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Middle East: Discussion
What I feel long and short term US benefits and reason behind occupying Iraq-

1) Saddam will not use his hired crooks to bomb US or US interest worldwide.
2) Resolve Israel and Palestine problem. Saddam was paying $25k to each suicide bomber. So called main reason for world wide terrorism by Muslim.
3) European Union was main concern. EU was pushing for future Oil dealing in Euro. By this US Dollar as main international business currency will lose its value and importance and US as a power.
4) China was directly helping or providing Middle East rouge countries with future weapon in exchange for long term Oil deals or in hope they will be used against US.
5) China is growing economically and world oil resources will dwindle, everyone wants to sit on largest oil resource to survive.
6) US can use Oil as a blackmailing tool in future. One may soon see India's bumper growth may go down soon. India or China can't maintain growth with this Oil price. China manufacturing sector will collapse.
7) Level of terrorism or causality is still very low, if you compare long term benefit.

US as a country, long term objective is to stay as Super Power in every aspect. Yes, what goes up comes down, Great Britain collapsed but ruled world for 200 years.
<b>Global terrorism — The Pakistan-Saudi Arabia nexus </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->WHEN SAUDI ARABIA'S ailing ruler King Fahd died after a prolonged illness on August 1, his last rites were performed according to strict Wahhabi traditions, with people going about their normal lives. But the one person who reacted as though his beloved uncle had died and proceeded to mourn publicly, was Pakistan's President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, who promptly declared a week-long state mourning and became the first non-Arab ruler of a Muslim country to announce that he would be present in Saudi Arabia at the last rites of the Saudi monarch.

What is it that prompted this show of grief and solidarity by Gen Musharraf? He had, after all, paid an official visit to the Wahhabi Kingdom barely six weeks ago? Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are now finding themselves in the same boat on issues of global terrorism. Pakistan's ISI continues to provide support to the Taliban and such Jehadi groups as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed, whose cadres are being arrested worldwide for inciting and promoting terrorism. There are strong suspicions that government-backed Saudi charities such as the Al Harmain Islamic Foundation, the International Institute for Islamic Thought, and the International Islamic Relief Organisation continue to fund extremist and terrorist activities worldwide and disturb peace and harmony in pluralistic societies.

King Abdullah, who has just ascended the throne in Riyadh, is respected as a moderate who realises the dangers of funding and supporting terrorism abroad.

The same, however, cannot be said of others in the Royal Family, including members of the powerful Sudairi clan, who have controlled the levers of power and defied Abdullah even when he was the kingdom's de facto ruler, after King Fahd became incapacitated. It is no secret the influential Royals of the Sudairi clan such as the Governor of Riyadh Prince Salman have funded extremist Islamist causes worldwide.

Prince Salman, for example, channelled huge funds to Islamic extremist groups in Bosnia, He is also known to have assisted in the provision of arms and training to Chechen rebels. King Fahd's "favourite" son Prince Abdul Aziz (popularly known as Azouzi) is reported to have sent millions of dollars through a known associate of Osama bin Laden to "slaughter Russian soldiers and civilians alike" in Chechnya.

Azouzi is also known to have transferred huge sums of money to countries Germany, Spain and the US to fund Wahhabi Islamic causes that preach hatred of the west.

His love for opulence is such that he was permitted by an indulgent father to spend $4.6 billion for constructing a palace outside Riyadh. Not surprisingly, one of America's leading experts Robert Baer, who was formerly in the CIA, says that Saudi Arabia is ruled by "an increasingly bankrupt, criminal, dysfunctional royal family that is hated by the people it rules'.

One would have expected that after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 the Americans would come down heavily on Saudi Arabia's rulers. Washington has instead chosen to tread cautiously.

It is well-known that humanitarian causes dear to influential people such as Mrs Barbara Bush and Mrs Nancy Reagan have been funded by the Saudi Royals. Influential Americans including the Vice-President, Mr Dick Cheney, and Messrs George Schultz, James Baker, Colin Powell and Henry Kissinger have all been associated with companies such as the Carlyle Group, Haliburton and Chevron-Texaco that deal extensively with Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis are estimated to have invested over $500 billion in the US. They remain a major buyer of American arms and are the largest supplier of oil to the US. They have also played ball with the Americans in keeping global oil prices at levels that the Americans find acceptable. But while the Bush Administration has avoided public criticism of the links of Saudi Royals with international terrorism, American writers such as Robert Baer, Gerald Posner and Craig Unger have been given access to information about their terrorist links.

