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As U.S. departs Iraq, it leaves behind allies who won't talk | McClatchy

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- More than five years have passed since Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah last received Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al Maliki. The Saudi monarch views Maliki as untrustworthy and, even worse, "an Iranian agent."

Saudi Arabia doesn't allow direct flights between its capital, Riyadh, and Baghdad, and it doesn't permit direct trade between the two countries. The kingdom is building a fence along the closed 500-mile border.

This, too, is a legacy of the U.S. invasion of Iraq as U.S. troops complete their withdrawal: a bitter enmity between two close U.S. allies, with an underlay of sectarian animosity, that the United States cannot seem to ameliorate.

It is an irony, because the U.S. first sent troops to the region in part to protect Saudi Arabia in the wake of Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Thirteen years later, however, when the U.S. invaded Iraq to topple Saddam, Saudi rulers were highly critical. And they have remained opposed to or offended by almost everything that has happened since.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:22:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Saudis have always hated Iran, even more than Israel.

They realised, far better than the US, that the result of toppling a minority Sunni govt in Iraq which was hostile to Iran would result in a Shi'ia govt sympathetic to Iran. To the Saudis, Saddam, constrained as he was, was they devil they knew and understood.

They don't like Shi'ia, whom they believe are apostate scum. Iraq is now closed to Saudi.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 03:37:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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