Late last year 26 prominent Saudi clerics signed a fatwa to confer legitimacy on the Iraqi resistance, a resistance put up by Sunnis. Many Sunni fighters have slipped into Iraq from various neighbouring Arab countries, even as far as Algeria. About 10% of the Iraqi insurgents are non-Iraqi Arabs, Sunnis of course.
The Saudi Wahhabis are particularly agitated at the very thought of their archenemy the Shiites gaining ascendancy so near their borders, within which reside another potential threat, 4.5 million Saudi Shiites.
Most prominent among the non-Iraqi insurgents are the Algerians, Yemenis and Syrians, but a growing band of Jordanians and Saudis are jumping on the Sunni Jihadi call.
They have no intentions of allowing the 20% Iraqi Sunnis, deliberately marginalised by the American overlords, to be run over by the majority Shiites or the equally hostile Kurds. The Kurds aren’t even Arabs and are known to be partial to the hated Israelis.
Some harsh words had already flown at higher levels. When the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, expressed Saudi concerns to the Americans that US policies in Iraq were virtually handing over Iraq to the Iranians, the infuriated Iraqi Minister of the Interior, Bayan Jabr, called Saud a Bedouin on a camel – would that be the equivalent of the American derogatory camel jock? – stating that the Saudi had the bloody cheek to teach an ‘ancient Iraqi civilisation’ how to suck eggs.
Indeed, Jabr went ballistic and criticised the Saudis for their King, treatment of women, the whole caboodle, and stated:
"This Iraq is the cradle of civilisation that taught humanity reading and writing, and some Bedouin riding a camel wants to teach us."
Oh la la.
But on to more serious issues, I reckon there would have to be covert backing from regional Sunni governments’ for those Sunni insurgents slipping into Iraq for the anticipated civil war, a war that will see Sunnis pitted against Shiites and Kurds, with the entire region, including Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Yemen and perhaps even Egypt on one side and Iran on the other, all drawn in.
With the American record of treachery – as witnessed during the Iran-Iraq war when they backed both sides with arms and intelligence – I wouldn’t be surprised if the US has silently backed the Sunni horse … eh I mean … camel, just in case its man in southern Shiite Iraq, Ahmad Chalabi, and the Kurds don’t deliver.