<b>Gerald Posner recently revealed that when the FBI captured a top Al Qaeda man Abu Zubaydah in Faisalabad, the terrorist revealed that his main contacts in Saudi Arabia were Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, a wealthy royal with a passion for racehorses, Prince Sultan bin Turki al Saud, a nephew of King Fahd, and Prince Fahd bin Turki, another relative of the monarch.

Zubaydah told his American interrogators that the Royal Family struck a deal with the Al Qaeda for the latter not to target it. He also revealed that Prince Ahmed was informed beforehand that the Al Qaeda was planning to strike American targets on September 11, 2001.

Zubaydah further revealed that the Al Qaeda had also struck a deal with the Pakistani military and informed Pakistan's Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir of the impending 9/11 attacks.

Not surprisingly, the Bush Administration has remained silent on these allegations. More ominously, the 43-year-old Prince Ahmed died mysteriously in his sleep a few weeks after Zubyadah's revelations. His cousin Prince Sultan bin Turki died the next day in a "car accident" while proceeding to attend Prince Ahmed's funeral. Prince Fahd bin Turki died mysteriously a week later of "thirst" while he was said to be driving in the desert. Finally, the last person whose identity was revealed by Abu Zubaydah as having known of the impending terrorist attacks of 9/11, Air Chief Marshal Mir, died in a mysterious air crash in Pakistan.

According to Posner, the air crash in which Air Chief Marshal Mir died is widely believed to have been an act of sabotage</b>. There is no dearth of evidence now that if Pakistan and China are partners in nuclear and missile proliferation, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are similarly partners in global terrorism. Mosques and jehadi-oriented madrassas in both countries spout anti-Western venom. Terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba have links in Saudi Arabia.

This is evident from the phone calls made by Lashkar militants operating in India to contacts in Saudi Arabia. But the Pakistani-Saudi Arabian nexus goes beyond terrorism. In July 2000, the Petroleum Intelligence Weekly reported that Saudi Arabia was sending 150,000 barrels of oil per day virtually free of cost to Pakistan. These supplies, currently valued at $ 3.2 billion annually, still continue.

Robert Baer has reported that the US has known of extensive nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia since 1994. The Saudi Defence Minister, Prince Sultan, was given unprecedented access to Pakistan's nuclear facilities in Kahuta in May 1999.

Dr A. Q. Khan visited Saudi Arabia shortly thereafter. According the Pakistani writer Amir Mir, Gen Musharraf's visit to Saudi Arabia on June 25-26 was primarily to discuss how to deny the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to information about the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia nuclear nexus. Saudi Arabia is said to be resisting pressures to adhere to the IAEA's Additional Protocol, which Iran has been compelled to accept.

Saudi Arabia has been a consistent supporter in the Organisation of Islamic Conference of Pakistan's protégés in the Hurriyat Conference in Jammu and Kashmir. It is going to take a long time for members of the Saudi Royal Family to stop funding extremist Islamic causes that destabilise pluralistic societies across the world. One sincerely hopes King Abdullah will avoid going down the path chosen by Gen Musharraf. No country can insulate itself from the inevitable consequences of sponsoring jehad and extremism abroad, while piously proclaiming its abhorrence of such causes. Words necessarily have to be matched by deeds.

(The author is a former High Commissioner to Pakistan.)
<b>US-Saudi showdown on Islamisation off</b>
Posted online: Saturday, October 01, 2005 at 1129 hours IST
Updated: Saturday, October 01, 2005 at 1255 hours IST
Washington, October 1: The United States has postponed punishing Saudi Arabia, its close ally and key oil supplier, for restricting religious freedom -- the first time Washington has waived punishing a blacklisted country under a 1998 law targeting violators of religious rights.

<b>US officials said on Friday the Bush administration had decided to delay imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia for six months. </b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

The decision reflects the delicate balance the United States has sought to strike with Arab allies such as Saudi Arabia as it promotes expanding freedoms at the risk of irking governments needed to support its oil and terrorism policies.

In a rare official rebuke a year ago, Washington designated Saudi Arabia as one of only eight countries worldwide that could be sanctioned. The blacklisting in an annual report said religious freedom did not exist in the kingdom.

