Saudis Launder Billions for Bush
- ALL FOR THE DOLLAR:
WHILE LEBANON BURNS, SAUDIS LAUNDER BILLIONS FOR BUSH
by Ahmed Amr
Behind Condi Rice's cult-like smile, lurks a crazed neo-con fanatic
immersed in apocalyptic fantasies. It remains to be seen just how many
Lebanese mothers will lose their babies while she entertains her
demonic hallucinations...Not to be outdone, the demented war criminal
who pollutes the corridors of the White House has vetoed UN cease-fire
resolutions and derailed an Italian effort to end the hostilities in
To assure the success of his war-mongering obstructionist policies,
Bush dispatched Paul Wolfowitz to the gathering in Rome. Just to rub
it in, the architect of the Iraqi war was all smiles as he pressed a
handshake on the visibly distraught Lebanese Prime Minister.
As Karl Rove will tell you, the path to victory in November depends on
rallying the Armageddon-worshipping, end of time Protestants who drool
every time a Palestinian or Lebanese family is blown to smithereens.
In their estimate, every crisis in the Middle East brings us one step
closer to the rupture. Pray for the end of times and pass the
Given their dismal poll numbers, Bush and the Republicans can hardly
afford to alienate Israel's amen corner at the New York Times. Neither
can the Democrats afford to lose the affections of militant Likudnik
operatives at CNN and FOX. Until the polls close in November, both
parties will be competing to determine who can best lick the boots of
In America, Israel is a domestic affair. The ethnic Zionist lobby gets
what it wants or sets off brigades of media hyenas to eat the raw
flesh of any politician who displays squeamishness about wasting Arab
lives. Witness the 'anti-war' Howard Dean accusing anyone opposing
Israeli war crimes of 'anti-semitism.' He can't have forgotten that he
lost his White House bid when he called for a more 'even-handed'
foreign policy in the Middle East. As chairman of the Democrat
leadership, he seems to be applying the valuable lesson learned on his
ill-fated campaign don't mess with the Israeli lobby ninety days
before a mid-term election.
Some Arab-Americans still entertain silly notions about changing the
minds of their congressmen by explaining the other side of the story.
Fat chance. One hundred Senators gave unequivocal support to Israel.
Under normal circumstances, you can't line up that many Senators to
support their own children. True enough, you can always find the
occasional Senator willing to express concern about war crimes
committed by US marines. But when it comes to Israel, they all
studiously avert their eyes from the deliberate targeting of civilians
and the systematic destruction of vital infrastructure.
The Israelis can nuke the entire Middle East and still have the
audacity to bill the American government for the cost of the
operation. Any dissenting Senator can and will be taken to the shed
for re-education sessions but not before getting a campaign
crippling lashing from Israel's spiritual brethren who toil in the
mass media monopolies.
Every member of our parliament of whores has innocent Palestinian and
Lebanese blood on their hands. By giving their unconditional blessings
to the mayhem in Lebanon, the Senate was just making the obvious point
that no Arab child is safe while the U.S. Congress is in session.
Of the many actors responsible for this blood bath, the Israelis are
perhaps the easiest to understand. They never had a need for fig
leaves to begin with. As far as Tel Aviv is concerned, this is just an
exercise in low intensity warfare. The Israelis simply do whatever
they can get away with.
Without ever bothering to charge them, Israel can hold thousands of
Palestinian and Lebanese civilians prisoner. But if the other side
decides to detain a few soldiers, Lebanon and Gaza can be incinerated.
In exercising the 'right to defend itself', Israel reserves the
privilege to indiscriminately carpet bomb South Lebanon with guided
missiles and cluster bombs. And America gets to replenish Israel's
The newest Israeli rule is that all the fighting, killing, abductions
and mass destruction can only take place in designated 'Arab' areas.
