(independent.co.uk) Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a “day of rage” from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington’s highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.
Washington’s request is in line with other US military co-operation with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 and later – to America’s chagrin – also funded and armed the Taliban.
But the Saudis remain the only US Arab ally strategically placed and capable of furnishing weapons to the guerrillas of Libya. Their assistance would allow Washington to disclaim any military involvement in the supply chain – even though the arms would be American and paid for by the Saudis.
By Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent
Blind Eye to the Butcher, 2002. Carlton documentary about British citizen Ian Henderson who tortured Bahrainis as head of Bahrain’s secret police.
“Ian Henderson is a British citizen known for his alleged use of torture to put down the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, and later the 1990s Uprising in Bahrain as an employee of the Bahrain government. Some journalists have referred to Mr Henderson as the “Butcher of Bahrain” due to the allegations of torture”. Read More