<b>With this year's report due out next month, the Bush administration needed to decide on sanctioning Saudi Arabia and chose to give the kingdom a further six months to negotiate how it might improve its record. </b>

<b>"We have not seen strong progress in the area of legal protection for religious freedom," State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper said. "(But) we welcome Saudi recognition of the need to make improvements and create a more tolerant society." </b>

With high oil prices affecting the U.S. economy and dragging on President George W. Bush's popularity, Democrats have charged he has largely ignored Saudi Arabia's rights record for fear of causing any backlash from the oil supplier.

Prominent Saudis................<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Planned church to be Qatar's first since 7th century</b>

Hope to see Hindu temple in Qatar soon. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Breaking News.</b>

<b>Explosions rock hotels in Jordan</b>

<b>Three Hotels Bombed in Jordan; 12 Killed</b>
Luxury Grand Hyatt hotel, popular with tourists and diplomats
Radisson SAS Hotel
Days Inn Hotel
On CSPANradio yesterday I heard testimony about KSA's support for Islamism (through madrassas, web sites, wahabbism). Drop in the ocean, but good to see some people have the right idea about KSA.

also, an old fogey was repeating and nauseam: "I have been 20-30 times to KSA and they are not like that etc"
(As if sheikhs would tell you these kill-the-infidel things to your face! Why risk White man's wrath when you can screw him behind his back? Only brown ppl can be screwed openly..too many of them are brainwashed, and will eagerly wait to be screwed) <!--emo&:mad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India oils its Saudi Arabia ties
By Siddharth Srivastava

NEW DELHI - It has taken a half century for a Saudi monarch to visit India but the main guest for the country's Republic Day celebrations on January 26 will be King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.

King Saud was the last monarch from Saudi Arabia to visit New Delhi - in 1955 - and the record of Indian leaders traveling to the kingdom hasn't been much better. Former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi visited Saudi Arabia in 1956 and 1982 respectively, though Cold War alignments made the two nations extremely suspicious of each other.

The arrival of King Abdullah, who is also prime minister and hence head of government as well, is not a routine matter. A foreign head of state or government being invited to be chief guest at the  Republic Day parade in the heart of India's capital that showcases India's military might as well as democratic traditions, is considered a measure of the importance India attaches to its relationship with a country.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Thursday, December 15, 2005

Kuwait MP slams government for allowing new churches

KUWAIT CITY: A Kuwaiti Islamist lawmaker on Wednesday slammed the government for providing Christians with two plots of land to build churches, saying this was against Islamic law. “The recent measure of allowing non-Muslims to build places of worship in Kuwait is illegal under Islamic law,” Waleed al-Tabtabai said in a statement after the government provided the land. Tabtabai, a member of the hardline Sunni Salafist group, said non-Muslims must be allowed to practice their religious rituals but without the need to establish places of worship. He said Kuwait at present has about 20 churches and the number of Kuwaiti Christians is less than 100, “which means there is a church for every five Kuwaiti Christians.” Church sources told AFP on Wednesday that the Gulf Arab state has eight churches, four of which have their own permanent buildings and the rest are in rented homes. According to the sources, there are between 150 and 200 Kuwaiti Christians and up to 350,000 foreign Christians mostly from India, the Philippines, Egypt, Lebanon and the West. The government has recently allotted Christians two large pieces of state land to build churches, a measure that was welcomed by the head of parliament’s human rights committee, MP Ali al-Rashed. afp
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Saudi King flaunts faith, skips Rajghat </b>
Pioneer News Service/ New Delhi
The absence of a visit to Mahatma Gandhi's samadhi at Rajghat on the official itinerary of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, chief guest at Thursday's Republic Day celebrations and on a state visit to India, has raised eyebrows and left people wondering as to what could have been the reason for
his omission.

Rare is the occasion when visiting dignitaries, including heads of Islamic countries, do not visit Rajghat to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. It is a permanent fixture on the official itinerary and part of the protocol drill.

However, it is understood that Rajghat was not included in the official itinerary of the Saudi monarch, who during his visit raised the annual quota of Haj pilgrimsfrom India by 10,000 to 1,47,000, a gesture "much appreciated" by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, given the fact that he is the keeper of the Wahhabi faith and the custodian of Islam's holiest shrines.

