WANT to know a key reason why you're being robbed at the gas pump?
Well, my fellow Americans, you're being punished - for giving Iraqis a
chance at democracy.
The Saudis ordered President Bush
not to remove Saddam. The last thing that the despotic bigots in Riyadh
wanted was change in the Middle East - especially change that empowered
common men and women, Shia Arabs and Kurds.
But our president
believed that the Saudis were not only America's friends, but his
personal pals. He defied our Saudi masters. Silly him.
past several years, the furious Saudis have been perfectly willing to
help the new Iraq fail, hoping a disaster would lead back to rule by a
Sunni Arab strongman. But the Iraqi government's starting to look like
a going concern, after all.
So our president's old pals are
teaching us a lesson - by limiting oil supplies. When Vice President
Dick Cheney went to Saudi Arabia to beg for an increase in output, he
got the bum's rush.
The Saudis aren't worried about our
reaction. They know they'll always have regiments of paid protectors in
Washington. They haven't just corrupted a few American public figures -
they've built an entire Saudi cheerleading industry on the banks of the
Potomac and beyond.
If our think tanks and universities had to
list their funding sources on the cover of every "study" they publish,
you'd be stunned. The Saudis and the Persian Gulf emirates have poured
money into "nonpartisan" centers, faculties and department chairs from
Massachusetts Avenue to Cambridge, Mass. (If you think mortgage brokers
are greedy, you've never seen an intellectual offered a grant.)
Think those institutions have published many studies criticizing the
Saudi royal family or the Emir of Qatar? Or defending Israel's right to
If Congress really wants to improve our national
security, let's try a baby step first: Pass a law requiring every think
tank or college that accepts money from foreign governments, overseas
institutions or ruling-dynasty members to register its employees as
Let's get this out into the sunlight so we can all savor the stink.
Another Saudi approach is to invite influential Americans to visit the kingdom as special guests: They literally
get the royal treatment. Our political high-rollers and opinion-makers
enjoy posh perks in Saudi Arabia - including lucrative contracts, cash
hand-outs and Rolex party favors.
I've been terribly dismayed
to see figures I respect - but who don't know the Middle East from East
Orange - fall for Saudi pampering and the line that "We want change, of
course, but we have to change gradually."
Even Osama bin Laden didn't buy that one. But you'll hear it parroted by no end of patsies in Washington.
Yet, as corrosive as the Saudis have been for our system, they're far worse for Muslims.
The crucial point you have to grasp is that the Saudis don't give a
downtown damn about Muslims - flesh-and-blood men, women or children.
They only care about Islam. They'd sacrifice tens of millions of Muslims to further their perversion of the faith.
I've visited over a dozen Muslim countries and many more that have
significant Muslim minorities. In every case, I've found the Saudis
From Thailand to the United States, the Saudi
goal is to prevent Muslims from integrating into their host societies.
In poor countries, such as Kenya, they pay families to pull their
children out of state schools and send them to madrassahs - where they
learn to recite the Koran, but no career skills.
don't mind if Muslims live in poverty and squalor - as long as Muslims
don't identify with the societies around them. They want strict
religious and cultural apartheid.
another easy thing Congress can do: Prohibit foreign funding, direct or
indirect, of US religious institutions and schools by the government or
citizens of any state that denies religious freedom to its own
residents. No churches in Saudi Arabia? OK, no Saudi-controlled
madrassahs in Virginia.
And when referring to Islamist
terrorists or the Saudi royal family that nurtured them for so long,
let's stop using the term "Islamo-fascists." As horrid as Italian or
Spanish fascists could be, they were enlightened humanitarians compared
to either al Qaeda or our Saudi "friends." Let's just call fanatics
The greatest modern tragedy for the Arab world
wasn't European imperialism. It was who got the oil money: inbred
desert barbarians with a zero-sum mentality about heaven and earth. The
stunningly hypocritical Saudis (they could teach Eliot Spitzer plenty
about top-flight hookers) have used their wealth to cut out Islam's
heart. The faith of Mohammed, peace be upon him, has no greater
In this fight, we Americans, and Muslims around the world who cherish their faith, should stand united against the Saudis.
In the heat of the moment, Iran appears to many to be our worst enemy
in the Middle East. While the nut house government in Tehran is a deadly problem, it's ultimately one of lesser scale. Our greatest enemy, anywhere, is Saudi Arabia, the cradle of terror.
Five years ago, I supported removing Saddam Hussein on moral and
geopolitical grounds. I'm beginning to suspect we invaded the wrong