Now Saudi's declare against war

Gary Maclennan g.maclennan at pop.dynamic.qut.edu.au
Mon Mar 3 19:53:16 MST 2003


Thank you for your post Henry.  As always it was insightful and thought
provoking. Certainly the situation is acquiring a remarkable
fluidity.  Whether this will produce a totally new dynamic or not remains
unclear, at least to me!   A friend of mine with connections to the fringes
of the Saudi Royal Family has told me that they are terrified of Bush & Co.
Your point, as I understand it, is that this terror will morph into a break
with US policy and that this transformation is happening around the world
to the extent that we are dealing with a new domino effect.  I certainly
hope so.

However Bush has left himself with no retreat.  He has to go in.  Moreover
his strategy demands a quick resolution, something less than 30 days.  He
can only achieve that with outright blitzkrieg.  But that poses its own
political problems.  Let us however assume the US army is in Bhagdad by the
beginning of April - roughly the target date.  Bush problems really begin
from that time.  They have no hope of stabilising Iraq.  And this is not
like in Afghanistan - something that can be dismissed as just a "basket
case".  Nor do they have a Mohammed Karzai that they can install and
surround with Marines.  They will try that but Iraq is too centre stage to
make it look even remotely plausible.

The iron logic of their current policy is that they must try to, in Paul
Wolfowitz's charming phrase "end" a  number of countries. Which means they
will have to go into Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia.  Who knows it may be that
even Egypt will become very unstable. And they can carry out none of these
initiatives without paying a terrible political price and perhaps they may
not be able even to carry them out militarily.

If one were searching for an historical parallel, I would look at the Suez
debacle. There Israel, France and Britain got in but could not get
out.  Israel survived the disaster only because it entered without
reservation into the American orbit.

The demise of British hopes and the resignation of Anthony Eden plotted out
a path which leads directly to Blair's current position of total and
outright and absolutely abject submission to Washington. The French
bourgeoisie seem however to have stuck to De Gaulle's strategy of relative
autonomy based on close links to Germany.  It is working for the French as
can be seen by the rapturous welcome given to Chirac in Algeria.

Blair is now trapped even more than Bush.

I will not comment on the insignificant little group of stupid sycophants
that make up the government of Australia.

all in all as I keep saying - interesting times.

regards

Gary


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