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Thread: Saudis consider sending troops to Iraq

  1. #1
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Saudis consider sending troops to Iraq

    Saudis consider sending troops to Iraq - Conflict in Iraq - MSNBC.com

    Saudis consider sending troops to Iraq Government ‘deeply skeptical’ al-Maliki can make Bush surge plan work
    EXCLUSIVE
    By Alex Johnson and Andrea Mitchell
    MSNBC and NBC News
    Updated: 5:01 p.m. ET Jan 16, 2007

    Saudi Arabia believes the Iraqi government is not up to the challenge and has told the United States that it is prepared to move its own forces into Iraq should the violence there degenerate into chaos, a senior U.S. official told NBC News on Tuesday.
    Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal made no effort to mask his skepticism Tuesday about President Bush’s proposal to send 21,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq to stem sectarian fighting.
    “We agree with the full objectives set by the new plan,” Saud said at a joint news conference in Riyadh with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is traveling in the region selling Bush’s plan. “We are hoping these objectives can be accomplished, but the means are not in our hands. They are in the hands of the Iraqis themselves.”
    In fact, Saudi leaders are privately “deeply skeptical” that the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki could implement the U.S. plan, the senior U.S. official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell, who is traveling with Rice.
    The Saudi government has signaled in the past that it would oppose an early withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, fearing it would leave minority Sunni Muslims at the mercy of Shiite Muslim militias.
    The Saudis’ primary concern is the Sunni population of Anbar province, the senior U.S. official. The official said the Saudis had informed Washington that they were considering a plan to send troops into the province if Bush’s plan failed.
    A White House spokesman declined to comment on the report, which Rice downplayed during a briefing for reporters. She said such a scenario was why it was important for the U.S. plan to produce a unified Iraq.
    Rice seeks support for plan
    Rice is in the region to lobby Egypt, Jordan and the six moderate Arab states in the Persian Gulf for a statement of support for Bush’s plan.
    “I’ve briefed the president’s plan on Iraq at all the different stops,” Rice told reporters. “There is, I think, very good support for the American commitment there, very good support for the objectives the president wants to achieve.”

    Bush’s proposal has met with wide skepticism as sectarian violence has deepened in Iraq. The United Nations reported Tuesday that more than 34,000 Iraqi civilians died last year; at least 109 people were killed or found dead Tuesday, the bloodiest day in weeks.
    Bush acknowledged frustration at the turn of events in an interview Tuesday with PBS’s Jim Lehrer.
    “I’m frustrated at times about Iraq because I understand the consequences of failure. I want the Iraqis to succeed for our own sake,” the president said, according to a transcript of the interview.
    “This is a war, part of a broader war, and if we fail in Iraq, there is a better likelihood that the enemy comes and hurts us here.”

    Saudis pledge no interference with Iran
    While the focus of Rice’s tour is to drum up support for the U.S. initiative in Iraq, she was also seeking to put out a diplomatic brush fire over Iran after a top Iranian diplomat visited Riyadh to meet with King Abdullah to complain about the U.S. military build-up.
    Saudi officials reassured Rice on Tuesday that they had no intention of getting in the middle of the dispute between Iran and the United States. Rice emphasized that the U.S. campaign to disrupt Iranian networks threatening U.S. forces in Iraq would be confined within the boundaries of Iraq, officials said.
    During the meetings, Saud, the foreign minister, also welcomed Rice’s initiative to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, U.S. officials said.
    NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell reported from Kuwait City. NBC News’ Kim Sneed reported from Washington.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Iran president sends note to Saudi king



    By MAAMOUN YOUSSEF, Associated Press Writer 42 minutes ago

    Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that he sent a message to Saudi King Abdullah proposing that they cooperate in helping stabilize Iraq.
    Ahmadinejad's comments came as Washington is trying to rally its Arab allies and isolate Iran.
    "We, Saudis and other neighboring countries can help the Iraqi people to take the lead to consolidate their government's capability to stabilize and maintain security in their country," Ahmadinejad told the Saudi-owned satellite television channel.
    "I sent a message to King Abdullah in this regard and the answer, generally, was positive," the Iranian president said in the interview taped Saturday in Venezuela, one of the countries on his Latin American tour.
    Iran's top national security official, Ali Larijani, had delivered a message to Abdullah, the official Saudi Press Agency reported Sunday, but did not reveal its contents.
    Iran's overture to Saudi Arabia appeared to be an attempt to counter American efforts to rally its allies in the region and isolate Tehran.
    Saudi Arabia has shown increasing alarm over Iran's growing influence in Iraq and across the Arab world, even as it has grown more worried over Iraq's chaos.
    The U.S. has previously asked Saudi Arabia to use its close ties to Iraq's Sunni minority to encourage reconciliation with the Shiite-led government. Saudi Arabia has pressed the U.S. to ensure that Shiite militias are reined in.
    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, ahead of her regional tour, rejected anew proposals for opening a diplomatic dialogue with Iran and Syria as a way to help stabilize Iraq.
    She said Iran would demand U.S. concessions on its nuclear program while Damascus would ask for an easing of the U.S. opposition to Syrian policies in Lebanon as a price for cooperation.
    Ahmadinejad said the Americans were in "trouble and they are seeking a way to get out of it while ensuring their economic interests and increase their hegemony over the region."
    Addressing Iran's nuclear program, Ahmadinejad reiterated that "we are always ready to talk, but if the dialogue is used as a means to impose something which is illegal then they should realize that it is a dead end."
    Iranian officials have said that efforts to make Iran roll back its nuclear activities are not legal because it has the right to a peaceful nuclear program as a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.



