Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Should We Be At War With Saudi Arabia?

via Iraq Fils

Who are the Foreign Fighters dying in Iraq?

An NBC News analysis of hundreds of foreign fighters who died in Iraq over the last two years reveals that a majority came from the same country as most of the 9/11 hijackers — Saudi Arabia.

Among the suicide bombers was Ahmed al-Ghamdi, a one-time medical student and son of a Saudi diplomat. In December 2004, he climbed into a truck in Mosul and blew himself up.

On an Internet video, another Saudi says goodbye to his mother, then drives an ambulance full of explosives into a building.

They are among more than 400 militants from 21 countries whose deaths were celebrated on Islamic Web sites over the last two years.

"By far the nationality that comes up over and over again is Saudi Arabia," says Evan Kohlmann, an NBC News terrorism expert.

The NBC News analysis of Web site postings found that 55 percent of foreign insurgents came from Saudi Arabia, 13 percent from Syria, 9 percent from North Africa and 3 percent from Europe.

Or are we at war with them already and we just won't declare it officially?


The Sandmonkey said...

I am not sure you are at war with the saudi government or the saudi people. I think your enemies are a certain segment of the saudi population that have a lot of money and little intelligence. Those are the people who oppose giving women the right to drive because they might end up meeting strange men, so instead they hire mostly pakistani drivers for them- who also are strange men- to drive them around. It's like they are saying "ehh, no need to worry about them being with paki drivers in the same car or closed space. No temptation there. No woman in her right mind would sleep with a paki!"

So yeah, they are not very bright, and they constitute a minority, albeit a vocal and deadly one. They are, however, no real justification for war with Saudi. Which is why it's a good thing that there is Iraq. It gives the americans the battlefield to kill all the crazy saudis without actually having to go into their country. I guess that would be the bright side of this, if such a thing existed!

Kat said...

I have contradicting thoughts on the matter.

First, I've been thinking as you that this is an interesting way to wage proxy war without damaging a strategic area and ally.

second, on the other hand, the Saudi government speaks with forked tongue. I see the "official" information they put out and their university info and it bugs the hell out of me that seems like they are actually, at least ideologically, supporting the actions of this "deadly but vocal" minority.

That is why I ask the question. Who is waging proxy war with whom?

DaKruser said...

Interesting paradox. Let's examine the situation in reality. There is no way the US will EVER go to war w/ the Saudis. EVEN IF they came right out and claimed that their "secret services" TRAINED the pilots of 9/11, and their families were being openly financed by the Gov't to soften the loss of their sons. There is just WAY too much American Money and America-based Multi-nationals in Saudi, so there is no way ANY US Gov't would bomb those oil fields/refineries.
Is it not possible, then, that BOTH countries are fighting a war-by-proxy? They want us to lose in Iraq, so they make it not only possible, but really quite easy for the Jihadis to go to Iraq. We want them to lose power, but not to the Jihadis, so we gladly kill them in Iraq. Maybe, there is a three-way proxy war here that all adds up to more and more Iraqis die-ing. I am a firm backer of the US Soldier in Iraq, I firmly believe we will win in that theater, but, maybe the average person here in the States should wonder if there is a WHOLE LOT MORE going on than meets the eye involving SO MANY MORE COUNTRIES in the Middle East than we care to think about? Your blog opens this question to a necessary debate.

Kat said...

DaKruser...excellent point and actually fleshes out my previous thoughts.

In essence, if the KSA royals lose power, it will be to hardline muslims. As much as their are liberals in KSA, they are the minority. There is a vast middle ground in the KSA of highly religious people with opposing ideas on freedom who could be swung either way by the vocal jihadist violent overthrow folks or stay in the middle and support the royalists in KSA. They are less likely to support any liberal movement in KSA and that is apparent by the types of laws and voting that takes place.

If jihadists come to power, it is a sure bet that oil out flow will be contingent on the relationships they build that would not include many western states. Or, that they would have a ready base of revenue from the oil in order to build or support even more jihadist/extremist take overs of the region.

I don't know if this is a little paranoid fear on my part, but I would say that, by engaging the salafi extremists from all over, we necessarily attrit them from their original locale thus giving the local governments some respite from take over by the extremists and give the liberals and little more time to build their ability.

I think, in wars such as this, it is safe to assume that there is more than one strategy at work or at least more than one possible positive (or negative) outcome.

So, yes, maybe this is the proxy war from hell where we are fighting any and all comers from the region. We are stronger and more capable than any of the others. If we win here, as one person points out, it is going to very difficult for the salafi to raise their war flag in other countries. They won't be trusted.

Promethea said...

As Dakruser said, this is probably a proxy war on both sides. We'll never know what's really going on--it's just too secret and too complicated. Hatred's Kingdom, by Dore Gold, gives a lot of information about the various factions in Saudi Arabia. In his blog, Sandmonkey mentioned the Bedouins of the Sinai and the fact that the Egyptian government needs to walk carefully when trying to control them. The same can be said of various Bedouin tribes in Saudi Arabia.

Iraq, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are far more complicated countries than one would learn from reading the popular press.

Indigo Red said...

The single most formidable reason the war in Iraq is a proxy war is Saudi Arabia is the Land of the Two Holy Cities. We cannot attack KSA without incurring the wrath of every Muslim on the planet no matter what the individual Muslim may think of Clan Saud.

It's not specifically Clan Saud with whom we are figuratively at war, but with the Wahabist religious tradition that hates everything not Wahab. To remain in power the Wahabis need everything not Wahab.

As long as KSA has the oil and we have the dollars there will be this weird symbiosis between predator and prey; neither can afford to destroy the other without unacceptable loses in blood and/or wealth. So a long war of attrition is taking place.