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What About Saudi Arabia?
November 23, 2002 12:27 AM   Subscribe

President Bush is pressuring Iraq because he says that they support terror (there is some evidence of that). So what about Saudi Arabia? "Sources familiar with the evidence say the payments—amounting to about $3,500 a month—came from an account at Washington’s Riggs Bank in the name of Princess Haifa Al-Faisal, the wife of Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and the daughter of the late Saudi King Faisal." And why were CIA/FBI investigations of the Saudi connection reigned in? When Bush met that very same Prince Bandar in August, somehow the issue never came up. Don't want to step on Dad's toes, you know.
posted by owillis (18 comments total)

 
And this information is new, or otherwise worthy of an FPP?
posted by jammer at 12:49 AM on November 23, 2002


If you read the third link you'll see that this is new information.
posted by owillis at 12:55 AM on November 23, 2002


Can we all just retire the FPP policing for the love of Christ!

It is simply grating to have to read, much more so than the mediocre posts that slip through, and this doesn't seem to be one.
posted by velacroix at 3:20 AM on November 23, 2002


I don't know what it says that the FBI is obviously investigating now -- and that this came out at just about the worst possible time for the administration. I'm also skeptical that it's meaningful except in that it provides an outcome clearly not desired by mainstream US policymakers in both parties. (It's worth noting that the Arabist faction in the GOP closely associated with Bush 41 broke with the administration of Bush 43 over the summer; Bush the younger is clearly less beholden to those points of view than prejudice would suggest.)

The really troubling part is, despite the inconclusiveness of much of the evidence, its connection to the daughter of Faisal and the wife of Bandar, who has been assumed to be one of the more important pro-American voices in the Saudi governing circles. He certainly has the schmooze factor skillset down pat, with a knack for explaining Saudi problems in wording that makes sense to generous Americans. He's been in Washington for -- what, thirty years?. {Ah. My link says 19 -- making him dean of the Washington diplomatic corps. Bandar is also son of Prince Sultan, the #3 royal after the incapacitated King and Crown Prince Abdullah.} Whether you believe in a Saudi Arabia that must be confronted on certain issues, or a Saudi Arabia that can be reformed, Bandar's loss would be a blow to US advocates on either side, because as surely as he can explain them to us, he would be able to explain us to them. In any event, the US-Saudi relationship is on a grease-fat skid, and this can't help.

See, we always knew -- with over 5000 princes, all trust-fund babies -- that in the royal family there were some bad apples, but I doubt that even the most skeptical Saudi-watcher would have believed evidence would surface so directly linking any of the hijackers to the inner circles of the royal line and top officials. I would still remain skeptical that this was deliberate or knowing support of an al Qaeda operation -- Muslims take very seriously their responsibility to tithe and that's all this may have been from the Princess's point of view. Certainly it's very antithetical to the interests of the leadership, whether under the Sultan-Bandar "pro-US" faction or Abdullah's rather cooler, utilitarian faction. From the point of view of the royal family, we're all they've got; it's their asses we're protecting. So it doesn't make much sense in that regard.

And it pretty much at a stroke throws their gazillion-dollar PR campaign in the piss.
posted by dhartung at 6:46 AM on November 23, 2002


So if you'll allow me a conspiracy theory...

There's a strong fundamentalist Christian strain in the Republican party, one that believes they can usher in the Rapture with Jewish control of the holy land.

Sure, it's a nutty idea, but isn't there a chance that members of the Bush administration are sympathetic to this point of view? And wouldn't the destabilization of Saudi Arabia's royalty do much to further this agenda?

