Friday, February 16, 2007

Theory of Everything (4)

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November 28, 2001 - ISRAEL AND 9/11 Feds holding 60 Israelis in connection with 9/11 – Why?
Haven't we had enough of Israel? The other day, an explosive device planted near a school by Israeli army commandos killed five Palestinian kids: Mohammed Na'im Astal, 14; his brother, Akram Na'im Astal, 7; Aniz Idris Astal, 11; his brother Omar Idris Astal, 14; and Mohammad Sultan Astal, 12, a cousin. They were blown to smithereens, and not even the shards of their bodies could be found. The children were killed 200 yards from the UN-sponsored school they attended, along a path regularly used by students. Looming over this horrific death scene, the shadow of an Israeli army watchtower guarding the nearby Gush Katif settlement.
Haven't we had enough of Israel? The day after the US announced its new Middle East peace initiative, the Israelis bulldozed more Palestinian homes in Gaza and announced the planned construction of new houses for Jewish settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron, thumbing their noses at their American benefactors at a time when the US itself is besieged.
Haven't we had enough of Israel? When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visits Bush at the White House, he plans to "raise the issue of Jonathan Pollard," according to Middle East Newsline. Pollard, you'll remember, is the Israeli spy whose betrayal of American secrets led to the deaths of untold numbers of American agents in the field. Many contend that the Israelis traded the stolen information to the Soviet Union in return for increasing the emigration of Russian Jews to Israel. In "The Case Against Jonathan Pollard," Seymour M. Hersh relates a conversation between the late William J. Casey, then CIA director, and one of his station chiefs, a month after Pollard's arrest. When his subordinate asked why the CIA chief was ordering stepped-up monitoring of an Israeli delegation on a routine visit,
"'He asked if I knew anything about the Pollard case,' the station chief recalled, and he said that Casey had added, 'For your information, the Israelis used Pollard to obtain our attack plan against the USSR, all of it. The coordinates, the firing locations, the sequences. And for guess who? The Soviets.' Casey had then explained that the Israelis had traded the Pollard data for Soviet émigrés. 'How's that for cheating?' he had asked."
When one grasps the enormity of Pollard's betrayal, it is possible to wonder: why wasn't he shot? Yet, Sharon, like his predecessors, is intent on releasing him: furthermore, he is raising the issue at a particularly tense moment in the history of US-Israeli relations. After all, the Israeli Prime Minister just got through accusing the Americans of "appeasing" the Arabs by sacrificing Israel on the altar of a Middle East peace settlement, just as Czechoslovakia was sold out to the Germans in the years leading up to World War II. First he compares an American President in the midst of a crisis to Neville Chamberlain – now he wants to bring up Pollard. What will he do for an encore – build an Israeli settlement on the White House lawn?
November 21 was the sixteenth anniversary of Pollard's arrest, and the week seemed to mark a new upsurge in the movement to release Pollard from his life sentence. In addition to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (a consortium of fifty-five groups), the Reform Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Orthodox Union, the roster of organizations and politicians urging freedom for Pollard includes the sainted Mayor Rudolph Giuliani – and now even the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Sharpton is being wooed by another Pollard supporter, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of the "Kosher Sex" guide for married couples and bosom buddy of mutant pop singer Michael Jackson. Shmuley opines:
"The civil rights movement was not a black issue, it was about human rights. This is not a Jewish issue, it's about human rights. I think Rev. Sharpton can help in this cause. He's a man who is a voice for many who have no voice."
At Shmuley's urging, Pollard wrote to Sharpton, suggesting a meeting:
"I am aware that in the past you have gone on public record stating that the life sentence that I am serving is too harsh, calling for equal justice in my case, and advocating for my release. Your participation in this case is welcome and I look forward to exploring with you the ways in which your enhanced involvement might be most effective."
Sharpton and Pollard might seem like strange bedfellows, at first: after all, the Reverend Al has attacked Jewish merchants in the black community as "interlopers," and been accused of anti-Semitism by his detractors. But when you get right down to it, Pollard's supporters and the Reverend Al's are brothers under the skin. Black victimology and its Jewish equivalent – the doctrine of Zionism – are both organized around the same principle: that past oppression of a minority requires extraordinary present-day remedies, which inevitably violate the rights of the majority.
