Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Saudi connections to al Qaeda - Not!

With Michael Moore's movie coming out, it is going to be even more popular to blame 9-11 on Saudi Arabia, and in particular on its ruling families. While it is certainly true that some prominent Saudis support fundamentalist Islam, it is a long row to hoe to go from that fact to blaming the Saudis for 9-11. The reasoning connecting the Saudis to al Qaeda, such as it is, is described by Bob Dreyfuss as a "a guilt-by-association chain of reasoning", and goes like this:

"the Saudi government has ties to Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi establishment; Wahhabis are benighted Muslim conservatives who have little tolerance for more enlightened Islamic thinkers; some Muslim conservatives support terrorism; some terrorists have ties to Al Qaeda: therefore, the Saudi government supports Al Qaeda."

Dreyfuss goes on to say:

"This is silly reasoning. It echoes the silly argument that Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda; it echoes the Richard Perle-inspired belief that Saudi Arabia is the brains behind Islamic terrorism; it echoes Michael Ledeen's wrongheaded belief that Saudi Arabia is one of the 'terror masters,' like Iran; and it ignores the fact that Saudi Arabia is not only battling Al Qaeda in a fight to the death, but that Saudi Arabia is perhaps Al Qaeda's No. 1 target and enemy."

We have to remember that the people behind these theories on Saudi Arabia are the same neocons who are angling for an excuse to wage war on the Saudis to steal the oil fields (with the Israeli thefts of Palestinian lands, and the recent American theft of the whole country of Iraq, and the planned theft of the Saudi oil fields, you really have to wonder if all the neocons are just kleptomaniacs). The attacks are part of a propaganda program to have Islamic fundamentalist terrorism render Saudi Arabia ungovernable, so the neocons can march in to 'protect' the oil (Michael Ledeen is completely explicit about the neocon plans). We also have to remember that the Saudis are one of America's largest foreign investors, with approximately 60% of Saudi foreign investments going to the United States, and would hardly be interested in doing anything to harm their investments. The recent admission that at least one flight did leave American airspace carrying Saudis, including one Saudi prince, at a time when most American flights were still cancelled after 9-11, will no doubt add to the accusations against the Saudis. If you think about it, however, the presence of so many Saudis of prominent background in the United States on September 11, some of whom were actually in Boston, and all of whom had to be flown out in a hurry to protect their own security, proves that the Saudi elites had absolutely no foreknowledge of 9-11. They would hardly leave their children in such a position if they had any knowledge that such an attack was going to occur. Americans may dislike the fact that foreign nationals received better treatment than Americans did at a time when the United States was in a state of crisis, but all it proves is that the American elites try to be very friendly to the Saudi elites who control much of the world oil supply. It is not a surprising connection, and proves nothing about Saudi culpability. The Saudi government is a dictatorial monstrosity, and the Saudi elites contain an unfortunate combination of oil playboys and religious nuts, but there is not the slightest reason to connect either the Saudi government or the people who run it to the events of September 11 or to support for al Qaeda. Blaming the wrong people diverts attention from the real guilty parties. As I've said before, the Saudis don't control NORAD, and since the standdown of normal air protection was crucial to the success of the 9-11 conspiracy, Americans ought to be looking much closer to home for the real culprits.