce enough oil to lower the prices and squeeze Tehran's balls instead."

Bush/Cheney promptly dumped the Baker/Hamilton paper and took the Saudi offer. An additional Saudi demand was for some freedom to act on behalf of the Palestinians.

At the Beirut Summit in 2002 the Saudis led a coalition of Arab countries that offered Israel official recognition in a deal for a Palestinian state. That initiative went nowhere.
But now the Saudis have a better hand and they gave it another try.

To prevent a civil war in Palestine, induced and financed by the U.S. and Israel, they brokered a peace deal between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah. In parallel to the negotiations Israel started meddling near the Al'Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. A proven way to induce violence and to derail unwanted peace deals. But this time it was not enough to stop the process.

Though Hamas did not cave in to the mystic point of "Israel's right to exist", the Palestine "unity government" the U.S. demanded is now in place. The Saudis, guardians of the Islamic holy sites, brokered and blessed the deal and invested a lot of political capital into it.

Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, the exiled leader of Hamas, signed the deal in a palace overlooking the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine.

Signing in sight of the Kaaba is certainly a very important symbol in the Islamic parts of the world. The Saudis now will have to see this through or lose a lot of their Islamic street cred.

Palestinan tax revenue which Israel withholds, as well as European aid to Palestine, will now have to be paid to the unity government. If the Saudi's do not get this done, their current leading role in the Sunni Arab world and the Islamic role of the House of Saud as the protectors of the holy places of Islam will be seriously damaged.

Helena Cobban and Badger also have some thoughts on this. Helena says the U.S. is hardly in a position to counter the Saudi initiative while Badger cites Arab media doubting Saudi independence from the U.S. in enacting this.

Like Crevald I think the U.S. is seriously damaged. It has hardly any power left to negotiate anything in the Middle East. Besides a lunatic attack on Iran it can do nothing to forestall a total and devastating retreat from Iraq.

The Saudis will share that perspective. But now they really have to prove their new role. Badger cites an Arab columnist:

[M]easure of success or failure for the Saudis in this initiative isn't going to be the lack of any preference or taking of sides between this Palestinian faction or that. Rather the test will be whether they do in fact show preference and take sides on the side of the Palestinians in their enormous efforts to free themselves from the occupation.

The Saudis know that the real test for their new position is still out. Now they are in a bind. If the U.S. and Israel do not respect the brokered deal by lifting the economic sanctions on Palestine and by taking real steps towards a Palestinian state, the Saudi oil weapon will have to come into play again.

Some market volatility is thereby guaranteed.

Posted by b on February 10, 2007 at 0:29 UTC | Permalink

Comments

b,
As usual, you are ahead of the curve with this thoughtful analysis. So much so, that perhaps I should refrain from comment on the Palestinian implications. Nothing could please me more than to see some immediate dignity and economic aid coming to the Palestinians. And this hopefully will open that door, but I have some misunderstandings here about your analysis in general. Perhaps my less rigorous comments will further discussion, though.

Basically, there are fundamentals (pun not intended but appropriate) that cannot be ignored. I believe the Saudi situation is precarious for various political/social/economic reasons and will grow only more precarious with time. And as your Badger link also suggests, are not Saudi and U.S. interests, generally speaking, one in the same? This Saudi brokering and resulting positive “political capital” may on a small level enhance U.S./Saudi interests, but the Palestinians are well aware and distrustful of American collusion. Further, I find it hard to contemplate that the Iraq debacle, in any way serves Saudi long-term interests, and without a doubt, Iran is the biggest winner, unless the U.S./Israel proceed with preemptive military action against Iran. If such a devastating scenario occurs, then what would be Saudi Arabia’s future?

”If the U.S. and Israel do not respect the brokered deal by lifting the economic sanctions on Palestine and by taking real steps towards a Palestinian state, the Saudi oil weapon will have to come into play again.”

