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More foe than rival

Reader comment on item: [Saudi Arabia:] Not Friend or Foe

Submitted by Barry Shmookler (United States), May 14, 2002 at 23:42

Dr. Pipes:
I am a devoted reader of your columns and greatly admire your insight, knowledge of the issues and post-9/11 realpolitik. Thus, I was quite perplexed by your conclusions in "Not Friend or Foe." What began as an allegedly mutually beneficial agreement in 1945 between Roosevelt and Ibn Saud has evolved into a sociopathic relationship akin to that between a cocaine addict needing a fix and his/her dealer. The desperate addict is willing to accept humiliation and degradion, sometimes at any price, to obtain the desired product.

In the diplomatic arena, this was most evident when "The Prince" called on the President in Crawford, Texas. It was embarassing to hear the humiliating demands and admonitions targeted at Mr. Bush.

A much more serious consequence is the obvious US trepidation to confront Saudi with its obvious dominant and proactive role in international terrorism and radical Islam. I do not consider it hyperbole to state that without Saudi financial and political support, it is highly probable that 9/11 would not have occurred. Documentation confirms the extent of Saudi funding to al Qaida, not to mention its bankrolling of radical islamic madrassas that already assures us of thousands of irreversibly indoctrinated children who will be our future pilots and bombers. Yet we have not had the courage to demand an explanation why 14 of the 19 9/11 terrorists (not to mention bin Laden) originated from the Saudi peninsula.

As you note, prominent Saudis are eager to declare their willingness to join our enemies, should events not proceed in their favor. The suicidially skewed asymmetry of the 1945 pact is now all too obvious: for the US to obtain its fix (aka oil), it must pay OPEC determined prices, pay for Saudi protection to secure the flow of oil and put American lives on the line to protect the gracious Saudis from neighborly attacks from Sadam Hussein! Furthermore, Kingdom of Saud has the right to support organizations and movements that espouse the destruction of the US. In my world, Dr. Pipes, this stretches the definition of a "rival" beyond tolerance.

A further irony is that we are dealing with a tightly coiled adversary whose power and wealth derives entirely from a geological phenomenon that occurred hundreds of millions of years before man populated the surface of the earth. Their hubris is not founded on current technology or ingenuity.

Thus, it is simple to disarm this menace. We must rapidly wean ourselves from our dependence on mideast oil. US technology and science, with a brain trust that has produced more Nobel Laureates than any other country, can summon the expertise to develop efficient fuel alternatives. Also, even modest conservation measures will yield significant autonomy. The hardest part will be dissolving the government-oil industry embrace. These measures must be instituted for the future security and survival of our country.

Then all we will need to import from the Kingdom of Saud is dates.

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