In the case of the victimologists-of-color, the remedy is affirmative action and the victims are those who lost out in the process: the students and job applicants who would have been rewarded if merit and not race had been the only criterion. According to the dogma of the Jewish victimologists, the remedy for their past oppression is Zionism, the idea of a separate Jewish state in the land of Palestine – and the victims are, among many others, the five Palestinian schoolchildren blasted to bits by an Israeli booby-trap.
US support for Israel has gotten us – what? Our tax dollars bought the explosives that snuffed out those five young lives. We also pay for Israeli settlements that make peace in the Middle East an impossible dream. Without US aid and political support, the Israeli settler-colony would sink like a stone, enveloped by the vicious and incessant tribal warfare that characterizes the whole history of the region. Certainly our support has not earned us the gratitude that one might expect. Instead, the Israeli Knesset held a special session to mark the anniversary of Pollard's incarceration, where, as Israel National News reports, "speakers from across the political spectrum addressed the Knesset and dozens of special guests, each demanding that the U.S. release Pollard."
During the session, one right-wing deputy got up and denounced Sharon because he "didn't have the courage to stand in front of the US President and demand Pollard's immediate release." Sharon cannot afford to lose the support of his ultra-right wing, and, at any rate, cannot fail to do what his Labor predecessor did, and that is lobby for Pollard's release.
To even bring up the Pollard case is to stand accused of anti-Semitism, but in this case it is the Israelis, and their vocal amen corner in the US, who are making this an issue. It is Pollard's numerous supporters in America, as well as in Israel, who have not let us forget him. He is the Mumia Abu Jamal of the Zionist cause, a symbol of Israeli independence and combativeness – even against its ally and devoted sponsor, the US. Just how far this combativeness goes was vividly dramatized by the sinking of the U.S.S. Liberty, in 1967 – another topic, along with the Pollard case, that only alleged "anti-Semites" discuss – and it may go even farther, in light of a strange new twist in the post-9/11 terrorism investigation.
What's interesting, in this regard, is the news that, along with the 1,000 or so Muslim Middle Easterners jailed in the Ashcroft Sweep, 60 Israelis have been picked up and held, not just for routine visa violations, but in connection with the 9/11 investigation. The Washington Post story subhead read: "Government calls Several Cases 'of Special Interest,' Meaning Related to Post-Attacks Investigation." According to the Post, INS officials in Cleveland and St. Louis testified in court that these Israelis were "of special interest to the government" – putting them in the same category as hundreds of mostly Arab men rounded up by the feds since the attacks.
What, exactly, is the meaning of this? In the days and weeks after the twin towers went down, perfervid rumors of Israeli responsibility for the attack roiled some sectors of the Arab media, with the former Imam of New York City's biggest mosque refusing to rule it out. The pro-Israel pundits had a field day with this, pointing to such nonsense as proof positive that the Arab mind was fundamentally and perhaps irreversibly deformed by "Islamo-fascism" and anti-Semitism. But as long as 60 Israeli citizens are being held – under conditions of great secrecy – in connection with the 9/11 investigation, it is no longer tenable to dismiss the possibility of an Israeli angle in this story.
Although the Post story blandly assures us that the Israeli detainees "are observing a time-honored tradition in their country – touring the world after their mandatory service in the Israeli military," we are also informed that "a number of them had served in counterterrorist units in Israel." Well, spying is indeed a time-honored tradition, and something tells me these guys are no ordinary tourists, but since the US Government is keeping mum about everything connected with this investigation, we just don't know. In rounding up untold hundreds of mostly Arab Muslim men, and interviewing thousands more, the Ashcroft Sweep is clearly designed to gather information that might lead them to the remaining conspirators. It could be that the Israelis, or at least some of them, fall into this category: while not being directly involved, maybe they know something. Nothing else could account for the government's "special interest."
A delegation from Israel came to the US warning of some unspecified terrorist threat a few months before 9/11. Add to this persistent stories about the employees of Odigo, an Israeli software company, who received "instant messages" over their computers on the morning of 9/11, and news reports of Israelis picked up by the FBI after neighbors reported them laughing and smiling while they photographed themselves against the backdrop of the burning World Trade Center – and now this.
Taken together, these stories justify at least some suspicion of Israel's role. It is still nonsense – and vicious nonsense – to ascribe the 9/11 horror to "Zionist agents." But now there is at least a hint of Israeli foreknowledge, on some level, which can only be dispelled if and when the government comes clean and lifts the veil of secrecy.
