Nawaf Obaid believes so.
If you’re interested in the situation in the Middle East, and in Iraq in particular, you should read the following commentary by Obaid, an avisor to the Saudi Arabian government, which appeared in the Washington Post yesterday.
One chief result of the USA deposition of Saddam’s government has been the rise of Iranian influence in Iraq, as the Shiite Iraqi majority has gained control of the Iraqi government, to the extent that there is an Iraqi government.
The Saudis, who share an Arabic heritage with the Iraqis and who are Sunnis, at some point will move into Iraq militarily, to one degree or another, to protect the Iraqi Sunni minority from the Shiite majority.
Should the Saudis find it necessary to do so, they will run up against the Iranians, who remember are not Arabs but, rather, Persians, and are overwhelmingly Shiites. As Obaid acknowledges in his commentary a Saudi/Iranian confrontation in Iraq could result in a regional war.
So lets give a big hand to Commander in Fact Darth Cheney and his merry band of Neofascist fellow travlers who launched the war, which has no point, other than to further Israeli policy that is.
By Nawaf Obaid
Wednesday, November 29, 2006; Page A23
In February 2003, a month before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, warned President Bush that he would be “solving one problem and creating five more” if he removed Saddam Hussein by force. Had Bush heeded his advice, Iraq would not now be on the brink of full-blown civil war and disintegration.
One hopes he won’t make the same mistake again by ignoring the counsel of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who said in a speech last month that “since America came into Iraq uninvited, it should not leave Iraq uninvited.” If it does, one of the first consequences will be massive Saudi intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis.
Over the past year, a chorus of voices has called for Saudi Arabia to protect the Sunni community in Iraq and thwart Iranian influence there. Senior Iraqi tribal and religious figures, along with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and other Arab and Muslim countries, have petitioned the Saudi leadership to provide Iraqi Sunnis with weapons and financial support. Moreover, domestic pressure to intervene is intense. Major Saudi tribal confederations, which have extremely close historical and communal ties with their counterparts in Iraq, are demanding action. They are supported by a new generation of Saudi royals in strategic government positions who are eager to see the kingdom play a more muscular role in the region.
To be sure, Saudi engagement in Iraq carries great risks — it could spark a regional war. So be it: The consequences of inaction are far worse.