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S Arabia 'real reason for war' ^ | April 3, 2004

Posted on 04/03/2004 1:55:34 AM PST by Piefloater

FORGET Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The real reason the United States invaded Iraq was Saudi Arabia, according to a US intelligence analyst.

Dr George Friedman, chairman of the United States private sector intelligence company Stratfor, said the US had settled on WMD as a simple justification for the war and one which it expected the public would readily accept.

Dr Friedman, in Australia on a business trip, said the US administration never wanted to explain the complex reasons for invading Iraq, keeping them from both the public and their closest supporters.

"That, primarily, was the fact that Saudi Arabia was facilitating the transfer of funds to al-Qaeda, was refusing to cooperate with the US and believed in its heart of hearts that the US would never take any action against them," he said.

Dr Friedman said the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US prompted the strategy to hunt down al-Qaeda wherever it was to be found. But that proved exceedingly difficult.

"The US was desperate. There were no good policy choices," he said.

"Then the US turned to the question - we can't find al-Qaeda so how can we stop the enablers of al-Qaeda."

He said those enablers, the financiers and recruiters, existed in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

But the Saudi government variously took the view that this wasn't true or that they lacked the ability and strength to act, he said.

Dr Friedman said in March last year, the Saudis responded to US pressure by asking the US to remove all its forces and bases from their territory. To their immense surprise, the US did just that, relocating to Qatar.

He said Saudi Arabia and al-Qaeda shared a number of beliefs including that the US could not fight and win a war in the region and was casualty averse. There was a need to change that perception.

But close by was Iraq, the most strategically located nation in the Middle East, bordering Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Turkey and Iran.

"If we held Iraq we felt first there would be dramatic changes of behaviour from the Saudis," he said. "We could also manipulate the Iranians into a change of policy and finally also lean on the Syrians.

"It wasn't a great policy. It happened to be the only policy available."

Dr Friedman said US President George W Bush faced the difficulty of explaining this policy, particularly to the Saudis. Moves to link Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda failed completely.

"They then fell on WMD for two reasons," he said.

"Nobody could object to WMD and it was the one thing that every intelligence agency knew was true.

"We knew we were going to find them. And we would never have to reveal the real reasons.

"The massive intelligence failure was that everybody including Saddam thought he had WMD. He behaved as if he had WMD. He was conned by his own people."

TOPICS: Extended News; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bushdoctrine; iraq; realreason4war; reason4war; saudiarabia
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I'm not sure if this view from Stratfor's Dr George Friedman has been posted on Free Republic before.

This is getting press coverage in Australia because he is currently here on a business trip.

1 posted on 04/03/2004 1:55:34 AM PST by Piefloater
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To: All

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2 posted on 04/03/2004 1:57:40 AM PST by Support Free Republic (I'd rather be sleeping. Let's get this over with so I can go back to sleep!)
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To: Piefloater
A side reason, is that Mideast oil is the cheapest to produce. Gain influence/control over this production and use it to moderate/influence the cost of oil overall. Much of the other sources of oil are more expensive to produce. Who would you rather have this "influence"? Hmmm
3 posted on 04/03/2004 2:08:27 AM PST by Waco
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To: Waco
That's a DU talking point.

It is about oil, but not the way you are trying to make it out to be. It is about getting the Arabs, and yes, especially the Saudi's to turn off the spigot of oil money they have been feeding the terrorists.

Swatting mosquitos doesn't do anything if there is a nice sticky swamp for them to breed in. You have to drain the swamp. That is what is happening.

Khadaffy is out of the terrorism and WMD business, Syria is behaving itself, Saudi Arabia has recently clamped down on the "charities" that were pumping money to the Islamonazis and have suspended more than 900 prayer leaders who were talking the jihadi talk too much.

And all of this happened because the fat Arabs in their oil-bought palaces realized that Bush is not Clinton and is not going to just wring his hands, whimper when look the other way when the pampered princes of Arabia dabble in terrorism like an amusing hobby.

The WMD claim may have been overplayed. I don't know. Certainly it wasn't just Bush who thought they had them, as the numerous quotes from Clinton and his cronies -- during their administration -- have made perfectly clear.

Controlling the oil? Moderating the prices? Why bother? Who would the Saudi's sell it to if not us? They can't drink the stuff or use it themselves. The war has been and will be hugely expensive in terms of dollars, manpower, material and, of course, casualties. But the reason for it has been to destroy the terrorists and safeguard the American people.

Has it worked perfectly? Hell no! But what ever does? Is there more work to be done? Hell Yes! Iran is going to have to be dealt with sooner or later. But is the policy working? I think so. I think the benefits are real and tangible and we need to stay the course on it.

