Here’s my question: Who asked the waiter to deliver this dish? Who asked for the 21,000 soldiers?
We know the US military didn’t ask for the 21,000 troops. (Outgoing commander General George Casey called for a troop reduction.)
We know the Iraqi government didn’t ask for the 21,000 troops. (Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is reportedly unhappy about a visible increase in foreign occupiers).
So who wants the occupation to continue? The answer is in Riyadh. When the King of Saudi Arabia hauled Dick Cheney before his throne on Thanksgiving weekend, the keeper of America’s oil laid down the law to Veep: the US will not withdraw from Iraq.
According to Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi who signals to the US government the commands and diktats of the House of Saud, the Saudis are concerned that a US pull-out will leave their Sunni brothers in Iraq to be slaughtered by Shia militias. More important, the Saudis will not tolerate a Shia-majority government in Iraq controlled by the Shia mullahs of Iran. A Shia combine would threaten Saudi Arabia’s hegemony in the OPEC oil cartel.
In other words, it’s about the oil.
I have no idea whether this is correct. One should never underestimate the Bush administration’s incompetence. On the other hand, if this were to be substantiated, would you really be surprised? That’s one (of many) maddening about this administration: they have been so disingenuous, that even crazy talk starts to sound not so crazy. When the fantastic is considered serious, it’s hard to know what sanity even means.