Crown Prince Abdullah certainly doesn't read MID-EAST REALITIES -- or he certainly wouldn't be privately meeting with Tom Friedman in the first place and supposedly rewarding him with this "scoop". There are many ways to do things; and the Saudis have specialized in doing things in the wrong ways for the wrong reasons for a very long time now. Back in 1990, for instance, the Saudis thought they were taking another unprecedented step when they invited Martin Indyk to be their guest in Riyadh, an idea pushed forward by none other than their Ambassador in Washington, Bandar bin Sultan, working ever-more-closely with the Americans and Israelis at the time because of the impending "Gulf War". Bandar pushed Indyk forward and personally issued him the coveted visa as someone who had become a personal "friend". Now at the time Indyk was actually the Executive Director of the hawkish Israeli lobby think-tank in Washington -- but in "the Kingdom" he was presented to most at least as just an important Middle East analyst. Indyk and "the lobby" then used this important "legitimacy" and Indyk's many Arab "friendships" in order to propel the Israeli lobbyist into Bill Clinton's White House delegated to be in charge of pushing forward the apartheid-style "peace process", something very much wanted by the Israelis at the time.
More importantly at this historic moment, anyone who believes this whole thing regarding Abdullah and the Saudis is innocent and really just happened to happen as Tom Friedman reports just doesn't understand the way the world really works. This whole matter has the smell of Ambassador Bandar all over it; and its not the rich and sweet smell of his expensive and excessive cologne. Furthermore this whole matter also has the scent of the Americans and the Israelis all over it as well...as they attempt to manipulate the upcoming Arab League meeting and divert it from actually acting firmly and harshly against both Israel and the U.S. as today's unprecedented situation truly requires.