When Arabs Are More Bibi Than Bibi Himself
Raymond Bonner, writing for The Atlantic.com, on the sea-change that might be coming, thanks to the Wikileaks revelations:
Sure, we knew that Middle East governments were concerned about Iran. But we didn't know to what degree. The cumulative impact of these cables is profound.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the largest, wealthiest, and among the most conservative Middle East nations, made "frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program," the American embassy in Riyadh reported in April 2008. "He told you to cut off the head of the snake," one of the King's aides reminded the American ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus when they were in the kingdom for a two day visit.
From tiny Bahrain, King Hamid, in a meeting with Gen. Petraeus seven months later, said that Iran was the source for much of the trouble in Iraq and Afghanistan. "He argued forcefully for taking action to terminate their nuclear program, by whatever means necessary," according to a leaked cable from the American embassy there. "That program must be stopped," the King told Gen. Petraeus. "The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it."
This the same chilling language, which the American public is accustomed to hearing from hardline Israeli officials. Hearing it expressed by Muslim leaders in the Middle East might now have a profound effect on American public opinion.