There’s no reason to be shocked by this:
Saudi King Abdullah and security czar Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz have held talks with top intelligence and counter-terror officials from the United States and Canada, the SPA news agency reported.
John Brennan, assistant to US President Barack Obama for homeland security and counter-terrorism, discussed in Jeddah on Sunday “issues that concern the two countries” with King Abdullah, Deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, the state news agency said without elaborating.
Afterwards, Brennan held talks with Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, the country’s senior domestic security official for 35 years.
Let me mention at least two good reasons:
- The Saudis are worried about the monster that they have, to some extent, created for everyone. It’s easy to forget the following (from 2005), and it doesn’t matter that the Saudis invited us to start with:
We’ve spent a lot of time on this site discussing shame/honour. It’s especially important in the Middle East and to Muslims in general. The whole Israeli-Palestinian problem is driven by it. Most Arabs are shamed that the Jews took the land, so they’ve spent the last sixty years trying to restore their honour by getting the land back. The same problem inspired al-Qaeda with American troops being stationed in Saudi Arabia after the first Gulf War. They were shamed in the #1 Muslim country being “occupied” by American troops, so they had to restore their honour.
- They’re worried about Iran. At this point the only nuclear force in the Middle East that Saudi Arabia can count on to be an effective counterweight to Iran’s is Israel’s. From a Saudi standpoint that’s not a happy situation, but it beats the Iranian flag flying over Mecca and the oil fields. Don’t think that the Iranians would set up shop there? Just ask the Lebanese.
Middle Eastern politics are such a mess.