looked like it was going to be Syria: Baghdad had no sooner
fallen, you'll remember, when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
in the direction of Damascus. Colin Powell's powwow with
Syrian President Bashar Assad cut
the War Party off at the pass, however, and the focus
soon shifted elsewhere: when an American compound in Riyadh
by suicide bombers, the hate
campaign against the House of Saud resumed with renewed
Rosenthal, writing in the New York Daily News,
accused the Saudis of bombing
is long past time we said so: The central guilty party in
this week's massacre in Saudi Arabia and many that
took place in other countries is painfully easy to
identify, but almost never is. He is Crown Prince Abdullah,
the ruler of Saudi Arabia."
proof? Rosenthal is above proof. The whole idea behind the
current campaign to defame Prince
Abdullah and his country is to put the Saudis on a level
where no proof is required. Unburdened by any facts, one has
merely to make assertions, as Rosenthal's does, the more lurid
the crown prince's monarchical dictatorship, he and his vast
family gave at least a half-billion dollars, probably more,
to Al Qaeda, ….The crown prince has given Al Qaeda not just
money, but armor, training and safe haven. He has lied repeatedly
about his intent to fight terrorism. And he has ignored warnings
about imminent terrorist attacks, including the latest one
in Saudi Arabia."
does Rosenthal know any of this? Sources, quotes, evidence
– all of that goes out the window where this former
executive editor of the New York Times is concerned.
should either put up or shut up. If he has any evidence that
the Crown Prince personally aided and abetted Al Qaeda's terrorist
campaign, why doesn't he come out with it? Because he's too
busy venting about the Saudis' textbooks, their intolerance,
and, of course, their anti-Semitism. The latest outrage: a
sign put up in toy shops by the volunteer Saudi religious
police that "Barbie
Doll is Jewish." Disgusting, in a weird off-the-wall
way, but what has any of this got to do with Abdullah's alleged
personal responsibility for 9/11? Rosenthal calls the Crown
Prince a mass murderer, and then blithely goes on to pour
out enough vitriol to give his readers an acute case of acid
Prince Abdullah has at least three mouths for dealing with
diplomats. No. 1 is the good-guy mouth. No. 2 is for replying
to foreigners who have come looking for oil and military contracts.
No. 3 is for promising again that one day he will take real
action against the terrorists. I doubt there is a diplomat
in the country who believes a word from any of the mouths."
more lie," he screeches at the Saudis, "and it's
three strikes, if you get my drift." Yeah, Abe, we get
your drift, alright. As if anyone could possibly avoid it.
many mouths does Rosenthal have? He only needs one, albeit
a big one, because his braying is relentlessly consistent:
War! War! War!
is a strange anomaly in Rosenthal's argument, however, because
his basic thesis – that the Crown Prince is in league with
Osama bin Laden – contradicts the demand for "real action."
Against whom – himself?
it is a mistake to look for logic in Rosenthal's screed: it
is an exercise in pure defamation, a mud-ball launched by
if, shortly after 9/11, someone had gone on television and
said that the President of the United States was behind the
worst terrorist attack in our history? It's unthinkable. Indeed,
there are people who believe that, but since their
tinfoil hats make
too much of a glare on television one rarely sees them on
the Sunday talk show circuit. Yet the networks think nothing
Stephen Schwartz, a.k.a. Comrade
Sandalio, a.k.a. Suleyman
Ahmad, the ex-Trotskyist
whom one wag called "the
philosophical whore of North Beach," now marketing
himself as the world's leading Saudi-phobe:
Hume: "So, what should the U.S. policy be? How do you
deal with this?"
"From 9/11 on it was necessary, and it's still necessary,
for our president to do three things. First of all, tell Saudi
we have to have a complete accounting of this. We have to
know who in the Saudi government supports these actions, who
in the Saudi government made 9/11 and made these most recent
"You think do you think the people in the Saudi government
made 9/11 happen?"
"Let's put it this way they didn't order it, but they
didn't stop it."
"Could they have, in your view?"
"This is the most powerful police state, and most repressive
police state in the world."
"Boy, it couldn't stop that terrorist attack, though,
Schwartz. Clearly flustered by this confrontation with the
essential absurdity of his conspiracy theory, he retreated
into the self-referential hall of mirrors that is the monomaniac's
that's because when a powerful bombing conspiracy takes place
in the most repressive
police state in the world, it's because somebody in the government
is asking … acquiescing
is the same song the "Bush
knew" crowd is
singing, only in
a different key. Challenged to justify a premise that
seems counter-intuitive, to say the least, they aver that
when a powerful bombing conspiracy takes place in the country
with the most well-funded, extensive, and powerful law enforcement
and intelligence apparatus in the world, it's because somebody
in the U.S. government is acquiescing to it.
knew! Abdullah knew! They all knew! Where does it end?
Schwartz-Rosenthal school of character assassination is working
overtime, these days, but they are rendered largely ineffective
by their own kookiness. Of course, none of these people have
any evidence for their fantastic assertions: they have an
agenda, and that's about it. And the top item on their agenda
is more war in the Middle East: against the Saudis, the Syrians,
the Iranians, take your pick.
is in the hot
seat. Unable to find either weapons
of mass destruction or an Al
Qaeda connection in conquered Iraq, the administration
turns its gaze eastward, where it espies both: Iran stands
accused of harboring
Al Qaeda leaders and developing
nuclear weapons. And it just so happens that, as The
budding coalition of conservative hawks, Jewish organizations
and Iranian monarchists is pressing the White House to step
up American efforts to bring about regime change in Iran."
monarchists, eh? Now that's the way to bring "reform"
to the Middle East – bring back the Pahlavis!
Iran, today, has an elected
President, the popular reformist
Khatami. Leave it to the neocons to call for the return
of the hated U.S.-backed dynasty – in the name of spreading
a sane world, such people would address an audience numbering
in the dozens; in our post-9/11 Bizarro
World, where up is down and cranks are seers, they hector
us ceaselessly over network television and from the op ed
pages of the nation's newspapers.
Please Support Antiwar.com
520 S. Murphy Avenue, #202
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
or Contribute Via our Secure
Credit Card Donation Form
Your contributions are