Sunday, March 6, 2011
As the hapless Obama administration is “thinking about” tapping the US’s strategic petroleum reserves to help off-set historic increases in consumer gas prices, evidently Obama wasted no time making another decision: asking Saudi Arabia to supply weapons to Libyan rebels in Benghazi.
Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a “day of rage” from its 10% Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington’s highly classified request, although King Abdullah loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.
If this convoluted foreign policy scheme sounds familiar, it’s because the clueless Obama lifted a page from his hero — Ronald Reagan’s Iran-Contra operation.
Washington’s request is in line with other US military co-operation with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 and later – to America’s chagrin – also funded and armed the Taliban.
If the Saudis agree, their assistance would allow the Obama White House to disavow any military involvement in the arms supply chain even though the weapons would be American but paid for by the Saudis.