In either capacity, the King would not have agreed to pay obeisance at a monument, in this case raised in the honour of the memory of Mahatma Gandhi. Hence, Ministry of External Affairs officials, while negotiating the itinerary of King Abdullah's state visit with their Saudi Arabian counterparts, chose not to suggest the customary visit to Rajghat. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jan 27 2006, 09:18 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jan 27 2006, 09:18 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Saudi King flaunts faith, skips Rajghat </b>

However, it is understood that Rajghat was not included in the official itinerary of the Saudi monarch, who during his visit raised the annual quota of Haj pilgrimsfrom India by 10,000 to 1,47,000, a gesture "much appreciated" by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, given the fact that he is the keeper of the Wahhabi faith and the custodian of Islam's holiest shrines.


hai allah, time to redouble efforts in singing "iswar allah tero naam" to please allah... <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->hai allah, time to redouble efforts in singing "iswar allah tero naam" to please allah<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->This is call middle finger to Sack-cooler.
In my opinion, all the weapons, terrorists and trouble being caused by Islamic extremists comes from Saudi Arabia. Paki's get $3.2 Billion per year from them, they get free stuff from China and US too. It's easy to see why Pakistan with 1/10th the GDP of India is able to maintain a balance of military power.

Here, the Paki/Saudi money will be broken only when India reaches atleast $3 Trillion in GDP (around 2020). At this massive level, no country will be able to plough enough money into Pakistan to maintain a balance. India will be mustering defense budgets around $100 Billion / year even @ 3% of GDP.
Everyone is too greedy to be giving Paki's tens of billions each year.

Ofcourse CHina will probably have $300 Billion defense budget by 2020, almost equalling America.

Burn away all the oil, this will expedite Saudi Arabia's downfall
<b>Syria switches to euro amid confrontation with US</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This is a precaution. We are talking about billions of dollars," Duraid Durgham told Reuters.

The bank, which still dominates the Syrian market although private banks have been allowed to set up in the last few years, has also stopped dealing with dollars in the international foreign exchange flows of private clients.

The United States has been at the forefront of international pressure on Syria for its alleged role in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri a year ago. Damascus denies involvement in the killing
<b>Oil refinery attack foiled, Saudis say
Vehicles reportedly were packed with explosives; pipeline fire started</b>

MSNBC News Services
Updated: 9:15 a.m. ET Feb. 24, 2006
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Suicide bombers tried but failed to storm a major oil refinery in Saudi Arabia on Friday, according to officials and TV reports.

<b>Attack Fails at Huge Saudi Oil Site</b>
Op-Ed in Pioneer, 1 March, 2006
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Resonating with Riyadh

The capital of Saudi Arabia retains its unique cultural identity despite Western sense of architecture, says <b>Vinayshil Gautam</b>

To understand is to extend oneself. One reonateswith what one understands. To understand one needs to know. And to know one needs information.

My profession makes it necessary for me to know different situations, places and how the mind works in distinct places. Observation is a part of my work. Accordingly, when a few weeks ago an invitation came to address a Conference in Riyadh, it was difficult to resist.

This was not to be my first visit to Saudi Arabia. I remember having gone there some years ago on a management development activity to Dammam. The visit had been fascinating for many reasons, including an opportunity to observe an organisation that could have as many as 27 levels.

As per practice, my research staff had done my briefing for that visit, and I recall having been surprised at being informed that structurally the whole of Arabia is a vast platform of ancient rocks at a stage of time was linked with north-east Africa. In relatively recent geological times, a series of great fissures opened. As a result, a large trough or rift valley was formed. Later, sea moved in. Today, it is called the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The shallow seas in the east deposited layers of younger sedimentary rock making for the creation of vast oil reservoir. The coasts till this day are fringed with extensive coral reefs, thereby making the approach difficult. <b>Yet, southern Arabia is prosperous. It is not as short of water as the popular imagination makes it out to be.</b>

The emergence of the nation state of Saudi Arabia is a comparatively recent phenomena and can be traced back to the 19th century. The attempt to write and interpret history as per the concepts and categories of post-industrial West inevitably creates confusion and complexities. This often leads to conclusions that leave a large overlay of inadequacy in the perception of the growth of the region. It is important to see any region's history in the context of its own value and agro-climatic realities. Using any other framework for writing the history is bound to create the situation of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

The concept of a 'capital' in such a context is unnatural. In a Bedoin context, not only is the category of a nation state irrelevant but mode of livelihood and economic activity are essentially of a different order. Besides, over a period of time not only do climatic changes take place, but also that geography changes.

