Madame Bookworm reads the future

I’ve predicted in this blog that, if America continues to coddle Iran, Saudi Arabia will give Israel access to its air space, although it may well lie about that fact later.  Iran’s bluster was fine with the Arab Muslim nations as long as they thought the U.S. would ultimately slap down any Iranian pretensions to regional hegemony.  With that clearly not the case any more, the game is changing and the players are taking new (and, if I do say so myself, predictable) positions on the board:

The head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service, has assured Benjamin Netanyahu, its prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites.

Saudi Arab is not the only one to reconsider the world order now that America is a suddenly a weak sister.  Perhaps the rest of the world will drift away from Marxism and coddling Muslim extremism as America becomes a mere spectator and — worse — a spectator that tends to cheer on the bad guys.

Like the teenager who can act wild, knowing that Daddy will ultimately be there to protect her, Europeans (and others) could afford to be weak and silly, knowing that America would come along and clean up their messes.  With Daddy in a coma, Europeans have to stand on their own, and I think their choices are going to be quite different than they were before.

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  • 11B40


    Just another day in the lands of “I against my brother; my brother and I against our cousin; and my brother, my cousin, and I against the stranger”.

    Saudi Arabia is the Sunni center of Islam. The Iranians are largely Shi’ite Muslims. The two groups have been having a bit of difficulty getting along since about 680 A.D. Apparently, back then, the Sunnis pulled a Tony Soprano whack-job on the head Shi’a guy. Add to the religious dimension, just a dash of Arab versus Persian racial conflict. It seems the Persians were building a civilization while the Arabs were building oasis-fires, and the former would prefer that the latter not forget that.

    But not to worry, President Obama is on the way to save the day.

  • Charles

    Slightly off topic – But I think still relevant. Unless the U.S. is putting pressure on the Saudis (something the U.S. has done in the past on similar issues like the one mentioned in the article) I fear that this is the beginning of the U.S. giving away its influence around the world – something that will be very hard to get back.

    And yes, I do consider this to not be a good thing. Two questions I have learned over the years to ask those (usually liberals) who complain that the U.S. in interferring in other’s affairs.

    1. Should the U.S. be involved with the world or should we be isolationist? If they answer isolationist it shows how little they know of history and the conversation is not worth continuing. If they say the U.S. should be involved in world affairs then I continue to question No. 2.

    2. Since we now both agree the U.S. should be involved in world affairs; which would be better, to engage the world on OUR terms or to deal with other countries on their terms which could be very unfavourable to the U.S. or the world at large?

    This, in my opinion, is the greatest damage that Obama is doing to the U.S. and the world – giving away U.S. influence around the world. The beginning of the end of American Exceptionalism. The U.S. and the world will be worse off.

    Back on topic – I hope that the news in this article is a result of the U.S. putting pressure on the Saudis; only it is not being made public, not even with “unnamed sources.” Again, that is something that has happened in the past.

  • Ymarsakar

    Apparently, back then, the Sunnis pulled a Tony Soprano whack-job on the head Shi’a guy.

    I believe it was the Sayyid dynasty who needed to consolidate their power in their current Islamic Empire. To do so, they needed to get rid of a few upstarts, like the living relatives of Mohammed, the religion to which the Sayyid dynasty derived their legal justification and support for conquest.

    Well, it so happened that one of Mohammed’s descendants started up some sort of revolve, along with a bunch of other people, on the reason that it is better be against such political oppression than the alternatives.

    Of course, the Sayyid dynasty did not come to power and maintain that power with UN and Bushlike feelings. One time they conquered a tribe/region by promising amnesty to all the enemy’s relatives. When those people came to one spot to receive that “amnesty”, they were all executed. Every family member.

    Now you can guess what happened to Hussein, the Shia martyr.

  • Ymarsakar

    Sorry, mistake there. It should be the Abbasid dynasty, not the Sayyid.

  • Ymarsakar

    “It was under al-Mansur (754-775) that the changes brought by the Abbasid revolution were made manifest. Despite the Arab origins of the dynasty and the use of Arabic as the official language, the Arabs quickly lost the political and social superiority they had retained under the Umayyads; political prestige was increasingly determined by one’s standing with the ruler. The seat of power was transferred from Syria to Iraq with the building of the city of Baghdad. Administration was placed in the hands of the Persian Barmakid family. Al-Mansur renounced the Shi`ite origins of the movement, stressing instead the Abbasids’ own relationship to Muhammad through his uncle Abbas; Abu Muslim was put to death. The Abbasids in fact quickly became the champions of Sunni orthodoxy, a policy which helped them to unify an increasingly cosmopolitan Muslim empire. ”

  • BrianE

    I wonder how the Saudis feel about this being made public?
    I suppose they don’t need to worry about it showing up in any Saudi newspaper though.

