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Night Watch: RIYADH – Two important capitals in the Islamic Axis met last week, very publicly, in Riyadh. Saudi King Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz received Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his delegation to attend a dinner in the Prime Minister’s honor. During which the King stated that both countries are united by their religion, culture and “joint understanding” of regional-international issues. King Abdullah went on to praise Ankara-Riyadh relations.[AINALYAQEEN]
This is the complete opposite to the reception the House of Saud affords to the banished Egypt President Hosni Mubarak who is given very short shrift, a cursory hearing, in the VIP lounge of Jeddah airport. Mubarak is very much aware of his extremely poor standing, not only in Riyadh but with other Islamic governments as well, including Amman, which is why Mubarak was recently trying to impress upon U. S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice their need to face reality and admit that the “axis of moderate Arab governments” that Washington is desperately trying to believe in is an illusion, no such thing exists. Mubarak is aware that Washington’s view, analysis, is simplistic, one dimensional black/white and completely out of touch.[AINALYAQEEN]
But Mubarak decided, quite some time ago, to under no circumstances support Islamic fundamentalism or the revived radicalism, something he has always hated, their having assassinated his predecessor Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. I suspect he also realizes he is very much alone in this, with the support of most of Egypt’s military and that is all. He knows that with the action – war about to begin again, the main target of Tehran, in this theatre, will not be Jerusalem but the European – United Nations forces in south Lebanon and therefore the West will have no time to assist any difficulty Egypt, Mubarak, could face from any direction. Whether it is from inside Egypt, since the population supports the Jihad and therefore his removal, or threats from Libya – Sudan, whose governments embraced the spirit and cause of the Jihad, along with Iran’s leadership, more than 20 years ago. But confronting reality is not Washington’s forte, fleeing reality is, even though Washington is largely responsible for the current wave of fighting and instability sweeping the region.
As Mubarak was trying to impress upon Dr. Rice the neccessity to face this confrontational reality, Saudi King Adbullah and Turkey Pime Minister Erdogan were co-chairing a meeting in which they planned how to increase, put in the field, their bi-lateral cooperation as an expression of their common concern.
Joint operations as a follow up to their “joint understandings.” Attending the planning, review session was: Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz, Minister of Defence and Aviation, Prince Meqrin Ibn Abdul Aziz, President of General Intelligence, Turkish Ambassador Oghor Doghan, and Dr. Ekmeleddin Ishanoglu, the Secretary – General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
The official press release on the meeting said they were discussing the Palestinian issue. That was by no means on the agenda. Both capitals know the Palestinian situation is more of a media war than a military one, spiritually-emotionally motivating for the Islamic community and only when the Palestinians stop shooting at each other will they experience any real progress.
It almost writes them off but their existence is still acknowledged and some financial support will always be directed their way. But in terms of strategic importance it is nothing compared with the new military presence by Europe, under Rome’s leadership, into Lebanon. Those aircraft carriers from France and Italy have nothing to do with assisting Beirut but are instead a very real power projection of Europe back into West Asia using the crisis in Lebanon as their excuse.
The Rome Conference, that justified the European committment, registered just as heavily in Riyadh – Ankara as much as it did in Tehran – Damascus. Perhaps more in Ankara than in any of the other governments. It was no surprise to hear Ankara state that the Eastern Mediterranean is Turkey’s responsibility and no one elses. That was definitely the spirit of the Ottoman Empire speaking and Ankara knows that if Rome – Vienna are defeated then Turkey will have as much influence again as it did during the Ottoman, provided Ankara plays a leading role. The meeting that was co-chaired by the Saudi King and Turkish Prime Minister, the “joint understanding,” was the official approval of the House of Saud, that they agree completely with Ankara’s view. Therefore whatever measures, military steps, Turkey decides to take will have Saudi Arabia’s full support. Riyadh may even direct some of the Saudi militants toward south Lebanon to attack UNIFIL instead of sending them into Iraq through Syria.
This confirms what crossfirewar.com has been saying all along that during the next wave of fighting Israel is by no means the main target, especially since there is no market for salt in the Dead Sea, but there is in controlling the economy of the Mediterranean. The next wave will have more impact on Egypt-Mubarak and on Europe – U. S. than on Israel. That is how the Economic-Military Islamic Axis will direct it. It is always how they planned to direct it, ever since they witnessed the spread of popular support for Khomeini’s Islamic radicalism from 1979 throughout the 1980’s to this date and beyond.
After Erdogan’s series of meetings he went to Jeddah airport to visit Makkah (Mecca) and perform what is called an Umrah (minor, personal Hajj pilgrimage). He also took the time to visit the Prophets Mosque in Al Madinah. Obviously during the expansion of the war he will not have time for these rituals during the major Hajj season.