The Israeli army can murder, maim and terrorize anyone on the other
side of the Green Line or the Blue Line. In fact, they can cross any
red line they want and commit any war crime that satiates their
appetite for brutalizing their subjects. And to engrave that rule in
stone, Tel Aviv has secured a permanent American license to use
collective punishment measures up to and extending to starvation and
the systematic destruction of vital infrastructure. Any resistance to
Israeli unilateral measures is considered the work of terrorists. Any
As for the United Nations and 'Coffin' Annan, they have become nothing
more than an annex of the State Department. Following in the footsteps
of his son, Annan is not the kind of man to refuse a lucrative offer
like killing the investigation of how his first born looted Iraqi oil
revenues. He has presided over the gutting of the world organization
to the point where the UN is now merely another tool of convenience in
the arsenal of the Bush administration.
To their credit, some European nations notably France and Italy
have used their limited influence to bring the hostilities in Lebanon
to an end. But, the Bush administration had no problem circumventing
these efforts. For an American politician, Israel is more important
than the entire continent of Europe.
Moving on to Egypt - a country that no longer matters. Does it really
make a difference that 99% of Egyptians are against the war in Iraq
and the fire bombing of South Lebanon? The Egyptian government granted
a tacit endorsement of Israeli aggression against Lebanon. Both Hamas
and Hezbollah are seen as extensions of the Muslim Brotherhood the
only real domestic opposition to the Mubarak regime. As they say in
this corner of the planet, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
As always, the real Arab elephant in the room is the House of El Saud
and its allies in the surrounding oil sheikdoms. Why exactly did the
influential Gulf monarchs decide to cast their lot with Tel Aviv? Here
we are at peak oil. Petro dollars are flowing by the tens of billions
into Gulf coffers. And Saudi Arabia drops its last fig leaf and
demonstrates to one and all that it has struck an alliance of
convenience with Israel and given the Israeli war machine a green
light to ravage Arabs in Lebanon and Gaza.
On the face of it, it doesn't make much sense. The one Arab country
that has the leverage to shelter the region from American-financed
Israeli mass murder decides to publicly turn on its own people. And
King Abdallah has announced that he will pick up the bill for some of
the damage inflicted by the Israeli bombings. Israelis bomb. Saudis
pay. Such a deal. Unfortunately, for all their wealth, the Saudis have
yet to perfect a way to bring back the dead or reattach missing
Lebanese limbs. For the Saudis, the Lebanese and Palestinians are
'throw away' people. All this nonsense about Arab solidarity is merely
a circus act to shore up the legitimacy of the kleptocrats in the Gulf.
We may never know the precise nature of the secret Saudi agreements
with the United States and Israel. In this case, the Saudis probably
signed on to fight a proxy war with Iran which is seen as the
sponsor of Hezbollah. The Saudis are experts at proxy wars having
supported and financed Saddam's war against Iran a conflict that
lasted eight long years and cost a million lives on both sides. They
participated with gusto in the systematic decimation of the secular
Arab national movement. It's no secret that the Saudi monarchy was
elated at the outcome of the six-day war hoping it would bring down
Nasser's regime. And the Kingdom's role in the first and second Gulf
war is a matter of public record.
Still, it's worth taking a guess as to why the oil monarchies went
public with their support for Israel's plan to bomb Lebanon into
rubble. Perhaps the Bush administration promised to dampen the
influence of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq. Can it be a mere
coincidence that Washington is suddenly increasing its troop levels in
Baghdad and taking on Moqtada Sadr's militias? Did the Saudis strike a
bargain to increase Israeli influence in Lebanon in exchange for a
decrease of Iranian influence in Iraq?
Any proxy war against the government in Tehran always finds ready
support on the Arab side of the Gulf. As administration insiders have
already hinted, 'the new Middle East' will revolve around Saudi
leadership of the Arab camp with a supporting cast that includes Egypt
It's doesn't seem to matter that the Saudi regime is not exactly a
brilliant model of democratic evolution in the region. It matters even
less that Israeli guns are now battering the two most democratic
governments in the Arab Middle East the popularly-elected leaders of
Lebanon and the Palestinian authority. All Bush's talk of democracy is
nothing but a marketing campaign for domestic American consumption.
The Arab intellectuals taken in by this neo-con ruse need to start
taking commonsense supplements on a regular basis.
