The Closer We Look, The Worse it Gets
Vol: 14 Issue: 23 Saturday, November 23, 2002
The Bush administration’s efforts to convince itself that the Saudis are really our friends is about as convincing as the claim that pure Islam is really a religion of peace. We’d like to believe both are true. Maybe it is and we’re just not getting it here.
Do YOU think that if a majority of a country’s people hate you, according to polls, and if the majority of terrorists that attack you come from that country, and if that country keeps linking up with the terrorist mastermind behind it, who happens to be a citizen of that country, then because that country’s leader says he likes you, but is afraid to say so out loud for fear he’ll be killed, then, I ask you, is that country a friend and ally?
Further, if the majority of your attackers claim they do so in the name of a religion of peace and find overwhelming majority support among adherents to that religion world-wide, and the fact an infintessimally small percentage of those adherents in your own country disagree with the attackers, is that religion therefore really a religion of peace? (American Muslims make up less than 1% of America whereas globally, adherents to Islam outnumber America five to one.)
It is a tough sell, given the evidence.
The sell got even tougher when Newsweek reported a new story concerning the wife of the Saudi Ambassador to the US. It seems she funnelled some $3500 per month to two Saudis who came to the United States in early 2000. The two Saudis she was supporting were Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, who came to America to fly American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on September 11.
It is bad enough that the wife of a Saudi diplomat was supporting the terrorists while they prepared the most devastating attack on American soil in history. But it would generally be quite a stretch to use the wife of a diplomat as evidence the Saudi government is really part of the 9/11 plot. It becomes less of a stretch when the diplomat is Prince Bandar bin Sultan and his wife is daughter of the late Saudi King Faisal.
The payments were made through a third party, a Saudi student in Los Angeles named Omar Al Bayoumi.Within days of the terrorists arrival in the United States, Al Bayoumi befriended the two men who would eventually hijack American Flight 77, throwing them a welcoming party in San Diego and guaranteeing their lease on an apartment next door to his own. Al Bayoumi also paid $1,500 to cover the first two months of rent for Al Midhar and Alhazmi.
From there, Al Bayoumi funnelled about $3500 per month to the two men, money that came to Omar Al Bayoumi from an account at Washington s Riggs Bank in the name of Princess Haifa Al-Faisal.
Newsweek reported that the information has spurred an intense, behind-the-scenes battle between congressional leaders and the Bush administration over whether evidence highly embarrassing to the Saudi government should be publicly disclosed especially at a time that the White House is aggressively seeking Saudi support for a possible war against Iraq. This is a matter of the foreign-policy interests of the United States, said another administration official, who cited the need to prevent a rift in the U.S.-Saudi relationship.
The Bush administration officials, led by Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller, refuse to declassify the evidence upon which the report is based, effectively keeping a lid on the whole story.
Obviously, it seems to us, if there were an innocent coincidence, it would serve the best interests of the administration’s policy of close relations with the Saudis to prove that to be the case.
It is therefore equally obvious that the opposite is most likely true. The Princess is in up to her neck. Which at least suggests that her husband, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, has at least been for a swim in the pool.
A recent report by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations singled out “individuals and charities based in Saudi Arabia” as the most important source of funds for al-Qaeda. “And for years, Saudi officials have turned a blind eye to this problem,” it said.
The Saudi Embassy in Washington rejected the charge. “We are hunting them down, one by one,” said bin Sultan. Sure you are.
Given the evidence, it is easy to see how so many people can believe that Bush is in the pocket of Big Oil, or that the upcoming war with Iraq is about oil, or even about Dubya wanting to get revenge for his daddy.
That’s too simple-minded and too obvious. It flies in the face of both logic and what we’ve seen of Dubya so far. It is hard to imagine that the president would start a war to settle a personal grudge match. It doesn’t fit the man.
It makes no sense to argue the motive is cheaper oil. Oil won’t get cheaper if we invade Iraq. It will get more expensive.
Riyadh has improved relations with Baghdad in recent years and the Saudis are absolutely opposed to an invasion of Iraq. There is a growing body of evidence linking Riyadh directly to al-Qaeda, together with an equally impressive paper trail between Baghdad and al-Qaeda.
Oil is an issue, but not in the way that most of Bush’s detractors believe. Bush has access to considerably more intelligence information than we do. He knows the real risk of the Iraq war escalating into a nuclear exchange.
Oil reserves with a half-life of 200,000 years won’t be of much use to anybody. The ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ principle makes sense in this situation.
If we are as far along the path outlined by prophecy as we think we are, then Bush’s efforts to prevent an all out war involving nuclear weapons, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab world will fail.
The prophet Isaiah describes what Bush’s diplomatic cover-up is intended to avoid [with my comments in parentheses]; “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on EDOM,[the Arab world] And on the people of My curse, for judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, It is made overflowing with fatness, With the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah, [modern Basra, Iraq) And a great slaughter in the land of Edom. [the Arab world] The wild oxen shall come down with them, And the young bulls with the mighty bulls; Their land shall be soaked with blood, And their dust saturated with fatness. [their physical remains will be reduced to puddles of fat – graphic, but consistent with a thermonuclear blast] For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion [i.e. Tribulation]. Its streams shall be turned into pitch, And its dust into brimstone; Its land shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; No one shall pass through it forever and ever. [a pretty accurate description of a post nuclear wasteland]
Isaiah says this takes place during the ‘year of recompense for Zion’ or during the Tribulation period. We can already see the writing on the wall. What does that mean to us?
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” [Luke 21:28]