Kuwait's American friend ... and foe

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Tue Jan 28 18:26:33 MST 2003

While the Kuwaiti regime supports a US invasion of Iraq, the people of Kuwait
may not, according to the Asia Times (Jan 29, 2003):

According to Ali Jaber al-Sabah, an independent Kuwaiti political analyst, the
mood of the people has shifted from being rooted in nationalism to one supported
by religion.

"Saddam Hussein was an offender in 1990-91, hence the hatred for Iraq and love
for the United States. Today, Iraq is hardly an enemy. It is a fellow Muslim
and Arab neighbor facing the same inconsistent US policies that has denied the
Palestinians their rights and freedom, hence the reversal of sentiments," he
said in an interview.

Ordinary Kuwaitis are also beginning to see through the US intentions in liberating
Kuwait. They now believe that the 1991 Gulf War was not fought simply to liberate
Kuwait, but with a plan to establish a more permanent strategic presence in
the region to tap oil wealth.

Likewise, they believe that this time, too, Washington's focus on Baghdad has
little to do with weapons of mass destruction and disarmament. Overthrowing
Saddam is widely seen as a mere excuse to install a US-friendly regime that
will meet US oil needs, especially when its ties with Saudi Arabia appear strained
like never before.

Ali Jaber defended the gap between the government stand and public opinion.
"The survival and stability of the regime is the primary concern of any government.
The Kuwaiti rulers feel threatened by Saddam because of his past actions, whereas
the people look at the whole problem from a religious and humanitarian perspective,"
he said. "They are incited by the possibility of thousands of innocent civilians
dying in Iraq, as was the case in Afghanistan," he explained.

Full story: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EA29Ak04.html

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