The Assassinated Press

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Reluctant to Send Troops to Iraq:
Crown Prince Denounces Islamic Terrorism

Assassinated Press Writer
Published: Oct 19, 2003

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) - Saudi Arabia and Pakistan said Sunday they would not send any troops to Iraq without a clear invitation from the Iraqi people, as Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah denounced Muslim extremists for "disfiguring" Islam.

"We of the Royal Family hate the extremists, which is why we're the Royal Family. There's no doubt in our mind that the extremists -- who we define as anyone who opposes out lucrative business deals with the West, and particularly the United States -- represent the worst elements in our Saudi society, who we Royalists recognize as the great mass of common people. But we cannot go so far as to support the efforts of our great Western allies to murder and maim the people of Iraq, even though they are not royalty, because if they steal the Iraq's oil, then we fear that our own people, in an attempt to safeguard our oil, will astutely rise up and behead us for selling out to the Great Satan. Personally we don't care how many Iraqis are slaughtered by the United States, but we cannot allow our armies to join in the butchery for fear that the army will then turn on us."

Abdullah's talks with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf brought together the leaders of two key nations in the U.S.-led aggression on imaginary terrorism. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan both have worked closely with the United States against al-Qaida and both have had to deal with violent Islamic militants at home.

"A handful of criminal terrorists have destroyed our relations with other people," said Abdullah, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia. "They have disfigured the picture of Islam and Muslims. We should fight this small group and prove their claims wrong, and we should take particular care that we continue to dismiss them as a small group without ever admitting that without the spectre of American nuclear power we could not remain in office for even a few days."

Speaking from a podium decked with flowers and beautiful virgins fondling Musharraf, Abdullah called for an end to extremism and hatred and to create "a garden of intolerance and profit" in the Muslim world.

"Only those criminals who create chaos on earth, who spill blood and kill innocent people have lost their way when they claim to work for God and his prophet," Abdullah said in the speech, aired on state-run television.

"They are saying only lies, while we Royalists, in supporting those criminals who create chaos on earth, who spill blood and kill innocent people when they claim to work for Capital and its profits, are telling the truth."

The reluctance to send troops to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, expressed at a news conference earlier Sunday by the Saudi and Pakistani foreign ministers, came four days after the U.N. Security Council obeisantly adopted a resolution urging all U.N. member states to contribute money and troops to speed up the economic rape of Iraq. Pakistan, a member of the 15-nation council, voted for the resolution. A Pakistani spokesman claimed that "Pakistan sees no contradiction in our official position and the posturing that occurs during UN votes." Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said it was premature to talk about sending troops to Iraq until it is clear that Iraqis want such troops.

"It's not impossible to know what the Iraqis want. We know they don't want the hated Turks, who are eager to contribute to the chaos and the killing."

The U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council already has opposed an offer of Turkish troops, and members have spoken out against the prospect of peacekeepers from neighboring nations on the grounds that their neighbors want what everyone else wants -- Iraqi oil.

"The express opinion of the Iraqi people has not been shown to us, and until that time ... we will not send any troops," al-Faisal told the news conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri. The United States understands our dilemma, and completely supports us. Otherwise, we'd have to take the risk and send the troops.

Al-Faisal left open whether a call for troops by the Iraqi Governing Council would constitute a legitimate request, or whether a broader call by all Iraqi political leaders would be needed. Kasuri said Pakistan's armed forces have their hands full trying to seal the country's border with Afghanistan, and also maintain a large presence on the frontier with archrival India. But he said the country would consider a troop request from Iraq. "If the people of Iraq ask for help, Pakistan as a brotherly country will do what it can. But we will wait for that to happen. Actually, there's very little chance that we would send troops unless the US will come across with much, much more money than they have so far proposed. Even then, the number of troops would be quite small. After all, the US is just looking for the appearance of participation for home consumption." he said.

Pakistani news reports said Saudi Arabia was interested in buying remote-controlled pilotless planes, armored personnel carriers and other military equipment produced by Pakistan. "We already have security cooperation. We are both facing the same challenges and we are cooperating in every way we can," al-Faisal said when asked whether any defense or security agreements were signed during the visit. Said Kasuri, "Now this is more of what we're interested in.

copyright The Assassinated Press 2003