I strongly resent your insinuation that this is an oil grab in disguise.
4 posted on 04/03/2004 2:28:47 AM PST by Ronin (When the fox gnaws, smile!!)
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To: Piefloater
Good Lord! How about because we were already there patrolling the No Fly Zone and getting shot at every other day?
5 posted on 04/03/2004 2:45:24 AM PST by Solamente
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To: Waco
Iraq has the second highest reserves (maybe).

We don't want the Chinese to gain future influence there for several reasons.
6 posted on 04/03/2004 2:57:46 AM PST by Finalapproach29er (" Permitting homosexuality didn't work out very well for the Roman Empire")
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To: Solamente
Exactamundo Solamente, I know my colleages and I were sick and tired of having to go to Saudi or Kuwait or Turkey every year, just to have our planes shot at. I'm glad we got out of that seemingly endless routine.
7 posted on 04/03/2004 2:59:39 AM PST by Jet Jaguar (Who would the terrorists vote for?)
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To: Piefloater
Am I going crazy? The issue was NEVER about WMD but that inspectors weren't allowed free reign.
Is everybody stupid?
8 posted on 04/03/2004 3:02:22 AM PST by dyed_in_the_wool ("Like a patient etherised upon a table" -- TSE)
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To: Ronin
Well-stated! Go to the head of the class.

9 posted on 04/03/2004 3:24:48 AM PST by Susannah (visit for a map history of shrinking Israel)
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To: dyed_in_the_wool
This explanation reminds me of the three stooges. Joe hits Curly and Curly responds by leveling Moe. Surely there is a better reason than this.
10 posted on 04/03/2004 3:36:37 AM PST by meenie
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To: meenie
When the prevailing wisdom begins to get too loud and demanding I find it useful to take a step back and see what's really going on, after all about this time last year the prevailing wisdom was that the Iraq war was a quagmire when we were in fact right in the middle of the fastest, easiest, route in American history. BBC radio was reporting glorious Iraqi victories even as our tanks rolled through downtown bagdad only a few blocks away.

Iraq has become a big political football since the baby boomers (the only generation ever to lose a major American war) decided to relive their traumatic past and deny their children the victory that they couldn't achieve themselves -- not in reality mind you, but as Michael Moore would say, we live in fictional times with fictional presidents, fictional media and fictional documentary producers. A time when an amazing military victory with historically mind-boggling low casualty rates can be labeled a quagmire, defeat, or vietnam to political ends.

It's probably useful to remember than the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were saudi as were the planners. And it's probably also useful to remember that Iran is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. And of course we can't forget Syria's unyielding support for the palestinian terror groups that provide the seed for modern arab terrorism worldwide.

If you'll pull out a map you'll see Iraq sits sack dab on the border of all those states. Moreover, Iraq's vast oil reserves can make up for many eventualities in our overall war on terror. Meaning if it becomes necessary to enforce a regieme change in Iran to end their support for terrorism then Iraq can make up the shortfall in world oil supplies while Iran's oil is offline. If we decide Saudi Arabia needs sanctions to enforce reforms, for the first time in modern history we have the oil reserves to boycott saudi oil.

That gets lost in the "WMD -- (cough) discussion (cough) --" because our leaders can't really point out the military strategic benefit Iraq holds in prosecuting the war on terror. Well lets call it what it is -- the war on islamic arab radicals. After all it's highly rude to point out to our Saudi "friends" that we have half a million troops on their border and the oil reserves to cover us if we need to go in and do the housecleaning they won't. Nobody can say it out loud, but the Saudi government has become **REMARKABLY** helpful on the War on Terror since we became their neighbor -- not BEFORE we became their neighbor, after.

Moreover, much has been made that our troops are being attacked almost daily in Iraq, but there is more than solid proof that those attacks are being organized, planned, and executed by Al Qauida and their affiliates. That is, our military is fighting our enemy on their soil, not ours. And in military terms that is a very good thing. And yes we've suffered casualties but so have they, not only have they not won any strategic, moral, or political victories but they have been beaten, harrassed, captured, routed, and killed.

In military terms, Iraq's strategic position in the war on terror makes it the perfect base of operations. Taking out an international pariah guilty of massive human rights abuses was merely a bonus. Even if Iraq was pristinely innocent of the WMD charge that mattered no more in the tactical sense than the little island nations America overran as it slugged its way to Japan to WWII.

Just something to think about the next time you hear about WMDs for the billionth time on the evening news.
11 posted on 04/03/2004 3:38:50 AM PST by pcx99
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To: Piefloater
Dr Friedman said US President George W Bush faced the difficulty of explaining this policy, particularly to the Saudis. Moves to link Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda failed completely.