Like I say, conspiracy theory. But as time goes by, and the "War on Terror" reeks more and more of religious conflict, I am more willing to entertain its validity. Fundamentalist, evangelical Christian Republicans scare me. A lot. And there's very little I wouldn't put past them.
posted by rocketman at 8:14 AM on November 23, 2002


Just in case anyone was still maintaining the self-deluding fiction that "war on Iraq" has to do with terrorism, or for that matter anything else other than free and ready access to oil...
posted by JollyWanker at 8:44 AM on November 23, 2002


rocketman, it's not a nutty idea if you watch any christian broadcasting.
It's also not a nutty idea if you read up on the motivation for supporting zionism early in the last century by the british and the United States.
There are a lot of people who see this as a way of fulfilling prophecy. So I would tend to think that a president who invoked jesus at his inauguration could be swayed by this idiocy.
This is why it's pointless to argue with a fundamentalist.
I care about this planet 100, 1000, and 10000 years from now and the fundies just want to leave it and see the rest of us go to hell.
No one that is that deluded should be making policy that rational people have to deal with.
posted by 2sheets at 8:59 AM on November 23, 2002


I don't see any nutty right-wing religious conspiracies, I just see Bush trying to turn a blind eye to our real enemy because they're good pals with him, and especially his dad. Here's hoping the facts get in the way.
posted by owillis at 9:05 AM on November 23, 2002


FPP: reigned in

(reined in)
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:20 AM on November 23, 2002


The conspiracy angle is nuts. Given the fact that this admin can't keep its war plans secret, any idea that there is a secret oil or Christian supremacist agenda that drives all actions is ludicrious.

This Saudi revelation remains a very interesting development.
posted by ednopantz at 1:03 PM on November 23, 2002


And why were CIA/FBI investigations of the Saudi connection reigned in?

That's been the policy towards the Saudis all along: Officials told to 'back off' on Saudis before September 11.
posted by homunculus at 2:03 PM on November 23, 2002


I wonder if, after this, Bush is still considering asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit by the relatives of Sept. 11 victims against some members of the Saudi royal familly.
posted by homunculus at 2:24 PM on November 23, 2002


The conspiracy angle is nuts

During the six-day war, psyops came with a plan. The plan was to get a cargo plane, put soviet markings on it, fill the plane full of live pigs and drop them over Mecca. This was designed to infuriate the arab world against soviet aggression toward the middle east.

you people wanna tell me what 'nuts' is again?
posted by clavdivs at 7:29 PM on November 23, 2002


according to bush, everyone BUT us supports terror.

but, when we go in and bomb everyone, what is that called?
posted by prescribed life at 8:09 PM on November 23, 2002


It's called 'ethics,' prescribed life. From the last link in Oliver's post:
"It punches up the brand awareness for us globally," said Daniel A. D'Aniello, a Carlyle managing director. "We are greatly assisted by Baker and Bush. It shows that we are associated with people of the highest ethical standards."
posted by LeLiLo at 8:43 PM on November 23, 2002


And then there's Pakistan:
Last July, American intelligence agencies tracked a Pakistani cargo aircraft as it landed at a North Korean airfield and took on a secret payload: ballistic missile parts, the chief export of North Korea's military.

The shipment was brazen enough, in full view of American spy satellites. But intelligence officials who described the incident say even the mode of transport seemed a subtle slap at Washington: the Pakistani plane was an American-built C-130.

It was part of the military force that President Pervez Musharraf had told President Bush last year would be devoted to hunting down the terrorists of Al Qaeda, one reason the administration was hailing its new cooperation with a country that only a year before it had labeled a rogue state.
This is getting embarassing. We really need to learn how to choose our allies better.
posted by homunculus at 9:20 PM on November 23, 2002


I actually thought the "reigned" in thing was pretty clever.
posted by charlesv at 9:22 PM on November 23, 2002


when someone belives that when America bombs everyone else is ethical, you know they're republican.

yes, i believe in america, and i believe in our safety and protection, but i do not believe that policing the world is our job... or the president's job. i think we should be spending a lot more time improving what is going on IN out country. i just don't know how effective all this is going to be.... (i just woke up and am rambling..exuse me)
posted by prescribed life at 3:41 PM on November 24, 2002


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