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Incredible Middle East Shenanigans, Policies

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Published: Nov 27, 2002

Incredible Middle East Shenanigans, Policies

Raise your right hand if you believe the official Saudi Arabian explanation for how money supposedly sent to an Islamic charity in this country by the wife of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States "unwittingly " wound up in the hands of two of the 9/11 terrorists. The explanation is that she was surprised by what was, at best, money laundering by someone.

Raise your left hand if you believe that the Bush administration’s "road map " for "peace " in the Middle East, which mandates the creation of a Palestinian state, will not be used as a staging area for a final assault by Palestinians and the Arab states to eliminate Israel.

With both hands in the air, you have now assumed the surrender position, which is precisely what the enemies of America and Israel seek.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) correctly said that the Saudis "have played a duplicitous game, and that is they say to the terrorists,’We’ll do everything you want, just leave us alone.’ That game has got to stop." But will it? The corollary to that mindset is the belief by many in the State Department that if Israel will just give her enemies a state, then peace on Middle Eastern earth and goodwill toward all in the region will spring forth.

Criticism of Saudi Arabia is bipartisan. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said: "The Saudi royal family has been engaged in a Faustian bargain for years to keep themselves in power. " Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) said that Saudi leaders "have to decide which side they’re on. " That wouldn’t be a bad decision for the Bush administration to make regarding Israel as it seeks to impose an unworkable formula that will undoubtedly lead to a final assault against the only democracy in the region. All terrorism has a common source — hatred against the West, Christians, Jews and all things radical Islamists cannot bend to their will.

ABC News reported last Monday (Nov. 25) night that the CIA is circulating a document among 12 prominent bankers around the world, seeking information about a suspected connection among the bankers, Osama bin Laden and the Saudi royal family.

The Bush administration apparently believes Saudi Arabia can do no wrong, even while the rest of us believe what our eyes and common sense tell us, which is that it is at best supporting, and a worst doing, a considerable amount of wrong.

On a related matter (and all matters are related in the Middle East) the groundless faith that an imposed Palestinian state will allow Israel to live within safe and secure borders and end generations of hatred by Arabs for Jews continues to be refuted by evidence to the contrary.

Last June, President Bush laid down certain conditions he said Palestinian Arabs must meet if they wished to win U.S. support for a state. Among them is that they must "dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, " "end the incitement " and "elect new leaders not compromised by terror. " The president said they must also embrace democracy and free market economics. None of these things has happened. In fact, as recent terrorist incidents have shown, precisely the opposite is occurring. But the administration presses ahead with a "road map" toward a Palestinian state anyway. Why?

Among the many problems with a Palestinian state is the difficulty Israel would have invading a sovereign nation should it need to respond (and it certainly would) to attacks from Palestinian soil. A sovereign Palestinian state could also import large weaponry with no restrictions. Would the United States tolerate a Taliban state on the Canadian or Mexican borders?

Denial takes many forms. For the Saudis it is a useful way of changing the subject. For the United States, denial of the facts about the Saudi link to terrorism and the danger of a Palestinian state makes us (and Israel) even more vulnerable to the frequently predicted future attacks on our (and their) territory. One wonders if those charged with ensuring "homeland security " and promoting peace in the Middle East will have an explanation for failing to see the obvious when it is staring them in the face?


(Direct all MAIL for Cal Thomas to: Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1500, Chicago, Ill. 60611. Readers may also leave e-mail at www.calthomas.com.)


Incredible Middle East Shenanigans, Policies