Kudos to the L.A. Times for its Sunday 1/17/06 fornt-page headline article on the less-than-enthusiastic efforts of the Saudi government to fight terrorism. To see why I am so happy to see this change, check out my very first baggageroom.com blog from April 2004 on how Saudi Arabia's involvement with both terrorism and the Bush administration is grossly under-reported.
Here's a surprising statistic pointed out by the LA Times: "U.S. counter-terrorism and intelligence officials confirm an aggressive role by Saudi fighters in the insurgency in Iraq, where over the last year they reportedly accounted for more than half of all Arab militants killed." I think they meant "foreign Arab militants killed." The LA Times also gives the statistic of 61% of the foreign Arab fighters in the insurgency are Saudi. Regardless, this statistic shows how the hatred of the US in Saudi Arabia is extremely deep. As if we needed to be shown this.
A couple reminders. First, Bin Laden and 15 of the 19 hijackers from 9/11 are all Saudis. I believe that all of the hijackers were greatly influenced by the state-sponsored brand of Jihadist Islam they have there, Wahhabism--or they were all simply Wahhabis. Part of the centuries-old power arrangement between the house of Saud and the Wahhabis is a considerable tax paid out by the House of Saud to the Wahhabi clerics (thousands of Imams, most seething with hatred for the US). By maintaining the house of Saud in power, we maintain a constant flow of huge amounts of money into the hands of Jihadist fanatics intent on spreading their form of fanaticism around the world via their religious schools called "madrases."
Second reminder: al Quaeda are the enemy of secular politicians such as Sadaam Hussein. The question is not whether Saddam and al Quaeda were linked. They were: they both wanted to wipe the other off the face of the earth. What I'm getting at here is that this is yet more evidence that Iraq was never an appropriate response to 9/11 (as if we needed more!). The fact that such a bold lie could pass as even somewhat reasonable testifies to the depth of ignorance and stupidity in this country (as if electing Bush twice wasn't enough evidence itself).
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, two countries that are often reported as our partners in the GWOT, are both seething with US hatred. The leaders may be in bed with the US, but the populations of these countries mostly hate the US. Their leaders probably hate the US too, but are too connected with US money and arms to show this hatred. The House of Saud and Musharraf are in similar positions: they have to maintain good relations with the US leadership in order to maintain their dictatorial grips on power, while somehow dealing with populations that mostly seethe with hatred for them and the US. Al Quaeda, by the way, can't stand the House of Saud or Musharraf, and not just because they are in bed with the US. As with Saddam, the reason is more primary: bin Laden sees them all as infidels, the primary obstacles to achieving the type of Islamic state he would like to see around the world, but particularly in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
What the LA Times article makes clear is that SAUDI MONEY POSES MUCH MORE OF A THREAT TO THE US WITH RESPECT TO TERRORISM THAN IRAQ EVER DID! Obviously, Bush's ties to House of Saud make him a particularly dangerous person to have as president. Let's get serious about national security: get rid of Bush, and stop the flow of American money to Saudi Arabia. Junk your Hummers people!!