Tuesday, November 6, 2007

For the Sake of Oil

by Daniel Johnson from The New York Sun

The Saudis have their defenders. One of the wisest commentators on the Muslim world, Amir Taheri, writes in the London Times that the regime is slowly reforming itself. Women can't drive in Saudi Arabia, but they make up over half of all university students and their share of its wealth is higher than in much of Europe. It is true that we need Saudi support in the war on terror. Saudi forces have, Mr. Taheri estimates, killed or captured about 800 Al Qaeda terrorists. We also still need Saudi oil. But the Saudis need the West even more. King Abdullah may call himself Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, but President Bush and Queen Elizabeth II are, in effect, custodians of the Custodian. The West must use its power as custodians, and as customers, to ensure that the hundreds of billions that we pay for their oil is not used to promote jihad in our midst.

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