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The PowerPoint That Rocked the Pentagon...
MSN/Slate ^

Posted on 08/08/2002 6:15:12 PM PDT by RCW2001

The PowerPoint That Rocked the Pentagon
The LaRouchie defector who's advising the defense establishment on Saudi Arabia.
By Jack Shafer
Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2002, at 4:49 PM PT

Diplomatic china rattled in Washington and cracked in Riyadh yesterday when the Washington Post published a story about a briefing given to a Pentagon advisory group last month. The briefing declared Saudi Arabia an enemy of the United States and advocated that the United States invade the country, seize its oil fields, and confiscate its financial assets unless the Saudis stop supporting the anti-Western terror network.

The Page One story, by Thomas E. Ricks ("Briefing Depicted Saudis as Enemies: Ultimatum Urged To Pentagon Board," Aug. 6), described a 24-slide presentation given by Rand Corp. analyst Laurent Murawiec on July 10, 2002, to the Defense Policy Board, a committee of foreign policy wonks and former government officials that advises the Pentagon on defense issues. Murawiec's PowerPoint scenario, which is reproduced for the first time below, makes him sound like an aspiring Dr. Strangelove.

Just who the hell is Laurent Murawiec? The Post story and its follow-up, also by Ricks, do not explain. The Pentagon and the administration insist that the presentation does not reflect their views in any way. The Rand Corp. acknowledges its association with Murawiec, but likewise disavows any connection with the briefing. (Neither Murawiec nor Rand received money for the briefing, Rand says.) According to Newsday, Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard N. Perle, a former Pentagon official and full-time invade-Iraq hawk, invited Murawiec to brief the group, so Perle can't exactly distance himself from the presentation. But he can do the next best thing—duck reporters' questions. Murawiec also declined reporters' inquiries, including one from Slate.

The first half of Murawiec's presentation reads calmly enough, echoing Fareed Zakaria's Oct. 15, 2001, Newsweek essay about why the Arab world hates the United States. Its tribal, despotic regimes bottle up domestic dissent but indulge the exportation of political anger; intellectually, its people are trapped in the Middle Ages; its institutions lack the tools to deal with 21st-century problems; yadda yadda yadda.

But then Murawiec lights out for the extreme foreign policy territory, recommending that we threaten Medina and Mecca, home to Islam's most holy places, if they don't see it our way. Ultimately, he champions a takeover of Saudi Arabia. The last slide in the deck, titled "Grand strategy for the Middle East," abandons the outrageous for the incomprehensible. It reads:

Egypt the prize?

Because none of the Defense Policy Board attendees are talking candidly about the session, it's hard to divine what "Egypt the prize" means or if Murawiec's briefing put it into any context. It sounds a tad loopy, even by Dr. Strangelove standards. The Post report does mention a "talking point" attached to the 24-page PowerPoint deck that describes Saudi Arabia as "the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent" in the Middle East. That's extreme talk even by the standards of the anti-Saudi editorialists at the Weekly Standard and the rest of the invade-Iraq fellowship.

Who is Laurent Murawiec, and where did he learn to write like this? The George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs' Web site lists him as a faculty member, but it lists no current or future classes by him. The site's biographical page adds that he's a graduate of the Sorbonne University, that he worked as "A foreign correspondent for a major French business weekly in Germany" (isn't that kind of vague?) and is the co-founder of GeoPol Services SA, "a consulting company in Geneva, Switzerland, which advised major multinational corporations and banks." It also lists him as a former adviser to the French ministry of defense and the translator (into French) of Clausewitz's On War.

A sweep of the Web shows that he lectured on Islamic terrorism in Toronto on March 11, 2002, under the aegis of the Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies. He wrote an article titled "The Wacky World of French Intellectuals" in the Middle East Quarterly, co-edited a Rand Corp. book, and made these comments at a Nautilus Institute conference. When he spoke on panel with Richard Perle at the American Enterprise Institute on Dec. 1, 1999, Murawiec was introduced as having just moved to the United States after "a dozen years" of working as managing director of GeoPol in Geneva, "a service that supplies advice to European clients, similar to what Kissinger Associates offers from New York, except without the accent." That is a bit of an overstatement. A Google search of "Murawiec and GeoPol" produces 12 hits. Compare that to the 10,300 hits on Google for "Kissinger Associates."