Secret trials, secret evidence, closed military tribunals – many commentators, in decrying these extraordinary measures as unconstitutional, have also pointed out that none of this is necessary, since we already have the legal means to deal with terrorism, as in the case of the first WTC bombing. One would think that, normally, the US would be trying to impress the public that the administration is on the job with this investigation, in addition to building a public case for holding over a thousand detainees.
There is, however, nothing normal about the times we are living in: and, in any case, secrecy is a necessity for those who have something to hide. But in these days of the Internet, and the instant dissemination of information, the gatekeepers have to resort to quasi-legal means to keep the truth from coming out. But it will come out, sooner rather than later – in which case, the question, "Haven't we had enough of Israel?" may be definitively answered.
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The Israel Lobby - John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
- For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.
Instead, the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical.
Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing that given to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance since 1976, and is the largest recipient in total since World War Two, to the tune of well over $140 billion (in 2004 dollars). Israel receives about $3 billion in direct assistance each year, roughly one-fifth of the foreign aid budget, and worth about $500 a year for every Israeli. This largesse is especially striking since Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to that of South Korea or Spain.
The Lobby also includes prominent Christian evangelicals like Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson, as well as Dick Armey and Tom DeLay, former majority leaders in the House of Representatives, all of whom believe Israel’s rebirth is the fulfilment of biblical prophecy and support its expansionist agenda; to do otherwise, they believe, would be contrary to God’s will. Neo-conservative gentiles such as John Bolton; Robert Bartley, the former Wall Street Journal editor; William Bennett, the former secretary of education; Jeane Kirkpatrick, the former UN ambassador; and the influential columnist George Will are also steadfast supporters.

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- ....Those attacking Mearsheimer and Walt suggest the duo outline a nefarious Jewish cabal with a stranglehold on American Mideast policy. Think smokey back rooms; think political and media domination; think subtle and sneaky manipulation of the unsuspecting, innocent gentile. Think historical stereotype.
Mearsheimer, Walt and their defenders counter that they neither suggest a cabal nor a monolithic Jewry driving the American body politic. Instead, a close alliance of disparate groups form a capital "L" Israeli Lobby that distorts US interests in the region. While this is lead by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Lobby includes Jews and Gentiles alike:

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Pro-Israel Censorship Hurts Us All - George Bisharat, The Electronic Intifada, 30 January 2007- One day in 1981, my late father, Maurice Hanna Bisharat, returned from a long day at his Sacramento, Calif., medical office with an extra bounce in his step, his eyes dancing with excitement. His friend, Michael Himovitz, the young owner of a local art gallery, had called, offering to hold a one-person show of my father's paintings - mostly California landscapes.My father had taken up painting after immigrating to this country from Palestine in the late 1940s, and although an amateur, had won a national art award within two years. But the demands of medical practice, raising a large family, and other avocations took their toll. It had been many years since my father's art had been publicly exhibited, and he was tickled.My father was not a politician, but like any Palestinian living in the United States, he felt obligated to relate his people's experience to American friends. Educated and articulate, he spoke publicly in defense of Palestinian rights, and was a frequent commentator on Middle East events in the local media. Michael, a Jew, was perfectly aware of this side of my father's life. It did nothing to diminish his appreciation of my father's art, nor to inhibit their friendship.Some weeks later I saw my father sitting, stony faced. He turned to me and whispered: "I just got a call from Michael. My show has been canceled." Michael, it transpired, had been visited by a group from the Sacramento Jewish community. Their message: "If you show Bisharat's art, we will boycott your gallery and close you down."Michael may have been as crushed as my father, apologizing: "I just can't risk it - it's my livelihood." The indirect message to my father, of course, was: "If you speak critically of Israel, you will suffer pain." Fortunately, art was not my father's livelihood, and he survived this incident. But a deep sense of outrage never left him.So when former New York Mayor Edward Koch and Rafael Medoff ask incredulously in a recent commentary critical of President Jimmy Carter's recent book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid "Are Jews suppressing speech?" - or when 14 Carter Center advisory board members resign in protest of the president's positions - the answer, for me, is not so straightforward.The fact is that "Jews" are not suppressing speech. Michael