This may be expecting too much of the Saudis. With the Saudi and U.S. windfall oil profits of recent years, will the Saudis play with dynamite, that is, hurt Bush/U.S. Big Oil with outlandish output controls, and at the same time, help Iran with higher oil prices? And if modest price increases occur, this would seem to only help Saudi and Bush/Big Oil interests.

Judging past performance, I don’t expect much to change regarding Saudi influence towards freedom and dignity for Palestinians.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 10 2007 8:11 utc | 1

@Rick - it's hard to tell and I definitly do not know if my conclusions above are right.

But what made me come to them is the fact that King Saud "asked" Cheney to visit him and Cheney immediately got onto a plane. A relative small country like Saudi Arabi is able to order the vize-king of the empire to come and receive a dress down?

Who then is the ultimate power in the situation?

The Saudis threatend to take care of the situation in Iraq themselfs. A lot of the influence the US has around the Gulf is for their nearly 60 year old role of an oil payed Saudi mercinary. If the Saudis do not need that mercinary anymore and take care themself like threatend in the OpEd, the US role in the Gulf would be quite deminished.

Posted by: b | Feb 10 2007 8:44 utc | 2

U.S. Wary of New Palestinian Accord

The deal to create a Palestinian national unity government, announced Thursday in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, threatens to expose divisions between the United States and its European allies while complicating Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's peace mission later this month, diplomats and analysts said yesterday.
...
The deal was brokered by Saudi Arabia, which is said to have pledged $1 billion to the Palestinians.
...
Dennis Ross, who was a Middle East envoy for two presidents, said the announcement is a blow to Rice's efforts both on the Palestinian front and in the broader region.
...
Ross said, Saudi Arabia has demonstrated its interest in maintaining the divide between Sunni and Shiite Muslim regions. Hamas is largely Sunni but had come under the sway of Shiite Iran and Syria. The deal -- and the offer of money -- brings Hamas back into the Sunni camp, Ross said, calling it a "triumph for Saudi diplomacy."
...
Ross said that, under a national unity government, Hamas will be able finally to pay salaries and run ministries, helping the day-to-day lives of Palestinians, while Abbas will be forced to embrace unpleasant compromises in negotiations, actually weakening his position.

The agreement "is a trap for her," Ross said, referring to Rice. "It is hard to see how this is good for producing a political horizon."

A Palestinian adviser to Abbas who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the deal is not intended to resolve the power struggle. "This is to buy us time and buy us some stability," the adviser said.
...
Washington's wary attitude, citing a need to see more details, was echoed by Germany, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
...
But France and Russia immediately welcomed the statement, with Russia calling for an end to the freeze on direct aid to the Palestinians. French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazay said that the agreement is "a step in the right direction" toward eventual recognition of Israel and that "the international community must encourage and support the formation of the new government."


Posted by: b | Feb 10 2007 10:00 utc | 3

A lot of the influence the US has around the Gulf is for their nearly 60 year old role of an oil paid Saudi mercenary.

are we still supplying the mercenaries to protect the oil fields in SA? i know vennell used to be owned by carlyle.

If the Saudis do not need that mercenary anymore and take care themself like threatened in the OpEd, the US role in the Gulf would be quite diminished.

i missed that in the op ed. for some reason i see this as the least of the threat, or worries of the US. we have centcom in UAE, bases in kuwait, oman, turkey, of course israel. i would think our relations w/SA would suffer greatly and if we left iraq we would have little control over who they chose to make deals with. somehow it just seems like the SA mercenary business wouldn't be such a concern compared to the US loosing face blood and treasure over the gov't they set up in iraq getting invaded from SA.

there are so many more sunnis in the region i imagine they would poor over the borders into iraq from all over the ME.

about palestine. i can't help but wonder, what does israel get out of the deal? the 'right to exist' link is excellent. is this also going to entail some deal on the borders or the wall?

israel has such a hard on to attack iran i can't imagine they are going to sit down at the table and quit torturing the palestinians and give up on iran.

the chances of everything working on swimmingly is nil. pick your poison.

Who then is the ultimate power in the situation?

seems pretty clear it's not the US.

