Jewish World Review August 2, 2005 / 26 Tammuz
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Saudi double games
Within days of the murderous 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush declared before a joint session of Congress: "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."
Unfortunately, under the leadership of King Fahd (actual or nominal), Saudi Arabia demonstrated that it was possible to be with us and with the terrorists. Far from being regarded as a hostile regime, the United States has described the Saudi government as a valued "partner" in the war on terror, notwithstanding abundant evidence that it continues to harbor and support terrorism around the world including inside the United States.
Indeed, under Fahd, whose death was officially announced on Monday (although he has been effectively incapacitated for years following a severe stroke), the Saudis perfected their double game: simultaneously being considered in Washington a friend of America while behaving all over the world as a supporter and financier of America's enemies.
A recitation of the evidence of Saudi solidarity with the United States usually starts with King Fahd's decision to allow American forces to use his territory to liberate Kuwait in 1991. Typically, it claims Saudi Arabia's cooperation on oil pricing. Some also point to the Saudis' assistance to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement in counterterrorism efforts post-9/11.
In fact, what the deployment of U.S. troops on Saudi soil in Operation Desert Shield amounted to was allowing us to defend them. When it has suited the Saudis to have cheaper oil notably, when it looked (briefly) as though we might actually get serious about alternative energy sources they forced prices down. When it has not, the Saudis have been fully prepared to help the OPEC cartel drive them up (including today when a barrel of oil it costs them at most two or three dollars to extract sells for nearly $60).
It is true that the Saudi royal family has lately become more concerned about its hold on power in the face of terror attacks inside the Kingdom. Such concerns may produce a greater degree of mutuality of interest with the United States as relates to countering terrorist operations within Saudi Arabia. Even there, however, the transparency has been limited, as with, for example, American access to terror suspects in Saudi custody.
Far more important is the litany of things the Saudis have done and continue to do that encourage and enable terrorism against those (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) who do not embrace the ideology of the Saudi Islamofascist cult known as Wahhabism. A short list of these unfriendly activities includes the following:
It is no small irony that the new Saudi ambassador to the United States is a man who exemplifies his country's double game on terrorism: Prince Turki al-Faisal. For roughly twenty-five years, Turki was in charge of Saudi Arabia's intelligence operations. In that capacity, he was intimately familiar both with his country's efforts to promote Wahhabism (including supporting bin Laden's operations in Afghanistan) and its counterterrorism cooperation with the United States.
King Fahd's death, the mounting evidence of the danger posed by ongoing Saudi support for terror and the appointment to Washington of one of the Kingdom's most experienced double-gamers should require Saudi Arabia finally to do what President Bush demanded nearly four years ago: The Saudis can no longer be with us and against us. They must be made to choose.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.