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THE MIDDLE EAST: Iraq and Saudi Arabia

These articles from The Economist throw light onFthe Middle East situation; "TONY BLAIR, the one European leader firmly ready for a strike against Iraq, found grandees queuing up against: not just the new Archbishop of Canterbury, but Douglas Hurd, foreign minister during the Gulf war, and the then top civil servant at the defence ministry. Plus a former chief of the defence staff under Margaret Thatcher. See article: British foreign policy, America and Iraq (

A French Middle East specialist spoke at the Rand Corporation, and then was invited to repeat his severe criticism of Saudi Arabia at the Pentagon. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said he spoke in a private capacity, and that US-Saudi relations were excellent. America's State Department reassured Saudi Arabia that the administration's views were not reflected in the independent briefing, which described Saudi Arabia as America's "most dangerous opponent" In the Middle East. The briefing also recommended that Saudi Arabia be given an ultimatum to stop backing terrorism or face seizure of its oilfields and financial assets. See article: Strong words about Saudi Arabia (

Ronald Hilton - 8/8/02