    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070117/...ran_saudi_iraq
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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    Haha, that's quite funny that Iran's president would say something like that and I'll get into that here later. But I do agree that the countries around Iraq need to step up and start playing an active role in trying to minimize the violence inside of Iraq. Just like the Baker/Hamilton report had stated and I agree 100%, all the countries in the area will be directly effected by the outcome of Iraq. I don't think some of these countries really want a failed state right next door because that would create a security threat. In terms of Saudi's sending troops? This is an interesting move on the part of Saudi Arabia. More bold then I would have expected.

    But back to Iran. I really find it funny that Iran says it wants to "help" stabilize Iraq when in fact it's using Iraq as a proxy war to inflict as much damage to American forces as they can. So far at my base, all the lot numbers of any rounds from mortars and rockets that we were able to pick on on crater analysis trace back to Iran. Most of the IED's and specifically the EFP's have been made in Iran and sent across the border through Al Kut and other supply avenues. Some of our HV targets that we've managed to capture have recieved training in Iran. So for Iran to say that it wants to "help" the situation here is a complete lie and they are trying to gain what ever leverage they can in order to obtain more influence and power in the region. This is not something we want with a extreme leader that is close to obtaining nuclear weapons. I guess that's just my two cents.

  4. #4
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    The addition of US troops, the US pressure building up on Malliki to get his house in order and with the live possibility that if the situation does not improve, the Democrats may force the US govt to withdraw or reduce troops, gives good reasons for Iran to worry.

    It is not that they would not welcome the withdrawal of US troops, but for reasons other than those mentioned below.

    The current situation in Iraq is ideal for Iran. The US is hard on the heels of the Sunnis (AQ and Anbar etc) and are marginalising them. At the same time, Malliki is not allowing the US troops to take on the Mahdi death squads (check news reports in the US politics sub forum and War in Iraq sub forum). Thus, ideal is the environment for Shia consolidation in Baghdad and Iraq since a systematic killing of the Sunnis is feasible and is going on unabated. The Sunnis are slowly being reduced to a nominal presence in Iraq!

    This Shia game plan of Malliki and Shias is admirably suitable. Iran being the dominant Shia power in the ME and with grandiose plans to upstake Sunnis as the leading sect of Islam is already calling the shots in Iraq. This has credence since important personages have openly kowtowed to Iran as is observed in the comments of the Iraqi Minister chastising the US over the raid on the Iranian 'consulate' in North Iraq! It is unbelievable that any Iraqi minister could directly criticise the US over such a sensitive issue as Iran, the bete noir of the US!

    Thus, for Iran, it would apparently be catastrophic if the US troops withdraw! Because if the US troops withdraw, the AQ (Sunnis) will return with vengeance. It will also open up manipulation by the Sunni nations of the ME, currently restrained by the US, to sneak in 'fighters' into Iraq to wreak vengeance as also to restore the Sunni supremacy that was there in Saddam's time!

    Therefore, it is prudent for Iran to talk to Saudi Arabia and test the waters. This will also neutralise any Saudi influence on the US to harm the Shia consolidation in Iraq.

    It maybe mentioned that while the Shias want the Shia crescent to span the ME, the Sunnis are immensely worried about their losing their hold on the Crescent since in this crescent lies the major oil fields of the world. The Sunnis are the dominant sect in the Islamic diaspora and they would not like to lose this position politically in the comity of Islamic nations.
    Last edited by Ray; 17 Jan 07, at 06:44.


