This opinion piece seems almost too good to be true.
Former Saudi ambassador and Saudi intelligence director Turki al-Faisal writes in The New York Times op-ed page (on September 11th no less!) that a United States veto in the U.N. of an anticipated proposal for a “Palestinian” state could result in the loss of Saudi Arabia as an ally in the Middle East as well as other unpleasantness.
There are so many great come-backs here, I am just going to list them and let readers vote in the comments section on the one that best summarizes their feelings (or suggest their own).
Lose Saudi Arabia as an ally if we veto a Palestinian State?
A) Can we get that in writing?
B) We should be so lucky.
C) So… what’s the bad news?
D) Is that a threat or a promise?
E) Wait, you mean to say that Saudi Arabia has been our ally all this time?
F) With allies like this, who needs enemies?
Al-Faisal’s piece is such a target-rich environment that it is almost too easy. Where to begin?
How about his argument that failure to support the creation of yet another terror-supporting State by the name of “Palestine” (a term, by the way, that was only revived by the British colonial rulers in 1917 and was never appropriated by the locals until after the revival of Israel in 1948) will further undermine Israel’s security? Sure, it is possible that the veto of the resolution might lead to yet another intifada (as al-Faisal warns), but this sort of talk sounds like the practiced art of an extortionist: Sure would be a shame if you didn’t go along with the new, palestinian state and then something happened to your family. (Come to think of it, this talk sounds like the kind of thing we hear from labor unions these days. I wonder if al-Faisal has been reading the SEIU manual?).
At any rate, it is difficult to imagine that Israel’s security could get much worse short of open warfare. Afterall, Israel is already getting rocketed from the Gaza Strip, infiltrated by terrorists from the supposedly demilitarized Sinai peninsula, the aim point for tens of thousands of medium range, Hezbollah missiles in southern Lebanon and literally ringed by neighbors who are all committed to her annihilation. Other than that, it’s all just peachy, eh Mr. Faisal?
I also like the bit about the border of the State of Palestine being based upon the pre-1967 War borders. Now where do you think al-Faisal got that idea? Yeah, thanks Barack Hussein. Last time I checked, the 1967 borders were about the width of the Washington, D.C. beltway and utterly indefensible.
Here are some, other gems from the former Saudi ambassador (and now, presumably, getting a regular time slot on Comedy Central):
Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to cooperate with America in the same way it historically has. With most of the Arab world in upheaval, the “special relationship” between Saudi Arabia and the United States would increasingly be seen as toxic by the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims, who demand justice for the Palestinian people.
Again, the Saudi idea of “cooperation” is funding Sunni terrorists in Iraq who target Americans, spending billions of dollars on Islamic schools all over the world (including the U.S.) which teach militant Wahhabi doctrines, spending billions more supporting mosques and imams who preach violent jihad against the U.S. and actively seeking to undermine democratic institutions in the U.S.
Saudi leaders would be forced by domestic and regional pressures to adopt a far more independent and assertive foreign policy. Like our recent military support for Bahrain’s monarchy, which America opposed, Saudi Arabia would pursue other policies at odds with those of the United States, including opposing the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Iraq and refusing to open an embassy there despite American pressure to do so. The Saudi government might part ways with Washington in Afghanistan and Yemen as well.
A “far more independent and assertive foreign policy” ? Example Bahrain? Assuming that the Obama Administration was sincere in its public protests over the tanks and troops sent by Saudi Arabia into Bahrain to quell Iranian-inspired protests, the last thing that any thinking American wanted was another, major oil producing state in civil war. Go ahead and send in tanks, O Sultan.
And “opposing the government of…al-Maliki” in Iraq? Puh-leeeze. The U.S. can barely stand the guy either. He is leading his country down the tubes with the Iranians. Very few people in the U.S. would mourn the loss of Maliki. The U.S. gave him a perfect opportunity to establish a strong and independent Iraq and he blew it with a short-sighted Status of Forces Agreement in 2008 that gives away Iraqi security at the end of this year.
Does the Obama administration care that the Saudis will not establish an embassy in Iraq? That’s good. No one else here does. A Saudi embassy is just another, little piece of hell on earth for women, infidels and those who love bacon.
In fact, in case you have not noticed, Al, Americans are none too happy with Obama these days, so making threats of non-cooperation with Obama’s foreign policy is actually a way to get drafted by Democrats to run against Obama for re-election in 2012. (And, considering how Democrats these days seem to love authoritarians– see the Tom Friedman man crush for China’s communist leadership– a Saudi candidate might just be their dream guy).
At the end of the day, Saudi Arabia naturally pursues its own, national interests and does not shrink from doing so even when it involves the death of U.S. servicemembers (as TCJ pointed out in the past with regard to its role in supporting Sunni terrorism in Iraq, for instance). It is comic, however, when someone like al-Faisal tries to pretend that the Saudis are America’s closest ally in the Middle East and the damage (or even loss) of that relationship is something that most Americans would grieve over. No matter how they dress it up, the notion of a state for the Arabs that formerly resided in Israel (aka “Palestinians”) is simply a cynical means to the ultimate end that they desire: the obliteration of Israel.