Saudis Begin To Smell The Coffee
Vol: 11 Issue: 28 Wednesday, August 28, 2002
The Saudis are just now coming to grips with the fact that the seventy-year plus ‘arrangement’ with the United States is beginning to crumble.
The White House calls it an ‘alliance’ — so do the Saudis, but evidently we have different understandings of the what the word means. ‘Allies’ work toward a shared goal. Unless one calls extracting oil from the Saudi desert and delivering it to US refineries a ‘shared goal’.
But since everything gets paid for in American dollars — the only thing ‘shared’ are the dollars. American oil companies developed the Saudi oilfields, then the Saudis nationalized them and we went from developers to customers overnight. The Saudi contribution was owning the desert where the oil reserves were.
Fair enough, but if that is an ‘alliance’, then so is my relationship with my local Wal-Mart.
Saudi Arabia’s leading newspaper recently called for a “national dialogue” on the future of U.S.-Saudi ‘ties’. The dialogue is needed, the Al Riyadh newspaper said, “because we are getting repeated signals from Washington that they no longer see our relations in the same way.”
Something about getting kicked off the military bases we built to save the Saudis ten years ago now that we need them may be partly responsible, but the Saudi paper didn’t explore that aspect.
Neither did they explore Saudi stonewalling the Khobar Towers investigation, the $300 million royal payoff to Osama bin-Laden that made the USS Cole, the US embassies in Africa and the 9/11 attacks possible.
The Saudis didn’t dwell on the fact most of our sworn enemies are Saudi nationals, as were 15 of 19 9/11 hijackers and bin-Laden himself. Not to mention about a third of the prisoners currently at Gitmo.
Instead, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal observed, “Unfortunately, there are certain departments who are trying to raise doubts about the strong historical ties between our two countries. I am confident they will not succeed.”
The Saudi Foreign Minister later said on FoxNews that a ‘few people’ in America were questioning the sincerity of our Saudi ‘alliance’, as if it were the lunatic fringe element. Like Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld? And pretty much everybody else that is paying attention.
We ran a poll way back in April over at Oracle in which we asked the question, “Are the Saudis Really Our Friends?” and of 5565 respondents, 138 — 2.48% — said ‘Yes’. The remaining 97.52% of you said ‘No’. That was in April.
Before we knew the Saudi royals were fundraising for Hamas — before we knew about the $300 dollar deal with bin-Laden [“here’s $300 million to attack America, if you promise to leave us alone” – our ‘allies’ – bah!] — before we knew the Saudis weren’t going to let us use the bases we built in their country against Saddam.
The rising degree of mutual suspicion crystallized in the release of a private briefing to a Pentagon civilian advisory board that characterized the Saudi regime as the “kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent” for U.S. interests in the Middle East.
The Saudis tried to argue that the “kernel of evil” idea was only supported by a few loose cannons in the Pentagon and among the president’s most hawkish private advisers. But then 97.52% of YOU are loose cannons, too, if the poll numbers I cited are any indicator.
The Saudis themselves aren’t buying their own arguments anymore, which is why the little ‘down home’ chat between Bush and Prince Bandar was arranged.
The photo ops showed a relaxed Bush in shirtsleeves lounging in a chair while Bandar, dressed in western clothes, leans on another chair as the two chat.
They looked like two friends sitting around waiting for the start of the Super Bowl.
But that was for show. What they talked about was the hundreds of billions in Saudi investments that the Saudis are threatening to withdraw.
Here’s why we talk so much about politics in a newsletter devoted to Bible prophecy.
The Saudis know that Bush is vulnerable on the economy. The Democrats have already made it clear they intend to hammer him on the economy, corporate raiders and the disappearing surplus.
And the Democrats are doing what they can to ensure the economy doesn’t recover before November.
The Saudis know that the threatened divestiture would hit the US recovery hard. And they can count on the Democrats to make sure that Bush and the Republicans get the blame for it.
In effect, the Saudis are in the position of king-maker.
If they want to, they can topple the administration’s fragile Congressional majority and hamstring his administration until the 2004 elections, and even guarantee Bush won’t get a second term.
The threatened divestiture is only about a third (and maybe less) of total Saudi investments. The other two-thirds remain as a Sword of Damocles over Bush’s re-election hopes.
It fits into Bible prophecy in that all the machinations and dirty deals are focused at only one ultimate goal — the elimination of the Jewish State, Islamic supremacy over Jerusalem and Islamic control of the Temple Mount.
But it is the political ambitions of both the Democrats and Republicans that give the Saudis the power to dictate to the White House in the first place.
Democrats are saying Bush is soft on the Saudis because he comes from Big Oil. That’s a smokescreen. Clinton didn’t come from Big Oil and he was just as soft and for exactly the same reason. Because the Saudis could kick him out of office faster than a Congressional Impeachment Committee.
Republicans blame Democrats for the economy, Democrats blame Republicans for the economy, and political analysts from both sides concur that the mid-terms will swing based on the economy.
That’s what Bandar and Bush were chatting about. How much is George W Bush willing to pay to keep control of the Congress for the next two years and keep his job for the four years after that?
For Israel, it’s a question of life and death. And nobody in Jerusalem — or evidently in Washington, either — is sure what the answer is yet.