Commentary Magazine


Where’s the Outrage about Saudi Arabia?

Whew, what a relief to no longer have a president so intimately tied to the Saudi royal family. Thanks to a whole cottage industry of New York Times bestsellers like Craig Unger’s House of Bush, House of Saud and hit movies like Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, the nefarious relationship between “the world’s two most powerful dynasties” was exposed.

All Americans had to do was trace the simple line that went from Riyadh to the Carlyle Group to Harken Energy to Halliburton to Dick Cheney to the Texas Commerce Bank to James Baker’s law firm to Chevron to Condoleezza Rice to Prince Bandar to George H. W. Bush to George W. Bush. And, boy, did the Saudis get their money’s worth! What with the U.S. invading Saudi Arabia’s neighbor against the royal family’s wishes and with George W. Bush pulling closer to Israel than any previous American president, we were practically a territory of the Kingdom itself during the Bush years.

Surely, now that we’re empowered to recognize a Saudi-controlled White House, people like Craig Unger and Michael Moore will have no problem rallying their fans, through more books and films, to reject President Obama’s suspicious obsequiousness toward the Saudis: Obama gave his first official interview as president to the partially Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network. During that interview, he singled out Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah for his “great courage.” Obama has since selected as head of the National Intelligence Council a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia named Chas Freeman. Freeman has acknowledged the “generosity of Crown Prince Abdullah” in helping him in such endeavors as peddling a Saudi textbook full of nasty lies about Israel.

It will be interesting to see intrepid journalists and media mavens hot on the case of  the Obama-Saudi connection.