Posted by: annie | Feb 10 2007 10:02 utc | 4

from B's 3 link (i missed it when i wrote mine)

Rice in recent months has tended to divide the region between "mainstream" and "extremist" actors. That has included bolstering security forces loyal to Abbas as he confronts Hamas, which she has labeled an extremist group.

i'm so sick of listening to this crap.

sometimes the in-between, the gray, is sometimes the most dangerous,

did anyone else notice rice's forehead in the wapo link? klingon?

Posted by: annie | Feb 10 2007 10:24 utc | 5

@annie - the threat from the Obaid OpEd:

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.

Another possibility includes the establishment of new Sunni brigades to combat the Iranian-backed militias.

About mercinaries: I was not referring to some people guarding oil fields. The US military is the mercinary here. Saudis guarantee the US oil for a reasonable price as long as the US guarantees the interest of the House of Saud. Seen more explicitely, the Saudis are financing a big chunk of the US role in the Gulf an they provide the diplomatic cover. This goes back to Roosevelt's visit there in 1945.

Today's WaPo editorial is nearly correct:

For now, the accord has confounded an already confused U.S. policy in the Middle East. Having recently divided the region into "moderates" and "extremists," the Bush administration was attempting to strengthen the "moderate" Mr. Abbas against the "extremist" Hamas. Now another of the "moderates," Saudi Arabia, has stepped into the diplomatic vacuum created by American policy and brokered a deal across a divide that only the Bush administration and Israel perceived; as the Saudis see it, the dividing line in the region is sectarian, not ideological. Unable to embrace the Palestinian accord but reluctant to offend a Saudi ally it has been counting on for help against Iran, the Bush administration adopted an awkward wait-and-see position. As events unfold in the coming days, it will watch from the sidelines, to which it has been relegated by its own ineptitude.

Posted by: b | Feb 10 2007 10:42 utc | 6

Good analysis indeed.

That said, even if the Saudi threat was correct and was feared by BushCo, I still am firmly with those who think this is a joke and that it's time people call the Saudis on their bluff. Basically, militarily they're just a step above Botswana, they just have money to buy good hardware but their troops wouldn't last long on battlefield. And if it came to proxy war against Iran in Iraq, or even more if it came to more open warfare, I'd bet on Iran unless the US tried to directly act on Saudi's behalf, with nukes.

As for street cred in the Arab world, it may be that the Saudis, notably the king, are at long last realising that there are just a few ways to gain massive street cred. Right now, there are 2 main ways, getting the US out of Iraq, and helping to create a Palestinian independant country. Those who'll manage to get one of these results will get instant massive popularity in the Muslim world. And for Iraq, it's highly probable this goal will be achieved by Shia - Sadr and/or Iran. Saudis better work on massive help to Palestine, with far superior results than anything they managed so far, or they'll lose a lot of cred when the US leaves Iraq.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Feb 10 2007 14:21 utc | 7

The Saudis know that the real test for their new position is still out. Now they are in a bind. If the U.S. and Israel do not respect the brokered deal by lifting the economic sanctions on Palestine and by taking real steps towards a Palestinian state, the Saudi oil weapon will have to come into play again.

Can the Saudis not just bankroll the Palestinian government themselves?

The deal was brokered by Saudi Arabia, which is said to have pledged $1 billion to the Palestinians.

Now, I do not know how much the Palestinian governement got from revenue stolen by Israel and aid withhold by Europe, so I do not know how much these $1 billion does. But $1 billion is a huge pile of money.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Feb 10 2007 14:36 utc | 8

@askod - a billion is good for a small year in Palestine, but how will the billion get there and what can the Palestinians buy if Israel keeps the borders closed?

But they can not do that - the Saudis will take care of that.

But it may be that the Saudis did sell out on Iran and that this was the price they demanded from the US to agree on further steps against Iran. That has me worried ...

Posted by: b | Feb 10 2007 14:57 utc | 9

Two basic questions for other barflies that I ask out of my own ignorance and for my own clarification:

What is a billion? In the U.S., it is 1000 million, although in most of the world, it is a million million. (i.e., 10 to the 6th power compared to 10 to the 12th power.) When I read about a billion dollars in Saudi aid, is that U.S. dollars (in quantity and currency rate)?