Consider the case of Riyadh. It was originally located along a green river bed. It was situated on the confluence of several rivers (now wadis). Indeed, it owed its initial prosperity to the rich sub-soil water. <b>Before the coming of Islam, the settlement here was called Hajar. It was famous for its dates and orchards. The name Riyadh is derived from the plural of Rowdhah (place of gardens). By the end of the 18th century, Riyadh was the part of the first Saudi state, with the capital in Diriyah. Diriyah was destroyed by Turks in 1818. The capital then moved to Riyadh. Formally, it became the capital of Saudi kingdom in 1824. </b>

In 1891, Riyadh was conquered by Rashidi clan. <b>In 1902, Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud seized the city. He established the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has the official name Al-Mamlaka al-Arabiya as-Saudiya. This kingdom comprise of four-fifth of the Arabian peninsula, occupying approximately 2,250,000 square kilometers.</b>

The diplomatic capital remained in Jeddah till 1982. The dynasty founded by Abdul Aziz rules the country today. <b>The basic law of the country stipulates that the throne shall remain in the family of kingdom's founders and the practice of succession is clear.</b>

The flag of the country is the green banner of Islam bearing the inscription: "There is no God but God and Mohammad is his Prophet." The sword was added in 1906, symbolising the military success of Islam and Ibn Saud. The national anthem is "Sarei Lil Majd Walaya". The currency is Saudi Riyal. The territory is very sound in oil, gas and mineral resources. It has various zones with severe shortages of water resources, which is met through harnessing surface water, ground water and through de-salination of sea water. There are also attempts to reclaim waste water.

In the season of budget, it will be natural to draw comparison with the Saudi economy. In India, going by yardsticks fashioned in the post-industrial norms of the West, we seem to be doing well. As per a report, banks in Saudi Arabia held deposits totally 431.4 billion Saudi riyals ($115 billion) during the year ending January 2005, an increase of 21 per cent compared to 357.04 billion riyals the previous year. Bank reserves increased by 7.4 per cent, while private sector liabilities owned to banks increased by 74.12 per cent during the same period, the Saudi Arabian, the Monetary Agency (Sama) report said.

"The volume of bank credits increased by 32 per cent by January 2005 to 334.78 billion riyals, with short-term loan accounting for more than half of that figure (58 per cent) or 194.28 billion riyals. Long-term credits accounted for 8.8 per cent or 97.67 billion riyals." This is the claim of the Gulf Industries Magazine. Riyadh plays a critical role in the economic activities of the country.

There are other aspects of city's life that draw attention. In the conference I addressed, the men and women were seated in different rooms. As a modern city, it has clear norms of gender segregation in public places. Restaurants are often divided between 'family' seating and single seating. Alcohol is by and large unknown and the prosperity is palpable. One has to go searching for cinema halls. To resonate with Riyadh, the fellow travellers of the trans-Atlantic post-industrial culture have to leave behind a significant part of what they have grown up with in the West.

By no stretch of imagination can Riyadh be called backward. <b>Yet, its high buildings are inhabited by people whose identity can be clear to anyone who will choose to recognise this alternative route of self-realisation and happiness.</b> Informed personal choices can alone provide the answer.

<b>(The writer is founder director of IIM-K and professor of management IIT, Delhi)</b>
<b>90 casualties reported in Egypt resort blasts</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(CNN) -- More than 90 people are reported killed or injured in at least three explosions Monday in the Red Sea resort town of Dahab, an Egyptian Interior Ministry official told CNN.

The explosions, described as a terrorist attack by the official, took place in a market and a hotel.

Yesterday, OBL tape came out and now these blast.
<b>2 Indians to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hamza Aboobacker (48) and Sheikh Mastan (42), hailing from Kerala's Malappuram and Kozhikode districts respectively, were convicted by a Damam Shariat court for trading in the contraband.

However, it was not clear whether these were their actual names, as they were in possession of fake passports, the report said.

Aboobacker was arrested by the Saudi narcotic cell at Damam airport on January 4 with over two kg of heroine intended to be handed over to Abdul Majeed, a native of Bangalore.