Murawiec's résumé would predict many Nexis hits, but a search of his name reveals just five bylines: Twice already this year, Murawiec has contributed to the neocon publication the National Interest, on the subject of Russia. In 1999 he wrote for the Post's "Outlook" section on "internationalism," and in 1996 he contributed a piece to the Journal of Commerce on Russia. His only other Nexis-able byline is a dusty one from the Jan. 23, 1985, edition of the Financial Times, which describes Murawiec as "the European Economics Editor of the New York-based Executive Intelligence Review weekly magazine."

Executive Intelligence Review, as scholars of parapolitics know, is a publication of the political fantasist, convicted felon, and perpetual presidential candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. It's not clear exactly when Murawiec left the LaRouche orbit. An article by LaRouche that appeared last year in Executive Intelligence Review calls Murawiec "a real-life 'Beetlebaum' of the legendary mythical horse-race, and a hand-me-down political carcass, currently in the possession of institutions of a peculiar odor." In 1997, LaRouche's wife Helga Zupp LaRouche wrote in Executive Intelligence Review (republished in the LaRouche-affiliated AboutSudan.com Web site) that Murawiec "was once part of our organization and is now on the side of organized crime." The truth value of that statement surely ranks up there with LaRouche's claim that the Queen of England controls the crack trade. To say, zero.

When Murawiec departed LaRouche's company is unclear, but Dennis King, author of 1989's Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism, thinks it came when many followers split as LaRouche's legal problems grew and climaxed with a 1988 conviction for conspiracy and mail fraud. "[Murawiec] was not a political leader," says King, "but a follower who did intelligence-gathering."

Now that Murawiec has assumed such a vocal place in the policy debate, the man who gave him the lectern owes us the complete back-story. Over to you, Richard Perle.                          

******

Laurent Murawiec's 24-slide presentation to the Defense Policy Board was obtained by Slate and is presented here in type-treatment that approximates the original.

000000000000

Taking Saudi Out of Arabia


Laurent Murawiec
RAND
Defense Policy Board
July 10, 2002

1

Taking Saudi out of Arabia:
Contents

2



The Arab Crisis


3

The systemic crisis of the Arab
World

4

Shattered Arab self-esteem

5

What has the Arab world
produced?

6

The Crisis of the Arab world
reaches a climax

7

How does change occur in the
 Arab world?

8

The continuation of politics by other
means?

9

The crisis cannot be contained to the
Arab world alone

10



"Saudi"
Arabia


11

The old partnership

12

"Saudi" Arabia

13

Means, motive, opportunity

14

The impact on Saudi policy

15

Saudis see themselves

16

The House of Saud today

17



Strategies


18

What is to be done?

19

"Saudi Arabia" is not a God-
given entity

20

An ultimatum to the House of
Saud

21

Or else ...

22

Other Arabs?

23

Grand strategy for the Middle
East

• Iraq is the tactical pivot            

• Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot

• Egypt the prize

24


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/08/2002 6:15:12 PM PDT by RCW2001
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To: All
RadioFR Tonight...6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern!

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2 posted on 08/08/2002 6:15:58 PM PDT by Bob J
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To: Orual; aculeus; general_re; T'wit; BlueLancer; parsifal
Helga Zupp LaRouche

You couldn't make that up.

3 posted on 08/08/2002 6:18:53 PM PDT by dighton
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To: RCW2001
Hot Dog! That sounds like a plan! I do hope the Saudis have a copy of this by now.
4 posted on 08/08/2002 6:30:20 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: dighton
Powerful stuff.
5 posted on 08/08/2002 6:33:44 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: RCW2001
Interesting slide show. What exactly was controversial about it?
6 posted on 08/08/2002 6:33:56 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: Prodigal Son
Sometimes I wonder how much of this leaked stuff is really unintentionally leaked, you know what I mean?
7 posted on 08/08/2002 6:35:59 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: RCW2001
IMHO, this was a planned shot across the Saudi bow to get them into line for the coming military operations, with the implied warning,... "cooperate; you could be next!"
8 posted on 08/08/2002 6:36:22 PM PDT by Gritty
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To: RCW2001; All
"Egypt the prize?