Himovitz certainly didn't suppress my father's attempts to explain the Palestinian perspective to his fellow citizens. Many American Jews hold views not dissimilar to my father's - supporting peace, reconciliation and equal rights for Palestinians and Jews.Yet, a minority of Jews, backed by some non-Jewish supporters, stridently protests any unflattering portrayal of Israel, often with unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism. Indeed, insinuations of anti-Jewish bias are now being unfairly raised against Carter. And some supporters of Israel, apparently, are willing to exploit economic clout to punish those who, like my father, buck the trend and defend Palestinian rights.Nor is the example of my father isolated. Numerous variations are documented in former Illinois Republican Rep. Paul Findley's book, They Dare to Speak Out. More chilling, these efforts at intimidation are not always the spontaneous responses of individuals, as in my father's case, or likely in the resignations of the Carter Center advisory board members.On the contrary, the pro-Israel lobby, joined by the Israeli government, sustains a systematic campaign to shape American public opinion. For example, the Committee on Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) harangues journalists over alleged "mistakes." In 2002, CAMERA attacked National Public Radio, claiming anti-Israel bias, including failure to report Israeli deaths. Two Boston area businessmen associated with CAMERA organized a boycott of local NPR affiliate WBUR that significantly reduced revenue. Meanwhile, a scrupulous study of NPR's coverage by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) showed that, in fact, NPR had disproportionately reported Israeli deaths.Honest Reporting is a media organization that mobilizes 140,000 subscribers worldwide. Its Web site once touted "major editorial changes at CNN which greatly shifted public perception of the Arab-Israel conflict." The impetus, according to The Jerusalem Post, was "up to 6,000 e-mails per day to CNN executives, effectively paralyzing their internal e-mail system."The Israeli government also applied pressure to CNN, according to verbatim notes of a conference call in 2000 obtained by advocate/researcher Phyllis Bennis. In the call, Israeli government spokesman Nachman Shai outlined Israel's media strategy with 30 to 60 U.S. Jewish leaders, focusing concern on CNN, and especially two Palestinian reporters. "We are putting real pressure on the heads of CNN to have them replaced with more objective pro-Israel reporters that are willing to tell our side of the story."Monitoring media to ensure accuracy is a public service. Yet, as besieged journalists have concluded, the goal of this campaign is not truth, but pro-Israeli advocacy, and silencing dissent. WBUR's general manager, Jane Christo, described CAMERA's message as: "Report our point of view, or we'll shut you down."Dissenting American Jews are not spared. Jilian Redford, head of the Hillel Jewish student group at the University of Richmond was dismissed in 2004 after protesting the Israeli Embassy's repeated e-mail propaganda directives. Redford saw Hillel's mission as facilitating Jewish religious life on campus, not doing hasbara (Hebrew for "propaganda") for the Israeli government. To reiterate: This is not a "Jewish" campaign. In fact, hasbara, coordinated with, if not directed by right-wing Israeli governments, is unrepresentative of largely liberal American Jews. Many, like Michael, would no doubt be horrified by the actions of these self-appointed guardians of thought. Nor does the Israel lobby "control" the media, as publication of Carter's book and this article attest.But the price of our still mostly one-sided exposure to Middle East affairs is high, and it is much greater than the hurt inflicted on my father and others like him. Americans are shielded from diverse perspectives about a pivotal conflict, and are thus hampered in critically evaluating U.S. policies. Our unconditional support for Israel is a principal cause of global anger against us.Last summer our government ran diplomatic cover for Israel's invasion of Lebanon, prolonging the attack for weeks. Israel killed more than a thousand Lebanese, mostly civilians, heavily damaged the country's civilian infrastructure, and displaced a quarter of the population. The consequence: National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, delivering the annual U.S. threat estimate in mid-January, moved the Lebanese group Hezbollah - which has not targeted Americans for decades - up to second. Meanwhile, UPI editor Arnaud de Borchgrave reports that former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other prominent Israelis are urging a public relations blitz to instigate a U.S. strike on Iran.It is one thing to match ideas with ideas, facts with facts, perspectives with perspectives. It is different to threaten, bully, discredit and harass opponents of one's views - whether they are writers, artists, Jewish dissidents, ex-presidents or anyone else. And in this case, our resulting ignorance is not bliss. It is downright dangerous.George Bisharat is a professor of law at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and writes frequently on the Middle East. This article appeared originally in the Houston Chronicle and is reprinted by permission. It comes to EI courtesy of the Institute for Middle East Understanding.
Saudi Arabia
- They're noones ally but themselves. All the situations in the Middle East prove that they are far from looking towards our utter contentment.