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    Well put article and you do make many good points. But I disagree that Iran is really willing to help solve the situation in Iraq. Iran is supplying the Shia' militia's with arms to include mortars, rockets, RPG's and all variety of IED's. What are the Shia militia's doing? Under the militia's, there are death squads, rivarily between the militias and pretty much an all out power struggle for power between the Badr Brigade and the Jash Al Mahdi milita a.k.a Mahdi army under Al Sadr. At the current time, the funding from Iran to these militias is a direct cause of the expanding secratrian violence, but also keep in mind, a lot of those resources are also directed at us, the US military from the militia themselves. Iran is using Iraq as a proxy to influence all aspects of the current situation. Then they go publicly to say that they are willing to help stabilize Iraq when in fact they are a major factor for the destabilization. The only way Iran can truly help is put a stop to its supply of arms and to convince the militia's it has influence over to end the violence. Both of which I don't see Iran doing. If Iran thinks it can get away publicly saying that it wants to help the situation but at the sametime secrectly arms the militias undermines it's credibility when it says it wants to help. At the sametime, countries like Saudi Arabi that are primarily Sunni need to use it's influence to try to get the Sunni's to end the violence against the Shia's. All sides need to fight AQ and the insurgencies. This struggle will continue until both sides finally say enough is enough against each other and focus on the real threat, AQ. I mean AQ was I believe responsible for the bombing of the Golden Shrine of Samara that really was the main spark to the secratarian violence. Read these...

    U.S. says it has evidence on Iran
    Meanwhile, U.S. defense officials say the United States has gathered substantial information and equipment pointing to the involvement of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Al Quds force among Shiite militias.

    The militias have been attacking Iraqi civilians and U.S. troops, the officials said.

    The evidence was gathered in raids that took place in Irbil earlier this month, and in Baghdad in December.

    The United States is still holding 13 people seized in the raids. Others have been returned to Iran. At least two are said by U.S. officials to be senior members of Al Quds -- although it is not clear if those two are still in U.S. custody.

    Some of the weapons and weapons components seized had Iranian manufacturing stamps, according to one official. The inventory included mortars, rockets, shoulder-launched weapons and rifles.

    Officials are deeply concerned about finding Iranian-manufactured components for advanced improvised explosive devices. The components appear to be used in the armor-penetrating devices that have been used for months now against U.S. troops, the officials said.

    Also found in these raids were shipping documents, including addresses inside Iraq, bills of lading, trip logs, videos and maps. One map showed Baghdad neighborhoods and other areas in Iraq marked off by religious affiliation.

    and

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi authorities say they have been quietly taking a bolder stance against Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army militia, and the United States says it has uncovered evidence that Iran is involved in attacks inside Iraq.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Wednesday that security forces in recent days cracked down on the Mehdi Army, part of a politically powerful Shiite movement thought to be in the middle of the Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence in Iraq.

    He said 400 arrests were made.

    Al-Maliki has been seen as reluctant to take on the Mehdi Army because support from al-Sadr helped him become prime minister.

    President Bush's plan to secure Baghdad and the rest of Iraq depends heavily on Iraqi government action against all insurgent groups. (Watch the destruction of bombs detonated in an al-Sadr stronghold )

    Al-Maliki indicated he is taking action.

    "Now about 400 of those linked to the Mehdi Army have been arrested over the past few days, and today in Karbala we conducted an operation against a group that assassinated a member of the Karbala provincial council. They have been detained and brought to Baghdad," al-Maliki said.

    Al-Maliki said the government had acted against militias in Samawa, Diwaniya and Amara in southern Iraq as well.

    I think Maliki is finally willing to truly play the neutral leader and reign in both sides using force if need be. It's good to see that the Iraqi government is finally willing to not just take on the sunni side but also the shia.

  6. #6
    Staff Emeritus Julie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheChosenOne
    If Iran thinks it can get away publicly saying that it wants to help the situation but at the sametime secrectly arms the militias undermines it's credibility when it says it wants to help.
    Do you think Iran is presently "getting away" with it? Do you think it is reflecting in the attitude of the President of Iran?

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    Senior Contributor smilingassassin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    Do you think Iran is presently "getting away" with it? Do you think it is reflecting in the attitude of the President of Iran?
    I don't think ANYTHING reflects on that mans attitude, he is living in his own 12th apostle riverie...

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    Iran is definetly "getting away" with it as of now. They say one thing but yet do another. I think Iran's days of getting away with it are numbered though and on a real short supply though. As we speak the Iran/Iraq border is being literally closed by engineer batallion's. Not to mention we've probably all seen the article earlier this week of US forces detaining Iranian's in Irbril. Plus the US is ramping up it's anti-air support and bringing another carrier into the region, both of which suggest possible air strikes on Iran.

    I think it's reflecting in the attitude of Iran's president. Say one thing but do another. He's anti-american and anti-sematic. I can only imagine he wants to bolster the power of the Shi'ites in the region how ever necessary. Honestly, the way I see it, the sheer power politics on the leadership from Iran is to obtain more influence in the region. I think what they may be trying to do is make it look like they publically helped and take credit for their actions when in fact, they were a direct cause of the expanding chaos in Iraq.
    Last edited by TheChosenOne; 19 Jan 07, at 16:02.

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