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Tuesday 06 August 2002

At least someone is paying attention

The Washington Post reports today that someone in the U.S. government, at least, has noticed the obvious:

“The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader,” stated the explosive briefing.

However, the report’s suggestion that the proper action toward Saudi Arabia is to “give it an ultimatum to stop backing terrorism or face seizure of its oil fields and its financial assets invested in the United States” is probably short-sighted. Too many investors are already justly wary of having money in the United States right now, after it’s come out that many of the recent glittering earnings reports from large corporations have been fairy tales. The last thing we need at the moment is credible fear that the government may seize your assets.

A far better plan is a program of “regime change” — what an awful term — in Saudi Arabia: the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency can keep humming along, just under new management. An open war with Saudi Arabia would not be much of a military challenge; but I am not certain the US could withstand an all-out economic attack from them in our current condition. Far better to pre-empt the possibility of such an attack in the first place by quietly taking the weapon — the money — out of the hands of those who would use it against us. Dirty? Un-democratic? Sure. But it beats the hell out of bombing the place, or of plunging the US (and Saudi Arabia — they need someone to buy all that oil) into economic blackness.

Posted by tino at 13:15 6.08.02
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