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"Saudi Arabia: Friend or Foe in the War on Terror" - Testimony of Anthony Cordesman - Before the US Senate Judiciary Committee
TestimonyUnited States Senate Committee on the JudiciarySaudi Arabia: Friend or Foe in the War on Terror?November 8, 2005
Anthony CordesmanCo-DirectorMiddle East Program - Center for Strategic and International StudiesArleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy1800 K Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20006Phone: 1 (202) 775-3270 • Fax: 1 (202) 457-8746Email:
Anthony H. CordesmanArleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy
Let me begin my testimony with an important caveat. Saudi Arabia is no more perfect than any other country. Like us, Saudi Arabia has made many mistakes in dealing with terrorism, in foreign policy, and managing its domestic affairs. There are many areas where leading Saudis recognize that Saudi Arabia needs major reforms, and these include education and ensuring that clerics recognize their responsibility to preach tolerance, the value of other faiths and branches of Islam, and the dangers of violence and terrorism. I have spoken and written about these needs for reform on many occasions over many years -- as, for that matter -- have many Saudis.
I am also all too aware of the level of anger and resentment against the US and the West that the US sometimes finds in Saudi Arabia, and that Saudi clerics and intellectuals can use extreme and hostile rhetoric. It is one of the tragedies of the aftermath of 9/11 that both Saudis and Americans still lash out at each other, posit conspiracy theories, and act out of fear and anger.
I would remind the Committee, however, that US clerics, intellectuals, and members of Congress have discussed Islam and Arabs in equally regrettable terms. We have leading clerics that do not hesitate to call for assassinations. We had two leading clerics who reacted to the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by suggesting that God was inflicting a just punishment on the US for its sins. A substantial number of Christian preachers tolerate Judaism because they feel that the bible indicates that Israel is the road to Armageddon and to rapture, and that the second coming will, in any case, involve the conversion of all the Jews.
No country has a monopoly on intolerance, foolish anger, and careless words.
Looking Beyond Saudi Arabia: The Real Challenge
What is more important, is that both the West and moderates throughout the Arab world and Islam face a very real struggle against Islamist extremism and terrorism. This is a struggle we cannot win alone. It can only be won by moderate Arabs and Muslims, and such allies are essential to any victory in the war on terrorism.
It is both dangerous and misleading to single out Saudi Arabia. We need to remember that 9/11 was the exception and not the rule. Most of the prior attacks and attempted attacks on the US were by North Africans, Egyptians, and Arabs from the Levant. Long before we confronted Islamic extremism and a "war on terrorism," nations like Egypt and Algeria were fighting major extremist movements, and a different kind of Islamic extremism had come to dominate Iran. No country in the Middle East or Islamic world is free of this threat, and every moderate regime is under attack. This is a clash within a civilization at which we are on the margin.
The anger against the US and the West in Saudi Arabia is scarcely unique, and is not a product of Saudi Sunni Puritanism. Almost all of the terrorist and extremist movements that threaten the US, the West, and every Arab moderate regime are neo-Salafi and have their ideological roots in movements coming out of Egypt, not Saudi Wahhabi practices. This includes Bin Laden and Zarqawi. It was President Zia of Pakistan, not Saudi Arabia, that was the leading supporter of Pashtun Islamic extremism in Afghanistan and the forces that created the Taliban. Khomeini and his more extreme successors in Iran are Shi'ites.
Islamist extremist movements represent a small fraction of Arabs and Muslims. They can, however, feed on broad resentment of cultural change and the impact of globalism throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds. There is deep anger over the Arab-Israeli conflict, and against the US because it is perceived as Israel's ally. The Iraq War has compounded this anger, and it has led to high levels of popular resentment of the US by the population of many of our friends in the region.
These trends are reflected all too clearly in the work of one of the most respected polling organizations in the US, and are summarized in the charts attached to this testimony. The Pew group reported, "In the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed, anger toward the United States remains pervasive.. Osama bin Laden is viewed favorably by large percentages in Pakistan (65%), Jordan (55%) and Morocco (45%). Even in Turkey, where bin Laden is highly unpopular, as many as 31% say that suicide attacks against Americans and other Westerners" are justifiable.
There are many other surveys that deliver the same message, just as there are many surveys of US and Western opinion that reflect anger against terrorism, and hostility towards Islam and the Arab world.

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Saudi Arabia: Friend, Foe, or Neither?by Ivan Eland - Ivan Eland is director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute.
