A senior member of the Saudi royal family warned Thursday that Republican victories in this week's elections will encourage what he called "neoconservatives" and "warmongers" to push back against the Obama administration's peace initiative in the Middle East.
Observers said that Prince Turki al-Faisal, the kingdom's former intelligence head who also served as ambassador to the United States, was likely delivering a message on behalf of the Saudi government when he launched an outspoken attack on the supporters of Israel in Washington.
"Neocon advisers, American conservatives and Zionist extremists" promoted policies "that continually throw a wrench into the progress of peace," the prince told an audience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
Quoting from an article by Robert Satloff, director of "the pro-Israeli" think tank Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Prince Turki characterized these policies as an opposition to the idea that an Israeli settlement freeze was vital; a call for the United States not to force Israel's hand to make concessions in the negotiations; and the conviction that a tough U.S. stand on Iran, including the possibility of military action, was an essential prerequisite for peace in the region.
President Obama's victory in 2008 encouraged many "to believe that the neocon movement had died, the victim of its own, failed delusional policies," he said. But he added that neoconservative ideas were "crawl[ing] from their grave of failure," and their proponents would be encouraged by the election results Tuesday, which gave Republicans control of the House and reduced the Democratic majority in the Senate by at least six seats.
"This recent election," the prince said, "will give more fodder for these warmongers to pursue their favorite exercise — war-making."
"I think these comments were out of line and not well received," David Pollock of the Washington Institute told The Washington Times. "If he really wants to promote Arab-Israeli peace," he added, "This is not the way to do it."
Friday, November 05, 2010
From the Washington Times: