Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fitzgerald: The Saudis: Nobody's perfect

The Saudis recently arrested 700 people they said held to a “deviant ideology.” Actually the "deviant ideology" is to mistake the princes, princelings, princelettes of the Al-Saud family, and their spaniel-courtiers, for bad people, greedy people, decadent people who, some claim, have been robbing the country blind. How could anyone think that? Surely they must have embraced a "deviant" ideology to mistake for criminals the members of the benevolent and wonderful family whose ancestor, having defeated the Shammar tribe in Nejd back in 1920, proceeded to take Arabia. The Al-Saud had already driven the Hashemites out of their position as the Guardians of the Two Holy Places and into exile, with one Hashemite son, Faisal, plumped on the newly-created throne of newly-created Iraq, and another, Abdullah, being given as his consolation prize by the British all of Eastern Palestine.

Al-Saud and his clan renamed Arabia after themselves as "Saudi" Arabia. In order to stay in power, they handed over the intellectual and moral development of the country and its people to the most fanatical Wahhabis, which was not hard to do because the Al-Saud themselves, in the old days, were the most fanatical Wahhabis. Now they are attempting to crush the opposition that they fear the most, that from Muslims who don't like their Grand Theft (hold the "Auto"), don't like their decadence (oh, if only the C.I.A. had its cameras in southern Spain, and at the Trump Tower, and in Belgravia, and along Avenue Foch, and perhaps distributed a few to well-placed bellhops in the Western world's most luxurious hotels and resorts, what a video file -- On YouTube Now, unless the Saudis collaborate -- could be collected), don't like a thing about them, and are prepared to treat them as....Infidels!

The daggers-and-dishdasha Al-Saud, doing their little tribal dance, don't like that sort of thing. They don't mind it when Western critics say, accurately, after a week or a month or a few years in Saudi Arabia, summing up the place, that "money can buy everything -- except civilization." They don't mind the forlorn attacks on the Saudis for continuing to countenance slavery -- see those ads in Saudi papers, where someone offers to trade a girl from the subcontinent for "a late-model American automobile." They don't mind the memoirs of American military men denouncing the way in which the Saudis treated them with such arrogance, as mere hired hands, brought in as mercenaries to defend the Al-Saud. None of that worries them. They don't even worry about the world rising up and seizing, if not the oil directly, then the assets the Saudis have abroad. This could be done by way of compensating ourselves for the oligopolistic rents the Saudis have managed to charge for oil. That amount may well surpass the trillion or so in assets the Saudis may own in the West, and that with perfect justice oil-consuming Western states could seize. The Saudis could do nothing about this. They'd still have to sell oil, and at this point, they have no real control over the market, although they pretend they do. So they would have to continue to charge, as they do now, what the market allows, and not practice the market manipulation that was availed of by them in the past.

No, what worries the Saudis, those fabulously rich and decadent Saudis who rule that country, is the opposition that comes out of Islam. It was the same, of course, with Saddam Hussein. In Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the Christians had a kind of protection because they were, for Saddam Hussein, no threat. The potential threat, for him, were the more fanatical Shi'a, and political opposition was located in the mosques.

Similarly, the Saudis worry not about what the Infidels think, as long as those Infidels continue to give every sign of being frightened of the Saudis and their reaction to things -- see the "66 suitcases of cocaine" scandal. See the BEA bribery scandal (where the Law Lords have spoken, but the government of Great Britain will not enforce the rule of law when it comes to that scandal, for the Saudis have threatened to take their bribe-prompted business elsewhere). See the failure of the State Department to support the right enforcement of our own laws, when it comes to shutting down the Saudi Academy in Virginia. No, they are afraid only of the Islam-based opposition, because, let's face it, they know perfectly well how dangerously murderous fellow Muslims can be. They may also suspect, at this point, that there are all kinds of secret supporters, because there is all kinds of disgust in Saudi Arabia at the ruling family and the regime that endures.

And all that brave talk about the building of "economic cities" is simply blague. It is designed to make everyone think the Saudi rulers do have some kind of plausible plan for the nation's economy beyond oil. But of course they don't, and those "economic cities" will be as much of a waste as was the colossal investment in agriculture made over the past few decades, that all ended in failure, total failure. There is no real economy in inshallah-fatalist Saudi Arabia, though there is gold and greed aplenty.

What they cannot stand is the notion that the war on the Infidels may also come to include them. So their famous "de-programming" sessions of imprisoned Al-Qaeda members consists of having Muslim clerics come in and explain just how wonderfully Muslim the Al-Saud have been, how they are building mosques and madrasas everywhere in the Western world, are funding campaigns of Da'wa everywhere in the Western world -- look, here's the list, look what we are doing, look what we have done, and never fear, the Saudis are doing more, and more effectively, than Bin Laden and his merry men could ever achieve.

And, of course, everything those tame Saudi clerics argue is true. The Saudi regime is the most effective bankroller, the most effective deployer, of the Money Weapon that makes the March of Islam, and so many local Jihads, possible.

So they are right to pick up those men for their "deviant" behavior. In this case, it is the "deviant" notion that the dishdasha-and-dagger boys, with their sneers of cold command, would forget, in all their decadence, to pay their colossal dues to Islam. They might somehow overlook their duty to take part in the "struggle" or Jihad to ensure that all obstacles to the spread and dominance of Islam are removed. Why, the Saudis have spent close to 100 billion dollars of that Money Weapon to further the advance of Islam in the Infidel lands.

What more can good Muslims, devout but alas "deviant" Muslims, expect of them? They're doing their best for the very same goal.

Leave those princelings and princelettes alone. They're with you on the Jihad. Even if they choose, now and again, to phone in a money transfer from a 340-foot yacht off the coast of Marbella. For god's sake, be a little patient with the benign thoroughly Muslim Al-Saud.

We all have our faults.

Nobody's perfect.

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