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Saudi Arabia and the "War on Terror"
Posted by: McQ on Friday, October 03, 2008

Michael Totten makes a very important point that is easily missed in all the election year rhetoric:
Senator Barack Obama said something at the presidential debate last week that almost perfectly encapsulates the difference between his foreign policy and his opponent’s: “Secretary of Defense Robert Gates himself acknowledges the war on terrorism started in Afghanistan and it needs to end there.” I don’t know if Obama paraphrased Gates correctly, but if so, they’re both wrong.

If Afghanistan were miraculously transformed into the Switzerland of Central Asia, every last one of the Middle East’s rogues gallery of terrorist groups would still exist. The ideology that spawned them would endure. Their grievances, such as they are, would not be salved. The political culture that produced them, and continues to produce more just like them, would hardly be scathed. Al Qaedism is the most radical wing of an extreme movement which was born in the Middle East and exists now in many parts of the world. Afghanistan is not the root or the source.
Transnational terrorist organizations aren't tied to specific geographical areas. Al Qaeda, which declared Iraq the "central front" in its war against the Great Satan has now moved that central front to the east. And should it lose there, my guess is it would simply shift the central front south and west into Africa where it also has a foothold and is growing in strength and numbers.

This war isn't really about Iraq, Afghanistan or even Pakistan. Those are just locations where it is being fought at the moment. It's a war against a deviant religious sect that preys on ignorance and empowers fanaticism with other-worldly promises of redemption and and pleasure.

Totten correctly identifies and characterizes the threat:
Al Qaeda’s politics are a product of the Arab world, specifically of the radical and totalitarian Wahhabi sect of Islam founded in the 18th Century in Saudi Arabia by the fanatical Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. He thought the medieval interpretations of Islam even on the backward Arabian peninsula were too liberal and lenient. His most extreme followers cannot even peacefully coexist with mainstream Sunni Muslims, let alone Shia Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, secularists, feminists, gays, or anyone else. Their global jihad is a war against the entire human race in all its diversity and plurality.
Read the whole article - it is excellent. Totten also makes the case that Iraq was hardly a distraction.

One of the reasons it is important to remind everyone of this fairly basic but mostly overlooked point is that one of the reason we're finding it tough sledding to overcome this threat is we're ignoring it's source - Saudi Arabia.

No Saudi petrodollars, much less Wahhabi influence. Joe Biden said we need to build schools in Pakistan to counter the influce of radical Islam. Well, we also need to see radical Islam (i.e. Wahhabists) defunded. And the only way that is going to happen is to get Saudi Arabia out of the game.

That's the dirty little secret in this "war on terror" and one, you'll probably notice, neither of the presidential candidate has even attempted to broach.

Want to win in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa and other places it has begun to reach? Stop the spread of Wahhabi influence. Want to stop the spread of Wahhabi influence?

Talk to Saudi Arabia.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Look, sane political discussion of the war on terrorism ended when Howard Dean locked the Democratic Party into the far Left (ANSWER, et al.) perspective on the war in Iraq in early 2004. That forced Kerry to move in that direction as well, to salvage his campaign for the nomination, and then the entire party was committed to that perspective through the 2004 election. Out of that came this lame piker Obama.

There has not been a sane discussion of Iraq and the war on terrorism since.

And while I trust John McCain to do the right thing in most cases (there will always be mistakes) in dealing with terrorism, I don’t think that there will be any clear discussion of it for years.

Recall — and I make a rare shout-out here to every regular contributor to this blog to remember this — that the Democrats were long lying in wait for another terror attack on the U.S. so that they could blame it on Bush for diverting attention from the war on terrorism by going into Iraq. They built up anticipation for the event until the time lapse from 9/11 grew too long for it to make sense.

Hence, all this Obama BS about where the "central front" is. And how he’s going to focus on Afghanistan and the mountains across the border in Pakistan. That’s his dodge for his long ANSWER-inspired campaign to lose in Iraq, which carbunkle was centered in the Party base by Daffy Duck (Howard Dean). (With apologies to the original Daffy.)

One can also note that our "illegal, immoral" war in Iraq was a favored theme with Jeremiah Wright, and that he and Farrakhan were locked in on that perspective on all American foreign policy long before ANSWER sprung whole from the loins of the Workers World Party, the Stalinist outfit that’s in love with Kim Jong Il. (And, yes, that is the exact provenance of ANSWER, which has essentially written the Democratic text on Iraq since the Howard Dean insurgency.)
Written By: Martin McPhillips
>>Joe Biden said we need to build schools in Pakistan to counter the influce of radical Islam.>>

He could start with the Saudi madrassa in Virginia...see how that works...

So far, it doesn’t seem to have - even with supposed state board of education overwatch...
Written By: suek
URL: http://
"And the only way that is going to happen is to get Saudi Arabia out of the game."

One way to do that is to use up all their oil.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The AP concedes Iraq is back ...
BAGHDAD (AP) — As violence in Iraq recedes, neighboring states are pondering how to deal with an unwieldy country that could re-emerge as a key player along with Saudi Arabia and Iran in one of the world’s most strategic regions.

The role of regional power broker may seem far-fetched for Iraq — a devastated land best known for car bombs, death squads and suicide attackers.

Still, countries of the Middle East cannot ignore the potential role of a resurgent Iraq, a nation of 28 million people, bordering Iran to the east, Syria and Jordan to the west and sitting on one of the world’s major pools of oil.

For those reasons, the United States cannot afford to lose focus on Iraq, which will remain a strategic and important country even after the last of the 140,000 American soldiers have gone home.
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