Atleast they are getting punishment according to Islamic law in Islamic nation.
More Indian Muslims should go to Saudi Arabia, the evil Hindus are treating them badly and only by living in the Prophet's homeland will they be at peace. Saudi Arabia, put your money where your mouth is and take in all 150 million Indian Muslims.

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+May 11 2006, 01:12 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ May 11 2006, 01:12 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>2 Indians to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia </b><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hamza Aboobacker (48) and Sheikh Mastan (42), hailing from Kerala's Malappuram and Kozhikode districts respectively, were convicted by a Damam Shariat court for trading in the contraband.

However, it was not clear whether these were their actual names, as they were in possession of fake passports, the report said.

Aboobacker was arrested by the Saudi narcotic cell at Damam airport on January 4 with over two kg of heroine intended to be handed over to Abdul Majeed, a native of Bangalore.

Atleast they are getting punishment according to Islamic law in Islamic nation.
Interesting discussion in Hardball. If you have time read rest of transcript from link.
link<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>BOB BAER, FMR CIA OPERATIVE:</b>  The threat is right now ideological. 

BAER:  Well, you‘re going to get a lot of people that are angry and out to take revenge.  It may take 10 years for them to do it.  It may 20 years.  It happened with bin Laden.  <b>Secondly Hezbollah could turn to terrorism</b>.  We don‘t see that right now because it would take an order from Iran to do it.  Hezbollah is a very disciplined organization and it looks to the spiritual leadership in Tehran before it does anything

BAER:  Absolutely.  And this is—you know, what happened <b>when we invaded Iraq was we essentially turned the country over to radical Shia, and the leadership in Baghdad is radical Shia.</b>  I know most of these guys.  In the ‘90s, they took refuge in the southern suburbs of Beirut, with Hezbollah.  There‘s a close connection between the government in Baghdad and Hezbollah. 

And <span style='color:red'>what we‘re seeing now is the development of a radical Shia arc, which goes from Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut now, which is what has the Sunni—and that‘s Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf and Egypt and Jordan—so worried, and this is why they‘ve come out against Hezbollah</span>
BAER:  Chris, this is a catastrophe, Iraq, and this is going to go on for years. <b> Iraq is going to change us.  We‘re not going to change Iraq</b>.  I got calls from Damascus just before I got on the phone with you, and the <b>Sunni are worried.  They‘re leaving Damascus, afraid that this war in Lebanon is going to spread to Syria, and they‘re going to pay the Sunni</b>.  You know, they‘re going to flee to the Gulf, wherever they can. 

The division between the Shia and the Sunni in the Middle East is our greatest threat to the United States.  <b>When people talk about World War III, it‘s not a traditional war against us from nuclear bombs or anything, it‘s from the split that will lead to a regional war which will ultimately and I repeat—will affect oil supplies. </b>

MATTHEWS:  <b>God help us if we get involved in Syria</b>.  Anyway, thank you, Bob Baer.  Your book is called “Blow the House Down.”
<b>Arab world deeply split over fighting </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->CAIRO, Egypt - The fighting between Israel and Hezbollah exposed divisions across the Arab world, not only between Shiites and Sunnis but also between Arab governments and their citizens.

Key Arab allies of the United States, predominantly Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, fear the rising power of Shiites in the region: Hezbollah militants who virtually control southern Lebanon,  Iraq's majority Shiite government, and — most worrisome — the Shiite theocracy that has run Iran for decades.

Yet many ordinary people, Sunnis as well as Shiites, are cheering the Lebanese guerrillas because of their willingness to stand up to Israel.

On the one hand, predominantly <b>Sunni Arab states are tacitly encouraging the destruction of Hezbollah, concerned it could stage attacks and create militant cells outside of Lebanon. </b>There is also fear that militant Sunnis could join with Hezbollah — as the Palestinian militant group Hamas has done — to build a super terrorist network.

"Whenever there is a paramount cause which can bring them together, such as a jihad against the Zionists, they will be united," Gamal Sultan, editor of the Cairo-based Islamic monthly Al Mannar Al Jadid, said of the Sunni and Shiite militants.

Yet on the other hand, Arab governments also fear their own populations will turn on them if they look weak and unable to challenge Israeli aggression against a fellow Arab state

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