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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Saudi lobby

There's been a lot of talk lately about what is deemed in some circles to be the disproportionate power of the 'Israel lobby.' That power pales - on an absolute and certainly on a proportionate basis - when one discusses the power of the Saudi lobby.
That there is a Jewish lobby in America concerned with the well-being of Israel is a silly question. It is insane to ask whether the 6 million American Jews should be concerned about the 6 million Israeli Jews, particularly in view of the massacre of another 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. It's elementary, my dear Watson: Any people who do not care for their own are not worthy of concern.

And what the Israel lobby does is what all ethnic lobbies — Greek, Armenian, Latvian, Irish, Cuban, and others — do in this democracy. It is a natural outgrowth of the melting pot that makes this country what it is and helps to provide us with a bridge to our origins.

What everyone has missed is that all these ethnic lobbies have been built from the bottom up, with but a single exception, a sinister lobby that works from the top down: the American lobby for Saudi Arabia.

Maybe now several more books could look into how such a huge lobby exists, even though, unlike the other communities that lobby, there are hardly any Saudi-Americans. Yet we have a lobby composed of American businessmen, oilmen, and academics — as well as Arab-Americans from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere — all borrowed, hijacked, and, indeed, bribed into filling a void.

To be sure, maybe a handful of Saudis have dual citizenship, but a genuine lobby they do not make. But the noise made on Capitol Hill, in the Pentagon, and inside the White House on behalf of the desert kingdom can be deafening. If Saudi Arabia wants American arms, Saudi Arabia gets arms; if Saudi Arabia cries foul over the bin Laden flock being stuck here the day after their next of kin blew up the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, President Bush lets all 50 of them out, no questions asked. What gives?

The mighty Saudi lobby is made up of concentric circles that emanate from a Saudi Embassy in Washington that acts as a checking account. The dollars flow to Saudi-funded mosques and theological enterprises, to America's academic institutions, which are panting for Saudi dollars, to the American oil and arms industries, and to Arab-Americans in need. Whether those communities of interest have any familial, social, or immigrant ties to Saudi Arabia is totally beside the point. This is how a lobby is built from the top down.
Don't hold your breath waiting for Professors Walt and Mearsheimer to write a book about the Saudi lobby. The royal family isn't going to pay for books to be written about them.


At 3:08 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Saudi has political power here and is also buying up land all over the United States.

The situation is going to reach a breaking point--at least, I hope so. Otherwise, the United States is going to become a satellite nation of Saudi.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I drive a hybrid camry. Have hybrids caught on in Israel?

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

It's alarming, the amount of influence and power the Saudis have bought in the US.

And disgusting, the number of Americans who've sold themselves (and America) out to the Saudis.


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