2 thoughts on “Cartoon on Bush´s spying on the US peace movement

  1. Saudi: ‘U.S. Occupation Illegal’
    Posted by: “bigraccoon” bigraccoon@earthlink.net redwoodsaurus
    Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:41 pm (PST)
    U.S. Iraq Role Is Called Illegal by Saudi King

    New York Times
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/29/world/middleeast/29saudi.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    March 29, 2007

    RIYADH – King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told Arab leaders on
    Wednesday that the American occupation of Iraq was illegal and
    warned that unless Arab governments settled their differences,
    foreign powers like the United States would continue to dictate
    the region’s politics.

    The king’s speech, at the opening of the Arab League meeting
    here, underscored growing differences between Saudi Arabia and
    the Bush administration as the Saudis take on a greater
    leadership role in the Middle East, partly at American urging.

    The Saudis seem to be emphasizing that they will not be beholden
    to the policies of their longtime ally.

    They brokered a deal between the two main Palestinian factions
    last month, but one that Israel and the United States found
    deeply problematic because it added to the power of the radical
    group Hamas rather than the more moderate Fatah. On Wednesday
    King Abdullah called for an end to the international boycott of
    the new Palestinian government. The United States and Israel
    want the boycott continued.

    In addition, Abdullah invited President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of
    Iran to Riyadh earlier this month, while the Americans want him
    shunned. And in trying to settle the tensions in Lebanon, the
    Saudis have been willing to negotiate with Iran and Hezbollah.

    Last week the Saudi king canceled his appearance next month at a
    White House dinner in his honor, The Washington Post reported
    Wednesday. The official reason given was a scheduling conflict,
    the paper said.

    Mustapha Hamarneh, director of the Center for Strategic Studies
    at the University of Jordan, said the Saudis were sending
    Washington a message. “They are telling the U.S. they need to
    listen to their allies rather than imposing decisions on them
    and always taking Israel’s side,” Mr. Hamarneh said.

    In his speech, the king said, “In the beloved Iraq, the
    bloodshed is continuing under an illegal foreign occupation and
    detestable sectarianism.”

    He added: “The blame should fall on us, the leaders of the Arab
    nation, with our ongoing differences, our refusal to walk the
    path of unity. All that has made the nation lose its confidence
    in us.”

    King Abdullah has not publicly spoken so harshly about the
    American-led military intervention in Iraq before, and his
    remarks suggest that his alliance with Washington may be less
    harmonious than administration officials have been hoping.

    Since last summer the administration has asserted that a
    realignment is occurring in the Middle East, one that groups
    Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon along with Israel
    against Iran, Syria and the militant groups that they back:
    Hezbollah and Hamas.

    Washington has urged Saudi Arabia to take a leading role in such
    a realignment but is finding itself disappointed by the results.

    Some here said the king’s speech was a response to Secretary of
    State Condoleezza Rice’s call on Monday for Arab governments to
    “begin reaching out to Israel.”

    Many read Ms. Rice’s comments as suggesting that Washington was
    backing away from its support for an Arab initiative aimed at
    solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel wants the Arabs
    to make changes in the terms, most notably the call for a right
    of return for Palestinian refugees to what is today Israel. The
    Arab League is endorsing the initiative, first introduced by
    Saudi Arabia in 2002, without changes.

    The plan calls on Israel to withdraw from all land it won in the
    1967 war in exchange for full diplomatic relations with the Arab
    world. It also calls for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem
    as its capital.

    Regarding the Palestinians, the king said Wednesday, “It has
    become necessary to end the unjust blockade imposed on the
    Palestinian people as soon as possible so that the peace process
    can move in an atmosphere far from oppression and force.”

    With regard to Iraq, the Saudis seem to be paying some attention
    to internal American politics. The Senate on Tuesday signaled
    support for legislation calling for a timeline for withdrawal
    from Iraq in exchange for further funding for the war.

    Last November, officials here realized that a Democratic upset
    could spell major changes for the Middle East: a possible
    pullout from Iraq, fueling further instability and, more
    important, allowing Iran to extend its influence in the region.

    “I don’t think that the Saudi government has decided to distance
    itself from Bush just yet,” said Adel alToraifi, a columnist
    here with close ties to the Saudi government. “But I also think
    that the Saudis have seen that the ball is moving into the court
    of the Democrats, and they want to extend their hand to Speaker
    of the House Nancy Pelosi.”

    Turki al-Rasheed, who runs an organization promoting democracy
    in Saudi Arabia, said the king was “saying we may be moving on
    the same track, but our ends are different.”

    “Bush wants to make it look like he is solving the problem,”
    Mr. Rasheed said. “The king wants to actually solve the
    problems.”

    King Abdullah said the loss of confidence in Arab leaders had
    allowed American and other forces to hold significant sway in
    the region. “If confidence is restored it will be accompanied
    by credibility,” he said, “and if credibility is restored then
    the winds of hope will blow, and then we will never allow
    outside forces to define our future nor allow banners to be
    raised in Arab lands other than those of Arabism, brothers.”

    The Saudis sought to enforce discipline on the two-day meeting,
    reminding Arab leaders and dignitaries to stay on message and
    leave here with some solution in hand.

    “The weight of the Saudis has ensured that this will be a
    problem-free summit,” said Ayman Safadi, editor in chief of the
    Jordanian daily Al Ghad. “Nobody is going to veer from the
    message and go against the Saudis. But that doesn’t mean the
    problems themselves will be solved.”

    Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations gave a stark
    assessment in an address to the meeting, saying the region was
    “more complex, more fragile and more dangerous than it has been
    for a very long time.”

    There is a shocking daily loss of life in Iraq, he said, and
    Somalia is in the grip of “banditry, violence and clan
    rivalries.”

    Iran, which on Saturday had new sanctions imposed against it by
    the Security Council, is “forging ahead with its nuclear program
    heedless of regional and international concerns,” Mr. Ban added.

    Having spent Monday and Tuesday in Jerusalem and the West Bank,
    Mr. Ban urged the new Palestinian government to demonstrate a
    “true commitment to peace.”

    In return, he said, Israel must cease its settlement activity
    and stop building a separation barrier.

    He concluded, “Instability in the Arab League states is of
    profound significance to international peace and security.”

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  2. Pingback: British secret police against democracy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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