12 posted on 04/03/2004 3:52:03 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: meenie
There were 18 resolutions that stated the cease fire would continue so long as Saddam met certain criteria.
He failed that.
We resumed hostilities.
Recall the 'no fly zone' and all of the violations? The shooting at our planes, etc.?
Good enough reason?
Gassing Kurds..good enough reason?
Harboring terrorists and paying off terrorist groups...good enough reason?
Training terrorists at Salman Pak...good enough reason?

There may well be a direct connection between Saddam and 9/11. Just possibly. But that is entirely besides the point.
And whether Saddam had 5 tons or 5 liters of chemical weapons, they are still WMD and they were banned
But the President never once said, "We're going in because he has WMD".
Not once.

And get this, the world is becoming a better place because of this!
Saddam's gone, democracy is budding in the Middle East.
Libya has disarmed.
Iran is under some real pressure now.
Syria (who probably has Saddams WMD and $$$) has been put on notice. Remember, the democrats and the U.N. gave Saddam time to move any stuff he might have had to the fellow Baathist regime by delaying Bush's use of his authority.

So it might be a little tough to follow, but it's legally and morally right.
And it has nothing to do with whether he had WMD or not.
Crazy, huh?
13 posted on 04/03/2004 3:53:18 AM PST by dyed_in_the_wool ("Like a patient etherised upon a table" -- TSE)
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To: pcx99
Well done, pcx99. Your post should be stapled to the foreheads of the lefty journalists who pollute our airways each evening. Perhaps then they'd get it... (I doubt it, though).
14 posted on 04/03/2004 3:55:45 AM PST by islander-11 (Owning a gun makes me a criminal like owning a six-iron makes me a Skakel.)
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To: islander-11
Here's my take.

Islam has declared war on the West.

The West doesn't believe it yet.

Islamic Terrorism has always been state-sponsored, and only fools think it is a law-enforcement issue. Clinton did, and makes my point.

Iraq is the most obvious place to begin to dismantle the Islamoterrorist regimes, one by one.

Each terrorist attack on American assets must be met with overwhelming force.

For every attack on us, we take a radical Muslim country.

The equation was not lost on Libya.

The RINO's, the DemocRATS and traitorous CNNABCCBSWNBCPBSNPR who look to the corrupt Muslim-infested UN and the whimpering EuroTwits held hostage by threats to save us, need to Shut-The-Phuck-Up and let us do the job.

Americans should walk anyone on Earth, like the Romans, safe and free.

Anyone who touches an American needs to die, along with their families and neighbors.

And when Fazoo even thinks about harming Americans, his family and neighbors will kill him first.

Warrior Freepers Rule The Earth
15 posted on 04/03/2004 4:20:44 AM PST by Enduring Freedom (Warrior Freepers Rule The Earth)
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To: Enduring Freedom

To add to your brilliant post.

The radical Islamic fundamentalist we face must be purged. I have only heard this from a Special Forces Instructor on Rush and Rabbi Marc Gellman from the God Squad on Imus, (and one other who will go unnamed) and that is that Islam must go through a reformation.

What GWB is doing will be talked about by our Grad kids if we survive and that is change this subculture of death within Islam and get them to see the light.This is HUGE.

They can't denounce these thugs when they hold the whole community at bay. It would be like an American of Italian decent telling Tony Soprano to go straight (I can say this because I am 2nd gen American from Italian roots).

I have a number of Conservative friends and when we get together to talk politics, they have an interesting take on the War. They have felt all along it wasn't about Iraq, It is all about IRAN. This is were all the wackiness came from. I think they have a point. Get rid of the extremist Mullah's there and the picture may change quite a bit. The things going on in Iran with the kids revolting in the last few weeks are getting Zero airplay with the "BS" media, makes me sick.

16 posted on 04/03/2004 4:34:15 AM PST by taildragger
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To: dyed_in_the_wool
The gassing of the Kurds was pre-Gulf War (IIRC, it was 1988, shortly after the Iraq-Iran War ended). The rest, however is good.

To expand on a couple things:

17 posted on 04/03/2004 4:34:36 AM PST by steveegg (End the FReepathons; donate monthly -
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To: Piefloater
It makes no difference to me, "why" we are over there. As far as, I am concerned it would make me happy, if we invade all of te countries over there.

They are all full of cowardly terrorists. People that strap bombs on their children, are nothing more than cowards themselves.

They all hate us, so they all must be exterminated.

18 posted on 04/03/2004 4:58:54 AM PST by auggy ( /// Check out My USA Photo album & Fat Files)
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To: taildragger
Thanks for your kind words taildragger, and for your informative additions.

Those in the know get that this is a clandestine war on Islam and its culture of death.
19 posted on 04/03/2004 5:05:07 AM PST by Enduring Freedom (Warrior Freepers Rule The Earth)
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To: Piefloater
read later
20 posted on 04/03/2004 5:05:54 AM PST by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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