Monday, November 14, 2005

Saudi Arabia: Friend or Foe in the War on Terror?

During the United States Senate’s Committee on the Judiciary meetings on November 8th (postponed from October 25th), a spokesman from Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) gave testimony in defense of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in terrorist activities around the world.

Upon reading his remarks, one wants to ask if there is some Middle East aphorism about the need to take refuge from sandstorms blowing dirt in the eyes? If so, this saying certainly applies to Mr. Cordeman’s bloviations to this Committee.

Saudia Arabia is being picked on, according to the expert from CSIS:
     It is both dangerous and misleading to single out Saudi Arabia. We need to remember that 9/11 was the exception and not the rule. Most of the prior attacks and attempted attacks on the US were by North Africans, Egyptians, and Arabs from the Levant. Long before we confronted Islamic extremism and a "war on terrorism," nations like Egypt and Algeria were fighting major extremist movements, and a different kind of Islamic extremism had come to dominate Iran. No country in the Middle East or Islamic world is free of this threat, and every moderate regime is under attack. This is a clash within a civilization at which we are on the margin.
Since we need to start somewhere, “singling out” Saudi Arabia is as good a beginning as anyplace else. It certainly has created more than its share of trouble. Nowhere in his testimony does this man mention the millions of dollars dumped into the United States by the Saudi government in an attempt to undermine us from within. On the margin, indeed. This may be a “clash within a civilization” but there is no way for others — like us — to stay out, considering the way we are attacked repeatedly. A “clash within” does not include flying airplanes into infidel buildings.

Mr. Cordeman fails to mention the Saudi funding of American mosques or the staffing of them with incendiary imams. Nor does he say anything about the widely disseminated “educational” materials for children which portray Israel as the embodiment of evil and the singular problem in the Middle East turmoil. Nowhere does he talk about the Saudi funding of chaplains in American prisons who preach Wahhabi fundamentalism and convert marginal people into a religion which seeks ultimately, the dhimmification of our country.

Mr. Cordeman makes an astonishing claim:
     There is no single cause for Islamist extremism, and no easy correlation between any given set of the region's problems and support for violence and terrorism.
Au contraire, sir. The single cause is the prevalent Islamic belief, manifested in the particular by the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia, that they have been denied the cutural and political and religious dominance in world affairs that is Islam’s rightful inheritance. Islam believes in two worlds: Dar-al-Harb and Dar-al-Islam. It is a Manichean point of view, and one that is not conducive to negotiation, compromise or shades of meaning. “Dhimmi or die” pretty well sums it up.

Saudi Arabia is at the root of much of the disorder in the world right now. If the Angel of History were to appear tonight and simply erase the Kingdom of Saud from the equation, things would change overnight. Would we suddenly experience world peace? By no means. But the engine of discord would have at least three fewer cylinders: deep-pocket funding for world-wide dissenion would decrease dramatically; terrorist invaders in Iraq would dry up; and the nasty mechanations between Syria and Saudi Arabia or between the Pakistani madrasses and Saudi Arabia would be no more. And think of all the Indonesian slaves currently in servitude there — they could all go home, taking a bit of the decadent treasure with them.

Meanwhile, we have to be on guard against a country that projects the blame for Middle Eastern problems on Israel. You have only to compare what Israel, with far less money than Saudi Arabia, made of its little patch of desert, and what Saudi Arabia, with all its billions of petrodollars has utterly failed to do for its citizenry or for the people it hires as slaves to tend to its bloated kingdom.

It is neither dangerous nor misleading to single out Saudi Arabia. In fact, it’s waaaay overdue. Let’s see what the Senate Judiciary Committee decides about the question it has posed.

Will it dare to call Saudi the foe that it really is? Will it conclude that without the Kingdom of Saud the Twin Towers would still be standing and we might not be in Iraq?

More on other Committee witnesses to follow.


Thomas von der Trave said...

