May 4 - Only days after the State Department praised Saudi Arabia for its “aggressive” and “unprecedented” campaign to hunt down terrorists, Crown Prince Abdullah—the country’s de facto ruler—has startled Bush administration officials by blaming “Zionists” and “followers of Satan” for recent terrorist acts in the kingdom. “We can be certain that Zionism is behind everything,” Abdullah told a gathering of leading government officials and academics in Jeddah as he talked about the weekend attack on oil workers, which killed six people, including two Americans. “I don’t say 100 percent, but 95 percent.”
Abdullah's claim is of course absurd. The attackers are the most extremist types of Wahhabis who believe that even the rulers of Saudi Arabia are not sufficiently doctrinaire.
Saudi Daily Blames Zionism for Terror Attacks
In its May 3 issue, the Saudi daily Okaz published an article by Abd Al-Qadr Fares of Gaza, titled "Zionism Arose Based on Conspiracies, and Lives Only Off Bloody Sights," in which it blamed Zionism for the May 1 attacks in Yunbu':
"It is Zionism that extended its hand of destruction two days ago [May 1], as the crown prince announced, on the Saudi lands, by means of killing and of sowing death, destruction and aggression against human dignity in an attempt to shake [both] the security of the kingdom and regional security, and in order to accomplish its interests. [It did this] by [sending] elements who were misguided, and dubious [elements], to carry out these operations that serve only Zionism and the forces of world imperialism and arrogance." 
In support of this allegation, the same day the paper published commentary on Crown Prince Abdallah's statements, under the headline "Experts and Historians Demand That the Youth Be Warned of the Plans Directed Against the Region: Zionism Leads Terror so that the World will Be Hostile to the Muslims and Arabs," in which three Arab experts stated that it is most probable that Israel was behind the attacks in the kingdom.
Dr. Fayez Rashid of Amman, Jordan, director of the Arab Center for the Study of Zionism and Israel, said: "The positions, balanced policy, and moderation of the [Saudi] kingdom have gained it great respect in the international community. This does not please Zionism, whose most important goals are weakening the Arab countries, halting their relations with the external world, disrupting their relations with the international community, and sowing civil strife. Thus, we do not wonder that Saudi Arabia is one of Zionism's most important target countries, particularly in light of the positions that Saudi Arabia still holds regarding a solution to the Arab-Israel conflict, [positions] that co
There are all sorts of rationalizations that can be offered for Crown Prince Abdullah's statement. Surely he feels threatened by his home-grown radicals and would like to discredit them in the minds of Saudis by calling them fools duped by some Zionist plot. There may be other motives for Abdullah's statement. But it seems to me there is an obvious take home lesson from all this: Saudi Arabia is a serious problem that is not going to get better in the foreseeable future. The world's growing dependence on Saudi oil is a national security problem for the United States.
The nature of the national security problem posed by the Saudis is many fold. One problem is that the Saudis are exporting their version of Islam the world over including the west African oil producing nation Nigeria.
However, despite repeated rumors, there has until this year been little evidence of organized foreign support for violence and domestic terrorism. Now such evidence is appearing. On February 3, the Nigerian government announced that an unnamed Iranian diplomat was arrested on January 23 in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, after he was found taking photographs of Churches, a presidential villa, the defense headquarters, and the Israeli, British, and American embassies.
The usually reliable news service Compass Direct reports that one of January's "Taliban" raiders, Muslim cleric Alhaji Sharu, confessed to police that he was a middleman between Nigerian extremists and the Al-Muntada Al-Islami Trust, a Saudi funded "charity" headquartered in Britain. Sharu said that the Trust's money had been used to propagate a Wahabist version of Islam in Nigeria and fund religious violence.
The United States currently has an insufficient strategy for dealing with the threat that Wahhabisms poses. One obvious option available is to embark on a massive research effort to obsolesce oil and thereby eliminate a major source of the revenue that the Saudis and other Muslim radicals have for spreading their religious doctrines and funding terrorism. We are wasting precious time every day that goes by that we are not embarked on this effort.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2004 May 06 04:46 PM Politics Grand Strategy|