Thursday, January 25, 2007

They Mean What They Say

I wondered why the usually cautious Saudis were speaking aggressively regarding Iran:

Saudi Arabia's military is not nearly as good as it was twenty years ago. Yet Saudi Arabia seems willing to tangle with the Iranians now? When Iran could soon have nuclear missiles? And with Saudi Shias potentially looking to Tehran for support?

It almost makes me think that the Saudis expect somebody to do something about Iran soon.

As it turns out, there is a simple and more direct explanation. That "somebody" is Saudi Arabia itself:

Saudi Arabia is supporting the Palestinian Fatah organization against the Iranian supported Hamas. Saudi Arabia is also using its money to support Sunni Arab, and Christian, factions in Lebanon, against Hizbollah, the Shia minority and its Iranian backers. Saudi Arabia is also giving support to the Sunni Arab majority in Syria. For decades, the Saudis tolerated the Shia minority that ran Syria. No more. The situation has changed, especially with Iran gaining speed in its effort to build nuclear weapons.

The Saudis are even, secretly, cooperating with the Israelis. Iran has always been seen as a greater danger to Israel than the surrounding Sunni Arab nations. ...

The Saudis are committing over $100 billion to this battle, and doing it out of the purest of motives; self interest.

This is why a coalition of the willing is most effective. Had we forced Saudi Arabia to help us, we could have gotten some grudgingly. But Saudi Arabia has decided that it is in their interests to battle the jihadi terrorists. Saudi help will be far more effective freely given.

As a bonus, the Saudis won't be able to claim we "owe them" for the favor of helping us.

Remember this as we hear belligerent words from Iran. Words can reflect the hidden reality.