The Therapy Sessions
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Saudis On The Defensive
Whether or not the Iraq war was justified by some fictional UN rules, it is certainly justified strategically for the United States.
In purely practical terms, Bush has made an adept chess move, putting the fundamentalists in the Mideast on the defensive.
If you are an advisor to Crown Prince Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, it doesn’t matter how much you hate America. Your overriding concern is keeping the Crown Prince (your employer) in power, and this is how you would advise him in practical terms:
To: Crown Prince Abdullah
From: Your Loyal Advisor
You asked for my appraisal of our relationship with the United States.
Despite our public relations campaigns and relentless lobbying of Washington, public opinion in the US is not favorable toward us at the moment.
Many Americans believe their fight should be with Saudis, not Iraqis.
As you are aware, our policy after 911 was to frame the debate, trying to get the Americans to reexamine their policies in light of 911, particularly toward Israel. We hoped they had been made conscious of the rage those policies had caused. We were in a good position to do so at the time, because the US and the world was dependent on us for oil.
But I’m afraid our good position has changed, and so must our policies.
First of all, it looks likely that the Americans will soon have much more control over the price of oil in the future. Their development of the oil fields in Iraq is continuing, and Iraq will be able to drown the world in cheap oil, whenever the US deems it necessary. This is no idle threat to us and our way of life.
Second, the American response has certainly been much more aggressive than we had feared. These wreckless cowboys are taking advice from no one but themselves. They apparently decided that the blame for 911 lies in our region, and they choose to view this region as having a sickness. Fools though they may be, the Americans believe they are in a position to heal "the disease" of Islamic fundamentalism.
This puts us in great danger.
In the aftermath of 911, they destroyed, without serious military difficulty, two of the five most repressive (in their opinion, sir) governments in the region. Three were left standing (Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria), but many influential Americans have talked of destroying each one of them on various occasions. And as you know, our kingdom is the most weakly defended of the three, and our Wahabi philosophy is the basis of Al Qaeda philosophy.
The Americans have 150,000 troops just to the north and there are several aircraft carrier battle groups just outside our ports. They are not an immediate threat, because they currently have their hands full in Iraq.
The Americans have no desire (at the moment) to destroy us, but that could change.
We are on thin ice at the moment, your excellency. If you wish to maintain the monarchy for your son to inherit, there is one thing that we absolutely must do:
We must make sure that another 911 does not happen. If a terrorist action of that magnitude occurs, and Saudis are again viewed as the perpetrators, the consequences for your government will be dire.
The US will pump oil of Iraq at full steam, destroying our only source of income. They are currently building up the capacity to do just that. The US Air Force could destroy our military from the air, and American troops could occupy our oil fields. Your government would be chased into hiding.
You see, sir, when Americans are fighting a swarm of bees, and they will swat at anything that flies. Whether they are right or wrong is quite is irrelevant; it is the danger they pose to the House of Saud that is important.
We must crackdown on all terrorist elements in our nation. NOW.
It must be serious, and not just a show. Funding of terrorism throughout through out the region must cease, and we must crack down on every Iman who is preaching jihad. The airwaves must not be used to incite hatred of the West. We must make gestures of reform, and we must hope that they do not ignite our restive populace.
There comes a time in a game of chess, your excellency, when you have to realize that your opponent is more powerful than you are.
At that time, you have to play defensively, and hope he makes a mistake. Most of the time, though, you feel as though he is forcing to make each move. Perhaps the Iraqi situation will deteriorate (and we can encourage this by trying to get the Americans to withdraw early) or perhaps the antiwar feelings in the US will escalate, and politically they will be forced to give up Iraq.
We might yet get lucky.
But for now, we must crackdown on terrorism and anyone in the country who is supporting it. As reluctant though we may be, we are forced to be an American ally in the war terrorism.
As humiliating as it is, this is my advice to you.
It is in this light that I view stories like this: the Saudis are busting up terror rings and cracking down on the fire-breathing Imans.
And this is interesting too:
American intelligence officials say Mr. Hussein's former secretary told interrogators that the Iraqi leader split from his two sons on April 10. Uday and an aide fled to Syria, but were forced back into Iraq.
Why would Syria refuse to help our enemies?
And this is also interesting:Iran Arrests "Senior Al Qaeda Leaders."
These people don't love America.
They fear America.
And fear is a very good stimulus.
It’s nice to know that even crazy people understand reason when their survival is at stake.
And the brilliance of the Iraq War has been to give our real enemies no choice but to cooperate with us.