Robert Fisk: America's Secret Plan to Arm Libya's Rebels

The truth is: Obama as asked the Saudis to airlift weapons into Benghazi (Libya). Desperate to avoid US military involvement 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% Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington's "highly classified" request (yeah, right), 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 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.

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