Because none of the Defense Policy Board attendees are talking candidly about the session, it's hard to divine what "Egypt the prize" means or if Murawiec's briefing put it into any context."

Context????????? Hoisted by their own petard, these twits.

JUST let's talk about context, shall we, boys and girls?

I, and probably thousands of you, use PowerPoint or Freelance or something of that ilk on a damned near daily basis (or, Heaven forbid, we're subjected to others' use of such presentation tools) as we conduct our daily business in the corporate world.

I cannot possibly tell you how many of the damned things (such presentations) I have saved on various hard drives of the various computers I maintain........but there are many. What's always fun is to go to one that seemed oh-so-valuable a few months ago or a year ago and open it up now for review.

Without verbal accompaniment.........i.e., CONTEXT...........most are damned-near incomprehensible. I mean, you can't make hide nor hair out of what the creator of the presentation was trying to say!!!

What I'm pointing out is the obvious: These twits ADMIT they don't know the context.......nor have the slightest clue about the accompanying discussion points...........of these slides, yet publish an entire article on "how extreme" they are and what a nutcase this guy is.

Sloppy, transparent, horrifically one-sided bulls**t.

9 posted on 08/08/2002 6:41:32 PM PDT by RightOnline
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To: RCW2001
Lyndon LaRouche is nutty as a fruitcake. The Saudis are not our allies.
10 posted on 08/08/2002 6:43:44 PM PDT by vance
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
All of the stuff in this presentation has been the heart of professorial lectures on the matter for the last 100 years.

Sometimes they note that the crisis has lasted for the last 1000 years, not just the last 200 years.

It's just about a millenium ago when the Arabs lost control of their own empire. It was taken over by the Turks, then the Kurds, and then the Turks again.

In the aftermath of WWI, it was taken over by the Brits.

Oh, yes, the Arabs "double whammied" themselves. Not only did they lose their empire to foreign powers, they also inflicted the Sharia Law on themselves.

11 posted on 08/08/2002 6:45:24 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: RCW2001
The briefing declared Saudi Arabia an enemy of the United States and advocated that the United States invade the country, seize its oil fields, and confiscate its financial assets unless the Saudis stop supporting the anti-Western terror network.

I have been advocating this ever since 9/11
12 posted on 08/08/2002 6:58:28 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: muawiyah
I see what he's driving at about Egypt. Egypt is the intellectual center of the Arab world. It has been that way since the Nasser era. The rest of the Arab world is a collection of oil dictatorships. The Egyptians actually have a civilization.

Never call an Egyptian an "Arab".

Anyway, the power point presentation that is being roundly condemned is actually embarrassing only because it is a public pronouncement of what is already being said in private among American strategic planners: Saudi Arabia is a focus of global terrorism. There is where Bin Laden and others were able to get their money.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

13 posted on 08/08/2002 7:02:07 PM PDT by section9
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To: RCW2001
He says it like it is. Egypt is the center of the Arab world. If radical Islam is extinguished in Egypt, it is over with the Arabs. We are fighting Islamist Arabs, everywhere they live.
14 posted on 08/08/2002 7:04:52 PM PDT by eno_
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To: RCW2001
My guess is that "Egypt is the prize" means that they would have cntrol of the canal. Which would mean a tremendous shortening of the distance that oil would have to travel in case the Egyptians closed it down due to a US war against an oil-producing Arab state.

That's merely a guess, though...
15 posted on 08/08/2002 7:05:19 PM PDT by BradyLS
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
A recent report suggested that if we rolled Iraq over, we would have to keep 60,000 troops there in the aftermath for a while in order to keep the peace, etc. If all we need to pacify Iraq is 60,000 then we wouldn't need but a few hundred for the Saudi Arabian peckerheaded monarchy and the handful who would give their all or even some part for their king or his 400 kids.
16 posted on 08/08/2002 7:12:14 PM PDT by mathurine
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To: RCW2001
Larouchites make the John Birch Society seem sane. If Perle has been inveigled into letting 'ex'-Larouchites anywhere near centers of power, he has been royally played.
17 posted on 08/08/2002 7:13:04 PM PDT by Tokhtamish
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To: RCW2001
Wahhabism loathes modernity, capitalism, human rights, religious freedom, democracy, republics, an open society -- and practices the very opposite

WTF???

18 posted on 08/08/2002 7:16:18 PM PDT by BradyLS
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
Sometimes I wonder how much of this leaked stuff is really unintentionally leaked, you know what I mean?

Yep. The Saudis have got to be feeling a little uneasy at the moment. Personally, I believe the Saudis are the bullseye on the target. That's the home of radical Islam. They are who we're going to have to deal with one day- soon hopefully.

19 posted on 08/08/2002 7:21:00 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Bob J
Terror as an accepted, legitimate means of carrying out politics, has been incubated for 30 years ..."

What you mean! 30 Years?!?!?!? How long ago did the "Assassin's Cult" exercise terrorism to gain power?? Wasn't that more like 900 years ago?? Or even longer.

That aside--most of the guy's points seem pretty much on target.

20 posted on 08/08/2002 7:25:46 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: RCW2001
I think I get this guy's main stick to use against the House of Saud;

In frame 20 the author's points are;
-The House of Saud was given dominion over Arabia in 1922 by the British.
-It wrested the Guardianship of the Holy Places -- Mecca and Medina -- from the Hashemite dynasty.
-There is an "Arabia," but it needs not be "Saudi"

In frame 22 the author states;
—The Holy Places: let it be known that alternatives are being canvassed.

In frame 23 the author states;
-The Hashemites have greater legitimacy as Guardians of Mecca and Medina.

Besides the obvious threat to take Saudi oil and money this
guy wants to place the King of Jordan (Head Hashemite) in charge of Arabia and it's Holy places. It is the Saudi Princes' stewardship of the holy places that gives them legitimacy in the Muslim world.

There were rumors that we were talking to Jordan about something. It was variously reported that we might be trying to use Jordan as a base for the attack of Iraq. Could it be that Jordan has been approached regarding Arabia?




21 posted on 08/08/2002 7:36:51 PM PDT by Mike Darancette
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To: Prodigal Son
I just read an article saying that the Russians are getting onto the house of Saud over their support of the Islamic nuts in Chechnya. The heat is being turned up.
22 posted on 08/08/2002 7:38:32 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: Mike Darancette
Very astute points...

I found them especially interesting after reading this headline.

Jordan Prince Said To Seek Iraqi Throne The Forward ^

Posted on 08/08/2002 9:00 PM Eastern by RCW2001

Jordan Prince Said To Seek Iraqi Throne Meets With Wolfowitz By MARC PERELMAN FORWARD STAFF

PARIS — Former crown prince Hassan of Jordan is not on the guest list of a high-level meeting between the main Iraqi opposition groups and American officials scheduled for Friday in Washington. Nevertheless, he is bound to loom large as participants grapple with the all-important question of who runs post-Saddam Baghdad. Rumors are rife that the 55-year-old Hassan is angling to become king of Iraq.

Hassan, whose Hashemite family ruled Iraq until his great-uncle Feisal II was overthrown in 1958, caused a stir last month when he unexpectedly appeared at a meeting of Saddam Hussein foes in London. Hassan himself was crown prince of Jordan for 34 years, but was pushed aside when his brother King Hussein named a son, Abdullah, to succeed him.

Although he claimed he had come to London merely to express solidarity, Hassan's name has been bandied around for a series of United Nations postings since he was pushed aside from the Jordanian throne, fueling speculation that he was looking for a "job," if not a crown.

