08/09/2005: Today's Quotable's...
Al Qaeda found fertile fundraising ground in the kingdom," noted the 9/11 commission report in one of its many careful understatements. The fact is, without Saudi Arabia, there would be no Al Qaeda today.
Our president loves to use the word "evil" in his speeches, yet throughout his life he and his family have had deep personal, political and financial ties with a country that represents everything the American Revolution stood against: tyranny, religious intolerance, corrupt royalty and popular ignorance. This is a country where women aren't allowed to drive and those who show "too much skin" can be beaten in the street by officially sanctioned mobs of fanatics. A medieval land where newspapers routinely publish the most outlandish anti-Semitic rants. A place where executions are held in public, torture is the norm in prison and the most extreme and expansionist version of Islam is the state religion.
It's hard to see how Saddam Hussein's brutal and secular Iraq was worse than the brutal theocracy run by the House of Saud. Yet one nation we raze and the other we fete. Is it any wonder that much of the world sees the United States as the planet's biggest hypocrite?
As insider books by former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke, journalist Bob Woodward and others have recounted, punishing Saudi Arabia in any way for its long ideological and financial support of terrorism was not even on the table in the days after 9/11. Instead, within hours of the planes hitting the towers, the powerful neoconservatives in the White House rushed to use the tragedy as an excuse for a long-dreamed invasion of Iraq.
As the drumbeat of devastating terrorist attacks in Baghdad, London and elsewhere continue, Bush prattles on five times in a speech last Wednesday about his pyrrhic victories in the "war on terror." This is a sorry rhetorical device that disguises the fact that the forces of Islamic fanaticism in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the world are stronger than ever.
-- Robert Scheer (LA Times) Mortgaged To The House of Saud.
Karen on 08.09.05 @ 08:09 AM CST