Mark, I believe your view of the relations between the Saudis and Dumbya is quite correct. It was reported recently that about half the Sunni militants infiltrating Iraq come from Saudi-Arabia. (I wonder how the Syrians react to this.) The Saudis fear for the Sunnis of Iraq once the Civil War breaks out in full force when the US leaves. In the meantime, the US arms Sunni tribesmen to fight al-Qaida, but then they will move on to fight the Shiites. The Saudis see already the terrible mess that Dumbya has created, which is not yet fully out. I think the arms sale is some means of pressuring the Saudis to go along with the Bush policies, but this is their chance to apply their own pressure. For Israel's sake, and also the US's, I hope the Saudis prevail in forcing the coming "peace conference" to become something real and not a "mission accomplished"-type prelude to the next war.
Monitor: Clashes near Damascus despite truce there, five killed in Aleppo (Reuters)
from the article: A conference of cowboys