Sunday, February 18, 2007

Saudi’s Work around U.S. Israeli Alliance in Palestine

The Saudi monarchy must have been tired of President Bush’s "divide and conquer" strategy when it offered to broker a peace deal between rival Palestinian factions. As Fatah and Hamas fractured into violence and a looming civil war, the U.S. and Israel clearly lined up to support secular Fatah. Dangling arms and money in front of President Mahmoud Abbas, it appeared the third fledgling democracy in the region would soon go up in flames (following Iraq and Lebanon).

Instead those crafty Saudi’s intervened to keep Arab and Muslim peace. While they advised their American friend numerous times, President Bush consistently ignored their exhortations that invading Iraq would open a can of sectarian worms and destabilize the region. Bush spat on the Hamas victory after open and free elections when the Saudis suggested at least a polite handshake. The oil rich monarchy knew George Bush didn’t care about Arab people when he sat on his hands for a month while Israel carpet bombed its democratic neighbor to the north to take out 5,000 guerillas.

Did the Saudis decide “it is our region and we have the right to influence things beyond the one new/really old kid on the block and our biggest oil customer?” Whatever their motivation, the Mecca meeting fostered some level of unity in the Palestinian government. Guess who is ready to crack that freshly laid egg?

The two feme fatales of foreign relations, Condi Rice and Tzipi Livni see eye to eye on this newfound unity. Secretary Rice called it “a complication” while U.S. junior state department staffers said the new government would be shunned. Israeli Foreign minister Livni said divide and conquer must continue, “Abbas must isolate the moderates from the radicals in the Palestinian government.” This is from the government that not long ago appointed a flaming radical, Avigdor Lieberman to its Cabinet?

Condi met with the caustic Lieberman last month but will shun the new Palestinian authority while Israel foments civil war in the state is already oppresses. I can see why the Saudis intervened. I just don’t understand our endless need to divide and conquer in the region…

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