Republicans are slamming President Obama for strained relations with the Saudi royals and other Persian Gulf sheiks, but U.S. relations with these oil-rich monarchs have been tense before and – given their support for Sunni terrorism – should be tenser still, as Jonathan Marshall explains.
If President Obama were speaking solely for U.S. national interests, he would offer a stern rebuke, not gentle reassurance, to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States during a Camp David summit, but domestic politics and Israeli pressure will constrain any frankness, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Exclusive: Many Americans think secret U.S. documents become public after, say, 30 years, but many are hidden indefinitely to conceal inconvenient truths that could enlighten public debate, as Robert Parry discovered in getting a redacted version of a “top secret” paper from 1981 that he had already found in unredacted form.
From the Archive: An article from the first investigative series published at Consortiumnews in early 1996 revealed top-secret “talking points” used by Secretary of State Haig in 1981 to brief President Reagan about the Middle East, including an alleged U.S. “green light” for Iraq to invade Iran. Journalist Robert Parry found the document in old congressional files.
Early U.S. presidents warned against “entangling” foreign alliances, but they never suspected America might be drawn into squabbles between Sunnis and Shiites dating back to the Seventh Century succession of Prophet Muhammad. But that now seems to be the case, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.