The hulking image of Richard Armitage, the Under Secretary of State, sitting in the opulent throne room with Crown Prince Abdullah, the top towel head, and another member of the Saudi royal family, following the recent bomb attack in Riyadh that left at least seventeen dead, assuring them that America would stand with them against terrorism, gives one cause for concern. There is Bush, preaching to the Arab world that it should adopt western-style democracy, while he sends his most belligerent envoy to prop up the most despised, oppressive regime in the world.
Former ambassador Richard Holbrook, speaking recently at a Rotary Club luncheon in New York, told his startled audience that if the inhabitants of Saudi Arabia could get their hands on the royal family, they would "slit their throats." I’m sure he’s right. But, once again, demented Uncle Sam has thrown his lot in with a pack of hated losers who are all but toast. From Haile Selassie in Ethiopia to Diem in South Vietnam to the Shah of Iran, the US of A sure knows how to pick them.
You have to wonder why. Maybe it’s because they are stuck with a bad business model. When you have poured so much money into an enterprise, you have a hard time knowing when to call it quits. The Bush family has close ties to the Saudi royal family. Bush pere, Bush the First, works for the Carlyle Group, which has had serious business ties to Saudi Arabia. This is not just protecting a dubious ally; it’s protecting a business investment with the taxpayers’ money. The Saudi royals have invested heavily in the American stock market and suck up the Treasury notes that allow Bush to sustain his monstrous deficits, so their existence makes America’s existence possible. Throw in the cheap oil, and you’ve got the picture.
This is a Faustian bargain in which America guarantees the survival of a pack of disgusting thieves in exchange for their economic support. If the militants toss them out, it’s curtains for us. The price of oil will soar, the Treasury notes will go unpurchased, and the revolution will sweep through the Middle East, knocking off the equally revolting Al Sabah in Kuwait, the parasitic House of Hashem in Jordan, the host of potentates who rule the oil rich mini-states of the Gulf, and finally, the big enchilada, Mubarak of Egypt, a corrupt tyrant who is as loathed and as loathsome as the Saudis.
How stupid can you get to permit the Armitage-Abdullah photo op.? If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one tells the whole story of American empire and its serfs. If you were an unemployed, poverty stricken Saudi, that picture would motivate you to do just one thing — join up with Al Queda.
When the Fat, Dumb Towel Heads pack their bags and flee to be closer to their Swiss bank accounts, and the price of oil soars by virtue of the crackpot Islamic militants who will seize control, watch the stock of Toyotau2014with its wonderful hybrid — soar. Everyone will run out and buy Japanese cars and the protectionists will cry foul. Bush will call a press conference to denounce the revolutionaries in Riyadh as "evil incarnate," and will call for $200 billion more in military spending. But who will be left to buy the paper to finance the debt?
The Incredible Hulk once said that America had a right to keep its troops in Saudi Arabia because Americans were a "people of the book." The Fat Stupid Towel Head told him that after America knocked off Saddam Hussein, he wanted U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia. The Wolf Man then spilled the beans after the war, in an off-hand comment during an interview with Vanity Fair. He said the reason for the war was to get rid of Saddam Hussein so America could pull its troops out of Saudi Arabia, to eliminate a major irritant in the Islamic world. So what happened? With American troops bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, Al Queda made its move to overthrow the House of Saud, by blowing up Riyadh, bit by bit. Once they have frightened all the foreigners into fleeing, there will be no one left to run the oil industry, because the House of Saud has created a nation of badly educated incompetents. That’s when the house of cards collapses.
The Incredible Hulk will fly back to Washington to tell the Incredible Shrinking President that he is going to have to give serious thought to invading Saudi Arabia to restore the monarchy lest there be a replay of what happened in Iran. The Incredible Shrinking President will ask the Hulk where he will get the troops.
"Did you say a draft? I’ll go close the window."
"I don’t think you caught my drift," The Hulk says.
"Yeah, I think you caught a draft. You need a hot drink. Boy, things are goin’ great guns in Iraq."
"Mr. President, I somehow don’t think democracy is in the cards."
"Hell, that’s why we got into that war."
"The bad news is that the entire Middle East is in flames," the Hulk tells him. "The good news is there’s tons of money to be made rebuilding it."
"Call Cheney and put him on it."
"Right, Mr. President. They’ll invite us in to do it because we’re the people of the book."
"Now what book is that your talkin’ about? Is it something Laura might have read?"
Richard Cummings [send him mail] taught international law at the Haile Selassie I University and before that, was Attorney-Advisor with the Office of General Counsel of the Near East South Asia region of U.S.A.I.D, where he was responsible for the legal work pertaining to the aid program in Israel, Jordan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is the author of a new novel, The Immortalists, as well as The Pied Piper — Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream, and the comedy, Soccer Moms From Hell. He holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University and is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is writing a new book, The Road To Baghdad — The Money Trail Behind The War In Iraq.