    Or is this just a signal for some element of the Iranian ruling class? There is the opinion that any talk of taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities will provoke Iranian nationalism which favors Khamenei.

    Is the American mindset suited for the type of political intrigue that seems imbedded in the Eastern mind? Deception as a process and saying what you don’t mean as a communicaton tool.
    I’m not saying we don’t use these techniques, but the “say what you mean, and mean what you say” tradition of America is at odds with this. Plus, with our “open” society, it’s much harder to pull off, especially with a society as evenly split as ours on almost any issue.

  • George Bruce

    BW wrote:

    “Like the teenager who can act wild, knowing that Daddy will ultimately be there to protect her, Europeans (and others) could afford to be weak and silly, knowing that America would come along and clean up their messes. With Daddy in a coma, Europeans have to stand on their own, and I think their choices are going to be quite different than they were before.”

    I have often thought the same myself, that there might be some good to come from an Obama administrations, entirely unintentionally. Similarly, I think a lot of younger, college educated Americans will rethink their shallow and sophomoric attraction to Marxism.


    Since I have no idea as to how to use ‘bold’ to highlight what I think is the crux of it all, just look below for the words BEGIN/END BOLD ALERT!

    MEMRI Iraqi Commentators: Saudi Arabia Is Behind Terror in Iraq – And Will
    Never Accept Shi’ite Rule There
    By: D. Hazan*
    Iraq|#531| July 6, 2009

    Currently, Iraqi-Saudi relations are at a nadir. While Iraq has time and
    again officially reiterated its desire to strengthen relations and resolve
    disagreements with Saudi Arabia, the Saudi response has been less than
    enthusiastic. The Saudis have repeatedly rejected Iraq’s proposal that Iraqi
    Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki visit Saudi Arabia or meet with Saudi King
    ‘Abdallah bin ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz, and have procrastinated over opening a Saudi
    embassy in Iraq – even though Iraq has already sent an ambassador to Saudi
    Saudi King ‘Abdallah refused to meet with Al-Maliki on the periphery of the
    March 30, 2009 Doha summit, on the grounds that Saudi Arabia was “not sure
    that true conciliation has indeed been achieved in Iraq” and that “Al-Maliki
    has not kept his promise to appease all political forces in Iraq and to
    involve them [in the political process].”(1) This statement is a
    manifestation of the conflict between the Saudis and the Shi’ite Iraqi
    government, with the Saudis having set themselves up as protectors of Iraq’s
    Sunni minority.


    The Saudis assume that Iran is influencing the Al-Maliki government and fear
    the spread of the Iranian/Shi’ite influence in Iraq. Thus, Prince Turki
    Al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the U.S. and
    Britain, has called “to bring Iraq back to the Arab world at any cost, so
    that it can play its natural role in the Arab nation and serve as a
    defensive wall against [outside] interference in its own affairs and in the
    affairs of the [Arab] nation.”(2)


