As prognosticators of Iraq pre-war, the Saudi Foreign minister handed a World Cup like defeat to Vice President Dick Cheney. It was as if Cheney wasn’t even on the same playing field.
In August 2002 Vice President Cheney said the following “Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region, extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad, moderates throughout the region would take heart, and our ability to advance the Israeli/Palestinian peace process would be enhanced.”
Saudi Foreign Minister al-Faisal cited the risk of Iraq splitting into partitions just 6 months later. He predicted an invasion of Iraq would destabilize the region.
The results are reflected in the recently released U.N. report citing nearly 6,000 civilians killed in sectarian violence in May and June. This is sharply higher revealing a rapidly deteriorating situation. During this time President Bush said “Earlier this week I traveled to Baghdad to visit the capital of a free and democratic Iraq.”
President Bush also ignored Mr. al-Faisal’s advice on Hamas. Let’s hope we don’t have to watch our President continually ignoring local advice and sticking to his guns, literally.