Eric Margolis, columnist for the Toronto Sun, has a way each week of reaching for the basics with fervor. And he knows his stuff. Here, he reminds us of just what kind of a long-term affair our government and the Saudis (and, of course, the military-petroleum-industrial complex) have had, how deeply entwined we are, and what progeny have sprung from the encounter. It’s an unnerving tale — made more so by the fact that we are now ruled by a regime which believes that oil dependency is not only a state of nature but a state of grace. Tom
With friends like these …
Despite mutual animosity, America and Saudi Arabia need each other
By Eric Margolis, December 1, 2002, The Toronto Sun
Americans used to take for granted that Saudi Arabia was one of their most faithful, obedient and useful allies. The 7,000 or so princes of the Saudi royal family who control 30% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves could always be counted on to support American interests in the Mideast, buy lots of U.S. arms and sell their oil at low prices.
That was until the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when 15 of the 19 hijackers turned out to be Saudi citizens.
Angry Americans accused Saudi Arabia of being a hotbed of Islamic fanaticism and the main paymaster of militant anti-American groups. U.S. conservatives and Israel’s partisans unleashed a stinging campaign in the media and Congress against the Saudi royal family, calling for “regime change” in Saudi Arabia as well as Iraq. Arabia’s oil, warned Washington’s oil imperialists, was too precious to be left to the Saudis – or to any Arabs, for that matter.