Also, according to this Saudi deal, exactly how and to whom (and when) will this billion be distributed? Where can I find details regarding Saudi’s history in Palestinian aid?

Posted by: Rick | Feb 10 2007 16:00 utc | 10

Rick,
I've never heard about this million*million version of a billion before. How can I found out which parts of the world read billion this way?

Also, that should be 10 to the 9th vs. ten to the 12th power.

Posted by: citizen | Feb 10 2007 16:30 utc | 11

A million*million is a trillion, I believe.

Posted by: Copeland | Feb 10 2007 17:08 utc | 12

In most languages a "billion" is the original "bi-million" = 1,000,000 x 1,000,000=10^12 while in American English "1 billion" is 1,000,000,000 = 10^9. The Brits and Aussies later adopted the (wrong) US interpretation. But if one reads old British sources a billion means 10^12.

Equally a trillion is in most languages "tri-million" = 10^18. In science the metric SI system goes with the not-English interpretation. You may therefore find scientific physic papers in English that use a billion=10^12.

Confusing ...

As the source about the Saudi reports in English, I assume it is US$ and 10^9.

Details of the Saudi deal are sofar unknown, but they will have to give money to the Palestinian government not only to Abbas - otherwise their deal to put the government together does not make any sense.

Posted by: b | Feb 10 2007 17:24 utc | 13

Thanks for the excellent post B, you put in place some of my disorganized thoughts.

Along similar lines to Rick: Saudi is in a poor position - which does not contradict anything in the head post, reinforces it in a way; they need street and political cred.

Saudi oil reserves are not known, which is normal; any hints that they could not maintain their present output - that their hands on the controls are curtailed by certain ugly geological facts is anathema to them. Peak oilers (see link) have been discussing ‘falling’ (the commas are because the reasons for the falling are moot) Saudi output for a long time now. My own personal feeling if I may is that trouble has indeed shown its face; it is partly acknowledged, partly denied, held at bay, hedged, the worry beads are clicking; and now, compensated for by a higher activity level in all areas, including political. It is to be expected. If they can accomplish anything for (eg) the Pals, well and good, a ‘learning experience’ of a kind.

http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/8/4/19747/71404>Oil Drum

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 10 2007 17:32 utc | 14

thanks for the explanation b.

Posted by: annie | Feb 10 2007 18:05 utc | 15

Billion: According to the (mostly but not uniquely) American method of numeration, a thousand millions, or 1,000,000,000; according to the old English method, a million millions, or 1,000,000,000,000.

The GB financial system, the media, now uses the US numbers. (Decreed by Harold Wilson in the 70s.) As does the scientific community, much of the time.

Billion in Europe still should be read as 10 to the 12th much of the time. (In French, a US billion will be ‘un milliard’.) Journalists however just transpose words as they have no idea about what quantities they are dealing with.

No international standard exists which is an absolute scandal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintillion>wiki

http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/large.html>Rowlett

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 10 2007 18:08 utc | 16

Am I the only one who questions this billion? Such a convienient impressive "American" number. Just how independent are these Saudis from American influence?
Just asking. Sure would be nice to have some details...

Posted by: Rick | Feb 10 2007 18:35 utc | 17

Noirette,

Thanks for your explanation. I posted my comment #17 before I read your last comment. Still, I wonder what is really going on with this Saudi deal.

Posted by: Rick | Feb 10 2007 18:41 utc | 18

The agreement "is a trap for her," Ross said, referring to Rice. "It is hard to see how this is good for producing a political horizon."

Such a stunningly revealing statement. It could only be said by someone whose vision of a "political horizon" is only aligned with that of Israel's - i.e., the Palestinians must never be allowed to have a flourishing national existence, and only be forced to exist on Israel's unilateral terms. Anyone who genuinely had the Palestinians' interests at heart would be incapable of making such a statement, for many reasons.