To harness this moment of clarity, it is essential to understand that
America's invasion of Iraq needs to be divorced from the Likudnik
fantasies of reshuffling the Levant to suit Israel's expansionist
whims. At the end of the day, America's military entanglements in the
Gulf are a service performed for the richest families in the history
of the world. Far from supporting democracy, the grunts in Iraq are
there as a mercenary expedition to protect the absolute monarchs who
act as custodians of the oil plantations. When it comes to wagging the
tail of the American dog, Saudi Arabia and the Israelis get equal
Saudi Arabia and their Gulf allies are major partners in
American-Israeli ventures. Most astute observers know that King
Abdallah can permanently end all foreign military adventures in the
region without firing a single shot. Every last American soldier would
be home for Christmas if the oil sheikdoms stopped taking dollars in
exchange for their oil. No oil cut off is required. If the Arabs just
stopped accepting American currency the dramatic effect on world
economies would lead to major realignments that neutralized American
influence in the region. The economic rationale for the American
Empire would dissipate into thin air. Washington would pressure Israel
to implement resolution 242 in the same manner that it is squeezing
Lebanon to implement resolution 1559.
Of course, King Abdallah and his ruling clan are fully aware of this.
While they feign impotence, they retain immense leverage over
developments in the region. It's not about their lack of ability to
influence events in Lebanon. Rather, it is because the Saudis have
other priorities like smuggling oil revenues denominated in
petro-dollars to American and European capital markets.
The business of the House of Saud is money laundering on an epic
scale.The business of America is currency exporting. Together, the
Saudis and Americans impose the dollar as an international currency
that accounts for eighty per cent of all international transactions.
This allows the United States the luxury of running huge trade
deficits by obliging other countries to maintain huge reserves of the
only currency the Saudis accept in exchange for their black gold the
The Saudi support for the devastating Israeli assaults on Lebanon and
Gaza is nothing more than a political transaction to maintain their
lucrative money-laundering franchise. Lebanese and Palestinian
civilians need to understand that this is not personal. It's just the
way the Saudis do business.
For years, Saudi sponsored media outlets have propagated an image of a
benevolent regime that defends the faithful against foreign crusaders.
Most recently, the Saudis regime took a high profile role in
confronting the insolent Danish publication that insulted the prophet.
They went so far as to recall their ambassador. But here we are a
few short months later and the Saudis are making nice with the
American-financed Israeli campaign to dismantle Lebanon and enforce
the "Condi/Weisglass" accord the secret agreement that will allow
Olmert's government to annex half of the West Bank.
The key to Arab salvation is in passive resistance to American-Israeli
designs on the region. Unfortunately, that key is locked away in the
House of Saud. All Arab intellectuals need to harness their efforts to
open a public debate to help explain why the Saudis are feigning
impotence while Lebanon and Gaza are being mercilessly torched.
To effect a full disclosure of Saudi rationales for supporting the
invasion of Iraq and Lebanon, we need to understand and propagate the
nature of the American imperial project in the Gulf and the full
extent of the Saudi money-laundering racket.
Once the average citizen in the Middle East and the US understands
that this is a war to protect the almighty dollar we can call on
people of good will around the world to dump that blood soaked
currency. The onus will then fall on the House of Saud to explain why
they will not participate in a straightforward dollar boycott to
defend their 'Arab brothers.'
Of course, Arab intellectuals can always revert to their old habits of
taking inventory of how many innocent women and children are being
slaughtered. They can continue to document the vicious destruction of
infrastructure and make a fuss about collective punishment and
American double standards. There will still be those Arab-Americans
who will continue to bang their heads on the wall and waste endless
efforts in letter-writing campaigns to convince a single senator that
Palestinians and Lebanese are part of the human race.
Forget all that. George Bush doesn't care about Arabs unless they
have deep Saudi pockets. It's a waste of time to appeal to
non-existent American compassion. And it's a pipe dream to expect a
sudden moral awakening among the policy makers in Washington. You can
parcel post a dismembered Lebanese or Palestinian child to the homes
of every Senator in Washington and still be met with a blank stare.
One of the qualifications for career advancement at the State
Department is to demonstrate complete indifference to the death and
mutilation of innocent Arabs. That's just the way America is, and
Arabs especially Arab-Americans should stop deluding themselves
about what makes Washington tick.
So, what to do now that all the fig leaves have fallen? Gather them
and burn them with the dollar.
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