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House of Saud and U.S. Policy
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House of Saud and U.S. Policy,  two books thereon and supporting materials.

 

House of Bush, House of Saud:  The Secret Relationship Between the World’s two most Powerful Dynasties, by Craig Unger, 2004

 

Secrets of the Kingdom:  The Inside Story of Saudi-U.S. Connection, by Gerald Posner, Tanter Media Inc., 2005.

 

 

There are two important books, which illuminate the complex relationships of the house of Saud with the people they rule, their relationship with fundamentalism, the relationship to the house of Bush and to the U.S. political scene, and the behavior of the extended royal family.  Both books let the facts do the talking and produce the conclusions.   

 

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The House of Bush, the House of Saud:

First of significant themes is the inability of the Bush dynasty to respond as “forcefully” as the Democratic Presidents to their terrorists, whom I will more accurately hereafter label Jihadist, for they are on a holey mission.  The financial relationship to the Bush family plus their personal ties has given the House of Saud special status. The Bush record of inaction illustrates the difference between what they say and what they do.  Failing to gauge the effects of stationing U.S. troops for 10 years on their sacred soil during and after the liberation of Kuwait has made the U.S. their principle target.  The present Iraq war has to the majority of Arabs made the U.S. the evil empire to them.  But because of petro dollars and the Bush family ties to the house of Saud, the U.S. has attacked the greatest threat to the house of Saud, rather than the Wahhab fundamentalist who are responsible for not just 911, but also the explosion on the U.S. destroyer Cole, and the bombing of a U.S. embassy in Africa.  Also developed is how these fundamentalists with our help supported the anti-soviet revolution in Afghanistan view the U.S. and its secularism.  Rather than disband, they went after the second evil empire the U.S. presence.   

Secrets of the Kingdom: The themes developed in Unger’s book are reinforced in Posner’s book and expanded.  First of significant themes is the influence of Wahhabism upon the political and social policies of the house of Saud.  This includes the effects of the U.S. military presences in Saud following the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, the Sauds opposition to Israel, the Wahhab position on Israel and the U.S. support of Israel, and the house of Saud’s covert support of the Wahhab fundamentalist freedom fighters (whom have been mislabel terrorists).  The second major theme of this book is that of how the extended house of Saud views the resources of their nation as their own private reserve.  Finally, and very troubling is how the house of Saud perceives the threat of foreign invasion and internal unrest and the steps they have taken to secure their rule. 

 

This theme and their response could have the dire consequences for the world.   California Skeptics has written about various threats whose consequences are disproportionate to costs of preventative treatment.  Among them would be a bird flue epidemic, the energy crunch, and the economic panic engendered by the U.S. foreign debt—which is currently as a percentage of the GDP higher than those of the last major defaults, Argentina, Mexico, and South East Asia.  Destruction of the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia must be added to this list.  The house of Saud has set up a system of hidden explosives remotely controlled by which they could blow up all their major oil facilities and contaminate most with radiation, including their oil reserves in the ground. Given their disregard for the well being of their people, the use of this system explosive system if their power would be toppled is a likely possibility.  Given their proportion of the world’s oil reserves (about 25%), this would very likely produce a depression like that of the 1930s.  The complex conditions and the mindset of the house of Saud that lead to the building of this system of remote explosives is skillfully developed in Posner’s book. 

 

The themes developed in these books reveal the politics of the house of Saud and the U.S. relationship thereto.  A relationship to which neither the Republicans or the Democrats will undo.  

 

 

 

Review of the House of Bush, the House of Saud:

From Publishers Weekly:
In this potentially explosive book, investigative journalist Unger, who has written for the New Yorker, Esquire and Vanity Fair, pieces together the highly unusual and close personal and financial relationships between the Bush family and the ruling family of Saudi Arabia—and questions the implications for Bush's preparedness, or possible lack thereof, for September 11. What could forge such an unlikely alliance between the leader of the free world and the leaders of a stifling Islamic theocracy? First and foremost, according to Unger, is money. He compiles figures in an appendix indicating over $1.4 billion worth of business between the Saudi royal family and businesses tied (sometimes loosely) to the House of Bush, ranging from donations to the Bush presidential library to investments with the Carlyle Group ("a well-known player in global commerce" for which George H.W. Bush has been a senior advisor and his secretary of state, James Baker, is a partner), to deals with Halliburton, of which Dick Cheney was CEO. James Baker’s law firm even defended the House of Saud in a lawsuit brought by relatives of victims of September 11. Unger also questions whether the Bush grew so complacent about the Saudis that his administration ignored then White House terrorism czar Richard Clarke’s repeated warnings and recommendations about the Saudis and al-Qaeda. Another question raised by Unger’s research is whether millions in Saudi money given to U.S. Muslim groups may have delivered a crucial block of Muslim votes to George W. Bush in 2000—and it’s questions like that will make some readers wonder whether Unger is applying a chainsaw to issues that should be dissected with a scalpel. But whether one buys Unger’s arguments or not, there’s little doubt that with this intensely researched, well-written book he has poured more flame onto the political fires of 2004.
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Amazon Review:
The perilous ramifications of the September 11 attacks on the
United States are only now beginning to unfold. They will undoubtedly be felt for generations to come. This is one of many sad conclusions readers will draw from Craig Unger's exceptional book House of Bush House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties. As Unger claims in this incisive study, the seeds for the "Age of Terrorism" and September 11 were planted nearly 30 years ago in what, at the time, appeared to be savvy business transactions that subsequently translated into political currency and the union between the Saudi royal family and the extended political family of George H. W. Bush. On the surface, the claim may appear to be politically driven, but as Unger (a respected investigative journalist and editor) probes--with scores of documents and sources--the political tenor of the U.S. over the last 30 years, the Iran-Iraq War, the war in Afghanistan, the birth of Al Qaeda, the dubious connection between members of the Saudi Royal family and the exportation of terror, and the personal fortunes amassed by the Bush family from companies such as Harken Energy and the Carlyle Group, he exposes the "brilliantly hidden agendas and purposefully murky corporate relationships" between these astonishingly powerful families. His evidence is persuasive and reveals a devastating story of Orwellian proportions, replete with political deception, shifting allegiances, and lethal global consequences. Unger begins his book with the remarkable story of the repatriation of 140 Saudis directly following the September 11 attacks. He ends where Richard A. Clarke begins, questioning the efficacy of the war in Iraq in the battle against terrorism. We are unquestionably facing a global security crisis unlike any before. President Bush insists that we will prevail, yet as Unger so effectively concludes, "Never before has an American president been so closely tied to a foreign power that harbors and supports our country's mortal enemies." --Silvana Tropea, in Amazon.com review. 

 

Posner’s book was not similarly reviewed.

 

From Wikipedia.org on the life of ibn Abd-al-Wahhab (1703-1792)

During his life, Muhammed Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab forged a pact with Najd chieftain Muhammad bin Saud, ensuring that regions conquered by the Saudi tribe would be ruled according to Ibn 'Abd Al-Wahhab's peculiar teachings on Islam. Bin Saud and his heirs would spend the next 140 years mounting various military campaigns to seize control of Arabia and its outlying regions. The most successful of these would establish the present-day Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, providing the Wahhabi movement with a state. Vast wealth from oil discovered in the following decades, coupled with Saudi - and thus Wahhabi - control of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, have since fueled Wahhabi missionary activity.

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