Several observers said some Bush administration officials are indeed rooting for Hassan at a time when Washington is struggling to find a consensus leader to succeed Saddam. After the London meeting, the London-based Guardian newspaper reported that Hassan had the backing of Pentagon hawks and that he met in April in Washington with one of their most prominent figures, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

"There is more to his presence in London than meets the eye," an American expert on Iraq said. "Some people might be thinking that a Hashemite ruler might be a good compromise between the Shi'ite and the Sunni" Muslim factions because the Hashemite family is believed to be descended from both prophet Muhammad and his son-in-law Ali, the latter a seminal figure in the Shi'ite faith.

A well-placed intelligence source told the Forward that "some Defense Department people are pushing for it, but it is totally unrealistic."

A Pentagon spokesman, Lieu-tenant Colonel David Lapan, said the department did not want to comment on the speculation surrounding Hassan, adding that he was not invited to Washington for this week's consultations on the future of Iraq.

Other observers dismissed the Hashemite scenario and said Hassan's intention was to embarrass Abdullah by lending Jordanian support to the American regime-change policy in Iraq. They noted that Hassan's move came just as American press reports said Jordanian bases might be used in an American military operation against Iraq, prompting strong denials from Amman.

After the London meeting, Abdullah blasted his uncle, claiming "he had blundered into something he did not realize he was getting into and we're all picking up the pieces," according to the official Jordanian Petra press agency.

"I believe the king does not want this," the intelligence source said. "He is already preoccupied enough with his own survival."

But others disagreed, arguing that Abdullah's denial of the reports of Jordan's cooperation in military preparations and his criticism of Hassan's presence in London could well be a way for him to stave off the inevitable criticism he would face at home. There, public opinion is already enraged by America's unwavering support of Israel since the outbreak of the intifada. The majority of Jordanian citizens are of Palestinian descent.

Some point to the close relationship between Hassan and Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi as an explanation for his presence in London. After Chalabi was indicted in Jordan for a bank fraud in the 1980s, Hassan helped him get out of jail. Chalabi invited Hassan to London, several sources said.

But Hassan's presence did not go down well with some key Iraqi opposition leaders.

"Jordan said it was a mistake and we have to stick to this explanation," said Hamid al-Bayati, the London representative of the Iran-based Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the main Shi'ite opposition group. "Iraq has enough candidates to succeed Hussein. We don't need a foreigner and our new constitution will ensure it."

Al-Bayati will attend the August 9 meeting in Washington with Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. Also invited are the two main Kurdish groups, the Iraqi National Accord and the constitutional monarchy movement.

Although they said they want to offer a united stance to the administration, disagreements among the opposition groups are obvious. The Iraqi National Congress, created in 1992 as the main umbrella group and funded by Washington for a decade, has not been able to knit them together.

23 posted on 08/08/2002 7:45:14 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
Jordan Prince Said To Seek Iraqi Throne

I hadn't seen that yet but when coupled with Bush's buddy Putin now piling on the House of Saud, this could get real interesting.

If the US pulls out of Saudi Arabia --- Watch Out.

24 posted on 08/08/2002 8:00:36 PM PDT by Mike Darancette
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To: RCW2001
Looks like the Shiite is about to hit the fan!
25 posted on 08/08/2002 8:22:39 PM PDT by Dems_R_Losers
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To: Mike Darancette
It's pretty neat putting all of these pieces together. I wonder how much of this is coincidence and how much of this is orchestrated. I wonder how many people have the master plan. I guess the heads of the CIA, DoD, NSA and President?

It'll be interesting to see how all of this falls out. I pray for peace...for I'm sure that the average Iraqi/Saudi Joe on the street really wants to get involved in a war. Unfortunately, the little guys are always the ones who pay the price for the big dogs.

26 posted on 08/08/2002 8:48:11 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: Mike Darancette
The Palis want a homeland. Palis are basically Jordanian. Let the Palis have Saudi.
27 posted on 08/08/2002 8:54:52 PM PDT by willyone
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: ItisaReligionofPeace
I'm sure that the average Iraqi/Saudi Joe on the street really wants to get involved in a war.

