Monday, July 4, 2005

Thank You, America

The Middle East Media Research Institute has the translation of a column written by a Saudi named Muhammed al-Sheikh. The essay appeared June 18th in the Saudi daily al-Jazirah and was titled Thank You America:

"What have the Arabs given us Saudis in comparison to what we have gained from our relations with America? I know very well that this is an extremely sensitive issue that many would hesitate to address; they are restrained by a culture of fear that prevents them from confronting controversial and sensitive issues head-on.

"The late King Abdul Aziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, was a resourceful and far-sighted statesman when he chose the Americans rather than the British to come and search for oil in the Kingdom. He did so despite Britain at the time being an important force in the region, with its colonies and dependencies surrounding the infant kingdom. The politics of the time plus the colonial legacies of both Britain and France made King Abdul Aziz distance himself from them and look to the New World.

"Not long after the Americans and their expertise arrived, oil was gushing from beneath the desert sands and the development of the modern Saudi state began.

"Following World War II, the Arab countries had to choose between the two different world systems - communism or capitalism. King Abdul Aziz chose capitalism, the West, and America in particular. Thanks to this relationship that has lasted for more than six decades, we Saudis were able to invest oil revenues in building our country. King Abdul Aziz laid the foundations for a consistent Saudi foreign policy that held the Kingdom's interests above other considerations.

"These are the reasons why the Kingdom flourished while other countries went down or teetered on the verge of collapsing. Those countries bet on the wrong horse and did not realize that survival lies in economic development and modernization. They chose to confine themselves in a cocoon and remain isolated from the rest of the world, blinded by the illusions of nationalism and other false ideologies. It was indeed very strange to hear those fragile regimes labeling themselves progressive while calling us reactionary.

"We must admit that our relations with America were the cornerstone for our development and progress. In return, we must ask what we have gained from our relations with the Arab world. Speaking frankly and unequivocally, all we got from them was trouble. Our brothers, as they call themselves, conspired against us, attacked us, and used all the means at their disposal to derail our plans for unity.

"History has proven that Arab nationalism is a destructive ideology. We, the Saudis, must set our priorities and carefully read history to extract its lessons while at the same time endeavoring to build something new that does not take anything for granted - as has been the case in the past - but that thoroughly debates and analyzes everything. We must rely on an ideology that treats the national interests of this country as the top priority."

A few more columns like this and the Democrats are going to have to find themselves another myth to substitute for the one about how Americans are despised throughout the Middle East because of our interference in Muslim lands.

Red and Blue Litmus

For years the Democrats insisted that any so-called "litmus test" for Supreme Court nominees was unfair and inappropriate. That was then, this is now:

Democrats called for a deliberate review of any nominee and pledged to press the eventual candidate on issues including abortion and same-sex marriage, while Republicans declared that such specific inquiries were out of line. "All questions are legitimate," Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, a Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview. "What is your view on Roe v. Wade? What is your view on gay marriage? They are going to try to get away with the idea that we're not going to know their views. But that's not going to work this time."

Senator Ted Kennedy threatened that if the President abuses his power and nominates someone out of the mainstream of American opinion he will oppose the nominee. Sen. Kennedy is not known for his sagacity or clarity of thought, but this is remarkable even for him.

How is it an abuse of power for the President to exercise his constitutional prerogative to nominate anyone he wishes to the Supreme Court? If the candidate is unqualified the Senate can refuse to confirm him or her, but it's just goofy to call a nomination an "abuse" of power. And what constitutes being "out of the mainstream," anyway? Is anyone to Mr. Kennedy's right out of the mainstream? Would Justices Thomas, Scalia, or Rehnquist be out of the American mainstream? Why would a conservative of their stripe be regarded as extreme but former ACLU attorney Ruth Bader Ginsburg be acceptable?

But then such questions are idle. Senators Kennedy and Schumer are not interested in rational discussion nor argument. They are interested in imposing their ideological will on the nation through the decisions of the Supreme Court. So, we hope, is Bush. The difference is that Bush has the constitutional right to do it, and the Senators have no right to stop him unless they can muster a majority who feel as they do. All their talk of abuses and mainstreams is so much smoke designed to obscure the fact that their opposition to the president's choices is not at all about qualifications, it's about ideology.

The Big Lie

The Left hyperventilates every time President Bush connects 9/11 to the War on Terror and the WOT to Iraq. They just can't bring themselves to believe that Islamic terrorists like al Qaida and more secular terrorists like Saddam Hussein might actually cooperate. Any claim that they do is regarded by them as another one of Bush's multitudinous lies. They point animatedly at the 9/11 Commission report's finding that no link has been found between Saddam and 9/11 as if that were all the proof they needed that no linkage exists between Saddam and al Qaida.

Melanie Phillips has collated the evidence, however, and as happens with clock-like regularity, it turns out that the President's critics have to simply ignore a mountain of fact in order to maintain that there was no connection between Iraq and al Qaida. Here's one significant example of the many she discusses:

The Sunday Telegraph's Con Coughlin, Saddam's biographer, got hold of a top secret memo made available by Iraq's interim government which explicitly linked Saddam's regime to Mohammed Atta, the terrorist mastermind behind 9/11, and the Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. Written to Saddam by the former head of Iraq's intelligence service, it contained the following incendiary passage:

'Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian national, came with Abu Ammer (an Arabic nom-de-guerre - his real identity is unknown) and we hosted him in Abu Nidal's house at al-Dora under our direct supervision. We arranged a work programme for him for three days with a team dedicated to working with him . . . He displayed extraordinary effort and showed a firm commitment to lead the team which will be responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy'.

Note the date: July 1 2001. Note the phrases 'the targets that we have agreed to destroy' and 'under our direct supervision'.

There's much more information like this at her site. Of course, it's not proof, but then nothing would constitute proof for the Left. Even if Hussein admitted that he personally financed the 9/11 operation the Left would protest that he was tortured by Alberto Gonzalez in order to extract the confession from him. These folk are in deep denial. Phillips closes her piece with this:

As I have noted on innumerable occasions, none of this evidence is cast-iron. But there is so much of it, it is simply not credible that Saddam had no links with al Qaeda, even if he was not personally involved in 9/11. And as for his links with other terror outfits, this is indisputable. Saddam's Iraq was the principal training ground for Islamic terrorism.

The anti-western left has, over the course of history, fallen time after time for the propaganda of murderous tyrants who offered a handy platform for bashing the home society by providing the alibi of conscience. The investment of personal, political and moral identity that this represents is so immense that after a short while such gullible dupes are simply incapable of recognizing reality even when it stares them in the face. Hence their stupefaction when confronted with the enormities of Robespierre, Stalin or Mao. To that list must now be added the Islamic jihad and Saddam Hussein. The difference is that this time these useful idiots have taken the middling people of Britain and Europe - and increasingly, it seems, of America - with them into the land of deluded wishful thinking. The result could be that this war against the jihadi terror could be lost -- at home.

Read the whole thing.

Our Amazing Soldiers and Marines

Blackfive has a fascinating account of combat in Fallujah shortly after several American contractors had been killed, their corpses abused and hung from the trestle of a bridge. It's a great read for the Fourth of July and once you start it you won't be able to stop. The courage and toughness of our troops is simply incredible.

Have a great Independence Day.