The Bush administration has distanced itself from a briefing to a Pentagon advisory panel, which argued that Washington should demand that Saudi Arabia stop supporting terrorism or face the seizure of its oil fields and its financial assets in the United States. However, a growing number of neoconservatives inside and outside the Bush administration apparently subscribe to the views expressed in the presentation -- and that is troubling.
Senior Pentagon civilians and members of Vice President Dick Cheney's staff reportedly see Saudi Arabia as an enemy. In fact, some neoconservatives believe that a U.S. invasion of Iraq and the institution of a democratic, pro-U.S. Iraqi government, which would become a major oil exporter to the West, would allow the United States to solve an even greater problem: Saudi support for radical Islamic terrorists. The reduced U.S. dependence on Saudi oil, resulting from the conquest of Iraq, neocons say, would allow the United States to finally stand up to the Saudis on the issue of terrorism.
Yet the official position of the Bush administration is at the other end of the spectrum: that the Saudi regime is a friend. According to Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, "Saudi Arabia is a long-standing friend and ally of the United States. The Saudis cooperate fully in the global war on terrorism." But this position deviates from private statements by administration officials that Saudi government efforts against terrorism have been less ambitious than those of other countries.
Both the official and neocon positions are simplistic and flawed. The Saudi government looked the other way for too long while organizations in Saudi Arabia funded and supported al Qaeda. In addition, the Saudi government openly supported the Taliban regime, which harbored al Qaeda, and fundamentalist Islamic schools in Pakistan that churned out terrorists. The Bush administration, in a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the oil market works, is making a mistake to look the other way on such questionable Saudi activities and to coddle the regime to secure Saudi oil.
The administration, the U.S. national security community, the media, and much of the public are enamored with the myth that cheap oil is somehow vital to the U.S. economy. The market for oil is global and no one country--not even one with large oil reserves, such as Saudi Arabia -- can influence the price much in the long-term. When more oil enters the market from any source, the price goes down; when oil is taken off the market--for example, by instability or war in oil producing countries--the price goes up.
Don Losman, an economist at the National Defense University, shows that increasing oil prices alone will not harm a modern economy. He notes that from late 1998 to late 2000, Germany experienced a 211 percent increase in oil prices, but economic growth--with falling inflation and unemployment -- continued. Furthermore, since the "oil crisis" of the 1970s, the U.S. economy has reduced its spending on oil from nine percent to three percent of GDP and become much more flexible in shifting among types of fuel sources.
The neocon plan of taking down Iraq to pressure Saudi Arabia on terrorism has a major problem. Any invasion of Iraq would require the support of surrounding nations. Neocons naively believe that the Saudi government, reluctant to help the United States launch an unprovoked attack on Iraq even before neocon thinking became public, would now cheerfully provide bases and logistical support for U.S. forces to invade Iraq. And the neocons apparently believe that when even some members of the administration would like to turn the U.S. war on terrorism to a war on Saudi oil fields once the job in Iraq is done.
The United States should take a middle ground between the confrontational approach championed by neoconservatives and the Bush administration's policy of appeasing the Saudi regime. The Saudi government is a medieval, despotic regime with an abysmal human rights record on a par with Iraq's. The United States should withdraw political support from the regime and withdraw the U.S. military forces stationed on Saudi territory. The United States should not pull any diplomatic punches in pressuring the Saudi monarchy on its poor human rights record, its programs to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and its indirect support for terrorism.
Essentially, like the authoritarian "rogue states" (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Cuba and North Korea), Saudi Arabia should be treated with suspicion, not friendship. At the same time, it should not be targeted for U.S. military attacks unless it is found directly culpable in sponsoring a terrorist attack against a U.S. target.

- 4-3
Aside from what you'd normally hear, India is not a willing ally. The U.S actually extorted India to proliferate nuclear technology to its neighbors as a reason to follow its policies.
- 5-3
- 5-3
smoldering heaps of rubble(countries that the us has attacked or etc...)
carribean nations
- 5
6. Now that we understand the countries and their threat levels
We can clearly see that none of these countries as a whole would seem to benefit from participating or orchestrating this incident. In fact, they were hurt by 9/11. No one wants to see the U.S economy threatened, because, as is the case for states like China, India, European and many others, they'd completely falter. So for a better idea of the BASTARD or BASTARDS that could truly have gained We'd have to look at individuals and small groups.

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