Commentary Magazine


House of Hope, House of Saud

It is surreal now to recall the myriad conspiracy theories so fashionable in America during the George W. Bush presidency. Peddlers of convoluted fantasies (which populated best-seller lists) tying together Halliburton, Bush Sr., Yale, 9/11, Harken Energy, an Afghan pipeline, the CIA., Osama bin Laden, and Iraq make today’s birthers look like a sober team of focused researchers readying a project for peer review.

An entire cottage industry sprung up around dark insinuations concerning the Bushes and the Saudi royals. In 2004, Michael Moore produced his top-grossing Fahrenheit 9/11, premised largely on the charge that the U.S. would not stand up to Saudi extremism because the royal family bought the Bushes’ loyalty for $1.4 billion dollars.

If that’s true, just imagine what King Abdullah must have paid for the Obama clan. According to David Keyes, at the Daily Beast, “the Obama administration seems to be outdoing Bush-era policies in Saudi Arabia, much to the disappointment of human-rights and women’s groups.” He explains:

President Obama missed a golden opportunity to talk about women’s rights with King Abdullah in late June at the White House, said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. “It’s disappointing that President Obama didn’t raise women’s rights when he met with  the Saudi king,” she said in an email from the Middle East.

Instead, Obama praised the dictator’s “wisdom and insights” and thanked him for his “good counsel.” Among the many issues discussed between the two leaders were combating extremism, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, the peace process, Palestinian statehood, the global economic recovery, people-to-people contacts, educational programs, and commercial ties. Left out was the single most important issue: human rights.

This is to say nothing of the upcoming Obama-approved deal to sell Saudi Arabia $30 billion in arms. I’m sure the books and movies exposing the whole sordid ruse will be rolling out any day now.

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