    In response, Iraqis have recently been attacking Saudi Arabia, depicting it
    as the main force the destabilization of Iraq. The first to attack Saudi
    Arabia were Iraqi press commentators, who accused the Saudis of helping
    terrorists infiltrate Iraq and of being behind suicide attacks carried out
    on Iraqi soil – especially in light of recent fatwas issued in Saudi Arabia
    permitting suicide attacks in Iraq as “jihad against the occupiers.” Other
    commentators accused Saudi Arabia of looking down on Iraq and of refusing to
    accept its Shi’ite government, and called on Al-Maliki to desist from
    further attempts to visit Saudi Arabia or to meet with its king, saying that
    these attempts were humiliating to Al-Maliki, the Iraqi people, and the
    government. However, one commentator called on Iraq to seek conciliation
    with its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, and to try to allay their fears,
    even if those countries were indeed interfering in Iraq’s domestic affairs.
    Unlike the commentators, Saudi officials have refrained from making explicit
    allegations against Saudi Arabia. On April 18, 2009, Nouri Al-Maliki called
    on the countries neighboring Iraq, without mentioning names, to stop
    supporting terrorism and to show good will towards Iraq. “Stop those who are
    harming Iraq [via our shared borders], lest Iraq be compelled to defend
    itself,” he said, adding: “Declare your intentions to forge friendly,
    loving, positive relations [with Iraq],” and “Offer us one finger, so we can
    offer you our hand [in return].”(3)
    However, as terrorism in Iraq increased in the lead-up to the June 30, 2009
    U.S. withdrawal from Iraq’s cities, official Iraqi sources began to openly
    accuse Saudi Arabia of aiding terrorism in Iraq in order to prevent the
    withdrawal. Hadi Al-Ameri, chairman of Iraq’s parliamentary Security and
    Defense Committee, accused Saudi Arabia of heading a group of countries in
    the region opposed to the withdrawal. He said that Saudi Arabia was
    responsible for the recent bombings in Iraq, and must take a stand against
    them. He added that the bombings had been financed from outside the country,
    and that the perpetrators were members of Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi Ba’th
    Party. Al-Ameri demanded that a firm position be taken against the countries
    supporting terrorism, indicating that fatwas declaring Shi’ites as apostates
    issued recently by Saudi clerics had made them targets for violence.(4)
    Saudi Arabia, for its part, accused pro-Iranian forces and elements in Iraq
    of attempting to dissociate Iraq from its Arab dimension and to subjugate it
    to Iran, and claiming that the statistics showing that Saudis constitute a
    high proportion of terrorists in Iraq were distorted.

    If the Israelis do the dirty work for Saudi, America and themselves, of course – it becomes more than a two-fer, it gives everyone a piece of the action. The rub of this political menage-a-tois is that Saudi gets what it wants – continued domination in the region.

  • Charles

    Sadie – here’s a quick lesson:
    For bold text type <B> in the front of the text that you want bold. Then type </B> at the end of the text.
    For italics, do the same thing; but use the letter I instead of B

    Here’s another hint – always use the preview button before posting. It is a great way to make sure that you have included both the begininng tag and the closing tag. I often forget or mistype the closing tag and my bold or italics continue for the rest of the text as I’ve done here. I forgot to close the italics on “preview button.”

    P.S. I hope that this works and shows you the codes as well as acting on them.

    P.P.S. Sorry, the software trainer in me cannot shut up!


    I have been emboldened

    Thanks, so much. The only software I understand are my winter slippers.

  • Bookworm

    Also, right above the upper left hand corner of the box in which you type your comment, you’ll see a button with a double arrow on it. If you click that button, you’ll find a bunch of editing buttons for bolds, italics, links, etc. It’s very helpful, and I think few people realize it’s there.

  • Ymarsakar

    What I don’t realize is that I am typing html tags. They just magically appear from my fingertips.

    That’s what happens when you have been doing it for years and years of internet debate.


    Thanks, Bookworm. I did not take note of the double arrow icon.

    What a duh moment, I just looked at the date of my first post 3/08 and you would have thought by now (sigh) I would have noticed.

  • Mike Devx

    Book, thanks for the clue about the button. Especially the “Close Tags” button is useful for those like me who forget to correctly close the tags.

    The ’em’ button produces this: It is for italics – em for “emphasis” or “emphatic”. Note that you press the button with the slash in it afterwards to close the emphasis, or the other “tags”.

    The ‘Strong’ button produces this: It is for bold

    The ‘B-Quote’ button produces this:

    It will surround the text as a paragraph with a very large quote symbol, and indent the blocked text.

    The ‘Strike’ button produces this: It puts a line through the text.

    The ‘Code’ button produces this:
    // This button is for programming examples.
    // Or perhaps you just like the font.
    for (int j = 0; j < liberalBeliefs.length; ++j) {
    System.out.println( "Reading: '" + liberalBeliefs[j] + "' had me rolling on the floor laughing!" );

    The ‘Link’ button:
    Clicking This link sends you to, but why would you want to go there? Buy the NY Times instead, especially if you’re running low on birdcage lining. It takes a little knowledge to use this button correctly. Type the text that you want to appear as the link after you click ‘OK’ on your http address. Then click the “\Link” button.

    The ‘External Link’ button looks like this: This link sends you to Book contributes there, and it is awesome indeed!

    Each of the three lines below uses the OL button. On my browser, it has no effect, apparently. At least, not in the Preview pane.
    All liberals are statists.
    All statists are fools.
    Therefore, all liberals are fools.

    Each of the lines below uses the LI button.
    The use of this button “apparently” provides indentation.
    But the LI button doesn’t produce any effects in this Preview pane either.
    These buttons give you some of the choices of html tags.
    There are other html tag choices, but this is a good start.

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