No one would say that the Iraqi insurgents are waging the most technologically sophisticated war in history, but you don’t kill 2,000 American soldiers without some outside military assistance. But where is it coming from?
To the Bush Administration, the answer is obvious: Syria. That is at least the ostensible reason why the United States has taken such a hard line on Damascus. But there is reason to believe that the White House’s argument is as honesty-challenged as…well…everything else.
Syria’s interest in supporting a successful Sunni insurgency is tepid, to say the least. The Syrian regime is of, by, and for the minority Alawite sect, and represses a Sunni majority. It hardly has an interest in fostering Sunni radicalism. Indeed, Hafez al-Assad’s brutal 1982 slaughtering of 30,000 people in the city of Hama was largely driven by his desire to crush Sunni militancy.
So let’s look around the neighborhood to see who else has an interest in this. Who shares a border with Iraq?
Jordan? Hardly. The Hashemites depend upon American military and economic support to keep them in power.
Kuwait? Ditto, except for the “economic” part.
Iran? The mullahs want to see a stable and supportive Shiite client state in Baghdad.
Turkey? Are you kidding me? While they want a strong central government in Iraq, Ankara isn’t about to support a fundamentalist Sunni revolt next door–especially when they are trying to enter the EU.
So who else is there? Hmmm….oh yes: that huge, Sunni fundamentalist, oil-rich kingdom to Iraq’s south, which is terrified of Shiite power and not coincidentally shares a very long–and very unguarded–border with Iraq.
At the same time that this administration cozies up to the powers that be in Riyadh, those same powers may very well be planning the death of thousands of American soldiers.
None of this is confirmed, of course, but the Saudis have a good way of spreading money around Washington to keep unfavorable news out of the media. If it does come out that Sunni insurgents are getting hefty sums from the Saudi Interior Ministry, you heard it here first.