A Saudi Prince Tied To Bush Is Sounding Off-Key

Published: Wed 2 May 2007 09:55 AM
A Saudi Prince Tied To Bush Is Sounding Off-Key
Middle East News Service
[Middle East News Service comments: The purpose of this news service is to provide an alternative service, not to duplicate the mainstream media. So unless anything from the Israeli peace movement comes my way there will be nothing to add to reams of information coming your way in relation to the Winograd Commission. Similarly last week virtually every news media pointed out that the Hamas Qassam barrage followed a 24-hour period in which nine Palestinians were killed by the Israeli security services, at least some of which were totally innocent according to the Israelis. There was no point in sending Amira Hass’s article from Haaretz even though her report was much more comprehensive.
But the development concerning the developing rift between Saudi Arabia and the US, or at least the Bush administration slipped under the radar. This development needs to appreciate for an understanding of future Middle East events. It is but yet another consequence of the debacle of the War on Iraq. For an almost identical take by the Australian-born Martin Indyk (a former US ambassador to Israel) check The Honeymoon's Over for Bush and the Saudis in the Washington Post – Sol Salbe.]
April 29, 2007
A Saudi Prince Tied to Bush Is Sounding Off-Key
WASHINGTON, April 28 — No foreign diplomat has been closer or had more access to President Bush, his family and his administration than the magnetic and fabulously wealthy Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia.
Prince Bandar has mentored Mr. Bush and his father through three wars and the broader campaign against terrorism, reliably delivering — sometimes in the Oval Office — his nation’s support for crucial Middle East initiatives dependent on the regional legitimacy the Saudis could bring, as well as timely warnings of Saudi regional priorities that might put it into apparent conflict with the United States. Even after his 22-year term as Saudi ambassador ended in 2005, he still seemed the insider’s insider. But now, current and former Bush administration officials are wondering if the longtime reliance on him has begun to outlive its usefulness.
Bush administration officials have been scratching their heads over steps taken by Prince Bandar’s uncle, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, that have surprised them by going against the American playbook, after receiving assurances to the contrary from Prince Bandar during secret trips he made to Washington.
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Michael Slackman and Hassan M. Fattah contributed from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Steven R. Weisman from Washington.
[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources. It is sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]

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