CSIS motto: "9/11 - An Exception We Can Live With."

pst314 said...

"widely disseminated 'educational' materials...which portray Israel as the embodiment of evil"

Correction: "portray Jews as the embodiment of evil."

Dymphna said... could also say "the Zionist entity." But when you read the Princely quotes from the Sauds, they say "Israel" -- or at least taht's what they say to us.

Thomas von der Trave said...

I've been thinking for some time now about ordering up a passel of T-shirts with the motto, "It's Islam, Stupid."

With built-in state-of-the-art bulletproof vest.

Think they'd sell?

Dymphna said...

Old Cato:

I'd feel safer in a tank emblazoned with that message. Remember, Mohammed didn't approve of laughing. He said that's how the devil gets in...

OTOH, a tshirt would be fun, you just couldn't wear it anywhere.

A variation might be "It's the Stupid (Faction in) Islam...a little clearer...there are people lke the Religious Policeman and Big Pharaoh who are trying to make it smarter...

Thomas von der Trave said...

Dymphna, that Big Mo frowned on laughter should have tipped people off from the beginning.

I often imagine a lot of Jesus' parables were told in a way that had people laughing instead of just scratching their heads in puzzlement.

And the Jewish sense of humor is known to everyone, if not so much that God himself is portrayed as laughing in some of the Talmudic writings.

A religion that believes laughter is wrong is just frightening. Umberto Eco should have located "The Name of the Rose" somewhere in Mecca or in a labyrinth under As Haram esh-Sharif.

I wish I could have been there when Oriana Fallaci interviewed Khomeini and laughed in his insane, bearded face.

Jason Pappas said...

I suppose Mr. Cordeman, during the Cold War, would have said it was unfair to single out the Soviet Union as central to the problem. Without understanding the central role of Islam and the central role of Saudi Arabia as the … well, what should we call it … the Mecca of Islam, one obviously will be overwhelmed with what might appear as unexplainable disconnected multiple events. It is indeed, Islam, that is central to the understanding – not everything – but certainly central.

Don’t forget Dore Gold’s excellent book - my review

Always On Watch said...

Saudia Arabia is being picked on, according to the expert from CSIS: It is both dangerous and misleading to single out Saudi Arabia.

Then, just which nation should be singled out? What makes the Saudis belive they should get a pass on accountability? Oops! I forgot--they are Muslims, and Muslims always deserve a pass because they are always innocent, ever the victims. [sarcasm]

Mr. Cordeman fails to mention the Saudi funding of American mosques or the staffing of them with incendiary imams. Nor does he say anything about the widely disseminated “educational” materials for children which portray Israel as the embodiment of evil and the singular problem in the Middle East turmoil.

Coincidentally, I posted on a similar topic yesterday. Stop by, if you have a chance.

Baron Bodissey said...

I think Ms. Watch means this post. One click away, for impatient readers.

pst314 said...

Dymphna: My intention was to refer to the Saudis' long history of demonizing all Jews, not just Israel, as exemplified by their dissemination of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. (I wish I could find those 1980's newspaper articles about how Saudi embassys offer copies to visitors.) It would have helped to actually make that clear. Oops.

unaha-closp said...

The CSIS is correct, Saudi Arabia is unfairly singled out. The House of Saud is no worse than the mullahs in Iran, the Taliban, Syrian Baathists or Saddam but is treated differently from any of its peers.

Always On Watch said...

Thank you for providing the hot link (Is that the correct term?). I was in a hurry to get to work and didn't have time to do the job myself because I don't quite have the methodology down yet.

Always On Watch said...

But the Saudis would claim having been singled out, no matter what the previous action taken.

Besides, over four years have elapsed by since 9/11. Quite a time period to wait for Saudi to take some decisive action in their connections to distributing materials to mosques here in the United States--though this latest doesn't mention that connection (which was supposed to be one focus of the committee hearings).

The House of Saud is treated differently, all right--given a pass on accountablitiy with regard to many issues.