Friday, December 21, 2007

Scoping Out the Saudis: Are They With Us or Against Us?

Neal Sher, The Jewish Exponent (US: Pennsylvania)

While the Bush administration will in no way hold Saudi feet to the fire, some on Capitol Hill are fed up. Enter U.S. Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who have introduced the Saudi Arabia Accountability Act of 2007 in their respective chambers. The White House and State Department, of course, will never endorse this initiative, trotting out the disingenuous mantra that the Saudis are needed in our fight against the bad guys. Never mind that the kingdom and their U.S. hired guns assure us that the Saudis will stand shoulder to shoulder with us -- the empirical evidence proves the contrary ... Odds are the legislation will die on the vine, never making it out of committee. Similar legislation has gone nowhere, even when there was the hardest of evidence proving that the Saudi government was paying the families of suicide murderers and directly supporting Hamas ... This time, only the Zionist Organization of America has endorsed and will lobby for the Saudi accountability measure. Unfortunately, it probably will be virtually alone in this fight. Some battles must be fought because it is simply the right thing to do. Taking the Saudis to task for being the hub of terrorism is one of those instances. Jewish organizations would do well to remember that it was a losing battle -- over the sale of AWACS to the Saudis 25 years ago -- that for all practical purposes put it on the map. Unless and until sinister activities engaged in, tolerated and effectively endorsed by Saudi Arabia are challenged head on, the war on terror is not much more than an exercise of putting our heads in the sand.

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