I often wonder how Bush justifies his reflexive obedience to the will of the Saudis. My new theory, after reading this is that it might be a good thing. After just a few more years of Wal Mart helping the masses send all America’s jobs–and money–to China, we will have to be even more accomodating to China than Bush currently is to the Saudis. We don’t want it to be too much of a shock, now do we? [Cue new national anthem, Pets by Porno for Pyros.]
Even by those standards, though, Bush’s praise for a recent “anti-terrorism” conference help by the Saudis is stunning:
President Bush earlier this month dispatched top White House official Frances Fragos Townsend to head an official U.S. delegation attending an “anti-terrorism” conference in Saudi Arabia — a conference that aired vile anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist canards. Saudi Cleric Aed Al-Qarni noted at the conference that “The first to kill and use terrorism in the world were the Jews,” according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI); the cleric went on to describe September 11th as “an American terror attack.”
According to White House press secretary Scott McClellan, President Bush spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah on February 14th and “complimented the Crown Prince on last week’s successful counter-terrorism conference in Saudi Arabia.”
In addition to the American delegation led by Townsend, who serves as President Bush’s Homeland Security Advisor with the rank of Assistant to the President, the conference included participation from nations including Iran, Syria and Sudan — all state sponsors of terrorism, according to the Department of State. Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ) first warned President Bush to avoid the conference in a February 4th letter to Bush.
Throughout and surrounding the conference, various Saudi clerics noted that “Jews and the Christians are Allah’s enemies,” and that Jihad — including attacks by insurgents in Iraq — is appropriate. In a poem read before Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan, it was noted that Osama bin Laden “was sent by the Jews.”
Isn’t it great to know that a president who thinks the Kyoto Treaty and the World Court aren’t appropriate fora for US participation agreed to participate in an event like this? Once again: What if Clinton had done it?