I'm sure they don't, If done correctly the war does not have to come to "Joe" (at least the fighting part).

Take siege of Baghdad and make the Iraquis come to us. Saudi Arabia could fall if Iraq does.

29 posted on 08/08/2002 10:54:56 PM PDT by Mike Darancette
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To: Mike Darancette
If the US pulls out of Saudi Arabia --- Watch Out.

Why?

It would be easier to engineer the necessary coup and selective (maybe) assassinations of the Saudi Royal Family, if we stayed there. Also, a smooth transition of the oil supply to American-controlled interests would be easier, don't you think?

Or am I missing something...?

30 posted on 08/08/2002 11:12:12 PM PDT by fire_eye
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
Interesting slide show. What exactly was controversial about it?

You're right. For the most part it sounded like a pretty good analysis. I still don't get the "tactical pivot," "strategic pivot" and Egypt being the "prize" though. I wonder if this has more to do with oil than it seems on the surface.

31 posted on 08/08/2002 11:23:07 PM PDT by DentsRun
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To: Gritty
"IMHO, this was a planned shot across the Saudi bow to get them into line for the coming military operations, with the implied warning,... "cooperate; you could be next!"

I share that opinion...

32 posted on 08/09/2002 5:35:38 AM PDT by eureka!
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To: Mike Darancette
Take Saudi Arabia first, then Iraq. The rest can be done piecemeal after that.
33 posted on 08/09/2002 5:55:22 AM PDT by Twodees
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To: dighton
Could a boxing match vs Barbara Lee Diamonstein-Spielvogel be in the cards?
34 posted on 08/09/2002 5:59:24 AM PDT by Righty1
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To: Mike Darancette
Excellent analysis. Jordan and Turkey are hurting, and allowing them both a little expansionism (under a peacekeeping flag) can help them both. None of this is totally clear or easy - the Turks and Kurds don't mix too well, for example - but it makes sense.
35 posted on 08/09/2002 6:11:28 AM PDT by eno_
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
how much of this is coincidence and how much of this is orchestrated Ask papa Bush how much of the liberation of Eastern Europe was "coincidence." For a while, it was a revolution per month. Even the Baltic nations, which everyone had written off as too dangerous to split off from the Soviet Union got their independence.

So a Jordan/Palestine, plus a Hashemite kingdom spanning some of Iraq plus some of Saudi Arabia, with a Saudi emirate as a rump state, and a Turk-administered northern Iraq (bit of a complication with the Kurds, but...) may be the outcome. But don't count on the map changing overnight. The Cold War was 40 years long.

36 posted on 08/09/2002 6:18:31 AM PDT by eno_
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To: RCW2001
Sounds like a smart guy to me.
37 posted on 08/09/2002 6:31:05 AM PDT by Rodney King
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To: eno_
a Turk-administered northern Iraq (bit of a complication with the Kurds, but...)

True, but the Turks would rather run the place than have it become an independent state (which might become a source of support for Kurdish terrorism within Turkey).

38 posted on 08/09/2002 7:03:07 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: eno_
Good point RE: cold war. How much of a role did we play in the revolutions?
39 posted on 08/09/2002 7:07:06 AM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: DentsRun
I get the tactical and strategic pivots...tactical meaning short term actions that must be done to achieve the overall strategic goal...I wasn't sure about Egypt though. Maybe he knows something we don't? Maybe he's a nut? Who knows? (which may be the whole point of all of this)
40 posted on 08/09/2002 7:08:41 AM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: RCW2001
We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are perpetual and eternal and those interests it is our duty to follow.

Lord Palmerston, British Foreign Secretary, 1848


We need to take these words to heart.
41 posted on 08/09/2002 7:28:07 AM PDT by Kozak
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To: willyone
Let the Palis have Saudi.

Fine. But just the SAND part. Not the oil part. Or we will be back at square one as regards terrorism.
42 posted on 08/09/2002 7:48:45 AM PDT by Kozak
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