Posted by: Bea | Feb 10 2007 20:34 utc | 19

@Bea - Ross is, if not a neocon, a serious Israeli asset.

I thought that was obvious ...

Posted by: b | Feb 10 2007 20:51 utc | 20

b and Bea

Wiki gives a fairly balanced view of Ross. He has been in the business a long time and is equally liked by republicans and democrats. just sayin..

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 10 2007 21:15 utc | 21

DOS @21

Ross has never had a balanced view of the ME. Being "equally liked by republicans and democrats" is probably a correct statement, while both democrats and republicans do not have a balanced view of the ME. But you knew that, didn't you.

Posted by: ww | Feb 10 2007 22:34 utc | 22

how could the US satisfy both SA and israel? why does israel get the final say always on what they will or will not accept? no one else gets everything they want. it is totally unfair.

Posted by: annie | Feb 10 2007 22:46 utc | 23

@b #20

Well it has long been obvious to me. I was simply trying to clarify it to others...

Posted by: Bea | Feb 10 2007 23:43 utc | 24

The Saudis have other weapons they're playing w/. The day after Putin ripped IdiotBoy's policies, they gave Putin a red-carpet welcome over in NoWomansLand.

"There is no doubt that Russia has an important role in achieving peace," the king told Russia's Itar-Tass news agency ahead of the trip, which Moscow hopes will help to restore old Soviet-era links with the Middle Eastern region.

Saudi media has said Moscow also wants to sell Riyadh, which enjoyed a record budget surplus of $78 billion last year on high oil prices, military hardware including tanks and anti-missile systems as well as win a tender to expand Saudi railways.Putin meets Saudi King Abdullah on Iraq, Mideast conflict

Posted by: jj | Feb 12 2007 10:12 utc | 25

“Hello Cowgirl in the Sand” Department

jj,

This is off topic and is truly just a question, and I mean no personal disrespect here.
Why are you (nearly always) so sexist? Above, in just a one-sentence post, you used the term 'idiotboy' instead of just plain 'idiot', and continued the sentence off –topic by adding “over in 'nowomans’ land”. This last post was not atypical, as 99% of the time, I know you are the poster after reading the first sentence of your writing. Actually there is no need to ever post your initials ‘jj’ at the end. Do feminists desire all women (and men?) to write with constant connotations? Are all the other ‘female’ posters on this board in some way ‘patriarchal’ for not emphasizing sex? Is sexual identity always 'the' most important thing in defining an issue? Is ‘boyidiot’ more important than just plain ‘idiot’? Even the word ‘boy’ compared to ‘man’ is sexist in the description of Bush (please, no wordplay here with ‘Bush’), that is, a full grown ‘male’ is somehow always more intelligent, mature, powerful, than a less sexually mature boy. In irony, regarding the self-perceived power of an insult, a full-fledged ‘male chauvinist pig’ would prefer calling George Bush a ‘boy’ idiot, and not just a plain ‘idiot’ just for those very same reasons, would he not? If your intent is to further feminism, aren’t such comments self-defeating?

Getting only somewhat back on topic, is the fact that Putin is selling these chauvinistic pigs more weapons of advanced nature and power really such a good thing? Not that you said it was, you just didn’t say how bad it may be. Is Putin a boy idiot or a man idiot?

Posted by: Rick | Feb 12 2007 13:29 utc | 26

uh-oh

This is an excellent thread as are we posters.

I thought to mention that the US is currently blooding, exercising its military with all the collateral damage (dead people and their angry relatives) and other damage that entails.

If you live in a dangerous neighborhood you might welcome the gladiator strolling down the block especially if he knows you or if you speak his language. On the other hand the american gladiator might not be who you want controlling you and your neighbors.

They threaten to use nuclear bombs on the battlefield, which currently includes Iraq; they posture about dropping nuclear bombs on Iran from their aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Ocean.

And they still have ICBMs that can deliver nuclear bombs from the US part of North America to anywhere in the world.

So we have to pay attention. I think it is clear that we have to stop funding.

Posted by: jonku | Feb 12 2007 18:54 utc | 27


Hamas Government to Step Down Soon

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Monday his militant Hamas government will resign in the coming days - a formality that should clear the way for a new coalition with the Fatah movement.

Haniyeh acknowledged, however, that last week's power sharing deal between the two sides left key issues unresolved - most notably control over the security forces.

Those issues could still cause the deal to unravel, but Haniyeh said in a televised address Monday that both sides were committed to the agreement to bring an end to the bloody infighting that has plagued Gaza in recent months.

"All Palestinians have won in this agreement," he said.

Hamas and the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to a division of Cabinet positions, but have not yet decided who will get the key post of interior minister and thus exert considerable control over the security forces. Wrangling over such control contributed to the deadly factional violence that has killed more than 130 Palestinians.

The deal also did not settle the fate of Hamas' 5,600-strong militia, which was formed last year over Abbas' objections. Under one proposal, members of the force would be absorbed into various security branches, as part of an overall reform of the security service, which are mainly loyal to Abbas.

Haniyeh said his government planned to resign in the coming days to start the process of forming the new coalition. Once the government steps down, Abbas would formally request that Haniyeh set up a new government, said Abbas aide Rafiq Husseini.

....

During a meeting with the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he would reserve judgment on the new Palestinian government until it is formed, participants said.

Up to now, he said, Abbas has been an opponent of Hamas. If the new government makes the same "inflated" demands of Israel, Olmert was quoted as saying, "it will show that (Abbas) has moved from his previous position, toward Hamas."

hmmm

Posted by: annie | Feb 12 2007 21:19 utc | 28

Bernhard, thank you for synthesizing the ideas in this post. It takes a good mind to see the big picture.

It is amazing to grasp the relations that are at stake right now; Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia, the US seems to be without support, not even Britain is speaking up. Recent UN resolutions were unanimous except for the US no and Israel's abstension.

The focus on Palestine is welcome also.

A quote from the Nov. 28 2006 Washington Post that you cited as the first "carrot and stick" exercise by the Saudis:

"Senior Iraqi tribal and religious figures, along with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and other Arab and Muslim countries, have petitioned the Saudi leadership to provide Iraqi Sunnis with weapons and financial support. Moreover, domestic pressure to intervene is intense. Major Saudi tribal confederations, which have extremely close historical and communal ties with their counterparts in Iraq, are demanding action. They are supported by a new generation of Saudi royals in strategic government positions who are eager to see the kingdom play a more muscular role in the region."

Then you go on to say that SA has pressured the US to remain in Iraq, apparently to keep the lid on things that might upset the kingdom:

"A neighboring country with a secular and modern atmosphere would have been a dangerous example for the people under the archaic Wahhabi rule of the Saud dynasty. Iraq united with Kuwait as a potent oil producer had enough capacity to threaten the Saudi role of swing producer within OPEC. That menace is gone and with it the threat to Saudi hegemony.

Unlike the relative win of Iran, the Saudi win, by now unrivaled oil price control, is absolute."

Saudi Arabia seems to be putting itself on the line to end the slow strangling of Palestine at the hands of Israel.

Recently Paul Craig Roberts, a US Assistant Treasury Secretary in the Reagan administration has advocated that other states sell off their US dollars to crush its ability to make war. He is also outspoken within the country calling for impeachment of Bush. Does anyone know what drives this man?

Putin also spoke out against the US drive to war, saying that Russia will most likely develop weapons that can't be stopped by the US missile shield even if it could or does work.

Of course the combative posture plays into the hands of the Secret Team that began with the CIA and reaches thoughout the US government. This entity must be the one Catherine Austin Fitts describes as a parasite that lives off and influences the behavior of its host.

It makes you wonder what kind of power wins out; the European Union's economic power which equals the US, the political and diplomatic power being flexed by Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia on the one hand and the recently demonstrated physical force shown by the US and Israel on the other hand. Not to mention the people power currently being demonstrated in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: jonku | Feb 13 2007 11:16 utc | 29

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